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Happy Zeroth birthday Max Holgate!

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My baby son Max was born today, July 6th 2012, at 4.51pm. He weighed 8lb 1oz and both he and his wonderful mother are doing fine.…

Happy Zeroth birthday Scott Holgate!

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My baby son Scott was born today, Jan 25th 2010, at 1.58am. He weighed 6lb 15oz and both he and his wonderful mother are doing fine.…

Back from Skiing...

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I've been away skiing for a couple of weeks in Davos and St. Anton, the snow was pretty good in both places but Davos won out as a more civilised skiing experience. St. Anton was just too busy for me, I'm getting fussy in my old age ;). The situation in St. Anton wasn't helped by the fact that when we arrived the off-piste was all a bit crunchy and skied out which meant that most people stayed on piste and then we had a big three day storm that kept the high lifts and links shut and meant that…
Once again Rands hits the nail on the head with The Nerd Handbook...…

Update

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I'm back in the UK briefly on 28th and 29th December and then I'm off to Davos for new year... I'm back in the UK in early Feb and then ski guiding for the Ski Club of Great Britain in Jackson Hole for 3 weeks from 17th Feb...…

Meanwhile...

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Meanwhile, I'll continue doing slalom training in Tignes in the French alps... Beware, those poles are addictive!…

I passed!

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Well, today I discovered that I had passed the BASI Ski Instructor course that I've been taking in Argentina, so I'm now a Ski Instructor... We fly back from Bariloche to Buenos Aires on Friday and then onwards to the UK on Saturday; the trip has been great, but i'm looking forward to getting home and getting a decent curry and a bacon sandwich...…

Argentina and beyond...

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Normal service will resume at some point, but right now I have some skiing to do... I'm off to Argentina at the end of July for 2 months ski instructor training, then, when I get back I'm going to head off to Tignes to do some race training with R21, then on to the Ski Club reps course in December and then, who knows...…

Ok, now I'm confused

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I've been looking at my web server log analysis and I have three peaks in my graphs for the last few days. The first big peak, 6,000 hits per hour, was on 28th March when my relationship break-up post was on the front page of digg. The traffic then tailed off and dropped down to around 130 hits an hour on the 30th. The second peak, of 500 hits per hour, occurred when a link was posted on The Register and stayed on its front page for a while. This traffic then tailed off on the 31st and dropped to…

It must be a slow news day when...

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My relationship break-up posting gets linked to from CNN.com... And, of course, they put their own spin on it... However, as I mentioned in a reply to one of the comments on the original posting... "Actually, I wrote a much longer piece with much more detail and decided that I didn't need to publish it. I just needed to write it. To get it out of my head, in much the same way that I wrote about my sister's tsunami experience. However I did feel the need to say something on my blog as the split has and will affect…

Table for one

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Sorry about the lack of technical postings for a while, this last month or so has been rather hard for me. On 13th February I became suspicious that something wasn't quite right with Michelle, my partner for the last 17 or so years. My suspicions increased and I ended up setting up my laptop in the equipment cupboard as a packet sniffer running Ethereal. I then connected to the laptop via a Remote Desktop Connection and controlled the sniffer from my main PC. A note to anyone reading this who isn't "a techie"; if you plan to use technology…

Back from Megève

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I've been skiing for the last couple of weeks and now I'm back in London; normal service will resume soon.…

Online autism "test"

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I scored a 28, which is "above average", so considerably nearer to Asperger's than it is considered to be "normal". Which, to be honest, seems about right to me. If nothing else, it might make you think... Via Steve Pavlina's personal development blog.…

Old friends

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I guess it's a combination of wine, Pink Floyd and the fact that this week the world wants to remind me that I'm older than I feel. Thoughts drift back to the past. Times past and friends forgotten. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away I used to play an online game called MUD II. This was back when you had to use your modem to dial another modem to get a connection to the world and there was no such thing as "the internet" unless you could connect to a university computer somewhere (like Essex Uni,…

Cool

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Sometimes I think programmers find the wrong things "cool"... This cartoon kinda sums it up ;)…

Happy Birthday to me...

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Skill skiing, well, not right at this moment, we're currently on a 'ski holiday' in Ireland... Back to Megève on the 27th.…

Normal service will resume, sometime

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I'm currently based in Megève and my blogging (over here) has tended to be more about the skiing that I've been doing than the technical stuff. I expect I'll write a technical post or two later in the week... Perhaps... Unless it snows again ;)…

My Sister is home

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Today we had a second Christmas celebration. Michelle and I and my sister and her boyfriend went to my parent's house for a meal. Michelle and I had spent Christmas with Michelle's family and my sister was away over Christmas so we'd planned to have our family Christmas today. This was all fine until Boxing Day when we saw the news about Asia. My sister and her boyfriend were spending Christmas in Sri Lanka...…

Because we can

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Our trip is now only 2 months away so I thought it was about time that the trip's blog went live... MegèveSki, because we can...…

