kneeshooter: (Default)
This excites me. Not because I'm on GNER (which I don't do a lot) but because it has Free WiFi. And even better than that, it seems to be working.

To be honest I've had enough of trains already though. The first of the day was the 0610 to London; this is the 1100 from London and I'll get to Hartlepool about 1530 this afternoon after seeing parts of the country I only ever heard about as rumours. Then tomorrow I sped about 4 hours getting back to Nottingham.

This is, I fear, the highlight of my day.
kneeshooter: (work)
Friday should be "Go to Newbury" day. Instead it was "Sit at New Street" day. Total travel time should have been about 2:20 to my 9:45 meeting.

Instead of:

4:45 Get up; 5:30 Bus to New Street; 6:03 Train; 8:16 Newbury

It was:

4:45 Get up; 5:30 Bus to New Street; 6:03 Train Cancelled; 6:33 Train Cancelled; 7:03 Train delayed; 7:50 Give up on Train; 8:00 Bus home.

Bah. Pah. etc.
kneeshooter: (Default)
This week has been one of endings – though not of life, pets, hobbies, computers or even phones; but of television. The end of Rome (forever) and BSG (series 3) leave a hole in my viewing schedule that is unlikely to be filled by Lost (getting a bit rubbish) but may be by Heroes (which has taken 6 weeks off while they celebrate having a whole series and desperately try and write some more story).

Rome seemed to go out with a little bit of a whimper – mainly due to my knowledge that it is not going to get another series. That’s a shame because although it’s a bit odd in places and Series 2 has not been as exciting as Series 1 (we’d seen it all before tbh, and even the abundance of orgies didn’t excite) – it was worth watching.. If for not other reason than it reminded me about Odyssey.

BSG was an odd beast. Old friends returned as expected and the missing Cylons appeared to (maybe but lets not get carried away) be uncovered. The court scenes were tremendous though – brilliantly done and worth watching for the “let’s catalogue the plot holes in the series to date and use them rather than do like every other TV show would and ignore them” speech. I wasn’t sure about the end of the last series and that turned into something very powerful, so I suppose I should have faith.

Perhaps one of the reasons I don’t is last weekend. A visit to Preston coincided with Matt crewing Vikings so I packed a shirt, some woollen trousers and a couple of stabbing implements and went with him. On paper it sounded reasonably fun – a chance for some relatively relaxed roleplaying (try saying that when you’re drunk). However despite some highlights it suffered for reasons both in and out of the organisers control and basically overall didn't impress me. I like to think it wasn’t just because my shoulders aren’t used to chain mail for extended periods. Mind you, elsewhere people are raving about it, so perhaps my “good” and other people’s “good” is a completely different thing and I should stop moaning.

Of course it’s likely I’ll never get invited back there now, after having committed the cardinal sin of criticism.

One surprising discovery, visible from the motorway, was the 52nd Mormon Temple near Chorley. It’s a very impressive building – a classical cathedral style, simplified, that looks like it’s made of concrete. I’d love to get a closer look but you need a letter from your bishop to do so and I’m not sure I know any who are the “right kind”.

Today I’m in London, enjoying the benefits of a little laptop with decent battery life. Except I can only see out of one eye due to a dodgy contact lens so focussing is especially tough. To add insult to injury I didn’t get any Brown Sauce with my veggie sausage sandwich earlier and this evening’s train is “old-style” so might not even have any catering. I was down for a sustainability conference. My organisation now has an active policy in this area which should allow me to claim carbon footprint reasons for working from home… in my dreams at least.

This evening I will post this journal entry and share some pictures, before doing a bit of freelance work. What a life eh!

Next financial year I hope to spend £5k on a new laptop and camera. It will both make me a better photographer and allow me to carry two phones and two laptops around with me. I will then write long epic livejournal entries on the train and maintain a pretty reasonable policy of not abusing work’s laptop too much. Now all I have to do is find the £5k before claiming some of it back from the taxman.

Which reminds me, I’ve just been playing with Adobe Lightroom and I like it. I possibly even like it enough to buy it. It runs, does what I want and while it isn’t as good a UI as Potatoshop it is pretty much there.

And I’ve booked some more skiing. Dark City be damned.
kneeshooter: (rhona)
... dealing with reasonable people. The "picture crime" I mentioned the other week has been resolved - the site, for a large UK electronic music festival had taken a photo from a band MySpace site without considering that they didn't have permission to do so.

In the end - they said sorry - it was a mistake; I said ok. We get on with our lives.

It did look really good though :-)

In other news, my laptop has finally arrived at work. It's very shiny, quite small and I have the administrator password. Finally I can get the train without feeling that the time is being wasted away.

The weekend gone was interesting. I found I've lost a 4GB memory card (somewhere - it might turn up), so bought another 18GB to make up for it. On Friday I was in Lodnod for work, then assisted on an art film; Saturday I did very little; Sunday I talked about LRP a lot.

