Aaron's Day Off
Random ramblings about not necessarily anything in particular, and not much more....
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Who said small cars weren't safe
Things I Learned In England
The last couple of weeks are a bit of a blur, with lots of fun stuff fitted in, and I definitely learned a lot. Here's some of the things from the past 2 weeks
- Nothing can beat fish and chips. And buying them from a chippie next to the sea is something I took for granted for 25+ years.
- Parking spots in England are too small (or my parking skills are crap after 11 years of parking in US car parks). Of course, this provides untold entertainment for my brothers.
- The UK seems a lot smaller after living over here for so long. A trip down to Birmingham for the day never really seemed like a long way (and it was well worth it to see Jeremy and the boys)
- Going out with your lifelong friends always feels like you only saw them last week after about 2 minutes. It's a great feeling that you appreciate even more when you didn't see them last week (or last year for some of them).
- Karting is fun on both sides of the Atlantic (and I'm going to try and lose a few pounds by my next trip over so I at least have a shot at beating my kid brother)
- House prices are way out of control over there, especially in London (even though they're down from their highs). Not sure how anyone actually affords to live to be honest.
- Ella's too cute for words, and she gives the best hugs.
- Working remote for a week = massive improvements in productivity. But more than a week, and I think I'd go stir crazy
- iPhone without data = realization that the iPhone is really a little computer, rather than just a phone (and technically I could have turned on the data roaming, but I was a little scared I'd have a bill for a couple of grand when I got back, so was pretty good about using wifi only, apart from the times I got lost)
- I laugh a lot more in England. Not sure if it's coz I'm on holiday, coz my brothers are too funny not too, or if I'm just more relaxed generally over there, but I notice I end up with tears streaming down my face at least 3 times a trip.
- The Trafalgar Hilton is our new favourite London hotel - friendly staff, relaxed atmosphere, great bar, and decent rooms. We'll definitely be back here.
- Center Parcs is a great place to go for a break in the UK, especially with kids (and kids at heart). And I forgot how much fun slides in swimming pools where (and how disappointing wave machines are)
- Tynemouth still gets great surf (I even considered renting a board and wetsuit to get in one day, but then remembered how cold the water would be, how out of shape I actually am and that I haven't actually surfed in way too long).
- Exchange rates are better now than they have been in a good few years.
Porsche Panamera - Undecided
So official pictures are now out of the upcoming 4 door Porsche, and although the final product looks sooo much better than the spy shots floating around for the last couple of years, I'm still undecided as to whether or not I like it. There's a few more pics here, but I think it's going to be one of those cars you need to see in the flesh before you finally decide.
Fynn's New Outfit
The only person who got any new clothes in London while we were there was Fynn. She's rockin the fashion world in her new outfit (well, out kitchen anyway). As usual, she's a little bemused to be dressed up, but the fact the things on her legs are leg warmers with the holes for her feet, she's resisted yanking them off long enough for Heidi to get some photos.
Flashdance, here we come....
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Todays Time Waster
Given I'm not at work all week, I'm allowed to watch this site for hours and hours. If you're at work, you probably don't want to click on it, otherwise you might get fired when you can't actually do anything else for the next hour. Don't say I didn't warn you....
Vacation (holiday) update
Having far too much fun to be writing blog posts, so here's a quick one just so I don't feel too guilty. We're currently in Center Parc near Penrith, where remarkably the rain has held off since yesterday, and we've been aimlessly wandering around all the things you could do if you were the type to enjoy a bit of exercise on holiday. Of course, we ended up in the pub at 2 o'clock....
Had a hectic weekend, with Daniels Birthday meaning karting and a trip to the Metro Center on Friday, followed by curry and beers in the night. Saturday was lunch with friends and kids at Shire House Farm, and then a night out on the Quayside, hitting Pitcher and Piano for the first time in a while, and then making the usual culinary mistake of a kebab fully loaded with chilli sauce (it always tastes great at the time, and you realize your mistake the next day).
Sunday was Matthew's Birthday, and we all headed to St James Park for a great Sunday lunch, and then a tour of the ground.
Got a couple of more days hanging out here (we might even make it to the swimming pool tomorrow, you never know), and then off down to London for a Thanksgiving Dinner with friends, and then hopefully meeting up with lots of other friends as well. We'll see how that goes. And obviously, going to be in desperate need of some sleep by the time we get back to Denver....
Plenty of photos are up on Flickr here if you really must.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Carbon Fiber Car Seat
Given the number of decent cars in the office, in the hands of brand new parents, the latest carbon fiber car seat could have found it's perfect market. I've always told the wife that a 911 would be a perfect car for kids, as it has a back seat, so if we ever get some of those (and the Porsche for that matter), this could be on my shopping list. Have to make sure it actually fits though - the Recaro we got for Ella a couple of years ago was the top one before today - I even wanted to be a kid again just so I could sit in it.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Top Gear Live
So one of the reasons I headed back to England a week before the wife was to make sure I could take part in a little birthday pressie for my two brothers - a day trip down to Birmingham to see Top Gear Live. Although we had to get up ridiculously early, it was well worth it, and everyone seemed to have a great time.
If you've never seen Top Gear on TV, you're missing out, even if you're not really that into cars (both Heidi and Lauren enjoy it despite their less than enthusiastic general disposition to auto transport). There's plenty of fun and games in each program to keep most people entertained, and every now and again, they put together a couple of live events (apparently tickets for the actual TV show mean an 20 year waiting list or something).
