Hello everyone, it’s time for another Weekly Rewind. Actually it’s a couple of days overdue but I won’t tell anyone if you don’t, shh. The last week has been eventful, a bit stressful at times, but also fun. Let me tell you all about it…
It all began on Monday (14th), as most week’s do. I realised that the Rathole Roadshow on April 24th was getting close and I should really double-check everything. It’s a good job I did because when I rang the venue they told me the booking had been “pushed out”. I wasn’t exactly sure what that terminology meant but I could guess, and it didn’t sound good. So, left without a venue, artists booked and some tickets already sold, the pressure was really on. I didn’t have a lot of time to do much that afternoon but I did ring some alternative venues to sound things out. Pretty soon it was time to head over to the Wirral and get ready for Linux Outlaws live. Our Meego Netbook competition has continued to generate a lot of interest and managing the entries for that takes some time, along with the usual email sifting and so on.
After making my way to the studio I got everything ready, tried not to think about the venue disaster and got on with the show. It went very well and lots of people joined us live which was great fun. Our 3rd netbook winner was an American, meaning so far we’ve had winners in Canada, Australia and the USA. Not a bad spread. Monday’s show was released by Fab later in the week as episode 196 of Linux Outlaws – “Women With Shotguns”. After the show I headed home and got on with a few bits and pieces on the computer. Tuesday involved much more scrambling around for a replacement venue followed by a PRS For Music innovation event in the afternoon. It was held at the Tate Liverpool and I wasn’t sure what to expect at all. My good friend Mr Neil Morrin of Defnet Media had suggested I go along. There were 3 panel discussions about funding new music, what innovation really means and other such topics. A lot of the people there were in the music industry and the professional arts, so it was definitely a good crowd to meet. I walked home after the event for a quiet night preparing slides for my talk and doing other jobs. Wednesday involved more venue negotiation and a lot more preparing of slides for my talk that evening.
I headed over to Chester University at about 6:30pm and met Les Pritchard (of Chester LUG) to get set up. It felt weird being back on that campus again. My Computer Science degree (yes I really have one) was conducted there and I actually saw one of my old lecturers in the crowd. Not at all intimidating when you’re about to give a presentation. Chester Uni was also the place where I first encountered Linux and that caused a lot of changes in my life. We were only in quite a small classroom and I was told to expect 15 people probably. Chester BCS meet monthly and talk about all aspects of computing in business, so I was expecting a fairly non-tech crowd and had pitched my talk to match. As it turned out 30-35 people showed up and we had to get more seats! Some of them had Ubuntu t-shirts on and I began to worry that my talk was going to bore the hell out of them. It went very well in the end and I was happy as I extolled the virtues of Linux as a desktop OS, not just for servers. I did the obligatory spinning of the 3D Compiz cube to show off, and also gave examples of common desktop scenarios. I demonstrated running a Windows XP guest in VirtualBox and that seemed to interest the crowd. I was hoping to fill an hour but by the end Les had to stop me because I’d been going over 90mins, they were about to switch the lights off on us. Nobody left though (the doors were unlocked to my knowledge) and there were a loads of good questions at the end. It couldn’t have gone any better really. Sadly there isn’t any video as our camera man didn’t make it. I’ll try to post the slides in future so at least you can see those.
On Thursday I stuck a deal with Tony from The Zanzibar and the gig was back on. I was ecstatic and I have to thank Tony for all his help. I walked down there, dodging drunk people in St Patrick’s Day outfits and Portuguese football fans in town to see their team play LFC. I paid the venue deposit, checked the booking and generally felt a lot better about things. You’d expect me to say this but I actually think this is a better venue for us. I’ve ordered replacement tickets and if you want to pick some up at the princely sum of £5 you can come and join us. It’s Sunday April 24th at 8pm in the Zanzibar and we have I Am Not Lefthanded, 20lb Sounds and Rob Warren playing. You can buy tickets from the website now. 3 great bands for a fiver is pretty good value. Expect to hear a lot more about that in the coming weeks. I also went down to Dale St to practice with the band in the evening. We played a good long set of original tunes and it was very satisfying. It’s nice to be able to play 30-40mins of our own material now, we’ve come a long way.
On Friday I caught up on paperwork and then walked over to the John Moore’s University campus to see my friend Mandy’s Red Nose Day event. For the benefit of foreign readers Comic Relief is an annual charity event in the UK. It raises money to help people in the UK and Africa, particularly children. Their symbol is a red nose, for comic effect. Mandy arranged an event where members of the library stuff were put into stocks and people threw wet sponges at them. She did it herself too and I threw a few sponges as I’d sponsored her. I watched other people missing and gave all kinds of advice on better throwing techniques from the sidelines, then stood up and was throughly useless myself, so I probably should have kept my mouth shut. Never mind. If I learned one thing last week it was that wet sponges are harder to throw accurately than you’d think. In the evening I was due to go to band practice again but it got cancelled last minute and I went to pub with Adrian instead. As we walked to the pub we saw signs up for the current production at The Empire theatre, the name of it escapes me now but I noticed Su Pollard was starring and commented how I hadn’t seen her around in years. She was in a very successful British TV sitcom in the 80’s and is still pretty well known. As we sat in Ma Eggerton’s pub sipping our pints when the doors flew open and there was a crazy woman singing very loudly and running around the pub. I did a classic double-take and confirmed to myself it was indeed Su Pollard. She was singing songs from Annie and taking pictures with people, signing stuff etc. I was a bit bewildered by it all and then she came round to say goodbye to everyone as she was leaving. It’s not every day you have a pint with a minor celeb… and I don’t think Adrian would mind me saying that hehe 🙂
On Saturday I tried to rest up a bit and relax, I also prepared the Rathole Radio playlist and did a couple of other things. That’s my idea of relaxing. On Sunday I watched my beloved Liverpool beat Sunderland on telly and was mostly pleased with that. Not at classic performance but a win is a win. I recorded and broadcast Rathole Radio that evening and did my rendition of “Many Rivers To Cross” by Jimmy Cliff. I’ve released the podcast now if you want to hear that.
Although we’re already a little bit into this week I’ll cover that in my next update.
On Wednesday March 23rd I will co-host FLOSS Weekly again with Randal Schwartz. That’s live on the TWIT Network at 17:30 UK time. You can watch it at live.twit.tv if you like. I’ll also record a special (we use that word too much) Linux Outlaws with Fab afterwards. On Thursday I’ll be meeting the band and preparing for our upcoming acoustic gig at FACT. This has only just been booked but we’ll play a 20lb unplugged set in Gallery 2 @ FACT, 18:30 on Friday April 1st. April Fools Day, hopefully that won’t prove a bad omen. Come down and see us if you’re in the area, entry is free. There will also be many more shenanigans to tell you about next time I’m sure.
Until then, take care of yourselves.