The Obscurer

Category: Admin

Two Minutes To Midnight

If you’ve nothing worth saying, then shut the fuck up, my parents always told me (I’m paraphrasing slightly), hence the general quietness around these parts recently. I’ve really had very little to add to any debate over the past month. No change there, you may reasonably interject, and with due and just cause. 

But on cold leather seats well it suddenly struck me that I was about to go a whole calendar month without posting anything here, something that hasn’t happened (but possibly should have) since this blog started up some four-and-a-bit years ago. And that would be intolerable.

Hence this hastily-tapped message to my dwindled readership, wishing you all a belated Merry Christmas, a just-in-time Happy New Year, and to warn you that I’ll be back here to see you in 2009, which is due in just a couple of minutes time.

Indoor Fireworks

After spending the week on holiday in Cornwall we arrived home on Saturday to the sound of rockets, Catherine wheels and bangers, the work of both the local kids and of the fireworks display at the nearby Bethesda school. While ferrying our stuff from the car into the house I decided to switch on our aged PC, to give it time to warm up so it would be ready for use once we were all settled in the house. Unfortunately it decided to join in with the bonfire festivities; clearly unhappy at having been left idle for the past week, once I had plugged it in it emitted a pop, a crack and a vaguely cordite-like odour.

Hence the reason why I’m currently sat in Cheadle library tapping away on a borrowed PC, and this post is my way of saying that The Obscurer will be undergoing an enforced hiatus until my computer is either repaired or replaced, and who knows when. I may still issue the odd update on Twitter – although I won’t be publishing those here, you’ll be glad to know – and if you are pining for your irregular dose of my ramblings then please feel free to browse those archives; there’s badly punctuated nonsense on all manner of subjects over there. More likely is that you and I will take a well deserved break from each other, and quite right too. But fear not, I will return. Eventually.

Hiatus Hernia

It’s that time of the year when I pointlessly inform you all that I am off on holiday so you should expect silence around this more obscure part of the blogosphere for the next fortnight or so; pointless, of course, because it’s not as if this place doesn’t go quiet for a couple of weeks or more anyway from time to time, and without explanation, when I can’t be arsed or inclined to write something spellbindingly original or other.

But this time it was going to be different. I was going to announce how I had set up my Twitter Tools plugin so I could clump my Twitter “tweets” into a daily digest here on The Obscurer and continue my ramblings even while lodge-bound in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire. I planned to explain how I had pestered Orange into arming my mobile phone with 300 free texts so to facilitate this endeavour. It was going to be such fun.

But my holiday has come just as I am in the middle of one of my periodic “jaundiced with blogging” feelings, and so a break from the whole silly business seems very much the ticket. This is how I feel now. But will I feel the same way in a couple of days’ time?

So here’s the deal; I’m on holiday until Saturday the 16th of August, so some sort of hiatus is in order. But occasionally the odd thought, banal micro-observations or nano-utterances may pop through whether I like it or not, and so a rogue “tweet” may appear here if I can be bothered. If you subscribe via RSS them be prepared for the worst, and it may be worth re-tuning in two weeks’ time if you don’t like the sound of what is on offer. If you do, and are on Twitter already, then feel free to stalk follow me here regardless. Now you can’t say fairer than that, can you?

Exciting times, huh? Well it’s make or break for Twitter and me anyway. Let’s wait and see just what happens, shall we? Who knows, or dares to dream?

A Bit On The Side

As promised when I moved this blog over from Blogger to WordPress, I have done plenty of “tinkering and fiddle-faddling” with this website since, adding wee plug-ins and the like here and there that you probably haven’t noticed, and which I am happy to leave you to find for yourselves, and to make use of if they are of any use. But in lieu of having anything original to write about, and because I know many (many?) of you just read this via a feedreader, I’d like to just draw your attention to the new Recent Browsing section in the sidebar. In short it is a list of the last 10 posts or articles on other blogs or websites that I have added to my new del.icio.us thingy, and which I think may be of interest.

Dominating the list at the moment are three posts regarding the Craig Murray / Alisher Usmanov affair; if you don’t know what it is all about then Chicken Yoghurt is the best place to start, detailing the way the man hitherto known as “that fat Russian bloke who wants to buy Arsenal” has forced down a number of websites that were making allegations against him. In brief, rather than trying to defend his reputation, Usmanov’s lawyers, Schillings, have sought to crush dissent just by threatening legal action and without making any attempt to clear Usmanov’s name, a (apparently failed) strategy to starve their opponents’ allegations of the oxygen of publicity, which they boast of having used previously on their website, and which should be of concern to anyone with a vague interest in that old bauble “freedom of speech”. In addition to Chicken Yoghurt, I have linked to Unity’s post at Ministry of Truth regarding some tactics on how to deal with the UK libel laws (he is also excellent here on Schillings’ philosophy), and to Tim Ireland’s temporary Bloggerheads site (the original one being a casualty of the action) which details a timeline of what has happened, and what is going to happen next.

The rest of the links are a bit of a mish-mash; from the deadly serious (a link to a petition supporting the Burmese protesters, via Nosemonkey) to the hilarious (Andrew Collins showing a toe-curling corporate video for the free magazine ShortList); from more “old media” absurdity (Digital Spy report that UKTV G2 is being renamed Dave. Yes, Dave! How did that get past market research? Who do they speak to?) to “new media” brilliance (SBALB on being head hunted), I like to think that there is a little something for everyone there. There’s even a feed for my del.icio.us links to subscribe to if you want, but I know you don’t.

For how long I bother to continue updating the list only time will tell, but it is certainly a neat way of putting new content on the blog while expending next to no effort on my part. Whether anyone bothers to read it is another matter entirely, but it’s there for now anyway; check it out, ignore it, the choice is very much yours to make.

A Month In The Country

The Turgenev play? The film featuring Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh? No, just a post explaining what I will be up to for the next four weeks or so.
It’s Cornwall from Friday, taking advantage of the twilight days of my wife’s maternity leave and my own current bizarre part-time shift pattern which affords us the opportunity to spend three weeks in that gorgeous sticky-out bit of England way down there without ballsing up our entire annual leave entitlements.

Then it’s a further week with extended family members in the land of my forefathers (or rather my one mother) up Perthshire way; more specifically at Rumbling Bridge just south of the beautiful Glendevon. Don’t worry; we won’t be making the Cornwall-Perthshire trip in one go. That would be madness. A stop at home en route will be very much in order.

When I get back I will endeavour to update this site a little more often than I currently do – after all, there’s nothing I like better on a hot, sunny day than to be sat in front of a PC tapping out nonsensical crap – but that is something I know you have heard before. Time will indeed tell.

So, set your alarm clocks for June as that will be then next time when I will rant, moan or talk gibberish; at least via the hereby means of the world wide web. See you then.