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Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Leaving Party

This is my last post to Jen-X. globaljen.com is now 'live' - finishing touches are being put to the paintwork, the hallway is being hoovered, and the huge new TV cabinet has been assembled and the TV been tuned in. Am moving in slightly earlier than scheduled (hardware availability) - and will dismantle the scaffolding as I finish moving in and unpack the china.

It's been almost a year here @ jen-x, so very many thanks for reading. Please do make the journey over to globaljen.com - there is a plentiful supply of tea and biscuits for visitors - I hope to see you there.

Oooooh, Amateur Photoshop Tennis I like!

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Working hard all day finishing off bits and pieces - last day of work on friday and plenty of documentation and tidying up to do. Come back home, work hard @ my own website, and find that there's a broken pipe and I can't get a connection to upload my changes. Grrrr. Thank goodness all the text is dynamic, and I can change it without relying on dodgy connections.

It's nearly there.. a few more tweaks to sort out. Jen-X will move shortly to its new home @ www.globaljen.com - just short of its first birthday. Timing, or what ;) I would have liked to have launched on its birthday, but I will be somewhere in LAX airport, en route to New Zealand. If there's a web terminal at LAX, you'll be sure I'll be there ;)

Monday, November 19, 2001

Been busy - had a great all-weekend-party in Oxford, but since then I've been coding my heart out. Coming soon...

And thanks to a pointer from Mo (who thought I was going to fax my boobs, and is now terribly disappointed), I have discovered the horror that is the rebranded BBC website. Urgh. I am left speechless in horror and disgust. Once upon a time, I counted the BBC site amongst the best...

Oh well, back to making my site look pretty, and booking sea-kayaking trips in New Zealand.

Ok, I'll shut up now...

Friday, November 16, 2001

According to this, I am J.E.N.: Journeying Electronic Neohuman. How apt! (via Chris).

Thursday, November 15, 2001

Firstly, that thing I did, well I got an answer. It wasn't the answer I wanted at the time I did it, but when I did get the answer, it was the one I wanted at the by the time I got it. Confusing, but good news.

Secondly, I got a new album today. A new album, a new(ish) artist - Virginia Coalition. I've mentioned them in the past, but only on the strength of the 4 mp3s on their site - which I love. What can I say - this album rocks. It compels you to smile, to jig in your seat, to jump on the table and dance.. what can I say; it's brilliant. If you're on the East Coast of the US, check them out live, otherwise go and listen on their website. Fresh, funky and guaranteed to bring sunshine to your day.

And referred on from VACO, my firm favourite band of the moment. If you're into something a bit more acoustic and mellow, but edgy with a bit of blues, check out http://browncouchband.com - go and listen to "I Would". Wow. Grabs you right *there* - highly, very highly recommend indeed. The other 2 mp3s on the site are equally good - more bluegrass influence - funky and will get your feet tapping. Stick a pair of earphones on and immerse yourself... I can assure that that these guys' music is *special*.

Music *ROCKS* my world.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Since September 11th, the importance of friends has come to the fore, and reconnecting with people seems to be on the rise. Meg has been attending and dissecting a school reunion - meanwhile I've got back in touch (after 10 years) with a girl from school (via and thanks to Swerdloff, spookily enough). Next week I'll be going for a drink with my first bf (we were only holding hands, I hasten to add) - last seen 12 years ago, last heard from whilst in Tasmania 10 years ago. I have an abiding memory of the last day of music camp (where we met, 14 years ago), sliding down the hill on teatrays in the moonlight. Funny how those memories can strike at the oddest moment - this one surfaced whilst debugging jsp pages...

This is where I will be in less than one month. Makes it all worth it!

Monday, November 12, 2001

Just realised that by the end of this week (when my Dell is being picked up by the buyer), it will be the first time since 1993 that I will not own a computer of my own (I've had 4 computers in that time).


Details of my DT's will no doubt be documented here in full. ;)

Sunday, November 11, 2001

Today was cathartic, and somewhat emotional. Prior to b*ggering off to Australia, I have to remove every last vestige of 'Jen' from my room - packing up everything into either a) boxes for the loft, b) boxes for other people, c) a rucksack for travelling, or d) jumble sale stuff. And then there's the recycling box and the bin.

Right now, the recycling box is winning by a landslide. I've just emptied a stuffed concertina folder full of personal letters going back 13 years (15 in some cases), and boy does it feel weird. Letters from school friends using nicknames I'd almost forgotten; letters from friends made on school trips I didn't even remember, birthday cards made by my sister when she was 8, letters from ex's - you get the idea. I also found a 'Thank You' card from my old Physics teacher, after I'd done the scoring for a Science Quiz - "you seem to be a natural with computers, have you thought of carrying it on for a career?". What can I say?! And 90% of these letters are to go - I only have so much loft space - my CD collection will take up about half of it.

So I spent the afternoon slowly picking through the letters, reading some, ruthlessly dumping others, and keeping some. On the 'kept' pile is a letter from my dad, written on official Desert Storm writing paper during the Gulf War - several other letters will be sent to my niece Jasmine to read when she is older. Some old school letters have been saved - mostly to amuse my friends and provide a good giggle next time we meet up. And old poems from a friend at university - beautiful words that I will keep as long as I can.

