Monday, December 05, 2005


Forgot to say that Serena and I saved a small fortune on EBay yesterday.
We bought £300 worth of new electrical goods for under £200.

Makes a change, as I usually find stuff on EBay goes for more than I can buy it based on a pricerunner search!

You don't have to be mad to work here....

Well it has been a strange weekend for a couple of reasons….

1/ I got the car MoT’s on Sunday and rather than sitting around in Kwik Fit I took a stroll over the road into the local “leisure complex”. The only place that was open was the Megabowl, so I bought an awful cappuccino and sat down to read my magazine.
After about 20 minutes I started to have a bad headache and realised that the only other people present were a group of 7 year olds attending a birthday party, so the staff had pumped up the S-Club 7 to record volumes. I decided to go sit outside instead! You would have to be bonkers to work there, or have a strong tolerance for crap music (and coming from me that is a serious complaint!).

2/ Arriving at work this morning, I hit the kitchen and made myself a cappuccino with one of my Nestle instant sachets (I miss our London coffee machine!). Returning to my desk I reached for my chocolate sprinkles to find them absent. I looked around and found them behind my PC, looking mangled.
The little tube has been chewed beyond all recognition and the area is littered with mouse droppings! I have put in a complaint to the building services team! Surprisingly my advent calendar has survived untouched – although the chocolates from those usually get eaten by the cleaners!

Well we return to London this weekend, so this week could be mildly stressful and next week will be awful!
I just hope the house is liveable, as we have given the builders 3 more weeks than they originally asked for.

Ho Hum!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Well life has been busy.
Lauren hit 10 lbs last week (spot on the 50th centile, adjusted for prematurity).
Work has been mental.

Anyway, this post is to complement James' blog about Games and timesinks.

I have recently aquired Dungeon Siege 2 and Civilisation 4.
The former is very like the original and looks poor graphically compared to other modern games, however it is still good fun. I haven't had chance to multiplayer it yet though.
Civ 4 is just like Civ1, 2 and 3... i.e. You start playing and the next time you look at the clock it is 3 am!
Serena and I managed to multiplayer it last night and it worked great.

I am currently awaiting X3: Reunion. That is likely to be my timesink of choice over Christmas. I agreed with James that is a good job that Oblivion was delayed....

Ho Hum. Now all I need is for spare time to lose in the timesink!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Two Bad Jokes

Number 1:
A man goes to the zoo .
When he gets there, there was only a dog .
It was a shitzu.

Number 2:
Two goldfish in a tank.
One turns to the other and says "Do you know how to drive this thing?"

Monday, November 07, 2005

Full Time - Boo Hoo!

Well I am back to work Full Time now.
My four day weeks are no more.
How on earth am I going to cope?


Still another 4 weeks before we head back down to London and I get my PC back. Gaming on a laptop just isn't the same. At least Maggie has a 4 MB connection for me to exploit whilst we are up here.
The commute by train is fairly uneventful, but the cost is frightening. Still we are saving a small fortune in living costs and hopefully we will have a nice bathroom when we get back. The kitchen may also be done, but I am not holding my breath over that one!

OK - back to the grind.

PS Everyone in Kentucky OK? Those tonrnadoes looked nasty!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Drinks, Horoscopes and Life in General

OK, about time for a blog update!

Last night was supposed to be a night full of farewell drinks for some of my colleages of the past three years.
However I was meeting Gareth for a coffee before hand, and we decided that we were enjoying our catchup far too much to interupt it prematurely.
Feeling peckish we nipped round the corner to the Metropolitan and enjoyed a nice bottle of Tempranillo and a steak au poivre. Far more satisfying than fighting over plates of "nibbles".

Got home in good time around 11 pm to find Serena completely exhausted and Lauren being grumpy. I happily took over feeding duties and Serena crashed out. Lauren settled off to sleep around 12.15 am, so I decided to move my alarm back an hour, since a 6 am start no longer loooked appealing!