So, lots of cars going very fast in a small space, plenty of burning rubber, the usual dose of comedy and even a game of Smart Car Footy were put on to keep us entertained. The team was even conned (apparently a last day of the show stitch up by the producers) to play musical instruments while talking about the Supercars being shown.
And of course, Jeremy Clarkson, one of the funniest guys in the world, (and apparently being pushed to run for Prime Minster in the UK at the next election....)made his way into the crowd to dole out some abuse. I managed to avoid it by hiding behind my camera, and from what he said to the teenager 2 rows in front, I was a lucky boy 8-)
So, it was a blast, and if you ever get the chance to see one of these things, I'd recommend it. It's the only show you'll ever attend where the hosts end the show with "Just remember, although you've seen lots of fast cars driving about the stage today, when you leave here, you'll be back on public roads. So, in the interests of health and safety, drive fast" 8-))
Saturday, November 15, 2008
So after a very uneventful flight back (the kind you really want, trust me), I got to hang out with the family, and catch up with Ella on all the latest happenings with Peppa Pig, her new bike and her ability to talk non-stop using only the question "why?".
My trawl through the consumption list has began, and after 2 days here, the fish & chips with mushy peas (bought from a chip shop where you can actually see the sea), steak pie and chips, and bangers & mash can all be crossed off the list. Curry is booked for next Friday night, so I'm ahead of the game.
I somehow managed to sleep for nearly 14 hours straight when I arrived, something that hasn't happened for a very long time. Judging by the waking up at 7 this morning, it was a one off, but at least it meant I had time to get some photos loaded up.
Plans for the weekend involve seeing my (probably) only live Newcastle match of the season this afternoon, and then an early night in preparation for a big day tomorrow. The boys (two brothers, Dad and me) are heading down to the NEC in Birmingham to see Jeremy Clarkson and the rest of the guys in Top Gear Live, and hopefully take some photos of the super fast and fancy cars in the car show that's there as well. If everything goes to plan, we'll be able to get down and back in time to see Top Gear on TV tomorrow night, so double the fun.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Rapper West arrested after 'row' in Newcastle
I know - huge coincidence, but I just want to categorically state that a) I'm not part of Kanye West's entourage, and/or b) I didn't hit him.
I guess the photographer he "hit" mustn't have been from around here, otherwise it would have been a much more entertaining end to the encounter.....
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Rapper West arrested after 'row'
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Car Control is Important
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Congrats guys and gals
Look Out Google Site Search, Lijit Says It's Right On Your Heels - NYTimes.com
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Open Government starts with Flickr
Well, maybe not, but do you think the current President (or John McCain) would even think to put up the official photographers photos on Flickr? I think not - this is a little (and easy) thing, but I think shows two things - he (and/or his team) is technically competent (and I'm happy he chose Flickr!), and the openness he promised in his campaign is actually something he's following through on.
I wonder if we're going to get live Twitter feeds during major international summits?
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Heading Home Soon
Not long now until I head back to the UK for a couple of weeks of getting re-aquanted with my home town. Seems like forever since I went back, but it was actually only Christmas. Unfortunately I got pretty sick, so spent 4 of the 7 days in bed with a fever high enough to burn through the sheets (or something like that anyway).
This time I'm making sure I get a decent shot at seeing plenty of people, and there's lots of fun stuff going on. We've got a trip planned to see Top Gear Live, a footy match of course, a couple of days in London to see Rach and her new baby, along with a few other exiles, and then both my brothers have their birthdays when I'm back, so there's some fun (and some secret) stuff planned for that. I might even be able to fit in a pint or two - you never know.
Anyway, if you're back there, and I haven't managed to send you an email to work out some details, this is your official notification, so give me a call if you fancy a few beers.
Tag makes some nice sunglasses - I nearly bought a pair earlier this year actually, but held off as I was (and still am) going through a sensible phase of my life where I try to not spend a ridiculous amount of money on stuff I don't really really need. But these new ones might just tip me over the edge (at least until they release the price - those things aren't cheap). Carbon fiber and titanium frames, and released next spring. Guess I better start saving up....
I'm sure we've all been in them - the meetings you really want/need to get out of, but just can't find the right moment. Or the blind date where you need an escape option really really early? Welcome to Fake Calls for the iPhone - you cane even pretend Mr Jobs is calling you directly to offer you that perfect R&D job you've always dreamed of.
Worst Smart Car Ever?
Don't get me wrong - I love Smart cars - been close to putting my name on the list a couple of times, just to get to and from work in a more environmentally friendly manner. And I like Batman too (although not all of the movies - can't wait to see Dark Knight though).
But the two of them together? Not the best idea someone's had. More photo's here (all from SEMA in Vegas, which is meant to show the best tuner cars on the planet - they need a stricter door policy if this sneaked through).
Need some help with that walk?
To me, this looks like some form of punishment (although they have added some strategic padding in there), but to others, it might be a life changer.
I guess Honda took the "develop a fuel efficient mode of transport" to the extreme, as this one looks like it's powered by donuts and Chipolte (in my case it would be anyway). They even have a nice instructional video for you, so you can see how it all works.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
For the first time in my 37 years, the cynicism has been lifted and I actually genuinely care about who wins an election. I have that Christmas morning tingling feeling running through my veins telling me that today is special, and I can't stop smiling. So get out and vote, and please America, don't make me sad tomorrow.