new camera, so yes i'm going to use it

the back garden is a bombsite

Wired News: Maybe the Music's Just Lousy?

More evidence that downloading does not affect album sales adversely issued in the counter-offensive by academia on the record industry.


Google Personalized Search

Cool - bed now, play later.Google Personalized Search

i succumbed

Yes, although i don't want pictures of me on my blog, i have put some mp3s up in the left hand column. They are part of the demos i've recorded for a vanity project using my mp3 player and my guild m20. The plan is to whip them into Cooledit Pro and add some other instruments like melodica, a bit of electric guitar and maybe some fake strings if I get the module from Andy. The interesting part is the Creative Commons license, which I think is the only way I'll be putting music in the public domain for the forseeable future. Slaggings duly expected.

The nature of monkey was irrepressible!!

When I went to Australia a few years ago Monkey was one of the books I took to read. It was the penguin translation (of course), but I found it a very good read - now the BBC reports Unseen episodes of Monkey found. Time for a re-introduction of blowing across your fingers to summon your cloud in the playground and mad fighting with sticks amongst young children. Tripitaka is a girl right?

downloading fails to halt album sales increases in Australia

According to this piece in smh - Music industry way off track with song and dance about falling sales, sales increases in albums are being shunted from industry headlines to make way for the continuing fall in singles and blame on internet P2P software.

I feel sick

That's it - the builders are in

After over a year of planning regs and drawings, I spent yesterday in the garden getting ready for the builders to arrive.

7.30, insulated mug of tea in hands, they arrived, and all the plans of using the money to go on a 'round the world cruise instead evaporated.


Court threat to UK song swappers issued via instant massaging messaging

Meanwhile, over at the BBC Instant Messaging used to tell people to stop being naughty and sharing files - of course if they had real friends they could just lend the CD to them (assuming they actually bought it in the first place). If only they'd used instant massaging that would really encourage people to stop.


14/40 - what a pathetic drunk I turned out to be

things to do when your drunk, I'm sure I'd have scored higher if I'd stayed on that job in Newcastle...

new guitar

I went to collect my guitar from Alister Atkin yesterday. What a nice bloke. The guitar sounds fantastic and looks amazing. I've been playing it a lot and am typing this with sore fingertips. If I can find somewhere to host some mp3s I may even post a few bits, although I'm not sure that would be too good an advert for the guitar, or me.

He was in the process of building a very small guitar which looked quite interesting as well, but I think his guitars are now out of my price range really - he's aiming to make nothing under a grand, which for a handmade guitar is pretty amazing even at that price.

This one will mean that I have 14 guitars/stringed instruments, plus the one/two I'm building myself, one of which I plan to give to charity. Maybe back to Northolt High school, since the neck is made from their old science workbenches (minus chewing gum).


Button Maker

All that time on my previous template messing around with PSP to make cute buttons (yes I probably love it really), when I could have just used the Button Maker


my poncey new guitar

Over a year ago now I found out that a guy called Alister Atkin made acoustic guitars in a workshop in a farmyard in Womenswold (near Canterbury). He also did so at a price that was more than reasonable for a handmade, bespoke guitar.

So I thought I'd just nip in on the way down to see my parents in Deal. The guitars he had finished were great so I put in an order for a mahogany top OM (Orchestral Model) following my fixation with mahogany guitars (NickDrake being mainly to blame there).

It was finished last week, but I was in the lake district at the weekend so I'm hoping to go and pick it up this weekend. It is the ponciest guitar in my collection, and if it plays as good as it looks I'll be well chuffed.


Weird Fields Contest WINNERS!

Beautiful physics electromagnetic radiation equations in bling.

RAC Route Planner

Not very promising topic I know, but have you seen their Route Planner lately? It is one of the smoothest, whizziest interfaces I've seen. Fast too - thanks Guyweb

Japanese cut out robots

Don't let the language prevent you from admiring these pdf's of robots you can print, cut out and construct, my dad would approve.


"Yoshimi Battles The Hip-Hop Robots"

After all that daft nonsense about the Grey Album the other week (not that my RSS picked up the difference between a grey website and any other colour), a lot of fuss about a not very good album, comes the rather splendid kleptones - "Yoshimi Battles the Hip-Hop Robots". Inifinitely superior in almost every way to the Grey Album musically, it just works, displays a healthy pop sensibility, perhaps a more British outlook. Do yourself a favour - download the whole album.



Scan your image or send a URL and WhatTheFont : MyFonts.com will tell you what font you can't afford to buy yourself is being used. Cool.

new template

As you can see, I've simplified my template. Stripping it back to more or less start again. Comments welcome.


The Manual

Having never got around to borrowing Markie Mark's copy, I found a link via Help Wanted to an indexed online version of The Manual, how to get a number one hit the easy way by the majestic KLF.

"...people equate a number one with fame, endless wealth and easy sex - a myth that they want to believe and one that the popular press want to see continued. along with the soap stars, sporting heroes and selected (however distant) members of the royal family, pop stars belong to a glittering world of showbiz parties, at one end of the scale, to illicit liaisons, at the other, where their lives are dragged up, dressed up, made up and ultimately destroyed."

Not sure of the copyright status of this source, but then, maybe that's the point.


Smiths song 'I Know It's Over' - best for depression*

I try not to blog too many BBC stories, but I have a second hand anecdote for this one - Smiths song 'best for depression'. I read an interview in which David Gedge of 'indie legends' TheWeddingPresent claimed to have been informed that he was dumped by an ex-girlfriend giving him a copy of The Queen is Dead with all but 'I know it's over' scratched out with a biro.

