Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Been doing a lot of tinkering over on Wikipedia of late and finally got round to making a start on my user page so that other contributors can see who I am.

's kinda fun, the wikitext markup language is very flexible and does some neat tricks... even if sometimes the result can be a little visually haphazard (The vestigial librarian in me loves the "userbox" idea - a kind of visual shorthand for cataloguing users' interests, abilities and such - but the resulting cascade of multicoloured boxes kind of offends my graphic designer sensibilities :D )

Anyway I should stop playing with it now and make some dinner but wanted to point people here at it to see what you all thought so far?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

YAY for weekends!

I'm a fan. There should be more of them though... by which I mean that I'd like them to be longer, not more numerous.

Spent Friday night mostly hanging out with Liz We watched Die Hard, I had egg and chips for tea, she had cereal, then we went to the pub where we met Justin and Karen and had a great time until they made us leave (because it was closing, not because we'd been bad, we hadn't). Simple pleasures. Saturday Nete and Keith came round to geek out with me and play a LAN game of StarCraft*, before we got to the "MashMashMash KillKillKill" part of the evening though we had Chinese take out with Hamish and his new friend Mark (who is cool!) Food was good (and cheaper than expected, partly I think because it was late and I'd called them back and used my work "bad supplier" routine on 'em he he)

Yeah. Weekends are good.

As are holidays! I'm plotting some of those with people, Mum & Dad have kindly invited me to join them for a week in the South of France this summer, I'm thinking I might try and make the travel part of that into a big train journey, possibly stopping in Paris on the way and then go on from there for a week in Greece (near enough Athens to explore it but not in Athens...) afterward as a big summer adventure... would probably have to fly home, but the idea of a long train journey across Europe really appeals. Then in October a bunch of us are planning to go back up to Sutherland and (hopefully) stay just up the hill from my favourite place on the planet. Before all of that though there's a jaunt to Dublin in the offing... Planning holidays is almost as much fun as going on them...

Not a lot of other news really, usual burbling of the social life and plans for later in the year, that's sort of how things go at this point in the year though. It's still very much winter here (even though no snow has yet blanketed the city, boo!) and everything feels kind of hibernate-ey, wound down and slow paced. It's nice but I think I'll be ready for spring when it gets here.

...oh and I know I said I'd stop it, but then Lucy and Justin sent me theirs and they both rock so here are a couple more album covers:

album cover

album cover

I just love how different they all come out and how every one of them has a sound.

* James, you are much missed at these LAN parties, you should come up for a weekend soon

Monday, January 14, 2008

a few more album covers

I really liked this meme and a few other people seemed to have fun with it too, one or two have sent me theirs so here they are, you can hover over each to see who did what:

album cover

album cover

album cover

There, I'll stop it now. But aren't they good? I can imagine exactly what each one would sound like too which is fun.

Monday, January 07, 2008

album cover meme

Blame Owen but it's a good one and dead easy. Here's mine, below is how you do it.

album cover

1: Use Wikipedia's Random page selector; the article title is the name of your band.

2: Use Quotations Page.com's random quote generator; the last four words of the very last quotation is the title of your album.

3: Use Flickr's "interestingness" search; the third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover, (I reckon cropping to a square is allowed since it's supposed to be an album cover.)

4: Use your graphics program of choice (Owen reckons Paint will do but I don't know anyone who still has Paint! use Photoshop Elements, Fireworks, or whatever you have handy) to throw them together, and then post 'em (or email 'em me if you don't blog but still want to play).

Saturday, January 05, 2008

where did my snow go?

Happy New Year everyone, OK so it's almost a week into 2008 but in some cases this will be the first you've heard from me, and it's my first post of the new year so it seemed apt to start with that.

I had a brilliant Hogmanay - Al and Steve (my little sis and her fella) came to stay and we went sightseeing round the city together before spending the night itself with some of my Edinburgh gang, ending up on Princes Street for midnight. The fireworks were good until the smoke obscured them and (with the exception of one dozy fifer woman being incredibly rude) the whole evening was a friendly and happy experience. I love getting to share this place I've made my home with people I care about and I was really pleased that Al and Steve could see what I see in the place.

The rude woman upset me... Leaving Princes Street we all had our hands linked in a long chain so as not to lose anyone. Part way through the crowd this woman came staggering toward me shouting Happy New Year with her hand out wanting to shake mine. So far so friendly, and I smiled acknowledging her as best I could (without letting go of anyone who might have become lost in the heaving crowd) I nodded and wished her a Happy New Year back... at which point her face screwed up as if she'd smelled dog shit, and she started yelling "English!" as if it was an accusation... I so rarely encounter anti-English sentiment that it shocks and upsets me when I do, especially since I consider myself more Scottish than English*, place of birth notwithstanding. That this brainless drunkard took offence at my accent and decided to make me feel unwelcome in my own home city put a smudge on an otherwise shiningly happy day. It also embarrassed me in front of my guests (who are both very English and quite happy about that thank you) Still other than that it was the usual happy friendly New Year crowd I'm used to.

Anyway as I said it didn't really spoil the evening, just smudged it. So far the new year has been pretty good, the past few days there's been snow reaching into the city centre and for the first time in years I can just enjoy that rather than having to worry about the conditions on the A70 over the Pentlands... sadly not enough has yet fallen and settled for me to make a snowman but I'm optimistic.

I realise I've said this before too but I will endeavour to post more regularly this year - the tail end of 2007 was pretty hectic one way and another and while I'm sure I could have found the time to post, some of the time I couldn't have reasonably posted what was on my mind, and others I simply didn't make the time. Hopefully this year I'll get better at making the time, for myself as much as anything: I've really been enjoying re-reading my Australia posts recently... It's incredible to me that it's now a year since I came home from my adventures down under, and much as I love life here I really miss some of the people and places I discovered there...

2008 seems to have very little in it as yet - this point last year my head was crowded with things I had to do and find, this year things are much more settled... at the start at least! (doesn't do to take these things for granted) I'm really looking forward to finding out what this year holds, and as I said I'll try to do a bit better at documenting it.

* Because I chose Scotland as my home, rather than winding up her by an accident of birth. I've been living here for well over a decade, pretty much my whole adult life, I'm a Scottish tax payer, a Scottish voter and a borderline Scottish Nationalist. If asked where I'm from my instinctive reply is "Edinburgh" because this is the place my soul feels at home.