The Misapplied Criminal Mind

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Born 1973. Haven't died yet, despite several near-misses.

Doing stuff.
Fiddly things.


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Blog Links
Just some of the great blogs I keep stumbling on. Go for an explore, and if you see any really good ones, let me know...

- the hottest blogger I know.
- I hate knitting. However, I love this blog. Who'd have thought?
- If you ask me, it's perpetual brilliance!
- 'nuff said.
Inspired - inspiring.
- ...into light.
Xenouveau - Her from Sadisticland.
All Geek To Me - Fun from Scout Finch.

The HAL9000 Report - WARNING! - Controversy!

Elven Sarah - Witty and weird, a bit like me (but witty).
Sedgefield - A nice blog, which may have died from meme deficiency...
Lorianne - A great lady had a great blog. Hopefully it returns...
superphase - A stick hero for the masses...
Sadly, we have been given the cold Shoulder.
- a great blog from the continent, nice and warm there.
Selfindulgence - Not indulgent any more.
She Speaks - The star-crossed lover is now silent.
Organic Feminism - A tremendous blog. Even though she calls me Scoots *shudder*
You can no longer get your soup fix from souplover.

The Witches of Elswick
Lair of the Strong Bad - 3D Chat - Sweets

My mood is: The current mood of winstonsmith at

Hits since 28/07/2004:

Blogarama - The Blog Directory

Entries you may have missed
Behold The Freak!!!
Insert Title Here...
Cycling woes.
Happy Easter, etc.
Back Seat Blogger
Remember Sammy Jankiss
Journey from Hell...
I have returned...
My warbly song...
Astral Projection
Tick followed tock...
Another Week

Link Images
If you want to put a little picture on your site linking to this one, then you can use one of these images...

If you use one, try to host it yourself, I can't be certain how long the website will be up...

İThe Misapplied Criminal Mind. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.

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Thursday, July 15, 2004
The wheels on the bus...

"The wheels on the bus go round and round,
round and round, round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
all day long."

I hate having to get the bus. Lots of people do. It's bumpy, it's hot, it takes a long time.
I accept this. Most people do.
Today I met someone who couldn't.

I walked to the bus stop from where my friend drops me off after work. I usually have to run, I think the drivers have started trying to race me to the next stop! I wasn't in the mood today, commuting is rapidly becoming more and more tedious.

The bus was filled to capacity. It was a "bendy bus"; two buses conjoined in the middle by a large concertina. I made my way through as it lurched, searching in vain for a seat. And then, right at the back, a seat facing backwards. I plopped down into it, resenting the unaccustomed sensation of reverse movement.
After about 6 stops of the 50, finally a seat became available facing forwards. A couple, in fact. I headed for the nearest one, a double seat. Unfortunately I had a challenger for the space, someone who had boarded the bus at the previous stop.
He was quicker, and sat in the double. Not wanting to wander around forlorn, hunting for another seat, and refusing to sit facing backwards again, I sat down next to him.

He didn't like that.

For the next two stops he muttered under his breath, glaring at me with such hatred I wondered whether I had just stabbed him without realising.
He demanded that I move over, and I moved my coat to see that one seat was evidently not enough for him. "Thankyou!" he spat. It was obvious that "Thank" was not the word he meant. I told him that I had been waiting for a seat facing forwards since the terminus. My words fell on deaf ears.

This animosity continued for another couple of stops, him glaring, me impassive. I thought of pithy comments I could make as I moved to another empty double: "I'm sorry, I didn't realise it was your bus!" and so on.
we were now about 10 stops from the terminus, 40 to go, and he bellowed "Excuse me!"
I moved out of his way and he pushed past me to the back row, where he didn't have any more room. I sat down in the double, and read my book.
To my astonishment, at the next stop he lumbered down the aisle to the front, like a grizzly bear peppered with tranquiliser darts. I seriously thought he was going to land a blow on the driver, but no, he alighted!

All of this trouble for a couple of stops! I shudder to think what would happen if he had farther to go.

No-one sat by me for the other 39 stops.

Thursday, July 08, 2004
The Human Condition - reasonable mileage, one careful owner

I was brought up as a christian, but my parents were very laid back about the whole religion thing, so they never really forced the issue.

I was baptised, and I attended the local C of E (Church of England) primary school (although that may have been because it was less than 600 yards away). Church assembly on a Wednesday morning, the occasional Sunday activity.