The commute in on my normal trains is fairly painless. The "+1 hour" combo turns out to be a tad more busy and also prone to be delayed.
Since I only have a 9 minute connection window at Linlithgow I was getting worried when the first train was 8 minutes late leaving Edinburgh Park. I shouldn't have worried though as every other train I was due to take was also running 8-10 minutes late as well! Hence I got into work 10 minutes later than my timetable said I would!

Reading the Metro I got through the normal amount of rubbish slightly quicker than normal, and also pollished off the Sudoku is record time, which left me twiddling my thumbs with 2 stops to go. I happened to glance at the horoscopes and read something along these lines...
Whilst you are not normally the last one of the office, today will suprise you
with someone or something that will encourage you to stay late.

My response to that is...
Not bloody likely!
Ah well, I suppose I should do some work today! Hopefully I will get back to updating this a bit more frequently.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Happy Birthday to me....

33 at last....

Neighbours is 20 as well.... that make me feel old!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Well what should I expect?
I am working in Glasgow and communting along the M8 from Edinburgh.... of course it is going to be raining and the traffic is going to be terrible!

Even after 4 years Clyde 1 still haven't changed their Breakfast radio show presenter!

Still George makes me laugh.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Get Stuffed

Gotcha (for now).....

Blogger have introduced Word Verification for commenting, which should reduce the random commenting I have been suffering from....



Well Serena drove for the first time since her operation today.
Tomorrow she is driving to York with Lauren!
(I am driving up in a van behind her, but it isn't safe for Lauren in the van.)

I can tell Serena is scared, but I told her to take her time.
We have to take it easy as Lauren isn't supposed to stay in the car seat for more than 2 hours at a time, which means we have to take a 1/2 to 1 hour break somewhere around Grantham!

I am sure it will all be fine, but I am sure I will be tense until we get there.

Monday, September 26, 2005

A Changed Man

Well it seems like I have managed to curb my rampant spending!
What with the building works and the arrival of Lauren, I am finding that saving money is imperitive, so I am no longer buying computer games and DVDs on a whim!

I was hunting around on Amazon and they have added a "Wish List" function, so I have had a look at all the things coming out in the next few months that I would normally buy without thinking and have added them to my wish list.

What this means is that if you would normally buy me a Birthday or Christmas prezzie (not those of you that I have reciprocal "card only" agreements with), then you can now browse my wish list and not be worried about getting me something I already have or don't really want! Failing that - amazon vouchers will always be welcome!

This all seems very materialistic, but I like to think of it being practical and would encourage you to do the same so I don't need to hassle your other halves for ideas!

I am also going to have a clear-out of crap soon, so expect to see some EBay transactions in my name!

Friday, September 23, 2005


I see that both James and I have had "comments" added from random users pointing to an off-site dating agency.

Don't click them.

I'll delete the comment shortly.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Back to the Grind

Well my 4 week holiday is over!
Now I have to get up at 1 am to feed Lauren AND come to work the following morning!

Anyway - I am working Part-time (3 days a week) for the rest of this month, so I expect I will get a few entries on my rather quiet blog!

Here are some more pictures of Lauren for you to look at:

Friday, August 26, 2005

Big Ad!

Big Ad

I certify that the above is not a virus.... Click the link and press "Yes" when prompted.
Its great!


10 Days

Wow! Has it really been 10 days?

Well Mother and Baby are doing fine. Baby Lauren Ting Ayers has still not quite got the hang of breast feeding yet so we are feeding her by tube. When she starts to get the hang of it then she will be allowed home, which will hopefully be in the next week or so.

Beyond that I am not finding much time to do anything beyond cook, wash and clean! I usually crash out around 10 pm, watch a couple of episodes of Alias and then go to bed!

I will keep you abreast of any changes!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

It's a Girl!

Well that was an amazing and knackering 24 hours.

