Wednesday, 24 January 2007

The Old and the New

Today was my birthday. I am 36. I am a square.

In other news, Arsenal's young lions (starring Walcott, Denilson, Hoyte & Traore) fought back from 2-0 down against Spurs to draw 2-2 in the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final. Julio "The Beeeeeeeast" Baptista bagged both (whilst also netting an own goal...) to set up the second leg at the Emirates for a do-or-die showdown next Wednesday 31st.

For which, luckily enough, I now have tickets...

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Raisin The Bar

Without further ado, here is the result of the 2006/7 Christmas Cake-Off.

The two finalists (Rowan & Antonia) were judged in four distinct categories:
  1. Moisticity (how crumbly or otherwise was the cake?)
  2. Booziness (was the alcohol content detectable?)
  3. Marzipanity (what was the complexity of the almond layer?)
  4. Cheddarism (how well did the item work with cheese?)
The judges were unanimous in their praise for Antonia's moist entry and she comfortably won the first round. She also scored highly in the second category, with a number of larger fruit items surprising the judges with their alcohol content. However, it became apparent that Rowan's marzipan was made from scratch and this was evident in its subtle almond overtones; round three to her. Finally, the cakes were sampled alongside a thick wedge of extra-mature cheddar and, after some animated debate, this round was awarded to Rowan as well.

And so the inaugural Christmas Cake-Off has ended in an honourable DRAW, with 'highly-commended' rosettes winging their way to Acomb and Stockwell respectively. Many thanks to both participants for their efforts and they can rest reassured that all Tupperware will be returned very soon. The judges will now be on a diet until around September, when they might start thinking about Cake-Off II: The Revenge...

Monday, 22 January 2007

London Bloggers Do It On The Tube (But Mostly Standing Up)

I think this is a great idea. London-based blogs arranged by stations on the Underground and Rail network:

I now know that I share the Honor Oak Park blogosphere with the thoughtful BobFromBrockley, a self-confessed confused 22-year-old medical student and the writer of an as-yet-unpublished book about a fictional Victorian landscape gardener.

Bravo, everyone. Why not join us...


What the London Underground map might look like if the stations had appropriate sponsorship:

Personal favourites - Perriervale, IBMbankment and Habitattenham Court Road :)


Saturday, 20 January 2007

Five of things

OK, if you insist - five things you may not know about me:
  1. I used to be on an elite panel of chocolate tasters for Rowntrees (now Nestlé) in York.
  2. From 1974-1976, my family lived in a house on stilts in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
  3. I am allergic to nickel (and therefore also anti-single EU currency).
  4. Aged 11, I unknowingly played in goal for the first half of a football match with a broken arm.
  5. I once had a girlfriend who dumped me for Hunter from 'Gladiators'.
Comments welcome! And with that, I hereby tag Alex, Ian and Helena:

(Seems it is also the done thing to reference the originator of the meme)

Friday, 19 January 2007

Boom Boom Tizz

Yes, he is doing all that live. Incredible mad beatbox skills*
[via not-as-good-as-it-used-to-be-but-still-throws-up-the-occasional-gem b3ta]

* yes I know it should be "skillz" but I'm nearly 36, you know :)

Got wind?

So London Bridge mainline station was completely closed last night after two panes of glass fell from the roof in the high winds. Full-on 999 sirens Police-Do-Not-Cross move along now please flashing blue light mayhem. But although trains were still passing through the station on platforms 1-6, nobody was allowed in to try and catch them. Isn't it pathetic how we have turned into such a 'Nanny State' - if I want to try and dodge a 60mph whirling maelstrom of razor-sharp Victorian roofing materials on my daily commute, I should be allowed to do so :)

Anyway, it's good to test one's on-the-spot London Transport knowledge in these situations so in case you were wondering:
  1. Walk to Borough High Street

  2. Jubilee Line* to Southwark

  3. Walk to Waterloo East

  4. Train to Ladywell

  5. P4 bus to Honor Oak Park
Total journey time: 1h 45m

* I wonder if the people I was on the Tube with ever got home to Brighton?

