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November 29, 2004

Le Magique Nombre

Tonight saw me open the lid of the piano for the first time in ages. This signifies *purpose*. The piano is now no longer a place for ironed laundry to build up. (The downside to a grand that isn't mentioned in the Steinway catalogue).

As I needed to play something pretty sedate, given that Daisy was in bed asleep, and as I was utterly knackered, I picked up my old Dover book of pieces by Erik Satie and tinkled through old favourite Gymnopedie #1 - star of stage screen and advert for many a year. (Only temporarily eclipsed by Gnossienne #1 when 'Chocolat' came out).

But for the first time I carried on playing at the end of the piece.

Gymnopedie (as in 'based in a Gymnasium'. Think nude oiled spartan men posing with a discus) number 2 suprised me because I realised after about 8 bars that I was sight-reading it. Badly, but I wasn't having to stop and count leger lines, and I was managing to maintain something of a pace through it.

But the real suprise was Gymnopedie #3. I realised that I'd Never Actually Heard It Before. All those years of hanging around in the music block at school, all those evenings where flute and piano arrangements were run through by my dad and a family friend...nobody had made it as far as number 3.

And to my mind, it's the best of the bunch.

Admittedly it helps if you're not hearing it as a midi file, and it's by far better when the previous two have set the perfect groundwork for it, but I'm really pleased to have discovered it at last.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 10:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I have to ask...

Is this the most interesting page on the internet?

(thanks to London By London)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 08:13 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 18, 2004

You know you're getting old when...

Awkward moment of the day:

Me: Look, we'll wait forever for IS to sort out your FTP client while the purchase order is being raised. I'll show you the quick and dirty way to ftp files off a server.
Her: OK, cool. That'll be really useful.
Me: Okay, so you go to your start menu, choose 'run' and then type in 'ftp'. This is a reworking of the old-skool Unix utility, so you can type in "?" and it will give you a list of the various options.
Her: Aha.
Me: <wishing he'd picked an example before he started> okay, so you have 'ls' or 'dir' to list files, um and 'lcd' to change directory. Tell you what, lets start with the DOS prompt so we can see what's going on. Ah, that's better. Okay, so to start with we need to change to the c-drive and go into somewhere safe. So type 'c:' and hit return, now 'cd \', and then (and I start speaking increasingly slowly at this point) type 'dir' to list the files.

The reason I have slowed down is because I have realised that the very smart and well-educated person I'm explaining this to is young enough that they have *never* used a non-GUI computer interface. They have used Windows Explorer or equivalent all their life. DOS is a foreign language from archaic times.

I am a dinosaur.

(It got even worse when I tried to explain the difference between binary and ascii file transfer and realised that for all of her internet career this person has worked with FTP clients that have come with all the ascii file types set up as standard. They have never needed it set to anything other than 'auto'.)

Thank heavens they dealt with my floundering old-fartdom with such good grace.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 02:30 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

November 16, 2004

A brewing conspiracy...

Is it me, or is Matt Jones slowly building momentum towards a full-on photo-based DOS attack on flickr?

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 12, 2004

Trevor Says...Relax

I can't talk about this right now, or I'll never go to bed, but the Trevor Horn gig tonight was just absolutely fantastic for an ageing ZTT/ultra-production fan like me.

Highlights: Propaganda full lineup, Buggles playing together after 25 years, Frankie being really rather good, and as ever being in the same room as Anne Dudley makes me feel a bit wobbly.

see piccies from struggling phonecam

More tomorrow I hope.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 01:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 04, 2004

Holy Arse

This interview (audio) on today's Today programme on Radio 4 was just terrifying.

One of Bush's environmental advisers laid into the whole idea of global warming, kyoto, and the US's CO2 policy being an issue. When cornered, he said that only the US had independent scientists, that our Chief Scientist David King wasn't qualified to talk about climate change, and that Kyoto is just a way for businesses from countries that aren't as efficient as US ones to try and stifle the US.

This from a man who has only worked in politics and economics, and now runs a thinktank funded by ExxonMobil.

Read the discussion on the message boards or look at the emails sent in and weep.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 10:51 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 01, 2004

Neologist Wanted

There really should be a word, or phrase, for the suspense-crammed moment of time between when you enter a darkened room to check on your sick child and the point where your ears or eyes have acclimatised to the low levels and you can hear/see them breathing.

If Hitchcock could have captured the feeling of those fifteen seconds on film, I'm sure he would have done.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 06:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack