Tag Archives: birthday

Alex’s 5th Birthday Bash

There will be a few blog posts appearing over the next few weeks that are out of date order. This is because Sky Broadband failed totally, and right during a time where there were a few car shows to blog about…. so I’m going to have to catch up.

Meanwhile, and now we have Virgin Broadband (Sky can kiss my router) I am able to blog again (yup, sorry!).

What better way to start than with Alex’s 5th birthday bash bowling party.

Alex's salute - Taught by Granddad

Chris made a car cake for the 3rd year running – not saying Alex likes cars or anything… but yeah…

It was great fun – Everyone really enjoyed themselves and the kids were really well-behaved. Shame the staff lacked the competence and politeness of the kids, but that’s neither hear nor there…

Anyway, here’s a two and a bit minute video of the party. If you watch it for anything, watch it for the “Happy Birthday” song…. It was loud enough to distort the speakers and feedback pure white noise…. You had to be there… although you probably heard it if you were within 25 miles of the place….

Photo effects via iPhone 4 – Instagram, Dynamic light & Tiltshiftgen.

Alex and the Aston Martin at Goodwood

Alex and the Aston Martin at Goodwood

A trip to see Grandad at Goodwood ended up with a surprise trip out around the race track in an Aston Martin Vantage.

We had no idea that his Grandad had planned this… or that we’d also get a go! What an amazing day!

Alex was a little worried at first, so Chris hopped in with him – and after a couple of turns he was taking it all in.

When Chris and Alex returned after a couple laps of Goodwood race circuit I was asked if I wanted a go….. Bit of a silly question!

I was so happy for Alex! He was amazed and in awe! In fact as he settled to bed tonight he just kept talking about the Aston Martin!

Getting a go myself though… it was the icing on the surprise!

Anyone want a couple of Kidneys? I’ll raise the cash somehow!

Alex’s 3rd Birthday – A Mini Adventure

Alex 3rd Birthday – A Mini Adventure

Alex loves cars – A LOT. He really loves Mini’s at the moment above all else, so for his Birthday I bought him a 1/64th scale slot car track…. 4 hours in and he hadn’t given it a break…

Even by bed time he was still up for car based fun…. and the fun just got better when the cake was bought out…

Alex’s Mini Birthday Cake

Alex was so happy at the cake the Chris made, and the great day he had, he just kept saying “Thank you Mummy, Thank you Daddy” over and over again.

It was really touching,

This was the first “proper” decorated cake Chis  had made. It is doubtful that it will be eaten, as Alex doesn’t want to see it cut – and after all, it is his cake.

Alex really enjoyed his day – He had gifts from all of the family – and visits from His Grand Parents and Uncle Dan (who had a lip piercing which had Alex saying  – “Take out screw in face“…)

He ended up tired but really happy.

Cleese, Hawkins and Time Travel

Happy 65th birthday to one of the greatest scientific minds of our time. To say that Prof. Hawkins is a genius is an understatement, but I think he is missing an additional vocation as an impressionist – but more on that later.

I want to watch some off my DVD movies on my iPhone, but due to licencing laws I should buy an iPhone iTunes download of a movie to do that – even if I already own the movie! Now I’m all for the movie and music industry earning from what they give us – but I think it stinks when they try to charge you multiple times for a product.

Case in point: Ringtones. Sorry, but if I bought your song, then I should be able to use it as I wish for my personal use. I don’t mean I want to copy it and sell it, or distribute it in any other way, I just want to use MY purchase MY way for MY use.

I think a person should have the rights to use their purchases as they wish – as long as they are used for personal use, and not shared. I don’t want to buy an artists ringtone if I already own the song, after all, it’s my music, my phone, and me that’ll use and hear it! What’s next? If I play the song in my car I will have to pay rights to the artists if my passengers are listening!

DVD movies are in the same area of thought for me. I already own the discs, so why can’t I freely use then on my iPhone? It’s not like I’m watching both at the same time, and on the iPhone only one person can really watch something – yet I have to pay more…. but play the DVD on the TV and I can watch it with friends… so where are the lines drawn?

Now if I want a John Cleese quote as a message alert, and I already own a CD or DVD that contains the material, then I’d baulk at paying for a few seconds worth for a clip – but I am more than willing to pay for a stand alone message that he may make just for phones etc.

I have John Cleese as a voice on my GPS, and I payed for that use. I had no problem paying for his voice talent being used in this new role – He has to make a living after all. Same goes with a few other novelty voices I bought a few years ago when I bought the GPS originally.

That brings me to time travel. It was something John said on his Twitter blog that triggered a thought in my head. I don’t think time travel is, was or will ever be possible. Imagine 30 years ago how people thought about computers and mobile phones! Only very few people had these things, but now they are in reach to all of us – regardless of age, wealth, religion, sanity etc. There are people who break the law with them, people who use them for deviant purposes (no matter what their age)… and that is why I don’t believe in time travel.

