Monthly Archives: January 2008

Beadlebum

To me he’ll always be Beadlebum, or Jeremy James Anthony Gibson Beadle. To the majority of people he was that annoying Jeremy Beadle of Game for a Laugh and You’ve Been Framed fame. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy his TV work, but to me he’ll always be a magician of the airways. I first came across Jeremy via radio, more specifically LBC, the London news and current affairs station. He used to have a phone in on Saturday and Sunday nights I think it was, were you could set him a trivia question and he’d answer it. It’s not very often that anyone beat Jeremy, but I did. I even got a badge that stated “I beat Beadlebum on LBC”, Beadlebum being the affectionate name he called himself. Do you have any idea of how much it kills your finger, dialing constantly on a rotary phone, but I did it time after time, just in the hopes of getting through.

Today, or more specifically a few minutes ago, I found he’d sadly passed away. I knew he was ill, having only read a story of him being admitted to hospital for pneumonia, a few days ago, but you never thing of pneumonia as being that serious. I subsequently found out about him having a cancerous kidney being removed and also recently being diagnosed with a mild form of leukemia. In the blink of an eye, someone I looked up to, has gone. Yes I know that sounds very melodramatic, but those years I listened to Jeremy on LBC instilled a love of trivia in me, that I still can’t get enough of. I remember picking up a copy of his book “Today’s the Day” in Selfridges, which breaks down all the things in history that happened on each day of the year. I can’t have been older than 10 or 11, but I was so excited have this amazing book in my hands. Today I have tons of trivia books and also murder books, another subject I know Jeremy was very interested in.

He was also a bit of a prankster and I remember him hinting that he had a long running prank that ran on April Fools day that no one knew was him, I’d love to know what this was. Maybe we’ll never find out, or maybe it was the last prank that will be left driving me crackers.

I just wanted to write a little something about a person who influenced my life and for whom I’ll always have good memories. There was much more to him, than cheesy television. His charity work for example, lead to a well earned MBE. Cheers mate, thanks for everything.

Heppy New Year

Blimey it’s hard to believe a year has passed since my last New Year’s post, but indeed it has. The New Year finds the snow continuing to dump on my driveway and that is a job I’m not looking forward to, but you do what you have to do.

This New Year’s Eve was pretty much the same as last years. We got the girls and Adam to bed at around 8pm and Sherri and I just lounged around watching movies and playing the Wii. We actually managed to pick up a controller yesterday when we were out shopping. Instead of buying the controller on it’s own, we picked up the controller that came with a CD of 9 mini games. We were both pretty excited and looking forward to playing the games, but after working our way through all 9, we both liked 2 out of 9, and only 1 did we both like the same. There’s a fishing game that Sherri managed to kick my butt on, but man it’s about as interesting as watching paint dry. Actually no, watching paint dry is infinitely more exciting. Anyway, I suppose it was worth the extra $15 we paid and I’m sure a few of the games will appeal to the younger kids.

After playing the Wii for an hour or so, we settled down to watch V for Vendetta, a movie set in a future Britain and pretty scary at that. Not scary in a monsters kind of way, but scary in a way that it’s possibly the way Britain is turning. Big Brother really isn’t that far off, or that’s the impression I get anyway. We finally went to bed at around 2am and one of us got up at 6:45am this morning to see to the kids. Mmm, I’m wondering which one of us it was? Yes you guessed it, it was me, so I’m feeling pretty shattered at the moment, but will feel a whole lot better when I’ve summoned up the strength to jump in the shower.

So that’s New Year’s Eve, what of the year as a whole. Well the best thing to happen this year was the birth of our son Adam in April. It’s hard to believe he’ll be 9 months old tomorrow. Having Adam has thrown my writing into a bit of a disarray. Whilst I was churning out stuff left, right and centre, I’ve been struggling to find the time of late. I’m not blaming my tardiness on Adam, just that I’ve let my organisational skills go to pot, at the same time he was born. Bit by bit, however I’m managing to dig myself out of the hole and managing to slowly get back on track. As my writing has suffered so has my podcasting. I think this year I’ve only managed to do 40 shows, as opposed to 52 the previous year. Again, with this I’m managing to get back on track, although I’ve taken a bit of a break over Christmas.

Work has been a bit up and down, but hopefully this year things will be a bit more settled. I’m still managing to learn lots of new stuff, which is really what excites me.

Sherri has really had her work cut out this year, starting maternity leave in April, when Adam was born. It’s really been hard for her, but at least Sarah and Lucy are now in pre-school two days a week, albeit only for half days. Adam is an absolutely amazing baby. You really couldn’t ask for a better behaved baby. He has his off days now and then, but there’s always a valid reason, usually because he’s not feeling well. He also proving to be really photogenic, and who am I to pass up the opportunity to take photos. Sarah and Lucy are at the height of their troublesome toddler phase. Sherri meets up with other Mums of multiples, fairly regularly and they all say there’s light at the end of the tunnel. We just hope we’re at the end of the tunnel as opposed to the middle.

