cloudy sky blue cloudy sky blue cloudy sky blue cloudy sky blue cloudy sky blue cloudy sky blue magic 8 ball


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

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Is this home?
So I'm back in Bath and it feels quite nice to have a bit of peace and quiet from moving house. Only problem is that I brought a lot of junk down with me and use my room as bit of storage for a while. Back to the disasterous cooking, bad bread baking, freezing cold house and Director projects. Next term is going to be tough with twice as much work to do, am I looking forward to it. Of course.

Hope everyone has a good new year.

Posted by Edward @ 03:16 PM GMT
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Saturday, December 28, 2002
Last but not least
Of course I forgot Nina Nastasia's album The Blackened Air in my list of favourites of 2002. It's just wonderful.
Posted by Edward @ 10:12 PM GMT
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Time to say goodbye again
It's been a very similar Christmas to the past few years. Basically a lot of family getting together, having a big meal, too much TV and hopefully having a good time. It's nice to spend time with my parents being away so long and having helped with the moving I think they are a lot happier too. So back to Bath I go where I'll be spending my hours finishing my Director project and getting some rest before the hectic new term starts. I know I keep saying this but I will really miss Manchester for the diversity of everything and I've appreciated it even more that I've been away for a while. I am not going to make any resolutions for the New Year. What will be, will be, I will be myself and try my best at everything, make my decisions as they come.

Enjoy the rest of the year. 2002 has been a revelation for me I can tell you that.

Posted by Edward @ 10:08 PM GMT
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Tuesday, December 24, 2002
A life in review
Things I have found/found out whilst moving house.

  • I have too many records, CD's and tapes, the space they take up is four times the area of the rest of my possessions.

  • A Christmas present from an ex-girlfriend that has been left unopened for 8 or so years.

  • An original Megatron Evil Decepticon Transformer

  • Lots of clothes past on from my Dad that has suddenly become fashionable.

  • An original Return Of The Jedi annual.

  • A tub of Panini/Merlin stickers including American Football stars, Ghostbusters and Mask.

  • Lots of childrens books that might be worth a bit of money like Rupert the Bear, 1970's Ladybird books collection.

  • My Liverpool Football shirt from 1992 and a Liverpool Football Club Calendar from around the same time including pictures of Ian Rush, Alan Hansen and Bruce Grobbelar.

  • A Trainspotting t-shirt with Renton's infamous 'It's shite being Scottish...' rant on it.

  • A collection of jumpers so vile Noel Edmunds wouldn't wear them I am willing to bet.

  • The only time I smiled in photo's when I was younger was when I was playing on the swings.

  • Moving house is a real pain.

  • I am a hoarder of emense junk.

There are a lot of other bits and pieces but it doesn't make for easy reading.
Posted by Edward @ 10:26 PM GMT
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Monday, December 23, 2002
Blast this water and rubble
Trust my luck that when I decide to go out to town and record some video footage of Manchester bit and pieces it would rain. Still managed to do a little. I hate using video cameras because it is so unnatural compared to something like a normal camera. It's makes perfect sense that I looked like a complete fool walking around town with this DV camcorder pretending I was some hotshot indie filmmaker. Looking at a screen is what does my head in, same reason why digital photography is not going to be on the cards soon for me either.

So while it was raining I popped into one of my favourite exhibition places Cube (Centre for Understanding the Built Environment). They had a World Trade Center exhibition on what should be built at Ground Zero. There were plenty of ideas, all really well presented but only a few that caught my eye. Nice place to go to just for a wander. It didn't stop raining when I left and the bus was heaving. Fifty people all crammed together and perspiring heavily after doing some last minute shopping, I'm glad I walk when I am in Bath. Great days, great days.

Posted by Edward @ 09:12 PM GMT
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Saturday, December 21, 2002
Relatively speaking
I usually hate visiting my relatives because it's a bunch of people I hardly know gossiping and frowning on your current lifestyle, you get compared to their grandchildren and they happily tot up the plus points they have over you. I just switch off and nod wisely. However this time around I wasn't too bothered and it was actually nice to see them. Maybe it's a sign of growning up and being mature. Probably not though. It's probably because I know they can say what they like and I wouldn't mind one little bit. More than two decades worth of this rubbish hardens you.

