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?

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Nanuke of the North

Nanuke of the North

Jacket Envy

The title was going to be "Blob on the Blog" not my idea, it was dreamt up by Cathy & C on the way back from Sainsburys; in response to my declaring that I would take a photo of it for my blog.

I guess it had to happen at some stage, I'm just disappointed that it was probably because I lost focus. I have managed to pick up some excellent coats in sales over the years, ones with lots of handy little pockets for gadgets.

(Now I know that one can buy a range of jackets from that well known manufacturer, whose name escapes me at the moment but owners include (I think) both James Kendrick and Kevin Tofel of http://www.jkontherun.com. My problem is that the postage has always out weighed the cost of the items in sales.)

Yesterday we visited Windsor and came across a Tchibo store (www.tchibo.co.uk). Cathy went in first and was looking at jackets, I only popped in hoping to get another cheap 4-in-1 pen/stylus. After a scout around I wandered off in search of other shops. If only I had stayed and paid attention, I might have picked up a bargain jacket.

Cathy ended up with a Snow Gear jacket, as illustrated in the photo of her modelling it. Things about the jacket that really impressed me included: a passive avalanche detection system - radar reflective patches that can be picked up by detectors being used in a growing number of ski resorts; a wide range of pockets, that include one with a self-retracting ski-pass holder, an internal pocket for mp3 type player, with headphones hole to run cables inside the jacket (and avoid my usual problem of catching them on door handles and nearly ripping my ears off), pockets for mobile (cell) phone and for ski goggles, pocket with a microfibre cloth for wiping said googles; the jacket has a fleece inner that can be detached and, when turned inside out, can be worn as a jacket; I could go on but you get the picture.

It's a great jacket. So good in fact, I am contemplating heading up to Windsor on the way home on Tuesday to see if I can get one, though in a different colour (as I do have a problem going anywhere in matching clothes to Cathy - especially if they are mostly hers ;-0)

I wouldn't have thought about driving somewhere I have only visited twice before, and which is likely to be very busy, if it weren't for the marvellous power of TomTom. We had such a good journey up to Surrey from West Cornwall, not one disagreement over map and route, even with our trying a new route. I followed my mate T's route on the Axim with TomTom running and saw how it would reroute according to the shortcuts he took, the thing's a marvel, (though admittedly he knew the shortcuts for the time of day and TomTom didn't).

The marvels of bluetooth

I know that bluetooth has a range of something like 10 feet but it can still surprise me.

I am sitting downstairs in the lounge of our friends in Camberley, my Sony Ericsson P910i phone is on the bedside cabinet upstairs. I finished a blog entry and hit send without thinking about it and, after a few seconds, it was gone and Diarist (thank you once again Kevin Daly) reported those magic words Post Successful.

The fact that I am using bluetooth is something of an embarassment to me. I set up wireless internet for my friend early this year and made strenuous efforts to ensure he was secure. I came up a few days ago thinking, 'Great I can (with permission) collect emails and update my RSS feeds via their connection'. I fired up my Axim not long after arriving and discovered that I can't even see the signal!

I know what the problem is, I locked the signal down to 804g only - but why?!?

What reason could I have had to do that, especially knowing that if I came up I would be using an 804b Axim. Weird. Oh well, I have my phone and am happy using that for the little I need. I had loaded up with podcasts be fore I left, should I need them for the journey up or back, and RSS and email isn't too much of a strain on my meagre GPRS resource.

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

Well, it's the almost here and another holiday season will have passed. I have been convinvced this year that the fuss is not worth it.

By that I mean the charging around to get presents from the shops, the buying up of larger quantities of more expensive food than we need, the writing of hundreds of cards to people who either don't send them or who only write them as a chore. There were always people who didn't get a card (but should have) from me because they were lost in the melee of getting out all the cards that I did as a chore and that robbed my concentration.

In future I shall write cards in order and stop when it feels like a chore, (as in a job that you know you should be doing if only out of a sense of guilt). I am an adult now and should learn to steer my own course, take responsibility for my own decisions but to do that I need to make some decisions.

Christmas itself doesn't really enthuse me. We don't have children so no incentive there. I used to have visions of the classic but non existant Victorian Christmas, log fires, snow in the streets, chestnut sellers on the corner, everyone smiling and greeting each other, their breath forming clouds and carolers singing in front of the church. OK, that is a little over the top but you get the idea. [I factored out things like street beggars, opium dens, poverty in a large portion of the neighbourhood, vermin, disease and other things too numerous or horrible to mention].

I imagined myself, and actually did in a way, writing letters in fountain pen to friends far away, sealing envelopes and cards with wax and popping them into the post box on my way to collect the daily poapers.

