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August 25, 2004

This fragmented city...

I keep work and home pretty seperate these days. I rather like it that way. A wise friend pointed out that in the 50s nobody got stressed about whether they enjoyed their jobs - they did them so they could enjoy the rest of their lives. In this day and age, we are being urged more and more to engage emotionally with what we do. And yet, at the end of the day, it's all still business. They'll still boot you out when the time comes...and it'll be even harder because they made you *care*.

Keeping the two apart is pretty hard, and usually involves working through my lunch hour and on the tube home, planning the next day. But most of the time it means I can have 10 minutes of 'how was your day?' chat on the way home and then that's it - I'm into domestic mode. And it's just *wonderful*.

But today I thought 'bugger this'. I had some shopping to do, and so I went out for a wander. And later in the day, thanks to the Central line dying, I walked from Oxford Circus to Temple tube station.

And during this ambling about I saw four people that I knew.

This city of 5-10 million people suddenly felt, well, local.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Critical Path of Milk

A small but important one this.

If using a microwave steriliser (and why wouldn't you? they're fab) to make sure your vast investment in Avent plasticware is germ-free, make sure you're sterilising early enough in the evening so that you can still get to a supermarket and buy a new one that night when the old one blows up.

On which note, the Sainsburys microwave/hifi/electrical goods section closes some time before 9pm, and if it's not out on the shelves you can't have it.

So you go to Tesco, and they have the same microwave for 30 quid less. So that's all right then.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 10:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 16, 2004

Mixed Blessing

I currently have a pre-release state-of-the-art mobile gadget that is just *sooooooooooooooooo* cool that it attracts comment everywhere it goes. It gets passed round at gatherings with everyone eager to have a play. And it's got a hugely impressive feature list.

The only catch being that, because it's a pre-release model of a state-of-the-art mobile gadget, not all of those features currently work properly.

So, a plea to anyone who's got in touch with me recently, or is trying to get in touch with me over the next little while:

Please don't assume that I'm going to get any text messages you send me.

Often they turn up without a hitch, but the likelihood of that bit of the alpha software breaking seems to be in direct proportion to the urgency of the text message!

Mind you, lest anyone join dots and make assumptions about the product in question, it's a tribute to the funkiness and funtionality of the phone/pda thing that I'm prepared to put up with it despite these faults. It's fab. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the release edition eagerly.

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

August 09, 2004

Hello there

A big welcome to MonkeyX to both the blogroll and place of work.

There's always the point where you stop being the person in your place of work who knows most about something - I am now no longer the person who knows most about blogs. Which is probably for the best given that I've barely ventured out into the wider web in the last six months...

Posted by Tom Dolan at 12:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 05, 2004

Proud (again)

Huge congratulations to the wonderful wife, who has just been appointed Senior Content Producer (i.e. in charge of) the BBC Comedy site.

Yay. And indeed a well-deserved Woo.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 05:00 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 04, 2004

The Genius Unmasked

In his 60 second interview in yesterday's "Metro" Trevor Horn reveals his ethos when working on his new Olympic theme:

My wife manages me and she kept nudging me to do it, saying: 'What about the Olympics song?' So I did it. Emmanuel said: 'Pass The Flame, Unite The World.' I thought: 'There's the lyric, try and make as little as possible out of that and make sure the music is fun.'

Posted by Tom Dolan at 02:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 03, 2004


Having finally got round to reading about Paul Carr's new Friday Project I have to admit it looks rather good. Like a Daily best-bits-of-TheFridayThing.

I particularly liked, and empathised with this...

All this talk of 'campaigns' and 'making a difference' is scaring me. Are you sure you're not Communists?
We are not now and have never been members of the Communist Party. Communists are always skint. Ideally, we would like to occupy the tricky middle space in the 'worthy' / 'worth a fuck of a lot of money' venn diagram

Posted by Tom Dolan at 10:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So what is this telly thing anyway?

As someone who's spent ages trying to get traditional media producers (spent ages? traditional? tom, you have been working in new media for nearly ten years now, it's now middle-aged media!) I was interested in how directly some operators are trying to recreate the old within the new on cutting-edge mobile networks interesting Americas Network article about video streaming.

"We were concerned about what subscribers would think about having advertising, but having ads in there makes it genuinely TV," says Scanlan. "People don't think 'Oh God, I've got to watch this ad.' Instead, it's 'Oh, there are the ads. This really is TV."

There are some benefits for the short-term growth of the platform - i-mode is adamant that the reason it has dominated in Japan is because it concentrated on running a network and billing, and that everyone else had to stick to their bit, unlike the "We are Vodafone, we can be in the content business" tack that is happening here. And coincidentally, BT went through time and time again before finally deciding to stick to their tradtional guns.

However, I hope that there are people in these organisations who *are* thinking hard about the development of the platform and what new services will emerge when it becomes a medium in its own right.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 02, 2004

And as Harkley Bandersoup fades away...

And while we're in the 'Radio on demand' kind of mood, I was shocked to see the unbelivably classic "Saturday Night Fry" lurking in the BBC 7 Friday schedule.

Fry, Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Emma Thompson, Phyllida Law and many many more.

It take me absolutely and utterly straight back to my Warwick student bedroom in 1987 - this was one of the few things that would get me out of the bar back then. Listening to it now completely re-crystallises the varnished dark wood, over-scratchy brown carpet and orange nylony curtains of Tocil* decor. I remember the posters on the walls, the way the chair wouldn't move on the floor, the ketchup stains on the wall in the communal kitchen.

A funny thing memory...

(*one of the uniquely horrible sets of student flats)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 04:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

If Radiohead Wrote Comedy

For about another day or so, check out the wonderfully bleak and nihilistic Pea Green Boat by Stewart Lee, part of Radio 4's "Inner Voices" series.

As I scan the horizon, I see another identical pea-green boat, only crewed by a Jack Russell terrier and a rabbit. It seems inappropriate nautical pairings are the very button of fashion.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 03:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack