rashbre central: June 2005

Thursday 30 June 2005

House on the Bridge

Around 20:30 five of us adjourned to Eton, to the House on the Bridge, for fine food and conversation. Our round table overlooked the Thames, with boisterous swans and a view to the Queen's Windsor Castle. By the end of the evening we had created a real occasion.

Wednesday 29 June 2005


David and David were both in town and so a few of us made our way across to bustling Gilbey's for an evening together. There was quite a group of long term friends swapping stories in a convivial atmosphere.

Tuesday 28 June 2005

Very British

To the nearby Swan pub in the early evening. A refreshing pint of London Pride. Then on to the nearby curry house!
Very British. Very London.

Personality ENFJ !?

Its always fun to try these personality tests. This takes about five minutes and is Jung and Myers-Briggs based. It makes me an Extrovert Intuitive Feeling Judging (44/50/50/11) type of person. Sometimes called 'The Teacher Idealist'. This is supposed to be around 3% of the population. I then did ANOTHER five minute test of the same design and emerged as a 'Rational' temperament useful in complex problem solving and involving the abstract concepts that underlie a particular case. The change was the F which became a T (feeling->thinking). So I suppose this entry just illustrates my personality at work!

Note to self to try again in a few weeks for consistency!

Check it out and see if you recognise yourself.

Monday 27 June 2005

Digital Plumbers

We are all getting more and more technology in the home. For example we routinely use Wifi, Airport Extreme Music streaming and regular broadband as well as the taken for granted gigabit ethernet in ours. For some time, the Uk has talked about the emergence of digital plumbers to fix things for the less digerati and technorati enabled amonst us. So USA have beaten us with Geek Squad, which does just that!

Thursday 23 June 2005

The Moon in June

After several solstice pictures, here is a great moon, in june, from Shelley, via burningbird.

Dept. of Prophesy

Douglas Adams, in 1999:

I expect that history will show 'normal' mainstream twentieth century media to be the aberration in all this.

'Please, miss, you mean they could only just sit there and watch? They couldn't do anything?
Didn't everybody feel terribly isolated or alienated or ignored?'

'Yes, child, that's why they all went mad. Before the Restoration.'
'What was the Restoration again, please, miss?'
'The end of the twentieth century, child. When we started to get interactivity back.'

Thanks to Kevin for the pointer.

Glastonbury for some

Ben will show up today, by train, to hook up for the car trip with Mel and John to the music festival. Tents and food stacked up ready to go, with 24 cans of beer for £10 as a principle supply.

Wednesday 22 June 2005

Englefield supper and Hook dinner party

An early evening supper in good company as we discussed the future and shared confidences. And then home to another dinner party in full swing. A glug of the open red wine and I was part of the party and involved in the discussions to pack for Glastonbury.

Tuesday 21 June 2005

sun and solstice


late night on longest day

So to Hartley Witney, to the Pour House for an evening of laughter and enjoyable food, with explanations of the Warhol Project and the next chapter of Julie's novel.

early bird on longest day

Solstice. The longest day and the early morning blackbird that lives under our shrub in the garden feeds its 'baby bird' (which is the same size and completely flight capable).

Monday 20 June 2005

Its 5 am in Amsterdam

Michelle Shocked was our accompaniment.
Isobel ringing in our ears.
Just a trick of lightning;
Skipping over power lines.
There it is again.
Can you hear it?

Sunday 19 June 2005

Round trip to Lancaster

Sunday was time to collect Mel. We completely filled the car to the roof for our return journey,such that opening a door was a major hazard.
On the way back, we noticed several other similarly full cars on the M6. Additionally we spotted several supercars, maybe on their way to Goodwood for next weekend's Festival of Speed.

Saturday 18 June 2005

Queen gets ipod?

Allegedly, a member of the Queen's staff bought the music player from the Apple Store on London's Regent Street. The courtier is said to have requested a royal discount.

A royal insider told The Sun: "The Queen loves music and was impressed by how small and handy the iPod is," adding: "The Queen does a lot of travelling and an iPod is a very convenient way of listening to music while on the move".

