Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Baillieston's Christmas Tree

As the rest of the country seems to be retracting Christmas Decorations in favour of "Holiday" Decorations. Baillieston has made a bold step forward by erecting a Christmas Tree!!

Dressed with some simple outdoor lights, it is situated on Baillieston's Main Street opposite the Lidl store and sits safely behind a couple of barriers hotwired to the local "No Entry" sign.

Begs the question: Is the no entry sign wonky or the tree??

Candy Floss!



We received a Candy Floss maker as one of our Wedding Presents from my Mum and Dad. I never thought it would be so much fun making candy floss!! Definitely a cool party trick.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Kaster Gig @ Cathouse Glasgow



Went to see Kaster at the Cathouse tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it. Interesting to have my hand stamped to buy alcohol - the Security guy was laughing because a big guy like me couldn't get served... One hand stamp later, problem solved!

Anyways - Keep a lookout for this band, they're sounding better everytime I hear them! I've linked to their site and the night was promoted by Kingsonic where I found the poster on the left.

Keep up the good work guys!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

So we'll foot the bill then.

It would seem that Scotland hosting the G8 Summit cost the people earning in Scotland £52million which works out at about £10 per person.

Tony Blair decided to host the G8 Summit at Gleneagles because of it's secluded location. However the policing operation has cost Scotland £72m - only £20m of that is to be met by the UK treasury - the Scottish Executive (funded by the Scottish tax payers and residents) has to meet the rest - note the Scottish Executive doesn't receive income from the North Sea oil rigs. The treasury's £20m will cost the UK population (pop. 60m) only 33p each (including those in Scotland).

How can it be possibly fair for the Tony Blair to make a decision affecting the whole of the UK (and G8 members) which costs those living and earning in Scotland (pop. 5m) £10.33 each and those in other areas of the UK only 33p!!! I'm fairly certain that if the G8 summit were to be held in England, the treasury would have met all the costs.

Yet another ridiculous way this Labour government have managed to stealth tax us.

Friday, December 09, 2005

iPhoto and Flickr!

I like to keep all my photos backed up and available locally, but after using Flickr! for a few months now - I'm actually finding myself using Flickr! to view my photographs rather than iPhoto. This has the benefit of viewing my photographs on any computer.

I am a bit of a fanatic for keeping things organised and I find the tag system used in Flickr! and keywords in iPhoto a great way of acheiving this. Each photo I have is tagged by location, subject, names of those in it, context (i.e. holidayJul2005) and time of day or something similar (i.e. night). I'm not really keen on uploading my photos directly to Flickr! and then tag them, so I use iPhoto to do this combined with some special tags and what I have called action smart folders.

First of all, every photo in my iPhoto collection is tagged, this is made easier with the utility Keyword Assistant which gives a dialog box which allows you to simply enter tags - it will autocomplete and autoadd depending if the tag exists or not. Each photo is then organised into smart folders. The smart folders are based on keywords - for example photos tagged "barry" or photos tagged "holidayJul2005". Some images may be in more than one smart folder, but that doesn't matter as there is only 1 image and 1 set of tags for that image. None of my images are in any folder or album - they are all in smart folders.

I manually go through each smart folder and ensure every image has the keyword IMAGEPROCESSED, this way I can create an action smart album called @UNFILED which contains all photos without the IMAGEPROCESSED tag. After importing a new batch of images, all the images will be in this smart folder (and probably not in any others). Using Keyword Assistant I can go through and tag all the photos appropriately and then manually add IMAGEPROCESSED to all photos in smart albums. This should leave @UNFILED empty unless I've tagged a photo in such a way it doesn't fit in with my current smart albums - I'll normally create one in these instances, for example I had some pictures taken in Glasgow which didn't fit anywhere so I created a new smart folder called "Glasgow" and these unfiled photos, along with all other photos tagged "Glasgow" appeared in this smart album.

The next step is ensuring all these photos get uploaded to Flickr! correctly and in an organised way. I don't like showing members of my family or my friends public on Flickr! as I don't see any reason why people should be looking at these photos - they're available, you just need to be one of my Flickr! friends or family to view them. I have a couple of Flickr! specific tags, OnFlickr, FlickrFamily, FlickrFriends, FlickrPrivate. Then I have some action smart albums:

  • UPLOAD PUBLIC
  • UPLOAD FRIENDS ONLY
  • UPLOAD FAMILY ONLY
  • UPLOAD FAMILY FRIENDS
  • UPLOAD PRIVATE
Upload public is all photos not tagged FlickrFriends, FlickrFamily, FlickrPrivate, OnFlickr
Upload Friends only is all photos not tagged OnFlickr, FlickrFamily, FlickrPrivate, but tagged FlickrFriends
Upload Family only is all photos not tagged OnFlickr, FlickrFriends, FlickrPrivate, but tagged FlickrFamily
Upload Family Friends is all photos not tagged OnFlickr, FlickrPrivate, but tagged FlickrFamily and FlickrFriends
Upload Private is all photos not tagged OnFlickr, FlickrFriends, FlickrFamily, but tagged FlickrPrivate

I can then use FlickrExport to upload all photos in each of the above action upload folders in an organised manner setting FlickrExport to export accordingly. Once FlickrExport has completed I usually tag the photos I uploaded with OnFlickr and then use the following smart albums to double check Flickr!

