Crawling through technology, life and love
Pool Paradise - GC on Wii
Podcasts - Chris Moyles, Mark Kermode and Stephen Fry
Bits and Bobs:
Gerry's Lyrics Pop Quiz
Sites I like:
Top 40 Singles
Some blogs I enjoy:
Books recently read:
Time Out Guide to Havana (and Cuba)
And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks - William S Burroughs and Jack Kerouac
At My Mother's Knee ... and Other Low Joints: The Autobiography - Paul O'Grady
Star Maker - Olaf Stapledon
My Booky Wook - Russell Brand
When You Are Engulfed in Flames - David Sedaris
Then We Come To The End - Joshua Ferris
A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon
The End of Mr. Y - Scarlett Thomas
I Never Knew That About London - Christopher Winn
The Arsenal Miscellany - Adam Gold
Young Hearts Run Free: The Real Story of the 1970s - Dave Haslam
Magical Thinking - Augusten Burroughs
Veronika Decides To Die - Paulo Coelho
Time Out Guide - Amsterdam
Lillian's Story - Kate Grenville
The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
Schott's Original Miscellany - Ben Schott
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J K Rowling
A Gay History Of Britain - Matt Cook
Time Out Guide to Madrid
Time Out Guide to New York
Kingdom Come - J. G. Ballard
The Hours - Michael Cunningham
Mutants - Aramand Marie Leroi
A Young Man's Passage - Julian Clary
Growing Pains - Billie Piper
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Wild Swans - Jung Chang
Highbury: The Story of Arsenal N.5 - Jon Spurling
Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins - Rupert Everett
Affinity - Sarah Waters
Lighthousekeeping - Jeanette Winterson
Tipping The Velvet - Sarah Waters
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Of Human Bondage - W Somerset Maugham
Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
Lucky Man - Michael J Fox
Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
The Night Watch - Sarah Waters
The Pedant's Revolt - Andrea Barham
The Republic Of Trees - Sam Taylor
Written On tbe Body - Jeanette Winterson
Untold Stories - Alan Bennett
The Plot Against America - Philip Roth
Read All About It - Max Clifford
The Folding Star - Alan Hollinghurst
Thursbitch - Alan Garner
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim - David Sedaris
Staying Alive - Matt Beaumont
The Bookseller Of Kabul - Asne Seierstad
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince - J K Rowling
A Short History Of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
Count Karlstein - Philip Pullman
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Spell - Alan Hollinghurst
The Double Life Of Daniel Glick - Maurice Caldera
The Smoking Diaries - Simon Gray
Straight- Boy George
Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
Deception Point - Dan Brown
The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Sydney - Time Out Guide
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
Eleanor Rigby - Douglas Coupland
The Scarecrow and His Servant - Philip Pullman
Tha Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Planet Simpson - Chris Turner
The Line Of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst
Barcelona - Time Out Guide
The Closed Circle - Jonathan Coe
The Clerkenwell Tales - Peter Ackroyd
Copenhagen - TimeOut Guide
The Butterfly Tattoo - Philip Pullman
The Broken Bridge - Philip Pullman
In Search of the Pleasure Palace - Marc Almond
Brick Lane - Monica Ali
Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre
Last Exit To Brooklyn - Hubert Selby Jr
You Shall Know Our Velocity - Dave Eggers
Touching The Void - Joe Simpson
Life Of Pi - Yann Martel
Istanbul - Time Out Guide
Millennium People - J G Ballard
The Duchess Who Wouldn't Sit Down - Jesse Browner
Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland
Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Lynne Truss
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
Our Man In Havana - Graham Greene
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
Lyra's Oxford - Philip Pullman
Doran - Will Self
Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
the book, the film, the t-shirt - matt beaumont
High Society - Ben Elton
Man And Wife - Tony Parsons
I Was A Rat - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix - J R Rowling
Great Apes - Will Self
Barrel Fever - David Sedaris
Round Ireland With A Fridge - Tony Hawkes
Close Range - Annie Proux
The Third Way - Anthony Giddens
dot.con - John Cassidy
The Salmon of Doubt - Douglas Adams
One Hit Wonderland - Tony Hawkes
The Thief Lord - Cornelia Funke
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
