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If technology doesn't seem like magic, it's probably obsolete

I'm finding less time to update my blog these days, but my flickr photostream is often updated.

Playing in my house right now...


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At 00:00 GMT on Thursday I was listening to:


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More of what I've been listening to

Latest pictures from my phone

www.flickr.com
More pictures from my phone


Wednesday June 30 2004 at 01:17 GMT

Things are getting interesting in the house, once again. Jason is turning into an idiot, and needs thrown out; being two-faced is not on. Dan, Shell and Stuart are looking like they'll be the last three. Ahmed is beginning to have fun, and could be in there for a while yet. Victor continues to amuse.

This week, Jason and Victor expected to be up for nomination (to be thrown out of the house). Instead, their arch enemies, Marco and Michelle ended up with the most votes, and new housemate Becki gave Michelle the kiss of death, meaning she was automatically up for eviction.

It's a very tough call on who'll leave on Friday. I'm guessing Michelle will be safe, given the incredibly annoying habits of Marco and Nadia. My money goes on Marco to get the boot, but only by a very small percentage.

Wednesday June 30 2004 at 00:31 GMT

Thanks to Richard for the perfect into to blog about two sites I'd meant to for a while.

Richard points to Scotland's First Minister's (kind of like our prime minister/king/president/gaffe-meister, depending on your point of view) very own blog, although it's maybe not actually written by him. Amusing.

So, the two sites I wanted to point to are ScottishBlogs and BritBlog, two directories of bloggers based on location. Go and have a look who's blogging in your area.

Sunday June 27 2004 at 23:48 GMT

the Basement

This weekend has been kinda strange. Friday I looked after my Godson and his brother, then had a pretty early night. Saturday morning I should have been heading to Peebles for a 10k race, but my knee didn't feel great, I had some work to do and there was an Orange Walk in town, so all the traffic was snarled up. End result, I missed the bus. It just wasn't meant to be.

So, I sorted out some networking stuff then met Allan and his friends for a few beers at the Basement on Broughton Street and tapas. The Basement was a huge trip down memory lane for me -- when it first opened in 1994, I spent a lot of time there. It went a bit downhill in the late 90s/early 00s, but it's right back on track again now. Wonderful.

After that, I caught up with Rich for a pint at the World, with real live Karaoke. Yikes. Today, I should have been at the Seven Hills of Edinburgh race, but I was just too knackered. Today has involved more work, a lot of eating and some lazing. Tonight I popped out to my neighbourhood cinema to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (trailer here). Quite an interesting film, well worth watching. I'm not sure whether it has made me happy or sad...

There is a great Beck tune, Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime, as covered by Baby-D back in 1994 (weird, huh?). The tune is now playing in my house, and my head.

Friday June 25 2004 at 23:08 GMT [via mobile]

My real, grown-up driving licence arrived today. I\'m still swithering about what to do in terms of wheels, but it feels good to have the pink plastic in my hand(!).

My real, grown-up driving licence arrived today. I'm still swithering about what to do in terms of wheels, but it feels good to have the pink plastic in my hand(!).

Friday June 25 2004 at 22:41 GMT [via mobile]

Rich was kind enough to donate this pre-loved old-school modem to let me get my Godson online.

Many years ago (1996?) I remember travelling far with Rich to buy this device, and it costing a good amount of cash, too.  The cool thing is that it\'s still going strong.

Rich was kind enough to donate this pre-loved old-school modem to let me get my Godson online. Many years ago (1996?) I remember travelling far with Rich to buy this device, and it costing a good amount of cash, too. The cool thing is that it's still going strong.

Friday June 25 2004 at 13:22 GMT

After some madness in the house last week, it seems there really will be a proper eviction in the Big Brother UK house tonight. Originally I had wanted Vanessa to stay, and Dan to go, but over the last week my opinion has changed: Dan seems to be the only real person in there. He's got style, charisma, personality and a relaxed attitude to the whole thing. He is now my bet to win, so make sure you vote Vanessa to leave tonight!