I was never Confirmed. I suppose I was never more than "tentative". I decided a long time ago that a lot of organised religion is little more than an excuse for bloodshed. When asked if I believe in God, I always say "I don't believe in religion." It makes me laugh, anyway.

I tend towards the idea that people should just be nice to each other, and not have to justify it to some Elder. Your conscience should be your guide; that is your own personal "God". Perhaps it's naive of me, but I always expect the best of people, and however many times I'm disappointed, I still look for that spark of decency, humanity, or genuine goodness that brings a smile to my face.

That happened today. To that person, thank you.

I have decided that there has also been some kind of catastrophe on a global scale today. Almost everyone I know (myself included) has had, or is having, some sort of crisis.

I think we all need to sit down as a species and have a nice cuppa while this craziness passes.

Friday, July 02, 2004
Tick followed tock...

It has been a particularly trying week.
The train inconvenience, coupled with the lack of any news about my college application, has brought me closer to sanity's precipice than safety permits. My nails are bitten down to the quick, my sleep is fitful and sparse, and my lungs have long since abandoned hope of ever receiving a fresh supply of oxygen.
I called the Institute on Wednesday. "I'm just calling to see whether I've been accepted on the course," I said. I expected the mantra, "Have you filled in an application form?" and knew to reply with the requisite "yes." After couple of minutes there was news. And not the news I'd been hoping for. Not even the news I'd been dreading. No.

The unthinkable.

"Are you sure you've sent one through? You're not in our records."

Ye Gods! Where are you in my hour of darkest peril? Am I forsaken?

I kept the tenuous hold on my sanity with white knuckles, and spoke softly and calmly, through gritted teeth. "I attended an interview 11 days ago. I was expecting a decision by now."
"Oh." The woman at the other end shrugged audibly. "Hold on a minute, please."

I could hear the cogs turning in my watch as the time leached almost imperceptibly away.

Over the course of a decade, another two minutes passed. "Hello? I've been in touch with the building where you had the interview, and they're sending the decision to us tomorrow. We'll call you then."

I breathed again.

Thursday passed. They didn't call.

By lunchtime on Friday, they had still not called.

A small part of me reasoned that they'd want to tell my quickly if I'd been declined, but the rest of me thought that the part in question was a damned fool, and they'd be ganging up on it later. Julian (my inner librarian) paused and cleaned his glasses (spectacles, thank you!). He looked at me, shook his head sadly, and carried on categorizing my memory in accordance with Dewey.

That was it. For better, or (as I suspected) worse, I must know. My left hand has had the shakes since the interview, and it took all my concentration to dial the number without inadvertently ordering a taxi. I asked, as calmly as I could, whether I'd been accepted on the course.

No mantra. Perhaps my slightly desperate tone alerted the receptionist that here was a man over the edge of reason, hanging from a twig which had snagged his jacket.
"Hang on, please". There was a clammy silence.
I could feel tectonic plates shifting beneath me. I was expecting the ground to open up and reclaim me.
"The letter went out yesterday, but-"
I interrupted. I couldn't bear it any longer. My entire nervous system closed down to minimise the damage. My sanity put its coat on and turned out the light by the exit.


I was dead for a split second. I no longer existed; there was only the voice, matter-of-fact and all consuming.

"The acceptance letter. But-"
My ears are almost directly connected to my brain. It is only secondary to my heart. Slowly the muscle contracted, as it started pushing blood around my body again. Eventually, somewhere around "second class post," the brain caught up.
"I've been accepted?"
Never before has a single word filled me with such elation.
"The letter was sent yesterday, but it was only second class post, so you should receive it around the middle of next week."
I thanked her profusely, and hung up. I couldn't decide whether to divert an asteroid on collision course with the Earth, mediate for world peace, or find a cure for cancer. I settled for a deeply unsatisfying attempt at clicking my heels instead.

BA (Hons) Media Writing and Production

I shall be a film student.

Thursday, July 01, 2004
Astral Projection

A long time ago, I was accosted in the street by a missionary.

Dressed in Orange robes, he was easily identifiable as a follower of Krishna.
He handed me a hardback book about his faith. Out of habit (I was a student) I asked him "how much?". When he told me it was free I handed it back. I was in no mood to acquire a new faith, I was already behind with my course, adding religion would only have stolen more time from me.

There was also a twinge of guilt. Accepting this book and never reading it would have been an affront to my inner librarian, and also a waste of his printing costs.
(I have an inner librarian called Julian, like a voice of reason. He's constantly saying "Shh!" and chastising me for anything I do which isn't reverential to books. For example, when I see someone
turn down a page corner to mark their place, Julian gasps in horror. It was down to his influence that I was one of the student librarians at High School. He created himself after I left a library book in the rain at the age of 9 and had to buy it. I still have the book.)

