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Ah been nabbed I tells ya. Seeing as I haven’t sucked up to a meme in a while, I’ll let this one happen. Five things you may not know about me…
- I studied wildlife illustration at college. I loved the feel of acrylic paint on brush and paper, and didn’t think I’d end up designing with code. I miss those days, but I can’t paint fast enough to make it work financially.
- I entered the Simplified Standards logo contest under a pseudonym. I’m glad I did, the logo wasn’t the best, and it lost. No, I won’t tell you which one!
- I actually love eggs much more than cheese. Scrambled, boiled, poached or fried, I’m satisfied, as long its eggs.
- I met my wife Leigh when I sold her my 1972 Yellow VW Beetle. It sounds trite when people say that “you’ll know when you meet the right one”, but I really did know.
- I once appeared on the cover of a leaflet for the Church of England entitled “The next Vicar…in your church?” pretending to sing. They made me take my glasses off, which I found rather odd. Surely glasses would’ve made me look like ideal Vicar material?
I hereby tag the next 5 people to comment.
I’ve had an idea for a while now about doing a one-off podcast on the theme of ‘endings’. Some of my favourite tracks happen to be the last on the album, but I know I’m never going to get around to recording a podcast or wading through the murky waters of licensing.
So, here’s a plain old text list of my (current!) favourite endings:
- ‘Everyone but me’ – Starflyer 59 (Americana) *
- ‘Walk into the Sea’ – Low (The Great Destroyer)
- ‘Comforting Sounds’ – Mew* (Frengers)
- ‘Burger Queen’ – Placebo (Without you I’m nothing)
- ‘The Party’ – Starflyer 59 (Everybody makes mistakes)
- ‘Sandpit’ – Curve (Doppelganger)
- ‘Reservations’ – Wilco (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)
- ‘Mr November’ – The National (Alligator)
- ‘A Wolf at the Door’ – Radiohead (Hail to the thief)
- ‘Life is Sweet’ – Maria McKee (Life is Sweet)
(* This also happens to be my favourite song of all time. I’ll probably look back at this list in a few months time I wonder why I didn’t list x instead of y, but this one always remains at the top for me.)
A few of these tracks happen to be available via iTunes, so I’ve created an iMix of Endings, although the best parts of the songs tend to be after the preview cuts off.
Think of it as a meme if you will, and post your favourite ways of ending an album!
A meme worth spreading: Just how long can you make your blog post title - is it like very long or is it like really really really really really really long like the long and winding road as sung about by Paul McCartney (he was one of the beatles you know)
I’ve given myself the weekend to simmer down, but I’m still furious at the pomposity of this and particularly this. You know how I said that one of my concerns for 2006, was that blogging amongst the design community was becoming too serious and worthy? Well there we go. I know that meme was EVERYWHERE, but deal with it. I actually found some of the answers quite interesting.
After all if you can’t arse around on your blog, where can you? C’mon!
Four jobs I’ve had in my life
- Litter Picker at the Royal Show
- Junior Designer for Coventry City Council Leisure Services
- Designer for UCCF
- Managing Designer for Heinemann
Four movies I can watch over and over
- The Italian Job (As far as I’m concerned, there is ONLY ONE)
- Star Wars: A New Hope
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Four places I have lived
- Leamington Spa (my home town)
- Blackpool, Lancashire
- Windermere, The Lake District
Four TV shows I love to watch
Four places I have been on vacation
- Paris, France
- Rhodes, Greece
- Galway, Ireland
- Galloway, Scotland
Four of my favourite dishes
- Thai Green Curry
- Scrambled Eggs on toast
- Peanut butter on hot buttered crumpet.
Four websites I visit daily
Four places I would rather be right now
- In a seafood restaurant with Leigh, sans children
Four bloggers I am tagging
10 Mac Apps
Om Malik has started a meme, and as much as I try to fight it, I can’t resist butting into this one. The premise is:
ask Mac Lovers – their ten most favorite apps. Forget, the Microsoft Office, or any of the applications that are bundled with an Apple. Instead, focus on small freeware and shareware applications that have helped you get the most out of your Mac.
So Safari, iPhoto and Fireworks MX are out I guess! No problem, as I have a habit of buying a lot of shareware mac apps, even though (in some cases) I end up not using them after a few months. I hide the embarrassment of my spending by telling myself how good it is to support developers (which of course it is). Also, when it comes down to it, most apps (by the time the exchange rate has done its work) are the cost of a UK magazine. Bingo!
So with no more ado, these are my favourites:
Voodoo Pad – The desktop Wiki. How I love this app – I think of it as my brain dump. Anything I need to write down or remember goes in here. I can’t really express my love for this app, and version 2.0 has bought various features that have solidified it in my affection, especially categories. I’ve tried a lot of notebook style apps, but this one hits the spot for me. Thankyou Gus.
