Posted by: Neil | December 1, 2008 – a fresh new look

Head over to and update your bookmarks one last time.

Posted by: Neil | November 2, 2008

Captain Chalupa

Whenever evil lurks in the RSC, where ever help is needed in a hallway or crime happens in a cubicle…CAPTAIN CHALUPA and GORDITA GIRL will be there!

Each year Taco Bell has a big Halloween pageant where each department makes a short movie. I was involved in the IT one again this year and we won ūüôā Along with being part of the process to create the ideas for the movie I was behind a video camera for the first time.

It was a lot of fun putting it all together, along with a couple of colleagues Jose (head over to his site and get a copy of his latest DJ set, some good stuff there) and John (sorry I don’t have any link to your site John!) we put up a web site where you can see the video. It is quite Taco Bell themed but I’d be interested to hear how it looks to those of you outside the company.

Captain Chalupa website

Posted by: Neil | October 9, 2008

Song of the week

It’s not a new track but I just rediscovered it. Dennis Hopper’s storytelling is really cool.

Gorillaz – Fire coming out of a monkey’s head

Posted by: Neil | September 11, 2008

Web designing

I’ve had quite a bit going on recently. ¬†Work has been very busy – my main project is a redesign of the intranet based knowledge base for the help desk. ¬†After a year’s work the front page is finally online, it is a big relief and probably the biggest project I’ve ever worked on. ¬† Now comes the gradual conversion of the remaining 12,000 pages on the site.

I’ve been learning a lot more about web design, and more importantly to me, the design aspect of it. ¬†In Stream I built the technical side of the sites, while Paul did the graphical design side and I’ve never been confident, or had any idea how to go about, putting together a design. ¬†I’ve been picking up a lot lately and I’ve come a long way, there still a huge amount to learn but I’m a lot happier with my design skills now. ¬†I found laying stuff out on grids is very helpful.

I’m considering moving this blog again, I don’t want to keep shuffling around and messing up everyone’s bookmarks but this time I’m looking at keeping WordPress but hosting it myself on my own domain. ¬†This would mean I could design my own site rather than use this template. ¬†There’s no address yet but it’s something I’m working towards.

Oh, and I’ll be back in England again at the start of January.

Posted by: Neil | August 12, 2008

The greatest ice skating video ever

I suppose that title doesn’t give it a lot of competition, but I think it is a worthy champion.
Posted by: Neil | July 13, 2008

Out of England

Ricky Gervais - Out of England

I went to see Ricky Gervais doing standup in Hollywood on Saturday. It was in the Kodak Theatre where they host The Oscars each year.¬† Its a very nice place, and was a sellout (3,401 seats there according to wikipedia).¬† I was a little surprised to see how popular he is out here but hopefully that will mean more of his stuff comes our way, at the moment I’m having to import DVDs from the UK.¬† He got a good write up (this one is for the first show on the Friday) and the crowd loved it, every joke got a huge laugh and Gervais got a standing ovation at the end of the show.

Overall he was hilarious as always, but I was a little disappointed at the lack of original material.¬† Sure, most of the audience will only have seen The Office and Extras and none of his standup is out here, but with a new tour name I was expecting some new material targeted at the American audience, but what we got was a ‘best of’ compilation from Politics and Fame.

Sushi | Culin√°ria

Originally uploaded by Alexandre Chang

It was still a very enjoyable evening which was started off by some of the best sushi I’ve had at Shintaro, just up the road from the theatre.¬† In researching the restaurant’s name just now I came across their website, another example of why I don’t think I’m going to be putting much effort into learning Flash right now for web design.¬† It looks pretty, but why can’t I click on things???¬† The pictures and text look like they should be links, but you have to use the small at the bottom of the page.¬† I get frustrated with difficult to navigate Flash designs.¬† Oh and there’s no option to stop playing their background music.¬† Arrrggg (that didn’t sound so much like a pirate in my head).¬† Anyway, their food was delicious.

Posted by: Neil | July 13, 2008

Take me out to the ball game


I went to my first baseball game this week, our friend Hector had some extra tickets and was kind enough to take us along to see the LA Dodgers.¬† I’m used to seeing the LA baseball caps everywhere, it was the cap du jour in Potters Bar but these wearers were probably the first who were aware of its significance.

Once we got to the stadium my first feeling was how similar the setup is to cricket.¬† I’ve not been to lots of cricket grounds but at least Lord’s and The Gabba in Brisbane were similar in that its open through to the back of the stadium.¬† Football grounds in England (and the Ducks’ Honda Center for that matter) are completely walled off separating the seating and the drinks/food stands.¬† The cricket and now baseball stadiums are open behind the seating so you can still see the game going on while you walk around getting some food.¬† It’s the only sport I’ve seen that in and being that it originated from cricket I wonder if that was an intentional addition to the stadium design.

Dodger Dogs

Anyway, the game was enjoyable but the Dodgers lost 9-3. Next time I might try my local team, the Anaheim Angels. Its certainly not a fast paced game, but then it doesn’t pretend to be like some of the other sports (American Football and Baseketball, yes, I’m talking about you with all your timeouts). In the same way as the cricket you spend most of the time chatting with the people you came along with between pitches, its a fun way to pass a few hours.

Posted by: Neil | July 4, 2008

Have a Happy 4th!!!

Today I’m celebrating independence from the monarchy and tyranny of the non-scurvy ridden British. Without having grown up here I don’t know if its just a recent thing but people seem to not want to call holidays by their ‘official’ name. For example, Merry Christmas is now Happy Holidays and Independence Day, while ‘also known as’ 4th of July is now generally shortened to “Have a Happy 4th”. I wonder if this is trying to break away from the orignal meaning of the celebration as with changing Christmas to the secular Holidays. So maybe its peoples trying to make me feel more welcome, or perhaps its more laziness – moving speech more towards the brevity of emails and text messages.

Posted by: Neil | June 15, 2008

Start your engines!

Mario Kart Wii

Originally uploaded by Neilwill

I never really got into any of the previous Mario Kart games on the SNES or N64, etc. but this one has really got me into it. It’s pretty good as one player but the multi-player is great – I’ve had 4 players on the one Wii and today I had my first inter-continental race. I played against my family back in England and it’s great fun! I did add in a webcam so it gives more of a feeling of playing against other people, we had that running on laptops alongside the Wii.

Posted by: Neil | June 9, 2008

G’day Ma’am

The QueenWe celebrated the Queen’s Birthday today at work with a big sponge cake. I seem to be celebrating Britishness more outside of the country than when I was in it (with the exception of football tournaments, though I doubt that is getting much celebration this time around).¬† This one was celebrated because the president of the company is an Australian and out there they get a day off work, while a few of my colleagues pointed out to me back in April (I still had to look it up again to make sure of the date!) when it was St George’s Day.¬† There was no celebration for it but I think while working in England it was always a day that passed without notice until a couple of weeks later when someone would raise their head from their monitor and say ‘Oh, it was St George’s the other day!’

I suppose it’s normal to be more aware of your national celebrations when you are abroad but I’ve been surprised that Americans seem to be more aware of it than Englishmen.¬† I can’t see a 4th of July passing and a couple of days later a Limey reminding Yank that he forgot to celebrate.¬† I never seem to use those slang names so I thought I’d throw them in there – I should try to get more of those in here in future, maybe something a little more ‘exotic’ like a Pom reminding a Septic.

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