Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Best Pumpkins

I have to admit, although I get the occasional artistic craving, I have no skills in that department whatsoever. I don't even pretend, although one year Heidi helped me out in making a semi decent pumpkin that I wasn't too ashamed to put outside (and we had some proper tools to do the cutting, unlike the childhood memories of cut fingers while using semi sharp/blunt knives on tough as nails turnips - pumpkins weren't big where I grew up).

However, Gizmodo has some of the best pumpkins - some are cool pieces or art (like Chewie over there), and some are just clever ideas (think hands and buttocks or something).

Happy Halloween

Fynn one pissed of cow
Originally uploaded by hid_patterson.
Not home, but a single Flickr photo made my day.

What I want to know is if Fynn is secretly becoming an internet model for numerous Halloween costumes?


Bam Don Vito Guilty

Not really surprising considering this was the number one pic on Google images when I searched, but Don Vito from MTV"s Viva La Bam was found guilty of groping a couple of girls at a Colorado appearance at a local skate park.

"Highlights" from the court appearance were the claims that he was "still in character for the appearance", and "so drunk he pissed himself".

On hearing the news that he had been found guilty, he apparently lost it, screamed and flailed around a lot, and ended up being carried out by 8 guards. Not sure what he was expecting, but given the girls were only 12 and 14 at the time, he couldn't expect to get off without some sort of sentence.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Originally uploaded by Aaron in Denver.
So for the second year in a row, I'm out of town for Halloween. But this year we decided to compensate by visiting Boo at the Zoo, in full costume mode.

This was pretty special for a number of reasons - I got to be one of my favorite things in life, beer, and it was a full on family affair - we had quite the entourage as we attempted to stick together throughout the day. Funnily enough, it was my first time at Denver Zoo, which is pretty shocking considering that I've been here for 10 years now. I really need to get out more.

Animal highlights were topped by the giraffes jogging around their enclosure, although we had left a little early to see the special rhino performance that apparently occurred.

Plenty of other photos on Flickr, so just click on the photo and take a peek, especially if you want to see Mr Thompson as a playful Tigger.

No Sex Please despite the double bed

Apparently, despite the people up front on Singapore Airlines paying a very large fee for the privilege of a private double bed, and of course lots of free champagne, you're not allowed to join the mile high club.

I guess they can't overtly promote the fact that you can, I imagine it'd be easier than locking yourself in the bogs. What is perhaps more amazing (to me, maybe not to you) is the guy complaining in the article is actually in his 70's. Maybe the young ones didn't get caught....

Drive like Stig

Well, not exactly, but at least (virtually) on the same track. It's been announced that the track used in one of my favourite programs (Top Gear), by the mysterious driver named Stig will be one of the tracks in Gran Turismo 5. Don't get too excited though - it doesn't come out until Christmas next year.

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Geek T-Shirt

This has to be the pinnacle of geekness (t-shirt wise of course), which obviously means I kinda like it (alot)

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Monday, October 29, 2007


Originally uploaded by Aaron in Denver.
Lack of posts (again) was a direct result of me taking some time off from computers (apart from uploading 6 million photos on Flickr during the week). I had a week off while my brother and his family were in town, and we took full advantage.

One of the highlights was a quick blast up to Loveland on Friday to get the first day of the season under my belt. I even tried some Flannery'esque video capture, but as my snowboarding skills don't compare to his skiing, the resulting vid wasn't quite up to the same standard. Still, it was worth the blind panic I felt going down the hill to capture the last 3 seconds ;-)

Anyway, great to see you guys - I had a blast

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Favorite Car

I know I spend too much time thinking about cars, but it's kinda enjoyable. Sometimes I get asked what's my favorite car - that's a tough question to answer, when there's all this choice out there. I always have a list in my head of different cars I would buy depending on the money I had available(which was why I ended up pretty happy a day after the STi got stolen), so I guess the true test would be "what would I buy if I just won $50 million on PowerBall. Well, after our agreed upon 4 week period of not spending anything, I would happily wander down to the garage down below and purchase the car in this video without any regrets whatsoever.

