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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Tuesday, 9 January 2007

sorting

I think it must be something about this time of year - post Christmas,with a house full of things, with lovely, shiny and new plonked on top of the mainstays of everyday life, which are themselves placed onto the things we never use... yup - definitely time for some rationilsation and tidying.

When I'm home of an evening, and not pottering round the house with podcasts stuck in my ears; once the children have gone to bed and things having settled down enough to get some tidying done, I've been down in the studio, sorting out the terrifyingly large CD collection I have accumulated over the years. Both 10" cube shelving units are chock full, so I've started removing the lesser-cherished CDs from their cases and jackets and sticking them into the used plastic stacks of CDs that would otherwise be discarded after burning countless episodes of Torchwood (which, I have to admit, picked up a bit towards the end, but I'm still a bit disappointed with the gratuitous teen-angst-drama element and two-dimensional characters, but I digress), Doctor Who and the occasional DVD I've edited using iMovie (yup.. I'm definitely a Mac user now!)

I'm also trying to cut down on all the duplicate MP3s on the Mac, too - previously, Beth and I maintained our own collection of tunes, which led to upwards of four separate copies of songs, like those ubiquitous tracks that may be found on driving/soft rock/ballad compilations!

My downtime's been shared somewhat, too, by the unfortunate hard disk failure of Beth's Mum's PC. Rob's building a new one, but I've taken on recovering as much of the data as possible - I've been using some rather serious-looking tools, and although I don't think the Windows installation is savable, I think all the critical data (email and the like) has been recovered.

So it's all been go, really, since the new year's kicked off! Work's been fun - I've spent the weekend trying to get to the bottom of a phone problem, and dealing with a server failure. This is rather unfortunate, since we'd been briefed to make a start on a big 'workshop tidy'; this'll have to wait for another weekend.

Sorry if this blog entry's something of a stream of consciousness - I'll get to the good linky bits in a bit! Before I do, though, I should mention that we have some new members of the Hart Household - goldfish by the names of "Silver Spy" and (Eleanor's favoured Pet Name) "Princess Petals". They've survived a week so far, and the water's not been too nitritey - technical term - so I'm quite optimistic that the'll make it where the more exotic ones didn't!

PC bits
So.. what delights have I discovered recently? Well, I was looking for a (free, naturally!) virtual CD-ROM so I could check out an ISO image without having to burn a CD that I might not need, and what do I find? Microsoft have actually released their own application as an option for Windows! Most useful, I'd say.

GPS bits
I'm a convert to the delights of TomTom - it's a great bit of navigation software, and actually quite customisable. Take, for example, the voices.. you can actually make your own, with a little guidance, some OGG format audio files (Beth has agreed to make a set - she's got a great voice!) and a small application..

There's also a rather jolly site called www.tomtomfree.com, which features a selection of Points Of Interest (such as churches, petrol stations and supermarkets) that are free to download and easy to install. It's good to have a 'tricked out' sat nav!

Well, after a weekend of work, I ought to resist the temptation to sit myself down and sort CDs (and don't get me started on the cassettes of my old stuff, computer music and rare oddities that I want to record to MP3!) and chill out with some mindless computer gamery (it seems like ages!) I had the briefest of goes at an excellent online strategy (don't let that put you off - i'ts got a great dynamic to it!) game called Flash Element TD, and I think I want to have a proper go at it!

Welll I think that'll do for the time being. While I haven't really put enough thought into the preparation for the next North South Divide (hey - check out our shiny new domain - thenorthsouthdivide.com!) I'm also toying with the idea of doing a ten minute weekly podcast from a different place in Luton every time... perhaps a pipe dream at the moment, but there are so many remarkable places to record from, and take photos of, despite the reputation of the town. We'll see how things go!

Oh, Just one more thing - the winter pansies have already started shooting! How exciting and wonderful to have some colour in the drabness of this season. Not so long till spring..

Posted by james at January 9, 2007 5:39 PM


 
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