A journal of questionable quality

Thursday, June 23, 2005

we've blown an airbag

I'm in trouble again.

It's becoming a regular thing. Some time ago, and I mean, some time ago, during a wander about the place I reported back that I had been taken (taken - not smitten) by the design of a blog, Airbag, and, as is usual for me I mentioned, tongue in cheek, that I would have ripped off the entire design were it not for an entry on the site about someone already having ripped him off.

The particular entry, replicated here, this week managed to achieve some sort of notoriety when Mr Storey, the owner of said blog published an excerpt from my entry, out of context naturally, referring to the 'ripping off' of his design.

I notice he didn't bitch about further detail I added about some of the excellent work a company he's associated with produces.

Anyway, all hell broke loose, one would suspect he had just discovered some of those missing WMD's that the mighty US forces failed to find, as the obsequious Airbag minions leapt to his defense, wronged as he was, by me mentioning I thought his site was a good look.

Result - a heap of anonymous comments attached to my 4 month old entry, telling me what a cad I have been. The one I liked the most confirmed that I am a hack - a totally correct assertion as people who hire me know, the only problem being that the comment maker, Mr Anon, is referring to another form of 'hack', not my type of 'content provider' hack.

As our most popular hated media star says 'shame, shame, shame'.

I was stunned that it caused such a reaction, but it does have a loyal group of people who seem to get off on seeing their name in comments they leave to his musings, and who apparently feel the need to man the ramparts when they feel he has been maligned.

'shame, shame, shame'

Don't get me wrong, while it's a nice site, and deserves praise, it's just a blog, and as such I can't really get it up there with BD4D, or any Carson production really, and it remains bland put next to DIK, or Pixelsurgeon, and we're not going to see it at any semipermanent installation in the near future are we?

I think it's a regional thing - I seem to see more artistic merit in the British / European content, and when I see something I like I invariably fire off an email stating that I like it so much I'd rip it off if I had the nerve, prompting usually humorous responses, or, in one memorable case, the entire site.

What can I say? Beware of the airbag followers, they're like Jim Jones followers, and I believe they may be about to drink Kool-Aid.

Sad lot really those 'anonymous' people, how do you think they feel all having the same name? Maybe they're related. Why is it I can hear banjos?



Monday, June 20, 2005

on hold, bruised, beaten

Screeching to a halt. Swimming halted. Anything energetic halted for a few days.

Implants in, the key now being the ability to be able to keep them from trying to get back out again, which they do apparently, in approximately 10% of cases.

A couple of neat stitches managing to stick into my stomach no matter what position I adopt, especially rolling to my side in bed, just the thing to cause a rapid awakening.

This lot are going to bruise - that has happened before so we're relaxed with the idea of excruciating pain every time we brush past something, or bend over, stand up, sit down - just about anything actually, but it doesn't last long.

It's back to the bike after this.

Six weeks of frantic swimming, four times a week, up to 2.75 klms a session, and the net weight loss? 800 grams. I need to lose 10 - 12 Kg and I manage 800 grams. It's so small I don't even bother to convert it to a 'real' measurement like pounds, or stones, figuring I don't need to know just how small a measurement that really is.

Seems the swimming was great for the cardio thing - my heart may well thank me one day - but that's about the extent of it with swimming. Great heart, great lungs, good for the legs, just don't expect to lose too much weight dong it.

Favorite Doctor makes 'told you so' type noises, but allows no argument. The bike will have to come out.

The one good thing about the swimming is that it has indeed done wonders for my legs, important if you want to do any serious cycling, so I guess I can cling to that as some advantage from the pool.

I'm parked until I can chop these stitches out - probably 5 - 6 days should do the trick, although there is nothing in the rule book that says you have to wait, I prefer not to do anything to encourage those little buggers to come back out.

It's not the best day. Raining, cold, and I'm in pain, a combination which does little for my brain. Not helped by the fact that we had a rare weekend by ourselves, the boys staying at their Dad's place for the entire time. It's wonderful - but, then it's back to normal life with a crash, a bang, and usually a snivelling kid on Monday morning, breaking the bubble, making sure you know it's a temporary thing.

Just in case you had forgotten.

I never do.



Tuesday, June 14, 2005

it's all about the yellow arrows

Go here [ yellowarrow.net ] and see the latest craze I have managed to stumble across whilst searching the net for the next big thing.

Well, it might not be quite the latest craze, but it has potential, a lot of potential.

I didn't find the next big thing, so this wonderful project will have to do.

I am not expecting too much of an uptake after the PostSecret thing, where, although people appear to be busy collecting the things, they don't seem too keen on sharing any secrets. Lucky we had far more luck in the Southern states where they are slightly less retentive than up here.

Here's a minor explanation of the yellowarrow thing, taken from the site:
Participants place arrows to draw attention to different locations and objects - a favorite view of the city, an odd fire hydrant, the local bar.

By sending a text-message (SMS) from a mobile phone to the Yellow Arrow number beginning with the arrow's unique code, Yellow Arrow authors essentially save a thought on the spot where they place their sticker.

Messages range from short poetic fragments to personal stories to game-like prompts to action. When another person encounters the Yellow Arrow, he or she sends its code to the Yellow Arrow number and immediately receives the message of that arrow on their mobile phone.
Pleased to see that someone from Melbourne has already struck a blow for the silent majority here in the down under, by supplying a few images, and there appears to be one from the wilds of Cape Tribulation.

So, armed with credit card, my preferred companion, we have assailed the organization and ordered a supply of arrows, post haste even, that we may begin yet another adventure in netville.

Keep an eye out for arrows, , coming soon to a noteworthy spot near you.

