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Lis Sladen in The Bill

Thanks to one of Network's sales, I have a whole lot of late 80s half hour episodes of The Bill on DVD. And I realised that one of them has Lis Sladen in it. In one scene. But I took screencaps aka photos of the telly. The quality isn't brilliant because it's from 1989 and goes a bit fuzzy when I pause it.

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Mirrored from my blog.

What I am reading Wednesday

What I Just Finished Reading
The Chalet School Reunion and Shocks for the Chalet School by Elinor M Brent-Dyer. These are recent GGBP publications that I got for my birthday. I'd read them before, but now I own them. There's not much to say about them really - standard Chalet School stuff. And food for thought for Lynda Day at the Chalet School.

What I'm Currently Reading
I started reading In the Family Way by Jane Robinson before I got distracted by CS books. It's about "Illegitimacy Between the Great War and the Swinging Sixties". It's a history of what was going on at the time that affected how illegitimacy was thought of dealt with, and personal stories. It's interesting that the word bastard just meant someone who was illegitimate and it's the stigma of it that transformed it into an insult.

Last in my Chalet School birthday books is The Bettanys on the Home Front by Helen Barber. It's set during WWI, when Madge and Dick are teenagers and Joey's just a baby. It's interesting so far, but I'm only a couple of chapters in.

What I'm Reading Next
I should read the other two books from my parent's loft: Across the Barricades by Joan Lingard. I remember the title of this book and the cover, but nothing else. It's apparently the second book in a series, but I've never read any of the others in the series.

The other book is The Village by the Sea by Anita Desai. The only thing I remember about this book was being excited that it was on the GCSE English reading list. I'd got fed up of improving books some years earlier and was happily reading complete crap. But there was a list of books we were supposed to read and we had to write them all down and review them (one word apparently didn't count as a review). So I was so excited that a book I'd already read and liked was on the list. My teacher (who didn't like me) didn't think that was good enough and I should be reading pre-20th century texts. I was not impressed (and only read pre-20th century texts when forced - and then I picked A Christmas Carol on the basis it was short.)

Mirrored from my blog.

Dizzy (again)

I got lots of things done over the long weekend, including actually doing some writing, which is more than I managed in the whole of April. So I was feeling in a good getting things done mode. And then Tuesday I woke up feeling dizzy. So that's May gone, pretty much.

Fortunately I've been well enough to read and watch TV (as long as it doesn't move too much), so I have:

  • Watched all of series 5 of Game of Thrones and the two episodes of series 6 that have been broadcast so far. I have never been so up-to-date with it. I even avoided all spoilers for series 5 until a couple of weeks ago, when series 6 started and there was a mention of someone who died at the end of series 5.
  • Watched a whole lot of Co-Optitude on youtube. It's Felicia Day and her brother Ryon playing video games that are either co-operative or versus each other. It doesn't sound that interesting, but it is because a) they're terrible at all of them and b) they spend their time annoying each other (as siblings do). I really want to play Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes now.
  • Watched half an episode of The Casual Vacancy and then deleted all three of them
  • Discovered one of the three remaining episodes of the last series of Midsomer Murders is something else. So that's one less thing to watch
  • Read a series of three books that I'd kept in my parents loft for some reason and I'd forgotten ever existed: the Sisters series by Marilyn Kaye. Each book focuses on each of the four sisters. Except I just have the ones about the second and fourth sisters, then the fifth book, which is also about the fourth sister. They were easy reading, if nothing else.
  • Got my Not Prime Time assignment and worked out what I'm going to write. I just need to get the energy to write it (looking at computers makes me dizzy)
  • Voted! The only time I've been out of the house in the last week and enjoyed the nice weather. And walked very slowly.

Mirrored from my blog.


The Avengers and The Guild

Game of Thrones started again last week and I still haven't seen the last series. But instead I've been watching two old things with 'The' in the title.

The Avengers
I went to my parents last weekend and Dad mentioned The Avengers is on weekdays. So we watched a couple of Steed & Peel episodes. They were the beginning of the colour ones, which I have seen all of. I can't remember which black & white ones I have seen any more - and sometimes looking at the descriptions on the backs of the DVDs makes me want to rewatch ones I know I have seen, which isn't helpful for getting through them.

