Skip to main content

Quietly Going Postal

It's been a bit of a mindbending week, all told.


Spent the weekend doing birthday celebrations with a houseful of kids and and airbed. Much fun was had by all, especially the kids thanks to a rather smashing bouncy castle, and the "special" truckstop breakfast set the bank holiday off to a good start.

Back to the working world then, and political wrangling means I'm somewhat between projects. Took the opportunity to install a decent java development environment while watching the BBC's adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Going Postal. It was extremely well done and is, I think, my favourite adaptation to date. Yes, possibly even on a par with The Hogfather. Impressive, I know.

The only minor gripe is that the golems didn't really look ... rocky enough. Instead they looked like men in an odd rubber suit. I think the problem was that they weren't as big as the are in my imagination, standing a mere 7 feet tall rather than the 10 foot hulking bouldery masses I had conjoured in my mind's eye.

Still, the acting was brilliantly believable, and the thing that most subtley made it work was actually the lack of something. Previous adaptations have felt like the production team were so excited about making a Discworld adaptation that they couldn't help but put cheesey, 4th wall destroying titbits in there to say, subliminally, "WE'RE MAKING DISCWORLD YAY!" I think this was helped by the fact that none of the characters (save Lord Vetinari) are recurring characters in the series. It was their first outing, and set away from Unseen University, and even the Watch had a very small involvement.

Having got my dev env set up, I'm now heading to St Albans for a couple of days to get acquainted with this new project. Joy. I'll be staying in the (hopefully not ironically named) Quality Hotel. I'm sure it will be an experience. Then I get to come home and try to prevent my boiler blowing me up.


Not sure what's up with it. It's fairly new (less than 2 years) and been working fine, then yesterday it made ... THE NOISE. It's an odd noise, somewhat reminiscient of a jet engine, but with the vent vibrating wildly and the rumbling, shuddering of the boiler itself it reminded me more of the bunker from Lost. Maybe I didn't type the right numbers into the central heating control panel? Maybe my toilet is sat on top of a powerful energy source capable of destroying the world? Maybe there's a small blockage in one of the pipes? Oh, the drama!

And here I sit on my train to Leicester, the first of three today. Just finished my latté, listening to How To Destroy Angels, and really quite in need of the bathroom. At least the weather is nice.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Another canal walk

The sun has started being a little more present lately, so some mornings are actually quite pleasant. On one such morning I decided to have a wander up the canal.


The clouds made everything look a bit Toy Story, and the low sun gave a lovely light and contrast to everything else.


Of course, it wasn't sunny everywhere. But even in the darker places, such as right underneath Leeds railway station, the sun had a go at peeking in.


Leeds Hyperbeastly

It's been five long months since I posted anything to this blog. Including this post here, I have posted no less than three times in 2014. As you can tell, I am nothing if not prolific.
A lot has changed since the last time I posted anything. I sold all my SLR gear, for a start, and switched to micro four-thirds. I got a lovely, lovely little Olympus OM-D E-M10 and a small selection of lenses including the must-have Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 pancake and the stunning Olympus 45mm f/1.8. Marvellous, and the camera, four lenses and spare batteries and SD cards in a bag that wouldn't fit the SLR and a single lens. Cracking stuff, because it's now small enough to carry all the time. In fact the body and pancake lens is barely bigger than my Fuji X10 compact!
Anyway, the point of this post; I've taken several walks through Leeds while I've worked there over the past few years and I've been finding it more and more difficult to find non-boring subjects. Everything is so dr…

Shooting the Enterprise

I was recently asked if I could help out providing an image for a magazine article about stress management. For reasons as yet undiscovered the requested image would be of the USS Enterprise flying through a storm in space. Unfortunately I didn't have a lot of time (just a couple of hours), but I did have a very nice model of the Enterprise D I could use to build the image around.

Thinking fast, I rigged up a rather slapdash rig consisting of a black reflector backdrop, an umbrella and stand from which dangled the model by a thread, and a couple of strobes. One light above, diffused, to provide the key light, and another, reflected and lower power, to fill some of the very dark shadows. It ended up all looking something like this:


Using a fast shutter, f/16 and cunning flash positioning I managed to keep the background black and give the model suitably textured lighting so it didn't have that flat, uniform, shadowless appearance of, well, a model. The narrow aperture obviously…