Tuesday, 30 September 2008

On finding god

He was lying on the floor, near to passport control in Prague Ruzyne International airport. Of course once I'd found him I had to pick him up to keep. Who knew he was laminated?

Seriously though I'm beginning to think that God may be the Hilton HHonours Gold VIP programme. On arrival at the Hilton Prague today I was told that VIP check in were waiting for me on the 8th floor. Once there I was offered a glass of champange as I checked in, and discovered that I get my breakfast in the "Executive lounge", also on the 8th floor. Seems I get some other perks like use of the executive lounge during the day including snacks, drinks and newspapers (as long as I'm "properly attired"), PC access, free meeting room booking, and in room stuff like evening turn down (alas I missed this as I was on the phone and the poor girl got terribly confused).

I've been most impressed by the personal touch when I went back up to the 8th floor reception to ask for a shaving kit (forgot my razor). When I said that I was in room 7057, he said "I know, Mr Poultney, I know.". Good skillz.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Nobody likes a winner

Human nature is amazing. I think it shines through most truly in toddlers - they can be totally selfish, unreasonable and display no regard for others.  We all have that in us, and as we grow up we learn tight control over ourselves that enables us to conform to societal norms. Or at least most of us do.

Why the preamble then? Because every once in a while some of our less desirable traits get through all our filters and screening, as I was lolariously reminded this weekend.

I've come back today from a very pleasant break at the Sandymouth holiday park near Bude in Cornwall with my brother and his wife. As well as being very pleasant, it was also very successful with us winning pretty much everything possible. We won 2 out of 3 evening quizzes (2nd in the other by 2 points, joined in halfway through) and with us winning at bingo every night, including taking £57 of the £67 pot last night.

Following on from our massive bingo WIN, we had a damn good go at winning a game called "Stop the bus" which involved answering a set of questions using only words starting with the given letter for each round. As soon as you had a full set, you had to shout "Stop the bus!" at which point your answers would be read out to everyone for their agreement. In the case of any dispute, objections to a particular answer could be raised and then upheld or overrulled by the masses. It turned out to be a much better game than expected, mostly because objections could pretty much be made up on the spot to scupper the competition.

From fairly early on in the game, it was clear that the tide of popular opinion had turned against us, with many objections to our (correct) answers and also a lack of support for upholding our objections against other teams. The icing on the cake that inspired this post however, was what happened after the game when I went to the bar. I was approached by an older lady (mid 60s?) who said the following:

Her: When are you leaving?
Me: Tomorrow.
Her: Thank goodness for that, we might stand a chance of winning something.

What really threw me was that she wasn't even buying a drink, she'd left her seat and come all the way over to the bar just to get that off her chest. Talk about getting pwned.

I guess perhaps we can only be happy for the successes of those we know well, whereas the fortune of strangers brings out our worst jealousy and spite. Ah well, no matter, I'm up £46.30 from bingo and have 2 certificates and cuddly toys from our quiz wins. In her face!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Crushingly addictive web games

A few weeks ago thanks to Jamie I became thoroughly engrossed in Desktop Tower Defence (highscores here) and now thanks to Dean I'm consumed by Fantastic Contraption. Fantastic Contraption is Flash game with a nifty physics engine where the goal is to get the red shape into the red area shown on screen. To complicate matters, you have a limited selection of parts from which to build your contraption and you can only build it within the light blue area. Once you've built something and are happy, you click start and just sit back and watch the physics at work. 

The key reason that I've found it so compelling is that because it's physics based, the tiniest of changes to your contraption can yeild surprisingly different results. Also, the engine is complex enough that you can balance, swing, counterwieght and winch to your hearts content.

In a stroke of genius, if you register you can also save your best contraptions to share with the world. Here's a few of mine to get you thinking:

Tips for beginners:
  • Remember you can move the red piece, and even use it as a wheel
  • Momentum is your friend
  • You can make chains of wood/water
What are you waiting for? Get playing!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

The Facebook rules of engagement

Facebook is great. Facebook is mega. However, as with all social networking sites, it does raise questions over with whom you should become friends.

Here's the rules that I use, the system is that you have to match at least one rule from both sections A & B.

Section A (basic requirement)
I am interested in you.

Section B (additional qualification)
I have your number in my phone.
We've lived together.
We've been educated together.
We've been on holiday together.
We're colleagues, but I see you regularly out of work.
I want to stalk you.

At some point I'll try and get round to brutally enforcing these rules on my current friends list and post the difference.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Words as Pictures: Discarded

I spotted these as we exited the Connect music festival. Poor surplus boots.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Status: August

August 1
6:18pm Tim has commenced the switch to A&L.

