Month: September 2006

One Book Meme

I’ve been tagged with two memes recently, one I’ve done before so I’m not doing it again (life is just TOO short Matt!), and the one you are about to read.

Or not, I’m not forcing you, but let’s be honest, do you have anything better to do?? Ummm, well, obviously you do but it can’t be that important or you wouldn’t be wasting your time here, would you. Ergo, you are going to read this.

Except for you belligerent, uppity, types. You’ll just leap straight to the comments to say that you didn’t read it, won’t you. Well, that still means you are doing something when you have better things to do so the joke is on you. Somehow. In my head.

Um, where was I? Ohh yes, the meme thingy.

This one is a bit of a misnomer, although I’m not exactly sure what it’s called as her wot tagged me didn’t include it in her post, the lazy bint, so I’m calling it the ‘one book’ meme, which belies the fact that it will list several.

I’ll apologise now for my atrocious memory as, whilst I’ve read quite a few books (>10 but <10,000), I tend to forget about them once I’m finished. This makes completing a meme about books that you’ve read decidely tricky. Anyway, enough waffling from me.
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Will it be white?

Half-day tomorrow as I’ve got a Transit van rented for some moving of furniture (2 beds and a TV cabinet) for my cousin-in-law. Long story, and I ain’t getting into it here.

I’m quite looking forward to it, it’s been ages since I’ve driven a van.

Anyway, as I’ll be out tail-gating learners, leering at ‘birds’ and partaking of all available “van driver privileges” it’ll be a bit quiet here. I’m sure you can amuse yourselves.

The one where I'm old

“We won’t become those old people who can’t stand kids and are always shouting at them, will we?”

I said I didn’t think so, as we do like kids, it’s just the ones that run around, scream, shout, wail and generally cause minor chaos in shops that annoy. I long to give them a clip round the ear but, of course, I won’t. That’s assault you see.

When did I become a curmudgeon? A grumpy old man who can’t tolerate your average child.

Admittedly this was in the third DIY shop we visited this morning, and I was in the midst of trying to think up how to build a new headboard (have the idea, just finalising the plans), but surely if the parents of said noisy brat are completely ignoring him — and don’t give me that ‘zoning out’ crap, you could hear the wee bugger half way across the store — then that gives me additional ‘clipping’ rights? Even a firm grip of the arm and a stern word would probably have done it, I mean the kid was obviously just bored, his parents engrossed in picking out just the right colour of paint… aubergine or pewter washed grape?

Home to sketch out the new headboard and out into the garden to continue our ongoing war with the weeds. They have taken the garage area, but today we reclaimed three flower beds and a large chunk of the back garden. Our Maginot Line is being planned — re-paving the patio — and we’ll be deploying napalm on the monoblocking later on. Napalm, Pathclear, whatever.

After all that stress and activity I’m bushed. Drained and jaded and can hardly be bothered to sit here and check my emails. Maybe it was the extra long (and hilly) jog last night, or maybe I’m still getting over the dodgy tummy I had on Thursday, but I feel ready to retire. Is it bedtime yet?

Once upon a book

Wandering into our bedroom the other night, I spotted a book on Louise’s bedside cabinet.

“Where did you get that?” I asked.

“Ehh… from the bookshelf” she replied, somewhat quizzically (she doesn’t buy many books).

“OUR bookshelf?” I responded, equally quizzically as I didn’t recall buying it, and don’t think I would’ve bought a book by that author.

“Yes, the one in the office”

“Really?” I said, trying not to sound quite so disbelieving.

“Ohh for God’s sake, c’mere” she said, dragging me roughly by the arm into the office. She then proceeded to pull some books away from the front of one of the shelves to reveal a book sized gap behind them. “It was right there!”.

I peered at the shelves, at the gap where a book had obviously once been located, and scratched my head.

“Really?” I offered once more, as Louise left the room, shaking her head.

“Well I didn’t buy it…” I offered, a little too vocally, to her back.