It was well timed because I've just been listening to Big Finish's audio adaptations of Steed & Peel comic strips. Which were good and gloriously ridiculous and whimsical, which is what I like about The Avengers. The first one was (sort of) a follow up to an episode that I didn't remember. And then I discovered that's because I've seen the other two episodes on the DVD, but not that one. Or I hadn't at the time - I've seen it now.

They're also showing Tara King episodes, which I would tape, since I've only seen a few of those. But there are two every weekday and I'd just never get through them. I already have a load of stuff I haven't watched.

The Guild
I'd heard of this - I knew it was a web series that Felicia Day had done, but nothing else. But then I read her book and found out it was about people playing an MMORG and it sounded interesting. I've never played one myself because I know I'd get sucked into it, but I have some idea of what they involve. Not that it mattered much for watching The Guild. Which I got through the whole of in less than a week. It was good - I liked it. And now I'm trying to stop myself from re-watching it all with annotations (which are interesting).

Mirrored from my blog.

Dear Not Prime Time writer

Dear Not Prime Time writer,

Thank you for writing a story for me. The optional details are optional. I've just tried to give you some ideas of what I might like to see, but if none of them are your thing feel free to disregard them. They are just ideas for people who find it easier to write something when given a prompt. I've requested characters I find particularly interesting in each fandom, so I will be happy with anything featuring them. Feel free to write other characters in the fandoms too - I like all the other characters in these fandoms too. Just because I've waffled more about some fandoms than others doesn't mean I want it more - I want these all as much as each other, I just waffle more about some than others.

General things I like:
- Stories that explore the relationships between characters
- Stories that explore characters
- Scenes/fic that is like it could be (part of) an episode
- Stories that make me happy or make me laugh or make me cry
- Fun stuff that leaves me feeling happy
- Swordfighting

General things I dislike:
- Sex scenes, so nothing over PG-13 please - generally sticking to the tone and details of sex/humour/peril etc of the original is good
- British people using Americanisms and American people using Briticisms
- Relationships other than those in canon (except when I've specified otherwise in my prompts) - but you can never go wrong with gen
- Non canon (permanent) character death

I am picky about crossovers and AUs (other than canon divergence) in these fandoms, and there's not a pattern I can articulate what I like and don't like. So if you have a great idea for one, it's probably going to be best to get the mods to ask me about it.

For reference, here are my prompts:

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Mirrored from my blog.


One day I will update more often. This week has been crazy. Our department of six at work was pretty much reduced down to me for some of the time. By the time I went food shopping on Thursday I was going round there like an old lady because I was too tired to think. Hopefully things will calm down after the bank holiday weekend.

Missy is good for stress, though. You can't think about work (or anything else) while playing with her. Mainly because she has no fear and I have to be ready to catch her. In the past three evenings she's fallen off me/the table four times. I have caught her every time. She's never at all worried about this - and even when she ends up on the (hard) floor she just thinks it's somewhere interesting to explore - but fortunately she is easily lured away by food.

I need work to calm down so I can attempt to get back to writing. Apart from the things I've had half-written on my hard drive for a while, I also have my [info]dw_guestfest to finish before next year's fest. I signed up for [info]unconventionalcourtship to write a Sarah/Harry fic, as I found a great prompt after last year's fest. But I had to do research as it felt like so long since I've written them! And then I'm currently contemplating my sign up for [info]not-primetime. I really want to do it, I just can't narrow down when I want to write and receive.

Mirrored from my blog.


What I am reading Wednesday

What I Just Finished Reading
So Anyway... by John Cleese. My sister lent me this when we had a book swap when we went to see Ed Byrne. It's John Cleese's autobiography. It's really interesting to see the era he grew up in and what sort of person he was like. I keep reading autobiographies from people who'd been in Footlights, but he was there before it became the place to be and only really joined for the location of the bar!

It stops once he starts with Monty Python, probably because everyone knows what happens after that - there's certainly a not unreasonably assumption that everyone reading the book is familiar with Monty Python. And it's 400 pages up to that point - it would be twice the length if he'd carried on.

