March 7th, 2006

(no subject)

I've just (finally) finished reading John Peel's autobiography, Margrave of the Marshes -- well, I suppose it's a demiautobiography, since it was only partly complete at the point where he died, and his widow Sheila finished it. Sigh; what a loss that man was. It wasn't even that I listened to his show especially often, it was more just knowing that he was still around, playing and enjoying new music. (And my MP3 shuffler has chosen now to come up with Teenage Kicks. Nice timing for an inanimate bit of kit.)

Also recently read: Heinlein's Friday (I finally bought myself a replacement copy because I can't find mine for love or money), G.P. Taylor's Shadowmancer (absolutely appalling! Plot OK but writing significantly worse than mine; how did a publisher ever accept this? Does anyone want a copy? At least I only spent either 20p or 40p on it; I can't remember if it had got to the everything-half-price part of the book sale when I picked it up), Ray Bradbury's Illustrated Man (a re-read but at a distance of about 20 years from the first time around), Dick Francis's Driving Force (again, I think, a re-read and also bought cheap at the book sale), Ruth Rendell's The Bridesmaid (first and probably last Rendell I'll read; not mad keen on her writing style), John Grisham's The Chamber, plus a couple more cheap and cheerful books from the book sale which are momentarily slipping my mind. On a more work-related note, Digital Identity (O'Reilly) was my airport/plane reading on the way back from Granada -- an interesting discussion of identity management within large organisations, though it doesn't advance any opinions on the way one might manage this sort of thing within, say, a medium-sized country. (Which reminds me: no response from my local councillors to my email noting my views on identity cards, but I did finally remember to post off the membership form for No2ID.)

Spent a fair proportion of last week's evenings sorting through the photos from our long weekend in Granada. Plus point of digital: the ability to experiment without it costing you a fortune in developing costs. Minus point of digital: the inability to experiment without it costing you several gigabytes of disk space. ;) Now, if I could only persuade Canon's utilities and the rest of the world (in the shapes of PaintShop Pro and ImageMagick) to agree on which way up JPGs should go, I'd be a happy lady. The Canon utilities (specifically Digital Photo Professional) pick up the alignment as of when I took the photo, which is just fine, but either they're cheating by picking up information from the associated RAW file (unlikely, since this happens even when the JPGs have been copied into a completely different directory) or it's stored in some non-standard bit of EXIF which neither PSP nor IM is looking at. Hm.

The weekend was spent getting plastered assisting many of our friends in the celebration of their birthdays. The lovely H (the partner of blog_firetree) celebrated hers at Fishworks on Marylebone High St on Friday evening. Very nice food, a bit on the expensive side (not that we minded especially). Then on Sunday various and sundry miscreants and malcontents gathered in the Captain's Cabin to celebrate chomper99's aging a further year -- the birthday boy himself just about having got over flu enough to come out, though beer and such on top of recent illness and not having been drinking since New Year seemed to be taking its toll a little. Still, at last caffeine_fairy and I could come clean about Secret Project Y, which was chomper99's birthday present and which seemed to have pleased him ;) (I will let her give more details if she wants...). Oh, and while Häagen Dazs' chocolate fondue may sound like a good idea, it's not a good plan to attempt to go and eat it in groups of more than... well, they flailed for ages (at Leicester Square) trying to sit our party of 12, eventually more or less managing it (but let's not talk about the service). Two to four would probably be more practical.