Ahhhh the interesting things in New Mexico

This will be brief so I will come back to it all – anyway… so there I was on the accompanied road trip of sorts, when last night we crossed the border of Texas into New Mexico… and promptly saw the lights on the horizon 44 miles prior to reaching this town everyone has heard of. 30 minutes later and we roll into town with mysterious green glows that seem to emanate from everywhere on Main Street…

This is Roswell, home of a reported UFO crash in 1947 and has welcomed every tourist, nut job, geek, hippy and serious researcher ever since. While formal signs will point out that Roswell is the Dairy Capitol of New Mexico, little in the way of lactacious teat pulling is evident… but what is – is this amazing amount of “buy anything with an alien on it”…

It’s fair to say that while it’s fairly obvious something did happen near Roswell, the whole thing has been fairly well lost in the whole touristic quirkiness of the place… This however did not stop me buying a couple of t’shirts and a mug for Fenny – a blue mug strangely.

Onwards and into outlaw country… and the home of Billy The Kid… Driving down Highway 70 (Billy The Kid Byway) aka it’s not hard to see why this landscape favoured the outlaws of the day. Access to the Mexican border and a landscape so easy to hide in it’s kinda obvious. After stopping to read several Historic Markers we pulled over in Ruidoso Downs and the Billy the Kid Byway Visitors Centre to broaden our knowledge considerably.

Then on, on to Tularosa and a food stop of @Gabsatrucker’s (the Driver)  choice and one where only locals stop… to all intents and purposes the place was a shack and I (the Navi-gatorrr and road trip resident legendary bloke) indulged in @Eric_McWhirter’s  food of choice i.e. anything with a Green Chilli in it…  I swear, that man is trying to kill me!! So I did as the locals do – gained a sweaty tan real quick :-/

On again and a slow drive past Holloman AFB, home of the F22 Raptor and F117a  and then to the place I will visit tomorrow….

 Hmmm………….. A Gift Shop…. :-)

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Published in: on 31 December, 2011 at 07:11  Comments Off  
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As the Sun Go Down

Yep, as the sun started to give up on the day, slightly later than a week ago as we have now past Winter Solstice and I head west bound for Dallas… I’ve been somewhat bemused at how people effectively “don’t” over take here, they just sit there doing the same speed as the cars in other lanes. This I would find exceptionally irritating as both a car driver and former trucker… But for my US trucking friends, they live with this all the time and I take my hat off to their endurance ;-) Finally the sun dropped off the horizon and the miles dragged slowly by at 90. The thing about this road trip is that it’s a fast hit on key or interesting places, it’s not a full road trip in so much we’re not taking the old highways like Route 66 etc… I’ll come back later for that.

Dallas looks awesome at night and frankly while there is some thing I wish to see here tomorrow and will post about that later, there was one place I has grab a quick look at – even in the dark and at night… I’ll let you work it out – but a lot of lurking was done on my part ;-)

Published in: on 29 December, 2011 at 08:14  Comments Off  
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Humour Reposted ;-)

I first posted this back in 2008 – do enjoy :D

A Christmas song, adults only!

Here is something I found over on TinyNibbles blog. It’s by Canadian comedy group  ’The Wet Spots’. It made me laugh like a drain.

Don’t let children hear this (not that they should know what the song is about anyway)

Published in: on 24 December, 2011 at 02:55  Comments (1)  

A road less travelled, disaster and road trip

I’m writing today from as Fenny calls it “Left Pondia”… Getting here was interesting on account that I lost my wallet, complete with cash, bank cards and Driving licence :-/

The realisation of the wallet missing happened about half way over the Atlantic, and while I do have the balls to ask them to turn the plane around – the 10+ hour flight was an endurance in itself. Firstly, walking to the gate I end up talking to our Captain, and yes… there was a lot of 777 talk. The take off was actually awesome, the smoothest climb to altitude I’ve ever experienced. This was of course after they were able to get the food services truck off the side of the aircraft – I’m not joking :-) For 30 minutes guys with tools, hi-viz and wrenches ran back and forth until eventually they did something I thought they should have done in the beginning – towed it back and out of the way. This added adventure left many too late to get connecting flights in Houston sadly. Onboard I was served many drinks by a hostess who appeared sadly to be suffering the onset of Parkinson’s Disease, either that or she was suffering from being a former contestant on dancing with stars as Michael J Fox’s partner. That said, I felt sorry for her, she was older, far more glamorous than the younger hostesses, yet if she had one single accident – her career would be over. After arriving in a rain soaked Houston (Texas… and it was raining!) I left the flight thinking that out pilots were first rate and that people wishing to travel with babies should really think about it, seriously!!