The Doc told Serena yesterday night that they were unhappy with our baby, as the baby was occasionally squashing her own umbilical cord and restricting her own blodd supply.
They felt that it was safer for all concerned if Serena be scheduled for a Caesarean Section this morning.

At 12.07 this afternoon our little daughter was born, weighing in at 1.9 kgs (4lbs 3 oz).
She is OK, if a little small, so is being closely supervised in a High Dependency Unit (One step down from Intensive Care).

Serena is also fine, if a little sore.

Here are some pictures from today.

I’ll give you more news when I have it.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Baby Update

Below is an email from Serena that pretty much sums up the last two days!


Dear all,

I’ve been admitted to the antenatal ward (Edith Dare Ward) at Queen Charlotte and Chelsea Hospital because unfortunately my waters broke early on Sunday morning. Quite a shock at 34 weeks with potentially 6 weeks to go. Everything is OK at the moment but we’re waiting for tests to come back so that they can make a decision on what happens next. They’ve said to me that if there is any sign of infection reaching the baby (now that the membranes have gone) they will need to do a caesarean section to get the baby out this week. Otherwise, all being well they will wait for a few more weeks to give the baby more chance to grow.

Either way, they say I am not allowed home because the baby is in a breech position with the feet down first and there is a risk of the umbilical cord falling out first if I were to have any premature contractions (and this would be bad for the baby). So I am stuck here on the ward for potentially weeks to come on bedrest but have resigned myself to this if it means that the baby will be OK. They’ve also said (scarily) that the baby will need to go to Neonatal Intensive Care when it is first born to get a checking over (hopefully not for too long).

Will keep you updated on how it all goes.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Latest terror alert levels

Be aware that the French government announced yesterday that it has Raised its terror alert level from RUN to HIDE. The only two higher levels in France are Surrender and Collaborate.
The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralysing their military capability.

It's not only the French that are on a heightened level of alert: The Italians have increased their alert level from "shout loudly and excitedly" to "elaborate military posturing". Two more levels remain, "ineffective combat operations" and "change sides".

The Germans also increased their alert state from "disdainful arrogance" to "dress in uniform and sing marching songs". They have two higher levels, "invade a neighbour" and "lose".

Seeing this reaction in continental Europe the Americans have gone from "isolationism" to "find somewhere else in the middle east ripe for regime change". Their remaining higher alert states are "take on the world" and "ask the British for help".

{Thanks to Jules for that update}

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Word of the Day: FILLIP



noun a stimulus or boost.

— ORIGIN from an archaic sense of the word meaning ‘a flick with the fingers’.


Despite my earlier claims that my life was mapped out to the second at the moment, I decided to throw it out the window yesterday and hit the pub with Balint (as he finished early).

That meant I got home a little later than planned, which meant dinner got knocked back a bit and also that I had had beer which meant I couldn't be arsed to do any painting!

Serena and I sat down and watched two more episodes of Firefly instead.

I have a meeting with our mortgage provider tonight about borrowing some more money to finish the decorating and build work off to our high specification. Hopefully it is a formality other wise they wouldn’t have setup the appointment after the information gathering session.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

You've got to laugh!

This article just cracked me up!
Some people are so sensitive!


I am certain Gareth would want to point this article out and would be getting excited, so I thought I would help him whilst he repairs his own blog!

Blog Pressure

With Gareth's technical faults and James' trip to the sun I am the only one left going! (Obviously not in the whole world - but in the area that matters!)

Can I cope with the pressure and responsibility on top of everything else?


Well I just got back from a nice lunch with Balint, who I haven't seen in far too long.

We did our usual and talked about strip bars and saunas we have known (that's to see if Kim is still reading the Blog!).

Just kidding Kim! It was a shame that we didn't have more time, but these flying visits for important things like Visas don't allow you to be overly social.

The weather is so nice that I really, really don't want to come back to work, but I know that I must as there is boring work to do!