The Cloud Sketcher - Richard Rayner
Keane: the Autobiography - Roy Keane
A Wasteland of Strangers - Bill Pronzini
The English - Jeremy Paxman
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People - Toby Young
Dead Famous - Ben Elton
The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman (again)
The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman (again)
Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman (again)
The Bear and The Dragon - Tom Clancy
101 Reykjavik - Hallgrimur Helgason
Forward The Foundation - Isaac Asimov
Carter Beats The Devil - Glen David Gold
The Tin Princess - Philip Pullman
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Tiger In The Well - Philip Pullman
The Rotters Club - Jonathan Coe
Generation X - Douglas Copeland
Perfume - Patrick Suskind
All Families Are Psychotic - Douglas Coupland
The Shadow In The North - Phillip Pullman
No Logon - Naomi Klein
The Dirt - Motley Crue
Miss Wyoming - Douglas Coupland
The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman
The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman
Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman
The Ruby in the Smoke - Phillip Pullman
The Sandman - Miles Gibson
Blood and Gold: The Vampire Marius - Anne Rice
The Actrocity Exhibition - J G Ballard
Shameless - Paul Burston
Sing Out! - Boze Hadleigh
Brilliant Orange - David Winner
New Boy - William Sutcliffe
London - Peter Ackroyd
Wonder Boys - Michael Chabon
One For My Baby - Tony Parsons
How To Be Good - Nick Hornby
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
Lust - Geoff Ryman
Tulip Fever - Deborah Moggach
Dead Souls - Ian Rankin
The House Of Sleep - Jonathan Coe
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers
What a carve up! - Jonathan Coe
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
The Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Heartwood - James Lee Burke
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
Man and Boy - Tony Parsons
The Map Of Love - Ahdaf Soueif
e - Matt Beaumont
The e Before Christmas - Matt Beaumont
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Naked Boys Singing...
On Friday night Sparky and I went to see Naked Boys Singing @ The Kings Head in Islington's glitzy Upper Street.
It basically consisted of naked boys... er... singing. Singing songs about being naked. Songs about boys. And, well, songs about singing. If Ronseal made musicals...
It was also rather witty. We laughed pretty much throughout. How could you not? It was show tunes with a bit of beefcake. A chorus line with a bit of cock.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Once In a Lifetime - Motown Legends Live...
Last week Stu and I went to see Once In a Lifetime - Motown Legends Live at Wembley Arena. It was a bit of a dotch potch of Motown acts touring once again to plunder the pockets of nostalgia hungry crowds (i.e. us).
The night's running order was JR. Walkers All Stars, The Miracles, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, and The Commodores.
We'd basically gone to see Martha and Mary. The former failed to meet expectations. The latter exceeded them. The rest were frankly poor.
The evening was well put together but ultimately failed to deliver.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Michael Jackson Dead...
Songs good. Man bad.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Microsoft Security Essentials...
Microsoft Security Essentials (code name Morro) is now in public beta. I've installed it on a couple of PCs and it seems to be mostly harmless.
For those of you who don't know, MSE is Microsoft's free anti-malware program for Windows. It claims to use a combination of both real-time and scheduled scans to protect against viruses, spyware, pop-ups, Trojans, rootkits et al.
It's replacing their (free) Windows Defender and (paid for) Windows Live OneCare offerings.
It remains to be seen whether it is any good or not - though I don't expect other free antivirus programs like AVG or Avira have much to worry about just yet. No doubt virus writers will be examining it closely for any loop holes as we speak though.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
In 1945 the Nazis fled to the moon. In 2018 they are coming back. Oh yes, prepare for Iron Sky.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Clogdagh, Colin, Stu and I had a fab time at Duckie on Saturday night. Ursula Martinez was on and on top form and we fell in with The Big Wigs. As the snaps below will testify. More here.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Pet Shop Boys @ O2...
On Friday night Clodagh, Colin, Charlie, Paul, Simon, Darren, Stu and I all went along to the O2 Arena to watch the Pet Shop Boys's sell-out Pandemonium tour.
We had a a rare old time - not least because Paul and I had VIP passes (hic).
The PSBs were good, as ever. The usual mix of dance, relentlessly cubist visuals and mashing up of songs old and new.
More snaps here.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Which Is Gayer?...
Me or you? Why, it's you of course!
OK, try this. Which is gayer, Graham Norton or Alan Carr? Graham Norton by a whisker.
And did you know that steak is actually overwelmingly gayer than quiche?
But of course Kylie is way gayer than Britney (but not Madonna).
How do we know these things? Well, if you put "Gay Apple" into google.co.uk you get 30m results, whilst "Gay Microsoft" gets just 12m results. Hence Apple is gayer than Microsoft. Fact. And this little site tests the comparative gayness of everything. With pie-charts for extra win.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
The Astounding World of the Future...
A funny mid-20th century newsreel featuring amazingly accurate predictions of the year 2000? Or, just a funny joke that won the Best Short Film at the New York Comedy Film Festival?
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
iPhone OS 3.0 Software Update (here at last)...
Got it installed and loving it (so far).
iPhone OS 3.0 Software Update
This update contains over 100 new features, including the following:
Cut, Copy & Paste with shake to undo
Landscape keyboard in key applications
Enhanced Messages application
- Send and receive photos, contacts, audio files, and location via MMS*
- Forward and delete single or multiple messages
Added search feature in Mail, Calendar, Notes and iPod
Spotlight search across iPhone
Support for CalDAV and subscriptions in Calendar
Improvements to Safari
- HTML 5 support
- HTTP Streaming audio and video
- Auto-fill usernames and passwords
New Voice Memos application
Sync Notes with a Mac or PC via iTunes
Internet Tethering over USB and Bluetooth*
Browse and download movies, TV shows, and audiobooks from the iTunes Store**
Wi-Fi auto login
Enhanced Stocks application
More Parental Control options for Apps, Music, Movies and TV Shows
iTunes account creation and login**
YouTube account login and access to subscriptions, ratings and favorites**
Shake to shuffle
New languages, dictionaries, and keyboards
Find my iPhone and Remote Wipe via MobileMe (subscription required)**
Support for more Exchange policies
Create and send Exchange meeting invitations
Search mail on server (Exchange Server 2007 and supported IMAP servers)
Search LDAP company directory
VPN on demand and VPN proxy support
Encrypted configuration profiles
Encrypted iTunes backups
1,000 new developer APIs, including:
- In App Purchases
- Apple Push Notification Service
- Accessories support
- Peer to Peer Connectivity
- Embedded Maps
- iPod Library Access
Products compatible with this software update:
iPhone 3G S
* Compatible only with iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S and requires support from your wireless provider.
** Not available in all regions or in all languages.
*** Compatible only with iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S.
For feature descriptions and complete instructions, see the user guide for your iPhone at:
For more information about iPhone, go to:
To troubleshoot your iPhone, or to view additional support information go to:
For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:
iPhone OS 3.0...
The iPhone OS 3.0 should be out today. Yay! O2 say that they will support picture messaging (MMS) and Internet tethering (using your iPhone as a modem for your computer) on day one.
This tethering lark ain't cheap though. Monthly subscribers will pay £14.68 per month for 3GB and £29.36 for 10GB, with a 19.6p surcharge for every megabyte over their limit! Ker-ching! Business customers will pay comparable rates depending upon the plan they choose.
And it's even worse if you've travelling - surely just the time when you'd want to use it most... It'll cost £2.94 a MB in the EU and a whopping £6 a MB everywhere else.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Hayfever vs a cold...
