Monday, July 20, 2009

Things I didn't do this weekend

I could have done lots this weekend, but I didn't - so here's the list of stuff I didn't do (as a way of saying sorry for not posting much of anything for a while - it's a general busy/laziness thing, rather than singling out the blog readers in my life)......

Put in an order for a new BMW bike (although they do look bloody marvelous)
Watch the racing at Pikes Peak
Join the girls at HPR for a little track time followed by massages, champers and chocolate!?!?!
Watch England destroy the Aussies in the Ashes (how could I not mention that)


Friday, April 10, 2009

Kogi BBQ - Social Marketing Done Right

late night street life-42, originally uploaded by kogibbq.

Apart from the fact that I got very (very) hungry looking at these photos, I found Fred's article on how they're marketing themselves over in LA to be pretty interesting. It's definitely work building a brand and getting your name out, but with a bit of hard work and ingenuity, it can happen so much quicker (and cheaper) than in the pre-internet days.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Drinking

Every now and again, I've been known to have the occasional tipple over the holidays. These days it kinda pales into insignificance compared to the 3 or 4 week benders during the 16 to 30 period of my life (the all day Christmas Eve Newcastle/Whitley combinations were always special), but a decent couple of sessions are still squeezed in there. Luckily for me, the BBC has put up this helpful site to work out how many pies/pastys/cakes you could have had for the calories instead of the drinks. Personally, it's never been an either/or thing for me - I think everyone should use this site to work out exactly how much they have to consume the morning after in order to alleviate the hangover. Now there's a challenge that's worth taking.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

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.
All told, it was a great couple of weeks. Thanks to everyone who made it a blast, and for coming out to various bars and restaurants to meet up for a couple of hours here and there.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Quick List

As always happens, I end up saving a load of stuff to post, and then having such a large backlog that it never gets posted. So, the quick link version of a post..... Click at your peril

Giant spider attacking Liverpool? (I'm just surprised it hasn't been nicked yet ;-)

6.1lb Carbon Fiber Wheels? Yes please..

A cool caravan
, if that's even possible (and the inside definitely looks better than the outside)

Wish I was there (actually wish the helicopter crash hadn't actually happened...)

My favorite car of the week (but the wife is _never_ going to let this sit in the driveway)

Golf course on the roof?

DIY Photoshopping made just for me

BMW, I love you, but sometimes you break my heart

It's fast, and furious, and Vin is finally back

Please come here (and without a doubt, winner of the best pedals in the world)

The big sneeze

Best keg design yet

And if you got through all that, congratulations, pour yourself a drink....


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Dinner Napkins

As the wife can attest, I have an incredible ability to share my food evenly between my mouth and my shirt. Luckily, people invented napkins, and not only do these ones make you look (more) respectable, it takes away some of that self consciousness around sticking a bit of paper in your collar when your eating. Or maybe not.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Confession Time

I think I'm addicted to Dooce. I think it may have had an influence in my recent camera purchase. I know I check out the new pages pretty much every day. Maybe it's coz of the complete honesty that comes through with each post (like this one). I don't know. But you should try it if you haven't already.

One day when I decide to make this site look prettier again, and I'm prepared for the drop off in links I've been getting from the Google Gods, I'm going to add this to a Blogs I Read section somewhere. But that could be a long time off.


Friday, May 02, 2008


The smallest things are the most frustrating. Our humidifier (of the super silent kind) decided not to work at the start of the week, so Heidi went out to get a new one. Last night was the first night of use, and of course, the new one isn't quite as super-silent as the last. Cue 4am, wide awake, gurgling noises and one pissed off person. Still, getting into the office at 6 should help me actually get some work done today, given I feel like I've sat in meetings for the last 72 hours straight.

This weekend might be a little interesting - Heidi's brother invited us to some event where they tell you how to be millionaires or something. I'm actually pretty interested to see what these things are like, and if there's anything that's relatable to the world I live in, and what their target market is etc. The schedule says 9am until 11pm, and to come well rested, but unless I go out shopping for a new humidifier, that isn't happening. I wonder if they'll kick me out if I have a quick 40 winks at the back. Anyway, I'll stick it out for as long as I can - Brent says they're "fun" events, rather than just listening to people speak all day, so I have no idea what that could entail. At least it's downtown in the Convention Center, so technically I'm only a brief stroll away from Fado's if things turn ugly. Wish me luck.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Catch Up Post

Apparently I have a never ending list of stuff to post on here, and despite the frantic typing of the last hour, there's no way I'd get through it all. So, here's a list of links to keep you entertained, if you so wish. This message comes with no warranty, implied or otherwise, so you're out of luck if the clicks are of the non-satisfying variety....

