About Me

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Cornwall, United Kingdom
A married Cornishman who still doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up. I currently work for a charity and am trying to expand my horizons. [See bottom of page for Blog Archive and Links.]

What am I doing?

Saturday, December 31, 2005

End of year post

I can hardly believe that it has been so long since I last posted.

To really enjoy posting on a mobile blog the method of entry has to be comfortable - my P910i is very comfy, but I have been getting to grips with data entry on my new Dell x51v.

Great news! I can now write on the screen as smoothly as on the P910i.

Now to slnd this via the phone account.

Regards :

Phil Ferris

Composed and sent from a WM5 Pocket PC

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mobile Tech reference to a new USB battery

The guys at Mobile Tech Roundup) Kevin C. Tofel, James Kendrick (jkOnTheRun), and David Ciccone (Mobility Today) have mentioned the imminent USB battery from Battery Geek. So fingers crossed for it being available soon.

To be fair, I did exchange emails with Sean from Batterygeek about a suitable battery for my Dell Axim x51v. I couldn't see an exact match with the connectors they have, so this USB socketed, coupled with an Axim USB charging lead, will give me access to much longer battery life.

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Old Cornwall Society

My first evening at the Old Cornwall Society.

I wasn't sure whether to come but I had some great conversations about local history with Uncle Lionel, tonight is my tribute to him.

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

Long time no write

Cathy at the Achilleon Palace, Corfu, Greece.

October has been a difficult month. Cathy came back with an ear infection that turned into a bronchitis and has been unwell for over 3 weeks, my dear Uncle passed away yesterday and it feels like there's a hole in the world.

He was such an interesting person, with so many tales l have not heard and will not hear now. I never had a conversation in which l didn't end on a smile. It hasn't really hit me yet, it will over the weekend l don't doubt.

I'll post some photos another time with a farming theme.

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Post after 2pm

Crikey! I thought we were hard done by getting post around 10am on the one day I am there to see it as soon as it arrives.

I'm sitting in a best friend's car at 2.40pm on a Saturday and there are people less than half a mile from me only now getting their post!

Just posting this from a silent auction being run by best friends for our local Methodist Chapel. Cathy couldn't come because of a chest infection, so l have bid on a surprise to cheer her up.

It's October now and temperatures have halved compared to our time in Corfu. My challenge now is how to tell Cathy that I have successfully bld on a half an hour trip on a jet ski for her...

Departure Blues

[I had intended for this to be posted while sitting in departures but this was rather optimistic. Read on.]

We are sitting, waiting for our check-in to open.

I feel numb at th. moment - must be the length of time we were out. This will no doubt change when I get in to work.

As I write this we are in the departure lounge. Checkin became intense after the 2 hours to flight time. Not a seat to spare at t

The way Corfu airport works you have to que for the x-ray scanners that are in the departure hall. As the airport is relatively small there is not enough room for everyone to wait inside as well as que.

Through checkin - missed out on the front by 30 people or so but that's no great shakes. I got pulled for a bag check, but l expected this because of all the power and connector leads l had, (for the computer, 2 phones, music player hard disk and minidisc, etc).

Had an aisle seat this time and it was really nice to be able to stretch my legs when l wanted. I think l'd opt for this in the future rather than a window seat.

Landed safely. I could have written on the plane but didn't want to be hassled with explaining Flight Mode.

Still, plenty of Podcasts to keep me company - l'll talk about these in another posting.

Boileau Bistro

The food we had was delicious. An example is the pork stuffed with mushrooms, that I seem to recall has resonances of an ancient recipe.

The service was excellent and it all takes place in a sheltered outer area along the quietish road from Gouvia to Kontokali. (The only caveat I might have would be the need to use anti-mosquito precautions. They are not rampant but do seem to lurk and pop out from the local greenery.)

It's always good to be able to add a new place to our list of tried, tested and thoroughly enjoyed.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Last Day

It's here, that horrible feeling of heading home tomorrow.

It doesn't get better, every year the same plus I hate packing.

We stayed longer this year, as we did in 2000, and that has helped. I can see things in a more philosophical light, it will be bad leaving but I won't be spending all of today moping.

We had a delicious meal last night, at the Boieau Bistro in.Kontokali (pronounced as Kon-tok-ali, rather than Konto-kali).. It was the wedding anniversary of the friends we were staying with and this is where they wanted to go - l'm glad we did.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Perspective

We have been standing on one end of a see-saw, the combined return to UK and work standing at the other. Till this week we were the heavier but, as each day passed, we moved a step closer. Yesterday I could feel the see-saw dip and it has become a downhill slide.

Something occurred yesterday that threw thoughts like this out of the window. Someone I know lives in the path of Hurricane Rita. Even though I have never met him l consider him a friend not an aquaintance. This is an internet thing, having contact, getting to know someone through their activities on the net. It is not a new phenomenon, the same sort of connection has occurred with letter writing - not yet a deceased art.

