Monday, June 30, 2008

New balls please...

Congratulations to Spain for winning Euro 2008, they remained unbeaten through the tournament and didn't play negatively. Last night Torres scored the goal that mattered, chipping the ball over Lehmann to find the net. I believe had David Villa been on the field that the score would have been very different as Germany were there for the taking.

Now without football until the start of the season where to look for excitement. Of course there is Wimbledon and it's been a good tournament so far although I expect the men's Final to feature both Nadal and Federer as it has done for the last two years! This year there has seen a change at Wimbledon though as fans are now able to camp over night to purchase tickets. Sounds good but when I read about pitching tents and Murray's Mound I am left wondering what else is going on.

In fact for excitement I could look a lot closer to home work as the bank that I work above was robbed today. We only found out as an interviewer called their Agency who called us to say that they would be unable to attend due to a robbery having taken place. We laughed but then we realised that she was telling the truth!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Show Stopper!

Been watching footage of Glastonbury over the last couple of days, really wish that I had managed to get tickets as from reading the preview in NME and seeing the lineup I am envious of those who attended. I watched Amy Winehouse yesterday and she amazes me, she has a unique voice but the way she staggers about it makes me wonder where it is all leading. Still she provided a great performance although this was marred by her attacking a fan who supposedly pulled her hair. I wasn't sure what I had seen when I watched it on BBC2 but I checked the Internet afterwards and reports were coming through confirming what I thought.

The big story from this years Glastonbury has been the decision to have Jay Z headlining. Admittedly it was a risk as the festival isn't known for it's Hip Hop ties but having watched the above clip it seems that Jay Z answered his critics. I personally don't have a problem with him headlining as I am not a follower of one set genre instead I like to listen to as much variety as possible. Noel Gallagher on the other hand resented that a Hip Hop artist was the headline act. You have to hand it to Jay though; walking out on to the stage to Oasis Wonderwall was a move that proved to be affective and set him up for what reports say was a good performance!! Be interesting to see where the festival will go next and Amy Winehouse has stated that she would like to headline next year, we shall see!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Little House on the Prairie"

Football today was a riot as trying to hype my Son up on the journey was a real laugh, in the car I was talking to him about scoring and using all his energy to play. Players listen to music to get them in the mood so our choice was the Captain Jack Sparrow tune. He was well on it, rocking his Captain armband and telling me how much of an impact he was going to make. He did well, playing more matches than the other children and only really losing interest towards the end. After dropping him off at my Partners, I headed to Horse Riding with the eldest. She is really confident now and was hoping that she would be able to ride around on her own without an aide but they didn't let her. I don't think it will be too long as she listens to everything she is told and the main trainer is full of praise.

After the morning adventures I settled in the garden to finish the work on the Playhouse. My partners father is amazing with his carpentry, in the time it took me to cut enough small sections to put around the door he had built the door. We worked together and I only missed the nail once but that time I missed I hit his nail. With that said I think we were a good team and the end product is looking good. All it needs now is the paintwork finished and I am moving in!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Long in the Tooth!

Today we celebrated my Dad's birthday, I spoke to him late in the afternoon and he was indoors putting up some banners. He does make me laugh with his ways and I feel that the years have been good to him as he hasn't really aged. Either that or my perception of him and my mother remains the same since I was in my youth. I still see both of them as being quite young but the truth being I will be entering the age bracket they were in as I was a teen within a few years. My mother summed it up well as she said to me that you're as young as you feel and I believe that to be true!

The night was good and we had a lot of fun, it wasn't my weekend to have the older children but with their mother working it made sense for them to stay with me. I played in the garden with all the children and in a nod to the festival season we ended up running around inside a tent. Try and create an image of this as I am afraid that no one was at hand to capture the moment although I am sure that my sister ceased the opportunity!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Finish Line...

Yesterday was my daughters sports day, I took the morning off of work so that I could be there for her. I arrived and made my way across the school field to where their mother was standing with her friends. My daughter realised and was really happy that I was there to support her. Set up position at the end of the track and watched as the other children completed their races. When my daughter ran her first race we though she was in the proceeding one but noticed her as she reached the final sprint and finished third.

The next race we were more prepared and cheered her on loudly, it featured an assault course of a race with her having to carry a ring on her head, place it over a cone, sprint and then finish with skipping. She did well and was smiling as she crossed the line to be greeted by us, showering her with praise about her participation. After the children's races had finished it was the parents turn to face off against each other. Their mother wasn't feeling entering the women's race but I decided that I would test myself against the other Dads. I do absolutely no exercise so felt that I would end up embarrassing my daughter by completing the 100 metres in marathon time. Instead I rocked home in fourth although seriously Jeans was not the way!

