Sunday, March 29, 2009

When Bloggers Marry

SYSTEMS ADMIN: The vows you are about to take are to be made in the presence of the Ultimate Admin, who is judge of all and knows the secrets of your deleted browsing histories; therefore if either of you knows a reason why you may not lawfully link your blogs in holy union, you must declare it now, or forever lose user privileges.

BLOGGER A: I, ________, take thee ______, to be my wedded co-blogger, to /have and to /hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for Digg recs or for system crash, in full connectivity and in areas with no wi-fi, to /love and to /cherish, 'til Final Deletion do us part, according to the Ultimate Admin's ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee all my account passwords.

I vow to be your faithful co-blogger, understanding that account merging is a lifelong union, and not to be entered into lightly, or while chatting to someone else on IM in the bg, for the purpose of mutual fellowship, encouragement and understanding; for the procreation of new junior blogging accounts and their physical and spiritual nurture. I hereby give myself to you in this cause with my sacred vow before the Ultimate Admin.

/wobbly bottom lip

BLOGGER B: (Ctrl+V) (Ctrl+C) Search: 'Blogger A', Replace All: 'Blogger B', Enter.

SYSTEMS ADMIN: Anyone in the blogroll knowing of any reason why these accounts should not be joined in HTML union, Tweet now, or forever hold thy peace.


SYSTEMS ADMIN: Will you, the blogroll of A and B, support and uphold them in their merged accounts, pointing out dead links and correcting spelling now and in the years to come?


SYSTEMS ADMIN: And in the style of Battlestar Galactica?


SYSTEMS ADMIN: There will now play a randomly selected iTunes favourites playlist (rating:**** or more, genre: 'Scandinavian'+'electronica'), as Bloggers A+B log off, to reconvene in World of Warcraft, where we will all /dance.

Flickr pics will be uploaded later, when some turn up that don't show Blogger A grimacing wildly at the camera, or Blue Kitten howling the place down while showing her pants.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Crikey blimey, I am quite excited about this.

This thing here.


"If it launched today, The 11 O'Clock Show would be strangled at birth by embittered comedy bloggers."

Quote from Andrew Newman, Channel 4 head of entertainment and comedy, from an article about the failure to recommission 'Tonightly', a topical weekly comedy series I'm ashamed to say I've never even heard of, let alone watched.

However, I do remember The 11 O'Clock Show, which was as big a pile of shit as ever was poured through a cathode ray tube. Really really poor, as generally acclaimed as such at the time, although weirdly, it seems to be having some kind of critical revision, due to 'launching the careers' of Sascha Baron-Cohen and Ricky Gervais, although I'm reasonably sure they'd have exactly the same level of success whether they'd been on it or not.

It's this weird notion of 'bloggers' as some kind of homogenous group that confuses me, as if 'bloggers' aren't actually a complete mish-mash of viewers, interested bystanders, professionals, and, I dunno, household pets, probably.

Still, I love the idea of 'embittered comedy bloggers' having the power to get shows cancelled. Most promising.

*makes a list*

Rosie and the Goldbug

It's all a bit faffy at the moment, with various projects that are fun, but at too early a stage to blog about really (and all the 'OMG Secret Project!' stuff gets a bit tiresome quite soon, I've discovered) so here's the video for 'Heartbreak' from Rosie and the Goldbug Who, I was pleased to discover, are from here in Cornwall. And not, as you could reasonably expect, some kind of turgid rock outfit. Up until now, my understanding of the Cornwall music scene has been that it's 95% dull wuuurghrock (Reef, those other bands), and 5% weirdo electronic genius (Aphex Twin, Luke Vibert*), so it's nice to see some stripey-tighted goth-tinged arty electropop in the mix.

* Who used to be in either Five Minute Fashion, or Peppercorn Rent, both of whom I used to see up at Victor Drago's, near Pendennis Castle, where I had my first and only joint. I was quite sick, although I still maintain that was because I've never smoked, so it was just the tobacco really. I did have some hash cakes for my nineteenth birthday, aces they were. Thus concludes Blue Cat: The Drug Years.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Won't Someone Think Of The Children... Oh Wait, They're Eighteen Now.

