After a very stressful autumn, and finally getting (most) of my freelance work complete, I got to relax a bit by heading down to the new Wembley and watching the Race of Champions. For those that have never heard of it, basically champions of various racing series come together to battle it out on a mini-circuit in national teams and individually, to win the Nations Cup and Champion of Champions respectively.
Dashing around in allsorts from a little buggy to a Ford Focus rally car there was lots of good action, plus the view from even the really high seats was great. I was dumbfounded both by how they managed to lay proper tarmac in the stadium, and the stuntman who managed to set a Legends car in a donut, get out, jump into a TVR, do a donut around that, then get out and literally jump back into the car that was still spinning!
Fantastic event, and has set the tone for what should be both a relaxing and fun Winter break.
Playing… Super Mario GalaxyÂ
Well, after much saving I’ve finally got hold a new 24″ iMac, and whilst I had my sights set on the shiny white version, I’m more than happy with the aluminium and glass object of desire in front of me! I’m not so much amazed by the screen size, but more the fact that it replaces everything that’s currently in my PowerMac, and by a fair margin too, in something so ridiculously thin. I’ve got some slight concerns about the heat at the top of the casing, since the air coming out the vents at the bottom seems cool, but after a couple of days on it seems good so far.
Now all I’ve got to do is get everything setup the way I want it, and after 2 days of that, plus sorting out my laptop, I’m starting to get pretty tired…
Watching… 2 Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place
After many months of plodding through a series of content updates, all of the sites below went live last week. Since the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology site was the only addition (the other two were redesigns) it took a while for the academics within the school to take a look at the demo sites and propose changes. Putting them together from the original content only took just over a month, but to ensure everybody was happy I worked with the IT Officer there for another two or three.
There will be a redesign of the Institute of Human Sciences also, but I expect that will take some time too.
Having finally made it on holiday with some friends, after 4 years of failed attempts, I’ve got to say that Amsterdam is a really nice place. I’ve been before briefly on tour with the Northamptonshire County Youth Brass Band many moons ago when I was younger, but jetting around The Netherlands only left a few hours in the ‘Dam. This time was a LOT different (sans school kids, cheese and windmills)
Amidst drunken wandering we noticed the fact that almost every street is full of wonky buildings, which I’ve yet to find an explaination for; I know why the buildings in Venice are often wonky but I don’t think it’s the same reason. The architecture is very nice though, plus the atmosphere seemed a lot calmer than I imagined, probably something to do with going in winter. Definitely tourist friendly.
As for the nightlife, I don’t remember much of it (except the hangovers) but we ended up in the Bourbon Street Blues Club listening to Terryman, who whilst I wouldn’t consider to be blues as such, was absolutely excellent.
All in all a good trip, although not very relaxing! Now I need a lie down…
One of the things that inspired me to actually wake up in the morning for around the last year or so has been CNET TV, an online channel of CNET clips comprising of the most up to date reviews, shows, features and since the spring a live webcast. Shows like The Queue, Crave, Prizefight and Space Bubble have been my favourites, talking about all the weird gadgets that tech geeks love (I’m not afraid to admit it!)
Unfortunately Space Bubble finished far too early on (not sure why) and with Rich DiMuro leaving The Queue had it’s last showing today, as with Veronica Belmont’s absense Prizefight has been gone for some time also. Crave tailed off after the tragedy of James Kim’s passing last holiday season, which is understandable as I’ll always remember him for his spots on Crave and particularly his quirky music player reviews.
I’ll still continue to watch as they finally move to version 2 of the website, but they’ve definitely lost some real characters in the technology scene, who I’ll continue to keep track of to see what they’re up to next.
I’ve gotten a reputation at work for being a little reckless and argumentative, but I think I’ve pushed it slightly too far today; or lets just say I think I pushed a few too many people’s buttons. Despite the fact I’m leaving soon I don’t want to tarnish my reputation too badly beforehand, as I’d half expect to come across some of these people again. At least apologising should hopefully help, and meanwhile I need to reassess why I continually feel the need for confrontation here. I think it’s rooted in the fact I’m unhappy with a lot of the decisions made here and my subconscious is getting the better of me…
So we’ve finally reached the climax of what has been the most interesting, yet controversial F1 season in many years. Having seen Kimi come so close to the title on 2 occasions however, I’m glad to see him finally clinch it.
Weirdly I don’t feel overly patriotic about Lewis Hamilton, at least not in the same way that I felt about England losing to South Africa (as I’m not a rugby fan but still wanted us to do well) although I guess that probably comes from the fact I’m a fan of the sport, not the drivers. Sure he could have made history by becoming the first rookie to ever win the championship, but people seem to forget that Jacques Villeneuve was fairly close in a Williams-dominant season in 1996.
Either way, next season should be very interesting. I just hope that the politics can stay out of it this time.
It’s been a busy few weeks for me, having handed in my resignation with no job lined up (due to a slightly excessive 3 month notice period that cost me a potential job at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe) then interviews in London and Milton Keynes. Lots to consider personally and professionally but it’s all over now and perhaps things will quieten down… well perhaps not since I’ve now got to think about moving to London! Meanwhile I’m in the latter stages of one of my freelance contracts so hopefully they should be online soon, plus another exciting one to start work on next year, but more on that when I find out more.
Now I’ve just got to finish sorting the rest of the junk I collected after living in Loughborough for 4 years (which has slowly shrank after half a year of going through it) and all the new junk that’s appeared in the year and a half I’ve been in Oxford. I don’t like moving, but hopefully this time round I’ll end up living somewhere nice with nice people and enjoy myself a bit more, something I’ve been missing for a while.
It’s about the time of year where I seem to almost predictably get ill, not helped by the fact that I haven’t really been looking after myself for the last few weeks, and the stress that’s gone with it.Â Hopefully a diet of hot dogs, Tropicana and NCIS season 2 should remedy things.
Meanwhile I think I’ll pass out again…
Nothing out-of-the-ordinary in this one for me personally, other than the eventual inclusion of wireless iTunes purchasing (which I guess is good for people who use the iTunes store…)Â andÂ (RED) iPod Shuffle which is tempting. I don’t know who drew the concept for the new iPod Nano though, as it looks horrible! I really liked the first two designs, but why they made it stubby I don’t know. Also I’m quite surprised that the iPod Touch, despite looking gorgeous, looks ‘exactly’ like the iPhone, to the point where you probably couldn’t tell the difference unless you were holding one (there goes the status symbol!)
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