SXSW’07 – Day 2…

So today was the first big day for us here in Austin. Lots of panels to attend and I’m quickly running out of business cards.

First panel was “a decade of style” with Eric, Molly, Chris & Douglas. After a quick post-panel chat (did I mention everyone is extremely approachable?), including a quick hello with Tantek Çelik, it was off to “how to bluff your way in web2.0″, an excellent and fun look at the whole (tired) web2.0 phenom by two fellow Brits including an online bingo game during the session where I didn’t get a free book (hint) – I only needed DOJO.

A spot of lunch at the Iron Cactus and then back to “Unleashing CSS: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Internet Explorer 7“, where I didn’t get a free book (hint, hint) but it was still a good view of adoption rates and how to start using the new IE7 CSS. Then straight into a really interesting panel on “Web Hacks“. This wasn’t at all about CSS/HTML in the traditional sense but covered Yahoo pipes, content and touched briefly on copyright.

The last panel was, personally, a bit of a let down. The panel didn’t seem that engaged and subject matter tended to drift.  The cool thing about that panel though was sitting with Jonathan Snook, and hooking up with Trey Philips and Mani Sheriar for a couple of the after hours parties, where Mani blagged a free microformats t-shirt from Tantek (hint, hint, hint).

Two very high (geek) points – Shaking hands and having a quick chat with Tantek and then, later, Ze Frank.

Food of the day – Heuvos Rancheros.

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SXSW’07 Day 1 – Gone to Texas…

After a fairly uneventful flight, save for the near miss witnessed by Paul through my window, we arrived in Austin. We took a cab to the Hyatt Regency hotel and found our room missing something – namely the second bed.

Moving down from the 14th floor remedied that, so, after struggling to set up the WiFi and checking some work email, Paul & I set off to register. This took longer than expected, queuing up just to enter the queue upstairs.

We managed to take in the first panel, all about “Snakes on a Plane” and we were set for the second panel about “rawk”ing SXSW. Saw quite a few of the panelist later at the “Break Bread with Brad” party.

Best food so far – Cheese & Jalapeno hotdog with Curry Ketchup!

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February sucked!

Apart from our birthdays, February pretty much sucked.  Hence no posts recently.

List of offenders that made up this arse or a month were:

  • Julie slipping and hurting her leg & back
  • Me hurting my back
  • Julie falling ill
  • Me breaking a tooth
  • Me having a root canal on that tooth
  • Having to postpone (twice) our trip to Pittsburgh
  • Me getting a speeding ticket in Lindale
  • Me getting that speeding ticket in Lindale, on Julie’s birthday!

That’s pretty much it.  There were some high points though, such as seeing LeBron James play @ The Q with my brother-in-law and the Cav’s winning.  My first time seeing any basketball since being here in the US and it was a lot of fun.  Also I was asked to speak at Tri-C to a class of students which was cool and I’ve had some emails from the students which was nice (I promise I will reply).

Now it’s March and I’m off to SXSW’07 in Austin, Texas.  I’m already missing Julie and Josh and I’m only sitting at Cleveland Hopkins waiting to leave.  5 days is the longest I’ve been away from either of them.

BTW – The current threat advisory has been raised to ORANGE.  I know this as it’s blasted by a speaker every 5 minutes 🙂

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New “Hot Fuzz” trailer…

HOT FUZZ is a new British comedy and is one of the few films I really want to see in 2007.  Empire released a new teaser which really plays on the whole cop/buddy genre that the film is aimed at.

If you’re in the UK check it out on Valetines Day.  We in the USA will have to wait another couple of months.

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Happy Birthday to me…

My 38th year on this planet and I got some really great gifts:

The downside is that I hurt my back over the weekend, Julie fell and hurt her leg badly and our son Josh has not run around outside for a few days (it’s -15C during the day!) all added to the two of us, hopped up on Codine and Aleve, stumbling around after a pent-up 3 yr old.

Bring on #39!

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My first public speaking gig…

I was happy, and a little nervous, to be on the panel for The Web Association presentation today – State of the Web:The Year Ahead. Julie was very patient with my worrying about this all week and going over and over the slides.  This was the first time I had spoken publicly and despite the bad weather it was a great turnout.

My section was about Web Standards and I touched upon the rise of microformats. For those interested the two Firefox extensions mentioned were Tails and Operator.

I hope people got something out of it and I’m looking forward to the follow-up sessions from my fellow panelists.

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My top Firefox add ons…

I use Firefox as my browser of choice (Flock comes a close second when blogging etc.) and with it I make use of quite a few of the extensions (now renamed add on’s) written for it. As I am a web developer some of these skew to that but there are still enough below that I find useful in my day-to-day surfing.

Web Development

General Surfing


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I have a thing for electronic music…

So I have a thing for electronic music. Anything from the ambient works of Brian Eno through some, but not all, of Jean-Michel Jarre to the latest crop who release their work through the Internet. I find it nicer listening to this genre whilst spending time on the PC (which I do too much of) over songs and podcasts.

It’s these Internet artists that I have been listening to most recently.

Saul Stokes has been around for a while now and creates his own instruments. I recently purchased his Outfolding album from his site, after it being on my Amazon wish list for some time to no avail, and received a nice signed photo in the email from him the next day.

Another place for good electronic music (and it’s FREE) is The Kahvi Collective. The have a huge back catalog of people, including Saul Stokes, to download in both .ogg and .mp3 formats.

Latest one I grabbed from there is octopus city by url – it’s very good but I recommend digging around to find other stuff. Some personal favorites are by MINT, Alexey V and 4t Thieves.

I use ma.gnolia as my online bookmarks and you find more on my electronic music list there.

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Take down the decorations and start decorating…

So now all the Chrimbo decorations are down and packed away in the basement, it’s time to start thinking about painting the new abode.

With moving in so near to Xmas neither of us felt we’ve really looked at our new home without boxes, clutter or decorations in the way.  Now all the furniture is in place and “most” of the stuff has found a home (I still have a few boxes to unpack) it’s time to start putting our mark on the place – that means paint.

That and a trip to IKEA for shelving and some organizational stuff.  There’s a future blog post right there.

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