The other day I was reading a friend’s blog. They’d written an entry that contained one of those questionnaires, you know, the kind of thing that regularly drops into your inbox and gets deleted as soon as you note the subject line contains the characters “FW:”, or, if not containing those characters, instead playing host to about three billion >’s down the left hand side.

Enough to drive anyone mad.

Anyway, I noted in this questionnaire, which actually I found to be quite informative, a section at the bottom called “4 Tagged”, under which were listed 4 people, me being one of them. I hadn’t a clue what this meant, until Bono, on his way to Davos, told me that it meant that my friend wanted me to do the questionnaire!

Arggh! What to do? My Mumble has never been soiled by the likes of a get-to-know-your-friends better type thing. Go and have a look at the rest of the Tame Goes Wild network you lazy sod, it’s all there! Ker! I know, can’t be arsed can you? Just want it all in a five minute snippet. Ah, so 2006.

Still, as this questionnaire contained no death threat (if I didn;t forward it to half the world’s population within 5 nanoseconds), and as I am trying to avoid reading the rest of this chapter on the Japanese Constitution (the first half sent me back to sleep this morning), I have dutifully completed said questionnaire. Still, so as not to set a precedent I have confined it to a secure unit, where it cannot infect the rest of the site.

It’s here.

The rather scary thing is, I actually rather enjoyed doing it… Next thing you know I’ll be drawing houses that determine my personality type and using expressions such as ‘Meme’ (what?) and ‘XD’, which I’m sure is some kind of sexually transmitted disease.


Last night someone sent me three emails with a subject line of “Photo+Text” or something like that. The body of the message informed me that Yale University (from whom the emails were alleged to have come) needed my consent for an article on me for their campus magazine.

Now I won’t ask you to “call me stupid but…”, for I shall call myself stupid.

“joseph, you’re stupid”.

Not only did I actually read the email (when I have never had any dealings with Yale Uni and there is absolutely no reason why they would have anything to do with me), but I also downloaded the .zip attachment.

I then opened the .zip file, and on seeing that the enclosed file was a .exe file, I double clicked it.

I think I deserved what followed for displaying such utter stupidity.

The virus, as soon as it was executed, shut down Norton Antivirus and disabled it in a manner that meant I had to completely remove all components and reinstall, in the meantime not being able to find out what other damage had been done. It then deleted all my System Restore points, so I couldn’t undo whatever changes had been made in the background. Goodness knows what else it did. If you have recieved an email from me telling you to delete your teddy bear or something along those lines it’s probably best to ignore it.

In the end end it took me 4 very frustrating hours to get things back up and running. And cost me money too as I had very stupidly not kept a copy of my anti-virus download.

Anyway, the moral of the story is, don’t be Joseph.

Last night wasn’t the first time I’ve been the victim of a virus though.

Two years ago I was the victim of a virus written by the notirous cyber-criminal Lee Hawks, labelled by authorities as “DR. VIRUS”.

Like last night’s, it came in email format. In fact, I think I might still have a copy of it in quarantine. Ah yes, here we are:

“I have unfortunately been very busy lately and haven’t had the time to write a virus. So please take a couple of minutes to delete all files on your computer, then send this to everyone in your address book.

Thank you for your co-operation.”

Took me weeks to reinstall all the software and get my settings back to how they were beforehand.

good night.

UPDATE 30th Jan: I received the following email today:

* * *
Over the weekend the majority of University email addresses received an email from, or possibly some other similar address. The subject line was ‘Photo approval needed’ or ‘Campus Life Article’ and carries an attachment called ‘Photo and’.

This is a virus that will install a backdoor way into your Windows PC if the attachment is opened and the .exe file is run. Do not open this email, but instead delete it.

The mailhubs are now blocking new mails carrying this virus. However the current virus definitions in McAfee v8 (the virus checker installed on most campus PCs) does not detect it, nor does Norton Antivirus.

The simple way to check for this virus is to look in the Windows/System32 folder for the presence of the file: csrwnd.exe – if the file is found, your computer is infected.

The way to remove this virus is to restart your computer in “safe mode” and firstly delete the file and secondly use “regedit” to remove any reference to “csrwnd”

* * *

Cheeky blighters. I found that virus 4 times in my registry. Still, all sorted now.

Bob the donkey – News update

Today, *Cough* went to London, and I came back to the Welsh Garden Project. In a style that is typical for us, we had arranged it so that our trains departed but a few minutes apart from Sheffield Station, and from the same platform. The latter took a bit of organising. You know, buying some welding equipment and sneaking onto the main line at 2am to fix the points so that all trains had to use the same line. Still, it was worth it, just to sneak an extra few seconds together in a drowsy state of crikey what-are-we-doing-up-at-this-ridiculously-early-hour-of-8.30am non-communicative zombie-mode romantic bliss.

