Seldo.Weblog: October 2005

NYC, day 4

I'm actually posting this on the morning of Sunday, which is day 5, but meh. Yesterday's fun activities including:

  • A New York manicure (for M; I'm not quite that gay -- yet)
  • Brunch at a swanky cafe where all the staff were, shall we say, fresh from their manicures
  • Wandering around northern Central Park, though the Conservatory Gardens (lots of photos)
  • A trip to Loehman's discount clothing store, narrowly avoiding saving $1750 by spending a still-obscene $750 on a vastly discounted but very nice winter coat
  • Cocktails at the Rise Bar on the 14th floor of the Ritz-Carlton, with great views across the river to Jersey City (if that's your idea of a good time) and the Statue of Liberty
  • Dinner at another good Mexican place
  • Clubbing at Miss Shapes NYC (good, small, and in flagrant violation of the smoking ban)

Update 2005-10-09: photos here

Keen-eyed readers will note that this was not as activity-filled a day as our previous days; this was because we also went to Opaline on Friday night, which was large and had pretty boys, but was only half-full because their liquor license had been suspended that evening for some reason. But we did see Carson from Queer Eye, so y'know.

Today is Outer Borough Day, and we're going to Brooklyn. I'll let you know how that goes.

NYC, day 5

Aren't you enjoying these thoroughly detail-less updates? I promise there'll be a huge-ass set of pictures when we get back; my snazzy new camera has not had an idle moment since its purchase.

Today was Outer Borough Day. We woke up late (I was still tired after Miss-Shapes), and as our host was somewhat hungover (poor boy), we headed over to Brooklyn on our own. We took rather a long time to get there, since the subway lines were being a bit funky: this was better than the Underground's habit of shutting lines down completely, but the Metro could do a bit better job of the signage.

In Brooklyn we met up with Colin, who I've not seen (in the flesh) for years. He took us to a great Thai restaurant for lunch, then through Prospect Park and across town to his very swanky apartment. Then we went down to Brooklyn Heights and the river promenade, across Brooklyn Bridge (great views) and met his bf briefly before heading back to the apartment.

We ended our final night with dinner at a nice little Italian restaurant and a leisurely walk across the village. I think it's pretty safe to say: I heart New York.

Update 2005-10-10: photos here

dave

03 October 2005
Sounds like a good week and as an extra bonus you've managed to avoid yet another plague going around the office (this one seems to have started with Paul). Only a few more days and I'm off to Munich, only for three days but should still be good.

I'm back, baby

I'm back to London, jet-lagged to discover that my computer is completely kaput. Aaargh. This close to just buying a new one...

Update 4.20pm: the computer shop down the road has sorted out my computer (broken power supply! I am such a hardware n00b) for a vastly inflated price that I would gladly pay again to get my computer back in the half-hour it took them to diagnose the problem. I had already spent an hour poking at stuff, not always a good idea when you're jet-lagged...

NYC photos: day 1

Well, the photos from the first day in New York are up: all 101 of them! Since this day was central park and the Museum of Modern Art, the 101 is sort of justified though. The other days are much less photo-ful will get cut down a lot more than this lot.

Busy busy

I had a busy day today. I should have more photos tomorrow.

Oliver

07 October 2005
I know what your news is.

It's brilliant - huuuuuuuuuuuuuge congratulations.

Today was a very good day

I have some news for you all, that I can't publish here until Monday. Feel free to ask me personally though :-)

marc

07 October 2005
So the last time someone I knew used the formula of "I've got big news, but I can't tell just yet," turns out they were pregnant. Unless modern science and those technomajigs you fiddle with have come up with something new, I'm pretty sure that's not your case.

Laurie

08 October 2005
No, it's definitely not pregnancy.

Graham

08 October 2005
Yippee! Good for you.

More NYC photos

I've got off my arse (well, I've been busy) and got around to posting more photos: Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4 of NYC are now up. They're shorter and -- unless you're seriously into design, and hence loved the endless MoMA photos -- much more interesting.

I'm outta here

So the news that I couldn't say on Friday is that I have a new job! Wheee! Today I handed in my notice at Boltblue, so I can finally tell you guys. Unfortunately, for other reasons I can't say where my new job is for a while -- so you have 30 days to guess :-) People who actually know: please keep in mind that posting it in the comments is not big and not clever, and in any case will get me in trouble, so please don't :-)

I have also uploaded the final two days of the NYC pics. But I'm sure you're all sick to death of them by now anyway.

marc

10 October 2005
I was wrong. My guess was that you had somehow found out the winner of the Booker prize in advance (the Monday thing led me in that direction). In any event, good luck on the new job!

