Dec 15

New York

When I finally got there, after a 2 hour flight delay, had a great shopping time in New York. Graham Norton was also on the flight, looking completely chilled out; managed to get throguh immigration and customs extremely quickly, even with the new fingerprinting and eye checks. The Virgin Limo service was efficient, with minimal waiting and I finally got to Hinata’s at around 7.30. Far too tired to do much.

Next day first of all went downtown to Century 21, a great discount shop similar to TK Maxx and got me a new winter coat and boots, before coming back up and wandering down 5th Ave from 35th up to Central park. I love this walk; it’s something I tend to do most times I’m in the city, and this time it was fun with all the shop displays. I think Bergdorf’s was the best, even through it seemed to have the least number of people outside, far less than Saks. Saks was aimed at children, with cartoon like characters whereas Bergdorf’s was definitely an adult theme – my favourite was the Chocolate window, with a woman obviously enjoying herself surrounded by all these chocolate models. Had a nice meal at Artisan’s on 32nd St to close down the day.

Since then, lots of work and very little time. I may be staying an extra week – I’ll work that out later.

Dec 11

Saturdays

Another relative relaxing Saturday morning only marred by forgetting to switch the alarm off so that woke me at 6am!

Got all my washing drying done and then packed up for New York. And hte car’s just arrived early so have to rush – trying out Virgin for the first time.

Dec 09

Glut of DVDs

I’m still working my way through the first 2 series of Alias on DVD and now, tomorrow, the 4 Disc edition of The Return of the King comes out. So lots more things wo watch…it’ll keep me going through Christmas holidays. If I could only catch up with my podcasts…but Creative have still not replaced my PMC…mainly due to DHL not been able to pick the faulty one int he first place.

Dec 09

Christmas Parties

We had our team Christmas party yesterday. First of all, spent all day at a team meeting before going out and partying all night.

The day was all about project governance; the team all works in IS projects and this was the next step in making usre everyine is working in the same. I was prsenting for a section and nothing was a surprise, so it was a little boring. However, it apepared to have been less boring than most people were expecting – got good feedback about it. We only had a short day anyway, as we did not start until 10am

After this, we went to the hotel to get ready before the buses picked us up. There’s 24 in the team, so enough to have a good party atmosphere. We were in Milton Keynes and were due to party at the Milton Keynes Bowl, with one of the typical corporate evetns that take place around Christmas.

As usaul there was mixed efforts in the dress/style of the team, but most people were in party frocks or DJs. When we got to the place, it was done up a treat – a great marquee with Christmas lights and plenty of room. There were about 100 people in the place, and the theme (of the entertainment and decoration anyway) was of Russia.

The food was good, the wine was plentiful and the post-dinner entertainment was fun. They had fair rides – the Dodgems was brilliant. Spent some time playing blackjack and roulette before spending the rest of the evening dancing. I was good with the wine, although not every one was. We finally got back around 1.30, and some continued with the drinking. Me – I went to bed. There were plenty of sore heads this morning; this is when I felt good when having to face all of today meetings!.

Dec 05

IBM PCs

Interesting to see that IBM may be pulling out of the Personal PC market. (With link provided by Doc Searl). At work, we partner with IBM for all hardware and infrastructure requirements and are in the midst of a global rollout to replace everyone’s PC with a T42 Thinkpad. Let’s hope it gets finished in time if they are going to stop making them. Then I guess we will have the support issue where our contracted support partner no longer supports the hardware they have implemented. Lovely ;)

Dec 04

Daily Dose of Vegetables

Took a trip to the supermarket…nice new checkout girl in training, looking about 15 but obviously trying to be older. Confused her with my choice of vegetables and had to name corgettes and asparagus for her. She tried, but definitely needs a trip round the veg section to look at things that don;t come labled and barcoded.

Dec 04

Music and Downloads

How does this work then. On the one had the BBC reports that the UK album sales are up 3%, a record breaking year, and on the other hand reports that illegal downloads are costing the music industry £1.1bn. Are they trying to say that they would be having an even better year without downloads, or should we listen to BPI chairman Peter Jamieson who says: “The British record industry’s continued investment in new British talent is paying off” and that an industry is focusing on getting new talent instead of relying on manufactured acts. Or can I conclude that P2P sharing allows people to try new music and then go out and buy the album!

Dec 02

MSN and Blogging

Saw on the Scobleizer that MSN have moved into providing a blogging service – MSN Spaces. BuzzHit has a great review of the goods and bads. What’s fun at the moment is clicking on the continuous updated list of new spaces and seeing how many blogs are being set up…find a blog that has one of the lists and just follow the trail. At the moment, every new blog opened adds a ‘new’ one to the top of the list, so take up rate, or at least trying rate, looks fast. Even if most of them are along they lines of ‘MSN’s got a blog space – here’s mine’ ;-)

But did find a good post from Tony with an intersting comment about the increasing number of offerings out there, with everyone trying to lock you into their service so that youy do not look elsewhere.

Dec 02

Why do I blog?

I love this, Frank Paynter’s collection of responses to Why do You Blog? I’ve been thinking about that as well, although with more of Who am I Blogging To twist to the question. And this survey definitely clarified where my head to at, in that it’s not who but why. For me, I’ve decided I blog to myself, as way of geting things down, of exploring thoughts and getting my head in order. Other people reading is a benefit, providing connections and being a small part in a global community.