Sunday, January 28, 2007

MindManager - Very Cool Piece of Software

* click image for larger version.

So, my work has recently invested in a bulk license of the Mindjet Mindmanager software, and it's extremely cool. I had to use it for a think tank at a recent conference and so got to know it very well.

I'm sure you already know what Mindmaps are. Well this program lets you draw your ideas out using one, extremely quickly. If you ever need to come up with ideas for something, I'd really recommend 'procuring' a copy and giving it a go.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Shnuffle Shnumble Bumps

With their human animal faces!

Interesting Article on Luck

Note: the picture above is of a man finding something interesting, in case you questioned the relevance.

Monday, January 22, 2007

What I Did Last Week...

Make of it what you will.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

My Brother Got MARRIED Yesterday!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Oh Jana, Will You Ever Learn?

Well there hasn't been masses of progress on the Jana front (oo er) recently, mainly because I've been shockingly busy at work. However I've got a wee update for you here. So panic over, people!

So, I was in the cafe today and overheard someone asking Jana where Camp Eamon was (by the way, he's not publicly referred to as Camp Eamon; it's just the affectionate name that me, and you the reader, use for him), and Jana replied that he had "popped to the ladies'". Of course she meant that he had gone to the loo, but must have picked up the phrase at some point by eagerly listening into the natives' conversations and just run with it, innocently, naively and with a wry smile upon her full lips.

Before you interrupt, yes I know, she could do with someone in her life to help her not make such mistakes in the future. I'll pass on your comments.

Eamon's apparently very glad to have Jana around because he says that she's extremely fun company. Although one has got to wonder if there's more to it than that. Indeed it begs the question: is his campness an acquired idiosyncrasy, designed to make him appear non-threatening to prospective mates and potential love rivals, or does it merely reflect his inclination to "sharpen the other end of the pencil" as it were?

Anecdotally, if you search on Google for women called Jana, they're generally an attractive bunch. Note, I said generally, meaning not including the simian wrestler delegation. So if you ever sign up to a Lithuanian online dating service and want to improve your chances of meeting an attractive young lady, be sure to insist on a "Jana", and you shouldn't be disappointed.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Columbletely Mental!

So, in 1979 "they" released a spinoff series to Columbo, all about his ever elusive wife. It was called Mrs Columbo and starred Kate Mulgrew. Yes, Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager.

Absolutely mental.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Birmingham. What Does it Mean?

For ages now I've been wondering / trying to find out what Birmingham means.

Now I know that it evolved from Brummagem, which itself came from Bromwicham or Brom Wich Ham.

Now I'm pretty sure that 'Ham' means home or homestead. The problem I'm having is with the rest of it. To investigate I looked at a few other similar placenames: West Bromwich, Bromsgrove, Castle Bromwich, Prestwich (where my ex-wife used to live). Obviously I looked these up on Wikipedia.

West Bromwich: "the little village on the heath of broom". Now I'm assuming the West part is because it's to the west of Bromwicham. Also does 'Wich' mean village or heath?

Castle Bromwich: it doesn't define the Bromwich again here. It just says that there was a wooden castle there.

Bromsgrove: may derive from the Old English Brommsgraf, meaning a small wood frequented by highway robbers. An alternative source comes from the Domesday book of 1086 where the town is mentioned as Bremesgrave. Breme may have been a famous person and grave is a fortified clearing.

So the 'Brom' is a completely different Brom to the one in Bromwich and the one in Bromwicham? Doesn't seem too likely.

Prestwich: The name Prestwich is possibly of Saxon origin, derived from Priest Wic, which can be loosely translated as the Priest's farmed land.

So here 'Wich' means farmed land. In West Bromwich it means village or heath.

All of this means that I'm not really any closer to finding out the meaning of Birmingham. Except that it's "Bush / Wood / Famous Person" + "Village / Heath" / "Farmed Land" + "Home". And the "Home" bit is only a guess based on "Graham" meaning 'homestead on a gravel outcrop.

It's pants really. No one really knows anything.

Oh and I can't find any origin of the name "Droitwich".

Metaphors & Similes

Every year, English teachers from across the United States can submit their collections of actual similes and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are some of last year's:

He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again.

The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and "Jeopardy" comes on at 7 p.m. instead of 7:30.

Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.

Bob was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access\\aaakk/ch@ung but gets T:\\flw.quidaaakk/ch@ung by mistake.

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.

Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left
Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can.

John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.

The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.

His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

She grew on him like she was a colony of E.Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the
East River.

Even in his last years, Grandad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

The young fighter had a hungry look; the kind you get from not eating for a while.

He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Guess! Who's! Back!

I'll give you a clue. She's blonde, 5'8'' and Lithuanian!

No, it's not Clover Zatzman, world-renowned Lithuanian Ice-Skater. It's Jana, cafe temp-worker extraordinaire!

So, she looked particularly smokin' this morning. Also, this time both her and her mother are here, which means that:

a) she got to see how much her mum likes me (went well)

b) I got to see them bicker in Lithuanian like mother and daughter.

If you don't know what Lithuanian sounds like, think Russian.

Anyway, the rumours are true; she does burn every toasted tea-cake she gets her hands on. Although I suspect that she probably just likes them well done, and so they are actually cooked to her subjective perfection. As it turns out I like my teacakes very well done; otherwise they're kind of flavourless, so I guess it's just more proof that we're meant to be as one.

I'm not sure how long she's going to be around for. I may ask in a very subtle way if the opportunity arises. If it's for more than just today then stay posted for updates.