Stuff :-)

Firstly, hurricane Sandy…. Wow!!

Hope most people are ok, I guess NYC will be building some new infrastructure over the coming weeks and months to minimise this kind of thing again. Web buddy and owner of Rocketboom.com Andrew Baron managed to get out and about and take some pics of the aftermath. Click on the image to go and see

All things “Sandy” aside, it was Halloween and a quick look at this site called TMZ made me realise that at least 90% of the so-called celebs they talk about, I’ve not in fact heard of lol. Most of which didn’t come close to @gabsatrucker’s Halloween cozzy which was based on a pirate wench – less sword, belt and hat. But in all of this, something strange appeared. [***Segue***] I’ve been looking into “E-Cigarettes” and so far I have found that many rave about the “Apollo” brand for being so like the real thing – yet DONT smell, DONT kill you and DONT affect the people around you… But who knew that come all things Halloween you can “Mod” them and make them look Kewl?! This pic is care of @gypsyhooker or better known as Shannon to the good ladies of the US trucking fraternity.

But… I’m about to embark on a trial of these e-cigs and see if they work where on 4 occasions everything else (patches, a punch in the mouth etc) have failed. But while doing my research I have come across some disturbing things.

1. There is no enforced safety standard or Govt. Regulation

2. There is no guidance regarding public places and mass transit.

3. If these things work, then they are in everyone’s interest to allow and to help stop smoking widely

4. The cost of these things are targeted at the price of a pack of cigarettes – whereas most people in the UK at least, hand-roll – so moving to e-cigs is a far more expensive consideration than the cost to remain smoking…

5 What I do disagree with is that they are made to look like real cigarettes! As such there have been instances on flights where one person has seen someone smoking an e-ciggy and just assumed it was ok to smoke – and lit up a real one… So, they should ban the use of Red or Orange LED’s in them and the outer colour should not be white.

Talking of planes though…

Air New Zealand have brought out a new flight safety video… Think Hobbits!! It’s great lol

In other news

As I mention in an earlier post, this blog’s and my buddy Sue Black was raising pledges for a BOOK publication… Well not only did she raise them, she far exceeded them and in doing so she halved the record time it takes to raise them!! Great work Sue and everyone who pledged – rocking, just rocking!!

More news…

Dell, who class themselves not as a manufacturer but as a Solutions provider have been making steps forward into the digital home. Work, office, media, study, play, photography, design, interact; you name it, dell has drawn it all together for the home in a realistic way and far beyond any other company to date. The new Tech Inspiration site is now up and running with tons of know-how, and cool stuff HERE or click the pic.

SXSW 2013 Austin, Texas… Yer know…. as far as music and film goes – SXSW still has it, but the “Interactive” part? I think 2012 was its death knell… You see, the Interactive part was a meeting place of ideas, conceptual minds to share and conceive of next-tech etc. Now it’s basically a highly sponsored group of events to flog the attendee something.

Even Toby Daniels the CEO of Crowdcentric and the Founder and Executive Director of Social Media Week said the format is old and stale. But the worse parts of SXSW are:

The Ticket Prices!! For an event so highly sponsored they’re unreasonable, unrealistic in the present climate and just money grabbing!

Transport!! Austin really needs to address its transport for such major events. Especially from the Airport – which for the most part you can’t fly internationally to from any country other than Mexico… But would desperately benefit from direct flights to London, Tokyo, Vancouver, Toronto, Sydney and Shanghai.

Yet Austin feels it has a place on the world stage – I happen to agree, but it will soon be looked over due to the inability to get people to the city and around it in a reliable and at a reasonable rate… The Taxi’s are just too expensive.

And Finally: Accommodation… Often booked up, too many tickets than hotel rooms available and of course – the premium prices for the accommodation…

The only thing killing SXSW is – SXSW and Austin itself and it pains me to say that. But Austin will learn this the hard way if F1 finds fault with transport and accommodation that is for sure.

Personally, I like Austin!! In fact I believe Austin has a massive opportunity to make itself one of the best City’s in not only the USA, but culturally and in a cosmopolitan sense – one of the finest in the World!! But there is much to do, and little time to waste.

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Dr Sue Black : Saving Bletchley Park

One of Gabsatrucker and my coolest and greatest friends is Sue Black. I met her via the web years ago when talking about Bletchley Park. Bletchley Park wasn’t only the home of the Code Breakers, and the worlds first digital programmable computers – in fact it was one of British Telecoms most studious of technical training centres and a place where I first learned about technology, telecommunications and much more. But that was 1989 and at that time only a very few people knew of Bletchley Park’s real history. I certainly didn’t before I went there.

Today we all know about Bletchley Park; its impact and ultimately what freedoms together with the vast sacrifice of that time gave us in Europe, UK, the USA and in many countries around the world.

Yet it hasn’t been without a vast amount of work by the team at Bletchley Park and the unbelievable amount of input and some hard work by Sue Black.

Sue is a mom, is funny, zany and probably one of the most intelligent women you could meet. She runs to raise awareness and to raise money for things she believes in and has given herself completely to Saving Bletchley Park as well as supporting women in tech, and pioneering a new approach to teaching tech to children.

Sue has been approached to write about Saving Bletchley Park and Unbound.co.uk has asked her to do a full pitch of her forthcoming release.

Unbound is a unique new-ish system for publishing where you get to participate at various levels.

