Saturday, December 31, 2005

Do u fancy a swim?

Do u fancy a swim?
Originally uploaded by Aaron in Denver.
Promised I would put up the classic mother photograph before the end of the year. She's once again proving to be ahead of the fashion curve, with swimming accessories being the next big thing for Spring and Summer 06.

Lots happened since I got back Thursday - new high speed internet courtesy of Comcast should increase the pleasures over my slower DSL line (and the uploads are definitely faster, thats for sure), new digital camera to replace the one that swimming in the Coca Cola (pics to follow when I get back), and managed to fit in a quick watch of Four Brothers (great film, highly recommended) and The Island (pretty good, sort of recommended if you like that stuff). And now that my radar detector is back in and working, it saved me 3 times yesterday going up and down to DIA to drop off the In-Laws (who kindly provided me with the money for the new digital camera for Christmas).

Looks like my footy team is almost done for the season - we need a few more points to stave off relegation, so hopefully they won't be too difficult to come by. However, Owen broke his foot today (out for a couple of months, praying he's fit for the World Cup), they played pretty poorly at Spurs, and we're in need of at least 3 more players (still, I know).

OK, better run - off to the mountains to get drunk for New Year on the cheap. Should be fun, and hopefully have some cool photos from the new camera.

Update - Heidi's iPod is still working - great news for her, and our wallets.... 8-) Have a great New Year if I don't speak to you before then

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Made it back

Christmas 05 053
Originally uploaded by Aaron in Denver.
Thought you might like a pic of my mother modelling her new Christmas Present. If you stay tuned for a day or two, I might post the other pic I have of her modelling some attractive speedo goggles.

Anyway, being back in England was great, but back in Denver now in time for New Year. Heading to Frisco again with the rest of the gang for a couple of small beverages. I did manage to fit in all the required foods, minus the kebab, so it was pretty successful on that front. However, the meeting up with friends task fell a little short - Nev was away, Mr Berry couldn't come out to play, and I didn't even get a chance to call Neil and Trev. Shocking, I know - it'll have to be fixed somehow soon.

So the weather was actually worse in Newcastle than Denver. Cold with freezing rain, sleet and snow in the last couple of days - the one Newcastle match I was home for got called off 20 minutes before it was due to start (and about 2 hours after I had decided I wasn't going to brave the weather). Luckily, Uncle Harry had just bought a nice new SUV with 4 wheel drive, and he kindly volunteered to take us up to the airport at some ridiculous hour this morning.

Anyway, it's getting late, and heading back to DIA at 5.30AM tomorrow morning with the in-laws, so I'll write more later in the week.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Back home with Mother

Back home with Mother
Originally uploaded by Aaron in Denver.
So we made it back (despite a little scare at DIA involving the wife, some books and a rapidly approaching departure time). Once we got on, the flight was nice and unenventful, and we both managed to get a decent amount of sleep.
I think sleep must be the theme of this weeks trip, as a quick snooze turned into a few hours yesterday afternoon. and then our real sleep last nigth turned into a 12 hour marathon. Haven't slept like that in years.
Anyway, Heidi is wrapping pressies, and I'm just hanging out until the drinking begins tonight :-) It's great to be home

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Newcastle For Christmas

Almost on my way - might be a slight reduction in the number of posts on this thing - it's all depending on the state of the 5 year old Dell computer back at the parents house. They really need a new one, but until the wedding gets paid off, it won't be coming from me.

Anyway, Neil, Trev, if you're reading this, I'll give you a call when I get back to see if we can get out for some beers - flying visit though, so it's going to be tight.

Hopefully I'll get to see the Charlton match when I'm there, and there's the Boxing Day party over at The Armstrongs to look forward to. Might even bump into the ever travelling Shannon if the moons align.

Anyway, fish and chips for me tomorrow night, airport in 20 mins. Have a great Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Oh how I chuckled

The Fiver is doing it's annual awards again (so they can claim 2 weeks on the couch drinking beer and eating crisps), and the mackems managed to win an award. Details below....


Never mind Paul Jewell or Bryan Robson, Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy is the deserving recipient of this award. Despite being lumbered with a squad assembled so cheaply that Gary Breen is the only household name in a team of players that would struggle to be recognised in their own living rooms, Barnsley's favourite son of Ireland has masterminded one win and two draws, earning an unlikely five Premiership points out of a possible 51 to date this season.

Letterman subject to the weird and wonderful

Now I'm sure Dave thinks this is a little funny, but it goes to show how weird people can get towards you when famous. A lady issues a restraining order against Letterman, claiming that through "code words and eye gestures" has been harassing her to the point of "mental cruelty" and "sleep deprivation". Now some of these code words came to light - one of the most recent ones - when Dave was advertizing Oprah coming on, he ran adverts saying "Marry me, Oprah" - what we all didn't know was that Oprah was a code word for her, not the internationally famous mega bazillionaire who happened to be coming on the show later that week.

I think the saddest thing about this is the fact that she actually succeeded in getting a restraining order issued - what judge would not throw this straight out of the door.... - Letterman subject of restraining order - Dec 21, 2005

Gross (but fun)

So we took the kids to see Grossology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science yesterday. Lots of fun (once we finally got them through the door - sometimes loud noises and bright colours actually freak kids out, rather than excite them), and I think everyone had a great time. Six kids for an afternoon makes for lots of work, but definitely worth it - I even remembered how to peel an orange! Of course, I was the volunteer uncle who tested out how bad the smells section really was - nearly puked - that's how bad it was. And that was by testing the armpit and feet smells - I avoided the "anus" smell like the plague....

Headed up to the Thompsons afterwards, for the early swapping of Christmas gifts - we're in different countries for Christmas, and being the impatient folks that we are, have to exchange the gifts early. I am now the proud owner of World Series Poker for my XBox - whether I get a chance to play it before I head back home is another matter though - got a few things on my list to do before we get on the plane tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Is Alfa Romeo Working on a New Alfasud? - Jalopnik

When I was a young boy, this thing was my dream car. Not for the usual reasons of it being able to do 0-60 in 5 seconds, or invoke images of winning my first Formula One Grand Prix at Monaco.

Nope, it was three reasons - it was Italian, it was faster than most of the other cars that seemed within my grasp, and of course, one of the most driving factors when you've just turned 17, it was damn cheap. So cheap in fact, I even got as far as going to look at one up in Cramlington with my Dad and Grandad. It was obviously a work in progress - he wanted 300 quid for it if my memory serves me right, but head over-ruled heart (well, the older bretheren among our party over-ruled me) and the usual Italian holes all over the bodywork meant it could just crumble into little pieces in the driveway at any second.

I was lucky as well - I went home, and rang around a few insurance companies to see what the insurance would have been for me - car worth 300 quid, 3rd party fire and theft insurance, 1200 quid - what a bargain. It never stoppped me checking out the adverts in the Chronicle though - there always seemed to be plenty of these things for sale, compared to the number of them on the road (maybe that should have told me something). And the heart strings never stopped pulling - I even took my trusty AX GT (the only car to officially be made from paper mache) to an Alfa garage to be serviced - how's that for pretending.

Anyway, if they build a new one (and obviously the dependency on Alfa starting to send things the American way again), I might just have to buy one for old times sake. I hope they've worked out how to stop the wings disappearing in a cloud of rust....

Is Alfa Romeo Working on a New Alfasud? - Jalopnik

Monday, December 19, 2005

New week, new office, new gadgets

So the plan was to post a pic of my view in the office we just moved into, taken with my newly arrived and unpackaged phone. Unfortunately you'll have to make do with a spy shot of the new 911 Turbo, which the boys over at PistonHeads came up with.

The phone isn't activated yet due to a shortage of Audiovox phones which half the company ordered, so we're all on hold until they find some replacements for those guys. However, I did switch it on and take a pic, but the connectivity software doesn't want to play nice with my computer, so I couldn't work out how to manually copy the pic over onto my computer and upload it up (I have lost all of my techie skills over the course of the last 4 years - no longer developing has more than one downside).