1. Do you have to actually fly with a baby?

2. Why aren’t your family flying to you at Christmas?

3. Just how much discomfort is this causing all the other 300 passengers?

If you have a problem with what I just wrote – I’ll be pleased to correct you at ANY level you like ;-) Back in Houston and I was once again joined by my jovial Captain as we joked about the food services truck and I mentioned the good news of losing my wallet.

Now, here is another nugget… TSA at Houston was very slow, especially compared with DC, but at least the chap was a regular comedian which helped considerably. However, on going back through security for my connecting flight – what a complete and utter disaster… You see, there is a limit to just how much security there is versus  how much security becomes detrimental to safety itself – if lets say; so many hundreds of people are queuing up that the place deadlocked… then isn’t it better for a terrorist just to detonate themselves there and then? What I witnessed was an extremity of a  failed ad-hoc system and the showing off to the world just how this great nation was now a victim and it’s frankly not a pretty sight.

An hour later and I’m awoken on the connecting turbo-prop plane, not by the English captain’s announcement, but by screaming women, serious turbulence and a guy wearing a Vietnam Veteran hat saying “we’re going in hot”!! I’d just like to add that this was the most surreal moment in my flying experience.

I’m sitting here now planning a road trip after watching the Simon Pegg & Nick Frost’s movie “Paul”… As for the wallet and bank cards.. Barclays are happy to NOT send me a replacement card to me here, they’ll only send it to my home address… I enquired to the fact I’m in another country without cash, and they said it’s alright VISA will send me some cash.. He put me through (apparently) but after 30 minutes of nothing… I hung up. Thankyou Barclay’s for being totally bloody useless… and yet – so, well, unhelpful.

So Roswell? White Sands? Route 66? Grand Canyon? Vegas? Memphis? – OR South Dakota, NYC and Chicago?…

You know what – you tell me…

PS I would have added an American flag here as Gabsatrucker said the UK had more Union Jacks up than Stars and Stripes in the US… well I’m here to say she is wrong.. very wrong – so wrong that I wondered if people knew where they were lol lol

Christmas and the Year Gone By

Well this past year has been every kind of trauma, fun, upheaval, renewal, learning and as much realisation as you can possibly imagine. At the beginning of 2011 I was indeed living in Devon, now I live somewhere in the middle of the UK and plan to move yet again inside the next 6 months or so.

I’ve also managed to travel extensively and even had this blogs help and hindrance appear for the über fast tour of southern and middle England before she went on her way. I also became an author; publishing the first of several books to Kindle, with a further two in the final edit and one in the writing stage. That one I need a literary agent for.

I’ve had the pleasure this year of meeting several people I have only known online, I also seemed to have travelled a lot and appear to have been to a lot more networking functions than usual. At one of these I met an old friend from my Sheffield days; Alan and I played in a band together, I was a drummer back then and he was the lead guitarist. Heck we even did a European tour and completed several dates across Germany and into Switzerland. No, sadly while I’d like to have claimed it was all rock and roll – we provided the musical backing for a rocked up Christian youth choir… But it was, how should I say… “eventful”. Alan went on to join the RAF Police (like my brother actually) and now is a respectable photo-journalist, podcaster and DJ’s a local radio show – it was fantastic to catch back up with him.

I also finally gained a good Dentist, not only good but both he and his assistant are a shed load of laughs which is always welcome, but he also has a real handle on the state of the bombsite better referred to as my mouth. This is a major “plus” to this year.

This past 12 months have proved an eye opener for me, it has shown me some of the true nature of the most outstanding people I know, ALL of who I am grateful to!! I’ll pop a list at the bottom, but it is in no way complete, so please do not be offended if I didn’t mention you.

The last few weeks have been fairly heavy, because there is much in the works and I’ve been somewhat outside my comfort zone, in fact I could probably say that sums up 2011.