So, if something is bothering you where you are, whether it is "nothing on the television", having forgotten to get some shopping, being caught in a sudden downpour, walking to work in the rain, spare a thought for my friend James of www.jkontherun.com in Houston.

Here's to you and yours James, stay well and stay safe. (Suddenly this Meditteranean thunderstorm, in Corfu Town, doesn't seem like anything at all.)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Contacting Me

For some reason I felt certain I had posted an image by which you can contact me.

In occasionally looking at my blog I noticed it was not there.

I will fix this when I get home.

In the following replace the word and spaces with a full stop (period if you're American).

cornishpasty dot podcast dot gmail dot com

Yammas

Phil

Sunday, September 18, 2005

New things learned - Using Phone Settings for Bluetooth Modem

One of the entries that I came across was an article by Kris Kumar dated 24 January 2005, I can't for the life of me recall the site it was on and won't guess and get it wrong. It was entitled Your Smartphone as a Bluetooth Modem for Your Laptop. My phone is a Symbian rather than PPC but the tip that he gave to get the computer to use the phone's settings was spot on. In a nutshell it involved setting the dialling number to *99# and not giving a name or password when prompted.

I stayed up late last night setting it up and then blew £10 in GPRS fees using 1MB on GPRS via the phone. I can't tell you how great it felt viewing the websites on the computer screen while connected through my phone. I did turn off graphics, sound and video files to reduce the bandwidth coming through and wished that I had taken up the browser accelerator that Opera offered after the trial ran out. I had used my phone as a modem previously both through infrared and bluetooth but it was to a dialup account at 9.6k, that I have as backup. The difference this time is that I can use the 16MB of GPRS that I pay for each month. There have been a number of occasions when I have needed to grab info I see on the screen and not all programs on the phone will allow cut and paste between them. With the laptop I can grab whatever and dump it to a Word doc or similar. So thank you Kris, (I will locate an email for you when next online and send my thanks directly).

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

New things learned - which comes first PDA or Wireless

It stems from a certain amount of gadget envy, not an uncommon for feeling for a geek I guess. I have been eyeing up the HP IPAQ 4700 of late, justifying it because of the wireless option that it gives. I have used the P910i to go online and do keep up with some blog postings and email with it but there are limits. The beauty of a wireless gadget would be that I could surf at much faster speeds without using up my limited GPRS bandwidth. This is good in theory and, if I spent time near to certain cafes and the like in London or the US, would work - as long as I had pots of money.

The first problem in Cornwall would be to locate the site for wireless connections. Near where I work and also closer to my home, public wireless access is available at selected garages, pubs, cyber cafés and other odd places, for a fee.

The next problem is the relatively substantial fee charged. From the last occasion I looked the cost of surfing locally was around £6 ($10) per Hour! Fine as a one off in a location you might be passing through and, say, there were nowhere open with wired access but not on a regular basis. Why is it so much cheaper in the US?

I have been tuning in to Podcasts and blogs about PDAs to find sufficient "evidence" of why I need one now. For those people who do not know the P910i, I have been using it, with just the stylus, to:

take notes in meetings - emailing a copy to myself/others as a backup as I go along, updating my mobile blog (lowjib7.blogspot.com), keeping up to date with some blogs via RSS feeds, emailing during my journey to/from work, reading documents, taking photos/videos to provide people, such as conference attendees, with directions, making phone calls (almost forgot that) and a few other things that escape me for the moment. Basically my P910i is my PDA and, apart from wanting a bluetooth keyboard for it for those rare occasions when I don't want to use the handwriting recognition, I have been perfectly happy. I do not need another PDA at this point. What I do need is to be able to surf when I am in different parts of the cottage. There are times when it's just nice to spend time in the same room as Cathy, she might be reading or watching something g on the TV but it's still time together and we can chat; I'm sure she'd agree that it beats me disappearing down the other room for hours at a stretch. Also there are times when we have a lazy time and don't get up early or when we wake up early but don't want to stir out of bed. I could read but to read most of my blogs or grab the odd podcast, I'd have to go downstairs for a while. Going wireless on my broadband connection would enable me to work from different parts of the house, heck if we get any decent days through the Autumn/Winter I could work in the garden.

The question now is, do I make use of the equipment I now have or have access to or do I go the full-blown wireless modem/router route? I currently have two bluetooth dongles and the chance of a second hand Desktop computer. With these I am thinking I could try out a simple bluetooth network and use the dongles to surf the net with the laptop. Maybe I could run a Linux distro on the desktop and work through that? Decisions, decisions. I am fairly sure that the bluetooth option is the one to try first as it will be the cheapest. It's just a question of whether the two different Bluetooth stacks will cooperate with each other.

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

Travels with my files

I have just had a half hour getting onto my friends dialup and downloaded some blogs that I have just started getting into.

I really am going to have to move over to wireless at home. I have had the laptop out here and, while I don't have to feed it coal, it's not the newest of machines but the flexibility given has given me so much more.

