Month: August 2004


I’m knackered. Haven’t been sleeping well all week to be honest.

Tomorrow we need to start clearing space in the loft and understair cupboard to allow access for the new boiler installation. I also need to clear out the office but that’ll probably be done on Tuesday evening.


Ohh and the Olympic opening ceremony doo-dah.. pretty good, but why oh why oh why (repeat to fade) … WHY do they have that damn procession. I dozed my way through most of it.

Anyway, time for another beer. Have a good weekend y’all.


So, how can you find out if a website is scamming you?

I WAS going to order some replica Air Jordan V’s from Old School Sneaks but I’m a bit dubious to be honest. There are a few other sites selling similar stuff which have been outed as scam sites, but I see no mention of Old School Sneaks. On the other hand, I can’t find a customer reference (there are some on their site but I’d rather read it somewhere else).

What REALLY gets me is that I’ve never been that bothered about this stuff in the past, usually it’s only after I’ve clicked that button that the (admittedly small and distant) bells start ringing in my head.

I guess it’ll be covered by the credit card company if it IS a scam but how do you prove it?

Check list

Papers signed. Bank Account opened. GHD Hair Straighteners bought.

Air Jordans ordered. Awaiting C500 (miniSD card arrived this morning though).

Credit Card 1 cancelled. Credit Card 2 cancelled. New Credit Card ordered.

And all before 12 o’clock. Guess I’ll be working over the weekend!


Three quarters of the way through a post about re-mortgaging, Lloyds TSB, Air Jordan Mark V, Lomo and Photoshop and WHAT happens?

My PC turns itself off.

The problem seems to be the cable modem. Someone from Telewest will be getting an ear bashing tomorrow morning!!!!

Bugger this, I’m off to bed.

Testing, testing

Right guys and gals, I need your help.

I’ve (finally) pulled together a Content First Layout and would appreciate your feedback.

The alignment of the columns is still to be sorted, but I want to check that you are all seeing three columns, from left to right:
1. Left – Site Navigation
2. Middle – Miniblog
3. Right – Blog posts.

If any of the columns don’t appear or get shuffled down to the foot of the page, or there are any other strange goings on, then leave me a note in the comments.

Ideally you shouldn’t see much difference, aside from a few minor tweaks. The big difference is that the blog posts now appear first. Should make it easier for people when blogrolling falls over again, as the content will appear first and the rest of the page can wait to load after that.

Have at it.


What’s the LAST thing you want to hear when you’ve gone to the loo, just sat down and … er … started…

The bloody fire alarm!!

(Certainly speeds up the process mind you!)


Thanks to everyone who responded with book suggestions, I’ve sourced a couple of them from friends and have just hit Amazon with this lot:

  • Martin Amis – London Fields
  • Jorge Luis Borges – Labryinths
  • Phillip Pullman – His Dark Materials Trilogy (boxset)
  • Garrison Keillor – Leaving Home
  • Ultra Chilled Vols 1 & 2… which isn’t a book.

And what did I do last night? Started the latest Rebus novel.

Web as platform

Just a short post to remind myself to expand on my thoughts as prompted by Jason Kottke: Web as platform.

Except I’m not going to as I spent about an hour last night, writing, deleting, writing, deleting, writing, deleting and I’m still not sure WHERE I think this is headed.

Suffice to say that I think the only way the web can function properly as a platform is if:
a. storage space and transfer speeds make it possible to have ALL my photos online, including the crap ones.
b. the tools available are available are not platform specific.
c. the price of storage is sufficiently low.

The one thing that struck me the most though was the statement that “Data needs to be portable.” No, it doesn’t. Make the applications ‘portable’. Get those standards working, and then people can host their data where they like, and point the applications at the data. That way the bit of this whole thing that is truly MINE, stays under MY control. For example, I’ve switched from Winamp to iTunes for listening to music. I didn’t have to export and import the data.

