hirez: (Christmas cat)
This is utter genius. (via Making Light)
hirez: (Q-309)
I'm becoming more and more convinced that there's some magic at work within the combination of Poweramp (MP3 player) and the Last.FM client that is able to generate things I'd rather like to hear.

I mean, I don't actually remember copying any Wah! tracks to the thing, yet there it is, following along from Gina G and A Place to Bury Strangers.

Lord alone knows what's next. A Fall session, probably. Or some random MP3 playing at the wrong speed through the magic of wonky physics.

(Talking Heads!)
hirez: (Default)
August 1971 or 72 )
hirez: (Challenger)
http://www.racecar-engineering.com/articles/features/g4-xtrac-escort-rallycross-car-originally-published-in-cars-and-car-conversions-1984/

(Unless you're [livejournal.com profile] quercus.)

The Group B documentary was also jolly good value. Not enough Propaganda though.
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
Dear nice people in bands.

You were probably keeping the existence of 'road worn' guitars from me because you knew I'd go off on one and/or jabber randomly about (post)modernist theory. I'm sure your intention was good, but the Koons-style cat is out of the Fendi (probably. It would be a bad idea to try to make me care.) knockoff bag.

For Fuck's Sake. When I were a lad and had ambitions of a semi-musical noisemongering nature, the entire point of buying a new guitar from the shop was that it was shiny and new and didn't smell of beer and sweat and the inside of rusty vans yet. You played the thing lots and after a while you worked out how to get filthy noises out of it and over time you and the guitar left scars on each other that actually meant something.

There was, if you will, a long period of becoming.

Now you can buy guitars that are more-or-less identically pre-knackered at the factory. There is no becoming or experience, there's just some manner of ersatz is-ness that you buy in the same way you buy 'authentic' coffee or 'authentic' 'ring-spun' 'pre-worn' jeans.

I guess it's just another example of the commodification and marketing of alleged rebellion. I can't say I'm surprised.

(Is this what I'm going to be doing for all of 2011? )
hirez: (posing)
That was jolly good fun. The sort of splendid occasion and fine company to which a chap might become accustomed.

I am now quite tired and will stare vacantly into the middle distance, trying not to think about meatshower.com.
hirez: (Laser goggles and raybans)
As is usual post That Sort Of Thing, I feel like I've been stretched out and filled with hot sand. Dunno that the things-in-containers will have survived the first hot and dry week this year, which of course coincided with being in t'north, but there we are.

Spent much of Tuesday writing on the roof-terrace at our accommodations, and thus have a reasonable sunburn. I think I fail at g*th.

also fail at photogenic. Again. Jayzus.

Someone else can collect the set of stupid things that JHR said while drunk or hungover. (Writing tip: ideas are never the problem. It's execution.) Man whose head expanded. Yes.

Right, the other stupid idea (the first stupid idea was 'Tat cricket', since 'Tat shooting' is somewhat last decade and likely without venue) is a thing that will be called 'The WGW ephemera project'. This is largely an excuse to photograph the contents of my LL Bean bag (where all the laminates end up) and the carefully folded pile of official and somewhat-less-so Whitby shirts. You are obviously invited to join in.

The first obvious question/statement is 'I'm going to guess that free (media)wiki hosting is worth exactly what you pay for it and I guess I'd better go cap-in-hand to that nice Mr. Gradwell.' The second one is 'I'll also guess that a MediaWiki install is a complete nightmare and I probably don't want one of those.'

Dad's much better. Quality timing there, as usual.
hirez: (Cooper-Clarke)
As you might imagine, I manage to use my Amazon wishlist in a manner which causes confusion and unexpected results.

Thus I was in receipt of the DVD set of 'Tutti-frutti' over the Crimble period. This was obviously jolly nice. I am also much looking forward to starting on the Mark Frost, once I've finished the last of the Larssens. Said last Larssen has taken a lurch from the previous crime-thrillery-hacker territory and is now well into the land of early Len Deighton. Hurrah for snow and long reading-breaks. Meanwhile, Frost wrote the sadly under-rated 'List of seven', which is a fine and proto-steampunk story.

Anyway. Emma Thompson when she was Scottish and funny.

