Month: October 2004

Yeah baby!

Just HAD to repeat this quote here, taken from saltation’s stint over at Bacon, Cheese and Oatcakes.

“Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the goal of arriving safely in a prettily preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a shower of gravel and party shards, thoroughly used, utterly exhausted, and loudly proclaiming: “Fuck ME, that was BRILLIANT!”

I start tonight NOW!

Ick

Back from a pub lunch, one pint of Guinness was all I had but I can already tell this afternoon will be a struggle. It’s times like these that I long for my first job, where a Friday lunch quickly turned into a Friday afternoon in the pub. Ahh the joys of working in a 15 people company.

It’s not helped by the fact that the office temperature has been turned up, and I’m sitting here melting.

Anyhoo, whilst I remember, a happy birthday to Alan, 30 at last! Stuart said you guys were out at Del’s tonight so I might pop along.

Right. I’m off for a coffee… no a diet coke. I need the caffeine but not the heat.

Answering the question

Firstly, thank you to Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. I’ve always had a fascination with encyclopedias, and can quite happily spend hours skimming through one, picking up all sorts of useless information.

Alas that information didn’t include (although when I think about it, it probably did I’ve just forgotten it) a definition of what makes a road a road? what makes a street a street etc etc.

So, to answer a question that kept the wife and I amused for about twenty minutes the other night* (when I say amused I mean we argued, and when I say argued I mean at one point I was hiding behind the back of the sofa as she hurled things at me…):

ROAD: A road is a strip of land, smoothed or otherwise prepared to allow easier travel, connecting two or more destinations.
STREET: A street (rhymes with ‘teat’) is a strip of land, smoothed or otherwise prepared to allow easier travel along its length. The word “street” is often used synonymously with “road”, but the former term implies a greater degree of street life, particularly in urban areas.
AVENUE: British Archaeologists refine the general archaeological use of avenue to denote a long, parallel-sided strip of land, measuring up to about 30m in width, open at either end and with edges marked by stone or timber alignments and/or a low earth bank and ditch.
BOULEVARD: As a type of road, a boulevard tends to be a wide, arterial divided thoroughfare, often with an above-average appearance in terms of landscaping and scenery.

I should note that it was my confusion over the difference between an Avenue and a Boulevard that started the conversation. I should also note, for fearing of having to sleep in the garden, that Louise was right. I was wrong.

More FASCINATING STUFF later. Or not.

* There are so many jokes you could make from that statement, I expect you all to rise above and ignore any base attempts at humour. Apart from Sevitz of course.

Personalise this

Sometimes, when considering what to post here, I’ll start with a passing thought and try and analyse it a little to see what depth it has, and who it relates to me. For example, the Donnie Darko article in the miniblog (on the left there), made me pause and think about thoughts I used to have as a teenage boy – family gathered round my bed in a hospital after I’d heroically saved the rest of the family from some tragedy or another.

Recently I’ve not been able to get a handle on anything that’s really hit home, well not emotionally anyway. Other areas have seen me leave some lengthy comments (some reposted here) about ‘techie’ stuff. Odd that.

Anyway I can’t be bothered analysing why as I really only wanted to explain why I reposting yet ANOTHER comment I’ve left on another site.

This time the comment is on Andy Budd’s article on bookmark management. He links to Tom Coates observations on bookmark management, a post I read at the time but didn’t comment on, and which has also been pondered by several other people.

Anyway, here’s what I posted on Andy’s site (side note: wasn’t Typekey supposed to stop us having to do this?)

I read Tom’s article, and have read others on this and similar topics. What I find MOST interesting is how we are finally getting away from an IT/technology centric way of working and realising that yes, those claims of many years ago are true. Computers can make life easier.

The iTunes parallel is an excellent one. I used to be very controlling of my Music folder – subfolder by artist then album, ID3 tags all neatly in place, hell even the filenames were under my tight control. The along came iTunes and finally I could find what I was looking for instantly and I stopped caring where things were stored. The reality is that I never REALLY cared where things were stored just that they WERE stored and that I could find them.

The reason I had my strict sub-folder hierarchy was that was the only way I could do it. Technology was constraining me.

Now, with iTunes again an excellent example, we are finally applying a concept to ‘real’ computer usage that has existed in content design for a long time. Separating the content and design (architecture).

Answer this: Why was Google such a big hit? Mainly because it was ONLY a search engine. Unlike Yahoo’s directory of directories of directories I could actually FIND things using Google.

I can’t wait for this ‘revelation’ to hit other areas, and I’m already enjoying Picasa (iPhoto equivalent) for my photos for the same reason. I don’t care WHERE or HOW my photos are stored, just that I can find them easily.

Ohh I’ve edited it slightly but only to make it more coherent.

I think the only other place this type of information organisation is an issue is within a news reader (an RSS Aggregator, not Peter Sissons), but I think most of them already have the ability to filter/collate new posts based on keyword searches.

I think the REAL question is, where else can this be applied? Where else do you struggle with just TOO MUCH information?

Blog rules!

