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Tuesday, 31 May 2005


I have been waking up to the sight of these young cows grazing in the meadow opposite.

For some time I wanted to mention the research that suggests a 74 percent failure rate of implants over 10 years (for those undergoing reconstructive surgery the incidence is higher).  I am always amazed at the popularity of this surgery.

Anyway, today I had a request to say something about the European Constitutional Treaty, which has been so resoundingly rejected by France in her referendum on Sunday past and is probably to be rejected by the Netherlands tomorrow.  There is so much to be said about Europe, but I think the bottom line is that there is what has been called a democratic deficit in Europe.  The HPR article I link to above is sceptical as to whether the new constitutional treaty will improve the situation (it seems to take a wait and see approach).  I think that if the drafters of the constitutional treaty had boldly tackled this problem it might be easy to make a case for supporting the treaty.  As someone who supports the European Union (but who also supports democracy) I find it difficult to feel any support for this treaty.

Posted by bigblue on 31/05/2005 at 10:50 PM
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Monday, 30 May 2005


Here’s a wider view of the sunset I took at the top of Annwell Wood on Friday evening last week.

Some interesting facts about the word sun:

sun (n.)
  Old English sunne, from Proto-Germanic *sunnon (cf. Old Norse, Old Saxon, Old High German sunna, Middle Dutch sonne, Dutch zon, German Sonne, Gothic sunno), from Proto-Indo-European *s(u)wen- (cf. Avestan xueng “sun,” Old Irish fur-sunnud “lighting up”), alternate form of base *saewel- “to shine, sun” (see Sol). Old English sunne was feminine, and the feminine pronoun was used until 16c.; since then masculine has prevailed. The empire on which the sun never sets (1630) originally was the Spanish, later the British. To have one’s place in the sun (1688) is from Pascal’s “Pensées”; the German imperial foreign policy sense (1897) is from a speech by von Bülow. The United States Sunbelt is first recorded 1969. Sunlight is first recorded c.1205. Sunbeam was in Old English; sunset first recorded 1390 (sundown is from 1620); sunrise is first found 1440 (sun-up is from 1712). Sundial is from 1599. Sunspot in reference to the solar phenomenon is from 1868. Egg served sunny side up first attested 1900. Sunroof of a car is from 1966.

sun (v.)
  1519, “to set something in the sun,” from sun (n.). Meaning “to expose oneself to the sun” is recorded from 1610. Sun-bathing is attested from 1600. Sun-tan (v.) is recorded from 1821; the noun is first attested 1904. Sunburn (v.) is from sunne y-brent (c.1400).

from the Online Etymology Dictionary via a discussion on the Flickr group Sunrise, Sunset—Anything Sun!.

Posted by bigblue on 30/05/2005 at 09:44 PM
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Sunday, 29 May 2005


I have been having some serious problems with McAfee.  In particular their technical support is rubbish. I should really post the entire script of this conversation I had with their “technical support” to expose what rubbish they speak.  I wouldn’t wish them on anyone.

McAfee boast on their website that they are in the top 10 best websupport sites (ASP Online).  When you go the the ASP site you see that this was actually for 2002.  So in other words their service has declined (in absolute or relative terms) over the past three years.

Posted by bigblue on 29/05/2005 at 09:34 PM
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Saturday, 28 May 2005
Wild Grass


I was reviewing my webstats again and found that I am up in the rankings for the term bigblue.  I am currently fourth on Google and first on Yahoo.  This the the most popular term which people have used to come to my site via a search engine. I am also first on Altavista and All the Web and second on Wisenut.

To those people looking for the bigblue movie, bigblue crane, bigblue vehicle and bigblue bell, welcome and have a look around, but please don’t slam the door on the way out.

The other think I tend to notice is the percentage of visitors using different browsers. MS Internet Explorer accounts for 73 percent of visitors so far this month and Firefox accounts for 17 percent.

Posted by bigblue on 28/05/2005 at 02:36 PM
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I took a series of photos at sunset this evening in Annwell Wood, which is about 100 metres down the road.  Here are nine of them.  Annwell Wood is a small wood outside Smisby that was planted in 1999 after winning a tender from the National Forest project.  It’s a small wood, surrounded by farmland on three sides and an arboretum on the other. The trees are all young.

I also Flickrd this photo.  After doing so I invented a new game: find two (and only two) photos, posted by two different people (one of whom must not be you) using a single tag.  Mine is bigmistake which produces only two hits as at now.  One of the big mistakes appears to be sartorial and entails wearing a particular t-shirt (although the moustache and sideburns could also be seen as a big mistake).  The other mistake is of a different magnitude, as it is entitled in which we realize what we have just done: Whoops we got married.

Posted by bigblue on 28/05/2005 at 12:30 AM
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Thursday, 26 May 2005
Shopping list


I found another shopping list at Tesco this afternoon:

I asked two assistants in the shop what the last item said, but they couldn’t read it either.

I might take a break from scratching around in the rubbish outside Tescos: it attracts unwelcome attention.

Posted by bigblue on 26/05/2005 at 11:14 PM
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Wednesday, 25 May 2005


Some streets and lanes are creatively named, while others are not. I guess that this is an unofficial name, but thanks should be extended to the Surrey County Council’s efforts to deal with the problem of people forgetting where they parked their cars in Oxted.

I had to go down to Oxted this afternoon for my 6 monthly dental check-up. I listened to the football match on the way back (and watched the tail end of the match, extra time, and the penalty shootout when I got back).  All credit to manager Rafael Benitez for Liverpool’s victory.

Posted by bigblue on 25/05/2005 at 11:53 PM
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Tuesday, 24 May 2005
Found outside Ashby


I found this recently on the outskirts of Ashby-de-la-Zouch. The addressee (Boxclever) is the largest rental business in the United Kingdom. The address is that of the Ashby Grammer School who are presumably now in the property rental business.

Posted by bigblue on 24/05/2005 at 09:29 PM
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