the new adventures of jackfirecat|
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Below are 25 friends' journal entries, after skipping by the 75 most recent ones.
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|Wednesday, December 4th, 2013|
|Correction arising from the pub
Truman Capote only did no writing at all, apart from the final pages of In Cold Blood
, between summer 1964 and summer 1965; it was his followup novel announced in 1965 he was blocked on for years after, but he did write plays and TV scripts between 1965 and 1968.
Now that's cleared up here's
Karen Gillan dressed as Mario out of Nintendos.
|Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013|
The saddest thing is kindness. When we're done
are almost strangers. Maybe meet for tea.
Did you decide its end, or was it me?
Relationship over before begun
And never heartbreak, just the sort of pain
that comes and goes. That wakes you in the night.
Sour aftertaste of what was not delight
but just a hint of promise. We remain
obedient servants of the other's time.
Small sorrows' patient auditors. So far
from where we were last year. And here we are.
Thought better of it. That is not a crime.
I think sometimes of what we might have had
Better not risked, yet very faintly sad.
The college has got a new Chief Technology Officer. He is in charge of the IT Services infrastructure team, the ILT Team and all IT delivery from level 3 upwards. He's keen to bring in new kit, new services and new processes. He's all about Google and making things happen and having the right tools to do it.
I've been keen to meet him since he started. Having one person with an overall responsibility for all the IT in the college means that we should be able to get some of the fairly straightforward things we need sorted out. My boss said that he wanted some people to be early adopters and arranged for him to come and meet our team so that we can get on and adopt early.
We had a session with him last week. As we introduced ourselves, we all explained that we work with work based learners, who mostly don't come into college very often, if at all. He showed us a Prezzi presentation that had all kinds of Youtube clips embedded in it. They were all about how we need to change the way we deliver stuff in the classroom and how kids in classrooms want to learn differently and how classrooms should be laid out differently and equipment in classrooms should enable learning. Then he talked about Google and showed us clips of Google hangouts and how people all over the place can communicate via Google Hangouts. And he showed us a clip of some Sky Sports football analysis to show how having lots of expensive kit doesn't mean that what you do is actually any better. He talked about Chromebooks and the cloud and how easy it is to access anything from anywhere if you've got the right kit and how having a desktop sitting on your desk is a waste of money when you're not always there.
He talked about a lot of stuff. Some of it was relevant to us and much of it wasn't. Then we got to ask questions. I asked about using Hangouts for remote reviews. We've tried using assorted video conferencing packages before but there were barriers like not having webcams and sound cards or not being able to have a video conference in a noisy office because of the other people in the office and there's never a spare room you can go to and we don't have laptops to do them in a spare room any way and we no longer have a licence for the particular package we're using this year. What I asked was could we get college google accounts set up for the apprentices' managers, so that we can have everyone in the hangout. He said he couldn't see any reason why not.
On Monday, I emailed IT Services and ILT to ask if we could get some accounts set up for a couple of the managers from a particular company so that when I go down to London to see them tomorrow, I could explain to them what we were going to do. The chap in ILT said he'd been asking for manager access for ages. The new boss man came back with an answer that basically said "Let's see how it all goes with the full time students in the classroom before we do this".
So, let's do hangouts in a classroom setting, with people in the classroom, rather than use it to save me having to travel all over the place to do reviews with people who aren't in the same room as me. Clearly his idea of early adoption is rather different from mine. Although, this isn't early adoption, it's finally catching up with the training we had in training week about 4 years ago.
I'm hoping that when I get into my new role after Christmas, there won't be quite so many blocks to bringing in new technology and new courses. But I still won't be able to do remote reviews with the managers.
|The polls have closed
So, disappointingly few of you were prepared to vote on who would you rather have sex with, Tony Blair or Rupert Murdoch. I was surprised that 100% of those voting went for Tone.
50% of those voting said they do know what pampas grass in a garden signifies, and with the exception of cleanskies's correct answer of 'bad taste' everyone said 'swingers' which was my understanding. Lots of things on the web claim it's a myth but I can find nothing definitive either way. Anyway, I imagine that, as with everything, people use the Internet these days.
- Mon, 13:14: Head and back really ache. Cough, go the hell AWAY! Feeling sorry for myself especially on a taking-care-of-kids-by-myself day.
- Mon, 14:28: On the other hand, both kids are currently napping, which I am massively thankful for. (And afraid I will jinx myself by saying it.)
- Tue, 10:55: RT @marcrileydj: Great letter in the Guardian today. Re the despicable tool that is Boris. http://t.co/GfSgVZYwNZ
[ wongkk ]
One black crow, silent.
Two cross magpies quarrelling.
Three weeks to Christmas.
Another page of rubbish scritches featuring my abduction by Debra's giant teapot, etc., just to show I really did
do my doodling on every November day.
|Crazyass Christmas Card...
The scanner has sputtered into half-life again, so here's andyluke —
's rather-striking seasonal greeting. There are several other weird and wonderful designs.
Not only is the scanner FUBARD, my PC is behaving incredibly weirdly altogether at the moment...Don't understand such things. Current Mood: OK
|Monday, December 2nd, 2013|
|Year of the Bear
Above all (and in spite of all), this was the Year of the Good Quarto and the Great Wall of China, the year when my Jacobean chapbook came out and I wrote another, just that like. Astonishing: a fall of Perseids. It was a year of poets and players, masques and music. It was the Year of the Bear.
“Above all, the chapbook is gorgeous and is flying off the Small Beer table
. Can't go down the hall without signing one or two (even three). Borne up by this--and by more coffee than is wise--the reading was uproarious. I strode and ranted, playing all the parts to the top of my bent; the audience held back its laughter, so as not to miss the next line; and to crown all, there was the most glorious synchronicity. I was playing Armin playing a morality, and had just said "in comes Retribution--" when the great door was flung open and a hand with the 5-Minute sign was thrust in. It brought down the house.”
“I only thought of this story three weeks ago
. rushthatspeaks and tilivenn were having tea to celebrate Cry Murder!
and the mantel for the blue-and-white, and it came to me—whoosh!—like a falling star, between bites of a strawberry (with brown sugar and crème fraîche).
Wish me another story: I’m a double prime today.
|walking to Kidlington
Travelling to Kidlington on Saturday by bus, I realized I was far too early for the birthday party at the Sherpa Village. It was a nice night, so I got off the bus early. A bit earlier than I had intended, I then learnt gradually, as I walked, and walked, towards Kidlington.
Having walked the long dark monotonous road, from Squitchey Lane, northwards, through and beyond the outskirts of Oxford, past not industrial estates, this being North Oxford, but scrub and fields, quiet and dark, out in the country, the point is, I was absolutely amazed to come across the bridge over the ring-road. A blaze of technology modern wonder. I felt like an 18th-century peasant might have on that bridge - or like a 21st-century person stumbling upon the star-port at the end of the fields he knew. It was just lots of cars, and lorries, going back and forth, at rates of speed, diamonds coming and rubies receding, but at that moment it was wonderful and strange, slightly frightening, and amazing to be here now.Writ by quill. Tomorrow off to Paris, well outside the ring-road, but I intend there to look at old things.
Well, everyone who took part at all won. which is nice. I really did complete the 'challenge', but couldn't bloody scan. Still can't. Oh, the frustration...
I also wanted to show off my first Christmas Card, courtesy of andyluke —
at the MCR. He's made his own this year, and there were several different ones. I got "ApocalypChristmas" which is outstandingly
grotesque. Brill. Hope to scan it eventually, but I think the scanner might have really crapped out this time. No sign yet of revival.
Had me veins foam-injected, and no, it wasn't painful at all, really, just like an ordinary flu jab or something. They didn't even give me a local, which was threatened in the preparatory pamphlet. I was mortified to be told I have 'unusually shaped legs'. (I've heard this before-) I don't know if that's just because I is fat, or if they're saying I have some sort of actual deformity. Anyway, I come between two sizes of surgical stocking (no bandages, either-) and the smaller one they put on me is cutting into my leg a bit. They let me go home on the bus, as well, thank the gods, and I didn't have to pay for the taxi they insisted
on the phone that I would have to have. They do contradict themselves a lot, these medical people. A bit worrying.
Thrill of the day was getting into the dreaded hospital gown, which did up, with no problem. Slightly snug across the 'apron', but I didn't have to walk around with my arse hanging right out. Yipee. Current Mood: my default knackered
|Denton Welch, "A Voice Through A Cloud"
Remarkable, vivid little memoir of the incomplete convalescence of the author
, an art student, after being hit by a car in 1938. After seeing him mentioned on a blog I frequent
, I was surprised to find his books at Gay's the Word and then at Foyle's. A cult figure but clearly no longer that obscure.
Welch's writing is meticulously observed, noticing the smallest of details with almost hallucinatory vividness. He writes insightfully about his own internal adjustments to the reality of his new life, and about his fraught relationships with doctors, nurses, friends and family. I will definitely seek out more of his work.
The book is sadly unfinished; he died of his injuries in 1948, while still working on it.This entry was originally posted at http://naraht.dreamwidth.org/543640.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|the universal peace monument they built on the bombsite where the university church was
Dream: I was in a parallel world, where pubs were open for breakfast, and Oxford had been bombed in the war. The centre of town was different; the pub where I had met my sister for breakfast (we were doing some form of complex civic duty that day, something like but not exactly jury service or sitting on an assessment panel) was one of Oxford's rambling snug-filled cosy alleyway pubs, but not one I knew, as if the suppression of pub in one location had lead to its reassertion in another. The news was on in the pub. There was some form of trouble, warning. We went for a walk to let breakfast settle and kill half an hour, and headed into Radcliffe square, where what had been the University Church (flattened in the war) had been replaced by the massive stepped universal peace monument. We went up onto the monument, like you do. As I rounded the corner of the monument for the fantastic view up and down the High Street I saw a smallish tank coming towards us, from Carfax, and behind it a much, much bigger tank. It was tearing up the road, damaging the sewers. There was a thinning of other traffic, fewer people. I pulled out my phone to find out what was going on and turned back to find my sister who had wandered off around the monument. For a scary moment, I couldn't find her, and then I heard her call back to me from the other side of the monument. She had descended into the square, and was heading off towards our work/duty, and I tried to call her back to see the tanks (and maybe some part of me thought we would be safe on the monument, or that what we were doing that day wasn't so important in the current context, or just that I wanted to be with her). "I really don't think I can wait any longer," she said, and turned away, and the alarm went, and I woke up.
The funny thing is, it wasn't until this moment when she turned away that I realised this wasn't my world. The way she dressed and wore her hair, even her body shape; it was her, but not my iteration of her. This one had taken a different path.
|Sunday, December 1st, 2013|
|NaNuBloMo being over, I gratefully put my clothes back on
1. Is it me or does the BBC News Channel theme get slightly more sinister every time they revamp it? The version since they moved to Broadcasting House and Meejah, where the couterpoint comes up in the mix has a particular 'gathering storm' vibe to it.
2. There is a rabbit living in one of the clumps of bushes off the main road. Usually you only see mixie bunnies on their way out, but we have seen this one twice and it looks quite well. More importantly, Alex has seen it so he is very interested in the bushes as we go past them. I am not sure that this will end well for the bunny (not because of Alex, just because of it being so close to all the houses). But then [FX: end of Blade Runner] things never end well for rabbits. [FX: Harrison Ford voice over labouring the point].
3. It is not clear to me why greyhounds think that 'bark wildly at something you would like to chase' is a good strategy (or why it evolved, or whatever).
4. I am convinced that it is not a coincidence that the road through the time centre has its new holes in it on the same side of the road as the bit that is barriered off because it is weak because of the underground river. There is also a certain sort of 'saggy' aspect to it. I would put good odds on the road collapsing into the river before they get round to fixing it.
5. Also, I am convinced that the placing of 'diversion' signs at road junctions in Oxfordshire is just done at random to confuse people. Many major junctions have them with the arrows pointing in a random direction, leading one to think 'hmm, a diversion from where to where?'.
6. If I were the Oxford bus company I am not sure I would use slogans like 'We're LEZ ready' for the low emission zone. I suppose it is better than 'Oxford is LEZzing up'.
7. Have run 8 1/2 miles today, the furthest for approx 6 months. Felt surprisingly / unsurprisingly tired. Also did the Parkrun yesterday in under 26 minutes for the first time since my first injury (I was going to say the dog-unrelated one but they were both dog related, though in the 2nd case it was more 'my stupidity related').
|Home from MCR...
I really did complete my month of daily doodles, but I guess I blew it, as I was in the wilds and couldn't post 'em. Such as they are, here they are anyway.
There are are few more scritches, but the scanner just conked out...
It certainly is a long way to Shropshire. (Until Thursday, I'd had some vague notion we were going to Dorset!) Didn't clock any interesting Lads, but there was an Eeyoreish hairy pony who didn't want to know, and a friendly Briard. I walked in some horseshit, and mainly sat in a silent stupour, slowly sinking into the sofa. We produced the strangest, most incomprehensible to anyone who wasn't there, MCR jam minicomic EVER. Pretty cool. It was a very good, huge, weird house, and congratulations/thanks to Jay and Selina for finding/booking it and arranging/catering/supervising the whole thing. and yet again, thanks to Sophie and Chris for getting me there and back, as they cannae be thanked enough.
So, now I can concentrate on getting my right leg's varicose veins zapped by foam injection tomorrow afternoon... "Yew are going to let zem inject zis FOREIGN SUBSTANCE into your body?! Already yew haff zat THING inside yew.." (R Next Door, who refuses to accept that I don't
have a gastric band, they 'just' whisked out half my stomach...) Current Mood: pleasantly knackered/aprehensive
|Next matter arising question
This poll is closed.
Open to: All
, detailed results viewable to: All
, participants: 12
I am aware of the alleged significance of a house having pampas grass in its front garden
And that significance is?
|Midwinter Comics Retreat 2013!
It was about 6 months ago that girlycomic —
suggested restarting MCR, the Midwinter Comics Retreat that badasstronaut —
had famously run. It would be in memory of Debs, and all the fun times we had at this marvellous weekend. In fact, it was through MCR that I first got to know Debs. I'd gone to my first Caption
in about 10 years,
and I was told about this mysterious individual called Debra who ran a yearly weekend in the back of beyond, where a group of comics creators would meet up and draw comics together - while Debs fed them amazing food. This sounded like heaven to me, and in spite of the fact that going to MCR would involve me staying a weekend almost entirely with strangers - I resolved to go, ended up becoming friends with Debs (and many other awesome people!) And the rest is history. Sniff!( Read more...Collapse )
In the last 2 and a bit weeks, I have learned some Spanish - today was Dates and Times, got my plank time up to 70 seconds twice a day and managed to wear my gum shield for 15 minutes without wanting to heave, although it does make me dribble horribly.
I shall continue with them all and see what progress I've made by Christmas. Saving Mr Banks
is quite reasonable. I never liked the film version of Mary Poppins - perhaps Mrs Travers should have told Walt where to stuff his rights.
|Saturday, November 30th, 2013|
After R twat one out on the subject of tethering his mobile phone, I got on the googles to find out what that was, and ultimately discovered that the new Lumia 925 I had on order couldn't do what my seven year old Sony can for free (albeit over Bluetooth). So I have cancelled the order. I now think the new Nokia Asha 503 is the phone for me (i.e. has all the same features as my Sony, but what it has in place of buttons do what half my Sony's buttons don't do any more, and can be a nice red). However it is hard to find where to buy one on the interwebs as its model number is the Service Unavailable HTTP error code. I might have a wander down Botley Road and have a look in Cop Land and the Whorehouse.
My other first world problem is I have a swollen lip after my iPad Air toppled off its bedside stand and into my face. Current Mood: chipper