Anyway, the office is great - half walls on the cubes so you're not as closed in, the most amazing view of the mountains that is only possible in Denver. I didn't realize it until I got here today, but we actually have the top floor of the building - not quite tall enough to see over the wall at the concert venue over the road, but still high enough to look over the tops of all the buildings between us and Mount Evans. Now if only I could all this work done in time, I could relax and enjoy the holidays...


Turns out I'm not quite as technically incapable as I thought - here's the view from the office window towards the North West. This is my worst view ;-) Direct West photograph to follow later in the week.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

More Ali G shenanigans

Looks like the battle continues...a nation versus a comic genius - it's just no contest.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Kazakhs shut Ali G star's website

Random Update

It's tough finding decent photos or articles to post about when you're pulling 16 hour days, so you'll have to make do with the ramble all on it's lonesome.

Looking forward to heading home for Christmas - fly next week, so lots of shopping to do before I get out there. Also owe (big) Neil an email (apologies mate, it's shocking - I know) and hopefully will be able to meet up with Nev and some of the other gang when I'm in town. It's a brief in and out due to some work commitments of my wife (nice change there - it's normally me who we have to work around), but will be around for the traditional Armstrong Boxing Day party. It's the only time/place I ever do charades (and pretty badly at that), but we've been going there almost every year since I was about 17 I think. There's a few classic stories associated with the party (car crashes of the Mercedes variety, injured hips, blood spurting up the kitchen walls - you know, the usual stuff), which is made even more remarkable by the fact that it's always attended by Rach's parents (and Aunty and Uncle). This fact isn't as remarkable these days, since we're getting older - but when you're 17 or 18.... Anyway, Pete and Val are superstars, the perfect hosts, and we always have a blast.

Have to somehow work out how to get all the shopping in before I jump on the plane. I managed to sort out the brothers this weekend, so we're good on one front. Only another 20 or so to go I guess. This will probably mean the weekend will be a little crazy, but getting back from Atlanta on Friday night, so still looking forward to it. One thing I won't have to buy is my new phone, as it's already here - sitting in the desk of the new office which I haven't seen yet. Apparently the view from the office is amazing - straight out to the mountains (which was our old office's view as well until some medical center got built in front of it a couple of months after we moved in). 5 stories up this time though, so we should be good for the foreseeable future in this one.

Anyway, better get back to the grindstone - break over and all that. It's been a busy few weeks, but another week and I'll be able to take a lie in.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Poker Plunge

So after debating it for a while, I finally took the plunge and put some real money into a poker site. I'm going to try and never put any more money in ever. So I started off with 100 bucks over the weekend - I entered a couple of tournaments (I got one free entry for joining), played a few ring games (all while being very scared). I think the most I played for in the ring games was 50 cents, and then 5 bucks for entry into the ring games. And now, after playing on and off for a couple of days, I've somehow managed to triple my money! I'm sure it's beginners luck, and I'm trying to prepare myself for losing it all again, but 300 bucks now sits in my account, which is pretty exciting.

Given the incident at the airport today, which involved a can of coke exploding in the wife's handbag, I may need to pull all of the money out to purchase a new camera, iPod and phone. I sure hope Coke dries nice with electronics, but it's not looking good.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Holly's Birthday Cake

Originally uploaded by Aaron in Denver.
So Holly made it all the way to 3 years of age on Friday, and we had the pleasure of attending (at least some of) her birthday party yesterday. There's a couple of photos in the process of being uploaded now, but not any good ones of the birthday girl herself - I thnk she has the anti-photo gene from her mother.

So Heidi volunteered to bake the cake, with a special request for Tinkerbell. We found some pix on the internet and Heidi made the Tinkerbell from scratch - chocolate outlines and sugar for the middle bits. Tinkerbell took a little bit of a beating during the day (2 out of the 3 Tinkerbells suffered critical injuries prior to this photograph), but it turned out great. She still thinks (Heidi that is, not Tinkerbell) that she can't bake good cakes - I'm just in awe, coz this one I think was the best so far.

