James' Blog

Friday, August 3, 2007, 09:01 AM
Jo and I have just got back from a holiday in Inverness to celebrate her birthday. Most of her family live there so I've visited a few times, but something was different on this trip: decent beer.

On all previous occasions that I've visited I've ended up drinking whisky. Not that it's a chore, of course, as there's inevitably an excellent range of malts available, but I'd rather have a good beer and, up until now, that just hasn't been available with gassy, chemically lager being the order of the day.

So I was very pleasantly surprised on this visit to discover a number of bars serving really good local beer. The Castle Tavern is just down the road from Jo's mother's and they had some excellent beers from Cairngorm Brewery and the Isle of Skye Brewing Company. Elsewhere I also had good beer brewed by the An Teallach Brewery, and the Black Isle Brewery. All of these companies are new - starting in the least decade or so, and many more Highland breweries have started in the last five years.

There's been revival of real ale brewing across the country over the last fifteen years or so, but it's good to see that the Highlands aren't being left behind. So here's to the Highland renaissance - it will make visits to the in-laws that much more appealing!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007, 10:42 AM

A while back I signed up to some free introductory offers with DVD rental companies and, needing to fulfil their requirement of ten or fifteen titles on the list, I went browsing for a web site to tell me which films feature computers (yes, I'm a sad geek, I know). I was suprised to find that no such site existed, at least nothing very comprehensive.

So, www.starringthecomputer.com is my attempt to create such a site. It's very much in its infancy at the moment, but I'd humbly suggest that it's already useful for people, like me, who are interested in such things.

Please give it a go, and let me know what you think at my spangly new email address for the purpose: james@starringthecomputer.com.

Friday, June 22, 2007, 03:22 PM
The server that hosted podquiz.com and jfc.org.uk died last night, and it looks like the hosting company isn't going to get it back any time soon. So much gnashing on teeth and DNS configurations, and everything's been moved to a temporary server elsewhere. There will be more disruption later when a more permanent home is found.

I suppose this is an example of getting what you pay for. It was pretty cheap given the bandwidth I use. Ho hum...

Tuesday, May 1, 2007, 08:45 AM
I'm off tomorrow to walk Hadrian's Wall. We're doing it in five days, and the weather seems set fair for at least four of those days, so assuming we can find food (shops seem to be quite rare along the course of the wall - I wonder where the Romans got their lunch), all should be well.

Ah... four nights in a tent with a flatulent dog - what could be better!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 06:07 PM

The My Maps feature in Google Maps is new and exciting. You've been able to do this sort of thing before using the API, and sites like Frapper have grown up around this, but that's all too much effort for most people, including me.

I've had a quick go at making my own map marking the starting points of my weekend walks. It's only got this year's walks on it, and I think it might be a bit cluttered if I put them all on, but it is quite effective.

So next time you're planning a pub crawl, this may be just the tool.

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