Saturday, November 19, 2005
Random Joys of Life: Watching a full moon rising in the twilight.... brilliant TV (West Wing, Bodies, Broken News) the English winning weekend (cricket, footie and both ruby codes)....
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Random Joys of Life: It's another bank holiday weekend..... England making Australia follow-on in the Ashes... seeing a fantastic rainbow outside.....
Saturday, August 06, 2005
1. Buy the biggest and best latest digital camera with as many buttons as you can find. That surely will help you take better photos won't it?
2. Replace the aforementioned camera with the latest biggest and best digital camera with even more buttons the following month because by then it will surely be out of date. More buttons = better photos?
3. Try to sell your camera from step 1 at half it's original price to go towards the new camera which is already cheaper than the one you intend to replace it with. The more you spend, the better photographer you are. Right?
4. Realise you'll never sell the camera from step 1 unless you half its price again.
5. Have some really original ideas such as photographing your feet or clouds. No ones ever thought of that before have they? (I'm guilty ;-)
6. Never use a tripod for landscapes or real close up stuff. After all, a real photographer can handhold for 2 or 3 seconds easily can't they.
7. Explain to everyone that blur is in fact an artistic statement.
8. Have another original idea and take a photo of a flower. Remembering not to use a tripod, especially if it's a macro shot.
9. Only ever use the built in flash on your camera. After all, it's perfectly placed right over the lens and is powerful enough to reach the moon isn't it?
10. Go back to step 1
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Sunday, July 31, 2005
Kitchen sex: you're together and you do it in every room in the house.
Bed sex: you're getting in rut, so you only do it in bed.
Hallway sex: when you pass in the hallway, you tell each other to **** off.
Court sex: you go to court to get screwed by your wife.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Random Joys of Life: Getting home just as it starts to pour down.... my typing getting better.... watching Open All Hours on DVD..... my first pictures getting accepted by Shutterstock.....
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Friday, July 22, 2005
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
As my memory seems to be having to be constently defragged by Maxmem, I thought it would be a good idea to add some. No problem, I thought, so I popped open the case and took out the stick I have in there to make sure I got compatable additions. Rebooted after putting it back in and...... nothing. No boot screen, no bios, just a lot of whirring of drives and clicking. Tried again, and again, and again. Nothing. Mild panic starts to rise up as I reopen the case and check the memory. That's ok. Try again. Still nothing. Ok, the panic is picking up now as I try various things like unplugging everything, taking the memory out, plugging things back in, but to no avail. So it's trip round my mate, who has a quick look at the motherboard and points to a part that has melted. (The pic here isn't my board, even I would have spotted it if it was....) Fortunately he had a spare board, as he regularly builds systems for other people, which meant I didn't have to wait to get a replacement. So I've been cautiously putting things back together until now things are back to normal. (And I've sent off for the extra memory) But it's reinforced to me the necessity of backing up important stuff, as you never know what's going to happen.....
Monday, July 04, 2005
This week marks the middle of the period between VE and VJ day. The British Legion has organised a series of events, culminating in the Nation's Biggest Thank You on July 1oth. For more info on what's happening where, check out the Thank You site.
On the same site as the frog shoot (see item below) are many more free online games, some classics such as Pong (left), the fiendish Asteriod Lander and PacMan, others modern flash games like Yetisports OrcaSlap (I kid you not). It's part of a site called student free stuff, which, as you would expect, has lots of links to free stuff, and not just for students. Well worth a look....
The frog with the blown pupil has annoyed a lot of people, but not for the reason you might think. Thanks to the saturation coverge on ITV, with the Axel F tune appearing two or three times in each ad break, many people downloaded it from Jamster and their telephone provider MBlox to their mobile phones. Unfortunately, they got more than they bargined for, as their phones were bombared with texts offering more ringtones. Annoying enough, but then people found that they were also paying for the privilege at £3 per text! Instead of a one-off download, they had unwittingly entered into a subcription service, with Jamster sending premium rate reverse charge texts. Some people have manged to get refunds, but it takes a certain amount of investigation and badgering to do so. If you've been affected by this, contact Icstis to complain. If you want to vent your frustration, go here (My best is 40).
