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Weeknotes #55: catch-ups and anniversaries

Weeknotes: Vibrant catch-ups, cinematic delight, insightful media exploration.

Week commencing Monday, 5 February 2024

A pint of beer on a table in a pub with a view of the bar in the background
Catch-ups with beer

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 5/7; Exercise 4/7 and Move 4/7. (62%). Morning walks: 0/4 (days in the office don’t count). Office days 1/5. Plant diversity: 39. Total steps: 46,626

Life

  • Lovely to catch up with Cornelia for our revised Thirsty Thursday (on a Tuesday) meet-up. Lots of talk about cooking. We seem to be converts to the slow cooker way. And a catch-up beer with Frank on Thursday back on Grey’s Inn Road.
  • I read more about companies tightening their belts in the current economic climate. I wonder how that will impact the push to ‘return to the office’ when, again, it’s proven to have no impact on productivity and a negative impact on people?
  • Did I miss it or has there not been a lot of discussion about this being the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Channel tunnel? Has it been a wasted opportunity? I love travelling Eurostar.
  • It was also the 20th anniversary of Flickr. I couldn’t explain how my first photo had been uploaded before the service was even launched until I remembered Yahoo used to own it and Yahoo Photos was merged in at some point. Meta data retained, I assume.
  • As a Product Manager in my day job, given I have feedback on your product, and I leave a feature request, is it good enough?

Media

  • To the cinema, to see Poor Things. Lovely screening room at BAFTA where I’d never been. Stunning building. But the film? Another beautifully shot movie (see, 2023: Asteroid City). In the colour parts I could only describe it as steampunk Victorian through a fish-eye lens. Wonderful. The story weird, horrific and compelling. A child in an adult body questions the world. Outstanding performances: Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef and an incredibly funny Mark Ruffalo. But, somehow, too disturbing to be great.
  • More episodes of The Morning Show and, after the last couple of episodes had missed the feel of the ‘newsroom’, this episode felt like the show was back to its old self.
  • I saw Kara Swisher at an event once. She was as you’d imagine. Thank god somebody’s watching the tech giants: Over Three Decades, Tech Obliterated Media.
  • Stephen Fry, reviewing Apple’s new Vision Pro: “Technology is a verb, not a noun; a process, not a fixture”.

Weeknotes #54: Seafront, holiday parks and regulation

Weeknotes: Active week, scenic walks, insightful tech discussions, enjoyable media.

Week commencing Monday, 29 January 2024

A view of the bay at Seaview, Isle of Wight
The bay at Seaview, Isle of Wight

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 3/7; Exercise 4/7 and Move 4/7. (52%). Morning walks: 0/4 (days in the office don’t count). Office days 1/5. Plant diversity: 27. Total steps: 55,705

Life

  • The pain in my shoulder is getting worse. I’m sure it’s just a frozen shoulder but I should get it looked at.
  • Related, I was nervous about doing Tai Chi because of the discomfort. It wasn’t as bad as I expected.
  • Another office day on Thursday. Lots of catch-up discussions and, finally, we managed one of the team meetings in a room together rather than spread out around the building on video calls.
  • Saturday, six mile Red Squirrel trail from Merston to Sandown with a stop at the lovely cyclists cafe. Not too wet underfoot meant it was a lovely afternoon.
  • Sunday, a walk along the sea front, brunch and more sea views. It’s good for the soul. Peered though the fence at the former Harcourt Sands Holiday Park. Not much happening but then found an Isle of Wight Guru blog about it and accompanying You Tube video. Sad when so much prime Seafront land is not available to anybody to use.
  • Apple announced compliance with Europe’s Digital Markets Act this week. There was lots of commentary and all of it quite interesting; critiquing their approach or broadly justifying it. Personally, I buy iPhones because of the restrictions Apple puts in place. I don’t want – even the merest possibility of – a virus-laden mini computer. That’s Apple’s offer. There are other choices if you want them.
  • Related, James is trying out the Apple ecosystem after years in the other world
  • I haven’t done a Kickstarter for a while. Poem/1: AI rhyming clock looks like a lot of fun.

Media

Weeknotes #53:Challenges and a savory moment

Weeknotes: Challenges with bike rentals, project blockers, social events, media exploration including podcasts and videos.

