Friday, November 30, 2007

Stay Strong Stephen Murray

So I never really talked about this too much when it happened, apart from with my brothers, but earlier in the year, Stephen Murray, one of the best BMX dirt jumpers in the world had a pretty serious crash while performing on the Mountain Dew Tour up in Baltimore.

When I say pretty serious, it was close to being life ending, and he was out for a week, totally paralyzed and couldn't speak when he came around. Although it hasn't been that long since it happened, he's been making some great progress, so I'm posting the videos of his TV interview here if you're interested.

Back in the day (and I mean a really long time ago - like over 20 years ago), we all used to go racing together. Stephen and his brother Martin were good mates with Daniel, and they had a camper van, so he used to crash in that when we all went down to the Nationals, or some other big race (me and my Dad slept in the car with the front seats flat out). All 3 of them were way better racers than I was, even though they were still less than 8 or 9, and Stephen was pretty crazy even then, but we were all founding members of The Tyneside Chargers BMX Club (which incidentally had the most hideous tops you can ever imagine - red with yellow sleeves, and some dodgy shiny material - still makes me shudder).

Anyway, the main point of this is that he's kinda screwed given he lives in the US, has a wife and kid, and for some unknown reason, the riders on the tour weren't covered with health insurance. So, there's a fund if anyone feels like putting up some cash, or just buying a t-shirt.

Stay Strong Mate, and when you get better, you need to work on getting that Geordie accent back ;-)

American Idol?

It's a good job they don't have to take an IQ test before they let them sing.....

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Evel Knievel is Dead

Bit of a shocker, but CNN is reporting breaking news that he died yesterday, and Wikipedia is updating as fast as people find out any more info.

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6 Billion Reasons Why I Married Her


And one of them is coz she forwards me stuff like this 8-)

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It must be that time of year again, when everyone puts lists together (some very definitely better than others). So, for your reading pleasure, here's a couple I came across today

Car and Drivers Best 10 Cars of 2008 (although given we're not actually there yet, I'm not sure they year is really valid) oh, and here's Automobiles "all star" one as well, which looks remarkably similar

There's the 20 worst foods in America (which got me so hungry I immediately went out and got a loaded burrito from Chipotle, which I haven't had in ages)

The 50 smartest people in Hollywood (a misnomer perhaps?)

The Top 100 Most Expensive Keywords if you're doing online ad campaigns (I guess there's a big requirement for drink/drive lawyers in Texas.....) and then the top 10 ad revenue generating sites

Then I found a whole site where you can create your own lists (or read other peoples) and realized I had had enough of lists, at least for today

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Boys Cry Everywhere

Jennifer Love Hewitt got engaged


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quote of the week

The BBC lists all the best sports quotes every week here. My favorite for this week was

"If it wasn't for the fact that they had more skill, guile, flair, pace, ability and commitment than us, we could genuinely have nicked something."
A Sunderland fan on 606 reflects on their 7-1 defeat at Everton


Monday, November 26, 2007

New Computer Ordered

It must be the week for it - after last weeks just in time arrival of a new work laptop (Dell D630 if you care), the wife and I decided to do the joint Christmas pressie to ourselves of a new iMac. Our current one was an old (5 years I think) iMac with the metal "neck" - still working as well as the day we got it, but lacking any more disk space, or the processing power to keep up with our ever increasing need to make videos, store loads of music, and view billions of pictures. Although all the apps on there still work, the whole thing was just getting too slow, and on the video side especially, it was making some things unusable. I also realized (when my brother bought a iPod Touch the other week when he was here) that it doesn't even have a USB 2.0 port, which meant no synch up for him from the Mac.

So, we splashed out a little (although I'm quietly confident I could easily spend a years salary in an Apple store and come out happy), and went with the 24 inch version, complete with extra memory and a slightly larger hard drive. It should arrive either at the end of this week, or the beginning of next, as for some reason I went with the cheapskate delivery option. Now of course I'm pining for an immediate delivery, but because they've already prepared it for shipment, it's too late to change it. We made the buy on "Black Friday" so we got an extra $110 off the list price, which combined with the wife's work discount, meant we got a bit of a deal.