I really know my mediocre indie.

*probably refers to the Queen is Dead version rather than Rank, which we all try to forget came in a rather too rich poo shade of brown cassette box/tape.

the only ipod i can afford

I saw this story yesterday on wired (linked from picture), it took almost a whole day to make it to slashdot. Now I just need to be able to afford the pocket PC to put the software on.

Unlikely, since like all UK salarymen, I'm having builders come and add an extra wing on to the family mansion. End of the month they reckon, I'll let you know if they're any good - it could be the most practical piece of advice I'll ever give on this blog.

Plagiarism Self-Test

Part of me doesn't want to credit where or how I came across this
Plagiarism Self-Test Page, but I think I've just done wrong by renaming the link! that e-learning space blog filed under geek on the left there led me to plagarism resource site and finally to the test. Happy now?

laser etching labels on DVD and CDs using DVD writer's own laser

An elegant solution to labelling CDs and DVDs - use the laser that writes the data to etch the other side of the disc. No ink, paper, adhesive or additional layering required.

With a quoted $10 differential in hardware and $0.1 put me down for one when they come out...PCWorld.com - Simplified DVD Labeling

Google changes look and feel, bookmarklet lets you see the (quite subtle) changes, still not HTML compliant though


radio vox populi

Synthesized speech in a 'fitter happier' vein available from radio vox populi: live from the net which samples blogs and reads excerpts intercut with radio dial noises.

It's quite unnerving to hear quite personal entries read by voices that can be the wrong sex, intercut with the quizilla junk staple of many blogs out there - "You are the color purple..."

Queen names new official composer

Queen names new official composer to be Peter Maxwell Davies. I saw the world premier in 2001 of PMD's Antarctic Symphony. My friend Chris and I were sat behind the percussion. To be honest, the music left me cold.

Magnatune: try before you buy MP3 music.

Interesting music distribution idea courtesy of Magnatune, who are trying to apply a shareware-like model to digital music, and sharing the profit directly with the artist. [cliche]It's like free-trade coffee for musicians.[/cliche]

I would seriously be interested in starting something like this up with someone.

I particularly like the various license options, which are infinitely more transparent than the UK's PRS system, and of far greater use to the multi-media developer.

Wonder if they've got room on their books for Nick Drake inspired folk guitar instrumentals?....


Chernobyl by day

This article has been all around the web over the last couple of days. I think it may be one of the most affecting things I've seen online - Chernobyl photojournal or the same here.

-----fixed link due to overwhelming hits to original angelfire site------


Animals on the Underground

a random blogging brits visit (over ther in the right hand column) linked me to assistant blog and from there to Animals on the Underground, such lovely designs of animals created from the tube maps, seemingly restrictive topology. Nice website too.


ASCII Art Made Easy!

via chaos theory, which I enjoyed reading very much, a handy utility to convert gifs into ascii art GIF2TXT has lots of geeky options, allowing you to view your loved ones in binary. No double-byte character options though for true Matrix style translation.


Radiohead Rorschach - Thom Yorke's mental anguish channelled by 9 year olds

via the morning news I came to read and view the artwork created by 9 year old kids in response to being played radiohead. the worrying thing is that their pictures look very much like radiohead artwork (especially around OK computer with the half rubbed out stickmen shaking hands), and I thought Thom Yorke went to art school?
Fifth graders grade radiohead and find it wanting.

Tokyo Times: In the navy!

Oh yes, it took quite some time to download, but as Lee says it is well worth it, a recruitment advert for the Japanese navy in a Village people stylee for Seaman Ship Tokyo Times: In the navy! a small piece TV joy not soiled by Chris Tarrant yet.


today, i will mostly be eating

NIGELLA.COM - Recipes / Banana Bread, found this when requested for recipe by Mike, what a very polite website messageboard.

Update: I made this again yesterday (7th March) in an effort to calm myself down (work induced angst). So with Nick Drake playing on the radio (via mp3 player) I made the banana bread, and as per book recommendation, replaced 25g of flour with 25g of cocoa powder and chucked in 100g of bashed up plain chocolate. The result was possibly too luxurious and the smell alone made me weak at the knees, it tastes good too. Although it's less easy to convince myself that it's a healthy option...

Virus warning: NetSky.D

Due to my own stupidity I got NetskyD on my machine yesterday - before warnings were issued. If I received it as an email it must be spreading quickly (as an aside I got it from a DC consultant I had not seen in ages).

The attachment is a pif file and slows connection considerably - just delete the damn thing. If you want to check/rid yourself of this troublesome virus check the F-Secure Computer Virus Information Pages: NetSky.D

But frankly, blokes get the same giddy rush from buying CDs and DVDs that most women get from shoes. It's a spiritual thing.

How '50-quid man' remade the music charts, i enjoyed the marketing spin on a demographic describing record company executives/media middle management, but look at the charts, if fifty quid man was responsible for any placings they are very far and few between, all I see is a chart dominated by supermarket available CDs (Katie Melua, Snorah jones), queasy listening (Bedders, Duran), shagging music (OK so you can make your own choice here).

And since when have DVDs been an investment? Not even I could kid myself of that.


Know your godzilla monsters

When i was at school, and channel four was still showing films with little red triangles to notify teenage boys that they might see something naughty, they also showed a whole series of Godzilla/monster/bad SF films. Whilst there's no Santa Clause conquers the Martians in this quiz, it does ask the pressing question of the day - Do you know your Godzilla Monsters?