I just want to paint the nursery and collapse with a cold beer! Instead I am going to do data entry for 4 hours, ride the tube and bus in rush hour for 60 mins, paint for 90 mins, eat for 60 mins and then go to bed. It is so good to have your life mapped out on a per second basis!

Monday, August 08, 2005


A World renowned expert in the sounds of European Wasps is walking down the High St. one day when he spots an advert in his local record shop "Wasp sounds from around the Globe".
On further enquiry he discovers that a vinyl recording of this subject has just been released and a few copies are available in store there and then.
Naturally, being a World renowned expert in the sounds of European Wasps he is curious and asks the young chap behind the counter if he can have a listen to "Wasp sounds from around the Globe".
A few seconds later the World renowned expert in the sounds of European Wasps is standing at one of those little sound stations with his headphones on and a puzzled expression on his face.
He removes the Headphones, walks back to the counter and catches the young sales person's attention.
"Excuse me" he says, "I'm A World renowned expert in the sounds of European Wasps and I've just been listening to "Wasp sounds from around the Globe", and I must say, there appears to be some mistake. Those are no Wasp sounds with which I am familiar".
The young man dutifully checks the recording in question and assures the World renowned expert in the sounds of European Wasps that he is indeed listening to "Wasp sounds from around the Globe".
Puzzled the World renowned expert in the sounds of European Wasps returns to the headphones and once again begins to listen. After a few seconds he once again returns to the counter and accosts the young fellow there.
"Excuse me" he says, "As I mentioned before, I am a World renowned expert in the sounds of European Wasps and I've just been listening to "Wasp sounds from around the Globe" and I have to say again, those are no Wasp sounds with which I am familiar. Are you certain I have been listening to the correct recording?"
Slightly exasperated by now, the young man checks the disc currently playing and with a slightly sheepish grin confesses: "Oops, sorry Sir, I seem to have played you the Bee side"


Well it is bright and early on a nice sunny monday morning...
Yep and I am in the office rather than sat in the back garden drinking coffee and eating croissants. Bugger!

I suppose I haven't really got anywhere to sit yet, but coffee and croissants al fresco should be doable around Christmas time! (Weather permitting!)

Managed to get the ceiling painted in the nursery on Friday afternoon and the first coat on the woodwork on Saturday, so there was some progress on the decorating front. Assuming this week's testing work goes OK, I reckon I should manage to get the nursery decorated in time for the carpet fitters.

Sunday was spend driving to and back from Crawley, picking up one of our EBay purchases (£50 Car Seat for £15).
We also picked up the pushchair (another £50 saving on EBay) and spent £120 at Mothercare!

I also watched the 2 hours of Cricket on Sunday and was totally gripped. I love working in an Aussie office when England beat them! It makes up for all those times that they beat us!

Anyway fingers crossed for the Shuttle crew who are set to land in about an hour. Hopefully the DIY job has worked OK.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Glad that's over

Well after a few nights of hard graft my Testing Scenario development work is finally finished.
I am looking forward to an early night tonight.

Various odds and sods to do this weekend...
  • Pick up the Pushchair that we bought on EBay.
  • Pick up the Car Seat that we bought on EBay.
  • Dump the old Nursery carpet and the rest of our excess rubbish.
  • Get on with painting (having lost 2 nights decorating to working late) the nursery.
Now I just need to avoid the sarcasm overload floating round our office today...

Double Yawn

I'm going to bed!

The Test Scenarios are finished though! FINALLY!

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Oh my God I am Tired!

Worked late last night and was so wound up it must have been 12.30 before I dropped off to sleep.
Unfortunately that makes 3 nights on the trot when I have been awake after midnight and I am starting to suffer - even work colleagues tell me I look like shit!

Still my Camcorder has arrived and we got the planning permission through on the house (finally), so it isn't all bad!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Sorry I've been so quiet! Work is absolutely mental atm and I am decorating the proposed Nursery as well, so that leave little time for random thoughts or ramblings!

Had another Antenatal Education session today. I now know how to massage Serena's contraction pains away (allegedly)!

