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August 31, 2002

Hands Dirtied

Gosh, last night was a shock. The technical crew for the play my missus is directing were involved in a carcrash en route to the venue, so I ended up having to fly the lighting desk and do all the sound stuff.

I was utterly terrified.

But it's amazing how quickly stuff like this comes back to you - after the first cue had gone okay it was just like being back at university working with TSG. It was really suprising how much of that excitement returned, and I realised how much I missed it. Doing dance music quietly and slowly isn't quite the same as being part of a team making big noise and big enjoyment.

Don't know what I'm going to do about it though...

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 30, 2002

Remember to tag them first for identification purposes.

It's not your standard tourist attraction, but I think it's definitely time I went for a visit to the Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 28, 2002

Surely some mistake?

I can't take posters for the new Matt Damon film Bourne Identity seriously.

It just sounds far too much like an early 80s sitcom - probably BBC1 on Friday evenings - starring Geoffrey Palmer or someone similar. Perhaps Nicholas Lyndhurst. They'd be called Norman Bourne, and have a bad memory or something, resulting in all sorts of hilarious japes...

Posted by Tom Dolan at 12:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 27, 2002

Just in case no-one's seen them...

Here's a link to this year's Stella Awards for the most stupid US lawsuit. Which are apparently entirely fictional, despite having borrowed their name from a real case.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 04:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Okay, the heavily culled CV is finally available. (I had to get this down from seven pages!)

Have a nose and pass it on to any interested parties for me will you?


Posted by Tom Dolan at 02:04 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Law of conservation of Oblomov

It's refreshing to know that, just as Danny O'Brien decides he needs to get off his arse and take things a bit more seriously, I've now been returned to the world of sitting around the house in my dressing gown till lunchtime, poking around for cool things to do on the net.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 10:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Annoyingly, the old version of my stylesheet has got stuck in my ISP's cache somewhere, and I can't get it out. So while you lot are able to see it in all its grey -and-red glory, I'm stuck with it in 'MT out of the box' colours. Thank heavens for being able to set up a copy of Apache on OS X or I'd not be able to see what I was doing!

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:55 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Blog content in disguise

Well, lots of us sort of gone a bit of the way there, using 'random image of the day' or whatever, but I've got to admit I'm a huge convert to Luminescent.org - a blog that's just photos and a place for associated comments.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 26, 2002


Sorry, there's not been much going on around here at the moment. Mum staying, wife's play going well, cats happy, having fun with OS X.

Happiness doesn't really make for great blogging, does it?

Posted by Tom Dolan at 07:49 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 23, 2002

Is it just me...

or is the Aphex Twin finally growing into his face? There's certainly some vanity creeping in there now!

Posted by Tom Dolan at 08:07 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A beautiful sight

Over the road, a removal van has pulled up. Someone's moving out of their house, just like we're going to (fingers crossed and touch wood) in five or six weeks time. It brings a great joy to my heart to think of that.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 07:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

House move episode 8941

Draft contract for our purchase turned up today. Eeeeek.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 12:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hurrah for the ma

The matriarch of the family today got herself a literary agent. Result.

There are two things this makes me think:
1) An agent has to make you enough more money than their cut
2) That that period of time they free up now you're note dealing with shite has to now be available for you to do the all-important creative bit.

Thankfully, both of these appear to *already* be the case with this one.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 12:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 21, 2002

That reminds me...

I really must clean up my blogroll and 'current media' list. How can I not have FC Kahuna on there?

Posted by Tom Dolan at 04:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Online 'Sliding Doors'

Only just found that the fab Thea (who I met in Banff) has her own blog...just as she buys thea.com.

She and I had some really interesting chats while we were there - she's been doing this sort of thing for a long time, and her comments on 'so here I am, still trying to do wild things with images on computer screens and waiting for a bit of technology that's going to change it all' gave me a lot of perspective on my own hunt for interactive drama.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 04:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I'm rather flattered, yet rather intimidated, to have been asked to be one of the contributors to the Wherever You Are 'game' of Consequences. (My stuff can't be *that* interesting surely? I mean I'm up against the likes of Meg not.so.soft Pickard here!)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 10:09 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 20, 2002

Pub Etiquette - a guide

Thanks to Euan for putting me on to SIRC's Passport to the Pub (and getting it from Kottke.org).

I don't read a lot of anthropology. And certainly not right the way to the end. But then not a lot of it is quite so familiar or so enjoyable.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 07:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 19, 2002

Most interesting album in ages

I really wasn't expecting to be impressed by the range of sonic textures in an R&B album. Until I heard the new one by Ms Dynamite. Far more effort than you'd expect for one these things. Think about the sort of strangeness that Madonna's recently had going on, but apply that sound and feel to yer generic urban track.