You can tell when something about new media is big when it get's into a mainstream paper in the broadsheet section. There was an interesting story in The Guardian about the Trent Lott farce. It talks about how people's commentary in their blogs brought the extra attention and picked up on things the main newspapers oversaw. Impressive.

Posted by Edward @ 04:52 PM GMT
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Friday, December 20, 2002
This is it...
So here it is, some records that I have really enjoyed this year. I've missed a lot out because my record collection is now officially locked away until I have time to sort them out. Will probably add more to the list if and when I do get a chance.

  • Múm - Finally We Are One LP : absolutely brilliant Icelandic group taking the crown from Sigur Rós.

  • RJD2 - Deadringer LP: After hearing this only two weeks ago it has become a favourite. For fans of DJ Shadow and hip-hop crossover.

  • 42 More Things To Do In Zero Gravity Compilation : Superb Icelandic ambient electronica compilation. Do we see a pattern forming?

  • Baxter Dury - Len Parrots Memorial Lift : An album that is mellow and easy going and a bit psychadelic and wonderfully soothing. 'Lucifer's Grain' is brilliant.

  • Beth Gibbon & Rustin Man - Out Of Season LP : Collaborative effort that is perfectly brilliant. Beth's voice is simply stunning.

  • Laura Cantrell - When The Roses Bloom Again LP : Out favourite country singer returns with her second album. Not quite as good as her debut but still on another level.

  • James Yorkston & The Atheletes - Moving Up Country LP: Great debut album of minimal fuss.
  • Nice Man - Sauchiehall & Hope (A Pop Opera) : This is how power-pop should be.

  • Movern Callar Soundtrack : The film was arty and beautifully shot, the soundtrack is equally beautiful.

  • You Don't Need Darkness To Do What You Think Is Right Compilation : The Geographic label has put out so many brilliant records in the past few years. This compilation with the Pastels, National Park and a host of other bands is a quiet gem.

  • Badly Drawn Boy - You Were Right single : An almost perfect song from Manchester's finest.

  • Stephen Fretwell - 8 Songs 10": Late entry into the chart that I am most impressed with.

  • Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots LP : I literally heard this today for the first time and I am blown away.

  • Fourtet - Pause LP: This year or last year, whatever still brilliant for Kerion's great ability to experiment and dabble with music.

  • Be Good Tanya's - Blue Horse LP: Simply a nice trio making tradional country music with a lot of character.

There are a load more I can't remember not because they were unmemorable but because I go through so much music that I can't remember what I am listening to a week ago let along for a whole year. I'm not sure what exactly was released this year and stuff which was released last year I only got round to listening to this year too. My gig of the year was obviously the return of the BMX Bandits at The Spitz in London but the Grandmaster Flash gig in Birmingham was a sensation experience. I also rediscovered Stina Nordenstam, Radiohead's OK Computer and reggae.
Posted by Edward @ 09:25 PM GMT
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Last night, she said
Dom's leaving party was a good chance to meet up with a lot of my old work colleagues. Everyone had a good time and I even got persuaded to go to 5th Avenue (studenty indie nightclub) of all places. It's really nice being able to catch up with people you've not met in a while. It makes for some better conversation and because I don't work there anymore I feel the need to moan about work. Dom will be missed for his programming skills and ability to get very drunk and blow money down the casino. All the best to him.

Director project is getting somewhere although it looks really patchy because of the different ideas I tried to execute but done so badly. In many ways I know it won't be flawless and don't expect it to be.

Posted by Edward @ 09:22 PM GMT
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Thursday, December 19, 2002
Don't bomb the bass
I finally figured out why my record player output had some strange feedback on it. It was the power supply to my laptop. As soon as I disconnected the power the feedback went. Now I can record some of my records into MP3. I think I will buy a cheap record player for when I am in Bath as it is getting to a stage where I want to put on a record even though the advantages of MP3's is that I can stick a MP3 CD on and let it play for hours on end. I am now torn between buying things on vinyl and enjoying great artwork and playing a record or having a CD so that I can rip it to MP3. I think I am just consuming music at such a pace that I am forgetting to enjoy it.

