Archive for September, 2005

Jazz in the Crypt

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Last night I went to “Jazz in the Crypt” in the crypt (obviously!) of St Martin in the Fields Church near Trafalgar Square.

For our money we were treated to Dixieland Jazz played by TJ Johnson’s Bourbon Kick. In fact the whole night had a bit of a New Orleans flavour, as coming out of the pub afterwards it was pouring with rain. Bringing along an umbrella would have been way too clever, so of course I hadn’t done so.

If you like that kind of thing, then I can highly recommend TJ’s band. They played very lively dixie-style jazz, with a little Gospel mixed in. It was lively enough to get quite a few of the old people there up and dancing, so it must have been good.

All the band’s players played with extreme dexterity and enthusiasm. I’ve never thought the trombone was an especially cool instrument but TJ’s were starting to win me over. I reckon I could get one off ebay for a reasonable price but I can’t imagine the neighbours would be too happy.

At three quid a ticket, I have to say that the evening was money well spent! Highly recommended.

Bar Flair Competition

Monday, September 26th, 2005

A friend (and avid reader of this blog, of course!) asked me if I wanted to go and see the World Bar Flair competition with him. My reply went something like: “Yes, sure, sounds cool, I’ll be there.”

Then there was a pause.

Followed by “Ummm … what is Bar Flair, anyway?”

Flair Girls

It seems to be very much a guy-thing, but you can’t have too many cute-girl pictures on a website, so I went with this picture, instead of the guy-pictures.

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Beefcake!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

This package arrived at my house the other day:

Beefcake

If you are not that familiar with South Park then you may not remember the “Weight Gain 3000″ episode where Cartman puts on weight after binge-ing on body-builder weight gain supplement.

Well, I’ve decided that that is going to be me - can you guess what is in the enormous containers in the cardboard box?

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Jack The Ripper

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

Yesterday evening I accompanied friends on a London Walk covering some of the areas of East London associated with Jack the Ripper. It seemed like an unusual way for Veronika to choose to celebrate her birthday, but hey, I thought I’d give it a look. And who better to lead the walk than self-proclaimed world expert on Jack the Ripper, Donald Rumbelow, author of “The Complete Jack the Ripper.”

I learned a few things along the way …

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Origami

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

I’ve had this article on standby for a little while now. Several weeks ago, quite by chance I picked up a book in a bookshop about Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, and ended up buying it. Since then I have made several models which now litter my living room table.

Here is a rather out of focus picture of one of my earlier creations.

Yoda

I hope it isn’t too hard to tell, but it is a model of Yoda from Star Wars. He is made from a single sheet of paper, coloured green on one side and white on the other. I found the folding instructions on the internet.

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Tango’d

Saturday, September 10th, 2005

Last night I was invited as a guest at a Dance Dating event.

I’m not entirely sure how successful I was at the Dating side of the equation, but I definitely enjoyed the Dance side. We had a fairly standard Salsa style lesson which was all pretty basic. Then, a first for me, the Tango. By the end of night, with a little assistance from some of the excellent teachers and one or two brave girls in safety shoes, I think I finally got it.

I’ll practice this at home to see if I can get the steps “wired in”. You never know when you might need to do the Tango!

Here is how it goes:

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Magic the Gathering

Tuesday, September 6th, 2005

Magic the Gathering has got to be hot on the heels of Star Trek for the honour of being “Geekiest Thing in the World.” Or, indeed “…in the Galaxy” for Star Trek fans.

But I have been spending a little time playing the online version of the game, so I guess it deserves a mention here. It gives me a good incentive to write some more blog posts so that this one can get buried beneath them in the archives.

First, though, just so you have an idea of what I’m talking about, here’s a picture:

MTG

That’s the online version of the game. Magic the Gathering, or MTG for short, started life as a real-life trading card based game. Players play with pre-constructed decks of cards from their collections, with cards representing magic spells in a fantasy world. The aim is to reduce your opponent’s life-total from a start value of 20 points down to 0 by casting spells and attacking with creature cards.

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Tour of Britain

Sunday, September 4th, 2005

I spent a fantastically hot sunny day here in London watching the final stage of the cycling Tour of Britain.

I didn’t have my camera with me and couldn’t find any pictures of the event yet, so here’s one from the official site of an earlier stage.

Cyclists

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Ortho Keratology

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

What on earth is Ortho Keratology, you might ask?

If you had asked me a while ago, you may have received a more positive answer from me. The technology sounds great - perfect eyesight without spectacles, contact lenses and definitely without lasers. Read this if you want to find out why that last one’s such a good thing. There are plenty more sites like that out there, too.

So, how has Ortho Keratology worked out for me?

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Datahaven Consulting

Thursday, September 1st, 2005

Today I unleashed yet another new website onto the world. This time for my web design and consultancy business, Datahaven Consulting.

Datahaven Consulting Screen Grab

I’ve been working on this site for a little while now and it has taught me some interesting new things about developing a site. My approach this time was partly iterative but mainly boiled down to the following steps:

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