Week commencing Monday, 22 January 2024

A bike blocking the pavement

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 3/7; Exercise 2/7 and Move 3/7. (38%, what’s going on?). Morning walks: 0/4 (days in the office don’t count). Office days 1/5. Plant diversity: 42. Total steps: 39,165

Life

  • The number of rental bikes being left in the middle of a pedestrian street is increasing and it’s hard to think of a solution that works. This one across the pavement on Sunaday.
  • A number of blockers have been rearing their head on the project I am working on. Tuesday, we decided on a minor change which we hoped took all the concerns away. Then some of them came back. Systems integration is not fun.
  • Dinner with Mark B on Wednesday night – instead of my Tai Chi class – was a lovely, if slightly expensive, fish curry.
  • I was going to go to a team dinner on Thursday but it switched to Nando’s which, at the time, I wasn’t too bothered about. Wish I’d gone now.
  • Instead, I was in the pub coming up with ideas to better share our team communication which I didn’t follow-up on on Friday.
  • Sunday, up to a rooftop in the city of London. It was a room with wooden floors and floor-to-ceiling windows. Nice views of Tower Bridge and St Paul’s cathedral but a very soulless experience.

Media

  • Bread, diet-personalisation, milk, mushrooms and ultra-processed foods: Professor Tim Spector’s 5 foods I got wrong.
  • Watched a number of things about the 40th anniversary of the Apple Macintosh computer. This by Stephen Fry was a different take.
  • I tried to watch Last One Laughing Ireland after having seen a short interview with Graham Norton about it last week. The premise is good but I don’t think I watched enough to get into it. Comedians trying not to laugh meant their humour wasn’t that great at times. Maybe I’ll try again.
  • I listened to a couple of episodes of Strike Force Five, a podcast that several of the hosts of American late night talk shows did during the writer’s strike last year. The aim was to raise some money for their staff who wouldn’t be working because of the walkout. I thought it might be interesting to hear them all chat in a way that competing TV hosts wouldn’t normally do. What came out most was that they all seem to get on really well.

Weeknotes #52: trains, time-travelling and Elvis

Achieved 81% weekly fitness goals, discovered British Rail origins of Upper Crust, enjoyed Elvis night, mixed dining experiences.

Week commencing Monday, 15 January 2024

Singing Elvis at The Crazy Coqs presents
Elvis night

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 7/7; Exercise 4/7 and Move 6/7. (81%). Morning walks: 1/4 (days in the office don’t count). Office days 1/5. Plant diversity: 43. Total steps: 58,211

Life

  • I didn’t know that: the book on British Rail that I have been reading says that Upper Crust, a sandwich retailer seen at most big mainline stations, was a concept developed by British Rail when it was still a nationalised operation.
  • Related, p256, “Staff, however, when travelling around the network were entitled to reductions at station buffets for tea and sandwiches, but oddly not coffee, which at the time was perceived as a foreigners’ beverage.”
  • Time Traveller’s Wide, Apollo Theatre. I hadn’t seen the book. The stage effects are good but I can’t remember a single tune.
  • Thursday red wine at an overpriced bar. More at a cheaper place. Wrong train back meant a late-night trip across the bridge to the return platforms at Surbiton.
  • My healthy eating habit goes well when I am at home and not well Friday night at Compton St. Brasserie (too warm inside); Saturday Lunch at The Rushmere (great soft shell crab but service was patchy) and dinner at The Ivy with a view of Tower Bridge (lovely classic menu).
  • Sunday evening, Elvis was more enjoyable than I thought it would be. And the audience were up for it too!

Media

Weeknotes #51: 2024 full-throttle

Week commencing Monday, 8 January 2024

Panoramic view of Bembridge Down
Bembridge Down, January 2024

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 4/7; Exercise 5/7 and Move 5/7. (66%). Morning walks: 1/4 (days in the office don’t count). Office days 1/5. Plant diversity: 19. Total steps: 64,746

Life

  • Definitely back to full-throttle at work. Last week was a slow ramp-up. I needed it as I’m just feeling myself after my COVID infection a few weeks ago.
  • Mr Bates vs The Post Office continues to dominate a lot of the news. Quite incredible for a TV show these days. I saw great commentary on rachel.blog: “That is what makes it so terrifying. It could have happened to any of us.” She says a lot more, some of which I would like to have said, although I would not have said it as well. Read it here.
  • Buried on a PWL 90s playlist was a song called ‘Pink Champagne’ by Shakin’ Stevens. People of a certain age will remember his songs from the 80s but I had no recollection of this one. It’s not a bad song – reminiscent of his earlier hits- but didn’t mark a return to the Top 40 for ‘Shaky’. The next day, I dug out Green Door: that did reach the top of the charts (for 4 weeks, pop-pickers!).
  • Related, I have one of those suitcase record players. It has a frustrating habit of skipping when I can see there’s no scratch (and, even, sometimes in a place it’s previously played OK). Wednesday, I went online and found the issue – it’s to do with the little block of plastic that raises the needle when you moving it. And the suggested fix seems to work.
  • Thursday, was an office day which meant lots of chatting.
  • The weekend was on the Isle of Wight. Saturday, a walk to Merstone along part of the former Sandown-Newport railway that closed in the mid-50s. Sad that there is no line into Newport today.
  • Sunday, 6.5 miles up Bembridge Down. Views are stunning and the sun shone. Ploughman’s at the pub.

Media

  • But first, this … is a lovely programme from counting down to the new year with the BBC Radio 4 announcers and hearing what happens behind the microphone. I can’t help wishing they’d left the new year ‘bongs’ in place on the BBC Sounds version.
  • Netflix’s Good Grief is the directorial debut from Dan Levy of Schitt’s Creek fame. It follows Marc, who has lost his husband and how he copes with love after death. I enjoyed it.
  • Trying to pick up The Morning Show again. Almost everybody is unpleasant in Series 2. I am struggling to find likeable characters.

Weeknotes #50: new year: on-time and delayed

AI says this is engaging and provides a personal touch to the update of my week’s activities.

Week commencing Monday, 1 January 2024

Cardboard glasses, 40-years old and used in a school play
Glasses from a school play

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 6/7; Exercise 4/7 and Move 5/7. (71%). Morning walks: 0/4 (bank holiday). Office days 0/5. Plant diversity: not tracked. Total steps: 53,300

Life

  • Happy New Year! I wonder what 2024 will bring? My New Year’s Eve party, mentioned last week, ended much later night than I predicted. It was a lot of fun but meant a sleepy Monday.
  • For my post about link rot, I calculated that I was entering my 29th year of writing things on the internet. This site starts about 25 years ago but there are references to older material in Elsewhere: Wayback When which, itself, contains link rot.
  • One of the first channels I subscribed to on YouTube was Tom Scott’s Things You Might Not Know. His 10 year streak of weekly videos came to an end this week. Simon Willison wrote about the power of streaks. Although this is weeknote 50, I am only 29 weeks into the current streak. Can I keep it up for another nine and a half years?
  • Wednesday, an over-running meeting turned out to be useful even if I missed my class.
  • Thursday, an afternoon on a train to the Isle of Wight to deal with a plumbing emergency. Turns out, afternoon trains are quieter which means it’s easier to get a table and the WiFi is speedy due to under utilisation. I was more productive on the journey than I thought I would be.
  • There was a leak. It wasn’t mine but it was running through my bathroom. I arranged for the emergency plumber, thanks to a lovely lady who answered the insurance emergency assistance line. Not sure if it will be covered because the broken pipe was upstairs. A stressful afternoon was resolved by 10pm. And I met the neighbours.
  • Friday’s after hours return was exactly 3 hours door-to-door. The fastest yet and shows how wonderfully efficient trains can be when they are able to run to the timetable.
  • Not much sleep. Up at 5:30am Saturday for a day trip to Shrewsbury to help pack-up Christmas. So early that Vauxhall bus station was full of the Friday-Night-On-The-Towners heading home. Trip was productive.
  • While in Shrewsbury, I found a pair of cardboard glasses that I had to wear in a school production of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. That was 40+ years ago. And the sellotape still holds.
  • My return trip delayed which proves that the comment above, about efficient trains, jinxed everything.
  • The first ‘Crazy Coqs Presents’ of the year was the music of Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics. Wonderful start.

Media

  • A version of Mickey Mouse is now in the public domain in the US. How does it work with the different copyright laws in Europe?
  • Mr Bates vs The Post Office is a wonderful bit of drama and really highlights the miscarriage of justice.
  • Listened to the first couple of podcast episodes of Death of a Codebreaker, the story of a GCHQ employee found dead locked in a bag in the bath of his flat. Bizarre story. I am intrigued how they will pad out the remaining episodes.
  • The Crunch & Roll episode featuring The late night Funster brought back memories of Piccadilly and Signal radio.

Archive

Going forward, I have decided to drop this archive section. My original intent was to make it easier to find the items referenced in my weeknotes when inevitable link rot happens. I intend to ensure all the links are in the archive but I felt this section makes reading notes harder than it needed to be (and it’s a lot of extra work to add it when the Wayback Machine can take care of creating a snapshot from this post alone). I’m sorry to future me for this decision. I wrote more here.

Cool URLs

An idea about preserving web content, even though the author acknowledges difficulties in maintaining original URLs.

A great idea

According to the people who think about web standards, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Cool URIs don’t change. It’s a basic idea: once a page on the internet is created, it should – in theory and with enough money – stay at the same address forever. Always there and available for reference. I think the idea is sound. We have all come across links that no longer work; a concept that became known as link rot. I wrote about it in June 2004, in a post entitled Learning from Others.

Harder in practice

I might like and support the idea, but as I enter my 29th year writing on the web, I know I’ve been unable to honour the concept. For example, above is not, strictly, the right link for the ‘Learning from Others’ post. I might argue that the version here, which is on the domain I used to use for blogging, is more accurate. The content is the same, they’re still my words, but musak.org was the original home.

That’s still not the original URL, however. Sometime in the mid-2000s I archived the musak.org site when I switched blogging platform. I imported posts into the new tool without much thought. I wasn’t sure I was going to keep the old site around. I also copied some of the posts into curnow.org so that I would keep a copy even if I killed off the other site. The closest to the original URL is now at the wonderful Internet Archive (or Wayback Machine), and is a snapshot from July 2004: Archived: Learning from Others.

If you didn’t know about the archived version and tried to go to the original post it would generate a ‘page not found’ type of error; 404, in internet speak. Even worse, there would be almost no clue that it’s still possible to read the original words. I could do something clever on the server to rewrite the links. Maybe I’ll get to that when I have time to write some code.

Correcting link rot

Those original posts were not updated when I mothballed the site into the new platform. As a result, musak.org had quite a bit of internal link rot. Occasionally, I look back and read something old and decide to correct the internal links. Eventually, I will finish that task and everything will be properly linked.

While I am in ‘correction mode’, I also check other outbound links on those old posts. If they no longer work I decided I’d update them. If I can find an online version of the original text at a different URL then I correct it. If I don’t, I try the Internet Archive. If I can find neither, I leave the broken link.

Last summer, James Cridland wrote about Fixing 404 errors and link rot, while maintaining authenticity. He took a different approach to updating dead links. I think his path is more inline with the ‘cool URL’ concept, but I’m happy with my compromise.

My weeknotes

When I started my weeknotes, I decided to prepare for future link rot and preemptively included a reference to the Internet Archive version of all the things I’d linked to in that week’s note. That way, I knew there would be a snapshot taken around the time I wrote a note and, in the future, it would be easier to navigate to the archive if link was broken.

I have been reviewing my 2023 weeknotes. It’s an interesting exercise to understand my year. But, I think the ‘Archive’ section that includes the Wayback Machine links makes reading a series of notes harder than it need be.

So, while I’m going to make sure all the links are added to the Internet Archive whenever I post a new weeknote, I’m dropping that section.

My URLs, however, will stay cool (perhaps the only thing I do that is).

Weeknotes #49: Ho Ho Ho

Week commencing Monday, 25 December 2023

London's Christmas Lights: Regent Street - a winged angel above the traffic

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 7/7; Exercise 2/7 and Move 3/7. (57%, blame festivities). Plant diversity: 21. Total steps: 45,792

Life

  • Merry Christmas. I hope your festivities were fun. I got a negative COVID test on Christmas Day. Lovely present that meant Christmas visits happened on Boxing Day.
  • Will Doctor Who’s The Goblin Song become a thing? I fear it might.
  • Took Mum & Dad to see the London Christmas Lights. Like us, lots of people thought the 139 a better option than the expensive open-top tour. Carnaby Street was rammed.
  • Tonight we are having people for a New Year party. I’m hoping that it’s not too late to bed. Happy New Year!