It's so sad to have to throw most of it out, though. I know some people would say I was being harsh - and others would tell me to dump the lot and move on. I do believe in compromise, and will keep the letters most important to me - I just think sadly of when I am 88 and could have a good read and giggle at some of the stuff that went on as a child. But I still have my memories, and that's the most important piece of the past. Material possessions merely act as prompts for thoughts and actions that although may be hidden in the dim recesses of one's mind, are still there and merely need a catalyst to release.

Reading back, it does strike me that I am foresaking irreplaceable letters for potentially replaceable shiny disks. True, but it doesn't reveal my priorities as transparently as one would think. I consider my letters to be far more valuable - but music has a similar meaning to me - irreplaceable or not. A difficult choice, but I feel that keeping the music will allow me to move on further and faster - and since one piece of music can trigger a thousand memories, all of those letters and memories are still embodied somewhere in a plastic case, in a cardboard box, up under the eaves. And when I'm 88 and regretting throwing out the letters, I can pick out a piece of music and remember all about a person and a place and the words that they said, far easier than struggling to read the almost-invisible faded print, on a piece of school paper torn from a book.

[Update: I have since relented, and took some letters back out of the recycling box. Call me a wuss, but I'm swapping Soul Asylum and Pet Shop Boys for written memories of 1989, and a circuit diagram drawn by my grandpa. I did say that I believe in compromise....]

Saturday, November 10, 2001

I did a pretty scary thing this morning. A couple of people may know what I am talking about - well, yes, I did take the plunge. It was pretty nerve-wracking, and I did get butterflies. But I put my neck out on the line, bit the bullet, grabbed the bull by the horns. And it wasn't so bad (ok, I am lying a bit here, it was terrifying!).

What's bad is the * W A I T I N G *. I don't have any idea what the outcome will be - hopefully happy for me, preferably not embarrassing (it has the potential) - and it's doing my head in, to be honest. There's no timescale to measure the waiting against, either, which is the terrible thing - and I don't actually know if I will ever get an answer.

I have my fingers and toes firmly crossed, as I really REALLY want this to turn out well - it means a lot to me.


I am going to see Harry Potter this evening - hopefully that will take my mind of it - for 2 hours, at least.

Friday, November 09, 2001

Great news for musicians in the US - hope this practice spreads to the UK very soon.

The Bands for America CD launch gig in NYC on 20th November will be featuring a fantastic new(ish) band on the scene - Virginia Coalition. Check out this link for more about the Benefit Concert.

All's quiet here @ jen-x - I am currently building myself a new home over @ globaljen.com - the bricks are up to the first floor but the packing cases are still firmly closed. This blog will be moving over there - when it's all ready and clean and the painters have gone, and all the gizmos are in place. You are welcome to check out the progress - just watch out for the wet concrete.

Wednesday, November 07, 2001

Update: Meeting with the client went very well. Wahey!

I managed to finish my CBT movie @ 6am, grabbed 2 hours of sleep, and am now back at work having deployed the new pages to the live server. Suddenly, all the adrenaline drained out of me and I want to go to sleep. But the movie was a hit, and is currently being shown to the client, so fingers crossed ;) My boss liked it, and as one of those really arty design people, it was a compliment.

I also managed to brainstorm a new design for my website, globaljen.com, at about 4am - will be putting it in digital form pretty soon - had thumbs up from Mo and Dave, among others. At last I can get cracking. Haven't yet decided on the technology - MT vs GM vs Blogger - I can't decide. I might just carry on with Bloggerised Jen-X, sitting in PHP pages and mask it inside the URL - probably the easiest and safest way to go. I don't have much time!! What are your thoughts on these solutions? I still haven't found an adequate hosting solution, which is a pain....

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

I just can't get enough photoshop tennis. So cool.

I do love Flash 5 - I upgraded @ work from Flash 4 today, and it makes such a fantastic difference - having items go straight into the library, and the clearer timeline - brilliant. Sadly I have to spend all tonight finishing off a CBT (computer based training) movie for tomorrow's meeting. Helped along by a rather fine red wine, and 3 new Alex Lloyd CD's (the latest album, and both singles) sent by my good friend Mike - cheers mate! Awesome.

Back to work. Gah.

Monday, November 05, 2001

The weekend was lovely - Jasmine was on fine form, and has started crawling. Many hours were spent on the floor, being covered in macaroni cheese, and changing nappies. Photos not yet online, as I spent this evening working on this site instead, whilst watching old Monty Python episodes. Jasmine will get a new site soon, just as fast as I can.. meanwhile here's her having a bit of a laugh at bedtime!

Jasmine Newman

Friday, November 02, 2001

This weekend, I will mostly be on my hands and knees, covered in drool, blowing bubbles, tickling and making farmyard noises. No, not a particularly good night on the town - but a visit from my 7 month-old niece. Awww! Pictures-aplenty to come.