Thursday 1 February 2001
Blogger is not well, and
Blogger is not well, and I, for one, am worried. Blogger provides an excellent service – ok, it has its ups and downs, but overall, it’s pretty good. But I’m worried that if the service appears weak, people will switch to alternatives like Greymatter, or even Atomz Publish, and then the commercial future of Blogger will be *really* weak. I’m surprised that Ev didn’t see this coming – as a marketer, I hold to the basic tenet that if you have a good idea, some bugger will come along and do it better. The trick is to do it better yourself before they have a chance. In the case of Blogger, the “do it better” trick is to do it *and* make money.
But then, if even the big players on the web can’t make money, what hope is there?
Went out last night for
Went out last night for a beer and met up with Paul F. Put the world to rights, and actually (hold your breath) cheered up! Well, a little bit anyway.
Friday 2 February 2001
hmm. It seems that Grayblog
hmm. It seems that Grayblog has been nominated for an award in the Anti-Bloggies, presumably in the “most depressing weblog” category. And I probably could have walked it if I hadn’t consigned all the really depressing stuff to a dusty corner of the web where you can’t see it. Well, if the judges really want to see it, and if there is a real chance that I might win a prize, they had best ask me….although isn’t this just by popular vote? in which case, no tearful acceptance speeches for me.
Just got a spam mail
Just got a spam mail (“LOWEST RATE LOANS EVER!!!!”) which features the following as the email signature:
“Let us continue to suppose that any exponential Folklife coefficient requires considerable systems analysis and trade-off studies to arrive at the greater fight-worthiness concept. Presumably, any associated supporting element delimits the sophisticated hardware. Of course, the product assurance architecture recognizes the importance of other disciplines, while taking into account the overall negative profitability. In respect to specific goals, the earlier discussion of deviance appears to correlate rather closely with problems of phonemic and morphological analysis. From the intercultural viewpoint, most of the methodological work in modern linguistics is holistically compounded, in the context of the requirement that branching is not tolerated within the dominance scope of a complex symbol. Based on my own fieldwork in Guatemala, a large proportion of intercultural communicative coordination adds explicit performance limits to nondistinctness in the sense of distinctive feature theory.”
hmm. Educated spammers?
Last night I went for
Last night I went for a few beers after college with my tutor – not being sucky, you realise, but just having a few jars and putting the world to rights. Conversation revolved around relationships (what else?), college, getting older and music. All very interesting, I must say.
Tonight’s plan – ah, yes, more beer. Splendid.
Really depressed today, so if
Really depressed today, so if anyone has any ideas for cheering me up, go right ahead.
I was beginning to lighten
I was beginning to lighten up, then I heard something which has completely thrown my plans for this evening upside-down and made me feel very very miserable indeed, to the extent of crying. If this was the old Grayblog, I’d tell you all about it, but I’m determined not to get back to that.
Thanks for the cheering-up tips – favourite so far is this. Pity that the cheering up has now been utterly negated.
I must be more cheerful,
I must be more cheerful, I must be more cheerful, I can beat this, I can get through it.
Robyn has been picking me
Robyn has been picking me up on my incorrect usage of its and it’s. And normally it is me that moans about that. Go here for a definitive set of guidelines on the correct usages.
I think I’ve corrected all the errors, but if you spot any more, let me know. Keeps me busy at least.
re-design news: I know you
re-design news: I know you are all awaiting the new-look Grayblog/Grayblogzuki with baited breath. Well, I can now report that I have decided on a design style – all I have to do is implement it. This process is likely to take longer than I’d hoped as I’ve got quite a bit on my plate at work, but do watch this space. For those that hadn’t realised, you are currently looking at a stop-gap design which will kick around until the new one appears – yes I know it is only a minor variation on the old Grayblog, but I’m short of time and enthusiasm and energy at the moment – and not just because of work (I think you know that).
Monday 5 February 2001
what a weekend! I think
what a weekend! I think I have undone a month’s worth of dieting in just 72 hours. blurph.
there will be a full update here soon, but I’m a bit busy today. just as well, as being busy stops me thinking, and I’m not especially positive today.
ok, weekend report: Friday went
ok, weekend report:
went out (with some apprehension which was, ultimately, not justified) to the bar and then on to the Nag’s to see Paul F and the band play. Bumped into Jo and there was also the usual crowd there, which was nice. All, as usual, did their level best to keep me cheerful, and overall were pretty successful.
stirred really quite early and caught train to London. met up with my cousin Gemma at Victoria and went for coffee in Covent Garden, a mooch around the National Gallery, lunch in Soho, shopping on Regents Street, drinks in Soho, dinner in Blackheath (where Gemma lives), drinks in Blackheath and then crashed at hers. I say “crashed”, as we started drinking at 4ish and by the time we got there we were pretty trollied.
stirred quite late (although it was still morning, so I guess that isn’t bad following our exploits the previous day) and zombied our way into town. Went to the British Museum and zombied our way through some of the rooms after having lunch in the new Great Court (which is very impressive). Then we zombied into the restaurant and zombied some tea, followed by zombie-ing round a few more rooms. Got to around 5pm and gave up, both feeling utterly knackered and also worried about getting home easily with impending tube strike.
