Tuesday, 31 August 2004

Went for a short walk yesterday evening and at a quiet meadow, I sat and watched a pair of kestrels hunting together, which I've never seen before. I stood very still, then sat down, and they got quite close. Wish I'd have taken a video camera. Shortly after they flew off, a big rabbit came out of the hedge less than 20ft from me and started eating.

Saturday, 28 August 2004

Kelly Holmes © BBC
Well done Kelly for your outstanding achievement of double golds at this year's Olympics. You made it look so easy.

BBC SPORT | Olympics 2004 | Athletics | Golden double for Holmes

Friday, 27 August 2004

The BBC have featured one of the Northamptonshire villages that took part in the the CLUTCH project in a page on English village life.

BBC NEWS | In pictures: Village life

Thursday, 26 August 2004

AyupI can't miss the opportunity to blog 'The Online Magazine for Yorkshire'. "We're [not] living a black and white, film noir steel town existence, scraping a living stripping in Working Men's Clubs, or we're glowering down on some Technicolor landscape from a huge black horse, trying not to fall for Helena Bonham Carter and swearing at the mill workers."

Here's an chance for all to bury their false impressions of 'The Third World' (as Pyton named the county in 'The Life of Brian'). "Our celebrities are perfect; blowing up huge cigar smokescreens of bluff, straight talking no-nonsense Cro-Magnon man. There's Boycott, Parky, Jimmy Saville, Prince Naz, Arthur Scargill and John Prescott (honorary Yorkie) all scaring the crap out of pesky southerners who drift up the A-1 looking for culture."

The magazine for Yorkshire, England - West, North, South, Dales, Terrier, Pudding! Whatever Yorks yer looking for...

Central Park
"No, you can't hold a rally against Bush in Central Park" - so says New York State's Supreme Court. Might damage the grass, apparently. So a risk of damage to grass can overrule the Constitution now?

BBC NEWS | Americas | New York bans rally against Bush

Never thought I'd find myself agreeing with Conservative leader Michael Howard, but with his comments today on Britain's spreading culture of political correctness, he does have a point. Don't get too excited, though, Michael - still can't see myself voting for you. But then I'm not going to be voting for Blair and his cronies either.

BBC NEWS | Politics | Tory leader attacks 'PC culture'

Wednesday, 25 August 2004

The Bourne Identity DVD
Newest DVD aquisition is the stunning Bourne Identity, with Matt Damon bringing to the silver screen Robert Ludlam's amnesiac contract killer Jason Bourne. Very stylish and thoroughly recommended. I've watched it twice already.

Monday, 23 August 2004

Photo © BBC
Superb gold for Kelly Holmes in the 800m in Athens today.

Thursday, 19 August 2004

Hardly surprising that Google shares did well on their first trading day - closing 18% up on their opening price of $85.

Google's public offering website

My heart goes out to 14-year-old Maxine Gentle whose brother was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq back in June. Her and her mother went to 10 Downing Street but stormed out of a meeting with John Prescott having concluded, not surprisingly, that he was talking "rubbish". Below is a link to her open letter to Prime Minister Blair.

BBC NEWS | Politics | Text of Maxine Gentle to Tony Blair

Tuesday, 17 August 2004

Hunting High and LowWhilst hunting down the Bond theme 'Living Daylights' on the iTunes music store (from one of, IMHO, the best of the Bond series with arguably its best actor, Timmy Dalton - now why did he only do two? - I digress) I come across the names of the members of A-Ha, one of the 80's better (almost) one-hit-wonders, memorable if only by the video that accompanied their hit single 'Take On Me', including guitarist Pal Waaktaar.

Now imagine the poor wee chappy, on his eighth birthday as recipient of a John Bull Printing Kit (remember those?), in desparate search for sufficient vowels to be able to print his very first business cards. However, revenge was to be had in later years when, in placing a selection of those little cream tiles, he lands himself a pretty respectable Scrabble score.

Monday, 16 August 2004

Minor panic at work today when Sophos popped up an alert message to tell me I had a virus, or more specifically a trojan that was trying to replicate itself. Must have got it via a web site as all my email is scanned before I even get it. Just did a full scan and got it to shred the suspect file.

Whatever you do, never have a computer connect to the Internet without good, up-to-date anti virus software installed.

Sunday, 15 August 2004

Attended the last day of this year's National Polocrosse Championships at nearby Liscombe Park, Bucks, today and shot just shy of 400 frames.

Click for the full gallery.

Saturday, 14 August 2004

Today's Northampton Town home game, against relegate Wycombe Wonderers, looked like going the visitors' way until Cobblers' player Fred Murrey was sent off for a 'professional foul' in the second half. With only 10 men, NTFC played so much better. Final score a quite respectable 1-1.

Thursday, 12 August 2004

'Our' cat Charlie sadly had to put to sleep today when the vet found he had cancer. I say 'our' in quotes because he actually belonged to next door, but he visited us quite often and we always gave him a lot of fuss. We're going to miss the old guy.

Wednesday, 11 August 2004

Went totally over the top taking photos at this weekend's motocross event in Toddington - over 640 in total. Just as well I'm shooting digital.

Click for full galleries

Just back from my first Northampton Town home game as a season ticket holder. They played local, just-promoted rivals Rushden and Diamonds and although they managed to win 1-0, it was a pretty unimpressive game. Must do better, guys.

Sunday, 8 August 2004

I was pretty impressed by I,Robot on Saturday - perhaps never having read the book(s) helped. Worth seeing and will probably buy the DVD too when it comes out in December.

Thursday, 5 August 2004

Here's a site listing some interesting sustainable housing projects in Australia. Milton Keynes, the city where I work, was built with an estate of 'energy efficient' houses, some of which have solar panels (they were featured in the film 'The Fourth Protocol' with Michael Caine), but I don't think any of them quite achieve this standard.

ABC Radio National - Earthbeat handouts

Wednesday, 4 August 2004

Actually played in a departmental football game this evening - must be the first time I've played since school (a good 22 years ago). Fortunately no one was taking photos...

Tuesday, 3 August 2004

The ClangersOn a lighter note - there's nothing like a little reminiscing - in this case, of the wonderful late-1960s television programme 'The Clangers':

The Clangers are small, pink mouselike persons who live under their planet's surface in caves protected by saucepan lids. The noise of the lids being closed (to protect their home from falling space debris) gave the Clangers their name. The series told of their encounters with iron chickens, seeds, and sentient musical instruments.

And yes, I did have my own, knitted Clanger.

The BBC carry a nice trivia site of their own but Nigel Baker's official Smallfilms site is more in-depth and is approved by original animator Oliver Postgate.

What makes me think my old Mum's getting a bit eccentric in her old age? Well, she's just called to me to help her to find some earthworms with which to feed a rather skinny frog, in the garden, in the pooring rain. And you think I'm making this up...?

Monday, 2 August 2004

Land of the free, eh?

President Bush's re-election campaign insisted on knowing the race of an Arizona Daily Star journalist assigned to photograph Vice President Dick Cheney ... a spokesman for the president's re-election campaign, said the information was needed for security purposes.

Bush camp solicits race of Star staffer | The Arizona Daily Star