Sunday, May 28, 2006

Posh Nosh

I like eating out. Whether it is Steak and Ale pie in a local pub or moules and frites at Belgo, Japanese steak at Benihana or a cheeky curry after a couple of ales. However, what I don't like is restaurants which are totally over priced and over hyped because they are affiliated with some TV chef. So it was a little disturbing today to have a post card pushed through the door advertising Barnes Grill, the latest venture from celebrity flump Antony Worrall Thompson. This makes it one of the closest restaurants to our house but do I really want to eat at Chez Flump? Of course we will because the post card entitles two people to a free glass of posh wine each. Yup, that's how shallow I am.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Lotus is cool

I was out last night at my best mate Matt's birthday bash in a Chinese restaurant off Oxford Street in London. Mainly the group comprised the usual suspects but Matt had also invited 4 super geeks who are studying for an MSc in Information Security with him. It didn't take the geeks very long to notice that I was wearing a T-shirt with IBM on it.

"Why are you wearing an IBM T-shirt?" they enquire.
"Because he works for IBM" interrupts Matt.
"Eeeugh", sneer the geeks, "why would you want to work for a behemoth like that?".
"Actually", I explain, "I work for the Lotus bit."
"Oooh" nod the geeks with reverence, "Lotus is cool"

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sweet Jesus

There are many folks that have sincere and committed beliefs in a religion. I have absolute respect for these folks and would never ridicule them despite the fact that I don't personally think that organised religions can ever pass common sense, logic or any test of evidence. The reason I respect them is that I understand the concept of faith (which by definition demands a lack of proof) but more to the point have found that in general the religious folks I have met to are really nice people. Obviously I'm talking about proper religions like Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and Scientologists are idiots and deserve to have L.Ron Hubbard read Battlefield Earth to them for eternity.

Because of the sensitivity of the subject I would not normally dream of commenting on such things. However, the Da Vinci Code movie has caused me to break my silence because of the unbelievably outrageous demands of the Catholic Church.

In the UK, leading Catholics have demanded a "health warning" after a survey of 1,000 people suggested that reading the original book could undermine a belief in Christian traditions. The research claimed those who had read Brown's novel were twice as likely to believe its central theme - of Jesus being a father - than those who had not. "For many it is fiction," said Dr Austen Ivereigh, co-ordinator of the DVC Response Group, which comprises priests, monks, theologians and members of Opus Dei. "But an alarming number of people take its spurious claims very seriously indeed."
So what does Dan Brown say? A 36 year old middle Eastern man called Jesus may have shagged his good mate Mary and they had a kid. Could that be possible? Maybe. Or the competing argument - an omniscient GOD felt the need to make his "son" incarnate on earth and take on all the sins of mankind. Catholics thank "Christ" by drinking his blood and eating his flesh for communion. L Ron is starting to look normal.

The funny thing is that by criticising the depiction of the Catholic Church (and the weird Opus Dei freaks) in this film the Catholic Church and Opus Dei have received more attention than they could possibly have gained in any other way. If Dan Brown worked in advertising he would get a pay rise.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Ping Pong

Blimey! As I wrote a couple of posts ago, I had a nightmare getting hold of our new Table Tennis table due to the incompetence of Still, it arrived a few days ago and I decided to forget about the past and live in the present. The instructions seemed pretty straight forward and it even helpfully stated that it would take just 45 minutes to build. I should have guessed that things were not going well when it took a hour before I realised I had the wrong screw driver :-( How was I to know that a Pozidriv Screw Driver is different to an ordinary Phillips? Here is the evidence. Anyway, with Ali's help I managed to get it constucted, but as you can probably see from the photo's - by the time it was built it was too dark to play :-( And not only that but those cheeky Argos scamps had out done themselves by forgetting to include a few parts as well.

As luck would have it, I was then very busy for the rest of the week so still didn't get a chance to have a play on our new table! But I knew that the weekend was coming so not to worry. And what happens on Saturday? Rain all bloomin day. Bad luck doesn't last forever though and this afternoon Ali and I got to have a couple of games. It was fantastic but just as we were emulating Chinese olympic team - it started raining again. When does summer start?