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I am doing one fundraiser this year, this time for Breast Cancer Care

It means I have to cycle fast around a route on a very small bike, with some hills, in a suit; and do it twice.  It’s next Sunday (21 Aug) and I just got signed up.

Please spare a few moments to donate something that will help provide support to people, and their families, who get this disease.  You can donate at this page:


Here is how I finished my last attempt at the same event in 2009


Some resonant words from Seth Godin

Expectations: Word of mouth comes directly from expectations. Low expectations are a terrific shortcut, because when you exceed them, people are so amazed that they can’t help but talk about it.

But low expectations are dangerous, because if you fly too low, you’re invisible. Worse, when people expect little of you, they often don’t bother listening at all.

So most of the time, you’re challenged with this: high expectations that must be beat.

Broadway shows. Apple products. Expensive consulting services. Promise big and deliver bigger seems to be the only reliable strategy.

It’s time for a holiday from Networks and PCs for a week or two!

I recently booked ticket on thetrainline from London to Lancaster. I was offered options on the screen to choose seating direction, type of seat (airline / table) and quiet zone or not. I made my choices. I got on the train and found the assigned seat was completely the opposite to my preferences.

Completely hopeless and annoying. Why even bother raising expectations they cannot even attempt to match them?

Yes, the booking site has a standard disclaimer about options are not guaranteed… but there were plenty of unassigned seats in that carriage that would have met my request!

Result: I’m not going to enthuse about Trainline unless they do something exceptional. In fact, being disappointed enough to post this blog  is their reward for such sloppy service.

2007-06-23 Sheepdog Trials

Originally uploaded by Jed.Baxter

A good day out in Alston with my father (Eric Baxter) and his dog running pals (including Tom Huddleston).

Just picked up this news:

The wrangle between a Kingston environmentalist and the Metropolitan Police over the legality of monthly bike rides in the capital could be taken to the House of Lords.

Cyclist Des Kay plans to take the Critical Mass Cycle Ride dispute further after the Court of Appeal’s decision today.

Two out of three judges overturned a High Court ruling that the rides do not need to have prior permission from the police.

Des, environmental campaigner of the year at the Green Guardian Awards in 2006, challenged the Met in June 2006 over claims the events were unlawful and that people taking part could face prosecution.

Full story.

Via  Critical Mass London discussion list.

There is huge amount of good material on the TED site. All kinds of new ways of looking at the world from some of the great thinkers and doers of our time:

I am slowly working my way through them –  here is one I particularly enjoyed recently:

Please share any you find inspiring.

On Thursday night (19th October), there was a rare event at the Bedford pub in South London. After the regular free gig in the pub (which is streamed into the ‘Blarney Stone’ pub in Second Life’s Dublin), the compere, Tony Moore, donned a white suit and performed at his piano on stage, while it was being streamed live into the Blarney Stone in SL…where Tony’s avatar was also performing on stage: dressed in white, and playing a grand piano. And then, to close the loop, the SL pub scene was also being shown on a projector behind Tony in the Bedford! There was a 60-90 second lag, but the effect was really quite convincing.

Too cool…well done Tony! The crowd in SL was really great. And congratulations also to ‘Ham Rambler’, the owner and creator of SL Dublin, who was also there in the Bedford organising all the feeds.

The real pub was rather empty by this time, but it was after midnight on a weekday. We were really happy to have been there, and to have been a part of this ground-breaking event.

The previous gig at the Bedford was also really good: four acts, all new to me and all top quality. We will return to both venues!

A FoaF sent me complimentary tickets to Roger Hamilton‘s latest tutorial tour of the UK. Hamilton is marketed as “Asia’s Leading Wealth Consultant”. He gave us an entertaining run around his ‘system’ for 70 mins or so. From what I gathered, it was a mash-up of the I-Ching, NLP, Myers-Briggs, and probably a few other things. Nothing earth-shattering, but a good teaser for his full weekend event (which I didn’t sign up for).

Got me thinking though about aspects of my life again:

  • Am I doing what is really fun?
  • Am I in my ‘flow’?
  • Are some things hard work because they just are, or because they are not really my thing?

…and what do I want to do about it?

(I just wrote 3 carefully crafted paragraphs and they vanished when I hit Publish … that is really annoying! Is it WordPress or something on my setup?)

On the book pile…

Nova Swing: John M Harrison.

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