June 30, 2004

Car share: London -> Bristol -> London

Posted in: Drivel

Spending the weekend in Bristol teaching a friend of mine GCSE Maths, an experience I'll write more about as it progresses.

Bristol is about 120miles away. I absolutely detest using a 1,300kg car to move my 75kg body around so splitting gas and ride-sharing helps ease my eco-guilt and push the train v. car economics firmly in my favour. (It's bananas that buying a train ticket on Friday [peak period in the week] without oddles of notice costs more than the equivalent petrol cost. Of course, a car costs a lot more to operate than just the gas, but still.)

Trip details:
SW London to Bristol: Fri 2004-07-02 afternoon/evening (roadtrip posting)
Bristol to SW London: Sun 2004-07-04 afternoon/evening (roadtrip posting)

Random challenge: see how fast you can discover the weight of a typical 4-door family car using a search engine.

Click below for my answer.

Continue reading "Car share: London -> Bristol -> London"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 12:10 | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 29, 2004

Alternative solution

Posted in: Humor

A friend of mine was asking about where to get CDs pressed in San Fran to distribute copies of the latest PostgreSQL database at this year's upcoming Open Source Convention.

My answer,

Head to Kinko's and print up some business cards with a download URL :-)

"Congratulations! You've been selected from millions of online contestants to receive this FREE PostgreSQL database! Click here to CLAIM YOUR PRIZE!


It was meant as a dumb joke, but you know, it could just work...

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 16:48 | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 28, 2004

Mobile Clubbing NYC - aftermath

Posted in: Events

After a phone call with Stephen S in the UK we decided to go ahead with Mobile Clubbing NYC 1 with barely 36hrs left. The time: 6:18pm; the date: 23rd June; the place: Grand Central Station. (In hindsight, 6:23 would've been a better time, ah well.)

Continue reading "Mobile Clubbing NYC - aftermath"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 18:36 | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 25, 2004

Synchronous Orbital

Posted in: Drivel, Music

For fresh & exciting reasons each time, I've managed to consistently miss Orbital live since first seeing them at the 2nd UK Tribal Gathering with Jez in '95. Which is a damn shame since their stage shows in particular the lights are incredible, more rock concert than dance/trance gig.

Well, anyway, on the Tube back from LHR a guest ticket fell into my grateful lap thanks to Sam & Tessa (poor Tessa's kidney is temporarily sick). It was Orbital's final ever gig after 15years of performing. Wow. It was great, and especially to reconnect with Sam who's doing all sorts of insane programmer things with phones. Going out dancing with similarly-energetic people really is a treat.

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 03:25 | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 23, 2004

One of those nights

Posted in: Drivel

Some of the most bizarre events of my life happened in San Francisco around my first trip c. 1998 pre- and post-Burning Man. To the extent it almost, in my mind, became a nearly mythological confluence of randomness and experience, unlikely to be repeated.

And yet, more or less out of nowhere, around 3am this morning some truly surreal shit started happening.

Continue reading "One of those nights"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 07:38 | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 22, 2004

Mobile Clubbing comes to NYC

Posted in: Events

Having missed the 10th Mobile Clubbing event owing to being in NYC this week the logical, and fun, thing to do is hold an MC event in New York City! So, Wednesday 6:18pm, Grand Central station, Mobile Clubbing comes to America...

See the flyer

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 20:34 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 18, 2004

Thursday Booze & Comedy

Posted in: Travel

Transposing a couple of digits for the time of a flight itinerary could spell disaster. For me I read 08:50 as 08:05 which, combined with for once arriving at the airport the requested 2hrs before, had me in LHR a full 2h45 before my flight - the earliest I've ever been for an aeroplane in my life. (My usual technique is using Xtreme Charm on the gate attendants to re-open the plane...)

Continue reading "Thursday Booze & Comedy"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 20:19 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 15, 2004

Mmm, bread

Posted in: Drivel

two loaves of bread

Here's how to make it:

Continue reading "Mmm, bread"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 17:31 | Comments (4) | TrackBack

419: rent scam

Posted in: Drivel

Recently I've been advertising a room for rent and a few days ago received an eager response via moveflat.com.

I was almost immediately suspicious of it, and my intuition proved correct. I was being scammed. What follows is an email-by-email account of my conversation with "Bayo Morgan", and how I'm trying to turn the tables on the scammer. I'll be updating this entry as the conversation progresses...

(Include links to more scam pranks; have you seen an African guy in a bra?)

Continue reading "419: rent scam"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 14:52 | Comments (359) | TrackBack

June 14, 2004

Last.FM Downtime & tweak

Posted in: Drivel, Music, Tech

Gah.. my favorite Internet radio station is down for some maintenance. The problem is that you then have to repeatedly go back and do a browser "refresh" to check if it's up again (gotta have them tunes!). So I mailed Felix there and suggested they put in an automatic refresh on the webpage and change the page <title> so "Downtime" appears early in the browser/taskbar/tab. That way a casual glance will reveal when Last.FM's back up. (It's these kinds of attention to detail that really make a site. Last.FM is full of them.)

Fifteen minutes later he'd implemented it. How cool is that?

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 18:28 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 13, 2004

EFT on nail biting? And why not.

Posted in: Alternative

There is a bewildering pantheon of therapies around these days, at various points on the continua of alternative/institutional, experimental/established: Brief Strategic, Provocative, NLP, Insight, EMDR, Hypno...

Since doing the Landmark Forum last year I've been studying therapy in various forms very much as a diléttant. One therapy that frequently pops on my radar as well rated but less well known is EFT, Emotional Freedom Therapy.

