Friday, June 30, 2006
Goonhilly good griefIt has been written in more prestigious places than this (where isn't), that "pride cometh before a fall", from experience I should have known but it still trips me up. I have been patting myself on the back over the postings I made that jkOnTheRun have used. Hey, I thought, all these feeds I have been working through are worth it just for the recognition; a sneeky part of me was saying, you must be good at this to be able to beat people in the US to US-centric stories.Yesterday morning I was in the office early, so decided to read a couple of rss threads in Egress, my PPC rss reader. The first thing I see is Kevin picking up on why hadn't I blogged about the new cybercafe setup at the Goonhilly Earth Satellite Station in Cornwall. Hey said a little voice I'm so great I pick up stories on in another country but I can't see a story that's 10 miles from my home! 10 miles, not in another part of Europe, not the other end of the country but, as near as darn it, in my backyard. Oh the pain, oh the humiliation.I have read a bit on the setup there now and will blog it over the weekend, if not sooner. I intend making a visit in the near future to grab some photos and maybe even some audio or video.
Posted by Phil at 10:14 am
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Summer is brokenWell, I think I was just getting used to sleeping in hot weather, when the time came for the Wimbledon tennis tournament. As most British people will tell you, Wimbledon means liquid sunshine. If you can see the net it's about to rain, if you can't see the net it's already raining!How is it that I can get accustomed to hot weather within the first day or so when we go to Corfu, yet in the UK it came be weeks. I get caught out every year guessing how long the fine spell will last. I continue carrying a fleece or waterproof for at least a week longer than I need, but better to be prepared - no, I was never a scout (from my teens I always thought I would have had more fun joining the guides - they wouldn't let me in). The waterproof was as much to protect my mobile gear as anything. I carry my x51v in my shirt's top pocket, if I don't think that I will be doing a lot of bending, or in my trousers pocket and the waterproofr, breathable jacket will just protect from excessive moisture. The other hazard I have noticed is that sweat can mist up the case when suited up on a warm but wet day; not a problem sbo far but worth keeping an eye on.I am out of doors as I type this. I caught the bus home tonight and thought it was warm on board, when outside it was a little chilly. From how I felt when I got back to the village, I worked out that it was exhaust that was getting into the interior that was the cause of the warmth. I don't have a sense of smell and so endured the discomfort. I was puzzled by how the driver would stop the bus every so many stops and turn off the engine; buses I have travelled on previously would stop if early but they wouldn't turn off the engine. My head was splitting when I walked the short distance to the cottage from the bus stop, I also felt a little sick. I decided that exhaust must have been to blame. Fortunately for me, the weather holds the promise of rain but, so far, has held off. It's a little chilly but the fresh air is doing me a power of good. If I turn around to face away from the kitchen, I can see some blue sky between high cloud.While I am writing I am circled by bumble bees of several different types; it's good to see them taking advantage of the cool air and the opening fuscias. From here I can see the apple tree planted by an Uncle over 70 years ago. Every year the tree has produced a crop of apples in September but the apples are so well formed already I think they will be at least a month early, could this be one of those signs of the fltuctuations encouraged by global warming?I have been typing for a while sitting at a bench table and my back is starting to get a little tired.. I will have to look into getting out my fairly substantial deckchair and bring out my lap tray on another day. I just watched Warner Crocker's what's in my bag video and it made me think of my laptray. I prefer the bean bag base for getting settled on my lap and allowing me to use it on many more seat types. Of course, I am using a Pocket PC rather than tablet computer and need less room room for this Stowaway keyboard, although I have used the laptray with my old laptop that heats up so much; I put a metal tray, designed to speed up the defrosting process for things like meat, under the laptop so that part of it sticks out and rapidly transfers the heat from the base of the laptop to the part of the tray sticking out so it can be dissipated.I am going to pop in now and spend a lit tle time with my dear wife, who cooked my tea and then suggested I spend time outside to get some fresh air - she's a gem, I have got so much done while out here. As per Scoble's comments on his blog, I was able to listen to podcasts\videocasts while eating, reading blogs I find a little ungainly on a small screen while trying to eat in a polite manner.The seagulls begin to circle, definitely time to head indoors.
