Mar 18


Hey, it looks like I’m going to be around £13 a month better off under the budget, according to this handy calculator. Now, what can I do with that? It’ll pay for a new album with a bit of change, a bottle of wine (or 2, or 3…) or a takeaway. Choices, choices!

Mar 18


I agree with the Londonist about the boring reality behind the BBC headlines yesterday for the prevention of a multimillion pound bank robbery. I was imagining prevention being closer to the police’s actions around the Millenium Dome diamond robbery, with them lying in wait to pounce, but no, this was cybercrime – behind the scenes.

But I’m glad (!) to see the idea of a grand plan is not being lost, with a gang in Scotland driving around and taking out 6 cash machines in one night

Mar 17

St Patrick’s Day

It’s St Patrick’s Day; to celebrate, we get free Guinness and pretend racing in the bar. The pretend racing is the on video – one of thoese event companies that allow you to bet pretend money on videoed horse racing (not quite Cheltenham). Our team proved quite good at picking the winners and ending up as one of the top money making teams. Our prize – Guinness merchandise, including this hat.


Mar 14

New Books

I bought some books today…looking at them now they appear to be a rather mixed bag.

  • The Earth by Richard Fortey – a geological history
  • The Middle Mind by Curtis White – a examination of popular culture
  • The Art of Intrusion by Kevin Mitnick – hacking stories
  • A Devil’s Chaplain by Richard Dawkins – evolutionary tales
  • Redcoat by Richard Holmes – history of the British soldier
  • The Road to Reality by Roger Penrose – an account of the physical universe

That should keep me busy for a while!

Mar 14

Broadband Connections

BT have quietly upgraded my connection speed over the last week and it’s now sitting at a 2Mb, or just under it when I run some tests. I’m not complaining on the speed, they’ve even dropped the price for a few months.. Unfortunately they’ve put a cap on monthly usage of 30GB of download. Don’t think I get close to this, but we’ll see.

Mar 11

The Blogger’s Disco

Looking for my suggestion for the Blogger’s Disco, I asked my colleagues at work. I wish I could say that it took some debate, but no, they were straight in there with their choice – I’m in the Mood for Dancing, by the Nolan Sisters. They’re in the picture below…- I’m having nothing to do with it!

(However, I would be up there dancing along with them)

Mar 10

Oyster Cards

So one problem with owning a travel card is that you don’t actually get to travel for free when the whole system goes down as it did this morning. And because everyone had to go through the same exit, the queues were longer 🙁

Mar 08

in house entertainment

My neighbour upstairs plays in a band and practices a lot from home. Most of the time this does not bother me – I’m not here that much, butover the last few days I have noticed. The music he plays is not too bad, sounds like original rock stuff. However, practice seems to involves playing the same line again, and again, and again. Not quite sure what level of perfection they are after, as it all sounds the same to me…at least the song does vary everyday

Mar 08

slowly going insane

I’ve spent the last 4 days in the house with this cold….although I’ve spent the last 2 days sort of working, or at least attending telecalls with a croaky voice. There’s definitely only so much I can spend here..time to go back to work 🙁

One thing I have been doing is looking at holidays…definitely thinking about Thailand for some diving

Mar 06

Second Geek Dinner

Went along to the second Geek Dinner, organsied by Lee Wilkins, in London last week and had a great evening. The venue this time was a lot more casual, the Tapas bar Salvador and Amanda’s, near Leicester Square.

There were fewer this time, with 8 people, some new ones and some returnees. But that meant there was far more possibility of actually talking to everyone there, especially with a little shuffling around. Talk as usual covered a wide range of topics, from wireless connections, through community involvement to superstring throery. The latter was the subject of an indepth conveersation between David (the star guest from Microsift) and Andrew, whose phone is loaded with pictures of the universe. As an astrophysisist, Andrew has been asked the same questions at both dinners to date – next time we need an animated slide show I think! One other thing that was mentioned was a BloggerCon…we got as far as proposing a venue (Imperial College), so maybe that can be a topic for the next one.

The food was good, typical Tapas fare, with plenty of sangria available. It was a lot lower cost (10-15) so a lot less hassle with counting up the contributions. I enjoyed the place so much, I went back last week with friends from work. And I see the next dinner is also going to be there.

Mar 06

it is spring really..

Despite the snow and cold weather in the last week, my one gardening effort (a window box) has decided it is spring. Bright yellow daffodils to cheer me up.


Mar 05

Winter Colds

I feel miserable today. I started a cold on Wednesday and it’s following it’s usual path, just slightly worse than normal. The first day i get a runny nose and a cotton wool head. It then progresses to blocked sinuses and a cough. But today, i’ve got a sore throat, glands swollen so I can’t move my head without pain, headache and chills. Nothing to do except keep warm, drink fluids, keep taking the pills and suffer.

But it is the first cold I’ve had this season, so not too bad.

Mar 05

Ice and Snow

As noted below, the snow melted quickly and I did not have to watch it go grey and slushy. By the time I got out of the office it had all gone. as the sun had been shining most of the day. The clouds had gathered, slightly warming the place, but by the time I was going home tonight, the skies were clear and everything was frozen.

Tonight was a late night, a girly night with friends from work. A wonderful Tapas bar just off Leicester Square (Salvador and Amanda’s) at which we had good food and even better wine. I’d been there the week before as part of a geek dinner (for which I still owe a write up for Lee) and it was even better on a Friday night – a fun place for gossip and dancing.

I must have got the last tube home. As I came out of the station, there must of been nearly 30 workman, ganging together in groups of 3-5, bright yellow jackets, waiting for the passengers to get off the trains and for them to start work.

As they start work, I get home to start a weekend of not being at work – which mainly means sleep. And I got sort of lucky this weekend – it’s my Dad’s birthday tomorrow and Sunday is Mother’s day…but the parents have gone on holiday to Cuba so I do not have to visit – instead they are comeing to see me in 2 weeks time

Mar 03


Came into work this morning to an email from a colleague – ‘Help’ – it said. ‘I’ve arranged a whisky tasting session this evening, there are 30 people turning up and I’m not there (he’s currently in Miami)..can you do it?’. Given the numberof favours he’s done me in the past I had to say yes. So 5 hours entertaining a group of wine and spirit traders after a very long and hard day. They seemed to enjoy it – me, I’m going to regret this.

Mar 03

Working Late

I’m going to have to stop working late. Working late means that it takes me a while to wind down, therefore I watch TV, therefore I end up watching random Channel 5 shows on the US porn business and Floridians who do extremely silly stunts to try and get themselves killed!