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We live in litigious times, so I should say that content reflects only my opinions!

Thursday October 12 2006

If you only very occasionally

hook up your ink jet printer, which I do because the whole point of computers for me is that they allow the storage, editing and reading of loads of stuff without associated paperwork for the most part, then bad things happen. These bad things are chiefly concerned with clogged nozzles and dried-up ink refills. What a pain. The black refill in mine, which was fitted a couple of years ago as a brand new genuine Epson part, has dried out without me really using it at all. The last time this happened was with the colour one, without ink in which the bloody printer for some reason refused to print in black. I sense the usual racket. But I do want occasional printing facilities, and my old laser printer also pretty much died of neglect in a similar way. I think I'll start just taking the stuff I want to print around to friends on my little flash drive. Ink jet refills are enough of a racket as it is.

Posted at 2:43 am by Jim Woods

Tuesday October 10 2006

The more I infest Mesopotamia,

and I have begun to, the more I realize that not being able to get from Angel and Greyhound meadows to Mesopotamia because of the Magdalen Moat is a serious pisser. Interestingly, when I went beyond my own strenuous photo-reconnaissance and instead turned to the internet, I eventually went beyond the aerial photographs and the histories and so forth and found that I'm not the only one who feels that way. The most galling injustice is that the means to penetrate were removed in the late seventies, it seems, pretty much exactly when I embarked upon a career as inebriate and wanderer of such paths, fields and rivers. I remember incursions at night, and by cycle and even the odd waterborne landing. My efforts in this direction, recently resumed, could be represented as long service to the public right of way, rambling and veneration of baseline local history. I have fought long and hard to free the land for the people, or at least the people I was with. Alternatively, the whole history of my exploration could form the basis of a Freak Brothers issue. If I could draw...

The only decent information which I was able to find that deals explicitly with walking through this area, by the way, was this nice article on the old route from Headington into Oxford. If you have no knowledge of the geography, and indeed psychogeography, of the area I am talking about you could do far worse than to read about Mesopotamia about two thirds of the way down the page.

I'm back on the case. I have an equally passionate colleague, but sadly he is so possessed of rage in general that I can bear to see him only for ten minutes per year, which means that any concerted action by us is unlikely to be taken soon. I struck a tiny blow yesterday, discovering only well after I had ridden the road to Mesopotamia that I was in an annexe of the University Parks proper and should not have been in possession of, let alone riding, my bike. I have no problem with pushing it, but it's nice to have it with me. I had thought that I was facing an inordinate degree of hassle as I fed my large and crappy cycle through an aperture in a portcullis that was labelled as for push chairs, but then again I got it through. That's permission for we mashed Marines. There was no sign forbidding cycles at this entrance. That appeared later on the way. I'll return on foot for a really comprehensive recce very soon.

Today, after some more joyous and long-overdue cycling around the rivers and canal in Oxford, the left-hand crank kept falling off my bike. Luckily I retrieved the retaining nut after its every escape, and just bolted it back on with a socket when I got home. But the episode did remind me of the necessity of reliable and well-maintained equipment on excursions and incursions of this type. And I want some mapping software too.

Posted at 1:57 am by Jim Woods

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