Thanks Gemma – great weekend. Cheered me up quite a bit, although there was a moment or two when I really wished that a certain someone was there too, even if that certain someone would have *hated* the “old stuff”. The worst moment was at Victoria, waiting for my train back home – god, Victoria can be *so* depressing.
Anyway, got back home and then headed down to W2 for a private party to which I had been sort-of invited. It was good – a few friends, a few beers (livvvveeeerrr!) and a spot of relaxation before crashing into bed around 12.
whilst staying at Gemma’s, I
whilst staying at Gemma’s, I had a very bizarre dream….it went something like this:
I was in the metalwork workshop at my old secondary school. I wasn’t actually there – no corporeal presence – but I could see and hear everything. It had been converted into a science lab. It was a beautiful day – I could see the perfect blue sky through the skylight. The room was populated by a tutor and several students. I became aware of a helicopter in the sky. The thing that struck me most about the helicopter was that it was white – pure, perfect, pristine, brilliant, unblemished white.
The helicopter flew down, and was attempting to land on the roof of the building. But it wasn’t going well, and one of the skids smashed through the skylight, sending glass everywhere. Everyone just stood transfixed – no screaming, no panic. The helicopter toppled over the edge of the roof, the rotor still turning, burning aviation fuel pouring everywhere, billowing black smoke, grey steam and bright orange flame. And yet the helicopter remained perfectly, beautifully, utterly, brilliantly…white and I was transfixed.
Now what the heck does that all mean? Interpretations welcome.
Tuesday 6 February 2001
Darn. Didn’t win an Anti-Bloggie.
Atomz (who provide the natty
Atomz (who provide the natty little search feature in the navbar of this site) record for me what people search for. Most of it is fairly innocuous, but last week someone did a search for the word “twatface”. This is not a word I generally use. I may refer to certain people as “a complete twat” or even “twonk”, but “twatface” isn’t something I’d say.
At least if they search again they will get a result now.
It comes to something when
It comes to something when you feel that you need body armour to tackle a journey to work. like Meg probably feels at the moment. And it’s not an exclusively London-in-a-tube-strike type thing either. I read this story the other day – I mean, the guy was doing his job, and for that he got stabbed with a Stanley knife. He was on the train that passes me as I wait at Barnham station for my train home. I’ve seen it happen before, and even been caught up in it once or twice (although it’s always been verbal abuse when I’ve seen it). Scary to think that people reckon they can get out of paying for a train ticket by stabbing the guard.
ok, I’m starting to get
ok, I’m starting to get really melancholy now. I’ve been reminded that there are several important birthdays imminent that I will be expected to attend and so will certain other people that it really hurts to see together. I don’t want to miss the birthdays because the people concerned are very important, and I know that the “certain other people” will feel that way too, but at the same time, I’m still coming to terms with what they did to me. It’s really hard to face them, but face them I must when it comes to these birthdays, and face them without spoiling things for the birthday person.
Inner strength. hmm.
source of sexual discourse??? (for
source of sexual discourse??? (for the benefit of newbies, ILATGB is a synonym for Grayblogzuki).
all I can say is
all I can say is “ack”. blogging after going to the pub is never a good plan, particularly if you are feeling as melancholy as me.
anyway, went to see “the band” (Could Be Good) play the Fountain, and they were their usual selves, which is nice. Bumped into Kearn and Ian and also extracted a beer from Paul, so a worthwhile night out.
now listening to Mr John Peel before heading to bed for sleep – actually slept very very solidly last night for the first time in four weeks and I feel that I might do the same again tonight – I think my body has just had enough of all this and really can’t cope any more.
Wednesday 7 February 2001
interesting to read Ev’s blow-by-blow
interesting to read Ev’s blow-by-blow account of his fight to keep Blogger alive and kicking. It’s as if the poor guy is clinging onto the wall of the abyss by just his fingernails, and (as I’m re-reading it at the moment) reminds me of Douglas Coupland’s Microserfs and their battle with “Oop!”.
Actually, I can’t help but think that Microserfs may actually be part of the inspiration for the whole weblog culture anyway.
TPL update: 39 points this
TPL update: 39 points this week. Total now: 646. Scholes and Butt out, Bowyer and Keane in. Only six more transfers to last the remaining 15 weeks of the season.
Today is Singles Day, and
Today is Singles Day, and like many other people, I’ll be celebrating this and not Hell-for-Singles Day that is a week today. Funny that Hallmark haven’t cottoned on to this one yet.
Anyhow, as usual, I’m looking for suggestions for appropriate ways to celebrate.
just added another to the
ok, this whole Singles Day/Valentines
ok, this whole Singles Day/Valentines Day is starting to throw up some interesting stuff:
Paul does a survey of ukbloggers to find out the ratio of single to attached. I’ve voted “single” although of course when I started out, I was “attached”.
Meanwhile, Meg with help from Dave creates bile-filled Valentines Cards. Great.
when I came past Chichester
when I came past Chichester Magistrates Court this morning, on my way to work, a crowd of about 50 or so reporters and photographers were there, with a handful of policemen. By 10am, when the man accused of murdering Sarah Payne was brought to court, rent-a-mob was there in force.
