bookmark_borderOne step forward

Life continues apace and that suits me just fine.

Still making changes (tweaks) to how I live, replaced cheap TV unit with a better, cleaner, solution (before/after), and I’ve been going through ALL of my belongings to declutter as much as I can.

I’m finding some neat parallels along the way too.

My tastes for interior design are typically minimalist (Oriental/Scandinavian inspired) but I also have a soft spot for quirky ornaments. Marrying the two isn’t always easy but I’m finding the balance.

Elsewhere in my life I’m starting to understand more and more about myself, unearthing and discovering little quirks that have been hidden (needfully) beneath a protective veneer. It helps that I have an understanding and amazing woman to listen to me waffle on.

Of course, that’s all against a backdrop of busy weekends with many nights out, and following the trip to London at the start of the month, we’ve still got Manchester (PEARL JAM BABY!!) and Edinburgh (TG BABY!) to go. I’ve recognised that I may need to recover from all the debauchery so I’ve actually got a calendar entry for the weekend at the of June that says DO NOTHING WEEKEND! (admittedly it also says “Buy a suit” but needs must).

Somehow, amidst the chaos, I’m also losing weight. Steadily, healthily, gradually and on Monday morning I creeped past the 100kg mark (99.9kg). My approach is counter to my usual desires (I’m very goal oriented, and want things to happen immediately) but it’s not been a struggle, and I’m not overly conscious of watching every tiny little thing I eat, in fact I had a DELICIOUS slice of backed New York Cheesecake at the weekend… 😀

The title of this post is a little misleading though as, right now, life is moving forward. We’re levelling up, kicking ass and the word OSSUM is being used frequently.



Busy day ahead, so I’ll be brief.

My Office Christmas party was on Saturday night. Drawing up at the main entrance, I was greeted with a red carpet, and gladly accepted a glass of fine champagne. I turned down the partridge and quail

The meal was served in the atrium area of our office (the carpeted section in the photo) and was pretty good. All I really remember was the constant supply of bottles of red wine, put an empty one down, 10 seconds later a full one appeared. It was such a fun game… i think.

Meal finished, it was time for the company awards. I was lucky enough to be nominated for one but didn’t expect to win, and the rest of the awards (6 in total) were all won deservedly. Next up, the raffle. The main prize that everyone was hoping for was a set of “bespoke curtains”. No, wait. That’s not right… ahh yes, the main prize that everyone was hoping for was two return flights to New York. I didn’t win them either, nor the 27″ LCD TV or the bespoke curtains. There were main other prizes but, thankfully, the rest of the draw takes place today (I’m holding out to win the lamb. Yes, seriously. A lamb.)

Then the band started. A few ceilidh numbers at the start before they started pumping out some classic covers. They were fantastic, although there is something odd about being drunk and dancing like a fool in the office. The reception area (you can see it, left of centre in the photo I linked to above), was the bar for the evening, and thankfully no-one fell in the fountain (on the left of the photo, just).

A cracking night.

And it wasn’t finished for me. Jumping in a taxi at 1am, I headed back to the Normandy Hotel were Louise was having her office party night out and which didn’t finish until 2am! I got to meet some of the people she works with, and as I was one of only 3 guys wearing a kilt, got a fair amount of attention. Why are women still surprised that men don’t wear anything under their kilts??

Back to the room at 2.30am and… up at 8.30 after a broken night of fitful sleep. Not sure if it was the bed or unfamiliar noises but I think I managed about 4 hours sleep in total. But that was OK, it wasn’t like we were going shopping or anything.. ohh crap.

I was a complete wreck yesterday (apologies to my parents who had come over for dinner) and ended up in bed at 9.30pm.

What a great weekend. How the hell was yours?

bookmark_borderidea 2007

If you are in New York City in early October, check out the idea2007 conference, which will highlight and discuss designing complex information spaces of all kinds. A limited entry pre-conference event kicks things off on the 3rd of October, and the conference proper is on October 4th and 5th.