An excuse to buy new tools

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Preparation for the ski season continues. Yesterday my latest purchase from amazon arrived; Waxing and Care for Ski and Snowboards. As we'll be putting down a few more tracks than normal this season I thought it wise to try and avoid having to pay for servicing the skis too often and finally learn how to do it myself. Luckily I have plenty of old skis laying around to practice on... Looks like I need to buy lots of new tools; cool!…

Warren Smith Ski Academy - Sep 2004

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As I mentioned last week, we've just got back from a week in Saas-Fee with Warren Smith. We've did this course last year as well, but due to the way the course is structured this didn't really matter much; for us this year's course built on last year's. The aim of the course is to develop the skills required to ski the whole mountain, regardless of conditions and terrain...…

Red sky in the morning

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Looks like it's going to rain today...…

Thoughts turn to snow

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The 2004/05 ski season starts for us in mid September when we're off to Saas Fee with Warren Smith again. Today we got our boots out and spent some time stomping around and practicing some of the jumping exercises that Warren had us do last time. We both have different boots to the last time we skied with Warren and they're more flexible and should work better with the kind of stuff he has us do. Since the ski season is approaching we've pulled the Skier's Edge machine out and we both spent some time on it today. Miche spends…

Skate weekend

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We managed to get in two skate sessions this weekend, which was nice. The weather was lovely and on Saturday we spent some time at Kensington Gardens. This was our third skate this year and we finally started to feel we'd got our legs back. On Sunday we were in Ilford, visiting my family, and just happened to have the skate gear in the car... We skated in Valentines Park for an hour or so; it was good. The path surfaces were pretty reasonable, better, in general, than Victoria Park. There was quite a lot of variety in paths, with…

Saas Fee in September

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Those of you who are interested in the Warren Smith Saas Fee ski training sessions you might like to take a look at Warren's latest DVD, Warren Smith Ski Academy Lesson 2. The first two sections, carving and steeps, were filmed during our course in September 2003. As you can see, the snow was pretty good and, as I said at the time, he had us doing some pretty interesting stuff. I think the freeride and moguls sections are from the course earlier in the year. With the whole group to choose from he had quite a lot of "don't…

Most interesting present

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My birthday lasted all week, which was good. I celebrated on the day at Strada in upper street, on Friday at the Almeida and on Saturday at Curry Special. Thanks for all the wonderful presents. Right now the most "interesting" is probably the Vew-Do balance board that Chris and Hilary bought me... I'd really noticed a big improvement in my skiing from the extra balance work that I'd done during the summer on roller blades. The balance board could take that to the next level - at present it seems most likely that the next level will be laying flat…

Off to Saas-Fee again...

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We've just booked up with the Warren Smith Ski Academy again for another week of training in Saas-Fee. Not until early next season though :( But it's the first trip booked... Now, where and when to go this season...…

How times change

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Today's job is putting up the Christmas tree. That involves climbing around in our storage space "loft". We didn't use the tree last year, so it's now got 2 year's worth of stuff in front of it. I feel like I'm digging back through my past to get to it. I've just pulled out my previous pair of skis. 2m+ Salomon Superforce 2S. Straight as a very straight thing. Towering a good 8 inches above me (I know... but I was young, and keen, and they were wonderful at the time). How I ever skied them I don't know. How…

Video editing

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I've been editing videos on a PC for far too long. It's a lot easier than it used to be, but it still feels like it's not quite ready for prime time for non professionals. At least it's now reasonable easy to find room to store the masses of data that you need to manipulate when editing DV video, and the editing programs are better, and the special hardware is cheaper or no longer special. It's still very time consuming though, and don't mention DVDs...…

Back from Saas-Fee

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The 2003/04 ski season has started. Well, for me at least. We spent the last week in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, in the hands of the Warren Smith Ski Academy. Great fun, hard work, highly recommended.…

I know it's trying to help, but..

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I'm editing a wedding video at present. I'm using Pinnacle Expression to write it to DVD. I have a dual xeon 2ghz machine with hyper threading enabled and it insists on using no more than 25% of my cpu...…

BenSkating

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Michelle and I had a skate lesson with Ben Roberts on Saturday morning. It was a group lesson that ended up being just the two of us and which was really good and great value for money.…

Run away to the alps

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I have a dream. I've just done coding for the day and I'm sitting in a hot tub on the deck of a glass fronted chalet overlooking the slopes; glass panels around the deck so that nothing obstructs the view. Think the really expensive places in Whistler and you're on the same page.…

Art - by Catherine Purves

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We first saw Catherine Purves' work at a Hoxton art show, both of us loved the colour and texture of the pieces. We saw more of her work whilst visiting other local art shows but none of the pieces were quite right for the spaces that we had. Eventually we decided to commission her to produce something to our specifications of size and colour. More pictures on the flat web site.…

Here comes the snow...

