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We live in litigious times, so I should say that content reflects only my opinions!

Friday April 8 2005

You might, particularly if local,

consider visiting the Save Castle Mill Boatyard site and having a read. This historic facility is, as has been for a while, threatened by development. This would be catastrophic for the local boating community, who have been responsible for many of my happy memories. I used to live nearby, and spent a lot of time cycling up and down the towpath enjoying the atmosphere and visiting friends on narrowboats. There is no other nearby facility where this vibrant community can do their essential maintenance, and it would be a terrible shame if Bellway Homes were to build more luxury flats on it. The area of Oxford bordering Port Meadow and the Oxford Canal has already been vandalized beyond recognition by rapacious development of expensive and fairly tasteless new property on a huge scale. It's no use to most locals, being priced out of reach of almost everyone, and it's buggered up my enjoyment of boating in large measure, as well as ruining the landscape.

Please sign their petition. And perhaps take time to read Philip Pullman's beautifully put statement to the public enquiry. Yes, that Philip Pullman. He can write a bit.

On the subject of locality, I have added a GeoURL facility to this site. See that button at top right of the page? Pressing that will perform the neat trick of listing sites in geographical proximity to mine. Excellent, and of particular interest to me as both a geographer and a longtime local resident. I've constantly puzzled over the multitude of ways in which the online and offline worlds collide and diverge, but one thing I have decided: They probably don't correspond well enough.

I see - and I'm well aware that this is not the only prevalent view or even the most valid one - online resources and community as a tool to expand the range of possibilities open to one. We humans are, whether we like it or not, social creatures in the main, with lives that follow patterns based more often than not around specific times and places and other people. Therefore it makes perfect sense to me to implement a tool which ties what a write to a place as well as to a time. Context is vital, and this way I don't have to write on the basis that I need to keep explaining where I am. We'll see how GeoURL works out.

I'd write more on this now, and will soon, but I'm needed in the offline world for a friend's birthday. Beer and curry - the twin pillars of civilization...

Don't be disconcerted if I edit this post in retrospect, by the way. I don't like to write in a hurry.





Posted at 6:01 pm by Jim Woods


cheerful experiments continue in how to get my stereo to sound good while using a cheapish universal player instead of my ailing high-grade CD. So far results are not encouraging. Using the Pioneer universal player as a transport and using the DACs in my Sony 555 cinema amp makes things a little less nasty, but clearly I need to come up with a nice new CD player. From where I have no idea, given the cost relative to other projects I have on the go. Better player than my old Trichord? Gotta be looking at £800 or more. If I had that spare I'd be in Holland or France.

IT concerns are paramount right now. The monitor on my desktop PC is becoming a right eye-strainer, probably due to being cheap and a few years old; it's just losing its focus :( Storage space is now a problem, chiefly due to all the stuff I've been doing with audio. Mozilla appears less stable in this release than has previously been the case, and if ever there was an application I rely on. Travel prospects look limited to say the least, and the state Micra needs an MOT.

Looks like the next month is intensive getting the garden together, learning up on networking to properly configure the new wireless toy, listening to some good music and worrying less about creating some right now, and generally relaxing in the spring sunshine - although the forecast says -4 here tomorrow night...

I certainly need not to spend the whole time with digital electronica of one sort or another, as I have done for the last few months. It's all knackered. Time to switch off and rediscover vinyl, tea and bicycling. No, not that sort of vinyl.

Still blogging away though. Gotta do the admin. Gotta beat the bounds of one's cyber-parish, even ludding by candlelight.

Take me to the art museum, the art museum.


Posted at 2:47 am by Jim Woods

Tuesday April 5 2005

I sense collusion at the highest levels...

From time to time I go looking through the DVDs while I'm in town. Since I'm not fixated with the recency of the stuff I watch, this usually involves rooting truffle-hunting pig stylee through the bargain bins and five-for-thirty-quid racks. And I've spotted a pattern. The most recent discounted stuff always appears at around the time that it's aired on TV. I suppose it makes sense, if you think about it. The only downside is that one can feel bombarded with the same old stuff from all directions. I need to look at the possibility of buying cheaper online, but I do like the physical visiting of shops.

Sorry. Fairly boring post there, now I come to re-read it.

Have a map of wifi hotspots in the UK.

Posted at 12:28 am by Jim Woods

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