WIDATW

Mar. 11th, 2007 12:10 pm
kneeshooter: (Default)
WIDATW posts have been suspended recently, partly because writing "Sat on a plane" or "Skiied a small mountain" doesn't take a massive amount of space and is probably even less interesting than my normal entry. However last night I was actually "out of the house" and "at a club" which is quite a novelty feeling.

It started by repeating my normal Birmingham <> Nottingham commute (I really must find somewhere to stay up there more than the occasional night with HOTW [livejournal.com profile] berrega, who understandably doesn't want me to stay too often as he bought his house for "him" and not "him and "me"), swapped cars then off to sunny Sheffield. It's a mark of my worldliness that I'm starting to learn the one-way system of Sheffield City Centre so it was relatively little effort to get to the Corporation.

CombiChrist/Reaper/Northborne was one of those strange gigs where I didn't have a camera. This irritated me slightly but once I'd overcome the urge to mug [livejournal.com profile] spiked_n_bloody for her pass I plugged my earplugs in and settled back to enjoy getting sweaty. Northborne were ok - first half of the set was definitely "by numbers" but the later tracks had a real buzz about them. Reaper do "good music" with "crap live vocals". Poor Vasi - down to only one backing monk - was obviously keen and has been practising his "rock star poses" but he just didn't deliver the vocal goods.

For mainly photographic reasons, CombiChrist are never going to be able to top their Dark City 2006 gig in my mind, but this was pretty damn good. The live percussion was impressive and while I'm not sure what Shaun does, Andy is an impressive front man.

I probably enjoyed it more because the lighting was "challenging" for the photographers at the very least.

Stayed for a bit after, listened to some tunes, got driven back to Nottingham, drove home and fell asleep. Now if only my sleep pattern could be more UK.

Life is...

Mar. 6th, 2007 11:00 pm
kneeshooter: (pooh)
... interesting.

I'm still shattered. I'm still under the thumb of a massive to do list and I miss the snow. It's never really gotten to me before but this time I'm feeling it a little. Maybe it's the commute.

Today I braved the train for the first time. It wasn't too bad and I could even have gotten my bike on it - once I've sorted out the changing/shower arrangements for the other end. This is the only light at the end of the tunnel.

Yesterday I sat in a room for most of the day with headteachers. It was all rather predictable. The women had too much make-up on and smelled of middle-aged lady; while the men looked around and wondered what the hell they ever saw in this profession - and were obviously dreaming of retirement.

That's not to say the job isn't all bad - I know more about underachievement in minorities than I did yesterday and can recommend the publications of the National Audit Office to insomniacs the world over.

It'd be all too easy to get dragged down by it all, so instead I'm going to take a couple of minutes, look at the new photo-book I've bought and dream of creativity.

And try to forget the credit card bill - brought this month by North America ski passes; the Hilton Bradford and Easyjet flights to Berlin.

I did get some free champagne from British Airways after they cocked up our online check-in. Anyone want to help or watch me drink it?
kneeshooter: (Default)
Cripes, I'm exhausted. This working for a living is doing for me. It seems like ages since I updated - which is mostly because it is ages since I updated.

In any case, deep breath, and here goes.

A couple of weekends ago I went to Oxford, and took some photos of lovely people doing silly things; and some twigs; and some flowers. The results I will bore you with later, when I get a chance to upload them properly. It might take some time though. Company was good, camera-pr0n was good, though I was mostly shattered.

Last week was my first full week then The New Job (TNJ). It involved a two day staff conference, a trip to Colchester (via London), a snowy drive to Nottingham and a day cowering at home from the white stuff falling from the sky. The staff conference was actually good fun. The novelty teambuilding exercise involved making a video, which I enjoyed more than I thought I might. Methinks there might be something to explore there in the future. Colchester was bloody miles away. I was also not impressed by the Holiday Inn. Snowy Thursday I made the trip because of another planning day. This is where my life started to unravel.

