15 years ago

Posted in Updates on Wednesday 8th December 2004 at 7:45pm

Received interesting introductory training today on the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The group I was part of expressed some perhaps valid views about the cost of administering a system where practically anyone can ask anything for any reason, and I think hard-pressed front line workers probably left feeling like a whole other weight of paperwork was heading their way.

However, I can't help but feel slightly optimistic about this. I know that there is a ton of data floating around the organisation that I work in which could be useful to me - let alone curious or concerned members of the public. I just don't know how to get it, who holds it or how recently it was updated. A new focus on records management within the council is going to hopefully mean that I can find this out easily. The concept of 'publication schemes' - an open list of everything which is made available and how to get it in various formats - is also welcome.

On a more selfish level, I hope I can look at the career opportunities such changes to how public bodies manage data could bring. As I mentioned to a colleague just a few days ago I'm never happier than when I'm up to my elbows in data trying to work out how to make it do what I want!


 16 years ago

Posted in SHOFT on Monday 8th December 2003 at 12:05am

I remember the last time I saw Belle and Sebastian in 1997. We drove up to London to see them at the Shepherds Bush Empire after work. The new record had been released that morning, so we listenen to a hastily taped copy of 'The Boy With The Arab Strap' for the first time in the car, thinking how fantastic it was. As it turned out, they were pretty bad that night - they took a long time to come on stage, were incredibly quiet, and the pauses were longer than the songs. I wouldn't have admitted it at the time, but my heroes had disappointed me. I made lots of excuses for them - in a way it was fitting that they weren't so good live.

How different tonight then. After padding endlessly around a frozen and busy Bath (never my favourite city), into the Pavillions, with few expectations - but happy to be seeing some live music after a long break. A cavernous room with a floor sprung for ballroom dancing it seems. Beer sold by the can. A no-nonsense venue.

Between acts, I bumped into some expat-Burnhamites, including Messrs. Ponter, Orledge and Rowden. In fact, Steve has asked me to make a special mention of him here - in fact, will this do? Quite glad to see some familiar faces, because I was beginning to feel a bit old and redundant.

Overall, I think this was the best show I've seen in years - the band were great - best of all, they were audible. Loud even. The sound was great. Even the inevitable between-song-pause problem of a band of multi-instrumentalists wasn't as bad, with some confidently chipper banter between stage and audience.

Most of the new record was played, along with some wonderful oldies and even the odd obscure B-side ('Photo Jenny' anyone?), a very good Rolling Stones cover, and Stevie Jackson's 'Travellin' Light' (familiar to people who heard DCW before it was released). A long set, confidently delivered and full of a drive I'd never seen the band display before.

Promise I'll try to remember the set-list which I forgot to write down as it happened. Highlights for me were a beautifully orchestrated 'Dirty Dream #2' and 'If You Find Yourself Caught in Love', and a storming 'Sleep the Clock Around' which closed the main set.

Thanks for the lift back Chris! Otherwise, I'd still be freezing at Bath Spa station.


 17 years ago

Posted in Updates on Sunday 8th December 2002 at 12:00am

Typically felt crappy all weekend and improved as Sunday wore on. Released another gnome-pkgview, and messed up importing it into GNOME CVS. Still, its there now - just need to find the time and courage to announce it to the translators. Almost completed Christmas Shopping by proxy. Tried to prebook 'Two Towers' tickets, but the Odeon site won't render in Mozilla, and when tested in other browsers is just plain broken. Dropped off some typing work later, and was given nice cold cure involving whisky, honey and lemon. Slept well.


 19 years ago

Posted in Updates on Friday 8th December 2000 at 12:00am

Hmm...lots of entries this month reflects the general lack of pressure at GNEHQ. Played with wine (which isn't a windows emulator), but the sight of those made-in-Redmond style dialogs on the screen sent a shudder down my spine - rpm -e time! More work done on the next Gtkdial, with the valuable assistance of the new book. The Welsman Massive venture down to Weston. My latest job application would make my career path practically circular!



I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.

I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.

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