He reproduces some of his sketches, which are funny, but the funniest bit of the book was Tim Brooke-Taylor's story of his hotel stay in Brussels:

When we picked Tim up the next morning, he told us that he's spent the night in his room with a 'bird'. Intrigued, we questioned him closely, and learned that he had been woken in the middle of the night by a strange, rather alarming noise and that when he had put the light on he had discovered a turkey vomiting on the mantelpiece. He'd thought of complaining but found that his phrasebook did not cover this contingency.

What I'm Currently Reading
Nothing - I've literally just finished John Cleese's book.

What I'm Reading Next
The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett. Which I've had since Christmas (technically) but it's hardback, so heavy and hard to read in bed, plus I told my sister she could borrow it first. Now we've had the book swap, I can read it.

Mirrored from my blog.

TV watching

I've been gradually working my way through all the stuff I have taped on my PVR. I've done all the hour long documentaries and now just have the TV series to go. Which feel like the harder bits...

But then I got distracted yesterday and watched an episode of Quantum Leap - The Americanization of Machiko. It had been on my mind after I'd watched a documentary about time travel in sci-fi that mentioned Quantum Leap. The episode is about a sailor who returns from two years in Japan, with a Japanese wife. Who his mother doesn't approve of. Because it's Quantum Leap of course it all turns out all right in the end.

It just reminded me how good Quantum Leap was. And how much I should resist the urge to watch (nearly) all the rest of the episodes (I've never felt the need to rewatch Lee Harvey Oswald, the Evil Leaper stuff or the last episode).

It is a lot easier to have time to watch these things at the weekend. Partly because I can watch them during the day, while Missy is asleep. In the evenings she wants to play (and I want to play with her too) or she'll be noisy drinking or chewing the bars. Sometimes it can take me a whole evening to watch something an hour long.

But I can't blame her for building up a massive load of things to watch on my PVR because most of it was from last year (and some from the year before), and I only got Missy after New Year.

Mirrored from my blog.

Where did March go?

March is a busy month. Two weekends ago I went to Rotary Conference. It was good, but did only involve 13 hours sleep over two nights. And I did [info]selenay on the way home when I came off the motorway and then got back on it again. The next junction turned out to be one where you couldn't get back on the motorway going the other way, and the sat nav was trying to take me through a city I have no intention of driving through ever (aside from that one driving lesson where I didn't have a choice). So we went the pretty way home, which involved mostly ignoring the sat nav.

After that I was out nearly every night and finally managed to catch up on my sleep last weekend. And then I got a cold. I can't have just a cold, because I don't have the energy to spare to deal with it, and it sets my dizziness off. But I hate having to stop everything just for a cold. After a week it's still not completely gone and I am still sleeping sitting up because it set my asthma off.

So all the things I was going to last week and this weekend, since they were petty quiet, haven't really been done. I have done a whole load of things off my to do list that needed doing. I have done some cleaning. Some things will just have to wait until I'm properly better.

While I was away a friend came in to feed Missy. But she didn't like that there wasn't someone around to talk to her and play with her. So it didn't help that I then wasn't in in the evenings and then was too ill for a while to be sitting up playing with her. I think she's forgiven me now.

I have proved (to myself anyway) that she can definitely see me on the sofa from where she is. There are times when I've looked over at her and her reaction is to stick her nose out of the bars, even though I haven't said anything (if I speak to her she sticks her nose out of the bars). She definitely watches me as much as I watch her and wants to know what I'm doing.

She is definitely cat-like in one aspect. There are times when it's convenient for me to play with her, but I can't convince her to come out and play. But once I'm sitting down watching TV, then she wants to play. She doesn't like being stroked or picked up, so I can only play with her when she wants to.

Mirrored from my blog.


Didn’t mean to not post for this long

I kept meaning to post, but just not getting to it. Which is the theme of this month really. I've got 400 words on my [info]dw_guestfest fic, but no idea where it really goes from there. And keep not being motivated/awake enough to poke at it. I seem to be in a period where my body has decided I don't need to sleep much past 6am, even on days when I don't have to get up early.

