Starting to think about 2011

It is difficult not to think about what I want to do next year and what I want to change.

So here are some of the things I’d like to do / do more of in 2011 (in no particular order):

  • Music: I’d really like to spend some more time making music in a variety of ways
  • Drum Circle: I hoping I can get there with a bit more regularity than before
  • Processing: I want to start making things again
  • Reaktor: As above really, but more music focussed
  • Pd: More of the same
  • Writing: I do a lot, but I have some ideas I want to develop a bit further
  • Android: I want to use this a lot more and start having some fun with Android

I’m not sure quite how I’ll get on with these, but it is a start if nothing else.

Reaching the end of ‘Things’

I’ve been a user of ‘Things’ for Mac and the iPhone for some time now, but during that time I’ve increasingly become less and less content with how the desktop and device apps work. It got to the point where the whole thing just ceased working as a task management system at all.

It is a shame really as Cultured Code are a nice company and they’ve been promising lots of new functionality for a long time, it just hasn’t arrived as yet. Also, compared to a lot of other apps ‘Things’ is a very expensive solution, which is one of the reasons I’ve held off moving to a different app / system.

Anyway, I’ve moved to Toodledo and it is working out really well so far.

Having said all that I just read this post at the Cultured Code site on their cloud sync solution. Let’s see what it looks like when it finally comes through.

Hope and Greenwood: Probably the best sweet shop ever

I was in London today at the Royal Opera House and noticed that there was a Hope and Greenwood’s just around the corner.

Hope and Greenwood’s are probably the best old fashioned sweet shops ever. You can still by things by imperial measure and get bags of sweets made up. I’ve been to their shop near Forest Hill many times on trips to the Horniman Museum (I’ve mentioned the place many times), but I’ve never been to their central London shop.

It isn’t much bigger, but it is just as wondrous. The staff are wonderful and the range of confectionery is superb.

If you ever get a chance to visit one of their shops then you must, absolutely you must.

Messing around with wordpress plugins

It has been one of those days to really do nothing very much, so I’ve been investigating new wordpress plugins that I might want to use. There’s some great stuff out there for doing just about anything you might want to.

I’ve been playing with DB Toolkit today for making little database applets that sit inside your wordpress site. Very cool indeed. Or at least cool if you’re into that sort of thing anyway.

The Trouble with Android

One of the things I intend to do more of (a sort of new year’s resolution but starting now), is to get into using Android a lot more as I think there are loads of things I can do with it or use it for that iOS just won’t offer.

Great, so far so good. I’ve looked at a variety of newer Android devices and just couldn’t decide what to go for. So I eventually decided to try and root my old G1 and upgrade it to 2.1 or 2.2 as a start and then decide what to do next.

So last night I started trying to tinker around with my old G1, trying to root it etc and I’ve run into nothing but trouble already. It appeared to be bricked for a while, but now it will run but I can’t get past the google account screen! I’m going to persist with this device in an attempt to make some use of it.

I think I might need to visit a t-mobile shop soon to get a new SIM and see if that helps.

I’ll keep you updated on how I get on with this.

My battle with buying things

Whenever I decide to buy something I get into trouble. A lot of the time I just end up in a loop trying to make a decision and more often than not I end up deciding that either I don’t need whatever it is, or I won’t use it or that I can in some way re-purpose something I have to sort of do the same job.

Often this is a good thing. Obviously it saves money and means that I don’t end up with a huge amount of old ‘stuff’ that I just look at and then wonder what to do with, but it is frustrating.

Listening in January

I’ve been thinking more about my idea to critically listen to 1 song or track per day in January. I’ve been wondering which artist I should listen to. I really want to restrict it to 1 artist for January as it makes sense to listen consistently over the whole month.

The more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve thought that I could only listen to David Sylvian in Jan. It makes sense, to listen to an artist where I have a significant number of songs, and I do, and even though I thought of lots of different ideas for music and artists I kept coming back to David Sylviam, so that’s what I’m going to stick with.

The next thing to do is to work out how I organise my listening over the month. I’ll be giving that some thought over the next few days.

Another story finished

I finished listening to the latest Dr Who (Tom Baker) story, and even though the first episodes weren’t up to much, in the end I enjoyed it.

It is interesting to see (hear) how different the stories are from what gets onto the TV Dr Who. The latest audiobook is in 5 hour long parts. I don’t think that would work on TV these days. Of course, when Tom Baker was the Doctor you could have up to 8 or 9 25 minute episodes and that was completely acceptable.

I’m glad I’ve listened to these 2 new stories, and I think I’d buy the next one too if and when it comes out.

The only question remaining is, what to listen to next?

An evolving workflow

As you probably know I’m a keen iOS user and always looking for ways to improve my workflow for ideas, things to investigate
and make both my online and offline life simpler. For a little while I’ve been using instapaper to hold blog posts and pages that
I want to spend a bit more time with. I’m not sure what it is about instapaper exactly that makes it simple to work through material, but it does work. On thing I haven’t done as yet is it to share stuff. I’ll have to get into that next I think.

Thinking about listening

A while ago I wrote a post about listening and not just consuming music, and ever since I wrote that it has been on my mind. I have wanted to do something that demonstrates what that listening to music is important, at lease to me.

To begin with I thought I would start a listening group. Something a bit like a book club or reading group, but for music instead. I think it is a good idea, but I’m not sure that I am ready for it just yet, and I think I’d want to plan out how to do it properly first.

Then I had an idea as I was thinking about January and what I wanted to do in the month. I thought that perhaps I would listen to a song each day for a month. That might sound fairly straightforward, but there would need to be some strict criteria wrapped around the listening experience. Such as:

  1. I can’t be doing anything else whilst listening to the song, like working, using any kind of computer etc
  2. I have to listen to the song all the way through. If I have to stop for some reason then I must take a break and start again
  3. If possible I should have my eyes shut whilst listening
  4. I can listen to more than 1 song by the artist on a given day, but the main purpose is to listen to 1 song critically each day

How does that sound? I’m starting to think about the songs and artists I’d like to listen to in January. At the moment I like the idea of listening to material I know already as a way of getting into the listening process, and if it works well I might consider doing something different in Feb.

Anyway, that’s one thing I have planned for January, I have a few more ideas too, but perhaps I’ll write about those tomorrow.