Sunday Roast: how very 1967 of you

I have noticed a distressing tendency of mine to start Roasts with “So…” I could make this into a motif, a signature of my blogging, but I won’t. I want to be able to keep you all guessing as to how I will start each week. This particular Sunday sees me sitting at the computer, bundled up in a scarf and wooly socks as I prepare the post for your delectation. I could put the heating on but the stubborn streak in my refuses to give in. Perhaps I’m just too enamored with imagining myself as a struggling writer in a freezing garret in bohemian London or something. Or I’m just too much of a cheap-skate to have the heating on during the day. Take your pick.

How has this week gone? Much of a much-ness really. Lots of going to the gym (damn it, but I genuinely enjoy going now); a very rock’n’roll evening spent in the pub with illyna and Moose drinking… cups of tea; a Saturday made special with pancakes and a late afternoon nap; and now a Sunday I expect will be spent primarily curled up watching TV.

Dear god I need to get me a life to write about! No wonder I’ve not felt the urge to write much lately, or that y’all are getting bored commenting!

I am toying with the idea of having a holiday at the end of February/start of March however. Somehow I still have two weeks of leave to take before the end of March and I could do with a break from the chaos that is the office – another couple of weeks like the last few will have me wreaking havoc with some form of deadly weapon. Or handing in my resignation a few months early! The thought of two whole weeks of lie-ins, pampering and time to write feels like a sheer decadence I greatly deserve. The only thing stopping me is that we have yet another office move looming large on the horizon and the thought of the horrors which I will come back to if I am not around to organise it… At least I have got the seating plan pretty much settled. I would have enjoyed the power if there wasn’t so much politics flying through the air. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? I did get to tell the uber-boss-boss that this summer would see my departure. Oh, the look on his face still gives me the warm-fuzzies. And telling the RLO to be a man (using those exact words) was another highlight of the week. You’ve got to take your fun where you can find it I guess. On the upside, the new office is just across the road from the gym. I can see me getting very fit as I take the opportunity to dash out each lunch break and vent my frustrations on the machines!

And now I have vented far more than I meant to, let us get on with the reason I am sitting shivering fit to make my teeth chatter. A note about the NYT articles – NYT have started putting a lot more of their articles behind a registration firewall and I’ve not yet worked out the rhyme or reason to which articles are or aren’t. I’ve got a registration so I rarely notice, but apologies if any of the links cause you to stumble.

HarperCollins is going to release versions of books free on the web. Groovy. It sucks they’re not downloadable or anything else (I think this is a misstep personally), but it is a step in the right direction. I am one of those people who likes to taste my books before I buy them, and I am actually more likely to buy a print copy of a book once I have read an e-version than not.

Continuing a theme, Random House is testing selling books on a chapter-by-chapter basis. I know this works for music where a single track from an album can also stand alone, but a chapter of a book that is designed to be part of a coherent whole? Then again, cooking books, travel books, short story collections – those could work I guess.

Ever copy/pasted one of those little blog-quizes that spread like so much viral wildfire? Perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea

I like Twitter – it gives me a quick and easy way to update about the little stuff. It has integrated rather well into my life, though I need to work on a better solution for responding to people who reply to me (as yet, I only receive updates online, so when people respond to a mobile tweet, I don’t know till I get back home). Sometimes though, it’s not the solution you think it might be

Licencing people to smoke? Interesting idea.

I remember the oral section of my GSCE German and French to be a bit of a sneak – so long as you could memorise your speech fairly well, you’d do ok. What it wasn’t, was stressful – and before you think I’m just a swot, foreign languages did not come easy to me. The whole exam process was stressful, rather than just the oral component. Which is why I think it’s ridiculous they’re talking of dropping the oral component of language GSCEs. How else are they going to see if you can speak the language? A wider argument definitely needs to be made on the validity of the exam process as a whole (how can one stress-inducing exam that is just a snapshot accurately assess my ability in any subject?) but just dropping one segment because it’s too hard?! Pah! Pah, I say!

Yes, I’m on an e-book kick in my thinking at the moment. Could you have guessed? I bring you the ever-sensible Jeremy on the relevance of paid-for digital products in the era of the ‘free’ internet. What really jived with me in the article he links to is the idea that authority and personalization are what increases value.

Turns out I’m a bit of a Twitter minority when it comes to my follower/following ratio. I’d like to follow more, but I just can’t keep up with everyone! (If you follow me but I don’t follow you back, please don’t be offended. And in keeping with the Twitter Stats thing, here are mine (I love that the most tweets seem to come from the end of the work-day when I’m waiting at the bus stop!)

Sometimes it’s just nice to know you’re not the only one

We are all living in the world that Google Search built to a greater or lesser degree. I’m not naive enough to think that people couldn’t find out far more information than I wanted them too if they cared to look beyond the first page of a google search, but to see my house? As Fred rightly says, it is the scale of the streetmap programme which has the potential to get really creepy.

As close as I get to archaeology these days. If you are ever in/around York, I can highly recommend the DIG centre for any budding Indiana Jones’ in your family. The centre is really well thought out and executed. I had the privilege to visit after closing with a group of similarly hard-to-impress professional archaeologists and we all loved it. If only more museums had been like this when I was a child!