There is no dignity in what they and the countless fools who left flowers by the side of the A29 last year (where 8 year old Sarah’s body was found) have done, and it certainly adds no value to the life that was lost. Instead we should be working to create a society where everyone has respect for the rights of every other person, be they male, female, gay, straight, black, white, young or old. That is not achieved through ridiculous token gestures, or worse, a descent into barbarism.
Nico has pointed out a
Nico has pointed out a problem with my code. Hopefully all is well now. Thanks.
UPDATE: oops – bad link to Nico now fixed. Sorry. Also, I’ve only fixed the bug on the Blogger-maintained pages, so the about page, my CV and meetlinks are all unrepaired – will fix them in the morning.
tonight, a soft and gentle
tonight, a soft and gentle rain is falling on Chichester. It is more like June than February, and is a brilliant mood enhancer. I have the feeling that the “old world order” is falling away from my life, and a new order is about to impose itself. Things which for the last year at least, and in some cases things from the last 15 to 20 years, things that I have taken as granted and stable are proving not to be so. Life is changing in ways I can barely comprehend, let alone deal with. New challenges and new opportunities are becoming evident, and, as a naturally reserved person who enjoys stability, this is a slightly disturbing concept. I really need someone to hug and be a point of stability to work from. I know that the first half of that sentence seems a bit weak (the hugging part), but I crave some physical contact, the feeling that I’m not alone. As for the second part of that sentence (the point of stability bit), well, I’m the sort of person who usually does not respond well to changes in circumstance, and prefers things to be cosy, and yet challenging, and it’s always easier to deal with change when you have a point of reference, of stability, to work from.
I guess that the challenge and the cosy are missing right now.
…and I feel very alone…
don’t feel quite so alone now (following morning), probably because the beer has worn off. It has to be said that drinking does nothing to enhance the mood. Not that I’ve been drinking gallons, just a couple of pints, but that’s enough to be a bit of a downer. Besides, why should I feel alone? I’ve got some great mates who have been really patient and supportive during the recent melancholies. Basically I just need to give myself a good shake and stride purposefully into the future (whatever that may be).
Thursday 8 February 2001
quiet day today
quiet day today
Paul’s survey of the relationship
Paul’s survey of the relationship status of ukbloggers reveals that 60% are single. Not a shocking result (although I thought it might be higher). So, if 60% are single, with at least one common interest, do I see bloggerdating on the horizon? Scary thought.
Friday 9 February 2001
Last night’s amusement: when at
Last night’s amusement: when at college, occasionally we have to act out role-play scenarios. In last night’s scenario, I had to play the part of someone suffering from Tourette Syndrome – being able to legitimately shout obscenities in front of a roomful of people was actually quite cathartic!
not doing well in the
not doing well in the cheerfulness department again at the moment, so anyone with cheery ideas – well, you know what to do.
the floodwaters have started rising
the floodwaters have started rising again in Chichester. The Lavant is level with the top of the banks around the college area, and has actually flooded about a third of the car park. And it’s flowing at quite a speed too. More rain forecast as well – will it ever end?
A beautiful sunny day with
A beautiful sunny day with glorious skies….ruined only by having to spend it in the office completing a sales declaration for the bloody HDC. ugh.
Anyway, should be out for a beer tonight, although not sure who else is around – Sarah at least, probably one or two others as well.
Not going into the office this weekend – instead it’ll be a bit of work on the new Grayblog, lunch here and there, maybe some college homework, tidying up the flat, and possibly going for a walk. See how it goes.
Saturday 10 February 2001
following on from my rant
following on from my rant the other day about dignity, I think that the people involved in this story, especially Lucie’s father, have acted with amazing levels of dignity in the face of absolutely horrifying circumstances.
last night, headed down the
last night, headed down the bar and drank in the company of James, Kearn, Arron and Paul – decidedly lacking in female company. Still, going to put that right later today by having lunch with Sarah and possibly DAGS if she is about.
Paul is still ragging me about describing Could Be Good as “nice” and says he is thinking about changing the name of the band to “Could Be Nice” – which, now that I think about it, is actually quite catchy in a camp kinda way.
in the face of Valentine’s
in the face of Valentine’s Day cutesy yuck, Robyn offers the world half-sucked sweets. neat.
most irritating moment of the
most irritating moment of the day so far: purchasing a sealed CD (the Goldfrapp album) from MVC only to find out when I get it home that the case is empty. guh. and worse still, they don’t have another one on stock and so I’ve had to order the replacement. double guh. so deferred new-music-enjoyment for me.
best bit of the day
best bit of the day so far: having a couple of beers and lunch with Sarah.
least anticipated bit of the
least anticipated bit of the day so far: going to the bar tonight (which is good) but wondering who will be there (which may not be so good).
most regretted bit of the
most regretted bit of the last 24 hours: not talking to that nice girl with the black hair and pretty smile who was stood by the kitchen door in W2 last night. not that seeing someone new at the moment would be a good idea at all, as I’m still all tied up inside over the one that went before. did a few cathartic things in the last 24 hours though, and managed not to cry about them until this morning – which is good in a funny kinda way.
Very, very sad indeed.
Sunday 11 February 2001
a night filled with: -
a night filled with:
- good friends
- good company
- a glimmer of hope
god knows what the future holds. I used to think that there could be stability and you could at least plan vaguely, but now I know that isn’t true and, for me at least, can never be true. all I know is that the feeling of massive change is still surrounding me, and I really don’t know how to deal with it. just take it as it comes I guess. I wish someone was here to hold me and tell me I’m doing the right thing.