So, here it is, TWBrit thankyou to all who have come by this way to read the blog, contribute to this, and some many other aspects of my life. I truly can’t thank you enough, you have been outstanding, and my life this year would not have moved forward so incredibly well. Above all these people have brilliant;

Sue Black : For constantly encouraging me, ringing up and checking in. Dragging me to the Google Garden Party at Bletchley and for various other things. In the world of tech and software.

Joanne Black : For being true to who she really is; honest, courageous and a genuinely nice person, mom and wife. And for clearing the trees so I can see the wood – and direct encouragement.

Fenny : For stepping up to the plate like no other (and getting a new bathroom out of the deal). Fenny I have known for a great many years, she is way more geek than most geeks and is truly an awesome person. I am seriously indebted to her this year for her direct help and support.

Martha Lane Fox : For getting me to write my first book, in itself it did come to much – but was a catalyst for all the writing since and that is more than enough! :-)

WKD and Kev&Jenette who have kept in contact to see that all is going well. WKD is strange as a former work colleague because while I’m sure my patronising and arrogance drove her nuts, I miss the banter at work.

Hammy & Dean : These two guys were lost to me just over a year ago, and a lifetime apart has changed little. Hammy is still one of the most funny and outstanding guys I know and it’s been a real pleasure keeping up with them throughout the year.

Charlie, Ray Willis, Gary Jones and Steve Easey : Rockin, just rockin!

Gabby aka Gabsatrucker : I swear, this hardcore whoop-ass nut job of a friend could never have been any nationality but her own… she’s crazy in a good way and razor sharp with her wit. She has also help out on this blog, editing my books and all manner of other things. Not bad seeing as every aspect of her life over the last 12 months has been very tough going.

Other areas of outstanding help and encouragement came in the form of Twitter friends @Ritchhh and Natalie… without these guys I wouldn’t have been even on the net still, let alone able to get my ass down here.

Great chats and great laughs, insights and fantastic help which is a large part of the essence of life have often been on Twitter and in email, these have come from;

Loraine in Ohio

Dan Mann

Big Dog

@howlatthemoon

@seasparkle_x

@Pete1550

@Domjoly

@2rexy

@EricMcWhirter

@Simplycycling

@Gypsyhooker

@catflap

@bobbylew

@ethics13

and just so many more

Amazing…..

h/t @ethics13

Over on Twitter, “@ethics13″ posted an odd video link with “pole dancing has come a long way”. Well after that you really can’t not go look ;-)

This is frankly breathtaking, if you ever thought you were fit, maybe even thought about learning the rings in gymnastics – watch this first…

But make sure you watch right until the end…. amazing

Published in: on 10 December, 2011 at 00:22  Comments (2)  
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Todays hit map

Well, I’m impressed :D   It’s the Christmas list isn’t it ;) But I’m only getting just under 15,000 readers a month :(

Published in: on 6 December, 2011 at 14:54  Comments Off  

The 2011 T.W.Brit Christmas List

Yes, it’s this time of year again and strangely, while I dug up the old Christmas logo, I obviously forgot to update the theme with the modern logo style due to the fact I no longer have a working copy of Adobe Creative Suite or better still – Master Suite. This is a shame in itself due to the fact I was to animate the TWBrit logos soon.

This year I’ve been troubled about my wants and wishes… As ever, they’re all crazy, but I thought I would avoid things that require pretence – so membership of Whites Club has been removed. Nevertheless, the taste of all the things I cannot afford grows and lets be honest – is it not that if we refuse to dream, we’ll never make our tomorrow better? This year I will also ply a degree of reasoning with the items on the list. This does not mean there will be logic in that reasoning as in some cases it might come down phrases like “want one” or “me-some” ;-)

Also some things on my list last year I actually got :-) and some things this year maybe left over from last year.

So here it is, the crazy and often regarded insane:

 The 2011 Christmas List

                          

Battenberg Cake

I know, I’ve put it here before, heck Gabsatrucker even made me one once. But Battenberg is a guys cake… It may look pink and yellow, be wayyyy too sweet – but it is the mass production and yet basic engineering concept that makes this baby a geometric marvel that most guys like – me some

Life Time Supply of Coffee

Because last time I did get coffee, but I’m still alive and I’ve run out ;)

A Knighthood:  for services to Britishness, Commonsense and because I’m apparently Legendary :-)

                     

Personalized TWBrit Guitar Picks

Not that I can decide which way to do the artwork as you can see….

