Random acts of violets

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I absolutely love the original video, there's something so uplifting about synchronised dance, especially when it looks like it took a long time to get to the point where they could film it in one take.

Now to add to the brilliance of that video, some people called Team Ayayo has re-created it with stop-motion lego. Come on.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's the end of the world. Oh no, it's not.

Good grief, I can't believe this story is back again:
European Union ban on lightbulbs leads to a dim future. It is truly a slow news day.

Back in January the Daily Mail got into a frothing orgasm of ineffectual outrage about the entire world being forced to bump into objects and ruin their eyesight by using lightbulbs so hideous and bad they were hardly deserving of the name. Despite that fact that the summer before, the Daily Mail had run a promotion on the said same bulbs.

The web article was full of comments from people who seem to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about lightbulbs. One comment even stated that a 100W bulb was THE ONLY LUXURY that they afforded themselves. Oh do fuck off.

Now the Telegraph is following very much the same line, 90% of the article bemoaning that the new bulbs are total shit, before including a very small line from someone who has actually used the lightbulbs in the last 30 years saying, actually they're fine, what's the fuss about, you can still see by them, innit.

Anyway, at least reading such an idiotic, knee-jerk 'article' has done more to raise my blood-pressure than an entire pot of very strong coffee; not sure if that's a good thing or not.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bulls eye

Well, not quite.

After what has felt like months, I have finally managed to qualify on the 60 yards target at the archery field - scoring over 100 points on 24 arrows.

I think I've finally twigged that I'm pulling the string back to slightly the wrong point so I'm trying to target through the string and that's pulling all my shots off to the right.

Anyhoo. What this now means is that I have the codes to the locks and can go down to the field whenever I want to loose a few shafts. Or have a go at archery. Whatever.

One of the proper archers commented that he thought I was doing well to score on the 60 using beginners equipment as it's not fine-tuned enough, which was a nice ego boost having felt so useless for so many weeks.

Getting very tempted to spend more money than I've got on proper kit now!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Testing, now waiting

Saturday saw me bright and early in Truro at the opticians.
My prescription hasn't changed at all and in fact they seemed a bit bewildered as to why I was coming in for an eye test at all. I think it was something to do with not having had an eye test for over three years, and also receiving weekly letters from them for the last three months warning that my eyes will fall out if I don't book an IMMEDIATE appointment.


At the end of the appointment, I had to do a special test with a big scary machine in another room. You stare at a light and every time you see a little light flash somewhere in your peripherary vision, you have to hit a button, or as I liked to think, a trigger.

They made out that it was to test the nerves in my eye, but I like to think they were really testing my nerves of steel and my cat-like reflexes.

Apparently I did 'very well', so any day now I am expecting to be invited to become The Last Starfighter and to jet off into space to save various civilisations from evil marauders and such.

Any day now.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Old times

I spent some time last night sorting through old boxes of stuff from my uni days, getting rid of some things that I no longer have any idea why I kept in the first place, but also taking some time to look back through old photos and old letters.

It struck me as amazing how much things have changed in just such a short space of time. I started at Exeter 15 years ago this autumn, and the prevalence of tech now compared to then... blimey!

In halls in the first year, I was the only person on a floor of 16 people that had a computer, and then only because I was studying computer science.

No-one had a mobile phone, so there were always queues for the phones - one in each stair well.

Everyone had phonecards stuck in their noticeboards.

Everyone wrote letters to communicate with friends around the country.

With no digital cameras, after any parties there would be lists stuck on the wall for anyone wanting to get copies of photos taken, and then re-prints would be bought from the camera shop in town.

After uni when people started working, they often still had email but it may well be one email address shared between an entire office - accessed on the one computer that was linked to the internet.

And if you tell that to the kids of today ...

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Observer lifestyle section can kiss my arse

Well, I've had quite a couple of days.

Yesterday I took the day off from my newly formed new-media company with a silly name, to attend the local county agricultural show where I spent the day examining various livestocks, before chatting with various exhibitors that I know, buying over-priced bits of handmade pottery, artisan cheese and locally grown asparagus whilst also spotting local mini-celebrities in the flower tent (thank you Mr Seth Lakeman (very, very small)) and supping on locally-brewed fine ales.

I then went on to the terribly chic village of Padstow to eat Fish and Chips (well, at the very least half a portion of fish and chips, before being mugged by a bastard seagull).

This evening I have feasted (well, I had a couple of slices, but you have to get into the "mode") on said artisanal cheese, before lightly boiling said local asparagus and knocking up a quick hollandaise sauce with butter and some free range eggs, collected the day before from the small holding of one of my clients.

Nigel Slater can't hold a torch to me, he really can't.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pretty things, let me show you them

A new post in my occasional series of pretty pieces of mac tec.

I really would like to get a mac laptop to replace my windows one but I just can't bring myself to spend two-to-three times as much to get the kind of spec that I want.

That said, I am always happy when I can get to use bits of Apple kit so my latest arrangement of my working environment is a winner.

I've used a laptop exclusively for the last 5 years or so, but it has always resulted in me getting a sore back. This is a combination of being tall, having bad posture, a very large stomach and a low laptop - it just doesn't work properly on the desk.

I have had the laptop up on a very advanced and sophisticated stand for a little while (i.e. two reams of A4 paper) which helped but I was still typing away on the laptop itself, which makes my arms ache.

God this is exciting, isn't it!

So finally I have moved my laptop up onto a shelf above the desk, which is great, and have bought an Apple keyboard to type on. One of the thin, heavy, metal ones.
And it's bloody lovely.

As you were.

My twopenneth on the expenses fiasco

I think, on the whole, that I probably agree with Stephen Fry on this.
Yes it's obviously wrong that the MPs have generally been working the system for so long and taking the piss somewhat to top up already quite significant salaries, but there are surely more important things that they should be doing. Like governing and all that.

I think my feeling on this is made more so by getting so annoyed with the continual press coverage/feeding frenzy/outrage orgy and then automatically wanting to go the other way on it.

It's not really news to report that "people don't like it" or "people think it is wrong". Well of course. If asked, people would probably express a preference not to be punched repeatedly in the face.

But I think the worst bit of it all is the over-the-top indignation from the press and the quite amazing level of insinuation they get out of every article.

A prime example is this line (I think from the Indepedent) which strikes me as an incredibly loaded way of saying nothing at all:

Mr Watson, a close ally of Gordon Brown who was forced to deny involvement in the recent Damian McBride email scandal,...

Well, what does that mean? Surely it means that he had nothing to do with it.
Should I get asked tomorrow, I would also be forced to deny involvement.

Very odd.


On an unrelated geek-moment, in order to stress the "I" in that above bit, I've just wrapped the I in i tags. Not quite sure why that tickles me, but still.