I’m shattered. This emotional rollercoaster
I’m shattered. This emotional rollercoaster is hard work. Last night was really hard work, filled as I was with the feeling of being loved and also the feeling of not being loved, by various people. My friends were, as usual, absolutely fantastic. I’ve found over the past few weeks who the really good friends truly are, and I’ve also found a few new friends too.
But the hurt is deep, and I’m going to need time to heal.
Right now, though, I think I’ll take a snooze before heading down the bar later for a quiet pint.
Mum and Dad have been
Mum and Dad have been here for most of the day. Dad has installed the last of my new light fittings (although one of them broke, which was slightly alarming (they cost £50 each) – but we’ve effected a repair which we shall finish next week probably) and we all went for lunch at The Vestry, which is really very good.
Other than that, I’ve been reading through my new HTML4 reference book which is actually proving to be quite useful, and is, in the words of one Amazon reviewer moving me from “moderate status to advanced”, which is nice. Actually, I’m considering learning a scripting language in order to expand my knowledge and ability at web design, and I know a couple of folks in that trade read this site from time-to-time. So any tips? I was wondering what might be the most useful language for me to learn (bearing in mind my limited resources of time and cash) and what opinons or hints anyone might have.
bearing in mind that I
bearing in mind that I will be “celebrating” my 30th birthday just three months from tomorrow (that’s the 12th of May – gorrit?), I’ve been busy updating my Amazon wishlist – of course, there is no obligation upon readers blah blah blah….
sound advice, I’m sure, but
sound advice, I’m sure, but in Chichester there is little choice. Unless you’ve booked your black cab (actually about a third of them are red) around seven to ten years in advance of actually needing it, you won’t get one. And since my fair city is the home of the world’s oldest private carriage company, at least you feel that the cab operators are experienced.
Monday 12 February 2001
beers last night in the
beers last night in the company of Paul F, Bruno, Aris and Claudette. Topics for discussion included:
- the internet
- web design
- marketing strategies
- working from home
- narcolepsy and agoraphobia
A mixed bag, I think you’ll agree.
feeling very Monday-ish this morning.
feeling very Monday-ish this morning. Apart from a few high points (beer last night and Friday, lunch yesterday and Saturday), the weekend was unremittingly crap. I am so tired and in need.
Tuesday 13 February 2001
today I’m feeling less “Monday”
today I’m feeling less “Monday” and more “Tuesday”, which may be related to the fact that I slept very soundly last night (apart from waking up after yet another bizarre dream, the details of which are fuzzy) and that the sun is shining. However, I am definitely a long way from having that “Friday” feeling.
for those that don’t know, Tuesdayness is a slightly toned down version of feeling crap on a Monday.
BlogFinder is potentially useful -
BlogFinder is potentially useful – although when I typed in “Grayblog” and “Graybo”, both searches showed up a bunch of other sites but not this one.
From my Atomz search request
From my Atomz search request logs…highly amusing, I’m sure. Will the person or persons responsible for this, please stand up.
Week of February 4 to February 10
11 total searches, 11 phrases (1 to 11)
|1||do you really read these search requests||7|
|1||graybo is my hero||7|
|1||i m bored now goodbye||5|
|1||jesus shut the fuck up will you||7|
|1||look enough is enough just stop now||7|
|1||stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop||4|
|1||thinning hair why not wear a hat||8|
today is a beautiful sunny
today is a beautiful sunny day with perfect blue skies – ideal conditions for watching the International Space Station go overhead, complete with space shuttle Atlantis docked on. For those in the south of England, it should be visible for about three minutes, moving from west to east, sometime around 6.11pm tonight.
had a good look at
had a good look at the ISS – it wasn’t as bright as I expected, but certainly very obvious – and, blimey, it doesn’t half shift! one horizon to the other in a bit more than three minutes.
actually, looking at the tiny point of light, rushing along, and thinking about the fact that there are *people* up there, framed against the inky blue of the sky, tends to make you think. not sure what it makes you think of, but it does make you think.
more worrying, as I was standing on the city wall looking at the ISS, I spotted a white helicopter flying by. now *that* did make me think!
ok, the whole Atomz search
ok, the whole Atomz search thing is getting out of hand.
now, whatever is wrong with e-mail as a means of communication?
but, in answer to some of the questions posed:
- I use Blogger rather than Greymatter because I was a cheapskate and didn’t bother with cgi when buying hosting from Easyspace, but I’m seriously considering upgrading and changing.
- thinning hair would possibly be alleviated by wearing a twat….I’ll consider it further.
- I am *trying* to deal with it, but it isn’t easy, ok?
- if they were amusing, I may consider publishing them every week. but they would have to improve considerably.
- irony, infamy, paranoia – probably a combination of all three.
- I don’t really care if you identify yourself or not, but I think it is probably pretty pathetic if you don’t. I have a shrewd suspicion anyway.
right, like I said. joke over, back to the e-mail please.
