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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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Monday, 24 December 2007

Too many browsers...

I have been saving up a few links to post about over the past week or so - some amusing videos, a little more incorrect music (actually, I'll not be letting you off on that count - sorry!) and some links to distractions for those Festive lulls.. if any actually happen!

Unfortunately, since I click links on the mac mini, my work laptop and the 'virtual PC' on the mac, my history and favourites get a little untidy, so it would appear that some have gone missing...

We're pretty-much ready for Christmas. I took last Tuesday and Wednesday off work in an attempt to finish off the last-minute shopping, and we've done a fair amount of family visitations. For once, then, it's not all come as a horrific shock. In fact, I was happily wandering down Oxford Street last Friday buying Beth the last of her presents, and I had them all wrapped before the weekend came to a close.

There have been a couple of equipment failures over the past week (given how much electrical and electronic kit we have in the house, it's not too much of a surprise) - the most irritating of which was the power supply for the external hard drive on the Mac. Since my 'virtual Windows' was running on it, the fact that the hard drive just stopped responding didn't do it any good at all, so I ended up having to start from scratch, which was a little frustrating.

Then there's one of the almost-new PC monitors in the studio. I switched the main plug on to find that the right-hand screen simply wouldn't switch on. I called up Acer on Friday morning, who were very co-operative - they gave me a number and a reference for DHL to collect it. Annoyingly, though, when I tried it again on Thursday evening, it behaved... in fact, it's only done it once more since then. I gave Acer's technical support line another call this morning to let them know that the fault was intermittent - I'm hoping that they can recreate it!

Most trivial was the kettle, which stopped working this morning. Fortunately, the queues in Argos weren't too horrendous, so Beth popped in on the way back from the other side of Luton (she had a midwife's appointment, and I went to donate blood - my 25th donation, so I received a certificate and a natty llttle badge pin.. hooray!) We weren't without tea for long!

The evenings have been jam-packed full, though. I'm slowly getting used to the Alesis - it has some gorgeous sounds, and I was able to compose some short themes for some sketches that will be in the next (and long awaited) North South Divide. I had most trouble sorting out the opening scene.. it was written to include some big-band jazz.. something I would find a bit of a challenge to arrange in Logic. Fortunately, it was one of those moments when I'm glad I'm an almost compulsive sound recordist! I remembered when I listened to some of my colleagues performing some be-bop jazz in the social club.. all it took was a bit of speeding up, and it was pretty-much ideal! It's just a shame it'll not be out before Christmas... there's not *that* much left to do, but it'll be an evening's work, including one more recording session.

We met up with Trev, in fact, on Saturday - Cyril's Nut Hut in Long Eaton is roughly half way between our respective homes, and the children spent a happy afternoon playing together. Like most indoor play areas, it's based in an industrial unit - it's not the biggest one we've ever been to, but like many family-run businesses (I'm guessing it was in this case), the service was good, and we felt generally well-looked after.

Lots going on, then - and it's no surprise that the children are excited about Christmas. Christopher accompanied me to the blood donor centre this morning (while Beth took Lenni to a midwife's appointment) and couldn't help expounding on the fact that it was Christmas Eve already...

I promised some bad festive music.. this time it's the result of Sky One's Christmas party.. apparently the budget was blown on arranging a recording session for the attendees of "Do They Know It's Christmas" (362kB MP3). Ouch.

Finally for now, a couple of game links - first off, a very short-lived one (or should I say a late posting!) - Christmas Escape. It expires on Christmas Day, so enjoy it while it's there! (thanks, Sunshine!)

Then there's Bamzooki - Christopher's new favourite game. It's a CBBC game, but is much more than a TV spin-off. It's hard to explain, but it's basically a construction kit for creatures, based on 'limbs', elasticity and oscillations to make them move. It reminds me of some software I played with for a while a couple of years ago, but can't for the life of me remember! It's great fun, though.

Well, I'd better sign off now before we run out of Christmas Eve.. A very Happy Christmas to everyone who's read this far!

Posted by james at December 24, 2007 4:40 PM

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