BSG season 4

February 17, 2010

Ok so I’m behind everyone else. But I just finished watching it and overall – wow.  The final half of season 4 was lacking something – it was a bit too contrived. The whole BSG experience was almost a masterpiece, especially the music – Bear McCreary’s compositions are beautiful – take this piece for example – debuting as ‘Passacaglia’ before being named as ‘The Shape Of Things To Come’.

I’m wondering if Caprica can live up to BSG


Guro Dan Inosanto seminar

February 11, 2010

This weekend gone, I, my girlfriend and a friend attended a Kali / Fillipino Martial Arts seminar in Edinburgh with Guro Dan Inosanto – the guy who taught Kali to Bruce Lee and who was taught by Bruce.

It was a very interesting seminar – covering silat, sticks, knives and some dumog. There was a wealth of information to take in, which was above mine and Linda’s level though our friend Javi took most of it in. It was also a great honour to meet the man himself – he’s pretty sprightly for a 70+ year old and when he was doing his demonstrations with his assistant and started working up some speed – pretty incredible to watch.

This weekend coming we’re going to Paris – for valentines – on the EuroStar, dining in Isabelle Mercier‘s favourite restaurant BON

I eventually replaced my poorly laptop with an Acer touchscreen all in one jobby. Not bad, I can multitable on Full Tilt whilst watching Season 4 of BSG which I seemed to have been completely oblivious too.


Laptop death

January 30, 2010

I’ve been talking a lot on some forums about the iPad – pros and cons.

I think my Dell Studio 15″ heard and took offence. It decided at that moment to start going crazy – the fan running constantly on high, the keyboard not responding to keypresses at random. Seems to be a known issue with motherboard flex/cracking. Tonight it would turn on at all. Removing and reseating the battery seemed to fix all of the above though.

Have made a full backup anyway just in case.

So replacements:

All in one desktop or larger screen (17″) notebook I think for main PC

Still got my Dell Inspiron Mini for portable netbooky use

Have a Sony Reader and iPod nano for travelling (but combining the netbook, reader and nano would be a good call for an iPad)

I have a fair bit of travelling to do over the coming weeks / months, so tempted to replace the ipod nano which is also getting flaky – with an iPod touch until the ipad is released. Decent video and bettery is a must. The iTouch just about cuts it as a stopgap.


Long time… no post…. eek

January 27, 2010

Been busy. Very busy.

Launched two slow burner projects which I’m playing with – well, one of them is more serious than playing:

http://www.villagesocial.co.uk is in response to a request from members of the village where I grew up needing  a new site. I elected to set up a WordPress MU site to host theirs and others. It’s a bit of a collaborative effort, and I want to attract some targeted advertising revenue which I’ll share with the villages.

The first site on there is Membury (where I grew up)

http://www.awayintheweek.com is a forum for contractors who spend time away from home in the week and want to make friends with people other than the B&B owner / hotel receptionist and their current colleagues. It’s a bit underdeveloped at the moment

Also working on Project: Secret – custom development courtesy of my lovely girlfriend even if she does insit on coding it using Microsoft tech… other than that she’d be perfect 😉

Other than that, just got back from a weekend visit to Gibraltar to show Linny where I spent a year of playign poker and eating tapas. Training still going strong, and me, Linny and our instructor are going to a Dan Innosanto seminar in edinburgh in a couple of weeks. Innosanto taught Kali to Bruce Lee all those years ago and a visit to the UK is a rare treat.


