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Jabber/GTalk: sgg

Posts by Scott

Take YourPick


As mentioned yesterday, I spent last night testing out my mate’s new guitar. Bloody excellent it is too, as is his shiny new amp. He pointed me at this – a scheme whereby you can get interest free credit on musical instruments.

That, to me, is a dangerous thing.

Having already acquired an extensive collection of stringed instruments, I did have a quick look at stage pianos, gulped a bit, and looked away. Microphones aren’t part of the scheme. Worse, it also doesn’t cover computer hardware so my much longed for MacBook is still a pipe dream, too.

So what to look at? A decent amp? That would mean having to find somewhere where i can play it loud enough to make it worthwhile. Short of ~shudder~ clearing out the garage, that’s not really practical.

Maybe a saxophone. I played clarinet at school and briefly got a loan of a saxophone. Such a fun, sleazy, smoky, sexy instrument – I’ve always fancied one of my own. Unfortunately, the sax suffers from the same problem as an amp – it’s next to impossible to play quietly.

Perhaps i should just stick to what I know. There are all sorts of guitars i’ve never even played, let alone owned. Semi-acoustic Gretsches and Gibsons and super-fast Ibanez and down and dirty Les Pauls. Probably even some good deals on coming up to Xmas.

Or maybe I should for once in my life behave like a grown up and admit that I don’t actually NEED to keep buying Instruments and should, in fact, learn to play the ones I have, spending what little money i have on things i ACTUALLY need.


it’s an option i suppose

now where did i put that Fender catalog…?

Flying Visit


Bit of a quick sneaky one today. I’m going out tonight to play with a mate’s new guitar, so may be home late – too late for a daily blog post. Plus, I may not make it home at all, so may not have access to a machine, making it absolutely impossible.

Does blogging to say you aren’t going to blog count as a blog post? Hopefully.

To have a positive tone for once, i’ll nick frou-frou’s idea of publishing happy stats. So, things that are making me happy:-

  • As mentioned, Friend’s new guitar to try out. Better than that, he’s been talking about having a guitar and singing and music night for ages so this might be the start of a regular fun thing.
  • Evenings and a whole Saturday to myself this week as frou-frou is busy until Sunday. Much as I miss her, it’s AGES since I’ve had a whole Saturday to myself.
  • Blade Runner Final Cut boxed set to work though. frou-frou has a new telly to play with and this might be the perfect test for it.
  • Dress Down Friday. We have a monthly (!) Dress Down Friday and it’s tomorrow. So I can break out the smoking jacket and slingbacks, or possibly just the PVC trousers and mankini combo. Or not

A Bit Of A Puzzle


More geek news – we had a contest at work to solve a problem programatically in an efficient and elegant way. Having not had much time to spend on it, I was chuffed to come fifth out of fifteen. What I liked best about it was the reminder of why i’m in the career I am. Software was originally a source of puzzles to be solved and I could never resist a puzzle

When I was little it was jigsaws. I had one of Popeye and Bluto which canonly have had about 100 pieces but must have done it as many times. I loved fitting each piece into place and finally having a finished picture, although that was always a bit of a let down. The girl next door used to finish hers and glue them into a frame to hang on the wall. I hated that idea – it was the solving that was fun, not seeing the picture. If they were glued together, you could never take them apart and do them again. What was the point of that?

Like everyone else in the eighties, I moved onto the rubik’s cube. Although i loved the idea and the feel of it in my hands, I didn’t (and still don’t) have the sort of mathematical brain which really “got” it. I learned from a book a set of moves to allow you to complete it, but that wasn’t really the same.

When I started university, we had a break every morning after the first lecture. Someone would produce the Glasgow Herald and we got into the habit of doing the cryptic crossword between the group. At first I had no idea what was going on. A couple of the mature students seemed to be talking in a language all of their own describing how the clues worked – double definitions, hidden clues, pangrams – gradually, I started to get the idea. Eventually, it became a habit and at times, almost an obsession. I still can’t pass a newspaper without checking to see if there is a crossword in it. I do the Guardian and Observer crosswords on line without fail. I don’t often finish them but i get closer each time. The wonderful Fifteen Squared site blogs all the day’s crossword clues and solutions with explanations of how the two match up. If you are at all interested in how crosswords work, I urge you to give it a visit.

Sadly, I find that less and less of my daily grind is spent with the problem solving side of my brain engaged. Instead, I’m reading documents, writing documents, attending meetings about documents and, very occassionally, fixing some defects. But every now and again, i get a juicy problem to sink my teeth into and i remember why i’m there.

Another World


Sad news today that Ingrid Pitt died. I saw her at the Festival of Fantastic Films a couple of years ago and, although she was clearly not in the best of health, she was still fascinating and funny. Reading the obituaries, she had a life that should itself be the subject of a film. I’ll have to invest in her autobiography.

I grew up loving the sort of cartoony, slightly over the top horror movies of which she was the queen. I was too young to see them in the cinema but for a while they were on the TV on a Friday night. Thanks to the family video recorder and my long lost ability to get up amazingly early on a Saturday, my weekend’s usually started with a film. Quite often this would be a Hammer film, or an Amicus film or some other lurid horror with a twist. I started to appreciate films that weren’t mainstream or cool and which went beyond the boy-meets-girl shlock that was all pervasive in the eighties. It’s a bit late in the evening for me to really go into my love of film (maybe another day) but the thought that a little bit of that glamorous world is no longer here is a sad thing to reflect on

Hole In The Net


An ordinary afternoon in the office – nothing but the sound of PC fans, clicking keys and light snoring – when suddenly, disaster struck. At first, there were just a few “hmm”s and queries along the line of “is your email working?”

Gradually, the full horror sank in. No. Internet.

Clearly, our concern was not that we couldn’t do any work. No, being unable to work is a minor inconvenience compared with no email and no access to BBC news. We did at least try to work but it became increasingly clear this was a non-starter

“It’s okay – i have the details on my screen. I can send them to you”
“uh huhhhhh – and you’re going to do that how exactly?”
“i’ll email them to … ah”
“ah indeed”
“Well, i’ll print them out.”
“That would be on the network printer?”
“yes it would … oh. I know, i’ll copy them to your PC”
“over the network”
“over the network, I can…oh ferfuxake”

The worrying thing is how reliant we all are on the internet. Meetings had to be reorganised by phone as the details were held on email. This would have been substantially easier if the phone numbers weren’t also helpfully stored on a network server.

All this was a bit of an eye opener. My daily toil is partly spent thinking of fail safes and backup plans and ways to avoid things not working. bit frightening that a failure in ONE part of our system can render teh whole department useless. I’m going prepared tomorrow – i’m taking a book

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