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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 September 29 2004 at 12:15 GMT [via mobile]

Today, 28th September @ 9.28am(good symmetry), 
Pete & Blaise had their first child. It wasn\'t all smooth sailing, but 
both mother & child are doing well.  Us boys had beer, fine cigars 
(spiked, no cutters required; highly recomended) & pizza to celebrate!

Today, 28th September @ 9.28am(good symmetry), Pete & Blaise had their first child. It wasn't all smooth sailing, but both mother & child are doing well. Us boys had beer, fine cigars (spiked, no cutters required; highly recomended) & pizza to celebrate!

Tuesday September 28 2004 at 14:16 GMT [via mobile]

On Saturday my Godson had his third birthday party 
(today is his real birthday), and got covered in chocolate.  Here he is 
playing with a flock of balloons that were filling the living room.  All 
five adults involved were exhausted after just an hour of playing. 
Robbie, however, remained full of energy!

On Saturday my Godson had his third birthday party (today is his real birthday), and got covered in chocolate. Here he is playing with a flock of balloons that were filling the living room. All five adults involved were exhausted after just an hour of playing. Robbie, however, remained full of energy!

Tuesday September 28 2004 at 14:10 GMT [via mobile]

This was taken last Wednesday, when I was looking after Robbie 
for a few hours.

This was taken last Wednesday, when I was looking after Robbie for a few hours.

Thursday September 23 2004 at 00:02 GMT

Wednesday September 22 2004 at 23:59 GMT

A Madman Sings to the Moon

On Tuesday night I took a slight diversion from my normal life to visit the theatre to see A Madman Sings to the Moon, at the Royal Lyceum.

For me, it has been a long time since I saw a 'serious' play on stage, and it was really quite enjoyable. For sure, it was not the most scintilating performance I've ever seen in my life, but it was amazingly real. Years of cinema and TV viewing can really remove you from live performance.

The play is on until the 9th of October, and if it's a while since you last saw a play I'd say go and see this. It was in parts tragic, part comedy. Great set, good story, quite thought-provoking. This could be the start of a new trend!

Wednesday September 22 2004 at 09:14 GMT

R.E.M. are rocking, both online and off. If you sign up for some social networking site thing, you can listen to the new R.E.M. album online, in entirety, for free. Way to go!

Wednesday September 22 2004 at 08:38 GMT

Once again, the weekend flew past far too quickly. On Friday it was Blaise's birthday, and we're also in the process of organising this year's away weekend (here are reminders of the first weekend and second weekend), so there was an informal 'meeting' at the pub. It looks like we'll be heading to Muckrach Castle at the middle of November for a long weekend. As each year goes by, we're doing a nice job of refining the organisational process.

On Saturday I did late, lazy, delicious lunch (including fruit salad) with a side-serving of lying around, then a visit to The Stand for some good comedy.

Sunday was meant to involve lots of activity, but ended up with another late lunch, some flat tidying and then a visit to the pub (no alcohol for me, again) to watch Europe retain the Ryder Cup.

After some consideration, I'm about 99% sure that time moves faster at the weekends!

Monday September 20 2004 at 23:59 GMT

Thanks to Mr Nicol, I got ahead of the crowd and ordered up my tickets to see R.E.M. at Loch Lomond. Should be good, even if they were GBP 40 a throw. Like Matthew, I'm hoping that price includes dinner with, no served by, the band. ;-)

Monday September 20 2004 at 00:32 GMT [via mobile]

When I went to buy a new razor, I picked up a standard 
one, then noticed this crazy new one, a Gillette M3Power.  Being a 
sucker for all things new, I grabbed it.  Only once I left and realised 
I\'d spent a tenner on a new razor did a friend point out that it was 
battery powered.

Apparently the new razor sends micro-pulses to the blades to lift hair 
up and away, giving a smoother, better shave.  Why it vibrates so much, 
then, is a mystery.  From my two tests, I can notice absolutely zero 
difference in terms of closeness of shave between this new razor and my 
last razor (Gillette Mach3 Turbo).  Neither did my face feel massaged 
after use.  I did, however, manage to turn it off a few times whilst 
shaving up the way.