So - plans for when it arrives - lots, but getting everything off the old one and onto the new one is first, followed closely by lots of messing around with Leopard (the old one would have died under the strain of a new operating system). I have a grand plan of encoding a lot of my DVD's as well, so that I can push them up through my Apple TV to prevent me from searching through the ever expanding DV collection, but that may take a little while (although hopefully not the 14 hours per DVD of the old machine). And of course, some video editing of some of the existing stuff I've got in digital format, including the eventual post of all the wedding stuff we got taped (only 2.5 years since that should have been done...).

Plenty to look forward to (for me anyway) - now I just have to prey the Fedex gods are nice to me...

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Chipotle in London?

It's mentioned in this WSJ article as a possibility. There goes another idea of making my millions - I guess I have been talking about it for the last 9 years without actually doing anything about it..


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Current Best T-Shirt Ever

Not really suitable for front page publishing (and I never did actually read the article, but check on the guy with this t-shirt on - I nearly wet myself laughing when I first saw it.

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Supersoaker Sad Boy

When you own every single supersoaker ever made, there's no other way to describe except sad. Sorry, I know it probably took up a large portion of your life (and cash), but really? Why bother?

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Zonda F + Nurburgring

= 7:27.82

Need I say more before you click play?

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Cool Kitchen Stuff

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Continuing the slightly bad taste theme for today

The gas grabber - who thinks of this stuff?

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Boobs are good

Especially when they can save your life. The best lifejacket concept I've ever seen....

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England Failure

Once again, England sports are in the news for the wrong reason - the failure of the footie (soccer) team to even qualify for the European Championships next year has cost Steve Mclaren his job, and mean that it's going to be a lot easier for people to plan their holidays next summer. Although it looked like Beckham might have had a chance at being the saviour again, it didn't quite work out this time.

At least it's a national holiday over here, so drowning my sorrows won't have to be combined with getting up for work.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How Not to Run a StartUp

The 20 worst venture capital stories....

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Lijit Do Maps

I read somewhere over the weekend that some of the best companies kind of take on a personality of their own - they don't hide behind some corporate veil of secrecy and talk in official only language in case of upsetting someone. Chipolte (and a few others) make little jokes instead of the usual "don't throw this bag in the street" declarations (something about not using it for a parachute if my memory serves me correctly).

Anyway, Lijit is the kind of company that just gives you really useful stuff and lots of nice surprises - wouldn't everyone like a friend like that. Apart from all the info they dish out on who has been searching your blog, this weekend (or maybe before and I'm just too slow to realize), they added in some mapping functionality to their search, so now you can see where people were searching from. The map is even nice and pretty, and given a large part of my working life has been spent working with maps in one shape or another, I'm obviously happy. So, my stats page is open, so you too can see the extra info if you care too.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Differences between US and Europe

Lots of people ask me what are the big differences between the different sides of the Atlantic. One of the big differences are the adverts - I always enjoy going home and seeing what's on TV - some of them are pretty obscure, but then there's others that are just like mini comedy series. There's also some significant cultural differences is what's considered "safe" for public consumption. Can you imagine the ad on the left ever being posted on a billboard out here in the States? I think not.


Really Light Balloons

It took me 3 hours to think of that title, so I hope you like it.

What I don't understand (coz I kinda like the lights, or the idea anyway) is why these things cost a grand? I know the dollar is going to crap these days, but a grand - come on - this looks like something you could replicate with a bit of initiative for about 20 bucks.


Best Umbrella?

I would argue (and quite hard) that the best umbrella you can get is the one attached to your 07 Rolls Royce, that magically comes out of the door when you press the little button. It's definitely got the best hiding place anyway. However, the most fun umbrella has to be this one - it'll probably not get you safely through security at DIA (or maybe even down any street over here), but it looks fun for a joke on the other side of the Atlantic.

