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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Yellow Arrow, seriously ill

Yellow Arrow dies an agonizing death
I think that's what's happened. Yellow Arrow, the project to take over the world, seems to have begun fraying at the edges a bit.

We first had, described below anyway, the debacle with the phone number, where they managed to print one on the arrows that was in fact not supported. Well, it was supported but I suspect because of the low take up rate here in Australia it stopped being supported.

Support or not we got around that by simply writing the main number over top of the Australian one - making it look a bit of an amateur job, but keeping us in touch, except for the poor buggers who had found existing arrows and were valiantly trying the Australian number.

During these sling bound days I have been confined to the screen as such. Investigating what needs investigating on the web. Not that there is a lot of that.

Yesterday I felt the need to report some of my findings on the Yellow Arrow journal - the all important addition to the Yellow Arrow presence - a place to add impressions, thoughts, what have you. Not anymore. It seems we are beginning to slip in the web site maintenance stakes. Looking like a Web 2 failure happening, and the Yellow Arrow site doesn't rate as web 2, it doesn't have enough shiny stuff.

Getting a little loose around the edges? The journal space seems to be unable to add anything anymore. Sent off the usual email - response = deafening silence.

You don't get too much of a say with free space provided by sites; if they don't feel the need to maintain it you haven't really got a say, except here where we actually paid for the arrows. Way I see it I get to bitch if something don't go when I have an investment in it.

I think we are looking at a terminal patient. It had begun to slow to a trickle of entries until someone put some serious effort in to a project in Helsinki which has puffed a bit of life into it, thank god, but I think the patient is very, very ill.

I think in the very near future we will see many more startups hitting the deck. There are a shit load of ideas out there but only so much money to keep them going, and if Yellow Arrow can't maintain itself backed, as it is, by Counts Media, and being, as it is, a paid subscription based site if you think about it, then what hope does that offer the average 'free to air' site?

Gentlemen prepare to hit the lifeboats. The iceberg has arrived.

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Look, no sling.

Day one - no sling:
And my arm feels like it is at least ten times the size it should be. Eight weeks I have had that bloody thing, day and night - yes, even sleeping with it.

Now I don't have it. I may be missing it. I know I have a shoulder and arm that got very lazy being helped all the time by a sling; the effects are now beginning to show, with the range of motion in my shoulder a whole bunch less than I expected.

Lucky I had an encounter with the physiotherapist. Now I see why people have them. Never been to one before, never sort of felt the need. Now I do, so we have another appointment next week.

Disappointed to find I have another six weeks in this state before I can start getting physical. I somehow managed to convince myself that once this sling was off I would be heading for, at the very least, the pool, there to do wondrous things and get stronger and all would be well. Wrong you stupid bastard; so very wrong, another six weeks of this, at least then you might be able to move your arm more than 90 degrees.

I would have drowned if I had tried it my way, well, probably more like go around in large circles until I ended up at the bottom of the pool.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

What, was that the week?

Are these things speeding up?
What's with the way the weeks are moving? I seem to have just woken up and it's Friday. Old people always say that the time seems to go faster the older they get - maybe I have begun to attain that age. Just what I need. Get old as well as walk about the place with one arm in a sling and my normally shaved bald head growing hair all over the place because I can't hang on to hair clippers jut yet.

Just to cap it off Twitter, my new favorite application, is broken.

Shades of the debacle of Yellow Arrow, and the thing with the Australian short number, or their inability to want to fix it.

At least this time we don't have money tied up in stickers as happened with Yellow Arrow. We still have 20 or more arrows, 'customized' for use. Phone number changed and a bit more local detail added - no sense in doing too much Yellow Arrow promotion if we're paying for it ourselves.

Do we still operate out of Yellow Arrow ? Hell yes, although I admit I haven't had the facility to be able to do much with it while I have been bound up with this sling, but we will be back with bells on as soon as I'm up and about.

The most cost effective way to go will be to be add an arrow to the Flagr sticker locations if it's appropriate. Besides that we still use the Yellow Arrow space as a mini blog, pushing whatever we run into, and as a handy meeting place for people to see where we are up to in the big game of life.

What's important right now is to get some Flagr stickers out there. Get Australia moving on Flagr.