It\'s an interesting product though.  Without doubt, the vibrating 
function is ... going to appeal to women for fairly obvious reasons (I\'m 
just pointing out the facts here!).  Given that it\'s a feminine-ish 
green colour, I\'m sure this was not at all lost on Gillette!

When I went to buy a new razor, I picked up a standard one, then noticed this crazy new one, a Gillette M3Power. Being a sucker for all things new, I grabbed it. Only once I left and realised I'd spent a tenner on a new razor did a friend point out that it was battery powered.

Apparently the new razor sends micro-pulses to the blades to lift hair up and away, giving a smoother, better shave. Why it vibrates so much, then, is a mystery. From my two tests, I can notice absolutely zero difference in terms of closeness of shave between this new razor and my last razor (Gillette Mach3 Turbo). Neither did my face feel massaged after use. I did, however, manage to turn it off a few times whilst shaving up the way.

It's an interesting product though. Without doubt, the vibrating function is ... going to appeal to women for fairly obvious reasons (I'm just pointing out the facts here!). Given that it's a feminine-ish green colour, I'm sure this was not at all lost on Gillette!

Friday September 17 2004 at 12:31 GMT

I'm sure I did see this somewhere before, perhaps when it was super pre-beta-beta, and I didn't get it. Now there's some momentum, and Carrick pointed out the fun of it, I thought I should have a go.

World66 is an open travel guide, which means you go in and add detail about the areas you know or have been to. If everyone does the same thing, you ideally end up with a more up-to-date and interesting travel guide than you might in a book, for example.

Another feature of World66 is that the site allows you to create maps of where you've lived, visited or would like to visit. This is where I've visited in the world:



Here's some links for where I've visited in the States, Canada and Europe. Feel free to post a link to where you've visited in the world in the comments.

Thursday September 16 2004 at 23:47 GMT

Sometimes you simply cannot beat British TV. When I finally got round to eating tonight, I happened upon a special edition of Question Time, looking back over the last 25 years of the programme. Some of the discussions and arguments that take place have been fantastic.

After that, This Week came on, which is another programme I'm becoming quite a fan of. Tonight was particularly special, though, thanks to R.E.M. being on the show, discussing their involvement in the Vote for Change series of concerts in US 'swing states'.

As a longtime fan of the band, it was great to hear them talk intelligently. I've never done the whole hero-worship thing, but I would certainly love to meet Michael Stipe; he's been an inspiration for some time, and even with all the fame and money, he still seems very well grounded, yet having fun.

BBC Radio 2 had a special interview with the band today. More information over here, including the chance to listen to it again (you may need to be in the UK for that part).

All that segues very neatly into mentioning the new R.E.M. album, Around the Sun. They even managed to get Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest to guest. There is also a tour for the album, and I'm thinking I may actually finally go and see them... Last time I got tickets, I queued overnight for them, only for Bill Berry to be taken ill. On this tour, they're going to play the SECC in Glasgow, and I'm not going there, but they're also going to play Loch Lomond, which sounds pretty cool, so I'm aiming for that. Tickets go on sale Saturday, so let me know if you fancy it too.

Thursday September 16 2004 at 15:56 GMT [via mobile]

Today Max, my Godson\'s brother, is one year old.  I 
remember the day he came home from hospital...  Happy birthday, Max, and 
congratulations to Polly and John for making it through an entire year 
with two little monsters.

Today Max, my Godson's brother, is one year old. I remember the day he came home from hospital... Happy birthday, Max, and congratulations to Polly and John for making it through an entire year with two little monsters.

Thursday September 16 2004 at 15:54 GMT [via mobile]

Today was the first time I\'d seen my Godson in a while.  Wow, 
how fast kids grow!

Today was the first time I'd seen my Godson in a while. Wow, how fast kids grow!

Wednesday September 15 2004 at 14:15 GMT

On Friday evening I caught up with dwlt, and he told me some bad news about The Games Kitchen. Today it's public news.

Dave has been through the mill a bit with this, which makes it particularly sad news. As ever, though, Dave already has plans in place for moving forward. I'd also say that if you need a talented, forward-thinking, genuinely original ideas guy with solid technical skills and market knowledge in the mobile games arena, get in touch with him now!