                                    

ACDC Wine

:) Toller, Shaker, Blood and Black :)

                                                 

Heavy Duty Footwear = CAT & Dehner

I have no problem with wearing pretty much nothing else than Caterpillar Colorado Boots all the time… Supreme comfort, durability and never a bad smell. I have also been on the look out for a long field boot for ages and without spending thousands, the only one that seems to be tough enough and still to be reasonable are Dehner Boots… the actual benefit of Dehners’ is that while it may look like you’re gonna get your head kicked in by them – it allows me to wade through your sticky, lard like entrails afterwards. This, (if you are unsure) is a good thing! ;-)

Tech…  did you think I had forgotten?? Here they are, the crazy tech items I actually need…

                                 

Dell Alienware M11X, M14X and M17X – yes, all 3

                                  

Then 2 x  XPS 15z with i7 cpu’s

                                                                                                    

Marshall Hand Wired amp and speaker stack.

                                                

Motion Computing J3500

                                                          

A Matrox M9188 16 port Graphic Card with Touch…

                                                                

Adobe Master Edition

I have come to use Adobe software a lot on here and with other work. I used to have the CS2 edition but lost the disc a long time ago. And have been using Trial versions ever since… the trials have expired :( But the reason I love this software is simply the fact you’re limited only by a few things; Imagination! Knowledge of how to use it fully and Cost. Here is the ad vid to the previous version; everything you see here, the detail in the designs, animations and the music was all done with it.

                                                               

Battlefield 3

Because it’s Battlefield 3 and I can’t run Battlefield 2 anymore :( Just for fun, here is the Play Symphony playing the theme music :-)

                                                                                               

Amberley Court

Amberley Court was on last years list… If this house was a few miles east and not on the side of a hill… it would possibly be the best possible house in the world to me. It came up for sale on the Knight Frank website and I have literally spent weeks pawing over the plans and redesigning the Master Bedroom suite, removing the garden and building a huge basement that covers several floors and includes a way out to the pool house and an extensive subterranean garage, not to mention all manner of other things. The general layout is just astounding!! Sadly it was taken off the market… But still, what a house!!

                                                                                              

Free advanced Adobe Training

                                                                    

Private Boeing 787

Yes, yes, I know…. And yes that is a car in the hold. And why? Because it’s the ultimate freedom, and because it’s so wrong and well, I want one :D

But as I did not win the Euro millions Lottery to the tune of £146m ($227,716,200) a few months ago and would have bought a new 737 BBJ (or 2nd hand 777) to whiz myself and my friends about in – I decided to set my fictional goals just that bit higher ;-)

                                                                    

As EVERY year… a Taylor K22ce

 

—————————————————————————————–

As an interlude, I also have a question or two… Person posing as my former neighbour of sorts, who are you and what have you done with my razor-sharp witted, night driving, sledge-hammer owning, house bashing, hard-assed off roading buddy KMA? ;)

It has been a strange year, and I have to say there are several people I miss on the old twitterscape and blogasphere. I guess most don’t know who they are – but from Dave, Annie, Joanne, WKD, Al, and so many others… you’re missed.

Right – back to it…

Again…. The Land Rover 110 CSW… 2.5 TDi and fully equipped if poss ;-)

-

The Wacom Cintiq 24HD

Actually, I would use this every day!! Top tool for doing a top job :-)

                                                                   

A Desktop Solution with a 28 or 30 LED primary screen solution with 2 x22 screen and 6 x 7 touch screens. Sadly the NEC/Alienware 48 inch curved screen is no longer available.

Another Guitar : Gibson Les Paul Dark Fire.

This thing just takes guitar tech to a new level :-)

Gibson still make the Dark Fire, but you need to order it via dealer.

                                                    

A Made By Bob hoody in navy blue with white writing, size XXL

                                                      

Still want an Accuracy International .338

Because it rocks and it’s just a whole loada wrong ;-)

                                                                                          

British Airways – Free bump to business class on every flight I take…. And free trip to Toronto before Christmas please (rtn January) ;-)

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                 

Theakston’s Old Peculier by the barrel, not the bottle

Whoever you are, where ever you are…. Please, have a great Christmas, drive safely and be safe. For my friends of other religions – know that the spirit and good will of this time extends to you also.