Posted by Phil at 8:45 pm
Monday, June 26, 2006
Tingles in my scalpI was listening to part of a play today, while making a mad dash across the county from one office to another. It was part Arthurian and part reminiscences of the author. I felt sure that it was about TH White, as they had a male narrator.The author talked about staying in Somerset and I was convinced I had the name sorted. At the end the name of the author crops up and it is John Steinbeck; there starts the tingle.I have for years tried to read his work but all of the books I knew were of a depressing nature, based around the dust bowl depression era. One day I felt the urge to visit a second hand bookshop,the feeling I get that has always resulted in my finding a book that I really want. I came out with a journal written by Steinbeck alongside of his Grapes of Wrath, I managed halfway and put it to oneside; before I stopped reading I was intrigued to see that he speculated on the existence of extraterrestrials.
Posted by Phil at 9:42 pm
Dear Al Gore: here's some inconvenient truthsResponse to Robert ScobleRobertWith regard to the your Al Gore post.I don't know where I'd be without the various podcasts and streamed audio from the web; actually I do know, it'd be listening to what I still call a transistor radio, absorbing all manner of programmes from the BBC = Radio 4 especially. The trouble is it's shotgun listening, so much of it of no real interest to me that it drowns out the thought provoking other stuff. THe trouble with r adio listening has always been having to turn off, or losing reception and missing something. Don't tell me about taping programmes to listen to later, the nu mber of ways and means I employed to get the recording started on time when I couldn't be there to do it or would be asleep.With my oh so easy to compile downloads I can listen whenever I want, often this is when commuting by bus, train or Shanksy's pony. If I am carrying chores without my wife around to talk to or shopping in town, I will catch up on a programme of my choosing, one that is on a topic of my choosing and that I can stop, start, even listen to again.When at school I happen to have mastered the art of reading while I walk; I think people got so used to me weaving my way around obstacles, while my head was buried in a book, that the village just regarded me as a mostly harmless eccentric child. I did get a few looks when I did this while taking part in a 24 hour walk in aid of Cancer, it was really simple, all I had to do was walk circuits around a running track - they even had lines laid out that I could subconsciously follow, no lamposts, moving vehicles, parked vehicles, animals and their by products or stray persons to have to avoid. But enough about me.In addition to lights being left on I see so many people leaving equipment unneccessarily on standby; items that they will not use till the next day are left to draw, in some cases, almost as much as when they are running.
/>More after my cup of tea.
Posted by Phil at 8:07 pm
Sunday, June 25, 2006
How about a deal...I will admit now for anyone who swings by, courtesy of Kevin's kind pointer at JkontheRun from an item I passed on about the number of reported difficulties people are having with the Q (RSS - JkontheRun), I neglect this blog. I have been shamed into doing something about it by Kevin and I am grateful. I have mentioned here how easy posting has been made by things such as: this Axim x51v, Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard, Kevin Daly's marvellous little Diarist programme that enable me to make swift posts - particularly useful when working with my bluetooth phone (Kevin Daly RSS), my minimum 3 ways to charge my x51v and Sony Ericcson P910i and wifi hotspots that I now have access to thanks to a deal with BTOpenzone - though I am waiting for The Cloud's all you can use ?11.99 ($20) per month deal on UK wifi; I have failed to take advantage of it. The deal is this, if you promise to pop back in say two weeks, or when I next get a plug courtesy of Kevin (hopefully not sooner than a fortnight), I promise to have increased my posting rate, added more tech stuff from a Cornish user's perspective, more reflections on Corfu and some observations on live in modern and not so modern Cornwall.If you decide not to - well, thank you for coming by on this occasion. Have a poke around and you should find some of the topics I mention above or not as you wish - choice, one of those sweet tasting morsels that make the internet so delicious.
Posted by Phil at 9:41 pm
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Shakespeare CountryAfter a successful trip to London we headed up to see our Godson and friends.It's always good seeing them and we haven't seen all of the area around there. A first for me was a visit to Warwick Castle. I had heard much about the place but wasn't sure how "real" the experience would be, after all it was a major tourist attraction.Somehow we got our dates slightly wrong and ended up on holiday in half term week Despite there being large numbers of families milling about, the castle was such a scale that it wasn't a problem. We saw the bits we wanted to see and had a snack in the restaurant without any problems finding seats.Things I would recommend at the castle would be the knightly school for the young people ending in their taking part in a mock battle; the school bit was a very good way to enliven history lessons. The birds of prey are always fun and the bowman was brilliant - he really put feeling into something he must do hundreds of times over the year. It's ?15 for adults to attend but I felt it was worthwhile as you can easily spend a day at the castle. Being to able to see the trebuchet loaded, primed and launched put into perspective the dimensions and impact this device must have had.