Update - Birthday photos (courtesy of D&G) are now online here

Friday, December 09, 2005

Paris Hilton display upsets neighbors

Not the Chrimbo display up at Paris' house you realize, but some sad man/boy (he's 38) who decided to use the American Christmas tradition of lighting up your house like a, er, well, Christmas tree to decorate in dodgy photo's of Paris and pink lights.

Apart from the fact that it's pink, I have a problem with people worship like this - I mean, she not even "hot", at least in my humble opinion. Surely he could have found someone prettier, and not quite so ditzy/dumb to adorn his outside walls with. - Naughty or nice? Paris Hilton display upsets neighbors - Dec 9, 2005

Enspiria Moving Today

So two years after we started the company, and living the true start up life (working from home, meeting in people's houses, doing all-nighters on bids and proposals etc), we've outgrown our first office.

I haven't seen the inside of the new place yet (well, not our particular floor), but all my stuff is in boxes for the movers to come in today and pick it up. Rumo(u)r has it that I've got a decent view of the mountains and down I25, so it should be good. Not that I get to see it for a while. Back on the road trip to Atlanta again between now and (almost) the Christmas trip home, which probably rules me out of picking up the best chairs in all the confusion, unless I got for the stealth approach on Sunday to sneak in and nab one.

The new place is directly over the road from the old offices the majority of us used to occupy (before the evil French arrived to slowly suck the life from us all). This isn't a bad thing - reminds us all how bad it used to be, we know how long it takes to get to Chipolte (and never to go after 11.20 as you'll be standing in line for the next 40 minutes), and of course, provides the opportunity for revisiting the old haunt that is known as CB Potts. This place used to be a big part of my life (the Potts triangle involved the office, Potts, and the Jefferson apartments where a few (well, 10 or 15) of us used to live), and I'm pretty sure there were a number of occasions when we didn't venture out of this triangle for weeks on end. Potts was also the place where I met my beautiful wife, so it holds an extra special place in my heart (I love those Jack Daniels girls). Makes all those $1000 bar tabs worth it. If I can get Tonks to dig up one of the old ones he has, I'll see if I can get it posted up on here - it's a little on the scary side to look at now, but wasn't out of the ordinary in the old days.....

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Pretend your Pocket PC is an iPod

So this if you're budget doesn't stretch quite as far as you'd like, but you do have some uselful other gadgets lying around....

Glenn - this looks like just the thing for you..
Pretend your Pocket PC is an iPod - Download Squad

More Enspiria Christmas Party Photos

Nelio and the sis and bro
Originally uploaded by nstone73.
So Neil took the plunge and went Flickr pro. What resulted was a spate of uploadings from the last couple of months, so if you need some great pics of a Broncos or Rockies game, check them out.

He's also got more photos of this weekends works Christmas party here.

And you'll be pleased to know the weather in Denver is warming up (but still well below freezing for now). Ice melting should hopefully start sometime this afternoon, and into tomorrow. I can't wait to be warm again....

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Google: Ten Golden Rules

Keep the workers happy, and the rest will follow....

Google: Ten Golden Rules - Issues 2006 -

Bad Santa reallys does exist

I don't know how many people saw Bad Santa - it was a weird sort of film - for some reason I thought it was an out and out comedy, but it turned out to be very dark, especially for Hollywood. There were definitely some laugh out loud moments in there though.

Anyway, it turns out that he's obviously a hero to some people, as a real version turned up in New Hampshire. Dropping his pants in a mall? That's just bad... - News - Phony Mall Santa Drops His Pants

Big Splash

Apparently, there is a very large asteroid heading directly for Earth. If it hits, we could all be doomed. I think I need to go home and hide under the stairs.

I know 31 years seems like a long way off, but ask anyone who is actually over 31 years old, and they'll tell you, it goes by bloody quick. Are we going to have to rely on a last minute rescue mission by Bruce Willis and Ben Afleck (loved the film, not sure the whole thing was very realistic though), or is someone going to start planning something a little more practical.