Also had a quick checkup and it seems that the baby still hasn't turned round and hence is "breach". This is not so good as the "anterior" position of our baby's placenta means that they cannot be manipulated into a normal delivery posture and hence would have to be delivered by elective caesarian section. Scary!

Had a look around the delivery suite at the hospital as well. Nothing too scary there! Which is a good thing as I reckon Serena is going to be very scary!

Monday, August 01, 2005


Well I think with the baby coming it is time to splash out on a new toy (for me - not the baby)!

I think I'm going to buy one of these.

I can get one for about £250 online, as opposed to £300 from Dixons.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Happy Birthday Giuseppe

I think the title says it all.

31 Today!

F'ing Kids

Who lets their kids play football outside my bedroom window at 1.30 am?
And again at 6.30 am!

They cleared off when I shouted at them, but I am far too young to turn into the "nasty neighbour" aren't I?

I reckon that the owners of #91 have gone away and kiddies are having a bit too much summer holiday fun without Mummy and Daddy!
I think I will have to knock on the door this evening and say "Hello".

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Daft Products

Below are 9 daftly named (from a British Perspective) products.


What happened to the last few days? Clearly I have been busy and writing blog entries has suffered accordingly.

Yep it is work, work, work here atm. I am filling in for someone who is away sunning themselves and as well as picking up their rubbish I am handling my own!

Beyond that Serena and I had our first Antenatal Education session yesterday. We learned about Labour, Delivery and most importantly Pain Control. Pethidine sounds nasty and pointless to me! Knowing Serena I am going to need my swimming trunks!

Beyond that we have a trip to Watford planned for Saturday morning. Serena is desperate to go to Costco to look at what bargains they have on offer and we will also look in on the Mamma's and Papa's superstore at the same time.

One disturbing fact that I discovered yesterday is that Ikea is open 10 am until Midnight Monday to Friday! If only I had managed to not tell this to Serena! Now "popping to Ikea after work" is a definitely doable thing. I foresee some late night shopping trips.

Anyway I will try and blog a bit more as this week progresses!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Dumb Luck

OK, so I twist my ankle.
I get back to my desk and the ankle starts to swell.
I decide to take painkillers and to head home to put it on ice asap.
I get to Shepherd's Bush to find myself surrounded by police.
I end up having to walk home for an hour on my ankle.
I am not happy!


Of all the computer game to film conversions, this one caught me by surprise!


I just twisted my ankle whilst out at lunch.

I am hopping around like a berk!

Java Games

I always enjoyed playing the games on my old mobile phones when I was waiting for Serena or stuck on the train. The various Snake clones were my favourites as well as the rare word / logic puzzle.

With my upgrade to a Sony K700i a year or so ago, I became lost, since it purely had Java based games on it, such as Darts, Tennis and a River Rapids game, all of which required finesse and skill on a tiny cramped number pad or mini-joystick.

Given that I have fat fingers at the best of times, these games are impossible.

Anyway I have been looking for a phone to upgrade Serena's old T68i to (will probably go for the Sony K750i) when they come back into stock and noticed a link to available Java games.

As I was browsing I found loads of old arcade favourites like Bomberman (good fun, but again I don’t stand a chance with fat fingers) and found one of the golden greats… WORMS!

I decided to stump up £3 for Worms Forts (the later version of the game) and I am finally content with my little phone again! I do get some funny looks from people on the tube, but that has probably nothing to do with me playing games on my phone!


Following on from Gareth's recent post about Phishing I thought I would add my own 2p worth.

Whilst I do get the Bank account ones, most of these get filtered out by my Anti-Spam software. The ones that get through and that I think are incredibly hard to tell apart from real ones are EBay and PayPal security alert emails.

I got one this morning from "" titled "Additional Security Requirements" which pointed to a very normal looking fake EBay sign in page "".

As with all EBay and PayPal phishing attempts I forward the emails to and which I see as my public duty as a good citizen of the internet community.