Well, not my life as such, but the stoic, professional face I'd been wearing for days. This is the face of a person who is quiet, considered, positive, professional, reasoned, respectable and well turned out. Unfortunately it slipped off and the real me poked through. Still, they haven't terminated my employment yet...

This last weekend I did very little. I stayed up too late doing a bit of work, playing The Lord of Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II, The Rise of the Witch-King, which has probably the longest title of any game I own. I also watched some Oz (gritty!), some Battlestar Galactica (ok-good), some Heroes (wonderful fan heaven) and Lost (too predictable). I did find time to DJ at Malediction on Saturday and spent most of Sunday being slightly dead.

Apparently I need a silly DJ name - answers on a postcard...

My setlists were:

Read more... )

The big surprises were the number of people dancing to Modulate and someone saying to me it's the first time he'd heard Here Comes The War played out. I was shellshocked.

This week I have mostly been trying to convince myself that listening to the Today programme counts as work; enjoying the Archers and watching my Cthulhu investigator be murdered by a nasty piece of work with a .45. Poor Dr Kersh. He died a noble death during what was perhaps his most stupid and suicidal plan to date.

Finally I am nearly up to date, before jetting off again at the weekend. But there is time enough for one final story.

A couple of weeks ago, while I was in Austria there were some storms. During these storms a number of roof tiles detached themselves from my roof and decided it would be warmer inside. Ignoring the glass in their way, they fell to the earth. Alas they did not carry the words of $deity, but rather they just left devastation in their wake.

Upon my return I phoned my insurance company, got their glaziers out (or rather had a survey and the work is being done tomorrow) and had a budget to sort out the roof. So, I phoned a handful of roofers. One actually picked up the phone, came out and spoke to me. £480 inc VAT he said to me, perhaps unsurprising when I said the insurance company had authorised £500. "Written quote please!" I say and off we go. No quote ever appeared, so on Monday I phoned some more roofers and arranged for them to visit tomorrow to quote (when there will be someone in to open for the glaziers - with me so far?!).

But then this evening I get a phone call - without sending a quote or arranging to do the work, the original roofers turned up first thing this morning, did the job, and presented an invoice for £480 + VAT. So tomorrow I get to call them and explain that I'm not going to pay for that work and really it would have been better if they had arranged something with me rather than turn up in the van.

Trading Standards - here I come!!!
kneeshooter: (whistler)
One day down.

The commute is long, but Radio 4 keeps me company.
The AUP is horrendous, but it kept me off LJ all day.

I have no phone, no laptop, no idea.
But I am determined to make something of it.

My colleagues talked about their children.
But I didn't rant.

The AUP particularly singles out blogging as something only to do if you want to be bodily ejected into the lake outside. I think this is a little bit unfair. I'm even contemplating buying a personal laptop rather than settling into a pattern of abuse.

---

In other news I've been skiing. It was in many ways the oddest holiday I've been on. The first week there was very little in the way of snow. Indeed at one point I hit a muddy puddle, left a ski behind and ended up covering my entire right hand side in mud. Not what you expect.

This was the week we chose to do an off-piste skiing course. Actually it was amazing amounts of fun. Even the day where it was raining up to about 1800m and we were skiing the same moguls over and over again in the pouring rain.

The second week was with some new recruits. I got some air (which felt like much "bigger air" than it probably was) and managing to score through the base of my skis in about three places - like they had been attacked by a very annoyed three-clawed bear.

The real tragedy I had was one of poles. Just before Christmas I bought some nice new poles. But they were stolen one lunchtime. So I bought some more not-as-nice-but-still-nice poles. But they broke a couple of days later. So I bought some cheap poles. Then the not-as-nice-but-still-nice poles were replaced - with a pair of an identical model to the original nice poles. Round and round in circles.

Sleep soon.

WIDATW

Dec. 19th, 2006 09:01 am
kneeshooter: (camera)
The weekend mostly sped past in a blur - in fact so much I ended up doing very little more yesterday than try and recover. Today will be better. Oh yes.

