Barrack

There are many issues that Americans are concerned with, the economy, overseas affairs, and growth as a country, as a Brit I only really had interest in a global issue; Net Neutrality.

Little over a year ago I read through all the Candidates Manifestos, to my horror only 2 made mention of Net Neutrality, Obama and Clinton. Considering the ‘policing’ done by the USA in the past I was worried that the new President might try to enforce a big business agenda on the web and grind the hobbyists like myself to a snails pace.

When the democratic party was whittled down to 2 candidates, the now President(-elect) Obama and Senator H. Clinton I was happy that at least one of the Political Parties regardless of their candidate would support this issue that is so important for the little guy.

If you don’t know what Net Neutrality is I’ll sum it up for you: currently all websites are downloaded to your browser exactly as fast as the bandwidth between your location and the hosting server can manage. This means that if Microsoft were using the same servers as me we would be at a dead heat serving pages for you to look at. What Net Neutralists are fighting for is the preservation of this status quo, there are certain advocates who believe that we should pay for our webpage serving ability, the more you pay the less resistance the is getting a page from the web; a cruel way to turn a profit.

President Barrack Obama will hopefully continue to maintain Net Neutrality during his term(s) but with so many other priorities will he find the time? Hopefully the future for all of us is connected, and fairly connected at that.

Work has begun, so lets party!


Liberty X at the World Scout Jamboree

Started off with some rather appalling breakfast, most of the usual 5 hot options where gone leaving me with Tomato, Sausage and Hash Brown! Not impressed proceeded quickly to the lunch queue to pick up some extra fruit to supplement my cooked breakfast alas, nought but water and muffins left. Not a good start to the day!

I managed to get a little work done during my 11-7 shift, it was slow going with having to pop into the newspaper layout cubical to resize images and battle grammatical inconsistencies.

After 3 long days of hearing how when Simon arrives he’ll solve all problems, including World peace I thought his arrival would equate the second coming, alas Dave and I had to cycle to Gate 1 to help him carry his stuff. Enroute whilst balancing Simon’s duffel bag on the handlebars Merry and Becky saw me and came charging after me. Simon and Dave walked on a bit, probably for the best considering how hyper they seemed to see me. It’s nice to be charged at randomly by girls demanding a hug!

Had dinner(s) with Dave and Simon after I caught up with them, then handed over my bike keys as I didn’t need to go back to Marcomms till the morning.

After dinner managed to bump into Vix, Richard and Simon under the IST bar tent, Vix was headed out for a wander to the stage to see her friends and then to the UK Contingent Party which none of the UK IST were invited to! Which this in mind I tagged along hoping that we’d bumped into Mary enroute or find Colin hanging on the outskirts.

In an act of kismet we bumped into Mark, Emma and Amy which where hovering over the South Tropical Hub entrance. We snuck in from the West with just enough time before getting chucked out (for being adults at a party for the UK young people) to see Peter Duncan (Chief Scout), Liz Burney (Chief Guide), Liberty X, Lumar and Anna Foye all on stage. The party was amazing, everyone from the UK was here as the UK Contingent arrived a day before all the other countries Contingents so we could welcome them, to get things going we were hosting a party, woot!

Who wants to Party?

After a thoroughly relaxing nights sleep I felt truly ready to take on this leviathan of a Jamboree. First port of call was breakfast, served by the horrendously bad Sedexo whom served at EuroJam. With the shear volume of Health and Safety regulations the broke; serving mouldy food, appalling menu options and often not enough for everyone, so why they got the WSJ contract I’m flabbergasted. Guess the contract they have at HQ, Gilwell is worth quite a bit.

Anyway, they managed a reasonable attempt, scrambled eggs from powder, bacon, sausage, plum tomatoes and if you could find a serving stall with them rather crispy Hash Browns, not a bad start but does this mean they’ll get better or worse?

Then after a quick shower it was off to the first briefing of the day, Generic IST Training at 9:30am in the Global Development Boulevard. They had planned to show us a video via projector but due to how sunny it is ( don’t let it stop now! ) we could barely see anything. We did manage to hear Peter Duncan (Chief Scout) introduce himself in rather good French and then Bill Cockroft in good French but not with Pete’s funky accent.

It was a nice little bonding session, though it made me feel that with all the work that needed to be done, and with so many people willing to work, why were so many coming into help at the 11th hour?