I told him as much, and, unfazed by my polite refusal, he handed me a much smaller paperback. I felt bad for refusing his first offer, so I reluctantly accepted this one, and slung it into my holdall.

Skip forward a few weeks, and I find it nestled next to the 3 week old carton of goats milk.
(I was suspected of being allergic to cow's milk when I started college, so for the first year I was supplied with a free pint of goat's milk each day. Unfortunately it was supplied to the halls of residence canteen in bulk, so every morning I would be issued with a frozen block of goats milk. This would be unusable until lunchtime, so I used to pop it in my holdall till then. Of course, my memory being what it was (as I fail to recall), I once forgot it was there. For 3 weeks. I noticed a faint "off" sort of smell for a day or two, and then realised with horror that it was from the unopened carton in the side pocket. I headed for the nearest bathroom, whereupon I gingerly removed the bulging carton and emptied the stinky fluorescent green contents away. I never knew milk, even goats milk, could turn that colour. If I wasn't nauseated so much, I might have tried it again...)

It turns out that this book would have cost more than the other from a shop, so I decided I ought to read it. It was entitled "Travel to other Planets!", and eventually I ascertained it was referring to astral projection.

Astral projection is one of those ideas that really appeals. The ability to go somewhere without getting on a plane, or in a car. No pollution, no stress. If only it actually worked!

Imagine offices full of executives sat cross-legged while they have meetings on the other side of the world. Imagine NASA's interplanetary explorations, with one team setting foot on the new frontier while another team in Florida is also there to observe and advise. Imagine a top surgeon guiding the hand of someone thousands of miles away, saving life after life.

I know where I'd be right now, and I'm not telling...

Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Bond Leap, Good News/Bad News


Pierce Brosnan would have been proud. The coach was just about on time for me to catch the train this morning, although if I hadn't taken a running leap in through the doors I would have missed it.
It was just the same on the way back, too.

I'm hoping the line works don't overrun. Two weeks is bad enough, but if it carries on longer...


Good news! The rail replacement bus set off 5 minutes early today! I arrived at Stockport station 10 minutes before the 7:17 was due!

Bad News! The 7:17 is cancelled for the rest of the week! I had to wait for the 7:43, meaning I didn't get to work until 8:40!

Good News! Friday is the last day of disruption between Manchester and Stockport!

Bad News! Monday is the first day of disruption between Manchester and Stoke!

Good News! I can get the train to Wilmslow and change to the replacement bus service for Macclesfield!

Bad News! The half hour journey now takes an hour and a half, so I'll be setting off 5:30am, getting to work at 9-9:30, leaving at 5-5:30pm and getting home at 8:30-9pm!

The upshot is that I need to get a PDA if I want to blog, and then upload it whilst I'm eating my tea and getting ready for bed...


Tuesday, June 29, 2004
My warbly song...

It's not my best recording of it, in fact I think it's rubbish, but here it is anyway...

Indian Giver MP3

Comments, please. I value your opinion!

Monday, June 28, 2004

Well, I decided to stay off work last Tuesday. At least for a couple of days. I called in sick, and then inexplicably became sick! How lucky was that?

I'm feeling grumpy today, and here's why.

  • The travel situation has not improved. The coach driver took an extra 10 minutes for the short journey, meaning that I missed the only train for 40 minutes. Needless to say, I was very late for work, and I'll have to work it back now.

  • I forgot to clean out the bath. My sister is fastidious, bordering on obsessive compulsive disorder. She was extremely and vociferously unhappy.

  • I still haven't heard about my college application. It's starting to rub me up the wrong way. I HAVE to get on this course. My sanity depends on it.

  • Which reminds me, I've lost my student loan application form. It's due in on Friday, and I haven't seen it for a long time.

  • I've just typed out the whole entry over the space of an hour, switching between other programs, and it inexplicably disappeared, without even telling me.
There's more, but it's hard to type with my fists clenched...

A weekend of (some) developments.

I wrote a song about a washing machine the other week.

I was sat in the sunshine on a fold-up chair, strumming away, and two of my recent thoughts bounced headlong into each other, forming a new idea.
My sister was given a washing machine by her friend a year ago. "I've no room for it, so you can have it," she said. They went on a holiday, and my sister paid this friend's share of the hire car, £50. She thought,  "that will cover the washing machine."