Friday June 25 2004 at 02:11 GMT

All Good logo

Quite a while ago I suggested to a local (to work) coffee shop that they get involved with some ADSL and a Netgear modem/router/wireless box, offer it for free, and one-up the local Starbucks, who were having problems with their WiFi anyway. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened, and Starbucks WiFi works. Well, it works for Starbucks, by sucking your credit card dry!

A while back I'd said to Rich I had a plan to speak to All Good, who are just down the road from aforementioned coffee shop and Starbucks, about setting up WiFi as they've got a neat little seating area, which I'm guessing doesn't get overused during the morning and afternoon. I think Kevin somehow spoke to Rich about it, and Rich pointed him to me. Cutting to the chase, I popped in today and the ADSL had been activated, so I configured the router and it's up and running ... and my lunch cost me nothing.

Kevin asked about charging, and I told him it just wasn't the way to go, so he's kept it as a no-cost service. Just pop in, order coffee or food, and enjoy. Here's the location, on Morrison Street in Edinburgh, directly opposite the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Here's the nodedb.com entry, although the map has gone a bit crazy if you zoom.

Between here and the Jolly Judge, I'm slowly but surely encouragin no-cost (free, as much as I hate using that terminology) WiFi into Edinburgh. If you know somewhere else that really needs WiFi, leave a comment. ;-)

On a side note, it's nice to see some Heriot-Watt nodes in the database, although they don't appear to actually be at the moment. I've dropped the owner a mail, so we'll see what he comes back with. Ah, WiFi...

Friday June 25 2004 at 01:20 GMT

OK, this is the one time I'll admit it, but I really wanted England to win when they played Portugal last night. The match itself was pretty exciting, ending in a 1-1 draw after a very dubious decision by a referee standing quite a long way from play, unable to directly see the incident, that would have had England winning 2-1. When is football going to embrace a video umpire for this kind of thing? Crazy.

Thursday June 24 2004 at 15:17 GMT

My sister just messaged me to let me know she got a Trevor Nunn (2:1) for her finals at university. She's on holiday at the moment, so no doubt Champagne will be popping right now. Well done! My parents will be delighted to: they move another step closer to relinquishing all responsibility for us. ;-)

Thursday June 24 2004 at 04:05 GMT [via mobile]

Yesterday was the marathon. I completed my stage (the first) in 48minutes and somehow found the next runner in the mass of others. Our team clock time was 3.56, but it certainly took over 6 minutes to cross the start line, so I\'m taking 3.50.

Yesterday was the marathon. I completed my stage (the first) in 48minutes and somehow found the next runner in the mass of others. Our team clock time was 3.56, but it certainly took over 6 minutes to cross the start line, so I'm taking 3.50.

Wednesday June 23 2004 at 14:59 GMT

Vodafone 3G
After some great comments on my post about the Orange 3G trials, I felt I should really gather it together a bit and make it a nice Mobitopia post.

Wednesday June 23 2004 at 12:38 GMT

Over the last few days, I've noticed a few specific sites trying to game the site statistics for nefarious purposes (sex sites, junk sites, directory sites), so I've password-protected the directory. If you'd like to see them, drop me a mail and I'll happily give you a login.

Wednesday June 23 2004 at 09:49 GMT [via mobile]

The weather here hasn\'t been too bad of late, so I was not impressed to see the rain pouring down and howling winds this morning.  Please can we go back to the nice summer weather?

The weather here hasn't been too bad of late, so I was not impressed to see the rain pouring down and howling winds this morning. Please can we go back to the nice summer weather?

Tuesday June 22 2004 at 01:38 GMT [via mobile]

2.30am on the shortest night of the year. Beautiful.

2.30am on the shortest night of the year. Beautiful.

Monday June 21 2004 at 17:26 GMT

Today was meant to see me driving around, having some fun for the first time on my own. Talk about falling at the first fence...