Please visit HERE or click on the image below to go to the page and video to give it a look. You can’t miss her – she is the one with the pink hair :-)  She’s growing it now – for charity i.e. I’ll give her £5 if she does ;-)

You can learn more about Sue here WikipediaLinkedInFacebookGoogle+Carpool Google Scholar and SueBlack.co.uk

Stuff, some odd, some kewl…

Ok, over in the USA presently is this blogs buddy, cohort, founder of The <goto> Foundation, lady saving Bletchley Park and rocking friend of both myself and this other blogs torment ;)  (Gabsatrucker) – Dr Sue Black….

Sue has been on a whirlwind tech tour of Brazil, Mexico and is presently on the Orange Blog Bus travelling and tweeting her way from San Francisco to who knows where. While I’d be the first to rib her and say wherever she goes she’s no more than a stones throw from a beach or pool, I have to give credit to her perpetual long distance travels and all the hassle that they bring – recently; appalling food poisoning!

But with visits to just about every company in Silicon Valley and the entire San Francisco Bay area under her belt, I can’t help but think she’s found her true home and calling.

In other news

There is a load of frankly crap going on in the UK news about a senior minister giving a Police officer grief – which he in turn realised the error of his ways and apologised.. however! This has not stopped the police federation and other political parties demanding the resignation of the minister.

Well my point of view is (bearing in mind the police officers read this blog and are my friends) that he’s apologised – so if the day ever comes when you don’t get an attitude or even passive threat from a cop – then fine, have him resign… but until then “pot & kettle” (pun intended) . It’s certainly not something I accuse all officers of, but in certain forces it happens a lot.

Which brings me to more Policing news…

We often see videos on the news or You Tube of officers stepping over the mark… But what about a cop with an exemplary record and not one complaint?  Well look no further than a CBS News report in to L.A. Sheriff’s Deputy Elton Simmons… Over 20 years in the job and over 25,000 traffic stops – not one single complaint! This… is how policing should be, but… alas there are different types of policing by the nature of crime itself, but this guy is a great place to start. Click the pic to go to CBS News and watch the vid.

Finally:

I was pottering about the Land Rover Dallas website (because the Little Rock one isn’t very good) while searching for a vehicle for 3 months use and noticed their website page header. To be honest the company is also based in Austin and Frisco but nevertheless it made me smile and some way I concur… see what you think.

Music: the theme tune to your life

I sometimes use a quote that I took from a TV show; I was sitting in my villa on Ranco Village compound, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in the summer of 2000, hiding in the comfort of air conditioning from the extreme heat outside and flicking through the channels as you do. I started watching something I’d term “brain mulch”, I find if you let yourself go with this stuff sometimes you can actually enjoy it (which explains why I don’t own a TV). Anyway, the quote was “If ain’t coming out of a thing called Marshall, then it ain’t music”. I smiled at this, looked over at a recently purchased cheap Epiphone Strat copy that I’d bought locally (for reason of its amazing setup – not the sh*te pickups).  I thought “true! – to a point…”

A year later and living in London I enrolled in the Guitar Institute, the reason was that while I love much about the guitar (albeit, I was more a drummer), I never ever understood it, nor did I ever understand the part when an individual crossed the line from being about to play every note or chord in any key and suddenly find the whole lot as an extension to the player’s emotional creativity. Sure, I did basic music in my first year of high school, they had weird acronyms and stuff, like “good boys don’t burn their toes in the morning”, (nah, that wasn’t actually a saying)  and I did retain the knowledge of what treble and bass clef was and what the tempo looked like. The music bit was about letters, but really the thing to “note” was that as the dots went up the ladder thing, so did the pitch… Then someone showed me piano music, I accused them of taking the piss and that was the end of that – go figure ;-)

The Guitar Institute course did my head in, and for the most part it killed my enjoyment of the guitar for a long while. But in that sentence is an answer to my overall question – if it’s a passion, just how passionate are you and where is your thirst for learning it? Or more over, how did I let someone else kill it…

This isn’t so easy to answer unless you’ve ever tried to play an instrument and spent many hours forcing your body, fingers and mind to keep going until you’ve made the sound or tune do as it should. In fact modern music styles, and even modern house music is constructed completely differently, by this I mean different instruments. I won’t belittle it, but some tunes have just come about by nothing more than just tapping a key repeatedly on a keyboard.

The one thing I took away from the Guitar Institute was a pro-session by a well-known guitarist who did an incredible demonstration of multiple finger tapping… they were a guest at another well-known (but now sadly deceased) performer’s concert later that day. They came on, the guest did their amazing finger tapping, the audience was stunned at the skill – then the person whose concert it was walked on and finished the segment with a single power chord… and the crowd went wild…(Yay!). The lesson (as pointed out by my tutor) was simple… Are you playing for your own benefit, or to teach? or for entertaining a cash paying crowd? and if for the crowd – which bit made them go wild? Because that bit was the entertainment!   Yup, the single “A” chord rocked out the crowd… but then I thought – the power of that single chord would not have had its effect without the finger-tapping before it.

This is what I think of as 2nd gen music theory or the true ballodial (think I just made that word up) effect of the overall music – whether in one piece of over the course of many pieces of music together. It’s like that great live concert opening that explodes in front of you – that can fall like a damp firework if the wrong song is chosen to follow it by.

But you see, main music theory is either the most obvious key to life to some, or it reads like an incomprehensible dark art to everyone else – albeit based in complete logic. Then there are the instruments, some consider the guitar as not a true instrument; I understand this, it has frets on the neck making it the equivalent of paint by numbers when compared to the violin and cello. If you don’t know what I mean, the moment I place my finger on the guitar string, it pulls it down and locks its movement against the fret before it. At the point of the fret is the location of the note – BUT what if that fret wasn’t there? The note would be exactly where my finger on the fret board is – so what note would that be? Damned if I know… but a cellist and violinist would know as they have to know where they’re at without references and get it right every time. Move the finger only a millimeter or two out and – boom! It’s a different note altogether. Heck, a cello is tuned in “5ths”(?!) and I eat with a spanner :-?

