To kick off Helly’s birthday week, I took her to Coombe Abbey in Coventry. It was originally a 12th Century Cistercian Abbey, that has been restored and turned into a hotel. It was great arriving at the Abbey at night, and walking into the foyer of the hotel which looks like something out of “The Name of the Rose”. Our room, which was apparently one of the old rooms in the Abbey, had a view stretching out over the sculptured gardens. We spent many hours exploring the grounds - 500 acres of gardens, woodlands, lakes and marshes.
Here’s a Nouvelle Vague clip that I found on YouTube:
Fri Sep 29, 2006 by brett
Today I mooched around the new flat. I took the morning off in order to let in some gas safety inspectors. The gas company rang around lunchtime to say the inspectors were outside the apartment and no-one seemed to be home. I informed them that I was in fact inside, but no-one was ringing the buzzer. Eventually I realized that they were standing outside my old flat in Covent Garden *sigh*
Sun Sep 24, 2006 by brett
I found a bunch of interesting podcasts while googling around tonight. The podcasts seem to be mostly about internet-based business models.
Last weekend was spent back in Amsterdam. The highlight was probably Tony’s Lame SuperHero Birthday Party. Helen has more photos on her blog. Tony messaged to say that everyone was meeting in Dam Square, and when we arrived there was a crowd of superheroes standing around - capes billowing. Tourists were coming over and asking to have their photos taken with the group. It was all too funny. I went as Pi Man, a super hero who’s special power is the ability to recite Pi to 2 decimal places. I also had the lamest costume.
Thu Aug 31, 2006 by brett
Optimization problems are all the rage in finance, because they occur so often (or should occur often, as long as you’re on top of the basics of pricing your trades). Enter the IBM DeveloperWorks article on GNU Linear Programming Kit.
Wed Aug 30, 2006 by brett
Here’s a list of some good minimalist WordPress themes.
CoXis has a list and slide-show of his favourite wordpress themes, and there’s definitely some nice ideas there.
Tue Aug 29, 2006 by brett
Historian Scott Trask of the Mises Institute has published a great article on 10 economic falacies that have permeated their way through public thinking. Myth #1 was the broken window, which is basically the idea that a disaster has a positive effect on the economy. He also discusses the myth that war is a boon on the economy. The basic idea behind the myth is that a disaster like an oil spill gets double-counted when calculating GDP, because there is the initial outlay in the oil and also the cost of cleaning it up.
Sun Aug 27, 2006 by brett
What could be better? Stretching out in the beer garden of the Edinboro Castle in Cambden on a nice sunny day. Burgers and beer and friends. Helen even tried to keep me cool by spilling beer on my lap!
Fri Aug 11, 2006 by brett
Helen and I arrived back from New York to utter chaos at Heathrow. The British had arrested a bunch of people planning to blow up flights en route to the US, and as a consequence airports across the country were on high alert. People trying to fly out of Heathrow had been let through to the departure lounge after checking in all their carry-on luggage. Most of the outgoing flights were subsequently cancelled, so everyone was forced to go back out through immigration again. Consequently the queue at immigration snaked across most of the airport. I was quite surprised that it only took us an hour and a half or so to clear immigration. This was despite flying on emergency passports, as I had lost our passports in New York, along with my new MacBook, my video ipod, and my PSP *sigh* Oh well, all technology should be disposable, neh?
So I’m back to using my old 17” powerbook again, and my old iPod. I’ve tried to cheer myself up by buying an external La Clie 1Terabyte drive… you know what? It worked!
We had a fantastic time in New York. It’s been 10 years since we lived in an apartment on West 60th and the city has changed quite a bit, besides the obvious lack of the twin towers. For some reason it didn’t seem quite as high octane as I remember it. Maybe that’s because I live in London now, so my standards for intensity has gone up quite a bit. I love all the high buildings littering the place. Central Park is also a wonderful thing to have plonked in the middle of your city. I also remember New Yorkers as being a lot ruder. Everyone we met was very nice and polite.