In actual fact Christmas is very much like the rest of the year. One or two days when I give some goodies, get some goodies and catch up with a few friends. We are lucky, when we visit our father-in-law he cooks the most magnificent roast dinners (though, as we have it around noon, I call it lunch); Christmas meals don't top that. I can go without Christmas tree decorating, I like to glance at the end result but it soon palls.

By this point I may have thoroughly depressed you, gentle reader, but it's the cusp of a New Year and I am determined to be honest and share more in this blog.

We had a comment in a Christmas card this year that made me think. There are people we hardly ever see who would really enjoy our company, I am of mind that we could see them at this time another year but it would mean disappointing others and I have gone through my life desparately trying not to disappoint anyone, (usually leading to disappointing me, but that's another story). May be that's the spirit of the season I should cling to, doing things for people who do so much for us in the preceeding year.

For now we are going to enjoy our time with friends in the UK we see too little of. Yesterday it was a laugh and a mooch around Windsor, who knows what today will bring.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Feedback - Storing PhatPad files and jpgs

One thing I have noticed with ink blogging on this Axim is that I cannot save a file in the name folder as both jpg and as a PhatPad pmi file.

Why would I want to?

As I have previously posted, to produce an ink entry first I write using PhatPad in Drawing Pen mode; I then save this as a jpg ready to send to my blog.

In case I want to add to the ink post I must also save the entry as a PhatPad (pmi) file. To alter a jpg entry directly, my only option is to insert the jpg in as a background object, something more suited to annotating pictures.

Maybe this could be looked at for a future upgrade, or am I doing it the wring way?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A thank you for the fine start

Well, I am chuffed to bits with the excellent take up I have had already from some of the nominees I targeted in the meme challenge .

I emailed a majority of my choices, my decision as being the best option for me, as I don't have the presence to just call out; for a start, my bog has a minimal audience.

A big thank you to Marianne at Marianne's Virtual Salon for her great entry.

Thanks to my mate Buzz Bruggerman at Buzznovation for his sterling contribution.

I have just seen Craig Pringle's response, thank you very much Craig, enjoyable as always.

One thing I actually like is the chance for me to give some of my favourite blogs/bloggers a sort of shoutout. Unlike Craig, I have yet to meet any of the bloggers I read. I am near to Guilford ths New Year so you never know I might bump into the Currys, (though I very much doubt it).

UREN V1 - I really should have one of these

UREN V1 if only because our family business for over 80 years has been Uren's Ice Cream.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Cheaper Computer Helpline numbers

I came across this site www.saynoto0870.com via Chris "Aximsite" Leckless' Mobility Site entry and thought it worth a mention.

i have heard of a number of new users who get caught in the premium rate number help trap and anything that helps ease the pain has to be a good thing.

Cheers

Phil

Serendipity

Occasionally I will do something out of routine that just fits so perfectly in the cosmic order.

It is the holiday period when one's thoughts turn particularly to absent friends and family.

I am working today, (on a break in the office tedium at this precise moment), and doing so after 2 days of a horrible flu-ey bug. Consequently, (and also due to having built up time in hand from a number of early starts/late finishes), I left home only just before 9am. I was driving, so headed along the village harbourside only to see a familiar figure at the bus stop, it was my old friend Rob.

It was great to be able to not only say hello but give him a lift to the train, I was headed the same way but he's one of those genuine chaps that I'd give him a lift to his destination even if I was going the other way.

That's the sort of feeling, from unexpectedly catching up with an old friend, that makes ones day.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A new victim/nominee

How about Craig Pringle as my new choice for the meme challenge - 5 Things Not Known About Me?

I shall send him an email forthwith.

Hope you are all continuing to have a good Holiday period.

Best wishes

Monday, December 25, 2006

Change in Tagged blog line up

OK I admit I got behind in my reading. It seems that Robert Scoble's been tagged already and is not keen on this tagging lark anyway
http://scobleizer.com/2006/12/14/blog-tag-games/ so I need to substitute someone else. I wide this while off line, effectively - only GPRS at Orange UK rates, so will come up with someone tomorrow.

Cabinet War Rooms Part 1

The most interesting part of my visit has to be the Churchill Museum that was opened in 2005. The space is attached to the below ground rooms, and is about the size of a football pitch. It is a brilliant use of technology, some of it quite simple and some more complex but it all works.

One enters the museum as a detour from the route around the basement rooms used by the War Cabinet and officers, working on the planning and execution of the war. (It would have been rooms at one time, as after 1941 they opened up a lot more rooms than used initially).

The first exihibit is a line of video screens, showing black and white images from the war. Standing in front of one of the screens triggers a speaker in the ceiling to play a commentary. Because of the design you can hear what your speaker says, but hardly anything from the one next to you.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Tag, I'm it! 5 things you don't know about me

Having been tagged by Kevin Tofel on the JK on the Run blog, I present my 5 not-widely-known-things to do with me.

