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


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!

Nov 29

The Ultimate Films

Over the weekend, caught a fair bit of Channel 4’s The Ultimate Film Top 100 Movies. Plenty of good clips and some surprising films. This was based on actual box office numbers and showed the high cinema attendence in the ’30’s and ’40’s. Of the top 10, I’ve only seen one of them at the cinema (Titanic), have seen Star Wars enough times on TV, plus DVD and The Sound of Music was a continous background to family Christmas’s all the time i was growing up, with the added soundtrack album. I’ve seen clips of the Jungle Book, Snow White and Gone with the Wind and that’s it.

So I need to go and find 7 films to see all the fuss is about – or was about. Got a feeling that some of the high attended films may not have survived.

Nov 28

Blogs and Spam

Reading the UK Blogs Aggegator there seems to be a fair number of people trying to get to grips with spam, like BigBabbleBlog, More a way of Life and Nik’s Journal.

This blog was only up for 24 hours before being hit by lovely gambling spam. Took a few attempts to understand the implementation of MT-Blacklist, but finally got it and now it works well (although no attacks for a week). I’m trying to install MT-scode but cannot get this to work, even if disable Blacklist. I’d prefer a Captcha method as it’ll allow comments about stuff thay may be included on the blacklist. I’ll need another go after a google trawl to work out what’s going wrong.

Nov 28


Spent the weekend just doing stuff. Tidying the house, packing things away in boxes, just general sorting. I spent a fair bit of the weekend getting the family history files up-to-date ready for the next assault on the Family Records Office. Whilst I get some lines back to about 1560, I need to focus on the ones that only go back to 1920.

Other computer things involve getting my speakers working again…no idea what the repair guy did, but it knocked these out. Plus re-installing Linux as a dual-boot and installing a TV capture card. Next step – networking the TiVO once i get the parts

Nov 26


I had a few things to say today, about my first attempt to follow the rules for a positive day and my wander round the corner at lunchtime to the new Apple store…but I’m afraid the staff bar, good gossip and 2 bottles of champagne have put paid to that. Tomorrow.

Nov 21

Meritocracy – good or bad?

Reading the Sunday papers, I was struck by the contrast betwen the outrage against Prince Charles complaint about people been led to expect more than they are capable of (or ‘raising above their station’ as some papers describe it) and the praise for the new Pixar movie The Incredibles which argues against people been forced into a box that matches everyone else, with no opportunity to use skills or powers that are different to the average.

I read meritocracy as meaning that everyone has the chance to do what they are good at, not that everyone has to have the chance of doing the same things.

People are different and treating everyone the same can only result in frustration all around. My Mom works with children who think nothing of stealing, of mugging, of damaging other people to get what they are ‘entitled’ to – because that;s what other peopel have. I think they confuse things with opportunties – everyone is entitled to the same opprotunities, but they have to take them and earn the things.

That’s today’s rant over. Lots more to do!

Nov 20


I’ve been trying to put up a photogallery so that I can share with family and get them to put their own pictures up. Got all the config sorted, but can’t load any pictures – tomorrow’s job to debug it.

Nov 20


My granddad emigrated to Australia this week. He was 83, born into a flapper woold that moved into depression and war. He married my Nan over 60 years ago; a great tale was told about how Nan’s dad had come to visit them on their honeymoon in Buxton bringing some fresh eggs that he’d obtained – a treat in a time of rationing. But Nan passed away earlier this year and so my Grandad decided he would try something different and took up the invitation of his daughter Linda to join them in Canbera, Australia.

This is his first trip abroad, the furthest he’d been before was the Channel Islands. All the hassle and red tape of getting him a visa are over. He boarded a plane for the first time for a 22 hour journey- at least he’s flying business class.

Hopefully everything goes OK on the journey and he settles in – more news to follow.

Nov 15


Just finished watching Spooks – did they upset all the actors this year? At least with Tom there was some kind of build up to his leaving. Zoe – boom, one episode and gone. No warning, no build up, just a single story. Looks like we’re going to have more standalone episodes and little story arc as we’ve had move before.

Still an enjoyable show though.

Nov 08

Blogs – the new diaries?

Reading the multiple comments about Blogger.com that took place this last weekend, I was struck by the comments about the number of people that blog for their own use. Definitely the reason I got round to starting ths; a long time irregular diary keeper, I am now far more used to typing then writing. So when I finally moved away from ISP ‘free’ web spave to my own domain, it was time to transfer the medium to an electronic one.

Nov 08

A new Audience for Star Wars

Visiting the family this weekend, got into a typical converstion about films, likes and dislikes, this time with my neice. Her favourite films are the Star Wars films, she loves C3PO and the Ewoks, and watches the films regularly. In fact, most Saturday mornings she demands her parents put Star Wars on the video. She’s 3 years old. She has not yet seen any of the newer films, but it would be interesting to see her reation to Jar Jar.