August 2
1:04pm Tim is getting work pwned.
2:31pm Tim is in the office, going over and above, no air con.
6:51pm Tim is en route to Fin/Marl, not done with work yet though alas.
11:58pm Tim needs 2 days off in lieu to make up for ridiculous work today.

August 3
7:16pm Tim is tired but happy, been rocking out with Fin & Marl today.
8:57pm Tim is making edits in Ableton for Foxy Beats.

August 4
3:54pm Tim is going to Manchester tomorrow :(.

August 5
5:51am Tim is on the first flight SOU->MAN.
8:47am Tim has consumed more than his daily allowance of fat before 9am.

August 6
9:10am Tim is well rested.
3:14pm Tim 's DS battery is flat, no more DS10 :(.

August 7
9:20am Tim is a bit irritated by getting woken up by the new wireless doorbell playing Old MacDonald randomly in the night.
7:12pm Tim is swimming for the first time in ages.

August 8
1:05pm Tim got severely bashed at Physio and now has his shoulders taped into place.
6:40pm Tim is at Adam and Debs wedding on a table with 2 sweet kids about Fin/Marl age.

August 12
9:52am Tim is twenty nine.
11:19am Tim is at Longleat for his birthday suprise, thanks May!
11:02pm Tim is back home, May got pwnt @ crazy golf.

August 13
9:25am Tim is debating buying a 450D.
9:23pm Tim is eating his birthday Hotel Chocolat - Exuberantly Fruity, yum!

August 14
12:35pm Tim is waiting on May.
3:03pm Tim is drinking too much Coke Zero.
8:03pm Tim is waiting for May pt 2.
11:24pm Tim is trying to select tunes and worrying about music selection.

August 15
9:10am Tim is eyeing the weaking £ and watching his share options.
6:25pm Tim is totally stoked with his lovely gifts from Ant, Hel, the boys and Clara.

August 16
11:09am Tim is making a few last minute re-edits for tonight.
5:05pm Tim is at the Fox, got some good tingling nerves going on.

August 17
12:12am Tim is the best laid plans.
2:19am Tim is home, tired. Don't mix Windows, USB and Serato with a live crowd.
3:45pm Tim is finishing up in Leam and then going home to Winchester.
7:46pm Tim is showing the washing machine some love after returning home to an E20 error message.
10:05pm Tim 's elderly neighbour just phoned to say there's water coming from her ceiling - washing machine disastero.

August 18
8:50pm Tim is listening to Dawkins ballache on about how Darwin is fact and EVERYTHING ELSE IS WRONG.

August 19
2:14pm Tim advises that if you have anything to do today, don't click this link: http://tinyurl.com/ywbza2.

August 20
8:57am Tim is watching the man look at the washing machine.
4:25pm Tim is investing his 12 month free overdraft from A&L.
11:27pm Tim has been watching the newly repaired washing machine like a hawk, it seems to be ok.

August 23
11:44am Tim is going to Ant & Hel's party today.
8:58pm Tim is sat round the fire in the field playing with Fin & Marl.
11:24pm Tim is preparing to go in the tent with May.

August 24
12:34am Tim is in the tent with May. Spider disaster 1 has been averted.
1:20pm Tim is embroiled in chaos, in a nice way.

August 25
9:38pm Tim is is watching High School Musical.

August 26
11:13pm Tim is thinking about packing.

August 27
7:29pm Tim just ate the first of the holiday's greasy festival meals. The scalping has begun.

August 28
12:02am Tim is pack pack pack pack.
7:40am Tim is at SOU, again, but going on holiday today woo!
10:49am Tim was doing huge lols at old couple with normal suitcases as cabin baggage and the ensuing chaos.
5:23pm Tim has checked into the Butlers Quarters at Ardkinglas and scoped out Inveraray.
9:13pm Tim is knackered after poor sleep, early start and travel today. Region hacked the dvd player in the butlers quarters to watch House S4. Now in bed.

August 29
2:59pm Tim has arrived at the Connect festival!
9:51pm Tim is at Silent Disco.

August 30
12:34pm Tim is going up Glen Fyne before day 2 of Connect. Yesterday was good, silent disco saved the day after the tedium of the Manics.

August 31
12:02am Tim skipped most of day 2 of Connect due to ill weather and low tolerance for mud & idiots. Finished S4 of House instead, finale was AMAZE.
11:07am Tim is watching the rain.
5:38pm Tim is at Loch Awe.
7:09pm Tim arriving at Connect for the final time, Sigur Ros and Slam tonight.
10:09pm Tim is in the hands of serendipity. Had myofascial release in a teepee at Connect and now awaiting Sigur Ros. Woo!
11:33pm Tim Sigur Ros live, unspeakably beautiful.