Upon departure from the GDB we were given a special edition IST Newspaper with a 10 letter puzzle that we had to assemble from finding letter scattered around the entire site, baring in mind that the site is a 45 minute walk across it would probably take 3-4 hours to find all the letters alone. So using cunning an guile I guessed that it would be “onepromise” or “beprepared” but the first letter found in the Adult Island Hub was a “J” so that plan was quickly through out as it made the first 8 letters quite predicable, after chatting around with others that had no large amount of training to do today I was told the remaining letters to be “07” so the final answer is “JAMBOREE07”. Not brilliant considering the first 2 thought up.

At the Media Centre generic training on the Energise activity area I discovered that my generic 04-00 job code actually meant I was on the Web Team and not as I suspected on the Reporting Team. To put it mildly I was pissed off, thejamboree.org website is appalling, home grown code that only the creator can understand, ill formatted CSS, high server load, it would’ve been a millions times better if I’d been more involved in February rather than skirting the edge doing the Official Forum. For someone who has just finished a Computer Science BSc (Hons) Degree and run various National and International websites already (with great success) it’s insulting to be associated with a area that you could do better.

When the key individuals aren’t in the MarComms tent I can’t actually do anything because I don’t have login details and even if I did the servers have crashed and no-one else is allowed to maintain them. 🙁 This however did offer me the opportunity to fix the Go Jamboree forum which went down due to flooding in Gloucester so it’s not all bad.

I dismissed myself at 7pm to go get some much needed dinner which was a disappointment, either some sort of purée meat or pink looking lamb with onions, with Vegetables, Chips, Potatoes or Pasta. Dessert was Pears, or Pears with Chocolate sauce because they ran out of the alternative

This is the last evening with just the UK Contingent on site so we’re having a celebration on the Island Hub to get us all in good moods for tomorrow’s arrivals. The party had a nifty game where you had to find the matching half of a playing card given to you, if anyone has the other part of a Queen of Clubs let me know!

Delivery Day

To cleverly order the exact amount of kit for the World Scout Jamboree attenders orders were taken from every Unit and person for what they wanted from a catalogue of items, anything from cufflinks to neck-ties was available to order. The orders were taken a whooping 6 months earlier and today we finally get the first of our kit with the World Scout Jamboree Brand on.

For International Service Team Members like myself its just for the Jamboree management to save some pounds on delivery which means that the money saved can be spent on something much more worth while like improved food services or a few extra types of brew in the IST bar tent.

For Unit Leaders its an entire different kettle of fish, they have they have to collect not only their own kit but all the kit of the participants in their Unit! They each get (sleeping tents, Uniform, badges, scarf, woggle, ruc-sac and holdall more…) so there is an awful lot to take.

As well as the kit collection a few presentations have been scheduled to lift the veil on information pertaining to arrival and a few other unknown aspects.

And possibly the most important event to all the members of the the Go Jamboree website; a chance to meet each other!

What started as a simple circle around a rather flimsy mess shelter turned into a small village of Go Jamboree members, past present and future! It was marvellous to meet some people who until now were either had their posts associated to their profile through a username or nondescript avatar.

Having put so much time into creating the website, forum and paraphernalia getting thanks and congratulations in person it was very heart-warming to know that people are appreciative.

Hopefully I’ll get to meet all of our members at the world Scout Jamboree!

Harlequin Disco

In an aid to raise Funds for her Jambo-fee Merry has organised a Disco near enough to Saint Patrick’s Day for the theme to be green. Since the Disco has been done with some help from her Ranger Guide unit my fair lady will be there, and having beautiful red hair you know she’s going to look good dressing in theme!

This is also a good excuse for many Go Jammers to get together and party so hopefully the attendance will make a large reduction on the amount she is lacking. At meagre £s;5 for entry you know that its not all going to her as the hall has to ask for something, then there is the disk jockey and then….

I was happy to be there, although I didn’t see the point of her inviting other participants, I mean if they give £s;5 to her, and she gives them £5 for going to their barbecue (or whatever) then they’ve both ended up with the same amount anyway. Alas I suppose you at least get the evening together.

It was a goodnight, good songs (with the DJ needing a little prompting) slightly small drinks provided by courteous bar staff. Eventually Colin and I got fed-up of that so when into the main bar for a pint of Coke each, boy we got some funny looks and eventually got told to leave was our “party of people” were supposed to stay in our room. Pft.

Well here’s hoping that this little shindig helped the cause, I don’t wear a feather boas just for fun you know!

Belchamps Party

Yesterday I was extended the honour of attending a gathering of fellow EuroJammers at the Belchamps Campsite in Essex.

Okay, its a fair trek for something so simple as a party but its certainly something to get my mind off tormenting thoughts. Knowing the Laindon Rangers, it would be drinks, dinner and cake, who could say no to cake?

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