Media

Archive

To save the links getting lost in the future I checked the Internet Archive to see what they had saved for the posts linked here. YouTube and Instagram links don’t seem to archive well so I don’t list them. If the source above no longer works, these should.

Weeknotes #48: Am I allowed out?

Week commencing Monday, 18 December 2023

Christmas wrapping paper

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 3/7; Exercise 4/7 and Move 4/7. (52%, I was ill). Morning walks: 0/5. Plant diversity: 19. Total steps: 47,242

Life

  • Made it to Christmas Eve. Not the Christmas we were planning. But, we’re ready for tomorrow and, in the end, I watched a lot of excellent stuff on screens which I’ve documented below.
  • I now know why I was exhausted yesterday. Less about the late nights last week more about COVID. Not good this close to Christmas. Monday afternoon and Tuesday were the worst days, but there was light at the end of the week. I checked, there are no rules only recommendations now.
  • Related, nobody wants to see me sneeze on conference calls. Camera off.
  • Related, all my social events cancelled. A lot of time at home. The room in which I work is very warm compared to the rest of the house.
  • I was well enough to finish the shopping on Saturday and Sunday. Turkey acquired (too big for two).
  • Administration 1: I had the wrong dates on weeknotes #46. The error lives on with The Wayback machine.
  • Administration 2: Re-reading my 2020 Instagram retrospective I had a wrong date in the text for the 2019 entry. Corrected; this mistake also lives on.

Media

Archive

To save the links getting lost in the future I checked the Internet Archive to see what they had saved for the posts linked here. YouTube links don’t seem to archive well so I don’t list them. If the source above no longer works, these should.

Weeknotes #47: Christmas dinner idea: Octopus

Week commencing Monday, 11 December 2023

A view of the Thames from Blackfriars Bridge
View from Blackfriars Bridge

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 7/7; Exercise 6/7 and Move 6/7. (90%, Sunday was a let down). Morning walks: 1/4 (days in the office don’t count). Office days 1/5. Plant diversity: 45 Total steps: 73,718

Life

  • Fewer Christmas lights up on the streets immediately around us than I would have hoped. Another week, another sad-Christmas-face-emoji needed.
  • I didn’t do my walk on Monday morning but I did rush around to tidy the house ahead of the electrician’s visit. The bulb that won’t turn off is safe.
  • I am amused that ChatGPT is getting lazy at this time of year. I hope somebody’s bought it a Secret Santa.
  • Nice message from former colleagues on Wednesday would have lead to a Thursday meet-up if it hadn’t been for the office Christmas party.
  • Related, on the party food menu, octopus. Also, too many drinks and a walk from Farringdon.
  • Saturday: a birthday lunch for a friend and an evening of party games with another group. Oven-glove pass-the-parcel remains one of my favourites.
  • Sunday, recovering.

Media

Archive

To save the links getting lost in the future I checked the Internet Archive to see what they had saved for the posts linked here. YouTube links don’t seem to archive well so I don’t list them. If the source above no longer works, these should.

Weeknotes #46: 30 plants and a wonderful Christmastime

Week commencing Monday, 4 December 2023

Singers at TheCrazy Coqs annual Christmas songs night, 2023
Festive tunes

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 6/7; Exercise 7/7 and Move 7/7. (95%, happy with that). Morning walks: 3/4 (days in the office don’t count). Office days 1/5. Plant diversity: 30. Total steps: 73,718

Life

  • My app tells me how many plants I have eaten in a week. The theory is that more diversity is better for you. I need to aim for 30. I’ve added it to the quantified self check list.
  • Finished work early on Monday. Decided the tree decorations needed tweaking. Flying Santa doesn’t fly on this tree. Sad-face emoji needed.
  • Tuesday to King’s Cross to meet Florent for a quick drink. He was at a drinks reception and it took me a while to find him.
  • Interesting thoughts about using AI to write: Why should someone bother to read what you didn’t bother to write?
  • Thursday, the decorations outside the office was nice. There was a meeting where the basic discussion has been happening for years. I believe we will solve it eventually.
  • Train disruption on Thursday evening: I wonder if it’s possible to solve these issues on the railway network or will it be like this forever?
  • Merry and Bright was a wonderful community lantern parade which, thankfully, happened between the light rain showers.
  • Heavy rain showers on Sunday meant I was soaked walking down Ryde Pier. Dried out by the time the train got us home.
  • The West End singers who perform at The Crazy Coqs each month are great. The annual Christmas-themed evening was wonderful. The homemade kebab I made when we got home, delicious.