Anyway, one of *Cough*’s missions in the Big Smoke today was to put some posters up at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) promoting the Amazing forthcoming Japan Day on February 12th at Sheffield Uni. There she was, covered in blu-tack and sellotape, when she spied someone out of the corner of her eye that she had seen before – not in the flesh, but in the depths of my urksome hard drive, in .jpeg format. It was my teacher – N.Sensei as she is known in the world of tales of renegade paternoster riding. She was there for the Japanese Speech Contest that I entered last year (but didn’t get through to the final of due to accidentally thinking that the first round would be conducted in Russian).

“Ah, hello N. Sensei” said *cough* (in Japanese). Knowing that they had not met in the flesh before, she thought she’d better explain how it was that she knew her, and her intimate connection with the Tame that goes Wild in N. Sensei’s classes.

BUT! Before she was able to utter another word, N. Sensei replied (in Japanese), “Ah, you must be Cough! (actually using the English word ‘cough’, rather than my girlfriend’s secret real name).

*Cough* was surprised to say the least, as the only place where she was referred to by her codename ‘cough’ was right here, on Tame Goes Wild …but before she could probe N.Sensei the conversation was brought to an abrupt end when a team of cheerleaders came racing down the corridoor wearing nothing but underwear, jeans, two cardigans, big duffell coats and wooly hats. And gloves.

This can only mean one thing – N.Sensei has defied the high security measures in place around TGW, and TDM in particular, to stop people who have actually met me in the flesh from gaining access to my most inner thoughts. You know, things like the lack of any security whatsoever.

Then I start to think how all that effort I have put in at university to appear to be a responsible mature adult student who rises above all others in terms of wisdom, tact and sensitivity towards my fellow human beings, has gone to waste. And then I remember an entry only two days ago in which I once again spoke about my preferred breast size. I mean on other poeple, not me, despite the rumours and the collection of women’s underwear that i have in the bottom of my wardrobe.

Ah! I have been living under an illusion!

In other news, that is actually related to the above but in a way that only one person will understand, I received a postcard from Bob the Donkey today (Bob having been sent to Africa with the funds that I would have otherwise spent on idle trash for friends and family, you know, the kind of stuff Japan Soc gives away as prizes at major events). In it he writes that he is enjoying his new home in the sun, much nicer than Croydon where he was brought up apparently. He says though, that the family that he is staying with keep on tying big barrels of water and food to his back, and expecting him to carry it home from the market. They don’t seem to appreciate that he’s on holiday.

Oh well. It’s a donkey’s life.

A close shave

It was the night following my disastrous Japanese language exam, and I was in need of some relaxation.

Enter *Cough*, the most marvellous, the most magical, the most incredible, lady in the land.

Part of my prescribed therapy was a wee hair cut. Just a trim, you know, to stop me looking like a legless ostrich doing a headstand (if you can pictue that). It was all going so well. I have hair-cutting implements galore – no less than four electronic shavers and four pairs of scissors, each with their own speciality. For example, the speicality of one pair of scissors is not cutting what they are supposed to, whilst the speciality of one of the shavers is going from deathly quiet to sounding like a machine gun in a split second and for no apparent reason.

Anyhow, I digress, the fact is, the hair-cutting session which was taking place on a special hair-cutting bed-sheet on my futon, was going well. As *Cough* was daintily snipping away here and there, I thought I’d join in and help, by shaving my sideburns a little (is that what they’re called? I always wondered why, makes no sense…). So, i set the length thing on the shaver, and trimmed the left-hand side. Jolly good, no problem. Then I start to laugh, as I’m also watching the rather silly but quite funny Bruce Almighty. In this brief momentary lapse of concentration I apply the shaver to the right side of my head, trim the sideburn, but then forget to stop when I reach the ear.

The result is a rather unfortunate bald patch that extends about 1cm above my ear, as demonstrated here.

The proceedings ground to a dramatic halt. You see, it was my intention to keep my long hair for the whole winter, and now, here I was, with a bald patch which demanded that drastic action be taken to make it not look like I had tried to cut my own hair and absent-mindedly shaved my ear off. The following morning I begged a local barber to save me. He did, although the results were somewhat drastic – I have lost about 10 years!

Here I am a couple of weeks ago (ojiisan Joseph):

And here I am yesterday after the operation:

I tell you what, my ears aren’t half cold. Thus, I tend to keep this hat on, as demonstrated in this shot taken from my Dad’s car’s surveillance camera. Mum had it fitted to the dashboard to make sure he doesn’t pick his nose whilst driving. Probably.

This, incidentally, and in case you were wondering, does not effect his ability to grow leeks.

So, yes, all it all it was an interesting evening, and I certainly had forgotten about my disasterous exam by the end of it. Must bear that in mind should I ever slip on a banana again.