Meantime, if you see one, make a note of the number and contact us. If it turns out to be one of ours, and you are the first one in with it we'll give you something.

How do you know you can trust us? You don't. That's what makes it all the more fun.



Friday, June 10, 2005

barcodes and long weekends

Another long weekend almost here. Only hours away now.

Not before time. All day spent with two things to do - update the colour wheel and get some sort of PDF417 barcode maker, both preferably easy to use, and easy to find.

Dazzling array of colour theory stuff out there - how do they all make a living? Got so confused that I opted to update the existing 'ColorImpact', a good solid little utility that I am used to.

It's worse when it comes to barcode software - how was I to know that barcodes are a secret obsession of half of cyber space? What are they doing with all of them? There's only so many places you can find to add a barcode to, the Zoetrope site being one ('ya wanna know what it says, scan it and find out)

This particular application is for the instructions for the next batch of PostSecret cards that are released into the wild.

Following in the footsteps of the founder and instigator of PostSecret, we plan to release a few cards sealed in bottles into the river here and see who manages to pluck up the courage to check them out.

The idea, obviously thought up by me in one of my more obtuse moments, is to include detailed instructions, but enveloped in a PDF417 (Portable Data File - before you think I mean the Adobe doc format).

Way I see it is, they have the nouse to retrieve the bottle, they might as well be forced to find some way of scanning the instructions so they know what's happening.

It's a hard life, sitting here coming up with ways to be more awkward than the average person, trust me, I know, I do it every day.

Lucky then, for me anyway, that I have a long weekend to get over all this nonsense, a break from the massive amounts of laps at the pool, away from the house - having just realized that the kids are here again this weekend, something about currying favor with their father, or, more likely, a capitulation just because it's the done thing.

Not for long is it the done thing, the wind / breeze / gale of change is getting ready to sweep through the place, major changes, major drama.

Lucky it's the weekend.



Tuesday, June 07, 2005

and another week..

Implant time. The new head pills seem to have worked, but there's still a bit lacking. Still a bit down, possibly winter is to blame, but I'm not so sure. Still a bit 'off', for no real reason.

This time next week, 3 x 200mg implants will be taking up residence in my gut.

There will be the mandatory pause while I try and keep the stitches in one place for a week, but I have plenty to do around here.

The swimming may need to be halted until the implants have settled in - don't want to lose one of the little buggers while splashing my way up the lanes.

A good reason to step on the throttle with the swimming anyway - sort of peak it out. I'm already up to 50 laps, it's now between my brain and my body as to how much more I can stack on.

If I dig deep I might be able to get it up to 60. That's 3klms. That's a lot of mileage for an old man. I'm cheating anyway. I'm using flippers / fins for about half of the distance. It's still mileage. It takes some time to do, fins or not. We're not talking Speedo burning speed here, many more laps and I'll be there all day.

Anyway, a pause in the swimming, a pause in the biking, the buggy is still parked up, so it's a good time to get them in.

A week after that and all systems will be go again - this time with the inclusion of the buggy as well, it's been parked up a bloody long time while I obsessed over things, weight, money, whatever, and now it's time for it to see a bit of sand and surf while transporting me at ridiculous speed hanging on to a kite.

Looking forward to it. Looking forward to the implants. Looking forward to breaking out the buggy.

Obsessives attach all sorts of conditions to things and it gets really boring. A condition of buggying was to lose some weight first, after the debacle last year where I declared that I would lose all the weight I needed by getting out in the buggy - every day.

Expected weight loss = 10Kg, actual weight loss = 0Kg.

Disappointment factor - very high. Self punishment requirement - very high.

I'm done, I'm all punished out.

It's time to get loose in the buggy.

A week more of heavy punishment, a week after that of laying about, and life begins anew.



Monday, June 06, 2005

another week older

Winter here already. I'm not prepared. I'm never prepared.

I intend to ignore the entire season. I just never seem to manage it. It still manages to piss me off.

One good sign is the fact that I still, after all this time, manage to leave the house and make it down to the pool, there to commit hideous crimes upon my body, flapping my arms and legs about in water that is warmer than what's happening outside.

Several hours of that and after getting home, showering and getting back in to order and I am still warm. Then, after all that effort, anything other than cruising the net seems like too much drama.

I have been forcing myself to put all the web work in order, to try and get control of the 100's of files, folders, notes, all the stuff that I have to keep for a rainy day, secreted all over the place.

Some days I have spent half my time looking for some obscure bit of code that I have saved, usually named in a way that I will never be able to remember.

This weeks project. Clean the bloody stuff up. I have found some really interesting bits of code that I never knew I had. This time I save them all to the one area, complete with 'real' names and descriptions. All ready for the day that I need them.

Also found some wonderful menu scripts courtesy of ForgetFoo, a brilliant site, better known for it's fine collection of good looking women that changes regularly.

I tell everyone I go there for the scripts and tutorials. They are good as well, but the babes are better. He also has a Dilbert feed, and anyone who has that can't be too bad.

So old are some of the scripts I have downloaded I was unsure if he had offered them for public consumption or I had simply stolen them (not that I would do anything like that), so I was forced to contact Mr Foo and ask. It appears they are indeed for public consumption, thank you Mr Foo, so you should see some of his fine work adorning one of my sites some day soon.

So, we have a scripts section that makes sense, a 'current sites' folder that actually has current, working sites, a new place for our collection of other bits and pieces I have found while cruising around the place, all neat, logical (even for me), and, easy to find.

It seems that the winter may indeed manage to be a productive one after all.

If nothing else I should be somewhat fitter thanks to the swimming, and more organised. What else can you ask for?