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Well, Wimbledon's over for another year. Britain's brief obession with Tennis has flourished and faded, much like the weather. The strawberries have been eaten, the champagne quaffed, and the home countries' hopes raised and dashed by "tiger" Tim Henman (left). This year has been especially tough for Tim: not only didn't he make the second week, but it seems his supporters are about to desert him and hitch their wagon to a new star: Andy Murray. The youngster will be first to tell people he has a long way to go before he can begin to challenge for titles, but already the media has him pegged as the New British Hope, with headlines like Henman Zero, Murray Hero. Henman Hill has been renamed Murray Mound, or Murray Field, in keeping with the hopeful's nationality (Murrayfield being the home of Scottish rugby). I hope Andy Roddick, beaten by Roger Federer to make it three titles in a row for the Swiss, can get a refund on that second airplane seat he's booked with his American Express card....
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Whatever your opinion of the movtivation behind it and whether it will make a difference, Live8 seems to be a great success.... Thanks to BBCi I'm flicking between all the concerts.... at the moment I'm having to decide between Madge in London and The Pet Shop Boys in Moscow - tough choice but I'm sticking with the Material Girl for now..... highlights for me so far have been Annie Lennox, Razorlight, Keane and Brian Wilson, but there's much more to come....
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Random Joys of Life: The solitude of being the only person on the beach as the sun goes down... realising that there are still parts of this green and pleasant land that are still green and pleasant (but won't be if two jags has his way).....
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Blogging tip: If you want to put multiple pics in a blog post....
Hello will allow you to do it.....
and it's easy to do... after the first caption, stick two of these (shift plus the \ key) on the end and publish. The picture will then be queued rather than uploaded. Repeat the process until you have all the pictures you want, then press publish and all the photos will upload at once. Bostin! I've used these photos to demostrate as the Summer Solstice will be soon upon us here. Where has the year gone.... only seems five minutes ago since I was unwrapping me Christmas prezzies!
Posted by Hello
Want to know what it means to be British? Then the government has the thing for you in the shape of a 120-page A4 book intended for prospective British citizens. Entitled Life in the United Kingdom - A Journey to Citizenship, it is described as "a compendium of information about living in Britain". If you want a taster of what's in the book before splashing out £9.99, take the test here. Some of the answers may surprise you.... Although according to these articles, we may not need to leave home to travel.... (if the title of this post has you baffled, watch the dinner party at the end of Carry On Up The Khyber....)
Posted by Hello
Friday, June 17, 2005
Scary stuff on the Money Programme tonight. It dealt with hi-tech crime and the various ways computers and the net are being used steal our identities, empty our bank accounts and hold business to ransom. Phishing is as hated and dreaded a word as spam nowadays. But while spam is a nuisance, phishing is far more serious. Emails proporting to be from a bank or other institution ask you to follow a link to a website to verify your details. Those details include things like expiry dates and PIN numbers. These things a bank would never ask for. The Mailfrontier site has a test. Try it and see if you can spot the real emails from the Phishes. Then head over to here to see some more examples. A more insidious method of obtaining details is keylogging. An attachment in a spam message, (usually saying you've won something or involving celebrity nudity it seems) if opened, releases a virus that sits in your computer recording every key pressed. This information is relayed to the hacker without the victim even knowing, who extracts the information he wants. When the hacker has infected a number of computers, which can run into thousands, he has created what's called a bot net. He can then use this army of slave pcs to bombard a website with so many requests - again without the hosts knowledge - that the site slows or crashes. The site is then effectively held to ransom, which is what happened to Blue Square, the company highlighted in the programme. They called in the Hi-Tech police unit, who traced the hijackers to Russia, showing that this is a global problem. Its not all doom and gloom though, and with care these attacks can be avoided. Things to do are:
Never open attachments from people you don't know. Delete them. Even attachments from friends should be virus checked first, as they may not know that the attachment is infected.
Check carefully any emails asking for personal or financial details. View the examples of phishing emails and learn what to look for.
Get protection. There are many good Anti-Virus and Firewall progammes out there, free, shareware and commercial. An anti-spyware prog is an essential nowadays as well. Tap in the terms into a search engine and should find ones to suit you.
When filling in forms, use the drop down menus as much as possible, as these use the mouse and the information is not recorded by keyloggers.
