Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Just read an eye opening story on the BBC website which is from the Whistle Blower series. Reading it was an unusual experience. I'd never though that supermarkets would be that reckless when it comes to handling meat but at the same time every part of the story fits the way these big companies work.

The stores are managed by store managers who have a massive degree of autonomy and have one goal - meet the targets. It's very easy to see how they would be willing to look the other way if it means targets are met. Supermarkets also have an unfair legal advantage. If I ever got food poisoning I would not be likley to sue a supermarket beacuse my chances of winning are poor.

One part of the story rang most true:

Now, Tesco are proud of their training, but when I was tested I was simply handed the answers I needed and told to input them on a separate sheet.

While working at a similar organisation at Christmas I was handed the answers to the computer quiz just to speed up the process. To be honest I was more than happy to cheat because the quiz was badly designed and I could work out most of the answers regardless, but if someone who wasn't as bright were to do the same thing they may miss something important.

The photo is of Skiddaw from Keswick Rugby Ground.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

London Morning (6)

After a long time on the Underground we ended up in the lovely suburb of Loughton. The campsite advertised itself as central (since updated). Well it took us near an hour to get there on the tube and then another hour and a half to get to the site.

When we finally arrived the friendly site owner was most accommodating and asked us why we didn't take the shortcut. The shortcut was less than obvious, basically it consisted of walking for 30 minutes through some bull filled fields and quite dense forests. Even when we knew the way we came very close to getting lost. Here is a short video of the trek.

The whole point of our trip to London was to see Live 8, which was really good though the atmosphere wasn't as good as I'd expected. More pictures of that coming in the next few days.

I've really started to get into Windows Live Maps over google maps. I'm a big google man but it's satellite coverage is far worse. Also the collections feature in WLM is really cool. I used it to show the short cut in this post. Here is a summary of our walking route in London.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

London Morning (5)

This is the last of the central London Morning pictures. In the next post I will show where we were actually staying. Central it was not!


Friday, May 18, 2007

London Morning (4)

From Trafalgar Square it was down the Mall and a walk through St. James' Park. It really was a stunning morning. If we had known what the rest of the day held in store I think we would have thought twice about the whistle-stop tour of the sites.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

London Morning (3)

11 Minutes away from Whitehall I took this shot. While perhaps not the greatest photo ever, the sparsity of Trafalgar Square in July illustrates the hour of the day.


London Morning (2)

The next step of the route through London took us up Whitehall. Picasa tells me I took this one at 7:31am a whole 9 minutes after the one of Big Ben. More of the route still to come.

Another exam this afternoon. Not looking forward to this one but once it's over I'm 90% done.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I Went Down To The River...

...and of the river i took a photo. This was taken on my D900 on the way back from my exam on Monday. Was a really clear day. Actually makes Stockton look bearable...well almost.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ruby on Rails vs Java

Spotted this on Digg. I think the top comment says it all:
"this is by far one of the geekiest things i've ever seen. and i love it."

London Morning

This shot was taken at 7:23 in the morning shortly after stepping off a very long bus journey to London that left Newcastle at 11pm the night before. On that morning myself and my good travel buddy took in a whistle stop tour of many of the main sights. Will post more pictures from the morning in the next few days.

Second exam over today. Thats two down two to go!

A few other interesting posts today from the South Shields blog man and a really good idea spotted by the London blog man.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Summer in the City

First exam is this afternoon, not looking forward to it but will be so happy when they are all over.

The above picture shows Central Park in the summer. It's the part of the park around the baseball pitches, which, when not in use provide a nice spot to sit.

Looking at the guy in the centre of the pic it makes me wonder how many pictures take by people I don't know I'm in.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Stunning Public Art

I've slowed down again on the posts but thats exams for you. First one tomorrow last one a week tomorrow. I can't wait!

This picture is best viewed in its full resolution.  It was taken towards the back of Madison Square Garden towards Penn Station. It shows some of the key landmarks from all around the world painted on one building.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams in Concert at St. James Park last year. Can't remember which song this was but it was a really good show. All the classics done.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The National Gallery

Two posts today since I missed yesterday(due to massive amounts of revision!). This is quite clearly the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London. Take on April 7th this year.

All the pictures featured are available in full resolution by clicking on them.


Sky Scraper Through Trees

Took this picture on my most recent visit to New York City. The shot I think looks a lot like Miami owing to the style of the building and the trees in the foreground.


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Durham Cathedral

I took this photo during a night out at Castle College on the day of my last exam last year. I look forward to the same plan after exams this year. Hopefully the weather will be as good!


Saturday, May 05, 2007


Here is a picture of Saltburn beach that I took last summer on a moderately warm day. The beach is very pleasant and has some very unusual cars that transport people down the cliffs. The town has very little too it other than a few pubs, a train station, one amusement arcade and the beach.

Not a patch on South Shields beach because its so rocky but it was a nice day out none the less.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Neil Sedaka

When I was young (really young like 3-5) and first discovering music my music exposure was somewhat unusual. The main records I remember(and who owned it) were:
  • The White Album and Help (on vinyl, my dads)
  • Lilly the Pink (vinyl single, father again)
  • Mud - Greatest Hits (Tape Dads I think)
  • Don Mclean Greatest Hits (Tape, Grandads)
  • Neil Sedaka Greatest Hits (Tape, Nana)
All influenced me in many ways and explain my love of guitar and piano rock, cheesy songs and of course pop music of various forms. I owe a debt of gratitude to the repective owners for giving me such a broad outlook on music.

The reason I'm posting this is that I just happened to find a version of Neil Sedaka performing "Calendar Girl" with one of my current favorite bands Fountains Of Wayne (the other being Barenaked Ladies).

The performance is most entertaining thanks to Neil's good nature. I actually have a bootleg of FoW doing their own version of the song so its clear they have been fans for many years and its good to see that bands I like now are influenced by the songwriters I remember as a child.

As an extra here is a version of Amarillo at the Albert Hall with both Neil and Tony Christie (Neil having written the original - in case you weren't aware).

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Goodbye Pandora...For Now At Least

I've been happily using Pandora a lot these last few weeks while I've been revising as it plays music I generally like but I don't know the songs and thus I can't sing along in my head.

Alas news yesterday explains that it will be unavailable outside US IP addresses. I know I could use a proxy but thats a lot of effort, so I am going to have to leave it for now.

A UK service by Pandora is expected soon though!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Lake District

I have decided that until I can no longer be bothered I am going to try to upload a selection of good photos that I have taken in the past few years.

The above photo was taken in the Lake District this past summer when I went walking with my dad. I can't for the life of me remember what the name of the fell in the centre is but I know the lake is Buttermere.

I just tried to find the name of the fell but I gave up after finding this image as the header of a website with maps on it:

The image just happens to be from the top of that very mountain (or at least I think so based on the other images I took on the day which seem to correlate). My photo was taken on the green bit between the lakes at the top left corner of the first lake.