In fact, I know a bloke who can knock out a tune or two on a Cello, not only that – his wife can also knock out a fair old tune on a violin… Now, when a “youth” (pron. Yoof) and after my time at boarding school this guy was by far one my best mates, then one day, in amongst the long hair, rock playing in the background and the scent of joss-sticks courtesy of shops like Pippy’s or “Bringing it all back home”  he whips out (wait for it) a cello… at the time I thought “wtf you doing with that?!” (in fact knowing me, I might have actually said it thinking I’m about to be blown away by a classical Lemmy) right up until the point he did like Robin Hood and took a bow to it… Strangely the cello stayed in one place and what followed was (to me) stunning… At 15 I was at the point where I could only wish to make a coherent noise on a shocking guitar I had that had a neck on it that actually could have been put to good use by Robin Hood… heck he coulda hit Fr**ce from here with the arrows if he’d used it – and give them something back on behalf of our Harold!  But right there and then I saw a guy, who was as good and bad at everything as the rest of us were, completely change, the music, the indulgence of passion, the feedback of instant (to me) perfection was not only instant, but totally consuming to him.

I watched as well as listened to something that while today I understand, but have never experienced – true passion for the creation of music by feeling, still keeping it artful while I was trying to get me head around it by typically being annoying.

Now…. I’m an old-ish kinda bloke, heck Sue Black simply calls me pregnant (and that is on a good day) and I understand all sorts of technologies – my mind: a sponge… Yet no matter how young or old you are, you’re moved, excited and revitalized by a lot of music, yet we are ALL moved by classical… I’ve never been to a classical concert in my life and yet there isn’t a movie we watch that doesn’t have an element of classical that hits an audience with power… Heck even at my own mother’s funeral I was fine, except for the bit when they played Nimrod as they brought the coffin in and I totally lost it – mother, the music really didn’t help!! (vengeance huh?)

Like all of us, we have our musical heroes, they could be great blues players, drummers – pop artists with astounding voices, but artists with a blind passion completely draw me, whether it is Stevie Ray Vaughan, Alison Goldfrapp or yes, my old buddy… These people truly have something few others have and I certainly admire someone who truly follows that passion throughout their whole life. They’re consumed by it, it is to them as common as the air they breathe and yet they know they’re nothing without supreme excellence – heck, they don’t demand it of others, but they work hard persistently to hear the right note at the right time with the right accent reverberate through their entire bodies. In this I know I’m not a musician in any classical sense, nor will I ever be, but we need music’s classical heritage to keep alive the passion and all musical styles thrive on those who will experiment, improvise and have a go at crossing the divide of classical and modern styles and my old buddy does this in the most staggering way.

Also, as I mentioned before; after leaving the hell hole that was my boarding school which is becoming more and more well documented, this guy was the first kid to even try to talk to me. As an adult and with the recent processes regarding the school I have come to realise just how important he was in my adjustment to life after. I won’t mention it all here – as it can go in the book. What I will say is this; He gave me something that even today 32 years on and while during this time it has taken him on to  perform in over 50 countries, with him and his wife playing with just about every Orchestra in the world of note at some point – his way still holds true as he showed me that not only thinking differently was ok – but was the way to go.

Nevertheless, while I have a passion, I accept I’m simply not gifted with the passion that others have. To my old buddy, all I can say is “dude, what’s with the hair?” ;-) and to everyone else, wherever you are in the world, if you ever want to hear true passion in musical form, to see and feel it, and like me, not fully understand but really see a person whose life truly does have a theme tune running all the way through it – then do look up the name Matthew Barley and his awesome wife Viktoria Mullova as they will be coming to a country or town near you at some point… and let’s be honest here, if you come to my read my blog – then you could probably do with the culcha! ;-)

Matthew Barley.com

To Matthew, you’ll probably never know why, but thankyou!

So……………………. Alan Turing

Who is he? Some may ask, who was he, or what did he do? Well let my good friend Dr Sue Black tell you and further more – lets get his ass (ok, his head) on the £10 note. And then get the others on it too…

Click on the image below to read the article

Published in: on 14 June, 2012 at 23:05  Leave a Comment  
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March : In like a Lion and out like a Lamb

Or so they say…

Today I decided to sign up to Adobe’s Pre-launch software program in the vain of Photoshop CS6. You see, pre-launch software is vital and works for 12 months. As you can see on and around this blog, shop etc I use Photoshop CS2 a lot. I have tried trail software, but feel it rarely lasts long enough to be able to achieve enough of an understanding to commit to purchasing. At the same time Adobe, the number 1 graphics, audio, publishing and movie software company needs to get a real feel of how user friendly new things are and if there is anything wrong anywhere. I hope I’m accepted and of course if I am, there will be much Adobe talk in the future :-)
I must add that this in no way will improve my artwork on the grounds that my mind is apparently a dangerous thing, or place ;-)

This months and of course this week sees the beginning or South By South West (SXSW) over in Austin, Texas and I certainly wanted to be there this year.
The reason I’m not is the shear cost of the tickets!!
Austin makes a lot of money from SXSW, in fact it’s becoming the major source of income for the city, after of course, companies like Dell etc.
SXSW is the only event of it’s type in the world covering Tech through what it calls “Interactive”, and since its integration with the music and film, parts of sxsw it has been a place of real action, it was after all where Twitter got its hold on the world.