The convoluted travels of blog text

I read some items on my phone but, as GPRS is so phenomenally expensive when running a UK sim, I did this by pasting whole pages into a word-processing document and sent them to the phone via bluetooth. (Actually it was more complicated than that. My friend's computer has Microsoft Works, bought with the computer on Corfu, it did not come with the gratis copy of Word that I have found elsewhere. My phone is the (nearly - needs wifi) all singing, all dancing Sony Ericsson P910i; it accepts many things but the word-viewer is fussy. The phone will read and convert to it's own flavour of file from the Word 2000 the laptop runs, so I moved the Works file (to keep the formatting) to my 512Mb memory stick (boy was I glad I bought that before the holiday). From there I found that Word 2000 does not read the Works files, even though Works is older, and for some reason I cannot read these Works files in Word. Back go the files and I dropped them into WordPad and saved them as Word 6.0, then opened them in Word and saved as standard Word files. The final act was to bluetooth them to the phone, wasn't sure where the phone was but it's paired and doesn't need confirmation.

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What I'm emailing

I decided to share the occassional email rather than just sent it to an audience of one or two.

16.46 !!

I'm away for a week and a bit and you're part time!

It's funny, I was wandering around Corfu Town yesterday when I was emailing, quite busy but today we chilled and I didn't email.

It might have been ouzo rather than Sangria but I have been rationing myself. I am sitting waiting for some fish that my friend caught recently.

From where I sit, on the veranda, I can see low cloud creeping over the shoulders of the mountains in the north. A swallow has just crossed infront of me, riding the breeze that is growing ahead of the cloud.

It's still warm at after 7pm and I am in t-shirt and shorts. I love this time of year. (I may change my mind later when the rains set in. Something is weighing those cumulus down.

I can see the start of a village, just below what l call the mountain ridge. What must it be like, coming out of your home and looking up to see this phenomenally large cloud, appearing over the edge and descending towards you - amazing!

I am ea.rnestly studying the lottery draws while out here, I could definately become accustomed to this life.

Yesterday we had a fantastic meal in town with traditional things such as country spicy sausage, stuffed cabbage, cheese pies, etc. (The secret is to order a bunch of starters and no main course).

Sounds like I'm not being missed at work, I hope l'm missed a bit - l'd like to have a job to come back to :-D

The cloud has stopped flowing down the mountain and is sitting there like a huge sheet of cotton wool.

Well, that's enough from here at the chillout palace.

Connecting in Corfu

IA discussion occurred, on the message boards on my friend Nathan's website www.agni.gr, about internet access.

It was suggested that there was no effective broadband connections on the island, ISDN being the fastest. I had taken this to mean anywhere but l now think this was relating to home connections.

Having been in to the capital have found an excellent cybercafe. The cafe is called GCom and has around 30 computers with large screens, the connection "feels" like my 512Mb connection at home. A lot of users might impact but there were 10 others in at 3 - 4pm when I used it. I subscribe to 50+ podcasts and was able to download.5 at a time, while surfing sites such as bloglines, with no major delays.

In addition to the speedy connection, headphone and, for some reason a scanner for each machine, it did not close for siesta. The building is air conditioned and has coffee shop facility with reasonably priced drinks - we had a couple of frapés this time around. (The tip for frapés when you want it as a refreshing drink, in my experience, is to not have it 'me gala' (with milk). I was asked whether I wanted it with milk and foolishly said yes. The frapé was more like a milkshake and not as refreshing as the frapé I had at the Liston.

When not at the cybercafe, I have relied on my phone to keep me in touch with people via email on GPRS. A big problem with using GPRS is that it's a good deal more expensive when using a UK sim card, in my case 10 times more expensive. Even with the expense I find it much better in terms of cost and speed in comparison to dial-up on the mobile. Email headers only take 1k or so and plain text emails aren't too bad to send. I notice that attachments don't make it to my mobile blogger.com account. Strange, but I'll send them when back in UK.

Corfu has so far given me 5 full bars of phone signal, pretty much everywhere along the West coast.

I'll end here, a long post without pictures.

Yamas

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A lesson learned Part 2

What I forgot to say was once the emails had all been removed from the server, through my not telling Portable Thunderbird to leave a copy on the server, the next time l checked my messages by phone it synched and took them all off the phone!

That's why I had to re-email them so I could get them onto the phone and make available if I web-mailed.
Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

A lesson learnt

While IT is not my current job I have been a power user, as the term went in the '80s, for quite a few years now.

So it'll be no surprise to you to learn that l have tripped up good and proper.

I decided that it would be really useful if I could take my browser bookmarks and email settings with me on holiday. To do this I obtained a 512Mb memory stick, no probs there. 'I know,' l thought, 'l'll be clever and test it out on my own machine first.'

What l didn't consider is that I have my email left on the server when using Outlook, this was not set up on the Portable Thunderbird! Aaaarggghhh!! All my emails disappeared from my server, so when I came to Corfu and checked online there would be nothing there!

I had the emails in the Thunderbird, so l changed the setting and re-emailed myself, that way I had those with backup travel data available. It helps that I can check emails on this phone, though it'd be relatively expensive, 10 UK pounds per megabyte - my normal deal is 1 UK pound per Mb.

