rashbre central: September 2006

Saturday 30 September 2006


millajovovichI noticed that Sky is still playing Star Wars movies nearly every night and this evening it was Revenge of the Sith.

Then I noticed that Channel 4 was playing The Fifth Element.

No contest.

Luc Besson wins every time. Or perhaps I'm strangely attracted to orange.


Julie extorted another ticket for me to see Will Young in Brighton yesterday evening - with the demand that I grabbed a few more moments from the show. I managed to meet Andrea, Fiona and the fellah with Fiona who wasn't Fiona's fellah, before the gig started. As they all walked off to their front-row seats, I had to make my way to a solitary confinement area, because of my different ticket.

Let's just say the ticket meant I had to be by myself for the entire evening, but on the other hand, I seem to have picked up some useful supplementary video. It seems weird that this was recorded onto a little phone memory card, but it seems to have come out okay. I've fiddled with the sound a little bit to boost the voice and the edits are here, here and here.

General consensus after the show - excellent. Great singing, slick dance numbers, polished and versatile band of real musicians. Its good to see someone cutting their own path through medialand. And Friday evening was a top performance.

If Sony BMG made a proper DVD instead of posturing, I'm sure it would walk off the shelves.

If you enjoy the videos, please leave a comment.

UPDATE: I've noticed quite a few people (several hundred!) accessing this entry. Don't forget:

1) more Brighton on Christina's
2) 15 minute video
3) Newcastle clips

Friday 29 September 2006

gravatar -ational pull

What is a gravatar?
Responding to Catharine's question, a gravatar, or globally recognized avatar, is quite simply an 80×80 pixel avatar image that follows you from weblog to weblog appearing beside your name when you comment on gravatar enabled sites. Avatars help identify your posts on web forums, so why not on weblogs?

How do I get a gravatar?
Signing up for a gravatar.com account is FREE, and all that's required is your email address. Once you've signed up you can upload your avatar image and soon after you'll start seeing it on gravatar enabled weblogs!

Sign up now!

4,162,406,814 gravatars served

Thursday 28 September 2006

Thursday Thirteen (V30)


1) Dedication this evening. Blogger ate my first TT. Here's a second one. It won't be the same because I can't remember what I wrote the first time.
2) Working from home today, because of the work to defective windows. An after effect of a window nearly falling out.
3) I expected it to be a noisy day, but the guys doing the work were able to remove and install things without crashes bangs and breaking glass. Impressive.
4) Spaghetti this evening, which I assembled from almost no content, yet it did taste good.
5) Pleased to see video of Richard Hammond walking to an ambulance today. The somewhat mad Top Gear presenter crashed a rocket car at 300mph a few days ago and it all looked very grim. he is reckoned to need six months to recover. I hope the kind of mad boys' toys programme like Top Gear finds a way to continue and wish Hammond well for his recovery.
6) Just seen the Lifestraw, a fat straw suitable for drinking brown surface water. Life changing for some parts of the world.
7) Someone told me about iStumbler which is a Mac utility to check out the wi-fi networks in the area. Useful for me because there are sometimes 5-6 networks detected from where I am sitting at the moment. I've just moved wildherons to Channel 6 which seems to be less congested. A sign of the times.
8 ) Julie has asked me to go to Brighton tomorrow to capture some more of Will Young's concert. I gather she has started a campaign to get a DVD from the concert and it seems that BMG want to do a deal to do with voting for Will Young in some pop poll. Hmm.
9) I gather that Mel, John and Christina will be in Brighton tomorrow. I suspect dancing in the aisles.
10) And Bill Clinton at the Labour Party conference, what was that about? He semed to be endorsing everyone.
11) is still my favorite number
12) The Labour conference seems to have a rule about not talking about the new leadership post Blair. However, the only journo question to everyone is about who will replace Tony? Seems to suck other pertinence from the conference.
13) At least Cherie's alleged anti Brown quip has been worth the mileage, but not as much fun as the Cherie Disco Blair game

Add a comment, trackback or a link if you are a Thursday Thirteener!

