December 31, 2003
A slight delia update
Some issues have appeared regarding deliaderbyshire.org, so now they are at delia-derbyshire.org
(Though having now seen her on the fab BBC4 documentary "Alchemists of Sound", I'm amazed nobody mentions her incredibly bad teeth...)
December 21, 2003
Telly, telly, everywhere.
And so, with half an hour to go before there wasn't a contiguous four-hour window when I wasn't
a) recording anything
c) near a friends PC
for *weeks*, I managed to get my expanded Tivo up and running. I've gone from 40GB to 120GB and this now means I'll safely be able to record the entire Andrew Davies season on BBC4 without worrying it'll have disappeared by the time all the rellies have moved on.
Many thanks are due - will post here shortly.
A few interesting things to post for those who are more of a Mac disposition too.
December 20, 2003
Conspiracy of Prejudice
One of the things I found when I was last 'resting' is that you should sign on the day you stop work. Even if there are a bunch of things coming up, you can't be sure they'll come off, and if you do get yourself into a pickle they'll ask why you hadn't signed on ages ago. Retrospective is not a word the employment service understands.
And if you're actually looking for a job, and are qualified for the things you're trying to find a job in, it's actually a pretty painless process. The staff treat you with respect, and the jobseekers form is genuinely useful - to the point where it's now become a spreadsheet I use to track calls and actions from them.
So I'm in the jobcentre, signing on for the first time and I say to the rather nice chap behind the desk "So when do I next have to sign on?"
"Ah, not for four weeks"
"Hooray! Well, and good for you too."
"Hahaha. Gosh no, I wish I had four weeks off"
And then there's an awkward silence as we both realise what we've done.
Despite the fact I am jobhunting, I've just acted as though the dole is a way of having a holiday. And he, despite the fact he's there to ensure I'm fully empowered and actively jobhunting, acted as though I was going to doss around for four weeks.
Neither of us meant that, but a wrongfooted moment put us both back into a tv-led cliche from the early 80s.
He did give me the money though...
December 18, 2003
Class, pure class
I can see why Dodge didn't spot that Lingerie Bowl 2004 would be in some way titillating or demeaning to women. Thank heavens they've seens sense now and pulled out to only cover the 'sporting' element of it.
December 16, 2003
Small but perfectly formed
Well, a few things in life are looking up at the moment.
- Possibly got a bit of work for next week. A nice little chunk of cash at a critical moment.
- We're probably going to be having the baby at home. This will be lovely, though it sounds scary and messy until you've looked into it.
- 'Spadger' is just plain *huge*. She's 35 weeks at the moment, but the height of a 37-week-old. (Warning, scary biology bit coming up) When you have a baby, there's this stage at the end where 'the head engages'. This is where it finally settles into the dip at the bottom of the womb, and it drops by an inch or two. This then means that the mum can breathe again and doesn't get heartburn, as there's no baby pushing things back up. Sadly, because spadger is so tall, she has already engaged. So no let up for Vix. But for good reasons.
- Badlanguage is coming along nicely. Greyscreen up v soon. You're going to like it. Probably.
- Keeping jobhunting confined to certain hours of the day in certain rooms of the house does wonders for your sanity
- As does the MDs of recruitment agencies saying they want to see you personally
- Nursery fees? Bollocks, we'll just put them on the mortgage...
- A few nice essays bubbling away in my head. Mostly politics strangely
- Oh, and I realised that I'm allowed to pitch interactive ideas to broadcasters as an independent producer. I don't have to wait for them to give me a job.
- I'm going to a lovely party tonight, where I'm looking forward, rather than looking back.
In many ways, the last few days have signified a change from abject misery that this time - the run up to christmas and then the birth - wasn't how we'd imagined at all, into a gift that we're getting to spend our last bit of time as just a couple *as* a couple, rather than having all that awful work stuff getting in the way.
Many more useful bloggy things to say, but they'll have to wait for a little while as the rapidly-filling car parks of Bluewater beckon for Christmas shopping...
December 11, 2003
The wrong end of the food chain
Okay, well BadLanguage is the first project to get my attention. I'll have a greyscreen of this available in a few days.
At the moment I'm wrestling with huge combinations of ISBN numbers and country codes. I've decided one of my assumptions was just plain dangerous. All will be revealed...
I Guess It Could Be Worse
Check out the sobering comments at the bottom of this article on graduate starting salaries.
Essay To-Do List
A bunch of things I really must write up/finish and stick online at some stage:
- Using control theory as an analytical tool on increasingly complex interactive formats, to give program-makers a set of traps to avoid.
- Where synthespian research keeps getting it wrong - the point they keep missing
- Time Management as a left-brain/right-brain issue
- Why NCT classes were more useful for the men than the women
- The 'bad language' project
Got to get in to get out
So much stuff I want to post. So much stuff that I know I shouldn't. Even sensible points will come out wrong. Stuffing things in the linklog to come back to late. Probably.
Thanks all for the nice messages below.