I live in the village I grew up in, in the cottage my mother and grandmother were born in.

The main line of my family has lived within 10 miles of where I am now, for over 300 years.

I have been married to my gorgeous wife for 17 years.

I recently had 2 photos of accomodation in Bath in the UK selected for inclusion in the Schmap Bath Guide

I am convinced that Arthur Dent was given the middle name of Philip after a letter I wrote to Douglas Adams, following the original radio episode the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy of featuring The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe .

The blogs I tag in turn to tell 5 things that readers don't know about them are:

Buzz Bruggeman of Buzzmodo I have no doubt he can come up with some interesting stuff.

Robert Scoble of Scobleizer.com. If anyone has multiples of 5 that he can share about himself...

Josh Bancroft of Tinyscreenfuls.com a main of many talents.

Leo Laporte at Twit.tv well aim high I say, I am certain that there is much we don't already know that he could share, if he's of a mind.

Marianne - Marianne's virtual salon Marianne of the mountain as I call her. Someone living a life that many only dream about and with many things we won't know.

I hope that all of these people will view my cheek with a kindly eye and hopefully rise to the challenge.

(I have tried to pick people I don't remember responding to this meme already, my apologies if you've already been tagged).

More of my 15 minutes of fame

Thanks to a blog post by Josh Bancroft I have been greatly enjoying reading Marianne's blog - Marion's Virtual Salon and have been enjoying some correspondence with her which culminated with a mention.

If that wasn't enough, I read today of two other mentions on a couple of other favourite blogs.

I recently posted a few ink entries and gained a mention by Sumocat, a pioneer of blog inking, I was "chuffed to bits" to use a colloquilism. Given the work Sumocat does for the cause of inking it's an honour to get a mention, never mind his remembering me from an earlier occasion.

To top it off, I was reading about the meme that James Kendrick was called out on, (to mention 5 things not generally known about him), and then I read the post from Kevin Tofel that tagged not only James but me too

Well Kevin, as you know, I'm a reader of JK on the Run so my next post will answer the call.

Unexpected Christmas Gifts

Unexpected Christmas gifts ink message

Friday, December 22, 2006

There are good reasons for anonymity

Steve Beall a seconded manager at a Thorntons shop & Caf? decided to blog about his opinion of the town of Barrow-in-Furness, where he was working.

Unfortunately his comments, some pretty unfavourable, were picked up by a local newspaper and, on top of this, they were able to0 identify him.

Some locals were so incensed they started going in to the store to vent their anger.

Maybe this item on Digg about anonymous blogging might have helped.

Steve has now been moved back to his original store.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I really want one of these

Just when I thought I would be happy with the N95, or N93 if impatient. Now comes the HTC Athena and even the name has meaning for me.

Knowing my luck, I wonder how astronomical the price will be over here and which phone supplier will take it up.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Brazilian night in Baswater

I won extremely lucky to be taken to a Brazilian restaurant last night, by a friend of Cathy's and mine - S.

We had the most delicious food. While it was not very not vegetarian friendly it was excellent. It had a self service, salad bar and after we had helped aindves to a relation of Brazilian dishes we were visited by a succession of waiters bring various types of meat on
skewers. All I can say is "I tried it all and I liked it all".

It was a great evening out and so different to the beginning of my enforced fast last week.

Dispatch from the old telephone exchange, Cabinet War Rooms

I write this while having lunch in what, for me, is one of the most fascinating places in London.

I thought the place was worth a morning when I first visited. since then they have opened the Churchill Museum. It is a truimph of hi-tech. there are video screen stations that play when you are only standing before it, video and interactive touch screen booths, tippet off by a massive touch screen table with a timeline of Winnie's life.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Arrived in London

It's 5.50am and the sleeper is sitting on the platform at Paddington.

It his keen a good journey, I reckon I war asleep by the time we reached Truro. My wart fear about travelling on this Night Sleeper Riviera train was that I was booked into a double and may have had to share with a stranger. It didn't happen, so I had an unbroken night's sleep - hurray!

Just waiting for my morning tea now, then it's a wash and oh to the West Cornwall Pasty company Shop on a near by platform for breakfast. (I am carrying some saffron buns to tide me over in an emergency so, coupled wilts the pasty breakfast, my mother will know I am eating proper-ly.

It's great having the wifi signal reach the inside of my sleeper berth, surely a nign of civilisation.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cornwall at Christmas on the BBC

Just stopped vacuuming to learn a little about food and farming at this, time of year. The programme is on BBC1 and is called Countryfile.

Just learned from the show about a great scheme, where one can find out about the fish one eats, right down to the boat that caught it: Seafood Cornwall.