Things could have been a lot worse, I may have needed the information and not realised the problem. I am grateful for the heads up warning.

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

Kafes at the Liston

I had a surprise gadget moment while visiting a haunt of writers in Corfu today.

We made the obligatory and, for us, annual stop at the Liston in Corfu Town, (photo to follow - seems to be a problem posting with photos from here). The waiters take your order on wireless touch screen pads, speeding up service, making great use of a gadget!

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowlojib7.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Corfu - The Arrival

As soon as we touched down and I stepped out, into that evening air that envelops Corfu airport, I knew everything would be well. The healing of all those mental scars, the unwinding of stress coiled muscles, started.

It wasn't so much the smells that told me as I have virtually no sense of smell. It is more like the molecules pass through my skin and attach themselves to my corpuscles.

All in my head? Yes, but isn't everything we know as reality all in our heads, constructs of our minds? This is about how I process things.

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Greek days

I stepped outside tonight at midnight and was surprised at how warm it has become; even with the breeze that is bringing the sound of the sea, rustling bamboo and passing birds.

Everything reminds me of Greece at the moment. I get periods like this, the impending holiday just means it gets more frequent.

The above was written a week or so back, it's been living in my draft tray for a while now. Things are a little different as I write this. Weather-wise nothing to complain about, travel-wise l'm on firmer ground. Our holiday season is not that long - so it's a novelty this London tube train in Summer feeling. For the second day running we have had a single carriage to pickup a carriage and a half's worth of people. Let's put things into perspective, we are talking country railway stations everyone polite, other than small clusters of work colleagues, no real groups conversing to pass the time. The train turns up, you can almost see the group shrug of the shoulders as people realise it's one carriage, no-one dares say a word - you're in the English countryside my friend. I do not enjoy confrontation and I will always be the first to the back of the que when it comes to a row. I know the principle that things often won't improve unless someone makes a stand, but I find that so much can be done without the bluster and shout.

I'm not sure what point l'm trying to make in the above, I guess it's what blogging is about - a license to ramble.

I'll sign off now and

Monday, August 22, 2005

New Gadget

I had one of those excellent surprises at work recently, ordered some new headphones to help manage office noise and promptly forgot 'till they turned up.

Better still, they are closed cup and this is also good for trains, planes, busy roads and all such havens of disruption.

When travelling I intend using these beauties to improve my commute to work.

I wore them at the end of last week and l'll swear the walk in and back to the station was much eased by being to actually hear sufficiently well that l didn't need to go back over segments.

Today was a bit of a let down audio-wise, I started the morning off by packing my hard drive charger and USB lead, only to find, five minutes into the ride, that the actual drive was at home! I really did not relish the 1/2 hour walk with my own thoughts alone for company - no specific reason, just a disturbed night and a wish not to get too excited.

I am always the same when it comes to holiday. Half of the fun is in the research and planning - unless it's Greece. All the feelings coalesce into a mounting feeling that seems to combine excitement/nerves/dread. I am gripped by the feav that if l allow myself to become too excited something will happen to stop us going.

(I have written the above on my journey home on a single carriage train thqt has attempted to pick up 2 carriages of tired passengers. For my own health I'll continue later.

.
Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Pirate FM Event Somewhere in the middle

We are now something like midway and, apart from some organ shaking base, all goes well.

Some short sets from headline acts - 2 songs for instance from Charlotte Church. I was tempted to stand and call out, with a request for somlthing by Handel but decided againsl it.Mainly because I didn't want to be turfed out of the venue by the Union of Chavs, which has a strong turnout today.

People watching is the besl fun to be had on a day like lhis

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

Pirate FM Event It's begun


The painful part, (you just knew there'd be something didn't you), began by the time we had settled in to our chairs. Not being an expert, or even a regular, at outside events I didn't realise how rigidly they would enforce the no food rule. We didn't bring food but a number did - only to have it confiscated in a bag check as they came in. Why would anyone bother? I found out when I came to buy a couple of hoagies (filled soft bread rolls). The only time I've paid more was for a crab sandwich l ordered before seeing the price.

Now l am no scrooge. I'll willing spend all of my money, and often do, but it's when l think about our forthcoming holiday.

When in Corfu, at lunchtimes I will often just have a spinach pie (spanakopita) and Cathy a calzone - cost? Around GBP 1.50 for both. If we have a bigger meal, often at Aries - a great taverna in Gouvia, we will choose 5 or so starters. That's it, just the starters and at the end we will have sampled a whole host of dishes and be completely full. All for around GBP 8 (not including a coup!e of beers). Today the two small rolls were GBP 7 - ouch! We can afford it but I do think abont those young people who may only just be able to afford tickets to the shdw - or am I being condescending?

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

Pirate FM Intro

So we're in, that's the painless bit - no pushing and shoving (just a real sense of my 41 years greatly enhancing the average of the first few hundred at the gates).

Finding a comfortable spot was again straightforward. (Listening to some of the louder sound checks, l may change my mind later).

