The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

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4:16pm on Monday, 26th September, 2022:

Pink Street


There's a street in Lisbon called Pink Street. Here's what it looks like:

Basically, it's a street where they painted the road pink. Half of it's one side of an underpass and the other half is the other side of it. The area is not particularly salubrious, and most people would probably be more inclined to avoid it rather than to visit it. However, by painting the road pink it was transformed into a tourist attraction. Tourists (such as me) are duly attracted to it.

I thought it was called Pink Street because it was full of gay bars or something. It may well be, come to that, but the actual reason for the name is that it was the heart of the old red light district which isn't so red any more. Look it up if you don't believe me.

Its actual name is Rua Nova do Carvalho, or "New Oak Street". I don't know if the "Oak" part is some kind of nudge-nudge, wink-wink euphamism in Portuguese, but if not then it ought to be.

Using Pink Street logic, I think the runways at Heathrow Airport should be painted a pale yellow, maybe cream, on the grounds that they used to be wheatfields.


8:57am on Sunday, 25th September, 2022:



A new Marks & Spencer opened in Colchester earlier this month. It's a large store in a retail park (inexplicably called a "leisure park"), and replaces the store that's been on Colchester High Street for a hundred years.

The menswear department is still too small and has very little selection, but it did have some belts. I've needed a new belt for some time, having had to buy my last one in an emergency after inadvertantly leaving my perfectly serviceable one in an X-ray tray at Stanstead Airport. The replacement belt, while very good as belts go, was two inches too long and tended to flap around a bit. A replacement was therefore in order.

It's quite hard to find a shop selling a leather belt that isn't in some way branded. I don't want a famous designer name on my belts, or some kind of ornate buckle that looks like it's intended for use as a medieval weapon. I just want a plain belt with a plain buckle. So does everyone else, apparently, so they're never in stock.

This being a new store, though, they did have some belts in stock. I bought one. It's exactly the right length, too.

I like my belts to be black because black goes with everything. The belt I bought turned out to be reversible, though. If you want a brown belt, you just pull and twist the buckle and hey presto! Now it's a brown belt.

Yes, well, the mechanism for reversal works just fine, only when you do reverse it this is what you see:

No, the writing is not entirely covered by the part of the belt that goes through the buckle.

I don't think I shall be reversing it for actual use.


9:49am on Saturday, 24th September, 2022:

Google Ads


I don't like some of Google's advertising practices.

Often, if I do a search for a company, the first result that shows up is an ad for that company's web site. The second result, which isn't an ad, is for that same web site. Most people are going to click on the first result, the ad, giving Google money that it doesn't really deserve. That ad is not serving the company paying for it at all. If it wasn't there, people would click on the new first result, the non-ad, which would take them to the exact same web site.

I dare say that Google might throw a lawyer at anyone who put together a web site that accepted queries, sent them to Google, accepted the results and scraped out all the ads before presenting them to the user. However, they might have a harder time in court if the intermediate site only cut out the first ad when immediately followed by the site it was advertising, leaving the rest in place.


9:35am on Saturday, 24th September, 2022:

Modern Poems


Modern poems never rhyme.
Poets follow fashion:
Duck out every single chance;
Undermine your fervour.


12:54pm on Friday, 23rd September, 2022:

Spam Change


I used to get regular spam emails attempting to hook me up with "beautiful Russian women". I'm now getting spam emails attempting to hook me up with "beautiful Ukranian women".

Spammers have to move with the times.


12:58pm on Thursday, 22nd September, 2022:



This was for sale in the local pharmacy:

That's not a product, it's an occupation.


12:12pm on Wednesday, 21st September, 2022:

Local Products


Seen on Guernsey last week:

Some of those are the kind of local products you see everywhere.

Others are less so.


9:57am on Tuesday, 20th September, 2022:

German Soldiers


I have to say, this display at the castle in St Peter Port, Guernsey, is a little in-your face.

I realise that Channel Islanders somewhat resented being occuped during World War 2, but time has moved on.

Hmm, actually, since it's the Channel Islands, maybe time hasn't moved on.


10:10am on Monday, 19th September, 2022:



I tried out the Stable Diffusion AI-based image generation system this morning, to see if it could produce any potential book covers that my wife wouldn't dismiss out of hand.

Well don't generate it then.


11:59am on Sunday, 18th September, 2022:

Magic Missile


When you rotate a danger-of-falling sign it looks like someone casting a magic missile spell.


10:38am on Saturday, 17th September, 2022:



I don't know what's behind this door but I do know that, whatever it is, it's not very big.

It's about the size of student rental accommodation.


1:44pm on Friday, 16th September, 2022:

Midjourney MMO


I gave Midjourney the simple prompt: "massively-multiplayer online role-playing game". Here's what it returned:

Quite perceptive of it to notice with its bottom-right creation that a lot of MMOs end up being vapourware.


9:54am on Thursday, 15th September, 2022:

Pointing Out


My Final Fantasy XIV subscription expired yesterday and I decided not to renew it. I may return next year, to keep my credentials intact, but a switch to another MMO may be in order.

As usual, I made the mistake of interpreting "your subscription expires in 1 day" as meaning my final day would be the next one, not the current one. As a result, I am one quest away from getting some kind of flying hippo mount and my guildmates (members of the same free company, in FFXIV terms) will have no idea what's happened. Ah well.

I spent the evening messing around with Midjourney again. I have found no reliable way to get an image of someone pointing their finger at the camera out of it. I can set up the pose, but Midjourney is even worse at hands than it is at eyes, and I always end up with some kind of shapeless meat lump instead of an accusing finger. I'll have another bash at it tonight.

Maybe if I ask for a hippo pointing, it won't matter. Hmm...


9:01pm on Wednesday, 14th September, 2022:




1:55pm on Wednesday, 14th September, 2022:



Three statues from my recent holiday...

First, a naked woman riding a dragon, because she just doesn't care:

Second, a self-entitled baby whose mother will regret having spoiled him:

Third, a ... well I don't think it's anatomically accurate, whatever it is:


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Copyright © 2022 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).