A few weeks ago I caught a cold. A nasty cold that Lemsip, Day Nurse and all manner of other pills and potions just wouldn't shift. Bah!
It just so happened that that same week I was going to have my eyes tested. "Oh dear", said the optician upon inspecting my peepers. "I can see you suffer from hayfever. You top and bottom eyelids are really red." And being an expert I guess she knew what she was talking about on the red eye front.
I was flabbergasted. I don't suffer from hayfever. Well, I never have done before. Well, I don't think I have. But I know it can develop later in life. So maybe this was it. I would be henceforth forever cursed with sneezing, that bunged up feeling and itchy eyes.
So how do you know if you have actually hayfever or a cold?
The acid test is... do you have green snot?
Hayfever gives every impression of being a cold but WITHOUT the green snot. Hayfever is basically your immune system going into overdrive believing (incorrectly) that your body has an infection so you get all those wretched fever-like symptoms (hence the name) as your body spins it's wheels in the dirt trying and punch thin air as it tries to fight something you don't actually have. It's just as bad as a cold but not actually a cold.
However if you DO have green snot you have an infection i.e. a cold.
I,ve recently bought a new washer-dryer - a free standing 1600 rpm washer dryer in white. The AEG L16850.
It came out as the Best Buy in Which guide's survey with a score of 75% saying, "The Best Buy AEG Electrolux L16850 is one of the best washer-dryers weve seen, combining excellent washing results with impressive drying speed."
The cheapest seller (that I had actually heard of) was Sainsbury's. They delivered it on time (two days from ordering it), unpacked it, installed it and took my old one away. So I'm very happy with it. And them.
Now to wrestle with the controls...
Monday, June 15, 2009
As You Like It...
On Saturday night David S, Joao, Pano, David C, Ian and I went to watch As You Like It at The Globe on London's glitzy South Bank.
Admission was just a fiver for standing in the yard and it was well worth it. It was my first time at The Globe and what a great place it is; roomy, welcoming and great sight lines. As we were in the pit we were pretty much right in the middle of the action too.
As the game of love unfolded between Orlando and the disguised Rosalind in the enchanting Forest of Arden we were equally enchanted. The production was excellent; well acted, clearly spoken and convincingly conveyed.
We'll certainly be going back.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Last night Stu and I went to see the musical Jersey Boys - The Story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons at the Prince Edward Theatre in Soho's glitzy West End.
We'd got the tickets as part of a meal/theatre deal from lastminute.com which can be quite a cheap way to a) eat, and b) see a show. As long as you don't top load on drinks and buy a theatre program as part of your evening's festivities, of course. The meal was at Bertorelli's in Frith Street and to be honest it was pretty so-so. As Stu's main turned up stone cold we got our drinks for free plus a side order of chips thrown in.
The Jersey Boys show itself was good. Perhaps a little bit too heavy on plot and a little too light on music but enjoyable all the same. For example it took a little under fifty minutes before the first Four Seasons song was performed. I think most people wanted to come and hear the songs - not the history of the group acted out at lightning speed. Still, as I say, it was good.
The story itself tells of Frankie Valli (actually born Francis Castelluccio in 1937) growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey. He joined an existing singing group which failed an audition at a bowling alley. They then renamed the band The Four Seasons after that bowling alley and from that point on never really looked back.
They invented their own unique falsetto sound and had a string of hits - going on to become one of the most successful bands in pop music history. Via run-ins with the Mafia, a touch of betrayal, a bit of love and a spot of revenge they made it big. Very big. In fact they sold over 100 million records worldwide and were eventually inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Not bad for four New Jersey boys.
Songs included in the show are; Beggin, Dawn (Go Away), Cant Take My Eyes Off You, Walk Like A Man, Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye), Sherry, Big Girls Dont Cry, My Eyes Adored You, Let's Hang On, Rag Doll, Who Loves You, Working My Way Back to You and of course the wonderful December 1963 (Oh, What a Night).
