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blogonblogoff - side b

'everything is nothing if you've got no one'

Thursday, November 27, 2003

I know you're a whore but you're the prettiest girl I've ever seen
I used to come across bands and songs I've been meaning to find out about on quite frequent basis. Mainly because I went scouting around record shops a lot. It's always a great feeling when you find out the artist of a great song you heard years ago. I think I've topped this one by finding a song I'd first heard six years ago. The song 'Kill The Action' by East River Pipe AKA F.M.Cornog. This band (can you still be a band if you're a solo artist) has produced some brilliant songs, I mean who would write a song called 'Shiny, Shiny, Pimpmobile'. I've got his recent output but only recently discovered his early records on Sarah Records. The album Mel that Kill The Action is taken from is astoundingly brilliant. The songs are all quite lonely, wandering but sometimes you need that. The comment from an Amazon.com reviewer goes like so:

"If you don't own this, you should and if you don't like it, you're probably a gimp."

Exactly my sentiments. Mel at Amazon.com
Posted by Edward @ 01:02 PM GMT
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Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Counting sheep, children, dirty clothes....
How quickly can things change? I'm a third of the way into my contract and things are finally starting to work. Departments are slowly opening up to the idea that decent presentation of content and some clear design will do wonders for their websites. Although by no means fully cooperative, it's a huge leap forward. Academics tend not see the perspectives of external students and users. It can still be tough, questionnaires had terrible responses and the usability tests teeth grinding, as you encourage a first year student to say more than one word to the questions you ask.

Meanwhile living in what is the worst arranged house I've come across has turned into some kind of house of domestic horrors. I probably say it's driving me up the wall but it is. I'm on the lookout to get out of here. I probably have a good get out clause because of the false promises and fake descriptions she's given me. I'm so well prepared for if I do have kids because I don't have a sleeping pattern anymore from the screaming kids. Decent sleep is no longer an option.

Posted by Edward @ 07:31 PM GMT
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Monday, November 17, 2003
The way to kitschdom
A wonderful article on Web Kitsch. Web sites that are only a few years old that display all the hallmarks of kitschness, flashing banners, bad backgrounds, crazy music and other nice things that make a web site so bad it's good. Enjoy.

You can see some of my double exposed Lomographs at my Lomohome. I've got some more double exposed pictures to collect from the processors tomorrow with hopefully a few good pictures and then I'm going to experiment with 35mm film in my medium format Holga.

Posted by Edward @ 09:12 PM GMT
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Saturday, November 15, 2003
Hey man, loosen up
I've been informed that the aforementioned ex-colleague who is moving up in the world is no longer in his teens and is now a ripe old age of twenty. Still younger than I am.

An interesting column in the G2 of the Guardian yesterday by a Chinese woman Xinran. She talks about the Chinese always trying to save face instead of putting their own interests first. It's always what other people think, how they will see us. I totally agree with that, it's not just the older generation in China, it's seemingly engrained into Chinese culture everywhere. My parents are the same, they are full of contradictions that only sons and daughters that grow up in such a family will understand. What goes on outside on the face of it seems okay but inside there is s sense of unease about 'putting on a show'. Growing up life was always seen as a competition between relatives. Why not be comfortable with who we are and accept we don't have eveything and nobody's perfect? I know that ithis sort of upbringing has affected my general outlook on life but I'm hopefully slowly shaking that off.

Xinran's column is excellent because it gives everyone else a chance to understand the Chinese culture - she is not afraid to open up the mysterious box and perhaps change a few things.


Open Up - Xinran - The Chinese are still obsessed with saving face - isn't it time we moved on and loosened up?
Posted by Edward @ 11:32 AM GMT
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Thursday, November 13, 2003
I've stopped my rambling, I don't do much gambling these days
It will come to me, as I was had a particular subject I wanted to write about an hour ago.

Oh yeah that's it, computer games. My recent tiredness hasn't helped by mu current addiction of playing Advanced Wars on the Gameboy Advanced but on my Mac. Yep I use an emulator because I like having a bigger and brighter screen. My brother does have the game as cartridge so whether I'm playing it legally or illegally is another question. Anyway it's an absolutely addictive strategy that fits in with all the current question of war in Iraq. Maybe George Bush should play this as it will teach him all about guerrilla wars and getting ambushed. This is the first computer game that I have played more than a few times since before the millenium. Computer games just don't really interest me too much, Tetris, Solitaire and Mario Kart I can pick up, have a 10 minute go and be done with it. Advance Wars is a new level of gaming.

At the risk of sounding like a bitter money grabbing get, a friend and ex-colleague of mine has just found a new job after trying to get out of his position for a while and he is now earning almost as much as me (okay I don't earn that much for my position, I am on the lower end of the scale). That's nothing out of the ordinary apart from the fact he's still in his teens and I've spent the last seven years trying to build/start a career and have only slowly got that little further. Maybe the wait and see approach is worth it in the long run even if it does mean a lot of inbetween headbanging, whereas I am the go out and seek opportunities type of person if I feel it is right. Anyway good luck to him, he is very talented and his new position will serve him well. I'm not jealous at all because I have different skills and expectations for life.

As the end of the year approaches I better start getting together my list of favourite records of the year. The difficulty is that I am stuck in this academic timeline so I am not even sure when I first a lot of the records. So for example a great record like The Funerals Pathetic Me I keep thinking I got this year, but just looking at the review it was from mid last year. That can't be right?!? Anyway I'll probably end up sticking it into this years list because it wasn't in last years list. It's going to be a tough choice this year because of the even greater amount of music I have heard this year, and in particularly the last month. I'm inhaling 20 albums worth of new music a week. Yes I do like the Room On Fire and some tracks that only 20 other in the world will have heard from my record label.

Back to commanding my army...

Posted by Edward @ 09:58 PM GMT
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Friday, November 7, 2003
Tape to tape, type II position chrome
After the momentum of blogging more than once in a week it all went downhill. I must be honest and say that my time management has gone astray since I started my new job. I get up late, stay up late, constantly trying to fit as much work (work work, and personal work) into the daylight hours. As a consequence I am shattered and blogging is the last thing on my mind.

I am slowly returning to using cassette tapes over other recordable mediums. I was making some good old compilations and ripping the record protect tabs. I used to have these little plastic tabs off tapes all over the place because I was recording tapes like it was going out of fashion. I still have hundreds of tapes of Mark Radcliffe shows, John Peel Sessions, lots of comedy shows and recordings of really old records. There is something genuinely nice about playing a tape, like a record requiring the half time changing of sides. Also they don't stop working unlike some of my recordable CD's that have stopped working probably because they were cheap or I used a pen high in solvents. The art of making mix tapes is still around but slowly disappearing. I am going to stock up on TDK tapes before they stop making them. I couldn't believe how in short supply they are, all the mainstream stores only stock cheap quality maxi-packs now. Richer Sounds are selling 100 packs for about 60 which is a very good deal and will possibly last me a good few years.

Right it is time to go to bed I think, need to be ready for a sleeve making weekend.

Posted by Edward @ 11:23 PM GMT
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