Wednesday 14 February 2001
just over a month ago,
just over a month ago, the “about the cast” section on the “about Graybo” page had extended details on the four most important people in my life. I’ve already lost the two most important. Today I think I’ve lost another, and this time it’s my own fault.
Last night I went to the bar to be quizzed by a friend about Saturday night’s events – he meant well, but I really didn’t want to talk about it. I then went home to bed and had a restless night punctuated by a long and vivid dream involving a certain someone. This morning, my post consisted of one lousy piece of crap from the district council. Then I get to work to find that I’ve totally offended one of my most important friends and the last word of communication from that person was “Bye”.
How the hell can things possibly get worse? No, don’t answer that. I have a pretty shrewd idea.
well, the good news is
well, the good news is that I’ve not lost that other important friend – she’s fairly pissed off with me, but she’s not going to desert me forever, which is a relief. I think she knows that I’m sorry – guh, I’m useless.
on a plus point, a kind soul has sent me virtual bouquet for Valentine’s Day, so that’s cheered me a bit.
and the sun is shining.
and I’ve had a bar of chocolate.
ok – life could be better, but equally it could be a hell of a lot worse too.
now – let’s get on with the rest of the day…
Thursday 15 February 2001
forgot to put in yesterday’s
forgot to put in yesterday’s TPL update (strangely, my mind was elsewhere): 18 points (lousy) taking my total to 664.
went to the bar last
went to the bar last night – not many people out that I knew, although the place was busy with couples going into the restaurant for meals. Had a chat with Paul S and Claudie, but that was about it.
Have been mulling over Saturday’s events and am increasingly convinced I swore at the wrong person.
Probably out again tonight – I just need the company.
Friday 16 February 2001
I’ve been offered a job
I’ve been offered a job – kinda. I have more questions than answers at the moment though.
Feeling really really depressed this
Feeling really really depressed this evening – missing you-know-who like…well, I think you know.
Got a card thorugh my door today from Royal Mail telling me that they tried to deliver a parcel. Will go and pick it up from the sorting office tomorrow. I’m not actually expecting a parcel from anyone, but I have a pretty good idea what it is and who it’s from, and just know that it is going to make me really really really sad.
It would actually be good to get through a day without crying.
on a brighter note, I’m
on a brighter note, I’m listening to Radio One‘s Global Transmission programme (Thursdays 12midnight to 2am), and Luke Vibert is playing a set – jolly and slightly silly electronic music from the sixties, seventies and eighties – sounds like a cross between the Clangers and the theme from Paddington. Brilliant.
I was wondering if maybe
I was wondering if maybe I should try and set up a subset of the ukbloggers community for nocturnal bloggers – those insomniacs amongst the group, who, like me, occasionally feel the urge to bare their soul to the world at 1am. anyone interested?
even Wallpaper* gets in on
even Wallpaper* gets in on the act of taking the piss out of George “Dubya” – take a look at the “view from” cartoon inside the back cover of the new issue…it depicts moving-in day at the White House, with chaos everywhere and huge Wal-Mart delivery trucks everywhere, peopled by guys in leathers, stetsons and bad moustaches. Made me smile.
On the subject of Wallpaper*,
On the subject of Wallpaper*, take a look at the Dior ad about three or four pages in from the front. Very striking (but then I am a single heterosexual male!).
still not solved the parcel
still not solved the parcel mystery – will be going to the sorting office later this morning to pick it up.
nor have I solved the
nor have I solved the mystery of the e-bouquet that was sent to me on Valentines Day – c’mon, fess up!
whilst some people were out
whilst some people were out living it up, I had an oven-ready pizza and went to the bar for a pint. guh.
this weekend’s plans: – to
this weekend’s plans:
- to the bar tonight for beer
- lunch tomorrow with friends near Uckfield
- drinks tomorrow night with Sarah and some of her crowd from work to celebrate a birthday, probably in the bar for at least part of the time.
- Sunday – maybe actually doing some work on the redesign (yes, yes, yes, I know I said I’d have it done ages ago!!), followed by drinks in the bar. spotting a pattern yet?
Parcel mystery solved – not
Parcel mystery solved – not what I had feared – instead it was this book sent to me by Richard – thank you very much. Respect due. You succeeded in putting a smile on my face, which is quite an achievement.
other news: – won £10
- won £10 on the lottery! wheee
- bought a new mobile phone
- found out that my new double glazing probably will not need planning consent after all! great! more money (and time) saved. have to wait for official written confirmation, but I have it verbally from the planning officer. good news indeed.
Sunday 18 February 2001
what a fantastic sunny day
what a fantastic sunny day – put me in a good mood!
redesigned! I fully intend to
I fully intend to further tweak this design during the course of the next few months, but for now….whaddya think??
Monday 19 February 2001
oops! bit of a cock-up
bizarre – I actually have
bizarre – I actually have an Iris field just outside that Vaughan could come and dig, if he so desired.
right – the weekend in
right – the weekend in summary:
Friday night – beers at the bar, in the company of Paul F, Kearn, DA, DAGS, Paul S, Tam, Sacha …amongst others. Followed by more beer at Paul S’s house.
Saturday – lunch in East Sussex in the company of some friends I know through work – Morven, Tony, Emma, Pierre-Andre, Jennie, Kev McG, Marina, Damian and Julia – followed by a very pleasant stroll around Ashdown Forest.
