Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Watch out for rockets

Reading many reviews I have long felt that Diesels are in fact more greener than hybrid or electric cars and it would appears that there is some evidence that unless your power happens to come from renewable then the best thing for the environment would be to buy a modern diesel.

I can talk

Bit of an epic weekend. Starting early on Friday, I took the day off so I could pick Kath up from the airport. Mercifully I was sparred the trip to Doncaster this time only having to venture as far as Liverpool. the flight was a little delayed, I waited in the Morrisons superstore, it's about 1/2 a mile form John Lennon. I mention this only because of what happened while I was waiting. About at 7.30 am, the superstore was closed except for the petrol station. A car pulled up next to mine, a young girl and boy got out, moved onto the back seat and promptly went to sleep. I thought it was pretty odd considering the car park was mostly empty that they would choose to pull up right next to my car, maybe it is some narcoleptic form of dogging?

Kath was really tired after the journey, so we had a relaxed morning. Then headed to the garden centre to speak to the aquarium section see if I could find a cure for the algae plaguing my fishtank. It was a really helpful trip the guy there was very knowledgeable and gave me several ideas to get it  under control. We enjoyed a coffee in the coffee shop then headed to Decathlon to buy sleeping bags for the party at Paul dad's place.

Saturday Ian picked us up, I didn't even realise until he prompted that he had a new car. How observant! In fairness its very similar though nicer with body coloured bumpers. Iain had also been to Decatholon and was sporting a net 2" popup tent. I had borrowed a tent of Bruce, it wasnt a two second erection, but it did go up pretty quickly.

Paul's dads house was suitably impressive. A converted Mill / Farm complete with a waterwheel extensive grounds and an annexe. The spread was impressive too, the garages converted into a stage and with a marquee ample space for the party goers.  There was beer, wine and cider aplenty too, not to mention the simply amazing food. Simple but tasty joints of beef and pork coupled with very nice French rolls, and some cheeses. The beef in particular was exquisite, I am getting hungry just thinking about it.

We sat and chatted, Paul's ex Leamington day flatmate and his wife. He persuaded the weaker minded amongst us to sample a Marlboro light, setting up a smokers corner. He also had an interesting form of logic regarding health risks. Claiming to be worried about the dangers of the potential for asbestos in some art-ex he removed from a ceiling. Compared to the dangers of smoking, I thought it was a pretty outside risk!

There was a band playing for the first part of the evening they were pretty good, was mostly covers though. Later in the evening Paul got up and did a set, his songs were great, though he seemed to forget the words during his cover of Lady Gaga. Jo joked the words didn't matter "its all gag gaga blah blah"! Apparently he did another set later on, by which time though Kath and I had decided to retire to bed. We were having a nice chat with Jo, Holly Ian and Chris with Paul coming and going while chatting and mingling.

I woke up in the morning to find Louise sat outside he tent surveying the remnants of a food platter, seemingly the foxes had enjoyed the cheese too. Apparently Ian had fallen asleep in her tent after she told him her fears about the foxes.

Kath and I felt fine having gone to bed fairly reasonable, Ian looked like death, fortunately breakfast was provided sausage bread rolls, egg and beans, lovely. It did us all the power of good to have some good stodge to soak up the alcohol.

Paul gave me two CD, apparently he is dissolving some of his CD collection in preparation for moving in with Saskia. Was very nice of him to think of me.

Ian had to leave early but Kath and I loitered on, Paul having arranged for us, Saskia, Jo and Holly to go for lunch at a local pub, the Fox and Hound. The Fox and Hounds was a very traditional English pub.  I loved it felt like a relaxed place, and seeing the food being dished out to people made my mouth water. I had a really nice meal, Belly pork, it was very tasty. I also tried Saskia's risotto and Kaths Sichuan beef all were very tasty.  It was a great end to a lovely weekend, excellent idea from Paul. It was great that Kath met Paul and Saskia, and my friends. I am also really glad that she heard Paul play now she might understand better why I think he is so talented.

Banking Error

Tomorrow morning is re-mortgage day, hopefully its a fresh start financially. To facilitate the transition I needed to transfer from money. Attempting to log into my account I received a message to tell me I was locked out of internet banking, I was sure that I put in the correct password, a password I had been using it since 1997, I use it so often that it is ingrained in my muscle memory.
I called the support number reset my password, the women told me to try it while I was on the line, I am glad she asked. Opening a new session I tried it out and wasn't able to log in. At this point I got transferred to another operator. He asked whether I had reused the password, I had at which point he told me after 99 uses the account get locked and a simple reset is not enough to get it working again. He reset my date of birth to today's date and I had to get my password, log in again. This time it worked, and once more change of password and reset of date of birth and I could access it again. I guess in 10 more years I will have to do the same again!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet

The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet

Bye bye foursquare?