The Sun newspaper has pulled together "probable" playlists for all members of the royal family, suggesting that HRH Queen Elizabeth might like to listen to Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears, and that Prince Charles might like to listen to Prince's My Name is Prince.

Friday 17 June 2005

Dalek Theft

dalek theft.JPG

Theres been recent increases in Dalek theft like the Dalek at a Somerset tourist site abducted last week, followed by a ransom note. Less than a week later the thieves decided the Doctor Who robot was too hot to handle and was dumped on Glastonbury Tor, where it was recovered and carried away by stretcher before it ha d a chance to retaliate.


yubnub is an interesting site to create and use a social command line interface to the web, allowing the addition of new commands. As an example "rashbre" entered into this command line will now take you directly to this web site.
Check it out.

Thursday 16 June 2005

apple iphone

apple phone
Remember the first Apple iphone picture from iCreate?

Here is another one doing the internet rounds, which is in keeping with the new style iPods and has a flip out key pad modelled on iCalc.

The telephone companies want to make money from music downloads, whereas the traditional iPod is uploaded from the owner's CD music collection.

This makes the debate about listening to music via a phone rather convoluted because of the economic model used by the phone companies.


Wednesday 15 June 2005


Now that rashbre2 has been around for a few weeks, I thought it would be interesting to look at the rate of hits on popular blogs based upon search terms. The current most popular searches, according to some of the search statisticians seem to be:

paris hilton
playstation 2 cheats
michael jackson
carmen electra
jessica simpson
vera wang

These change daily, but it is interesting to get a snapshot in time.

Tuesday 14 June 2005

Windsor evening

Roger was over from Hannover, so in the evening we selected Windsor for a beer and riverside chat.

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

So every episode of the Dr Who series has the big bad wolf in it? Above from Episode 3; Below from Episode 8. You figure it out.

Monday 13 June 2005

Bribing Elizabeth

Elizabeth requested Dodger's appearance. Dooce has been successful including her pet postings like the spaghetti dog incident, so I may as well give it a try!

jpod and london eye pod

An interesting marketing idea for someone. It looks as if there will soon be a book. Meanwhile, back at the London Eye (Pod).

Sunday 12 June 2005

A taxing day

The piles of paper have stacked ever higher and today became the day to curb their increase. Two sets of tax returns and several other complicated documents were prepared and are ready to submit. The usual dilemma with the UK tax. I am ready to submit it, but the pin number takes seven working days to arrive. I may as well post it.

Saturday 11 June 2005

Hunting for a switch

I have a theory that in our relatively high-tech lifestyle a different electrical appliance breaks every day. It could be a light bulb, a computer or, as today, the central heating pipe switch. No problemo! off to the local stores...

reading car park
Of course the design of the switch and how it clamps to the pipe has changed. So to another set of shops, through the winding lanes from Reading but the same story.
So back home without the component, but with a new project to call a plumber.

Friday 10 June 2005

Ye olde days of webbe

Wanna see how it used to be? dial up the Wayback Machine, to see old versions of popular Web sites dating back to 1996. There's a strange fascination to seeing old sites you know, what they said then and what they say now! In 1996, the Web was new and novel. An ancient site I remember was the Trojan Room Coffee Machine, which was an early web cam connected to check the level of coffee in a pot in a nearby room. Then there was the Mercury project from 1994 (I'm in the journal!) to operate a crane and camera to dig in sand and discover things by remote control. There was another one in Australia, which is still in use with a better control panel, eleven years later. BigRobot
Not to mention 1995's Overdraft Arms!
Well worth a browse.

Thursday 9 June 2005

Manchester second half

Half a day in Manchester, to an idyllic garden at the Whipping Stocks for a St. Clements with John and Michael before onward to business. Then back in the BMW to the airport and thence homeward to Hampshire.


Uncyclopedia is an encyclopedia full of misinformation and utter lies. It's sort of like Congress or Parliament. Unlike Congress or Parliament, however, we do have a sense of humor. Nonetheless, this is one of the only factual pages, before everything turns into a puddle of utter confusion and disarray. Savor it. And for the love of Sophia, we know you like disarray, (and confusion) but stop adding confusion to this non-confusing page which leads to confusion, and possibly disarray. Which we wish to stop. Non-non-confusion, that is. Not disarray. Or is it the other way around?