Skype – Not Mac only of course, but I use this such a lot. After overcoming the foolish feeling from wearing a headset (“Hicksdesign, how may I help you today?”), I find this a much more convenient way of talking. I can speak to clients in the U.S for free, and with an infinitely superior sound quality to my land line (most of the time).
Flickr Export” – If it wasn’t for this, I would never have started using Flickr, it’s as simple as that. I love it when I don’t have to open a separate app to do another job, and iPhoto (not eligible for this list) is a app of desire for me. Thankyou Fraser.
Chronosync – Ethan tipped me on this one. It syncs everything I want it to – iTunes, iPhoto, NewsFire. Every day I connect my Powerbook to my G5 by firewire, and my home folders are kept up to date. I also use it to schedule backups. After a careful initial set up, its job done.
Transmit – Its kind of an obvious one these days, I rarely see other FTP apps talked about (with maybe the exception of Fugu).
Newsfire – my news reader of choice. Its made reading my feeds speedy and pleasurable, and the new 1.2 betas bring in features I’d missing – subscribing via services menu or dragging links to the dock icon. After it first came out, you saw a lot of news readers trying to copy the minimal, but slick style, but none have grasped it. Hey, it can even perform incredible feats of shopping!
Cocoalicious – An exception to my rule of ‘not liking to open a separate app’ rule. Whether its browsing delicious links, or adding them, its all done in cocoalicious.
Omniweb – I’ve wittered on about how much I like Omniweb too many times before, so I won’t repeat myself!
Camino – If I’m not in Omniweb, or I need to test something in Gecko (without going to Firefox), its Camino. Fast.
skEdit – I still try other text editors (and have licenses for BBEdit, Textmate and SubEthaEdit), and while Textmate is coming close, its not quite close enough to replace this. That code hinting, easy to configure snippets, site management and image preview has me hooked. It makes writing CSS and HTML painless.
There were a few that didn’t quite make the list here – Quicksilver and xScope for example. They only lost out because these I use these more.
A Musical Baton
I’ve been passed a musical baton by Richard, and how can I resist?
Total volume of music files on my computer: 19.48 Gb.
The last CD I bought was:
“Talking Voice vs Singing Voice” by Starflyer 59. Although I’m about to buy “Open Season” by British Sea Power.
Song playing right now:
Little Sister by Rufus Wainwright (very ‘poncey’)
Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:
Like Richard, this is more a case of recent rotation:
- Everyone but Me by Starflyer 59
- Snowden by Doves
- Beautiful Child by Rufus Wainwright
- In the wilderness by Mercury Rev
- Homesick by The Kings of Convenience
Five people to whom I’m passing the baton:
Jason Santa Maria
(apologies if you’ve already been ‘got’)
What's in your menubar?
Last year, the question was being asked around mac blogs, “Whats in your dock?”. Now I feel its time to ask the same about menubars. With so many apps using menu items, I find my menubar is becoming just as crowded as my dock.
This is mine after a recent prune:
- Burnout Menu to handle to-do lists (I’m currently trying a demo of this)
- xScope to measure and sample colours
- GMail status
- Synergy for controlling iTunes (these are the xScope style buttons)
- IC-Switch because I always change my mind between Safari/Omniweb and NewsFire/NetNewsWire
- Applescript menu
- Show Character palette
- Battery power
- Quicksilver need I say more?
- Calendar Clock replaces the standard date/time with a drop down calendar and to-do lists.
Whats in yours? Get a screenshot, upload it to your site and drop the img in here. Please use Textile as HTML img tags are stripped out). Tell me about any of the more unusual apps that you’ve got hiding in there. The maximum width of the comment area is 355px, but don’t worry too much – if it breaks the layout, it breaks the layout.
Greg told me to:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
From Fup by Jim Dodge:
Tiny, fortunately, was as amiable as his Grandaddy was ornery, as placid and benign as the old man was fierce and belligerent.
In the dock
Jeremy Keith has posted a screenshot of his dock after an article on O’Reilly. I find Dock watching addictive, so here’s mine.
From left to right – Finder, System Preferences, Suitcase, Automatic Backup, Entourage, iTunes, Kung Tunes (IconFactory icon), iChat, NetNewsWire, Camino (My theme icon), Safari, Omniweb, Mozilla, BBEdit, Transmit, Free Ruler, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, TextEdit, Word, iPhoto, Quark 5, InDesign 2, Photoshop 7, Illustrator 10, Acrobat, Acrobat Distiller, iPod it, FreeSnap, Preview, Hicksdesign work folder, project folder, accounts and finally – trash. Everything else is accessed from the menubar with TigerLaunch from Ranchero.
No magnification, no bouncing. I keep a lot in there, but because I do print as well as web design, thats everything I need.