Sometimes my ignorance of local things astounds me. Today I found out from the show that everything in Great Britain is measured from a 25 foot well on the pier at Newlyn, a half hour drive from here; it is there that the mean sea level is measured from.

Of course Tom Bawcock's Eve gets a mentioned along with Star Gazey pie, made with 7 sorts of fish, a great seasonal story.


Friday, December 15, 2006

After the show is over

After the show is over

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Nearly there

Nearly there

No food for 26 hours

I have a Medical examination today, (would that it were a written exam - even an oral one would be OK) , a physical one. It 's an exploratory one and only to confirm the consultant's prognosis that there is nothing to worry about.

Not worrying is a good state of mind to be in but, in this case, it comes at a price. When I flirt received the news from the Consultant it was a reference to my having a bowel x-ray. My appointment letter mentioned barium and the word I most associate with 'that is ''meal"; ironically (or not) my procedure is just the opposite. Don't think about it, just concentrate on the title of this piece.

Since rising at 6. 30am yesterday I have been solids free. The highlight of my day was jelly, (that's the - pair hot water onto lumps of flavoured gelatine and set in the fridge, what I believe is called jello in ithe us), punctuated with cups of fruit tea and stock cubes in hot water. The low point had to be the moments before I had to swallow a solution whose purpose was much like that of a liquid Pickfords (UK removals firm).

All of the above meant I had to stay at home yesterday but, for some reason I had no enthusiasm for blogging about it. I write now as I am sitting in the waiting room over an hour early and want something to concentrate on.

I don't remember the last time I went so long without food, if ever. There have been gastric incidents in my past, where I have had to go without food for the better part of the day, but that was necessity while this was almost choice; I could have eaten but it causes problems in x-ray clarity.

People run down our health service but I cannot find fault with it. On those rare occasions that I have needed to visit or stay in a hospital, I have not had a wait of more than a few weeks, the staff have always been helpful, polite and cheerful and my treatment has dealt with my problems.

Well, the time for my appointment is almost here so, I shall cease blogging at this point and post it when I get off hospital premises, (no mobile phones allowed and no wifi available).

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I really should take more care

A lesson learned (hopefully)

More ink

PhatPad musings

Brlghthand reports N95 delays

In what is disappointing news, Brighthand has reported that the N95 will now appear in the second quarter of 2007 instead of the first quarter.

Given that I was looking at this phone as the next one for me it is disappointing to say the least.

Of course I wouldn't want a phone that is anything less than complete but it's disappointing none the less.

There is always the N93 I suppose, though with it's 3 megapixel camera (as opposed to 5 megapixel version).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fame at last


Fame at last
Originally uploaded by Phil(hellene).

Monday, December 11, 2006

Second blog ink entry


Second blog ink entry
Originally uploaded by Phil(hellene).

Here's blog entry in ink for only the second time.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Test ink post

A Lesson in humour

From my last post:

Oh yes hairdresser's in the morning, there's something relaxing in having attractive women run their hands through ones hair - even if it takes less time each year.

came the following comment from one of my most distant foreign correspondents:

"There is no-one in hairdressing with hands that small."

Once I had ceased laughing and regained my composure, I realised that it was an excellent lesson in humour. It's all in the timing and, with the written word that amounts to word order, so ably demonstrated above.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

It's been a while

I still haven't cracked regular blogging, a real shame as it's probably the closest I will get to publishing.

I am doing what I always seem to lately, getting comfy by the open fire, Cathy asleep opposite and me surfing. emailing and generally messing with the Axim. the fire warms much of the cottage, and it's so warm here I never like to move. We were so much better about bed times when staying in Cyprus.

I am going to watch the end of Later with Jools Holland before moving. I really like one of the bands they have tonight - Mr.Hudson and the Library.

Oh yes hairdresser's in the morning, there's something relaxing in having attractive women run their hands through ones hair - even if it takes less time each year.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Starbucks Exeter

Based two doors down from the Virgin Megastore, at the Dingles end of the High Street, Starbucks is easy to find.

Once inside it is split into 2 parts, the front of store and then, further in behind a partition, a larger seating area. This is a brief review of the wifi side of things and there's plenty on the beverages/food elsewhere on the net.

I sat in the immediately against the screen in the inner part of the store, with my back to the people coming in past looking for a seat. With a strong wifi signal at home, I forget sometimes how variable signals can be. I placed my Axim at a distance that matched my cup, and was disappointed to find only 1 out of 5 bars. It worked for a while, until the place got a trifle busy and the signal dropped. Just before I had to leave I pushed it 6 centimetres or so and it jumped to 3 out of 5 bars.

So, although I did not have long it was a positive result in the end; I can recommend their chocolate cream frappaccuino and apple & cinnamon muffins.

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