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Nissan GT-R Dteails

So details of the GT-R have finally been revealed, and it looks like it won't disappoint. The GT-R's twin-turbo 3.8L V6 will produce 473 horsepower and 434 ft-lbs. of torque, and will sprint from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds (yes, 3.5). The quarter mile is reported at 11.7, which is pretty ridiculous for an off the shelf car.

Unfortunately, the only transmission option will be the dual clutch playstation type approach to changing gears, but I guess I could live with it if I had to.

I'm not 100% certain I like the looks yet or not - that's a very big gap behind the front wheel, but the first drive report has definitely got me excited. Now all I need to know is the price over here

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Top Gear Bloopers

A full 6 minutes of them. Enjoy....

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Spice Girls and Victorias Secret

Could this be a match made in heaven? Well, maybe for our household I guess. I confess I did actually go to the Spice Girls concert at Fiddlers Green all those years ago, and my wife has a bit of a thing for purchasing all of her clothes and shoes from VS catalogs, so maybe.

The Spice Girls announced that their new CD is going to be available only from VS shops and their site online for a couple of months before a more widespread release. Date is November 13th if you're counting down.

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Monday, October 15, 2007


Just when you think you can't imagine your car being any better than it is, someone down the road puts up for sale a car with all the mods you'd do if you had an unlimited supply of money......

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BBC Free Over Wi-Fi

It's nice to know that at least the UK is pushing the boundaries for distribution over the web. Following on from it's earlier release of downloadable tv shows, today it announced that you can connect for free at any of The Cloud hotspots (7500 places, think T-Mobile if you're in the states) to watch your favorite tv. They also announced they'll stream tv, rather than just allow downloads, which gets them around the controversy of not supplying a Mac or Linux compatible version of their download software.

Of course, this is all still UK only - worldwide has probably still got 6 million legal agreements to get in place before it can happen....

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Driving School

Driving School
Originally uploaded by Aaron in Denver.
A nice person at the Driving School compensated for me forgetting my camera by taking this shot (and there's another on flickr) of me heading around the track at very high speed.

I can't wait for the next one - the weekend of May 31st/June 1st is booked (sorry Tonks, I know it's your birthday weekend)

Friday, October 12, 2007

The worst food ever

OK, I'm warning you before you click, so I don't want any crap in the comments.....

This isn't pleasant, and under no circumstances are you to click through if you're stuffing your face with a Big Mac over lunch (or eating anything for that matter). And move your drinks away from the keyboard....

Possibly the most awful food dishes ever....

And thanks to the wife for the link - who said Friday afternoons were never productive?


New M3 isn't that fast

At least compared to this competition. Even though you know what's going to happen before you see it, you still feel compelled to watch....

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ski Season Officially Begins

A-Basin opened today (with temps in Denver still in the 70's). I think this may be the earliest opening date ever, but it's perfect timing as my brother gets here from England on Saturday 8-)

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

STI Official Pics

Finally! And it looks better than I thought. Will Wee Dod dive into his mattress of cash to purchase one? Stay tuned for our next installment of (if) the price is right.....

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The T-Shirt

Is in the mail. And I still can't stop grinning.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

BMW Performance Driving School

So yesterday was finally the day that I got to drive my car like it was supposed to be driven (well, at least sort of). It was the BMW Car Club's High Performance Driving School down at the Pueblo Race Track, and I had been waiting for far too long for it to actually happen. The run up involved the purchase of the new helmet, as well as a tech inspection and brake flush, but it was all worth it in the end.

The class itself was an all day affair, which involved getting up at 5am to get down to Pueblo in time. Not fun, but Red Bull gives you wings, and although I was a little late and slightly panicked on the way down, I made it in time to not miss anything. As it was my first time, I was in D class (it goes from A to D based on experience and skill, and all first timers end up in D from what I can tell, unless you've had prior to race experience, or done some other classes). You start off with classroom sessions where they tell you about the track, the racing line and some basics about how the day will go in terms of building up speed gradually, and getting the racing line down before you start to push it. The instructor was a guy called Bill, and it was obvious that he really knew his stuff - very knowledgeable about everything, and able to deal with all the questions, while making the classes fun.

