jetpack technology

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wahey. Today I had a day out like wot normal people do, with like walking around and stuff (which is a novelty for me). My folks came to visit me today, and being National Trust members, took the opportunity to visit Anglesey Abbey which is only ten minutes drive from where I live. After a nice picnic in the carpark, we followed the path through the gardens to the house. It was pretty cloudy and cool despite all the forecasts saying it was going to be hot and sunny, which was disappointing. Anyway, there are mature trees everywhere, lawns that stretch off as far as the eye can see, and arty statues on every corner - very atmospheric in a kind of gothic way. Anyway, the house is old, and pretty but so cosy inside. Yes it's lavish but it's more like a country house festooned with art treasures than a giant palace that you could never imagine living in. It's such a shame those cantankerous National Trust cronies don't like people taking photographs in their places (but I took a few sneaky ones just for the sake of it - heheh). There were dozens of photo opportunities everywhere you looked (of course). I started to get a bit panicky in the house, lovely though it was I wasn't feeling that strong and there's a long circuitous route around all the rooms. There are lots of armchairs but you're not allowed to sit on a single one of them which seems odd when you consider that their customers are old folks who might be a bit decrepit like me. Anyway when we got to the amazing library, I had a sneaky but much-needed sit down on the stewards little wooden chair while my mum bent his ear about chandeliers and bookbinding. Anyway, I was really captivated by the house. It gave me such a magical feeling imagining what it must have been like to live there (it was a private residence until 1960) and to stroll around the beautiful gardens every day. The weather turned hot and sunny while we were inside and when I got out I was feeling a lot better and we walked for a few more hours around endless gardens and forested bits and took in the amazing vistas. It just seems to go on forever and there are winding paths and hedges and statues everywhere you look and you're not confined to the paths. We must go back and explore some more before summer is over. I've hardly used my camera at all recently, but when you really have such a good subject, you realise that 1.3 megapixels really won't do! (early adopter you see). I notice there are loads more pics of the place on Flickr

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

    You can travel the world but you can't runaway from the person you are in your heart. You could be who you want to be, make us believe in you, keep all your light in the dark

    They say learning to love yourself is the first step that you take when you want to be real, and flying on planes to exotic locations won't teach you how you really feel
Those are song lyrics by the way, not me getting all poetic on you. I can't stop listening to this song. I love the lyrics too. Kirsty Hawkshaw has done vocals for Orbital, Way out west, Hybrid and BT (not the phone company) all of whom I love (I don't love the phone company). I really should get her solo albums too. She was that crazy bird with the shaved head in Opus III that sang "it's going to be a fine night tonight, it's going to be a fine day tomorrow" in about 1989 - if you remember that, I try not to.

via Arjan writes

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I'm so disorganised that when it came to paying my phone bill this month, I paid the amount which was due in March, and not the amount on the latest bill (which was greater) - duh. This resulted in my phone being unable to make outgoing calls when I tried to use it yesterday, though for whatever reason my broadband connection still worked fine. I rarely use the landline for anything else so I don't know for how long I've been unable to make outgoing calls though I don't imagine it's that long. Anyway, this morning I had to call an 0800 number and have my knuckles rapped and pay an extra £11.75 for the privilege, to get the phone line back to normal. What I don't understand is why I still had to pay them the full amount stated on the bill over the phone when I'd already sent them an amount once already this month (albeit the wrong amount) - You'd think there'd be only the difference to pay.... I tried to sort it out with the stern man but I don't think very clearly at 8am, having just woken up. I've registered with in order to view my bills online and see what's happened but that will take 48 hours to work. Another weird thing is that there were no security questions required to sign up for billing information. Technically I could have viewed anyone's bill provided I knew their account number and phone number, or so it seems.... what a mess eh. At least now I'll get an email when a bill is due and it won't get left under a pile of junk mail