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

Pirate FM Event Prelude

OK I'll admit it - I'm currently standing in a que to go hear Bananarama - well 2/3 of the original I guess. A mitigation to the accusation that I'm a sad 80's bopper might be that other acts include Charlotte Church and Daniel Beddingfield but I think that actually compounds things.

OK so, for now, l've lost any music cred but hey! It's a day out and l'm determined to enjoy it.

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Just so you know gentle reader, this site is not above the odd pun or two.

I am at the hair salon this fine Saturday morning. A regular treat for me and something I make sure I indulge in while I can. (I am a member of the follically challenged group and rising higher in it's ranks every year). When I was younger, hair would often be cut at home. To gather the fallen hair, sheets of old newspaper would be placed on the floor - when I have mine cut you could use a cigarette paper.

After the brief spell of hair washing, cutting and drying I will head down to the harbour. I intend laying down a couple of minutes of podcast, this being Record and Post Regardless weekend. I have recorded
material for my first cast maybe 20 times and still have not pulled it all together.

I have purchased Mixcaster but have not got my head around it. A quick look at the beta Casterblaster suggests that I'll use that to record a 10 minute first cast.

It's getting crucial that I get something posted.

It's now late, l'm off up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire - (I do like that phrase).

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

The picture at the start of this is the view from our table, ( I've learnt from the last one not to tilt the phone cam' if I want to post it upright.) It was a spur of the moment thing - prompted only slightly by the fact that, thanks to 0range Mobile, we can get half price cinema tickets via Orange Wednesday, (though we didn't end up using them).

The Roald Dahl story has always been a top favourite of mine - Gene Wilder's version my staple feel good film.

This cinema has an excellent system of allowing diners to enjoy their food, safe in the knowledge that they have reserved seating for the film of their choice.

Crowds were turning up in our county's main town, Truro, at 5pm to find that there were no seats until tomorrow. A quick call via the bluetooth earpiece while driving to pick Cathy up secured us a table and tickets. One scenic drive later and we were relaxing with a cold drink and perusing the menu.

It's not polite to be smug and I am normally very polite but every so often l like to celebrate the triumph for the geek.

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i while watching the film trailers

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Modern Dental Surgery

I am visiting a friend at the dental surgery where she works. It is in a purpose built building only 12 months or so old.

First impressions, on entering, are of white walls and pastel blues with lots of space. The reception is open, with a wall to screen people off people passing back and forth. It works well, with the room having a feeling of calm but not enclosed. The waiting area chairs are a burgundy colour and stand out well against the blue of the carpet.

I am surprised that I was so calm writing the above description. For years I would be wracked with paroxysms of despair at the slightest inkling that I would actually have to visit such a place. In my mind all syringes were an inch long and did nothing to dispel the dread that gripped me.

The cure, or at least the antidote, for this affliction arrived in the form of an invitation to have a checkup; a friend had started work in a new dental practise and did not know any of the patients.

From this I went on to meet Cathy, whom I went on to marry. Maybe I was right to be scared of what can happen from visiting the Dentist.

I'm actually preparing this entry four days late. As I write I am listening to the Commute Cast with Ken & Barb, here in the background there is a sound I have not heard in a long while.

The rainfall is so reminiscent of Corfu, it is coming down that hard.

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 21, 2005

London today

I guess someone will ask why I've not got any pictures from London if I was there. Should have grabbed something I guess but I was mostly focused on checking reports on the BBC site, checking how my and my colleagues' trains would be affected, answering texts from loads of people who knew I was in London/passing through the affected areas and walking my socks off to beat the crowds to Waterloo.

I wanted to do a soundscape but I had the following problem. I am away from home for 4 days, so I bring my phone charger as I brought my phone but not my laptop, (my phone is a Sony Ericsson I can manage with just that - as you'll read). I bring my 1.5gb hard drive, which is stuffed with a load of Podcasts, plus it's charger as it's built in battery will not hold charge for that much audio. I had been intending to record some soundscapes across London so I brought my minidisc (Sony NH1) and the charger - it has a proprietry battery and not an add on standard battery case.

Imagine all these cables...stuffed into a fully packed rucksack. So I decide to record a soundscene like Soundscenetours.com, I am passing all the places closed off because of explosions (including someone who, apparently, had claimed he was going to blow himself up - he had a backpack). As I drop my bag to the floor, open it and the cables spring up, someone sees...etc Trust me, if it's silly or humiliating it's going to happen to me.

So, I won't make a journalist and it will be a while before I make cub reporter.

More anon.

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

My mobile blog - lowjib7.blogspot.com

Travelling across central London but safe

For anyone who comes here to check - I am fine. I was at a meeting in North London today. The "incidents" curtailed my meeting and it took some time for work to secure us taxis but I am now on my way out of the city

That was quite an experience. I passed streets that were closed off but saw just hoards of people just walking to mainline stations, (as the number of closed underground lines increased from the initial 3). Everyone handled it stoically. I jumped out when we found the bridge across to Waterloo Station was closed and walked the last bit, that saved my colleayves a holdup getting to Victoria.

