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Preview: A Hairy Blog is a Happy Blog

A Hairy Blog is a Happy Blog

This blog is not worth a casual read. It is a collection of things I've been doing on the web and other thoughts. If there are any anecdotes I will tag them as such.

Updated: 2014-10-14T16:31:26.324+01:00


The Killing (Forbrydelsen)


We finally got around to watching the original Danish version of The Killing thanks to Malkovich Malkovich. We were gripped for all twenty episodes, but given all the little bits I'd read about it (not too much because I didn't want to accidentally read a spoiler) I'd been expecting some truly original TV, as in The Wire original.

Instead it was surprisingly full of clichés and not just a few but almost every one the detective/thriller/cop drama can throw up, barring the old cop two days from retirement getting killed. Even the story is fairly straight-forward, with what amounts to an episode of Inspector Morse taking 10 times as long. But then Inspector Morse was good telly too. This also means much of the story ends up, much like 24, being about red herrings and dead ends, with whole episodes ending up not furthering the plot at all and someone's bare-faced lies being revealed every episode.

This sounds like it should be bad but the acting is excellent and the script seemed really good, excepting a few dodgy lines. I suppose one can't necessarily judge a script that's read compared to one that's written - I've read plenty of books where character dialogue would have sounded ridiculous if someone had actually said it out loud - so maybe I should just say that it read well. Certainly we didn't have the normal scenery eating acting or those ridiculous 'emoting 101' moments where someone SMASHES THE STUFF OFF THEIR DESK to make a point about how angry they are.

I think I could only have wished it had more of a continuous plot running through it with each episode building things up. The only show I remember really using that device well recently was Damages, which is similarly laced with clichés and good acting but is only 13 episodes long, so doesn't have to stretch its story quite so much. It also leaves me a little baffled as to why the US market felt the need to remake something that was really just apeing quality US dramas in the first place. Oh well, one day I'll probably see an episode of it and it'll start with 'Previously, on The Killing' and somewhere in the episode someone will get massively emo and upend a table and scream and yell.

2011 Albums as of 11-05-2011


Had a quick aggregation on Last.Fm sorting by albums across devices:

180 Let England Shake PJ Harvey
147 The King of Limbs Radiohead
142 Ravedeath, 1972 Tim Hecker
118 Rolling Blackouts The Go! Team
112 Kiss Each Other Clean Iron & Wine
103 Content Gang of Four
69 Red Barked Tree Wire
37 The Big Roar The Joy Formidable
31 Tao of the Dead ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
28 Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will Mogwai
27 Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam Ghostpoet
21 The King Is Dead The Decemberists

The numbers represent the number of tracks played on each album, incidentally. There are a few other 2011 albums but I just did the first few pages of the last 6 months and deleted all non-2011 albums. Ghostpoet, DELS and Bill Callahan have been played just since yesterday but my phone hasn't yet sent some listening stats on GhostPoet and Callahan so they're just bubbling under that list too. Expect them to rise.

The Renewal Website


I've been working on the Renewal website for a while now. Partly this is my fault because I work on these things in my spare time and partly it's because the journal is also the result of other people's spare time and theirs is even more precious than mine.

So, some 12 months after I first started working on it, Renewal.Org.UK is now working and has some content on it. More is to come but it's a good start.

The site allows for users to login to view certain articles - there's no charge but you have to submit your email to the site. Other articles are only available in the issues of the journal itself. The colour scheme on each journal is a very striking affair of black, red and a single other colour that changes each year, and the website reflects this depending on the volume you are viewing.

Pocus Whiteface Website


I've been working on three new websites recently, though one is in hiatus until it's signed off. In the mean time I took what I learned from designing that site and applied it to the band website, which had been in a 'rough' form for far too long.

The new design is modular and uses PHP 5 and in creating it I already so a load of things I could reapply to the other website to improve on the initial form. Anyway, the Pocus site has been designed to be a very basic, no frills design but with a high level of information.

As such, it has some very obvious key screens: About, News, Gigs, Photos, Videos, Releases, Songs, all of which follow the same basic pattern of a logo at the top and post after post coming along beneath with the information. The font is Courier New right now but I think I'll change it to Garamond in a few minutes; the picking of Courier New was a deliberate attempt to make it look basic and concentrate on the content.

Behind the scenes the structure is clever: songs are added to releases (with notes on the version if necessary) and then reordered so that under each release you can see the songs that are on it in track order and each song is a link back to that song's info. Likewise under each song is a list of all the releases it is on and the videos.

There's some other stuff coming including images of the lyrics in handwritten form and set lists and stuff. It's going to be looking pretty sweet when it's all done.

London Progressive Journal


LPJ has been going for over a year now. You can find it here

Once it was a one page per issue thing but I recently upgraded the site heavily and it's got a page for each story in an issue. The code is a mess, though, because I don't yet fully understand Rails. I'm going to get back to it at some point soon but first I need to create a new Pocus Whiteface website.

It's been WELL OVER a year since I last posted.


This is quite an amazing thing. Why? I'm rubbish, that's why. What scares me more is the knowledge of how long ago I started this and how quickly 2008 slipped through my fingers. Bugger.

Friends of the Bride's New Video


Bobby just punted this one my way. Being the geeky sort I am I immediately noticed the 2.35:1 aspect ratio and the the HD logo. This is swish stuff. It's a good song too and also a great little video. I think if you play this embedded version you don't get HD but I'm presuming the link will be in there somewhere to go to the proper version? Oh yeah, there it is. :D

Friends of the Bride - So... You Think You Can Dance? from Scott Jaeger on Vimeo.

