Hobbies & Interests
I guess it's good that one of my hobbies is playing around with computers
as that is also my job. That said, if I could have made it as a
professional sportsman I would have much preferred that! As a young boy growing up in
England,like a lot of young boys, I dreamed of one day leading out the
England cricket team at Lords or the football team at Wembley. Suffice to
say, that remained a dream, but at least I still play soccer with a bunch of
"old guys" in an over 30 league every Sunday!! I also do still actively play a
lot of other sports as often as I can. The list below summarises some of my main hobbies and
I think it's fair to say I'm a sport's nut. Growing up, whenever I was not in school and
not asleep, the chances are I was playing some kind of sport, most often football (soccer),
cricket, tennis and golf. To this day, I'll watch just about
anything either live or on TV and I still play a lot of different sports.
I still follow the sports that I grew up with like football (soccer) and
cricket very closely but I am also a big fan of American football and
baseball. Even though I live in the USA these days,thanks to the great TV
coverage provided by Fox Sports, I still follow the English Premier league
very closely. I have been an Arsenal fan ever since I can remember and I
still follow the team very closely. I also still follow the England
national team with a passion and suffer the inevitable let downs along with everyone
else! We had several late night TV watching
sessions here during the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea. Fox Sports also shows
a fair bit of Rugby (I got to watch England win the World cup) and they also
show a lot of Aussie Rules. It's harder to
follow the cricket as it just does not get any TV coverage over here. I also
follow the Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins closely during the NFL season and
I follow the Round Rock Express triple-A baseball team (we go to a lot of the games).
I also follow the Houston Astros baseball team (the Express are their affiliate).
As for playing sports, I still play football (soccer) on average twice
a week. I also play tennis on and off and golf when I can (taking five
hours out to play golf is proving hard right now). I also play a lot of
snooker and pool (I had to buy my own table to facilitate the snooker!). Believe it
or not, there is a cricket team in Round Rock. I keep meaning to go watch them play
and maybe even come out of "retirement" but I have not managed to make it
to any of the matches yet.
When I lived in Florida (where it is very flat) I became a mad keen in-line skater. Since moving
to Texas, where they actually have hills I have not been doing it so much. I still get out on them
every now and then. I have also been ice skating a few times here which I had never done before,
so that is something new I have discovered. I also learned to ski a few years ago and wish
I could find more time to do it more often. I'm still intermediate at best.
Recently I have got back into riding my (very old) bicycle quite a bit. This all began when
my daughter learned to ride her bike by herself (without the training wheels) recently. We
have been going on longer and longer journeys as her confidence grows.
Professional teams that I follow
Here is a list of some professional sports teams that I follow as closely as I can :
- Football/Soccer (English Premier League) : Arsenal
- Football/Soccer (International) : England
- Football/Soccer (US Major League Soccer) : LA Galaxy (more of a curiosity to see how David Beckham does in the U.S.A)
- Cricket (English domestic) : Sussex
- Cricket (International) : England
- Rugby (International) : England
- American Football (NFL) : Denver Broncos & Miami Dolphins
- Major League Baseball : Houston Astros
- Minor League Baseball : Round Rock Express
Ever since I was a small boy, growing up in West Sussex, fairly close to Gatwick airport,
I have been fascinated by aircraft. Primarily commercial airliners but also just about anything
that flies. As a kid I used to beg my parents to take me at the weekends to the visitors deck
on the roof of the South Terminal at Gatwick so we could watch the big jets come in from
places all over the World and then a couple of hours later, depart again. Who would have thought
that I would grow up to find myself in a job where I spend a fair amount of time in planes and
airports. I have a lot of pictures that I have taken over the years and one of my many goals
for this site is to create an aviation section. I hope to do that soon.
I have always enjoyed taking pictures (of just about anything) but ever
since I really got into digital
photography, when I bought my Canon EOS 10-D, I feel as if I have
taking pictures all over again. I now also have a Canon EOS 20-D as
well (long story involving a fall off a roller-coaster!). Of course,
you'll find a few of my photos on this
web site (all of the pictures are my own work - for better or worse). I
a Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 which is a phenomenal machine. It can scan
both 35mm negatives and
slides into the computer. It's a slow process but over time I hope to
make a digital record
of all the old family photos that I have either collected or inherited.
I have also started
scanning in to the computer a lot of old prints for which the negatives
since lost using my trusty HP Scanner. Suffice to say all off this is a
very slow process.
I think I would have to take about six months off work to get this all
done but I am chipping away
at it a bit of a time. I have also taken quite a lot of video over the
last few years using a
JVC VHS-C camera. Also on my to-do list is to make digital movies out
of all the hours of tape I
have taken. I have not yet got into digital video cameras. I also spend
a lot of time using
Adobe PhotoShop Elements which has proven invaluable in so many ways
when working with all my
I still like to read as much as I can. You can see what I am currently reading
in the Books and Magazines section. My eyes had been very
tired after work and so I had not been reading much. I finally broke down and got my eyes
tested and got some reading glasses. It's amazing how much more you feel like reading when you
can actually see the words clearly!
Watching and collecting movies
I have become quite keen on collecting movies on DVD. I think part of the reason is that
ever since DVD players became commonplace in laptop computers, it's been nice to take a few
DVDs along on longer plane rides.
Listening to music
I don't buy CD's much anymore as they are, in my mind, way over priced, and in
any case most of the
music I like is now considered "classic" rock! I usually take some music, and
the greatest of inventions, noise cancelling headphones, with me when I travel.
As you will get a sense of from the Travel section, I have always enjoyed visiting places.
Especially places I have not been to before. I won't bother to say more here as I have a whole
section of this site dedicated to travel.
I have created a separate section to discuss my interest in video games.
Playing around with computers and other gadgets
I have always enjoyed playing with electronic gadgets ever since I got one of the very early
LED calculators back in the late seventies. To this day I carry a lot of "toys" with
me when I travel including IBM Thinkpad laptops, Palm Pilots, a Garmin GPS Pro,
noise cancelling head phones, cameras and numerous
other things. As I said at the top of the page my job is to play with computers and that's
cool as that is something that I also enjoy. I don't get to code as much as I used to but I still
spend quite a bit of my spare time playing around with some new technology or another. I try and
stay as current as I can.