Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Midweek Happy

This week started badly for me. A lot of things seemed to be going wrong for me on Monday, I was just glad to be able to get into bed and rest. Tuesday came and I knew I had a list of stuff to do to put right what had happened the previous day. This included taking a new headset back to a shop, it wasn't working on 3 different computers I tried it on and when I was given the choice of trying another or my money back I took the money. At least my old headset works and I'd rather that than a new one that doesn't. My daughter is having a bit of a rough time at school and I had to go and see the teacher about it. I had a lot of stuff to sort out for work but got all of it done. I did some more work for my forthcoming podshow and I'm pretty nearly all set for the new series starting on Monday. Today was fine, I allowed extra time for travelling past some roadworks on my journey but infact I turned up early for my appointment so I went for some breakfast. I was glad I did because it was way past lunchtime before I ate again. I did make myself a tasty sandwich though: ham, tomato, mayo, salad and sweet onion sauce on white bread but its somehow white wholemeal bread - I don't know how they achieve that but it tastes good. So the final bit of today was attending a private viewing of my sister inlaw's art. Some really cool abstract paintings, I like abstract art because there are so many levels to it. I like depth.
I'm also quite pleased it is midweek and that the weekend is coming up. I've also got to book some holiday time before the end of March to use my allocation of days up, I can't carry any unused days over unfortunately - which means I can't store them up. I hope you all are having a good day today too.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Meet Wilbert

My son had first choice and therefore the name of our first goldfish is to be Wilbert. Next weekend we'll get him a partner, they wouldn't sell us two at the same time - I hope Wilbert doesn't get territorial about his fishtank. He seems happy enough on his own but he could use some company.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Remembered Post

This morning I had a good idea for a blog post and I didn't write it down. Now I'm left with a blank space and I just don't know how to fill it.

I just remembered what it was about!

I was pondering that insects and humans don't get on. We squash them or step on them or have zapper lights on walls or sticky papers. What if, one day a giant super insect came into being. Imagine something the size of a car that could multiply extremely fast. Imagine legs as hard as steel rods. Human society and insect society are totally different things. Imagine how hostile it would be to live in insect society. They would be like robots (The Terminator), killing without mercy. I remember as a child being terrified by a black and white science fiction film (it was probably called The Incredible Shrinking Man but I probably never knew the title). In it a man reduces in size every day until eventually his human friends lose him and he has to fend for himself. He has to fight a spider with a pin that, to him, is the size of a lance. It's horrible. Probably the reason I don't like looking at spiders or insects too closely even now. I once wrote a poem about the insect world (that I can't find tonight). If I ever do come across it I'll post it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Post Pancake Day

Yesterday was Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday. We made some panckes and I also picked up a couple of offer packs of frozen ready-made pancakes. The ready made ones were smaller and not as tasty, not surprising I guess. However, we had the for breakfast today and they were nice and quick and easy. We don't tend to have pancakes for breakfast but I know this is more commonly eaten by some people in the US. We didn't have any Maple Syrup and that is my favourite pancake topping, we made do with squeezing orange juice over them and sprinkling brown sugar.

Yesterday was also very important for us because we received the official letter telling us which school our son was going to start attending from September. To out greatest relief, he got the same school as our daughter. It would have been really really hard for us if he hadn't got in. So I'm heaving a massive sigh of relief!

Monday, February 19, 2007

A new week begins

A new week and I'm posting this from an older PC I have up in the bedroom. Boy is the screen bright, or maybe its just that I'm tired, I can't tell. At the weekend my wife bought a fish tank, so next weekend we'll be buying a Goldfish - poor thing, I hope it lives. We haven't had any pets while the kids have been young and I'm a bit disappointed in that because pets are great but where we live there is no room for a dog and I'd be frightened that a cat would be killed because the cars drive down the road so fast. So, out of the range of available pets my wife chose a fish. I guess she thought it would be relaxing to watch the fish after a stressful day at work and I suppose she might be right. It was just a bit sudden, her coming through the door with a big box like that. She bought me a game called Mancala too, its a wooden board and has glass beads you move from hole to hole. It's good fun, I played it with my daughter. I think several games probably go by the name of Mancala, so I'm not sure which variation we play - I got the rules off the Internet because the rules that came with it were just impossible to understand - there were no pictures and whoever wrote them, well, English was obviously not their first language.

It's been a weird time with the media at the moment, all I seem to notice is news about Anna Nicole Smith or Britney Spears or Robbie Williams. It's all about rehab, going nuts and dying young. What is wrong with everyone these days? It seems like you can't be famous unless your infamous. Sod dying young, its not worth it to put poison into your body. I'm not a practising Christian really but I think religion could definitely play a big role in the lives of people who have enough money that they will never need for anything else the rest of their lives. If I made millions I'd want to put my money to good use, rather than squandering it on drugs or whatever. Maybe I'm being unrealistic, afterall I have no idea what life is like when you can't go anywhere without being recognised. Maybe a Fame City is needed: where just famous people live. There would be no photographers or press and everyone would be treated equally, money wouldn't buy you any dream tickets. Huh! Never gonna happen is it?