Other random thoughts from this:
1. An online version of Picasa, which monitors your web space, would be better than having to upload photos INTO a program. I want the program to do the work for me. Similarly Flickr should be able to go and find my new photos. A possible answer to the redundancy issue?
2. Web based iTunes anyone? I have 50GB worth of music at home, some of which is replicated at work. Why can’t I easily access the music stored on my PC (or better still, stored in my large, cheap web space).

Ohh dear, I’m on a roll now.

Next up, personal data (calendar info, contacts etc). The PDA suggested that people wanted that information with them at all times. I still buy into that, hence the order for a new Smartphone, but it would be much better if I could sync to ONE central source than two (work and home PCs). Note that I’m syncing FROM my source TO the web source. Not the other way round. I don’t want to have to maintain the data on the web. Sure I want to be able to manipulate it, edit, add, and delete it, but I don’t want to HAVE to do that on the web.

The one constant problem, of course, is for us early adopter types, and I think that’s what Jason K forgets to take into account. For someone coming late to this party Flickr, for example, is ideal. They don’t already have a lot of their photos stored in another system. Of course, if Flickr dies something else will take it’s place, and then the pain begins again. Breaking the link between data and application is crucial if we are going to stop this cycle.

WOOOOO. Ain’t caffeine great. Here was me not going to say much and look how much I’ve waffled on…. apologies if none of this stuff is of interest but if it wasn’t, why ya still reading?!

Coming next, back to basics, blogging about the weather, and kittens. Probably.


Note: I drafted this yesterday before Richard Madeley’s “dyke” comment was aired and, as usual, the BBC News website has an interesting article about the whole wording issue.

“[The words are]… liable to change their connotations and meanings depending on who is saying them, to whom, in what circumstances, sometimes even depending on their tone of voice.”

We live in politically correct times. You can’t say this. You can’t do that.

Some of it, of course, is correct. You can’t go around insulting people but then, that hasn’t changed has it, the whole PC ‘movement’ has just given the minorities another string to their bow.

The real trouble I have is here. Online. Where the written word carries all meaning and inflection. Except, as you well know, it doesn’t.

So I end up writing something, or commenting on a site, using my own voice and then having to go back and edit (or add another comment) ensuring that my phrasing wasn’t misunderstood.

This doesn’t happen in real life. Take last Saturday, out with friends, two of whom are gay, we end up in the Polo Lounge (well known gay bar/club in Glasgow), and I end up with an admirer. Alan finds it hysterical and I have to admit I’m slightly flattered (ohh shush). I turn to him as we leave and retort “Well what did I expect, going out drinking with poofs”.

OHH SHOCKING!! You can’t say that! The PC hordes cry.

Alan laughed, which says it all.


So, what are you currently reading?

Me? I’m reading trash. Well not trash, as in old Cornflake boxes, but trash as in easy to read, easily “put-down-able” and “pick-up-able” type novels. Think Jeffery Deaver, James Patterson, Nick Hornby, Iain Banks and the like.

Sometimes I hear a little chuckle, a mocking laugh echoing around the room for an instant, but I know it’s just Miguel de Cervantes, Alexandre Dumas, and John Steinbeck mocking me, deriding me, challenging me to pick them up instead (hell, you should hear what Tom Wolfe murmurs in my ear…).

I have slowly built a collection of old and new ‘classics’. There is a way to go yet and I HAVE read some of them.. the others though.. Feh! Have you SEEN the thickness of the Count of Monte Cristo? I just can’t even get into the state of mind to start to begin the contemplation of just taking that book from the shelf. Can you imagine what it would take for me to.. shudders.. open it.

So I think I need a holiday, more specifically a “book reading break”. A quiet cottage somewhere maybe, or a desert island just for us.

Alternatively I’m gonna go find some semi-classics and see if I can use them as a stepping stone, trouble is, I’m not sure what…

So, dear well-read reader, what do you suggest? What is a good halfway novel? Above the trash, but not yet on the pedestal of greatness.

What say you?