I guess one theory is that by that time, the next round of the Bush family will be attempting to invade a couple of more random countries for no real reason (the twins invading China coz they wouldn't agree to invade Tokyo and take over Toyota perhaps?), so maybe we don't need to worry quite so much.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | It's called Apophis. It's 390m wide. And it could hit Earth in 31 years time

Victoria has a secret

Just to give you an idea of how hard my life is, my wife "forced" me to watch the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show last night. Now for the people who don't know, it's basically all the worlds top supermodels prancing around on-stage (and back stage) in fancy underwear, and the occasional set of wings (of the Angel variety, not the kind used in other womens products). As you can imagine, it was pretty hard for me to get through it all.

All in all, it seemed like a great show - Tyra Banks was doing her last runway show (which apparently is a big deal), Heidi (Klum, not my Heidi) had an outtakes section at the end, and lots of people were running round frantic for an hour, until the end fo the big finale when people could start relaxing and having fun.

However, and this is a big however, for some reason they invited Ricky Martin to be one of the guest singers. Now apart from the fact that he had to fake liking to dance with the girls on stage (given his affection for the males in his life I speculate), he had some really weird chicken dance thing going on. It was like he was almost dancing in time, and then something took over him, and his legs went off into a world of their own. The first time I saw it, I thought I had just imagined it, but then he did it again, and the wife screamed. I swear he may have been possessed. It was so bad, it spoilt what should have been the wife's TV highlight of the year - I may have to write and complain to their marketing department about their choices, although the chances of that getting us tickets for next years show is probably remote.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

New Lotus Europa Details (and pics)

It's always a happy day when Lotus releases new information on their latest cars. This one is the Europa, a name not used since the 70's for the incredibly small flat car that I believe Mr Bond used once (but can't for the life of me remember in which film). Anyway, the original was a dream car for me growing up - something so small being so fast, and the fact that you saw maybe one a year if you were lucky (and tall enough to see out of the car window when you're 6).

This one stays light, gets a Vauxhall 2.0 litre turbo engine, and is designed for "business class" travel, rather than the cheap and cheerful Elise and Exige (talking about interior fittings here, not actual prices I hope you realize). It looks like it's about 10 grand more expensive back in England than the Elise, and it was while I was working on the money conversions to see if it was going to go into my list of possible cars when I have (lots) more money, I read the dreaded "This car will be available in 2006 in all Lotus current markets except Canada and the USA". I'm guessing it was to do with Vauxhall engine not being ok for California, or maybe the Elise is doing so well they don't need anything else (at least until the new Esprit comes along anyway).

Still, probably saved me 50 grand, so I shouldn't complain

Gotta love that Colorado Winter Weather

Does this look cold to anyone? And don't forget, these are high's and lows in Farenheit for you guys over in England. So, tomorrow, the high will be -13 Celcius - and that's the high!!!!

Wish me luck as I dig around the wardrobe tonight for my thermals...

ID thieves try to steal millions from U.K. taxman

It's a nice change when the taxman is the one who's stolen from, rather than doing the stealing, and it must have been a reasonably big deal to make it into the press over here. However, although the theory of stealing from the taxman sounds good, who's money are they actually stealing? The taxman doesn't get a pay cut, does he? On further review though, it does look like the government managed to get more money back from EDS than they got ripped off from the site (which given the fact that I'm sure the same scams could be attempted with or without a website, seems a pretty good deal). Unless of course, the money from EDS was just coz they screwed up the project in the first place, and wasted a load of taxpayers money independently of the fraud....

I'm so glad I don't work in the UK computer industry sometimes.

ID thieves try to steal millions from U.K. taxman | CNET

Monday, December 05, 2005

Run over the cell phone!

So cell phones have taken up a large part of my life these last couple of weeks - we've had to pick new ones with our move away from the dreaded Sprint Vader, to the good side of the force (hopefully anyway) Princess Cingular.

