Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Polish wedding adventures

I headed to Poland last Thursday and Kath I and had been invited to Mike and Caroline's wedding. I arrived before Kath, and following her text messages managed to navigate myself to the Coffee Heaven. Her coach was delayed thanks to bad traffic in Warsaw. Eventually she met me at the coffee shop. We grabbed chai latte and a sandwich for the journey on the coach bus back to Białystok. The coach took several hours and so didn't arrive back in Białystok until after 11. We bought a couple of beers took a taxi back to Kath's flat. She made some dinner and we headed to bed.

After a lie in Kath made a breakfast of French toast topped with Parma ham and a caprese salad. Kath's gran gave me a warm welcome with kisses. She also talked to me in Polish forgetting I don't understand it. After which we headed out early so that Kath could go to the Polish NHS to sign a new contract for her prescriptions. We took a walk around the Palace gardens, stopping for a Coffee at the Odeon Jazz club.

After another walk we decided to try out the new Japanese restaurant Tanoshii. It was a really good choice, I had spice dragon soup, Kath had Tanoshii soup. We shared a sushi mixed set. Kath had a Mochi dessert with rice and cherries and I had tempura ice cream kind of a baked Alaska. All accompanied with Japanese beer and Jasmine tea. All of the food was of a high standard and we enjoyed it very much.

It was the night of restaurants in Białystok so our plan was to eat out but first we headed to Esperanto Cafe bar for a Gin and Tonic. However thinks took a different turn when Kaths friend Goofy and his dog Kliper  joined us. We struggled to have a drink and a chat there but the service was terrible so we switched venue to Pub Fiction. A film themed bar near the centre of town. Sitting outside with the dog we talked and talked while drinking. We carried on that way until it started to get light, Goofy made sure that the last drink was a large whiskey which pretty much finished off Kath and I, we finally headed to bed.

Our heads felt very sore when we woke. We had an easy morning before making a short trip into town to pick up something for Kath then changing and getting dressed for the wedding. Goofy had organised a coach for us, himself and his wife Ela, Goofy's sister Mary and her husband Łukasz, their parents, Mr Goat, and Dominc and Agata.

The coach took us to the Church a large place. I couldn't understand the ceremony however Mike told us later that the priest managed to get his name wrong, not that anyone could hear as there wasn't any amplification. 

After the ceremony we got on a different coach to the venue for the reception. It was a place out in the country quite picturesque, it will be even better when all the plants have bedded in.

We took our seats and eat something, drank and chatted. They had a very cheesy DJ, apparently they call cheesy disco music, Disco Polo; basically cheesy disco music with simple rhythm and lyrics. We danced a little but it was very hot and the DJ was a little overpowering, so we mostly mingled outside. As the evening went on and the Vodka flowed peoples English improved. Everyone was really nice, Mikes Mum and Gran said hello, I met Caroline's sister mother and father again. It was nice to join in with the party and meet everyone.

The coach home was scheduled for 4 however we were absolutely shattered well before that. We managed to grab a lift back with Mirka and Kamil. Kamil was very drunk and Mirka was driving for the first time in many years, so it was rather an exciting drive. She did very well though and we were very happy to get back to Kath's flat earlier. Kamil was hilarious  I was nodding off and he kept shouting "Alright mate". He also delivered a soliloquies about Mirka, "my wife is so angry with me but I am so proud of her".

After another long lie in we went out to see a film, the Avengers, which I enjoyed very much. Afterwards we went for a meal out at Lejdis. It was very tasty, and nice to spend time together. It was still fairly early after we got home so we decided to watch another film. We watched Intouchables, a very good film about a man who becomes the carer of a tetraplegic man. I hadnt really wanted to watch the film but I was glad that I did, it was unexpectedly good.

The last full day we went to look around Białystok historical museum and looked at a potential wedding venue. The museum is a collection of traditional Polish buildings, the weather was great and we took a leisurely walk around. The venue was near to the museum, another traditional wooden building. We ate lunch there it was very good and the venue looked perfect for us. A large space, with plenty of potential for a good party. Afterwards we went back into the into the city spent the afternoon enjoying a few drinks as Esperanto, then an early night in time to get up for the early coach and my flight home.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Google docs Reasearch tool

Just went into Google docs (it has been a while) and noticed the new research toolbar. Basically a search tool that floats to the right hand side of the writing pane. It allows you to search Google while writing. I realise this is already pretty simple given you could open another tab pretty easily.. However having it right there in the same window seems like a real winning as it saves time switching between tabs there are even shortcut keys Cmd + Opt + R on Mac, Ctrl + Alt + R on PC.

Hopefully the guys at Blogger will add the same to the Post Window....

Windows backup gets my back up

A few months ago I replaced my ancient (in computer terms) Apple PowerMac G4. One of the best things about getting the new one was that to restore everything I simply had to plug in my time machine disk and within an hour I was back up and running with all my files and programs. I mention this because backup is one area where Windows is seriously poor. I had high hope when Vista came out boasting a new backup tool, however like the operating system it sat on the new tool was rubbish.

Windows 7 is now better, I just tried to backup to a new external 2 TB drive. Comparing Windows 7 backup to  Time machine is like comparing a Ferrari California to a Trabant. Firstly Windows backup is very very slow, backing up from an SSD to an external USB 3 device should be fast, very fast yet hours later the backup is still slowly chugging away, a quick Google and its clear lots of people are having issues. No only that but somehow it can work out Deltas (file changes) on files properly. Not much data on my computer actually changes however subsequent backups are massive filling a TB drive in only two backups given that the machine has got less than 1TB of data, I find that pretty odd.

So in Short Time Machine is full of win, where as Windows backup is a joke, I can only hope that Windows 8 boasts an improved tool.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Friday night was Dan's birthday do. I picked up Ian and Rachel from their place and headed to Dan's pad. Dan was in good form, Ian had brought a bottle of champain to start the evening off. He looks in good shape apparently.y down to his new walking habits. Something certainly is doing him good. We headed up the road to the Joshua Bradley pub. Meeting some friends of Dan's and Wooler. Wooler is another chap who simply looks better every time I see him. A healthy diet plus daily yoga seems to be doing him a lot of good. After a few drinks there we headed futher down the road to the Cheshire cheese. Described by Dan as "a proper drinking pub", it lived upto the hype. Being a rather traditional pub. There was a good atmosphere and a nice mix of people. I had a LAN party on Saturday so made my excuses around 12 and left for home with Ian and Rachel. Dan seemed to have enjoyed a dry good evening. Saturday's LAN was pretty busy 18 people attended, call of duty worked well but it's obvious that we need to do something more about finding some new games. I tried to find an updated unreal stairs of doom map but the only port is pret woeful. Today I was fit for nothing, I managed a lunch at my parents and a short 3 mile jog other than that I just relaxed, watched some tv and started reading a book my parents gave me called lands edge. It's a description of the Austrlian coast, the first few chapters bout back a few memories already. Kath and I talked a lot this weekend, I think we were both missing each other a lot this weekend. Fortunately only another 2 weeks until I see her. I am heading to Poland and we are attending the wedding of Kates friends Mike and Caroline. In other news Phil has had an offer accepted on a house in Cheadle Hulme, I hope it all goes well for him. Certainly looks like a good place from the photos.