D4D

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Archive for the category “Thoughts”

PIDU – Blockage

Another in my list of “People I Don’t Understand” pieces…

I do wonder sometimes about people, and what goes through their minds. On occasion, I’m pretty sure that the only thing that should be allowed through their thought processes is a sledgehammer.

One of those occasions – which comes up with depressing regularity – is what logical process leads people to block toilets with paper. It’s not ‘used’ paper (it’s always surprisingly white and mark-free) so it’s more that they’ve just decided to fill the bowl with paper. Why? I have no fucking idea.

There are some places that seem more prone to it than others. Most Wetherspoons pubs, in my experience. The majority of cinemas. But really, it seems like anywhere that’s got shared facilities (by which I mean where they’re publically accessible, rather than a private “it’s mine and mine alone” set-up) is fair game.

I’d love to see someone who’s just done it, stop them, and ask why, ask what went on in their braincell to think it would be a good/fun thing to do. However, weirdly you also never get to see someone doing it, you just always come in to the aftermath.

Saturday – Slow

While I was walking in London two weekends ago, I posted a ranty bith on Facebook, asking

HOW DO PEOPLE LIVE, WALK AND THINK SO FUCKING SLOWLY, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE?!?!?

To which Gordon asked how I live with being so irrationally angry to others.  The answer to that ended up as a bit of a rant, but was still absolutely true, and I thought I’d add it here as well, rather than losing it to the vagaries of Facebook.

That answer was this…

In fairness, my friend, if any of them had any awareness of what was around them, I’d be fine.

I fully acknowledge I walk a buttload faster than most people, and think/move/avoid at similar pace. I take on at least 90-95% of the responsibilities for getting out the way, and for understanding/accepting that difference.

All I ask – well, hope for – is for people to have the ability to see this fast-moving juggernaut of a human being, AND NOT WALK AT ME.

Fair enough, I’m enough of a fat bastard that I obviously create a gravity well and people just fall at me. I get that, I accept it. But they could make a bit of sodding effort.

It’s not even like I’m hard to see. But still these motherfuckers walk at me, stop in my path, decide to suddenly stop and take selfies (which is how I’ll end up on fucking Crimewatch, I just know it) or just look me dead in the eye, stop, and see what I’ll do, like they’re expecting me to slam into them.

So yeah, if there were even a smidge of acknowledgement, avoidance, observation, or even just a conscious fucking thought, I’d be fine.

But no. None of it. So you get the rants.

 

All told, it was a bit of a throwback to the D4D of old…

Moving Emails

Over the weekend, I ended up moving a lot of my email processing over to Amazon’s “Workmail” product. So far, it’s gone pretty well, but we’ll see what happens over time.

The email server/service I was using (via a company I do a lot of my hosting with) was generally OK, but had some significant issues which they didn’t appear to be able (or willing) to fix. The main one was that emails with attached files – particularly PDF and Word documents – would occasionally disappear. They wouldn’t bounce back to the sender, and they wouldn’t tell me (the recipient) that something had gone wrong, they’d just disappear with no notice to anyone.

Generally it’s been survivable, but last week there were things for HMRC and others that didn’t make it – things that were, safe to say, bloody important.

So I’ve moved the primary accounts over to Workmail, and it’s been quite smooth.  The setup didn’t take long, and while there were a couple of teething errors when it came to migrating the emails from Old to New, it all worked pretty nicely.  Once I knew what the hell I was doing (and/or looking for) it became even easier/better.

After that, the main ball-ache has been putting the new accounts onto all my devices, and getting everything to syncronise properly again. It’d be nice if you could just push the new account to your devices, but that’s a level of tech that’s above and beyond what we’ve currently got, sadly.

Still, it’s all worked, I’m fully moved over with all my key accounts, and it hasn’t made me want to throw computers through windows. Even that is pretty noteworthy, I think.

Saturday – Chris Ofili, Weaving Magic

Following on from seeing the Giacometti and Soul of A Nation exhibitions, my final visit was to the National Gallery, to see “Weaving Magic” by Chris Ofili.

A friend of mine had seen this and really liked it, hence why I wanted to see it.

It’s a fantastic tapestry – designed by Ofili, and then handwoven by Dovecot Tapestry Studio, and based on “I know why the caged bird sings“, by Maya Angelou. It’s also been staged and displayed really well, in a room of its own, which has also been decorated by Ofili.

