Possibly a very unpopular post

This is gonna be so uncool of me, but I have to say it.

I’m not into the Web 2.0 ‘look’. I don’t like all those buttons and rounded everything with extra drop shadows for added trendiness. I don’t like all these shadows and reflections on every freaking thing. Gradient backgrounds are nice as long as they are few and far between.

Not that I want to go back to the days of neon <h1> headlines and tiled backgrounds of Drew Barrymore (*cough*). All the supposedly Web 2.0 sites kind of look the same, though. I don’t like doing ‘me too’ sites.

That, I suppose, is my main gripe. Web 2.0 ‘design’ is one hell of a large bandwagon. I think my surliness with respect to this new style started with the proliferation of the Kubrick theme on WordPress (mainly because it was shipped as the default — I was so resistant to using it that I enabled the fugly Classic theme and worked like fuck to get my own theme up). It’s one thing for a few bloogs to use Kubrick, it’s completely another when it’s thousands and thousands of the buggers. With only the teeniest of variations to make them ‘individual’.

It’s not sour grapes. I know how to create rounded corners and make drop shadows and gradients. I try to keep up with CSS, but I’m no expert and it’s only a hobby. I’m not an artistic person, definitely not a graphic designer, and am more into the challenge of laying things out rather than making them pretty with whiz-bang illustrations. Although I do wish I did have some artistic sensibilities. I know what I like. I like minimal lines and borders, not too many corners (rounded or angled — hmm, that gives me an idea, though), and not too much orange. And white space. I really like white space.

Disclaimer: this has nothing to do with the technology nicknamed Web 2.0. I like the technology. It got me named Time’s Person of the Year.

It really doesn’t matter what I do

I have a hypothesis, of sorts. For the last three weeks, the train into Glasgow has been consistently so late on a Tuesday that I miss my connection to work. I’m not sure what causes it, there must be some sort of unusual phenomena that cause it, as the train has been much more punctual on other weekdays (excepting weather conditions). Could it be…

  • … conscientious train drivers have powered through the Monday blues and are suffering the effects the next day?
  • … there is some guilt about taking a duvet day on Tuesday?
  • … the train driver’s horoscope for Tuesday said he had to wait longer at each station to get good karma points in order to get laid?
  • … curry suppers for the driver on Monday night and thus the need to make an extra long trip to the loo the following morning?

Your suggestions, please.

It’s actually rather freaky

There’s a programme on BBC Two right now called The Choir. It’s about a classical choirmaster taking on a school that has never had a choir, and training a group to compete in the World Choir Games that were held this year.

It’s completely freaky since the World Choir Games were held in Xiamen, and my magazine was the official guide book for the games. I almost feel like I have to focus my camera on the television screen and wait and hope to catch a glimpse of my magazine lying around on a table or something.

I’ve heard that there is an editorial in a later issue of the magazine saying that I left Xiamen suddenly. The impression I got was they are accusing me, behind my back, of leaving them high and dry. I didn’t. I got pissed off with the Chinese publishers because I spent my own money on research in China — as I always did — and did most of the writing and all of the editing from Singapore and they were, as usual, dragging their feet on actually getting it published. All this work for an issue I would never see. So I told them they could use the stories I wrote and edited, and to leave me out of it from then on.

No sight of my last What’s On Xiamen on the programme. Ah well! Hehe. Neil thinks the conductor, Gareth Malone, is a poof for crying at the end. I disagree. I’m sure it was an incredibly stressful experience, and when it was over, he did need to let it out.

Signs that lack of sleep actually does affect cognition

When I’m done crocheting on the train and I don’t read because I’m the kind of person who can get so into a book that the entire universe disappears and I miss my stop, I do spot the kind-of-slightly-looks-like-a-celebrity. This morning Thom Yorke was sitting two seats away and Alan Alda chatted to me.

Well, that was obvious

Neil and I watched the news this morning, and I am flabbergasted it is only now that the government is talking about cutting or doing away with benefits for those scamming ths system because claiming unemployment benefits gets them more money and less hassle than getting a job.

It’s probably not a vote-winning measure among the hardcore Labour voter (and as Neil smirks, “Most of these ‘Labour’, ‘blue collar’ voters haven’t worked a day in their lives!”), but I would’ve thought that this was something bloody obvious. If you motivate people to look for and obtain employment (with positive and negative financial reinforcement), most of them will get off their arses.

I want to know that the money I (will shortly begin to) pay in taxes actually goes to help people who really need it and improve public facilities, not to dole-bludgers who get paid for doing absolutely nothing.

Man held over prostitute murders

That was much faster than I had anticipated. I wonder if his profile will be released soon, I want to see if my wild speculations came anywhere close to accurate.

Update: his name is Tom Stephens, he’s a supermarket worker (what’s that? Does he pack the bags? Grab the trolleys?), and knew Tania Nicol, Annette Nichols, and Gemma Adams (at least that’s the impression I’ve got). He has a MySpace page (via The Guardian, I knew MySpace was evil). He may have been involved in an earlier murder.

No information other than that, if there’s forensic evidence that links him to the crimes, I’m sure we’ll hear all the gory details in due course.

We all live under the same sky

Last night was the premiere of Born Equal, a film about the rich and the homeless in London. Neil had remarked that the sales pitch from the trailers made it sound like a UK version of Crash (the recent one, not the fetishistic one), and I’m grateful it didn’t (really) end up that way.

And Colin Firth was in it. Squee.

It’s a real shame that Robert Carlyle is so typecast. That does not mean he wasn’t good but I wish he would play different characters. But then I don’t know if I would then say, “But he’ll always be Begbie to me,” kind of like how Rupert Grint will always be Ron Weasley, even though he was playing someone different (in Driving Lessons, also on last night so I missed it).