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

I think my stinky neighbour might be moving out. She's a large american lady like Roseanne Barr (but we call her Grotbags - not to her face obviously). I've never known her use the bathroom and she lives on takeaways. One time the electrician came round to look at something in her room but she wouldn't let him in and when he peered in the window he looked shocked and said "my God, I don't want to go in there". Everytime she came home late at night, it would take her ages to get in the door. There's a lot of rustling as she forces her way in and has to kick the litter back in that has spilled out. Anyway, a few weeks ago she started moving her stuff out. This began with two days of her carrying binbags out the back door until there were over 50 piled up high, more than I can actually visualise fitting inside her place so I can't imagine what it was like in there. She has a habit of leaving her window wide open at ground floor level, even when she's out and seeing as I've been burgled once already I'm not that pleased about it. A mate of mine went to shut it and got a look in and was horrified. When I looked, it was as if someone had transported the contents of a landfill site and stored them in the flat. By the window there was a pile of rubbish topped with a bare stained mattress, a rotting phone book and an old fan heater balancing on top - and this was after she'd removed fifty or so binbags of stuff. She's been in and out all day today moving stuff, and the smell is horrible. Like a million wet ashtrays and a dustbin lorry. I wonder when she'll be gone for good....

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Friday, June 23, 2006

I wish I knew how to use Macromedia Flash to make fantastic animations. I tried it once but found it pretty complicated and couldn't be bothered to persevere with it. Even if you've never used it, you should still find this animation pretty amusing.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Just the other day I was watching T4 at the beach (well not so much watching, but it was on in the background), and those dodgy Pussycat Dolls were on - they're all very glam and they cavort about singing horrible lyrics like "don't you wish your girlfriend was a freak like me" and I thought to myself, blimey whatever happened to feminism. I remember reading an interview with Bjork about feminism and she said that if someone unlocks the prison door, you still have to walk out. There's no point staying put and complaining about the prison walls. Well it seems like these days a lot of women have decided they quite like it in there anyway and don't want to walk out, simply because it can get you all the things that people crave these days - lots of cash, notoriety, adoration, column inches, free entry to celebrity parties etc etc. and it seems like everyone is trying to achieve that these days. The number of fake tits in the big brother house is testament to this. Those who prefer to stay au naturel are starting to look like conservative old maids which is incredibly sad, that there's this formulaic ideal of overt sexiness which is mostly just a means of getting attention and money, and is not really that sexy at all, just crass and shallow. I can imagine all these women saying "yeah I tried feminism once, but it was boring and I don't mind colluding in my own exploitation if there's money and fame to be had". It reminds me of that joke "why do dogs lick their balls? answer: because they can" ie. we'd all do it if we could.

Well I notice in the guardian that someone has written a book about the very same thing - called Female Chauvinist Pigs - catchy title!

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

there's lots of gossip about the BB housemates on the wikipedia page - Grace's pop career, Lea's real age etc!

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Monday, June 19, 2006

I need some of these. I wonder how you wash them...

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have you seen that ad for O2 mobile phones, with the bubbles floating around and all the buildings mutating? When I first saw it I thought the music was excellent and wondered what it was. It reminded me a lot of Autechre but decided it wasn't and that was probably custom-made by a knobtweaker in an ad agency. Well my friend informs me that it's by "Jackson and his computer band" on Warp records (surprised that it really is on WARP having such an obvious WARP sound - I didn't think it really would be). Anyway, if you go to you can download the whole album for £6.99. I've never bought anything from that site before (I rarely buy new or full price music - ebay is my friend) but it's a great site. You can even pay by paypal and download the mp3s right away - no DRM nonsense or iTunes crap - yay!

I even get to insert this little player for you to use! You should recognise the first track, just click on the little triangle to play

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

are you sick of football yet? I went shopping for clothes today but it was hard to find anything that wasn't plastered with red crosses or ENGERLAND somewhere on it. There doesn't seem to be any product that can't be advertised with some kind of football theme on the TV either. I watch Channel 4 news most nights. You'd think that would be safe from the usual barrage of footie talk but alas no, it's considered headline news, which surprises and disappoints me. All the serious stories come after the first ten minutes of world cup talk. I'm sorry but FOOTBALL IS NOT NEWS!

