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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Countdown to Chanukah - Day 2

Last night, you saw and heard the story about Chanukah.  We celebrate it by lighting eight candles, on the Menorah. One extra candle each night, for eight nights, and singing songs.

For some reason; this is also when we give our children presents!! Now, whether this is in direct relation to the closeness of Christmas, or there is another reason, I don't know; but each family does things slightly differently.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Countdown to Chanukah - Day 1

This Wednesday, we light the first of the Chanukah candles.  For my non-Jewish friends, the 'C' is silent; it's pronounced Hanukah.

Chanukah is the festival of light, and celebrates the time the Maccabi's won the war against the Greeks.  This video is a good, light way, to hear and watch the story.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Airkix - Flying Free

Yesterday, we took the two oldest, and a couple of friends, to experience the freedom of flying.

Airkix, in Manchester (there's another at Milton Keynes) is an indoor sky-diving experience.

The session starts with a video presentation; explaining the basics of what you need to do; followed by an instructor, with more in-depth advice.  Reassuringly, you're not told to just throw yourself in, but an instructor is with you, helping, guiding and, through the use of sign-language, get you to fly independently.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Review - TuneIn Radio

 I discovered this app the other day, available on iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry and Android.

Listen to and record over 40,000 radio stations, including thousands of AM/FM local stations.
Radio streaming has never been so easy.  This isn't a free app - it costs a whopping £1.19; but the quality of the broadcasts is superb.
Start the programme, and it will identify where you are; however, you can select your listening pleasure either by choosing a category of programme, or genre of music.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I just discovered Miranda.

Yes - Miranda Hart.  It's a sitcom on BBC2, and I first saw it on the BBC iPlayer, when I was looking for something to watch.

It's very funny; I've only seen episode 2 of the second series, so there's plenty to catch up on, but; if you haven't seen it, then give it a go.  BBC 2 on Mondays, at 8.30

Here's a clip from this weeks episode; although I don't think it's the funniest part of the show!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review - Sky Sports Football Score Centre

I've not done a review for a while, so here's one for a BlackBerry app, which works brilliantly.

Many of you know that I'm not a huge football fan; but I do follow The Cherries; as has been written about weekly on this very blog.

 The Sky Sports Football Score Centre is, amazingly, free to download and use; what's better is that it isn't riddled with adverts either.

Once downloaded, you can set your favourite team, to follow and what you want to display on the front screen.

There's a full fixture list, that shows, in real time, where your team sits; and you can also choose other leagues to follow; including the French, Italian, German and many more.

Possibly the best part is the integration with the BlackBerry messaging system, so that when a goal is scored, or red card given, during a game which your team is playing, you will get a notification instantly.

In fact, it's not just the messaging system.  The fixture list is also synchronised with your BlackBerry calendar - so, now you won't forget about a match!!

If you're out and about, or too busy to follow, or the game isn't televised (which, the Bournemouth games aren't), then it's a great way to keep in touch with the action.

Plus, there's also commentary on the game, updated frequently.

You can see the various options here - including the teams being fielded, stats on each player (with photo) and match statistics.

Now, if I find this interesting, for just a couple of clubs, imagine the football fan who can't get enough!!

This is a cracking application; which you can run when there's a match, and leave off (to save battery) when you don't need it.

Available for most devices, with OS4.6 and higher (and supported on touch screens too) you can download it from BlackBerry App World.

In the interest of cross-platform reviews; this app is also available for the iPhone, iPod Touch (but not specifically for the iPad) via the App Store.  On these devices, if you have a subscription, you can also watch video highlights.

Monday, November 22, 2010

AFC Bournemouth - Score Draw

It was a bit of a disappointing weekend for The Cherries, as they lost their 2-0 advantage over Leyton Orient, and finished with a draw.  The boys have been playing well lately, and it was a shame they couldn't consolidate their playing form into a win.

However, they remain 4th in League One, so, as long as they don't let it get to them, there's no reason why they can't continue to impress and move on.

The full match report can be found here.

Next up; they're at home to Yeovil, tomorrow night.  Yeovil are currently in the relegation zone, second from bottom.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Freelance - A mercenary assault on business?