Enjoyed the two Semi Finals over the last two games, felt for Turkey as they deserved to be in the Final. Especially as the German's looked uninterested and not like they should be even at this stage in the tournament. Spain tonight played a great match and Russia never really looked like emerging from the tie victorious. So on to the Final now as there is no playoff between the losing finalists and it's tough to call. If I were to choose, I would go with Spain as they play exciting football but you just can't rule out the Germans!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Feeding Habits

Facebook announced on their blog earlier today that they were to be adding the ability to comment on items in your Mini-Feed. This is now available and I have been testing replies with Louis Gray on his Mini-Feed. Those actively using FriendFeed will be familiar with this feature as the site has always allowed comments on our shared items.

It's a welcomed addition to Facebook and expected as since they opened up the Mini-Feed to allow Imports these site feeds have remained largely static. Allowing the comments works well, I posted on a story and Louis received an email telling him that I had commented on his item. When he responded I received a notification on Facebook informing me in much the same way as someone commenting on a photo or video of mine!

FriendFeed has been hugely popular and Facebook has obviously taken notice and seen that lifestreaming is the way forward. So should FriendFeed be threatened by Facebook's advances? I don't think so, not yet anyway as where FriendFeed is engaging I still don't see where I would feel the need to check my friends Mini-Feed other than if I were on their profile to post on their Wall.

For this to take off they would need a central area for all of our friends activities to display. Another area for improvement is with the ordering of items commented on in the Mini-Feed. In commenting on an item it should naturally push it to the top, unlike FriendFeed; Facebook only has 10 stories displayed so if you are highly active you only have a short time frame of exposure for your story. Then it goes back to your friends actually seeing the shared item as there is no way for them to be notified that you have an active story in your Mini-Feed.

The Facebook homepage is an area that could be used to display more friends stories but currently this has no way to add comments to my friends items. I still have to go to their profile to comment which isn't ideal as it defeats the purpose. I know this may come across as negative but that isn't what I am trying to get across as I am impressed with this development.

The points that I make are just my initial impressions, Facebook is moving in the right direction by adding this ability to comment. FriendFeed is way out in front as the site aggregates from a lot more services and enables us to interact in many different ways and with people who aren't neccessarily people we subscribe to. With Facebook I feel that it won't be our imported stories that receive the comments from the majority of users it will be the Status Updates! This appears to be an area that the Facebook developers are working on though so it will be interesting to see how the interaction changes over the coming months!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Catagory Denied

Originally uploaded by joedawson
I consider the web usage at work a privilege, we work to complete the set tasks of our role and get paid. Being able to access sites is a perk, having had the privilege of being able to frequently use social networking/media sites it was always expected at some point it would be blocked.

The wind of change is upon us as sites began to be categorised and denied yesterday and more today. My colleague made me aware of it and I expect it won't be long until other sites are also denied as well. I must admit at times the streaming of multiple radio stations and video content must eat into the bandwidth so this is long overdue!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Want To Be Like You!!!

Yesterday was an excellent day, the weather held out and although slightly window didn't spoil our day to the Zoo. After a stuttered start we made good time in getting to Herne Bay to meet up with the rest of the family. After we had met up with everyone we set off on a convoy to Howlett's Zoo. On arrival it was packed and we learnt that a local newspaper had run a promotion that a lot of people had used to their advantage. We set about our journey around, many of the animals around the entrance were sleeping but we were impressed when we got to the Tiger pen. The Tiger was roaming around and came right up to where we were and then bathed itself in a pool!

We then moved on to the face painting here and the two youngest children got their faces painted. Boy choose a Tiger design and the birthday Girl decided that a butterfly would be the best design. Toilet break now and in walking passed the VIP area we were handed a bowl of Strawberries, result! We then checked out the Elephant enclosure and they truly are remarkable animals. Their enclosure reminded me of Jurassic Park, there was a really cute baby Elephant running about and when we sat down to eat it had crashed out on a mound. I want one of those!!

We continued on our journey around and entertained ourselves in the adventure playground. I reckon I was more animated than all of the children put together as I was on one. After icecreams we made our way on to the Gorilla area, they were in cages full of slides and swings to keep them occupied. I stood by the cage and then ended up becoming the centre of attention as a large male made his way over to where I was stood. He reached through the bars with a long stick in his hand and tried to drag an Apple towards the cage. He tried a few times unsuccessfully, at this point a few people from the surrounding crowd starting yelling for me to hand the Gorilla the Apple. I took the stick from the Gorilla, pierced it through the Apple and handed it back. In return not even a thank you, there's gratitude for you! From here we made our way back towards the entrance and after checking out the Rhino's and what I presume to be a cousin to the Fox a Dhole we made our way back to the family home in Herne Bay.

At home we celebrated Baby's birthday with a cake and she opened some more presents. Then after dinner it went off with a water fight before I headed off with the older children and managed to get home to catch the finale of the football. With Russia beating Holland yesterday I felt that it could have gone either way. Spain are like England always having potential but not delivering when it comes down to the crunch. Tonight was different and even though England aren't in the tournament there are enough of the Premier Leagues players making an impact. Tonight it was Cesc Fabregas who took all the headlines as he scored the deciding penalty to take Spain into the Semi Final against Russia. A break from football now until at least Wednesday anyway!!