February 08, 2007

I've moved this site!!!

I've moved my site. I've had the richardbanks.com domain for years now, and figured it was time I got some use out of it. Plus, I wanted to try out WordPress.

The site is over here now:

The new RSS feed is here:

October 05, 2006

Finally! Starbucks in all its glory.

I miss the small, drive-through coffee stands that litter the streets of Seattle. Here in the UK Starbucks is as good as it gets in the coffee stakes. I'm often desperate to get to one, needing my fix of a skinny Mocha (pronounced ¨moka¨ here in the UK). Finally, I have the ultimate Starbucks mapping tool. Although it only says London in the drop down for picking cities it seems to be mapping the stores across the whole of the UK. Now I need to reconfigure my optimum commute so I can hit at least two or three of them on any given day...

June 14, 2006

DS LItes

I hope that my name isn't on one of these stolen items.

May 25, 2006


It's a little disconcerting when you find that your school has a website.

December 24, 2005

Too much luck

The National Lottery in the UK is quite amazing. Although it's basically a form of gambling, since 1994 it's raised 17 billion pounds (about 30 billion dollars), 28% of which is fed back to "good causes". These include a huge number of local projects, maintenance of the UKs heritage as well as funding some major new buildings.

I've always admired the lottery, taken advantage of the things it's helped to pay for and recognized what a positive impact it's had in the last decade on culture in Britain. So in July 2005 I "did my bit" and signed Shannon and I up on their website to play automatically every Saturday, with the funds drawn by direct debit from my bank. We've just left it alone knowing that we're at least contributing regularly.

Since then, though, we've won twice. Not huge amounts, but enough to make me feel like I'm not really contributing anything, but instead just milking the cash cow for everything it will give. Sorry.

August 23, 2005

Photos on an architecture site

I was asked if some of my architecture images could be used on Architypes.net. The site is a collaborative wiki that's focused on describing architecture as a set of patterns , each of which correspond to an idea for successful architectural design. A pattern might, for example, descibe a way in which a building uses natural light or fits into it's environment. It's an interesting idea.
My shots are sprinkled around the site in different pattern descriptions, and also listed conveniently on this page.

January 20, 2005

Everyday matters

In addition to doing a portrait painting class once a week, I've got a resolution to a) write my diary every day and b) do at least one sketch in it every day. The total can take me only a couple of minutes (for example, a short bulleted list of what happened today and a small drawing), but the important thing is to actually do it.

I bought Danny Gregory's Everyday Matters for inspiration. It's full of great sketches that feel almost achievable.

January 03, 2005

Resolutions (sort of)
Shannon turned me on to this website called 43 Things, which helps you create a list of goals. You can search and "join" other peoples goals, comment on goals etc. Here's my list.

August 06, 2004

Jenson goes to Williams
itv.com/f1 - Button makes shock Williams return. This is a bit of a shock. Cool for Williams. But I kind of think that stability with a team is a good thing, and I think he has that now with BAR. Plus being number 1 on that team gives him some confidence. I don't think Webber will be happy being a number 2 (and Williams don't work that way, anyway), so this could end up backfiring on Jense.

May 26, 2004

Photo on Archinet
Just for fun, I posted one of my shots of St. Ignatius Chapel in Seattle to the architecture website Archinect

March 26, 2004

Famous person day
Just saw Alan Titchmarsh ("britains best loved gardener") on Brewer Street, and Ricky Jervais on Stephen Street. Celebrities must be converging on London.

April 28, 2003

Back again
I'm just back on my own from the UK. Shannon is still there, after our weekend area hunting trip (more to follow later). I had an unusual day, being upgraded into Club World on BA (in those strange reclining beds they have on the flights), then being first off the plane (it's been a while since that happened), then getting a small ding on the car window in a traffic jam on the 405, then finding a dead squirrel just by our front doorstep (maybe it fell out of the redwood?). Sidney was very pleased to see me, and had done a very fine job of coating the sofa in white fur while we were away.

April 17, 2003

More tortuous Goldworthy-esque random geometrical images. Now with their own special page! Get a life, Richard.

April 06, 2003

Brazilian Grand Prix
Stunningly strange Brazilian Grand Prix (see this blow by blow account by the BBC). Peter Windsor tried to explain the new tyre regulations in the coverage I saw here in the US of A through Speedvision, but I'm still left highly confused by why no one really had the tires they should have for this very wet race. Ross Brawn has some comments on the subject, which make it all seem highly political, the fault of Michelin if they are to be believed. Politics doesn't seem to be a good reason to put all of the driver's lives at risk, though.

I just couldn't believe the action in the 3rd corner. 6 drivers out at that point, including Michael and Juan Pablo. You'd think that in itself would be enough to stop the race. But both Webber and Alonso's spectacular crashes came later, and it's a miracle they walked. If the space-age technology that makes up the cockpit around a driver, and allows them to survive these huge impacts, ever makes it to the public I wonder how that will change the standard of driving? Can anyone say "nothing to lose"?

Anyway, the boredom of last years season seems to have been replaced by a highly exciting, and highly unpredictable, set of races, due in large part to the new rule changes. I can't believe that Ferrari are in the position that they are (3rd in the constructor's championship behind Mercedes and Renault), and I'm not sure what they can do about it. At the same time, Michael went out today due to driving error, and Rubens because of technical difficulties (whilst in the lead), both things that were the teams fault, not the new rules.