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

Friday March 3 2006

Well, today I look out on a rather different garden.

Sterling efforts on the part of my key brethren have removed all junk, detritus and surplus organic matter. Now all I have to do is some weeding and tidying and I'm all set for another year. This is a major step forward, and all the more gratifying since while it all happened I was off gallivanting around garages playing with car toys. Test drives, they're the fun-fair really except that all the rides are free. I am pretty much all set to do my grand tour of many places in Europe I've always wanted to visit, on which further details soon, and am seeking a reliable and economical vehicle in which to do it. Why then, you might reasonably ask, was I off tearing about in an S-type Jag? Well, I'm a boy. And the diesel one has good economy. Depreciation, though, is less cheerful. And the running costs are a little high.

You have to love a car with a feature where you say "CD two track six" to it and it finds and plays it though, don't you?

Posted at 11:06 am by Jim Woods

Wednesday March 1 2006

Oh yes, and I had a great fit of house-cleaning yesterday.

So, although there is still a load of fillering (if that's a word) and decorating and more cleaning and gardening and plumbing to do, things are getting a bit more under control. Tomorrow, weather and able pickup truck owning henchman permitting, is garden clearing day. Then I can start to do things with all the cool glassware that star Chiarina has given me.

I see a calculator on my desk here, waiting for me to take it to see the family lawyer. This pretty much sets the tone for today.

How did I ever end up with such a lot of home cinema gear, and instruments amps and PA, and stereo and speakers? I need to face up to what will actually get used and what won't, and sell off what won't. Because it's taken over my tiny house, readers. And I want some of my tiny house back so that I can use some of it for things like furniture. I used to like it when I had furniture.

Posted at 11:15 am by Jim Woods

Well, gas man turned up and changed the meter.

Now I get to pay the bill, which is predictably colossal. In partial compensation, he turned out to be a very affable fellow with interests in home cinema, computers and cars. Therefore there was a certain amount of bloke-ish shooting the proverbial. Nice contrast to last week's arts and culture orgy. I also think I've spotted where the damp is getting in to my living room. There is a large crack in some of the render in that corner of my HQ; if that isn't the problem it's certainly a potential problem, and I'll fill it. This all gives an impression of progress, which is very much what under-employed tiggers like at the moment.

I've been watching the reruns of the third series of shameless on Channel 4. I love this so much that I am sorely tempted to go and get the first two series on DVD. It certainly seems the kind of thing I could get to be completist about.

Posted at 11:06 am by Jim Woods

Tuesday February 28 2006


Gas man supposed to appear between midday and five. Three approaches. I am still confined. I am now bored with being stuck at home.

Posted at 2:52 pm by Jim Woods

Today I spend the afternoon waiting patiently at home,

for today the gas man comes (materializes? Takes on a solid form?) and replaces my gas meter with one which is not full of water. Then I get to pay a colossal bill for all the gas I've burned staving off the dreadful cold weather. I see Vie en France have sent me some more mail asking if I'm into a new flat near Cap d'Agde for 80 grand or so, and quite frankly I am. It's not like I'm getting much done here, beyond wrestling with the complexities of the family affairs. Being the owner of a house here which I could rent out, I am ever more tempted to go and do my sums somewhere warmer. For the time being, however, a shave will have to suffice.

Posted at 9:06 am by Jim Woods

Monday February 27 2006

Those of you who keep a keen eye on my entire publishing empire,

and I know that there are regiments of you out there, will have spotted that my recent postings to Inchoate Satellite have been sparse. Sparser even than my hair. That's sparse. Let's have a mercifully brief recap. I started playing around with Blogger for several reasons. Firstly, it's free to play with. Secondly, it has comments built in, and that's the one thing I really feel the lack of here. And lastly, using an extension to Firefox, I am able to quickly post links straight to it. So I toyed with moving everything over to Blogger, since I loved the ease of publishing and coveted witty dialogue encouraged by the commenting. Sadly, because the world is full of malevolent tossers - or at least enough of them to make things tricky for the rest of us - it's now necessary to type in a string of gobbledygook when posting to Blogger; this proves human agency, and deters bots and their ilk. Unfortunately, it also deters me.

If I'm simply throwing a link at my Blogger blog, this verification is the only typing involved. I liked it when I only had to do a few clicks. Now it's more trouble than it's worth. Granted, the additional effort is fairly inconsequential when I've just written a "proper" entry. But that's not what I was using Blogger for. So I think I'll stay here with Blog, particularly given the encouraging signs of further development. In fact, I'll also look into the capabilities for posting to remote services like Blogger from within Blog. This may overcome my favourite bugbear, the otherwise lack of a local copy of all my efforts.

Confused yet? Me too, me too.

I do really need to get some proper hosting. Then I can get all grown up and implement all sorts of good things like commenting. And other scripty stuff. Plain-Jane Pipex web space doesn't allow anything beyond a counter and a visitor's book :(

Posted at 10:54 am by Jim Woods

This is a pruriently interesting

article about criminals and money-laundering. And much though I love having a cordless mouse, I am beginning to tire of its unreasonable appetite for AA batteries. Which reminds me that I really must invest in some NiMH rechargeables and a charger. I gave the stuff I had to my ex when I returned her digital camera which I'd had on loan for so long that it frankly looked rather quaint by today's standards. Still, I bet she still hasn't used it. That was a pretty good lesson in the perils of early-adoption all round really. Thankfully, with the possible exception of (in any case cheap enough) silver disc players, I manage to be a pretty late adopter in general. Arguably, this is the second best thing to not being an adopter at all.

I do love the net though. Truly.

Posted at 1:22 am by Jim Woods

This week's roundup of cultural osmosis and techie stuff.

Very impressed by the microspective (their description) of the work of artist Tom Phillips at the Ashmolean Museum here in Oxford. There's something very appealing to me about small art-works in particular. Perhaps they are less daunting. I was also reminded that the museum has a Van Gogh and some other rather nice modern paintings. My first visit in years, and I won't make that mistake again.

I am reminded by circuitous means that Latin Quarter's "Modern Times" was a favourite of mine in the eighties. It's a little earnest, but it's still a bloody good record.

And after something of a hiatus, there's a new beta of Blog out - the software which I still use to produce this site, in all its lavish multimedia glory. You can get it here. Whether or not the issues that were irritating me are fixed remains to be seen, and I won't pass the irritation on to you by going into this in great depth here. I remain very grateful for this rather nice free software, though, and look forward to its further development.

Oh yes, and Bending Corners - purveyors of jazz grooves to myself and others - have their latest freely downloadable hour-odd available. If you're not listening to these, than you're a silly sausage.

Much home maintenance fun in the coming week. Nice to finally get some motivation to do it though. Forecast of -7 degrees for the coming Friday night. That will definitely be one to spend in the cozy pub.

Posted at 1:06 am by Jim Woods

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