Whenever I've been with someone hiring a car, it's been a simple case of walking up to the desk and laying down some plastic, getting keys in return and heading off. Thinking ahead, I thought I'd be better calling up to book a car and telling them I would not have my licence with me, but that they could call the DVLA who would happily confirm I have a full licence.

That part was fine. It was when I somehow mentioned to the first company that I'd had my licence for less than a year that things took a turn for the worse. Having called 15, 20 ... 30 rental companies, I now know that I've got 11 months and about 24 days before I can hire anything in the UK. GAH!

Where does that leave me? Two options:

  1. do nothing for a year. Essentially, I can pretend I'm still licence-less, then start hiring in a year's time
  2. buy a car
Given that I've gone to the effort of learning to drive and proving my driving skill to pass my test, not touching a car for 12 months seems something of a waste. Obviously the second option is least attractive cost-wise, but, there are some considerations to make.

My cigarette packet sums suggest I could pick up an old (~1990) Golf or Polo for about GBP 450 - GBP 550. Over the course of the year, I'll also have road tax of GBP 120 and maintenance to cover, plus potentially some parking cost (grrr). The real kicker is the insurance, which comes to almost the same amount again (GBP 620) thanks to my lack of driving. Even if I bought an old Mini with a 900cc engine, which would potentially cost more than the other types of car I've loooked at, the insurance would still come in at something like GBP 450. Holding off doing this seems to make little real sense either, as at some point, I will have to take the plunge and I'll get hit then!

So, watch this space, and we'll see what happens! Any recommendations on how to buy my first car, what to look for and anything else are gratefully received!

Monday June 21 2004 at 13:25 GMT

This is going to get a bit technical, but bear with me, there's definitely something for everyone!

Monday June 21 2004 at 12:54 GMT

I've got a lot of things to say today, so let's get started! The weekend was fun. Friday night was a works pool session, which ended up at Opal Lounge. Somehow I was up pretty fresh at 10.30am Saturday, so got a bunch of things done around the house, then went to town to get a haircut and visit the gym. Saturday night was a lot of food at home then a few quiet beers with Neil and Malcy

Yesterday I was again up sharp, did some reading, some washing, some computing, 'bigger breakfast' brunch at the Kings Wark with Jams, Rich, Deek and Birte (whom I haven't seen for waaayyy too long) and then big dinner with Neil and Ker. Ahhh, I'm all about food!

Saturday June 19 2004 at 23:36 GMT [via mobile]

A \'few quiet beers\' with Neil & Malcy.

A 'few quiet beers' with Neil & Malcy.

Friday June 18 2004 at 01:02 GMT

I'm taking Monday, the longest day of the year, off work as a holiday to hire a car and visit somewhere. Now, the options are very wide indeed. I could pick up a car on Sunday afternoon and then stay away somewhere on the Sunday night. Or else get the car on Monday and stay somewhere not-too-far-away on Monday night and drive back into town on Tuesday morning before work (most likely).

Given that I'm only really going to have a day, I don't want to sit on a motorway all the time, so I think somewhere on the coast is looking good, quite possibly Oban, but nothing is anywhere near fixed. Any thoughts or recommendations?

Friday June 18 2004 at 00:37 GMT [via mobile]

I just realised I\'ve been 3G-enabled for over a year. Orange (and Vodafone) are about to launch their offerings, and thankfully someone hit them with the cluestick, and mobile DATA (hello, Three) is top of the bill. I\'m testing the Orange card from Monday. Watch this space for more thoughts!

I just realised I've been 3G-enabled for over a year. Orange (and Vodafone) are about to launch their offerings, and thankfully someone hit them with the cluestick, and mobile DATA (hello, Three) is top of the bill. I'm testing the Orange card from Monday. Watch this space for more thoughts!

Thursday June 17 2004 at 14:06 GMT

It looks like things have really kicked off in the Big Brother house, following the return of Emma and Michelle. Does this count as cruelty, or is it all OK, given that they signed themselves up for the game?

Wednesday June 16 2004 at 23:52 GMT

During Big Brother commercial breaks I flicked over to a cool documentary of John Coltrane on BBC2. If you know Coltrane's work, you'll know he can take a them and run and run with it, most of the time very well indeed. In a famous discussion with Miles Davis, Coltrane said "I can't stop playing", to which Davis replied "Try taking the m************ horn out of your mouth."

Cl-assic! Had me laughing out loud for a long time!

Wednesday June 16 2004 at 23:44 GMT

... especially when it's attached to a kite doing crazy loops in the sky, and the wind suddenly drops. Help Paul get a new camera and donate.

Wednesday June 16 2004 at 12:03 GMT

OK, the thing I didn't want to speak about yesterday was that I PASSED MY DRIVING TEST, a mere 11 years after I first considered it. I had two minor faults on my test, out of an allowed 16, so it was a very solid pass. About four weeks ago I did my theory test, and got 34/35 for the multi-guess (not sure where I dropped the single mark) and 61/75 for the road awareness part where you watch short driving videos and identify potential hazards. That's not a great score, but in one of the videos I clicked too many times (= 'cheating') apparently, and that dropped me an instant five points.

My plan had been to hire a car at the weekend and go and surprise my parents, but they're too busy to see me, so I've called them to give them the good news, and they're pleased.

I've got no plans whatsoever to buy a car at the moment. It is possible to pick something decent up for not too much cash, but then there's the maintenance, tax and cost of parking it, not to mention insurance, so I'll hire when I need wheels.

Phew, phew, phew ... ahhhhhhh!!!

[UPDATE @ 13.34]: I should of course have mentioned that if you're looking for a driving instructor in Edinburgh, I can happily recommend Alison Fyfe. Let me know if you'd like her details (she doesn't have a site).

This quote by Jeff Gordon's (some American car driver ;-) manager, I think, stuck in my mind: "we don't turn up to lose". Yay, I won!

Wednesday June 16 2004 at 00:54 GMT

OK, I've been very busy doing something I can't talk about right here (although most of you in daily contact with me know); I'm keeping this a secret from two people. It's paid out (metaphorically) very nicely today. Right now I'm still jumping around inside!

My weekend was busy, and deserves a fast summary -- fast cos I have to get up way too early tomorrow (today!). Friday involved a fantastic dinner with my aunt and uncle at the Marine Hotel in North Berwick. It's also such a great place to go to, and feel so far away from Edinburgh, in a really nice way. The food, wine and talk all added up to a very fine evening indeed.

After that I jumped on a train back to Edinburgh, with the aim of catching up with John for his 30th birthday, version 2.0 (details on v1.0 are here). As I stepped off the train, a call came in from George Dickson (see the Serre Che galleries) who was in town for one night only, suggesting a fast pint. We did that and crossed town, but to my bad show, we missed John, but did catch Jams and Rich for a few pints.

It made no sense for George to cross town once again to find somewhere to sleep, so he kipped over in my spare room -- handily set up just for such an occasion! During the evening I persuaded him to join me in the quest to do the Berlin Marathon, and he foolishly accepted... It was great to catch up and chat over a few drinks.

Saturday morning rolled around far too quickly, and after George headed off to Glasgow for his flight home, I had a stack of things to do all over town after meeting my marathon relay team captain for the first time, so I jumped on my bike and headed off. 15km and a visit to the gym later, I arrived home, hungry as a super-hungry person. Ah, food...

I'm useless at going to bed early, so my pre-marathon sleep was not so great, but I managed to head out the house at 7.15 to get a bus ... but there was no bus for me. The first one was set to arrive at 8.40, so it was back on the bike for me!

The marathon experience was great fun. It was the first time I'd been in a mass start like it, which was quite amusing. My ~10k took me 48 minutes, after which I ran the gauntlet to find my next team member. Imagine running down a corridor of about 500+ people, sometimes two or three deep on each side, looking for someone you'd met one time. Not the easiest thing to accomplish, but it worked out beautifully and my responsibility for the day was over.