Once again, November 23rd is National Freelancers Day
There are 1.4 million freelancers in the UK and the flexibility added by this community is contributing some £21 Billion to UK GDP - the value of this resource has never been more significant.
The dictionary definition is:

free-lance or free-lancer - a self-employed person working, or available to work, for a number of businesses, rather than be committed to one, and usually hired for a limited period.

free lance or free lancer - a mercenary soldier in medieval Europe.

Now, I certainly don't believe I'm a mercenary soldier, however, I am available to work for a number of businesses, under contract to them. My contracts are usually 3-monthly; in other words, I am either extended by the company, or my contract may not be renewed.  I've been very lucky, in that my contract has been renewed regularly; but there is always an element of doubt.  Especially in the current economic climate.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cityscapes - Sydney

Like sunshine? 
Like living by the water? 
Like a relaxing outdoors lifestyle?  

Sydney has it all.  This isn't a sales pitch.  I'm just telling you how I experienced it.
Cosmopolitan living, great shops, good food and, if I'm honest, friendly people too.

From the first settlers (those rogues shipped to the colony!) to the £10 Poms, and everyone else, most Australians have a European heritage; and that is reflected in the building style, and the art.

Due to it's climate, Australia in general is very much an outdoor way of life.  This is highlighted in Sydney, as workers cross the huge harbour on their daily commute.  The vistas are fantastic.

There are many boats; of all shapes and sizes, bobbing about; from the ferries, to the tourist sightseeing trips and the personal yachts to the small dinghies.

Not forgetting the famous Bondi beach, the small suburb of Manly and the surrounding 'bush'.

A little way outside of the city, and you can visit the Blue Mountains, so called because of the haze given off by the eucalyptus trees.

Sydney is one of my favourite cities in the world. The famous bridge spanning north to south; the Opera House, with its distinctive roof, Centrepoint; the tallest building, offering fantastic, 360 degree, views across the city.

At the risk of repeating myself, this is another city that has everything; but the weather makes sure that's is great all year round.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cityscapes - New York

As Paris is romantic, ornate and picturesque, New York is big, loud and "in your face".  

Indeed, let's be a little more specific here.  When I talk about New York, I refer to the island of Manhattan. OK, it's not a real island, but it's the part you think of when someone mentions New York.

The suburbs, Harlem, The Bronx, Queens, to name a few, have been immortalised on film, and if you haven't visited them, then I suppose that is the real New York - the place where the locals live.
Of course, they live in Manhattan too. Upper East Side, Lower West Side, Greenwich Village, SoHo, all contain apartment blocks. 

It's a fast-paced life, people walking quickly, getting from A to B and not stopping to look along the way.

The towering skyscrapers, the old mingling with the new.  I'll never forget the view down Wall Street - tall buildings framing Trinity church at the other end.

There are many iconic images, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, The Statue of Liberty  not forgetting the famous yellow taxi cabs.  

Ellis Island, in the bay, is now a museum to remind us of the journey the many thousands of immigrants made, to start a new life in this land of opportunity.

Central Park in the summer, is a tranquil escape from the madness of city life.  In the winter it is transformed, when it snows, and becomes a winter wonderland.  I'm sure you've seen images of people skating in the park.

As a tourist, New York is fascinating and exciting.  The shops, the food, the noise, the art and history; plus the realisation that you've seen this many times before, captured on celluloid, means it is as familiar as it is strange.

Whatever time of year you visit, there is plenty to see.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cityscape - Paris

The Eiffel Tower
Paris.  The City of Romance. It's the city, apart from London, that I've been to the most.  It's certainly true that it holds that romantic mysticism.
There is something about Paris that gets the juices flowing.  Whether it's the Seine meandering through the city, the madness that is the Etoile, or the vistas from the heights of the Eiffel Tower.

Everywhere you turn, there is something to look at. 

The Louvre
Modern mixed with the old
The old buildings, steeped in history, the tightly packed streets, the smells of the fresh bread at the boulangerie.

The smoke from the tabac, the hustle and bustle of the traffic, stopping and starting, horns constantly beeping; the throngs of tourists, the beautifully dressed French women (and men) in their boutique fashion designs.

The restaurants with their awnings over the pavement; their menus tempting you with succulent dishes.  The bars, with their tables and chairs outside, so you can sit and watch the world go by; either with a strong cafe au lait, or maybe something else!
Bateaux Mouches are a popular
way to see Paris

Down at the river, the Bateaux Mouches glide along the Seine; the tourists snapping photos of the Jardin des Tuileries, the Notre Dame and the ornate French architecture glistening in the sun (don't places always look better in the sun?)