There are many that say the event is now losing it’s brilliance, innovation and energy to advertisers and end user tourism “CES with entertainment” was one quote.
I can’t comment personally because I haven’t been to it and with new knowledge that next year Sue Black and Gabsatrucker will be going together in 2013, it will leave sxsw uncharted territory (albeit, so help Austin ;-) )
There is more on this and the ever evolving sxsw on a post by Rocketboom’s Andrew Baron HERE
If you’re at or going to SXSW this year, I’d certainly love to hear your thoughts on all of the above. I feel it would be a great shame if it has become too commercialised and would love to know if there are ways to prevent it from becoming so.

Buddy Kevin down in Devon sent me an eBay link to something a little unusual.. a 6×6 Discovery – yep, they did make them and here it is.

[UPDATED] Next week will see the repatriation of 5 members of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment family (3Yorks) and a member of The King’s Own Royal Border Regiment (1 Lancs) to the UK after their sad loss in Afghanistan – a war that needs now to drawing to a close.
For those interested  Tuesday 20th March 2012 The plane will land at approx 1:30pm and the cortege will pass by the Memorial Garden at between 4:30pm and 5:00pm, reaching the John Radcliffe Hospital at around 6:00pm

I recently watched a fantastic interview with CBS Correspondent and native S.African Lara Logan at the Washington DC Press Club.
Lara has been in the press a lot over the last year due to her being attacked and almost killed in Cairo in 2011.
She has been in every major hotspot around the world for more than 10yrs and it becomes very apparent that she has a real insight, knowledge and a firm grip on the pulse of what is going on in the world, especially with regards Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa.
I respect this journalist very much and kinda wish she had her own “no holds barred” tv news channel that shows just how bad things really are in places. As for her personal life, the media seem to have taken a great interest in this – yet private lives are always kinda awkward and I certainly have no interest in that.
She is a very serious person, I certainly doubt she’d ever come by this blog, but if she did – I’d give anything to sit down and have a conversation with her.
Here is the interview/talk.

Whoooaaa!!

I know, it’s a catchy post title, but that was the point ;-)
So, in a week that brought us my buddy Dr Sue Black asking her other half to marry her on Facebook, the sad news that Davy Jones of the Monkees has died, Gabsatrucker looking on in disbelief as a locksmith offered to unlock her friends car with a lump hammer, Angelina Jolie proved that she has finer legs than any table and I made my own cup of Tea for the first time in years – yer gotta ask “what’s next?”

Well I’m getting drawn more into Adobe art things and think I’d like to qualify properly in it at some point, so much so I bought a Wacom drawing tablet, and for those whom know me – me actually spending anything is kinda rare (especially on myself). So it was to the finest market in the world (eBay) to acquire said item for 1/3 its RRP. :-)
This my friends also means you’re gonna have to put up with more of my crazy artwork at some point :D

Now… The Argies..
On my birthday, it will be the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War… I remember this war well, a few friends of mine fought in it, most notably in South Georgia,  Goose Green, and the other, after establishing the Beach Head at San Carlos, walked 70+ miles to battle.
The reason I mention this isn’t because I have some benign rhetoric on this issue – just that simply, the UK isn’t shouting about this, there is no dispute here. Argentina on the other hand is running around screaming blue murder everywhere and even getting famous folk like Sean Penn and now Roger Waters of Pink Floyd harping on about it…
JUST SO WE’RE CLEAR… The Falkland Islands are NOT under UK control, they no longer belong to the UK – they belong to the people of the Falkland Islands…
WE on that basis (and that they wish to remain British) will defend their right to do so…
Basically the freedom of the people of the Falklands is our priority… as it should be for any free and fair society on earth.
The military strength on the Falklands is simply at a level to repel another illegal invasion of the islands and incarceration of its people. People failing to understand this have a serious flaw in their over all ability to be intelligent – I should know, I’ve met a few flawed folks in my time (and you should see me when I’m drunk).

Moving on:
I was grimacing about some fashiony type things while being shown a website on Skype the other day, this led to Gabsatrucker falling about laughing and suggesting I should create a fashion blog or website with my point blank point of view (i.e. as rude as hell). This I could see strangely working because my opinion is often very straight, blunt and clear – when you look like sh*te, I’ll tell yer. This is based of course on a lifetime’s practice of looking this way, which I believe (as do others) puts me squarely in the ballpark of being ever correct and on the ball… But it will of course be funny, very rude and probably get me sued :D

This blog’s very own culinary expert in all things of where is best to eat wherever you are in the world (Dom Joly) [ok, I say "this blog's", but I simply tweet him and he tells me where to go] is drawing his epic global monster hunting expedition to a close as he looks for real life source material for his book due to be released later this year.
As I write this, Dom is in Tibet and due to return to Blighty tomorrow. As such he has been filling the columns of The Independent newspaper and you can read about his exploits HERE and check out some of his pics HERE. If you want a fun read though, Dom’s other great book “The Dark Tourist”, and you can find it at Amazon by simply clicking this book cover.

Finally…
Now I know I mentioned the new life brought into this world by Gabriela and of course Dad; Alex Elwood… but how can I go without posting a pic?
Ladies and Gentlemen from whatever country you reside, whatever language, faith, creed or other things you hold dear, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to:

Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and better known to you as

Benjamin Elwood

Austin… the saving grace of Texas

Now I could go into the history of this City, the capital of Texas – but that is what Wikipedia is for… so go there to read it ;-)

I on the other hand will write of my brief experience of this Oasis of a city and one I’d like to return to. Beyond the complaints of the I-35, a little known parking lot that runs the entire length of Austin. As you approach Austin at night it looks like an oasis of high-tech and modern living. Indeed, Andrew Baron of Rocketboom even called this city “The saving grace of Texas” and for the most part I can see why.