A fashion phone that actually looks like it's worth a try

The worst car accessory ever (apart from the furry dice, obviously)

More Sony Ericsson phones that promise to take decent pics

(Especially for those in England who live in fear of an iPod mugging), the best deterrent available
My next home theater system (in my dreams, obviously)

The only way I'll ever own a DB6

Greasy hands? Here's your solution

If I ever see you with one of these, we're fighting immediately

If you think you need this, maybe you need to re-evaluate your life (or job)

The best USB toy I've seen so far (and it reacts to your typing)


Sunday, February 10, 2008

What's been going on?

Not too much to be perfectly honest. It appears that a large percentage of the women of child bearing age in our company all got together and planned a synchronized pregnancy, we got to spend the whole day with Holly and Meaghan yesterday, followed by dinner at North with the usual suspects, and we've been on a bit of a shopping blowout for the new year - I got my first new snowboard since I got here in 1997, and we ordered Heidi's new car - delivery won't be for a couple of months though (on the car, the snowboard is in my possession). I might even try and take a day off work next week to rendezvous with the wife in the mountains to see if I can actually snowboard on something that isn't going to restrict my speed to 5 miles an hour. Accidents are expected.....

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

What? No Posts?

I could list the usual excuses, but I'll leave that for another time. At least it's not me on the road this week(unless you call a day trip up to Fort Collins to grill some Uni students as to why they want a real job as being on the road), so I'm thankful for some things.

I think the most notable thing this week has to be the resurgence of Nixta - it appears the ease of use of Tumblr has sent him into a posting frenzy, which more than makes up for my lack of posts, so check it out. He's bound to slow down, get pissed off or lazy soon, so you better be quick ;-)

Also in the news this week was the emergence from "stealth mode" of Mr Batty's latest creation - initial demos got very positive reviews, so I'm waiting for my Alpha or Beta testing status to be confirmed (I begged, but wasn't promised a thing). Unfortunately, being on my own this week meant I had to stay home Tuesday night, so I missed the whole thing, so sorry Pete. It even won the exit poll (see, you just can't get away from election fever over here).

And Happy Birthday Ella (although technically it's tomorrow, the 7 hours difference make this perfectly on time). I'll give you a call later on! 8-)

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Catch Up

So I've got half an hour before the official first game in the return of Kevin Keegan to Newcastle, and I have to say I'm pretty excited. Of course, it could all end up horribly wrong, but at least now we know we'll go down fighting, the crowd will be behind the team, and we might actually play some football on the ground for a change. I was a little hesitant (and shocked) when the announcement was first made, but having received more txts and calls in the last 4 days from Newcastle than I have at pretty much anytime since I got out here, I can tell the town is buzzing once again. It should be a good night for a couple of beers on the Quayside (or taking in the UFC fight that's happening over there).

On whether or not Shearer should join KK as a no 2 or coach or whatever, to be honest, I don't think I care. I heard on the grapevine the two of them don't really get on, but no idea if that's true or not. I think it would probably be better if Shearer waited for a bit, enjoyed his time on Match of the Day, finished all his coaching badges and then had another look in 2 years or so. But, they're both their own men, and pretty determined, so I'm sure they'll sort it out amongst themselves, and ultimately do what is best for the club.

So, lots of stuff going on the last couple of weeks, and I've struggled to keep up with a pretty hectic work schedule, so I thought I'd try and get a whole list of stuff off the backlog in one easy post.

Mac fever reaches the living room

My next chair

HD fights back with $129 player and 7 free disks

Some car websites lost a lot of visitors last year

The GT-R race car looks a little special, even in orange

The new M3 is going to cost less than $60k

And there's pics of the M3 Convertible floating around

The worst gadgets from CES

If you need some cooking guidance from the web

Hugh Laurie makes the top 10 of favorite US personalities !?

Geotag your photos on the cheap(ish)

Movies with the most F-words (I want to know who sat through and counted...)

And finally for now, eggs any way you like them....

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

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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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.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

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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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.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Catchup Posts

Loads of stuff over the last few weeks that I meant to post, and never quite got around to it, so here's a quick list of links for some of it. One day I will actually keep up on all this stuff....

