Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sports League Spreadsheet

10 years ago I wrote a football results table in excel for World Cup / Euro Cup, I updated it every couple of years before calling it a day when the net was saturated with different versions of the chart.  

I got alot of emails about the spreadsheet I produced mainly asking how it can be adapted for other sports which resulted in me rewriting a new version of my spreadsheet to allow people to enter their own teams whether it be Sunday Football League through to a local Dart's league.  I made it available on the net back in 2004, 6 years later, I've forgotten all about it until I read a post on a forum asking for a spreadsheet.

Searching the site I originally posted my spreadsheet to alas it's no longer there, so I've dusted of the cobwebs and made it available again.  It should work with Excel versions 97 or older (I've tested it today with Excel 2007)

The spreadsheet can be downloaded from my Google Docs area at the following link

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mini Sport Digital Video Camcorder

I bought myself an couple Mini Sport Digital Video Camcorders from 7DayShop, as you can see from the photo I've taken they are very small.  They are very basic, limited to two options, normal record or record via sound activation.  It's the sound activation and the cheap price that made me want to try them out, I'm thinking they could come in useful when the bird nesting season is upon us again next year.
Not really put it through it's paces yet but so far, quality I would put on par with web-cam's, if you've got good light then the colours filmed look natural.  I bought the £16.99 versions that came with a 4Gb micro sd card, as it worked out a £2 saving from buying a card separately but the downside to having a cheap card is that skipped frames are introduces giving a jerky effect if you footage has alot of movement.  Users recommend getting a least a 'class 4' micro sd card to avoid jerkyness.  Another minus mark of the camera is that videos are time stamped with no option to turn off.

I do like that you can connect it to your PC without the need to software - it comes up as a drive in the explorer.  Driver software is included if you want to use it as a web-cam.

Review from youtube - mine is slightly different, has buttons instead of switches, but has the same attachments

This video is what made me buy the camera

Mintfest Review - Sunday

For Sunday most of Saturday's afternoon entertainment was out again, I did more watching performances in full rather than wondering around.  Even though I have was out everyday there was so much on offer that I didn't get to see everything.  Year on year Mintfest has got better and better. 

Pen-Ultimate A Day on the Tiles

Cinemarionnette La Cabane de Pepe

Steve Cousins - The Balloonatic

Bread & Butter Theatre - Sports Day

Banc Public Cafe de la Gare

Oddlings (Netherlands) - Mannekino

Le Montreur

Big Rory & Morag - Get Hitched

Mintfest Review - Saturday

Mintfest is bigger this year with the normal Saturday town centre performances extended to Sunday as well.

The Krishnous were one of the performances coming from Mintfest's Street Arts Summer School, the three of them were very good at interacting with the audience.

Back from last year Motionhouse with a performance called Cascade inspired by the Cumbria floods, I watched it a couple of times during the weekend 

These were a hit with the kids attempting to feed the silver lady without being seen by the grumpy maid

This old guy Vernon Ponder - The Thinker puzzled alot of people with his thoughts.

Dr Butler's Hatstand Medicine Band

RickshawAirship were very good this their performance 

Calamity Jane performed an entertain knife throwing set with an audience member

The Temperance Society strolling round Finkle Street

Basso Doble entertaining the public (frightening the odd toddler)

The Krishnous get a new member into their clan

Sport Day back again this year

Lee Hayes combine his passion for whisky and juggling

Rory and Morag on Mr & Mrs

Evening main event Blank Page, six people doing live painting

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mintfest Review - 2nd night

Second night and show were taking place Kendal's Abbot Hall and Fletcher Park, I expected the crowds to be at Abbot Hall so decided to spend the evening seeing the shows in Fletcher Park.

Walking to the park I notice something strange was going on the river Kent, people dressed in white wandering round a table situated in the middle of the river, by late evening it would become apparent what they were there for.

First performance in Fletcher Park was Sufi: Zen doing a performance based around styles of Indian dance.

Next was Schraapzucht, I didn't know what to expect from what I read in the Mintfest programme but the large fly wheel get me attention to come and watch.  Sitting down the covers hiding the stage were brought down, it was a 10 minute wait till the start.  As we waited we casually looked around the stage, focus was on a body in a sack with shoed feet sticking out, we were trying to workout if it was a live person inside, nothing moved.  Also on stage were 3 sacks hung up, no much attention was paid to these as their was not movement.

The performance started with an explorer coming on and looking round the strange array of wood and rope, pulled the figure on the floor to safety (still didn't know where a person were real but assumed not).  He examined the wheel and the rope that worked it, from a pull of the rope the wheel started turning.  As the wheel turned the 3 hanging sacks descended, then shock on the faces of everyone in the audience to find 3 actors realise themselves from the sacking (we had no clue they were in the sacks whilst we were waiting)..

The story flowed in that the flywheel now pulled by the 3 work people was creating a living space which the explorer enjoy as each piece rose to life, table, chair, bookcase, window frames, fire

The performance reached a point and then went in reverse ending with the 3 work people back in the their sacks where they stayed for a minute or so, half the audience thought the show had finished have were head of before the all four actors took in the appreciative audience response - an excellent show  

On the way back saw the last minutes of Page Blanche (more in next post) before heading back to the river to watch a little of the feast taken place in the middle of the Kent (I could spend 3 hours stood in the cold Kent)

Pope in the UK this week

The media good/bad will be going in a frenzy this week when the pope pays a visit to the UK, I've not paid much attention to coverage so far on the upcoming visit, doesn't interest me that much.

But it does remind me of what little memory I have from 28 years ago when I went in 1982 aged 7 to see the pope in Manchester. The night before we got to Heaton Park and bagged our spot for the night, I was awake most of the night balling my eyes out at the cramp pains in my legs to which the St Johns Ambulance did their level best to have me forget the pain. The next day I don't remember much, it was crowded, couldn't see/hear much, what I did see was very distant, pope mobile in the distance.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mintfest Review - 1st night

This years street arts festival was certainly packed with events jammed into 4 nights and 2 days.  I was out everyday, night and with so much on offer their was still lot that I didn't manage to see due mainly not being in the right place at the right time but this is one of the positive of Mintfest. Following few posts are an overview of what I managed to see starting with the first night.

First night it was a short journey south of Kendal to the Westmorland County Show ground for the main event Bombs Per Minute.  We get there early managing to beat the traffic jams by a quarter of an hour.  Before the grand finally we were treated to a local performance of Adrift a musical piece with lots of drums, light and small fireworks
Highlight of the night was Bombs per minute best described as 45mins of drum based music timed to multiple pyrotechnic explosions going of in all directions of the performance area.

To describe how excellent this was is understating it's greatness, I've never seen a firework display like it before, so many fireworks going of the same time in all directions.  Local displays are minos in comparison to this, alot of Kendal folk will be disappointed come November 5th when they watch the fireworks at Kendal Castle.

Cumbria Live TV
 have an excellent video of Bombs Per Minute, watch the last half to see how much fireworks were getting set off.

My photos from the 1st night (not many - too dark) - link