“Neither did I!” came the dulcet tones as she descended the stairs.

Which begs the question, why would someone buy a book, break into our house and hide it in one of our bookshelves? And, more to the point, why would they buy a James Herbert?!

25 Tracks

No, it’s not a meme (although I think there is one).

Let’s say that you could download, for free, 25 tracks of music. And, for the sake of completeness, let’s say that this opportunity was given to you by the lovely Lisa of Rullsenberg Rules and that the tracks must be available from emusic.com which has a huge range covering most genre.

What would YOU download?

And yes, if I get 25 tracks from you lot, I’ll download them and.. well… something else might happen.

So, ONE TRACK PER PERSON please, and I’ll try and confirm if it’s available. The trial runs out in 14 days, but you’ll all lose interest WAY before then, so have at it!

P.S. I’m not sure but if you want to participate, I think it’s better if someone recommends you, and as Lisa was generous enough to do that for me she might do it for you too..

P.P.S. Check my Last.fm page if you want some ideas of what I LIKE, not that that will sway any of you, I’m sure…

Life update

Right, a few items to cover, so let’s get on with it then.

Mortgage is proceeding nicely. Valuation came in and apparently we’ve added £20k to the value of our house in the past two years. Not sure WHERE but that was a nice surprise. We’re hoping to complete the new mortgage in a couple of weeks.

Jogging is proceeding nicely. Last night was the 10 week mark and the target of jogging for 10 minutes was met with ease! I think I’m a little ahead of the schedule as I did a 13 minute run on Sunday, and that was from my house which is almost at the very top of the highest part of the Clyde Valley (on a good day we can see Ben Lomond ya know… about 35 miles away).

iTunes 7 is coming along nicely too. Having had a few hassles installing it, well not installing it as getting the damn thing to run, it turns out that Apple have changed the way it interacts with your soundcard (or something like that), so if you have an audio recording application, TotalRecorder in my case, which is set as the output for your ‘sound’, then iTunes throws its toys out the pram. Easy to fix, in your Control Panel, go to the “Sounds and Audio Devices”, select the Audio tab and set the outputs to your soundcard.

And yes, I’m sure this all worked wonderfully on a Mac, save it, it’s kinda boring.

Mind you, the new iPod Shuffle might be on the cards as the cheapy 1GB MP3 player I bought Louise hardly works, only playing 30 or so tracks and claiming it ‘can’t find the rest’. Ohh and before I get ANY complaints about Louise being a second-class gadget owner, she’s tried to use the thing all of 4 times, if she was using it regularly she’d get a Nano too. Music is most definitely MY baby in this house.

What is my culture?

There is a long rambling post that refuses to tumble out of my head. It’s centred around how what I digest forms my own “micro-culture”, and whether the fact that I don’t really identify with any single “macro-culture” means that I’m cultureless?

Gosh, doesn’t that sound like something awfully twee and if I were to try and write it all down I’d probably disappear up my own arse, so I’ve paired it down to the following few thoughts, presented in now particular order.

~ Culture is such a large facetted entity that I always struggle to get a grip on it’s component parts other than realising that what I digest, the inputs, form a part of who am I, what I believe and think, and are largely responsible for the micro-culture that I maintain.

~ Ohh and I’m working on the presumption that we all have our own unique micro-culture. You are what you consume.

~ I’d do one of those “overlapping circle” diagrams (a la indexed) but I fear they are already fading into obscurity. In fact that’s one aspect of culture tracking that niggles, the speed of change which the internet has brought about.

~ Apparently the iPod is in danger of becoming ‘uncool’ because it’s so ubiquitous. Top Gear made the same argument about the BMW 3-series, arguing that as the BMWs were everywhere, buying a Ford Mondeo would be the cool(er) option as they were considerably less abundant on the roads. THAT, ladies and gentlepeeps, is some flawed logic. Yet it does help make the point that, as consumerism rises and we becoming increasingly materialistic, what chance does

~ The inputs, the defining factors of my micro-culture are largely chosen by me, but the reasoning behind their choice may suggest that I’m trying to create a false impression of what that micro-culture is. Why do I buy books by renowned authors then labour my way through a trashy ‘thriller’? I WANT quality inputs but not at the price they demand of my intellect? Or do I fear that I either won’t be able to understand them, or that they will not leave my ‘micro-culture’ as enhanced as I’d like? Are they, in this example, TOO niche?