Colin

10 October 2005
Congrats, man! Now that you're making the big bucks, maybe you could just spring for a ticket for me to visit London :-)

Target market

I got a catalog from Burberry in the post today. It was full colour but had no words of any sort, featuring instead only tasteful shots of people in high-quality, warm-looking clothing including, yes, the infamous camel check. Camel check scarf

Despite my long-standing aversion to everything Burberry, this mysterious arrival is probably a result of my long-standing subscription to The Economist (thanks, dad!). The Economist is read mainly by 40-plus executive types, so I frequently get mailings of this type: "invitations" to executive privilege cards, worldwide travel clubs, stupidly expensive wines, etc.. All totally wasted on somebody who has no credit cards, has no money to travel and doesn't drink. But oh well, let the marketers delude themselves into thinking they're hitting a prime demographic. Bless 'em.

igster

14 October 2005
I think you are forgetting that immediately prior to Burberry being the joke choice of chav, it was a relatively high fashion item.

And indeed their classier ranges are still the remit of the fashionista. They don't have a massive store on Haymarket for the chav market.

Ade

14 October 2005
however they did suffer massage damage to their brand value in teh UK and sales here have gone massively down.

they have certainly been damaged by the chav link (but only in the UK, they are still huge in Japan and in other countries)

Points for disarming honesty

Spotted on the Picadilly line this evening (on the way to Popstarz, natch):

New WKD Red. It's new and it's red. See what we did?

I swear that Matt must have had a hand in coming up with this campaign. It sounds just like him.

(Love my new camera.)

igster

15 October 2005
They've won!

They've made you talk about it!

The word of mouth campaign has succeeded!

You are the corporate man whore of the alcohol advertising industry!

Laurie

15 October 2005
Well, yes, they did. And good on them, frankly, I thought it was a good ad.

SpareKeys.Com

Sorry, second tube-ad post in a while. But hey, this is what you were missing all the time I didn't have a camera!

Ad for SpareKeys.com

Only in a lonely and paranoid city like London would there be a market for a company that holds a spare set of keys for you, because you don't trust your neighbours to do it.

Jon

16 October 2005
It's not really a trust thing. More that whoever is holding a spare set of keys for you tends to bugger off somewhere else at just the moment you need them...

marc

17 October 2005
I learned to knit this summer (my friend Irene taught me; I subsequently made her cat a scarf). As such, it seems apparent to me that the unfortunate young man has dropped a stitch. Is that part of the ad (I can't read the print), or was it just a staging oversight? Or, more likely, does it not matter and, as usual, I'm hung up on some insignificant detail?

Ade

17 October 2005
was i the onlyone who found the picture itself amusing?

(apologies for lowering the tone!)

Ade

17 October 2005
on a more serious note i agree with jon,
ive forgotton my keys numerous times, i think im going to sign up for this service.

it looks incredibly useful

i know my neighbour wouldnt want to be woken up at 3oclock in the morning.

igster

17 October 2005
Are these tube photos from a phone? They're rather good quality. If so, which one?

ed

17 October 2005
It's not just London. I bet you could get the same thing going over here in NYC.

Ade

17 October 2005
ive just signed up for it,

I think its a genius idea (and probably one i wish id thought of first).

knowing my track record i can almost guarantee that ill make use of this service.

Laurie

17 October 2005
Ig: no, the photos are from my new Canon Powershot. I heart my new camera.

Trixie

18 October 2005
As I posted on the actual flickr link:

I saw a newspaper ad for this earlier in the week - I think it's a highly random idea. But I think leaving keys with neighbours isn't something I'd be keen to do either, and I don't think that's paranoia.

We don't even know who our neighbours are!

Mr Big

Forgive me a moment of parochialism, but the Prime Minister of my home country is a complete asshole:

Prime Minister Patrick Manning says he knows who is responsible for four bombing attacks in the country in the last four consecutive months. He also said that he knows who the "Mr Big" is in the matter.

...

Manning said the government was aware of the culprits in the bombing but admitted to not having evidence which could stand up in the courts.

Dude, you're the Prime Minister. If you don't have evidence that can stand up in court, you don't fucking know. So don't pretend like you do. God, this man is such an idiot.

My housemates are famous!

Let it be known: housemates T&J, having faithfully put in the time at Ghetto, have hit the big time and will be DJing the late set this week at Popstarz, my favourite club! Woo! So a trip to Popstarz this Friday is even more obligatory than it usually is anyway. Be there and bring everyone you know! The set will be 2-4am, so remember to have some red bull before heading out, lightweights :-)

Trixie

19 October 2005
I don't know that that counts as 'famous'! :-)

But be there punks!