Oh, it is an oasis… but furthermore it’s also a city of culture and has a “cosmopolitan feel” if you like. Like all modern cities though, the concept of skyscrapers in the centre have not escaped Austin, crushing much of it’s history into oblivion. Yet down there in the heart of it is the famed and acclaimed 6th Street and if you add in 4th, 5th and Congress Avenue… then there is more than a heart beat or pulse of this city’s history and entertainment right there.

These days, the area of South Austin seems to have a greater vibe, open parks, restaurants, leafy suburbs and a greater “wellbeing” feel. Something I found very attractive and yes from what I could see, it’s obvious the town planners have long term goals for making the city greener and healthier than most.

Austin like any large city has its good and bad, the first day we walked down 6th Street (2nd Jan) around 2pm and a full on brawl broke out in front of us. Two guys punching the living daylights out of each other without a care in the world of who they bounced into, or where in the world they were from.. No police presence, and while I sidestepped them as they flew past – this blogs buddy @Gabsatrucker got fully barged out of the way by them, just before skulls met the concrete sidewalk. This was certainly, how should I say… interesting… We went to Starbucks and I said “soooo, this is Austin huh?” Gabby on the other hand was really not happy either… This was on the back of the news that on New Years morning 3 people had been shot, one to death and someone was killed trying to cross the I-35… Kinda leaves you with a cheery feel… That and the fact that Austin has oh so many people begging on street corners in the 4th,5th and 6th street areas at night.

But nevertheless… there is a vibe to the city as a whole you can’t quite put your finger on, the south is awesome and the club names like Antone’s, reverberate through the music scene globally. In fact one night in Antone’s made up for a lot of the misgivings we had earlier.

Yes Austin does have it’s many sides, but it’s this mix that probably makes it so intriguing and apart from having to change hotels due to rather unpleasant smell at the first one – it is a city I will definitely spend more time to explore.

Austin also has quite a few interesting slogans “Keep Austin Weird” is something you’ll see just about everywhere and then the “Austin, Live Music Capitol of the World” and it’s fair to say they’re not wrong! It’s a city of modern culture, hi-tech industries, fitness and fresh air – heck they even name the flight between Silicon Valley and Austin the “Nerd Bird”… It also has to be right up there with as one of the biggest conference venues in the world along side cities like Dubai and with it being home to South by South West (SXSW) there are hotels galore – some better than others, but the closer you get to downtown the prices go from reasonable to extortionate.

This is one of the major centres of entrepreneurship in the US and certainly with regards to technology, but it’s frankly stunning that Dell computers does not seem to have anything for the public, nerds and geeks to visit or see… In fact I was seriously surprised there was little in the way of Dell’s visibility at all – certainly an opportunity lost on Dell’s part. A “Dell Technology Showcase” or “Experience” is seriously needed.

With so much going on I think the city will grow, continue cleaning its image. But if you want to enjoy a fitness lifestyle, then look no further than this awesome city with the Lance Armstrong cycle way, large parks and running areas and even a park on the water front with a special area to allow dogs to run freely.

Yes, it’s right to keep Austin weird, but it’s also right to redesign and build for future tourism, future-tech transportation systems and greener more hi-tech lifestyle and I really think Austin will…. Because if it doesn’t, it’ll just grow more monolithic buildings and increase its number of tourist t-shirt shops that will be more about a “has-been” city than the heart and soul of the great state of Texas… I some how doubt that will happen though :-)

Austin is (with insight from; Andrew Baron, Gabsatrucker and Mary Hennig and adored by Dr Sue Black )

100% TWBrit Highly recommended

I guess I should make an actual TWBrit approved logo now then 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

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  Leave a Comment  
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General things

I have been writing something that’s not of this blog (shock!) though it will take the name sake and hopefully be the first of many things in that vein, it is designed to be an easy read, with typical TWBrit humour etc and typically stuff with out the fluff…

This Blog’s (and her own blog) Gabsatrucker has given up on iPhone and opted for the Motorola Atrix… A dual core processed phone with a kicking 1 gig of ram and fully Flash enabled. Now while this 4G super phone is pretty smart and cool, it totally leaves iPhone back in the dark ages AND has a replaceable battery, memory and other commonsense things the iPhone (as all Apple products) will NOT let the owner tamper with – I say owner very loosely when referring to Apple…. This all causes many problems when trying to get your information out of an iPhone because technically you no longer own it. Nevertheless, with the aid of Google Apps (of which some are astounding) she was able to finally suck her information from the iPhone in part and get up and running again.  Oh and the best part… she left the WiFi, Flash video and GPS switched on and 12 hrs later the phone still had life!!!  On top of all this is the complete Webtop…. if you’re wanting to do some everyday computing, this little sucker is all you need!! It’s a complete desktop if you want it to be…. No I’m not saying you’re going to be playing high-end games and making a 14 foot Photoshop image, but it’s all here in this package and it’s a damn fine bundle if I say so myself!

While in London last Tuesday to deal with things regarding the old St.George’s and Finborough School saga, I was walking along and after having a smoke thought to have one of those extra strong mint things. I don’t know quite what possessed me to do it, but I crunched it up…. And as I did so I thought – hmmm, interesting crunch…. As two large chunks of tooth fell from my mouth… bugger!!