Now obviously I would like to able to afford one of these gorgeous Vertu phones, but as I'm not an international superstar, or self made millionaire (yet), it's a little out of my reach (6 grand I think I read). However, that doesn't mean I can't lust after one, especially now that they've independently tested the indestructibleness (is that even a word???) of it. The claim from Vertu when they released their special edition Ascent Motorsport version was that because of all the special materials they used to make it, you could drive over it in the Porsche F1 car they used for the ad and it would survive. Luckily for us, the New York Times had a few bucks lying around to test this (although they used a Boxster as it was a little easier to come by). It turns out the claims weren't over-rated in the slightest - after running it over 5 times, the phone not only survived, it didn't even have a scratch on it! Now that's impressive!

The Vertu Porsche Boxster Test - Gizmodo

Gazza Blows It

So depending on which side of the story you believe, either Gazza walked away from the club he had recently taken over as manager of (as part of a larger consortium who bought the whole club), or he was fired for rocking up to team training and matches a little worse for wear. He's now claiming he's going to buy the whole thing and re-instate himself, or at least turn the fans and players against the guy who sacked him.

Given he seems to have been able to hold a job for a maximum of 2 months for a good few years, I'm inclined to believe the latter. But on the other hand, it would be pretty easy for anyone to claim such a likely story and get away with it, even if it was totally fabricated. How good he would be as a manager anyway isn't clear cut - there's plenty of great players who were pretty awful managers (and vice versa), and somehow the thought of Gazza being in charge of anything is a little scary to me.

Anyway, despite the outcome of this little saga, I hope he doesn't end up like George Best - drunk, broke and then dead before his time.

Sky Sports - The Best Sport Coverage From Around The World

Snowboard Cap Hardens On Impact

Given that it's been so long since I've been boarding, I'm guessing that I'm either going to need one of these, or perhaps something like Mr Thompsons real snowboard helmet to get down the mountain without dying. The theory goes that as soon as you crash, the hat get's all excited (or is that hard, or are they the same thing? (sorry mother!)), and you're protected. But does it work?

I guess given the amount of early season snow we've had, there is the chance of a nice cushioned impact in 2 feet of powder, but that would probably involve getting up to the mountains before the Christmas break, which given my ridiculous travel schedule, combined with all round laziness, and the party scene we have going on at the minute (more kids parties and family stuff than any more of the one like below), it ain't going to happen.

Snowboard Cap Hardens On Impact - Gizmodo

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Enspiria Christmas Party

Originally uploaded by Aaron in Denver.
It was a big one (as you might be able to tell from the photo). Kathy hosted the party, and we all turned up (fashionably late as usual). It definitely seemed like everyone was having a good time to me, the food was fantastic, and there was more than enough alcohol to keep us there well into the morning.

We even managed to get Mr Bowman drinking car bombs, Deb made it all the way through to the end despite what looked like an early path to oblivion, the big big big boss came all the way from Buffalo with his wife to attend, we persuaded George to stay in spite of his earlier plans for 3 beers and a drive home and I didn't even fall over (although I'm sure there were a couple of close moments towards the end of the night).

So, thanks Kathy for hosting, and thanks to everyone else for making it a great night. I had a blast.

The rest of the photos are up on Flickr here.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Weather forecasters in Colorado

I've never quite worked out if this is the easiest or the hardest job in the world. Basically, the weather changes so fast here that the chances of getting the forecast right on any given day is pretty tough. This means that although the weather makes up more than a reasonable amount of the news in Denver, the forecasters never get blamed when they get it completely wrong (like missing the storms that dump 3 feet of snow in a day or two...)

Which leads me to this morning - nothing out of the ordinary in yesterdays forecast, 3 inches of snow this morning. It was a good thing though - snow tires went on last Saturday just in case, and it seemed to keep the people away from the emmissions centre this morning, meaning a quick 10 minute trip for my little piece of paper to get my car legal again. Now I just have to find that empty car park and crank the torque all the way back on the car, and it'll keep me grinning for weeks 8-)

Works Christmas party tonight as well, so the hangover may well be of a significant nature tomorrow. Kathy is hosting (and already wins the best hostess in the world award for previous efforts involving huge chunks of steaks on the bbq), and my only contribution has been in providing a couple of web links to shot receipes, and filling her iPod up with some Christmas songs for playing tonight (is it technically legal to fill someones iPod up with mp3's of CD's you own, instead of being arsed to carry over 10 CD's?? - I might have to get Mr Bowman on the case for that one).

