About Me

My photo
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?

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.