Monthly Archives: April 2005

Moleskine / Notebook Elastic Hackery

As well as my PDA, I keep a notebook as well, so I can quickly scribble stuff down, draw little diagrams, reminders, anything. It’s quicker than the PDA, and can support more subtly shaded drawings (though I’m no artist). My girlfriend thinks this is all very pretentious, and so it is. But sod it eh?

At work, I keep an A4 daybook, with numbered (by me) pages, and drawn-in margins. These are provided by work. At home, I’m still forging my way through the selection of Moleskine notebooks I got for my birthday last year, and one of the features I like most is the elastic that keeps them closed. The work books don’t have this, so decided to add it.

Hardback notebook elastic hack

  1. Take a leather/paper punch. It has to be able to punch a clean hole in the hard cover of the book. I used a pliers-type leather punch, available from craft shops – I had one anyway, for some reason.
  2. Open the book at the back page.
  3. Punch a hole in the top right corner of the hard cover – about an inch from the top and an inch from the side.
  4. Punch another hole in the bottom right corner of the hard cover – about an inch from the bottom and an inch from the side.
  5. Take some cloth elastic – available from most craft shops, Woolworths, sewing shops, you know. Usually available in black and white. Take your pick.
  6. Thread the elastic out through the top right hole in the hard cover.
  7. Pull it over the top of the cover.
  8. Pull it down under the bottom of the cover.
  9. Pull it in through in through the bottom hole in the hard cover.
  10. Tie the two ends of elastic, so that the resulting loop will stretch over the closed notebook and hold it firmly shut.
  11. Trim excess elastic, and you’re done!

And when you’re finshed with that book, remove the elastic and reuse it. Or don’t.

French Letters

To quote Carrie Fisher, talking to George Lucas about the script for Star Wars, “You can write this shit, but you can’t say it.”

Some of the cast, myself included, have had a bit of trouble with some of the words and names used by Our Beloved Writer/Director in the play. OK, the play is set in France, has French characters and name-checks a lot of French revolutionary history, but be fair! My line

Let me remind you of the execution of Robert-Francois Damien*, after his attempted assassination of Louis XV**

hardly trips off the tongue. Then again, one of the cast is himself French, and he doesn’t know La Marseillaise, because he was never into sport, and he managed to avoid National Service.

Ah well, it’s nothing practise won’t help. I suppose I’d best get to it…

* pron. ‘ro-bare-fran-swar dammy-on’. There’s a similar problem with L’Ami de Peuple (‘lammy duh per-pla’)

** Fifteenth. der!

React As You Would

Rehearsal proceeds apace. It has to, we’ve only got a month and a half left. But things are proceeding smoothly, all told. The first chunk is written, blocked, and partially rehearsed. The chorus are yelling nicely, and twitching and gurning on time, just as the Director desires.

This week should see some more pages of script, hopefully with more lines for ME on them. But who is my character? Obviously people have expectations, but as I don’t really resemble the Marquis de Sade physically (thanks) how should I do it? Stalking elegantly? Lurching depravedly (sp?). Time and script will tell. The important thing is to have fun. And remember your lines. And entertain the audience. And GET IT RIGHT.

Monday’s rehearsal brought an interesting development. I was asked to arrive late, which made me suspect something was up. And so it was.

When I arrived, before entering the room, I heard singing and chanting throught the door. Intriguing and yet – somehow unnerving. I was reminded of the writings of H P Lovecraft – as the hapless soon-to-be-driven-insane hero witnesses the noisome drums and flutes of some nightmarish ritual. There was only one thing to do. I grasped the doorhandle, twisted, opened, entered, and confronted Mike, my arch-nemesis, piano player for rent, singing teacher to the rich enough, and recently ordained father. He saw me, pointed me out to the rest of the cast, whom he appeared to have organised into some form of army.

“There he is – try it out! But don’t forget – don’t touch him!”

And then to me, “React as you would!”

And on his word of command, the cast, or should I say mob, rabble, horde, surged forward, chanting some demonic Gallic witchcraft, through clenched teeth and lips flecked with the yellowed foam of their intent.

I reacted as I would. I ran from that place. Or at least across the room, but as I did, they turned like a flock of birds, or more aptly, piranha and came for me again, pounding the air with their fists and gutteral ejaculations. There was nowhere to run. I span on the spot, hoping against hope for a chance of flight, but no escape presenetd itself. The swarm surrounded me, drawing ever closer, until their faces, twisted into blasphemous caricatures of humanity, were all I saw, and their breath, a stench from the abysmal pits of the blackest grave, coursed over me, causing me to fall to my knees. Closer they came, clutching, chanting, gurning, ever closer, until I was curled into a ball, hands over my head, eyes screwed shut, mouth gaping in the rictus of a soundless scream until – suddenly – there was silence. And then I heard the voice.

Hands up for tea!

Remnants Of A Past, Never To Be Repeated

While clearing out some files from my monolithic work laptop other day, I found this. Back in 2001, just after the shit hit the fan, I met up a few times with a couple of friends with a view to writing something to be performed somewhere. About a year later, we managed to do Grey, but that was a separate effort.

What we did was go into a room, make each other laugh, make notes and record ourselves on Minidisc (I know, this was 2001 after all). The recordings are lost (at the moment at least), but what follows is a list of the tracks on the disc, with a description of what was discussed in each. It makes pretty interesting reading.

