Ceroc (and Ceroll)

So, what do you do if you really enjoy dancing, but would rather not meet up with some of the people in the local tango scene?

You join Ceroc.

Tonight I was feeling a little tired and drained after being out and about all day, and it was very tempting to slump in front of the TV, and do nothing. But no, I shaved, breeshed teeth, and headed out to my very first ever Ceroc class.

It was a lot of fun, and the instructors were extremely welcome to a nervous looking newbie. I spent the first hour picking up some very basic dance moves, and concentrating furiously on not breaking any noses, or stepping on any toes. The people there were all lovely, a wide age range, and it was nice to see a full dance hall, as opposed to the dribs and drabs of tango people rattling around which I’ve come to expect.

The music was excellent, the dancing was fun. I will go back.

A Ration of Passion

I remember in one of those tiresome discussions that seem to sweep around from subject to subject, my protagonist declaiming “You aren’t passionate about anything!”.

Douglas Adams used to claim that this was true of those of B*lg**n race (in fact, the people of Earth are not only guilty of turning the Krikkit wars into a rather dull and pointless game, but taking the worst swear word of all and making into a country name).

So, for all of those who think I’m dispassionate, cold, and a teensy bit boring, here are things I’m passionate about:

  • Cars. I could happily spend hours listening to Clarkson, and reading his writing. I love driving, and the XKR is more fun than I’ve had in years. I spent yesterday mostly driving for pleasure, met an old friend of 20 years for lunch, and we went for an explore afterward :) Many years ago I did a performance driving course at the BRDC in Silverstone, and I loved it to bits. I should really do another one.
  • Getting fit. No really. I’ve spent years being terribly, terribly unfit. 2007 is proving to be the Year It Changes. This is linked to a desire to get behind the wheel of fast cars (see point 1), and at some point, get my pilot’s license.
  • Photography. I don’t spend nearly as much time behind the camera as I’d like to. I really enjoy taking pictures, especially non-posed shots. If photography is Art, and the purpose of Art is to hold a mirror up to Life, then posed shots are not good art, although if you do it well you can thaw people out of this terribly stiff victorian poses they seem determined to adopt.
  • Music. I love listening to it, playing it, and writing it (although I don’t expect you to like the stuff I write). At home I have a rather nice Yamaha electronic piano, and the geek in me has tried to hook it up to the PC that is rather handily standing by. My father recommends me to join a choir, perhaps I should. Although what choir hall could improve on the acoustics of my shower :-)
  • Dancing. Well, I enjoy this. Its fun, its good exercise, and as someone described it, its a “three minute love affair”. I’m getting myself a little fitter before I launch back onto the scene, although I feel completely different to the man I was say, 12 months ago. I’m a little nervous about some of the people in the tango set around here, I’m thinking about Ceroc. I’m not sure I’m passionate about this though. Not yet.
  • Work. I love what I do. I feel my work is important, and makes a difference to my clients. Its intellectually stimulating, rewarding, and constantly changing.


A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

I know an Expert. Not a real one though. Real experts have a track record of education, followed by years in their chosen profession honing their craft, coupled with papers, books, conference speeches, and sometimes media spots (although beware the “meeja hoor”, who sad to say is an Expert with a PR agent).

Anyway, my Expert is a glib, charismatic person. She has the undoubted benefit of good looks (and who am I to say that primeval urges aren’t important decision making factors?). She’s been an Expert in Medicine (more than doctors of 40 years in practice), Law, Bodybuilding, and her latest area of expertise is apparently computer security…

I received the following email (names deleted):

From: Expert.Person@gmail.com
Subject: worthwhile knowing
>Subject: Urgent
>>Dear All
>>If you receive a phone call on your mobile from any person, saying that
>>he or she is a company engineer, or telling that they’re checking your
>>mobile line, and you have to press #90 or #09 or any other number, end
>>this call immediately without pressing any numbers.
>>There is a fraud company using a device that once you press #90 or #09
>>they can access your “SIM” card and make calls at your expense.
>>Forward this message to as many colleagues, relatives and friends as
>>you can, to stop it.
>>Many thanks for your time regarding this matter, take care and regards.
>>Phil Corris
>>Police Constable/Crime Prevention Officer Ext (Internal)
>> (External)
>>Email PhilCorris@lancashire.pnn .police.uk

What I search for, I find. What we neglect escapes us.

When I was doing some fraud work for a large 3G telco about six years ago, this same email was going the rounds. Furthermore, a quick Urban Legends search reveals this has been rattling around the gullible since 1998.

Don’t pass these things on to all your friends, folks. Promoting a wave of uninformed hysteria does not make us more secure.

This blog entry was brought to you by the Campaign for Real Experts, which are nothing like the fizzy keg experts you get nowadays.

Now I feel old

Dez has posted a link to the SUCS@20 home page. I am slightly staggered that a computer society I was involved with is still going strong 20 years later! Lord I feel old.

I remember beach parties, which had the police turning up to prevent a breach of the Criminal Justice Bill (we directed them to the Christian Union bonfire further down, where heretics were brightly blazing). I remember heaving machines into the back of vans (UKERNA were disposing of three Sun-4’s and who were we to let them go to waste?)

Fun days, and I learned a lot. However, knowing what I know now, I wish I’d spent more time at university learning how to tango.