It's Not Easy Being Green on BBC2 is an interesting view of someone trying to establish a more sustainable lifestyle, but so far most of what they are doing is not very applicable to the average household. How many of us have a handy stream to run a waterwheel? We try to do our bit by recycling and reducing energy usage, but things like having to have two cars to get us to work are not so good.
Just off the A1(M)
Wed, 05 Apr 2006
Mon, 03 Apr 2006
Thus ensued several hours of jamming around such diverse styles as reggae, jazz, blues, prog rock (?) and arabic rhythms. I have not had much experience of improvising in a group, but I managed to play some basic chords and even solo a bit. Considering how little I have played lately I am amazed that my finger are not more sore.
We had a break for food in Fabrizia's cozy loft before heading back to the studio for another session.
I would really like to do more group work apart from the drum circle. If anyone is interested in some informal jamming then give me a shout.
Thu, 30 Mar 2006
Of course a lot of the organic food is being shipped to our supermarkets from all over the world, which causes various forms of waste. We had considered using a local organic box scheme, but none was available in our area. Now there is and it is provided by River Nene up in Cambridgeshire. They can provide valious size boxes or individual products. They try to source most of it from their own farm, but to give a reasonable variety they have to source some from abroad, but they avoid anything that uses air freight.
We've had it for a few weeks now and are happy with the service. We get some very tasty items that include some we would never buy otherwise, such as celeriac. It definitely costs more than the equivalents at the supermarket, but we think it is still good value.
I see they are now doing some reasonably priced organic beer. I'll be giving that a try.
Mon, 27 Mar 2006
First up was a solo singer playing some very nice acoustic guitar and singing some humorous songs about the quirks of life. I managed to miss his name.
Next were Kandida. They played a very good set of pop/rock. Some elements of country and folk mixed in there somewhere. Very tight and some nice vocal harmonies. I expect I'll be seeing them again some time. I had a good chat with them beforehand and got roped in to take some pictures of the gig. So I can now add 'rock photographer' to my CV. I hope they turn out well. It's quite hard to get atmospheric shots as flash makes it too bright and turning it off makes it hard to get sharp shots.
Finally we had Simon Scardanelli. He played a pretty earnest set. Good voice and really attacks his guitar. He had to put up with some abuse from a few people for being so serious, but didn't seem too phased.
Thu, 23 Mar 2006
the UK is not quite so disillusioned. Here it causes a kerfufffle when our openly
Christian PM says he will be judged by the deity.
Mon, 20 Mar 2006
You only get a couple of minutes flying time but it feels like longer. You are supported by a 100mph wind and a little help from the instructor. Everyone managed to fly around the chamber, but without much real control. It's a very strange feeling. The instructor showed off by ramping it up to 140mph and pulling some impressive moves.
It was a unique experience and I may be tempted to try it again, even though it's an expensive one. I've never been that keen on the idea of jumping out of a plane, but so this is a good alternative.
There was a little more 'air time' on Sunday when I took the kids kite flying. The single string flew well until we broke it. A few crashes caused one pole to break through the fabric again. We also have a twin string parafoil that we had never flown before. We gave it a go, but have not worked out how to get it flying yet.
I rounded off the weekend with some African rhythms at Secret Bass. I've not been for a while, so it was good to get into it again.
Thu, 16 Mar 2006
The new drive got a fresh install of Kubuntu Linux. I've ended up with one huge partition that uses Logical Volume Management (LVM). This should allow me to change my partitions without breaking the system. I want to break this down to separate data from the OS, but that's for when I get everything else working.
Installing Kubuntu should get me back to what I achieved before by a more roundabout route, but I'm having a few issues. I added some essentials with EasyKubuntu, but that didn't seem to do all it should. I have sound working generally, but Amarok is not playing anything yet.
I also bought myself an external hard drive case so that I could retrieve data from the old drive over USB, but the system is not seeing that drive at all. Maybe I'll have to connect the drive to the IDE and read it that way, but I would like to be able to use the external drive for backup.
Setting everything up from scratch is a bit of a pain. I'm trying to log all I do for next time. If I got the other drive connected I could copy settings across, but as some of those may be a mess I may not bother with all of them.
I was tempted to install the beta of the next Ubuntu/Kubuntu (Dapper Drake), but I'm a bit wary of trusting my system to it, especially as the release is likely to postponed for more 'polishing' (the cleaning up sort, not translation to that language).
Thu, 09 Mar 2006
- FreeNX - Powerful remote desktop software. I have tried it at home, but need to have another look.
- Webmin - web-based server administration system. Interesting, but I'm not sure I need it for now.
- Multi-user systems - running multiple screens, keyboards and mice on one PC is a neat way to share a resource. It would be handy for when more than one person wants to use our home computer without having to start up another one just to start a session with FreeNX or similar.
- There was also some discussion on how to get more people to participate in the LUG. The IRC channel is useful, but only used by a few people. Other on-line options include Jabber and GnomeMeeting (seems to be called Ekiga now), but someone would need to help set those up.
Wed, 08 Mar 2006
I'm so intruiged that I have subscribed to their mailing list to see how things develop.
Tue, 07 Mar 2006
All that was whilst suffering from a nasty cold that has given me a blocked nose and dry lips. I wasn't going to let that stop me getting on with things. The whole family seems to have had it to some degree.
Upcoming is the Herts LUG meeting on Wednesday. A few evenings back I did manage a quick game of netPanzer with some of the guys on IRC. Blowing things up (virtually) is fun, but I didn't quite get the hang of the strategy aspect. I don't play many games and this was one of the first times I've played a multi-player game over the internet.
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