Last weekend I went to the tennis in Birmingham. It was good fun, but I disliked the hype before the match with t-shirt shooters and a DJ. I don't mind the music at changeovers, or Stirling Uni Barmy Army, but other than that I like the quiet. But we won, so that's all that matters :) My sister pointed out that she could take a photo from her Apple Watch - so I held up her phone and she took the picture. Completely silly.

Missy has met her first stranger and was very good. Mostly she was just confused about something different going on. She also, on a different night, fell off my lap when I wasn't quite quick enough to catch her (she likes to hang off my knees). She's been a bit more restrained since, but I don't know how long that will last.

I'm looking forward to it being the end of next week when things will calm down a bit this month.

Mirrored from my blog.


More things

It's been a pain, reading my Livejournal feeds by the LJ friends page. I started off going to the LJ home page to login, but it takes so long to load it drove me mad. And then I found that my LJ layout is not quite right for my friends page. And my LJ. The comment pages are fine - usually those are the only ones I see.

But I don't have to read via LJ any more because I put all my public-only (ie communities) feeds through freemyfeed.com. I moved the people who crosspost everything to DW over to DW. And the rest I set up emails when they post. So now LJ feeds are working again. I can't quite be bothered to reverse all of that just yet.

Missy is still crazy and entertaining. This week she decided she wanted my dressing gown belt and tried to carry it off, but didn't get very far because it just did the knot up tighter. On Friday she decided she wanted the end of my shirt that was sticking out under my jumper. Except it was too big for her pouch and she didn't get very far in trying to chew it off. She also ended up on the floor (for the third time...) although it was partially my fault. She kept pretty much just falling off the end of my lap into my hand and I tried to move her back up my lap and she took exception to being picked up and jumped.

I have a photo from this morning when I'd made a noise and she'd woken up and looked up to see what I was doing - and had some cardboard from her bed on her head.

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Mirrored from my blog.


Technology: argh!

Last week I thought things were a bit quiet with my RSS feeds, but decided that, well, they were a bit quiet. And then I discovered the reason: all my LJ feeds have errors. No idea why, but it is a pain. When I read them via my friends list I discovered about 50 I hadn't seen before. But it is a horrible way to read - you can't tell where you've got to and there's no way to mark something to come back to it later. And I'm pretty sure I have some comms I'm reading that I don't have showing on my friends list because they clogged it up (back when I sometimes read it that way).

In conclusion: technology is a pain.

Mirrored from my blog.


I've got sucked into reading the whole of the Jedi Apprentice series of books. I only intended to read one... They are at least short, so I'm getting through more than one a day. The trouble is once I've finished those then I'll read the Jedi Quest series. And the specials... I'll get back to reading other (new) books sometime. Especially as I just bought two more yesterday. I went to Blackwells, who have a really good social history section. While looking through it I was thinking "got that, got that, read that, got that" etc.

I saw Chicago (the musical). We're doing musicals in choir this term, so it would good to see how it's all done properly. And what it's about. It was really good, I enjoyed it.

I also saw the I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue stage show. For the third time. The producer's warm-up jokes have not changed at all during that time. Jeremy Hardy got the biggest round of applause for his singing (no surprises there).

I finally put some hammocks up to put all my cuddlies in. As I was putting them up I was thinking that they were really big and I wouldn't need two. Turns out, I do need two. I have one in my bedroom, of rabbits, and one downstairs of non-rabbits plus rabbits. And there are a few rabbits and other small cuddlies (teddy, owl, cat, tribbles) around the place too. I have a lot of rabbits. This is not a bad thing.

Missy continues to be crazy. Hamsters are supposed to sleep somewhere dark where they can hide. Missy hasn't read the hamster book and sleeps on her wheel (or in front of it). She has no sense of fear or self-preservation. She likes playing with me - running over my hands, up my arms, over my lap - but when she slips just assumes she won't fall. But she has, twice (I think - the first time I didn't see what happened, so she may have fallen or jumped). And landed on the floor. Fortunately both times she's been too surprised to go anywhere so I've been able to pick her back up and put her in her cage. Where she's not been traumatised at all. She is hard work.

Mirrored from my blog.