If anyone reading this isn't aware of the whole Dunblane/Express thing, it might be worth heading over to Graham Linehan's blog to catch up on it all, and see what you can do about it.

I'm pleased the growing hate campaign against Paula Murray (the journalist who wrote the original piece) seems to have nipped in the bud though, because, satisying though it probably seemed to those engaged in it, she's really a symptom rather than a cause. There are dozens of Paula Murrays out there, and I think it's probably going to be far more productive to go after those people a level or two up - the editors and owners of the tabloids who have got far too used to being able to casually ruin peoples' lives without ever having to think of the consequences. Signing an online petition, or joining a Facebook Protest Group might not seem like much of a solution, and on their own, they aren't, but when those numbers really start to grow, and people start to co-ordinate their efforts in a way that have previously only been utilised by religious bigots and the tabloids themselves, this might be the start of something interesting.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rap Singers

After an excellent night's ranting in the pub with Gareth about how television comedy seems to be aspiring to the lowest common denominator, I wombled home and completely forgot to watch 'Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle', thus proving myself to be as much a part of the problem as those who watch, and give every evidence of genuinely enjoying that '2 Pints of Lager' thing.

Or that would have been the case, if the BBC iPlayer thing wasn't the shining example of brilliance that it is. Go thusly, o readers of my blog, and watch Episode One for it is good.

UPDATE: of course, those living outside the UK will just have to imagine it, sorry. Ooh, did anyone notice a mister Christopher Morris as script editor? Interesting.

FOR NOT REAL REASON (other than I saw the video this is taking the piss out of the other day, thought 'someone should really take this piss out of this', then found out someone had done just that some time ago):

I'M ON A BOAT (not terribly safe for work)

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Okay, I allowed anonymous commenting again. Remember, it is a privilege, and not a right.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

'Thru You'

This stuff is, and I do not use the word lightly, awesome. Another case of the low quality of the original videos (in a pixelly sense) just adding to the beauty of the end result when this bloke's got his hands on them. No famous people, no expensive recording studios, just lots and lots of enthusiasm and devotion.

And I particularly love this one:

Watch all of them over at Thru You.

Did we all know, by the way, that if you put 'pwn' after the 'www.' bit but before the 'youtube' bit of any youtube video, it takes you to a site where you can download the video of your choice as either an flv or mp4 file? Sadly this came just after Youtube decided to take down most of its music videos, but still, handy to know.

UPDATE: Wooo, I found this before Boing Boing!

And it's only Wednesday.

This week so far I have:

1. Put a shedroof back on an allotment roofshed for the second time.
2. Given my daughter her first meal of solid food (pureed apple, which went down very well, and more importantly, stayed down).
3. Fixed a blocked toilet by wrapping three or four bin liners around a mop head and using it as an improvised plunger. As advised by the internet (I googled 'blocked toilet' and 'flushable nappy liners that aren't actually as flushable as advertised', and followed the intructions from their there, but it still counts).


More about the shed will follow, because THE READERS (okay, Marsha), DEMANDED IT, but currently I have a baby sitting on chewing my thumb.

UPDATE: wait, I see the problem now re. shed/roof confusion. Proper blogging is quite difficult these days. Eurgh my thumb's got all dribble on it.

More about the shed, because THE READERS (okay, Marsha), DEMANDED IT.

Just as Patroclus and I had heard about some new allotments opening up nearby, and reluctantly decided that trying to maintain two full-time jobs, a nearly six-month old baby and an emotionally disturbed cat was about the sum total of stuff we could cope with, my mum decided she'd take on the day to day running of a new allotment, and everyone else culd pitch in as and when they had time.

So it was that two weeks ago, my mum, dad and myself were standing on an exposed hillside in Falmouth, in what seemed at the time like high winds, putting up a shed.

At one point, we sent dad round the back of the shed, to hold the wall up, while mum and I bolted the front bit in place. Dad meandered off round the back of the shed... and sort of vanished. Mum and I waited for the back of the shed to push forward slightly, revealing that it was, in fact, being held up, but there was nothing. About three minutes elapsed, after which we gave up, and walked round the back to see what had happened to dad. It turned out he had been distracted by a worm, which he was still giving his full attention.