Post Secret

Postsecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail-in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.


"I saw your site and half the things I read gave me chills. Then I decided I would send you one of mine. I couldn't find a post card just then, but I couldn't get to sleep until I got it off my chest, so I dug out a photo and took some markers to it, and used that instead. I finished it at three in the morning, or three-thirty, because I just couldn't get to sleep until it was done, and put it in the mailbox on my way to the bus stop in the morning after getting up at five. I know it's silly, but I feel much better lately after telling it to somebody, even (and especially) if they were a complete stranger. I'd never thought of doing that before. Thanks for making my life a little easier and myself a little easier to live with.
-New York

I mailed you a secret this past week. It did not show up on the website, but I don't mind because a secret you posted captured my secret better than the one I sent you. I couldn't even be that honest with myself. Though what I wrote was true, what she wrote was truer."

Tuesday 7 June 2005

Hop it

The Advertising Standards Authority has had a record 800 complaints about the Crazy Frog ring tone advertisements. The UK has been flooded with the ads for the ring tone which is based on the tune from the Beverly Hills Cop movie. It is the first ring tone to reach number one when it went on sale as a CD.

Apparently there is a new single in the works called Kill the Frog by Frog Must Die, which is due to be released later this month, and designed to set the record straight. Maybe this frog will croak.

Cultural desublimation

Cultural desublimation in the works of Pynchon

V. Ludwig Cameron
Department of Future Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Barbara F. Long
Department of Deconstruction, University of Illinois

1. Consensuses of collapse

In the works of Pynchon, a predominant concept is the concept of subconstructivist culture. The subject is interpolated into a cultural neopatriarchialist theory that includes reality as a totality.

But Foucault uses the term 'realism' to denote not narrative per se, but prenarrative. The premise of dialectic nihilism suggests that reality is created by the collective unconscious, but only if truth is distinct from sexuality; if that is not the case, culture serves to disempower minorities.

In a sense, the destruction/creation distinction depicted in Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 emerges again in V, although in a more neotextual sense. A number of deappropriations concerning a self-justifying paradox exist. But in Mason & Dixon, Pynchon examines realism; in Vineland he analyses conceptual subsemioticist theory. The subject is contextualised into a cultural neopatriarchialist theory that includes reality as a totality.

This essay extract is randomly generated by the Postmodernism Generator, an essential aid to those last minute dissertations.

Sunday 5 June 2005

Big Brother's extremely little brother

The folk at BBELB are onto the current Big Brother. For constructive banality take a look. Digital Spy has the best view of the gossip.

Saturday 4 June 2005

Merchant Coincidences

So we decided to stop off at the Merchant 1688 for a bite to eat. Before we had sat down, Melanie arrived. She called John, who co-incidentally was also in the pub (in anothe bar); Ray had just left and John was playing Snooker with Neil. None of this was pre-arranged. Some co-incidence!

Friday 3 June 2005

Crathes Castle

With its portraits, oak ceilings, heraldic shields, Elizabethan fireplace and more, Crathes is uniquely preserved. The castle is particularly famous for its Jacobean painted ceilings, only uncovered in 1877. These can be seen in the Chamber of the Muses, the Chamber of Nine Worthies and the Green Lady's Room - which is said to be haunted.

One of the most historic objects is the Horn of Leys, a jewelled ivory horn on display in the hall. It is thought to have been given by Robert the Bruce to the Burnetts in 1323 when he granted them the Lands of Leys and the instructions have always been to remove this first in event of a fire - even ahead of Burnett's wife!

In 1553 they began to build the castle. It wasn't completed until at least 1596 and the east-wing was added in the 18th century. The castle stayed in the hands of the same family until 1951 when Sir James Burnett presented Crathes to the National Trust for Scotland. The current visitor centre stands in place of the Queen Anne wing which was destroyed by fire in 1966.