Category Archives: mild insanity

8 random things about me. Thing the fourth.

IMGP1516First let’s have two minutes silence for a long-time reader of this blog, Mr Adrain Phelps of Wetknee, Oxon who was unfortunately eaten by a bear while commenting on a post late last night. Mr Fullups leaves a wife and young daughter relieved that they paid for the additional “bear clause” (clause, claws…geddit?) in his life insurance.

Thankyou, but now to weightier things. Oh, what a link! Because today’s fact is: I weighed myself this morning and I was 15st 3lb – 213lbs for Americans without a calculator. So there Rosie, there’s a fact, a real indisputable fact and it’s about me, is that any better?

I’ve been heavier – indeed at one stage I was more than the 20st that my scales would show, which put simply is “too fat” just in case there was any doubt. My BMI is now 28.9 which is still overweight, but I am not quite “obese” by this awful measure.

The lightest I have been as an adult is about 13st which is the top end of “normal” for my height. I consider myself to have been painfully thin at that stage. If that’s normal, I want to be different. The picture here shows a costume made for me at the time. But I’ve just measured the trousers and they have a 36″ waist. I’m also wearing 36″ jeans today so either the trousers were more comfy than these jeans or else I’m carrying a couple of stone extra somewhere other than my waist. My brain.. it’ll probably be my brain. I’m sad to say that no photos exist in my collection of the pair of apple-green dungarees that I was also fond of wearing at the time. Very Rod, Jane & Freddy. I can’t decide what was sadder, wearing dungarees or the fact that I dyed them apple-green.

GSA Class of ’87 20-year Reunion

My old friends from the Guildford School of Acting got together in the Union Club in Greek Street (thanks Paul!) to compare grey hairs, pot-bellies and war-stories from our marriages, divorces and other relationships. We were also honoured by the appearance of our former principal Michael Gaunt and head of first year Ian Ricketts. We had a fabulous time, which stretched into the evening when we stumbled over the road into the nearest pub.

I shot some bits of video especially for those luvvies who weren’t able to make it – I hope these give a flavour of what it was like and give you even more encouragement to come along next time.

Angus Deuchar

Paul Spyker

A bunch of folk starting with Ian Tolmie

Another bunch of folk starting with Darren Ruston

Lucy Davidson

Ian Butler

Adam Tedder (and me)

Carling don’t put on conferences…

interesting2007 001A fortnight now since Interesting2007 and blogging time & opportunities have been scarce (at least on my own behalf) as I’ve just started two big projects where I’m making social media for clients (which is nice). I can’t possibly link to all the lovely people I met but most of them have blogged or flickr’d already. Slide sets are starting to appear on slideshare

I did get the feeling that something shifted, nothing world-shattering, but there was a subtle changing, we’d done something differently and as a result it all, y’know, shifted.

Look it was a one-day “conference” but it wasn’t a conference like any I’ve been to and it wasn’t an un-conference in the Bloggercon or PolicyUnplugged mould and it wasn’t a seminar, workshop, showcase, gathering, conflab or conglomeration – it was definitely not a symposium or a trade-show. It was a bit of a happening, an exhibition, a show & tell, a festival of ideas. And it held my attention all through from 11am to 6pm (I did get a bit of a numb-bum towards the end, but that might have been because I was wearing too many pairs of pants.

But it was a group of (mostly) intelligent people in a hall, sitting on chairs in rows listening to other people speak, one at a time. So what made it stand out as something different?

Nothing was ever more than 20 minutes away – actually that was a lie, because my slot was more than 20 minutes away from Rhodri and his saw (thanks Roo), but I guess no-one got bored with having lunch.

No Q&As – people seemed to accept that the majority of people were not going to speak. I have never seen a good Q&A session except at political meetings. We’ve got blogs now to have our say, or not and none of the speakers were up their own arses about talking to people afterwards – that would have been absurd.

interesting2007 009Self-service – we all helped ourselves (as Russell said “we’re all grown-ups and you’ve only paid twenty quid”) but we all helped each other too. I arrived too late to help set up, but it was set up and nobody was crying or running around with scissors – and we cleared away quickly and fairly painlessly. There was no feeling (for me anyway) of separation between “organisers” and “punters” though these two did a splendid job of co-ordination. Also Russell was not “in charge” but he was definitely “in charge”.