Mandi has moved again with her SO Jason and is now much nearer to home. She spent Christmas here at home and also bought our Grand Daughter…….. no you didn’t read that incorrectly but the girl in question is in fact a dog, so we can at least breathe a big sigh of relief. I am not ready to be a Grandad yet, even though I am 40 this year. Alanna is still… well Alanna. 17 going on 50 and that’s just her hair styles (Only joking).

My Mum and Dad managed to come over for a couple of weeks, which was brilliant. My Dad got to see the smaller kids for the first time and my Mum got to see the twins for the first time since they were born and also got to see Adam for the first time. Two weeks was not enough, but I’m hoping they’ll be back this summer.

I managed to get over to England at the end of November. While it was nice going back to the old manor, it was infinitely nicer coming home. I did managed to squeeze in a nice Pie and Mash, A trip to my favorite restaurant, Topo Gigio’s and a good few drinks with my Dad and some old friends. It was nice however to get back on that plane and know that in a few short hours I would be back in the arms of my loving wife and kids.

So there you have it. Not the most action packed of years, but with some enormous highlights. So what of the year to come. Well let’s start covering my goals for last year, 2007 :

  1. Get myself better organized, both professionally and at home.
    Well this went right out of the window, but I think this will again be on my list for next year

  2. Move my blogs over to Word Express. Blogger is beginning to buckle under the strain. It would be really great to host my own Blogs with a proper CMS system
    I managed to do this for all of my major blogs, but not done anything for this blog. This is still on my todo list.
  3. Get the bloody basement tidied up.
    Err, I think it’s best to just skip straight over this one.
  4. Get to grips with TurboGears, a Python based web framework (yeah I know, I’m a geek)
    Man I suck. I’ve dabbled with this, but still not managed to do anything major… yet.
  5. Quit drinking at home until March.
    I did this and in fact didn’t really drink much in 2007. I had a few weeks off the wagon over the summer, but was quite content to just have a few Guinnesses her. and there

And here’s my predictions for last year and a word on how I did :

  1. Steve Jobs steps down as CEO, but remains at Apple, possibly in a similar position to Bill Gates at Microsoft.
    No announcement here, but what with all the SEC investigations and stuff, I can see him maybe stepping down in the next few years.

  2. Emusic bought by a larger company
    Emusic seem to be going from strength to strength. So unless the offer is huge, I can’t see this happening any time soon.
  3. Google launches online file storage service
    Nothing here yet, but expect the infamous “G-Drive” to surface some time soon.
  4. iTunes clone purely for non DRM music launches
    Well not quite what I expected, but iTunes now sells DRM free music as now does Amazon amongst other companies. Look for DRM to die a slow death over the next few years.
  5. Harry Potter doesn’t die in the seventh book and final book.
    Well he does die, sort of but finishes the book alive and well.
  6. Ford makes major announcement
    Nothing really huge here, although their Sync car technology looks neat.
  7. iTunes launches multiple pricing levels
    This has happened, although it’s only really a two tier pricing for DRM and non DRM music.
  8. George Michael releases freely available, non DRM album of new material
    George Michael didn’t even though he did threaten to, but Radiohead released an album that you could get for free if you picked up a digital copy from their website and set the amount you wanted to spend as $0, which apparently over 67% of people did. Don’t worry about Radiohead though, they still did much better than if they sold the album on iTunes.
  9. Windows Vista has a very slow uptake, by existing Windows users.
    Yes, slow indeed. I think the only really inroads they are making is in people getting Vista with new PC purchases. I got a new laptop in the summer with Vista, and while I really wanted to like, it has too many problems for me to give it my stamp of approval.
  10. New service or product is released which brings podcasts to the masses, causing uptake from people previously afraid or confused on what to do.
    Not quite the next big thing, but you can now subscribe to podcasts via Tivo and you can also now purchase W-Fi radios, which really makes things interesting. I think 2008 is really going to be an interesting year.

Now what of my goals for 2008 :

  1. Carry on watching what I drink and continue to lose some weight
  2. Get myself better organized, which includes doing some major de-cluttering
  3. Learn a new programming language
  4. Try and get the kids out more this year. Need to discover more things to do in Ottawa
  5. Try to get back on track with my writing. Going to finally put together my “When I Was Young” series and change the focus to more of an autobiography.
  6. Try to read a bit more. Currently my only reading material is blogs and the odd article I print of from various websites.

And now for my 2008 predictions :

  1. Apple either ditches Apple TV or makes radical improvements
  2. Digg finally manges to sell itself, but there’s a twist in the tail
  3. BBC introduces a fee paying version of their iPlayer, for worldwide consumption
  4. Ebay offloads Skype
  5. John C. Dvorak leaves Podshow
  6. Nintendo finally manages to meet demand for their Wii console
  7. Wireless USB starts to appear on consumer devices and PC’s
  8. One of the top record labels discontinues the CD as a medium, deciding to go all digital.
  9. Sega makes surprise announcement
  10. Martha Stewart in trouble again

And there you have it. A good 2007, but the seeds are there for a great 2008. Here’s hoping for an amazing 2009 New Years message.