Monthly Archives: December 2003

Review of 2003: September and October

September seems to have been a quiet month for me and there wasn’t a great deal on the site – only 14 entries for the entire month. Still, some things didn’t change. Again, there was some nonsense about gay marruage and some shocking news about a gay teenager who comitted suicide when the police threatened to expose him to his parents. In travels, I was back in Helsinki but, I think the highlight, was the trip to see the inside of Bush House. September’s highlighted sites included Dooce and Toweroad.

The full September archive can be found here.

October was another quiet month in the life of Listen To Musak but I said a little more than in September, but it was an important month in may personal life. I spent some time on holiday in Cornwall – which was fantastic but I didn’t really get to write about it a great deal. I did note the rather silly Marriage Protection Week and came back to one of my favourite topics, London Transport, although this time I was much nicer about my fellow commuters. It seems that at around this time I suffered writer’s block but not Stephen Gately – who I applauded for using his website to set the record straight about an incident outsde The Ivy.

October was also the month I started my ‘phone/pda search, which right now, remains an unresolved quest. We also met the Gay Team and I didn’t even get any trick or treaters at my door for Halloween.

The full October archive can be found here.

On this day…

2005: Dress Code
2004: Amélie And The Italian Job
2003: Review of 2003: July and August
2003: Review of 2003: May and June
2002: The Lord of The Rings
2002: Would Pepys Blog?
2002: Year in Review

Review of 2003: July and August

Did we ever, truly, determine if the documents were sexed up or find those WMD?

In July I came back to my transportation topic from earlier in the year. Even now, six months on, little has changed. Online, Netscape died and we learned about Jason’s donut man.

I went to Paris – which was hot, sweaty and absolutely brilliant and travelled north which was great too; bought Marks Owen’s come back single and discovered I was part of a great consumer demographic. I also went to the great party in Hyde Park for that demographic! Of course, some people tried to pretend we aren’t people. In July we also learned that “The consequences of our current retreat from marriage is not a flourishing libertarian social order, but a gigantic expansion of state power and a vast increase in social disorder and human suffering”. Well, I still think that’s garbage now, just as much as I did in July.

The full July archive can be found here.

August began with a trip down memory lane when I discussed the first single I ever bought while learning that ringtones makes millions for the record industry. It was also the month when I started to buy music online via digital downloads.

The weather remained hot, which made a trip to Great Yarmouth for a stag party all the better (even the lap dancing club was interesting). The weather also allowed me to sit in the garden in the sunshine listening to the sounds of London radio.

Clause 28 was finally abolished but I only caught up with the news in August.

The full August archive can be found here.

On this day…

2005: Dress Code
2004: Amélie And The Italian Job
2003: Review of 2003: September and October
2003: Review of 2003: May and June
2002: The Lord of The Rings
2002: Would Pepys Blog?
2002: Year in Review

Review of 2003: May and June

More good weather and a visit to Rye began the month that brought us more Big Brother and more flights in small planes (including a short holiday to Norway and a trip to a very sunny Helsinki).

I wrote about Greg Dyke and the BBC – about impartiality and the war in Iraq – which is an interesting in the light of events that came later and Lord Hutton’s investigation.

In the light of the war on terrorism, one of the reasons behind the attacks in Iraq, I read more about plans for UK ID cards.

Dr Kildare came out and I made the first entry in the gay marriages category when the Archbishop of Canterbury disappointed many and, the first of two soap operas of my childhood ended when Crossroads shut the doors for a second time (this time it was all a dream). The other was to be Brookside in November.

The full May archive can be found here.

In many ways, May and June were very similar – hot weather and Big Brother (in the guise of Dermot O’Leary and Federico).

I started to go through the motions of registering with the Government Gateway to file my tax return (a process that I would only get round to finishing in December). June was also the month I showed my bottom to a crowd of passing tourists for charity and was in the crowd for the Shrewsbury carnival.

Gay men got married in Canada; the church tried for a gay bishop; the Royal Mail closed it’s underground railway in London and Listen to Musak got the first user comments.

The full June archive can be found here.

On this day…

2005: Dress Code
2004: Amélie And The Italian Job
2003: Review of 2003: September and October
2003: Review of 2003: July and August
2002: The Lord of The Rings
2002: Would Pepys Blog?
2002: Year in Review

Review of 2003: April

I started April ranting about trackbacks again, and I still haven’t properly implemented them on my site. April saw me visit Fortnum and Mason at the start of, what was to become, a heatwave (which makes for the best views from my house). I made the first of my visits to AFC Wimbledon and today I can still recall standing on the stands in the heat.

Listen to Musak’s design changed in April and I also made the first of many entries about SkyPlus as well as another about the state of digital music. And April was the month when Craigslist made it to London.

The full April archive can be found here.

On this day…

2004: House Of Flying Daggers
2003: Review of 2003: March
2003: Review of 2003: February
2003: Review of 2003: January
2003: Listen To Musak in Review

Review of 2003: March

By December 2003 unsolicited email would become illegal in the UK but the laws wouldn’t have helped me in March when my mailbox was full of ways to make my life better. In reality, it’s friends who help make life better, and it’s even better that I have known many of my friends for years and years.

March also saw me get involved in my first blogging debate as it was related to online advertising, a subject I am always interested in, and the integrity of the medium (and my second debate about the use of trackbacks). It also saw me lament the changes to the online world for those of us employed by it.