Saturday night – yup, more beers down the bar, this time featuring Polly (celebrating her birthday), Sarah, Sacha, Ian, Tam, Paul S, Kearn, Paul F, Jo, Andy, Michelle, Arron, Lynne and Fi. Again went back to Paul S’s house, and drank beer and chewed the rag with Fi. Very pleasant.
Sunday – lunch with DAGS and Michelle at the Hare and Hounds at Stoughton, followed by a stroll along one of my favourite short circular walks – about an hour, and not more than a mile and a half, but with easy walking and lovely views in the sunshine across the Downs.
Sunday night – worked on the redesign that you are now admiring, and then went to the bar for beer with Aris and (briefly) Bora and Paul F.
Tonight’s plan – a long soak in the bath followed by meeting up with Bora.
further bug with redesigned site
further bug with redesigned site fixed – an archive problem. Thanks Robyn.
Our dear government launches propaganda.com
Our dear government launches propaganda.com – I’ll spare you the rant [....taxpayers' money....waste....better spent in other ways.....]
Incidentally, Robyn has a filthy
Incidentally, Robyn has a filthy cold, so go over there now and offer Lemsip and sympathy.
Tuesday 20 February 2001
Feeling decidedly lacklustre this morning,
Feeling decidedly lacklustre this morning, in spite of the sun. Could be excess beer. Or even that I’ve caught whatever bug is going around (just about everyone except me has had it, so I suppose my time has come).
I’m interested that my readership
I’m interested that my readership figures continue to be relatively high (relative to what they were before New Year) in spite of the fact that I am writing about “things” much less than I was even ten days ago. Not sure I can explain the stats, but I can attempt to explain the lack of writing on that subject – it’s not that I feel any less about it (I don’t – I feel pretty much the same), but chewing it over and over doesn’t really help, and almost certainly won’t change anything. So I’m still trying at the forward-looking, thinking-positive stuff, and, yes, I won’t make a secret of the fact that I’m looking for someone new to help me through all this. Pity that person! Comments/chat-ups welcome.
have carried out further minor
have carried out further minor adjustments to this design (altered the font for the menu subheadings in the navbar and changed the text of these posts to a slightly deeper shade of grey, both following feedback from readers). I don’t suppose for one minute that everybody likes this design (comments have ranged from the enthusiastic to the decidely lukewarm), but I’m happy with it. I wanted it to be simple, clean, fresh and quite simply, less dark than the old Grayblog.
And, whilst on the subject, I’ve reverted to calling this site Grayblog, for that is what it is (Graybo’s Blog) and also partly because everyone else continued to call it that!
the person or persons that
the person or persons that insist(s) on communicating through the Atomz search function suggests that the new look to this site was inspired by the “angry fruit salad web design school”. catchy.
Wednesday 21 February 2001
yesterday was not a great
yesterday was not a great day for various reasons, but a crumb of comfort was found in that I finally got two CDs I’ve had on order at MVC for a while – Goldfrapp’s Felt Mountain, which I think will be a grower, and Boards of Canada’s Music Has The Right To Children which is fantastic. I really wish I had bought this album when it first came out back in 1998, but I suppose the consolation is that there might be a new album soon.
meanwhile, my washing machine has
meanwhile, my washing machine has broken AGAIN (this time the timer on the drier function has ceased functioning, so that my clothes were gently cooked throughout, having been churning round at 40 degrees for the whole of yesterday – ruined two shirts, and three t-shirts – including my very expensive black Claiborne one that I bought in Washington DC) and one of my new light fittings is playing about (it broke when we installed it, but we effected a repair – now it cuts out after only 15 minutes usage). AND I’m skint. Help!
there is a meeting of
there is a meeting of UK bloggers in Soho this Friday, and I’m in two minds as to whether to go.
- chance to meet new people
- chance to get drunk
- would have to leave work early
- would have to leave the meet early (last train back is 10.30 from Victoria) – so would be at the meet for 2 hours maximum.
- don’t know anybody there at all.
Go? or NoGo?
Blogmeet voting – currently the
Blogmeet voting – currently the “go” votes are slightly ahead.
Matt has pointed out that getting out of work early should really appear in the “for” column, not the “against” column. Fair point.
Still not sure though.
off to do a lecture
off to do a lecture in Fareham tonight. wheee! (not). a roomful of old bids but they’re paying me £70 for the privilege.
Thursday 22 February 2001
Marcia comments on the “angry
Marcia comments on the “angry fruit salad” jibe and points to a dictionary definition of the term. I hadn’t heard this phrase before, so feel truly enlightened. Well, I’m bright and proud – I wanted the new look to be fresh and shiny and eyecathing and cheerful – hopefully, I’ve achieved all of those things.
in the blogmeet voting, the
in the blogmeet voting, the “go” votes are edging further in to the lead. Still not convinced though – to go would mean 1hr45 on the train, about 1hr45 at the party, and then 1hr45 to get back.
forgot the TPL update yesterday
forgot the TPL update yesterday – no matches were played, so my score for the week was nil. Plenty matches this week though, although my Liverpool players will not be in action.
Luke in burnt pie scam!
Luke in burnt pie scam!
how does the man find time to write such long posts? having said that, however he finds time, I hope he keeps finding it.
