16 Jan

My daugher died in a car accident on Friday night. She leaves two children and a husband. I don’t even need to tell you that this is a terrible time and one which I don’t intend to blog my way through. I’ll talk again when we reach something closer to normality.

10 Jan

My chair..At home i have a perfectly functional chair, in fact a bloody nice chair for 100 quid at MFI. But at work… This is the draft of an email I never sent my boss about the chair, basically ‘cos he’d already said I could have a new one..

“I think I misled you re the chair, it isn’t a chair, it is a steel bird table with some tattered brown rags which may have been covering, or possibly dead birds, draped over it. This has been amusing mounted on four non-spheroidal examples of stress fractured plastic and aluminium that a joker might describe as wheels but a realist would describe as knackered.. It aspires to being crap, and misses it by a long way..”

10 Jan

I have read and been distressed by the way that photographers have been increasingly harassed or marginalised in society recently. The pages of AP resound with tales of injustice and woe. I agree and sympathise with nearly all, but recent events have led me to consider the quote from Matthew 7:3 “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”.

I have always enjoyed the classic cameras articles by Ivor Matanle and yet have never managed to visit a camera fair. So, recently, I got up early on a Sunday morning and drove some little way to one. How pleasant! Lots of lovely old cameras, some new ones, a good few boxes of cheap book and a demonstration of a printing technique I’d not seen before. I was most happy and thought I’d snap a few pics for my blog website, as I have often done at gaming convetions, computer fairs and other such events.

No sooner than I had taken 3 picture than I was approached by the (very charning and apologetic) organiser who said that the traders were complaining and would I desist from taking pictures without permission…. Needless to say I complied, they were well within their rights, and it was foolish of me to confuse a photographic gathering with a market place; nonetheless the irony was quite picquant!

05 Jan

I have been bothered with obscene nuisance calls over the last month. It all started when a bloke rang me and before I knew it I was in a conversation with a crank caller about being last in the phone book. I grew up being crank called (what with being last in the phone book) and I mistakenly thought that he was reasonably okay and wouldn’t trouble me again. Big mistake. He has been rining me on and off over the festive season making every more obscene calls. Even though I can hear his mates in the background laughing it does unsettle me and my wife. We’ve had to warn my son since he has moved from ringing my office phone to ringing the house phone. Oddly he has always managed to ring when I am not able to answer, so I now have a large collection of his calls on the answering service. I have talked to my phone service provider, but short of changing number they have little to offer. I am reluctant to waste police time over it, I just hope he loses interest.

It does me make me far more reluctant to share my thoughts on the Internet. It makes one a little edgy and paranoid.

21 Dec

Working hard on some research for the DfT which is interesting. However I have no staff right now so I’m doing data entry that frankly I am too old for. You need a clerical person or at least a research student for this! Jeez. I am also working on a research proposal for the European Commission on railfreight. I’ve given up trying to predict which of these will succeed and which ones will fail, so much comes down to the final days when the co-ordinator pulls it all together and it either shines or it’s shit. We won’t know until next year but I wish my co-ordinator luck, and writers block on the competition!

I think I am all sorted for Christmas. We have HyunMi and Michael coming Friday for Christmas and then they go to Gran Canaria on Boxing Day to spend New Year with her family. Leesa and Martyn and the kids come round Boxing Day and we’re going to Worcester for New Year. Hopefully Matt and I will play in Rich’s wargame inbetween, and maybe Dom Mooney might arrange something to play with newt. Anyway, must get back to work..

11 Dec

Well, got woken at 7.30 by Matthew banging on the door (he stayed at his friends). Urgh! Then I had to take him to hockey, come back and get a Christmas tree, cook dinner. By which stage it was 4pm and I was so tired I had to go to bed and sleep. I am pleased I did since I now have done some work on one of the proposals, so I can get a little of the workload shifted. Off the Newcastle tomorrow for some stats work, a Christmas dinner and to do some interviewing. Take care all.

10 Dec

Ann is in Paris with her mate. I’ve been finetuning her (friends) laptop and then today I spent 5 hours setting up a router and wireless network for Matt’s friend. This week I went to Brno in the Czech Republic and had a very productive meeting with our partners CDV. Nice city, nothing fancy but nice Mittel Europe with a castle and churches and stuff.

I am very tired, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends trying to catch up on my work after the 10 days illness I had (see blogging below). Until Nicolas starts in the New Year I am the only one in my section of NewRail so if I am ill then it all just piles up. I am interviewing Tuesday for another Research Associate, so hopefully next year I shall have two people to help me and an admin person. I cannot wait.

Must go, got to see if I can get Alcohol 120% to work and the read some more of Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, it has me gripped..


28 Nov

It’s been so cold! Snow started to fall today and I think we’re gonna have a really cold winter. Cold for us that is, warm for many people..
Anyhow, I have joined a group of leica friends across the world in a small irc group, if you wanna talk rangefinders then try this: LUGIRC
Got lots of work to do this week and a proposal to help write.