Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Big Brother 

I once watched one of those nightly episodes.
It ended with a row in the main room, a cacophony of noise. The noise eventually dies down and in turn everyone makes a measured closing argument, succinctly summing up their point of view, yet hinting towards empathy with those they'd been arguing most vociferously against.

It was then I was made aware of someone whistling 'ten green bottles' in the back of the soundtrack, and I wondered if this hadn't been there throughout the episode.

The talking stopped and the camera showed every one's face in turn. All were seemingly deep in contemplation, trying to make pull some meaning from the tune, as was I.

The song obviously eluded to the format of the show and their own place within it, I wondered if this was what troubled them. But there was more, the whistling tinged with a deeper sadness, the falling bottles was the inevitable death of everyone they knew and all they loved, their own mortality falling with the last green bottle.

The whistling slows for the final bars.. then silence, a perfectly timed pause in which I think I can hear God sigh, before the familiar techno beat of the theme tune fades in.

Poor fuckers, I thought.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007


I now have a soundcard and a microphone. I started recording myself playing and humming and la-la-la-ing.

Unfortunately I seem to simultaneously have every pop song ever written in my head.

My natural approach to this problem is to force originality, I expected to start with a serial composition with a varying time signature following the digits of pi. But then I thought about what I would like to listen to, and it all had some element of simplicity and repetition. I guess familiarity isn't too bad either, so I shouldn't worry.

When I play my gig. Will be mostly me with a guitar and a laptop. I think tempo and dynamics on the macro level is critical, but it's hard for me to think about now. Per song it's easier to imagine. Crescendo is an old trick in the book. I imagine one song taking this form... at the apex I would expect to be in some sort of controlled fit. I would like to smash up an MacBook live on stage. As the noise fades, I would like the crowd to start hurling vulgar insults at me, again in crescendo of both volume and obscurity.

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Online Social Networking 

I can't face Facebook or MySpace

I'm a computer programmer, so I wrote my own social network site.

It's called "iPersona"

I don't have any friends in my network, in fact I'm the only person on the whole site. I expect this will always be the case. Once, I created another account for an imaginary character I was going to invent. I invited them to be my friend, but they just ignored me, or maybe the notification system wasn't working properly and they never got the invite. If they agreed to be my friend I was going to visit their page and say "Thanks for the add".

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 

I came here for two weeks and ended up staying for eight.

I resented the idea of staying for so long. Even though it has been mostly 30C and sunny.

I made a presentation in our user conference in Las Vegas.
It wasn't great, but was something new and challenging and I sort of fell into the auto-pilot mode I always suspected I had, but hadn't tested before.

Last Friday we had a pre-thanksgiving in the office. Most people brought in a dish to share for lunch. I walked into work at 8am it smelt like Christmas morning. On the desk next to me was a mobile oven. All morning the guy next to me switched between typing on his computer and opening the lid and basting the turkey.

That weekend I:
Went for a five mile run
Saw a rattlesnake (nearly ran over it)
Went mountain biking
Danced with beautiful women
Attended a birthday party for a six year old
Raced same six year old on a scooter
Attended a house warming party
Watched some of Mary Poppins in French
Bought a beach towel
Lay on the beach and read a book
Watched the sun set (at 5pm)
Went to two rooftop bars (one on the 22nd floor)
Discussed poetry, classical music and the meaning of freedom in the modern world (while sober)
Watched, on TV, the Charges (San Diego NFL team) implement yet another comeback from behind.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

one week to go 

It has now been 5 months since I put on a pair of cheap trainers and swimming shorts and attempted to jog from Albany Road to Roath Park, stopping and gasping for breath before walking back to the house.

Now I struggle to imagine what it feels like to struggle for breath, although I know all too well what it feels like to be sore and tired.

Thinking back over my training I remember running the routes past the Vardre rugby ground and over the Town Moor in Newcastle a million times. In addition to Cardiff, Swansea and Newcastle; I can rightfully claim to have trained in Auckland, Wellington, Amsterdam, Oslo and Helsinki.

The fitness has bought with it a small shift in personality. People have commented that I'm more tolerant, but I worry that though my thoughts are cleaner, they are far less interesting. I don't seem to have so many naff ideas.

One week to go until the Great North Run. I've got my welsh running vest, and will get some iron on letters so I can display my name. I've done my 'long' run a week ago (10.5 miles) a bit short of what was intended, but I fell out of the training plan over the last two months. I think, if I'd been able to stick to it I would have tried for a time under 2 hours, but with things as they stand I will just take it easy and make sure I get around.

Other than a couple of short runs this week there's nothing else to do, although I should probably think up what to say if I'm interviewed by the TV cameras during the run. Could claim that I didn't know it was an organised race, I just started running because I heard that ...(some comment on our society e.g. "I heard that someone from Big Brother was opening a new IKEA store")?; or that I'm running on behalf of the Sack Lyn Jones campaign.

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Friday, June 02, 2006


Have the mortgage deed to sign.

Solicitor asking for 600 pounds (+VAT) in legal fees (vs. the 300 they quoted) because of all the fuss. Most of the fuss was actually caused by them! (to be fair they have written off 200 quid as the original fees were 800 pounds!)
If only I could go back in time and sign up with a Newcastle based solicitor.

Letter from Solicitor listed the outstanding money I needed to pay before the transaction could complete (outstanding payment on house, stamp duty, Land Registry fee). No matter how I added things up I couldn't work out how they came to this figure. Phoned Solicitor (busy they will phone me back), phoned back, figure was incorrect as a result of incorrect calculation on their part.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

house #10 


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Monday, May 22, 2006

house #9 


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Sunday, May 21, 2006

house #8 


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Saturday, May 20, 2006

house #7 


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