20 August 2008

AOL - an attempt at killing my account

So this was sent today - I haven't had the strength until now for reasons which are, if you know even the first thing about AOL, obvious. It was sent to cancel@aol.com or some such - I'll keep you posted:

Subject: Canceling my account.

HI there,
can you tell me how I do this? I am paying £5.95 per month and i understand I can have an email account for free - can you tell me how to do this, preferably online? thanks very much,
Patrick Dodds

(After sending I noticed that simply signing in to AOL has for some reason removed my bookmarks toolbar in FF - ah well, one day all will be in order again).

UPDATE: 1st Sept 2008.
Pro-forma lying emails back ("we care about your custom" or some such rubbish and a picture of a vapid blond noodling around with a laptop) and one request for more information. Then, nothing. I have emailed my credit card company from whom AOL take money asking if they can cancel the standing order - a long shot, but who knows.

18 August 2008


A while ago I blogged about this crappy company called bluepulse and now here they are in the Grauniad again. Guess what? Yep, it still doesn't work. The wonder is, of course, that I am stupid enough to fall for it again and to try and register - maybe when I key in my phone number it is collected by the Russian mafia? Ah well, no accounting for IQ. You can add them to Earthtone (impossible to register) and the ever-awful Riya - originally a supposed facial recognition system (in fact, you had to tag anyone you recognised in the pictures you uploaded and, erm, that was it). For some reason the Graun loves hyping these vapourware companies - gets their own traffic up I guess.

The paper regularly talks drivel about technology of course - take this little piece by Victor Keegan "praising" the Nokia N95:

"The main drawback is that you have to keep the camera still for a second or two when taking snaps to avoid blur, and it is not quite so good with close-up work. Access to the web was almost instantaneous but using Google still isn't user-friendly enough ...

Of the new features, the barcode reader (which has big potential for linking newspapers directly to the web) worked OK on the FT's front-page bar code, but not on the Observer's. The GPS satellite positioning - which opens up huge possibilities for local search - worked moodily, maybe because of a fault with this model. .... The N95 has a videophone which may come into its own one day, but I have never seen anyone using one.

It's expensive for a phone...."

There you have it then - the lag makes the camera useless for animated subjects (like, I don't know, say, people) and doesn't do close-ups; the sat nav doesn't work (no Victor, it wasn't just your phone - mine has never worked properly except one day on a ferry from Mull); the internet is painful; and no one uses videophone technology because it is so expensive and, erm, crap. Which leaves the barcode reader which, of course, is something everyone needs but which, sadly, only works 50% of the time according to Vic. And all this in an article entitled "Move aside gadgets - the N95 is here." Excellent.

17 August 2008

Everything is justified......

... to the Silver Surfer.

Screaming Caged Can Boy

On the Road

Don't Think Twice

This is my Boom Stick

Chiselled Looks

Amy is at the Door


Light and Shade, Soho, London


London, Saturday 2

I think this may be a sculpture by Sophie Ryder. I like her work.

London, Saturday

12 August 2008

Holi, India, 1993

While I'm on a scanning / travels jag, here's one taken earlier... May have Chickletted the teeth a bit in the touching up - apols.

Zanzibar tattoo

From back in the day when muscle tone was more than a memory. Skew-whiff temp tattoo put on during a walk with a guide called, I think, Mr Biswas, who was very well known all over Zanzibar.

Let me introduce my mother...

I think she must have been about 23 or so here.

My Father

Dug out a box of v. old slides today and dusted them off and did a rather poor job of scanning some of them - here is my father aged, what, about 23? I never got to know him and this is one of the greatest regrets of my life - he died when I was 14.

10 August 2008

The Lowry Centre, Manchester

Manchester: Where is everybody?

It has always been deserted whenever I've visited but I haven't given up hope of having a good time there at some point!
UPDATE: Actually, you know what? I have, given up on a good time there that is. It is dull, empty and wishes it was London. And the Lowry Centre looks like a playroom. Purple! Orange! Blue! Aren't we cool! No, you're tiresome.
Now, on the other hand, the pictures by Mr L himself, they were something of a revelation and did go some way to shake my association of the painter with Brian and effing Michael and that sodding "Matchstick Men and Matchstick Cats and Dogs" awfulness. In fact, the sketches and non-MMaMCaD pictures were great.

6 August 2008

Blessed are they.... b&w

Blessed are they.... colour

Colombia Road 2

Colombia Road

Cheesemania! But it kind of works somehow. Available in large volumes for about a tenner I suspect, probably shipped over from China where they are made by small deformed children living in darkness under the Bird's Nest stadium. Or something.

Garage Sandwiches

You can make your own Wordle (I know, I know, just try and move on) using any old bunch of text or a URL from a site with an Atom / RSS feed. I cut and pasted from a novel I wrote some time ago (don't ask) to end up with this:

2 August 2008

New Glasses

Spot the difference:

Spectwatular! A bit trippy and vomit-inducing but I am told that will pass. Besides, the payoff is being able to read.