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So, it's been 35c here in London for the last week and, strangely, my thoughts have turned to snow... We're off to Saas Fee in September and I'm starting to do the 'check the resort web cam daily' thing. Having never skiied in Europe this early in the season it's a bit nerve wracking. Still, Saas Fee has a good glacier and they are used to this kind of thing; so, finger's crossed. We're doing a course with Warren Smith's Ski Academy. Should be fun. The write up here has got me itching to get out there... I wonder if…

Skate Adicts

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We couldn't skate last weekend as we were in Dublin at the wedding. This weekend was going to be really hot in London (35C+) which isn't ideal skating weather. We decided to get up a bit early and skate before it got too hot... So we both saw 7.30am on a Sunday morning for the first time in a long time and skated before it got too hot at Hyde Park. It was still pretty warm, but not too bad and it was very quiet which made skating along by the Serpentine very pleasant.…

The Black Stuff

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We had a busy weekend. Michelle's brother Chris married Hilary in Dublin. Good fun was had by all and it was a wonderful few days. The wedding was in Castleknock and the reception was at The Four Seasons in Ballsbridge. It was a bit of a shock to have to come back home; I could quite happilly have stayed on a few days longer at the Four Seasons and spent the time drinking Guinness and watching the world go by...…

Twenty Eight

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So there are 10 guys on a stag weekend in Amsterdam. Much drinking. Lots of foolish games with very fluid rules and fines for people who did not comply. Many fines were collected. At some point during the drinking games on the first evening, number 28 became significant. It was decided that the money from the fines would go on 28 when we visited the casino the following night... Fast forward to the bar just before the casino and the collection of fines had reached around 135 euros and we started to lose our bottle. A change of plan, 10…

My Name is Len Holgate, and I'm a workaholic

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Given that the work I do goes on in my head and can be done anywhere I find that it's often done everywhere. Anyone got any hints on how to switch off?…

Busy weekend

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We tried the new Carluccios on Upper Street on Friday night. Great food and excellent service. Back to watch the final Buffy (season 6) on DVD (so sad); glass or two of Glenfiddich, bug hunting and to bed. Up early to bug hunt and then skating in Kensington Gardens on Saturday morning. Back to get changed and then off to The Blue Elephant in Fulham for Hilary's birthday do; more great food, left my unbrella at the restaurant :(. More bug hunting on Sunday morning followed by some skating down at the local authority car park in the afternoon -…

Sunny day in Kensington Gardens

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We skated on The Broad Walk in Kensington Gardens on Saturday morning. Lovely place. Much nicer than "The Beach" in Hyde Park. Much quieter, wider, smoother and with a nice little hill...…

Got skates, let's go!

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Spent the afternoon at Decathlon in Surrey Quays. Came away with a pair of Rollerblade Lightning 03's - which are probably a little over the top considering my lack of skill ;) but they were the most comfortable and smoothest skates I tried. Also got all the pads, a helmet and a rucksack. I don't expect to get much coding done in the evenings this week :)…

Evanescence

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Miche did the spontaneous thing this week. After hearing "Bring me to Life" on the radio once she bought the Evanescence CD. Cool stuff. Very nice sound. Kind of All about Eve meets Skin from Skunk Anansie on vocals with a nice rocky Linkin Park kinda guitar thing going on.…

Final skate lesson

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We had our last inline skating lesson tonight. Lots of recap on what we've done before, and lots of practice.…

Matrix Reloaded & Animatrix

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Finally got around to seeing Matrix Reloaded on Sunday night. Then picked up the Animatrix yesterday. Before I read any reviews or blogs on the subject I thought I'd spout off on my own... (Contains spoilers and future plot speculation...)…

Victoria Park, The Crown, Matrix Reloaded

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Skated in Victoria Park, lunch at The Crown, Matrix Reloaded and a pizza at Strada. Top day ;)…

Bottle of Evian == cure for RSI?

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I used to have pretty severe problems with my shoulders and right arm. Mostly mouse related; I think. When it was really bad I had a lot of shiatsu, which worked well and helped remove the residual tension in my shoulder. Now I seem to be able to keep it all at bay by drinking lots of water...…

Hello?

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Just watched "28 Days Later" on dvd. Very cool. Very British - very non-Hollywood. Scary film. The best bit?…

Crossover turns and going backwards

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As promised this week's lesson had us doing crossover turns and the start of skating backwards.…

Skating and Skiing

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Lesson three was on Monday. We did 'going faster', uneven surfaces, moving curb dismounts ;) and parallel turns. I got on well with both. It's just a balance thing, which is good.…

New flat pictures

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In March 2002 Vincent Hart, a freelance photographer, took some pictures of our flat with the intention of getting them published. His pictures appeared in the March 2003 edition of 25 Beautiful Homes.…

Sk8er boy

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Last night I had my first inline skating lesson with city skate at Spitalfields.…
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