The Forest.

Well, the main news at the moment, is that I’ve got a new job. Its probably the best job I have ever had, working for an international software house.

Most people I’ve spoken too agree, that the first month being unemployed, isn’t so bad. You get to tidy the loft, read all the books you promised you would and stuff like that.

After that, life gets pretty dull, and with time a bit depressing. Thats why Im so happy. Put simply by one of my friends, getting back to work means that life can return to normal.

Above is the picture of the forest in Westminster park which I sometimes visit. Its been a great place for me to just wander around, when things have been difficult. I went there the day after I got the job, and I really felt like life had begun again.

In the week since, I’ve tried to do as many low budget adventures as possible, I will be posting them up soon.

A load of people have helped me out recently, when life has been difficult. I wont embarrass you by naming you here, but you know who you are, and that you have my sincere thanks.

Izabel returns to Chester.

In other “news”, my friend Dan has been on holiday for a week. He comes home tomorow, so ill find out if he had a good time.

Izabel has returned to the Frog and nightingale (she lives in Poland with her boyfriend, and they come over for a few months each year).

Also, the Chef from the Frog and Nightingale, Keith celebrated his silver wedding anniversary on Sunday. I was invited, and it was really nice (and there was loads of really good food, and it was free).

Apologies for the low quality of the photos, but I lent my camera to a friend, and still haven’t got it back. I am presently using my IPhone, but I think its just one more example of how versatile these things are.

Ive been meeting up with 2 old friends from Corning, Matt & Glen (along with my usual friends). They went on holiday with Social Circle (the Manchester based “get out and do it” outfit). Now that things have improved, Im hoping to get a bit more involved in stuff like that.

Nominated numptee’s of the month:

Gary Mckinnon

Just a few points, from someone who knows a bit about technology.

1. forget the romanticized view of hackers, they generally fall into 1 of 3 categories.

a, they work for organised crime

b, they are “white” hat which means they “ethically” cause mayhem to “help” people by exposing problems with other peoples networks

c, nerdy mischievous people who mess about with other peoples stuff for fun.

2. The very people going on about his rights and all the rest are, from my experience exactly the kind of people who go berserk when someone’s children kick a ball through their window.

For me the similarity is a good one. I don’t care if Gary Mckinnon was looking for aliens (and wasn’t as I suspect, just trying to cause mayhem to increase his own kudos within the nerd community). He caused damage to someone else’s network and there should be consequences just like if he kicked the ball.

3. I’m not even going to comment on his “addiction to hacking” nor the repeated appearance of him on TV with his mother.

4. Still not convinced ?. Think about this then. The hospital near here, has a secure firewall which cost more than £100,000. They have it because of people like Mckinnon. How many people will be denied £6000 operations because of this ?.

Hackers are a menace.

Jamie Neale

I don’t want to rain on the parade of all this self indulgent nonsense, but common sense surely has to prevail.

Ive been to the Blue Mountains. Why didn’t he take warm clothes, a survival bag, some emergency food, some sort of map etc (you know, like every 7 year old cub scout knows to do !).

People who have been following the story, have talked about survival training. I’ve done quite a lot of these courses,  but in every case, the emphasis is on not putting yourself in that position in the first place through planning.

In adventure terms, aside from breaking the law or insulting someone’s culture or religion, wandering around ANYWHERE  without knowing where your going is about the surest way to get into trouble I can think off.

An armoured personal carrier near Chester Townhall.

I’ve been doing various adventure stuff around Chester, and on Saturday, I was pleased to see the army doing a recruitment event.

They even had a tank.

On the adventure front:

Id really like to get to Capetown and complete the bluelist this year.

Frank is busy organising a really cool train journey through the Jungle from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok (with loads to do in between) for next year.

India crew (who as Ive mentioned before, aren’t actually from India, that’s just where I met them) are organising a weekend in Berlin, which should be pretty smart.

Two places Id really like to see, are Lisbon and Budapest (a weekend in both places with travel included would be cheaper than a weekend in London). If your interesting in going to either of those, give me a shout.

On the subject of London, I want to go down there for a day, and just look around the museum. Im also told that there is a “beach” in Birmingham at the moment (artificially created in the middle of the town). Its open until September, if anyone Fancies an hours drive.

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