archive for the General category


General Tuesday 14th August 2007

A couple of months ago I got a super shiny 32″ Samsung HDTV from ebuyer. All was fine until last week when the image started ghosting and streaking horizontally across the screen. Not good. Now I’ve got to post the flipping thing back to ebuyer. Going to need a bigger box…

Update: So I’ve got a box, got it packaged up and arranged pickup from work. Just got to get the blasted thing to work in the morning.


My Grandad’s Funeral

General Monday 23rd April 2007

I had two days off last week to attend my Grandad’s funeral in Calverley, near Leeds. When I say funeral you’d expect a very staid and teary affair. But it was nothing like that. He was in no way a religious man (rather like myself) and had stipulated that he didn’t want a religious service. So, it was just his two sons; Peter (my Dad) and Tim speaking about their Dad to friends and family. Everything was very cheerful, we entered to In the Mood by Glenn Miller and exited to the Skye Boat Song. My Grandad was very respectful of his Scottish roots and loved holidaying in Scotland and doing proper Scottish country dancing. I’d like to think this rubbed off on me adds to why I feel so welcome in Edinburgh and Scotland in general.

This is a photo of him in the RAF (back row, 2nd from the left):


Blimey I look like him.

Afterwards we went back to my Grandma’s for tea and scones (or scoones if you’re from Yorkshire) to reminisce about times past. On the way back up north to Billingham we stopped at Thirsk for awesome fish and chips and watched two daft ducks sit in the middle of a road.


Good Weekend

Books,Edinburgh,General Wednesday 7th March 2007

My parents were visiting last weekend (and Monday) and we managed to cram in a lot of sights and eating out.


Went out for a brilliant lunch at Centotre, a swish Italian place on George street. We had to wait a while for a table but it was certainly it. I had some gorgeous pasta with really spicy rustic sausage stirred into it. Then a super-chocolaty desert that was all very well presented. Highly recommended. Kerry had to work in the evening so my folks and I went to the Cameo to see Notes on a Scandal. Pretty much does what it says on the tin. Judy Dench is rather menacing when she gets to play a villain and Cate Blanchett is, as usual, gorgeously serene.


Had breakfast out with Ian and Neil and then toured the many second hand bookshops in the South side. I picked up up a load of retro Bond paperbacks which I intend to do something clever with, and Felaheen by JCG.


Killed time in National Gallery on the Mound, playing with their very intuitive touch screen “library” computers. Caught the free galleries bus out to Stockbridge. Saw Off the Wall and Geometry in Art exhibitions at the Modern Art and Dean galleries respectively. Had lunch in the Modern Art cafe, good food and a good location. We took a very meandering route back into town by walking up the Water of Leith footpath through Dean Village and emerging at yet more second-hand bookshops where I got More Eric Meyer on CSS for 2 quid, bargain! In the evening we had Tapas out at Barioja and Kerry had her first drink (of alcohol) for three months!


Brothers Re-Design

General Thursday 8th February 2007

The Brothers Turnbull have been having a bit of re-design. They now have a shiny new site for their Rotacoo company and Alex has as new site design complete with lavish over-use of moofx.


Web 2.0 – The Video

General,Technology Wednesday 7th February 2007

Very clever video with a good message:


Let’s Make a List

General,Technology Tuesday 6th February 2007

Sex offenders could be forced to register their e-mail addresses and chatroom names, the government says.

This has got to be the stupidest idea I’ve heard for a while and a prime example of the illusion of security as often explained by Bruce Schneier. In real life it is tricky but not impossible to fake an identity. But online a new “identity” (email address or chat nickname) can be created in seconds. Plus, what is this supposed system that would be screen all of these people? How soon would that system’s powers be abused for “law enforcement” purposes or the database get leaked/stolen? There are some real technological geniuses manning the pumps somewhere in our government…


Post Holiday Update

General Tuesday 2nd January 2007

Christmas at my parents with Kerry was great fun. We managed to get down there without any transport troubles. My Granny was also there, so that made it a ‘proper’ family event. I got some very nice pressies: chocolate, whisky, books, DVDs. Thank you to everyone for all of them. Christmas dinner was both beef and turkey with all the usual veg and stuff. My sister and her boyfriend had made starters and put on a great finger buffet style spread of Italian meats and mozzarella, Indian bites with cucumber dip and melon balls and prawn cocktail. Kerry and I had agreed to make trifle for desert. We’d got all the sponge, fruit and jelly done (and set) the night before but when we came to add the custard it wouldn’t set, even after about six hours in the fridge! We just served it in the kitchen and said it was quite as firm as we’d liked… I think we got away with it as everyone seemed to enjoy it. When we’d finished dinner, we all looked at the clock and noticed that dinner had taken six hours! Now that’s what I call a meal.

Disaster struck on the way back into Edinburgh. We had loads of bags to carry and I managed to leave one of them in the taxi we got back to the flat. It had my digital camera, ipod, scarf, latest copy of Edge and some of my Mum’s christmas cake in it! Doh! I immediately noticed but the taxi had already disappeared around the corner. Raced up to the flat and called around all of the black cab companies but heard nothing back. I reported it lost the next day but still haven’t heard anything 🙁 Looks like I’ll need to claim on our household insurance.


Christmas Time…

General Sunday 24th December 2006

Kerry and I are off to my parents today for three days of festive cheer and present giving and receiving. Hopefully the fog/leaf/flood bound UK transport system can get us there in one piece, with more luck than Nick & Steinunn.


Hilarious video of dumb drivers

General Friday 8th December 2006



General Monday 9th October 2006

Shawn Brown is a Cartographer. He draws maps, awesome maps. If I could have a vast, dramatic change in career I’d be a cartographer (or maybe a steam train driver). I’ve always been fascinated by maps, their construction and just sitting pouring over one. My Dad made sure I could map read and navigate from an early age and has a rather large collection of Ordnance Survey maps as well as an interest in surveying and drawing plans of abandoned underground workings. OS maps are very, very nice but it is a shame the licensing issues are such a mess in the UK. If map data was licensed like the USA then I’m sure we wouldn’t have the quality of maps that we do, but would the openness overcome that?