Friday, September 28, 2012

This blog is over 10 years old

I'm going to break Rule One and muse a little on the past 10 years.

I've just read someone else thinking how to celebrate their blogs 10th anniversary and I thought I'd check this blog, and lo and behold, it's over 10 years old. I started my first blog in 1999, but it was on which has since been taken down. I have all the content though, and if I had more time I'd put it back online.

This blog started when wasn't part of Google. My first post was about The Salmon of Doubt by Douglas Adams. Full marks to Bloomsbury for making a 10 year old link still do something useful. I can't remember if I ever did actually read it. I probably did.

I toyed for a bit with using it as a place to record comments that I'd put on other people's websites, so I could keep track of them, but I soon tired of that. 

Then, in order to make myself blog more often, I tried to blog just 10 words per day. Of course to think of exactly ten words that make sense takes a bit of time, but it was fun while I did it. I kept it up for a couple of years, but not every day by any means.

In Feb 2004 I started a blog for more technical things, leaving this one for random thoughts on books, music, photos and other stuff.

That is all.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Olympic post

Opening Ceremony

Just. Wow.

I thought it was one of the best things I'd seen. If the rest of the family hadn't been so entranced too they would have probably told me to stop saying wow all the time. I thought the highlight was when the fifth ring rose up and joined the others. Danny Boyle really pulled off a great show. When he took over after the previous person gave up there was some cynicism about whether he'd be able to do something memorable, but I think he confounded those critics.

When I was a teenager my favourite album was Tubular Bells, so I was very pleased to see Mike Oldfield given the stage. It was also good to see a geek - Tim Berners-Lee, get recognition too. The way the prerecorded video was linked in the live stuff worked really well for a TV audience. I liked the music so much I bought the album.

Russell Davies wrote a really interesting post about it:
I saw a generation realising that it was now Top at Culture. 30/40 somethings were suddenly seeing the stuff they liked, that they grew up with, was now the dominant cultural stuff. Their favourite things are now 'officially' mainstream, dominant culture.
Coming Top at Culture 

Eton Dornay

It was a very long walk to get to the standing area (why do people sit in the "stands"?) but once we got there and the event started the time was filled with racing and then the on-site "TV" show. Food and drink was supposed to be reasonable, but the prices of the Coca-Cola company's products was higher than I've seen anywhere. I hope the extra money they took in went to cover costs and not to Coca-Cola.


The match (Gabon vs Korea) wasn't that exciting - the final result being a nil-nil draw. It was a good chance to go to Wembley for the first time and experience the atmosphere. The crowd control at the end was quite impressive as we shuffled towards the train station. It never felt too crowded.

Closing ceremony

Pink Floyd, Genesis (well someone from Genesis), Kate Bush, elbow, Beatles, Queen, ELO - that's my music. Plus other bands to be proud of - Madness, Blur, PSB, Fatboy Slim, Muse and Eric Idle. Fantastic.


Overall the whole thing seems to have been really well organised. Many companies struggle to deliver a good "customer experience" but I think the Olympics had a few advantages over normal companies:
  • The ability to dip into the taxpayers pocket.
  • A time limited product, with no need to consider sustainability.
  • Something excited to be involved in.


We were on holiday for the whole fortnight, a week of it away from home, so there was no way of seeing if the exuberance and enthusiasm portrayed by the BBC was shared by everyone. A relative of my boss, Luke Arthur, wrote in the Huffington Post and described it as, "My generation's most pivotal cultural moment since 9/11".

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Yes, really. Knitting. For reasons I can't go into I found myself knitting a couple of weeks ago. I had done a bit when I was a kid. I was pleasantly surprised to find that once I'd cast on my motor memory took over and I was turning out stitches.

For more reasons I can't go into it got wider as I went along, but it wasn't a problem as I just turned it into little hat. I can highly recommend the multi-coloured wool for beginners as it means that there's a contrast between previous rows and the current stitches.

That's all.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cardboard seven inch tablet stand

When I got a Playbook I wanted to use it to listen to BBC iPlayer while doing the washing up. So I made a cardboard tablet stand out of the cardboard you get with new shirts.

Recently I came across a video by Jude Pullen showing how to make a right angle joint with card and it inspired me to share what I'd done, via a PDF rather than a video though.

The PDF below is for a Playbook but I would have thought that any seven inch tablet, like the Kindle Fire or the Google Nexus 7 would fit. If in the unlikely event they are more chunky than the Playbook, you can just cut the slot wider. It's probably more sturdy if you make it out of a corrugated cardboard.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

"Just one thing" project at Utata

Just One Thing badge
Those talented people at Utata have released their latest "big project" which I've taken part in this time. My photos were taken on our Norfolk Broads boating holiday.
Boat 1