27 July, 2007

Happy SysAdmin Day...

...yes, apparently, it's SysAdmin appreciation day, so thanks guys for keeping Blogger and Flickr working for me...and all the other sites too for that matter... ;)

Now if my local ops would only come and re-install CuteFTP (after killing my old workstation for a very silly reason), everything would be well with the world...

The Sun Newspaper

The Sun/The Rain
...is obviously contempating a name change, following the extraordinary weather we have been enjoying just lately... ;)

Make words from buildings!

Finkangel - Google Earth
An awesome Google Earth mashup, use Geogreeting to make words out of satellite images of suitably shaped buildings...it even shows you where on the planet it found them... ;)

26 July, 2007

nature.com interviews Al Jean!

Wow, just noticed that Al Jean (executive producer for "The Simpsons") was interviewed on this weeks nature podcast (discussing the in jokes that pepper the series included for the amusement of the scientifically minded (or actually more usually the math-savvy) among the viewer community), there is a brief text summary here also, but the podcast contains much more (including sound-bites from the show)...quite amusing...coverage in the podcast starts at 11 minutes 47 seconds (if you fancy skipping the doom and gloom climate change segments that preceed it)... ;)

Silly Search Terms #10

Well, haven't done one of these for *ages*, so just another little batch of the more amusing (some funny, some strange and some downright disturbing) search arguements that have resulted in (often confused) visitors ending up on one of my posts, while actually after something *rather* different -

"what to do if you accidentally roast silverside" - Urm? Eat it?

"brown paper package bomb exploded kid subway book amazon" - Hrm, this must be some mis-hit for this little story from my past...

"how cook rice in 10 seconds vw" - Urm, you can't..? Even if you do call upon the powers of Volkswagen...in fact, judging by our mini kitchen in the camper, it would take even longer than usual... ;)

"dirty birthday animation gif" - Not guilty me'lud...

"unfloatable wood" - Urm, well perhaps extremely water-logged soft, porous wood might not float, can't think of any specifics though, and certainly never brought the subject up here...

"funny looking homemade mobile campers" - Don't listen Colin! :(

"symptoms eye saw 'laser mouse'" - Urm, were are you doing with your mouse to get sore (as I imagine you *meant*) *eyes*??

"Argo strike silver salt" - Sorry?

"ranch dressing rash" - What were you using it for to get a rash for goodness sake??

"'water polo' steaky" - not quite sure what this is all about, but I think I can guess, and no, they were wearing their cossies, thank you...!

More of these here, if you like this kind of thing... ;)

25 July, 2007

Off to New York...

...well, we have two new members of staff in our New York office, so I'm going out to meet both of them, and train one of them in the esoteric arts of online advertising and campaign management...it's not for a few weeks yet, but it does mean, for the *second* time, that I am having to cancel my summer holiday...


I can't quite believe that this has happened again - once could be considered just rather bad luck, twice can almost be read (if feeling a little paranoid) as if some powerful force in the universe were conspiring against me (Fink glances nervously over his shoulder)...there is a bit of a silver lining glimering in there somewhere though (after some discussion of our options) two weeks in the west country (although Flyingpops will still go down with her folks for some of the planned break, as she (quite reasonably) isn't terribly thrilled by the idea of sitting around the house on her own while I'm working in the States) will become magically transformed into a week somewhere that qualifies as both "hot" and "abroad" in September or October (southern Europe, or maybe even the Canaries, depending what's best value/weather at the time)...Really not that fussed, but I do have a little hankering for Tapas, cold cervesa and beef steak (plump fillet, bloody as hell...or on the bone and the size of a telephone book) all of which the Spanish seem to do rather well...so I'd probably lean in that direction if it offered itself up at a tempting enough price in the last minute deals...

Actually, I moan, but last time the office paid for my connecting flight to get me from Gatwick down to the west country so I could actually pick up the tail end of the holiday (and, excitingly, it was an old propeller plane), and, as we were there at basically the end of the holiday season as a result, we almost had the place (the whole of Cornwall, I mean) to ourselves, so it wasn't *that* much of a pain...it's just a bit annoying when you've been really looking forward to a well deserved break to find it draining silently away before your eyes...

24 July, 2007

Bug Jam Show Guide, in Kings Cross??!

Bug Jam Show Guide!?
Now, although this isn't *quite* the spookiest thing to ever happen to me, it ranks pretty damn near to it - Lunch time, I take a quick walk, enjoying the sunshine (curse it for coming too late!), get as far as Lavina Grove (down Wharfdale Road) and have to do a double take at the tattered bit of paper laying in the street in front of me...quickly followed (as I fumbled to find the camera in my rucksack) with an explaination to the two very confused builders sat watching me, mid-mothful of tea...

It was (although my mind was telling repeatedly me how staggeringly unlikely it actually was to be) a massively transported show guide for Bug Jam...sat, battered by repeatedly being run over, rain soaked, most of the pages missing, but still, unmistakably, the remains of a show guide handed out, one per car/bus upon entrance to the Bug Jam festival over the weekend...