This site was so well done that it passed more than a casual inspection and if I hadn't checked the security page on the real EBay sight which lists all genuine EBay http addresses, then I wouldn't have been able to tell this was a fake.

Be careful out there!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Beam Me Up

Goodbye Scottie.

Your engine couldny take it anymore.

Go boldy wherever you have gone.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

To Blog or not to Blog?

I started Blogging for 2 reasons.
  1. Because Gareth had been pestering me for months.
  2. Because I hoped that my friends would congregate and chat there, so I would no longer be cluttering up my or their inboxes with "chat".

It's not worked. James and I chat a bit as do Gareth and I, but beyond that not one of my other friends seems to be bothered to read this blog (or comment on it).

I think I am going to return to mass emails which at least spark some chat to break up the day.

I'll keep the blog going, but it hasn't taken off like I would have hoped.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Who invented the toiler roll dispensers with the flap over the top? You know the ones… they are supposed to allow you to tear off the toilet roll more easily, but in the end the design just means they dispense the sheets one at a time.

Sorry about that – normal service will be resumed shortly!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Out of the Office

Interesting Out of the Office email messages:

  1. I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Be prepared for my mood.
  2. You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn't have received anything at all.
  3. I will be unable to delete all the unread, worthless emails you send me until I return from holiday on 4 April. Please be patient and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.
  4. Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged £5.99 for the first ten words and £1.99 for each additional word in your message.
  5. The e-mail server is unable to verify your server connection and is unable to deliver this message. Please restart your computer and try sending again. (The beauty of this is that when you return, you can see how many in‑duh‑viduals did this over and over).
  6. Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing system. You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.
  7. I've run away to join a different circus.
  8. I will be out of the office for the next 2 weeks for medical reasons. When I return, please refer to me as 'Margaret' instead of 'Steve'.

Fantasy Workplace

I've been having a weird conversation with Natalie this morning – what is your Fantasy Workplace? After we got the smut and innuendo out of the way I came up with the following:

  • 5 minute commute by private air conditioned shuttle.
  • Waitresses serving beverages of your choice all day.
  • Views over Sydney Harbour.
  • Top Flight restaurant serving Gorgeous Food that has no calories.
  • High Performance PCs that work!
  • Breakout rooms for online gaming that are compulsory for at least two 30 minute sessions per day, however two 1 hour sessions are preferred!
  • Oh and lest we forget, a Gym and Spa that is not overcrowded or sweaty and has a masseuse on staff 24/7.

Natalie, of course, wanted to add stabling for her horse India, a Parelli play area (horsey thing) and a shopping centre!

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Since Jim has linked to this blog from his own Caffeine fuelled musings, I thought I would say a quick "Hi" to all the Hull-ites who are straying my way.

Jim and I have history! Lots of it in fact! I even chose him to be my best man at my wedding to Serena back in 1998.

I'll have a dig around and see what embarrassing photos of him I can find! In fact I won’t, since I don't want him to reciprocate!

Anyway, it is coming up to 30 years since I first met Jim, which is impressive if you know how old we both are!

If any of you have any questions about Jim, please post a comment and I will blog a response.

Happy surfing!

PS Konichiwa to my one Japanese reader!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


I have been doing a bit of Geneology on my unusual sirname and found this:

Not exactly rampant lions or flaming swords, but it is a step in the right direction!


Well it is Hot, Hot, Hot down here in Old London Town.

Looks like it is pretty hot in Leeds too!

I am looking forward to a slight break in the heat again, as it is bloomin' hard to sleep at night. The thunder storms don't actually help, unless they are very heavy. They just wrench the humidity even higher and do nothing to douse the temperatures. Looks like a northerly wind on Saturday should clear some of the smog!

DAMN! I am being very British and talking about the weather!

We spent a HUGE wodge of cash last night on a new kitchen, but when it is finished it will be the dream kitchen Serena has always wanted. (Me too actually, but I can't admit that publicly!)