Kali Eskrima supplies & the twelve areas of Kali

November 1, 2009

Recently bought ten kali sticks from Eskrimador supplies – my instructor/sifu has taken 6 and we’ve kept two each. Also got some stick bags so as not to be walking around carrying fighting sticks (and once we get our own training daggers to play with it’d be a bit awkward carrying them through town in the open…)

A few people have asked what kali is – here’s the twelve areas you study:

1st Area

  1. Single Stick
  2. Single Sword
  3. Single Axe
  4. Single Cane

2nd Area

  1. Double Stick (Double Olisi)
  2. Double Sword
  3. Double Axe

3rd Area

  1. Stick and Dagger (Olisi-Baraw)
  2. Cane and Dagger
  3. Sword and Dagger
  4. Sword and Shield
  5. Long and Short Stick

4th Area

  1. Double Dagger (Baraw-Baraw)
  2. Double Short Sticks

5th Area

  1. Single Dagger (Baraw-Kamot)
  2. Single Short Stick

6th Area

  1. Palm Stick (Olisi-Palad)
  2. Double end Dagger

7th Area Pangamut, Kamot-Kamot or Empty Hands

  1. Panatukan (Boxing to include use of the Elbows)
  2. Panadiakan or Sikaran (Kicking to include use of Knees and Shin)
  3. Dumog, Layug, or Buno (Grappling and Locking)
  4. Ankab-Pagkusi (Bite and Pinch)
  5. Higot-Hubud-Lubud (“Tying-untying, and blending the two”, which is a close range trapping and sensitivity exercise)

8th Area (Long Weapons)

  1. Staff (Sibat)
  2. Oar (Dula)
  3. Paddle (Bugsay)
  4. Spear (Bangkaw)
  5. Spear and Circular Shield
  6. Spear and Rectangular Shield
  7. Spear and Sword/Stick
  8. Spear and Dagger
  9. Two Handed Method (Heavy stick, Olisi Dalawang kamot)
  10. Two Handed Method (Regular stick)

9th Area (Flexible Weapons)

  1. Sarong (clothing worn in Southern Phillipines and Indonesia)
  2. Belt or Sash
  3. Whip (Latigo)
  4. Rope (Lubid)
  5. Chain (Cadena)
  6. Scarf, headband
  7. Handkerchief
  8. Flail (nunchucka) Olisi Toyok
  9. Tobak Toyok
  10. Yo-yo
  11. Stingray Tail

10th Area (Hand thrown weapons, Tapon-Tapon)

  1. Spear
  2. Dagger
  3. Wooden Splinter
  4. Spikes
  5. Coins, Washers
  6. Stones, Rocks
  7. Sand, Mud, Dirt
  8. Pepper, Powder
  9. Any object that can be thrown

11th Area (Projectile Weapons)

  1. Bow and Arrow (Pana)
  2. Blowgun (Sumpit)
  3. Slingshot (Pana Palad)
  4. Lantanka (Portable Cannon)

12th Area

  1. Mental, Emotional, Spiritual training
  2. Healing Arts
  3. Health Skills
  4. Rhythm and Dance
  5. History, Philosophy and Ethics

Sunday, lazy sunday

November 1, 2009

Couple of weeks ago Linny & I ‘found’ the Balloon Tree farm shop near york – selling great, fresh food. Went back today and had breakfast and stocked up again with enough to last us a week of homemade chicken congee, bangers and mash with my mum’s shallot sauce recipe, loads of fresh veg and some gorgeous figs, plums and kiwi fruit.

I’m now taking a break from MBA studying… I’m alternating 30 mins of studying with 15 minutes of xbox carnage or random surfing. It’s scientific – honest. Thirty minute attention spans for the win…

I’ve also got most of my parents’ new site running – using faithful wordpress…

Take a look – http://applebarn.wordpress.com/


Never too old to learn…

October 27, 2009

I’ve bitten the bullet and enrolled on a distance learning MBA (Masters of Business Administration) which is a postgrad certification (even though I don’t actually have a graduate qualification but shhh). I’m doing it with Edinburgh Business School, and the first module I’ve picked to study is Project Management. On the basis that I do it anyway (for the last 4 years or so) I should have a fairly good grasp and it should be the easier route back into studying.

I’m also considering brushing up my ITIL qualifications to V3 level. The MBA is more long term, the ITIL stuff is short and medium term (ie helping me get better paid contracts in the near future).

All costly stuff though…