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Mmmm, cake

Hurrah! Just received Antonia's contribution for the Cake-Off (addressed to the "Cake Assessment Unit", much to the amusement of our post-room). So it's off to M&S for some extra-mature cheddar to have with hers (below left) and Rowan's (below right):

The Final Of The Official 2006 Christmas Cake-Off


Results to be announced at a special presentation dinner to be held at Claridges, with special guests Barry Chuckle, Shergar and Jade Goody.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

(Gin and) Joost

Woot - just got my beta testing login for Joost (The Venice Project as was).

Now this could be interesting...

PalmerCash tees

Check out the Vintage T-shirts/hoodies/jackets at

With the current exchange rate (£1=$1.96) they work out around a tenner each and shipping is a flat rate $9.95 to the UK. So it's actually cheaper than buying a one-day travelcard and going to Urban Outfitters on Oxford Street. How mad is that?!

P.S. If anyone fancies placing an order, let me know by leaving a COMMENT and we can split the shipping costs...

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Windows Installer for Ubuntu

Ubuntu Windows Installer (Prototype)

This looks amazing - it's only a development version at the moment but this will download and install Ubuntu Linux on your Windows system without the need for burning and ISO to CD or re-partitioning or changing the default boot drive, etc, etc. It looks like it installs it in the Windows partition and then adds a line to the Windows bootloader, thus giving you the choice at startup. Outstanding issues are discussed in this forum but I fully intend to give it a try later this week (they are currently uploading a new version to their servers) on my little Toshiba Portége* 340T (which has no floppy or CD drive).

UPDATE: I have started to download the Ubuntu installer torrent - 23.6% and counting (only ~7 hours to go)

UPDATE2: Installer successfully downloaded (and still 'seeding' like a good little torrenter). Now, bet you can't guess what I shall be doing this evening...

Would you Adam and believe it?

Five things you may not have known about Holly Valance:

  1. Her real surname is (deep breath) Vukadinović.
  2. She is related to Benny Hill (cousin, twice removed).
  3. Her 2002 hit 'Kiss, Kiss' was the fourteenth cover version of a song called 'Simarik' (meaning "spoilt") by the Turkish artist, Tarkan.
  4. She was recently in the TV show, 'Prison Break'.
  5. Her mother is Rachel Stevens. No, not that one. (Enduring mental image, though...)

What? You want five things you didn't know about me? Bah...

We're not rubbish - official

England 206-7 (49.5 overs) beat New Zealand 205-9 (50 overs) by three wickets
"Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Peter Jackson, Neil Finn, Sir Edmund Hillary, Jonah Lomu - we have beaten them all! Helen Clark, can you hear me? Your boys took one hell of a beating..."
(courtesy of the over-enthusiastic BBC online OBO commentator and with apologies to Bjorge Lillelien)

Monday, 15 January 2007

You're it...

...yes, the craze that's sweeping the nation (no, that would be Highway Cleansing Operatives) - it's blog-tagging. And, amongst others, I'm "it" (thanks, Andy).

Apparently, I have to post "five things that you probably don't know about me". Given that the readership of this blog is (a) rather small but (b) almost certainly includes both my parents and Social Services, I shall be giving this some further thought before passing the 'tag' on :)

Pop back soon...

Sunday, 14 January 2007

(Black)burn in the fiery pits of hell

Blackburn 0 - 2 Arsenal

"Arsenal made light of the 12th-minute dismissal of Gilberto to deservedly beat Blackburn, thanks to goals from Kolo Toure and Thierry Henry. Gilberto was shown a straight red card for flicking a leg out at Robbie Savage after the pair had tangled."

You can't blame Gilberto for lashing out - when you see the idiotically-grinning figure of the lank-haired stinky Welsh pikey that is R. Savage Esq. hurling himself towards you, you've got to be fearing for your wallet. Still, an excellent headed finish from Kolo and then (yet another) contender for Goal Of The Month from Monsieur Thierry saw justice done at Ewood Park. Watch out Liverpool, we're right behind you...

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Thursday, 11 January 2007

iCame, iSaw, iPhone

Apple's announcement the other day of it's shiny new iPhone device (mobile/VoIP phone, MP3/video player, camera, web browser) has prompted messageboards everywhere to echo to the sound of the world's uber-geeks deriding its lack of GPS/3G/MMS/3MPcamera/keyboard/espresso machine.
(delete as applicable)

But Apple has never really tried to appeal to the bleeding-edge-tech-spec crowd, focusing instead on the user experience and minimalist design qualities. It doesn't launch in the US until June (Q4 over here) and you wouldn't back against them having had at least some of those gripes in hand but held back until after the launch to see exactly what dust got kicked up in the scramble to take a look at it. Also, given Apple's history with screens, it will be interesting to see how they have addressed that issue with something that solely uses it for UI; and that re-imagining of the mobile phone interface could be the absolute kicker. Less is indeed more.

If nothing else, Apple is master of the big announcement - our office talked about nothing else for about two hours yesterday morning, with the COO at one point asking if they might even replace the ubiquitous Blackberry. Apple stock went up 8% (with RIM and Palm down 12%) on the back of the announcement - and they haven't shipped a single unit yet. There is already a countdown site where you can make one out of paper (and also here).

And even if Doug thinks it will be, and I quote, "DRM-infested arse", if they get the price point right (look how much iPods have come down in the last year) and offer decent discounts for those prepared to take on longer mobile contracts, for many people this is going to be a very desirable device. If they can get the legal wrangling over the name sorted out :)

So here it is:

Just kidding:

You know you want one...

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

It's a tennis score

Liverpool 3 - 6 Arsenal : Julio "The Beast" Baptista arrives in style...

Monday, 8 January 2007

Tongs For The Memory

I am a very simple man, easily pleased. One of the best presents I received this Christmas was a new set of kitchen tongs, by Cuisipro:
They utilise a fairly strong spring for a firm feel but the scalloped arms also have gently pointed ends for moving more delicate food items. The hooked part at the top also operates the clever twist mechanism which locks them in the closed position. They truly rock. And I am very sad :)

Friday, 5 January 2007

5-0 :((

Sshhhhhhh. England have lost the Fifth Test by ten wickets and therefore lose the Ashes series 5-0 for the first time in 86 years. Nothing more to say really. Oh well. Roll on 2009...

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Vote Donny!

So the latest series of Celebrity Big Brother has started on Channel 4. The wild card this time (cf. Bez, Goldie, Pete Burns) is Donny Tourette from Towers of London. He may be a foul-mouthed drunken loon with a voice like an enraged platypus but at least he's not Anthea Turner. Vote Donny*!

*I'm not really suggesting you line the pockets of Channel 4 / Endemol, obviously. This means you, de Cozar!
** Have you noticed I've been using footnotes a lot recently? Weird. Must keep an eye on that...

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Wet wet wet

Here in South London's leafy Honor* Oak Park, we have experimented with a huge variety of styles, shapes and systems of shower curtain (as well as one ill-advised foray into the murky world of the 'shower screen'). However, I feel that this New Yorker article relates everything (and more) which needs to be expressed on this fiercely debated and fundamentally incendiary household topic:

Think on :)

* yes, that's the correct spelling - something to do with Queen Elizabeth I

Monday, 1 January 2007

Two Thousand And Seven

In the interest of global unity, a very Happy Juche 96 to one and all! Apparently, it is the fashion to set out one's resolutions for the year at this juncture so I hereby declare that I intend to finally get around to thinking about making plans for setting in motion the process of starting to ruminate on the idea of writing a will*. Oh, and to procrastinate less :)

* Yes, Rowan, you can have my Arsenal hat...