  • ONFLICKR PUBLIC (OnFlickr, not FlickrFamily, not FlickrFriends, not FlickrPrivate)
  • ONFLICKR FRIENDS (OnFlickr, not FlickrFamily, FlickrFriends, not FlickrPrivate)
  • ONFLICKR FAMILY (OnFlickr, FlickrFamily, not FlickrFriends, not FlickrPrivate)
  • ONFLICKR PRIVATE (OnFlickr, not FlickrFamily, not FlickrFriends, FlickrPrivate)
I can select more than one smart folder and compare with Flickr! and ensure the total photos match.

Next on the agenda is to get FlickrExport to automatically tag the photographs once it has been uploaded successfully to Flickr!

Took me some time to sort this out, but the mechanism is easy enough once implemented and makes it so much easier to see what's on Flickr! and what isn't. Also iPhoto is a much easier tagging interface than Flickr! once the Keyword Assistant has been installed.

Hope you've found this blog posting helpful!

Yahoo! Buys del.icio.us!

I personally thought google would buy del.icio.us and have a new "bookmark" search facility available which searches - not just people's bookmarks, but the contents of those pages according to google's cache. Since, I've increasingly found more accurate searches with del.icio.us than google... Hopefully Yahoo! will do something similar.

So that's Flickr! and del.icio.us under the Yahoo! brandname - and I don't even have a Yahoo! account!

Originally from boing boing's post.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Deflexion



This looks like a really cool board game. It's called Deflexion and you can move each piece one place at a time, or rotate each piece a quarter of a turn. At the end of each go each player must fire their laser - any non mirrored piece the laser hits must be removed. The game ends when the Pharoah is defeated!

Mail.app and Imap

TUAW have a posting about replacement email clients for Mail.App as they are having problems with it for high volume IMAP based email. In response, I found a while back that mail.app was choking a little on the size of my imap mailboxes. This is the solution I went for:

  1. I created two folders - "Archive" for all personal mail and "Work" for all work mail. I get far more mail from work than personal so work is actually a folder containing lot's of smaller mailboxes
  2. Every three months the "current" work folder is renamed for the time of year (e.g. Oct05-Dec05) and a new "current" folder is created.
  3. I have a smart folder in mail.app for All work email which basically groups together all of the smaller work folders - this smart folder currently contains about 9000 emails.
  4. In addition I have a "last week" smart folder which shows all the mail in "All Work" which was received in the last 7 days.
  5. I have a "last fortnight" smart folder which shows all the mail in "Archive"
  6. In conjunction with MailTags and Mail Act-On I can press two keys to archive mail into the correct work or personal real folder on my IMAP server - Mail.App will still see the email in the smart folders.
Using this mechanism I tend to use only virtual folders to browse and search for all of my email. I very, very rarely go into the actual IMAP folders. My INBOX is also kept empty most of the time.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Virgin Spot the Bands


virgindigital1280x960
Originally uploaded by barry_williams.
Nice competition by Virgin to spot all the bands in this poster! I can't get very many, but I've heard there is 72 (possibly more) in the picture!

Good Luck finding them!!

I've linked to another blog where I found the picture - and I've copied it into my Flickr! set.

Here's the Virgin Digital site which the advert is hosted on, and here's the original large jpg of the poster.

Update: Another blog about this is located here.

Secret Santa

This is an interesting idea. You have an Amazon wishlist and sign up using the provided link. On December 10th everyone gets to know their secret santa and buys a gift (maximum £10) for that person.

Kirkintilloch


Anal Capital of Scotland
Originally uploaded by BlackenedSkies.
Jim and I spotted this sign on the way back from dropping the dogs off at the Kennels there (they're a 2 minute drive from this sign).

I was going to go back and take a photo of it - but BlackenedSkies has beat me to it!!

Visited Countries

I've found quite a nice site which displays a map of the world and colours red the countries you have visited based on a dynamic query. The site is linked below.

My visit of the world is somewhat small, but I hope to improve on that!!

Greenlanes



Whilst I had my Suzuki in England I took advantage of some of the local greenlaning on offer in Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. Any lanes I drove down I took note of and have listed them here with a description of the lane and a scoring. If you enjoy any of the lanes don't forget to drop me an email and tell me what you thought!