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

you know there's a million radio stations on the internet. It's one of the main reasons I wanted to get broadband. Well instead of trying to google for the stations' webpages you could get a player which has them all. I tried a few which weren't satisfactory but knew there must be a simple no-nonsense prog out there which was perfect - I mean how hard could it be to find a load of streaming radio links and put them all in an organised interface. I spent a whole afternoon on Google and found loads which sounded great from their description, but in fact either turned out to be either impossible to use, shareware, or infested with adware etc. But finally, I found what I was looking for and it is - screamer radio. It has more than a thousand stations organised by genre, network, region etc. Loads of channels I'd never listen to but it's fun just to see what they're like occasionally. My current fave channel is - which is all 80s nostalgia stuff. There are so many obscure hits which I'd forgotten and also as it's an american station, there are a few I've never heard but which have all the qualities I love. It's like going back in time and shopping for stuff you could never find nowadays. Who remembers "Oh Sheila" by Ready for the world or "when the heart rules the mind" by GTR? I would never have recognised the titles but knew the songs straight away. I always click the mute button though when Come on Eileen comes on - ugh. The good thing about the player is that you can also record each track (once you've selected a folder in the preferences) , and if you only start recording in the middle of the track it's remembered the first half in a buffer and saves the whole track for you - clever eh.

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so out of Grace and Nicky, which venomous, stroppy diva do you want to go? I'd like Nicky to say just because she's so preposterous that it's funny. Grace really is a scheming, foulmouthed superbitch and yet she wonders why the public were chanting "get grace out" the other night. It amazes me that her casual bedmate Mikey keeps reassuring her she's done nothing wrong, when just the other week he himself said to Grace and Imogen "what are you bitches bitching about now?" I'm really looking forward to hear Davina explain to Grace why everyone thinks she's so nasty. I expect it'll be another public lynching like it was with that crazy black girl from last year (whose name escapes me).

I'm quite looking forward to Lisa going too. Living with her must be like living with some kind of hysterical, feral cavewoman, completely uncivilised and oblivious to any kind of social decorum. Gosh I'm starting to sound like Brian Sewell....

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Friday, June 09, 2006

here's a quote from the Guardian's trollbait "comment is free" blog section (I don't really like the way they write very provocative and cynical pieces which seem to be designed solely to whip up a storm of indignation, but that's beside the point). The article is about that shouty record by that bird that sings "I wish I was a punkrocker with flowers in my hair" and I thought this description was quite well observed:
    All I hear is that telltale, indefinable something that immediately marks it out as something that's bypassed the soul completely: consumable noise for people who don't like music but know listening to it is "the done thing" - like mutant imposters mimicking the behaviour of humans. I can't relate. It doesn't go. I'm being alienated by the replicants.

    There's a word for this sort of thing. It's not "art", it's "content". And it's everywhere, measured out by unseen hands, mechanically dangled over the replicants' flapping gobholes; flavourless worms for android hatchlings.

    Sometimes I can ALMOST see where content is coming from. Take Angels by Robbie Williams. It's a massively popular piece of content, beloved by millions. If I strain really hard, I can just about make out some genuine emotion. Just a speck or two - but enough to make its huge success at least vaguely explicable. Compared with anything that has any semblance of balls whatsoever, Angels is a bowl of cold mud - but next to most content, it's a towering emotional epic. It almost makes you feel something. No wonder it's become the official theme tune for thick people's funerals.
Despite that, I've spent the last 10 days listening non-stop to the new album by Nick Lachey - the long suffering (now ex) husband of Jessica Simpson as painfully documented in "the newlyweds". I felt quite sorry for him and his obvious exasperation and probable desperation - like the time they're at a restaurant and she says "I know this is tuna, but is that fish or chicken?" She's like a prettier Jade Goody. Anwyay the songs are all quite poignant in a very slick mass-produced middle-of-the-road way which would completely wash over you were they not so catchy. Having said that, the first three songs and the last one are miles better than the others which I guess makes those others "filler" in more ways than one. Every day I've woken up with the final song going round in my head and it's the first thing I listen to while I'm having my breakfast... I know it's not cool but that's not something I've ever worried about

I've just noticed that the track which I like so much doesn't appear on the page as it's a bonus track which probably only appears on the European version of the album, so I've uploaded a bootleg quality mp3 for you here - I hope you like it as much I do

