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 02


Onthe news it’s saying the BBC license system looks like it will be extended for a further 10 years. Count me as someone who is perfectly happy paying this fee to allow me to get advertising free viewing. Saves me keep hitting the fast forward button to skip the ads on any commercial channel I watch.

Feb 27


Went up to the High Street yesterday and went to get some food in M&S. As I was trying to get some veg, I was blocked my a couple who were also grabbling something fromthe shelf.. they then turned away and hiding behine a column, shovelled all the stuff from the basket into the guys bag. The woman then walked the opposite direction, the man left out the front door, then the woman followed. This was all done so very quickly that it was only as I the woman left that I realised what was I happening – I was still trying to choose tomatoes!

So I went to inform the staff, and got a reaction, they’ve left we cannot do anything…and they went back to what ever they were doing. So that’s why you pay a premium, they don’t care about shoplifters. But, funnily, I do.

Feb 20


I finally got round to plugging in the new modem/wireless connection. Previously, the USB modem I had would not work with the work PC, so I was restricted to dial-up only for this; in addition it’s set me up to network the TiVO (when I get the right parts for that). So a wireless network..doesn’t that mean less wires? Not really – it’s only allowed me to remove 1 cable, whilst adding 3. The biggest number are power cables – there’s the printer, speakers, 2 PCS, monitor, router and modem. Then I throw in charges for phone, camera and media player – I’ve run out of plugs and have to get yet another externsion cable. I need wireless electricity!

Meanwhile, I’ll continue packing…off to Connecticut for a few days for meetings

Jan 31


Last night caught the first 2 episodes of 24 Day 4 (or should I say Tivo’s them and caught up today). As a special ‘treat’ they were shown on Sky Travel, which is available on Freeview. So to continue watching I need to get Sky 1, which is difficult as none of the major cable companies supply here yet and I can’t put up a dish in the place I’m in (at least without some trouble). Or I can wait til the DVD comes out, most likely in August, or look elsewhere. As one of the prgrammes that I enjoy most, not sure wht I will do 😉

At least we’ve got rid of the addiction storyline!

Jan 31

Is Bill Gates running the country?

This made me chuckle on the Tube this morning, from the Metro, or the BBC. Apparently a doodle from the desk of Tony Blair, at the Davos economic summit, has been analysed by ‘experts’, who proclaim that the Prime Minister is obviously ‘not a natural leader’ and ‘struggling under pressure’, plus he’s got a tendency towards meglomania! Unfortunately for the political pundits, the doodles are from Bill Gates. Wonder how that changes their analysis?

Jan 29

Weekend Lunches

It’s Saturday, I’m sort of working, but decided to go out for a long lunch as a change from a week eating sandwiches at the desk. So went to a great place in Chiswick called Fishworks. I had a great people watching seat, on a balcony which allowed me to watch the fishmongers at the front of the restaurant. Although watching them gut and fillet a fish whilst eating may not be suitable for all.

A half bottle of Pinot Blanc, aportion of smoked salmon and then the main course – Suppe del Pescatore. Basically, what I would call an interactive dish; I got a warning when 6 utensils were bought to the table to allow me to eat the dish. A serving spoon, knife, fork, normal spoon, shell crackers and one of those peculiar thin little diggers for getting the meat out of shell fish.

The soup was wonderful, very messy, with a tomato and garlic base. One pile of shells later, I was ready to go. So back home I came to continue with site testing. But I did take this picture.


Jan 23

The Thames and Kew Gardens

On a wonderful bright winter day, I took a wander along the river and down to Kew, snapping all the way. Instead of putting them on the site as I have with other photo’s, I’d thought I try out Flickr. So take a look here to see them. I’m going to try out their publish to blog facility as well on the next post

Jan 23

Reading or Writing

I was looking at my pattern of writing posts and realise I’m defintiely a consumer rather than a producer. I try and avoid posting from work, as at the moment I think it would push the interpretaion of valid use of computers, despite the fact that I do a lot of browsing – although I can always argue that is for research of the use of web technology . When I get home, I’m more in the mood to consume, to suck down content instead of writing stuff down.

So I tend to store things and write them up at the weekend. Hence the flurry of posts today!

Jan 23

Framing the pictures

Finally got some pictures framed. They’d taken 3 weeks and cost just over £90. There were 2 tapestries plus a screen print I’d picked up from Australia. Now all I need to do is find somewhere to put them; re-arranging the walls is on the cards for later.

Jan 23

Bloggers Meeting

As mentioned, I went along to the London Bloggers Meet on Wednesday. Met a good mix of people, who run a variety of blogs and here’s a few of them:

Looking at these later, I realised how quickly I’d come to rely on the aggregator, instead of trawling through the different sites. I currently use Bloglines, but it could be any of them. It’s harder to check thoese without RSS feeds than those with, which means I’d visit less.

The night was fun, there was a good conversation about a wide range of topics lasting til closing. I’d left work earlier than usual (if you can call 6.45 early) and it was great to think about different things. Of course, this had to be the day I’d been delivered some flowers – hauling those around the tube and the pub was a little difficult. Luckily they were in a large box, so better than a bunch
to manage.

Felt tired all of the next day though, did not get home to after 12.30. BUt will defintiely be going to the next one.

Jan 16

Sunday mornings

Love Sunday mornings when there’s nothing to do except drink coffee, eat toast and actually get round to some of the programme’s that got TiVO’d during the week.

Jan 15

What to Blog?

Julie Leung’s entry about Privacy and Secrecy resonated with me this monning, coming so soon after conversations at work about their blogging policy (or lack of it). Writing on a blog is sharing with a community, even if few people read it. You can share your thought processes, the things that are bugging you, the stuff you want to remember. But there’s always some kind of self-censorship, driven by both internal or external restrictions. I wouldn’t write here the same sort of things that I’d put in a hand written personal diary , but I may write more than I would relate in a conversation, partly because I’ve had time to reflect and can think during the writing process instead of the immediacy of talking.

The connectin to work? We don’t have a blogging policy, but they are slowly thinking their way towards them (i did have to explain what a blog is). We were discussing the dismissal of Joe Gordon from his job at Waterstones and the difference between commenting on a blog and havimg a loud conversation in a pub: permanacy. Something I say here could be round for a while. The team memeber I was in conversation with, is currently extremely conservative: employees should not document any aspect of their work life. I’m more in line with restricting discussion about company strategy, business decisions etc, which is in line with current policies about conversations, emails etc to other people. On our actual products, I should be able to say what I like and don’t like.

But if they go with the most extreme view, that makes a third to a half of my waking life off limits. And work is normally the area of the life that causes the most problems. If things piss me off, if I’m working silly hours or if things are going great, why shouldn’t i vent here. If I worked for Waterstone’s I definitely couldn’t. Where I am now, I’m not sure.

Back to Julie’s post, there are things that I would not share, things that I do share and things that I want to, but it may not be a good idea.

Jan 11


Being playing CSI games on the PC (yea for New Year sales) and whilst the gameplay gets so boring after about the second case, the attraction for me is definitely the story – who did it and why…and watching the forst series of CSI on re-run can definitely see where the dialog on the game comes from. But it’s far better when there’s action on screen instead of static graphics

Jan 09

Special Effects Poll – surprise wins

Saw this survey via BBC and it does not surprise me…the favourite special effect shot in films os the 1977 opening Star Wars shot of the Imperial Star Destroyer coming into view. This was followed by the 1933 King Kong climax. Six out of the top 10 are older than 20 years old. So, its not the money or the slickness of the effect that has proven to be a winner. To me, it’s the memorability – doing something that has not been done, that makes people stop and just go ‘oooooohhh’ (or whatever words you want to say here!)

So good effects enhance the storytelling and add something new – they are not just effects for their own sake, as you can see quite often in modern films.

Jan 09

Dip me in chocolate and throw me to the lesbians…

During the week I’ve watched the increasing opposition to the BBC screening Jerry Springer the Opera on BBC2 last night. In a way the protests made me want to watch it even more – what is all the fuss about. People who had seen the show on stage generally reported that they enjoyed it; although the swearing was mentioned, the blasphamy was never covered. Of the 2 areas, it seemed that the comments about Christianity were causing the most offence. However, this is the first time I’d heard these types of comments even though the show has been on stage for a while – so why is putting it on TV any different. There is still on off button – you don’t have to watch.

We don’t have free speech enshrined in any constitution as the US does; in fact, as a nation, we have practised censorship for many years. One of the weirder aspects of the Lord Chamberlain’s job! The BBC are as guilty of doing such things in the past, eg Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Relax in the ’80’s. But times change, standards change and the BBC, as the public service, has to change with it.

Was I offended by the show? Not really. Most of the swearing was used as you would here in normal speach patterns and to quite good dramatic effect, just a few lines were too much for me personally (of course, having the subtitles on makes it more obvious!). Did the comments on Christianity upset me. No – but I’m a lapsed Catholic, not someone who would get upset. I got bored in the first half. I don’t watch these types of shows on TV, so a parody of them missed the mark with me a little. The second half I found had some really interesting commentary about forgiveness and morality, especially the ending lesson – look after yourself and others. This is as valid for the pople who are desparate to get on these shock shows as it is for all who are watching. Look after others and yourself. Very good philosophy.

And the post title..great line from the song about having a Jerry Springer moment. That, and wanting smacks form Moma, are definitely going to stick in the head.

Jan 02

More site changes

Spent the morning re-organising some pages and uploading some more photos. The domain home page now has links to the family history pages plus my photos. Added some more Australian photos and some from New York, along 5th Avenue.

Still having trouble working my way round style sheets and divisions (instead of font tags and tables) but getting there.