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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...

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

More of what I've been listening to

Latest pictures from my phone

www.flickr.com
More pictures from my phone


Friday February 25 2005 at 14:59 GMT

Wednesday February 23 2005 at 14:15 GMT

OK, I do have a post about my fantastic weekend away with Hazel two weekends ago, but it's not quite finished. Until then...

Tuesday February 22 2005 at 12:58 GMT

Edinburgh has said NO to congestion charging by almost 3 votes to 1, which I think is the best plan. Quite simply, I don't believe the council are up to the task of effectively organising traffic in Edinburgh (they're making a right mess with some other changes right now).

In many areas it already costs to park a car, but there are more permits than spaces by quite a margin. Allegedly the system was put in place with charges only to cover the administration, but I just don't believe that.

In addition, I simply don't believe Edinburgh has a major traffic problem, apart from when the council gets involved and messes with the roads. There is an increase in vehicles at rushour in the morning and at night, but apart from that it's just not that bad.

I'm wondering what the next steps are going to be here. We're sure to get screwed some other way! Don't get me wrong, I'm no car-loving-public-transport-hating zealot (I don't own a car and predominantly get buses or walk), but I've seen too many sneaky things attempted by our 'leaders'.

Monday February 21 2005 at 10:48 GMT

A few weeks ago I posted about Stephanie & Andre in a competition to have their wedding paid for. I thought that was the final, but it was just a heat ... which they won! Now they really need your help to win the FINAL, and voting closes today at midday PST / 8pm GMT.

The voting instructions, taken from this page, are thus:
Send an email to contests@kezr.com with the subject of BFMW Finalist Vote. In the mail, include the following:

  • The Entire Name of the Couple You are Voting For: Stephanie & Andre
  • your first name
  • your last name
  • your phone number
  • your city and state
  • your age (you need to be over 13 to vote)

Having to email in is a pain, but is likely to reduce the possibility of fraudulent voting. The terms and conditions seem a bit vague on what they might do with your email address, so be careful with the one you use. I can't see anything disallowing overseas voting in the rules either.

Sunday February 13 2005 at 18:14 GMT [via mobile]

Too windy to fly the kite on St. Andrews beach.

Too windy to fly the kite on St. Andrews beach.

Saturday February 12 2005 at 11:40 GMT [via mobile]

Hazel has whisked me away to the lovely St. Andrews Bay Hotel for the weekend. This is the view from our bed(room). Just had a mighty five + toast course breakfast, so time for a walk!

Hazel has whisked me away to the lovely St. Andrews Bay Hotel for the weekend. This is the view from our bed(room). Just had a mighty five + toast course breakfast, so time for a walk!

Friday February 11 2005 at 12:32 GMT

  • CD-WOW are having a big push to get people buying CDs via their mobile, with some ridiculous opening offers of GBP 3.75 per CD. You need to install a small piece of software which looks like it should run on most recent phones. Here's the direct link.
  • From a music newsletter: Shazam has signed a deal with SDC to enable users to tag a song and then download it to their handsets [NO LINK - from press release]. That's a nice move by Shazam. I've used their service and it does work well. Adding download capability is a super-logical step. It will be interesting to see how the DRM is done, and whether a list of tracks to download can be moved back to a PC, where bandwidth is commonly cheaper. (via Allan)
  • Melodeo is introducing a mobile music preview, purchase & download app, with Warner Music providing the library. The app also has a Bluetooth component, allowing downloaded files to be sent to another phone (presumably with the app installed), which then plays a 30 second sample of the song. The entire track can be unlocked if you pay for the code. (via Allan)

Friday February 11 2005 at 02:06 GMT

The rest of this week has seriously flown past. After getting back last Sunday, I had a call from my mum to say my dad was in hospital. Thankfully it does not appear to be anything serious, and dad was back out on Monday after doing some treadmill exercises and being told he had the fitness level of a 46 year old. I popped home to see him, and both rentals were on great form, which was such a relief. Retirement is clearly doing my dad well: even at this time of winter in Scotland, he still has a healthy looking tan!

Work has been crazy-busy, and already it's Friday! This weekend, Hazel is taking me away somewhere (perhaps to where the men wear white coats ;-), which is shaping up to be superb fun. And then, it's Monday again. Where did January go???

Friday February 11 2005 at 01:59 GMT

Last weekend was cool. On Friday night, Hazel and I went down to see Polly & John for pizza and beer. Even though I got a LOT of teasing, it was a good night. Saturday was spent mostly doing a MASSIVE shop at Marks and Spencers and then some quality eating.

Confuence + geocache On Sunday, I was up early (OK, early for me, on a Sunday) to catch Rich and hit the 57N 4W confluence point and also for our first attempt at geocaching (there's a nice explanation here). Last November, when we were at Muckrach, we'd attempted the confluence, only to be badly beaten. This time we were serious (and had gaiters -- thanks siblings!) ... as well as having read the attempts of others.

