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Live Music Thursday

Last night saw an unusual evening out with a superb night of live music at The Bullingdon in Oxford.  Not a venue I’ve attended before, but we were invited to the opening evening of The Lounge Kittens ’Brining up the rear’ tour.

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The Kittens obviously have a real rapport with each other and their crowd.  They created wonderfully harmonic music which was really entertaining and engaging from a medley of hits from Kids programs of the ’80s to a Tina Turner tribute.  The Kittens included a number of new pieces in their set for this tour as well as some of their favourites.

The Kittens were supported by a superbly entertaining and talented duo ‘Rayguns look real enough‘.  As the supporting act we didn’t turn up until half way through their set but we were immediately captivated and engaged by their raucous and fast-paced music.

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Taking control of my corner of the internet…

My digital presence has been neglected for many months.  I have spent some time this Easter break taking control of the runaway horses of my digital footprint!

I have streamlined the various assorted domains in my possession and taken control of where SOME of them now point!

This is my personal blog and personal ramblings.  I don’t expect ANYONE to read these!  I have consolidated my older blog at nickspeller.me and moved that to buzzingEd and reinstated it once more.  That’s where you can find my educationally-biased ramblings and ideas.  I might also reintroduce my links page too!

 

A rant on broadcast vs Internet entertainment

My increasing frustration with a government who seem to NOT value (or even really understand) technology has become more and more obvious to those who know me. In sorting out a few documents and blogs I came across the embryo of an idea (you could call it a rant) which occurred to me as I listened to a radio news bulletin a few weeks ago. I thought I’d share it here now…

I couldn’t believe what I heard on the radio this morning, an argument from the early 1980s that said we need to unbundle local TV to encourage more TV channels…

Have the ministers responsible not heard of this thing called the Internet? They are promoting a one-way broadcast medium, spending money to encourage growth in an area, presumably just in an endeavour to make money from licences!

I watch less broadcast TV than ever. That which I do, I watch in a time-shifted way. If I notice something I want to watch I set it to record, or catch it via the Internet on watch/listen again. I get films and TV programs on demand via the Internet. I listen to Internet only radio, often via podcast at times to suit me. I watch Internet only TV in the same way.

Here is the government seeming to waste money in consulting and unbundling the airwaves when they should be investing MORE in internet infrastructure, the development of what Google have termed world wireless technologies etc.

How out of touch the government can seem…

iPads are go

Finally I have my hands on an iPad and I love it! Sort-of touch typing is possible, Pages is superb for making notes etc. This is being written using the iPad WordPress app (a free one) not to mention the BBC iPlayer and TV Catchup… Photos are beautiful with this large glossy screen… Ebooks from Kindle as well as Apple’s own iBooks too. Beautiful apps for nature, sky gazing and more – can you tell I’m sold?

Childhood revisited

It’s been a while since I posted – probably because little important changes in my life day-to-day AND I’ve spent ages updating buzzingEd.org.uk on a daily basis!

However, whilst reliving my childhood recently I came across an excellent website that has a ZX Spectrum emulator and SO many games from Atic Atack to Jetpac – you too can while away the hours at http://www.zxspectrum.net/

Snow days…

We’ve had about 8 inches of snow and the school’s I should have been working with are all closed (along with the majority of Oxfordshire schools).  We’re all at home – working now we’re back from sledging and snowballing.  I’ve uploaded some photos to Flickr – see to the right of this page.

Long period of quietness comes to an end…

I realise that there has been a prolonged period of quietness from this blog recently (unlike the radiator under my desk that has just belched loudly!) so I thought it was time I updated.  It’s not that I have not been blogging BUT recently I have been working on a blog pulling together ICT and Education-related news/comments etc which I am helping to share with teachers (mainly aimed at Oxfordshire teachers really).  Finding, choosing, editing, presenting these snippets is quite time consuming but the number of hits is growing steadily with weekly hits regularly nearing 100 already!

As to home-based news, we are preparing for Christmas slowly – presents have taken a back seat with our recent move but now that’s mostly complete I think we can start gearing up for Christmas now!  The large (too large) conifer which dominates the front corner of our new home is bedecked with lights now and at the weekend various members of the family helped to make a wreath for our front door which is now proudly hanging there welcoming visitors.

The girls secret Christmas present has been ordered and will arrive this week hopefully – when it will no longer be a secret as it is FAR to large to be hidden, and will involve yours truly spending a considerable amount of time constructing it BEFORE Christmas!

Photos to follow I’m sure!

Well enough for now…

Internet grocery shopping – lazy or cost cutting?

Over the many years I have ‘dabbled’ with various online supermarkets.  Sainsburys, Tesco then most recently Ocado.

Ocado wins!

The on-line shopping experience, the iphone app, the weekly delivery slot, the Waitrose products price checked against Tesco prices.

The text before delivery to remind me of the delivery time and to tell me about any missing items, the driver AND van’s name! Not only that but the receipt organised into DATE order so that we know what needs to be used and by then – I am a convert AND the typical weekly shop is about £30 less as I am only buying the items I know we need every week!

PLUS we get special offers and a free newspaper most weeks!Nick

Crashed, but not burned

I launched my glider on its maiden flight this morning with an audience of children… it crashed within seconds destroying the nose propeller…

I replaced the propeller blades and managed another four few-second flights during which we lost the wings a few times.

The final flight saw the gilder loop upside down and crash nose first breaking the wings in two.

Super glue is doing its job now – lets hope it works!

Flying is much harder than it looks – maybe I should leave it to the experts! Nick

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