Looks like Facebook has decided to squash Foursquare. This article in wired touts the new Facebook check in service which lets Facebook users check into places, not unlike foursquare. The fact that it will be available to facebooks 500 million users will I expect mean an end in growth for Foursquare unless it can quickly respond with some new features not available with Connect.

Monday, August 16, 2010

First State

The Register has an article stating that Virgin Media are touting the idea of writing to customers found to be part of botnets. I think this is an excellent idea. One of my servers was attacked by a botnet and I reported it to 6 networks, all but one never even replied to my abuse reports. No wonder bot nets can get so huge if administrators do not do anything to halt the spread.

Local Foreigner

As George Lucas announces Star War will be re-released on Blue Ray I ask myself do I need another copy? As a child the star wars films were my favourite. I nearly wore out the original VHS copies, and when the special editions were released I bought the box set. Then when the DVD editions were released I bought them too. Since then the new films came out and have somewhat damaged my enthusiasm for the entire project. Given I hope to soon upgrade my home entertainment somewhat from the old Sony CRT TV of my parents to something a bit more modern getting a blue ray player is certainly on the agenda. I guess I will end up buying them in the end just to enjoy watching the X-wings fly around in High Definition.

I spoke to Martin in the week, Marks stag do clashes with Paul's party so unfortunately I wont be able to go. Its a real pig to miss it would have really enjoyed it. Especially as the wedding has moved meaning Kath and I wont be attending. I mentioned to Martin that we missed the Slayradio gathering, we went to the first one (that listeners attended)  in 2005, would like to go back there one day.

On a related retro note I saw this floppy disk holder on deviant art It is jus tthe job for holding all those retro games, I think its really nicely done

Monday, August 09, 2010

Man Research

Ever wonder why we have strict gun laws? Look no further than this idiot to see why

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Captain

Today marked 2 years to the day since I completed on my house purchase. I lot has changed in that time, the biggest thing for me was meeting my girlfriend Kath. Though she lives in Poland and I am in the UK somehow we have managed to see enough of each other to have a meaningful relationship.
We have just spend the last two weeks together, during which time we have managed to visit Sheffield, Liverpool, and Wales.

I picked Kath up from Doncaster airport on Saturday 24th July. From Doncaster we headed for Sheffield, walking round enjoying the Winter Gardens. We arrived in Sheffield at about 8.30 to find a line of teenagers (mostly girls) queuing up for some concert going on in the city. First stop was breakfast at Cafe Nero where we enjoyed a nice coffee and a Panini. Fulling full we had a wonder thought the Winter Gardens, then wondered around the city to the Cathedral.

We drove back taking the scenic route via snake pass.

Liverpool  has a special place for Kath and I. It was the first place we went together after I picked Kath up from the airport. We had a really good time there looking around, was just as Liverpool one opened.

There was a Picasso exhibition at Tate Liverpool we wanted to see so we headed to Liverpool. We arrived around lunch time so started with a  meal at Haha bar and grill in the Albert Docks.
Then a short stroll around the Dock before heading into the Tate for the exhibition. The Gallery was really good mainly focussing on the influences of the war and cold war. I never realised that Picasso was a committed communist and peace activist. When visiting the Picasso museum in Barcelona these items were oddly omitted. Its really worth the entry price if you are in Liverpool.

After the gallery we took a walk to see the three graces, took some nice photos. I managed to get a couple of Kath sunning herself, it made her laugh then we took a few silly pictures. We then strolled to Liverpool one. Its a really nice shopping centre I like the blend of open and green space, much preferable to the Trafford Centre.

Having browsed some shops we took a walk to the Cathedral via China Town. We were having trouble finding the Cathedral which is a bit crazy given its absolutely enormous. They were closing up as we walked in but we managed to have a quick look by heading in the exit ;) Its certainly a very impressive structure. Walking back via St James Gardens we stopped for a coffee where we were treated to a cheeky pigeon trying to steal food!

Beginning Polish

Kath (and her Polish friends) have been trying to teach me some Polish phrases.



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