I'm going to post more later but will get this up now.
Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Another day / another dollar

Above is a shot grabbed at Chapel Porth near St.Agnes in Cornwall, one of our favourite spots.

One thing with covering our Penzance office, the bus journey home allows me to dash off another note.

I'd post up a photo from along the route but they're just too dirty, (from what little suspension is left and the colour of the film of dirt - it would seem perfectly feasible to take a double decker off road).

A lot hazier today, so no good pictures of St Michael's Mount.
This is a slightly later bus - didn't leave work till 5.25pm tonight - did you hear me boss? [only joking]. I forgot that it has more stops than the earlier one - oh well, more time for blogging, (if you've travelled on one of these buses you'll know why I can't 'cast).

It was good to see an old friend and colleague today, reminded me of when I first got myself out of a rut by changing jobs. I could hardly remember a time when l enjoyed working so much, I was amazed I hadn't done it sooner.

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

Monday, July 18, 2005

Big Day 0ut

Welcoming you to this entry is a Humphead Wrasse. I saw this interesting creature while wandering around an aquarium. Interesting as it is, I was even more intrigued to see it "bathing" in the stream of bubbles from the aeration system.

It's amazing how quickly time passes when I have something I need to do. It doesn't feel like nearly a week since I last posted. I have been struggling to set up and record my first podcast for even longer.

I have bought Mixcast Live but am going to go with the beta Casterblaster to get a 10 minute cast out there. Once I have a 'cast under my belt I reckon l'll move quicker the second...[famous last words!!]

Busy weekend. Had a rewarding out on Saturday with our godson, his sister and his mother. One of the highlights must have been the look on our godson' s face when we replaced the digal watch he had recently bought and broken.

I'm so tired this on this train trip home I have fallen asleep 3 times so far.

I'll end this here for now so I know I have definitely posted.
.
Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Summer

In celebration of the fine summer weather we are experiencing at present, above is a shot of some azaleas in my father-in-law's garden.

Travelling down to Penzance on the train this evening - I quite like this as I can relax, knowing that I can't miss my stop. (Penzance is the terminus, the ultima thule for the railway system in the south west.)

It's beautiful weather again today, yet another reason to delay compiling my podcast. The following may sound cliched, I never realised how difficult making a podcast was until I began trying.

Handcrafted on a Sony Ericsson P910i

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Pond Dipping and other thoughts

The photo today is from Falmouth where we are rock pooling to finish the day off. It is 7pm and so warm.

I have not posted about the London bombings until now. I don't believe I had anything to add.

What has changed a little is perspective. My train of thought ran through concern, sympathy for those directly and eventually idled on how it might affect me. I am due to attend a meeting in London in a few weeks and the Russel Square route is the one I will take. I contemplated how I might have felt if I was there on that day.

Today, Sunday, we are visiting our friends, including our Godson, who are on holiday in.Cornwall. I went from thinking about the bombings, to worrying about where we could go for pond dipping, the nearest place to it where we can buy nets and buckets and the shortest route to avoid car sickness. Watching children enjoying a simple activity on a summery Sunday afternoon sure puts things into context.

Re previous photo
I have been asked why I didn't include a photo of something more sustantial if I was going to show a meal at Agni.

When we eat out in Corfu we will often order the Greek way. I don't mean speaking the language, (i.e. "tha eethala" etc - more on this in the future), rather that we order 4+ starters between us and just dip into these. This is not something we can do in the UK due to costs but so much more accessible in Corfu.

I have only just posted Friday's post so there will be 2 for today. More from the train tomorrow.

This email was handwritten on a Sony Ericsson P910i

Tech Addiction

I love this show. A bit strong a reaction? Let's put some context around it.

For the last 2 days I have spent all of my time matching up records to find some way of fixing what should be an SEP (Someone Else's Problem - see Hitch Hiker's Guide for an explanation). The only time I have looked up is when someone comes over to ask me something.

I leave a few minutes early at the train station, to find the train will be 20 minutes late. I am tired, possibly getting a headache, so l reach for my 1.5 gig Aiwa hard drive player. The show I have lined up is TA 15 (www.thepodcastnetwork/ta ) and what do you know, it's themed on the gadgets James and Kev carry. I LOVE gadgets. The time has shot by and l have forgotten about my potential headache. I am getting a dose of tech that till now I have had to scour magazines for. Apart from my IT mate at work, who is not at the same level of geekiness as me, I didn't have anyone to cover these topics with. So I am moor than happy to sit here listening to what the guys have in their gadget bag - maybe l'll post up about mine sometime.

I am definitely getting more things done, by listening to Podcasts rather than being stuck infront of the television.

My only problem is how I can
deal with all the wires that are.strewn across my chest.

I am currently carrying the Aiwa hard drive and, if I am also intending to do some soundscapes for my up-and-coming podcast, a minidisc with binaural recording headset.