Friday was [livejournal.com profile] fishthecat's birthday do at Chez [livejournal.com profile] quondam. Much Micro Machines was played, there was much cursing of consoles and I was reminded how hilarious playing two-people-one-controller can be. A little booze passed my lips, but it only served to improve my game, honest.

Saturday I got the train to Sheffield for Batfink. This was at the kind invitation of The Way Of All Flesh. We'd hoped to spend a bit of time with my new lights and get some live shots. Alas the soundcheck wasn't quite as efficient as it could have been so we didn't have very much time. However some shots were grabbed of the band (plus [livejournal.com profile] paul_sticks who was DJing) and then I got to say a brief hello to [livejournal.com profile] gothgrr, [livejournal.com profile] ayrton_nix, [livejournal.com profile] sarcaustick, [livejournal.com profile] darkstones, [livejournal.com profile] toripink and [livejournal.com profile] thirstypixel; watched some bands and then hung around with [livejournal.com profile] ant_girl and [livejournal.com profile] grufti who kindly let me enjoy their new spare bed.

Batfink started well but never actually seemed to take off despite the early promise. It seemed reasonably healthy but not especially vibrant. Of the bands, 3ulogy had a little bit of promise but aren't there yet; TWOAF I enjoyed - a little old school for my current taste but they seemed to be enjoying themselves (unlike 3ulogy who were trying very hard to be angry); Rome Burns I've not seen before and I'd make the same comments as for TWOAF; Voices of Masada I've seen a number of times and while the confidence and production are improving they're not really my thing. Maybe ten years ago...

What was disappointing was the size of the crowds for the bands. It seemed to me that each band was mostly just watched by "their friends" who then didn't stay for the others. Obviously I can understand the importance of seeing your friends and offering them support but a generally healthy, vibrant scene it does not make.

Sunday morning I didn't see my hosts as I dashed to Leeds station; took a particularly slow train back to Birmingham; charged my camera batteries then got back on a slow train - this time to London for NMA. It's been a while since I saw them and Justin now has the most ill-advised haircut I've seen him with (but then he is 50 so deserves some latitude). I caught the end of the support (Dave Blomberg's current band - Nozzle) who were quite impressive.

I can't remember much about NMA themselves - it was good; probably not the best I've seen them, but that might have been because I was absolutely shattered. Needless to say I have plenty of pictures of varying quality and will put some up at some point. An early finish meant I was on the 22:56 from Euston, so to bed at a healthy 2am...

I'm not sure I'll be able to do that kind of thing when I'm working in Nottingham - another unforseen cost.

Anyway - some pictures...

Photos )

Getting it

Dec. 8th, 2006 11:28 am
kneeshooter: (Default)
I'm not really getting it at the moment. I feel listless and disconnected. I'm sleeping too much and at the same time not at all. I'm in limbo in many ways and all around me I see and hear triggers that bring things back to me that I'd rather not remember.

I'm sure it's a passing phase - and at least it's not a dark cloud. It's just kind of grey. I want passion and enthusiasm - not a sense of overwhelming mediocrity and boredom. And the weekend? Outlook is damp and drizzly. Anyone got any smart ideas?




Last weekend I managed one night out of the two - bailing on the Cruxshadows I made it to Nottingham for Kryogenix which was fun - though I was getting a little tired. Then on Sunday I did some fiddling with photographs and developed the latest in my line of game addictions to Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds after having just finally finished The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth. Fortunately I know my addiction model very well...

The weekend was also the chance to watch the latest BSG. To start with it smacked of "cheap, mid-season filler" but as it went on I warmed to it and found it quite an interesting character driven episode. Still, not quite the pace, energy and utter bleakness I've enjoyed in the majority of the series so far.

I had a terrible day of work on Wednesday in London - despite being well up to do a talk to a reasonable sized conference I got a little flustered and was too fast. Nothing like a stick to beat yourself with (when there's the lack of anyone else to beat) but hopefully LJ-oriented catharsis will help. The day was improved by a pleasant early evening chatting about photography.

