New York here we come!

We have booked our tickets for New York last night. Very excited, now need to sort a hotel, and start figuring out what we get up to for a week. In fact we’ve got quite a few ideas already, but we need to decide on what we want to do most of all, and work around those. I’d kind of like to do an event or two, go to a gig or a show on Broadway, something like that. Living the dream!

Will gladly take any New York suggestions in the comments, all ideas greatfully received.

While I’m here, can I give a quick plug to my new site Wrestling with Consciousness. If you like wrestling, you’ll like it, if you don’t, then well, you won’t.

Using Brightside in Ubuntu

A simple little app today, Brightside. What this does is to allow you to traverse your desktops in Ubuntu Edgy by mouse, so that you can use the mouse to scroll from one virtual desktop to the next. A colleague introduced me to this years ago on a Linux install, and I couldn’t find it on any others since, until today. I’m now back to the setup I had then, where I have 4 desktops in a square shape, and move around them by mouse. It also allows you to define custom actions for moving the mouse into corners of the screen, so now if I move the mouse to the top left the screensaver starts, if I move it to bottom left it mutes what is playing. Very nice features. Simple install:

sudo apt-get install brightside

Once it is installed, go to System > Preferences > Screen Actions to set up as you wish.

The Thick of It USA

I’ve just been reading over at TV Squad that Christopher Guest is going to direct an American version of The Thick of it, one of my favourite comedy shows of recent years. I’m sure, knowing Guest, it will be pretty good, but why not set him off doing a political comedy on his own? Stop nicking our ideas! This is a long-standing tradition, but it is picking up speed again at the moment, with The Office in its third season, The IT Crowd in production, and probably versions of everything from the past twenty years from Father Ted USA down to My Hero being pitched to US studios. We’ve got precious enough good ideas of our own. What I don’t understand it why the American TV companies can’t possibly risk showing the original version. Well I do, but I know deep down that America loves good comedy, and don’t need it focus-grouped into blandness. Just like we wouldn’t have got ever nuance of Tanner 88, but many of us loved it, in it’s natural state The Thick of It is stunning comedy, and would be much loved given a chance. Don’t get me wrong, I liked The Office USA for instance (in no small part due to Steve Carrell), but again, he could have made any role of that nature his own. Let’s keep our own ideas separate, and enjoy twice the creativity.

Captcha – How very annoying

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I’m sure I must not be the only one whose heart sinks a little whenever I see a Captcha box on a form. The above example is taken from the signup for a hotmail account. I understand the reason of protecting against automated applications for servers, but they are hard to read, often cause you to have to input entire forms against, and rate about -20000 on the useability front, particularly for users with sight disabilities. The sooner they are gone the better.

Of sushi and suchlike

Have been making sushi for the first time tonight. Harder than it seems, should be just rice and rolling in my book, but there seemed to be several little stages in the instructions I had, and it was quite the faff. Still, I’ve got my first two long rolls cut, so after a couple of test portions I’ve got lunch for tomorrow, and a starter for dinner tomorrow. They seem to come out bigger than I’m used to, but I don’t have a bamboo mat to roll with, so I don’t think I was prepared to risk getting them tighter without splitting. Will report back soon with how they tasted having been chilled. Also discovered the joys of wasabi peanuts tonight. They are hot. Damn hot.

I’ve also bought some new trainers for cycling, sort of a combination of trainer and hiking boot. Possibly the most comfy shoes I’ve had in a while, will post a photo of them soon, would highly recommend them.