Tag: ,

steamy windows

Today I've been pre-occupied with windows of the glazed kind as we have needed some work done after an accident caused a window to almost fall out. Instead of humming a super cool modern song, I've found the one that has been swirliing around in my mind today is "When I'm cleaning windows", by George Formby - yes he of ukelele fame. Here's a taste of the lyrics.

Now I go cleanin' windows to earn an honest bob
For a nosy parker it's an interestin' job

Now it's a job that just suits me
A window cleaner you would be
If you can see what I can see
When I'm cleanin' windows

Honeymoonin' couples too
You should see them bill 'n coo
You'd be surprised at things they do
When I'm cleanin' windows

In my profession I'll work hard
But I'll never stop
I'll climb this blinkin' ladder
Till I get right to the top

Wednesday 27 September 2006

OTA: Wordless Wednesday

cathy, mustard, ale n'dogs, down to the quay

Add a comment, trackback or a link for Wordless Wednesday!


chipped dog

Today's hot story is of a breakdown patrol man who came to the rescue of a woman motorist and who managed to get her car started using her dog. Juliette Piesley had changed the battery in her electronic key fob but was then unable to start her car.

When AA patrolman Kevin Gorman arrived at the scene in Addlestone, Surrey, he found its immobiliser chip was missing. Ms Piesley said her dog George had eaten something. Kevin suspected it was the chip and put the dog in the front seat and then started the car with the key.

Mr Gorman said: "I was glad to get the car started for the member. They will now have to take George [the dog] with them in the car until things take their natural course. It is the first time that I have had to get a dog to help me to start a car."

I noticed that the missing key/broken transponder is now the second most common cause of breakdown on British roads, according to the AA.

this is for the devoted

Okay, at Julie's request I've glued all of my pieces of Will Young phone footage together in Final Cut Pro and uploaded them so that they can be viewed as a mini-movie. Theres about 15 minutes here, including a Joseph guitar excerpt and some dancers too. Julie informs me I should have only included the singing, but I think it gives more of an impression of the whole gig. Its quite a large file - which I have compressed heavily to save download time, but don't try this without broadband. Click the photo, or here (its a Quicktime Movie).

UPDATE: I've noticed quite a few people accessing this entry. Don't forget:

Brighton 29th
Brighton 30th (Christina's)
Newcastle clips

Tuesday 26 September 2006

space invasion

I've noticed a few space invaders over the last few days. There was a craze around this in Los Angeles a couple of years ago and now there seem to be a few in the UK. They are another form of whimsical art and are mainly well made panels of mosaic around 30cm by 20cm and affixed to walls. If you look carefully at the photo I took a couple of days ago you will see one by the top left of the cafe signage.
Here's a better view.

Tag: , ,

Monday 25 September 2006

geek my book

mybook.jpgA few weeks ago I needed extra disk in a hurry and nearby PC World only sold USB2 disks - I usually use firewire. I bought a modestly priced 250Gb drive but suspected it may not be fast enough for video or music streaming, but would suffice for filing.

I was right, it couldn't keep up; so I used it for archiving. Then today, I plugged it into a different mac and heard the Windows 'hardware detected' bong noise. The mac didn't deign to notice the drive and sure enough it came up in a Windows Parallels session on the mac.

Thats when I noticed the drive is formatted for Windows in its lowest common denominator (FAT32) format. So I copied everything off, reformatted it as a Mac OS X extended file with journalling and now its many times as fast. So my trial 10Gb file copy took 10 minutes instead of 5 hours.

