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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Cornish yarg and Littlemore goat

I've been going to the gym - 4 times in the last 10 days. For me, that's impressive.
Also not touched a drop since Boxing Day festivities at godkids', and no plans before Russian New Year.
Went running-jogging-walking to the top of Primrose Hill via the canal yesterday.
Ah, the gym - a Moorish pool is empty, as is the steam room, and the jacuzzi - today I went from one to the other just to experience the beauty of the still warm sensations. Like the ultimate onanism! But without the cuddles afterwards.
So each time I go to the gym, I stop at the Bloomsbury cheese shop on the way back and buy £1 of cheese - my locker room money.
Hence the title, yesterday mild cow's cheese and today a soft mild goat's cheese from Somerset. When I've been to the gym 50 times, I will be fit and have eaten all the cheese...
Liz has had a few issues that prevent - yet again - me getting my hands on any Christmas presents this year...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas strike at my flat!

So that's Ta Zu and above the van is my window - the satellite vans are there for No.39 and the Rail Maritime and Transport Union HQ. Train strikes, tube strikes - it's just like New York!!


Saw Al and Kenny B. on Tuesday - the Old Reptilians (come on, you snakes!) are now an ex-lizard, deceased, gone from this world...
We had a few beers and saluted ex-Reps including Pete, much missed, and Si Bates, crying off with exhaustion.
Hope to make it an annual reunion - based around watching at Lords perhaps?!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Perfect day!


1. Joined a gym,
Cannons at Mecklenburgh Place - and could swim in my own pool, use my own jacuzzi, use my own steam room and then my own sauna. Joy! £25 a month...
2. Watched some criii-ckittt...
3. Ate a delicious full English breakfast for lunch! Choice of 3 cafes within 25metres of my front door:-)
4. Had a lovely siesta
5. Spoke to Greggo, Daffy and Pro - 3 of my favorite people and reminders of [1] Hebrides at Easter and Lake District and Manchester and Hampton Court Palace; [2] Barcelona, wine tasting and the one that got away; [3] Tokyo, London and soon Norway!
6. Watched
'The Constant Gardener' - Ralph Fiennes in good form, bit PC as a film. Delightfully empty cinema.
7. Had a lovely Vietnamese meal of won ton soup and Saigon pork curry with green tea.
8. That set me up for
'King Kong' - fabulous!
9. Wandered home and had some textual intercourse with Elena M. - I wish! Audrey Hepburn meets Miranda Cohen.
10. Slept a solid 8 hours...
Yup, birthdays can be better when you don't plan to see anyone. Am I a misanthrope?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The village of Marsden

This is lunch in Marsden, West Yorkshire in summer 2003 - yours truly pointing to a lovely plate of F&S. Mel and Carol (sorry can't remember) are doing their usual giggling along as we later went round the graveyards finding 18th century Marsdens. I'm publishing it now because I just had birthday dinner of Harry Ramsden's F&S, and I'm approaching 200 years old...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

La Poderosa dies - RIP 1996-2005

But perhaps she'll be saved - the guy who failed her MOT has offered to buy her - for a princely £50!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Donnie Trump's egregious syrup - Upper West Side

West Side view - 69th St rail bridge subsiding rustily into the Hudson, the views back from the new pier. Don Trup owns most of the views this side, Trump Place etc. Look carefully and you can see the Empire State poking up on 34th St and also Don's egregious syrup on any view you care to mention. Excellent place to take some morning air after sleeping in the cupboard on 71st St!

Charles and Camilla offend New York (and vice versa)

This is the shop window in a posh store on 55th and Lexington - a diorama of the Royals, which is very offensive and funny, but the cameraphone's not good enough to pick it up. Charlie in bath, Will's on Left, Camilla holding various Diana cast-offs. The Americans don't really care about the elderly couple, to be honest...

Columbia University after the Marconi Foundation conference - Bob Kahn very interesting on CEPT and ITU, the day his Congressional Medal of Honour was announced. By coincidence I'd just been with Andrew McLaughlin at Google, works with Vint Cerf - who didn't make it. But then Pepper was in Japan on Monday when I had lunch with Adam Golodner at Cisco. On the right is Gordon Moore receiving his lifetime achievement award - third so far. He's a 'mensch' apparently - not unter or uber. Eli invited me, met Senator Pressler (nice guy from South Dakota, really cares about the Internet), Beth and Nadine oh-so-briefly, and Elena wowed them. Fibernet guy and wife blissfully happy - in fact, 3 very happy couples at one table - shock horror!

Friday night en route to the Waldorf

Note that the Rockettes were on strike at Radio City, so no start of the Christmas show (like Morecambe and Wise being on strike in UK), and do you see anyone ice skating at the Rockefeller Center? Did I try? Is the Pope Jewish?

Time Square 4 November - 70 degrees...