Playing with author tag clouds sounds like great fun. Might be time to get me a CueCat and scan my library (my old spreadsheet is woefully out of date – and yes, I did once upon a time track all my books on a spreadsheet. I am a geek. Live with it)

Priceless. A trail quite ruined by gravelly voice-over-man, but this still looks really funny.

I’m going to end this week with a call – my RSS feed list has remained remarkably stagnant for the past six months or so and I think it is time that I mixed it up a little and read some new stuff, so I need you to suggest sites and things you find interesting. What forms part of your weekly travels through the internet? What floats your boat? Which writers rock your world? Who is the one blogger who knocks your socks off? Big, little, screwball or straight, I don’t care. I’ll give everyone a chance, so hook me up with some link-love people 🙂

(Just a warning: if you drop links in the comments, you will get snagged in moderation I’m afraid, but I’ll rescue you real quick, I promise. I’d like to do away with moderation totally, but I got greeted with 50 spam comments that slipped past various spam filters, godlike Akismet included, into the moderation net last night alone, so it is necessary unfortunately. One of the downsides of popularity!)

16 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: how very 1967 of you

  1. Another fun Sunday Roast! As usual, I’m checking out almost all of the links, which means that I get to procrastinate on what I really *should* be doing (writing, exercising, cleaning house…the usual.) Anyway, commenting on all the links would take forever, so I’ll just say that a) I think Priceless looks good, although I’ll have to Netflix it since our theater never brings in foreign films, to my everlasting consternation. b) I’ve tried Twitter, but I haven’t done much with it lately. I think I’m too long-winded, and my tweets just end up sounding silly. Plus, I’d rather put all my work into my blog and, occasionally, Facebook. (Can’t believe I said that! I was badgered into joining FB by an old high school friend, and now I’ve “friended” tons of old friends I hadn’t seen in ages.) c) The article about viral linking was fascinating. I knew there was a reason I never put links to those quizzes on my own blog (other than that they get really old on other people’s). d) LOVED the article on requiring a permit for smokers. They have a point; if people have to go to all the work to sign up for a permit, maybe they’ll be less likely to smoke. Of course, people can still have licensed people buy cigarettes for them, like some teens do, but I think it would work. Never underestimate laziness as a way to keep people away from something! e) And, finally, Google’s street view freaks me out. So glad they haven’t come to my town yet. Here’s hoping we’re too small for them.

  2. Caryn – those are some brilliant links, thank you. I’ve subscribed and here’s hoping they continue to bring joy over the coming weeks. And the sheer time-waste aspect of the Roast is why I do it on a Sunday. Well, there’s never anything decent on TV so why not?

    Spooky – I love that Killer Bean trailer! It is awesome!

  3. You, me and illyna didn’t just drink tea on Friday night… we also ate a bucket – yes, a bucket – of chips. Wanton gluttony is semi rock’n’roll.

  4. *hangs head in embarrassment*
    Moose speaks the sad truth. We ate a bucket of chips…
    *shakes head*
    We knew it was wrong, but we did it anyway…

  5. I can’t believe how hip/fringe Twitter still is. Nor that I’m in that 10% minority like you. Nor that your stats show me as the one you’ve sent the most @s to (in three different accounts no less!).

    I just love my Twitter I suppose.

  6. I was so overwhelmed (lots to think about) that I’m not writing until now, the next weekend.

    Twitter. Only really useful if you’re following people whose lives are funny/you want to know about. That said, I met up with some people the other day. At the mall. At the food court in the mall. And after wandering around a bit and saying ‘Well, eff all of this I only know what these people look like from their miniature Facebook photos’ I totally walked up to a group of folks, asked them if they were the people I was looking for and got a bunch of blank stares. Great.

    You know what? The people I was meeting up with had all twittered where they were. I saw this after I got home that night. At first I was all ‘WTF, people?’ and then I realized that for where I live (Silicon Valley), that cell phone alone wasn’t going to cut it with my peer group.

    It didn’t help that they were all Apple employees (and nice, fun ones at that). And then there were the Computer-Human Interaction events of previous weeks and the industry party and SXSW and I start thinking ‘Wow, everyone is on Twitter.”

    So I brought it up at a party on Wednesday. And a couple people there had heard of the service. Nobody had a clue what it did. And these are Internet-savvy people, but they are not bloggers. And they don’t tweet.

    My next paycheck is going to an iPhone. I realized that nobody’s going to text me to let me know where they are in Austin. They’re going to Twitter. And I’ll have to Twitter, too. Oh, what a bubble I’m living in.

    Oh, only one – sad – (I was a total Apple trailers drug-dealer to my friends a couple weeks ago – your influence, of course), but it looks adorable.

    More time-wasting elements, please.

  7. Abi – ooh, you finally commented! I’ve been waiting with baited breath all week. That’s a great twitter story! Of course, it sucks you didn’t get to the meet-up, but it really does illustrate what a distorted view of the world you can get from within the geeky-early-adopter bubble.

    And I shall do my best to winkle out some good trailers in the coming roasts 🙂

  8. *blush* My bad for not reading carefully enough! In that case, I’m glad you did meet up with them!

    Have you been twittering too?

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