EDitorial ± 27-Nov-2002

Who's The Man?

From time to time you need a gimmick. A fad, a passing fancy, some smoke and mirrors, if you get my drift. Then, today at work, someone mentioned that they couldn't find a picture of me on this very web site, but could only find Michael J Fox. Then it hit me.

I could find yet more images of the former Marty McFly, and throw in some of my own, plus a few more besides. Chuck in some Javascript to do the clever stuff, and Bob's my uncle who lives on the other side of town.

Instructions: give this page 5-10 secs to load, then run your mouse over the mini portraits below. Can you find me?


Credit where credit's due - I took my inspiration from this stroke-the-squares page. Magic.

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 19-Nov-2002

Teenager Of The Year

Everyone's heard of Harry Potter. Quite a few are aware of Artemis Fowl. But another fictional character (primarily for children though really for their parents) who deserves to be in the big league is the marvellous Clarice Bean. Who?

Clarice appears in a series of picture books written and illustrated by a lady named Lauren Child. She has a big sister called Marcie (into make-up and boys), a little brother named Minal Cricket (plain annoying), and an older brother by the name of Kurt (who rarely sees the light of day).

There are unfortunate similarities between Kurt and eldest daughter of mine at times, since both want to be left alone and no-one understands them. On a whim at the weekend, I suggested that eldest should have a T-shirt, like Kurt, saying "Shut Up And Go Away". We decided to go the whole hog and include some of Kurt's favourite expressions and some of eldest's, and ended up with this design:

One of my old favourite T-shirts was bought at a Pogues concert in Ipswich in the mid 1980s, and had the caption LEND ME TEN POUNDS AND I'LL BUY YOU A DRINK

It took a little while to get there, and required the use of a scanner, some irregular polygons, dollops of pixel paint, special transfer paper, a printer and a cheapo GBP1.99 T-shirt, but we made it.

Unlike Kurt, she smiled. Now, when little sister or brother or dad gets on her nerves, she simply points at the required phrase. Job done.

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 13-Nov-2002

Mini Adventures

In the summertime, it's a no-brainer to entertain the littl'uns of a weekend. Walk to the playground, point the car at the nearest bit of beach, or simply inflate the paddling pool that lies mouldering in the shed. Not onerous.

Becomes more of a challenge on a wet and windy weekend, esp. to tear them away from the wall-to-wall shelf of pre-recorded videos: dad, why did you tape over Ghostbusters? So, was quite pleased to achieve a couple of short but sweet outings this last Sat/Sun.

Firstly, late Saturday pm, to Orwell Park observatory, having spotted an ad for their annual open day in the EADT. Moon was visible on the way there, a good omen, but unfortunately cloud cover had set in by the time we reached the big 'scope.

Eldest star-gazing   Youngest descending the stairs at the observatory

Best we could manage was a distant view of the clock tower at the Royal Hospital School through some nifty binoculars. OK, but a poor second to staring at the Sea of Tranquility.

I saw two shooting stars last night
I wished on them but they were only satellites
— Billy Bragg, A New England

Then, in need of more air on the sabbath, to the fancy new Sutton Hoo. Run by the National Trust, now's a good off-peak time to go, since I'm told that the place was heaving when it re-opened earlier this year.

Fab large metal mask that adorns the wall of the exhibition centre at Sutton Hoo   An autumnal puddle last Sunday

Thankfully (number 1) the rain had subsided for our visit, leaving plenty of puddles on the round-the-mound walk. Thankfully (number 2) we'd got the boy's wellies in the car, so he had big fun splashing past the Anglo Saxon burial site.

Eventually got back to the upmarket caff for the obligatory tea & cake, and, of course, the boy was soaked. Went to remove his first welly so we could get his hugely soggy trousers off, and ker-splosh!, several inches of pure puddle water hit the freshly-mopped floor. Still, that's what NT napkins are made for.

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 4-Nov-2002

Got The Time

Ever seen the rather good western High Noon? Our hero, one Gary Cooper, is faced with the imminent arrival of a bunch of baddies on the next train, and tries desperately to rally the townsfolk to help him. Them's all yeller-bellies, and so he's left pretty much on his Colin Todd to face those rogues. What a guy.

That inbound loco happens to be due in at twelve o'clock (so that's why it's called...), and a gimmick of the film is that the remaining minutes are counted down in real time. Much as we'll do now, if you'll excuse my indulgence. Had intended aiming for twelve midnight. Started too late, as ever.

00:08am That gratuitously grainy image below was taken some 43 minutes ago. In an ideal world I'd (a) have a decent idea on which to hold forth, (b) pen some notes at, say, lunchtime, and (c) simply flesh out the details later that evening, thereby speeding up this whole darn process. One day.

Monday 23:25 post meridian: any takers for that new time system that splits the day into 1000 units?

00:12am You have to admire those authors who can set the tone for each chapter with an erudite and apposite quote. Being a comprehensively educated person, I ain't got the background reading, mista, though I do have a head full of pop lyrics, including:

When I've nothing to say
My lips are sealed
Say something once
Why say it again?
— Talking Heads, Psycho Killer

00:18am Had the pleasure of listening to some tracks from Stop Making Sense the other day for the first time in a while. From a 12-inch vinyl LP, no less. Those odd scratchy noises added to the overall effect. Yesterday it was side 2 (not a common phrase nowadays) of the Cabaret original soundtrack, including the rousing Tomorrow Belongs To Me. At volume.

00:25am On my wishlist from the Waterstone's Christmas gift guide, now being perused:

  • Douglas Coupland, All Families Are Psychotic: has his own unique way with words
  • Matthew Parris, Chance Witness: always interesting to hear what he says
  • The Framley Examiner: from the web site of the same name
  • Utterly Me, Clarice Bean: not really for kids, you know

00:35am Nearer 1am than midnight, tut-tut. And on a school night too! Last episode of The Office tonight. Will it return? Sad in more than one way. And that Trevor Eve in Waking The Dead: about as good a man-manager as David Brent, IMHO. How'd he get to be in charge? Man's a loose cannon.

00:42am If you haven't yet read what Susan from Cromer said on the guestbook, you should: follow the link below and you won't be disappointed. That woman tells it like it is.

00:44am Finished reading a book named Atom by a guy called Steve Alyett last night. Well-nigh undescribable. Hadn't got a clue what was going on most of the time. Featured a talking fish named Jed and other characters named Eddie Thermidor & Harry Fiasco, as well as the eponymous Taffy Atom. Unbeatable names in an indecipherable plot.

Be seeing you!