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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


Tuesday November 30 2004 at 15:12 GMT

Whilst looking at cars with a colleague, I found this guy selling his car, using an alarmingly honest tone. Be sure to read the questions and answers for the seller!

Tuesday November 30 2004 at 15:04 GMT

Scottish flag - St Andrew's Cross

Today is St Andrew's Day, who is the patron saint of Scotland (as well as Russia and Romania), so tonight The Girl and I are dining on finest haggis of both the traditional and vegetarian formats, with neeps and tatties.

Here's a few more facts about St Andew, some folklore and what happens at a St Andrew's Night dinner.

Friday November 26 2004 at 18:53 GMT

  • as I was perusing the Sunday Times last week, I found this great article about Gooduckens being the must have for Christmas. What is it? A new toy for the kids? Fancy Champagne? Nope -- it's a goose stuffed with a duck stuffed with a hen. Read here for more. That's a whole lot of food, but I reckon I could do it. Now all I need is 185 quid.
  • finally, the entire Matrix set is available on DVD, along with a huge bunch of other stuff. 26 hours viewing in all! At 42 quid delivered, that's saying a lot about the films (unfortunately) [via StuartB]

Friday November 26 2004 at 15:41 GMT

Muckrach Castle Due to my busy week, I'm still in the process of actually writing up the fun we had a Muckrach Castle, but I did manage to get my photos organised and online.

There was not water, so no beautiful sunset-on-water photos, but I really do like the following: the castle, Russian Shandy, Deek and Jams up to no good, Rich in the pine forest en route to the confluence point and a grouse moor.

Thursday November 25 2004 at 13:46 GMT [via mobile]

The Girl made me a mean fruit salad.  Deee-licious!

The Girl made me a mean fruit salad. Deee-licious!

Thursday November 25 2004 at 13:42 GMT [via mobile]

My favourite restaurant in Edinburgh, Rogue, has closed its doors.  For a 
while not it had been looking slightly perilous, but it seems takings weren\'t staying up. 
  It is a huge shame, but the location on Morrison Street just wasn\'t great.  Passing 
trade must have been minimal, and you couldn\'t really see it from the street if you were 
walking or driving past.

I\'m sure that David Ramsden will be back with something new soon, but I doubt it will be 
as good value, service and quality as Rogue.  Goodbye.

My favourite restaurant in Edinburgh, Rogue, has closed its doors. For a while not it had been looking slightly perilous, but it seems takings weren't staying up. It is a huge shame, but the location on Morrison Street just wasn't great. Passing trade must have been minimal, and you couldn't really see it from the street if you were walking or driving past. I'm sure that David Ramsden will be back with something new soon, but I doubt it will be as good value, service and quality as Rogue. Goodbye.

Thursday November 18 2004 at 10:36 GMT [via mobile]

Last night after my first visit to the gym in a looong time, I was mighty 
hungry, so The Girl and I went to the Kalpna (vegetarian Indian restaurant) for dinner. 
We both had Thaali\'s, which were excellent.  You just can\'t beat delicious food!

Last night after my first visit to the gym in a looong time, I was mighty hungry, so The Girl and I went to the Kalpna (vegetarian Indian restaurant) for dinner. We both had Thaali's, which were excellent. You just can't beat delicious food!

Tuesday November 16 2004 at 15:38 GMT

This morning we packed up the castle, and made our ways homewards. It was a great long weekend. Thanks to everyone for a great time! Pictures and a full rundown to come shortly.

Monday November 15 2004 at 20:00 GMT [via mobile]

Rich and I giving it some confluence point action.

Rich and I giving it some confluence point action.

Sunday November 14 2004 at 15:35 GMT [via mobile]

After several unsuccessful attempts to flnd wind for kite-flying, the mini kite took off today. Very cool indeed.

After several unsuccessful attempts to flnd wind for kite-flying, the mini kite took off today. Very cool indeed.

Sunday November 14 2004 at 03:43 GMT [via mobile]

The traditional breakfast of champions - a Russian Shandy (Stella & Smirnoff Ice).

The traditional breakfast of champions - a Russian Shandy (Stella & Smirnoff Ice).

Saturday November 13 2004 at 18:34 GMT [via mobile]

The room from my bedroom.

The room from my bedroom.

Friday November 12 2004 at 15:04 GMT [via mobile]

The weather has taken a slight turn, with some decent flurries of snow, but that does mean we can store the beer outside. Please note the soft drinks are for mixers only! ;-)

The weather has taken a slight turn, with some decent flurries of snow, but that does mean we can store the beer outside. Please note the soft drinks are for mixers only! ;-)

Friday November 12 2004 at 12:39 GMT [via mobile]

Our Tesco delivery has successfully arrived!

Our Tesco delivery has successfully arrived!

Thursday November 11 2004 at 18:54 GMT [via mobile]

Always good to be prepared!

Always good to be prepared!

Thursday November 11 2004 at 18:42 GMT [via mobile]

This is our 2004 group holiday location (check gallery for Taynish & JamsBirthday for previous years) at Muckrach Castle.

This is our 2004 group holiday location (check gallery for Taynish & JamsBirthday for previous years) at Muckrach Castle.

Wednesday November 10 2004 at 13:24 GMT

I was in the middle of writing about the Scottish Parliament debating whether to impose a ban on smoking in public places, and if so, what form that ban should take, when along came the news that a ban is going to be put in place!

I'm in favour of a ban in restaurants (nothing worse than the people beside you sparking up as you sit down to start eating), but I think there should be bars where smoking is allowed; I believe New York has 'cigar bars' which would be a way to go. Anyway, it's got to be a step in the right direction, and finally shows the Scottish Executive having some balls to make a proper decision.

Wednesday November 10 2004 at 09:16 GMT [via mobile]

Nathan, Pete & Blaise\'s son, looking relaxed as he gets to know the group ahead of the long weekend away.

Nathan, Pete & Blaise's son, looking relaxed as he gets to know the group ahead of the long weekend away.

Monday November 8 2004 at 15:13 GMT

On Friday, we had another company pool night. Lots of fun, although somewhere along the line the game of Risk that was the scoreboard for the event got knocked, so it just turned into ... lots of games of pool. Thankfully it wasn't too late a night.

On Saturday, I had a very early appointment with the Farmers' Market for collection of some mighty beef ahead of our group holiday up north. We got some nice looking pieces at Well Hung and Tender, the owner of which knew my old boss (and his pigs). In the evening, The Girl and I headed to David Bann for some extremely delicious food (last time I complained about the number of mushroom-involved dishes; they were quite happy to cater/pander to my non-fungus requests, though, so don't be put off). We then wandered up to the Scotsman Brasserie for a few quiet drinks and some excellent chat before heading home.

Gabriella

Sunday required another early start, with a slightly woolly head, to get over to my aunt's house for early Christmas. My cousin and her husband, with their two gorgeous daughters Carmen Rose and Gabriella, plus my uncle were all over from the States. The two girls were on great form, and had not forgotten that they had nicknamed me Sleepyhead.

Another most excellent weekend, ahead of what is going to be a very busy week. On Thursday, I'm heading north for our group holiday, and there's plenty to get organised before then. Fun, fun!

Saturday November 6 2004 at 19:15 GMT

What to say about the US election? Most of it has already been said by others. Disappointment, more than anything, is my overiding emotion. The US has not improved it's standing in the international community in the last four years -- quite the opposite in fact. Would Kerry have changed that and brought things back into line? I have a feeling he'd have taken a better stab at it than Bush. Now we have to see what happens.

Here are some bonus links, well worth visiting: Terreus; Marry an American; eBay auction.