And it even collects the rain and makes the water pistol work - how cool is that? Too cool for Rhianna, that's for sure.

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New Sti gets US Official Release

So I managed to miss the LA car show last week, and one of the highlights was that the STi is officially released over here.

Same power, slightly less torque than last time round (which makes me wonder why) - at least the interior is better I guess.

The photo on the left is actually the rally car, rather than the STi for sale, so delete the roof vent and rear spoiler for true effect (or click on the link up there to see the road going model).

I still haven't decided whether this time round, if I was in the market, I'd get an STi or an Evo - still waiting for proper driving tests in the mags to make my mind up (although I'm not in the market, so neither one will end up on my driveway unless the wife fancies one). The Evo looks better, but Mitsubishi are pissing me off by only offering the MR with the semi-auto box. Do people not understand that we still like to change gear properly, with a real clutch under your left foot?

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Denver Roller Derby

Originally uploaded by hid_patterson.
As far as crazy ideas for a Friday night go, this was up with them. Heidi found out about the Denver Roller Derby from one of her friends, and that was that - my first visit to the Denver Coliseum was booked.

The only person up for it was Ms Klassen - a few others were rumored to be considering it but were no shows in the end - their loss ;-)

As for new experiences, the PBR 24 oz cans were special (and reminded me some how of Kestrel Super Strength), and the really tight shorts of one of the announcers were something I probably could have done without, but all in all, we had a blast. I never really understood too many of the rules, but girls throwing themselves around the ring at each other was enough to keep me entertained for the night.

We also managed to get accosted by the Westword team, so we may have some incriminating photos coming out in the local press. Our photos can be seen on Heidi's Flickr site, so just click on the pic to the left to get there.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Caparo T1, Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear

Could this be the perfect combination? Find out for yourself....

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Apple Rumors - The Tablet

It's been a while since I wrote about any Apple rumors, so I thought I'd show this complete mockup of supposedly Apple's latest and greatest, the touch tablet.

As always, I'm hoping there's at least some truth to the rumor, coz it would be a kinda cool thing to throw in the laptop bag, or have lying next to the couch.

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Trying Out Tumblr

Not sure if I'll stick with it for now, but Tumblr makes it nice and easy to quickly post stuff up on a site (kinda like a super quick blog). Anyway, giving it a try here (and I managed to get the feed from this site integrated), but unless I whip out the (lack of) code skills again to make it look prettier, I'm not sure I'll use it on an ongoing basis. Rumour is that you can add in your Twitter posts, and maybe even your playlists or something, so there's still some hope if any of that is possible.

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Brembo to supply BMW Brakes?

One of the most common faults levelled at M cars from BMW are that their brakes don't always live up to the performance of the rest of the cars.

I'm not sure I'm really qualified to comment on whether or not this is true, but some of the sources I trust when it comes to cars (Evo mainly) are convinced, and that's good enough for me. The only experience I have is the burning smell during my track day, and the incredibly loud squealing I ended the day with after my final super-fast (in my head anyway) session when I was really pushing it, but I never lost stopping power (although we were doing 20 minute sessions).

Anyway, it seems BMW have decided to follow a number of other high performance car manufacturers, and hook up with Brembo, the maker of some of the best brakes in the world. No complaints from me on this - I had them on the STi, and if I was ever going to retrofit a big brake kit to a car, they'd be my first choice. And of course, they look soo pretty....

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Some days

Aaronimo and lil bro
Originally uploaded by hid_patterson.
You need to remember when you had a smile on your face that you couldn't wipe off. A silly hat and your brothers across from England for your bachelor party weekend in Vegas will do that for you.

Monday, November 12, 2007

New Mac Ads

And they're still funny - I guess they didn't blow all the ad budget on the iPhone and new iPods after all.