Above all be alert. We need all the lerts we can get.....I know, I know, but I couldn't think of another way to end this post....
Posted by Hello
Thursday, June 16, 2005
If there's only one link you click on this site, make it this one, especially if you live in the UK. You may have seen Martin Lewis on Tonight With Trevor McDonald or heard him on the Jeremy Vine Show. If not, go to his website and I'm pretty sure you'll find something that will save you money. He has hundreds of thousands of regular readers and subscribers to his email newsletter, all on the lookout for a bargain or a way cut the household expenses, and who wnat to share those findings with everyone else. Financial apathy is what keeps the fat cats fat. Help them to go on a diet. And if you're tempted by those ads by BT and others that people are returning to them in droves because their rivals are all rubbish read here. It'll give you something to think about on that topic and a range of others....
Posted by Hello
In the "you couldn't make it up" column: While those who want to learn are being soundly stung for the privilege, whose who don't are being "bribed" with cash and ipods in an effort to get them back into education. Laudable though it may be, it does seem to send out a confusing message: show willing and you have to pay, be reticient and you end up better off. Also, in a world where communication has never been more important and varid, it seems more and more children are growing up not meeting their proper potential in reading and writing, leading to a call for a review in teaching methods. Is it me? The most I got at school was a gold star, and I didn't know anyone in any of my classes who couldn't read or write to a respectable standard. Fortunately I was taught before those who thought they knew better began tinkering with the system. Then tinkered some more. And some more. And some more, until now teachers and children are seemingly driven by whatever league table or statistical survey is approaching, and choice is an illusion.
Posted by Hello
Monday, June 13, 2005
Sunday, June 12, 2005
For as long as I can remember I've been met with looks of disbelief and a "How many?!" when I tell people I have four sugars in my tea. So I guess by the terms of SugarShock.com I'm an addict. I also seem to have all the symptoms they describe, but then I seem to have all the symptoms of most aliment sites I visit. I've switched to Half Spoon to help cut down, but I'll be studying the SugarShock site to see if there's anything else I can do to reduce my sugar cravings...
Posted by Hello
These pics are just a fraction of the many that can be found at SillyEnglish..... They have loads of video clips too -- try this one for starters.... If you do visit the rest of the site be careful as it contains nudity and stuff that some could find offensive -- if you're blonde, for instance.....
Posted by Hello
Friday, June 10, 2005
I waited for all the hoopla to die down before I saw it, but it was worth it. Of all the prequels, this one felt the most like the original movies. Of course, this probably because it has many more references to the earlier -- or do I mean later -- episodes. After episodes one and two I was willing this one to be good, and though it has its faults, I wasn't disappointed. Anakin's slide into the dark side is well done, showing the reasons for his turning. The fights and battle scenes are up to the standards we expect now, and everthing is set up neatly for A New Hope. As in all his performances, Ian McDiarmid acts everyone off the scene as Palaptine, and gets all the best lines.... when he says "rise" to the new Lord Vader I got goosebumps, just as I got a lump in my throat when Owen and Beru Lars hold Luke upto the twin Tattooine suns, echoing the iconic scene in A New Hope. My only real gripe is we didn't see enough of the Chewie and the rest of the Wookies! (Does Chewie ever tell Luke he's met Yoda? Just a thought....) All in all the film works as bridge between the two sets of films and as a piece in its own right, and I'll be off to see it again in a couple of days. Hopefully I'll spot some more of these, and not notice any of these (I only noticed the marching feet out of sync -- the people on this site are really eagle eyed -- or just seen many, many times.....) Away from the Sith, I do have grumble with Mr Lucas. In a recent interview about the release of an "enhanced" THX1138, he said that any previous versions of that movie and the first three Star Wars would not be released again. I'm disappointed by this, as I don't like having my memories tinkered with. They struck the right balance with the recent releases of the Alien series, having both original and extended versions on the same disc. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way, either.....
Posted by Hello
Random joys of Life: Sticking your hands in a warm tea cosy on a cold morning..... getting an unexpected reward at work..... Hugh Laurie in House, almost as much of a hero as Dr Cox from Scrubs......
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Monday, May 30, 2005
Random joys of life: taking in the breathtaking views from Edinburgh Castle on a beautiful, clear, sunny day..... seeing how happy my friend Lorraine was with her new husband.... getting two days off for bank holiday....