Meantime, back to Twitter. You will be aware by now, or should be, that Twitter is an SMS based setup that accepts a phone text and relays it around all your friend and adds it to the 'public' part of their website as well. I'm smitten with it. For one SMS message I can let the entire world know what I'm doing and where I'm doing it. I can do that because they also supply a small 'site sized' box which contains the last utterance from your phone.

But, bugger all that, Twitter is broken. It's only broken at the bit where you use your phone to send in the messages. Helpfully the Twitter people also provide a solution on the site itself, so people feeling very much without a phone, or unable to use it, can go straight to the site and lodge a message.

So, that was the week.
I discovered an application.
I broke an application.
I made a list of things that I need to do.
I made a list of things I want to do.

It's like getting everything in order for the great arm unveiling; I'm totally, completely convinced that when this sling comes off I am going to be instantly fit and agile. Even though I know that will not be the truth. Sad having a brain like that.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Deeply blue.

the weekend ends
Again. The weekend - my worktime - spent at home. Sling thing a pain in the arse now. Officially. Too long. Far too long.

Yvonne did the weekend stuff. I stayed, trussed, here and finished 'The Man in the High Castle'. Good read. Short, but good. Investigated Twitter, my new favourite application. SMS stuff. You log in, leave a message, it tells your friends. In my case this would be something I may never need. Might help if I got a friend first.

Spent several fruitless hours surfing about looking for a command that will make Flash cause a silent print - an ongoing project. Silent printing is not something that would be welcome in this day and age - too many security dramas. Real and imagined.

The exact reason for this burning desire to be able to control a printer residing somewhere else is classified. So secret that not even I can remember it. I do remember it had something to do with those huge raster prints that we are now capable of producing. I do remember hankering to be able to produce portraits of myself. Naturally.

Meantime discovered/rediscovered a new/old method of photography using blueprint paper; a variation of cyanotypes. The end product comes out a rather pleasing shade of blue. The fresh look is attained through the use of diazo paper and a bowl of Windex. The proof of concept can be found on Flick; slap something like 'blue photos' in the search box and you'll be at the right place.

Discovered other processes long forgotton while I was rooting around there too.

The blue theme describes the mood too. Almost eight weeks of being bound to my own arm is starting to take a bit of a toll. I haven't driven the car in all that time. I haven't been anywhere near the lake. We managed a few shopping trips last week, and the movies so I saw and felt sunlight. Movies planned for this week too; a week shortened by the public holiday created for the 'Ekka', the Australian term for Exhibition.

They have this thing that is indeed a Fair. Produce, livestock and sideshows. I'm not sure why they think it's unique. We have a public holiday for that, and the next day is a 'pupil free day' at schools because that's the way we do things here; hell, it's only education after all, might as well keep 'em out of school on any pretex as aften as possible. Seems to work for Damien, the eldest, who is proud to be managing straight 'C's' throughout his school year. Pride would be a good thing.

So, we have a blue mood, a predisposition toward blue illustration and a pathological inability to leave the house while bound up in foam. Looks like being a good week.

On a completely different note - anyone looking for an invite to Mugshot should message me via the comments thing. I seem to have joined something that comes with a few free invites. First in.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

And, the Friday report.

I have seen the future
I have seen the future and it's imaging. In case you wondered. Photography and video are the only enduring topics that remain on the blizzard of paper work, notes, reminders, etc around here.

This has been a month long investigation. I kept all the daily notes, collated them today and studied what I make the most notes on, made the most plans for.

Photography and video are the clear winners. Video encompasses Flash (.flv) Video as well naturally.

It's all too easy now that I have managed to get up close and personal with the little Canon. I am slowly being dragged (sucked sounds better) in to the digital way of doing things. Instant gratification. It might not have the look of real film, but it's not an issue with the 72dpi web. Who, after all, can tell?

On the other end of the scale, HDR seems to be a new, exciting thing to get into. At it's most basic it could be as simple as the blending of a range of exposures into a single image. The good ones look like paintings. The good ones are breathtakingly intense. I see some in my future.

Using real film is, luckily, still in vogue. And for that Lomography thanks you. The Lomo manifesto? Shoot from the hip. Succinct. Now to apply it.

The list is enormous. Panoramics. Photocollages - Hockney stuff. Pinhole. Lomo. Anything at all.

Get this shoulder back in action and anything is possible.

Speaking of random photography - engage yourself with the Sisley site - upload your own stuff, comment on others.

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