Just imaging a sea of Birch, Stainless Steel and Black Granite!

Recently we have been watching some older movies, things like 28 Days Later (better than I expected), Reign of Fire (hammy but fun) and High Fidelity (an old favourite). Our next cinema trip will be to see Madagascar, and after the slagging that The Fantastic Four has been receiving, I think our trips to the cinema will be drying up!

We'll have to resort to catching up on some other DVDs…

Monday, July 11, 2005

In Business....

My promotion last December, finally qualified me to receive a Business Card.
Well it has taken 8 months, but they have finally arrived!

At last I have something to drop in those restaurant jars offering free meals! ;)

Friday, July 08, 2005


Yesterday was very strange.
Initial reports were so muddled that it was hard to get worried, but pictures of the bus were very scary.
Once it became clear what the scale of the attacks were, people were only really concerned with making sure their nearest and dearest were OK.
We were encouraged to leave after lunch and whilst convoluted, my journey home only took about 40 minutes more than "normal".
Following police advice I am working from home today, but I will be back on the Tube on Monday.

As an aside I would like to apologise to the Middle-Eastern gentleman sat opposite me on the train yesterday afternoon. I must have looked at him suspiciously and feel annoyed with myself that I did so. Paranoia is going to be a lasting legacy of yesterday's events and I am determined not to succumb to it.

Anyway, thanks to Lawrence for sending me this link to "Revenge of the Block".

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Looks like I maligned Chiswick Honda! Only 1 minor problem that cost me another £10 to fix.
Anyway, I am well please that London won the 2012 Olympics hosting rights.
Recently I have been rather displeased with Jacques Chirac and his cronies, so I am please we got one over on him.
Also anything that improves transport links in London is a bonus, plus there is a chance that property prices will over-inflate in the run-up, just in time for us selling up and moving to Sydney!!!!

Cars, Caffeine and Painting

Hmmm, so I have taken my old Honda in for a service… I'm willing to take bets on the final cost, but I reckon their basic offer of £190 is likely to be at least £60 short! Still, the car doesn’t owe me anything, having 103,000 miles on the clock and generally passing its MOT without difficulty down the years.

I made a cup of tea this morning and used the dregs of the milk… Of course it had turned and so I had to chuck the cuppa away. Decided to give up on that as a bad idea and headed out without caffeine. I got into work OK, but absolutely parched and decided to have a Peppermint Tea rather than my usual Cappuccino. No sooner had I finished it than I was dying for another drink! Decided to go with a Decaf Cappuccino! Can't particularly see why I chose to go Decaf, but it looks like I am decaffeinating myself again!

Anyway, the decorating went well yesterday, with all the woodwork being finished and the ceiling getting painted. (I missed a bit, but it was impossible to tell last night. I'll patch up tonight.)

With luck I will get the walls finished tonight and then the room will be done (touch wood), apart from Carpets.

Also appears that Maggie and Peter aren't coming any more, as Maggie has been called up for Jury Duty.

Ho Hum.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Pikey Test

Just found this on Gareth's blog.

10/40 for me.

I'm Impressed

I spotted this article and have to say I was impressed.

War of the Worlds

Completely forgot to say that Rena and I went to see WotW on Friday night.

The special effects are pretty amazing and this is definitely an action romp.

It won't win any acting or screenplay awards though, nor will it score high on originality!

This is definitely not a 12A certificate film. I would leap straight to 18, although Rena reckons it could get away with a 15. Since it hasn't got any graphical sex scenes and most of the violence is just off camera she is probably right, however the level of implied and shown violence would disturb every 12 year old I know.

There are moments in this film which made me jump and that I found tenser than Jaws, so I reckon that SS has got his pacing and action pretty well spot on.
Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning are excellent. Tim Robbins, whilst lampooned elsewhere was OK, if a little too stereotyped to me.

Some people will quibble about the ending, which is pretty close to the book, but does leave you feeling that about 10-15 minutes of story was left out somewhere...

