Sunday Roast: chase the rainbows

What to say about this past week? Well, not a lot really. Work has been even crazier than usual. OK, so I do hate to be bored, but it’s reached a whole new level this past week and the stress levels have kinda plateaued somewhere in the foothills of the Himalayas. Beautiful scenery, but a long way down if I let go of the rope by accident. (There’s a potentially decent analogy in there somewhere if you care to look for it).

This means that when I get home I have little, if any, inclination to write on the blog. Added to that, my wrists are starting to make themselves noticed again. They are always niggling, but right now they are jumping up and down, screaming at me like a two year old having a temper tantrum, and the only way I can shut them up is by eating unhealthy amounts of Mars ice cream bars and watching Season Four of Angel. Not doing what I love to do, i.e., write out the stress and frustration.

It’s a hard life being me.

But on the plus side I have fucking fantastic new hair, the prospect of a crazy-fun day in London on Thursday, and possibly even some blog-stalker-fun in Southampton next weekend. Well, when someone says “I fucking fancy you” in public, the least you can do is agree to a coffee. Right?

So that’s what’s been happening with me in a fairly large and wordy nutshell. Let’s get on with the whole reason you’re still reading this blog shall we?

News from around the world
It turns out that half of Britons are e-mail addicts. I know that, at work, when email goes down pretty much everything grinds to a halt. Personally, I can go a few days without checking email, but after that I get antsy. I have vivid memories of being in New York and making a daily pilgrimage to an internet cafe because I just couldn’t be out of touch. I’m a bit better now but still, more than a week and I’m getting twitchy!

ID cards are to be the next UK ‘institution’, like the railways before them. So, vastly over priced, never working, and generally one mass headache for users then?

Is Facebook destined to be the great meta-app? The site that kills all other sites and becomes where you live your life?

Ever wondered what it would be like to be on a long-term space mission? Volunteer and you might have to wonder no more. Now I’ve just got to learn me some Russian, grow a few inches, and loose a few pounds. Easy!

Need to send large files? Use Pando. It has the Pogue Seal of Approval.

Bits and Bytes
I have issues about linking to Gizmodo and the majority of the time can’t see the point of even subscribing to them, but then they pull out a gem like this adorable Steampunk R2-D2 and I forgive them everything.

I realised the other night when Moose came into the living room and caught me guiltily watching the end of Time Team that I’m more than a little out of touch with Archaeology in general. Her words “But you HATE this programme!” were like a cold splash of water to my face. I do, I loathe Time Team and all it stands for, yet here I was sitting down, watching it, and nodding along to what Tony Robinson was saying. Dear gods, shoot me now. I might as well hang up my trowel in shame. So it’s time for drastic measures. Step one? Listen to some of the Wessex Archaeology Archaeocasts. Step two? Er, suggestions?

Shooting has started on the fourth Indiana Jones movie. Now, I’m not convinced as to how the aged Harrison Ford will pull this off, but to be sure… Just the sight of him lounging in that fedora and all was well with my world once more. (Yes, I’m a fan. Find me an Archaeologist who isn’t 😛 )

Here’s a couple of handy hints for next time you do a stirfry.

A guide on how to make ‘Usable web content’ came across my radar recently (I wish I could remember where I got the link so I could credit it!) I’ve had a quick look through and there are some salient points and others that set my hackles up – possibly because it’s in the ‘how to suck eggs’ school of information exchange. I think that might also be because I’m reading it on a Sunday morning when I’m feeling grumpy and my wrists (and now little fingers) are killing me, so I’m going to reserve judgement for when I’m feeling more open minded. If nothing else though, the constant referencing of Jakob Nielsen is getting on my nerves – he can’t be the ONLY person writing about this usability stuff, can he?

Want to do something different in the kitchen? Try painting your cupboards with blackboard paint. This just looks like SO MUCH FUN! Screw fridge magnets…

It’s time for a shameful confession. When I read books now (especially text books/journal articles) I find myself wishing for things you can only get with computers – searchable text (oh, to have had this during my thesis!), hyperlinking words, bibliographies that link to publication lists or the work in question, “rich texts” with cross-media connections (e.g., pictures or audio) – but I want all of this in my beloved book format. Reading/interacting with computers has a tendency to cause me real physical pain, plus I just love the feel of the printed word on the physical (paper) page. Yes, I agree I’m in a whole cake/eat it situation. So it’s good to know that the geeks of the world have got my back. (source the Penguin Blog).