Tag: , , ,

wind tunnel

wind tunnel built 1934
Appled up? Got a mighty mouse? Wanna have a 3D scroll with the little grey button? Try this look inside a wind tunnel.
Tag: , ,

Sunday 24 September 2006

bad house

Sunday brunch with a touch of opulence at Malmaison. The slinky hotel is situated on the quay with a great view of the adjacent winking swingbridge. Just behind the hotel is an area of crazily angled streets, with cafes, bars and some huge pieces of civil engineering which cut through what ever would otherwise have stood. It reminds me of some parts of Manhattan with a different accent.
The cocktails before lunch were as opulent as the bar and although we started sitting in a sumptuous corner, sinking into the deep seats, we later moved to a prime window view to look at the dawdling Sunday world outside.
Later we drifted through a soft red curtain into the brasserie for a belated brunch.
Shopping plans dissipated as we drank wine then selecting the chef's recommandation du jour before late afternoon wanderings by the renovated quayside.

Tag: , , ,

Saturday 23 September 2006

will young arena tour

Julie had arranged for me to see Will Young with her this weekend during his Arena tour. I'm not supposed to say too much about the show here and those more devoted know where to look. Anyway, I managed to capture a short extract via my phone camera and Julie asked me to post it because it is one of his less well known songs.

OK, then I was asked to add this other rare song as well.

And this.

And a small piece from "Switch it On".

Tag: , , ,

Friday 22 September 2006

graceful Soprano?

Tonight we are having a Soprano marathon watching the first series in succession whilst eating pizza and drinking Chianti thats beyond reproach. Everybody assumes that just because you're in waste management you must be mobbed up. There's no such thing as the Mafia, Yeah look, I'll call you back from the motel. I think I saw an old friend, thats all. Bada Bing.

Meanwhile, here's something more graceful.

Tag: , , ,

Thursday 21 September 2006

Thursday Thirteen (V28)


1) I've been out this evening to an Indian restaurant.
2) There were 10 of us in the restaurant, from Paris, Brussels, Cape Cod, Stockholm, Washington, Helsingborg and London.
3) We chose an excellent set menu with some hot and some not so hot selections, along with mainly Cobra beer.
4) Earlier this week I was in a different Indian restaurant with a good friend. They say Indian food is the English cuisine.
5) I also has a telephone company person try to get into home to change a phone connection. This is their second attempt. The first time they did not notify me that they were to visit. This time it was not the date I'd agreed and I have been away.
6) My car has also been to be serviced. The garage pick it up and return it so the main way I can tell it has been serviced is that it always looks much cleaner after a service.
7) I could not avoid a small smile today when someone told me they have recently bought a new Mac Book.
8) I was given a superb present of green tea from Japan today.
9) I'm listening to Jeff Buckley singing Hallelujah this evening, after seeing it in a German film about a week ago.
10) Congratulations to mar for a year of blogging!
11) is still my favorite number
12) I've just had several really long days, so tonight I am somewhat tired!
13) Time for a cup of tea -which has ust appeared !

Add a comment, trackback or a link if you are a Thursday Thirteener!

Tag: ,

Monday 18 September 2006

art, but not as we know it

So Banksy the urban artist made a copy of Paris Hilton's album, featuring a new cover and a different recording. The modification comprised a remix of Paris Hilton saying (mainly shopping) quotes to a synth backing track that sounds as if its been made on Reason.

So, was the original really popular music? and is the reconstruction a legitimate piece of art?


Here is the banky replacement track (chopped from 40 minutes down to a mere 16) and here is the replacement coverart which Banksy substituted.

Tag: , ,

Sunday 17 September 2006

plutonic relations

I sometimes post about space and the recent demise of Pluto as a planet went un-commented on here. However, I noticed that the lonelygirl vlog posted about Pluto a few days ago, so I've added a link.

The lonely girl vlog about Bree and her best friend Daniel has been a video experiment since it started in much the way of an online soap. The production values are slightly too high for a vanilla webcam (though it still says thats what they use) and the editing is quite sharp in places. There seems to be more of this type of showcase/new media, appearing and as people experiment with different business models and ways to make it to screens of whatever size.

Of course, she was rumbled, but the series continues and I'm sure Bree/Jessica will be on the way to getting some good media work.