So, a few weeks ago, this friend called. "I want the washing machine back now." My sister was agog. This wasn't helped when the friend said, "I'll tell you what, give me £50 and you can keep it."
MY sister is prone to extreme indignation, as I found out this morning when I forgot to wipe down the bath before setting off to work. While she was telling me about the washing machine and the so-called "friend", she used a name for her that I'd never heard before.

"Indian Giver". I've looked into it, and the phrase dates back to the 19th century. Etymology

Well, this phrase lodged itself somewhere in the back of my mind, until the folk festival, where I was camping. It leapt out and mugged an unsuspecting phrase from Hamlet, and they both tumbled out. From there the song pretty much wrote itself. I've tweaked it and fine-tuned it, and now I'm very pleased with the results. I intend to record it as an mp3 and upload it for comments, so watch this space.

This weekend I went to another folk festival to try out the song on some musicians. I played three songs in total; American Pie, my own song, and Hallelujah.

Perhaps it was a subconscious thing, but I messed up the other songs (by my standards). he performance of my song was the best I've done so far. Afterwards the guy who'd been running the night came and told me I should play pubs and clubs to finance myself through college.

It took a while for my swollen head had returned to the correct size, I can tell you!

And then back down to earth with a bump on Sunday. I could do nothing right, none of my suggestions were heeded, and a song I'm trying to write continues to elude me, both the lyrics and tune. 
I sulked myself to sleep. Eventually.

Well, it wouldn't do to get starstruck off the back of one song, would it?

Friday, June 25, 2004
Anecdote Corner

You know that feeling when you've just missed a train. It's similar to the feeling you get when you make a perfect cuppa, and then spill it all over yourself. It takes the shine off the brew, and the train journey for that matter.

So I trudge onto the platform, taking in the sights. There's usually an array of attractive women for me to embarrass myself by gawping at, and this time is no different. In particular there's a lovely looking brunette, pink top, denim skirt, bare midrif, hauling a flight bag. I gawp as she passes, oblivious, and drag myself back to the matter at hand - finding out when the next train is due. As I wait for the information I glance up the platform. This vision is sitting on a bench up at the end of the platform.
Well, I'm feeling uncharacteristically confident, so I decide to sit by her, perhaps even break the habit of a lifetime and actually speak!

I discover that the next train, due in 30 minutes, will be ten minutes late. Oh well, I console myself, I can chat to this girl. I head for the bench, just to see her heading in the other direction. Cursing silently under my breath, I pass her and sit at the bench, singing to myself while I watch her disappear into the station.

I've been trying to learn the words for this particular song, so I get carried away. Singing quietly to myself, I don't notice until she sits back down. Make or break time. I need to talk. I can't. I keep singing softly, and give up on the crazy idea.

"Excuse me, do you know what time the train is?"
I'm startled out of my croon, and look at her. She is very pretty; slim, fresh-faced, lightly freckled. I'd place her in her early twenties, if I could concentrate on more than her smile.
I impart the information; she thanks me. And then something strange happens.

"Are you off on holiday?" I ask.

And we talk. We talk at length, about her current circumstances, about mine, about our aspirations, plans and hopes. We board the train together, still talking, standing in the vestibule, a collective curio amidst the silently suited businessmen. At the next station there's more room, so we find a couple of seats next to each other. We are alighting at the same station, and she hasn't been to that platform before, so I guide her to the taxi rank. We make our farewells and part.

I'm buoyed up by altogether wonderful experience.

So Kirsty, thanks for sharing your time. I hope the move to Portugal went smoothly, and your boyfriend problems are over.

Monday, June 21, 2004
Just when you thought it was safe to get on a train...

I had it all sorted out.

I catch the bus at 5:40, arrive at the bus depot at 5:50, catch the next bus at 6, arrive at the railway station at 6:45, hop on the train, arrive at my destination at 7:20, and wander into work at 7:45, nice and early all relaxed.

Until today.

Today I arrived at the station to find that the much-threatened line works had already started. So I hopped on the coach, which took me on a whirlwind tour of the outlying regions before depositing me at the next station along, 20 minutes later. Only then could I hop on the original train. Of course, it arrived 20 minutes later than usual.
Fair enough, I still (just about) made it into work on time. But now I have a quandry.
My monthly rail pas is about to expire. I understand that the works are due to last for 2 weeks, but of course these things have a tendency to overrun.

So, do I buy another monthly train ticket, or find an alternative bus-only conduit...

Answers on a postcard to:

The comment link,
Just underneath this entry,
The Internet...

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