Anyway all I wanted was to record the limited edition Blur 7" Don't Bomb When You Are The Bomb for my brother and housemate. I actually like Blur's new direction. Also managed to play my copy of The White Stripes 7" Red Death at 6:14. It was the first track I ever heard by the White Stripes and I was blown away. Currently Stephen Fretwell is enjoying some publicity, and after listening to some of his EP I think deservedly so.

Right it's a cold sunny day in Manchester and I will make the most of it.

Posted by Edward @ 11:04 AM GMT
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Tuesday, December 17, 2002
Such thing as minimal multimedia?
Surprised to hear that a former work colleague of mine Dom is leaving for pastures anew. Actually I shouldn't be that suprised because I made a bet with him a few months back before I left that he would still be there by the time I finish my course. He responded positively that was not going to be the case. Guess I owe him a few beers on his leaving do. He must have been as fed up with working on Crockfords Casino as I had been. We started on the same day and should have arranged to leave on the same day too.

A question on multimedia. Why is it do I feel compelled to put sound effects on all the buttons in my Director project? Just because it is going to be a mulitmedia CD-ROM do I have to fall in the trap of having some silly effect go off everytime you click a button? I'm actually thinking of delaying the sound effects so they happen a different stages of the movie just to confuse the user. Also do we need to animate everything for the sake of having movement on screen? For crying out loud I know it's multimedia but I don't need to have things moving around distracting me ALL the time. I'm fed up with flashing banner adverts on the Web and now I can't get away from them in the privacy of my own Director movie clip. I guess this rant is indicative of my current lack of creativity to make things seem interesting. However I am interested in things being used effectively.

At least listening to the New Order Retro box set has reduced my hair tearing moments. The 17 minute version of Elegia is wonderful.

Posted by Edward @ 09:28 PM GMT
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Monday, December 16, 2002
Cold, it's bloody freezing
Although I have eased off lifting heavy goods I still haven't had a good nights sleep in the past four days and hence still feel a bit worse for wear and that I've caught a cold. Forgot that my local swimming baths don't open until 12pm but the cashier kindly let me in for a discount even though I left my past in Bath. After much griping on about the fast, medium, slow lanes business that they have in Bath, I find that they have also introduced it here. At least the people swimming here are much faster.

Either my Digital Radio has packed in on the transmitters in Manchester have gone down. Either way I'm not chuffed that I can't listen to Oneword or other stations in clarity. Have been listening to the LA Confidential Soundtrack. It's alright actually, must remember to watch the film again as it was excellent.

Posted by Edward @ 10:08 PM GMT
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Saturday, December 14, 2002
Wow and flutter
I am knackered from lifting half of my stuff to their temporary abode. With still a lot to move I am finding I will have to throw a lot out. Aim for tomorrow, go through some of my City Life's and rip out the best bits. I would like to keep most of them as a bit of social commentary on Manchester life but I know that's going to be impossible. Once most of the crap is in place I will throw all my clothes into a sack and then forget about this moving business. At least my old room will be empty enough for me to work in peace and without distraction.

Sad bit of news, Mary Hansen from Stereolab has died in a cycling accident on the 9th. I liked a lot of Stereolab stuff and was surprised of her death. Peace to her. Read Mary Hansens Obituary.

Posted by Edward @ 09:55 PM GMT
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Friday, December 13, 2002
I wish I was back in Bath
Here I am back in Manchester, the train journey actually went quite smoothly. Just spent five hours packing things and still no where done. The internet connection is painfully slow here and unreliable. My parents have planned out exactly where I am to help. Does it feel like I'm being used, well yes. It is turning into a massive nightmare. I can't believe I'm saying this. I thought it was going to happen so why was I not prepared? Guess it just finally dawned upon me that I have hoarded the most amount of junk in my family. I need that American woman from the telly who is so ruthless in getting rid of all the junk from our lives.
Posted by Edward @ 10:25 PM GMT
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Thursday, December 12, 2002
Sound as a pound
Last night was the course night out. Everyone had a really good time and we were way more than a little bit merry. The Central Bar in Bath is a nice place and had a decent selection of beers, although the music could have been quieter. Funnily they removed half the photos from the walls half way into the night leaving the clean squares on the walls. Some of us went to f.East for food which is exactly like Wagamama. I think my Duck Masara could have been better but it filled me up. The waiter was being off with us and taking the mick as there was a miscommunication of what we ordered. We all left in the end without giving the service charge. I guess we won't be going back there anytime soon. The thing with Bath is that there is nowhere to go for a drink late into the night, well nowhere nice anyway. So we all ended up at the Moles with a Latina night on. The clientel was a little strange to say the least. It seemed like everyone off the street including the dog had come in for a drink. No hangover this morning which is a nice feeling, amazing what your body can cope with.
Posted by Edward @ 01:19 PM GMT
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Tuesday, December 10, 2002
One down another to go
Presented my Web project today in front of the class. As usual it took a lot of effort to set up because the Mac is so nice at throwing away all my jpeg file extensions. Why on earth would it do that? Guess that's just OS 9. The presentation once I got going was okay. Everyone else's was impressive especially Darren's who did a site on software synthezisers and looked amazingly professional.

Does it feel strange to be returning to Manchester? Well it does now, even if it is a few days away. The fact that I won't be doing my own cooking would be the thing I miss. Anyway sure everything will work out alright and it's going to be nice to see my brother again. Time will fly by I'm sure. It's not the first time I've said it but I am really confused. My home won't be a home and down here it's definitely not home.

Posted by Edward @ 09:19 PM GMT
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Mac attack
This was yesterdays blog entry but my housemate was purchasing a digital camera online so I couldn't get online.
I don't know how I got the impression that Mac's were brilliant and never crashed. But today it crashed five times in the space of ten minutes because I was copying 200 files across the network. Come on even Windows doesn't do that.

There's a nasty cold snap passing through Britain at the moment and I could really tell today. The University heaters seem to have been packed in as none of them would work. Everyone was wearing their coats. I must be used to the cold by now working in the freezing shed on Fridays. My room is so cold the wind is coming straight through the window. I might have to board them up with my duvet if it gets any colder.

The queue at Somerfield was horrendous, everyone was complaining and people just left their shopping at the checkout and went. They were really stroppy that I was using a Kwik Save/Somerfield paper voucher rather than a nice smart card. I couldn't be bothered arguing with them as I didn't have the time. Not my fault that Kwik Save haven't implemented a smart card scheme in Manchester yet.

Here's a nice link, probably the worst web design ever. Actually I've seen worse but not in a long while. This is courtesy of our end of year type quiz.

Heard OK Computer by Radiohead for the first time in three years. Although fairly depressing it was still highly enjoyable.

Posted by Edward @ 08:30 AM GMT
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Saturday, December 7, 2002
It's what's called self diagnosis
It was extremely busy at Oxfam today especially with the 3 for 2 Christmas card offer. People just can't refuse an offer. Stick the CD's in the window and they sell like hot cakes. Unbelievable.

Housemate has been watching the very first season of Red Dwarf. It has aged a lot but still quite enjoyable. Heard it was going to be revived next year in the shape of a film. You'll see all these twenty-somethings going 'smeg' all the time.

In last twenty-four hours I have listened to about four hours worth of reggae and an album by RJD2 called 'DeadRinger'. The RJD2 album is extremely good. Cross between hip-hop and electronica, bit like DJ Shadow. I would probably go as far as saying it is one of the best albums I have heard this year. That reminds me to start compiling my top records of the year list soon. Bit difficult without much of my records around me to remind me of what I brought this year.

Posted by Edward @ 10:34 PM GMT
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Friday, December 6, 2002
A umbrellatin for a brain
It's been aother frustrating day at the Flash ActionScripting office. think I might need to overhaul the code over Christmas because it was all patched up while I learnt actionscripting. At least i got the zoom function working properly and someone was quite pleased with the results do far. Apart from the fact that i have to work against a Java based version which is looking far superior in performance and features so far.

Handed in my web course work too, so that's a weight off my back.

Nice website to look for buzz words - Pseudo Dictionary. I can think of instances where 'f-commerce' could have been used in the past.

Right a night coding away and listening to 4 hours of Reggae beckons so off I go.

Posted by Edward @ 05:14 PM GMT
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Thursday, December 5, 2002
The darkest hour is just before dawn
I felt really disillusioned with life in general today. I don't think I am actually going anywhere even though I clearly am, just where. Ended up making some comfort food of mash with some homemade bread and cream cheese. Cheered me up a little whilst I got on with yep you guessed it Director work. I got my pop guns today too. They sound really loud in my large echoey room, great bit of enjoyment and stopped me from thinking too much.

Morvern Callar based on the Alan Warner novel was a nice film. It's got that Mike Leigh gritty realism yet at the same time being quite dreamy. The cinematography is outstanding with the colours of the Spanish setting bright like a Lomographic photo. I've not read the book and was disappointed with the ending but the performances are great and story although a little far fetched done well. The soundtrack is outstanding and plays an integral part of the film. The last scene with The Mama's and The Papas 'Dedicated To The One I Love' was a great, but that was when I didn't want it to end, although I can think of a happy ending.

Posted by Edward @ 11:13 PM GMT
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Wednesday, December 4, 2002
That man over there can be finished off
So today my pitch achieved 58%, not good but not disastrous. I think with the lack of information I suffer from that lack of creativity. Nothing inherantly wrong with my idea just need to put more effort into it. So it will have to be better next time. I am currently proving right the statistic technical people on the course don't actually do very well. I will try and change that but I know I'm in for a rough ride.

Afterwards went to HTV Bristol to mingle with some television people. Quite interested in what a few people had to say, especially in the realm of expermental digital art and some good no nonsense interview/application form techniques from a woman at BBC Bristol.

Third outing of the day was to the annual Oxfam Christmas Party. Got to meet all the other volunteers from the three Oxfam shops in Bath. Predominantly retired woman as usual. Some nice nibbles and wine was to be had and a raffle. Jake who has been coming to these parties for the past three years has won something but this year he didn't. I on the otherhand won an Oxfam voucher. Wasn't a late night party but a relaxing start to the evening before I jumped into the world of Director madness.

Posted by Edward @ 10:48 PM GMT
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Tuesday, December 3, 2002
Festivities maybe?!?
To get you into a festive mood, you can open an digital Advent calendar at Electric December. Some nice pieces of animation, video and games in there though not all apparently to do with Christmas.

Even though we are in December the sun is shining on the college campus today which makes a change. Can't believe the end of term comes next week. It's going to be a nightmare Christmas. Presentation on my Lomographic web site next week.

Posted by Edward @ 12:23 PM GMT
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Monday, December 2, 2002
I wish him well with his gift
Wooden pop gun

Found a place to buy a wooden pop gun. In fact there are a lot of places that sell them, Toy Giant seem a real friendly lot to get them from. At £2 and only a quid for postage everyone should have one. I can see David Brent using the pop gun in his office shooting through the blinds at his workers.

At the swimming baths today they removed all the lane divisions. What a blissful thing to be able to swim freely around the pool. Oddly everyone had left the pool by half past ten.

Have decided that blogging is one of the best things to happen since email and the Web, so much so I am thinking of using it as a basis for my cultural theory essay next year. You can read more on weblogs at Rebecca Blood's website. A veteran of blogging and media-squatters.

Posted by Edward @ 01:08 PM GMT
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Sunday, December 1, 2002
Apologies to the Guardian for nicking their great links
This is just brilliant MC Eschers Ascending picture in Lego. Too much time but excellent all the same.
Posted by Edward @ 03:01 PM GMT
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Weird site on ESP. Kind of amazing even though you know that something is going on in your brain that must be mappable within a program.
Posted by Edward @ 02:51 PM GMT
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