Then I found out my dad has cancer.

I'm not sure how bad it is yet - will find out more tomorrow. He's handling it rather well. I hope that is on the advice of the doctor rather than because his head is in the sand. It might be an interesting couple of months.

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: (work)
One of my new colleagues said to me earlier on the train "I can't tell whether you're being serious or sarcastic".

And so it begins...

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 )

Cycling?

Nov. 24th, 2006 04:10 pm
kneeshooter: (blind)
It's good for you health you know. Perfect form of carbon-friendly transport. My employer even (apparently) offers a cycle mileage rate.

Except today when I got to my meeting I couldn't shake hands because my right palm was covered in blood.

I was cycling merrily across campus, it was a little wet but I was enjoying getting another set of clothes covered in mud after yesterday's experiences - and then what I thought was a small puddle turned out to be a pothole. In went the front wheel... where it stopped. Unfortunately it didn't communicate it's change in velocity to the frame, the rider or the back wheel.

So over I went, careering forward on my shins and hands, leaving blood and skin in my wake.

Fortunately the NHS wasn't needed this time and the nice man at the Train station let me wash up and gave me some tissue...

Still - Slimelight confirmed for tomorrow. I wonder if they've put in any lights since I shot SBA et all there in 2004?

WIDATW

Nov. 24th, 2006 09:05 am
kneeshooter: (tweek)
As one more weekend looms - another fades into memory. There's not actually very much to report from last weekend - which in itself was lovely as that was the point. There was much nice food; much relaxing and much reading.

My books of choice were Christopher Priest's The Glamour and The Prestige. I'm told the plot of the movie version of the latter is slightly different to the book - but I'd recommend the books - interesting, thoughtful reads - with a sense of the unknown and psychological that reminds me of playing Cthulhu with [livejournal.com profile] pax_draconis et al.

Erm, that was about it really.

In other news, gallery opening yesterday (a bit flat but I at least got to argue with the printers) after a dash across the Midlands by cycle and train (which I get to do again in a minute). I am back on my bike though - which is good and means I will at least manage 10 minutes of skiing before I run out of fitness at Christmas. Still, the useful lesson I learned was:

If the shortest route looks like a canal path; and it has been raining - you will get to the meeting literally covered in mud.

I've never been so muddy at a meeting before - though I think I wiped most of it off my face. Today I shall stick to the roads.
kneeshooter: (pr0n)
#242 in an occasional series...

The number of people who don't appreciate that the "lock" button is different from the "close" button on the door. Cue squeals of embarrassment when an unwitting individual opens the door...

Actually - "shriek" would be a more accurate for something I could hear from the next carriage. "squeal" sounds more like an exclamation found in the pages of pr0n.
kneeshooter: (Default)
Trains annoy me. I try very hard to use them as I'd rather spend an hour on a train and then cycle for ten minutes rather than drive 50 miles to my nominal "office" in Shrewsbury, but it annoys me a lot when I arrive at New Street to see a sign saying "Cancelled. Will start at Wolverhampton".

In what world is that any use? I'm clearly not in Wolverhampton; the train I wanted to get was the next train for Wolverhampton. Cue a delay of nearly an hour for the next one.

On the way back my mood had been improved by an energetic cycle ride, so I was hardly phased when the woman sitting opposite me spent most of the journey in the toilet. The guard did nearly evacuate the train though as she'd left her bag at the table while in the loo for an extended period. "Oh, I was on the phone" she said on her return. Thank you, but that's TMI and not a vision I wanted.

Of course I'd followed the advice given to our government and profiled her informally. Had the owner of the bag been a nervous, sweaty, single Muslim (or Brazilian electrician) I'd have reported it myself - but I didn't think there was much propensity for suicide bombing amongst middle-aged, overweight white women with too much fake tan who had been planning their visit to Slimming World moments before.

I know I shouldn't generalise, but...
kneeshooter: (Default)
This could be a long entry - I'm going to try and write it as I go along, then populate with photographs and post when I get back. I'll attempt not to log in, or even discover if I have a signal. This could be a long week.

I guess there are two ways to read this entry. The first is to skim through and look at the pictures and the insomniac's variation is to read the text too. Click on the pictures for a larger version, as ever.

Read more... )

Refuge

Jun. 28th, 2006 10:08 am
kneeshooter: (closecol)
The volume is turned up to 11, Skinny Puppy is playing and my earphones are jammed in as far as they can go. Yes - it's train rage time!

Despite the train being virtually empty at New Street four young gals decided to join me at my table (well, three at the table and one off to the side). I lasted about five minutes of in-depth analysis of OK! magazine before I remembered I had FLA and SP CDs in my laptop bag.

Still, the noise is breaking through. Chatter about fashion, celebrity, bikini shops and diets.

Save me!

All this for a London meeting that will last an hour at most. Then I get the joy of refereeing my mother and brother as she attempts to find out why he and his (now ex-) girlfriend are. Or should that be aren't. Oh you get the point.

Last night seemed to be pick-on-Simon night. My internal monologue was at it, along with my conscience and two of my friends. It wasn't serious, nor am I offended. But perhaps the mirror of self-image has now slightly less of a rose-tint.
kneeshooter: (pooh)
I just had a call from the police Child Protection people. Fortunately they hadn't caught up with me (so now all I have to do is avoid homicidal 14 year olds) and it was about work. I was just faintly disappointed it wasn't the fantastically named Sergeant Borg.

Anyway, to the weekend.

Friday, as my avid reader will know was pretty much a write-off as I spent it in bed and sweating (very much not in a good way) and except for perhaps an hour of fussball slept through until 10am on Saturday morning. Fortunately I was much better when I woke up and had only a small lead balloon in my abdomen rather than the zeppelin of Thursday night. I had two choices - take it easy and relax or go clubbing in London.

Of course I did the latter.

This was a reasonably-good idea. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] flywingedmonkey I got a lift down, then floated around Angel for a couple of hours with a book while [livejournal.com profile] kantti attempted to buy a ticket in Winchester; met with [livejournal.com profile] minusbat; watched the two of them eat sushi (appetite==0) then went out to Strength Through Joy. Lovely club, great music, a handful of people I recognised though didn't talk to (being rooted to my chair rather than having any urge to move), then almost went to Slimelight (though felt better of the idea). Would be much better with volume set at 9 rather than 11 though.

Sunday started rather late but had food, a little more fussball, then a horrendously long, tedious, noisy, unpleasant couple of hours. Yes - I was on a Virgin Train.

And collapse. After Doctor Who - which was a bit dull I thought.
kneeshooter: (Default)
After a trip to Warrington, a two hour grilling and then a trip home via the NEC I can honestly say...
  • I'm tired
  • I'm hungry
  • Jack Johnson just isn't very interesting.

Today...

Dec. 7th, 2005 03:14 pm
kneeshooter: (camera)
... I went to London. It wasn't the shortest meeting I've dragged myself down for, but I do slightly resent over 2 hours travel each way for an 80 minute meeting.

In other news, here are a few teasers from the Combichrist/KatScan/XP8/Trauma Pet gig. Some from Neuroticfish when I get some words from [livejournal.com profile] keris.

Oh, and one of my SLRs is broken. I suspect it needs a new shutter. This is likely to be annoyingly expensive at this time of year.

It's not been a good week so far.

Combichrist KatScan XP8 Trauma Pet

More )
kneeshooter: (work)
Catch up )

London is, London. I got up close and personal with a lovely smelling young lady on the Tube - who was more interested in sharing body heat with me than moving into the freespace in front of her; I watched a woman waddle along Victoria making me think of ducks and was strangely concerned about the lack of Armed Police ringing Scotland Yard. Perhaps undesirables don't get up on a Friday morning?

Will I last the weekend? Bet Now! Bet Now!

WIDATW

Oct. 1st, 2005 07:56 pm
kneeshooter: (rhona)
Saturday Night is a strange time to be doing the whole WiDATW thing, but as I'm really behind on the whole thing I feel I should take the chance to catch up when I can. Plus I have just gotten up, so while I'm flush with energy...

WIDBLWAN )

Now I can get on with the photo-spam.

Oh, and passes have been obtained for Queen Adreena and Killing Joke. This is a good thing. I shall probably get [livejournal.com profile] lupercal a Queen Adreena t-shirt or similar memorabilia to help clutter up his hospital bed.

Finally a pox on death-of-rats. Two in one week is not a good score for the home team.
kneeshooter: (pooh)
So, next year I'm going to Orkney on a little trip with some special friends. This is fine, except there's a chance it'll clash with Maelstrom on one weekend or the other.

Ok I think, there are airports in Orkney and airports in London and various other places on the way. I'll do some research and see how much it will cost to drive to Orkney, then leave the car for someone else to bring back while I fly to the likely event site.

Cue a jaw-on-floor moment. I could fly half-way to Australia for the £300 price of a Kirkwall to London flight, or save about £50 by flying to Scotland then taking a 6-8 hour train journey to London.

Just how much do I love LRP...?
kneeshooter: (Default)
There's some funny people working in the railway. The train I just enjoyed from Noriwch to Peterborough had as it's Trolley Person the bastard son of Father Jack - he walked up and down the carriage shouting "Drink! Snacks!" in a most ecumenical fashion.

And now I'm sitting comfortably on the platform enjoying the sight of two JCBs-on-rails performing a strange dance up and down a section of track. I can only assume that it's either a strange public performance art display or a rather more mundane training practice activity...

Oh, and I'm reading American Gods again. I like it. Again.

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