A quietish weekend. Friday I went go-karting and then took a trip to Silverstone to watch some cars going round and round a track. Surprisingly, considering I have never watched a Formula 1 race, the behind the scenes bit was fun. One of my company’s brand is sponsoring the Mercedes McLaren team come August and we went to have lunch and take a very close look in the pits at the team in action during one of the test days for the cars at Silverstone. Take a look at my photos if you are interested in fast cars. We got really close to the cars and must have spent a good few hours watching them come and go from the pits. A never realised how LOUD the cars are, or how small they are. The cars are tiny and it appears the race drivers are, taking a look at both Juan Pablo Montoya or Kimi Riakkonen who looked very small compared to some of the pits team. And then, as I was half way there, went up to see the parents to fix a computer problem and have a restful weekend doing nothing.
My parent’s left earlier than expected, so I spent most of yesterday doing spring cleaning. The rubbish is easy – boxes and stuff that just add clutter. Clothes are a little harder, but I’m trying to set a rule – if I have not worn in a year, out it goes. But the most difficult are the books. I’m quite comfortable geting rid of the ‘holiday reads’, the random books, often thrillers, I buy in airports to keep me amused whilst travelling. But for some reason, it’s difficult to get rid of the really old stuff. I had a box of books I bought as a child (prices starting at 40p, 50p or 75p) which for some reason my mother had kept and then presented back to me when I moved somewhere (here or Amsterdam, I can’t remember. They are all childrens stores, mainly horse stories; today I could read them in about 40 minutes. But it’s funny, I picked then up and I remembered these stories, most of which I probably have not read for over 20 years. I can also recall more of who I was at that time; so getting rid of them is a wrench from childhood. But they’re going, next trip to the recyclers. And I’ll carry filling up the gaps with more books and more toys.
My mother has an interestng job sometimes. Starting off a nurse, she’s moved slowly more towards the social aspects of that role. She usually has some funny or scary tales to tell and today there was one that can be shared. It started off with her team lead deciding that the place needs a tidy and all the paperwork around the office needed to be tidied and filed, so that in no way could it construed as a Health and Safety risk. So he personally started to remove things, put them in boxes and take them to the archives. In the process, he lost the box of condoms which normally sits in the drawers. They’ll find them again; eventually. So as part of the clean up, Mom decided she would get some shelves put up in a cupboard next to her desk. Off she went to measure up (or at least to look, I think a tape measure would be going to far) and opened the door, to find, of all things, a full size coffin standing upright in the cupboard. Luckily, it was empty, otherwise I think there could have been some questions asked. On emailing the whole team, it turned out that the coffin belonged to policemen who were running a road safety campaign – it’s a prop for their roadshows. The reason for it being in the cupboard – “there was nowhere else to put it”. The shelves are organised and the police are looking for somewhere else to put the coffin when they arrivce. Meanwhile, it’s being used as a coat stand!
Lots of things to write about, just little time. My parents are visting and don’t quite get blogs or anything like that. So need to wait until they are gone. Meanwhile wander over to the photostream and take a look at some photos from a wedding I was at yesterday.
It’s going to be the hottest day of the year in the south today, with predicted temperature reaching 28-30 C. So I’m guessing that in the usual British tradition of failing to predict autumn leaves on the line or the impact of snow and ice on the roads we’ll be completely unprepared. The Tube lines and trains will have their heaters on and the buildings will not have the air conditioning set up correctly. It’s going to be an uncomfortable day.
Whilst the US Homeland Security has signed a deal with Websense to provide anti-spyware software, one legal interpretation on The Register concludes that it may be illegal in the US to install anti-spyware as it breaches an assumed contract. More work for the lawyers.
I finally got a photo of the London2012 liveried tube train that runs on the Julbille Line. Hideous, billious yellow. To think, we could have these for 7 years.
The BBC reports that the US has decided that the Medicare system there does not have to pay for Viagra for registered sex offenders
Postsecret is good. And scary. Everyone has secrets – would you share yours online?
In a change from the normal weekend routine, I spent today out in the open air, acting as regatta control for the Army regatta. Teh Army hold rowing camps and regattas every year and for about the last 10 years I’ve gone along, coaching the groups of squaddies who get ‘volunteered’ by their officers and helping organising the competitions. This year, I could only make the regatta, but turning up this morning was like I had nver been away. It’s the same team every year so we just got down to it and handled everything that the day could throw at us. Unlike open regattas, many of the people who compete have only been in a boat for 2 weeks – so it can get intersting in poor weather. The idea is to get everyone having fun and joining in, in fact 1 guy raced 7 times in the day. The weather did its usual – wet all day until the racing stops and then brightening up to be very sunny. And it’s strange being addressed as ma’am all day – just look official and the squaddies assume you’re an officer…or at least they are not willing to take the chance that you’re not!
So now I’m home and feeling very tired. However, unlike during the week, where it is mental tiredness, today it’s physical. Far better feeling, but where’s the footbath!
There’s a planned announcement about the re-organisation tomorrow at work, covering the level above me, including the person my role reports into. Three people, including my current boss, have warned me that what I will hear may not be to my liking and to think about my reaction. Which means, in all likelihood, that my new team lead could be someone I once said to whom I would not report. Things could get interesting.
Go take a look at Store Wars, from the Organic Trade Organisation. A short parody (or should that be piss-take) of Star Wars with all the characters played by puppet vegetables, so we have Obi Wan Cannoli, a cucumber as Cuke Skywalker, Lord Tader and, my personal favourite, Chewbroccoli. There does appear to be a purpose to this (sort of) in trying to advise people the advantages of organic food, but just ignore the message adn enjoy the fun! I’m not a fan of flash websites when they are trying to provide information, but for this kind of fun, it’s pretty useful.
Looks like I may have o go and buy me a new kettle. I may only need a new power cord, but not sure if I can but one on its own. Never having bought a kettle, I’m not sure what to look for. The one I own was a present when I left for university 17 years ago. It’s had a good life.
On my recent plane trips, tbere were a couple of nice comments made by the stewards/hosts (or whatever I’m supposed to call them); one by accident, one on purpose.
On the way out, the announcer made an unfortunate anatomical mixup. Instead of asking us to tighten our seatbelts over out hips, we were supposed to contort ourselves and fasten them over our lips.
On the way back, the announcer was French, with a pronounced accent. In the regular plea to get the plane to actually listen to the safety announcement, he’d developed a tactic. “listen carefully, I shall say this only once”. The British onboard laughed… the rest of the plane looked at hte British and wondered what they were on, never having being subject to the cultural phenomenom that was ‘Allo ‘Allo
Whilst I was away, I missed one of the Geek Dinners; unfortunate, because it sounds interesting according to Ian. From Hugh, it appears there’s another organised in June (see here).
My week away is over. Spent a brilliant week in Barbados doing very little. It fulfilled the brief – diving, sleeping, eating, drinking. Little activity outside of the hotel. Which was probably a good idea since it rained every day except 2, and one of those was the day we came home. You can’t do too much sightseeing in torrential rain. I did get a few good photos and came back feeling refreshed.
Went to see this play last night at the Ambassadors’ theatre. Strong powerful script, great acting, leaving many with a tear in the eye. Definitely not for a light-hearted night out, with a subject matter of hostages being held in Beirut; however, there was a rich seam of wicked hunour running through it.
Today, I took a trip to Camden Market, seeing if I could find some clothes for holiday. In that I failed miserably (I hate clothes shopping) but did have a great time anyway. Walking round the stalls, many play completely different music, so everything clashes. A better amalgamation is from the many scents from the food stalls, all combining to make you very hungry.
Went along to another Geek Dinner last night at the same tapas bar as previously – food and sangria are still good. Around 10 people turned up, a few new faces again. Working out how people had heard of the event was interesting – the trails ran cold and there was a definite moment of “I can’t remember”. Like many things, it just gets wrapped into the general information flow.
After a day that involved me trying to explain RSS feeds to a cross-agency group and then having yet another talk about blogging to our Corporate Comms team as a way to increase internal conversations it was great to not have to explain things! Julian and I were dispairing a little about how many big corporations still do not communicate across sections and countries and do not use technology to unlock potential.
Here, combining wikis and blogs, for brand team communication and idea generation, storage and sharing of ideas would unlock so much. And that’s a whole different entry I need to go write.
In the meantime, Lee has some great ideas for the next 2 sessions, the first (May 5) involving a gadget session and the second a celebrity guest. Unfortunately, Andrew, the latter will not involve long boots and a leather skirt 😉