Jay’s been on a bit of a roll lately, especially with these latest photographs.

And lastly, the Movie of the Week
Interview. I’m not sure why this is appealing to me, other than it’s about time Steve Buscemi got a proper role, but it is appealing to me.

And with that I am off to revise for my last exam. In three months time when I’m starting to ponder about doing another evening class, please remind me how much time this one took? Then bash me over the head with a blunt instrument till I see sense. Thank you.

20 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: chase the rainbows

  1. Well, when someone says “I fucking fancy you” in public, the least you can do is agree to a coffee.

    Ze cat! It is out of ze bag! Or it is if anyone happens to read my blog and yours. (Or just this comment, now.)

    By the way, we’re going to be in London at the same time. That’s rather weird.

    That BBC article about all of us being e-mail addicts is ridiculous.

    Fifty per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds told ICM researchers they would not be able to carry on without e-mail.

    […] While 44% of 35 to 44-year-olds said e-mail was vital.

    Yes, that’s because our job relies on it. (Though I don’t fall into that age group.) Without e-mail, communication at work — particularly in large corporations — becomes near impossible. I work at a hospital where over 4,000 people are employed. Walking from one end of the hospital to the other involves a hell of a lot of walking. If I need to talk to someone over there, I’m going to choose indulging my “addiction” over walking there.

    We’re not addicted, it’s just necessary for communication.

    Yes I’d be fucked without e-mail where I work, and so would the healthcare of thousands of people. Nobs.

    Oh and Interview looks awesome. I love me a bit of Buscemi.

  2. Rich – I’ve heard of an alternative to walking, there’s these new fangled things called telephones. 😀

    Last time email crashed at work I was midly panicky for the first hour. After that I just got on with the rest of my work. I can go for about a week without email at my parent’s house. They only have dial-up *shudder* and I can’t just be bothered dealing with it. When we lost our internet connection at Meadow Towers for 4 days though I was at a complete loss.

    Rationing was a normal part of British life at one point, doesn’t mean anyone liked it or that we should bring it back.

  3. Rich – I’ve heard of an alternative to walking, there’s these new fangled things called telephones.

    Lovely idea, but until someone works out a way to send files over the phone, they’re no good to me.

    I’m not saying I couldn’t live without e-mail, because I could. But to say that I’m addicted just because my job (and thousands of others) depends on it is ridiculous. Non?

  4. You’re right. That new hair of yours is fan-fucking-tastic. Wow.

    Ahem. No, I’m not staring. Really. (Lies…)

    Awesome to see Indy back on the scene. Where’s his walker, though?

  5. “..and nodding along to what Tony Robinson was saying. Dear gods, shoot me now. I might as well hang up my trowel in shame. So it’s time for drastic measures. Step one? Listen to some of the Wessex Archaeology Archaeocasts.”

    Unless, of course, they happen to feature members of Time Team in them as well (which two of them do)… You can’t get away… Watch. Time. Team…

    Give. In.

  6. Non. My Collins Concise Dictionary defines an addiction as being dependent on something. You could walk to the other end of the hospital, but you choose not to. People managed for years before email became the standard, even in the NHS, and there are still many jobs that don’t use it at all. The difference is that our employers have caused the addiction because they think email is more time efficicent.

    Employers are basically email pushers. There should be a law against it. Won’t somebody please think of the children?!

  7. E-mail is more efficient. If we were all walking to and from each other’s offices, we’d waste so much time. We’d be idiots not to use e-mail. And, perhaps, this reliance on e-mail does lend itself to the havoc we see when e-mail goes down, but that doesn’t make it an addiction.

    There are many people that go home at the end of a long day relying on e-mail and don’t miss it at all. Which, since we’re talking dictionary definitions, is not symptomatic of an addiction.