Fandom snowflake day 7

In your own space, share a favorite piece of original canon (a TV episode, a song, a favorite interview, a book, a scene from a movie, etc) and explain why you love it so much.

When thinking about what to do for these, the piece that stood out for me was the first scene of the first episode of The Librarians. Which I managed to find on YouTube:


When I first saw it I knew very little of what it was about. The first couple of minutes of this are not that exciting, with some military people and bad guys shooting at each other. And then the Librarian falls into the scene (literally). And is unconcerned about all the people standing around holding guns and is more worried about a magical artifact. At the end of the scene he introduces himself and I wanted to know more about what a Librarian did. And what sort of person he was.

There are some TV series it can take a while to get into it. Having watched all thirteen episodes of Dark Matter, I still can't decide if I like it or not. But with The Librarians, I knew I was going to like it by the end of that scene. Which is why it stands out so much.

And as a bonus, here's a [info]festivids fanvid for the first two series of The Librarians:


It shows how fun The Librarians is, but also fits the action to the words (which is how I think all fanvids ought to be). (warning: it is set to a Taylor Swift song - although I enjoyed it anyway)

Mirrored from my blog.

Fandom snowflake day 4

In your own space, create a fanwork.

I have finally done this one! I had a whole load of things I could have finished off, but having spent January not writing it was really hard to get back into it. Now I have, I feel more confident about being able to get some writing done. Which is just as well, given that I signed up for [info]dw_guestfest.

This is a Star Wars Prequels fic and came out of the idea of Qui-Gon lives and then in Return of the Sith Obi-Wan is on the council and therefore outranks him. I had an image in my head of Qui-Gon calling Obi-Wan "Master". Which somehow ended up being 700 words long...

The New Master (705 words) by paranoidangel
Fandom: Star Wars Prequel Trilogy
Rating: General Audiences
Summary: The Jedi Council are concerned about Anakin. AU where Qui-Gon survived Naboo and took Anakin as his Padawan.

Mirrored from my blog.

Star Wars TPM

Yesterday I gave into the urge to watch the Star Wars prequels. Or at least, the bits with Ewan McGregor in (I am so behind on his filmography - I'd nearly caught up at one time too). It took me a while to get used to the English accent, but after a while I stopped thinking of it as Ewan McGregor using an accent and thinking that this is how Obi-Wan speaks. And it brought back so many memories - it was my first big fandom and first slash fandom.

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Someone on a hamster forum said that hamsters were like the cats of rodents. I can see the comparison. Missy only wants to play with me when she feels like it. She stops to wash. She has a comfy bed, but has been known to sleep next to it or move all the wood shavings and sleep on the floor of her cage. She has a deep bit for digging in, so digs on a shallow section. She wants her toys/treats where she wants them, not where I put them. Her favourite toys are the free ones. She's intelligent, but an idiot. But she did pose for me recently:

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Mirrored from my blog.


2015 fic roundup

I intended to do this at the beginning of the month, but where did January go? I thought I'd better take a break from Fandom Snowflake and do this while we're still in the first month of the year at least.

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Fandom snowflake day 12

What makes you fannish? And by that we mean, what is it about a tv show/movie/book/band/podcast/etc that takes you from, "Yeah, I like that," to "I need MOAR!!!" Is it a character? A plotline? The pretty? Subtext that’s just screaming to be acknowledged? In your own space, tell us what it is that gets you to cross that line into fandom.

The answer to this depends on whether there is any more. You can be as fannish as you like about something, but if no one else has heard of it and there's no fandom, there's not a lot to go on. And if there's a lot of official stuff, it feels like there's no need to go to fandom.

So Star Trek, for example, I love. I've seen all the TV episodes (including the animated series) and all the films. I take a day off work to go and see the latest film on the opening day. I read a lot of (Original Series & TNG) books, mainly in the 90s. I think, on the whole, that was enough. I wasn't there for the shipping, just the adventures, so that was everything I needed.

When I got into Doctor Who I decided it wasn't going to be like Star Trek and I wasn't going to get into the fandom either. I was trying to come up with an explanation, but the truth is that I don't know what happened there. Although, a lot of it was SJA fandom, rather than Doctor Who fandom.

