Doctor Who

I was out last night so have only just got round to watching Doctor Who. I loved it. And now I'm watching Doctor Who Confidential and am squeeing every time Neil Gaiman comes on, even when you see him getting his breakfast from the catering crew.

And I can't be bothered with spoiler tags but I loved tha main character introduced in this episode. Such glee! (Quite possibly spoilers will be in comments on this subject - you have been warned).

Back from the graveyard (of LJ)

Its been over a year since I last posted. A lot has happened in that time including becoming a pseudo grandfather and getting to pace up and down outside the maternity ward while evath and kimholding were busy becoming parents inside.

I was best man at my brother's wedding, having found this out when I was working out where to sit and my brother said "Oh yeah, I meant to ask you if you could be best man". Fortunately it was just a small registry office affair with family and a few friends so I didn't have to do anything apart from pass the rings over or something. I still made an impromptu speech anyway though which I thought was rubbish and token but my brother was quite moved by. :)

I went to turkey for the second part of the wedding - my brother's wife is turkish so we went for a celebration there and to meet the new in-laws. :)

But none of that is why I am posting now. I post now for a much more important purpose, one that probably caught your eye before I started posting the above.

Its my birthday coming up and for lack of better inspiration I am going to go for my favourite excuse for a night out. Cocktails at Raouls on the Saturday evening. So:

Where: Raoul's Cocktail Bar
When: 22nd January 2011
When exactly: I've booked some tables for 6:30 and estimated 15 people. We won't be able to keep the tables forever if we're not using them though so don't turn up too fashionably late unless you are happy to stand. :)
Dress code: No dress code but I intend to use an evening of cocktails as an excuse to put on my black tie (or tails) and a wasitcoat and pocket watch. I encourage others to use it as an excuse to dress up too. :)

Please don't make me be sitting on my own drinking cocktails. :)


I've not posted much here in some time but figured that I should post major life events and stuff and beg for help.

So, the major life update is that on Wednesday I was made redundant. Word spreads quickly so many of you probably know this already. I'm doing alright on the whole thing and looking at it as a good opportunity for a change that I'd been half considering anyway. That and its a good opportunity to sit around playing computer games all day.

The begging is just to ask if anybody knows of any jobs going anywhere in the oxford area... I'm looking for C#/.NET stuff, preferably with a web leaning (eg ASP.NET) but am willing to try new things. Do let me know if you know of anything.

Oh, and thanks to oxfordgirl who gave me a tip off which has led to an interview on Tuesday for a fun looking job. :)

Travel blog

Introducing venusintransit.

Everybody go friend me if you want to keep track of what's happening. There might be the occasional personal post in here while I'm away but mostly I'll be posting in the other journal.

As it says in that one, I'm all set now. The only thing I am pondering currently is if I want to make it a paid journal so I can more easily put pics in the post (I believe that the LJ photo thing is a paid thing, right?). If anybody want to contribute a couple of months LJ time to save me making the decision then feel free. ;-)

Oh, and a last note on the travel journal. Part of the point of it is to keep it separate from this one. So I'm not going to be linking usernames and such like. This journal is easily enough findable but I might as well try to keep them as separate as possible. Don't let that restrict you though. I welcome comments and anything else you want to put on there. :)

And since its not really relevant for the other journal I thought I'd put my amusing milkshake related travel story here. I decided to go for a milkshake in shakeaway as I often do. Often enough that they know me in there by now... I was chatting, I mentioned my holidays and one of the girls mentioned they were doing a very similar but longer trip and so there was much excited chat about stuff. And they've demanded I send them lots of postcards so they can stick them up on the wall and they've told me I have to come in for a milkshake when I get back and tell them all about it. It made me quite excited about it all really. :) Also quite amused that I got their address written down with best wishes and smiley faces on the back of one of their menus. I love oxford. :)

Travel LJ name competition

So I'm off travelling and I intend to blog about it. I have decided to stick with what I know for blogging (ie LJ or similar) but am considering a new account for my travel blog so that I can give it to work people and others without worrying about them getting to my personal stuff trivially.

I'm trying to decide what a cool name for this second account would be though and so thought I'd open it to the floor for suggestions. there won't be a prize except of course for some kudos and the fact that every time you look at my travel exploits you'll see your suggestion there. That's an awesome prize really isn't it? :)

So go for it... all suggestions welcome...

Solar Eclipse

I just found out something cool. While I'm in china there will be a solar ecliupse there. has the flight path and I reckon that being in chengdu on 22nd July seems very feasible. :)

I really do need to get around to properly timetabling out my china bit of the trip. mi_guida has made sure we have a good timetable for the hong kong onwards parts but strangely enough the btis where I'm on my own are badly to not at all planned. :)

Still, I'm doing shanghai-beijing-xian-chengdu-Jiuzhaigou-chengdu-yellow river. Maybe with a holy mountain in there somewhere too. So chengdu at day 17 of 26 sounds feasible. :)

I've always wanted to properly see the totality of a full solar eclipse. It'd be nicer if it was not as early in the morning but should still be awesome. :)

I am an example to all

Some might remember my interetsing time a couple of years ago at a game called Warfighters. For those that don't you may want to recap though only the first couple of paragraphs are relevant.

Well, I just heard from souldestruction (not sure if he has a better LJ name these days or not) that a friend of his was at war fighters recently and apparently I am being used as an example in the safety briefing on the subject of what not to do with your gun.

I feel strangely proud. And it makes me want to go back again just so that when they say that bit I can offer to show the scar around. ;-)

Summer holiday tech

On my grand summer travels I'm considering taking various bits of tech with me and I thought I'd solicit opinions and ideas from people on the subject... Things I am considering taking are roughly as follows:

MP3 player

This shouldn't be too much of a problem. Thanks to ext2366 I have an mp3 player that is pretty damned nifty. Main problem is it charges by plugging into a USB socket on a computer so if I don't have a computer charging it might be tricky... On the other hand I'm sure a cheap as chips mp3 player for keeping me amused on buses and things should be relatively cheap...

Mobile Phone

I wasn't initially intending to bother but mi_guida suggested it last weekend and seemed surprised I wasn't going to. As time goes on and I read various things on the web the more it seems like a good idea. There are suggestions along the lines of taking unlocked phones so you can use local sims and stuff like that to avoid roaming charges. My main problem being that I currently have a shiny G1 that I probably won't want to take (over-featured, expensive and would be upset if I lost it). My old phones were all retired for things like having 20 hours of battery life on a good day and such like.

So I guess under this section my big question is what is the best way to go roaming and where can I get a cheap functional phone from for as little as possible (anybody out there got old phones they don't want?).

One thing I do intend to set up is the ability to check my normal mobile's voicemail from anywhere in the world which will potentially solve half the problem if I can find a phone to dial my mobile on to access its voicemail...


I'm figuring that there is going to be a hell of a lot of stuff I want to write down on my travels to share with you lot and for the benefit of my own memory. I can take time and stop at internet cafes and such like to write things up but this of course eats into time I could spend doing *more* exciting things. So I was considering taking a cheap little netbook with me.

This Netbook costs 120 quid and looks like it would do what I want. do people think this is sensible? Do they think I'm crazy to do this? I figure it would be a good way to allow me to maximise the time I'm spending on trains/plains and automobiles by using it to write up my exciting stuff instead of just sleeping or looking bored the whole way...


A camera is a must really. I do have one that I bought about five or six years ago (I forget how long ago but its pretty damned aged). I'm considering getting a new one because that is quite old (4 MP, 3x optical zoom, smaller memory cards, doesn't take great pictures). I'm wondering if people have any recommendations... Photos are likely to be mainly web only (so megapixels aren't likely to be a constraining factor) and numerous (I'd rather have too many than too few). Of course cheap is good since I am assuming that everything I take with me has a fair chance of being broken or stolen. Any suggestions?

Also what other gadgets might I want to take with me? I think I've covered everything above but if you can think of more suggestions on things I should take I am more than happy to listen...

Also I might be asking questions about whether you think I should set up a different blog for travel adventures or just do it here... mainly I might want a wider audience (eg work people too), etc. I guess I could use my dreamwidth (is that the right name? I'm sure you all know the one) account for that. I've not used it for anything else yet (and I believe that crossposts easily too)...

Its all getting very exciting.

Random flash game...

I've just been pointed at a silly time wasting game.

Go there and fight my awesome martial arts warrior. And its a pyramid scheme so the more people that go there and fight me (and thus become my pupils) the more XP I get. So even if just curious go have a fight so I can have a dojo full of warriors. ;)

Summer Holidays - the introduction

Well, it seems that my last but one LJ post made me look a bit of a plonker... You see having put the first hints out there about planning a bit of travelling virtually six months ago to the day I formulated some plans. I plotted, I planned and then I discussed it with friends...

Well, that's what I thought had happened. After that recent post and everybody going "Whu!!!" I realised that in fact I hadn't really said much at all. Nobody seems to have a clue what is going on but there is a consensus that it is jolly interesting and I should tell you.

Well, three weeks later I'm finally getting around to it.

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