GO BLOG!! Ohh sorry… too much American Presidental Election coverage has addled my brain…

That should really be “Blog Rules” as in “these are the rules by which I blog”.

  1. This is my site. It contains MY thoughts and MY opinions. I proffer them forth not to have you agree with them but simply to put them “out there”.
  2. As a visitor to my site you can chose not to read my opinions. You will, obviously, have your own opinions.
  3. I am entitled to have my own opinions.
  4. You are entitled to have your opinions.
  5. They may never match, but that is no reason to insult me for my opinion.
  6. I am always willing to re-consider my opinion.

This post may have been prompted by comments left by others on other sites. The final rule of blogging is that I don’t have to explain myself if I don’t want to…

Pursuit of pleasure

Partially nicked from yesterday’s Independent.

According to Michael Flocker’s The Hedonism Handbook there are 10 signs you’re in too deep:

  1. You no longer remember anyone’s phone number because they’re all in your mobile
  2. You e-mail people who are seated within 20ft of you
  3. You make itineraries for your holidays
  4. The idea of a full week without internet access fills you with terror
  5. You are bored if the television isn’t on
  6. You have to watch the news every day, just to be sure the world isn’t ending
  7. You regularly watch sitcoms that you have seen countless times before
  8. You are unable to sit still and think in silence
  9. Your conversation regularly revolves around the lives of others instead of your own
  10. You buy your shoes because they match your iPod

I have to take issue with some of these.

Personally a full week without internet access is a relief sometimes, but doesn’t fill me with terror (#4). I am usually bored when the television is ON and get up to do something else (#5) (and how does this sit with #7?). I watch the news so I know what is going on in the world, not so I know the world is going on (#6), and what is with #10? Does ANYONE do that?

Now he also has some advice, namely 10 ways to unleash your inner hedonist:

  1. Find a park bench, sit down and observe life
  2. Lie in a hammock and stare at the stars
  3. Bob in the ocean
  4. Go for a walk without direction
  5. Read a book in complete silence
  6. Take a nap in the sun
  7. Take a bath by candlelight
  8. Sleep until you can sleep no more
  9. Extend foreplay
  10. Watch Swedish cinema

Now, I agree with some of these but still have to take issue. “Watch Swedish cinema” WHY?

Personally I’m happy curled up with a good book and no interruptions, but a streetside cafe and a good coffee is also favoured source of relaxation. People watching is always fascinating.

What methods do you employ when you are having a little “ME” time?

Stuck

Don’t you just love days like this? Spending hours in long meetings, trying to find a way to get more work done in few hours. How about shorter meetings!

I’m also a bit stuck by the death of John Peel. I feel bad, and I know he influenced a lot of people but I have been a tad surprised at the outpourings.

Similarly I find myself stuck until November the 5th. The date is moving closer, and the final plans for the wedding are taking place – tonight Louise gets her bridesmaid dress altered – and until it’s passed we are having a hard time planning for Christmas, our holiday in January (FECK I’VE STILL NOT GOT MY PASSPORT PHOTO TAKEN!!), and a couple of birthdays inbetween times.

But then that’s nothing new, I always feel this way as we head towards winter, the darker mornings and evenings heralding a change in attitude. Now I’m a lazy bugger by nature but long winter nights are made for one thing only – curling up somewhere warm and burning out my retinas watching TV, DVDs, or playing the PlayStation.

How do you approach winter? Hibernate or … er… fornicate??

Buzz off

Looks like the American spelling bee is heading to the UK in the form (somewhat) of the BBC’s new show Hard Spell: “Britain’s best young speller step forward because SPELLING JUST GOT COMPELLING.” (emphasis mine). Good grief.

To be hosted by Eamonn Holmes, the executive producer said “This will be like Pop Idol, but with spelling. We want it to be fashionable to spell well.”

Fashionable? Is that what we are reducing basic education to? FASHION?!

I WAS going to rant about this. With teachers for parents I guess it strikes a nerve, and I could easily rattle off an essay length post about declining standards foisted by pencil pushing government officials, and how I think a return to stricter schooling is for the benefit of society… and so on.

But I won’t. It’s too early in the day and it wouldn’t allow me to post this lovely quote taken from this article about the upcoming show:

Last year, Michelle Plummer, a mother of three from Merthyr Tydfil, had David Beckham’s name tattooed in inch-and-a-half letters on her back. When she got home, she found it read BECKAM. “I went berserk,” she said. “I feel I’ve been scarred for life.”

Poetic justice?

Predictive

It’s a wonder we can communicate at all these days. The propensity to just send an email, or a txt msg (sic) is killing the art of conversation.

You could take my wife’s approach though. She likes to send txt msgs that are every so slightly misleading, forcing the other person to phone her up and ask “What ARE you on about?”

Take this evening’s txt msg for example. For part of a friends wedding present we were going to get them one of those nice engraved slate nameplates. However, Louise sent the following txt msg:

“We were thinking on getting you slave slave* for house as want you to have keepsake…”

Needless to say the bride was slightly perplexed but did let us know that they would like one each, male and female, and could they help choose?

* Slave slave = slate plate. Allegedly.