Continue reading "EFT on nail biting? And why not."
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 23:16 | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 11, 2004

Movable Type Recent Comments

Posted in: Movable Type

It struck me that without indication somewhere, that readers would never know when an older entry was commented on. Only the author would know since they get handy notifications from MT. You'd in effect have to look at every archived post and try to figure out what had been commented on. I.e. you wouldn't bother. The effect of this is that conversations on older entries would be only between the author and the tardy reader.

Here's my solution.

Continue reading "Movable Type Recent Comments"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 19:00 | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Out of Heaven, into Nature

Posted in: Drivel, Nature

Outstanding night out Wednesday with Courtney at Heaven, preceded by excellent-as-ever meal at Sarkhel's across the street despite various amounts of psycho-noise in my head. Mercifully drowned out later by club music, spirits, flesh, and dancing (wherein I learnt a move from C. I have promised only to use for the Power of Good).

Continue reading "Out of Heaven, into Nature"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 01:50 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 10, 2004

Mobile Clubbing in the National Press

Posted in: Events

Mobile Clubbing: showing up at a train station at a specific time and dancing, alone, but morphically connected to the other mobile clubbers in the vicinity, tunes provided by your own walkman and 'phones. Surreal stuff. And sure enough, it had to happen - in its ninth outing the mobile clubbing posse (as previously pimped on the Events mailing list) made it into The Independent which Mike Cupcake has scanned as a JPEG. Nice one, folks!

Next ones slated for 18th June, 1st and 22nd July.

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 20:18 | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 8, 2004

New York City, 17th-24th June 2004

Posted in: What am I up to

I'm visiting New York City to see some good friends Joe & Don, Sandira, Peter, and (quite excitingly) an as yet un-met best friend of a good friend, Carolyn. And possibly even something a little unusual with other burner friends.

This is going to be a hectic trip but suggestions & hook-ups certainly welcome.

Flight info below:

Continue reading "New York City, 17th-24th June 2004"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 16:29 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What am I up to? An experiment...

Posted in: What am I up to

So it appears I'm going to miss a conference and some friends in NY as we weren't aware the others were passing in the night. Gah!

Let's say a lack of communication and knowledge of friends' lives is the problem here. Being the optimist I'm sure this is fixable somehow.

I think most problems can be solved by talking, money, or technology. Just keep throwing any of the above at the problem until it goes away, or you're having so much fun the problem's not worth bothering about any more.

So here's a technical/talking solution.

Continue reading "What am I up to? An experiment..."
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 16:11 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

There's a jumping spider on my monitor

Posted in: Drivel, Nature

jumping spider on my monitor

The old lady gave birth to several million of these guys in the shed a few weeks ago. I guess when you can jump so fast a human eye (well, mine, anyway :-) can't even register it, making the trek from the shed to the conservatory is no sweat. Even for a lickle spider like this.

I'm pretty sure those little black dots are eyes...

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 14:41 | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 7, 2004

Baked pricing

Posted in: Drivel

So our local Greggs baker franchise outlet sells chicken, vegetable, and cheese & onion pasties at 90p, 80p, and 80p respectively. If you buy two of the same you save 20p, e.g. 1.60 for two chicken pasties, or 1.40 for two veggie versions.

What if you want one chicken and one cheese & onion? Yep, you pay 90p+80p=1.70. I.e. more than had you bought two more expensive chicken pasties. Even the person serving me when I pointed this out agreed it was silly. Being a franchise of course the employees have as much creative interpretation as you would expect from a system with a typically multi-thousand page operations manual...

How does a nationwide PLC with 5 million customers a week miss this kind of thing? It's hard not to draw connections with the crushing shortage of UK maths teachers.

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 14:08 | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 6, 2004

C64 Audio

Posted in: Art, Music, Old Skool, Tech

Just got back from NotCon '04 and was curious about what had been left behind on its host site, xcom2002.com: a website pretty much covered in cobwebs, last updated around early 2003. Skimming down the page I saw a link to C64audio.com and, being a huge fan of C64 audio back in the day (mid-late 80s), went exploring...

Continue reading "C64 Audio"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 21:44 | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 5, 2004

T-shirt nonsense

Posted in: Drivel

Just read this entry and as far as I could glean some T-shirt in NZ was banned. Anyone living in the rest of the English speaking world might initially guess it was inciting racial hatred, gay bashing, or any of the other stereotypically (and quite rightly so, goddamit!) verboten subjects.

No, it says ...

Continue reading "T-shirt nonsense"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 01:07 | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 4, 2004

Bad Joke Bar Party - aftermath

Posted in: Events

Wow, that absolutely rocked. It's been fun chatting with all folks who live & stayed over here, getting calls & texts with all the funny stories (some of which are best kept ... mmm, yes).

Highlights for me:

Continue reading "Bad Joke Bar Party - aftermath"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 23:50 | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 3, 2004

Playing with AI

Posted in: Drivel

The title on the right of the party flyer was my first ever use of Adobe Illustrator.

bad joke bar flyer

I've been told it's a hard chunk of software to use; I must admit I really had no idea what was going on. For that reason it was oddly fun, like the first ever trip as a kid to a science museum just batting away at the baffling array of random buttons and menu items. Except with my gaudy "creation" they had to be interspersed with an almost equal number of times batting Undo :-)

Like most of my cooking, looking back I couldn't honestly say how it all happened...

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 00:08 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 2, 2004

Bad Joke Bar Party

Posted in: Events

Last week at the first ever No 5 BBQ, conversation led onto Chris's description of the almost uncontrolled hilarity and silliness of the Bad Joke Bar at Burning Man a few years back (at which he was one of the original bartenders, no less!). Inspired, we decided more or less on the spot to hold, right here at No 5, The Bad Joke Bar Party!

Continue reading "Bad Joke Bar Party"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 23:47 | Comments (0) | TrackBack