D4D

Hasta La Muerte

Archive for the category “Creativity”

Breaking Things

Last Friday there was a big(ish) story in the BBC and Media about the convicted paedophile who is requesting his laptop – complete with ‘non-obscene’ images of one of his victims. Dorset Police were quoted in the story as saying it would be ‘unlawful’ to delete/remove those images from the laptop, because they’re not technically obscene or showing nudity.

Now, aside from the fact that there’s something so blatantly wrong with this entire process (and why wasn’t the laptop just removed/destroyed as part of the evidence and ‘proceeds of crime’ bollocks?) then surely this is a perfect opportunity for a tragic IT-related ‘accident’?

Make sure it’s believable, could happen, and is feasible, and it’d be the devil’s own job to prove anything.

For example, a liquid spillage. Or leaving the machine next to – I don’t know – some kind of large magnet. Maybe the metal scanner in a doorway. Or just mis-filed in such a way that a) it can’t be found or b) it got destroyed. Lost property, IT security, avoidance of possibility for divulging person information.

There are many, many ways in which this could’ve never been an issue. The mis-filing and “sorry, can’t find it” would be easiest (and probably hardest to be disproved) but any of them would work nicely.  It’s more of a problem now, because they’ve admitted that a) it exists and b) it’s currently in an OK state. Ooops.

Break Contemplation

When this current contract ends, I’ve already got the next one lined up, which will be another 4-6 weeks of work, taking me through to the start of June. It’s a nice situation, having something already lined up and waiting to start – not all that common, and helped by the knowledge that I have no intention of extending this one at all.

It’s making me think about what’s next (i.e. what’s after that) and I’m actually contemplating taking a week off, disappearing to a cottage somewhere.

It’ll be expensive though. Not the cottage (or whatever) itself, that’s not too bad.  But I’ll still know that it’s costing me a week of work, which is a not-insignificant amount. Mind you, I haven’t actually had a proper break/holiday in more than two years, so it’s something I’m definitely thinking about.

I’ve got some ideas on locations, but also of things I want to do. But mainly just taking a break, and hopefully putting some of what’s in my head onto paper/disk/keyboard.

Right now, that’s sounding like quite the plan.

Hermetic

The Hermit, from the Rider-Waite tarot deckOver the years, I’ve often thought about finding a nice remote cottage, and ending up as a hermit, more or less. Shunning human contact for the most part, and being able to spend the time doing something creative.

Of course, as most of my nature and work is also pretty techie, the idea of a remote cottage in the middle of the moors somewhere is a bit of a stretch, there not being likely to be decent broadband anywhere nearby. If I were primarily doing writing, I could probably do it – but that particular aspect is still very much a pipe dream, albeit one that I’m still working on when I get the chance.

I still like the idea of it though – it’s still something that sticks with me, and even more so when I do travel up to the North-East and North-West, or Somerset/Devon. Maybe one day – depending on how everything else works out.

In the meantime though, it occurs to me that a lot of my current existence is quite hermit-like in many ways. I don’t interact with people around me all that much – I do with colleagues, to a degree, but in general prefer not to – and I’d rather be in my little house and spending time with my own company.

I have enough broadband (although I’d prefer more, but such is life at the moment) so really it’s the best of both worlds. Or at least it is for me – I suspect it would drive most people mental.

Things may change over time – there’s some things I’d like to change, and others I’m not bothered by – but in quite a number of ways, I’m actually really quite content at the moment. It’s a strange state of affairs.

Balance

One of the things I’m truly bad at is trying to find a balance in my life. I keep trying, and struggling to do so, and then giving up and falling by the wayside once more. I know that the way I live and work isn’t overly balanced (or settled, but that’s another set of posts – past, present and future).

At the moment I’m in another “trying” phase. (And yes, yes, I know, “I’m always trying”. Blah blah. Pipe down at the back) I’d like things to be a bit more balanced, to have the time and space to do stuff, and to be able to get going on a couple of projects that I keep on not getting round to.

In fairness, I’m (currently) doing better than usual. I’m getting most of the stuff done that I want to – although a couple of things have slipped through the cracks so far – and trying to build up a schedule, or at least a routine, that’ll allow me to deal with most things.