~ Defining moments occur in every culture. Is 9/11 mine? It sometimes feel like I have no culture, I don’t identify with the 80s particularly strongly, nor the 90s as it’s only now that I feel I understand myself well enough to be comfortable. I feel like part of an in-between generation (or merely an undecided micro-culture?) that is awaiting the next phase of change. So much has changed, in every facet of life, in the past thirty years that I wonder if the concept of a generations will ever really hold true in the future?

~ My culture is what I digest. Yet I embrace all that I can, old and new, controversial and staid, so is that why I cannot identify with the macro-culture of others? There is always an overlap, always, but never enough to sustain.

And so on and on and on…

Now, if anyone can make any sense of that I’d welcome your input. Hmm this might catch on, a “get your readers to write your post” feature, how typical of the “want it now” culture.

In other news…

Anyone buy the Evening Times tonight? Glasgow edition that is, well if you turn to page 31 you may, or may not, recognise the person top right. Or you could just check this photo.

Yes, my lovely wife has joined me in print, and she gets a full interview too. It’s a “worklife” feature so is mainly about her job, and yes, I’m allowed to upload the photo as she “likes that one”. It’s a couple of years old mind you, and her hair isn’t THAT big anymore, nor that short come to think of it.

Ohh and whilst I’m here, does anyone want to buy a 6 in 1 card reader, or a blue light USB keyboard (which I THINK has an American layout)? It’s either here or eBay. Make me an offer!

Right, I’ve got an office to tidy up. Anyone got any bin bags?

Thought for the day

The date has grabbed the headlines, it’s all over the news but still no-one is asking the question.

What the HELL do they coat the outside of bagels with? It manages to reach super-thermal temperatures after only a few minutes toasting, making the extraction of said bagel, from said toast, bloody painful.

All at once

Funny how it happens, call it coincidence, call it fate, call it pain in the arse timing, but why ohh why ohh WHY do these things happen?!

I’ve been invited to a birthday party, and I’d really like to go. Unfortunately it’s in London and, on the day in question, I’ll be in Spain. I’m a bit miffed about this, but such is life. There will be other birthday parties I know.

In other news my mate Stuart and I spent HOURS demolishing part of a ceiling our our mate Ian’s house (he’s just out of hospital and not up to doing the work himself ya see). Hours we were at it, and to pay us back Ian made a fabulous steak pie. Delish, and rounded off with some Peckham’s cheesecake.

We also drank a lot of red wine, talked about old times, new times, and daft things. Tried not to laugh too much when Stuart said… ohh no, I said I wouldn’t mention that 😉

So, we were slightly fuzzy headed this morning as we sat in Ian’s living room, supping coffee and watching the neighbourhood sparrowhawk have it’s blackbird breakfast. Lovely.

I had planned on getting up early and heading home for my morning jog session but, well I couldn’t be arsed. We’re approaching the last week of the ten week block and it’s only the second time I’ve missed it so it’s not too bad, especially as I went out this afternoon and ran for longer than I would’ve anyway.. AND it was hilly, and hot. Still enjoying it though and have a 5K in my sights soon.

So, after the ceiling destruction yesterday, today we planned the shuffling of the ‘office’ (the spare bedroom, or ‘wee’ room in most houses) to accomodate Louise’s sideline. Basically it means clearing out a load of junk (I’m about part way through and can’t be arsed finishing it right now), buying a new desk for the computer, and shuffling some furniture around. We think it’ll work.

At least we think the desk arrangement will work, whether we can work in the same room, at the same time, remains to seen…

How the hell was your weekend?