New Zealand taxes farting

NZ flatulence tax outrages farmers but amuses me no end.


Before the thunder and rain today was lovely

Building update:

Working from home today has not been the pleasurable experience it normally is, mainly due to the pneumatic jack hammer the builders have been using to strip the render off the side of the house. I still have a headache.

Full scaffolding up the side of the house to remove the render that was on the side. Note lovely arches over window and door.

the decorative brickwork exposed when the render has been removed

Conservatory base and wall complete, we just need the blokes making the conservatory to come and put up the glass panels now.

more Nick-rophilia

The Guardian kindly saves anyone thinking of buying the over fussy, non informative biography the hassle, quoting widely from existing interviews in The inner life of Nick Drake, before getting to the interesting bits about Robert Kirby's string arrangements being recorded and the obligatory new song to coincide with yet another release.

I love the music, but pieces like this, the biography and the utter crap spouted on the various forums really are quite stomach churning.


Desmond taunts Telegraph in 'Nazi' tirade

The day that the Express officially backs the tories this: Desmond taunts Telegraph in 'Nazi' tirade. It's all about comic timing isn't it?

Windows messenger custom icons

A day working from home on a saba system has meant more than usual amount of time on messenger - actually doing work. It has also called for some custom icons - feel free to nick these or suggest others. So in order of usefulness

tea?, ibm tea? and rbs tea?

rage, project induced rage and puke

pants, knickers

And at Andy's request:

zippy, george and bungle

Lowgold: we the winter here longing sometime

OK, so I'm biased, but thanks to my GoogleAlert I found this US review of Lowgold's Welcome to Winners, which gives a US release date as last month - 23rd March, which can only be a good thing. No reviews on Amazon US, but the ones on Amazon UK and Amazon Germany - brilliantly straight faced translation via Google here make for good noises above an increasingly optimistic and ebullient guitar music scene.


Saint Blaise, patron saint of coughs

The other weekend the wife and I were visiting friends in Alnwick, and visited Holy island. My wife then recounted how one of the Saints of theCatholic Church had been killed using wool combs. When we got home we looked him up - St Blaise

Starship's "We Built this City" is 'worst song ever'

According to the BBC, blender magazine has decreed Starship's turgid Pop-Rock is the worst song ever. another article clearly has Starship at number five in worst artists of all time. See Blogging in an NC stylee for the full top 10.

Besides everyone knows that "Get by with a little help from my friends" by Joe Cocker and friends is the worst recorded song ever, a fact so indisputable I was surprised it didn't feature in this music trivia.

General stuff

OK, so this is week 5 of the supposed 16 week build. Today I'm working from home and I find myself in an uncomfortable position - having builders in and around your home is awkward. On one hand you're paying big money for them to do work for you, but at the same time I can't help but want to offer tea and biscuits. Very English I know.

A man walks into a music shop and asks "Can I have one of those things that holds a harmonica up to your mouth when you're playing guitar?"

The assistant says "You mean a harmonica holder?"

The man replies "No, that's not it, I want something else, thankyou" and leaves the shop

He then goes to another music shop and says "I'd like a harmonica holder please"

More pics
ziggurat no more - a door!

decorative brick arch

the toaster is not photoshopped, note work shirts in all photos

render be gone

what is that chip chip chipping away at the side of my house?


Guild M20 Plans

Whoever ran the search for M20 guitar plans - I have a set of plans I've drawn from my own M20 that I can make available if you want.

Because life's too short to work (whilst waiting for the DBAs) - czech KILL BILL game


hrat = play
posli hru = send highscore (thanks Max)
stahnout hru = download exe


Scaffold up and a whole shedbase

So today the scaffold went up around the utility room/extra bedroom. A few photos for those more practically minded amongst my family.

Utility room ziggurat

Builder's limbo

Breezeblock henge

not a workshop in the making

go on then, bash their little heads in


Four years after leaving teaching...

and I still can't help seeing things like Howtoons and going - Wow, that would make a great end of term activity.


Pavement+JayZ=$$$ missing royal teas, natch

malkmus mash-up, still prefer the kleptones though...


more guitar demos

now available in the Guitar demos section - the files are numbered in a cut out and keep stylee. I go to work listening to this on the way to the tube station. If someone could tell me how to make it louder using cooledit I'd appreciate it.