How do I control all that excess cabling? Still working on that one. One thing l am considering is wearing what l call my multipocket shooting waistcoat; it has loads of pockets for a selection of mics, batteries, etc. Anyone have any (constructive) suggestions?

This email was handwritten on a Sony Ericsson P910i

Friday, July 08, 2005

0n the buses

Above is a grabbed phone shot of the delicious food served at Taverna Agni.

I am covering in our Penzance office today, so hopefully will have a photo from my wanderings in this old town.

I'm travelling on the bus today, I'll write about my experiences

Covering the Penzance office has it's advantages, being 2 minutes from the sea.

I am travelling home on a bus today, not something I often do in the UK but something I do virtually everyday when in Corfu.

I was encouraged in a number of ways to try the Corfiot bus service. Firstly nerves about driving abroad for the first time, the cost of 7 days travelling by bus being around €14 against €120 by car and the chance to use my Greek.

There are 2 flavours of bus on the island, blue and green. The blue buses are for shorter trips for example Corfu Town to Dassia and back again. They do not have air conditioning and, at peak times, can be packed tighter than would be allowed for cattle in a truck. It is simply a fact of life. I have the greatest of respect for the locals who have to put up with hoardes of sweaty and, sometimes, barely clothed visitors.

The green buses, my favourite, are used for trips to the very ends of the island from the hub, Corfu Town, that is the capital. They are air conditioned and both types have conductors as well as drivers (I have had many an enjoyable chat with conductors on our trips).

Green buses run from Gouvia where we stay and Kendroma where I get out to walk down to Taverna Agni. I have so much more time to look around and if I want to have a few glasses of wine l don't have to worry.

I've rambled enough, time to post.

This email was handwritten on a Sony Ericsson P910i.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Fish & Chips - a tradition

As I write this I am queing in a fish and.chip shop in my home village. It has been sited here for much of my life and is opposite a newsagent that has been in existance, and used by my family, since before I was born. Now I know that there are businesses that have been around far longer but I am not dwelling on their age, it's the tradition.

Fish and chips, that is a piece of white fish covered in batter and deep fried in boiling oil, and potatoes cut into chips and cooked in the same way. This was for years the most common take away dish in the UK. For some it took on the status of high dining and was an event, something special that was looked forward too. Today, with so much more convenience food, access to microwaves and the plethora of fast food establishments,.it has become just another factor in the race for a modern life.

Not that this is so bad, the variety of foods and flavours has grown and one gets to much more choice. The problem perhaps is in what people choose, where once cooking from fresh ingredients was the.most frequent method it has taken a back seal to cooking ready prepared meals.

To try to combat what might be seen as laziness, that reaching for something from the freezer or chiller cabinet, I have been compiling lists of recipes that involve just 4 or 5 steps. This way we can cook even if feeling tired.

So why am I standing in a fish and chip shop? I hear you cry. There are some days when we are just too frazzled, like today when I was late getting home. I always say that it's my turn to cook when we do this.

This email was handwritten on a Sony Ericsson P910i

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Homeword bound

First off a shot of the pier and town clock. The clock is quite traditional in that it is hand wound once a week. My best friend winds it, having inherited the job from his grandfather.

The clock is built on the site of what was once a thatched pub called The Fisherman's Arms. Life went from the sublime to the tragic here, on Sundays church services were held in a backroom. It has been recorded that it got so busy people would sit in the rafters. The tragedy was when a customs officer was shot there.

Life was hard in the 19th & earlier centuries, many people saw no harm in affording small luxuries, if not a living, avoiding taxes on things such as rum, brandy, tobacco, tea amongst other things, by smuggling.

Along with smuggling there was a violent activity known as wrecking, where ships were deliberately lured onto rocks so the wrecks could be plundered. On the pier is a green light that would be lit and, when aligned with one further in to the harbour, used by ships to see how they can enter the harbour at night or in fog, (the harbour is surrounded by rocks). Wreckers would put out the light on the pier and raise one furfher along, so that ships would line up the lights and head onto the rocks.

Onto more pleasant things. There is a tradition known as "taking a turn", that is linked with the pier. This is a tradition that has fascinated me for years. Just as in the countries around the mediteranean, whole families would take a stroll through the town on an evening. The strollers would travel up one side of the pier, always the left, across the end and down the opposite side.

Well, the train is nearly at the terminus. l shall halt at this point and post this up.

This email was handwritten on a Sony Ericsson P910i

Monday, July 04, 2005

Another day nearer to Corfu

Let's start off with something beautiful, (other than me this time), a picture from my favourite garden in Cornwall - the Japanese Garden and Bonsai Nursery in Mawgan. ( http://www.angelfire.com/wv/thebonsainursery/ )

Well that was quite a tough day - on my scale anyway. Still a little whoozy from the concussion on Friday.

The walk to work was pleasant, I had persuaded myself that it was OK to sneak a lift in from the train to the office. My colleague replied to my text to say they weren't working today - this turned out to be a good thing as I felt a little better for the walk. I need to do more of this before we get to Corfu.