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Summer's here! For now at least - I can't believe how hot it's been. This is kind of a pointless post but I just wanted to document such a great five day forecast. I'll be sitting in the park every afternoon, surreptitiously looking out for sexy things to admire and soaking up a few rays. Today I sat next to a bunch of braying posh cambridge university students who were saying "oh do you remember when we were in guatemala - or was it Peru, no actually I think it was mexico" I'm not sure if that was for my benefit or not... hmmmm. You have to get used to the hooray henrys around here.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I wonder how old that Lea really is (big brother woman with the big norks). She claims to be 35 but I'm sure she's said 36 and 37. If she is 35 then I'll eat my hat. The other day camp Richard said "you're a 38 year old woman...." and she said "cheeky fooker I'm 35" so I don't know where he got that figure from. She was complaining about all the fighting in the house and said "it's like being back at school - that was thirty years ago.... er, I mean twenty years" which made me chuckle.

That Richard makes me embarassed to be gay. He could make Frankie goes to Hollywood and the Village People cringe

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

I've got good news. For ages I've been meaning to submit my music to a certain agency which supplies to the film and TV industry all over the world. Well I looked at their site the other day and they have a new feature which allows you to upload a couple of mp3s and if they like them, you can be pre-approved to send them your material (otherwise you can send it, and never know if you'll hear back from them or if they like it). Anyway, I uploaded two tracks of mine which I thought would be most suitable and they got back to me saying yes they'll add those tracks to their catalogue if I send them my CDs, along with as much other material that I'd like them to consider - which is great. They supply music to loads of really well-known channels like MTV, National geographic etc. so if/when any of it gets picked up it could be a nice little earner. I'm trying not to be too excited about it because that might never happen but at least I'll be on their books. Also it means that the last 6 years that I've been sitting at home faffing about with music haven't been a waste. I'm sure I wouldn't have done most of it had I had a 9 to 5 job, (though actually I wouldn't consider it a waste even if nothing becomes of it because making music is what gives me most satisfaction in life and I hate the thought of being stuck in an office when I could be at home making sounds on my computer).... so anyway, I have to sort out some CDs and post them off on Monday

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Potential Animal Virus Identified in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients discovered by a company called "Cryptic Afflictions, LLC Research" - good name but does sound like something out of Batman

I'm feeling quite a lot better these days you'll be pleased to hear - normal(ish) service may be resumed soon(ish)

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this is kind of geeky, but I'll try to keep it simple. There's a piece of music software called Babya Logic which is made by some (presumably) kid who's knocked it together with some open soure code, which is fine - for a school project or whatever. But...... it's absolutely useless and yet the guy spams the music forums telling everyone about his amazing professional product. Here's a quote from wikipedia which outlines some of the outrageous claims:

    "Babya Logic is allegedly a freeware music production suite created by a person called A.A. Fussy. The purported developer is an amusing entity on the internet, having a history of making frequent and outrageous claims for what are essentially rebadged source-code examples, and spamming forums with product releases and announcements. In addition, the use of the name 'Logic' for a sequencer may be a breach of a trademark for the sequencer package now distributed by Apple, and formerly developed by Emagic. [[1]]

    Despite the claims made in their press releases, Babya Logic is only compatible with Apple's professional sequencer of the same name at the level of import and export for MIDI files, and its features and capabilities are woefully short of any realistic expectation of 'professional'.

    Most recently Babya Software have made the extraordinary claim that they had actually acquired Emagic, the original developers of Logic. In fact, Emagic is now a division of Apple, and this is yet another bogus claim on the part of Babya Software. It has been rumoured that an Apple software engineer commented that Apple would sue 'when they had stopped laughing', so it would appear that they do not consider the product a viable alternative to their own."
People have tried to reason with the guy to find out if he is serious or if he's just having a laugh but he gives nothing away, maintaining the pretense to the absolute letter. Either he is having a laugh or he has some serious personality problems. Anyway, people have joked about the product for a long time despite his grandiose announcements, but now there is an instructional podcast telling people how to use the program. You have a listen to it and tell me if the guy is serious/joking/insane....... (God, there's some weird shit on the net)

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do you remember "the final countdown" by Europe? of course you do. Well if you want to see something funny, you must watch this video - it had me in stitches

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