Again it's just me, the Guild M20 and my iRiver Mp3 player/recorder. My new guitar doesn't sound as good in my preferred tuning - DGDDAE, so I'm relearning standard tuning.

week 3 - bricks and walls

My house is L shaped, and we're making it square: photo1, photo2 and photo3

The kitchen is also going to double in size by having a conservatory added, and by the end of the day


nevermind the top ten, what about the second hundred?

Another list, another planet

Yes I own probably a little under half of this (far more entertaining) selection of records chosen by discarding the top one hundred and going for 101-200.

A bit like 'Don't employ unlucky people, throw away the top 50% of CVs in the pile'


Recording Industry World Sales 2003

I've read through this piece of headline news (for the BBC): Recording Industry World Sales 2003 and would like to tease out the following:

'Of the world’s top ten markets, only two saw growth – Australia was up 5.9% in value with the UK up marginally by 0.1%.'


'In the UK, overall sales were virtually flat with 0.1% growth in 2003. There was continuing market strength in CD albums, bolstered by a strong release schedule, bonus packages and a vibrant retail environment. CD album growth was however offset by intense downward price pressure and fall in singles sales of 31% in units.'

So the figures would appear to represent total record sales, including singles, that the music companies make very little money on anyway.

I think the news story could be read as: Is This the End of Europop?

Simulations - when do you want them?

If you're even vaguely interested, I recommend grabbing the RSS feed from eLearn, which is where I came across this timely piece: Desperately Seeking Software Simulations.

Simulations make great learning interactions as long as they represent very short, attention span defined, processes. Users do not want to go through unnecessary steps just to access the bit they want, they're pretty peeved at having to forward-wind steps when they're not even expected to have to do anything!

Paranoid Android played by UMASS marching band

Courtesy of Pitchfork, comes this blinding version of Radiohead's meisterwerk, jokingly described as 'About the rise and fall of the Roman Empire", but in just truth two half-songs jammed together.
UMASS Front Percussion Ensemble "Paranoid Android"

Metro not Standard

Despite 'acquiring' a lot of items from the internet on news, Metro is better than the Evening Standard because:

  1. it is free

  2. it is not filled with the bile and contempt of that hateful little rag whose only reason to exist is to give people a reason not to make eye contact on their daily commute home

  3. the metro's letter page is witty as well as provocative, and I particularly liked Monday's likening of smoking in public places to designated urinating areas in public swimming pools. I thought we already had those either at the shallow end, or the small pools for toddlers?


Wilco do the mature thing - set up site for charitable donations from fans who have downloaded album before release

Now this is statesmenship in action. I like Wilco, I have most of their records, and I enjoy their laptop courty-pop, so when I found out that their new album A Ghost is Born was online I downloaded and listened. It's quite good too, although I need a few more listens to qulify that statement. Anyway they've set up Justafan.org for charitable contributions. I've made my donation, I'd have made a donation if it had been going to the band, but feel even better knowing it's going to MSF.

RSS in wwwtools

So you have an online help system with the possibility of XML output, and you think to yourself, how do I alert users of the most recent updates in the system? Could RSS [Reg req.]be the obvious answer, I'm not alone in thinking so.


not such a good day in the woodshed

well I finished making the bender, rethicknessed the mahogany sides (2.1 mm), and followed the steps outlined over at the MIMF, but all I managed to do was put a kink in the wood at the waist. Next step will be to buy a bending iron rather than my exciting blow-torch version or electrickery.

This is why it's taken so long - you spend hours shaving a piece of wood to the right thickness, then break it in a matter of seconds. It is very disheartening, oh well, I'll have another go next weekend.


Yes Thomas, you're right, if I had kids i'd never have the time to be doing this on a Saturday morning. i woke up with the intention of finishing my fox bender (a lightbulb heated former to bend the sides of my guitar now that I've finished bracing the front and back) but somehow got sidetracked into creating a blog for my wife to send me house/garden related things, and from there to Glish, who has this really quite cool Flickr social network thing going on that doesn't require installation and allows 10Mb monthly image transfer and sharing. So I sign up, integrate it with this blog - test below, all ridiculously easy, only to find it's half ten and I'm no closer to beding sides. So i'm off to do that right now.

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.