Daily

To try and move into a third career stage, I need to stop putting it off and learn more mathematics.

I wasn't very good at maths in school and I can barely remember even the most basic concepts. I use what is essentially algebra every day when writing code, but the code I write is not solving complex problems and any logic is more about how to present information.

A big problem with how maths was taught to me at school was a lack of practical uses for what we were learning. Telling me that something is the way it is doesn't help to make it stick. Showing me how it can be used attaches it to something I can understand. I don't remember ever being told the purpose of replacing numbers with letters, or the concept of a variable. I learned all of this later when I started to write VB and Classic ASP to make better spreadsheets. Starting with the problem and learning the solution.

I now have more than 1,000 pins in Google Maps. When I see something that I think I'd like to visit, I save it. You never know.

175 of these pins are in New York, and this is probably the only set of pins I might actually complete. The remaining pins are spread across Europe and North America, with only a handful elsewhere. Further proof that I seem to be less interested in travelling to Asia and Africa.

Should money suddenly not be an issue, I'd fly to Denver, hire a car, and work my way round as many pins as possible. They range from interesting looking diners, to major monuments, to absolutely pointless arbitrary points (the middle of the USA, the four corners, etc). I want to see them all, and I need more lives to do it.

I have been interview potential new candidates at work recently, and it's pretty fascinating. It's the same technical test I had to complete for my interview, so every single time it's a trip down memory lane to one of the most stressful interviews I've ever done. I literally asked to start over about half way thorough. It worked out in the end.

Maybe this will make me better in interviews as the candidate when it's time to move on. Something so many people do it talk to fill time, rather than actually saying anything of value. It's like a filibuster, running out the clock to technically 'pass' the interview.

Last.fm tells me that TOOL is number 2 in my all time listening history. 'All time' being since the end of 2002 - my tendency to get rid of things means my account that started in 2005 is long gone.

Tonight I saw TOOL for the 6th time, and I'm sorry to say that it was not good.

The venue was seated, and security were very strict on people staying by their seat. This means I had to stay in one spot, and that one spot was behind tall people and next to people who talked for the entire show. The setlist wasn't great, with only one track from Ænima and Lateralus, though some material from Undertow was a huge high point for me. The sound was muddy, and this was from a floor seat right beside the mix.

I appreciate how lucky I am to be able to afford to see these shows. The ticket prices are FUCKING STUPID, parking at £15, food and drink obviously 100% more than reasonable, and they had a signed poster for sale for £2,500.

I remember clearly sitting on the floor outside Brixton Academy in 2001, barely able to come to terms with what I had just seen. It was off the scale amazing. I'd like to feel that again after a show, I just don't think it's going to be TOOL.

Quoting Fight Club is not a good thing. It falls very neatly into into a category of films where awful people become heroes. You don't have to be extremely online to find people who think Phoenix's Joker or Patrick Bateman are people to aspire to be.

'The things you own end up owning you' is one quote from Fight Club that I have been feeling recently. My car feels heavy. All the crap in my house feels like a burden. OK, not all of it. But things like bikes and books and reminders of old hobbies or the past could all vanish and I wouldn't miss them.

TOOL, Brixton Academy, London, 12th May 2002, £17.50

My 4th time seeing TOOL, so I knew what to expect. Except this time, Danny walked out before they even dropped the lights and started the into to Ticks and Leeches. This was just the start of a flawless setlist, with everyone absolutely on point. This was one of those few shows that left me feeling something.

I would pay handsomely to see them in this venue again. As the production has grown, with lasers and a vast LED screen, the sound and intimacy has disappeared. I may be one of the very few TOOL fans who isn't rabid about the idea of them playing the Las Vegas Dome. But who knows.

Beastie Boys - To The 5 Boroughs

I think most would agree that this is one of their weaker albums. But I can't bring myself to hate a love letter to New York City, with the towers defiantly appearing on the cover. It's beautifully packaged, with the gatefold revealing the Brooklyn bridge and all the lyrics printed, but the records themselves are cheap and thin.

I would have got this from HMV while working there, and I know we bumped it loudly in the stock room daily.