(any song suggestions wouldnt go amiss !)

Goodbye, Dick Cheney?

Oh, it's been a good day for good news: Is Dick Cheney going to be indicted in Plamegate, and resign? It's on the Internets, so it must be true.

Update: This is all via credit-whore Ed.

ed

18 October 2005
Hey! Credit, please.

ed

19 October 2005
That's right. All of it!

It now seems that nothing's going to happen this week. Oh well.

Cooler than the Red Dress

Matt is right, sometimes entries do write themselves. Matt favours the "make enormous numbers of in-jokes and be amusingly gay", a fine strategy even when he doesn't call in the big guns like Danny, who is the most amusingly gay man alive. However, an even easier way of getting entries to write themselves is by responding to somebody else's entry. As follows.

Red Dress certainly is a good song from the Sugababes' excellent new album, Taller in more ways. My current list of "likely singles" off this album, in order of likelihood:

  1. Push the button (already a single, but I'd like to emphasize that I thought so even before it was released, because I'm snooty)
  2. Red Dress. They'd be foolish not to; it's intensely danceable, and of how many songs involving a tuba can that be said?
  3. It Ain't Easy. From the very first opening guitar twang to the juicy, juicy bass, this song demands dirty dancing. It might even beat Red Dress out of the gate.
  4. Obsession. Following the long-standing Sugababes tradition of doing distracted-sounding, but very good, 80s covers. I recognized the sample but frankly didn't even realize it was a cover until somebody pointed it out.
  5. Gotta be You. A solid piece of R'n'B with another chunky bass line. It might be tricky to release this with It Ain't Easy and Obsession already out though.
  6. Ace Reject. Not an obvious single, but the hook is quite catchy -- a good radio edit, and it's away. It would also be a good ballad to release as a spacer between Gotta Be You and whatever the previous single was.

Yes, six singles. Like I said, it's a really good album! The Sugababes have a fine line in pop, and manage to maintain credibility while doing it thanks to the slight but definite impression they get that they can only barely be arsed to do it. Like, it was watching Big Brother or writing a barnstormer of a pop album, and they only did the album because they wanted to get out of the house before lunch. Compared to the desperate attention-seeking of other pop acts (Kylie, Rachel and latterly Madonna, I'm looking at you) it's refreshing.

Wait a minute...

But what actually got me started writing this entry was the star-rating system. Do you rate stuff in iTunes? What's your system for doing so? Here's mine:

Rating Definition
Crap. Tunes rated 1 star mean I hate it so much I've made a positive decision to get rid of it -- 1-star songs are automatically removed from my iPod.
Album track. This song is okay, and sounds good as part of an album of other songs by the artist, but isn't strong enough to stand on its own.
Positively like. Sounds good even when randomly selected from the library. Of course, it can still be any type: a ballad, a dance track, an angry song. So I don't necessarily want to listen to all three-stars all the time. Because I don't usually download a song I don't like, the vast majority of songs in my library are 3 stars, although only about 1000 of them have actually been rated as such.
Exciting! This is a very good song; it makes me bounce around with excitement when I hear it, and usually (but not always) run to a dance floor as well. These songs, if not singles already, would usually make good singles. Examples include "The last song" by All-American Rejects, "Round and round" by the Body Rockers, and "Happy" by Fischerspooner.
Absolute favourite. Of 12,000 tracks in my library, only 22 have this rating so far (of course, I've only bothered to rate 1200 of the tracks so far). These are songs that have remained 4-star for a long time, and I consider them classics -- although some fairly recent tracks have made the leap pretty quickly. Examples include "At My Most Beautiful" by REM, "Sexy Boy" by Air, and "You drive me Crazy" by Britney Spears (you want to make something of it, pal?)

Tom Williams

20 October 2005
The cover of Obsession isn't dreadful, but it's really dull. It's almost identical to the original. I quite like covers, but only if they're done in a way that adds something new to them, like Erasure do. I just see no reason to listen to the Sugababes version instead of the excellent Animotion one.

M

21 October 2005
At my most beautiful is one of my favourite songs in the world....ever! ;-)

Trixie

21 October 2005
I love Obsession but Tom is completely right with his words on the subject.

I am very surprised you think the sugababes album is good. I think its pretty much diabolical.

Red dress is ok but a bit overrated. Obsession is lovely. PtB is good now it's grown, but Gotta Be You is downright awful.

See my review of it
http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/pop/reviews/sugababes_taller.shtml

Trixie

23 October 2005
Oh and by the way, the next single is Ugly.

Laurie

23 October 2005
Gah. It's okay, but nowhere near as good as the rest.

Under the influence

If there is at least one person in your life whom you consider a close friend, and whom you would not have met without the internet, post this sentence in your journal.

