December 14, 2005


Right, I've been muttering about doing this for an absolute age now (at least three years), and I have finally got around to doing it.

No, I am not talking about piercing my ears or getting a tattoo (though I have done both of those things, and one on more than one occasion).

Rather, I am talking about getting my own domain name and hosting.

Yes, that is right. Bright Meadow has a new home:

It also has a new look. Nothing super-snazzy, just that little bit different.

That URL again:

What can you expect to find at the new site? The same stuff you have come to know and love at, with added extras. Think of it like ordering a Big Mac and getting the fries and milkshake free. Or, if you are a bit classier, like ordering a three course meal and getting desert and a bottle of champagne gratis.

One more time:

I was going to wait till the Thesis was out of the way till I did the grand reveal, but I never was very patient, and now I've pretty much got things ready, I don't want to wait. I'm as excited as a very excited person right now.

So, update your bookmarks, renovate your blogrolls, spring-clean your RSS, and hightail it on over to

See you there :)

octopuses like to pretend to be coconuts in their spare time

Cas is currently... blushing at life

Just a few little things to say today.

1) You don't notice how much you come to rely on things until you can no longer use it. Case in point - I hadn't realised how important had become to me until it suffered a little hiccup this morning and wouldn't let me access it. All is well with the world once more, but it did illustrate one problem with web-served applications - when they go wrong are kinda stuck till someone can go prod the server that is perhaps the other side of the world to you.

2) If you need a laugh, go and view the Wikipedia article on scientology. They have their own cruise ship, upon which they reveal the greatest secrets of their religion. That, and there's something about a walrus that cracked me up good and proper.

3) I'm in something of a quandary. Do I merge my Yahoo! and my Flickr identities? I know I am going to have to at some point, but I am trying to postpone the inevitable. Yahoo! really really doesn't like me, and what is more, the feeling is mutual.
Case in point, before you can get POP access for a Yahoo! email account, you have to sign up for Yahoo!Delivers. This is a service I don't want or need. You can get around it by just not selecting any boxes on the sign up page, but that in and of itself is silly - You have to sign up for this service on this page before you can get POP access for your email account, but you can get around it by not signing up for any part of this service on this page... Slightly idiotic. Oh, and when someone adds you to their "friends" list on Y!IM, it sends you an email. That takes five minutes to arrive. What happened to a nice pop-up a la Messenger saying "Jim Smith has added you to his friends list. Would you like to add him?" and *bam* 15 seconds later you can both be talking.
No, Messenger is no better, especially lately when it's been lagging something awful and secretly booting me off while saying I am still online, but...

4) One thing Yahoo! are doing quite nicely at the moment is Yahoo! Answers. A wonderful, wonderful way to wile away the hours. You never know what you are going to see asked and answered next. Why, just the other evening I learnt more than I ever needed, indeed wanted, to know about how to shave your balls... I am sorry to burst your happy bubble, but I am not talking about sports equipment here either.

5) In my ongoing quest for the oddest search that has brought someone to Bright Meadow, I have a new offering: Girl + Noodle.
If the Girl + Noodle searcher is reading this, then welcome. I hope you found what you came looking for, and if you feel like sharing that with the group, well, we're listening.

That's it. Toodles :)

December 12, 2005

now stealing huge comestibles is one thing, trashing them on holy ground is plain nasty

Cas is currently... having a tantrum at life

I suddenly don't like using a Mac.

This is a serious thing for me to say, almost heretic, so I will explain.

What with the CC back in Canada till who knows when, I am being initiated in the wonders of Skype. Whilst this is great for voice, on occasion it would be nice to actually see who I am chatting to, which brings us to what I want to talk about: webcams.

The CC dug out his webcam, plugged it in, and after swearing at Yahoo! messenger for ten minutes [I'll rant about Yahoo! another time], I was able to see him (yay!).

I, on the other hand, don't have a webcam. I think they are evil and, frankly, they scare me. I am petrified that someone will be able to spy on me without my knowledge (is it still spying if you are aware of them?) a la American Pie. It isn't rational, I know, but even when the damn thing is unplugged and in a drawer it worries me. For this reason, the fact I don't like being on camera anyway, and that I don't really have the need for it, I haven't even thought of owning a webcam since I bought the Mac nearly two years ago.