The range of people running was a sight to behold alone. I'm sure some of them had never ever run more than 3 miles on a flat treadmill -- surely you shouldn't be hobbling after just 6 miles out of 26...

I cycled home to grab a shower and a power nap, with the intention of getting back to see our final runner come in. The power nap took slightly longer than expected, though, and I woke up to find my dad effecting entry to my flat at about 3pm!

The rest of the afternoon involved parents, sister and food, which was what I needed, with my feet up (my right knee is still giving me agro).

Marathon results remain unposted, but they should be there soon, and we can confirm our clocked team time.

Apart from missing John, it was a really great weekend with friends new and old. And there goes another weekend...

Tuesday June 15 2004 at 16:59 GMT [via mobile]

Sunday was the marathon. I completed my stage (the first) in 48minutes and somehow found the next runner in the mass of others. Our team clock time was 3.56, but it certainly took over 6 minutes to cross the start line, so I\'m taking 3.50.

Sunday was the marathon. I completed my stage (the first) in 48minutes and somehow found the next runner in the mass of others. Our team clock time was 3.56, but it certainly took over 6 minutes to cross the start line, so I'm taking 3.50.

Friday June 11 2004 at 17:09 GMT [via mobile]

Probably three years ago I last used this lock, when I cycled to work. Each night I left the lock at work as my bike stays in my flat.  Then we moved office and I stopped biking and never needed the lock.
<br />
Today I went back to the old office and, much to my delight, found my perfectly working lock still there!
<br />
I wasn\'t going to post the picture, but Neil said \

Probably three years ago I last used this lock, when I cycled to work. Each night I left the lock at work as my bike stays in my flat.
Then we moved office and I stopped biking and never needed the lock.
Today I went back to the old office and, much to my delight, found my perfectly working lock still there!
I wasn't going to post the picture, but Neil said "I bet you think that validates your way of life" which made me laugh as it kind of does!

Friday June 11 2004 at 00:17 GMT

Behind the scenes I'm making all those little code changes I had planned for so long. Feels good to be knocking the code into better shape, even though no-one but me will ever know...

The one obvious change I've made is making the images from my phone a decent size on the front page now. The thumbnails were loooking silly, and putting something bigger in size really isn't bumping up the overall front page size that much. As before, please leave your comments to let me know if it works for you.

Friday June 11 2004 at 00:01 GMT [via mobile]

Torrential rain and a thunderstorm just as I finally managed to attempt escaping from work. Typical!

Torrential rain and a thunderstorm just as I finally managed to attempt escaping from work. Typical!

Thursday June 10 2004 at 20:00 GMT [via mobile]

Due to a minor medical emergency, I have been entrusted with Mr Max for a short time. He is now just pre-crawling...

Due to a minor medical emergency, I have been entrusted with Mr Max for a short time. He is now just pre-crawling...

Thursday June 10 2004 at 00:45 GMT

Firefox

Why have I not blogged this before? No idea. Anyway, several people have recently got in touch looking for help after their computer has been hit by all manner of spyware, adware and other junk. I totally sympathise with these people (and help where I can). The time has come to face up to the fact that Internet Explorer and Outlook Express simply do not cut it as productivity-enhancing tools. Once, when no-one else was really innovating and Netscape had been pulped, they were adequate, but these days they just leave you vulnerable, in line for loss of data and general pain.

The solution? One big step in the right direction is a move to the wonderful Mozilla products Firefox, for browsing, and Thunderbird for email. If you think the open source community involves beards and having no social graces, this is your wake up call. These products are professional, solid, polished and developing actively to include useful features for the user -- that's you, me, them, everybody.

Firefox is set to auto-block pop-ups, so wave goodbye to annoying adverts for casinos and body alterations to please every girl/guy you ever meet. Plus all that spyware code that fills your computer, slows things down and redirects your start page to a.n.other.com site become a thing of the past. Add in tabbed browsing, and real standards compliance, which means you'll actually see this site in its true glory, and you're on to a winner.