Wednesday September 15 2004 at 12:59 GMT

Matt Haughey has a beautiful project running, whereby he captures one picture a day, and intends to do this for the next 9 and a bit years. I've been following his daily posts for a while now, but he's had a few recently that are just wonderful pictures.

SF from the air

This picture, looking down on San Francisco on such a beautifully clear day is an epic. It is perfect, and should soon be gracing my desk. This picture of cones waiting for the train to arrive is also brilliant, and this reminder of the SFO parking lot, which held a few memories from my last visit. Ah, the wonder of the Web.

Wednesday September 15 2004 at 12:39 GMT

Last night I had a nice, although short, catchup with Fiona (Big Brother blogger) at Rick's. She survived the hurricanes in Florida and was back to tell the tale(s).

When I got home, I made some food and sat down to catch the news, but ended up watching NY-LON, a cool new series on Channel4 about ... life and love, interrupted by the Atlantic. Highly recommended viewing! There is a cool logo shown during the program, but I couldn't find it to paste in here.

Wednesday September 15 2004 at 00:46 GMT

It's about two months since I've really checked out my aggregator (read: read other sites, apart from the BBC). Seriously. Seriously. There's a lot of moving on and new beginnings happening right now. This is a quick snapshot of what's going on:

Tuesday September 14 2004 at 00:19 GMT

Time has most literally been flying since I got back from California all those weeks ago. I am still seriously missing the sunshine, the people and weirdly the smoke-free bars. A few weeks ago I was out, and the bar was just thick with smoke and I realised exactly why it was so strange: Californian bars are smoke-free zones. By all accounts, Scotland could be moving towards smoke-free bars soon (nice quote at the start of this article, too).

Just so you don't think I've really been sitting in my house and have nothing to post, here's a quick summary of my last few weekends, for my own memory, as much as anything.

Dinner at Rogue followed by drinks at Monboddo was first up. Rogue remains my favourite restaurant in Edinburgh; the food was great, winelist superb and service excellent.

There were a few days of the festival left, so I caught up with Christie who organised entry to the Tao Drummers at St George's, the venue she was running. After that, attention was turned to the perenial favourite Spiegeltent for the Cat Empire (who were just absolutely fantastic -- go and see them if they are ever close to you) and then La Clique ('a sideshow burlesque' which had some great moments). Big thanks to Brett for sorting out tickets to that, and also best wishes for a speedy recovery after accidently taking an exit from a first floor window, leaivng him with a shattered vertebrae.

Work flew by, then the next weekend was catching The Terminal (pretty good, even with Tom Hanks doing a foreign accent) on the double-super-comfy sofas at The Dominion, my neighbourhood cinema.

After a lazy Saturday, I wandered into town to soak up some sunshine, then grab dinner with Jams, Rich and Christie at Bell's Diner in Stockbridge. Without doubt, I had the finest olives I've ever had in my life in the house salad there. They were beyond sublime, and marinated in-house.

Sunday was the festival fireworks. Finally I managed to make it into the Gardens to see them. Next year I'm actually going to be organised, and be one of those people who pitch up with a rug, cushions and chilled Champagne ... and chilled glasses! It was good to catch up with the whole gang after a while out the country.

The weekend just gone (far, FAR too quickly) involved some train missing, then some lucky train catching to see my Grandma, uncle, aunt, cousin, his wife and child plus a host of others, including my parentals, who then gave me a lift back to Edinburgh so that I could do some more film watching (I'm all about film watching ;-). Open Water was the viewing choice. It was kind of a strange film, but explaning why would ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it, so I won't do that. I'll just say wait until it comes out on DVD. ;-)

After the running on Sunday, I had a really excellent feed-up at the Olive Branch on Broughton Street (which, I have to agree with the List, has turned into a really cool part of town, and one that I'm too far from). The afternoon kicked off very nicely from there, with plenty of lounging, paper-reading and a glass of wine to boot. Rockin'!

Monday September 13 2004 at 12:50 GMT

Yesterday was the Capital City Challenge 10k race, which I took part in along with something like 5500 other people. The weather gods were smiling on us, and the race stayed dry, not too cold and only lightly windy.