Imagine if time travel became viable – like the first computers. It would start out as a top secret thing (probably military or government). Years later it would become a private sector thing for business and industry. Soon it would be open to the public. Eventually it would be there for all to use. I am fully aware that this process could take decades, or hundreds of years, but we are talking about time travel… Initial development could be sped up by going back in time to solve problems that had taken years to solve first time around.

So, if time travel existed in government or military circles, I am sure the development would be rapid. The designers could get so far, and then go back in time with solutions to speed up develoment… I hope you can follow that!

As time goes on, time travel would leak out, or simply become publically available. The moment it is publically available you can place a safe bet that people would travel back. Kids etc just wouldn’t think twice about misusing it – and as such we would know about time travel by now (or in the past!) because we would have been visited by now!

Does this screw things up for Stephen Hawkins then? This crazy blogger disregarding science due to future kids with high jinx and time travel on their hands? What’s Hawkins to do?

No disrespect, but if I spoke through a box, then I’d do what I did with my GPS… Hawkins could give lectures in the style of John Cleese (less the silly walk), or in gangster tones of a mafiosa hitman. If science did fail Hawkins then, he could always install a few celebrity voices and become an impressionist… as long as he paid for the voice rights.

Kane unable, stubble and watery visions

Not a great deal to blog about at the moment…well, lots of “bitsy” stuff.

Firstly, I shall take this blogatunity to wish Jon Kane a very happy birthday. A great chap who among other things has opened up a few more computing and net options to me – all giddyingly exciting stuff! (honest!). His blog can be found in my links to the left (his blog is called “Writersbloc”).

Why is there not much going on? Well it’s my back. Getting better in leaps and bounds (not actual leaps and bounds, as that would really hurt still!). The main problem is sitting and twisting. I have reduced upper mobility and am not able to drive – even if I could sit long enough! As it is, I can passenger in a car (with only slight pain) for about the same distance I can easily walk… so I walk (much better for me and Mother Earth!).

The Leki “Speed Pacer Vario” Nordic poles are getting a fair bit of mileage, and it’s getting me in shape. If ever I get a serious injury or illness, I do my best during and post recovery to make sure it doesn’t happen again. In the case of my back, as it gets better I shall do all I can to make it better than before because I don’t want to be in this situation again.

The side effects of the bad back have been benefical – although the same results would have been obtained without a bad back! The physio and Nordic Walking are giving me cardio and fat burning exercise which has resulted in me reducing my waist line by an easy 5 inches! Yup, that much!

Over 10kg lighter and getting trimmer to go along with that weight loss – at least that’s a good thing! It’s also less weight for my back to carry – hurrah! That’s what I mean about being better than before: I am strengthening my back, but also reducing load on it. I’m not going to have this injury happen again.

I’m glad the lake is so near though, as a good view really helps with making a long walk that bit more enjoyable.

It may have been a blog entry of bits and pieces, but it does come around on itself…. You see Jon introduced me to WordPress as a blog host, and also pointed me at Twitter. He also gave Will King some internettery ideas (www.shaveforum.com), of which I play a part (I admin and/or moderate a few web spaces in my spare time). I met Will through sharing feedback about his Azor – which in turn lead to me being introduced to Jon. The King of Shaves site and my new blog home, along with my need for a new phone, lead me to the iPhone (good for web admin and blogging on the go). The iPhone in turn has kept me relativly sane during my recovery as I can use it without having to sit at a computer (I am horizontal as I write this!).. General surfing lead me to Green Tea which has been very benefical, and it also lead me to Nordic Walking and more sanity saving freedom with the ability to go for a walk…and in turn getting my blog followers 10% discount at “The Tortoise and the Hare” sports store (see top left for details).

So it’s all interlinked in a gumbo of bits and bobs. All things that if they hadn’t of happened would have me not blogging, not walking, and going insane with lack of mobility and some form of mental and physical respite from my bad back!

It’s a strange wave we surf when the butterfly flaps its wings…

“Happy Birthday” Jon!

This is the result….

Alex 2nd bday (51), originally uploaded by L.B.

….of a fun packed 100mph birthday for our 2 year old lad….


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First things first – Thank you to the family for the gifts they gave Alex. He loved opening them all (he had huge eyes when he saw the Thomas the Tank Engine inflatable…..that’ll wait until summer until it is pumped up though!).

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He took to his first radio control car with the same styles as I drive on the PS3……yup – he turned the controller to “help” steer…..just like his dad on the PS3 Gran Turismo!!!….

Alex 2nd bday (70)

A sand and water table (high rise cat litter tray and bird bath come winter…..) was also a great success. He thoroughly enjoyed opening all his gifts. At 2 he has much better understanding of what is going on, so knew today was special.

