Encore!


Well I reckon the world managed to put on a pretty decent show over the last couple of weeks.* Perhaps even more surprisingly the hosts haven’t been too shabby so far either, which is a relief. It’s even been nice to see journalists discover that positive stories sell more newspapers!

Ok so the pre-interval ceremony (as Channel 4 have been pointing out, we’ve just had the warm up so far!) had it’s ups (union flag stage, hats with light bulbs on, more of those amazing pixels, and taxis covered in LEDs) and downs (unseemly reappearance of the fashion industry before the flame had even gone out) but all in all things are going rather well. Definitely looking forward to getting back in the Copper Box in September.

* Imagine the world behaving itself better the rest of the time. Maybe one day.

Handball 2 – 1 Hockey


[If you’ve arrived here looking for the Stratford Gate bridge water feature, it’s called bit.fall according to the Art in the Park publication.]

What an amazing day. The Olympic queueing event had been cancelled so we arrived in plenty of time for the first Handball session of the day:

Handball was definitely a tactical selection in the first ticket lottery but it was an absolute winner. Hope we see more handball in the UK after the games finish. Next up was hockey (and, being open air, a quick shower):

After the excitement of handball, I nearly fell asleep in the first 0-0 bore draw. Thank goodness the second game was a tad more interesting. Ok, it was team GB so we weren’t completely impartial, but it was definitely a better game and there were even some goals!

The Olympic park was pretty good as well. There are plenty of quieter spots to escape some of the crowds, or at least there were before the athletics started! We found this difficult-to-photo water feature under the bridge from the Stratford gate (it’s better than it looks!):

Diamond Geezer has a handy guide to the Olympic Park if you’re going to visit.

Updated: added link to Art in the Park since people have been trying to find out about Julius Popp’s bit.fall (4th August 2012)

Olympic flash mob


Just caught a bit of Britain’s Olympic Torch Story on the TV which reminded me I meant to post about the torch relay after it came through Fareham:

I had suitably low expectations but it was actually quite entertaining. Just possibly not for the intended reasons! We were waiting opposite the bus station where people were playing chicken with buses while the road was still open. It was more amusing when the road was theoretically closed but no one had stopped the traffic- I don’t think the bronze control vehicle should have been in a medal position!

After the warm up acts, the main event got under way with random music and dancing about from the sponsors. There were also a whole bunch of support vehicles and police of varying degrees of jolliness to get the crowd cheering and waving their recently purchased flags. (Some of those flags looked suspiciously like they’d carefully avoided any protected expressions!)

After all the excitement, some random bloke (who seemed to think he was Usain Bolt) sprinted past with a fancy looking flame thrower.

Shortly afterwards the crowd dispersed in a distinctly flash-mob-esque style.

Good fun but I can’t help thinking it was a bit of a missed opportunity. The sponsors were pretty unlikely to influence my choice of soft drink, next technology purchase or current account provider, but one of them could have at least made some kind of effort to introduce the torch bearer. Maybe they could have pointed out he wasn’t actually in the Olympics and tried to slow him up a bit!

Talking of missed opportunities, it’s a pity that for London 2012 we couldn’t actually have run the Paralympics and Olympics in parallel, instead of weeks apart. That would have really been something.

Anarchy In The UK


Quite randomly I ended up at a roller derby tournament yesterday. Not just any roller derby either: Anarchy in the UKthe first WFTDA sanctioned roller derby tournament to be held outside of North America. By the end of the day I had a vague idea of what was going on, largely thanks to Royal Windsor Rollergirl “Red Arrow”s expert coaching.

Sadly I could only make it to the first day, due to family IT support duties. (I was tricked by the promise of a free lunch!) I did catch a couple of clips of the Sunday bouts on the Derby News Network though, and all the bouts are still on there if you want to see what happens. Not as good as watching live, but much better than a blurry photo!

Saturday

Sunday

I’m tempted to drag Jo along to a roller derby sometime, but it might be a little tough to beat Anarchy; the London Rollergirls certainly did an outstanding job hosting the event. Definitely more entertaining than your average sport.