Tracks from disc recording of 17/10/01

Present (alphabetically):

  • R**** D*****
  • Matthew Petty
  • G*** W*****
  1. some songs, very bad cassette recording: Strawberry Switchblade – Since Yesterday; Art of Noise – Close to the Edit/Chow Mein; Malcolm McLaren – Something’s Jumping in my Shirt (Mark Moore mix).Meeting recording starts here – they begin coherent and become more worrying
  2. Language / Conversation / Accents
  3. Structure?
  4. Pirate Radio?
  5. Alpha Boss Description
  6. Alpha Boss Readthrough
  7. Alpha Boss Discussion – Minutes?
  8. Alternatives / Setting
  9. Alternatives / Setting – more
  10. Childish businessmen / TRUTH
  11. Childish readthrough
  12. aftermath
  13. NO-men
  14. Other Business – Fire 4m30s
  15. Other Business – Fire – more
  16. Sane Person
  17. More Fire
  18. Fired!
  19. Fry & Laurie Arse
  20. Robin’s Health & Safety
  21. Health & Safety in Fired!
  22. What’s next?
  23. Gren’s break
  24. Medieval Boss beforehand
  25. MB Setting
  26. MB Readthrough
  27. Tom Brokaw
  28. Even Deeper Voice
  29. Polarity – Biblical
  30. Fry & Laurie – RomeCorp
  31. More biblical ideas
  32. Bob character – normal – Kafka
  33. Invasion – Satire?
  34. Jokes about Bin Laden
  35. Chickens Interlude
  36. War tactics in Business
  37. God having a meeting
  38. What have we learnt?
  39. OHP – how did that get in there?
  40. More OHP ideas
  41. What have we learnt now?
  42. Clean off what we’ve done
  43. Characters
  44. Why record? Keep track
  45. Poetry / Performance
  46. OMSK
  47. Doodles / bits of paper
  48. Dick Butler / Ad treatment / TV License
  49. Chart Listening / Do it over
  50. Bilko replacement
  51. We’re Fucked / Cookies
  52. Winnable Nuclear War
  53. Hanging, Anarchy, Conscription
  54. Can you feel my breath?
  55. Rumsfeld / Christian / Pol Pot
  56. Taking out rubble
  57. Occupation Finland
  58. Wussy people / Symbols
  59. Peterborough / Paedophile
  60. Better wrap this up / Rearing Children
  61. Penalty Charge


What it reminds me of is when you get up, hung over, after a party, to find the bits of paper you were using to play Pictionary late last night, only to be utterly flummoxed as to what the drawings are supposed to be of. It all seemed so clear at the time…

Sign The NO TO ID CARDS Petition Now!

Britain’s national ID card is back from the grave, and the government here is ploughing ahead at speed to make this an expensive, privacy-compromising reality. If you’ve lived in the UK for the past six months (or more), and you don’t want to be issued a Soviet-style “internal passport,” get to this site now and spend ten seconds filling in the No2ID petition. This may be your last chance.

  • An ID scheme won’t stop terrorists
  • An ID scheme will not control illegal immigration
  • An ID scheme won’t enable you to have anything you do not already have
  • An ID scheme will cost billions in taxpayers money and achieve nothing
  • An ID scheme will mean your most intimate details will be controlled by the government forever
  • An ID scheme will cost everyone £75 every yearNO2ID - Stop ID cards and the database state Open petition page in new window

Book Of Dreams

Bill Bailey calls the in-store Argos catalogue the ‘Laminated Book Of Dreams’. With my birthday coming up in June, why not take a look at these catalogues full of lovely things…

  • Manufactum – fantastic items, traditional materials
  • Screwfix – more tools than you’ll ever use, the next day!
  • Muji – cool simple household gear
  • Novatech – computer bits
  • Mother Earth News – how to knit your own yoghurt
  • Lakeland – kitcheny gadgets and posh snacks

Here Comes The Pup

We’ve taken the plunge, and bought a dog. A puppy, to be precise. Pushpop Poinsetter, son of Diamond Dolphinium and Wizards Revenge (not sure about the names). His real name of course will be SHUGGIE. Here’s the photos so far:
Shuggie Flickr Gallery.

We went along to see him at his breeders (all above board and registered of course) and place a deposit, much as he will be doing around the flat when we get him home.

Talking of which, we had to go and buy half a shop’s worth of stuff…

  • wicker basket
  • training pads (aka ‘floor nappies’)
  • shampoo (with jojoba extract and pro-v conditioners)
  • collar
  • lead
  • little shiny disc for his collar with name and address
  • the list goes on…

And because of the imminent arrival, I’ve had to

  • Fix the fence so he can’t escape
  • Sort out the hall cupboard as a kind of den
  • Fix up a gravel area in the garden (you know why)
  • Fix the back stairs
  • Fix a grab rail for the back stairs

and so on. Can anything require more nesting? Don’t answer that.

We’re going along again tonight to check up on him at 6 weeks old. He’s probably the size of a house by now. Can’t wait – more photos up soon!

Rehearsal Progressss

We’ve had a couple of rehearsals now, and things seem to be going well. The script is being written as we go along, that is, at each rehearsal we get a few more pages. Or, god forbid, changes to the existing pages.

I’m doing the design for the poster, as I like to dabble with the design or layout of these things, but I’m going to try and enlist another cast member to help. She’s a professional Graphic Designer, and will put my efforts to shame, but it’s good to have that pro touch. She also plays my, well, not my love interest, more my lust and depravity interest in the play. Poor creature.

Anyway, we’ve already got the asylum inmates yelling for revolution, and a number of people screeching for blood, so I think we’re off to a good start.

GeoURL – Physical Website Locations

Check out other websites based near me in the real world…GeoURL

Flattery Will Get You Linked

Praise indeed from Nosemonkey.

“…judging from your profile pic you are a slightly more buff Steven Soderbergh, which I imagine can only only be a good thing…”