Category Archives: Personal

Flying to London….

I’m just about to get on my flight to London… I’m mainly going to attend Yahoo/BBC HackDayUK but do give me a shout if anyone wants to meet up.

I also hear Jason Calacanis is in town – we’ve never met so maybe there’s a possibility there too?

Anyway best way to get hold of me is email: mail {at} thisdomain

Finally, just to say that I’ll be without Blackberry (it’s CDMA) and so I’ll be light on the twittering for the next week or so. I’ll be on my UK cell mobile number.

‘This is> dotBen’ and my new homepage both launched

Wow, JUST got these finished before the end of the weekend…

First up: ‘This is> dotBen’, my personal blog, is now live. As previously mentioned :Ben Metcalfe Blog will now be work/industry posts only from now on.

You’ll need to subscribe or head over to This is> dotBen for my personal posts.

I’m pleased to be able to put the old dotben.co.uk domain name to some use. And the .uk reminds me of home, bless.

dotBen

The other small announcement is the release of my new homepage which lives at the top of http://benmetcalfe.com. It’s inspired by a great photo Sofia took of me at Big Sur on Christmas Day. I haven’t completely browser checked it yet, as it’s more of an after thought – so please excuse any issues on strange browsers. And let me know if you have problems!

PS: I probably will set up a feed splice of my two blogs for those who want one, but I’m currently tossing up a few issues… as discussed over on the other blog.

dotBen (hair)red

dotBen (hair)red

I got bored with the bleach-blonde/dark brown roots look so I decided to go (red). The complete process is documented on Flickr, minus the shower-shots!

BTW: This will probably be the last personal post on this blog as I am about to relaunch this blog as a strictly professional blog for the New Year. I tell everyone about the importance of being focused with your blog, esp if people are subscribing to it to stay across a particular vertical.

It’s about time I took some of my own advice as ‘Ben Metcalfe/dotBen’ isn’t a vertical!

George Bush uses ‘The Google’

I need to replay the video to check, but I could have swore he said:

One of the things I’ve used on the Google is to pull up maps. It’s very interesting to see where — I’ve forgot the name of the place, oh yeah — Canada is. But you get the satellite, and you can — like, I kinda like to look at Iran and remind me of where I wanna bomb sometime.

Originally from Think Progress.

Return of the crazy hair2.0

This month, it’s blonde with a blue stripe. F’real, dawg.

Ben's new hair style

hair (12)

Why the blue stripe? Well, I don’t want to look like Pete from Big Brother, do I? (Actually, I quite like Pete – I just don’t want to appear like a FanBoy).

For my next trick, on Wednesday I’ll convice Department of Homeland security at the US border that I really am a bonafide Management Consultant. Hmmmm.

Sofia and I get hitched

We tried to keep it a secret as best as possible, but I’m delighted to announce that Sofia and I got married today:

Sofia and Ben wedding.

(We’ll put the full photo album up tomorrow, so check back for the Flickr link)

We had a great day, inviting just a few family and friends to a short-but-very-sweet civil service at the registry office local to my family home in West London. Sofia used to live next door when we lived there, so it seemed only right to get married back in the neighbourhood where we first met.

It was also really great that Sofia’s aunt and step-father could make it, as their plane from Sweden was cancelled yesterday due to the terrorist alert. Fortunately they arrived onto the first plane into Heathrow this morning.

After the wedding my mother and Jean, a family friend, put on a lovely reception back at home. We feasted on meats, salads and ciabatta. The champagne flowed and I had the odd glass of orange juice. Then the sun came out and we enjoyed the afternoon in the garden. Friends popped in during the course of the afternoon, it was all very pleasant.

The day was simple and understated, but it’s how we wanted it to be. We couldn’t be happier.

(excuse me whilst I now go puke)

BTW, here’s some answers to questions people keep asking us:

  • Sofia is keeping her surname
  • We didn’t get married in a church cos we’re not religious
  • There’s no honeymoon as we’re very busy at the moment with our moving plans
  • Sofia isn’t pregnant (the cheek!), nor are we making any plans in that direction thankyouverymuch!

Great day out at the British Motor Show 2006

Sofia and I went to the British Motor Show 2006 this afternoon.

As a child, my father would take Phil (my bro) and myself to the London Motor Show which was at Earls Court. As soon as we arrived at today’s event, it brought back fond memories of childhood…

The actual Motor Show was pretty good. Practically all of the main car manufacturers were there, combined with a sprinkling of lesser known ones.

Unlike when I was a child, I’m actually in the market to buy a car (or at least a very strong possibility) as we’ll probably need one in America. Despite being mad about cars, and having a license, I’ve never actually owned a car as there is little need in Central London.

However what made the event for both myself and Sofia were to amazing Formula 1 exhibits (as you may know, we’re both F1 nuts – travelling as far as China to see the races).

The first significant exhibit was a practical demonstration of pit-stops by Shell, using Ferrari F1 cars. We were picked out of the crowd to have a go at changing a real F1 tyre and also use a simulated refuelling nozzle (it was the same weight but obviously didn’t have fuel in it!).

It’s not something you usually get to do, so I we were both pretty thrilled.

The other fascinating exhibit was a HondaF1 car on the Honda stand. In Honda’s fine tradition to detail, they had suspended every component of a F1 car in effectively a massive glass box. You could queue up to go inside and take photos, etc.

IMG_4749

I’m a Jenson Button/HondaF1 fan so for me, this was simply amazing. I’m sure for most of you you’re wondering what the big deal is.

I took loads of photos and also this video:

Overall, we enjoyed the British Motor Show very much and despite the slightly hefty £28 price for two adults to get in (weekend rate, cheaper on weekdays) it was still a great day out.

Check out the complete Flickr set

Attempted burglary on our appartment

In the middle of all the stresses of arranging US visas, repairing our appartment so it can be rented out, sorting out the shipping of our stuff State-side and general day-to-day chores…

Sofia and I were almost burgled over the weekend.

We went to leave the apartment and noticed that someone had tampered with the frame on the external door. Just below the main lock, someone had clearly tried to lever the door open with some kind of implement. Their actions had left a dent in the woodwork and exposed bare wood through the painted finish on the frame and door.

It happened within a two hour window because the (very noticeable) signs were not there when we opened the door a few hours earlier.

But what’s really shook us up a little was that we were home at the time and from the markings on the door/frame a sharp object, probably a bradawl, was used.

My guess is as they got to work they realised we were at home and aborted. But if they had got in and then found us at home… clearly the thought of someone entering our home with a sharp implement in their hand is a bit concerning.

We heard nothing – which is curious because we often hear our neighbours coming and going, and thus I would have assumed that we’d here someone up against our door.

Now, I need to be mindful of the fact that my mum reads my blog (bless her, it’s about the only way she finds out what I’m up to these days!). Mum: Sofia and I are ok, and we’re going to be boosting the already plentiful security in the apartment over the coming days. So please don’t worry.

(Do forgive me if I don’t go into the details of the existing and forthcoming security features of our home)

I think we’ve got over the initial shock, and of course we’re only here for a couple of months before we vacate for Amercia.

But in the 3.5 years we’ve lived in our apartment this is, at least as far as we know, the first burglary attempt on our home. It’s a strange feeling – clearly nothing actually happened, yet the sense of near-violation of our personal space and possible “what-ifs” with regard to the sharp object still float around in the back of my mind.

Back to reality with a bang, I guess.