Archives for: April 2007


Permalink 02:29:26 pm, Categories: Technology, 160 words   English (UK)

An idea

Last week I saw something, a visual effect and I thought "ooh, I must remember that, I could use it in a website design".

But I don't have a particular project to use it in right now.

By the time I do, I'll have forgotten the idea.

So here's my suggestion. Make yourself a sourcebook, a scrapbook if you like. Set aside a directory on your PC, or a junk space on your website. And then when you come across a cool visual idea, or something like that, clip it, or create an example and put it in your scrap book.

In years to come, when you are looking for inspiration for your current project, you can look through your sourcebook for ideas that you would otherwise have forgotten. Probably a lot of it will look dated, but you know, 'what comes around goes around' It'll come back into fashion eventually, and you'll be ready for it when it does.


Permalink 10:36:44 am, Categories: Comics, 105 words   English (UK)


I hope you've had a chance to look at Order of the Stick over at Giant in the Playground.

There's another comic over there that's worth a good look as well. Called Erfworld, it's also set in a gameworld but it has a very different style and direction. It's up to page 40 right now, so it's a good time to get a run up to it. There's enough there to see if you're going to like it, but not too much to catch up on. Don't try to read it from the end though, that's just going to be so confusing. Start at the beginning.


Permalink 09:38:24 am, Categories: Food, Review, 409 words   English (UK)

Vanilla Black

The second time I went to Vanilla Black I knew what to expect. Potentially this leaves room for disappointment, but there was no disappointment to be found.

I'm not a vegetarian, and sometimes I struggle to be enthusiastic about vegetarian dishes. Looking at the menu I thought that there was nothing on there I really fancied. The best option for the main course was almost but not quite the same dish that I had last time. I plumped for some stuff that I thought I could bear.

The truth is that this meat-eating savoury thing is just in my head. There were five of us, we each chose something different, and we all tasted each others food. Everything was gorgeous. I could have had anything from the menu and liked it. The choices I did make were probably the best choices for me that night, but on another night I would have had something different.

To put it bluntly, this place does stuff with vegetarian food that Cranks can only dream of. They have a Michelin recommendation and they fully deserve it.

I had a deconstructed lentil dhal to start. Even having tasted it, I can't say that it sounds inspiring (the menu does go into a little more detail than just the title). Lentil dhal is probably one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of a vegetarian restaurant, but this was incredible. The deconstructed part just means that they cooked everything separately and then put it all on the plate at the end. (Does that sound lazy to you; It's not, it's inspired.)

My main was a crispy vegetable 'lasagne' a rich and sweet tomato and onion relish bound together an aubergine and cucumber filling sandwiched between layers of something that was a cross between a flour pancake and a rosti. It was all topped with a good ball of shepherd's purse cheese, rather like a fresh mozzarella.

Conveniently there were five dishes on the desert menu, so we just ordered one of each. I got mostly a belgian chocolate pudding with white chocolate sauce and vanilla ice-cream. By far the least inspired choice on the menu, but it was just what I was in the mood for. Everyone else got something much more interesting and again everything was delicious.

The atmosphere is quiet, informal and the service attentive but not fussy.

so far this place is 2 for 2. Keep up the good work.


Permalink 04:49:51 pm, Categories: Technology, 229 words   English (UK)

Google Personalised Home Page

I've had Google's personal home page product on my home page for quite a while now. It was quite flaky at first, but it has gradually become more stable and more useful. Usually without my noticing.

I tried the MSN page briefly, but as Google and Microsoft worked on updating these products, the advantages and bugs swung back and forth until I got fed up and decided to choose the stick to the path of light and avoid the dark side for ever more.

Last week it occured to me that I could save some of my browsing time, but actually doing something with the homepage. I added a new tab and then I added the RSS feeds for most of the comics that I tend to try to keep up with.

Now instead of trying to remember 10 different urls and to remember to visit each one a couple of times a week, I can simply check the comics tab to see what's new.

It's made life a whole lot easier, but certainly take some element of fun away from it. There used to be a frisson of excitement as I waited for a site to load so that I could see if todays' comic was different from that I saw yesterday. Now all of that excitement is condensed into one single page.

Still, must move with the times.

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