This is my browser of choice, and I know how to browse, believe me. Sure, there are a few times you need to flick back to IE to see a certain site, but these times are becoming fewer as the days go by, and as Web developers wake up to the fact that making a site that purely works in IE is idiotic, but that's a whole 'nother discussion (see here and here for two reasons that immediately spring from my aggregator).

Thunderbird is the Mozilla email client, and just as Firefox leads the way in browsing, Thunderbird is the boy for email. All those viruses and junk that hits Outlook Express users? Doesn't touch Thunderbird. All those spam messages OE happily displays for you? Thunderbird uses a built-in filter that learns to consign them to the bin.

Moving all your mail over to Thunderbird is a cinch, so what are you waiting for?

Thursday June 10 2004 at 00:00 GMT

We all know summer is here because ... Big Brother is here! I'm actually quite a fan of the programme, and I'm beginning to think this year's version is lining up to be one of, if not the, best so far.

When Kitten was evicted for breaking too many Big Brother rules, I was quite pleased. She was tiresome. This week Ahmed, Emma and bedsit attached to the house, and be able to exert a certain control on the housemates as they sit and watch them. Evil, evil...

My prediction for eviction this week are Ahmed and Emma. Ahmed is just too unexciting to watch and manages to bring every argument around to his immigration to the UK. Whilst it might well be a valid story and a huge life shaping experience for Ahmed, I truly don't think anyone in the house really cares about it -- they'd prefer to know a bit about him now and have some fun. Emma is just too annoying. Every year the house has a baby, and this year it's Emma. The two of them in that tiny bedsit really would be amusing to see, just for the cruelty factor. Michelle will probably stay because she's eye candy and everyone wants someone to have sex in the UK Big Brother, and so far her and Stuart have got closest to the prize(!).

Sticking my neck out at this stage, I'm going for either Dan, Jason, Shell or Vanessa to walk away with the title. Add your predictions below.

Wednesday June 9 2004 at 00:07 GMT

Cool, I have my place in a marathon relay, thanks to someone who knows somone who knows someone, yet lives round the corner. I think I'm on the first six miles, which should be through town and with plenty of supporters. I am totally looking forward to it. I'm not looking forward to handing over, because I know I'll be feeling great and ready to keep going... Thus is life!

Tuesday June 8 2004 at 18:58 GMT [via mobile]

There is a big Citrix conference on at the EICC just now. They were all leaving with their matching backpacks as I was heading up the road, looking very much like a school party.

There is a big Citrix conference on at the EICC just now. They were all leaving with their matching backpacks as I was heading up the road, looking very much like a school party.

Tuesday June 8 2004 at 00:46 GMT

OK, I'm now feeling ready to get back to some blogging, both here and on Mobitopia. The invisible block really feels like it has lifted and I'm set to roll again.

On the running side of things, I've been visiting the gym instead of running recently, in an attempt to build up my non-running muscles with a lot of uphill cycling and swimming. Tonight I think my legs finally said they were looking forward to getting some running done again. Positive thoughts all round, and time to maintain some kind of balance! I should really start following a plan, too.

Monday June 7 2004 at 01:46 GMT

After plenty of procrastination, I've taken a code leap with my site. Previously, some of the old thinkThin content was in files created from my old blogger account. This weekend, I took the bull by the horns and wrote a neat extract template for my blogger posts and then a parsing and database update script to put all that content into the database here.

Once that was done, I could move ahead with one single template for all blog posts, whether individual posts or entire months. This was where I worked a spot of magic with mod_rewrite. Essentially, this lets me give each post a nice neat URL, but really there is no file there -- it's all done automagically. It's not the easiest thing in the world to pick up, but once you kind of get it, it can be your friend. This quote sums it up rather nicely: Despite the tons of examples and docs, mod_rewrite is voodoo. Damned cool voodoo, but still voodoo.

