Devilstick (doubles - icon)

RIP Chris Lightfoot (04/08/1978 - 11/02/2007)

Chris, or Oggie, as I knew him was someone I first met in September 1991, when he turned up as a new Queen's Scholar at Westminster. He was the year below me, but I always felt a bit young for my year, and so got to know him reasonably well. During the time at Westminster, we attempted to create a chlorate and sugar explosive in his back garden in Dulwich, he taught me how to "cheat" at Sim City. He was also responsible, I think (it's hard to remember things so many years ago) for teaching me some subtleties of the BBC Micro, and finally, in my last year at Westminster, for introducing me to C, and starting me on my current career with real programming languages.

When I started at Cambridge (after a year out), Oggie was in the same lectures as me. I met his friends, and they became my friends too.

In the years following my time at Cambridge, I'm ashamed to say I lost touch, but I'd heard about some of the things that he did, and kept reading his main blog, and his more frequently updated links blog (with its highly entertaining, and very Oggie-ish comments). I was amazed that at one party where I saw him, I didn't feel like a totally incompetent idiot anymore.

Oggie didn't go out of his way to make himself liked, but I admired and, despite all the jokes, did like him and to be honest he was one of the few people that have really inspired me. He was certainly one of the few to make me remotely competitive, though I could never honestly compete at even remotely the same level.

In the week or so following his death, James and his family have been stunning at looking after people. I was asked to help with the MySociety projects, and stepping into that was, in no uncertain terms, awe inspiring.

Words can't really express how I feel about this, but my thoughts go particularly to his family, to Helen, to Tom, to James and to Katherine.

Rest in peace, Oggie, you were a true visionary and you will be missed.

ETA: Oggie's full obituary in The Times
Devilstick (doubles - buttercups)

My First Show

Well, ok, not the first that I've ever done, but the first that I've actually prepared somewhat in advance, and been asked to do in advance. It's a bit more droppy than I'd like, and the music got massively mixed reactions ;-), and also, I didn't know about switching off autofocus when pointing a camera at a stage - seems obvious, doesn't it, in retrospect.

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Devilstick (doubles - icon)

TelXL (08700 675617) Scam calls

I've just been auto-dialled on my mobile by something with a callerid of 08700 675617. Upon trying to call it back, it apparently rings and rings.

However, the very first thing that happens is that the call is answered, and a recorded message says "please wait while we try to connect you". I'm going to be reporting this to Ofcom, but this page just adds to the googleness.

Ofcom's own page suggests that this isn't the first time they've done such a thing.
Devilstick (doubles - buttercups)

Better late than never...

I was intending to do this a couple of days ago, but:

My Year in Numbers

12 juggling conventions (4 of which were one-dayers, and one was half-way between a convention and a festival)
2 festivals (not counting the one mentioned above)
3 weddings
2 funerals
3 birthday parties
8 other parties
2 foreign countries (flying, and got into one on an out-of-date London Underground Photocard)
3 days of intensive circus training
1 reunion of people at Cambridge
1 party at our house
3 clubs (as in juggling - qualified)
4 balls (similarly - qualified)
2 devilsticks
1 broken devilstick
10 passing patterns attempted (of which I could reasonably say I can do 6)
3 afternoons of street performing in Covent Garden
2 good friends returned to Canada
1 new boss
27 days as on-call sysadmin
too many new friends to count
Devilstick (doubles)


So, a little while ago, I decided to do Moira's Hangar Summer Circus School thing. I've been doing some weights in order to do this. This morning, I did 3 rounds with 25, 25 and 20 reps of arm curls on each side, alternate bench press on each side, and a together bench press. It is the closest to not being achievable that I've had so far, so I'm hoping it's going to do me some good. We shall see.
Devilstick (doubles)

EJC 2006

Well, I'm back from Ireland. Convention shows were absolutely fantastic. I've also now done (at least once) all 4 of the double-propellers. Still didn't manage to get a 2-stick tick-tock going, though - but was given some hints by Markus. A convention low was helpfully provided by Susannah, who felt that due to various interactions between her and I, and between her and others, it was better to spend the time that she was there completely blanking me. Highs were, well, Kris Kremo, Jay Gilligan, Manu Laude, Alan Blim, Sergei Ignatov, Toby Walker, Stefan Sing, Tempei Arakawa, Ryo Yabe and Tony Frebourg who did some absolutely stunning juggling, and related acts. Surprise was to enjoy a poi performance by Ronan (Ronopotamus). Poi people at conventions are still somewhat of a bane. And I have no photos :-(.