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The random ramblings of a Star Trek-obsessed schools ICT Systems Manager who likes a good moan.
This is a place where I can whinge about life, and express my love of my family, 80's music, retro computer gaming (especially on my Commodore 64),
 oh and Star Trek. I'm very open with my opinions and I like a good moan. If you don't like what I say, then you might want to consider not reading this blog.

Friday, July 27, 2007

It must be love... love, love....

In case you didn't know, it was our wedding anniversary yesterday (4 years!), and we were fortunate enough to have a few of our friends come and visit us (Peter, Gemma, their little girl Amy and Peter's Mum and Dad), so we all went out for a lovely meal at the Round of Gras in Badsey (nr Evesham)
Anyway, it gave Kieran a chance to play with little Amy, and I wanted to share with you a picture that I took..... Could it be love????

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Watching the world go by..........

Well, the water levels have practically returned to normal, leaving a trail of devastation along Waterside here in Evesham. I've taken a few photographs of the aftermath and hope to have them on here soon.

Anyway, yesterday I thought it would be a great idea to set up the webcam in our bedroom, looking out of the window and doing one of those 'time-lapse' movies showing the world go by ultra fast.

Well, here it is, along with a little tune I've written today.

Just CLICK HERE to view it.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Flood Update

Water is stil rising here in Evesham. All that can be heard is the sound of RAF helicopters flying overhead rescueing stranded people. Ive been out and taken a few more photographs.

(Rescue in Port Street, Evesham)

(Coopers Lane - Road leading down from the Evesham Hotel (another one of Michelle's many work places) to Waterside in Evesham)

Michelle and I were just saying not long ago that it's a good thing it wasnt like this exactly 4 years ago - That was when we got married, on Saturday 26th July 2003. The Northwick hotel (where we had our reception) has been closed and is flooded, and the water level has already reached the church where we got hitched!

Flood Update....

I thought I'd pop into town this morning to see how bad we've been hit by the flooding in Evesham - I had no idea it was going to be this bad.... Fortunatly I took a few pictures on my mobile phone to show you....



Friday, July 20, 2007

Flood update...

Here are a couple of pictures of what Evesham looks like at the moment after all of the heavy rain that we have been having today.... Pictures from http://www.thisisevesham.co.uk/
Evesham's Morrisons (where Michelle works part-time - Under 2ft of water)

(Evesham - Riverside. The path along the river is completely submerged. It apparently has got a lot worse since this picture was taken earlier today)


(Evesham )

More pictures to follow

Wet Wet Wet

I think today must be the wettest day of the year - It has been raining here in Evesham non-stop for nearly 24 hours. The river is up, the drains are blocked and can't cope with the torrential rain that we've been having.....

I LOVE IT!!

Its funny that this time last year we were baking with temperatures well into the 30's (c). The following pictures show the difference - the one on the left is from this time last year, and the one on the right is from this year. Both pictures were taken using the Evesham High School webcam.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Holiday at last......

Well, thats another year over with... The school summer holiday begins today, which means I need something to keep myself pre-occupied for the next 6 weeks, otherwise I'm sure to go insane with boredom. No doubt I will pop into the school every now and again to do a little bit of overwork though.

It was quite weird actually when I was leaving the building knowing that when I return I will officially begin my post as Network Manager. So sad though to see my old boss going (retirement), and many other faces who I met and got on with during the three years that I have been there.

Oh well... When September comes, it means a new job, many new faces at the school, including a new Headmaster to get along with too. Not too sure if I'm going to welcome change though.... We will see.

Anyway, it's nice to see the holidays start with a lovely thunderstorm, which is taking place here in Evesham at this precise moment. Kieran is asleep in the bed beside me, all snug, while I'm just sat here typing away on my laptop, watching the flashes of lightening through our bedroom window - I love thunder, and I love the rain. I'm not a summer person, and much prefer being able to sit indoors in the warm and dry, watching a downpour outside while listening to Mike Oldfield or some easy listening music, which is why I've been loving what some of you would call 'one of the worst summers of recent years". I only like hot sunny weather if I'm abroad!!