Friday, December 02, 2005

Paul English's Blog

I don't know the guy, but he was featured on CNN this morning. Apparently he spends all his time shopping, and finding out how to get through to real live people when you call their help numbers. This can definitely be handy given some of my experiences over the last couple of years.

One tip of my own - if you end up talking to that sleazy automated man (Simon I believe they've called him) on United, when you really just want to speak to someone, say "Agent", and it'll forward you through immediately. I only found this out after 50 attempts of him attempting to interpret my dodgy accent when saying my surname, giving up, and having the let the wife take the reigns (even my intepretation of my name in a heavy american accent only worked intermittently).

Paul English's Blog

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Phone choice made (and it's Orange)

Not the network, for you guys in the UK, but physically orange in colo(u)r.

Decided to splash out on something that I don't technically need, but given I seem to live my life on the road these days, a decent phone will definitely help me live a happy and productive life. Two main reasons I decided on this one - one work, one play. Work first - the talk and standby time on this thing is pretty amazing - 9 hours talk time, and then 400 hours standby (plus the added bonus of an e-mail client, although I'm not holding out for this actually working well). If any of you have ever been involved in a phone conversation with Tonks, you know you need as much battery as possible, and given we're working together on our current project (but typically have been in different states for the last month or two) these calls are somewhat frequent. Play reason was the camera - I know I'm sure to be disappointed with the quality, and still go out and buy a 'proper' one, but this has a 1.3 megapixel (thats the 1.3 million little dots of colour mother) camera built in, which I'll definitely use given my recent addiction to Flickr. In addition, I'll no longer be on Sprint (cheers can be heard from around the world), so uploading the pix I take should be fun, relatively free and painless.

Added bonus (of moving network, not just this phone) is that I'll once again enter into the true real world, not limited by the technical borders of Sprint, who for some reason seem to think that getting text messages from your brothers in the UK is not important enough to make possible. December 17th is our switchover date - if you see some wildly grinning, possibly drunk English guy taking a pic of you with an orange phone/camera, it might just be me.

Overview - - Mobile phone - Sony Ericsson W600 -

Testing some video links

No idea if this will work or not, but worth a try - some kid in an MR2 obviously hasn't learned how to drive properly yet....

UPDATE - ok, it worked, but it always started playing every time you load the site, which annoyed me way to much, so I've canned that idea for the foreseeable future. Hit Streetfire if you want to see the film again

How to beat Newcastle

Apart from sending out a random reserve side of course, which was how we got beat in the shambles of a game last night.

This is actually the detailed notes Jose Mourinho put together before Chelsea played Newcastle. It sort of makes sense now why he's so good at his job. He (or his scouts) obviously spend a lot of time looking at the opposition to work out how the best ways to exploite their weaknesses are, and the detailed notes about how Shearer and Owen play off each other is pretty interesting. I wonder now that Owen's fake to the back, break to the front runs are in the paper, he might try just going for the back post.

I wonder just how many of the top managers today go to this sort of length to prep their players? I have a strong feeling Keegan just used to gee up the side, get them believing they were the best players in the world and send them out to have fun. One manager I did hear about doing lots of detailed work was Iain Dowie over at Crystal Palace, although you're still essentially limited by the quality of the players you have to work with.

And how much notice do players take of these sort of instructions? You spend 90 minutes frantically running round the pitch - are the really good players the ones who have natural talent, or the ones who can do what the manager tells them with a decent amount of efficiency? Or maybe a bit of both. I somehow have a hard time believing that Tino listened to anything before he went out to play (or randomly pulled out his shotgun of course).

Anyway, I was never fit enough to run round for 90 minutes, or good enough to get any proper coaching, so it will probably remain a mystery. - Sport - EXCLUSIVE: THIS IS WHY MOURINHO IS KNOWN AS SPECIAL ONE