March also saw the first phone-picture, the first mentions of the demise of Clause/Scetion 28, the arrival of Freedom Fries and a politician with integrity who resigned because of the war in Iraq.

The full March archive can be found here.

On this day…

2004: House Of Flying Daggers
2003: Review of 2003: April
2003: Review of 2003: February
2003: Review of 2003: January
2003: Listen To Musak in Review

Review of 2003: February

February 2003 began with the feeling of shock at the loss of the space shuttle and the inevitable why?

In my own life, Listen To Musak moved hosts because of a previous server failure. I notice that I didn’t name them on the site back then but after eleven months with DreamHost I can say that I have found their service to be reliable and excellent value for the use I make of them.

February also saw me change jobs (which was not really referenced) but did result in me travelling more and, therefore, noting my travels in my words. Yesterday, I mentioned the need to archive weblogs and referenced Kenneth Williams, whose diaries I read in February 2003.

It appears mentions of Ben Affleck in tight leather did wonders for my reader numbers but the film I was referring to, Daredevil, did a lot less for me. The Hours or Catch Me If you Can seem to have been my choices in February.

Finally, John Brady Kiesling’s resignation letter seemed to be a pointer to things to come.

The full February archive can be found here.

On this day…

2004: House Of Flying Daggers
2003: Review of 2003: April
2003: Review of 2003: March
2003: Review of 2003: January
2003: Listen To Musak in Review

Review of 2003: January

The first thing that struck me was that January 2003 allowed me to write some pieces which are longer than those at the end of the year. The second thing that I noticed was that I quite enjoyed reading some of them – which was a surprise and a feeling only distance from the words can bring. And thirdly I noticed how many of those words were mis-spelled. I know that I write in a very conversational style but I hadn’t realised quite how poor my own proof reading is (not always, just sometimes).

2003 began with a cinema feast. It would seem that I preferred Bowling For Columbine and Eminem above all the other films I saw at the start of the year (and I didn’t rate Harry Potter or Jennifer Aniston). I also seemed to have a bee in my bonnet about transportation (a theme which I still come back to) at the start of 2003 – planners and commuters being a big pain.

Radio is a theme I constantly come back to and I am sure it will happen more this year. LBC was back on air and, despite some criticisms, I became hooked – although I must say it wore off as the year went by. I see they are making some schedule changes again next week so I may return to the same theme.

Some things have changed. While the Digital Music Debate may not have been settled, iTunes has shown the way and later in 2003 I would admit to buying my first online tracks via the MSN Music Club. And in music, I was quite impressed by my own music reviews at the beginning of last year.

The full January archive can be found here.

On this day…

2004: House Of Flying Daggers
2003: Review of 2003: April
2003: Review of 2003: March
2003: Review of 2003: February
2003: Listen To Musak in Review

Listen To Musak in Review

I wrote yesterday about the need to keep online diaries/journals as part of our social history. In the light of that I decided to re-read the last year’s worth of entries to my web site. I started at January and went on from there. So, the next few entries will be my presentation of Listen To Musak’s Review of 2003.

Review of the Year: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember

On this day…

2004: House Of Flying Daggers
2003: Review of 2003: April
2003: Review of 2003: March
2003: Review of 2003: February
2003: Review of 2003: January

It Was A Good Read

I always feel it’s a little sad when a blog dies – particularly when all trace of it is removed. If it’s a blog I have been reading for some time then it feels as if a part of my history disappears. It is one of the strange things about the online experience – it’s very easy for things to disappear; things that were once inspirational, useful or entertaining.

One of my earliest online inspirations was Jase Wells. Although I’d been trying out building web pages for the company I worked for, Jase was the inspiration for my first home page (sadly long gone from the servers on which it resided and a great example of what I am talking about). Jase is still alive and well but the focus of his site has changed and, while it’s updated much more often now, the coming out story that was such a useful resource has gone (although it’s still available via archive.org).

Another Jase, now Snoboardr of OutEverywhere, had some personal pages once that were also fairly important in my use of the web.

Then there are the blogs that disappear. Mike of Troubled Diva fame (who I was introduced to via the excellent 40in40) put the blog on indefinite hold at the beginning of December. 8Legs went the same way a few weeks later. And now Chris has packed up. I don’t know Chris nor have I ever mailed or commented his site but I read it almost religiously. Why? Well, he has a talent for writing to the extent that almost everything he wrote was compelling. It was his writing style which was an inspiration because, by the time I discovered his site, I had been writing Listen to Musak a while.

At least Daniel’s said it’s unlikely that he will give up completely.

While I will miss the disappearances, they are – of course, just blips in the workings of the web. What I find sad is that, in time, it is likely that all this content will disappear from servers as the owners stop paying for the space that houses the sites. It would be like burning every copy of a book you had read – vanished. It’s part of a shared history that disappears.

Diary writers perform an unintentional function as social historians. If you go all the way back to Pepys or think more recently of somebody like Kenneth Williams, their diaries are read today and give us an insight into what the world was like. If Mike or Chris has written their blogs as paper-based diaries there may very well have been something for historians to use in the future. If they don’t keep some kind of record of what they wrote in an accessible form then it will be lost to the future and people trying to understand life in the 21st Century will be poorer.

So, to those who wrote content I enjoyed reading, a plea. Archive your content for future generations. Regardless of how you do it, keep it.

Oh, and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I enjoyed them all.

On this day…

2004: Napoleon Dynamite
2003: At Home
2002: Denia