And to add spice, theres the Greek letters θέλημα (Thelema) at the bottom of the site and a wiccan hexagram in the logo at the top. So I suspect the script would have a few more twists and turns if it allowed to unfold - well outside of the initial storyline. And now cassie is watching appears to be a spinoff - She visits a river scene which Bree mentions and something gets thrown into the river and then a THIRD Vlogger made this.

Tag: , , ,


Out this morning just after dawn, meandering around byways on my bicycle. There's something pleasant about the early morning before too many people are about when the main sounds are birdsong and the nearest things to pedestrians are rabbits and squirrels. Today I also spotted a very large bird of prey circling around by a railway cutting. Unfortunately I was not able to take a photo, but here's another view of the still deserted M3 motorway, which leads into London.

And now, onwards into the day, but I already feel as if I have had a mini adventure, with (a) getting lost (b) climbing over a fence with my bicycle (c) still getting back before most people are awake.

Friday 15 September 2006


A smile in the traffic jams on the M25 this evening was a couple of wickedcampers on their way to the south. One was driving "sex object" and the other was in the above camper van with the lyrics from "star star" on the side. Lets just say that this is not a typical radio airplay tune. I can recite the first lines without blushing...

Baby, baby, I've been so sad since you've been gone
Way back to New York City
Where you do belong

Dont click the van unless you want to see the(tsk tsk) full lyrics, also here for the music.

Thursday 14 September 2006

Thursday Thirteen (V27)


1) I haven't posted a Thursday Thirteen for several weeks.
2) Its about a year since the first time I posted a Thursday Thirteen and as I've posted 27, then I seem to be averaging one post every two weeks (although it has slowed down recently)
3) I have been rushing about again over the last few weeks. My working role has changed somewhat and that implies I will need to do some more travelling, although I do try to use audio and video conferences when possible.
4) I've also had to provide personal identity to three different organisations over the last 2-3 weeks. In one case I''ve had to send away my passport and driving licence as well as a utility bill. I have another session like this in a few days time. I'm told it is related to money laundering and other anti-societal acts.
5) This weekend I will try to finish an edit of the Warhol DVD from Edinburgh. I have three separate video streams, two of which I have already uploaded and the third is another hour of cutaways to be dropped into the main storyline. I must try to remember to upload the last tape tomorrow evening, so that it is ready for editing.
6) My car needs to be serviced. The little spanner indicator has lit up and the other day it went into 'get you home' mode which basically means it lost its acceleration until i switched it off and on again. This is something they program into modern cars as a safety feature. I wonder if they also encourage it to kick in just after the service interval has passed?
7) I have been working with a lot of American people recently and it has shifted my work day towards Eastern Standard Time - as I live in the UK, does this mean I should get up later in the morning?
8) I've run out of milk so I'm drinking strawberry, blackcurrant and banana smoothie when I really would like a cup of English style tea with milk.
9) September is the month I usually see a few spiders wandering about indoors. True to form, there have been a few weaving improbable webs over the last few days.
10) Next week I will be in the UK all week, but the following week is looking like Antwerp, Paris, Frankfurt and maybe Helsinki. I've only been to Helsinki once before and then I spent most of the time in a Russian tea room.
11) There's a lot in the news about global warming this week and how something needs to change in the next four years. Popular estimates are that the Universe is 13.5 billion years old and the Earth around 4.5 billion years old. It kinda makes four years seem rather a short time.
12) There has also been a lot about Banksy the urban artist now in California and his new work called "elephant in the room" which is about global attitudes to poverty, hunger and similar large scale but often ignored problems.
13) Time for bed
Add a comment, trackback or a link if you are a Thursday Thirteener!

Tag: ,

Tuesday 12 September 2006

a winter's trail?

television.jpgThe season seems to be changing faster than normal. Tonight, I flicked past two different sitcoms running Christmas episodes and an advertisement using snowmen. Have I missed Autumn? We still have leaves on trees around here.


indexfallingnanos20060912.pngI like the new iTunes- which Apple announced today and is already sitting on my machines. It fixes a couple of old problems like listening to albums without gaps between tracks. Some concept albums and many mix albums play smoothly now. But the best piece is the new shiny eye candy for riffling through CD covers in a juke-box style. It much more fun to spin through cover art on a laptop, select tracks to play and then to beam them direct to a hi-fi. rashbre central has worked that way for a couple of years for casual listening. I'm not sure why Bjork and Moby seem to come up on unassigned covers though.

