30 September 2006

Maltpress.co.uk finished!

Well... mostly finished. I need to have a rest from it for a bit before I do final testing and see if there's anything which needs re-doing, typos which need correcting, abd so-on. I've also got to do the header images on the home page because I messed up the reds when converting to gifs - and it took non-colourblind people to point that out to me. From now on I design in black and white...

Actually, no I don't. I'm about to start on the JuicyFly site, which is going to push me even more. Maltpress.co.uk is a fairly safe site, which tries to be a good corporate one - it works on all the browsers I can test on, it's standards compliant, it's content-led (the design doesn't detract from what's going on) and it's pretty gimick-free. There are only three complex elements on the site - the blog parser, the contact form (just waiting for sign-off on that from the bloke who runs the server - don't want to open it up to any attacks) and the search.

The whole point of the JuicyFly site is to be something a bit different - to push the boundaires a little more. There's going to be some interesting JavaScript, which I'm playing with now (ByteFX - although there are a couple of typos on that page) and some decent PHP, hopefully. I'm just going to go all out. Work to FireFox, and possibly sacrifice IE a little. Bad, I know, but I'm playing.

Playing is good.

25 September 2006

Getting older

So... I'm nearly 28. A mere week away, in fact. I'm loving it. Getting older, so far, rocks. I'm working pretty hard (in fact, I've worn myself out so I'm about to go to bed, now I've sorted the navigation on my site in Safari - seems to be working well in everything but Firefox 1.0.7 for some reason).

The business is going well, especially now I'm part time at the day job. I've made a list of things to do and got some of my deadlines into iCal. I've bought felt-tips and big paper (surprisingly one of the most useful bits of kit in my arsenal - I've done massive amounts of really good work with nothing more than an A3 sheet and a couple of felt tips). All in all, things are good.

But with birthdays come presents, and I'm rapidly running out of ideas. I don't really want that much material stuff. Mostly because I'm running out of room. I'm using del.icio.us to put my list together, here, but I've not got much on it. What do I want?

That's my plea for human contact today. In the words of Scaryduck, plz to suggest-me-up.

21 September 2006

A day off - how odd

I've not been in the office today - first day of working part time, and it's really odd. I feel kind of guilty for not doing work.

I went to Ikea with dad and I'm now sitting in a surprisingly comfy swivel chair thingy which only set me back £14. Bargain. In all, I only spent £25 and that's including one unplanned buy (which in itself is pretty good going for a trip to Ikea).

Tomorrow work starts in earnest, though. I shall be learning OmniOutliner for the Mac, finishing my website and starting the JuicyFly one (design concept completed, couple of technical things to sort and then build will begin). All very exciting. Then there's an ex-colleague's leaving do in the evening - the warm up for mine.

17 September 2006

New banner

There's a new banner I just made. I'm having fun with The Gimp and - I admit - probably overdoing the reflections and drop shadows. Oh well - I'm enjoying it. :)

16 September 2006

Comng along nicely

Maltpress.co.uk is coming along nicely, and there's going to be more to see as soon as the server's up and running. In the mean time, have a load of this... i made it tonight with a little bit of Gimping and some patience. And quite a bit of fun.

13 September 2006

I'm very nearly part time.

I've only got a couple of days left as a full-time employee. It's seeming more and more real and - to be honest - more and more scary as time goes on. There's still so much to do.

Mind you, everyone's been very supportive and I'm getting contacts all over the place. Friends of friends, colleagues, all sorts. It's very encouraging.

I'm off to Ikea next week with dad to get a couple of office things, and also to spend a bit of time with him - while I have loads to do in the next couple of months, I also know I've not had much time off at all since I went to Budapest earlier in the year. I've worked at least half a day most weekends since then and many, many evenings, so I'll ease myself in that first weekend.

And then panic a bit.

A list will appear soon of all the things I have yet to do. It'll be quite long.