Lots of people I know were running, and by luck I managed to catch up with all of them before or after the race. My goal had been to get under 45 minutes, and I managed, quite easily as it turned out, with a time of 43.36, which is about five minutes faster than my personal best. Here's my route and final time. Well done to Neil, Polly and Sue for all hitting their respective target times.

This morning, the back of my right knee is sore, and my left thigh is a little tender, so I'm off to the physio before making the final Berlin decision!

Monday September 13 2004 at 11:11 GMT [via mobile]

On Saturday afternoon I zoomed down to Carlisle for a small 
family get-together. This is my cousin David and his gorgeous daughter 
Daisy.

On Saturday afternoon I zoomed down to Carlisle for a small family get-together. This is my cousin David and his gorgeous daughter Daisy.

Monday September 13 2004 at 11:09 GMT [via mobile]

Somewhere I read that running shoes should be replaced after 
400-450 miles. My original pair must be heading that way, so I decided 
now was the time to get some fresh treads.

The good news is that my old shoes are actually still in good shape and 
don\'t have to be replaced yet, but I got a fresh set for Berlin.

Somewhere I read that running shoes should be replaced after 400-450 miles. My original pair must be heading that way, so I decided now was the time to get some fresh treads. The good news is that my old shoes are actually still in good shape and don't have to be replaced yet, but I got a fresh set for Berlin.

Tuesday September 7 2004 at 21:18 GMT [via mobile]

The Sony Ericsson Z1010 3G phone lives! This isn\'t mine, but I\'m 
working on it.

The Sony Ericsson Z1010 3G phone lives! This isn't mine, but I'm working on it.

Monday September 6 2004 at 15:07 GMT

Yesterday was a big day for me. My place in the Berlin Marathon is still booked, but due to work and time in California, I was most definitely undecided as to whether or not I was fit enough.

On Thursday, my first session back with the running club (here's the route), I felt SO out of shape, and when I got home, my left knee had swollen. After a day of compression bandage, things seem OK, thankfully.

On Saturday night (more on that later) I managed to stay completely sober, then I had a good long sleep into Sunday. Breakfast was a banana and some sports drink, then I did plenty of stretches, filled my trusty CamelBak with water and loaded it with bananas and muesli bars, then headed out the door, with the aim of hitting the magical 20 mile mark.

My route was really quite random; I didn't want to get on to the cycle path to Balerno too early, as it is too short, so I wandered down by Kings Buildings, then Newington, round the Meadows a few times, then on to the canal path, instead of the cycle path, which just goes and goes. Here's the entire route.

During the run, I took a break after 10 miles (1hr 30mins) and ate some banana and a bit of cereal bar, then again at 16 miles, which was as far as I've ever run before. My CamelBak provided constant hydration, which undoubtedly helped.

The final total for my run was 20.4 miles of running in 3hrs 4mins, and then half a mile of very gentle jogging and walking, to cool down. The coach at running had advised me to aim for a four hour marathon pace, just as something to keep me focussed (although my stated goal is simply to complete the thing!). That works out at 6.5 miles/hour, which means yesterday I actually managed to run ahead of that pace. Crazy.

Last night I slept like a log, and today I feel pretty good, perhaps some kind of running high. My legs feel tired, but absolutely nothing like the broken mess I was on my previous longest run, thankfully.

What all this means is that Berlin is currently ON! From here on in, my runs are meant to be pretty light. Next weekend I'm doing the Capital City Challenge 10k race around Edinburgh with Neil. During this week I'll mostly be going to the gym for cycling and swimming, and then eating a lot. Perfect! Ahhhhhh...

Monday September 6 2004 at 14:42 GMT [via mobile]

These dudes I caught at the venue Christie was running 
this year during the Fringe.  It was the first time they were outside 
their native Japan, and they were really good indeed.

These dudes I caught at the venue Christie was running this year during the Fringe. It was the first time they were outside their native Japan, and they were really good indeed.

Monday September 6 2004 at 12:01 GMT

Fiona, of Big Brother blogging assistance fame, is currently in Florida, getting blown about by hurricane Frances. Hopefully not too much... When I was out at the weekend, some of us were discussing hurricane names, and I found this handy information. Let's hope that the residents of Florida don't have to become too familiar with the list...

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