Too scary to use bathrooms?

Party War Machine

The best wine decanter I've ever seen (but way too expensive)

The futuristic backpack, available in a school yard today

The only router I've ever seen that you don't want to hide behind something

My TV Fantasy

Scary Origami (I'm not getting in there)

If you need a speaker for your shuffle

And finally, a little car especially for the wife.


Get fit(ter) update

Starting from a place where there's plenty of opportunity for improvement means the first couple of weeks have been a success (despite the illness, a visit to PF Changes and a delightful carrot cake from the Cheesecake Factory). So, blood pressure back down to acceptable levels (prompting the doctor to say "wow, you've done really well", I'm under 200 pounds for the first time in about 3 years, and I even managed to pump up the tires on the bike that's been sitting in the garage since I moved in and take it out for a ride.

So, new targets - 180 by Thanksgiving (the day before anyway, so if I need to stuff myself on turkey I won't feel so guilty), and getting my body fat percentage down another 5 to 8%. I've written it down - it has to happen now.


Friday, August 31, 2007

Apparently Today is Special

It's Blog Day. I wasn't really sure what it was all about until I read Tara's site, so now I know, I have to recommend 5 blogs for you to read - I think I was meant to let the blogs know in advance or something, but as I'm late to the party, I guess that's going to be missed. And it's meant to be new stuff that I probably haven't linked to before, which rules out the usual crew of suspects...

OK - so here goes (a very random sample of stuff that I occasionally get a chance to read)

  • I Quit for LIJIT - I guess it's only fair as I found out about this whole deal coz I was hoping to catch her usual Friday interview with one of the staff. I've never met Tara, but she works for Lijit that develops the search widget over on the left. And they're based just up the road in Boulder, so I'm all for supporting the local tech industry.
  • Blog.Pmarca.Com - Marc Andreessen's blog - very smart, very opinionated, and despite only entering the blogging world a few months ago, has amassed enough posts to keep you reading for a long time. Oh, and he does startup stuff.
  • Feld Thoughts - Back to local stuff (well, Boulder again), Brad Feld writes about lots of different stuff, but mainly life in the Venture Capital world. The fact that he manages to invest in some of the (what I personally think are) cooler internet companies make it a pretty cool place to stop by on your travels.
  • Gotham Gal - if you ever need a decent recipe, or are struggling to find somewhere nice to eat in NYC (mainly), you can always count on Gotham Gal for some recommendations (and her recipe posts make me way too hungry given my current starvations/eat mainly salads approach to life). In between the food, there's lots of decent life stuff as well, and she writes in a completely honest and open way that you kinda feel like you're following along with her life.
  • Perez Hilton - I debated alot about the last one - so many choices, and only one space, but one thing that is sure to brighten up a tough day at the office is the latest celebrity gossip. Plus, he sealed the deal with the extra little white bits he puts on the photo's - sometimes annoying, mostly darn funny.
That's my duty done - hope you enjoy. I really should update my links section over on the left one of these days - now that Google owns Blogger, wouldn't it be cool if you could just auto-import your feeds from Google Reader as your Blog Roll on your site?

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Everything's Breaking

So my Xbox360 gave up the ghost on Saturday (and I haven't even spent much time playing Forza2 yet), and I just got an email from Xbox support saying it's likely a hardware failure, so it's going to have to be shipped off to their factory or something. Not good, but survivable.

Today, the new toilet decided to spurt water into the downstairs closet - not good, especially as I'm not there. The plumber (also known as mother-in-law) is heading over as we speak to cap it off and stop the flooding. I think we're going to have to break from the company known as Kohler and get something that doesn't look as good, but actually can be installed without leaks.

And later is my presentation at the ESRI User Conference - I really hope this isn't a sign that that will break as well.... Fingers crossed.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Few Little Things

If you don't have enough friends, or need even more texts, this might be the t-shirt for you.

Although I think I'm in love with the iPhone, my first love was the Sony Ericcsson version, and they have a new one coming soon.

Lamborghini has a new concept SUV, the LM400 (penned by students, but isn't there room for one more super fast and crazy SUV?)

There's a teapot for the laziest person in the world...

And finally, if you need emergency bradband connectivity, just get out your huge balls....