Another gift was a trip to Horton Park – the petting zoo with adventure playgrounds that Alex really enjoyed last year. Now he is older he had so much more fun!!!

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Alex loved seeing the animals again, but this time he was “All about the action!”.

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Alex 2nd bday (37)

Alex 2nd bday (16)

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A stop for a picnic lunch was required to recharge the turbo-toddler batteries, and then it was off again!!!

Alex 2nd bday (29)

This year he threw himself into all the climbing frames and slides, running rings around us adults!

Alex 2nd bday (42)

Top day out…..followed by a sleep in the car on the way home….then play time again with his sand and water table (less sand…). He should sleep well tonight!!!

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The Family – May 20th 2005

The Family, originally uploaded by L.B.

Lets get this tale onto a blog then shall we…

Back in 2005 I arranged a surprise 25th birthday treat for Chris. I told her that I had booked a top restaurant near her Dad’s place in Goodwood, but things were looking frantic at work…an air ambulance was desperately needed and I had to stay on to get it fixed….

I didn’t want the restaurant to go wasted, so told her to go to it with her mum, and I’ll try and get down there later…

On the Friday of her birthday (May 20th) her mum said that they had to drop into Goodwood to pick up a birthday present from her Dad on the way to the restaurant. This meant that Chris, her mum and her dad would all be at Goodwood aerodrome at a set time…

My good friend Sudeep “Soggy” Jacob is a pilot…He has a ‘plane based near Oxford and others that he can use.


The unflappable Sudeep “Soggy” Jacob. Ace pilot extraordinaire

I jumped in Eddies car with Soggy and Eddie (my long time buddy) and headed up to Soggy’s airfield. For the surprise we needed a 6 seater, and Soggy needed to get tested (checked out) on it before being allowed to take it. The weather was bad….and we had to wait for ages to get a chance for Soggy to get his chance to be checked out.

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The Cherokee 6 that had a major part to play….and the dark clouds that threatened to end it all

Once all that was cleared and Soggy had the aircraft, we then had to wait for the weather to clear again so we could take off and head down south to Goodwood. The weather was rough, but nothing to really moan about (that would be Sunday’s trip back to Oxford…).

Time ticked on and the weather stayed bad, and it was down to just seconds before I called the flight off (I had planned for bad weather, so I had a set time to call the flight off and then drive to the restaurant)…Soggy came over to me and I let him speak first before I gave him the bad news. Luckily the news Soggy gave was…”I think we can do it…”

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The weather was “Do-able” – Only just though….

We took off and headed south…throttle open and making good time. We flew over my (and Soggy’s) work place (Gama Support Services) and carried on down to Goodwood. The timing was spot on!

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Gama Support Services, Farnborough. My car is not in the car park….Chris thought that it should be….

Ian, Chris’s Dad, pulled his part of the plan perfectly. Chris and Lauren (her mum) had arrived to “pick up the present”, but Ian had to go and sort out something on the airfield first (he works there on the rescue team, as well as being a race marshal). Chris and Lauren went with him…just in time to see Me, Soggy and Eddie taxi the aircraft in. Chris was really excited that I had managed to make it…and arrive in style!

I told her that we had flown down from my work place to get to the restaurant in time, and that it was lucky that Soggy had his aircraft with him that day. Eddie had just come along for the flight, and was going back with Soggy whilst I went with Chris and her mum to the restaurant. Lies, all lies.

As the aeroplane was at Goodwood, and we had time to spare, I offered to have everyone go for a quick flight around the airfield before we all did our separate things.

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Soggy, Eddie, Lauren and Ian in the first 4 seats. Chris and I sat at the back for this trip.

So we took off….flew a circuit….and then carried on flying north to Blackbushe Airport, where we landed. A colleague from work , Steve, was at Goodwood to see us in, and then we jumped out of the ‘plane and walked over to where I had some transport arranged…

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Steve, a friend and collegue from Gama, does his marshalling duty for us at Blackbush

Chris was delighted…as she had a good idea of what was going to happen next. She knew the area…and knew of a top Thai Restaurant nearby that she really loved…

At the restaurant I had arranged a quiet area….and a load of Chris’s
friends…and some top presents that Chris had been after for some time (“Oooh, I REALLY like those”…she said…every time we had been to the restaurant in the past…).

All in all it was a great day. Everyone played their parts superbly, and it was all down to the very last second and split second timing. Looking back, almost a year later, and I’m still surprised that we pulled it off. There was so much planning involved, and so much against us. A good job all round.

The photos are available on Flickr (MY PHOTOS link at the top of the page).


Chris….ready for the return flight….

The return trip to take the aeroplane back up to Oxford, and the Isle of Mann trip are stories for another day…

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