The Place de la Concorde, with it's obelisk, standing resolute at the end of the Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe standing proud at the other end; the tomb of the unknown soldier lying below the main arch.

Paris, for sightseers, is a feast for the senses.  The scenery, the sound, the smells.  It's a fantastic place to wander, and absorb the atmosphere.

The Champs Elysees
view from the Arc de Triomphe

Monday, November 15, 2010

AFC Bournemouth - Winning Ways

Last Saturday, The Cherries returned to their winning ways by beating Walsall 3-0.  OK, so Walsall are currently bottom of the league, but that doesn't mean the match was a walkover.

Josh McQuoid scored his second hat-trick in the week, his first during the FA Cup tie, against Tranmere.

You can see the match highlights here.

Their next league game is next Saturday, away to Leyton Orient (who are 17th in the league table).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blog Lines

I started writing My Blog and I back in 2007 (this is the first post); yes, you can still read the old posts. 

Initially, it was a means for me to just jot down things I'd been up to.  It certainly wasn't serious, and definitely not a soap box.  Indeed, there was no single direction.

You might liken it to a diary; in the early days, that's exactly what it was.  Over time I have found little tid-bits to add; and it's become more rounded.

There is also, now, a purpose.  To entertain and inform.

I'm very philosophical.

My Blog and I is my take on the world around me.  Whether it's litererature, films, television, sport, news or family and friends.

My Blog and I is all mine.  They're my words (most of the time!) and my thoughts.  I even created a 'logo' to give it a more polished look.  It's always evolving; as I try to keep it fresh and interesting.

It will always be honest, and I'll continue to combine the funny with the sad.

I've had some great reaction to some of my posts in the past; including a company CEO saying thanks for a review I wrote; and others who have liked what I've written and some that have disagreed.

And that's what's great. 

My little piece of the internet has amazing people taking the trouble to read and write about something I've written.

The fact that you're coming along for the ride, is truly wonderful.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Raising Money for Children In Need

It's nearly Children In Need again and I'd like to do my bit for the charity.

Let's face it, it's a great cause.

Therefore, for every new follower to either 'Like' My Blog and I Facebook page OR become a follower using the Google Friend Connect link on the right, between now, up to and including Friday 19th November, I will donate £1 to Children In Need.

The rules are simple; there are currently 37 Facebook 'Likes' and 8 Google Friends.  For each one over and above these starter figures, I will donate £1.  The clock stops at midnight on the 19th November.

Please spread the word, and let's raise some money.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Transmission - Lewis' Revenge

Here's a look at Lewis Hamilton taking revenge on his personal trainer.  The amount of training the F1 drivers do today, really highlights the physical impact of the sport, where, let's face it, they're job is sitting down!!!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Transmission - Reactions Test

Quick reactions are very important in the high speed world of Formula 1.  Drivers need to make split-second decisions, and in this video see Jenson Button take the Batak Pro challenge.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Disney Studios - Soaking On Set

OK - Now for something completely different.

On our holiday last year, I (along with my father-in-law) was volunteered to take part in the opening scene of the Backlot Tour at Disney Hollywood Studios.

So, for your entertainment, and believe me, you will find this funny, I have posted it right here.

Actually, I think you had to be there for the real fun; however, watch all the way to the end to see the hysterics this caused.

Hope you enjoyed it.

First Class Delivery

I thought, since you're here, I'd offer you a simpler, quicker, way to reach My Blog and I.

Rather than search through Facebook for the latest posting, or 'accidentally' seeing a tweet announcing the latest publication, why don't you get it delivered straight to your email inbox?

It's easy to do...

Just click the link below and enter your email address....
Please send My Blog and I direct to my Inbox

You'll be sent an email, to validate your request, and that's it.

Now, you can relax in the knowledge that you'll never miss a post again.

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Transmission - Singapore

During the course of the F1 season, a series of short films was made, called "The Transmission".  These behind the scenes look at what goes on, are just a snapshot of the work and effort (and fun) put in by the team.

This one was filmed by Jessica Michibata (Jenson's girlfriend).

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Event

It's the programme that's currently got people talking.