But NOT if you’re a kiddy fiddling priest!!

UPDATE

Regular readers will be thankful of the following image as I’m now too late to purchase these confectionary gifts for you – and yes, this is for real.., as you can see HERE.  I know Hammy will be exceptionally disappointed ;)

A day out and about and a visit to Google

Yesterday I got the olde carcass out and about, cranked up the old TWBrit CofC2 (car of character) and pottered (close to the speed of take off) down to Bletchley train station and collapsed on a train to London.

40 minutes later and I’m bouncing on the wonder of ancient innovation i.e. the Tube to the banking heartlands and monumental proof that crime can pay – Canary Wharf. Arriving exactly at 3pm to meeting none other than @Ritchhh for coffee and a good old laugh and chat. It was the first time I met Richard, and he has been a massive influence on my life during this past 12 months. Of which I took the opportunity to thank him properly while having an awesome chat about twitter, the web and the future… Richard is not a small guy (17ft 11inches) and certainly someone to whom a new world beckons considerably.

Onwards, and back on the olde Tube heading for Victoria and another coffee as I contemplate the actual concept of the thing I’m heading towards… The Luvvies and Boffin’s bash at the UK Google headquarters.

It was an interesting concept, something lost in the initial talk about it, but an opportunity to meet movers and shakers in the various fields. I did come away with a lot on my mind, I also had a what? why? and don’t already?

You see there a lot of unsung people in technology, in fact there several parts to the collective industry and no one part is more important than the other. Sadly though, people in a given field do one of two things, forget about the importance of all other fields and in doing so become blinkered and therefore ultimately limited by what they can achieve, and end up being way off the mark when something changes elsewhere. Obviously that situation (which I witness ALL THE TIME) is highly detrimental for the business end. It’s actually one of the reasons some companies have a far higher staff turnaround in order to keep the ideas fresh.

So what are these parts?

  • Software (writers/engineers)
  • Hardware (design and builders)
  • Network (Administration, design and build)
  • Infrastructure (designers, optical fibre, satellites, data-centre)

Then there other fields that cross over

  • Matte Artists (people who do that awesome artwork in games and all the way through to TV and Film)
  • Soft tech and end product aesthetic design
  • The Sales out put
  • The End User

In many respects, when I took a little time out of the industry I heard a phrase repeated several times; “Another thing that is apparently vital, that we can’t live without and no one wants”

This had an impact on me. It’s strange how so many people disagree about Steve Jobs – the techs know that Mr Jobs was NOT a tech genius, infact he WAS a marketing genius – and good for him! But to the end user and person in the street, he is a guy that created their cool gadget. He made “Bling” more expensive and wanted than the actual power and bang for buck. Apple simply has a great OS which you, the end user is not allowed to tinker with!! He didn’t invent the smart phone, he along with every other manufacturer was in a race to provide an almost PC power level handset ready for the 4G revolution… And you wanna know something – they failed… So much so, 4G isn’t going to be the power and bandwidth originally designed because of the problem with all the industry in this field tripping over the latest gadget and not getting on with thinking and working far enough ahead.

Now I’m not gonna sit here and give a lecture in the real truth that has been going on, or how many people try to get on the band wagon, because frankly there are now too many people sitting around and talking about and not making a decision and getting a job done – we are now becoming our own hindrance (me included).   Here is the problem – we can’t teach passion… especially when the teacher has the blinkers on… Art in tech is already there… Apple proved it and for the most part, artists don’t sit around talking, they sit around imagining things….

And that is the future – the joining together of Luvvies and Boffins to change the world and walk freely into the future with eyes wide open.

I must thank Dr Sue Black for dragging me along, to see PJ Bryant again was fantastic and also to thank him sincerely for the exercise advice when we had previously met when I’d ripped all the ligaments on my left shoulder.

I was going to add a gruesome story to my journey home… but alas, nah ;-)

So finally a few pics of inside Google itself… I took these on purpose because they stopped me from taking a picture of reception – the visitors end and the bit they apparently no longer wish to show off ;)

Toilet Lighting

Emergency Gurl Ammo or Extreme First Aid

Well, I use a HTC, I find these a little clumbersome on the car suspension

Published in: on 2 December, 2011 at 03:46  Comments Off  
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