The related iPod updates are presumably the pre-Christmas versions with better video resolution ad the new tiny wearable nano, which has the same form factor as the iPod radio.
I'm undecided about the iTV. Its a slim enough box to integrate with a TV system, but I can' think why they wouldn't also include a DVD player/recorder on it. DVD players are about £35 in Tescos, so a simple reader or even better a reader/writer would be more useful. I know it then starts to sound like a mac mini, but I suppose a mac mini that doesnt need a normal keyboard and screen may also be an interesting direction to take the technology. I expect Apple has a pricepoint in mind so that may rule out some of these ideas.

But later - maybe a 12cm square, 4 cm high box, connected to television, with HDTV, internet/broadband, hard disk storage, TV recording, cut to DVD/CD, wifi, mp3 playback and it starts to get interesting. I suppose that will be release 2.

Anyway thats enough geekiness for one evening - Long Good Friday is on...I think I'll watch a few gangsters blowing each other up.

Monday 11 September 2006


Having to re-install a perfectly licenced copy of Microsoft Office 2004 yesterday three times before it passed the licencing test reminded me of this little Letterman episode with our friend Bill Gates.

Most of my mac software just works, usually without any sort of installation ritual, but Office put up quite a fight eventually forcing me to run 'remove office' several times to clear up all of the vestiges of the trial version and a prior installation. And Microsoft's site seemed to acknowledge there was some type of problem and a special update to install, but unfortunately when I clicked through I got a 'page not found' error.

Sunday 10 September 2006

story time

I suppose the current UK party political war brightens up copy for the domestic newspaper editors. The stage has been set with a couple of long time sparring partners getting ready for another round, a disgruntled ex cabinet minister who won't be coming back and a leader who has been dropping hints about dropping out for at least a year.

So the paperboys have something to write about. Who is doing what to whom and whose side is everybody on? Bliar has gone so far as to apologise for his party's behaviour over the last few days, and politicos of the others are acting as if this is a really big deal. Brown is probably quietly sponsoring the turmoil, because maybe he believes it plays to his own position, but strong rumours suggest that Brown isn't really that well liked in his own party because he plays a lone game.

The chatterati need a couple of ferrets in a sack to drive their banter, but ultimately its a soap opera until the next set of leaders step properly forward. Presumably the writers of the third estate have a stack of copy ready to deploy at the first sign of anyone particularly odious getting out in front. A lot of what we are seeing seems to be driven by personal ambition over ideals, notwithstanding the headlining. As an (ahem) orderly transition, it will probably become a case study.

So whilst this story sucks all the energy out of reportage of the global agenda, Mr Bush continues to move his soldiers around the board.

Saturday 9 September 2006

pop idol?

I thought it was about time I wrote another book review which I will, in turn donate to Bob’s Books. For somewhat arcane reasons I was reminded recently of a story in which a man takes the persona of a female singer. The writer of the book is Gordon Burn and it is about Alma Cogan, a popular British singer from the 1950s.

Burn moves the persona of Alma forward into a later time and then intertwines a story linked with mystery and crime of the 1980s.

Burn is a clever writer and there are some amusing asides in a book which ultimately has a strong and macabre backdrop. On perfume “You want a man to like it, go after the food groups” was Alma’s mother’s advice on a cantelope and orange scent.
I originally read this book some time ago and remember some of the phrases and scenes, but then blasted through it again now for a second time. I found a haunting quality about the descriptions of the early popular music world and some crossover with clubland London books like "The long firm" and some parts of Martin Amis’s work.

Alma also showed her 50s innocence towards ‘Jazz Woodbines’ new kinds of tea (made with benzedrine) and wholesome advice which would nowadays fit well on daytime television or maybe into a new age tent “Never collect inanimate objects, or in the end they will possess you and you will lose your freedom”.