I was particularly obtuse in 1987. I was probably only slightly less obtuse in 1997. Re-watching 'Tuttu-frutti' now is an exercise in utterly bloody grim. Ford Prefect as a psychotic dentist is about par for the course. Perhaps because I know how it ends. Good stuff, mind.
hirez: (Radiation)
Is it just me and/or the noisy mob of people on that there FriendFace, or has it become utterly impossible to keep up with the blasted thing? A screenful seems to be about 45 minutes back in time, which since I can only look at the thing once a day or less, appears broken-as-designed in all relevant respects.

I think I'll blame Twitter. In that FB have aped the UI and the punters have aped the usage model.
hirez: (Happy cycling)
Vaguely serious point follows, but first the scores:

Serious commute/roadie types with LED-deathray lighting: Lots.
Serious types who've worked out how to dip1 said deathray: Four.

Amorphous medium-vis blobs with glow-worm-in-jar kit: Six or eight.
Glow-worm-pilots who complain they're blinded when I dip1 my own deathray: One.

Tourette's suffering roadies: One2.


I think LEDs have reached the brightness/popularity point where one really needs 'dip' and 'high-beam' modes.

It seems to me that there are two useful options and a useless one.

The useless one is 'Don't keep a LED-deathray because you're blinding other bike-pilots'. Since (Lots - (Four + Me)) other cyclists are unbothered about blinding other people, it's all a bit game-theory. I also like being able to see where I'm going and avoid dog-botherers. And stupid fucking pedestrians in black clothing.

Useful option one is 'Hack your lighting rig such that it's got a remote dip-switch.' I imagine this is theoretically possible with a L&M Vega, since repeated presses of the 'go' button cycle through the available lighting modes. However, this would require wholesale warranty-voiding and likely tying the thing to one bike.

Useful option two is to run a LED-deathray pointed up the road next to a glow-worm pointed at the front tyre (Or pair of deathrays ditto) and just turn off the bright one when approaching another cyclist.

Car drivers can whistle, frankly.



1: In this case 'dip' means 'cover right-hand-side of lens with finger such that there's enough light to still see the edge of the track, somewhat like what I remember Cibie Z-Beam headlights used to do.

2: One can only assume something unfortunate had happened to an expensive bike. He came swearing past me not far out of Bath, and vanished into the murk. Some minutes later, I come upon a high-vis pair bent over a bike not far from Bitton station. 'Fucking cunt!' one of them is going. I pedal on and stop for a half-time energy bar at Bitton. Mr. Sweary is only a few seconds behind me, since he comes steaming through the car-park as I'm pulling a glove off, yelling 'FUCKING CUNT!' at the top of his lungs.
hirez: (pillock)
(Appropriately enough, Boards of Canada again.)
Several months ago, [livejournal.com profile] andrewducker and [livejournal.com profile] oletheros pointed me in the direction of this.

I am forced to admit that it is very good indeed. Bus stop missing good, in fact. Ok, the Whovian bits are somewhat ho-hum[1], but speaking as a Culture fanboy, the rest is spot on.

Of course there's Culture fanfic and of course I'm not going to look until in a robust mood and the far side of a couple of several bottles of good Belgian beer.

[1] I think because (for random example) the Culture, the Fall Revolution or the Laundry are cohesive and internally consistent things lacking in traditional skiffy tropes. Or rather, the stuff's there, but it's been cheerfully subverted by people who fully understand what they're subverting and why. Whereas the Who bits make the right noises, but seems like someone's just scrabbling around in a cardboard box of skiffy-decorations and lobbing 'Arcturan Laser Tinsel' at the plot. Perhaps because, given that universe, there's far too much you can do.

Perhaps. More reading required.
hirez: (24)
(Ch-ch-ch-Chippington)

It's been a couple of years since I turned up at the Copperfields Two Pigs for a gig. There's a Starbucks on the corner, Littlewoods is now a Primark and there's a tent out front of the Fuckin' Doesn't. Other than that...

... It was like being at a Whitby Warm-up, the Underworld and the Spa, largely simultaneously. Familiar elbows propping up an unfamiliar bar and once again the restaurant end is cluttered with amplifiers.

Marcus Serpentine looked like someone delivering a Web2.0 lecture over the top of a particularly intransigent section of Peel Programme. Mutant D&B breaks leavened with big gay electrodisko. And why not?

Emerson, Lake and Roger kick it. Old stuff is as good as ever, but the band seem to really gel when playing the newer tracks.

CE seriously shred. It's like being in Newport TJs. A weird kind of nostalgia, and probably an indicator that it's time for Nineties Nites in grotty clubs up and down the land.

