Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Sydney’s best for Mount Gay Rum Top Jocks Regatta

This has to be one of the best headlines I have seen for ages!

‘It’s that time again when Sydney’s top totties yachties gather for some hard core fleet racing on the one-design Elliott 6s to establish which team is worthy of ‘The Champion of Champions’ title and the coveted Top Jocks trophy,’ said regatta organiser Jenni Bonnitcha.

I know this is a water polo team - but loved the picture anyway!

Back from the void

I am back! The last couple of weeks have been very busy with MSc assignments. I now only have two more to do before the end of April. I cannot wait for them to all be over. Of course, there is still a dissertation to do, but that can wait a few weeks before I think about that.

Blogging has also been interrupted by my computer dieing. I decided to install, finally, Service Pack 2 and the whole system crashed. It went into a cycle of rebooting with no access to C prompt, safe mode or last configuration. I managed to boot from the CD, but all seemed to have vanished. Luckily, I had backed my files up a week ago, so not too much lost. I have had to reinstall XP from scratch and I am slowly re-loading all other applications. Office 2000 is still not installing ‘Error 2349’ tells me I cannot load from DVD drive or CD-R drive – only CD-Rom. As my CD-Rom drive is also a CD-R drive I am bit buggered!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Normal Service will be Resumed Shortly

I have been overloaded with work, assignments for my MSc and work on the house. Blogging has come a poor fourth. Rather than blog about the dilemma in choosing new worktops for the kitchen, or offering a view on the decline of medical power I won’t be posting for a few days.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Which Desperate Houswife am I?

Ive got a day off tomorrow, so today kind of feels like a Friday - complete with inane quizzes. So, according to Quizilla I am Bree Van De Kamp. Quite happy with this as I know that I can be a bit repressed, especially about showing my feelings. I do like everything to appear perfect even if there is chaos behind the scenes.

Congratulations! You are Bree Van De Kamp, the
Martha Stewart on steroids, whose family is
about to mutiny.

Which Desperate Housewife are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Doctor Who

Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper have been in the news a lot with the imminent return of Dr Who. Eccleston has said that it was an easy decision to take part in the project once he knew Russell T Davies was part of the writing team. Davies is best known for Queer as Folk and Bob and Rose.

It seems a little strange that the first episode was broadcast leaked on the internet this week. I am sure it was all very innocent and not a means of generating publicity for the show or seeing what the die hard fans thought while there was still time to re-shoot or re-edit.

Friday, March 04, 2005

'Killer App'

3G phones with video streaming haven't really taken off in the UK yet. I have a very sexy Motorola V3 that I must admit was for style over practability. It can play video, takes pretty good pictures - but these tend to be novelties rather than essential tools. The 3G operators are still searching for the 'killer app' that will convince us to switch.

The BBC is reporting today on a novel use found by school kids. A group were bullying a lad at school and videoing his beatings on their phones, before sending on video clips to fellow pupils. Don't get me wrong, this is wrong and I am not surprised that his mother is thinking of withdrawing him from school. Looking for the silver lining (is there one?), perhaps kids are the best people to devise a way of making 3G phones work. Perhaps clips of lessons could be archived on the school server for accessing in study periods? Or clips of school teams winning sporting events streamed into gym class to offer inspiration? What do I know - ask a 14 year-old for the best use of 3G.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Kindness of Strangers

Another couple of snowy days here in Newcastle. This morning there was another 4-5 inches of snow on the car. I started to clear it before breakfast when an old man driving past stopped his car and handed me his broom to sweep the snow away. He drove a little further down the street and stopped for someone else. What a kind gesture on a cold morning.

The snow is a pain in the morning when I am going to work but some people have really enjoyed it. These are some photos form Newcastle last weekend when people were making the most of the snow.

This was a couple of streets away for our house

Snowboarding on the town moor

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Hippy Fest

My parents have also been pretty liberal, which stems from their hippy past. They left Manchester, after they got married, to buy a cottage in Wales previously owned by Dave Swarbrick of Fairport Convention fame. I was born a couple of years later and spent my first years being toted around festivals with my pram piled high with tie-dyed T-shirts and hand crocheted ponchos.

The sounds of Fairport, Crosby/Nash/Stills/Young (whatever their latest incarnation was) and other ‘folk-rock’ acts were my lullabies. It is no surprise that I still have an ear for the mandolin, fiddle and flute (Yes – Jethro Tull was another early influence.)

So, when I saw that David Crosby and Graham Nash were playing at the new Sage Gateshead concert hall I just booked tickets, knowing my parents would want to come. Fairport was also playing up the coast in Berwick, so I booked them too. My partner has suffered me playing the odd track but wouldn’t really call himself a fan, but I persuaded him that a full on hippy-fest was good for the soul.

Crosby/Nash were great. They played some old favourites – Military Madness, Cathedral, Marrakech Express etc. It was great to see them live, especially as they haven’t played in the northeast for 27 years and are not likely to be back soon.

Saturday was up to Berwick for Fairport. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I haven’t heard any of their material for the last 15 years. My knowledge stopped at about 1980. I needn’t have worried. They did a great set with some old favourites (Matty Groves, Meet on the Ledge and Si Tu Dois Partir). We met the band after the show and I got a poster autographed for my mother.

Little fuzzy as taken with camera phone.

I really enjoyed the weekend and it was great to see how m uch my parentsn enjoyed it. I think my father appreciated us appreciating his music. My partner enjoyed both gigs too, now I have to persuade him to go to the festivals in summer!