Archive for August, 2006

Crazed squirrel ransacks house

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

I shouldn’t laugh…

“A family today told how a squirrel went berserk and trashed their house after falling down their chimney.
Retired engineer Alan White, 67, and his wife Janice, 65, came home from a weekend away to find their lounge had been ransacked, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

The couple initially feared burglars had broken into their home in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, but the culprit was found to be a squirrel which had left sooty paw prints all over the room.

The trapped rodent had tried chewing through the window frames and tore the curtain and settee to shreds in a desperate bid to escape.
The couple’s 38-year-old son found the lifeless body of the squirrel behind the settee.

‘Once we realised that we looked more carefully for damage and saw the settee, which was quite a nice one, had been ripped and gnawed,’ said Mr White.

‘Of course, the squirrel had been covered in soot falling down the chimney and everything, even the light on the ceiling, had been covered with soot by him.

‘The curtains on both sides of the window had been torn to shreds and he had torn a big hole in the carpet.’

Mr White said he and his wife had been to the International Balloon Fiesta in Bristol with their grandson Shaun, 13, and were greeted by the scene of carnage when they arrived back.

‘There were pot plants and ornaments strewn across the room and we immediately thought someone had broken in. But my wife pointed out that the doors were still locked,’ he added.

Mr White said the squirrel had even tried to chew its way through the aluminium frame of the patio doors.

The family are relieved that the lounge doors were closed, preventing the trapped creature from running amok around their entire house.

The couple have been in contact with their insurance firm about the damage, and the lounge will have to be completely redecorated after the squirrel’s rampage.

Mr White said he was now thinking about getting a chimney cowl fitted.

An RSPCA spokesman said the incident was very unusual. ‘We’ve heard of birds getting into houses but never a squirrel getting down a chimney. It’s unfortunate for the family – and the squirrel,’ he said.”

(Via The Guardian.)

…but I did!

Redesign in progress

Monday, August 14th, 2006

My long-term regular readers will both notice a slight redesign to the blog. Truth be told I’ve chosen a pretty god-awful template as a spur to myself to finally get round to redesigning the way this thing looks, and to tie it in with my ‘real’ website, which also desperately needs a redesign (although technically it actually just needs a design as the one it has was never intended to be the proper look).

So bear with me while I get round to it. (It’ll still be like this in a year’s time, I bet you). The eagle-eyed among you may also have spotted that my location has changed in anticipation of my forthcoming move north of the border to Scotland.

Lots going on at the moment!

British Book Awards 2006

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

Just heard the news that Visual Communication: From Theory to Practice has been shortlisted for the British Book Awards 2006!

Cool… results in November. Fingers crossed 🙂

aurgasm :: your favorite music you’ve never heard

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

You’ll thank me for pointing out this blog to you: aurgasm :: your favorite music you’ve never heard contains write-ups and sample tracks of some great music that you probably wouldn’t hear otherwise.

Worth a visit, and make sure you download the tracks on offer. I’ve already ordered Anja Garbarek’s latest album after hearing this track.

Well worth subscribing to the RSS feed to be alerted to updates.

(Actually on second thoughts you might hate me for this – it could prove very expensive. I just stopped myself buying another CD featured on the site…)

Creative Review

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

The current issue of Creative Review features a brief, er, review of my book ‘Visual Communication: From Theory to Practice’.

It seems they like it! Which I have to say is a relief. You can read it (the review, that is, not the book) below. You’ll have to buy the book to read it (or get it from the library, which is what just about everyone I’ve spoken to has said they intend to do. Tight bastards…)

Click on the image to see a bigger version.

It’s funny cos it’s true

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

graphic design rants is a must-subscribe site – some of the stories designers tell about clients are astounding. Most of them have that ‘that happened to me too!’ ring to them. This one is a good example. It made me laugh but then made me remember something quite similar that happened to me once:

“There’s one client we deal with weekly, rather than daily (thank God) that has a Microsoft Word issue. You see, they have one licensed copy of Word. So, the text that they type up on the computer they do in a new Word document. Then, they print it out and fax it to us so that we can retype it. When we ask for the Word document they tell us that since they have only one working copy of Word they simply type what they need, print it and delete the text from the file. They then resave it blank so they can use it over and over again. Get it? One working copy of MS Word = one document to them. We’ve tried to get them to type it into emails and even explain the concept of unlimited files with the program.. but yeah.. here we are still getting faxed documents.

There are other people that we deal with that still use typewriters and then fax their copy to us. I don’t get how you can have a fax machine but still use a typewriter. “

(Via graphic design rants.)