Media

  • Monday, E4 started Modern Family from the pilot episode. Amazing how many of the characters were well-formed from the beginning.
  • Why Benedict Evans is Leaving Twitter. Whatever you think of the ‘blue bird’ site today, this is worth a read.
  • Crunch and Roll: Jo Russell sold insurance by day, played music on the radio by night.
  • The giggle was an amazing episode of Dr Who. So much to process.

Archive

To save the links getting lost in the future I checked the Internet Archive to see what they had saved for the posts linked here. YouTube links don’t seem to archive well so I don’t list them. If the source above no longer works, these should.

Weeknotes #45: internet writing

Week commencing Monday, 27 November 2023

London is all decorated for Christmas
London is all decorated for Christmas

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 7/7; Exercise 5/7 and Move 6/7. (86%). Morning walks: 3/4 (days in the office don’t count). Office days 1/5. Total steps: 72,752

Life

  • I spent a long time this week going through my blog archives. A blog from the early 2000s is fascinating: mainly a collection of links to interesting things happening at that point in time (with little commentary) and of its time, sometimes more thoughtful and sometimes a personal journal.
  • Related: I’ve probably forgotten more plays and films that I’ve seen than I remember. Shame I didn’t diary/blog for my whole life.
  • Relatedly related: I’ve been looking for ways to combine my internet writings – and maybe pictures – in a single place. There’s no obvious solution.
  • Rooting for Matty in the Bake Off final because he seemed like the underdog and, if you’re not following it too closely, why not cheer the underdog? Also, nice smile.
  • Thursday night couldn’t do Nando’s with the team as we did The Real Greek instead of Thirsty Thursday. Behind me in the queue, “I thought the Elgin marbles were marbles: the round things”. Then I read this. Smiling all evening.
  • London is all decorated for Christmas (see photo)

Media

Archive

To save the links getting lost in the future I checked the Internet Archive to see what they had saved for the posts linked here. YouTube links don’t seem to archive well so I don’t list them. If the source above no longer works, these should.

Weeknotes #44: nutrition analysis

Week commencing Monday, 20 November 2023

Raynes Park Christmas tree before they turned on the lights

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 7/7; Exercise 5/7 and Move 7/7. (90%). Morning walks: 3/5 (days in the office don’t count). Office days 0/5. Total steps: 66,809

Life

  • A while ago I purchased Zoe, The personalised nutrition program but there was a problem with the glucose monitor. Monday, I tried again. Now, I’m obsessed at looking at the graph. The muffins were dry.
  • Tuesday, the boiler was serviced. No issues. I need to arrange for all the other house fixes.
  • The Christmas Tree arrived in Raynes Park (pictured) but they didn’t turn it on until later in the week and I wasn’t there to see it. Not sure there was any ceremony.
  • Let’s face it: young people can’t understand the value of long-term friendships. Which is why I loved my Thursday drinks. Cheers, Jules. Cheers, James.
  • To Shrewsbury on Friday afternoon. Difficult to have a conference call on a busy commuter train but I managed it.
  • Related: Saturday lunch sat one table away from their MP. Heard complaining that the venue can’t get staff.
  • Probably related: aforementioned MP almost always voted against a right to remain for EU nationals living in the UK pre-Brexit.
  • Friends round on Saturday evening meant a quiet Sunday watching Doctor Who (see below). Many LOLs with Sooz Kempner in the evening.

Media

Archive

To save the links getting lost in the future I checked the Internet Archive to see what they had saved for the posts linked here. YouTube links don’t seem to archive well so I don’t list them. If the source above no longer works, these should.

Weeknotes #43: Palladium, pie and a political return

Week commencing Monday, 13 November 2023

Beverley Knight at The London Palladium, 14 November 2023

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 7/7; Exercise 7/7 and Move 7/7. (100%, I’ve not done that for a while). Morning walks: 5/5 (no days in the office). Total steps: 75,450.