So you end up with a room covered in murals like this

And then the tapestry itself, the only thing of colour in the room

It’s well worth seeing – if you get the chance to go before the end of August, I’d recommend it. Even better, it’s free to go in and see it, which is… noteworthy, in the current climate.

12 Years A Driver

Blimey, I’ve been driving now for 12 years today.  That really surprises me, how the time has flown.

I dread to imagine how many miles I’ve covered in that time – all I know is it’s well over quarter of a million miles. 120,000 in the Mondeo, another 120,000 in the Saab, and coming up to 20,000 in the Kia already.  Of course, that doesn’t include the ones I covered before buying the Mondeo, or any of the hire vehicles I’ve had in that time.

However you look at it, that’s pretty scary.

It’s hard to imagine life now without driving – if I were to lose my licence, it would change things radically, including having to change where I lived, where/how I worked, and many other things.  I value that freedom and licence more than I ever actually thought I would.

I’ve no idea what the future will bring, but I’m pretty sure that whatever comes along, I’ll be driving there.

Detroit

In a weirdly – and unintentionally – connected thing to seeing the Soul Of A Nation exhibition over the weekend, I also ended up seeing “Detroit” last night.

Detroit” is a new film from Katheryn Bigelow (the director of the original Point Break, Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, and many others) about the Detroit (unsurprisingly) 12th Street race riot, and in particular the Algiers Motel incident.

That incident is (yet another) one I didn’t really know anything about until seeing the film.  I don’t believe it’s one that has gone into ‘common knowledge’ – while I’m no expert on these things, it’s not one I’ve ever heard even mentioned, and I don’t honestly think it’s even left a large imprint on American history.

Anyway, the film is an interesting one – but (in my opinion) tries too hard, telling too many stories in one film. There could have been a film about the riots themselves, the causes, the people, the effects. There could have been a film about just the Algiers incident – although I suspect that the conclusion of that would’ve been deeply unsatisfactory. And there could’ve been one about the aftermath, the court case(s), the people, and what happened to them afterwards.

But trying to do all of those within the scope of one film – admittedly, a bloody long film at 14o-odd minutes – is difficult, at best. It starts with the riots, and we don’t even really meet any of the “main” characters for a good half an hour.  Then we go to the Algiers, which is as bad as it could be – and probably pretty truthful, as one of the people involved was on set every day, advising and providing input. And then for the final half hour or so, we’re in the court case, the details, the results, and the aftermath.

If the film had been longer, it might’ve gelled better, become a whole story. As it is, it feels overly-edited, almost like a ‘greatest hits’ rather than a full story. It’s still a good film, and a story that should be told. It’s just that the story deserves to be properly told, not in a hodge-podge of setpieces.

Saturday – Giacometti

On Saturday, I went into London for a walk, and to visit a couple of exhibitions – which turned out to be three – as well as food and the like.  As there’s other stuff going on this week that I can’t be naffed to go into right now, I thought I’d write a bit about some thoughts related to the exhibitions. So that’s the plan.

The first one on the list was Tate Modern’s exhibition of works by Giacometti. Up ’til now, I’ve seen a few of his works, but not loads – and I’ve honestly never seen the appeal of them. They’re certainly distinctive, strange, and of note – but I certainly didn’t love them, and didn’t really get why he’s so well regarded.

Having seen the full exhibition, I still don’t love them, but I understand more of why he’s regarded. Oddly, his statues still do very little for me – I find them kind of odd, and kind of unsettling, but nothing more than that – and I certainly couldn’t sit and just look at one block of statues, as one person was doing. (He’d even brought along his own camping stool in order to do so, God love him)  However, I really liked some of the sketches, and some of his oil work that looked like it had been done in charcoal.

I think that in some ways I wasn’t convinced of Giacometti as being an actual artist – OK, he could do the sculptures, but that could’ve been just the one thing. Having seen the sketches, drawings, and paintings, I do realise that he’s a lot more of an artist than I’d thought, and a lot more talented.

That doesn’t make me like the sculptures and so on, and I still wouldn’t go from here to the bog to see another exhibition of his work, but all the same, I’m glad I did go.

 

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