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Weekly Round Up

Well, six million things going on this week, which meant only a few posts of variable quality all week (although who can really complain about the car videos - they were great ;-)

Anyway, some of the things going on which made posting tough
  • We have another family member - Jack Ryan Woodson entered the world on Wednesday evening (8lb 10oz). We got to see him on Saturday, but I somehow managed to forget the camera, so you're going to have to wait for pics.
  • Fynn has decided her morning routine involves getting up every morning between 5 and 5.30 am, and I volunteered for morning duty (unfortunately, she hasn't recognized that weekends are for lie-in's either, but at least I can take turns with the wife for snoozes during the day to try to keep sane)
  • Work (of course) - suddenly got back to start up levels of busyness by taking over another project with a real client, and also all the R&D stuff we're doing, while my original project hasn't finished yet. But, despite the blind panic and realization of all the work that needs to get done in the next few months, I was back to smiling every day. All good.
  • Back - still doing the scary physical torture stuff twice a week to get over the bath carrying incident (or stupidity as my physical therapist calls it). She decided I'd had the nice gentle warm up appointments, and got to the real work this week. No tears, but there were a few choice words as she tried to stretch me out in directions I hadn't been stretched for a few years. Next week is when the real scary stuff starts though - trigger point deep needle therapy (I did make a realization that anytime anyone in the health industry uses the word therapy, it's their nice way of saying it's going to hurt). So, never had it before, but I did do a little reading to make sure the people suggesting it weren't just trying to cause me undue pain and duress - I'm obviously hoping for miracle like results, as needles have never been my favorite pasttime.
OK - excuses over, althought I'm not sure it'll be any different for the next few weeks. I will try and make sure I check off at least a few things from the list though, so stay tuned....


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Thursday Roundup

Coz I'm likely to be stuck in an airport tomorrow afternoon/evening, I thought I better get this one in a little early.

First up is the new spy shots of next years 911 - very subtle changes, so if you can tell me what they are, you win a gold star. Hopefully the engines are getting direct injection, but that's yet to be confirmed. More details here

Take a look at Mashable, the blog that concentrates on social networks.

Super Tonio hits the headlines, having been born a the grand old weight of 14 and a half pounds. His mother obviously deserves a medal, either for bravery, or Strongwoman of the Year, after carrying him around for all that time. News report is here, and the pic over there is showing jsut how he compares to a "normal" baby.

Big news in the car world was the news that the fancy handbag makers Louis Vuitton splashed out on Aston Martin. I'm still in shock at this one - I think it almost breaks my heart, but maybe I'm just getting emotional at the end of a (very) long week.

It's good to see that sense finally prevaled back home, although it took a little too long to get there.

And finally, Blidgets is the new made up word. I need to make up one of these (words), get famous, get on Digg, get 1000 million hits and retire from my Adsense dollars. It's never going to happen though, so I've given up trying to think of one.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Things you learn on the road

The weather in Atlanta is sometimes colder than Denver (although not very often).

Slingbox works great! (even with crappy hotel service)

Hotel alarm clocks not working can totally ruin your day.

The workday never quite finishes when you're stuck in a hotel room.

And even though it looks like the snow is coming for the 7th week in a row, I still want to be back there.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Links

No sausages in sight, but a couple of things from the web that may or may not interest you. First of is the pic from Mr Kirkwood back over in Europe, telling us to stop whinging about the snow in Denver (thanks mate - 6 weekends in a row if the storm comes as predicted tomorrow - u know what that's doing to my social life! I even had to go out for beers last night, just in case!).

Next a (reportedly on the record) summary of why the US should institute something similar to Prime Ministers Question Time like we have in the UK - Bush would have been kicked out a long time ago:
In an interview, Pelosi also said she was puzzled by what she considered the president's minimalist explanation for his confidence in the new surge of 21,500 U.S. troops that he has presented as the crux of a new "way forward" for U.S. forces in Iraq.

PELOSI: He's tried this two times — it's failed twice. I asked him at the White House, 'Mr. President, why do you think this time it's going to work?'

BUSH: Because I told them it had to.

PELOSI: Why didn't you tell them that the other two times?
Someone tells Blair "there is no war on terror" (finally)

Microsoft tried to trump Netscape by dumping off a big IE sign at their office - luckily, the staff were quick to respond.

The 42 questions that keeps Wired awake at night

Dilbert makes my week

Something I should probably read when I get a chance

Is Scott Baio really going to get someone to publish his memoirs?


Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Updates

Another shocking week for updates - going to try and catch up with cool stuff from CES, MacWorld and Detroit over the weekend, while huddled in front of the fire until another (very) cold front passes through.

So, this is a quickie, about nothing connected at all.

MyBlogLog got bought by Yahoo - hopefully lots of cool integration with Flickr and the other tools they have, but we'll wait and see. In case you forgot, they're the people who kindly supply the info over to the right about who has visited the page from their wide and varied collection of fellow bloggers (and hello if you're here because of them). I've actually used the site way more than I ever thought I would, and ended up some damn fine sites that I never otherwise would have even considered (how's that for a plug?). In my list of daily reads while stuffing my face with an awful sandwich from the shop downstairs, if that tells you anything.

My Slingbox is up and running. Works great on the PC in the house, haven't yet got it to work outside of my network (I had to do some techie things with the router to open up ports and the like, but still no luck yet), and trying to work out if the Mac version is either not quite as good yet, or if my Mac is too old to process all the data quick enough for a decent viewing experience. Another weekend project I think to look into all this (along with finally taking down the Christmas tree lights!).

Photos need loading from Laurens going away get together, and Brent/Troy/Brother-in-law's birthday party at the bowling alley downtown (I bowled an astounding 135!!! so was pretty pleased). Another weekend thing. Speaking of Lauren's going away, this is where the Iron Monger revealed his latest injury (photo to come soon I hope). Proving how hard he is (I think it was all that wind in the hills of Consett that did it), he felt no pain, but couldn't grip anything. Fast forward to yesterday, where an operation involving sleep, 6 pins, a few cuts and some rebuilding of the thumb and wrist area where required to hopefully get him fully fit again. So get well soon Rob.....

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Random Reading

No real theme to this one - just catching up on a couple of things from last week that I never quite got to posting (and next week is probably going to be worse, looking at my schedule and workload).

OK - inside Apple insight - or more importantly, how to get a job at Apple (possibly my next career if something drastic happens to the meteoric rise of the current endeavour). There was actually a few good posts on this site that I haven't had time to finish reading yet, but it's on my list.

Also Apple related (can you tell I'm getting excited for the impending Macworld next week), is the 10 things I wish I knew before switching to a Mac. (This one's specially for the family back in England, who have their shiny new iMac to play with). Oh yeah, and here's what Steve Jobs is really like in a meeting (along with reasons why there won't be a tablet Mac tomorrow).

Life on Mars (but NASA killed it). Maybe....

Wiki After Dark - all the things that you wanted to ask but were afraid to - and this isn't parent or work safe from what I can tell, so you've been warned.

13 photos that changed the world (although personally, I'm not sure if this is the top 13, but it's still pretty interesting).

The real reason behind the Iraq war quietly becomes clear (in the UK press).

Scientologists are infultrating Britains schools?

And finally (for now), a woman who falls into a coma every time she says "I love you" - that's gotta suck.....

OK, the now lasted 3 seconds - totally forgot, but Mr Flangio is posting a never ending stream of boarding and skiing highlights from the season. Almost makes me want to get back up there for a quick blast.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Fake Ducks and Boxing Day

Such was the level of excitment in our house yesterday (Season 5, 24, a few heart attacks and one or two "didn't that already happen in Season X?), that we started a new game - is the duck in the neighbours garden real. For those of you that have been around, it's the (one) neighbour we don't really like (old guy, always drunk, likes to wander onto your property, or into your party, without permissions and purely coz he can't bear to be unaware of anything going on in the neighbourhood). There was a duck sitting there last night, and we couldn't work out if it was real or fake - it was sitting kind of still, but it wasn't covered in snow like everything else in the street. Anyway, after much watching, and scheming to find out ways we could work it out without wandering throught he snow (duck whistle, paint ball gun etc were all discussed), we went to bed. Now, mystery solved - Heidi threw a rock at it this morning (alledgedly) and it didn't move. It's a rock hard, real brave real duck. Or fake.

Oh, and lots of people in the office asked what Boxing Day was, given I refused to work that day even though it's not a real holiday over here - finally found some info from Heather's site (I don't know her, her site just popped up when I searched for it).

Boxing Day goes back in time to when the working class gave boxes of food and fruit to tradespeople and servants the day after Christmas as a token of appreciation of their work over the years. Its similar to the modern day practice of giving tips or gifts to doormen, your delivery service or anyone else that provides a service.