Definitely the tensest film I have seen this year and well worth seeing on a huge screen with DTS.



A piece of VB code I wrote in 2001 finally stopped working on 1st July 2005 when the "impossible" limits I setup were finally broken by four years of over use and abuse.

Looking back over the code (as a favour to the current "owner") I am suprised how elegant it is. I clearly wrote it on a good day!
It took me about 1/2 and hour to switch a bit of code around to future proof it for another 4 years!
Hopefully I will have cleared off by then and some other poor mug can fix it!

It is scary that think that such a simple piece of Management Information is still not being produced by our core systems. Maybe I wrote the code too well and they never bothered replacing it?

Maybe they will miss me when I have gone?

"Hoff", Coffee and Decorating

I have just been sent a slideshow of 74 "Hoff" pictures…. All I need to do now is work out how to torture you all with it!

I'm a little weary this morning, and currently have a faint aroma of coffee (thanks to Sarah's exploding coffee trick). Still the decorating is progressing – I successfully replaced the knackered piece of skirting board, the woodwork has had its first coat of white and I have reskimmed the plastering on the dodgy bits of wall.

Tonight will see the delights of painting the beautifully artex'd ceiling (the stupidest idea in wall and ceiling coverings of all time), whilst Serena applies the second coat to the woodwork. Then it's onto "Melt"ing the walls!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Almost "LEET"

Just got Legal to sign-off a document.
The gave me reference number 1338.
I was gutted!


What is it about Mondays? They seem to be both busy and expensive! (108k mile service on my Honda = £190!)

Well the weekend was fairly peaceful. Rena and I had a nice meal at Bertorelli's in Covent Garden and then a nice night out at the Opera.

Sunday was spent doing all the preparation work needed before starting decorating the guest bedroom. With luck we should have it finished by next week and can go out and buy some carpet, getting that fitted asap, so it is all ready for Maggie and Peter's visit the following weekend!

Anyway I am too busy to write too much more right now, so I will get back to you all later!

Friday, July 01, 2005


Apparently I am more productive than I thought....

My PC is archiving a smidge over 2000 emails that I have sent since 1 Oct 2004.

Given that I don't keep my "non-work" emails, that means I have averaged 13 work emails per business day. Approx one every 1/2 an hour! I'm amazed I find the time to do anything else!

Dumb Luck

A work colleague just offered me two tickets to Live 8!


Musical Extravaganza

So tomorrow is Sat 2nd July, which will go down in history for a certain muscial event.

Yet, despite Bob's best efforts to take over London, I am taking Serena to the Opera in Covent Garden, preceded by a quick jaunt to Bertorelli's for dinner.
Not the cheapest night out to be had in London, but probably Serena and my last for quite some time.

From Sunday onwards we start being frugal and sensible, in preparation for the little one's arrival in late September and the building work (which will hopefully start in about 5 weeks time).

Thursday, June 30, 2005


Over the past few years I have played numerous online games.
People use these games to create some wonderful "videos", and I may revisit some of my favourites in this blog.

In the meantime here is a new one that I loved courtesy of Bionic and World of Warcaft.

PS Don't forget about the Pandas????

Celebrity Spotting

Oooh! Scarlett Johansson and Woody Allen are filming this just round the corner from my office!

Almost as much fun as bumping into Keanu in Sydney during Matrix Reloaded filming!


OK, so I finally decided to blog.
No idea what I will put on these pages - I will leave it to grow organically.

Since I mainly expect my friends to read this, please don't hesitate to complain if I write something you don't like. I don't want to offend anyone with my digital diarrhoea so drop me a line and I will edit out things you don't like.

Also feel free to comment on my Blogs... However I maintain the right to censor anything I find offensive, and I will not let this Blog become a place for flaming... You have been warned!

Enjoy my ramblings.

PS... LOL - Bloomin' spellchecker hasn't got the word "blog" in it!