Funny thing about anything to do with the school, I felt blank before I went, strange during and knocked sideways after…

Anyway, I met and had lunch with the ever smiling and great buddy Sue Black (the now known name sake of Mustang Sue’s Wreckin Crew) at a place called Planet Organic… who knew that growing things that way would be so popular!!

In other news and leading straight on from Sue is that HM the Queen visited Bletchley Park yesterday. She came to offer her thanks to the Code Breakers themselves, to unveil a plaque and said the following:

The papers and hacking scandal has gone as far as Mr Murdoch wants it to as Rebekah Brooks finally leaves his side… You see, Murdock wanted to capitalise on this and refused her resignation twice… Now with share prices plummeting and as much money from it all he could muster… Rebekah leaves and Mr Murdoch starts giving out “sincere” apologies… the obvious concept is that the news machine with then move on… Not So as the FBI start investigating the hacking of 911 victims families..
It’s possibly going to end in the downfall of the worlds largest media operation and if these accusations do hold true, then what questions of integrity will land on the shoulders of people in these News Corp companies.. The plot thickens :-)

Fenny aka Hooloovoo42 heads out stateside this coming week, so at last I can rest from all the loud music, wild parties and general ruckus that she doesn’t make, though I maybe taking her to Heathrow on Tuesday.

Managed to spend a good while talking the guys in the Asia Pacific region this week which was great! Emailed with Gary up on Nth Island NZ and Skyped for a good few hours with both Hammy and Dean, respectively Sth Island NZ and of course Dean in Australia… who is due to send me a photo of something (hint) so I can sort him a web logo and icon/avatar like most other people. That said, I’m at a loss what to do for some of them, but i’m sure imagination will eventually come up with something…

Finally, this Monday….  I’m getting my eyes checked, I have squinted long enough and it’s time to go four-eyed… so we’ll see how this sucker pans out. It wont improve my looks, but may in turn help to mask them.

Bletchley Park and there’s more to Bletchley…

Sunday and I’m back in Bletchley Park… and what a complete difference to just a few days previously!!
There was so much more going on, more things open, the weather was great and furthermore blog commenter Fenny was with me as we pottered about the place.

Now… there was something else going on too… a book launch and signing by old Bletchley inmate and illustrious author and life peer Baron Asa Briggs…
As such there really was a full house at the Manor and after being there only a few minutes I came face to face with Lord Heseltine, former Secretary of State for Defense under Margaret Thatcher and Deputy Prime Minister with John Major. We both gave a polite nod, and he went over to Lord Briggs to say his goodbyes.

Now, one of my kewl friends was also there, but sadly I missed her, this of course would be Dr. Sue Black. Sue is the most rocking evangelist of all things Bletchley Park, it’s kinda how we met and have gone on to share tons of information.
The one thing I totally adore and respect in Sue is her willingness to share, encourage and inspire the want and will to learn and do better in everyone no matter of their personal intellect or social status.
She has also been an outstanding Ambassador for Bletchley Park and the United Kingdom when traveling and promoting Bletchley around the world – hey, this is not to mention what she does and has done for promoting Women in IT…
She has roped in a great many people, appeared on the BBC News and worked tirelessly for years to get Bletchley the recognition it deserves.
So, while pottering about on the web today I ended up reading her BLOG, and there, right there…. They and she have completed the initial goal… In a meeting with Simon Greenish of Bletchley Park she asked him where they were with regards saving the site… the answer?? Bletchley Park has now, with the help of so many and Google…….

Now all that remains is the not so simple task of rebuilding the entire site, and believe me – they now need to raise a lot of money!!
Please, I don’t  mind if you don’t like my blog, I’m not offended if you wish to never return here, but before you go – PLEASE give this post by Dr Sue Black a read HERE.

As a final note : Be Advised… Tea and Coffee in the Bletchley Park  cafe is pretty rancid……….

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The other cool bit of Bletchley…. The Home Of Loud…


Now, on my way back I had to pop by a place close to my heart, a place where customer service rules supreme and while the first users of this company’s products had the names Townsend and Hendrix.  I am of course talking about…


I first communicated with Marshall back in 2000 and frankly they’re the most helpful people ever…
Back then I was invited to visit the factory,  it took a long time but eventually I did. While there I met a great many people, toured the place and looked at the most historic collection of amps I could have imagined, nothing prepared me for the Who’s Who wall of photo’s running down the corridor wall towards the service centre.
When I left, I did so with arms laden with shirts, mugs and all manner of merchandise.
So why would I go past on a Sunday when the place is shut you ask (or not) am I “that” sad??
Well actually no, I stopped by because of a follower, commenter, poster on this blog and thief of 1 x  Marshall Hoodie and lover of anything SO loud, it could wake the dead – mentioning no names….
So here are some pics of the this hallowed ground of Rock just for her  :-)

Business as usual

Well apart from having to be at a meeting on Friday, things are returning to some form of normality I guess.
That said, there is still pretty much nothing happening in the way of work – and this is annoying the hell out of me.
So, while I finally fix a laptop today (soldering not being my strongest point) I will now be looking at either changing agencies, signing on or simply doing something new entirely with the mindset that you can teach this old dog new tricks.
I’ve been fairly active on Twitter since getting the @twbrit account back and I will be relaxing this somewhat as while some old friends are still missing from the pack, school stuff and a personal issue will take precedence in the coming days and weeks.
Of course today is Armistice day here in the UK and most of the world, but once over, we run straight at Christmas again :(
I have worked through most Christmases over the last 10 yrs and really wished this one to be different and in a different location – possibly with my feet officially up.
However, unless there is a full on miracle – then I will probably work through this one also.
The New Year brings many things and least of all another BCS talk/discussion organised by Dr Sue Black.  Sue has had a hard time thinking up next years talk, and while I may grumble about the outcome of last years, Sue is a formidable intelligence in the IT world and I trust that she’ll no doubt come up with a good if not hot discussion.