We stay with friends we have grown really close to and it is a 15 - 20 minute walk to get to the nearest town. Work is similar partly hilly walk. I have a link on the right to my favourlte eating place on the island - Taverna Agni. If you ever get the chance to visit Corfu it is well worth travelling up to the North West to visit the Taverna. I have to admit a certain vested interest, as it is run by a friend of mine, along with his wife and her family. More on that in a future post. Just now I am just remembering we are one day nearer.

This email was handwritten on a Sony Ericsson P910i

Saturday, July 02, 2005

TreoPodcast & Skype

Got a mention on Russell's* blog today and on top of that a Skype call.

*of the TreoPodcast

Being a Skype novice, (not to mention a screaming headache from yesterday's debaclé - where I tried to shift a desk with the top of my skull), it took several attempts to take the call. (Thanks for your persistance Russell.) The fault is mine rather than the Skypeheadset/bluetooth headset I am using, as Kevin and James mentioned in Tech Addiction Podcast it comes across really clearly.#14

I noticed that Skype encourages one to hone listening skills, working out when to speak and when to let someone else. No real time lag though, I didn't notice one when I got Tech Addictions or Russell's voicemails but I did think that there might be one with people.

I haven't posted a picture today so here's one taken from Arduane Gardens (these days a National Trust property) near Oban in Scotland. Oban is a fantastic base for visiting the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. It is relatively flat around the town and has access to some excellent seafood. More info www.oban.org.uk

Incidents & Accidents

Yesterday I went to work like a weight had been off my shoulders. I had a conference on Wednesday last that I was responsible for organising. It went well, on Thursday, I took a day off to catch up on the sleep I had been missing, (I get hyped up over these things). Going in to work I was so full of beans; this lasted about 30 minutes at which point I suffered a concussion. I must get an up-to-date copy of signs and premonitions, as I did not see that coming.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Sony Ericsson P910i

As the posts I make are all coming from my mobile (cell) phone I thought I should share some information about it.

My phone is the Sony Ericsson P910i on an Orange 200 minute contract. I have an allowance of 25Mb of data traffic on GRPS-WAP. Email headers are around 1 - 2k so I check 2 email accounts with no problem.

The internet browser is OK but I have downloaded the free Opera browser, which handles Javascript pages better.

The wordprocessor is fine - once you realise it saves.pages in an html format and you just need Save As on the computer you send material to for converting it to a full doc. (I have attached a draft example from a doc I wrote on this phone).

The phone works well, keeping connection even when the 5 bars drop to none on the reception counter. I can also record and play video.

Internally the phone has 64Mb available storage and takes Sony Memory Stick Duo cards for plenty of extra storage (it comes with a 32Mb card).

The phone works well with bluetooth and infrared. Though I email much of my work from the phone, the extra options have saved situations such as at meetings where it is found that a laptop does not have the expected floppy drive.

This phone runs on the Symbian platform and there are loads of programmes you can get; www.handango.com is a good start.

One excellent piece of software, that rounds up a lot of the phones features, is Handy Day 2005. I can get an instant view of weather forecasts, RSS feeds eg BBC News (but I can add any others I want eg blogs pages) and it summarises things such as Calender, reminders, etc.

I had the P800 for 2 years and decided to get a new phone (+number) earlier this year. I checked www.freedom-mobiles.com and www.smalltalk.com and found the P910i for around £100 (around $184) for the phone when choosing a 200 minute Orange contract. Not being sure of how I went about cancelling my Orange contract I called Orange Services and chose the Thinking of Leaving Orange automated option. I said that I was looking at getting the P910i but would be taking out a new contract as the price was so much better than upgrading and keeping my number. The guy on the other end asked where I was looking at getting the phone from and how much. After a few moments, (I reckon he was looking online to check), he said Orange would match it and I could therefore keep the number while saving a huge amount. If you're on Orange it might be worth a try.

I use a Sony Ericsson HBH-300 bluetooth headpiece that doubles up, via bluetooth dongle, as the headphone for my Skype phone service, (internet based phone service - free software, free between users and very cheap to landlines especially abroad).The headpiece has a long boom and seems to avoid excess background noise.

Other accessories include bluetooth or infrared keyboards that pack up really small.

If you've been looking at the SE910i I hope this helps.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Photos

Well, it's been a frustrating couple of hours trying to get Bloggerbot to move past the Settings screen. Still haven't managed to sort it and all I wanted was to set up a photo for my profile. l have found info elsewhere on e-Blogger, to say that if l post photos to my mobile blog I can then point the edit box to their URL.

So, here goes.....

Introduction

This is a fantastic resource. All credit to Russell of TreoPodcast (www.mobilepodcast.org) for his heads-up on this one.

I neglected to mention in my set-up post, entries are being made on a Sony Ericsson P910i this includes the photo (taken on a walk near my home).

I come from the small fishing village of Porthleven in Cornwall.

I am hoping to follow up this blog with Podcasts on the ways of life in the county of Cornwall. More on this soon.

CornishPasty Blog

Welcome to the podcast of a 40-something Cornishman.

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