Life

  • My new morning thing is Bend. Let’s see how long this lasts.
  • First thing Monday, I may as well quote the BBC, David Cameron: Former PM making stunning comeback.
  • I tried multiple combinations of lightbulbs to try to solve a problem and none of them worked. I really don’t want to call an electrician but I may have to.
  • Tuesday, Chicken & Champagne Pie was not quite what I thought. But Beverley Knight was brilliant. The company was wonderful.
  • Diamond Geezer tried to find something, in London, named after King Charles. Best bit of the story? A gas bill can get you in to The Tower of London.
  • Christmas Ad Update: who won’t be making their oven glove sing this Christmas? Genius.
  • Wednesday, my train was delayed so I missed my class. First time that has happened.
  • Thursday, virtual drinks with a colleague. Just like the pandemic years but worked well. The low alcohol beer was nice.
  • Friday, walked to Wimbledon to see the ice rink before the opening. People working late to get things ready. Saw it again on Sunday when it was still skater-less because we saw it between groups.
  • Saturday, COVID booster. In and out in under ten minutes including climbing the stairs. Then to the recycling centre Merton brought to town. Nice idea. Then the shivers started.
  • Lovely pizza dinner with friends Saturday night but I had to call an early night as I wasn’t feeling great.

Media

  • In the late 80s I answered phones for BBC Radio Shropshire. The first time I heard Alex Lester was when he hosted the Sunday morning show and I worked through the glass. Lovely to listen to his career story on the Crunch and Roll podcast.
  • Took us a while to find a movie to watch on Sunday. Spider-Man: No Way Home was our choice. Excellent even though I was confused as I hadn’t seen the previous movie.
  • Tiny Houses: UK Actors Spectacular Tiny Home On London Outskirts

Archive

To save the links getting lost in the future I checked the Internet Archive to see what they had saved for the posts linked here. If the source above no longer works, these should. YouTube links don’t seem to archive well so I don’t list them.

Weeknotes #42: sunset boulevard – get there in your slippers

Week commencing Monday, 6 November 2023

Sunset Boulevard at The Savoy Theatre. Sign outside the theatre.
Sunset Blvd.

Quantified Self

  • This week: Stand 5/7; Exercise 4/7 and Move 5/7. (67%, maybe, average). Morning walks: 0/3 (days in the office don’t count). Office days 0/5. Total steps: 47,434

Life

  • Back in London after a peaceful weekend on The Island. Robert Elms on BBC London thinks you should move back to London as you get older, “Old age is when you need to be here … because everything is near and you can get there in your slippers.” He has a point.
  • Wouldn’t textcasting be cool?
  • Jamie Lloyd’s reimagining of Sunset Boulevard was brilliant. We booked for Monday Guest Star, Rachel Tucker, and she did not disappoint as Norma Desmond. A show, in black and white, with no props doesn’t sound great. It’s wonderful. The video techniques are impressive.
  • There’s a couple of innovative video scenes in Sunset Boulevard which, appear to be live … but who knows with theatre magic? I thought I might have to stand outside The Savoy Theatre one night to see but on Thursday, at Rachel Tucker’s album launch event, she confirmed it was live.
  • Also, Thursday, a good catch-up with ex-colleagues at our usual Thirsty Thursday venue off Carnaby Street. Now the Christmas lights are up. They’re not that festive but quite impressive.
  • I wrote top-line product requirements, in my own time, for fun. My current employer won’t build this but other ad tech might. It’s not wholly original – other systems do similar – but it is needed by smaller broadcasters or steamers who monetise with ads. I don’t know why I did it except to get it out of my head.
  • Oh come on Wikipedia, if you live in London, and have even the remotest interest in the transport around you, it’s the Dangleway!

Media

  • Christmas ad update: John Lewis 2023 is out. Apparently, they changed advertising agencies this year. Obvious Little Shop of Horror vibes. Not sure about it. The pros at work reckon TK Max is a great one.
  • I binge-watched Heartstopper Season 2 on Friday night and it was a good at the first season – although the characters started to annoy me by the last episode. But I don’t think I am the intended audience.

Archive

To save the links getting lost in the future I checked the Internet Archive to see what they had saved for the posts linked here. If the source above no longer works, these should.