Aldwincle (BOAT) [TL000833][SP988809]


Takes about 20 minutes to complete, can get very muddy and narrow. I thoroughly enjoyed this road!!
jeepjeepjeepjeepjeepjeep

Clay Dick Track (Roman Road) (WL) [SP717972] [SP742948]

Very Good, features a ford and a surreal crossroad with another green lane complete with signpost, not suitable when wet. Be careful of deep ruts.
jeepjeepjeepjeepjeep

Faxton (BOAT) [SP772757] [SP793753]

Enjoyed this one, both rivers have been bridged. Not particularly muddy or rutted. Took about 20 minutes. Make sure you follow the OS map carefully after the second field before Faxton. Go left, otherwise you end up on a private drive - Need to go around trees and through field.
jeepjeepjeepjeep

Chestnuts Farm (UCR) [SP783996] [SP804984]

Easy road, not well marked. Follow path past triangulation point and through farm. I have checked with the council and they have told me I may drive on this.
jeepjeepjeep

Thorpe Langton (UCR) [SP743930] [SP737947]

Starts off at a river - don't do this after floods, can get very deep! Finishes at a road, go straight over to go onto another (Stonton Wyville).
jeepjeepjeep

Stonton Wyville (UCR) [SP736955]

Pretty easy, no grass, but meets up at the crossroads of Clay Dick Track!
jeepjeep

Hallaton Wood (BOAT) [SP763976] [SP765983]

Well marked, fairly easy.
jeepjeep

Horninghold (BOAT) [SP804984] [SP805977]

Not marked on OS map but is OK! Easy, marked by yellow posts with red arrows.
jeepjeep

Slawston Hill (WL) [SP785938] [SP791950]

Very bumpy shortcut. Nothing Serious.
jeep

Draughton Disused Airfield (BOAT) [SP766793] [SP776788]

Pretty boring, 5 minutes to complete, fairly flat - The old service perimeter of a disused airfield.

Moved to Blogger

I've moved from RapidWeaver to Blogger and (painfully) exported all my existing blog entries over. RapidWeaver is a great application - but it isn't very useful if you use more than one computer, or you want to post an entry away from your computer!

I've moved updated and moved my "About Me" page which is linked on the site. The other sites have been added either as Flickr! sets and linked to by slideshow or as blog entries and linked directly.

All been updated and is now back on bjw.me.uk again!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

About Me



I was born in Antrim, Northern Ireland in 1980. Shortly afterwards my Parents moved to West Germany where I grew up in Soest and Detmold with short visits to Middle Wallop and Andover in Hampshire. 1994 was the year we moved to Wattisham, Suffolk for 2 years, afterwards moving to Shrewsbury, Shropshire for 2 years, Market Harborough, Leicestershire for another 2 and finally East Carlton in Northamptonshire.

I was taught at the Duke of York's Royal Military School in Dover, Kent where I obtained my GCSEs and A Levels. I took an interest in Artwork - specifically acrylic landscapes. I took part in the CCF here where I obtained the rank of acting Flight Sergeant for the RAF section of the CCF.

After the Duke of York's I read Computing Science at the University of Glasgow for 4 years graduating with a 2:1 honours degree in July 2002. Shortly after I leased a flat in the west end and started working for a company called Virtual-Mirrors Ltd. where I am currently working on a digital clothing project. In August 2003 I purchased a flat in Baillieston.

In September 2003 I got engaged to Louise and in November 2004 I moved into Louise’s house in Baillieston. After my flat was sold we purchased a holiday townhouse in the "White Village" of Olvera in Andalucia, Spain. We married in December 2005 at the Sherbrooke Castle Hotel in Glasgow.

I have interests in Painting, Computing, Photography and Offroading. I've had a digital camera for a couple of years and have increasingly got more interested in taking nice pictures with it. A few months ago I splashed out and bought myself a shiny new Digital SLR and have been taking time to get used to it - still pretty rubbish at photography but I'm working on it!!

I do enjoy taking my Suzuki SJ 413 offroading with the West of Scotland All Terrain Club. The car is quite capable of (more so than me anyway) some serious offroad use, now kitted out with chunky muds it drives like a charm - I've even recovered a few Landrover Defenders with it!

Mr and Mrs Williams

Louise and I are now married! The day went in too fast for me to remember much other than getting a hard time from my Best Man's Speech!!

The video will be ready soon and so will the photographs so we will thankfully be able to see what really happened!

Thanks to everyone - Louise and I had a great time and I think everyone else did too!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

4,8,15,16,23,42



Whilst browsing the web I discovered a couple of theories about the numbers in the TV Show Lost.

My favourite is using them as a GPS grid reference - I've put them in Google Maps and if you zoom in you can see a small island just off to one side... This would seem to be more than a coincidence!

Another interesting theory is the seat numbers the lead passengers were in - I think Ana-Lucia for example was in 42. Jack in row 23, although Locke was in 24, Shannon and Boone were in 9 so it doesn't hold entirely.

Check out Oceanic Airlines seating chart for more details!

4 matches alphabetically for D, 8 for H and you can use some maths for ARMA (or DHARMA).

The DHARMA INITIATIVE website has some more interesting theories.

Abusive Online Retailer

Someone in America seems to have had an appalling dispute with an online retailer (PriceRitePhoto.com) over a camera. The retailer has now been reported to the New York Attorney's office and de-listed from Yahoo! Shopping and PriceGrabber over it's fraudulent and illegal dealings!

"I will make sure you never place an order on the internet again" and "I'm going to call your local police and have two officers come over and arrest you" are just some of the highlights - essentially because he refused an extended warranty and memory card!!

Link