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

Saturday June 11 2005

Well well - 20,000 hits,

although I bet a fair few of them are me. Actually, I suppose it's possible to check this out from the stats. Never been much of a one for all that sort of thing, though. I tend to just write and hope to get some response; that's where it's at, after all.

Now I have to contemplate going to the old school open day, where a lot of people who I didn't much care for will be demonstrating why. I'm meeting up with some people that I do care for, though, so it'll be a curate's egg of an occasion.


Posted at 12:52 pm by Jim Woods

Friday June 10 2005

East Oxford Carnival

from midday to eight on Sunday - just a reminder for locals. No doubt this will be as much fun as it was last year and the year before.


Posted at 10:20 am by Jim Woods

I can heartily recommend

the current exhibition at Modern Art Oxford, "Oxford 2015 - Dreams, Plans, Visions". A lot of interesting planning-type stuff, much of which rang a bell with me from when I was doing a few modules in the Planning Department of what was then Oxford Polytechnic, as part of my mid-eighties geography degree. Oxford's problems haven't really materially changed in living memory as far as all that goes; there is a lot of beauty here, and one cannot build roads through or over it. The message remains "get a bicycle and use it". In addition to a lot of stuff of this type, there was also a lot of really out-there conjecture from - whaddya know - Brookes's architecture and town planning department (or whatever it's called these days). They seemed to be firmly in the "dreams" category, but I loved the crazy stuff they came up with.

On the theme of bicycles, Oxford Cycle Workshop are a useful bunch of people to know. Recyclers of abandoned bikes, amongst other things. And bicycles, I can assure you, are central to the good life...


Posted at 8:11 am by Jim Woods

Thursday June 9 2005

I love the way my

Creative Zen just pulses a gentle electric blue as it sits on my USB port, charging up with both power and very cool audio. So small, so vital. Don't know what I did before.

The way things are these days, I need to come up with a new "What's in my bag" picture for Flickr. The old one is now hopelessly out of date. But then it's been a very bagly month really. Buying bags, buying stuff to put in them. What could be more satisfying?

When my bag is loaded I'm out of here on my bike for arts and culture. No shopping though, as my recent prognosis for the fiscal month of June now appears to have been a bit optimistic. I want to travel later in the year, and I'm hoarding my pennies for that.


Posted at 7:08 am by Jim Woods

For those of you

who can't resist a musical bargain, go get all nine of Beethoven's symphonies for free. They're good quality MP3s, and apart from anything else it's nice to support the BBC initiative to make culture free to all. Not like those nasty, deranged American organizations like the RIAA these days. Spread it and dig it.

Unfortunately, for all my admiration of the motives here, I really can't get into Ludwig.

New exhibition at Modern Art Oxford until the 19th. Future visions of Oxford. Promises to be a cracker. I'll be going today, having cycled up the Isis (well, the banks of) in the early sun. Sets one up a treat. Coffee after, salad for lunch.

I have recently begun to appreciate the podcasts and great pictures to be found by poking around BlogSpain. I do like the Spain, and I find the podcasts in particular quite restful as well as informative. The most recent, a where to live in Spain guide, particularly entertained me. Go and have a look. I like the mission statement:

"The internet is changing, moving into the hands of the users. Bloggers, podcasters, forum-goers, they are all providing excellent, first-hand information about the world we live in, a www.Revolution that has been named web 2.0". BlogSpain.com simply hopes to provide a point of entry to this new phenomenon, by directing anyone that's interested to the web's creative and personal content on Spain". Banging out micro-content is very therapeutic.

Arthur Durkee, whose vastly media-rich site I have begun to explore, has worthwhile photos and a fair number of podcasts.

Well, there's today's culture report. Go to it.

Actually, I find that my recent drive to be more pro-active in my cultural exposure has resulted in my writing about the various arts more and more here. You'll all have noticed that, of course. The question is, am I really achieving much by such basic reportage? If you're at all interested, you'll seek out and bookmark the listings for your localities and trawl the museums. I do love the way being online facilitates getting all this information, and the abundance of media online. If I can think of a way of doing something useful here that doesn't simply duplicate the efforts of the local events and arts sites I will. Failing that, maybe there'll be a links special soon, where I post all the culture I can grab with both hands in the Oxford area.

It's even been suggested that I do my own podcasts. Any thoughts? I could sit bucolically at my desk and hold forth at grindy, irked length about all sorts of things - then you lot could listen to the results and become quietly despairing, prior to ripping out your sound cards. Damn, I've sold myself on the idea.

Want commenting on my site.

Want bath.


Posted at 5:12 am by Jim Woods

What Tiggers want, they have established after much thought,

is the bleeding obvious. A way to use Blog, but also post URLs with one-click simplicity to the site. Blog is currently rated fine and dandy here as a simple tool for generating all kinds of deranged musings and dodgy mini-essays. Over at Inchoate Satellite many good links are splattered by my idle hand, in collusion with JustBlogIt! - an indispensable Firefox extension. Then one's content and stuff would be in one place. Except my pictures, in any case currently such a miserable little crop that they are pretty much irrelevant at the moment. As we used to say years ago, it's good to have your shit together.

Now unfortunately this is not going to happen using this set of software. Blog is working on a local database on my machine. All content handled on this site has to be in, or known to, that database. If it isn't, it's not getting published, edited or otherwise administered. It's a tricky old world. Those as yet un-bored by content-generating whining can search for my previous posts here about all this. But in a nutshell, I am still confounded by my inability to run any kind of scripting on my web space. If I could, there are better free packages I could use and a hell of a lot more I could do - such as commenting, for example. As it is, nothing. A counter and some linear posting. Fine, but not thrilling. I really need to look at some "proper" hosting, probably also with Pipex.

And oh yes, where's my free adsl speed upgrade, Pipex? You lot reckoned I'd have it by now.

I grope steadily towards better software integration of my webly world, inch by bloody inch. In other news, I'm more researching living in Spain (long-term plan) and gardening and listening to music (at last!) and so on right now.

Really good software tools will get mentioned here. Indifferent or samey stuff will not.


Posted at 1:28 am by Jim Woods

Tuesday June 7 2005

I particularly liked

the artwork in St Giles church, although of course by now it won't be there. Sarah Naybour displayed some gentle textured prints, but for me it was all about Flora McLachlan's print work. The handbook to Artweeks describes these as "enchanted forests and weatherworn landscapes"; sure, they were very whimsical. But they were also very beautiful. I'll be keeping an eye out for her stuff in future.

My pond, fish having perished but tadpoles flourishing, seems to be getting rather green and slimy. Not good. I guess that now there is no nibbling population, there is nothing to control weed and algae. I cleaned out a lot of slime and pond weed today, and will very shortly start the annual ritual of dosing it up with green water treatment to get on top the algae. Garden in general is two-thirds of the way through the clearance phase, with a bit of landscaping to follow. After that it's putting down plastic to control weeds, and a lot of thought as to the way forward. It appears that I may have cut my eucalyptus tree back a bit hard or inappropriately (nothing sexual, I assure you), and it looks like it's on the way out. Bugger. We live and learn...

Not looking forward to school reunion thing next Saturday, but have to attend to see old friend. It all has its price.

It'll be a week of chores and graft this week, after last week's very enjoyable pissorama. I find alternation fairly painless.


Posted at 2:15 am by Jim Woods

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