After the classroom session, you go out with the instructors for a "brush the cone" exercise - the instructor takes you round twice, nice and slow, showing you the correct racing line around the corners. There are cones out on all the corners for the turn-in points, apex and track out point, which help a lot. So once you see the line, they let you go out, nice and slow to get the feel for the right line. It still feels pretty fast - 50 million things to do, all at once, and the instructor giving you step by step instructions. Overwhelming, but lots of fun.

Then a quick break, more classroom, and back out on track again. When you're in the D class, you get the same instructor again, and I have to say Peter, my instructor, was great. He was very patient and encouraging, and really knew his stuff. So, the second time out was a lot quicker, and some corners came a lot easier than others. Pueblo has some pretty technical sections in there (well they felt pretty technical to a novice like me) with 3 or 4 corners linked together in close succession, and not much straight to get set up, so the concentration on the line was very necessary.

After this run, it was lunch, and the instructors get some track time as a reward for putting up with us lot. Peter volunteered to take me out for a real lap as a passenger, and to be honest, it was one of the best rides of my life. He has a tuned E36 M3 with R compound tires, race brake pads and upgraded suspension, and at full blast, it sounds great. I learned a lot, mainly about how fast you could actually take the corners, and how late you could break before you hit the turns. We were flying, and staying ahead of a lot of supposedly faster cars - the Z06 in front stayed right in our sights, but it had way too much power on the straights for us to pass him. If you ever go on this course, make sure you take up the chance to go around with the instructors - it's amazing.

The afternoon sessions were the two best drives. It was suggested that the third session was going to be the best, as the 4th is late in the day, and all the concentration and processing you've done takes it's toll. It didn't quite turn out like that for me - 3 was great - lots of speed through the corners, but for some reason I was having a hard time hitting turn 9 right. It didn't slow me down too much, but it was a little frustrating. I went into a couple of corners a little too hot as well, but nothing too serious.

By the time session 4 came around, I was tired, but still completely wired with adrenalin and smiling like someone possessed. Another different instructor, so a couple of warm up laps hitting the line, and then we were off. This was by far the best session - I was about 3 times quicker than the first run, and there were some sections that I came out of knowing that I just nailed completely. My instructor, Doug, was pretty excited, especially through turns 5 and 6a and b. We took over a few cars, and had a decent little cat and mouse with a 997 S for a couple of laps before I let him past to see how fast he actually was. It turned out we were just as quick as he was, so we tracked together for a lap or two before the chequered flag ended the day.

So, I want to say thanks to all the instructors, corner workers, fellow students and other helpers. It was a great day out, and if you ever think about doing this, I'd definitely recommend it whole heartedly. The next one is going to be scheduled on my calendar as an immovable object, and I'll be waiting anxiously until that day...

One other (non-driving) highlight of the day - I got to meet some of the Lijit team - they're the smart people who make the widget over there on the left that makes searching for stuff so much more helpful. It had a special significance on this particular day, as the main reason I ended up at the driving school was through one of those 6 degrees of separation things that happen on the web. I had added Lijit, and found Tara's website, and she does some interviews of co-workers on Fridays. One of the first (or maybe even _the_ first) was Leslie, and she seems as obsessed about her car as I am (red S4 if you see it blasting around Boulder making wonderful noises). She had a post about the driving school, and how amazing it was, and that's what kicked off my plan. So, I saw a Lijit t-shirt floating around, and basically just went over to see if I could get one 8-) They're a very necessary commodity in the fashion world, so as it was probably my only shot to get one, I removed the typical English "don't speak until spoken too" part of my personality and went for it. And well worth it it was - business card duly dispatched to Todd, so I'm going to spend the next few weeks waiting for the post to arrive, and getting to hang out with a group of smart and fun people was a definite bonus.

So, class day all round, and as Nike keeps telling you "Just Do It". You won't regret it.

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Friday, October 05, 2007


Some people just shouldn't be allowed near cars, and the person who designed this thing is top of the list


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Out of touch

Had to head back to England at the last minute to deal with some pretty sad family stuff, so no posts for the last few weeks. Finally made it back to the US on Monday after what can only be described as "an epic" on United, which I'll write about in a bit when I calm down and have a little more time.

So, sorry for the lack of posts - it will probably continue for the next few days without any valid excuses apart from work catchup stuff, but you never know - I might plug the laptop in when I get home one night.