It can look a beautiful city if you're visiting 1440 Broadway on a hot November day...

New York - Google visit

Shown around Google by Laura - Ed's daughter - on a beautiful Friday lunchtime. We saw the new engineering floor, and its determinedly cool - beanbags, pool table, pingpong like the legendary first boardroom table, Macintosh conference room with a Mac circa 1993. With that kind of retro-Google corporate feel, they must be losing their virginity. TVWF will certainly contribute...

Washington - ran away to the Pentagon City circus!

Friday, November 04, 2005

A nice cup of tea!

New York looks better in the sunlight - don't we all! Took a walk down to the pier at 69th St, next to the crumbling remains of the NY Central Railroad bridge. There are about 6 versions of Trump Towers now, all sporting an 'egregious syrup' effect. The sun was shafting between towers, giving a epiphanic glow to a temple of larceny.
Then walked in the sun to 72nd St, bought a bagel with ham and cheese omelette (hope to go for a jog to the pier tomorrow if the knee behaves) AND...
a cup of tea with milk and sugar! Yup, you heard it here first. Didn't have to make a fuss, those Puerto Rican boys did it. Just like they would in my Pakistani hotel with Albanian janitors. Like London, almost.
Except for the sun. I am meeting Ed's daughter who works at Google NY down at 1440 Broadway (Time Square-ish) for their sandwich lunch thing. And going up to Eli's for a session of his conference. But I noly have two days of sun left - must go and sit outside later.
The book will have to wait a bit...

Google Print now has the wrong trousers, Gromit!

So there's a lot of discussion about whether Google should be scanning books, under copyright. Microsoft has scanned lots of out-of-copyright books for the British Library.
What I would like to see is OUT OF PRINT books scanned - Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, I don't care. In particular my 1999 tome, 'Convergence in European Digital TV Regulation'.
But Google Print doesn't! It does Regulating the GIS (2000) still in print, and Internet TV (2003) in which I have a chapter and they get my bio all wrong. But the book I want them to scan - no. Murphy's Law continues...
Very keen to see 'Curse of the Were Rabbit' - I think there's mental health issues that only Wallace and Gromit can cure - New Yorkers should all be made to go...
Also finishing 'Mobius Dick' by Andrew Crumey - interesting take on quantum mechanics and Hindu philosophy with a lot of wit. Its seen me through some Amtrak days on this trip - and now I know what Schrodinger's cat is really about (a waitress and a whale-imitating amnesiac apparently).

New York state of mind

Is basically insane! I arrived at 4.23pm after a beautiful almost soporific trip through the fall colours of Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. As I'd been staying in Pentagon City, I was surrounded by healthy living, early-rise-early-bed people with big back yards. The under-current of racism is very strong - in perverse ways. People are esepcially polite nad kind to each other, as if they have the residual memory. Very false - maybe South Africa will be this way in 20 years' time.
The moment I emerged from Amtrak into the subway, what a change! New Yorkers don't wear the sullen miserable mask of the London commuter, they really twitch with the rage inside. Frankly, most of the people on platform waiting for the uptown 2/3 train looed crazy - mad, bad and dangerous to know. In my tiny room on 71st St West, I realised again that New York is like London - fun if you're rich, take taxis, know where you're going.
So I went out to PD O'Hurleys for a Guinness, discovered that Sam Adams Oktoberfest is delicious, chatted to some people at the bar, and got myself a slice of pizza and outrageous chocolate cake. Felt better and sat in watching Johnny Depp doing the best Keith Richards impression ever.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Notting Hill Carnival 30 August

With Alex (taking the photo) and Mike at a French-Kazakh garden party in the middle of the madness...when I could and did cycle and cycle for miles:-(

Friday, October 28, 2005

Philadelphia story

It's 2 degrees - and 22 in London! I bought a lovely red baseball jacket to warm up last night.

Here for Kevin's conference - should be good. Today MCI officially got bought by Verizon, nd AT&T by SBC, so it's good that I'm not talking about competition in fact everyone is talking about access for video providers to the monopolies.

Woke up at 2.45 this morning - mainly I think because yesterday I got up at 5.45 to make the 6.55am check-in at Heathrow. Stupid timing - should have got an 11am flight. I got to Kennedy at 11.30 - head winds from Hurricane Wilma - but Penn at 2pm - airport transfer rubbish - and then Philly at 4. Shoulda flown into Newark, but noone uses it, which is crazy as it's so convenient.

Amtrak is still a pain to use but at least you can walk on and there are about 5 trains an hour DC-New York. On to DC Saturday afternoon and then NYC Thursday. I feel remarkably good (jetlag, must be!) and just was in the gym at 5am - had to switch on the lights and turn on the heating...

So a little siesta then the conference - strange to be somewhere with Price and Faulhaber - this will be very multidisciplinary...