September 30, 2004

Hacked Off

Last year, when Hullabaloo wasn't even a twinkle in her eye, Emily was over on location in France, helping a couple of her friends with a film they were making.

Hacked Off, a slasher horror movie, is now finished and will be available to buy on DVD from tomorrow.

I haven't seen it yet, so offer this synopsis in lieu of a review, or just go watch the trailer (smaller version).

Posted by Adrian at 10:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2004

Little House On The Pier Head

I never program my video recorder. Ceefax doesn't give the Videoplus numbers, and I can never be bothered to set it manually. I don't record much anyway - generally things I'd miss otherwise from being out - so I usually start it recording manually before I head out; the time display is good enough for me to find the programme later.

This does result in my recording all sorts of bits of TV I don't intend watching. Occasionally I catch something of interest, as happened last week when I recorded Newsnight Review before a Gram Parsons documentary.

Among the subjects for review was recently opened art festival in Liverpool, Biennial 2004. Lots of contemporary art scattered across the city. I'll have to see if I can get across if I end up in the North-West for Halloween this year.

I'm enjoying exploring the festival through the semi-unofficial Liverpool Biennial Blog 2004.

Posted by Adrian at 02:45 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 28, 2004

Let's Hope He Doesn't Need To Put It Into Action

Much better than the Beeb's Dirty War "mockumentary" and vastly more informative than the discussion afterwards, Tom Reynolds explains the London Ambulance Service's plan for dealing with a major incident.

Posted by Adrian at 10:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 27, 2004

Not As Bad As I'd Feared

After spending most of the day fighting the Windows FTP library to (not yet entirely successfully) get it to do things asynchronously, I decided to take a break and kickstart the winter's exercise regime - the rowing machine was hauled out and I did my first stint on it since March.

With the nights now drawing in, this week will be the last opportunity for an evening game of footie on Parker's Piece, so I'll have an empty "exercise slot" on a Thursday until next April.

With the frenzied rowing of winter 2002/2003 almost interrupting the resumption of the football season; and given I'd upped my winter football to twice a week; I didn't bother with any targets for my rowing last winter, thinking I'd just do the odd session here and there. I only managed just over a dozen rows for the six months.

The plan for this winter is to have a goal, but nothing too onerous. I'll still be playing five-a-side indoor on Mondays, and footie outdoors on Tuesdays, so I just want to keep up the thrice weekly exercise.

The challenge for this winter (September 'til April) is to row on average 5000m per week, and to bring my 5000m row time to below 20 minutes.

That's slightly harder than one 5km row each week, as I'm measuring from the start of September (putting me at least three rows down) and I'll miss at least one Thursday over Christmas. But quite achieveable.

Today's time for 5000m was 20m38.9s; well within the 20m50s target I'd set myself as it turns out, but during the row it wasn't looking quite so obvious, and my stomach and arms were complaining lots by the end! I expect it'll all come back to me fairly quickly, and given my personal best for 5km is 20m00.8s I doubt I'll have much trouble beating 20m dead in the next six months - it'll just be nice to break that barrier.

Posted by Adrian at 07:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 23, 2004

Gee Mail

Recently Neil "I never really got into blogging" Brewitt sent me an invite for a GMail account because he doesn't have a blog to use to give them away (which seems to be the fashion these days). I, on the other hand, do have a blog, and also have six GMail invites to give to the first six people to leave a comment saying they'd like one.

For those of you thinking "what the hell is he on about now?", GMail is Google's version of Hotmail - the big advantage as I can see is that you get a gigabyte of space to store your emails.

Posted by Adrian at 03:45 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 21, 2004

If Turing Had Built Pong

*** PONGMECHANIK *** - a version of the classic video game Pong, but this one uses electric motors and string rather than a TV and telephone exchange relays rather than a computer chip. If only Turing hadn't had to spend time cracking the Enigma code, maybe we'd have had these to play in the late 40s...

Posted by Adrian at 08:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 16, 2004

Family Colours

Earlier in the year I somewhat cryptically announced that I'd been asked to be best man by Neil, one of my oldest friends.

Since then, two other friends who are getting married next year have asked me to usher at their weddings: Ian, and just this week, Malcolm.

Is there a points system for wedding honours? Can I persuade my Mum that once being best man and twice an usher is equivalent to one trip to church as the groom? Thought not.

I'm delighted to have been asked on all counts, and have happily accepted. Malcolm's appointment does present something of a quandary; in his email about it, he said:

"I promise not to make you wear a kilt [...] On the other hand, if
you really want to..."

I must admit, I'm quite tempted. Although I'm descended from two fine Scottish families (both the McEwen and the Hardy* families have their own tartan), and not too removed from Scots blood (my paternal great-grandfather was a Scot), I am an Englishman and so don't feel it right to wear a kilt for formal events. Being an attendant at a Scottish friend's wedding, however, is surely a suitable occasion.

Then there's the whole "what does one wear under one's kilt" issue; my modesty probably contributing most of my reticence. If I did wear a kilt, it would have to be my tartan, probably the modern McEwen rather than the traditional, "shortbread tin" style, and that gave me a loophole from which to escape the decision - my kilt might not match the groom's.

But Malcolm called my bluff:
"My best man [...] is a Scot, and will be wearing a kilt which doesn't match mine, as will my Dad and maybe a couple of friends from home."

And isn't applying any pressure to the decision:
"There is no danger of [the other ushers] deciding to wear kilts. The choice is yours."

Consulting with a friend who is very experienced in her kilt-lifting has somewhat assuaged my sous-kilt fears, so I'm tending towards wearing one. Whaddya reckon?

* My mother's maiden name. There goes my security question...

Posted by Adrian at 05:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 15, 2004

Getting Things Done

43 Folders is an ever expanding collection of tips and tricks to help you be more productive. And it isn't just for geeks, the common thread binding the ideas is a system for organizing your life, called GTD.

GTD stands for Getting Things Done, and 43 Folders includes a handy guide to getting started with GTD.

There are some similarities with how I was already organizing things, but I think I'll be cribbing more ideas as time progresses to hopefully get even more things done.

Posted by Adrian at 06:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Guardian Style Guide

The Chicago Manual Of Style seems to be the most cited reference tome for matters such as whether to capitalize, the difference between "complementary" and "complimentary", and whether it is acceptable to split infinitives.

However, it's a guide to American English and is nearly forty quid, so I was most pleased to discover that the Guardian style guide is freely available online.

Posted by Adrian at 12:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Time Flies...

Time flies when you're having fun. Or when you're decorating and working.

I mean, I'd realised I hadn't blogged for a while; but I didn't think it was long enough for all the content to fall off the front page. Sorry.

So, a few links while I try to think up some exciting and interesting content. Or maybe just while I disappear again to write code; PeerBackup is entering the final push to completion and so should be getting most of my attention...

Posted by Adrian at 11:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack