30 September, 2008
In the midst of all this financial chaos, it was rather amusing to find (in a wry sort of way) on my walk to the office "quarterly briefing" this morning to spot this art installation (bizarrely called "Love-Love") twisting in the breeze in the middle of South Dock...It's total coincidence too (barring unprecidented artistic precognition) as it's part of the planned event "Drift 08" taking place along the Thames currently - apparently it is (despite appearances) actually perfectly sea-worthy, and can be moved around powered by an electric motor in exactly this configuration - I bet that raised more than a few eyebrows when it was sailed up the Thames..."Non, non, I am fine! Really!!!" ;)
Apparently, the French artist responsible - Julien Berthier - has actually now sold the piece (although probably not to a wealthy London Banker) for £50,000, but it's staying put for the time being if you want to come and take a peek at it spinning mournfully, perpetually suspended at the moment before total catastrophe...(the boat that is)...
29 September, 2008
So Friday was the wedding (as Flyingpops has already mentioned), this meant the alarm going off at practically the normal sort of time in the morning thanks to Flyingpops' Mum and Charlie (the hairdresser) arriving at about half eight...I made up my mind (with a lot of unhelpful worrying from Flyingpops) as to which shirt/tie combination I was going to wear and selected a nice pair of cufflinks (camper van-shaped ones in the end) and then had about 3 hours to burn before we actually needed to set off (sooo much quicker for a chap to get ready to go out than for a young lady... ;)
- the weather couldn't have been much better (cool and bright - perfect for events requiring suits etc.)...we all filed in, passing the ladies being stopped at the door to put small bits of plastic on their shoes -
- (even though the floor appeared to be largely made of solid granite) -
- and then in for the quick civil ceremony in an amazingly tapestried room (no photography allowed though) -
- our reading was practically the last bit of the show, and thanks to our practicing we delivered a polished performance (or so said practically everyone I shook hands with afterwards - although for some reason quite a number of them seemed to have concluded that we had either chosen it ourselves or actually written it personally, neither of which could we claim credit for, those responsible being the bride and Edward Monkton respectively)...Anyway the canapés and wine came out (nor did either seem to stop for the entire duration of the photography) -
- which took us on to what appeared to be the old wine cellar for the house, where we sat down to a fine dinner/speeches etc...
When this was all concluded we were then kicked out to enjoy the glorious gardens and a spectacular Surrey sunset while the DJ set up for the evening's entertainment -
- and the staff prepared more snacks -
- probably the only down-side of the whole thing was having to leave in time for the staff to have all our mess cleared up by midnight, but all good things must come to an end... ;)
Well, or so I thought until I woke up on Saturday barely able to walk thanks to a "dancing" injury...(feeling better now though, thanks for asking)... ;)
26 September, 2008
A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton
The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.
Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur's cage with kind words and loving thoughts.
I like this Dinosaur thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny.
He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.
I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur, thought the Dinosaur. She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice.
She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.
But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
He is also overly fond of things.
Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?
But her mind skips from here to there so quickly thought the Dinosaur. She is also uncommonly keen on shopping.
Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping?
I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. For they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.
I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping, thought the Dinosaur. For she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides, I am not unkeen on shopping either.
Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old.
Look at them.
Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.
And that, my friends, is how it is with love.
Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together.
For the sun is warm.
And the world is a beautiful place
The build up and day itself were totally electric and I felt like I was walking on air for weeks – totally untouchable and extremely positive about everything. When Scott arrived, we knew there were only a few days left and I had to force myself to get the beauty sleep to prevent bags under the eyes in the pics! I had gone through the anxiety dreams of the car not turning up, or Fink hurting his knee and was well and truly bouncing off the walls with excitement (think of Tigger and you get the picture). Each dream was filled with such happiness and there were absolutely no doubts in my mind that this would be the start of our next chapter and the best days of our life!
I had lots of fun planning our wedding and had spent hours talking to mum about colours, tables, flowers, dresses, and the tiny detail that when pulled together, really do create the most incredible day. We had hired Oxted community hall for our reception and could only get in at 19.00 the night before, so I handed complete control over to Fink, the best man and my family who turned a fairly standard hall into a shrine of Fink and Net memorabilia (and one of the best receptions I’ve ever been too). I had made everyone a little folder, with photos and descriptions of how to decorate the tables and hall and they went above and beyond my expectations in pulling it all together. In the very early days, I said I wanted our wedding to be personal to us, so every item introduced from favours, to the cake, had a hint of our personalities and had gone through a rigorous analysis to make sure it fitted in with the overall theme... (Including hunting high and low for purple toilet roll!)
So, the day before the wedding... fink and I were up early and went into Redhill to purchase one last gift.. We came back, Scott packed the car and then I said a tearful good bye to Fink (the next time we were to meet, would be at the end of the aisle, before taking our vows). Scott drove me to dirking, collected the suits, whilst Fink stayed at home writing his speech ... then he dropped me at my parents, whilst he went off to finish his best man duties (get the car washed etc)... At mums/dads you could feel the anticipation, similar to when you were young child on Christmas eve, waiting for Christmas day when you get to wear your best clothes and yet your parents are all calm (even if they don’t feel it, you would never know!) Dad pottered around making sure the driveway looked good, and mum made the finishing touches to the most incredibly spotless house you have ever seen (photographer arriving the following day). An old school friend stopped by for a chat and then came in with her husband and baby for a coffee.. and since they were also coming to the wedding we chatted about hair, outfits and the fact her son had to wait until the following day before he wore his new coat!
As time ticked on, Charlotte arrived for the pampering... a manicure and pedicure for me, manicure and false nails for mum and not to leave dad out – a man’s manicure for him! By 8.00 all was finished, a quick dinner of jacket potato and salad, then I went to bed at 9.00 – in my old room (which had been decorated) for the all important beauty sleep..... ZZZZZ zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
I woke up at about 4am – with dad getting a drink, then slept through till 7 – when Dad got up to take his bathroom slot... When I came down the stairs, I didn’t feel nervous, anxious or even stressed.... just happier than I’ve ever been in my life and unable to stop smiling!
As I’m typing this, I have a lump in my throat as it brings so many memories into my head.. I know I’ll be shedding a tear tomorrow when I see Gayle in all her beauty, and then when they say their vows. Having been together for 8 years, lots of people said being married would not be any different, however I have to disagree. Being married isn’t easy, you have to constantly work at it, but when you make you promises to each other and declare your vows in front of your friends, family, the church and then with the exchange of rings, you know it’s for keeps, and you get a warm, glowing feeling of contentment knowing that no matter what happens, you’ve got each other. .. Forever..
Firstly, a nice piece on the future of photography (with some surprising developments in the pipeline) from New Scientist...
A staggeringly effective warning sign...(one would imagine)... ;)
Now let's do a bit of urban exploration and see how entropy is treating an abandoned Grand Central station in the former USSR...(page loads a bit slow, so be patient)...
Some really very clever Atari 2600-style cartridge fronts done for modern games (like GTA, Bioshock and Portal)...
Some pre-and-post comparison shots of the effect of Hurricane Ike's arrival...
Check out what Singapore airlines did with their brand new airbus A380...rather a nice way to travel (if one absolutely must board an aircraft)!
An excellent guide (containing the sagely advice "Don't try this") to using Thermite to securely wipe your hard drive...
A startlingly accurate pie chart...
Guy photographs himself every day for 17 years (time lapse movie)...
The birth of the emoticon - 18th of September, 1982 (at 11:44am)...
...and finally an extremely painful ad placement fail...ouch...! >;o
More of the same sort of thing same time next week and previous weeks links can be found here... ;)
25 September, 2008
So I won't bother then...! >;P
22 September, 2008
This weekend was pretty busy, saw Jinx (for about the first time since my wedding) on Friday night (we played games and caught up on what we had been up to in the meantime)...Saturday morning Flyingpops and I were just in the middle of making the house a bit more child friendly when our hairdresser arrived (half an hour before we thought she was supposed to) which led to a procession of hour-long hair colouring and cutting (in preparation for the aforementioned wedding) for various female members of the family, punctuated only by little Emily and Oliver crashing into me, smearing me with half chewed/melted (insert food-stuff here), or getting dirty or into trouble in unexpected ways in the garden - a pleasure to see them, but I think we should cut down on the high-sugar snacks they get as a treat when they do come round...oh and we ploughed through about 4 loads of washing (the sun was bright but quite weak, which meant the last load came in still quite wet and got hung around the living room to finish off drying)...
Saturday night I made pasta (bolognese with lots of garlic and herbs), and managed to overcook Flyingpops' pizza (she didn't mind), and then we watched "The Other Boleyn Girl", which was very enjoyable apart from the fact that the plot line follows almost exactly the same thread as "Carry on Henry" which made my mind sort of hop between the very serious subject matter (start of the Church of England/beheading etc.) and "Bom boooom"/"Do you want some more cream? My jugs are on the table" sort of comedy...
Sunday morning I went and did the shopping (so Flyingpops could have some extra shut-eye), got very frustrated with Mr Tesco as he had shuffled the fruit and veg aisles (for no good reason that I could see), the stuff for a roast dinner is now in two different ones, instead of all neatly together...Flyingpops said it might be in preparation for Christmas, but I dunno...the rest of Sunday was spent helping Flyingpops to get ready for her 2 night trip to Geneva (starting tonight flying out from London City Airport with Swiss Air), playing Splinter Cell on the 360, cooking up a roast dinner and then catching up with the week's action on "The Restaurant"...
Oh and this morning on the way in to London I managed to break Flyingpops' coat (which had got stuck down beside her seat on the train) - I broke one of the studs from the cuff pulling it out (which made her rather annoyed), but as her suggested alternative would have been to just leave the coat there, I think a coat with one stud missing has got to be better than no coat at all...and I can't have her getting cold in Switzerland!
19 September, 2008
Well, what a lovely surprise! After two really very nice days in town (working, obviously), I check the weather report on the BBC and the weekend is actually forecast to be jolly nice too! If it weren't for all the hair colouring (for Timmy and Gayle's impending wedding) going on this weekend I might very well have suggested getting away in Colin the Camper for a lazy weekend!
Still going to do my best to enjoy it...maybe a last minute BBQ or something of that ilk would be in order... ;)
Let's get the cats out the way first with a spooky video entitled "Ninja cat comes closer without moving"...(or learn how it feels to be a bird on a bird table, checking over your shoulder every few seconds)...ulp!
Can't let that one go by without a nod to Ninja Dog "Sofia" demonstrating that no human can hope to keep her in captivity...woof!
Now let's take a little walk around
Find out what happened to an autistic child and his father when they were swept out to sea by a rip-tide...(double ulp!)...
Snort and chortle at some Entomologist humor...
Check out a novel approach to malware and virus protection from the ever looping self re-enforcing stereotype that is Japanese culture...
Enjoy a picture entitled "Never mind the graffiti, check out the road sign" (duck)!
A screen grab of a very amusing day on the facepunch studio forum pages (they pretty much all got banned as a result)...still laughing from that one...harsh mod! They were only having a giggle... ;)
Sign yourself up for Queen's University Belfast's "Jedi Knight" course (it costs £23 a pop and the course lasts one day - if only all those padwans had known)...!!
A rather expensive chess set (well, actually it couldn't really be any more expensive than it's constituants)...!
Be amused (sounds unlikely I know, but yes, really!) by Kansas City Library's car park...
Check out this picture called "Evolution" (actually, I'm not too sure that is the case, but anyway)...
Some fairly amusing Engrish signs for Tourists...
The difference between Harry Potter and Star Wars (completely worth the read just for the last line)... ;)
Now 20 memorable photographic fakes, courtesy of the Telegraph (sorry, another cat snuck through)...
...and finally an amusing demographic targeting fail...
More of the same sort of thing same time next week and previous weeks links can be found here (if you remain unsatisfied)...hope not though... ;)
18 September, 2008
- had a desk move over the weekend, and now, instead of Canada Square (and the O2), although I can still see that if I look to my left (albeit through a glass meeting room), my new main view is now over East London, looking towards where the new Olympic site is slowly creeping into existence...and look, the sun has even come out to let me take a nice picture... ;)
17 September, 2008
16 September, 2008
Spotted this today, lurking at the foot of the escalators in Cabot place - a registration desk attempting to attract US citizens (those that are hiding in alien territories) to sign up ready to vote (in their "abroad" capacity) and influence the results of the US elections...not that they can have honestly missed the fact that it has been taking place (since about January)...are they *ever* going to get on and actually resolve the matter?
In other news, yesterday the Leehman bank told all their employees they were going to be out of a job, the immediate result was that all the pubs and bars around the Wharf filled up with frantic looking people clutching cardboard boxes full of desk ornaments...and today, sadly, the tube trains did actually feel a little bit emptier...whatever is going on with the world...? A colleague even spotted someone carrying an empty suitcase who got off at Canary Wharf...
Let's just hope that whoever does end up getting elected to the White House puts stabilizing global economy as priority one...working somewhere like this you can't help but see the very tangible effects, happening just across the road...
15 September, 2008
12 September, 2008
Firstly, lets learn how to make some amusingly yukky looking "jars of monstrosities" ready for Halloween
A funny picture series called "What the supporting role is doing"... ;)
Take a look at some of the worlds strangest fences and a few brick walls too...
Worry, as we discover (uh oh!) they know your bank card PIN! Is nothing safe any longer??
A picture called "Spider on Frog on Turtle" (I think it's actually a tortoise)...make sure you read the description... ;)
Meet the Tardigrade, a creature that can survive - unprotected - in the vacuum of space...
A shot entitled "Just keeping a tally"...
A bit of a mixed message going on in the Tokyo subway...
...and finally an excellent "Safety Fail"... ;)
More of the same sort of thing same time next week and previous weeks links can be found here (if you remain unsatisfied)...hope not though... ;)
11 September, 2008
Excellent stuff...enjoy... ;)
10 September, 2008
I can remember standing, as a young child watching a very worrying display in the Science Museum showing me exactly how often I was probably being hit by showers of nasty particles caused by Galactic cosmic ray particles smashing into other objects in the Earth's atmosphere (to very little effect)...I will admit that I was a little unsettled, especially upon discovering that they were radioactive (growing up at the tail end of the cold war)...but it's not done me a huge amount of harm so far and if that kind of event is weaker than what is going on at the LHC...(to quote Stephen Hawking - "Collisions releasing greater energy occur millions of times a day in the earth’s atmosphere and nothing terrible happens")...
Still, it is a great story..."Swiss black hole consumes planet"...not that anyone would even have time to write the first letter of the headline if nature somehow did manage to defy Stephen Hawking's brain... ;)
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Mum,
Happy Birthday to you
Thank you for being the best mum in the world (especially with all of your help and patience planning our wedding earlier this year)
09 September, 2008
07 September, 2008
06 September, 2008
05 September, 2008
I've been jealous all week (even packing Fink's case for him), but sadly, my thoughts of Cornwall, (Cornish Pasties, Cream Tea and surfing) probably aren't the same as boys on a stag do, so I'll be staying at home (in the warm)
This is the longest that Fink and I have been apart since getting married in March, so I'm beginning to wonder how to spend my time? As my thoughts move to the Home Alone movie, I may find myself jumping on the bed, setting up a DVD to protect against the Pizza delivery boy and set up marble traps to protect against the evil men!
I've arranged a girly Sat evening, and am out in London tonight with work mates.. My only real concern is who is going to cook my Sunday roast? Every week, Fink and I sit down at 6.30 for roast... being vegetarian, a minimum of 8 veg are served and nut cutlet or vegetarian alternative... I'm going to starve! .. that is unless anyone takes pity on me and decides to invite me over! ;o)
04 September, 2008
First off this week, take a dip into a guide (published in 1736) to the gutter slang "Thieves cant"...
Next, watch as the Earth is hit by a massive asteroid (courtesy of the Discovery Channel)...
Join Banksy as he takes a road trip across America drawing pictures...
Take a little peek at the pointy-end of a cluster bomb?
Assess your chances of getting out alive (Star Trek edition)...
Spend some time checking out the guy who decided to build a clone of the Apollo mission guidance computer...gets a bit hardcore, but even the overview is worth a peek... ;)
Wired's Howto blog explains how to keep streamed MP3s for later...
Now how about a little walk around a Russian Cold War Nuclear bunker?