Oh, and in case you are wondering where Michelle is while Im sat here looking after Kieran... She's gone to the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster to watch Ronan Keating and McFly perform live with a friend. She aquired a 'free' platinum ticket the other day which apparently means she's right infront by the stage.... Not my cup of tea, although I have told her to take lots of pictures!......

.... I really, really, really, really want to go and see Erasure perform live again.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Week in a post!!

It's been an interesting (and hectic) week for me. With less than a week to go before the school summer holidays begin, its all been go at school. After my promotion a few weeks ago, my replacement started on Tuesday so much of my time has been spent training him up. We had the staff ball at Dumbleton Hall on Thursday which went really well (hey, I was the DJ so of course it would have been a good night). Considering that we had an issue with lights (ie, we had none), we had to improvise with some christmas tree lights. It didn't turn out too bad actually, and everyone had a fabulous time. I had them dancing on the dance floor all night!




... AND Kieran went to playschool for the first time on Thursday.......

... Actually he doesn't start playschool officially until the 11th September but we were asked if he could pop down for an induction session. He absolutely loved it!!! Infact, the only time he cried was when Michelle had to drag him out to go home!!!! He didn't seem to care when Michelle left him to play with the other children on his own. He is so unlike me!!!! I cried the house down when my Mum took me to playschool for the first time and when she left me!!

So this weekend I have been taking it really easy, watching old episodes of Doctor Who on UKTV Drama, downloading more movie soundtracks (more on this later), working on a song that I've been writing for a few months now, doing some more photography and playing with Kieran and his 40 new toy cars that I went out and bought him on Friday.

4 more days to go and then I've got 6 weeks of lounging around!!!!! WOOHOOO.

Anyway, I will now leave you with another picture that I have been working on - "The Ship"



Sunday, July 08, 2007

Stuart's Photography

I've been doing a bit of photography lately and I'm slowly adding the final finishing touches on several pictures that I have taken recently. I thought that I might share this one with you as I'm quite pleased with the end result.

Click the image for a larger view.

It is an often photographed view of St Pauls Catherdral looking over The Millennium Bridge in London.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Getting a bit crowded around here

Opps nearly forgot. Those of you who have read my blog since the very beginning may remember that this time last year I wrote a post congratulating my friends Pete and Gemma on the birth of their daughter. It was estimated that at the time the worlds population was 6,629,751,996

Well... exactly one year later the worlds population now stands at an estimated :-

6,726,149,983

Wow.... thats 96,397,987 more in just a year!!!! - (It feels like it, what with the number of migrants moving to Evesham lately!)

At this rate, the world's population should reach 10 billion around the 16th December 2034.

Right I'm off to bed now as I'm still recovering from last nights 'late night' at the Ball. I'm KNACKERED! Goodnight all!

Why I dont like playing computer games as much as I once did...

BEWARE..... ***** LONG RANTING ***** post alert.

I’ve come to the horrible conclusion that I just do not enjoy playing computer games as much as I once did.

I don’t think it’s because I’m getting old though. I think it has more to do with a lack of originality in the games of today.

While sitting at work this afternoon, I was thinking back to when I was at school, and how I would look forward to rushing home after the last lesson of the day to load up The Last Ninja on my Commodore 64 to see if I could get any further, or spending hours trying to discover a new room to explore in Castle Master. I just don’t seem to get that feeling of ‘wonder’ and ‘excitement’ anymore. I know that being married and having a young child means I don’t get to spend as much time playing games as I did before I met Michelle, but even when I do find the time to start up Tomb Raider Anniversary (my favourite game at the moment), or any other game from my rather large collection, I just can’t get ‘into’ the game like I did with the old classics.

Back in the 80’s and early 90’s there was a much larger variety of game genres available while today all we are left with are the countless number of first-person-shooters, racing sims, football and sports games.