But Burn’s Alma is past her singing best in the 1980s (in real life she died in 1966) and her visits to old haunts and to the places of her catalogued past are creepy, alongside references to (for example) a Marc Bolan glitzy suit and to varied other celebrity remnants of the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

Burn speaks through Alma’s voice and there is much around faded celebrity as well as the tightening of the story which transitions in the second part of the book into a linkage with moors murderer Myra Hindley.

I found the book in the back of a shelf with other books piled in front of it. That I sought it out for a re-read and that I still find it intriguing is, for me a good sign.

A recent blogging encounter reminded me of this story of a female pop icon told very effectively via a man's writing.

Kate & Neal Photos

I've been asked to add a few more full resolution pictures from Kate and Neal's Wedding last Thursday to the blog, so here's the link across to my flickr account where they are stored.


We should all sometimes stare at the sky in wonder and today's picture is from the way out cosmos. Its a galaxy filmed by the Hubble Space Telescope called NGC5866 and is a so-called disk galaxy, which is the same type as our own Milky Way Galaxy, in which our own sun is a part.

Its a disk galaxy (like a CD and we are looking at the edge) So imagine a view of our own galaxy 'from the edge' and it would look something like this. To get an idea of size, light takes about 60,000 years to cross NGC 5866, whereas in the Milky Way it would take about 80,000 years.

Makes us kinda small, doesnt it?

Friday 8 September 2006

Kate & Neal

A magical wedding day yesterday for Kate and Neal.
Kate the beautiful princess, to Neal her dashing prince.
Congratulations and love.

Thursday 7 September 2006

the kitchen sync

I've been somewhat busy over the last couple of weeks and so the blog has languished with occasional hastily constructed entries. I've also been using several different computers and been in different locations, so my normal photo files, handy short cuts and so forth have been mainly elsewhere.

Then I remembered Sync which is now just a standard function on macs. It allows me to reference the synchronised copy of all of my settings which live somewhere in mac-land and to use them on another machine.

So less excuses, I suppose.

Wednesday 6 September 2006


I know we are not supposed to subscribe to conspiracy theories, but it is still somewhat bemusing that the inquest of Diana, Princess of Wales is expected to take place in 2007 from the event of 31 August 1997.

I have no knowledge of the prior coroner Michael Burgess or of strong reputationed judge Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, but I do find it intriguing that after a sudden death of an ex royal accompanied by her high profile boyfriend Dodi Fayad, that there is already a nine year gap before any findings.

We have all heard about the Mercedes crashing in the underpass and the diagrams of passing press photographer cars, the erratic Fiat Uno, blinding white light before the impact, pregnancy theories and oh so much more. To hear that the prior judge couldn't deal with this because of pressure of work in Surrey and now Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss is being brought out of retirement to handle the case just seems rather strange.

Maybe some of this will help - but I warn you - its a read and a half!

Tuesday 5 September 2006

Sunday 3 September 2006

L-O-L-A lola

Today I was asked to buy a couple of memory sticks for other peoples' computers. Imagine the dilemma when the two choices were called 'dude' and 'diva'. In the end I bought one of each.
At least they won't get mixed up.


Saturday 2 September 2006

Kings Road, Chelsea

Complicated reasons have seen me in Chelsea both on Friday and Saturday, and this evening it was Babushka, in the Kings Road. A funky venue with sofas, chairs and comfy cubes for lounging about. The bar is cosy, playing chilled music whilst we sipped cocktails. Sin-til-lating.

Friday 1 September 2006

Chelsea Bridge Wharf

I headed over to Chelsea today, for a meeting near Chelsea Bridge - just minutes from Sloane Square.

Just for fun, here's the latest jam cam picture from the bridge.

After we'd finished - which included drinking around two litres of Tchibo coffee, I had to head back to drop my car before spending an afternoon in friendly conversation in Weybridge, accompanied by a modicum of Shiraz, and some whiskey and Canadian club.