Some words later, we managed to get the shed completed, with a bit of help from out allotment neighbors. Hurrah!

A couple of days ago, driving Patroclus and the Blue Kitten over to my parents', I thought we could make a brief detour so they could admire the Beauty That Is Shed. You can see the allotment from the car park, which meant we didn't have to get out the car, which was handy, as winds had got up to about 58mph by this point.

'Is it the green one?', asked Patroclus, worriedly. We watched the roof flapping up and down, held barely in place by the asphelt, then, no more than five seconds after we had driven into the car park, the roof was blown off completely.

'Hmm', I said.

Anyway, the family was assembled, and we nailed the roof back on, only for the wind to get up again later that night, which led to my parents going out with lanterns and having to do it all over again. My gran then phoned and said she'd decided to come and stay for a few days at the end of the month, which isn't relevant, but didn't exactly help the mood.

Fortunately, one of my mum's dogwalking friends is married to a retired structural engineer, who like all retired structural engineer, likes a project. So yesterday, blocks of wood were sawn up to size, cordless drills were charged up, and the roof was screwed down with enough struts, supporting wedges and bits of leftover suspension bridge to ensure that even if the entire allotment blows away in the next high wind, the shed will remain, hovering motionlessly in mid-air, the only fixed point in an ever-changing universe.

Anyway, it's all a bit bare at the moment, but there's plenty of veg going in, and a really nice atmosphere up there, because all the different allotment-owneres started at the same time, and we all came through That Time It Was Really Windy, and helped each out and stuff, it was nice, the end.

bare earth

Monday, March 09, 2009

anonymous comments

Had to disallow these for the time being, as there's a lot of spam going around. Hopefully can allow them again fairly soon.

Friday, March 06, 2009

"When can you get it in by?"

This is the classic confrontation between scriptwriter and script editor ('It' being anything from a one paragraph series concept, to the sixth draft episode script of something that needed to be filmed about an hour ago).

From the script editor's point of view, the best possible version of the ensuing conversation would go like this:

SCRIPT EDITOR: When can you get it in by?
WRITER: An hour's time. Is that okay?
SCRIPT EDITOR: How about half an hour?
WRITER: Hey look, I just finished it while we were talking!

... whereas from the writer's point of view, the best possible version of the ensuing conversation would go like this:

SCRIPT EDITOR: When can you get it in by?
SCRIPT EDITOR: But we need it as soon-
WRITER: When the stars are aligned, when the runes have been cast, when the seventh son of a seventh son has climbed the Cliff of Destiny and retrieved the Sword of Time*, then, and only then, will I even begin to think about maybe telling you, or more likely your descendants, the sort of timescale we're looking at.
SCRIPT: Righto, well, sorry to bother you.

Yesterday, I had this conversation.

SCRIPT EDITOR: Hi James, good meeting, good chat about the revised outline, when do you think you can get it in by?
ME: Next Thursday?
SCRIPT EDITOR: Really? Wow, that's quick!
ME: Bugger.
SCRIPT EDITOR: Because end of next week would have been fine, but, you know, if you can deliver it by next Thursday, that would be amazing.

At which point, of course, I start to frantically wonder if I've got the wrong end of the stick, and I have in fact committed myself, not to a minor, half-page addition to a two page outline, but a first draft of a three hour film, including a number of battles. And all that three act structure stuff I keep meaning to read about.

ME: (cautiously) I mean, it might take a bit longer. It'll be ready by then, obviously, but it's nice to put it aside for a couple of days. Let it settle. Read it over a couple of times. So maybe we'd better say end of the week?
SCRIPT EDITOR: End of the week? Wow, that's incredible!

I am starting to think she might be messing with my mind.

* I'm really annoyed I had 'Sword of Time' and then 'timescale' just a few words later. It looks rubbish.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Tum te tum

Currently juggling meetings (three different meetings with BBC Drama in the space of two and a half hours, which must be a record surely), lectures and a baby at the moment, which isn't leaving much room for the blog, sadly. Normal service will hopefully be resumed fairly soon.