  8. Rich & Moose – keep it up. One of you is going to have to back down, and I’ve got a private bet on as to who it is going to be…

    Josh – thank you *blush*

    Tom – I refuse to give in. Refuse I tell you! From a previously written rant of mine (which could do with some reworking I will admit):

    In Tony Robinson’s summation (yes, Tony Robinson of Baldrick fame is the presenter), he asked the lead archaeologist if they could date Durrington Walls and tie it into the construction of Stonehenge. The archaeologist said that, yes, they had dated an antler pick to 2500 BC, which meant the pit it came from was either dug, or had activity in it, at that time. Which consequently meant that Durrington Walls was at least in use around the time that Stonehenge was being first built. Due to the proximity of the two sites and other factors, it is also highly likely (the nice bearded professor said) that the two complexes were related in some way.

    Tony Robinson then finishes the program by saying:
    “Despite typical archaeologist fence sitting… This is final proof that [Durrington Walls] was constructed at exactly the same time [as Stonehenge]”.
    *Throws something heavy at the television set*
    It’s final proof of NOTHING you dimwit! And “typical archaeologist fence sitting”? Ouch.

    I shall make a stand here and now. Let it be known throughout Blog-Land that Cas will only ever watch Time Team under duress. Possibly after having been bribed with chocolate or extreme boredom.

  9. Richie, Richie, Richie, you seem to be getting quite worked up there, am I hitting too close to the bone? They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

  10. Just fighting my corner! 🙂

    Arguing these sorts of semantics seems rather pointless to me, in fact, but I’m not one to step down from a debate.

    I enjoy arguing, in fact. Good way to flex one’s mind a little.

    Cas: I hope your money’s on me. I never back down. 😉

  11. Email is a nice thing but is not the end-all-be-all of the world. And when mine goes down I don’t really mind it. Granted, I get mostly junk and mailing lists that I could well read another time.

    The hair, yes, is awesome. 🙂

    When my internet goes down it is cause for rioting in the streets. Though I guess as a designer for said web I have a good case to make.

    That, and it cuts off my 9Rules (crack) addiction.

    Indiana Jones 4 should be interesting. I’ll be curious to see where it goes. Though I want to like it! Really, I do. But we’ll see.

    Have we officially run out of movie ideas that we’re going back to make sequels to films from years ago? Rocky? Indiana Jones? What’s next, Citizen Kane 2? Perhaps 1985: After The War!

  12. I fear the usability thingy came via moi. Not tooting my blog horn over that, mind you, just that I linked to it the other day and there’s a chance you read it there. I know, it’s over a decade old but it’s the basics. True about O’Rlly though 😉

    I never got the British aversion (mild panic/national uproar) to ID cards. We’ve had them forever and there’s really not a problem. I can imagine introducing them overnight might be tricky.

    Good roast, Cas. And great hair. Duly commented on ur Flickr.

  13. peroty – 1985: After the War sounds like a COOL movie. Go, write the screenplay!

    Nils – now you mention it, I think it did come from you. I feel much better now the source is attributed 😀

    As for the ID cards, I think part of the problem (part of my own problem at least), is not the idea of the ID card itself, it is that it does nothing that we don’t already have. I have a passport, I have a driving license. What more do I need to prove I am who I say I am? Also no one has yet made a convincing argument as to how they are going to “fight terrorism” which is what the government is touting as their main selling point. Plus it’s going to cost an absolute fricking fortune for no appreciable gain.

  14. Yes, attribution is what matters. And now I know you’ve been lurking around too, lol. And the ID cards, well, the terrorism angle is a daft one. But not everyone has a driver’s licence or a passport I should imagine. Maybe it could be an alternative for those people. Javing a standard ID card just doesn’t sound so bad to me. As for the cost, oh, that’s what government does, it costs. Hope you guys sort it out some time 😉

  15. Damn you for making me come out of the shadows. I’m starting to enjoy lurking around. 😛

    Thanks for pointing out my photos, Unfortunately, there won’t be any new ones for a while. 🙁

    And leave it to me to be the only to comment on the food-related item. Those are some handy strifry tips indeed.

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