Looking back, I think it ends up being the people, rather than the fan creations to consume/create or the even the original source materia. I met people through The Bill and Stargate and Doctor Who/SJA fandom. I'm still friends with some of those people. Those are the fandoms I had the most fun in.

Mirrored from my blog.

Fandom snowflake day 13

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you did not create.

Here are some Yuletide recs! I didn't keep a list when I read them, so I just went through my emails of author replies.

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Mirrored from my blog.

Fandom snowflake day 10

In your own space, post a rec for fannish and/or creative resources and spaces. Tell us where you go to dig up canon facts for your fandom, or where you get all the juicy details about your favorite ship. Where do you like to hang out and squee like a squeeing thing?

For canon facts, wikis are always good. For Star Trek, Memory Alpha (film & TV canon) and Memory Beta (book canon) are great. Through Memory Beta I now know how Crusher and Picard came to be married (still can't quite get my head round it though). The Doctor Who Legacy wiki is the best source of information about the game.

Most other fandoms-specific wikis tend to be a rehash of Wikipedia and don't tell you a great deal.

For hanging out, it's all LJ and DW. Twitter is for real life, Facebook similarly, given it's names, not pseudonyms. I'm not into looking at pictures (except of bunnies), so I don't have a Tumblr.

Going through my bookmarks for other resources, which got a bit long...

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Mirrored from my blog.

Fandom snowflake day 14

In your own space, share your love for something fannish: a trope, cliché, kink, motif, theme, format, or fandom.

I have a few tropes I love. No idea why, but I love them anyway:

- Two people who were lovers, but decided it didn't work and are now friends

- Parent/child relationships when neither of them are related

- Aliens made them do it - but not the actual thing, that's boring, it's the ways they get out of it, and the aftermath if they don't (or if they do) especially if the two (or more) people in question don't secretly fancy each other.

Mirrored from my blog.

Fandom snowflake day 11

In your own space, make a list of at least 3 things that you like about yourself.

This is hard, so I am trying not to think about it for too long.

1. I am organised. Which is how I end up organising other people...

2. I am generally on time (exceptions for unexpected three hour train delays and such like).

3. I am good with rabbits (I once visited some neighbours who had a rabbit who didn't like people - but I got that rabbit to come to me. I spent more time on the rabbit than the people, but then rabbits are just more interesting).

Mirrored from my blog.

Fandom snowflake day 9

In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private.

- Finish Lynda Day at the Chalet School. Or at least make it to a second draft. Last year I spent the first few months getting over the last few months of the previous year, and then it all went to pot. So although I intended to finish it last year, it just didn't happen. Hopefully this year won't be like last year.

- Participate in Not Prime Time. Now that The Librarians fandom is big enough, I could do it entirely with fandoms I write usually, if it wanted.

- Learn all of Penny's songs/parts in songs, so I can play her in the Dr Horrible Sing-a-long at Nine Worlds. And also learn Anya's "It Must be Bunnies" song, so I can hold up lots of bunnies.

- Finish some of the half-finished/half-started fics sitting around on my hard drive.

- Not sign up for SGA Secret Santa (but read the stories in it).

- Watch all the stuff on my PVR from last year and the year before. Or delete it if I'm just not going to watch it.

Mirrored from my blog.

Fandom snowflake day 5

Finally getting back to these!

Leave feedback for a fanwork. Or multiple fanworks. It can be as simple as I liked this to a detailed list of all the things you loved about the fanwork. The key is to leave some sort of feedback.

I did a few of these. In trying to catch up with the sga-secretsanta stories I went for the shortest one that I haven't read yet and it turned out to be really good! It's Nash Equilibria Are For Losers and it's 1500 words of hilarious Shep/McKay.

Then I worked through some of the other things I have starred in my RSS Reader:
just_ann_now's Swordspoint story in quotes and pictures.

dbskyler's Sarah/Doctor fanvid, which has the clips matching the words, which is how I like my fanvids.

(I don't know why my LJ user etc code has randomly stopped working and am not inclined to fix it now, but it's very annoying!)

Mirrored from my blog.