Stand Free

A tale of a Scotsman living in SW london...

Monday, January 24, 2011


Technology moves at quite a pace doesn't it?

It's been a long time since I posted on here and in that time a lot has changed. House moves, my son has been born, work changes, but perhaps more than that, the growth of Facebook and Twitter as the default method of communicating with friends and family. I have never used this blog as a place to communicate with them, more a place to dot random thoughts down. I suspect the dearth of my entries has coincided with my usage, and that of just about everyone on the planet, to use Facebook as the place to update on what's going on.

So I guess what I'm saying is - why do I keep this now to do that purpose? Do I re-purpose this blog as something more useful on a personal basis, a diary in effect, or something that others may find useful?

I'll ponder on now...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Great night last night with my uncle. We spent it in a curry house (veggie only, which always seems to mean the food is amazing - Food for Friends in Brighton is another example of this) and the pub next door. Many varied discussions were had - the stupidity of stopping project Kangaroo (iplayer for all really), working with large IT and consultancy companies, how certain Indian IT companies always seem to have crap staff, cameras, amazing beaches (Orkney or Mozambique - the debate rages on!), steam trains and bikes.

And bikes are where I am most stumped. I've been after a new bike for years and my uncle is a frame builder, although he intends to only make one more. I may have asked him to make it for me last night.

I should add, this would be a special bike anyway, as he badges them up in my grandfathers name, and the colours of would be the Gordon Highlanders who my grandfather served for in the war. I'd also be tempted to go for Italian components, as he has been on at me for years to ride Campagnolo. Campag stuff is very nice, but a tad expensive!

Time will tell, but I think that's where my money will be spent this year...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Nice weekend, not doing that much but still feeling like I achieved a lot. Does that even make sense?

So what thoughts today? Well I watched Utd thump Derby yesterday and it got me thinking - what can they realistically win this season? And I came to the conclusion that will win the league for sure, I can't see them losing it now. So that leaves the league cup against Spurs, which I think they might win, but it very much depends on the team Fergie puts out rather than if Spurs are good enough to win.

Champions league is a challenge I think. Inter Milan look very good this year under Jose, and Barca are flying in Spain and in their qualifying group. I suspect Inter might just be too good for Utd this season with a stuttering Ronaldo and a lack of goals, but Rooney is coming back, Vidic and Ferdinand are playing again, Evra is coming back, so you just don't know. It's possible - if they beat Inter I think they'll certainly get to the final.

So that leaves the FA Cup. I see no reason why they shouldn't win it, chelsea are a possible unknown quantity now under Hiddink, but should utd go out of Europe they'll win the FA Cup. If they are in Europe still, I don't think they will.

Who's on for a tenner then?

Friday, February 13, 2009

A challenging but interesting week. The start of the week saw me trying to solve the challenges of an SAP call centre implementation from the perspective of documents being sent to the client. A bit of different problem but at the end of the day, not a major challenge to solve - it's an integration issue and one that is actually easy to solve. As such, it's very frustrating to know that I have a more challenging role to get to grips with while this keeps holding on.

The latter part of the week was a very different kettle of fish. This saw me trying to solve a very different beast - how do you solve a problem of monitoring movement, in a system you may, or may not, own. It's a much more complex beast to sort out and has really got the grey matter working hard!

The downside to this split personality is that I've spent all week away from my wife, and that's not something I like very much. Next week I've got some time off though as the project decided we all needed some time to spend relaxing at home so have given us all the day off. Which was nice of them! As it happens I was going to take the day off anyway, so this saves it for another day. The being away all week brings an interesting issue at home though, as my wife has been going mad as she has nobody really to talk to during the day at work as she is in a test room on her own, and then goes home and doesn't have me to talk to! So she's been keeping busy by going to her sisters and the like. It means that she wants to do loads this weekend and I just want to sleep, so we'll compromise somewhere along the way.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Ah, another week, another train to Leeds. Having commute to Worcester in the car for the last few years, the train is making a very pleasant change. You can work on it as you need to, and you can have the time to relax and read the paper, something I've not managed to do in years! In saying that, it only takes one bad train journey for me to revert to type and winge about the railways. My only comment about the trains operated on the east coast is that they are much older than the west coast Virgin trains as nobody has invested in the rolling stock on it. While they are clean and operate on time, they look old and feel tired inside, even in first. It compares badly to the trains you get on the continent, where they spent money on the trains to improve service and you can cross the continent in one in a reasonable amount of comfort. All the issues in the UK with road congestion could be helped with a better train service, as certainly in a lot of cases you can get to places by train.

However, it needs to be better value, and more flexible with it ticketing, for this to happen, along with better infrastructure when you actually get to your destination. As an example - Kings Cross has NO seating areas, no cafes, no bars. Hardly somewhere you are comfortable to wait for a train and doesn't make you feel you would travel through it in any kind of luxury. Even Waterloo has seating...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Well, I'm very pleased with myself. Got up this morning and went to a new B&Q warehouse that we've watched being built for the last few months. It's huge, not that we really explored it. The reason for going was to buy a new door for the hall airing cupboard. For a while now the old door has been self destructing, so a new one was badly called for. So having ensured the door would fit in the coupe, off we went. Purchases made, a gentle drive home early morning was called for. I then spent a couple of hours tailing the door to fit, getting the chisels out and making it just right.

Looks great if you ask me, and having never hung a door before I'm even more pleased!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Well, oxford street has beckoned today. Not done this in years, it's changed so much! We usually do our shopping in kingston but could only get some of the stuff we needed in town, so town is where we are! Sending this from my phone while my wife tries stuff on, and this is the first time h've sent something via the phone, so will see how it works!