But, seeing as how it is hardly fair I get to see my boyfriend but he doesn't get to see me, I got over my fear and toddled off down to Argos to get me a webcam today.

Alas, and alack, this isn't a story with a happy ending. I get it home, pull it out of the box, shudder at the evilness of it, and go to install the software when...Yup, you've guessed it, Windows only. I go online to have a bit of a nose around, see if I can find a patch or something, and it turns out, webcams for Macs just don't exist. Correction, affordable webcams for Macs just don't exist.

Even if I had money to burn, the cheapest Mac-supported webcam I can find is £80. Apple themselves do the very shiny iSight camera, which is a steal at £99. I am loathe to purchase an iSight anyway, because I have come across a few things that suggest it might not work too well with messaging systems other than iChat (which, of course, is Apple only). Something in me does baulk at spending minimum of £80 on something I will use to talk to one person (hell will freeze over before I start regularly using the webcam) and that only for (hopefully) a few months. I did find a site that has software which claims it can make Windows-only webcams work on Macs, but the webcams they support are all either no longer obtainable, or hideously expensive. Also, for most of the cameras there is a rider that says "this only works on around 50% of the cameras in this range due to chip inconsistencies..."

What is it about us Mac users that means we don't get to video-chat with the rest of the world? Is it that, because we can afford to shell out £2000 for a computer, manufacturers assume we can shell out £100 for a webcam? Or are we just all too ugly?

Cas is all sad now. I'm just wishing I had discovered this problem a week ago before Curly Durly went Christmas shopping - I might have been able to get the Aged P's to help out toward a shiny iSight. Alas, it's too late for that as I have it on good authority all the presents for this year have been purchased.

So, dear blog minions, does anyone have any ideas to help Cas cope with 3000-odd miles of the Atlantic Ocean limiting communication?

December 11, 2005

Sunday Roast: If I only had a little humility, I'd be perfect.

Cas is currently... sad at life

Today's Sunday Roast. Small, but perfectly formed - rather like myself actually.
Enjoy, and forget not the leftovers.

Good Gifts Catalogue - transcribe books into braile. Please help: £25 buys a Braille book, £100 buys a book with giant print. And £725 actually provides transcription and master copying of a new title. And the name of the Good Giver (or receiver) is entered on the flyleaf. What a nice place to be.

Gizmodo Gift Guide. For the gadget freaks in your life (ie me!)

Color palette creator v1.6. This from LIz, over at Successful Blog. If you are on the lookout for a new colour scheme, but can't think of where to start, just keep hitting the "random base" button till you find one you like. Cool.

Official Google Blog: Public transit via Google. Yes, Google are taking over the world, but this is a good idea! Can they do one for So'ton please :)

Thinking Negative. Funny, but insightful.

Carpetbagger. The NYT's Oscar run-up blog. You might need to login, you might not.

Gmail Clips. An intriguing idea and one I will no doubt be playing around with at some point. Just, not now.

When Christmas Falls on Sunday, Megachurches Take the Day Off. Christmas day, the day you would (if you were devout) go to Church to celebrate the birth of Christ). You would think. I present this to you in the spirit "you what now?!", my on going series of disbelief at the things Americans do. y.ah.oo! One more favourite site of mine swallowed in a giant gulp by Yahoo!. Humph. Ah well, this could be good. I'm reserving judgement.

new Mittens and Snowdrop. The perfect early Christmas present.

The Penguin Podcast: a Christmas Carol. Subscribe to this, do. A free narration of a Christmas Carol, read by Geoffry Palmer (who has a lovely voice)? Got to be good.

Map of the world scaled to population. Note how small Canada and Australia are!

December 09, 2005

if I'd known I was going to be on tv I would have blow dried

Cas is currently... all alone at life

I've been playing least-in-sight for the past day or so, and I imagine that I will do continuing to do so for a few days more. Worry not, I am still alive and kicking, if a little bruised and bleeding.

If you will care to look down at the "assorted linkage" section of the Sidebar, you will see a new button proudly adding a splash of colour:
Successful Outstanding Blogger

Do follow the link and have a gander at the blog - Liz always makes people feel welcome, and has useful content to boot.

Now, if you will excuse me, I hear the bell calling the start of Round 90 in the great fight between Cas and the reigning champion, Life.