Update: added link to much better review of the event than I managed! (11 April 2011)

Too busy to blog


I seem to have been far too busy to get any time for blogging lately. Actually, it’s the finishing off posts that I’ve been having trouble finding time for; I do still keep adding to the number of unpublished posts, with this selection boosting the number of drafts to 38:

  • Master Information Hub: Social Bookmark Search Transaction
  • My first Joggler app
  • Election results!
  • Icelandic Economy Bill
  • dub dub dub dot fail
  • Parking charge

Instead of finishing any of those off I’ve been…

…ordering a canvas for one of our wedding photos.

We’ve been married almost a year so it seemed like it would be a good idea to finally do something with some of our favourite photos!

The canvas has arrived, and looks great, but it’s still sealed in a back to keep all the dust off from…

…decorating the porch.

We have two front doors; one on the outside and one on the inside. I added the outer door not long after moving in to create small enclosed entrance hall/porch, which has been great for shoes, coats, assorted junk, and getting rid of anyone trying to sell something without letting out all the heat in the process. The old front door has needed a coat of paint ever since, but because I never look at the outside much I only painted the inside, until now. As a result, most of the house is currently covered in dust from all the sanding!

…playing with a new toy.

A bit of an impulse buy, but after gradually increasing the number of boxes I have plugged in all the time (ironic since it all started with the Current Cost meter!), I’ve cut down a few with a FRITZ!Box. Pretty happy with it so far: it’s a neat combination of ADSL wireless router, file/media server and DECT base station. Plus, thanks to a tip off from Jee Labs, @jthouse will soon be following @andy_house‘s lead and sending me an SMS if I miss any calls.

…not hacking the Joggler.

Apart from being in German, the FRITZ!Box media server works very well with the Joggler, so I’m still really happy to keep using the default Joggler software. For now that is: the Joggler appears to have been discontinued, and my question to O2 about creating Joggler apps seems to have vanished as well. I didn’t have much/any luck using Flash Develop, which is a shame because it seems to be a decent IDE, but Nick has been getting on pretty well on Linux. His Joggler music app looks very promising.

I have been keeping an eye on various Joggler hacks and the first one to have me seriously tempted, is Opera mobile running on the Joggler. I did briefly boot Ubuntu off a USB stick, but I don’t think it’s worth it just yet. On the other hand, Jolicloud does look like it might be ideally suited to running on the Joggler, unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work. I’m still hopeful that someone will get Jolicloud booting on the Joggler though; any ideas?

Actually, I think Sony have got a much better idea of how devices like the Joggler should work with the Dash. Getting something like that running on the Joggler would be awesome.

…thinking about home automation.

@lauracowen sparked off some great discussions on the Homecamp group, and I definitely like some of the ideas in Ian’s blog post. I had a chat to Laura on Friday, and the idea of a ‘boost’ is probably a good starting point. I’m sure that would help lower my gas bill, although I’m wondering whether an even lower tech solution might work with my existing heating controls. We often turn on the hot water to top it up, but forget to turn it off again. So, since there is currently no boost button, I’m tempted to just get a basic timer to sit next to the controller to set a reminder to come back and turn off the hot water after a short period. Or I guess I could even use the kitchen timer that’s already in the microwave.

…visiting London.

We spent yesterday in London, mainly to see The Woman in Black, which was excellent. It was hard to work out which of the blood-curdling screams were from the audience and which were part of the production! We also had some time to visit the National Gallery, which brought back a few memories of art lessons.

See how much things have changed since I ruined Turner’s Ulysses deriding Polyphemus with an oil rig?!

…watching Inception.

Really enjoyed Inception although, now I think about it, it’s riddled with plot holes that I never noticed at the time. Guess that’s pretty normal for dreams!

…blogging.

I’ve also been posting on the MDM Workbench blog, so there’ll be fewer work related posts on here now. (Still figuring out how to decide which blog to pick for MDM posts.)