It was on a Saturday and few people had a surname, let alone a job-title. The few collars I spotted were all open and any ties were undoubtedly ironic or accidental.

It was actually really good for me not to have wifi. I started off in recording mode as it was (I’m realising more and more that it’s one of my coping mechanisms for being thrust into large groups of people – I’ve been doing it with my camera since about 1979) but if I (and other similarly challenged folk) had the excuse to hide behind a laptop screen, we’d have had a much poorer experience.

It was village-hall-y and Festival of Britain-y and a bit arts-and-crafty and, well, just right for people who’s early life was a mix of oil-crises and moon-landings, dreaming about amazing cities in the sky with hovercrafts and no pollution and peace and smiling children and stuff.

It was hopeful.

As an experience, what was it like? Well, a bit like listening to Radio 4 all day, but with no long programmes, it was a bit like a random walk through the best bits of wikipedia, then again it was like live for people born in the ’60s & ’70s, or peeking at the RSS reader of someone really consistently smart. Does that help?

There were things I could have done with more of. More variety in presentation style, most people plumped for what we know, which is showing pictures or lists on a big screen. More music, preferably with acoustic instruments – the electroplankton quartet was a fun concept but I wish we’d made more of an effort with ukulele’s and kazoo’s. More analog, 3D art and time to really see the Folksy folk. More fun in the goody bag – I still haven’t used the shaving oil, but it was a point of “ooooh!”.

interesting2007 022So some quick ideas for “next time” – Multiple locations – eg InterestingLondon, InterestingEdinburgh, InterestingBucharest, InterestingAmsterdam with video-linkups at set-times throughout the day. Bingo (or some other communal game) perhaps also played internationally via the video-link. Some form of backchannel – the twitter feed worked nicely before and after the day – one computer with a net connection projecting the stream might be cool.

And yeah, you *did* have to be there, really.

You made me love you when I saw your thighs

macro 012…is the alternative rendition of this little beauty (660kb 0:42) but here is a one chorus blast of the original.

Not directed at anyone in particular (no, I haven’t been making any girls cry) just the first thing that popped into my head when I picked up my ukulele for a late afternoon recording session and dedicated to anyone whose ever had tears in their eyes.

Cartoon sticker on my computer by Hugh Macleod

Oxy-moron at the Wine Fair

Last week I spent a couple of days helping the Stormhoek guys out with their offering at the London Wine Fair. On the Thursday, I spent all day with Andrew Porton chasing round with a live video feed to a video-wall interviewing people on the stands for the official wine fair blog The first day I spent more time on my own doing much the same thing, but in a less formal way.

The first of these I’ve uploaded is unusual in that it features more of me than the peeps in the booth. You saw yesterday what I get up to in my leisure time. I thought you’d like to be reassured that it doesn’t get much better when I’m “working”. Hey, I don’t drink – I had to have some fun somehow 🙂

Time to kill my auto-spam-blog (?)

I think, anyway. I’m going to leave it for another day.

Here’s the story (the following link points to potentially nsfw material, as nsfw as reading your spam folder…):

I set this up on a whim in September 2004 as an experiment in ego-surfing and autoblogging via e-mail – I subscribed to a google alert on a search for my name and pointed it to the blog’s e-mail address so that in theory every time there was an alert, it would be blogged.

Didn’t work after the first couple of days, as you can see – I guessed it was something to do with Google’s terms but had lost interest by then anyway. And then in the last few weeks the address clearly got into some spam lists and went bananas. The timestamps are not reliable as I’m guessing they are linked to the timestamp of the spam.

So my dilemma is whether to just wash this petri dish down the drain or leave it to see what other mould accumulates – is anyone interested in this stuff?

Can you tell I hate throwing anything away? Can you imagine what my home would be like if I’d never shared it with a woman 🙂

Head down

Want to blog today but no can do as the Perfect Path editing suite is at capacity working on the rest of the videos from Second Chance Tuesday and a top-secret super hush-hush and really quite evil thing which may or may not be related to this.

Very nice Social Media Club meetup last night, not least because I met Rupert Howe, who rocks.

Prolly see you after the weekend.