We'd checked the weather, and it was meant to be reasonably nice -- dry, and a few degrees celsius. What we hadn't counted on was snow lying on the ground. Our hike was 7km along a road and then about 4km ascending and descending snow-covered heather.

We hit the confluence dead-on, got the required photos and placed the geocache.

The scenery wasn't quite breathtaking, but it was pretty. Naturally I captured the entire route on my watch for posterity. The round journey was 22km, which was a solid march, done in just over six hours.

The geocache details are still being reviewed, so not officially on the site yet. The Confluence report is coming as soon as my login is sorted, but you can enjoy the full gallery here.

Even with the drive back in -5C temperatures (outside the cosy car!), it was a great day. We were incredibly lucky the weather didn't change on us, or it could have been messy indeed. I'm already looking forward to the next one!

[UPDATE @ 12.48 GMT]: The drumguish geocache is now live!

Wednesday February 9 2005 at 16:50 GMT

Hazel & me in Dublin at New Year

Following the licence for my image editing package running out, last night I finally made a few coding changes to the gallery which meant I could get these pictures from new year in Dublin online, including the first picture on the site of Hazel and me. :-D

There are also a few pictures of the Scottish Parliament building. I fully intend to go back with my camera and get some better shots.

Monday February 7 2005 at 16:06 GMT

One of my friends, Stephanie, is getting married and is currently in a competition to win a free wedding. She needs your help to make it happen, though. Please follow this link, and then vote for 'FRIDAY : Stephanie & Andre'. There's a lot at stake, and the closing date is TODAY at midday Pacific (8pm GMT).

Sunday February 6 2005 at 15:38 GMT [via mobile]

At 57N 4W.

At 57N 4W.

Sunday February 6 2005 at 12:16 GMT [via mobile]

Nice weather for a confluence & geocache effort.

Nice weather for a confluence & geocache effort.

Wednesday February 2 2005 at 13:59 GMT

The Edinburgh bloggers are out in force today:

Wednesday February 2 2005 at 13:50 GMT

Yesterday Allan was in town, and we did have a whole catalogue of events outlined, but ended up busking around in excellent style. We both got haircuts, then some food at the house before marching up to see the parliament (lots of pictures below). We split to do separate things after a few quick pints at The Tun, before reconvening with my sister for food at David Bann and topping the night off with some table football and beers at Rush in the Cowgate.

It truly was a wonderful day. Spending time just chatting and hanging out with Allan was excellent, and something we haven't had a chance to do for far far too long. The three of us together was great, too. We all had a laugh and plenty fun. I am very fortunate to have such wonderful siblings! Thanks, dudes.

Wednesday February 2 2005 at 11:26 GMT [via mobile]

The old Post Office building at the end of Princes Street has 
been rennovated internally, but the exterior retained.  Now there is essentially a whole 
building wrapped inside the old building shell.  Looks cool.

The old Post Office building at the end of Princes Street has been rennovated internally, but the exterior retained. Now there is essentially a whole building wrapped inside the old building shell. Looks cool.

Wednesday February 2 2005 at 01:34 GMT [via mobile]

Allan and Viv at the fusball table, taking is seriously serious.

Allan and Viv at the fusball table, taking is seriously serious.

Wednesday February 2 2005 at 01:31 GMT [via mobile]

Looked so good, I had to take a picture.

Looked so good, I had to take a picture.

Wednesday February 2 2005 at 01:28 GMT [via mobile]

/The Enrico Miralles-styles Saint Andrews cross in the ceiling of the entrance 
of the parliament.

/The Enrico Miralles-styles Saint Andrews cross in the ceiling of the entrance of the parliament.

Wednesday February 2 2005 at 01:27 GMT [via mobile]

More from the chamber of the parliament, inspired by the dining room(?) 
in the castle.

More from the chamber of the parliament, inspired by the dining room(?) in the castle.

Wednesday February 2 2005 at 01:26 GMT [via mobile]

These are the people of Scotland, watching their MSPs.

These are the people of Scotland, watching their MSPs.

Wednesday February 2 2005 at 01:24 GMT [via mobile]

Looks nice!

Looks nice!

Tuesday February 1 2005 at 23:56 GMT [via mobile]

Nice to be on holiday, and seeing blue sky!

Nice to be on holiday, and seeing blue sky!

Tuesday February 1 2005 at 08:43 GMT

Congratulations are due to...

  • Kev & Catriona, who had a baby boy on the 22nd
  • Iain & Amanda, who also had a boy on the 28th
Depending on what Iain says, I may well pop a picture on here of the young man, given their hosting has lapsed. I'm looking forward to catching up with both of them soon!

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