I Think I Want Monothematic Albums Now


The new Radiohead album has been released and I have it in my virtual hands. It's not really what I expected mainly because I assumed 'The Eraser' was produced to allow Thom Yorke to do one sort of song and Radiohead to do another, but this sounds almost exactly the same to my ears, but with a bit more 'real' instrumentation.

I listened to Hail to the Thief last night in anticipation and I'd forgotten how a lot of it sounded and it wasn't that far from The Eraser in its own way, but while I'm enjoying a lot of 'In Rainbows' I've realised that I really like albums now that hit one style and pretty much grind it into your brain.

The first two tracks are fast and pounding and then (as in fact is true of most Radiohead albums) the third track is sort of slow and lazy and the second time I started it up I realised I really wasn't that bothered about any of the 'slowies'. Anyway, I'm slowly soaking it up and getting into it but it takes a bit of a gear change I think.

London Progressive Journal


So, the London Progressive Journal is starting to take shape. The site has been set up and the web address purchased. It will be a weekly online newspaper dealing with the news and current affairs from a left-wing slant. That's all I can say right now because I'm merely the webmonkey on this one.

Bad Days


Actually it hasn't been a bad week but I forgot to blog some stuff from last week so I'll do it now. I was hoping I could backdate stuff but I guess that would require MySQL access so I'll just do it all here.

Last Wednesday, as I got up to take my place on the train to Basildon for my one day a week in the office, I neglected to consider my suit jacket was folded over my arms and contained my mobile phone. This device decided to leap from its silky home, bounce once on the platform and dive gracefully into the gap between the edge of the platform and the wheels of the train.

I briefly considered whether I'd have to wait until the train left, reach down and grab it and then continue my journey on the next one, but luckily the driver walked by at that point on his way to the cab and, after he'd ascertained we could see the phone, got the litter grabber from a cleaner and retrieved my trusty device. It is now scratched to buggery but at least it's still in one piece.

Anyway, there you go.

Criminal Dreams


Anyone who's made the mistake of reading my MySpace Blog will be familiar with my dreams and their strangeness. Where possible, I use them as an influence for lyrics but I don't think that'll happen for this one.

I was robbing a large convenience store in the middle of nowhere with my friend. For whatever reason, we didn't need weapons or anything, we just broke through behind the cool section while the staff were away. Then we had to impersonate the staff when the police came, but they saw through our disguise. I helped my friend get away but then had to do some major climbing to get away. I was always almost caught then I got over the obstacle or something. God knows how much I was thrashing around but I didn't wake my girlfriend so that's good.

A few days earlier I had a nastier dream where a friend attempted to get a gatecrasher out of our house party (in a house I don't know) and got hit hard over the head. He decided he'd be fine and wanted to walk home but then I got a call saying he'd collapsed and was in a coma. This wasn't fun clearly. I have odd dreams.

Seeing a film in the company of a celebrity


Last night we dropped in to the Rich Mix cinema in Bethnal Green to see 3:10 to Yuma and found ourselves on the same row as a dapper-looking Ralph Fiennes. He signed an autograph for someone but we decided to stay a bit clear, even though our seats would have put us practically on top of him, had we adhered to the seating position.

This reminds me of my only other 'brush with fame', which was going to the Carnaveron Castle (now thankfully no more) to see brilliantly named Toxic Slut and then talking to a guy who I thought of as being like Mark Lamarr but not nearly as loud and irritating, and his girlfriend. We discussed Highgate cemetary for a few minutes before I took off. Subsequently I was informed that this was in fact Mark Lamarr and the blonde girl with him was Jo Guest. Ever boring, that's me.

And more site design


Three posts on one day and then that'll be it for a few months, most likely. This morning I took half and hour or so to fix up the mokita website so that both reflects the fact that we've split up or aren't gigging any more, and also removed the rogue gig info from December last year. It's not massively up to date (half the links are long dead in the links section) but it'll be okay to 'leave' for now.

I also keep looking at my homesite and feeling unsatisfied. I only just did a new version of it but already I feel it totally failed to achieve what I wanted. I think I need a better system behind the scenes for administering it. Or maybe just rethink how to do it. There are a lot of 'old' pages on there that only really exist because my relatives and friends might still expect them to be viewable but I should have integrated them into it a bit better I think. Site Design


I am particularly happy with the new design for that I put together. The old one used tables, which I was keen to try to get rid of. It's still not perfect as there are a few too many requests inside the Drupal CSS that break the page flow but I think I got rid of them all.

I put in a sort of motif around the letters a and b but in the Wingdings 2 font, where they form a couple of rather pleasing little curly graphics, which I have used to book end all the articles and the new logo. Aside from that I've been able to pair the message board down from four areas to just one single one, which is far more sensible. I'm actually fairly irritated that I never had it that way originally as it might have helped it to be more used and more useful.

The main issue now facing us is to put in more content but as my co-conspirator is without broadband there's little that can be done: my abilities with the political prose is sadly lacking.

Ground Rules


I used to write occasionally in the blog on my MySpace account but then The Phoenix said something to me that changed all that:
I like your blog Theo. You don't write in it often but every time you post something it's worth reading.

So naturally I retired from the world of MySpace Blogs undefeated. Really, it was too much responsibility.

I say this to set the bar low and explain that this blog won't be reaching those heights. If you're reading it then you should ask yourself the question 'why?', because I have no plans to use this for more than storing thoughts about my latest web design ideas and projects, and keeping track of various other things in my life. If I do decide to grace these 'pages' with an anecdote I'll do my best to flag it, unless it's horribly disappointing.