Yesterday was, as well as the last night of our first Cthulhu adventure, was the final artw*nk Photography section. Looking back over the past few weeks I get a sense I've become more confident in my work, more open minded and also more able to communicate about what I'm trying to do. As much as I'm energised about anything at the moment I'm energised about doing more, different shoots.

Which is why I am doing "yet another" gig tonight (Levellers) though on my own at present.

I did however succumb to online temptations and order some lights yesterday - "accelerating towards penury" I think is the phrase.

I suppose I'd better do some work now - though I do feel like I'm on gardening leave despite the fact a contract still hasn't turned up.
kneeshooter: (Default)
I'm getting to quite enjoy this "photos in club" thing. Each time I am a little less shy. Not by much, but slightly...

Photos )
kneeshooter: (tweek)
Kryogenix - that's it. Anyone want a lift from Birmingham on Saturday for the last one? Two spaces going (allowing for [livejournal.com profile] quondam and [livejournal.com profile] stelmaria_clg).

Bet now! Bet now!
kneeshooter: (pooh)
Over the last couple of weeks I've taken to paying attention to TV a little - I use the term very carefully as I listen to TV in the background a lot - just don't always watch it. Anyway - the new season has brought, through the power of the internet, Battlestar Galactica and Lost. BSG is an interesting beast - it continues to heap scorn on American foreign policy from orbit which is always entertaining. It's a little crass and heavy-handed in places - but is compulsive viewing. Even if they did blow the entire series SFX budget in the first few episodes. The main characteristic of the series to date has been the lack of sacred cows and the speed of change of direction. I just hope the enthusiasm of the network doesn't run out before the story does. Lost has also been engaging - though the flashbacks are starting to feel more and more contrived. I'm "getting" it a lot more which I suspect means that it's been dumbed down - and again I worry about the longevity of the concept. I can't help feeling it'll struggle to make five seasons.

Pitch Black was on Film Four last night and was diverting enough, more so if you enjoy Vin Diesel. Its quite budget origins were a little obvious in places but it passed a unchallenging couple of hours. In a fit of televisual ecstasy I also watched Death of a President which, while being terribly right-on and came across as trying too hard, did manage to hold my interest for its duration. Research on wikipedia (so it must be trueTM) showed the pedigree of the production team in doing speculative mockumentaries. Nice work if you can get it!

For some reason, I suspect [livejournal.com profile] miss_soap's Q&A, I was reminded of seeing a badger the other weekend - running along the road away from me. From the speed it made it would have been more at home in the M6 roadworks than on a quiet road in the dead of night. Still, I was glad I was in a car and not going nose-to-nose with it.

This weekend I shall be hearing a lot of music and hopefully remembering to repair my earplugs first. Friday is Mechanical Cabaret, Zeitgeist Zero, Tin Omen and ACID Tongue in Birmingham. Saturday probably Kryogenix in Nottingham then the M1 to Black Celebration for more XPQ-21 action. Plus some other bands on my friendslist :-P

Business continues to develop at a geological rate, but following the example of [livejournal.com profile] velvet_the_cat and having been annoyed by having to deal with a cheque - I'm now registered for online payments. Go me, etc. Now I can look forward with more interest to an expanded tax return next year.

Finally avid readers will remember my entry a couple of weeks ago about "control of distribution of photos" - well last night I was cruising MySpack and discovered the artist in question was using some of my pics - obviously ones he liked - on his page. A few positive comments reinforced my ego and then I found more on unter null's page and last.fm entry. Indeed if you are registered on last.fm do go to the Panzer AG page and vote for my picture! Fame at the moment stretches to Combichrist and unter null on last.fm; and Panzer AG, Tin Omen, Voltaire and the (contentious) Dream Disciples on wikipedia. So that's not very far! Spread the work!
kneeshooter: (camera)
By the time I'd had my three songs I was swearing off ever shooting VNV again, but I seem to have somehow managed to pull something out of the rubbish.Read more... )
kneeshooter: (camera)
Not the easiest thing in the world as shown by the rather variable styles.

Photos )

Lots more at http://www.disturbing.org.uk/archive-pandp.php

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