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2007 Weblog Awards

Nope, I didn't win, but at least there's a couple of sites in the list that I read, so that counts a little.

I was going to link to all the blogs from here, and then suddenly realized I'm too lazy to do that, so you can go to the list yourself. PostSecret won the big prize, and if you've never checked it out, you should give it a try - it's frighteningly addictive.


Writes Strike Takes Hold

So if you live outside the US, you can stop reading now. If you're in the US and you never watch TV, you can stop as well 8-)

So, the writers are on strike, but the only thing that's really changed so far has been re-runs of Letterman (aren't they all anyway) and Leno, and no new Daily Shows either. Survivable I think, but now that it's lasting longer, we're getting close to when the regular shows are going to start hitting the re-runs.

The kind folks at TV Guide have compiled a list of how many shows are left before they run out of new material. Apparently, there is only one Office episode left - luckily, although I always laugh out loud at this show, it conflicts with both CSI and Grey's, so I never see any of the originals anyway. I just hope they show the re-runs in order.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Watch Out

Back when I was a kid, my Grandad used to bring home some random stuff when he came in from work (a one armed bandit, an accordian, crabs which happened to be still alive and screamed like a banshee when we cooked them etc). I always thought it was coz he had the coolest job, but later realized when I got to college that we were technically part of some underclass where no-one really had that much money, so people bartered "stuff" in exchange for services or other "stuff" - kinda like a more serious version of a kids playground. Anyway, my Grandads job was still cool (wrecking yard, breaking cars up for parts, and very occasionally having a 5 year old at the wheel of the huge grabber thing with a grin as wide as the mouth of the Tyne), but the point of me rambling on for 5 minutes is that his was how I got addicted to watches. I've never really gone a day without wearing one since I was 3 or 4, and I got a little black Timex to tell the time - it's kinda at the point where it's similar to leaving the house without any trousers on - you just don't do it (or at least I don't). I still remember the big chunky metal digital one with red lights he brought home, which weirdly seem like they're back in fashion again these days.

Anyway, sorry - this whole buildup was coz I like this watch, but it's $59k and I'm never going to buy it - that money could get you a loaded S4, or almost a new Exige S, and they both have clocks inside them.

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One day

I'm going to have the money, balls and hopefully skill level to be able to do this. One day.....

Formula One Lawnmower

Gardens are much bigger over here than back home (for comparable size houses and money, obviously) - case in point The Thompsons, who could/should fit a five a side pitch in the back yard. Being English, I think as a nation we're opposed to the whole sit on a lawnmower and drive around on it, but Mr Thompson has had to fend off questions about why he can't sit on his lawnmower (technically I guess he could, but I'm sure it would get warm and maybe a little painful).

Anyway, this could well be the answer. A Formula One inspired lawnmower. Although you still have to follow it round, it looks kinda cool, and I'm sure must go faster than the normal ones. And the JP paint job - brings a tear to my eye, remembering the old Lotus cars from my yoof. No-one would question your machinery when you're pushing this around your back garden.

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Smallest Cellphone?

Way back in the day, when I still went out at nights to drink, rather than have a meal with friends, I got talking to one of Nicks mates who was an analyst at some high powered banking establishment I think. Anyway, I was obviously a little on the tipsy side, so can't remember his name, or much about the conversation in general, but we did end up talking cell phones for a decent amount of time. He had the priveledge of covering Nokia, and he had been to some analyst show and tell thing, and he told me the coolest phone there was basically just a pen that doubled up as a phone. I've been waiting patiently for that phone for the last however many years (I'm guessing maybe 7 or 8), and finally we get a look at something like it. No idea if this is really real or just another concept, but if they can sort out a decent battery life, I'll be sorely tempted (and then can make the decision that I really do need an iPod Touch, rather than holding out for a 3g, 32GB iPhone).



This is just freaky (and thanks to Brian for the link - if it's one of your special effects gigs I'll be gutted)

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