December 2006 Archive

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December 25, 2006

Alternative Christmas Message BlogSwap

@ 12:01 AM

A few weeks ago Jack Pickard came up with a fun and interesting idea: an Alternative Christmas Message BlogSwap. You can read a fuller explanation on Jack's site, but in short the participants each post an alternative Christmas message on another participant's blog. This year I will be posting Mike Cherim's message here (keep reading), mine will go on Stephen Lang's blog (external link), Jack's will be posted on Mike's blog (external link), and Stephen's message will be posted on Jack's (external link). Should be fun and interesting. Over to Mike:

Mike Cherim's Alternative Christmas Message

A Christmas message should be a simple thing to write, but not if one has writer's block. With writer's block the simplest written works can be challenging. Sure I could tell a related story, describe a childhood Christmas, or even tell you, dear reader, that I would like to see the spirit of the holiday last all year long resulting in world peace. But I'm not. I decided instead to share with you a few little known quotes from some of history's greatest people.

"Ask not what you'll get from Santa; ask if Santa really wants cookies and milk." -- Kennedy to his kids

"I will gladly repay you Tuesday for a Humbug today." -- Wimpy to Popeye

"You just drank the most egg-nog I have ever seen anyone drink, man" -- Chong to Cheech

"Who left the Christmas tree candles on? The wax bill is killing me!" -- Edison grumbling to himself

"One small gift for her, one giant credit card bill for me." -- Armstrong about diamond for Missus

"If I had only known, I would have been an elf." -- Einstein during frustrated moment

"You're gonna need a bigger sled." -- Brody to Santa, looking at bag of toys

"What the hell is Christmas anyway?" -- Overheard from Kwanzaa partygoer

"I'm dreaming of a green Christmas..." -- Eskimo song

"The evidence has spoken: there is no Santa Claus." -- Grissom from CSI

"You think you can catch Santa Claus?" -- Verbal from Usual Suspects

"I am not a reindeer" -- Nixon to the press

"All we are saying is give fruit cake a chance." -- John Lennon sings

"The cookies were eaten, in the library, with a spoon." -- Clue player to friends

"It's beginning to look a lot like profits..." -- Large retailer singing to shareholders

And last but not least...

"The power of Christmas is in its universality. Presents for everyone regardless of income is an essential aspect.?" -- Tim Ho-Ho-Ho Berners-Lee

I have to stop with this else my mind will explode and that'll make a mess, do feel free to add a few quotes of your own.

December 22, 2006

Take one a day

@ 4:31 PM

Inspired by Northshore (external link), and the purchase of a digital camera I can carry just about anywhere (unlike my Sony DSC-717), from 1st January 2007 I'm going to be taking one photo a day and posting it to Flickr, with a thumbnail here somewhere.

It means two things - I'll need to do some redecorating here, which is no bad thing, and you'll probably be subjected to many pictures of Alloa, which may not be such a good thing. I'll do my best to keep it interesting, but sometimes life just ain't that way, is it?

Anyone else fancy taking up the challenge?

December 17, 2006

5 things you did not know about Dan Champion

@ 6:38 PM

I generally try to avoid memes, not because I don't enjoy reading them on other blogs, but because I don't ever seem to find the time to do them justice myself. But as Mike Cherim's (external link) gone to the trouble of explicitly tagging me on this one, it's a nice theme, and being a pretty private person I don't normally give much personal detail away here, I'm making an exception for this one.

So here are 5 possibly interesting things you're unlikely to know about me:

  1. From about the age of 12 I wanted to be a lawyer. I still don't know where that desire came from, and it wasn't until the age of 19, during the second year of my English Law degree at King's College, London (external link), that I realised I didn't really want to be a lawyer. I completed my law degree nonetheless, although I spent a lot of time during the last two years of the course on "extra-curricular" activities.
  2. I spent two years working as a forester when I left university. It was the most physically demanding work I've ever done, but also some of the most enjoyable. Being outside 10 hours a day in all the weather Scotland can throw at you might not sound like much fun, but by its very nature forestry takes you to some breathtaking places, like the Isle of Mull (external link). After 4 years in London it was somewhat cathartic to spend so much time in so much wilderness with so many midges (external link).
  3. In the last couple of months I've learned to swim at the Scottish National Swimming Academy (external link) at Stirling University. Although I could get from one end of a swimming pool to the other without touching the bottom before the lessons, it would be insulting to swimmers everywhere to describe it as swimming. I was terrified of water too - couldn't abide it on my face, and the idea of putting my head underwater was too much to contemplate. After 8 weeks of tuition from the excellent staff at the academy I can now swim underwater, and do a pretty good breaststroke. I return in February to learn the front crawl and can't wait to get started.
  4. In August 2005 my wife and I featured on BBC Radio Scotland's programme Grassroots (external link). We only expected to be interviewed for a 5 minute slot but ended up being on for half an hour. There's an mp3 of the show on our smallholding site (external link) if you really want to listen to it.
  5. I sponsor a 13 year-old Nicaraguan boy through Plan International (external link). His name is Nelson, he loves baseball and maths and sends me some lovely letters and drawings. If you can spare a small amount of money each month please consider spending it on a sponsorship. The work of organisations like Plan makes a big difference to some of the world's poorest people, and you get the opportunity to establish a lasting bond with a child.

Enough about me, I'm tagging Claire (external link), Grant Broome (external link), Jim O'Donnell (external link), Andy Saxton (external link) and Stephen Lang (external link).

December 2, 2006

Top 10 Wii Complaints

@ 9:36 PM

With the imminent arrival of my Wii, hopefully next Friday or Saturday, I've been doing a bit of reading to see what the buzz is like in the US and Japan where they already have their hands on the console. Apart from a shitload of videos on YouTube (head straight for the Top 20 Wii videos (external link) at Wii Wii to see the cream of the crop) I also came across this article at 1Up:

Top 10 Nintendo Wii Complaints (external link)

Thankfully there's little to worry about. A few of the complaints, like lack of online content, are just symptoms of being an early adopter, others, like 20 hour battery life for the Wiimote, no concern at all if like me you've already got a bundle of rechargeable AAs. In fact the only vaguely serious complaint is that the Wii is not region-free, which is a real shame given Nintendo's history of being somewhat obtuse when it comes to regional games releases.

Even if you feel a bit miffed after reading the list, check out the PS3 list (external link) to see what you're missing out on for not parting with those extra $$$.