11 September 2006


The internet's a wonderful place to share things and to find out about other people. You could probably learn more about me than I actually know just by looking at stuff I've made available. What I've been listening to, thanks to Last FM; what I've been taking photos of, thanks to Flickr; and now what books I own thanks to LibraryThing.

I'd read about it a while ago on Geoff Jones' blog and thought it would be a great idea to actually sort my bookshelves. So this weekend - having cleared an old chair out of my room and created enough space for a much needed second shelf - I decided to catalogue my books.

It was fun, and I got to dust them all off as well. Plus you can stalk-me-up proper now by looking at what I have on my shelves. I'm half way through at the moment, with 130 books, and most of the fiction yet to come.

I wonder if there's a way you can use LibraryThing plus the Amazon API to estimate the value of your collection? Now that would be scary... good for insurance, but scary.

07 September 2006

40 years

It's the 40th anniversary of Pet Sounds being released this week.

Best. Album. Ever.

Anyone who disagrees - I'll take you. It's the only album to ever make me cry.


I had to say a very difficult "see you soon" (6 months, probably) to Michelle this morning, which has put me in something of a low mood. Along with being very tired. At the moment I'd like nothing better than to crawl into bed and sleep for a few hours - but I'm at work. Still, major deadlines have been met and now it's full steam ahead on handover things now. And setting up the business properly.

There's not much more I can say really. I'm thinking about preparing for my birthday in just over a month but shortly before that a colleague is leaving and shortly after I'm leaving - so it'll probably be a low-key, friends only affair.

06 September 2006

Pip pip old bean

Hello all.

So... a safe choice for the Mercury Music Prize. I don't think my love of Thom Yorke's Eraser is any secret, but to be honest I'd have been happy with (almost) anyone else but the Arctic Monkeys winning. Not that I think they're bad; just that they're an incredibly safe choice.

Of course, winning isn't necessarily a good thing all the time. What's happened to the excellent Anthony and the Johnsons, who won last year? Not much, really. And not winning never harmed Radiohead any of the times they've been nominated.

Personally I'd have liked to see Richard Hawley win; he's a talented bloke and - somehow - seems to fit the mood of the Mercurys better. Don't ask me to explain that - I don't think I can. He just seemed more right.

Anyway, as the Grauniad explained today, sales for everyone have gone up since the shortlist was announced, and if it gets people listening to something new then that can only be a good thing. Now, if we can stop the Arctic Monkeys being so damn precious about what they do and start just enjoying themselves, we'll be on to a winner.

Other stuff: I have a book on Neuro Linguistic Programming to read, so I'll be manipulating everyone I know before long; Michelle leaves this weekend, which is very sad (but incredibly exciting for her); time is ticking by until I become part time, which is very exciting for me; and my moustache growing is going slowly (but, thankfully, surely).

What about you? Tell me something. Please. Let me know you're out there.

01 September 2006

How to live like a monk

Following a little "live like a monk" confusion, I thought I'd reitterate the rules.

Inspired by Alvin Hall, money-saving guru and wearer of turtle-necks and bad trousers, as well as BBC3's "Spendaholics" (I love that programme) I thought I'd address my budgeting before the business starts up.

Unlike Spendaholics I won't be standing in my old school's car park shouting "what about me?" and nor will the nation be laughing at my habit of buying utter tosh for no reason. However, just like that show I will be living to a strict budget, calculated using complex algorithms and much picking of numbers out of the air. Once it's gone, it's gone, and at the end of the month anything left in my account goes into my savings. Direct debits and standing orders tick over as normal.

It's very good for me - in that I save money - and it also makes for some interesting evenings and days out saving as much money as possible. I find interesting free things to do and see. Hurrah!

And while we're on the subject of money, I've been convinced to do Tacheback again this year. It's all about raising money for male cancers by growing a moustache. Which I already have, but I'm about to shave off so I can start afresh and everyone can laugh at me as I pass through the facial equivalent of the dodgy mullet - the pootache. Photos will appear on Flickr, I'm sure. You can sponsor me here.

So, all in all, I'm not going to be leaving the house this month.