Fab stuff.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 02:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 17, 2002

Minor Bit of Good News

The people buying our house have booked their survey for Tuesday. So they must be planning to actually go through with it...


Posted by Tom Dolan at 06:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Doing My Head In

I've decided I need to get out.

I simply can't sit in the office I used to work in, surrounded by everyone I used to work with, watching them do the work I used to do. I've realised I'm basically torturing myself under the guise of 'being around in case I'm needed'. Which I'm not.

At my weekly staff meetings, I'm not going to have anything to say, because I no longer know what they're working on.

It's breaking my heart. And, as a result, my liver.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 06:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 16, 2002

When Chemists Get Bored

Somebody at Bristol University has compiled this fab list of Molecules with Silly or Unusual Names. Dickite, anyone?

(thanks to Piers - who badly needs to get a blog)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 03:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 14, 2002

Up The Arts!

Oh, and if you're anywhere near Camden, try to squeeze in a visit to my lovely friend Nicky's play Janis.

It's about Janis Joplin, has lots of swearing and some pretty good jokes. And the bar downstairs (Oxford Arms) doesn't close till midnight.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Placebo beware

Well that has to be one of the most surreal experiences of my life. So on Friday I get a call from a TV production company that might be offering me work, asking if I'd like to come up to Edinburgh on Monday to come to a party. Oh, and they'd pay.

Thoughts of networking opportunities, the train journey along the coast past Berwick, and drinking with some dear friends persuaded me that this was a good idea...and hey, if I can't take advantage of stuff like that in my current position, when can I?

And so it was that I got my first taste of real TV production. Running round Edinburgh in a cab to borrow cameras, or to buy a saw and spraycans of black paint so we could cover up a grille on the stage so Nancy Sinatra wouldn't fall through it. No, as you can tell, the boots weren't made for walking.

An exhilerating experience - Nancy was fab, and turned out to be a truly friendly and down-to-earth person (there will be pictures of the two of us on here soon, I promise) and I rediscovered the twin joy of a pint of 80-shilling and a single malt. Oh Scotland, you got it *so* right.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I love working where I do. You never feel like you're in any way a target

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 10, 2002

And for the sheer hell of it...

And it even works in the garden too.

(Though it looks like it might rain in a bit, so the laptop's not too safe really... :-)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 01:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I love wireless!

I'm sitting here browsing the net in my living room unconnected to anything physical at all, at which point tradition dictates you have to blog about how great wireless is.

Huge thanks to Simon Thornton for talking me out of buying an Airport and doing it the cheap way. Also, lots of thanks to the following two site: Robin Walker's Cable Modem Troubleshooting Tips and Nig's guide to Setting up a home network with NTL. Neither of them dealt in detail with my peculiarities - i.e. having a Mac, but were unbelievably helpful in getting me this far.

Here's a summary of the key wisdom:

  1. NTL registers the ethernet/MAC address of the computer you use to first set up the line with its DHCP servers.

  2. You can reboot the STB with a different ethernet device attached and it'll take you to the login screen

  3. An airport has no way of handling this

  4. You have to get a router that can clone MAC addresses and pretend to the cable box that it's the original computer

  5. All wireless access points are pretty much equal

  6. Get a seperate router and wireless access point - you're almost certain to want them to be in different places. In my case the cellar and the back bedroom respectively

  7. You can normally borrow a PC to do the config if you have to


So the eventual kit was a Linksys BEFSR81 8-port DSL router and a Belkin Wireless Network Access Point.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 01:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Driving me mad...

Stupid pub conversation - which Swedish pop-rock boyband did a piano-based song called 'Crazy' about 6-7 years ago. Chorus was something like
Crazy for you
And there's nothing that I won't do'

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 08, 2002

Life Improvement Shocker no 2


They've just come back with the full asking price.

Top one.

(exit stage left in direction of bar singing loudly and joyously)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 03:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Life Improvement Shocker

We've just had an offer on our house. And we could live with it.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 02:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MP3 Heaven

Have finally started thinning out on the 'albums I must have with me at all times' MP3 ripping now. It's starting to get a bit more selective about which tracks I'm actually going to bring onto the laptop. (At 6 days and 14 hours of material so far...)

However, I've been taking the opportunity to go through and start bringing in all of my fave singles - and it's been a joy. Lots of ghastly pop I knew I'd never buy the album of, but for some drum loop or bassline or other I *had* to have it. (Belinda Carlisle's Big Scary Animal, or Anastacia's I'mOut Of Love for example)

And there have been credible rediscoveries too...