Val

25 October 2005
This was a beautiful tribute and echoes exactly how I feel about Simon and what he's contributed to my life. He will be missed terribly.

R.I.P., Simon Hobart

A lovely man, who brought a lot of fun and happiness to a lot of people, died today.

I don't have any kind of moral authority to write this. I barely knew Hobie personally. He was usually just a familiar figure in the DJ booth at Popstarz or the front desk at Ghetto. We only spoke a handful of times, when he was handing me free tickets, or through my housemates, true friends of his who today are dealing with a tragic loss.

There is a shameful hesitancy to say that he was a great man. After all, a handful of club nights over the years and a couple of gay bars, joints for selling alcohol and venue of countless pointless hookups, is that really so noble?

But to think so is to miss the point. To me, Popstarz is not just a venue, not just another dancefloor. It has been my second home, my sanctuary and my playground, site of countless hours of fun and pure, unadulterated delight at the sheer joy of the music and dance. For me and the dozens of others of regulars, there is nothing shameful or sleazy about those hours spent lost in our own safe, silly other world. And there was even nobility, like the day after the July 7th bombings, when Simon opened the club anyway, knowing enough people would never turn up to make a profit on the night, as a symbolic gesture. See if you do anything so worthwhile before you are forty.

The man who built my playground was a great man, and he is gone. He will be missed.

Job

Does anybody want to be a Java developer in Gibraltar? If so, let me know. Relocation costs, baby.

ed

28 October 2005
Is this some sort of tax thing? So unnecessarily cryptic.

Laurie

28 October 2005
No, literally, an agent called me offerring a really good job apart from the fact that (a) I already have two and (b) it involves relocating to Gibraltar (it's a gambling company). But they'll pay for you to move house.

Chez

28 October 2005
I already live in a tax haven...

ed

28 October 2005
I love how you refer to working at a shady online gambling house as a "really good job." Between this and the ringtones, your noble facade is really coming apart here :)

Laurie

28 October 2005
My criteria for a good job are entirely based around the fun technology you'll be working with, rather than the actual business the company is in. It's like people who enjoy their engineering job but are actually designing guidance systems for missiles.

As far as I know, none of the software I've written has ever intentionally killed someone.

Chez

01 November 2005
Is that better or worse than killing people accidentally?

Laurie

01 November 2005
Better for *me*. For them, probably about the same I guess.

Beam me, Scotty

Sulu, he so gay!So today, in case you missed the geeky-fun of it all, George Takei, better known as Mr Sulu, came out. So when CNN reported it, they obviously decided to use the gayest picture of him they could find. Come on, guys, give the man some dignity!

Your obscure trivia for the day: did you know he lived in a US internment camp for Japanese citizens from ages 4 to 8? Damn the US is fucked up.

Dave

29 October 2005
It's amazing who's coming out of the box these days :)

steven

30 October 2005
I hope thats a clever pun and not a misquote on the title there. Cos it's wrong on 3 counts if not. :)

Laurie

30 October 2005
Of course it's a pun, because:
1. it's a misquote of the original, and
2. the original was never actually said.

steven

31 October 2005
faith restored

Ewww

Ming!The BBC is covering plans to end drinking on trains (Bring it on, I say. In fact, ban drinking altogether!), but for some reason decided the most minging picture ever would be appropriate:

Ick! Also, Bacardi are probably not too pleased.

I need to start a whole new category of posts for me commenting on photo choices in other media.

Playing with: DOM manipulation in Javascript (it's fun if you're me)
Reading: The Economist and On (it's rubbish so far)
Dancing: At Pineapple, and around the living room.

Dave

31 October 2005
Well of course I'd be totally against the idea of banning drinking on trains because it's a good way to relax on long journeys and why should the enjoyment of others be spoiled by those who cause trouble? Unlike smoking drinking does not affect those around you. Unless of course these people are causing trouble under the influence of said alcohol.

So why not just fine the troublemakers rather than ruin it for everyone else.

More worrying today was what was on the front page of the Metro - it claims plans to introduce airport style security on national rail services with the Heathrow Express being the first in line. If this is true it's just yet another pointless exercise which gives a false sense of security with very little benefits. Imagine the pain of going to Heathrow and having to be searched both when you got on the train and then again at security? Expanding it beyond the Heathrow Express would be virtually impossible anyway the National Rail network has too many points of entry that you can't police them all without making the cost of travel rediculously expensive and if you don't police them all then it's pointless policing any. Then again, even if this method was effective, I'd take the slightly small chance of getting blown up over having to queue for security every day.