Saturday November 6 2004 at 19:05 GMT

Some extremely sad news today: Fred Dibnah has died of cancer. He was such a great person to watch; he was SO into engineering on all fronts. He'll be very sadly missed. The BBC has a nice series of photos of the man. Please raise a beer to him, as I'm sure he'd appreciate.

Friday November 5 2004 at 01:05 GMT

BT has announced that it will trial 2Mbps ADSL, and the good news is that they plan to involve customers from various ISPs in the trial. It looks like my own ISP, Zen, will be allowing customers to take part. 2Mbps to the house is something only dreamt about, not so long ago ... unless you live in Sweden, where fat connections are readily to hand. Oh, or South Korea. I'm aiming to be on that trial!

Friday November 5 2004 at 00:52 GMT

Over the last week or so I've had three good eating experiences in Edinburgh.

  1. last Thursday I took my sister for dinner at David Bann. It's probably one of my favourite restaurants in Edinburgh, and certainly my favourite vegetarian eatery. The food was good, although as a mushroom hater, the choices were quickly slimmed down. The wine was excellent, and I'm very much looking forward to going back with The Girl on Saturday night
  2. on Wednesday, Kirsty and Daan were in town, so we went to the newly refurbished Whighams Wine Cellars. The place seems to have at least quadrupled in size since I was last there ... although there was a LOT of Champagne involved on that occasion. The food we had was very good, the atmosphere was nice and the house wine was extremely drinkable (we had the Chez Bouey Blanc). Very much recommended!
  3. and finally to last night, when we dined at Oloroso. My starter of seared beef on puy lentils was really excellent, and my main course of John Dory was very tasty. Even as my bar of choice in Edinburgh, though, the food still seems over-priced and I felt the service wasn't quite up to the standards it once was.
Lately I've been doing far too little home cooking. Must get back to it!

Tuesday November 2 2004 at 19:34 GMT

I would have liked to talk some (US) politics on here, but things got busy, and now the US election is upon us. If I were a US voter, my very limited knowledge would lead me to vote for Kerry. My impression as someone with an admittedly basic worldview, is that Bush has done very little but harm in the time he's been in power. Yes, things did change on 9/11, but there have been a raft of other issues that I just can't agree with him on.

Anyway, for tonight, the BBC have put together an extremely useful guide on understanding the process as well as a timetable of events. The election is based on a college system, explained here. This is what is expected to happen, when. It's looking like a close-run thing, so it could make for some good viewing, if you can keep your eyes open long enough.

Tuesday November 2 2004 at 17:38 GMT


Back in January, Grant called a temporary halt to his blogging activities to concentrate on some other projects. Today I happened to go to Grant's site just to see what was there, and lo!, not only does the site have one of the cleanest, coolest fresh orange designs, but there is hot new content. Welcome back, Granty!

Monday November 1 2004 at 23:37 GMT

Monday November 1 2004 at 14:48 GMT

So, as many of you already know, there is now a girl in my life; that goes at least part-way to explaining the reduced frequency of updates. ;-) Out of respect for her privacy, I'm not planning to explicitly mention her on here, but she will be appearing occasionally (I hope!).

Monday November 1 2004 at 14:26 GMT

Monday November 1 2004 at 14:21 GMT

This weekend I was visiting friends in Stonehaven. With big thanks to Polly, I actually drove there and back -- my first driving on a UK road without an instructor in the car! It was a great weekend, with plenty of fun on the way up, great company and fun there, and some more fun on the way back down.

With a little bit of a detour, the return journey involved trying to find the beaches in Montrose, with no luck despite following the signs and quality fish anc chips in Anstruther.

The whole thing clearly took it's toll on me, though. I have to admit to being in bed and ready to sleep at 11.25pm last night. Possibly the earliest I've been in bed for many a year!

Monday November 1 2004 at 14:11 GMT [via mobile]

Looking at the quality fish and chip shop over the 
harbour.  At night.  ;-)

Looking at the quality fish and chip shop over the harbour. At night. ;-)

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