November 2003 | Main | January 2004

December 31, 2003

A slight delia update

Some issues have appeared regarding, so now they are at

(Though having now seen her on the fab BBC4 documentary "Alchemists of Sound", I'm amazed nobody mentions her incredibly bad teeth...)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 12:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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
b) sober
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.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 12:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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...

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 10:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 16, 2003

Small but perfectly formed

Well, a few things in life are looking up at the moment.

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...

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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...

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I Guess It Could Be Worse

Check out the sobering comments at the bottom of this article on graduate starting salaries.

Via London News Review

Posted by Tom Dolan at 12:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Essay To-Do List

A bunch of things I really must write up/finish and stick online at some stage:

Any preferences?

Posted by Tom Dolan at 12:03 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:57 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 10, 2003

Christmas Cheer

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)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 04:37 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

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.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 06, 2003

Xmas Cards

These fabulous poor-taste Lance Arthur Xmas Cards deserve to one day be in print.

Via whereveryouare

Posted by Tom Dolan at 01:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 04, 2003

Once more

HumanDescent Gallery


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!

Posted by Tom Dolan at 03:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Plus Ca Change

Bluetealeaf has been getting upset about his council's project planning procedures

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.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 03:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

B3TA fans are everywhere

A sample of code from the MTV.CO.UK homepage:

<body onload="preloadimages();">

<div class="yay">

<div class="woo">

<div class="floatLeft">

Posted by Tom Dolan at 02:47 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 02:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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

Via The (nominated) Obvious?

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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... :-)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 05:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 03:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Time Management

Paul tells it like it is

Posted by Tom Dolan at 02:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Lucky Escape

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.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 01:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


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.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:04 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 03:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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 :-)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 03:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 12:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


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...

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack