To Know Me Is To Love Me...

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Suave raconteur and dinner party favourite. Once held the Olympic torch, has delivered newspapers to prime ministers, shaken hands with Prince Charles, wrecked Jason Donovan's skateboard, climbed 300 metre granite cliff faces, surfed with dolphins, appears on community radio and is in demand for these and the accounts of other thrilling exploits!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Study in Contrast

I have moaned about two IT corporations many times in the past. But this post is a measure of redemption for one of them. I have an iPhone (or more accurately an iEmail) and the biggest benefit of the iPhone re music is its podcast capability. It is very easy to load podcasts onto the device and access them.
Actually finding the podcasts is not as intuitive as I would like because the iTunes GUI is horrible (HORRIBLE). But I have been able to listen to lectures and the like while commuting into the city.

By comparison my new laptop (LOVE IT) is running Windows 7. I have railed against Microsoft on occasion, but I must say I really like this OS. It's comparatively unobtrusive and just as engaging as the Mac OS's that I've used (and I am an old school Mac user from way back) with the added advantage that it wasn't designed by the R&D staff at Fisher Price.

The point of this article, dear hearts, is that I found an old MP3 player at the bottom of a draw the other day. It's a Sony Walkman, only 1GB capacity, but chock full of great tracks. I plugged it into to my laptop and have been able to swap files effortlessly. No proprietary software required. No files have been irrevocably deleted etc.

It's a simple device that even comes with a built in radio and stores a PDF User Guide. As soon as my phone contract expires I'll be flinging my iPhone into something concrete and getting Nokia smartphone or two cans and some string haven't decide which yet.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The most interesting thing in the world

No not really, just regular parenting stuff. Over the weekend I did not get up to much except eat a lot of great food. Which could be any two days starting with a 'S'. But for some reason I was exhausted by Sunday night, got to bed about 8pm and slept through.

But an odd thing I woe up in the middle of the night and had trouble getting back to sleep. Usually (every other time) my thoughts drift off towards the 'everything that is going wrong' direction as happens to us all in the wee small hours. But instead my thoughts went 180 and reminded me about everything great going on my life. I finally got back to sleep with a feeling of enormous peace of mind.
I cannot tell you the last time that happened...

So I hope you guys all have a great Monday and if this possitivity is contagious, I hope you catch it to!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Squash VS Tennis

Last night I played a couple of games of social competition Tennis. Infuriatingly our opponents were dirty Smurfs one of whom was particularly patronising. But I digress, I usually play Squash on a Monday night (just with a bunch of the lads) and it is a lot of fun. But what I have noticed is that the techniques for holding a Squash racquet and playing a shot is very different from those techniques used in Tennis.

Most obviously is the force applied to the ball and height of the return. Squash is played on a court about the size of half a Tennis court. However in Squash the surface area of play is much greater (incorporating the side walls) also the height of the playable shots is much lower than a Tennis net. The strokes I play in Squash are forceful to carry a small heavy ball against the wall for the effect of the rebound.

So as a comparison in Tennis I'm trying to land a ball within a smaller playing surface area on a flat trajectory. The net (sic) result is a major modification of how I hold the racquet and serve and return and more or less every thing. This manifested itself in very slow play, though I was happy with the accuracy. Tennis is just another skill to learn but I am amused at the experience that Squash has given me for both sports.

For the record I lost every game, but did win a couple of points.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Movie Review: C'or it's Thor

or alternatively 'You're thor?!? I can hardly walk!'

Firstly I should say that this was my first 3D movie experience. So on the basis of a single 3D movie I can't say it did much (in an obvious fashion) for my viewing experience. I didn't feel things leaping out of the screen and in most cases the screen looked a lot like some of the 3D comics I have. By which I mean each scene with layered foregrounds etc looked like a stage set from a Gilbert and Sullivan opera. Flat trees and rocks in the foreground, flat trees and characters in the mid ground etc.
Though having said that I did have a feel of largeness of space for the Bifrost gateway. In my opinion when 3D actually adds an extra dimension then it might be worthwhile. For example compare the differences between colour and black and white movies. The initial colour movies were perhaps a little gimicky (eg secret garden).

But what did I think of the film? I thought it was perfect for the material, lots of biff, lots of comic book banter, great linkages with the other avenger films and very pretty to look at. It's nice to see that studios can commit to an idea of a good plot connecting multiple movies and characters. Perhaps someone explained to them that not arsing around with a character or story (Judge Dredd, HHGTTG) will get more geeks into a theatre.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Tidying Up

I have undergone some Autumn tidying. Or clearing as the case may be. I've boxed up a large number of books and CD's from the study. Partly because CJ can reach the lower shelves (an activity of seemingly endless satisfaction is pulling CD's out of the shelf then separating case from disk, repeat) and partly because it recently occurred to me that despite owning hundreds of CD's I mostly listen to a small handful of them at any one time.
Part of the epiphany is due to the appalling GUI that comes with an iphone. While trying to load a new CD I managed to erase all the 1,000+ tracks I had. The software is just horrible to use and after destroying my avant garde collection I realised that most of the music was there to impress other people. I didn't listen to it. Using itunes is such a pain the arse that I have not bothered to load more than a couple of CD's. I can't say that my musical experience is diminished. I find the MP3 format quite frustrating for good quality music so the convenience of the medium is tampered by the dissatisfaction of the form.

So oddly this lead to a cleaning out of the library in the study. Perhaps minimalism is the the new maximisim. Who knows...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Food Dude

I am preparing a cooking blog and while in the shower I had a great name for the blog, The Food Dude. Unfortunately this rhyming name is already taken by a World Health Organisation program seemingly reminiscent of Jamie Oliver. The images around the web site look twee, the kind of 'cool kids' crap that Hungry Jacks has on its kids meals.
The programme (and subsequent blog) is all about getting kids to eat more healthy foods, blah, balh, middle class angst etc...

The other Food Dude page I found was for a catering firm. I will say this about catering food, it is only a slightly more up market version of fast food. Nevermind how hard people work at it, catering for 20 or more people means razor thin margins on ingredients. I have been to many functions at all times of the day or night and I have come to loathe the food served there.

When I do eventually come up with a name for my blog it will focus on home cooking. It will be mostly for guys and will be sympathetic to a 30minute window of cooking time. More to follow, any suggestions for a name appreciated...

Oddly Specific

I'm thinking this has to be a joke or delayed April Fools gag. But I have said this phrase in my thoughts many, many times.
Link to Go the Fu*k to Sleep here

I can't comment as to the effectiveness of this book in helping a child go to sleep, so I suspect the audience is us parents.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is that what I think it is...

Saw this cloud on the train last night heading home, it looks a lot like something familiar...

Is it just me or does that cloud look a lot like a Star Destroyer?

Rockin' It

I got to do something I've always wanted to do on Saturday. Well more accurately, something I've always wondered what it would be like to do. I got up on stage with my guitar mentor Steve and played a couple of songs at a 'groovey pub'.

I'm not the worlds greatest guitarist, but I do love music so I guess that counts for something. I say I've always wondered what it would be like because until Saturday I'd never played in a public venue before. Maybe we all have a 'stars in the eyes' moment, mine usually occur in the shower where in my imagination I'm rockin it in front of a huge crowd at some expansive stadium...

So Saturday was something of a milestone and if I'm truthful, I was not all that good. I missed a couple of chords changes and the sound equipment was not the best (it was great if you were at the end of the bar, not so good if you were on stage) so it was hard to hear what the others were doing. So the good news here is that I've realised a life long dream of playing in band, at a pub in front of a (admittedly small) audience. Something worth sharing I think.
Almost, but not quite there yet...