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Just recently Stuart has got me into using the Walk It web site. It's an urban walking route planner that works out the best way to walk from A to B with options for less busy routes and lower polution routes.
So a few weeks ago I started walking home from work - just once a week mind you - to see how it went. And do you know what? I really enjoyed it. So much so I'm now walking home two or three times a week. Hopefully I'll start walking to work soon too.
Here are the stats for my journey:
3.9 miles / 6.3 km / 6930 steps
59 mins (fast) / 1 hr 18 mins (med) / 1 hr 58 mins (slow)
374 Cal (fast) / 332 Cal (med) / 320 Cal (slow)
0.5 kg tube / 1.3 kg car / 0.68 kg bus
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I got up early this morning intending to walk to work due to tube strike. However my iPhone app told me that the Victoria Line would be part running so I took a chance on it.
The station was empty, the platform was empty, the train arrived promptly and the carriage was empty. Some stations closed so journey was even quicker than usual.
This pic is a snapshot of what the status was when I was coming to work. Click on the pic and click here for the latest live update.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
iPhone OS 3.0 and iPhone 3GS...
iPhone OS 3.0 will be available for free to all iPhone users (3G and original). Available worldwide on June 17th.
The new version of the iPhone -- iPhone 3GS. S stands for speed.
Now featuers 3MP auto-focus camera. Tap on the part of the photo you want to focus, and it automatically does so.
Can be controlled by voice and talk back to its owner about the music it is playing.
Camera application has a switch that lets you swap between still photo to video mode. 30FPS, VGA with audio, auto-focus, white balance etc
Improved battery life. Now up to 9 hrs of internet surfing, 10 hrs of video, 30 hrs of audio, 12 hrs of 2G talk-time, 5 hrs of 3G talk-time.
The iPhone 3GS will be available on June 19th in 16Gb ($199 in the US) and 32Gb ($299 in the US) versions. The old 3G will stay - 8Gb version only - at a much reduced cost ($99 in the US).
Monday, June 08, 2009
100 Movies Lines In 200 Seconds...
Friday, June 05, 2009
Big Brother 10...
And so it begins. Three months of wall-to-wall coverage of the BB10 housemates on Channel 4.
And I have to say, I quite like them this year. They seem more fun, somehow.
Fav to win: Rodrigo "He hugs! He kisses! He touches! Its a cultural thing. Or so he says "
Early twat: a tie between Saivash and Angel
Thursday, June 04, 2009
I phoned the local gym yesterday and I asked if they could teach me how to do the splits.
They asked, "How flexible are you?"
I said, "I can't make Tuesdays or Thursdays."
Vote Early, Vote Often...
Apparently I'm a staunch Labour voter. Which is probably about right. So I shall be looking forward to an humiliating defeat later!
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Shake Your Tail Feather...
Last night the gang all went to Shake Your Tail Feather down at the RVT. The super sexy DJ Juggy was spinning the discs; Motown, Northern Soul, 60s, Girl Groups, Sixties Soul and Stax.
We had a rare old time and it was good to meet new faces as well as old.
How about a regular SYTF club night Juggy?
Below are some snaps I took. More pix here.
"Introducing Project Natal, a revolutionary new way to play: no controller required. See a ball? Kick it, hit it, trap it or catch it. If you know how to move your hands, shake your hips or speak ..."
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Swearing in the Guardian...
The wonderful Tom has used it's API to search for and show in a graph the rise in the use of swearing in the Guardian newspaper over the past ten years. Excellent.
Monday, June 01, 2009
On Saturday night Stu and I went to help Jim celebrate his 40th birthday at The Brickhouse in London's fashionable Brick Lane.
We had a great time chatting, drinking, dancing and watching the show; aerial circus Leo and Yam and juggler/fire man Dave.
Some snaps are below and more here.
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