This is **way** beyond coincidence...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Got it!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Book arrived...
So it was waiting in the outside cupboard when we got back on Sunday (and had survived the storms intact, I am pleased to report)...I'm now on chapter seven (and enjoying every word)...Flyingpops is displaying an amazing amount of self control by waiting until I am finished before she makes a start (which is good, no fighting)... ;)

According to the Telegraph, it sold enough copies over the weekend to be the fastest selling book of all time (in the UK at least), putting it (amazingly) in roughly 1 household out of 10...it's also interesting to note that although it was only released in English, it sold a quarter of a million copies in Holland/Belgium (selling out completely), nearly 400,000 copies in Germany and 100,000 in India...!

I wonder what she is going to write next?

23 July, 2007

Bug Jam 21 - 2007 - Pictures and Video

Bug Jam 21 - #1
So just a smattering of the sights and sounds (although not the smells) of Bug/Bog/Mud Jam 21, we set off in a torrential downpour (at about half five in the morning...zzz...), stopped very briefly at Toddington services, then completed the journey to Podington, or more specifically the "Santa Pod Raceway")...where "Motor Sport can be Dangerous" -
Bug Jam 21 - #2
- because we got there so early (way before 0900hrs) the queue was tiny -
Bug Jam 21 - #3
- but the conditions were already really, really bad...we bagged an excellent parking spot (about 2 seconds from the Mars Lorry), so about 90 seconds walk from the end of the strip where the proper toilets and food stalls/bar lurk...right next to the road way (two steps onto solid tarmac)...
Bug Jam 21 - #5
...we spent much of Friday, after setting up, just sat in the camper or gazebo, hiding from the rain, but when things cheered up (slightly) we decided to take a little walk around site...spotted this guy in a wetsuit on his BMX taking a little ride up the strip (about the only action of the day) -
Bug Jam 21 - #9
Bug Jam 21 - #12
Bug Jam 21 - #13
- then sloshed around the shops -
Bug Jam 21 - #15
- up to the pit lane -
Bug Jam 21 - #17
Bug Jam 21 - #18
Bug Jam 21 - #19
Bug Jam 21 - #20
Bug Jam 21 - #21
Bug Jam 21 - #22
Bug Jam 21 - #23
- and spent a damp few minutes watching the Friday night bands -
Bug Jam 21 - #26
Next morning we got up about 0830 (to more rain), nabbed as many free Mars drinks as possible (several outfit changes by Flyingpops worked wonders) ;) I think we came away with about 20 bottles -
Bug Jam 21 - #31
- then we took a seriously muddy slog up to the bank by the strip -
Bug Jam 21 - #32
- to watch the only action so far -
Bug Jam 21 - #34
- in the "Live action arena" - Click here for some video action of Terry Grant in his broken stunt car - he also got up to some tricks in his TVR -
Bug Jam 21 - #36
- and his unmodified Honda (wow) but he couldn't do any VW tricks as Volkswagen wouldn't lend him a vehicle (boo, but at least there was some official merchandise in evidence this year in the hilarious VW bus bus) -
Bug Jam 21 - #39
- then, it was on to the Monster Trucks -
Bug Jam 21 - #42
- click here for some video of Podzilla crushing some Vauxhalls in impressive fashion -
Bug Jam 21 - #48
- then it hammered down with rain again, but we finally got a tiny bit of track action on Saturday afternoon (very brief), so we took a little walk back down to the entrance (to do a bit of shooting) -
Bug Jam 21 - #57
- saw a number of interesting characters ;) -
Bug Jam 21 - #60
Bug Jam 21 - #61
- watched Killa Kella on the main stage (awesome) but then the rain drove us back to DVDs and snackies in the cosy bus -
Bug Jam 21 - #63
- bleugh -
Bug Jam 21 - #66
- Woke up on Sunday to blazing sunshine (Hurrah!) -
Bug Jam 21 - #67
- click here for some video of dodgy track burnout -
Bug Jam 21 - #70
- then took a (much more pleasant) walk around the stalls, although still flooded out in places -
Bug Jam 21 - #73
Bug Jam 21 - #74
Bug Jam 21 - #75
Bug Jam 21 - #76
- then past the Jet Bike -
Bug Jam 21 - #77
- and on to the (increasingly badly named) "Show and Shine" -
Bug Jam 21 - #87
Bug Jam 21 - #90
Bug Jam 21 - #91
Bug Jam 21 - #92
Bug Jam 21 - #93
Bug Jam 21 - #95
- and we then spent the remainder of the day enjoying the action on the strip (despite some tragically bad planning stopping all play as the Ambulances were stuck on the wrong side of the Live Action arena for over an hour, during which some totally inconsiderate idiots lit up two disposable BBQs on the top of the strip, on which they proceeded to burn everything they tried to cook, much to the dismay of the patient 200 people downwind of them), anyway, thanks to all the rain over the rest of the weekend we got lots of jet car action -
Bug Jam 21 - #109
Bug Jam 21 - #111
- and then some awesome normal track action -
Bug Jam 21 - #112
Bug Jam 21 - #113
Bug Jam 21 - #116
Bug Jam 21 - #122
Bug Jam 21 - #123
Bug Jam 21 - #124
Bug Jam 21 - #129
- before we chugged out (easily) through the mud (thank goodness for having the engine in the back!)...much like this chap (but without the helpful elves)...

Wish it hadn't been so wet, but everyone still had a great time I think... ;)