When an average guy stumbles upon a secret so powerful it could change the course of humanity, and a cover-up so big that the President is on a need-to-know basis, answers can only lead to bigger questions.

So, what is "The Event"?

If you haven't seen it, this is the preview trailer.

Confused?  You will be.  It very much looks as though NBC are trying to hook in the people who miss Lost, or 24 - but with both of those, you knew what to expect (sort of!) and whilst they were far-fetched, they were fun to watch.

The Event is a little confusing, with all the time-jumps, but nevertheless, it's immense fun; even if you could have written the script yourself.  The acting is also non-descript at times; but I won't hold that against them!

I'll continue to watch it.

Will you?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Two Thousand and Counting

Since June, Blogger has been provided up-to-the minute statistics regarding page views.

Now, I don't profess to have big following, but I wanted to highlight some of the stats to you, and say thanks.

Not least that, in the beginning, I wasn't writing this for any more reason than to 'get something off my chest' or just because I'm a frustrated writer!

Now this very blog has reached the 2000 views mark.  I know it's not in the realms of the big sites, but for little ole me, it's a great milestone to achieve..

So, without further ado - here are the top 10 posts that have been read the most, by you, since the beginning of June.
  1. Oh My Word! Books - Paper or Electronic?
  2. iPad - Diary and Task Management from Pocket Infor...
  3. Flipboard Review - A social magazine for the iPad
  4. iPad
  5. The A Team - Theme
  6. Applications for my iPad
  7. BlackBerry Messenger - Theme Song
  8. AFC Bournemouth - A New Beginning
  9. Platypus - Not just a semi-aquatic mammal
  10. iPad - App Review
As you can see, it's an eclectic mix of articles, about things that interest me.  Which of these, if any, did you find interesting?

Remarkably, my post about paper books versus e-books has been the most popular and, amazingly, for reasons I can't quite fathom, The A-Team theme garnered 38 views (I said they weren't big numbers!)

The majority of my readers are in the USA and the UK, with Russia, The Netherlands, Canada, Germany, South Korea and China also making up the numbers.  It would be nice to know how they came to see it - even if they only disappeared again quickly........

Each of the links above should still take you to the relevant post - have a look, nosey around, and see if there are any other little gems you'll enjoy.

There are plenty more to come, including reviews, video posts and more.

Thank you to everyone who has followed My Blog and I.  It's hugely appreciated.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


This week, once again, we celebrate (if that's the right word) Guy Fawkes night.  The story of Guy Fawkes appears to heard less, and fireworks, once the preserve of this one night (and other special occasions) are now 'let off' frequently throughout the year.

Over the last couple of years, the school Parents Guild have put on some spectacular displays.

Correction - the Parents Guild at the school are somewhat adept at putting on a show; and the fireworks evening is more of a funfair event, with rides, stalls and food, and firework displays through the evening.  Yes.  Three displays, each one getting grander.

I'm not sure if that's going to be the case this year - we're in a recession, don't you know? But, I'm sure it'll be a great evening, with much needed funds raised to help put on other great events; like the Summer Fair!

So, light the blue touch paper and stand well back.

Are you going to a fireworks display this year?

Life's For Sharing

I put this on Facebook last week; but it's such a great, feel-good, advert, I just had to post it here too.

Sit back and enjoy this uplifting piece of film.  Oh, I know there's a commercial reason behind it; but who cares, you don't get that until the end; and to that point, it's just lovely.

Monday, November 01, 2010

AFC Bournemouth - Planning For The Future

Last weekend, The Cherries hosted Colchester, for a League 1 fixture.

I was hoping this would be a continuation of the positive form they've shown over the last few games, but there was a stumble, as they lost 1-2
It was a shame, because they made more chances, committed less fouls and played the better game.

You can read the full match report here.  This result drops them to fourth in the league; by no means a bad place to be; I just hope it's not the start of a slide.

They're away to Brentford (currently 15th) tomorrow evening, before an FA Cup game, at home, against Tranmere, next Saturday.

Stadium Plans

Club chairman, Eddie Mitchell has also announced to build a new south stand, as well as the possibility to buy back the ground.  The club sold the stadium to a property developer, back in 2005, for £3.5m to prevent the going into receivership.  They currently pay an annual lease of around £300,000.

I'll be watching this story with interest, as the boys on the pitch do their bit to keep the club in league one and, hopefully, progress further.


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