Friday, May 13, 2005
The start of my relationship with H2G2 came about by accident. As a firm Radio One listener at the time, I didn't even know where Radio Four was on the dial. We'd bought the Radio Times for the Christmas TV schedule. While flicking through it, I saw a little caption highlighting a show called the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. In my youthful innocence I thought it was about astronomy, and as it was something I was interested in, I retuned the radio... and the rest is history. I taped the remaining programmes, memorized chunks of dialogue, bought the books, watched the admittedly dodgey TV series, and now we have the movie. And..... it's not as bad as I'd feared it would be. It looks good, with an English feel that reminds people of the Python movies. It's a bit of rollercoaster, which is only to be expected, as the movie doesn't have the luxury of time that the other formats do. And that's the movies' biggest failing. Cherished lines are missed, rushed or thrown away, leaving this viewer disappointed. As did Mos Def's performance as Ford Prefect, though his was the only duff performance. But the opening sequence put a broad smile on my face, as did the cameo of the TV Marvin. If they do decide to go the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, I reckon I'll be along for the ride....
Posted by Hello
Random irritations of Life: Reminising on an event/music/TV show and someone telling you they weren't born at the time... bright sunny days and a busted motorbike....
Random Joys of Life: Goosebumps watching the Episode lll trailer.... trying out new widgets from konfabulator.... watching Michael J Fox in Scrubs while I type this....
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
The things we take for granted.... we suddenly had no water coming from our hot water taps. A phone call to the council (our landlords) brought the reply that it would take upto three days for someone to come out and see us. It got me thinking how much hot water we would use - or not now- in those three days. We've already boiled a dozen kettles just doing minimal stuff, and there's only two of us.... and while I was looking for a suitable pic to head this item I came across this site, which made me think even more....
Posted by Hello
Monday, May 09, 2005
Well done to Brum for putting on a fine VE day celebration. The parade of old soldiers with with their flags and medals brought a tear to the eye and the people dressed in 40s gear looked fab. The ration books were a neat idea, though some of the older members of the crowd took it a little too literally as they thrust the books at the poor cadets handing out the freebies shouting "two dairy milk!"
Posted by Hello
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Hitchhikers has taken £4.2 million in its first week in the UK.... as Zaphod would say, Neat. I haven't seen it yet meself, and I'm a bit apprehensive to do so, as I've seen many things from my past "reimaged" or "updated", all for the worst. At least Douglas Adams, the creator, had a hand in the prodution before he died, so that's encouraging... From what I've read so far it's a Marmite Movie, fans either love it or hate it. Guess I'll just have to go and see which camp I end up in....
Posted by Hello
Random Joys of Life: Looking out of the window at field of brilliant yellow rape seed swaying in the breeze.... watching a thrilling Ruby League match (though I prefer Union)..... the first cup of tea in the morning....
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Wednesday nights will be empty without the drama of The Apprentice. Well done to Tim for getting hired, though I was rooting for Saira at the end. It was marketed as a reality show but it was far better than that, and educational as well as entertaining. I can't wait for the next series, just hope they get another good mix of candidates....
Posted by Hello
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Random joys of life: MotoGP is still on the beeb - and the Doctor wins again.... and the other Doctor is getting better.... Suzukis doing well... watching the sheet lightning at 3am this morning turning night into day.... new episodes of Hitchhiker on radio 4, the only medium to do it real justice...
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Random joys of life: Married With Children on ITV3.....an hour of Bundy Bliss every weeknight.......light, warm evenings to come home in.....sending rude emails to friends that open them at embarrassing moments at work....getting paid today......tomorrow being Friday and I'm off until Tuesday.....
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Who should I vote for?
Your expected outcome:Liberal Democrat
Your actual outcome:
|Liberal Democrat 12|
|UK Independence Party 17|
You should vote: UK Independence Party
UKIP's primary focus is on Europe, where the party is strongly against joining both the EU constitution and the Euro. UKIP is also firmly in favour of limiting immigration. The party does not take a clear line on some other policy issues, but supports scrapping university tuition fees; it is strongly against income tax rises and favour reducing fuel duty.
Take the test at Who Should You Vote For
Gee, guess I'm not as Liberal as I thought I was....