In short: a completely storming evening of the sort one cheerfully remembers. I'm very glad I was there and a right and proper end point.

It was lovely to see you all, we should go for a beer sometime soon.
hirez: (Laser goggles and raybans)
Do I mean cyberpunk? Is there perhaps another sub-genre that I've happily missed that has rubbish and badly extrapolated SFnal near-future tropes scattered about the place. For (previous) example 'Kosovan one-shot railgun'.

Anyway. Another in the sequence of plainly odd telemarketry experiences. As opposed to telemarquetry, which is decorative veneer work performed at a distance. Perhaps due to radioactive trees or corrosive halitosis. Or indeed tellymarquetry, which is where you take one of those dreadful old television cabinets with the doors on the front (so the owner could pretend not to have one or that it was a drinks cabinet: "We only keep it for the children. They do love a gin & tonic after they've done their homework.") and disguise it further so it's easily mistaken for a model village.

The voice on the far end of the phone is... Nearly beyond description. As if some woman had learned her script phonetically from a chap with one of those buzzy-throat-things who's first language was Polish rather than English. I t w a s c o m p l e t e l y w i t h o u t i n t o n a t i o n o r e m p h a s i s, thus impossible to render as text. I sat and listened, extranced with the strangeness, while she (Well, I say 'she'. I wondered if it wasn't a speech-synth, but even those things have more expression. Or some Burroughsian tape cut-up experiment. Or Cyberwomen bent on enslaving us with zero-percent credit transfer and cash advance deals.) droned on and on. It was hypnotic. So much so that I'd stopped listening to the words and was just marvelling at the noise.


Oh. In the post this AM was a card from mater. On the front a trio of (well-presented) cross-dressed blokes, on the inside a message beginning 'I saw this and thought of you... '

Cheers, mum. :D
hirez: (Bunny Eye)
My brain's not working properly and my lungs are still hesitating over the idea of converting back to running on oxygen, but at least now I've an objective measure of how stupid I am (About capable of watching the wrong IP address scroll off the top of a rebooting machine's xterm) and how weak I am (About capable of hefting a 21" CRT, but I need a rest halfway to the back of the car).

Mind, it could be worse.

So anyway. The other week, I was pottering around an approved northern seaside attraction in the usual fine company, when we were accosted by a normal-looking but seemingly nervy sort of chap. I got the distinct impression that he was about three pints away from bus-station-nutter, but... It transpired he was a secondary school teacher from some rough corner of the Clyde and was having a deal of difficulty coming to terms with the suicide of two ex-pupils. Since they'd both been 'goths', he was down in Whitby looking for answers.

Now to my mind, if you're going to drop bombs akin to that on the likes of JH-R and Eris, you're going to get answers. However, you're probably not going to like them.

Which is what happened. I still don't know what to think, because his idea of a 'goth only' Samaritans was well-meant but patronising. Meanwhile, the other idea of having '(goth) community (mental) health professionals' fails to fly equally. What I'm reasonably sure about is that some seventeen-year-old at the end of its tether isn't going to listen to some well-meaning fortysomething, even if he does look the dead spit of Marylin Morrisons or whoever The Kids are Down with this week. But perhaps that's me abdicating responsibility, where people of the order of Lee Chaos, who're getting stuck into the problem, are doing the Right Thing.

Beats me. I hope the chap found the answers that gave him some peace.
hirez: (Q-309)
Being a bit of a treatise on the entirely random nature of Ver Interweb.

So. PH-R was poking about on Youtube, looking for G*thtalk episodes. I poke about for a bit, looking for 'Great white north (eh)' (You hoser!) and Sprockets footage. Instead I found a thing grabbed off German telly and entitled 'the real sprockets' by some clue-free Septic oik. It was a very early Palais Schaumburg video, and just a jolly good and angular racket featuring earnest chaps with Synthare haircuts. Gripped by the spirit of curiosity, I poked about a little more in an effort to find out what the various Schaumburgs were up to these days.

You may imagine my joy (and the naked terror of my plastic) when I discover that Thomas Fehlmann is making the same sort of storming glitched-out techno that make me gibber at length about Akufen a while ago, although at least one of his albums is firmly into Pole territory. Further digging reveals that there's thing called 'Schaffel' and there's a thumping great list of things to go and look for. The Rachel Stevens and Goldfrapp remixes are especially choice.

G*ths with guitars? Fuck 'em. Retro scum.

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hirez: (Default)
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