For work, I’m a freelance designer and educator that runs Piccalilli.
Posts, page 1 of 20
I’ve been working way too hard recently so I’m treating myself to starting a fun, personal project I’ve been meaning to start for a long time.
I’m creating an index of my music collection and will be rebuilding what I lost. I’ll be buying a combo of physical copies of albums and downloading high quality digital versions. I’ll record vinyls to digital, too.
It’s going to take fucking years but so be it. It’s going to be wholesome.
I just got that glorious feeling of opening a physical record—a vinyl. It was Led Zeppelin’s first album.
I was a fanatical music collector, once upon a time. I had a CD collection of over 350 albums! Because it got so hard to find an album I wanted to listen to, I bought one of those massive CD wallets DJs use and put every CD in order.
Proud of this system, I took it to a mate’s so we could listen to some albums. It got late, so I got a taxi home. I left the CD wallet in the taxi. I never saw it again 😭
I’m ashamed to say this is the day I decided I’m going to download Kazaa and pirate music.
I’ve realised recently, I miss having a physical copy of albums, a lot. I like streaming services—currently Apple Music because my collection is too big for Spotify’s arbitrary limits—they’re great for discovery, but artists get paid fuck all. I’m going to either buy a vinyl, cassette or at least go to their bandcamp and download a FLAC of their album instead.
I’m looking forward to getting back into this stuff. I’m not bloody losing it all this time though.
Update: I am cataloging this ever-developing collection. It’s very modest right now, but it’ll get there.
I’ve decided that the @piccalilli_ Twitter account is work-only now and I’ll only use and interact with it during work hours. I took a little step away last week because I could feel the burnout apathy twinging again, so took swift action to nip it in the bud.
I’ve realised that the lack of separation between work and myself, a human, is killing me. Obviously, being independent, there’s an intrinsic link between personal and my work, which is sorta unavoidable.
This pandemic has taken everything away from us and left only work and trying to battle endless burnout waves during “all of this” is like fighting off an angry bull with a red rag. I’m yearning for some separation of personal and boring internet money, because the lack of it is clearly not helping me.
Coding is cool and I like it, but I’m not like, “passionate” about it. Music is where that passion really lies. Heck, if I hadn’t had to do an important audition at Leeds College of Music while I was still recovering from chronic flu, which had me bed-bound for a month, when I was 17, I wouldn’t even be writing this post lol.
I only got into the web because I could make cool stuff in flash or build out a MySpace profile and get paid for it—what a dream. All this happened after I dropped out of a music production degree which I found really boring. The web then was weird, still pretty new and fun as hell. It resonated with me, a weird, extremely chaotic (at the time) creative.
The web now has gotten extremely corporate and the community: hostile. That hostility has gotten so much worse over the last 12 months and the hostility is related to stuff that really doesn’t matter like opinions on frameworks and whether or not HTML is a programming language (it is you fucking melts). I really enjoy teaching folks how to make websites: I just find myself veering further away from “the industry”.
Anyway, I can’t fucking tweet about anything other than code stuff on @piccalilli_ without some arsehole in my replies, a lot of the time. If I’m really lucky, I get arseholes in my replies about tech too. Frankly, I can’t really be arsed with that shit anymore.
I set up a new Twitter: @notpiccalilli. I’m gonna spend more time on there and tweet all the real life stuff. I will now tweet only tech stuff on @piccalilli_, like posts on the Piccalilli site and stuff that I like in tech world. Don’t worry, I’ll still shitpost because tech takes itself way too seriously and I like making fun of it.
So yeh, come and hang on @notpiccalilli. It’s not private anymore. This blog won’t auto-syndicate to the work account after this post either: it’ll auto-syndicate to my personal account instead.
In an attempt to get some of myself back, I’m now going to obsessively collect vinyl, learn woodworking and cook a lot of pizza. I might even download FL studio and make some below-average electronica again.
Imagine if someone said:
“You have to be passionate about clearing sewerage drains. You can’t just do it for the money.”
Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? So why is tech any different and what makes it so special? It isn’t special and it’s more than acceptable to get your salary and live your life how you want.
I’ve just seen someone refer to their job as “boring money internet”.
The endless tech “debates” like whether one programming language is actually a programming language or not feel very rooted in “boring money internet” to me.
More fun creative internet, please.
I’m glad I’m stepping away from tech and design twitter for a bit. If you’ve sent a message or reply, I’ll get to it when I come back. I’m still on my alt and I’ll follow some pals on it, so keep a look-out 👀
It seems like I need a quarterly break. I’m also super busy right now and tech twitter dickheads are even less bearable than usual.
It encourages me to blog too, which I should do more often--not just about CSS and other web stuff.
The 1 year anniversary of lockdown starting here in the U.K. has affected me more than I thought it would--I’m just super angry. That lockdown should have started much earlier and thousands died as a result. Thousands more have died since too, because at almost every turn, the tories have fucked it up and seemingly focused only on profiteering from a crisis. "Get Brexit done", though, right? FFS.
Anyway, here’s a shot that sums up that first lockdown. I came here every day and thankfully the weather was nice, a lot of the time.
I was a ball of stress because clients were pulling budgets and y’know, the pandemic, but this place always seemed to help.
8 years ago, we had a pretty grim electrical fire with our dishwasher and every year, timehop reminds me of it with this grim resulting plug.
If I wasn’t fannying around with my espresso machine at the time, it would have undoubtedly turned into a proper house fire. I still wont let the dishwasher run when we’re not at home or at night, even now.
Let me introduce a couple of terms that we coined in my old agency days because they still make me laugh.
A wanklet is a completely useless element on a page that does nothing other than satisfy the often ridiculous demands of a difficult stakeholder. A hero slider is a wanklet.
A tosslet is a lesser wanklet. It’s mostly pointless, but it does potentially provide mild amounts of usefulness. A burger menu is a tosslet.
I’ve just discovered Lake Street Dive and holy shit, they are good as hell. They’re smoother than butter.
My partner and I are the complete opposite to each other. I carefully and methodically maintain a backed-up, collection of plans and notes, to stay organised. She sends me random iMessages with notes, “for later”…
It works though, to be fair.