In the meantime, I'm considering the downside of all that emotional armour, all those defences, all the little mental judo tricks to bat aside problems and enable me to just get on with things. Because there's someone incredibly upset deep down in here, who's genuinely run completely out of self-esteem, and is terrified at the weight of responsibility on his shoulders - the need to provide.
And 'he' can't get that upset out.
And 'I' can't get in to help.
December 10, 2003
As you may know, my reserves of optimism are almost limitless. No matter how grim the position I'll find a way to see things through.
Even I run out sometimes.
Posting will resume when I'm less miserable and can be witty about crap things happening again.
(Losing myself in PHP and Debussy in the meantime)
December 08, 2003
A whole new world out there...
There's something really invigorating about discovering a blog that has virtually *no* entries on its blogroll that you know.
In fact, there's only one - Tom Watson.
But no Plasticbag, no The Obvious, no Boing Boing, no Oblomovka, no meish, no Guardian.
We think we're the entire of the link cosmos, but actually we're just one groove among many.
December 06, 2003
These fabulous poor-taste Lance Arthur Xmas Cards deserve to one day be in print.
December 04, 2003
Just because it's marvellous. The waterbird with six legs is a particular favourite.
Less of the people-based ones please, but more of everything else!
Plus Ca Change
Any reasonably intelligent person would first look at which aspects of last years ice rink were successful and which aspects weren't. Then draw up a plan that incorporated the bits that were and replaced the bits that wern't with new and challenging ideas. Oh no, not our council. Last year they didn't advertise it very well and they haven't this year. Last year they stuck it out of the way in a nearby park, this year they have put it in the same place.
B3TA fans are everywhere
A sample of code from the MTV.CO.UK homepage:
December 03, 2003
FAQs from the 70s
This entry on the Larry Fast site is, ashe says, a fabulous little time capsule if you're an electronic musician. Written in 1975, it was the photocopied sheet sent out to fans who wrote in to ask about how he'd produced a largely-synthesiser-based music album at a time when playing chords was still a rarity.
Oberheim DS-2 Digital Sequencer: This is another magic box that serves as a control voltage and timing memory using computer memory techniques. When properly wired into the existing Mini-Moog circuitry, the DS-2 will "remember" up to 72 events (notes, triggers, filter changes, etc.) on command and play them back as needed. On playback the voltage outputs can be varied to provide several octaves of transposition, and the timing can be speeded up or slowed down by a factor of several thousand times. This is one of the most advanced pieces of synthesizer hardware on the market today. It is also one of the first commercial pieces of digital equipment which will most likely gradually replace our current analog-based synthesizer designs over the next 5 to 10 years.
Also fascinating to see the beginning of companies like 360 Systems and Oberheim. And very early quadrophonic recording compatibility issues.
I'd go along with some of this...
Shelley Powers has produced a list of men who should win the women's writing Best Weblog Award
December 02, 2003
A good time to bury bad pages.
Just been looking through Stand for some info on EUCD, and got caught up in ID cards, as one does.
The 17th Nov 03 entry contains a link through to the Home Office page on entitlement cards. Which has since mysteriously moved in their redesign. And it certainly isn't clear from their new navigation where it should be. What a coincidence. How long before the 'search' box goes down for software work too... :-)
Tom For Hire
Further to the post below, I'm now rather twiddling my thumbs, at least until the next phase of "I'm A Celebrity" kicks in. That's the last time I stop applying for new jobs because I think this one is a dead cert.
I've got a few personal projects I'm working on to keep my brain ticking over, but if anyone out there needs someone scarily experienced to do some short-term projects, then obviously big piles of cash win out over vanity.
So do get in touch. All serious, or extremely-interesting-and-fairly-serious, offers considered.
Thankfully I managed to escape the lens of the funjunkie photographers at the UK Webloggers' Xmas Party. I'm in the corner of a few pics in my Psychocowboy t-shirt, but no full frontal for me.
The one thing the pics reminded me of, and this is something nobody else has mentioned yet, is just how damn *hot* it was when everybody first got there. I remember having to mop my brow, and I wasn't alone in being very soggy indeed.
Good night though.
Well, I didn't get the stupendously well paid music job at VideoNetworks.
In some ways this is very sad indeed, as I think I could have done a lot of good stuff there.
December 01, 2003
Bafta nominees announced
Wierd seeing so much diligent work condensed to four lines on the bafta site.
(But I imagine also pretty wierd for those on, and sadly not on, the list)
A Haynes Manual Moment
It's good to hear that you really can change tyres on cars using a pile of rocks.
(And I think Naomi's been practicing her Vanessa Redgrave windswept-but-noble-thank-you look :-)
Coming of Age
Today I set my mum up with a blog.
It was marvellous doing all the "we'll start you off with blogger, and then you can end up on movable type once you've got used to it", and watching her excitment at the possibilities it's opening up...
She's a writer, so the developing a voice, an online persona, is something she's relishing. I think it's going to end up as a cross between the TLS and Lemony Snicket, but who knows.
Link once she's settled in.
Gosh, I drank more gin and tonics than I thought at the bloggers xmas party the other night. But huge thanks to Rich Wild for organising it.
Will write up more once I've found where I put the PDA when I got in...