rcrd lbl

December 7th, 2008

http://rcrdlbl.com/ is a music blog I stumbled across the other day and have grown to like. It was started a year ago by Peter Rojas, who also co-founded Engadget.

I really like the original track by Justice and who doesn’t like Mos Def?

Posted in: music -web | 2 Comments | Tags: , ,

When football came home

December 4th, 2008

I hadn’t heard this track for years and stumbled across it today. It probably won’t do much for my American audience but this track still gives me goosebumps, despite England winning nothing.

Baddiel, Skinner & Lightning Seeds – Three Lions 2002 (Dj Mix)

Other versions over on Football and Music

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neilwill.com – a fresh new look

December 1st, 2008

I’ve been working on and off on the site design for some time now and it’s finally got to the point where I’m happy with it. There may be more to come down the line, there’s a few other things I have in mind but I wanted to start using this new site.

It is the first site with the full design crafted by my own fair hand and I’m pretty pleased with it. I found a few useful design sites that showcase site designs as well as link to fonts, brushes, textures, etc. I’ve learned a huge amount in the last year about web design as well as dabbling in what has turned out to be the very interesting world of graphical design.

A List Apart

Outlaw Design Blog

Six Revisions

Smashing Magazine

Now I’ve got to get back to creating that content malarkey to give you a reason to come back. The blog started off as a diary to keep friends and family informed of what I was up to in California – whether it stays like that or expands into a broader beast I’m not too sure. I may add in more sites I find and videos of monkeys ice skating and that kind of shenanigans. Ah, it’s been too long since I last talked about malarkey and shenanigans in the same paragraph.

Posted in: design -web | 1 Comment | Tags: ,

Captain Chalupa

November 2nd, 2008

Whenever evil lurks in the RSC, where ever help is needed in a hallway or crime happens in a cubicle…CAPTAIN CHALUPA and GORDITA GIRL will be there!

Each year Taco Bell has a big Halloween pageant where each department makes a short movie. I was involved in the IT one again this year and we won :) Along with being part of the process to create the ideas for the movie I was behind a video camera for the first time.

It was a lot of fun putting it all together, along with a couple of colleagues Jose (head over to his site and get a copy of his latest DJ set, some good stuff there) and John we put up a web site where you can see the video. It is quite Taco Bell themed but I’d be interested to hear how it looks to those of you outside the company.

Captain Chalupa website

Posted in: video -work | 1 Comment | Tags:

Song of the week

October 9th, 2008

It’s not a new track but I just rediscovered it. Dennis Hopper’s storytelling is really cool.

Gorillaz – Fire coming out of a monkey’s head

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Web designing

September 11th, 2008

I’ve had quite a bit going on recently.  Work has been very busy – my main project is a redesign of the intranet based knowledge base for the help desk.  After a year’s work the front page is finally online, it is a big relief and probably the biggest project I’ve ever worked on.   Now comes the gradual conversion of the remaining 12,000 pages on the site.

I’ve been learning a lot more about web design, and more importantly to me, the design aspect of it.  In Stream I built the technical side of the sites, while Paul did the graphical design side and I’ve never been confident, or had any idea how to go about, putting together a design.  I’ve been picking up a lot lately and I’ve come a long way, there still a huge amount to learn but I’m a lot happier with my design skills now.  I found laying stuff out on grids is very helpful.

I’m considering moving this blog again, I don’t want to keep shuffling around and messing up everyone’s bookmarks but this time I’m looking at keeping WordPress but hosting it myself on my own domain.  This would mean I could design my own site rather than use this template.  There’s no address yet but it’s something I’m working towards.

Oh, and I’ll be back in England again at the start of January.

Posted in: computing -work | 1 Comment | Tags:

The greatest ice skating video ever

August 12th, 2008
I suppose that title doesn’t give it a lot of competition, but I think it is a worthy champion.

THE ORIGINAL Monkey on Ice – Gonna fly now Jonny – super8
Uploaded by grandmarquis

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Out of England

July 13th, 2008

Ricky Gervais - Out of England

I went to see Ricky Gervais doing standup in Hollywood on Saturday. It was in the Kodak Theatre where they host The Oscars each year.  Its a very nice place, and was a sellout (3,401 seats there according to wikipedia).  I was a little surprised to see how popular he is out here but hopefully that will mean more of his stuff comes our way, at the moment I’m having to import DVDs from the UK.  He got a good write up (this one is for the first show on the Friday) and the crowd loved it, every joke got a huge laugh and Gervais got a standing ovation at the end of the show.

Overall he was hilarious as always, but I was a little disappointed at the lack of original material.  Sure, most of the audience will only have seen The Office and Extras and none of his standup is out here, but with a new tour name I was expecting some new material targeted at the American audience, but what we got was a ‘best of’ compilation from Politics and Fame.

Sushi | Culinária

Originally uploaded by Alexandre Chang

It was still a very enjoyable evening which was started off by some of the best sushi I’ve had at Shintaro, just up the road from the theatre.  In researching the restaurant’s name just now I came across their website, another example of why I don’t think I’m going to be putting much effort into learning Flash right now for web design.  It looks pretty, but why can’t I click on things???  The pictures and text look like they should be links, but you have to use the small at the bottom of the page.  I get frustrated with difficult to navigate Flash designs.  Oh and there’s no option to stop playing their background music.  Arrrggg (that didn’t sound so much like a pirate in my head).  Anyway, their food was delicious.

Take me out to the ball game

July 13th, 2008

I went to my first baseball game this week, our friend Hector had some extra tickets and was kind enough to take us along to see the LA Dodgers.  I’m used to seeing the LA baseball caps everywhere, it was the cap du jour in Potters Bar but these wearers were probably the first who were aware of its significance.

Once we got to the stadium my first feeling was how similar the setup is to cricket.  I’ve not been to lots of cricket grounds but at least Lord’s and The Gabba in Brisbane were similar in that its open through to the back of the stadium.  Football grounds in England (and the Ducks’ Honda Center for that matter) are completely walled off separating the seating and the drinks/food stands.  The cricket and now baseball stadiums are open behind the seating so you can still see the game going on while you walk around getting some food.  It’s the only sport I’ve seen that in and being that it originated from cricket I wonder if that was an intentional addition to the stadium design.

Dodger Dogs

Anyway, the game was enjoyable but the Dodgers lost 9-3. Next time I might try my local team, the Anaheim Angels. Its certainly not a fast paced game, but then it doesn’t pretend to be like some of the other sports (American Football and Baseketball, yes, I’m talking about you with all your timeouts). In the same way as the cricket you spend most of the time chatting with the people you came along with between pitches, its a fun way to pass a few hours.

Posted in: sport | No Comments | Tags: , , ,

Have a Happy 4th!!!

July 4th, 2008

Today I’m celebrating independence from the monarchy and tyranny of the non-scurvy ridden British. Without having grown up here I don’t know if its just a recent thing but people seem to not want to call holidays by their ‘official’ name. For example, Merry Christmas is now Happy Holidays and Independence Day, while ‘also known as’ 4th of July is now generally shortened to “Have a Happy 4th”. I wonder if this is trying to break away from the orignal meaning of the celebration as with changing Christmas to the secular Holidays. So maybe its peoples trying to make me feel more welcome, or perhaps its more laziness – moving speech more towards the brevity of emails and text messages.