Don’t get me wrong, I love shooters (especially Half Life 2 etc.), but at the end of the day, I’ve seen it all before. Ok, so the graphics may look prettier, but the game is still essentially a first-person shooter just like Doom which was released way back in the early 90’s. I've seen it before, show me something I've never played before!

What has led the game industry to this constant barrage of clones?

I think it was the demise of the bedroom programmer. Back in the days of Mastertronic when you could buy a game for £1.99, those games were programmed by talented young individuals who programmed simple yet entertaining games that would keep you coming back for more. These programmers were not afraid to try new things.

Can computer games evolve any more? We’ve got very close to having games render almost photorealistic environments in realtime but at the end of the day, are graphics the most important thing in a game? What about originality and gameplay?

Generally the way we play games now is no different than how we played games 20 years ago – sat in front of a television or monitor with a controller or joystick. The Nintendo Wii has attempted to try something different with its remote controller and nunchuk but at the end of the day are these that much dissimilar to the light gun?

Do you remember 20 years ago they told us that sometime in the near future we'd have computers that would project realistic virtual-reality worlds that we could interact with by using special VR helmets and gloves?

What happened???

How long before technology like that of the Holodecks used in Star Trek become closer to reality?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Another looooooong day!

Its Ball Gown and Tuxedo time again as Evesham High School has it's annual 6th Form Ball, and guess who has been given the responsibility of doing the photography and filming of the event...

Yep. me.....

Which means by the time I get home tonight (just gone midnight I estimate), I'm going to be totally cream crackered after working all day from 8.00 in the morning.

Fortunatly I have plenty of Pro Plus tablets left over from the Tiesto/Edinburgh trip to keep me going through the day.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

You can not be serious.....

Only a minor update this time..

HOW CAN THEY DO IT??? Not only was the last episode of the current series of Doctor Who probably the weakest episode of the new series, but I've just found out that it's official.... Kylie (I can't sing or act) Minogue is going to star in the Christmas special "Voyage of the Damned".

For heavens sake!!! What next? Madonna as a new companion? Sod it, why not just get rid of David Tennant and get someone like Justin Timberlake as the new Doctor.

Instead of wasting good money on stupid guest stars, how about spending it on some writing talent - Stories that aren't rehashes of earlier episodes, stories that don't revolve round running down corridors all the time, stories that don't rely on having mobile phones as key plot devices, or stories that involve saving the world by waving a sonic screwdriver in the air. Oh pleeeeeeeese.

Message to the writers of Doctor Who - if you plan to bring back those pathetic Psycho Santa's in the Christmas Special AGAIN, have Kylie play one of them and kill them off for good.

Rant over...

Don't get me wrong, I love the show - but if it carries on like this, I see Doctor Who going the way it went back in 1989.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

We're back... and our ears are ringing!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH "TIESTO", LIVE AT THE ROYAL HIGHLAND CENTRE, EDINBURGH - 30/06/07

WOW!!! What else can I say!!! The event was unbelievable. The music, the atmosphere. Truely a remarkable event.

I especially liked the cool 'Virtual Tiesto' CGI set - which you can see in the video. Everybody went to have a good time, and although it was blatantly obvious that drugs were going on all over the place (as you would expect at this kind of event), there was no trouble and everybody was in good spirits - Wow, those Scots are really kind people, even when they are drunk and high on drugs!!!

We left Evesham at 11.00am on Saturday morning and reached the venue in Scotland at around 6.00ish. The event finished at 4.00am Sunday morning, and we arrived back home 26 hours after leaving Evesham!!

Anyway, I hope you like the small video I've put online for you to see. The quality isn't fantastic (well, it was filmed on my Nokia N80) but it should be good enough for you to see what a fantastic show it was!

I know I could never be as good as Tiesto, but I hope I get the same reaction from the audience when I DJ at the Evesham High School Staff Ball!!!!


I'm off to bed now cos I'm bloody tired!