Learn how archeologists are going to use Muons to peer inside Mayan ruins...
Scientists building the worlds most powerful magnet, able to withstand forces equivalent to "200 sticks of dynamite concentrated into a space the size of a marble"...
Be suprised if you missed this, but watch the Mythbusters guys use 2100 paintball guns (linked together) to paint a picture of the Mona Lisa...
Check out a triple layered Klein bottle (from the British Science Museum's collection)...
See (the suprisingly sensible) approach to protecting German firemen from flames, reported in Modern Mechanics magazine, Feb 1931...
Find out about America's Pluto Missile project - "a locomotive-size missile powered by an unshielded nuclear ramjet that would travel at near-treetop level at three times the speed of sound, tossing out hydrogen bombs as it roared overhead"...nice!
Following the theme, how two US students went ahead and worked out how to build their own A-Bomb (in 1964)...
Watch this video of the incredible innespace dolphin jetski...
...and finally an excellent "Pen Fail"...
More linktastic goodness at the same time next week and previous weeks links can be found here (as if you needed any more)... ;)
03 September, 2008
Best news of all, initial (disappointing) reports were that the game was going to be pretty small and very quick to complete (30 hours or so, which after all this development time would have been a bit of a shame), latest news is that (the map at the very least) has now grown to roughly the same size as the Oblivion map (i.e. absolutely colossal) and there are now around 200 possible endings, dependent entirely on player actions throughout the game...not only that, but they have managed to continue with their tradition of employing extremely fine voice actors (Patrick Stewart playing the King in "Oblivion") - Fallout 3 has Liam Neeson voice acting the part of the main characters father...oh come on and hurry up October!!! Not been this excited about a game since (the terrible let-down that was) Thief 3...
02 September, 2008
Don't forget it's Google Chrome launch day today! It's a new, built from the ground up (rather than evolving organically) web browser with some absolutely amazing new features -
- Web content gets locked into a sandbox in it's own memory space, so far less chance of memory leaks and bad performance
- Permission to data on your hard drive is strictly controlled, so much less to worry about from Spyware/Malware (and they are also giving away free automatically updated blacklists of evil sites to help to stop you from being tricked into giving up personal details
- Sandbox sessions can't get at Windows to change code or steal financial details/passwords
- A total privacy mode exists where nothing you do is ever recorded or kept stored on the hard drive
- The new start page automatically populates with your 9 most visited sites
- Each tab has it's own address bar which will auto-suggest (only very sensible) selected sites or related searches
Check out the "comic book" introduction to the project (which goes into much more detail than I have here)...
Really looking forward to this! Bring it on Google!
Update - Grab it here...
Update update - someone has already discovered an easter egg - type in "about:internets" to the address bar... ;)
Wow...look! They have managed to get the display that shows when the next bus is due (partially) working! It's only been missing/down or sitting in "test mode" for four and a half months and all of a sudden, here we show it displaying when the next three 435's are due, none of the other buses of course, but at least the 435 is one of the ones I am interested in...the only thing that confuses me, however, is that it was working absolutely perfectly before they tore down the old structure...so quite why they couldn't just carefully unplug it, smash the old building down and build the new one and then carefully plug it back in again (until any replacement system was ready) is a bit of a mystery...? Anyway, just pleased that there is a little progress towards making my journey home a tad easier...of course, if this new system is going to be a real-time accurate indication of where buses actually are (rather than just when they are "due") then I take it all back...the wait will have been worth every minute! We shall see... ;)
01 September, 2008
Mustn't forget to mention that we have had a marriage proposal (and acceptance!) in Canada (very many congratulations to Sal and Jas!) which you can read about on their blog here (they are going to be flying back to Blighty soon so I imagine there will be some sort of celebration to be conducted upon their return)...then *this* coming weekend is another long one (for me anyway) as we are going to spend four days down in Cornwall to help Timmy celebrate his stag do, I am being picked up from home at 10am on Friday to begin the process of collecting all the attendees from around the South East (must remember to pack my stuff)! In fact, when Flyingpops was looking at the calendar yesterday morning, she announced that we don't actually have another completely free weekend now until October...!
Busy busy busy!