 

Other than that, it is business as usual, and this blog seeks to return to it’s status quo. No pun intended, but it is an excuse for some music I guess lol…

Published in: on 11 November, 2010 at 13:00  Comments (1)  
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Barbie does what?!

h/t Sue Black for the following announcement from Mattel –

 

You voted and we listened! Consumers around the world voted for Barbie® Doll’s next career and we are pleased to announce that her 126th career will be Computer Engineer! The winning careers were announced at New York Toy Fair on February 12th.
Having Barbie® as an ambassador for female computer
engineers can help inspire a new generation of girls to hone in on
their computer skills and become a part of this growing profession.
“Girls who discover their futures through Barbie will learn that they – just like engineers – are free to explore infi nite possibilities, and that their dreams can go as far as their imaginations take them,” said Nora Lin, President, Society of Women Engineers. “As a computer engineer, Barbie will show girls that women can design products that have an important and positive impact on people’s everyday lives, such as inventing a technology to conserve home energy or programming a newborn monitoring device.”
To ensure the doll accurately refl ects this occupation, Barbie® designers worked with the Society of Women Engineers and the National Academy of Engineering to ensure that accessories, clothing and packaging were realistic and representative of a real computer engineer. Looking geek chic, Computer Engineer Barbie® wears a t-shirt featuring binary code and computer/keyboard icon along with a pair of black knit skinny pants.
Computer Engineer carries a Barbie® smart phone, fashionable laptop case, fl at watch and Bluetooth earpiece. With stylish pink-frame glasses and a shiny laptop, she is ready to conquer the day’s
tasks on the go or from her desk.
For girls to further experience the reality of being a computer engineer, the dollalso includes a special code to unlock exclusive online game content on Barbie.com. Computer Engineer Barbie is now available for pre-order at www.MattelShop.com and will be available at retailers nationwide in
Winter 2010.

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Published in: on 13 February, 2010 at 01:45  Comments (5)  
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Day of new people and learning

(If you’re looking for my paper on the BCS Event click HERE)

Yesterday I kept an appointment to a talk that I really shouldn’t have done with my shoulder being the way it is.
Nevertheless I kept my word and booked the train for London to go to a discussion at the BCS.
The BCS is the Chartered Institute for IT based on Southampton Street just off the Strand.
Climbing into my car, sudden pain kicked in with a vengeance and with gear changes being close to impossible I made my way to Tiverton Parkway station, while at one point considering returning home.
Finally clambering into what was possibly the smallest most uncomfortable seat that I believe the First Great Western train company owned, the train set off.
The thing is this, from the outset of being invited by Dr Sue Black, I felt it was important to go for reasons I could not understand.
I even tried to get WKD from this blog to go in my place, but she came back and said that I really should go if I could.
So what was the talk called and about?
Tomorrow’s Women, Tomorrow’s World!!

As the train plodded on I considered the title and what the talk would be about and certainly the panel who would be sitting. Most notably Dr Sue Black who is the head of department at Westminster University, Maggie Philbin who is a well known UK broadcaster and others.

Delayed into London due to a broken rail, I knew I needed to eat and the only man I know who knows the good places to eat anywhere in the world, often by simply walking past the place as 10,000 flies can’t ever be wrong – I twittered Dom Joly and asked. Within minutes the reply came back as; Maroush, 1 Edgware Road….
I was out of Paddington Station and heading to Edgware on foot… and it was bloody freezing ! lol
But the more I walked the better my shoulder felt, so I just kept going.
Arriving at the bottom of Edgware I saw a several Lebanese restaurants but none with the name Dom had given me. I popped into a news agent and he told me to cross the road and I’d see it. In doing I saw it straight away.
Taking a pic and sending it to Dom, I went in, told them I was in a rush and needed some thing quick and easy.
I was still presented with a menu and finally chose their Mixed Grill. I asked for a coffee and I think these pictures tell a far better story. I was again impressed with Dom the nosh Meister!  Only to find they had run out of milk and had to go out to buy some…
But get this, from entering the front door, to leaving after being stuffed with a mixed grill, olives, bread and coffee – 23.5 minutes!! Total cost £17.50.  Bloody awesome.!  However, as I left I got  a tweet from Dom who simply wrote ‘Wrong Place!’

I strolled back around to Marble Arch, the road junction there being the historical site of the infamous Tyburn where in centuries past, thousands had been either hung, drawn and quartered or simply burnt at the stake – ahhhh, the good olde days (sighs…)
On to the tube a quick change and alight at Charing Cross and exiting on Trafalgar Square.
A pleasant stroll up Strand passing all the big theaters I finally arrived at BCS a whole one hour early… The Irony being that is if I was being paid – I would have been late!
Sitting at a laptop on a hotdesk Dr Sue Black was busy crowbarring some powerpoint slides together with a mallet and I stopped by to say hello before she directed me to the most important of all places – the coffee…
Sue came over a short time later to introduce me to IT consultant, fellow blogger and twitterist @pjbryant – who, as it turned out, was from Wisbeach just north of Cambridge.
We were soon tucked into conversation and comparing our HTC telephones before going in to the talk.
Now, just before I finally get into the subject matter of this post, it turns out that @pjbryant had also suffered just about the exact same injury to his shoulder at one point and his knowledge about the matter was far more comprehensive that anything I’d heard from a Doctor or Nurse over the last week and I for one am fully grateful to his insight and information!
 