Fatboy Slim's "Everybody Loves A Filter" is one of the most fabulously joyous versions of one of his most fabulously joyous tracks - and I'd not heard it for two years!

Posted by Tom Dolan at 02:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Big Day

It's a fairly spectacular one for our housing position. Today we:

  1. fire our existing agents
  2. get new agents in for a valuation
  3. have three people come and look at it that new agents have lined up already based on what they know about having sold the house next door

Posted by Tom Dolan at 06:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 07, 2002

Blogtree down

Damn. Looks like blogtree's hit its bandwidth limit then. It's the curse of the good idea...

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 06, 2002

Jakob, eat your heart out

This entry on Satireweb just reminded me of so many arguments I've been involved in about suspension of disbelief, within strict corporate branding - Cubists Launch Unnavigable Web Site

Posted by Tom Dolan at 10:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Small improvements, loosely joined

The buyer for our house pulled out. After much agonising we decided we were going to tell the people we were buying from after all...and they took it kind of well, all things considered. We've got at least a fortnight before we have to get seriously stressed about it, and hopefully the housing market will pick up again now that people are starting to come back from holidays.

Oh, and we had confirmation of our mortgage too.

It *has* to happen now. It *has* to.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 06:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 04, 2002

Connection whore

So this is it then, I'm now about as wired as I'm ever going to get in this house. Ethernet downstairs (ta NTL free trials), ADSL upstairs (now working under OSX on the laptop too - hurray).

I've been told (probably quite rightly) that in our current position I'm not allowed to go wireless until we get to the new house. At which point it will be, frankly, silly.

I'm looking forward to that a *lot*.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 02:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BlogTree musings (revised)

Kind of wierd looking at who your blog siblings are on BlogTree.com.

I find myself wishing I could change my parents so my siblings were the blogs I read. Apologies Euan, NTK and b3ta.

I think I may be an unusual blogger though - I read very few blogs before I started doing this. It's nearly all down to Euan's persuasion. So I wonder whether blogtree should be around nature or nurture?

Those three are my genetic parents, but I'm also hugely influenced by (may come back and put the links in later) Meg not.so.soft, Tom plasticbag.org, Vaughan whereveryouare.com, Matt blackbeltjones.com. And *mainly* by Usenet, Matt Locke and a huge number of discussions I've had with interesting people both on and offline, and on and off the subject.

Is the blog a representation of me? Or is it being pseudo-physical? Do I have to declare an unhealthy interest in the two leads in Dressing For Breakfast?

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 03, 2002

I [verb] [inane waffle]

While hunting for blogs on ageless that are around the same age as the missus' I found this on Lisa Carrol's blog.

I AM: more bitter and unhappy than I first appear.
I THINK: almost entirely about the things I've done wrong that don't matter.
I KNOW: that I can't go through with hurting anyone, and they can tell.
I WANT: to hate my limitations less
I HAVE: a bit of a hangover
I WISH: I could talk to people about themselves
I HATE: people who are careless - as in acting without care for others.
I MISS: being able to stay up late and get up unaffected
I FEAR: being found out as not being as clever as I thought I was
I HEAR: rain, bjork, my wife sleeping and the joyous yaps of a cat.
I SEARCH: for ways to work harder and play harder, rather than this wierd grey all-day work-meets-home thing I currently do
I WONDER: if it *was* something I did
I REGRET: not being good at sport
I LOVE: the missus, the cats, friends and family, acquiring new gadgets
I ACHE: across my shoulders - the home for all my stress
I CARE: too much whether people like me
I ALWAYS: am looking to see what else is going on
I AM NOT: a geek
I DANCE: under extreme duress, but with gusto
I SING: better than I think, I'm told. It's the choice of material
I CRY: nowhere near as often as I need to
I DO NOT ALWAYS: do the things I tell people I'm going to
I FIGHT: to prove that my team have better ideas than the next guy, and should be rewarded
I WRITE: self-referential crap that occasionally has a veneer of authenticity or profundity
I WIN: if there's a 'Hundred Reasons Singer Lookalike' competition
I LOSE: pens
I CONFUSE: some people by talking far too fast about things I think I've already explained
I LISTEN: when I'm not distracted by thinking about the thing you've just told me
I NEED: someone to tell me it's all going to be all right in the end
I AM HAPPY ABOUT: this macintosh laptop, and having such a wonderful wife - even though she's far too sad at the moment.
I SHOULD: do more and worry less.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 04:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 02, 2002

Genuinely Funny Online Comedy

All very Chuck Jones, and just getting to the point where you think it's overlong, but I highly recommend Bruno Bozzetto's How Not To Drive Flash animation.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 02:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack