Archive for the 'Me, me, me' Category
‘Stacking Cattle’ is the title of a new blog written by a pal of mine. He’s so 2002! He’s going to be using terms like ‘blogosphere’ and ‘multi-faceted media node’. Anyway he’s funnier than me (at least online) and recent subjects include comedians, inappropriate links to lemonparty and racist S60 applications. I’d suggest taking a look, if only because it keeps him off the streets.
After (naughtilly) having an older version for some time (2.x something, I don’t know… it’s been a while) I have finally updated to the latest WordPress. Initially impressions: very impressive. That is, of course, if this actually gets posted at all.
I’ve just been sitting here and the whole house shook for about 4 seconds. So, being the geek I am: go internet go! The ever-useful Sheffield Forum tells me that I wasn’t imagining it. Even more surprising is the news there that it was felt as far west as Manchester and that according to my friends who I’m talking to over IM, as far East as Hull. Wierd. They felt it strongly too. More news later, I guess. It’s always interesting to see how the big media (like the BBC) react to this sort of sudden unexpected news.
Update: The BBC have got an initial report here. Got two pals in North London saying they felt substantial shakes.
Update #2: One guy hurt his leg when his chimney fell on him. My Mums piggie bank nearly fell off the telly. That’s it. No doubt the Japanese/San Franciscans are looking on and sneering at us making such a fuss. Unsupprisingly, it was left to b3ta.com to make the defining point.
Sometimes it feels nice to rant against blatant stupidity and get the support of my peers (read: fellow redditors). I’m happy to be upmodded when it’s something I care about. Sad? Well, maybe. But in this case; when it involves media-scaremongering that makes people terrified of their own neighbourhoods (specially when it’s my neighbourhood), I’ll happily take those votes.
Was awoken up this morning by a police officer knocking on my door. He told me there had been “an incident” and wondering if I’d seen anything. As I wasn’t dressed and was rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, he figured pretty quickly I hadn’t. Only once I’d got myself sorted and ready to go to work did I discover that the road outside our house was cut off by blue police tape that I had to work my way through to get to work. I figure I was technically in a crime scene!
Apparently a bank-van had been held up by armed men as it refilled a near-by cash machine. I don’t think anyone was hurt, but they made off with a hell-o-a-lotta cash. South Road in Sheffield does seem to be attracting an inordinate amount of police attention recently. I don’t know why, maybe because it’s close enough to the city centre to have targets of value, but far enough from the city centre to be free from CCTV etc. I’m only speculating here. I have absolutely no idea.
I had what could be the ideal politics-geek day-trip last Wednesday. I awoke at ridiculous O’clock to travel from Sheffield to Westminster for the first Catch21 Productions conference since I joined them as ‘New Media’ bod. This was held in the Houses of Parliament itself. I was excited to get bumped to the front of the security queue and through St Stephen’s entrance. Inside we held the conference which involved a number of college/6th form kids asking questions to us and our guests. Guests included delegates from Operation Black Vote, The Electoral Commissionâ€™s and the UK Youth Parliament and also we were able to have a question and answer session with Charles Kennedy MP, Ann Widdecombe MP, current Education Minister Alan Johnson MP and Daisy McAndrew – Chief Political Correspondent of ITN. The audience asked some good questions which yielded some interesting answers.
Catch21 will be displaying highlights from this event on our YouTube channel. Personally, I enjoyed opportunity to meet some very significant MPs from the three main partys and we all got some ideas of where Catch21 can go as an organisation from a seemingly pretty keen audience. Besides, I get down to London so infrequently the Tube is still a novelty. I wonder how long that will last?
(picture courtesy of the lovely people at OBV)
The constant rain and subsequent flooding yesterday was pretty amazing. I’m lucky that I live and work on some of Sheffield’s higher ground, so I wasn’t personally effected. However at work we could watch the citys traffic cameras online. Roads either became blocked with traffic, closed off, flooded or in some cases blocked with abandoned cars and flooded. We saw industrial buildings to the North of the town catch fire and Sheffield Forgemasters (who coincidently, I’ve helped develop a website for) were pretty much submerged. I’m now quite familiar with Sheffield and it was eerie to watch recognisable places and structures suddenly acquire their own moats in real time. The local web forum was full of people posting pictures of their homes and offices partially submerged and their cars floating. The roads, bridges and the station is still a mess.
For me, it was also interesting to see how locals made pretty much immediate use of web forums, imageshack pictures, blogs and youtube posts to spread their, sometimes quite scarey, stories.Â All in all, a case-in-point example of a so-called Media 2.0 ‘hard news’ day.
On Sunday, it was brought to my attention by a friend that once a year, the kindly folk of Haigh Hall throw a free music festival for those in the area, presumably by way of compensation for them being in Wigan. I rolled up half smashed to find out what was going down with my homies.
Haigh Hall is a genuinely beautiful place, and I’ve come to the opinion that all music festivals should be held in the grounds of stately homes if simply for the reason that, surrounded by two or three square miles of semi-landscaped woodland, there was no problems with the toilet arrangements.
It’s been low-blog count limbo round here for a while. I’ve been over-rung with websites to maul at work so I’ve been somewhat terrified to even look at a TinyMCE text entry box. What else have I done? Well, I’ve been all the way to Westminster in London Village to try and help raise some more funds for soon to be internet-sensation Catch21 Productions. Well, we hope. We’re certainly going to try. I reckon we could do some pretty exciting stuff with it anyway. More on that, hopefully much more, later in the year.
I’ve also been to a wedding, a stag do, paintballing (ouch), go-karting (crunch) and to see some downright awesome bands like 65daysofstatic (for the 4th time!) and A Silver Mt. Zion (for the second time, but this time wasn’t half as good – slackers). I went to watch ‘28 Weeks Later‘ which was disappointing, but not surprisingly so. I just loved the prequel far too much and naturally the usual disappointment in a sequel followed. I also watched the start of Big Brother UK Series 384, but I’m too ashamed to talk about that…
BBQ this weekend down ‘sarf. Maybe next week I’ll reveal some shiny new website designs I’ve been working on. Oh larks oh lawdy! Hurrah!
I’d sworn to myself that I’d get round to seeing Mr. Scruff; DJ, artist and all round leg-end. Fortunately, last week a friend invited me back once again to Hull to see him at the uni. What a brilliant night. Such a fun DJ! Plenty of people dancing, very early in the night and such great visuals from the VJ as well. Lots of fluffy animals. Lots of pie. He drew everyone into it with some of his classic tunes, a drop of tweeness, a bit of a Rooty-toot Manuva, some more bass and then British geek-anthem, Ug. Go to a party where Mr. Scruff is playing. It will make you very, very happy.
(p.s. big thanks to Jon for basically driving me and my kit round all weekend)
Sheffield’s Plug is a club I’m only just becoming familiar with. It definitely thinks its trendy, what with its minimalistic urban branding and all. Whatever, they bagged Four Tet and a Luke Vibert DJ set all in one night. That got my attention and I dragged along my poor friend Mark, who’d been visiting from out of town. The Four Tet guy (Kieran Hebden) brought along Steve Reid who (I now know after internets research) is some sort of jazz drumming-god. I know sod all about jazz (or drumming) but boy could this dude play. He had an advantageous position at the front of the stage and I’ve never seen anyone so into their instrument (yeah, even more than James Murphy last week). Certainly not a 60 year old anyway. I mean that in a nice way, y’know? He seemed to take point while Hebden worked his way through an array of electronic gizmos (that’s an industry-standard description of what he was doing, okay?) I love Four Tet and Hebdens other project of note; Fridge but I found this gig really hard going. I mean, the guys on the stage were masterful at what they were doing but I definitely think at the end of my week I wasn’t mentally ready for the bombarding that my ears and mind took. I’m pretty familiar with most of Four Tet/Fridge stuff, but on Friday it was all about improvisation and so nothing sounded familiar. Nothing wrong with that of course, just I personally felt like I wanted to hear something safe and recotlgnisable! I’m still glad I saw ’em though, but the whole event felt like I was trapped in a Hawkwind intro. When would Lemmys vocals kick in? “I just took a ride in a silver machine…“
That’s the name of the current LCD Soundsystem single by the way, this isn’t the beginning of a xenophobic rant. I popped across the pennies yet again (this time on a bus; thanks to some genius envisaging that a rail link between two of Britain’s biggest cities isn’t particularly important at the weekends) to meet up with a fine young bunch of Mancunians who accompanied me to a very busy gig at the Manchester Academy. Quite an interesting crowd were present; the most annoying of which were people on pills and the (so stereotypically true to form, it hurt) MySpace hipster-types. Both seemed to spend most of the gig facing away from the musicians. This was either through confusion or through obsessive chimping, respectively (the likes of which I’ve not seen since I saw Death Cab for Cutie a couple of months back *shudders*) [thoughts on the gig itself after the jump…]
I could of done a ‘my favourite albums/films/gigs/rude things you can do with grapes’ list, but I didn’t. It’s the cowards way out of a year. Lets move on, okay? My Christmas was spent at home with family and friends. Nothing amazing, just nice to see ’em all. Well, mostly. A nice break from my job although barely two months in, I’m still loving it. I’ll mention what gifts I got for Christmas as I watch/read my way through them. I made some new years resolutions. Nothing heavy; read more, write more (here and elsewhere), got some other stuff I wanna sort. Sorry I can’t be more exciting. Going to keep a journal (diary) again too. I did this in my final year at uni and it really helped me to pull through some of the bullshit that decided to drop on me during that time. Still makes for pretty funny reading at times now though.
Back in Sheffield: James, Ellie and I are being joined by new house-mate; Zoe. When we first met her she mentioned that she fancied having a cat about the place. So did we. As a result, we now have Slick and Intel, two 1 y.o males we took off a fella called Mike who couldn’t look after all of their brothers and sisters any more. They’re a bit sheepish around the house at the moment (yeah, I’m aware they’re not sheep), but their confidence is increasing. I’ve already got a favourite, but it wouldn’t be fair to say who, would it? Predictably, I’ll probably be uploading pictures of them to my flickr account. Anyway friends, lurkers, countrymen, happy new year.