After that, I tidied up the filesystem, getting rid of a stack of the old static archive files (all now taken care of by mod_rewrite and some neat new PHP) and then moved the comments to directly below each post. It was always my intention to have that setup, but coding challenges when I was first getting going held me up. Given that the browser I use blocks popups, as do several toolbars, the old style window had to go, taking the only Javascript I used with it. Despite the rework, all old links apart from the direct-to-specific-post in the blogger.com files should work without issue.

The next steps are to iron out any crinkles with these changes and then move to a proper XHTML site, with an XHTML-MP (mobile-readable) version. Now that the groundwork's done, I'm hoping the rest should be easier.

As always, if you find any problems in different browsers (I'm lazy and have only tried Firefox and IE6), please let me know and I'll do my best to fix them. Comments are very welcome too.

Sunday June 6 2004 at 13:25 GMT

Matt's Champagne

So, we decided to send Matt some Champagne to help him celebrate his marriage, and I agreed to organise it. Easy, right? America is online-land. Go to wine.com, select, pay and get the confirmation email. Well, yes, unless ... you're trying to send the wine to an address in Maryland (along with quite a few of the other 49 contiguous states; shipping to Japan is easier!)

To cut a long story short, BIG thanks are due to Eric Fullenbaum, and his parents who just so happen to live in Maryland. They personally purchased some fine Champagne and had it shipped over to Matt. As you can see, it arrived on time.

Sunday June 6 2004 at 00:12 GMT

My fellow Mobitopian Matt is getting married today. Huge congratulations to him and his wife-to-be. As Matt says, there will be photos online during the day.

Thursday June 3 2004 at 13:25 GMT

The swimming pool at Escape

At Christmas my nice gym gave all members a booklet of vouchers. One voucher removes the joining fee for a new member (that knocks quite a chunk off the overall first year cost) and another allows me to take one person to the gym with me per month. Having used neither of these so far despite numerous offers, I thought where else better to see if I had any takers than here. If you fancy visiting or joining, let me know. [The picture above is of the stainless steel swimming pool.]

Thursday June 3 2004 at 00:15 GMT

So, I don't sleep that much, really. A normal night for me is (was?) five or six hours, but I've been exercising and thought I should get more shut-eye. Since I was about 17, I've been thinking that, in fact. This week I'm nailing a solid seven hours a night, and I'm feeling more tired than when I had less sleep, and I'm just not quite feeling myself -- not in a bad way, just not myself. Sure, it will pass, and I'll come out supercharged, I hope! Goodnight.

Thursday June 3 2004 at 00:13 GMT

Since way back in the day, I've been a big Wynton Marsalis fan (be sure to check out the Flash site too). In today's Scotsman, there's a story about him coming to the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, which has totally brightened my day!

Purchasing tickets looks like being tricky, though. The poor jazz festival site has no mention of Marsalis playing here (or a way to send a simple query to the organisers) and the Usher Hall is denying all, too. If you fancy hearing some of the finest jazz by an incredible musician, composer and writer, let me know. I'm not waiting until the last minute to buy tickets in my famed style, so be quick! Details: July 30th @ Usher Hall.

Wednesday June 2 2004 at 23:43 GMT

On Tuesday I made my first ever Slashdot (AKA /.) story submission, about making your N-Gage RearTalkin' as opposed to the original SideTalkin'. Anyway, it was accepted and posted. Although the story didn't make the front page, AllAboutNGage.com has been gently slashdotted, I'm guessing.

Wednesday June 2 2004 at 23:18 GMT

On Monday I took a beautiful woman for dinner! My little sister (OK, she used to be shorter than me ... her shoes were big ... ) had her final final exam, so I took her for Champagne at Oloroso and then dinner at Fishers in the City.

It was very cool to have dinner together, and we had a good chat. My opinion of the food was that was good, but not great. Viv was slightly more enthusiastic, particularly about her pear desert. Really nice night, though.

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