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).