On the Panel were Prof Rob Macredie, Maggie Philbin, Dr Sue Black as Chair, Mohan Koo and Rebecca George OBE
The basic issue was this; Over the past however many years, there has been a constant decline in the amount of women in IT at one level or another. This has had variable reasons both social and relating to Human Factors, but the bottom line is Women simply appear not to be interested in a field where often they are exceptional compared to their male counterparts.
The next issue was simply; How do we get them back?…..

Now, like many I listened to this open debate with interest. I listened to the people qualified to know their stuff and a few points of view by everyone else – But!! As I told Sue Black later, I was chomping on the bit to say something. She asked why didn’t I and I simply said, when I get that animated my brain loses all contact with my mouth and it wouldn’t have been good.

I think that some may have felt I have come from a place of feeling my masculinity threatened, but if any of you know me I hang out with ladies who not only drive Big Rig trucks – they’re all IT savy people.

I actually disagreed with a good part of what was said, but there were certainly points that were going in the right direction, but fell short by the limited sight of the proposer.
From the outset, the wrong terminology was used, because the use of it limits the long term nature of the plans and goals from the begining.
Then for someone to say there is a lack of IT Engineers in the UK is about the single most uniformed piece of information I think I’ve heard in a long long time.

So, I aired a few thoughts with Sue and went on my way back across London to go home.
But it didn’t stop there, for the next four hours I thought about nothing else! I ripped apart argument after argument in my head followed ideas and proposals. And have been buzzing about this most of today while trying to sooth my shoulder.
This IS solvable, it ISN’T a problem and I believe I have a realistic point of view from where to start to address these issues.

However, I’m writing it all up and will publish it on here when completed – but not until Dr Black can have the chance to rip it apart first lol.

Dr Sue Black is a lovely person I met through the internet as she promotes the saving of Bletchley Park with every spare moment. Her photos do not do her credit and she is far more personable in real life than any one would imagine.

I enjoyed immensely being challenged by this meeting, it’s been over 5 yrs since I enthused about anything and last night, my brain was finally switched on again….

But here is what I will say;
The most basic foundation of the future of IT training, recruitment and employment requires one thing that’s doesn’t actually exist

The Definition of ALL IT and Telecommunication Trades, what they are and where they fit, not in a University, or a few offices of the middle of London – but The World!!
Without this, how can we even start to sell something that has no definition and position within the entire sphere of IT…

This is literally about going back to the drawing board and doing the QS on the whole thing, from the code crunchers, sat comm tech, the end users super awesome video editor and Vlogger. No one has done it, not ever, there is no one single industry bible of ALL trades and certainly nothing that would resemble anything readable by a 14yr old trying make a career choice.

Basic IT to MCSE standard should be taught and qualified in for the first 3 yrs of secondary education – why? Because this is basic info for the future of our civilized societies and should be a compulsory requirement.

The futures bright, The future – it’s in my brain ;-)     -> Except for the fact that somewhere between BCS and home I lost my Kodak Zi8 HD camera…. if I hadn’t there would have been many more photos. I will endevour to contact the train company tomorrow in slight hope that they picked it up.

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Almost there

It’s actually turning into a quiet week here. I’ve been waiting for a new laptop screen to turn up, running around sorting out a few things and filling londonup my itinerary for meeting people on Friday in London.  It’s probably a good job that I’m returning on the same day as I think I might have needed a week to get over the possible hangover if I’d stayed over.
The biggest hassle was oddly deciding on how to get there… But at the moment looks like the TWBrit Car of Character might indeed be making the journey (shock horror)
sonic1One person I am looking forward to seeing is the Bickmore – or as I call him, Sonic! Bain of Network Rail and backbone of keeping the entire Southern Rail network up, running and healthy – and believe me, that’s hard work.
I hope also to meet up with Dr Sue Black and have a good tinpan alleyold chin with her and others at Tuttle.
Then it’s off to Denmark St aka ‘Tin pan Alley’ –  second London home!
If all that is not enough, then I’ll be heading back to Devon for a night of serious drinking with Dave across the road – I say serious because while I don’t drink much,  one I start drinking a googly beer, well – yer know… gotta drink it all… Waist not, want not!

Any way, no more excursions looking for jackets today. I thought back to yesterday walking around Exeter and apart from a couple of people, I really didn’t enjoy tramping around the shopping areas. I say a couple of people because while strolling down South St. around 4:30 pm a mother and her ver young son were coming the other way, and for the life of this poor little fella, he could not work out whether past me on the left or right – until he froze with indecision. I couldn’t help but laugh. The was the lady cutting my hair in the barber shop who took it upon her to try to work out my problem finding a jacket – I did, try middle aged and fat! LOL

Published in: on 14 October, 2009 at 12:48  Comments (3)  
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Of Boffoonery and Bletchley Park

bletchleyparklan party

The Boffoonery comedy gig in London this coming November has sold out raising more than £12000 for the upkeep and effective saving of BletchleyPark.

While this is great news, it’s still only early days and a hell of a lot more money needs to be raised to come anywhere near close to securing the future of thisBoffoonery place that seriously helped secure our own.

I’m sure the Boffoonery folks with the aid of prolific supporter, Dr Sue Black will have more things in the pipeline and when they do – please, lend a hand and give a few quid.

Published in: on 8 September, 2009 at 02:37  Leave a Comment  
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