Friday 23 February 2001
not in the most blindingly
not in the most blindingly cheerful mood this morning, partly because I can be miserable sod some days, partly because I’m tired and partly because it is grey and dull outside. However, in spite of requests (in jest, I hope) from one or two people, I’m not going to start rambling on about my woes to any great degree here, so you can all breath a sigh of relief about that.
UKBloggerland seems quite this morning, with very little activity anywhere. I guess everyone is saving their energies for tonight’s blogmeet – I’m still undecided as to whether I should go or not. checked the train timetables last night, and the last train back is 10.15, not 10.30 – so even less time there. and I don’t fancy kipping on someone’s floor (which has never really been my scene).
my mood was improving until
my mood was improving until I got an email from Heather telling me that she called the Chartered Institute of Marketing today. We are due to recieve our exam results tomorrow (they should have been posted today) – but when she called she got an answering machine message saying that due to “technical problems” no results would be available until after March 16th.
This is not good, as that may be too late to enter for the re-sits if we’ve failed. Not good at all. The CIM is the most useless organisation on the face of the earth.
Saturday 24 February 2001
oooo – slightly tipsy, must
oooo – slightly tipsy, must confess, in spite of being “on the wagon” for the last two hours in a Connex-enforced kinda way (you have no idea how long this is taking to type!). I’ll write more about this in the morning, but for now: went to the blogmeet, had a brilliant time (what a great bunch of people), met some new faces and (thankfully) made the train back…..for those that were there, I had to sprint (how unfit am I??) and got to the train with a platform guard holding the door open – he slammed it behind me and the train started moving straight away – that is *too* close for comfort!! so, next time, anyone got a sofa/sofabed/bed/duvet/whatever they can loan me?
oh, and by the way,
oh, and by the way, if anyone is really serious about coming down to Chichester for beer (it is worth it, I promise), the last train back to London leaves at 10.40 (change at Three Bridges, gets to Victoria at 12.39). Or there is Graybo’s famous sofabed (sleeps two if you are friendly or have separate sleeping bags), or there’s the floor (sleeps ten in discomfort) or (third option you lucky people) stay awake all night drinking (holds 20 – I know, I’ve seen it done!). Seriously, if anyone is up for a visit, let me know.
urrrrg – hangover. next time
urrrrg – hangover. next time I go to London for one of these things (or wherever it may be held) I’m going to eat something first!
I had a really good time (even if the woman sat opposite me on the train home thought I was a lunatic!). About twenty or so UKbloggers were in attendance, and I’ll not try to list everyone as I’ll be sure to miss someone out. But highlights included:
- finding out that Luke refers to this site as “The House Of Pain”
- discussing shoe collections, red hair, black ribbed sweaters and Gap cargo pants with Catherine
- talking about nicknames with Nick
- verbalizing my employment situation with Meg, drinking (if that is the correct verb) vodkajelly (thanks!) and discussing the merits/dismerits of living in an overgrown village like Chichester. Hope I didn’t run out of beans!
- I also talked with a whole pile of other people (sorry, it’s a bit hazy – as it comes back to me I’ll try and mention/link you all), but the pile included Ian, Vaughan, Mo, Matt, Cal, Tom, Dave, David ….[will add more later!]
- and finally, arriving at Victoria to find that I had 54 seconds to get from the tube to platform 15, and shouting “oh fuck” at the top of my voice, much to the consternation of at least 50 passers-by (passer-bys? …um…bystanders!).
this evening, I have helped
this evening, I have helped the beleagred British agriculture industry by:
- avoiding contact with livestock
- eating British meat
- eating British bread
- eating British tomatoes
- eating British dairy produce
…in other words, I sat at home and ate a cheeseburger.
Sunday 25 February 2001
more nocturnal blogging…. some of
more nocturnal blogging….
some of you may know that I’m a fan of the work of Ben Richards – one of the best thinking British novelists of recent years. I’ve just been out and bought his latest novel A Sweetheart Deal (which I’ll need to delete off my Amazon wishlist). I’d like to reproduce some of the cover-quotes here to encourage you to read his books:
- “Ben Richards could be about to make history – as the first heterosexual male novelist to write a non-prurient lesbian love story…its consequences are shattering, but in unpredicatable, clever ways” (The Times)
- “…sidesteps the vacuity that seems to characterise a great deal of modern, London-based fiction” (Bookseller)
- “….Richards ranges over familiar territory, but never with the facile, lazy eye of his ‘lad’ and ‘chick-lit’ contemporaries” (The Times)
- “original and compelling…deserves to be read” (Independent on Sunday)
I’ll report back with my own opinions as I progress through the pages, but his previous novels have all been excellent, especially The Silver River and Don’t Step on the Lines. Form an orderly queue at your local bookshop now.
this evening was spent down
this evening was spent down the bar – in the company of: Jim, Jayne (happy birthday!), DA, DAGS, Arron, Stein, Paul F, Paul C, Ian, Sacha, Anne, Jo, Tim, Matt, gorgeous-Sarah-who-used-to-work-behind-the-bar (henceforth known as GSWUTWBTB – no, too long – how about “Gorgeous Sarah”? no, could offend other equally gorgeous Sarahs (Sarah P and DAGS) – ideas?) amongst others. A good night on the whole.
