Apr 21

Another Geek Dinner

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 😉

Apr 19

And the pope is……

??????????? 30 minutes after the smoke and it’s still not leaked!

Ratzinger. For some reason the team decided he looked like a Senator from Star Wars

Apr 19

Sausage attack

This is surreal…and funny. A man was driving along in Essex when a frozen sausage came through his window and broke his nose.

A unanmed spokesman said:

I feel very sorry for him – it must have been an incredibly lucky or unlucky shot to get the sausage through a moving car window. I have never seen or heard of anything like this before.

Hmmm..yes. You don’t get too many flying sausages these days.

Apr 17

Time for a day out

With a lovely day, I decided to to take a drive and go visit some history. Wnet to Hampton Court Palace, somewhere I’ve only ever drowve past. Once I got over the extortionate prices (3.50 to park, 12 to go in) I had a really good few hours in the palace and in the gardens. Photos are over on Flickr, and here’s one just for the blog.

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However, did learn that driving along with only a vague idea of my direction and no map is a great way to see new places, but not necessarily to get home in good time.

Apr 17

London Marathon

One of the regular events of spring is on today, the London Marathon. Over 30000 people get together to run 26+ miles. I’ll do my usual and watch it on TV, far less stressful.

Apr 11

Marketing serendipity

The images from Tiger Wood’s stunning shot over the weekend shows that sometimes things happen that even advertising agencies couldn’t script. An absolute perfect shot for Nike.

Take a look at Jaffe Juice for a creative look at the moment, in a commercial that Nike should put out.

Apr 11

Pet Pillows…why?

This post from Boing Boing fianlly made the mainstream press over the weekend, with it being in the Telegraph yesterday and Metro today. The link to the homepage is now down. But would you have your favourite pet preserved and its fur made into a pillow cover?

But the reaction against it appears to be quite virulent – the animals are already dead, it’s not as though they were bred to be made into a fur cover.

I can understand the motivation behind people who would want to get their favourite animals stuffed so making a pillow cover is a far more practical option. But I’d just find it creepy..and have to ask why? The strawpoll around the office reflects this opinion…very creepy.

Apr 09

Marketing…good and bad.

It had to happen, someone offer’s their penis for an advertising tattoo. The aution on ebay has been taken down, so we can only speculate on the size of real-estate on offer. However, I’m interested in how he was going to generate traffic to view the ad!

However, this flash animation for Hitachi perpendicular drives is fun, and catchy. Annoyingly catchy.

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Apr 09

Royal Transport

I love the site of the majority of the British Royal family clambering on a bus to get moved up the hill to the castle.

Apr 05

Workmen explained

I found out what the workmen on the next building have started doing – they are going to be adding an extra floor to Debenhams.

workmen.jpg

Apr 05

Pet hates

I hate this shop display. It first came out last summer, when it was warm, and a fun water-squirting flower seemed a good idea. But it’s been there ever since, every single day; all through the winter and now back into the spring. And it’s suffered; it’s got weaker and weaker. At the start, the flower used to zip around, splashing al round the container. Now, it wavers, often not having the strength to raise its head; it flops flacidly around, still performing, but only just.

It needs to go.

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Apr 04

Pope John Paul…

For some reason I find the images of the embalmed(?) body of the pope very creepy..especially as it is obvious they’ve put him in new shoes

Apr 02

‘ow bist thee – family visits and ghosts

For Easter, I travelled to see the family. Sunday lunches are always fun, and this time we had 12 around the table. For some reason we got onto ghost stories: for a while my gradnparents have felt they have had a visting pair pf ghosts called George and Alice, so named following a visist from the loal medium who was asking whether they had relatives with such names. Presences are definitely felt, mainly just watching, and the dogs have seen something, refusing to go into rooms at times. However, the ghosts have been quiet lately; my Nan kept asking them what they wanted – I think they just got fed up of being hasselled by her!

Mom and Dad had their own story after that. Travelling back from a do late one evening they’d just turned a corner when a boy on a bike, with no lights, sped across the road immediately in front of them. Dad slammed the brakes on as the boy disappeared down a track to a farm. The spooky thing was the boy had appeared from the left side of the road, where there was nothing but a steep bank and a hedge, there being no way through, and there was no sight of him down the track when they got level. The farm was Yew Tree farm, where Carl Bridgewater, a newpaper boy on a bike was murdered in 1978. In the week the people who had been jailed for his murder started a successful appeal against their conviction, they’re convinced that Carl is whom they saw.

One thing about visiting is hearing the dialect I grew up with and heard on the buses (always pronounced with a z) and in the shops. It contains some nice mediaeval useages such a ‘bist’ for ‘are’, you can see the links to german/Dutch with these. More can be found on the BBC dialect sites

Apr 02

Friday Night Project

I was on TV last night, or at least the back of my head was. A few weeks ago, my friend Carmel had some tickets to go and see the filming of the Friday Night Project, staring Jimmy Carr at the LWT studios on the South Bank. I’d never been to a TV studio before, nor seen filming done beyond an episode of It’s a Knockout, a birthday treat a long time ago! It was slightly weird in that the programme was being filmed 3 weeks early, so there were topical jokes about weddings and races that took a while to get into. Sadie Frost was the guest and she did a good job and she did a good job of avoiding wife-swapping questions – and was not phased when there were a couple in the audience who had been to such parties 😉

A fun night – we’re now waiting for Top Gear tickets to come through…

Mar 30

Childhood remembered…

…well, sort of. Glitter and Twang has posted a list of covers from The Sound of Music, all done in a very modern way. It’s like Coverville – but in a weird Twilight world.

The saddest thing – the Jesuit saying about ‘give me a child until they’re 7 and they’ll be mine’ is correct. Repeated exposure to the film on TV every Christmas combined with grandparents who had the album with the lyrics meant I knew every word.

Mar 26

The Application of CSS

Just got my hair cut, so it’s back being tidy. Got the usual shock when it came to pay – £50 (although that’s far cheaper than some i’ve had). For about 15 minutes of attention. £200/hour. I’m in the wrong job. The whole experience did involve 5 people though. One to take may name a the desk and collect my money at the end; another to take my bags and coat and get me a cup of tea. One to wash my hair and set me up with towels/apron etc. One of give me a hand massage (Ok, this is not the normal treatment at a hairdresser, but obviously Shiatsu scalp massage is now old hat) and one more to actually cut my hair. Lots of people, lots of money. Men’s haircuts are generally cheaper, but this this salon still charged £40 for them. So what do they get different? Definitely discrimination to me!

Between the washing and the cutting, I got handed a cup of tea and some magazines. Never worked out why there is an assumption that going to a hairdresser means you only like one type of magazine – the women’s glossies and gossips. I did get a choice – but it was between Hello and Eve.

Found one good article in Eve that did stike a chord with me – a description of CSS. In the context of women’s magazine’s, however it means something completely different – Competitive Stress Syndrome. Googling this leads to lots of pages about overtraining in athletes and work related stress in men, but that’s not the story here.

So what does it mean? You’re sitting in the bar, or coffee shop, or anywhere and start talking about how your life is going and how hard it is and how bad you feel, and you colleague/friend/relative interrupts with their moans, about how hard their life is, how hard they are have to work. Then the third woman jumps in. Everyone trying to share the fact they are really stressed with their life – btw…the winner will always be the one with children!

The article went on to say that to really get the most of such a session, you have to treat it like a game of tennis – take it in turns. Share and then stay quiet for the next person. Let it all come out. Really it’s a bonding session; the point not to offer improvement suggestions or provide solutions, but to have a bonding moment, mutually agreeing about how hard life is today. And you leave the session understanding that of course you have highest stress levels – but you’re not alone :-). CSS – the new topic of conversation.

Mar 26

Large orders

Captured this image in the bar at work the other day; the staff there must love it when large orders are all the same, instead of doing 11 individual cocktails.

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Mar 25

Stating the Obvious

Quote for the day: “the bible is essentially a book of writing” from a bishop on Breakfast TV (should have got his name but I was half asleep). I really must write and thank him for that revelation..I’d never quite realised it!