Posted by Phil at 8:03 pm
Monday, June 19, 2006
Today - a good day for this x51v re mobile softwareWhile surfing in a break I stumbled across a mention of an update to my current Pocket PC RSS reader - Egress 2.4.2 came out around December but I must have missed it; well, not 'missed' exactly, I found that I had a copy on my memory stick but no recall of when I downloaded it.Having installed the new version, it shows an immediate improvement in the notification given when updating threads. The thread currently being updated is named as well as the various compenents being downloaded.The second item is Socket Comm's WiFi Companion. I really like the clear display re connection and am looking forward to trying the power saving feature.
Posted by Phil at 6:45 pm
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Summer and Anniversarypring and AnniversaryA little out of syn with the posts but I don't want to miss this.After what seems an age since spring started, we have a consistent period of fine weather. Yesterday was the 17th anniversary of our marriage. We celabrated by going for a meal with our maid of honour and one of our ushers, best friends from the village. Having had lunch at Trevaskis Farm in April, we thought it would be a good venue to celebrate our 17th and their 21st anniversaries. A long story short - it was. The food was delicious and the portions generous.
Posted by Phil at 9:57 pm
Chinatown one SaturdayOne minute I am posting multiple times a day and then silence. Without looking I would say that my last post was when we were outside of Chinatown. We met up with our friend S, it was really good to see her and reassuring that she was looking so well. I've never known anyone who studies quite so hard, to the exclusion of much else; still, as she says soon it will be in the past and then there will be light again.Eating in Chinatown is great, especially in a restaurant that is so busy. I neglected to get the name of the place but will have to ask our friend. The food was delicious and served in a traditional way, in the type and order of the dishes. I learnt that tapping the table means enough and it was interesting to make a connection with the games of dominoes and poker.There's not a lot to say following that. After seeing our friend and having a great meal, we sadly separated at an underground station, our friend needed to get back to her revision. We went from the station to the cinema in Leicester Square. It was raining so we reckoned it would be a chance to chill and wait out the worst of the weather. We got in a que for the cinema to see X-Men III - I was surprised that Cathy suggested this over the DaVinci Code, as films in the comics, science fiction and fantasy genre are generally not to her taste. When I asked she said that she had heard others say that the film was difficult to follow if you have not read the book; I later heard Anna say, on The Delta Park Project, that she had read the book and found it frustrating when explanations were given for people who had not read the book. If it's still around in a few weeks maybe we'll try it down our way.Havivng been in the que for a while and only 10 minutes from the start of the film we asked for two tickets. The chap printed them and then asked for ?23 ($40US)!! In Cornwall we pay ?11 ($20) - half price with the Orange mobile sponsored Orange Wednesdays scheme. ?23 is a lot for the cachet of Leicester Square but it was the price of my embarassment I paid rather than have people watch us walk away. The rest of our day, or so in the city consisted of our chilling out. It was a great stay. Stephenson Hall is so big and to have it virtually to yourself was such a luxury. E the Admin was very welcoming when we arrived and helpful, as was R who works there too and supplied us with fantastic driving in London directions.We are certainly going back to Stephenson Hall, to see a show, meetup with S and things we haven't thought of yet. We got so comfy we didn't even get to the Mucky Pup just up the road a ways. I had scouted out free wifi locations and hit upon it as the nearest to where we were staying.I need to go back and revise my Starbucks entries for London. One of the things I noticed was a distinct problem in downloading larger files. I could not seem to download any podcasts, the whole thing would go from trotting along nicely to a snails pace and downloads eventually efffectively timing out the became so slow. Normal surfing was fine and I couldn't see anyone else surfing and I had scouted around about this. E verything started off fine and then took a nosedive but I had already written up the wifi part and it was only when it came near time to leave did I notice the problem.More later.?
Posted by Phil at 9:51 pm
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