Monday 26 February 2001
Blogger had yet another of
Blogger had yet another of its fits yesterday – much to the annoyance of myself and Sarah – she came round so we could go for lunch together, and arrived just as I was typing a very long entry – she gave me a hand with it (I type with two fingers, she uses all of them) – we clicked “publish” only to watch it disappear into the ether. grrr.
So now I’m at work, and will sit and re-type it for you all.
another conversation I had on
another conversation I had on Friday is recorded by Stephen. Actually, thinking about why we blog is one of those very self-destructive activities. My reasons tend to vary according to my mood and level of sobriety. At the moment I would say that I do it because it’s an interesting record (but why not use a paper diary and keep it to myself?), it allows me to say things having thought them through thoroughly (yes, but do I need a website to do that?), it gives me chance to hone my HTML skills (but do I need this particular variety of content?) and, ok, I’ll admit it, I get a kick out of looking at the counter and seeing that lots of people read what I write. me me me me me!
There are other reasons too, but you’ll have to wait for my mood/level of sobriety to change before I’ll discuss them.
ok – this is the
ok – this is the long post that I tried to publish yesterday – an enthusiastic rant about the Ben Richards novel I’m reading. Actually, it was more case of copying Vaughan’s idea and quoting a hefty chunk from the book. I’m so impressed by Richards’ style of writing (as always) – I wanted to share this piece with you, even though I had only got to page 19. To me, it speaks about the sort of vulnerabilities we all have, and the character Mel has the same sort of thought processes that I do – the ones about love and vulnerability. Fear of loss too.
Anyway, have a read of this, and see what you think:
the really freaky thing about
Don Bradman dies aged 92.
Don Bradman dies aged 92. A few sportsmen and women today could learn a thing or two from this man.
ok – I’m getting *really*
ok – I’m getting *really* tired of using Blogger. Whilst I think it is good to support a small company that provide a useful product, that product ceases to be useful if it can not be relied upon to function well at all times. That’s why I use Easyspace to host this site because they are reliable, even if they are not the cheapest.
So I’m off to download Greymatter.
Tuesday 27 February 2001
Meg posts pictures of the
Meg posts pictures of the blogmeet on Friday. You can see my visage there. And those of other people.
last night was a *very*
last night was a *very* late night, so late it was well advanced into today by the time I climbed under my duvet. This morning I am, officially, a zombie. But it was worth it for some very high quality time.
today’s rant is on the
today’s rant is on the subject of the Foot-and-Mouth crisis.
Some people I’ve spoken to do not seem to have grasped the magnitude of this, and also how easy it is for them to spread the disease just by going for a walk. And I can imagine the farmers’ fears at the moment, mainly because we experienced a similar, smaller and unpublicised scare last year. A nursery only 500 metres from here suffered an infestation of a pest called Thrips palmi. MAFF/PHSI officials were swarming around the area, checking for the spread of the pest and trying to eradicate it. Essentially, if you get this thing in your plants, you have to destroy your crops, and, if eradication is unsuccessful, your glasshouses have to be destroyed and there was even talk of covering the ground under 10cm of concrete.
Of course, as you can imagine, all the neighbouring nursery owners (this is a big area for horticulture) were beside themselves with worry. This pest can fly or be carried on the wind. And there is no insurance cover available for this kind of thing (farmers are now lobbying government to put pressure on insurers to provide that sort of cover).
And imagine the equivalent happening to your business – I know some of the people who read this are in the IT industry – well, it’s like you getting a virus on your PC, and the government coming along and stopping you trading and destroying all your PCs and equipment, and then getting in touch with all your business associates, checking them out and doing the same to them. Scary.
So spare a thought for the farmers. Don’t go walking in the countryside. And try to imagine it happening to you.
just been for a couple
just been for a couple of beers with the posse, and promised that I would say nice things about DA – well, DA, you’re nice.
Is that ok?
watch this site for a
watch this site for a very big announcement tomorrow. still working on the details, but should have it sorted by lunch time.
I know what I meant
I know what I meant to say earlier and didn’t. I was driving to work this morning (which, in itself, is unusual as I usually use a combination of foot and train) when I was following an unremarkable blue Escort estate. In the back of this car, not in a cage or anything, was a very very handsome owl, staring out the back window at me. He was definitely real and very much alive – he turned his head to look at things and blinked once or twice. And seemed very calm and quite used to sitting in a car.
Beats those irritating nodding Homer Simpson toys any day.
Wednesday 28 February 2001
TPL update: 44 points, taking
TPL update: 44 points, taking me to 708. Very respectable considering that a third of my team didn’t play.
VERY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT Yes! Grayblog
VERY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT
Yes! Grayblog merchandise is now available!
Rush over to the new Grayblog shop and purchase t-shirts, mugs and mousemats!
Adorn your desk, mug tree and chest with a picture of my lovely visage!
Declare your allegiance to Grayblog!
Show your undying love for Graybo!
Hurry! Go now!
(Prices are in US dollars, but they work out pretty well – as a guide, US$15 is roughly equal to GB£10. However, the shipping charge from California to the UK is a bit steep, so I suggest you pool your order with friends to keep it down.)
long long day. my body
long long day. my body is tired and my head is full.