Jan 31

24

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.

Fishworks_lunch.jpg

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

Games

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.

Jan 01

It’s a new year

It’s a new year, time to look forward and time to reflect on the last year.

Like much of the world, I’m guessing, I’ve spent the last week watching the events around the Indian Ocean unfold, the numbers climbing and relatives’ hope diminishing. I’m now find myslef looking for good news on the web and on TV, about people being found, as it gets too much to only watch the bad news. I wish there were something I could offer apart from money, but that is what is being requested. I’m waiting til I’m back at work next week so the donation can be doubled through the company scheme.

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 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!