This is mainly being achieved by dint of

  • to-do lists (as written about previously)
  • forcing myself to still do the bits I’m not keen on
  • knowing that if I don’t, I’ll just be annoyed at myself, and have no sodding excuses

But is that balanced? No, not really. I’m still trying to do more stuff for myself as well – or at least recognise the need for some downtime – but as always that’s the bit that sort of fails.  I’ll aim to improve it over the span of the year, but for now there’s things that need to be done. (Or at least started off properly)

All told, it’s been a fairly good start to the year. Let’s see if it continues…

Marketing/Branding Bollocks

According to this article, Pantone (they’re ‘the colour people, don’t’cha know?) have decreed that this purple is “the colour of 2014″. (And fuck off, Americans, it’s ‘colour’, not bloody ‘color’)

pantone_18-3224_Radiant_OrchidNow, I like purple as much as the next person – I’d go so far as to say it’s probably my favourite colour. But

  1. This is not proper purple. It’s a kind of wanky lilac, at best. Hell, they’ve not even called it Purple – it’s “Radiant Orchid”, which might as well be a name made up by Dulux.
  2. You know, there are people who get paid for coming up with this kind of shit
  3. And there are people whose job it is to come up with names for paints. I truly hope they feel fulfilled and happy in their work. I’d want to be killing people.
  4. How the blue, blazing, fiddly fuck do you have a “colour of the year”, for shit’s sake?

All told it’s just marketing bollocks of the highest order.

Lethal Injection

Apparently, a lot of American states are having serious problems with their methods when it comes to the death penalty. Lethal Injection in particular (used by the majority of the states that have a sentence of death) is facing problems, because the manufacturers of the drugs that are used are trying to block their use.

As a result, several of those states are using what are known as “compounding pharmacies” – effectively, places that can make small quantities of required drugs on-demand, a sort of grey-market DIY area instead of buying the necessary drugs/items from the manufacturers. This process is being done in secret, so no-one really knows what’s being used.

It amused me (I’m in that kind of mood) to see this quote though :

“There is no way to verify that what comes from a compounding pharmacy is what it purports to be, and that it is safe and effective.”

Sorry, but these drugs are being used to kill people. While I get that ‘effective’ is important, I’m less certain that ‘safe’ should be a concern.

Mind you, what I don’t understand is why they don’t just use significant quantities of seized illegal drugs. After all, a massive overdose of heroin (for example) or crystal meth is going to be just as effective when it comes to killing people…

Why I Blog

[Inspired by this post with the same title over at Gordon's place]

I started writing D4D™ back on August 9th 2002. Eleven years ago – damn, that time’s flown past.

I’ve said this before (almost certainly more than once) but I started blogging primarily because I wanted a project to keep on working on. I’ve always been a lover of the written word, since I learned to read, and I wanted to see if I could write. I’d done other projects along the way, short stories, novella-length and a couple of novel-length as well.

But the main reason was that I know how bad I am at not going through with projects. I start them, and then I move on to something else. I know that about myself, and the basic reason behind D4D was to keep a project going – as well as to get into the habit of writing, and to see whether it spawned anything else.

D4D’s been part of my life ever since. It’s been there through the ups and the downs, and a lot has changed in that eleven years. I had a year or more where the writing fell off a cliff, but this year I’ve worked quite hard to get back into it, and I think that’s been quite successful. There’s still a way to go, but I’m getting back into the habit and the routine of it.

And has it spawned anything else? Well, yes and no. I got into the writing of D4D, but in some ways that supercedes the writing on anything else, and I need to rediscover – or perhaps find at all – the balance between writing here, and writing elsewhere. I’ve got more writing ideas, stories and screenplays, but I need to find the time to write them.

D4D will keep on going for the foreseeable – I’ve still got a long way to go, and I want the ability to look back on things afterwards. I’ve changed a lot in this eleven years, and so has my writing – none of which is surprising, considering that time span – and it’ll be interesting to see how things develop from here on.

And that’s why I blog. Writing, routine, a diary, a repository of ideas and thoughts. D4D is all of that, and more.

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