Throughout their days, people are engaging with complex information to manage their lives.

And designers now realize that information isn’t simply this stuff you find – the appropriate presentation of information helps people make sense of the world around them.

This conference addresses issues of design for an always-on, always-connected world. Where “cyberspace” is a meaningless term because the online and offline worlds cannot be made distinct. Where physical spaces are so complex that detailed wayfinding is necessary to navigate them. Where work processes have become so involved, and so digitized, that we need new processes to manage those processes.

This conference brings together people who are addressing these challenges head on. Speakers from a variety of backgrounds will discuss designing complex information spaces in the physical and virtual worlds.

Keep an eye on the conference blog for further snippets.

I’m a member of the IAI and a little disappointed that I won’t be there, I’ve also been helping out on the conference website (although it’s a bit cheeky to claim that as my contributions have been few and infrequent).

bookmark_borderThe Office

Caught a glimpse of Martin Freeman on Parky on Saturday night. This was after watching “The Siege” the Denzel Washington, Annette Benning, Bruce Willis terrorist thriller that never got released (it’s all about terrorist attacks in New York, and was filmed pre-9/11) —it’s worth a watch actually, given the extra poignancy of some shots featuring the World Trade Center.

Anyway, back to Parky and Martin Freeman. Naturally, they showed a clip of The Office and I found myself giggling along. Louise and my Mum were less than impressed though and quickly came to the conclusion that you need to work IN an office to find The Office funny. Is this true?

Ohh and I bet Mr. Freeman may, one day, regret his “there is no reason for anyone, once they’ve got a bit of money, to ever do anything that isn’t any good” statement.

bookmark_borderFool to myself

Regular readers will be bored silly of my repeated assertions of just How Busy I Am, and how I’ve been trying To Get More Organised.

So, rather than harp on again, I’ll just preface any posts that may, or may not, appear this week with the disclaimer of I Am Busy.

There, now I can post willy-nilly on all matter of silly subjects, pepper my posts with poor punctuation, and leave my spelling to the mercy of the gods of entymology (not even sure if I spelled that right, don’t care either). The latter point may seem lazy but I’m always assured that someone (he of the recent shave) will be a worser speller than I.

I’d love to blog about the news in more depth, so many fun topics to be had at the moment. Gordon Brown assuring us that it’s OK for the Chancellor to be talking about ID cards in depth, whereas I’d say it’s more a job for the Home Secretary. On the other hand I’d probably have to guess who the Home Secretary was (Clarke?) so maybe it’s more a PR issue than a ‘honing my skills to become PM’ exercise by Mr. Brown. I do follow politics but not the people involved in it. Obviously.

The Winter Games are boring me so not much to cover there, with the exception and expectation of the start of the curling. G’wan yerself Rhona!

Leo Sayer back at the Top of the Pops is also making news, although the only reason he is there is because of a remix of a track of his. Nevertheless I’m sure he’ll claim some credit even if it was probably quicker to use his vocals than have then re-recorded. And no, I’ve not heard it.

Saddam back in court, and he’s beginning to both annoy and raise a few smiles. That is one smart man but I wonder how long this mockery of a trial will continue (forever?).

Snow is the dish of the day in New York, or at least I presume it is as they’ve just received a rather large batch of it. National disaster is soon to be declared, if you believe some reports, yet most of the bloggers in the area are still at the “cool, check out all the snow! [dude]” stage. If ever there was a chance for the largest snowball fight in history, this is it. Everyone in New York, be in Times Square at 6pm. Bring snowballs. The rest of us will watch (although the available views are kinda rubbish).

And finally it was good to have 24 back on our screens last night. As the reviewer in this mornings Metro said, the minute the opening “beep… boop… beep… boop…” credits start, your sense of disbelief rolls its eyes and disappears behind the sofa but it’s still a great show. Ten minutes in and my jaw had hit the floor twice, and already the “who is a baddie?” discussions have begun. Jack’s back, baby. Jack’s back.