I really must do this more often…

Ok, so I suck at updating my blog. Sorry! :o)

Now, and for the rest of the year, I’m working on a pretty tight project building three new e-commerce websites for Blacks, built using Microsoft Commerce Server, which is proving pretty interesting. We’re working with some technical guys from Conchango, who have more experience with this technology platform, so I’m doing quite a bit of learning from people who’ve been doing this stuff for a while, which is always a good thing.

But yeah, so this is gonna be a relatively hurried lunchtime update, as I’ve lots to do (and I’m constantly snoozing Outlook reminders of other things I should prolly be doing with my lunch break).

In the fun of blogging about my time at Starkers the weekend before last, I overlooked mentioning that I took Scott to see Innocence, the sequel to the genre-defining animé classic Ghost in the Shell. Resfest was visiting the NFT and was only showing one screening of the film (the only cinematic screening in the UK, though they had so much demand they added a second screening to the schedule), so I took Scott as a birthday present.

It utterly blew me away. If you like manga or animé in the slightest, I strongly urge you to find a screening of this film; it is fucking amazing (and, much as I love its prequel, I found it much more gripping, as well; I’ve always found my mind wanders during Ghost in the Shell). The best animated feature I’ve seen so far this year (though I will admit I’ve not yet watched the copy of Millennium Actress I’ve since picked up on DVD. I’m rather looking forward to Millennium Actress, as it’s directed by Satoshi Kon (今敏), who also directed Perfect Blue, which is an amazing film I originally bought because the sleeve includes a quote from Roger Corman, reading: “If Alfred Hitchcock partnered with Walt Disney, they’d make a picture like this”. Another must-see film, imho.

Anyways, the aftermath of my first pill was somewhat less fun. I’d completely forgotten (as discussed passim) that it’s a deeply bad idea to combine MDMA with the SSRIs I’m on for my anxiety issues, which was silly of me. Equally, E doesn’t appear to like my stomach very much, as I was very ill on my way to work on the Monday morning. And Tuesday’s comedown really was a bitch.

The whole ‘verse seemed to be insisting that I shouldn’t take E again, as Monday was an absolute cunt of a day. I spent half the day installing the Blacks development environment onto my work PC and had just got finished when the box decided to die on me, completely and utterly, so it had to be rebuilt. Also, Plum had a nasty hardware failure in one of its NAS arrays, so my home directory has (temporarily, it would seem, thank fuck!) been unavailable to me. I’d not realised before quite how dependent I am on things like my .forward file, my .pinerc and my .addressbook; I’m still (over a week later) sending email to non-existant addresses because I’m only typing in an alias, for example. Add to that a nightmare commute home and even more minor things just generally pissing me off and it was not a good start to the week.

Originally uploaded by OwenBlacker.

The end of the week, however, was much better. On Friday, and I went, with a couple of mutual friends, to see Serenity at the Ilford Cineworld.

Oh. My. God.

Fucking amazing film. I sha’n’t spoil it for anyone who’s not seen it, but it was mindblowingly good. Jonathan Ross was right when he asked “Why on earth couldn’t the three most recent Star Wars films have been a third as good as this?” If you even slightly like sci-fi or Westerns or anything by Joss Whedon, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

As if going to the cinema twice in 10 days wasn’t enough, and without even getting to how cool Starkers was last weekend (very, incidentally), I had another first last night. I’ve been playing with some Web 2.0 sites recently — obviously Flickr, but more importantly, in the context of this paragraph, NetVibes, a very Ajaxian personalised homepage that includes a syndication of Boing Boing by default.

Something I happened to notice on the Boing Boing Feed was that Cory Doctorow was going to be speaking at Borders, last night, with Jon Courtenay Grimwood, one of my three favorite authors at the moment*. I’d never been to a book reading before and it was amazing. I’ve not yet read any of Cory’s work (I know of him through his involvement with the Open Rights Group that I’m also involved with), but he sounds like he might be just my kind of sci-fi, so I’m gonna have to persuade someone to buy me his œuvre for my birthday or Christmas, I think. (Not that that’s a hint, of course; this would be a hint!). There was a question-and-answer session afterwards that (not very surprisingly, if you know Cory any) mainly focused on copyright, digital freedom and similar geekdom. Very interesting; I’m only disappointed that I couldn’t stay for the drinks in the pub with the three authors (the session was chaired by “legendary cyberpunk doyenne” Pat Cadigan, who also seems very cool), because I wanted to get home to see A Very Social Secretary, the Blunkett demolition on the new channel More4.

Anyways, that’s my lunch break gone, so ciao for now; more later!

* Incidentally, all three of my current favorite authors are British science-fiction writers. As well as Jon Courtenay Grimwood, there is Alistair Reynolds and Richard Morgan. Nix (), if you’ve not read any of these guys’ work, you should pick up Pashazade, Revelation Space and Altered Carbon, respectively.)



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