Friday, February 16, 2007


It's been a disjointed, unnatural week. The biggest problem with the week has been the lack of Internet access since Tuesday afternoon until this morning. It's been very frustrating not to be able to see what the world is getting up to and not having access to my favourites. I've had some days off with the kids this week too, so I've not had a good chance to sit down and get work done apart from Monday which was business as usual. The problem with the Internet wasn't of my doing either, so its not like I could have done anything about it. I am seriously considering changing ISP now because its happened three times in the last twelve months. My wife and I need Internet for work as well as for home, so its not acceptable to be without it for two and a half days.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monday Monday

I had quite a good weekend. I did miss my wife and daughter who went to Disneyland Paris for the day on Saturday: pity the weather was wet and miserable. I spent the day on Saturday with my son and we had a great time together shopping, playing, eating, watching TV and reading stories. Saturday night I was in online multiplayer mode on the Playstation 2, had good fun but got shot up many more times than I needed to. My wife and daughter were back really early on Sunday and it was a relaxed day. I went out to see some friends on Sunday night, which was great. Then today I realised I should try and take some leave because my daughter is off school. Luckily, my boss was OK about it and I got Tuesday and Thursday off, so tomorrow it will be great to be off from work. The other piece of news is that I bought a personal DVD player on Friday. It was going to be for my wife to take on the trip to Paris but she didn't take it in the end. This may strike you as odd but my wife and I don't always watch the same stuff, but now I can be close to her in the same room AND watch what I want to, instead of having to sit in another room.
At the weekend I also sorted out the accomodation for our summer holiday, a nice apartment near the beach in Bounemouth where we went at the end of last summer. It's nice to have something to look forward to and this time we're away for seven nights instead of three.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Weekend Ahoy!

It's a Boys Weekend coming up as the women in my household are spending most of the weekend travelling to Disneyland Paris and back. I hope they have a great time while they're there and especially that the snow stays away. It's freezing snow tonight so tomorrow is not going to be good driving first thing.

Not too much to say in this post, it's been a tiring week at work and I haven't slept all that well this week - I think its the cold.

I'm working my way slowly through the first series of Star Trek on DVD. Admitting you are a Star Trek fan is a little risky because some people take it really seriously - doing degrees in Klingon and dressing and living like intergalactic tribes. It's the best series for me and I love the young William Shatner in it as Captain Kirk. It's the series I saw as a kid and I remember being fascinated and scared at the same time while watching it. So many of the gadgets I saw as a kid in Star Trek have actually come true in todays world of technology. Bluetooth earpieces, communicators (3G phones) and the like. There is a sort of camp quality to the stories as well. I love the sets and costumes. And the women were really awesome - not skinny models but women with curves and an attractive shape. What's your favourite version of Star Trek and why?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Weather thoughts

I just noticed the temperature for London at the moment is -6C and given that I live in a rural area some distance outside of London I bet its colder than that. No wonder its so cold in our bathroom this morning. I wonder whether we'll have some snow later?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Everyday Object Photos

I visited my mum's today. Here are a few shots I took of everyday items, including a food label. Tara's blog entry asked for everyday food labels, my mum gave me this bottle of mulled wine as a leftover from Christmas. I'm not sure I could drink a bottle of mulled wine, it's a bit spicy for me.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Online Gaming

I did something this week I've never tried before. I hooked my Playstation 2 up to the internet to try out the world of online gaming. The games are good fun but you join games with people of all different levels and the main problem is that if you don't know the game environment well and all the moves and combos (who has the time?) then you can get turned into toast pretty easily. I tried out the free game military game Hardware and its good shoot 'em up fun, just driving around shooting other players but after a while it is a bit repetitive and there is no story to play out. But that's OK, it was easy to join a game and worked well and the environments and vehicles are pretty cool, which made up for the repetitiveness of the action. I was doing well to turn 5 other vehicles into toast but some players were getting scores into the 20s - probably mostly off charring my vehicle. The other game I tried out was SOCOM a game about Navy SEALS where you play either with a team of SEALS or a team of terrorists. I was a terrorist in the game and I played about 7 games and didn't manage to kill another player. I seemed to be quite good at getting shot up though. I have other games with online modes, I'll check those out over the coming weeks.
I also wore my USB headset naively. It's a bit strange and there isn't really anything to say - I heard a variety of questions that went mostly unanswered, I certainly didn't answer. Any talk was minimal, it was mostly "Nooooo" as someone was blown up. There were a few "Good game" comments and stuff. I heard some swearing and in one game a guy and a girl were chatting constantly in an accent I didn't understand or recognise but they spoke as if they weren't playing the game at all. I don't think they were talking about game, odd really that they would be choose to be chatting in a public game rather than somewhere else more private. I don't think I'll bother wearing my headset again.

A lot of the new game consoles like XBox360, Wii and soon the Playstation 3 seem to emphasize the online side of gameplay. I'm glad I tried it out but I wouldn't say I'm addicted to games online, I just don't play enough to get that good. If I could play games with other newbies it would be better but I think the stigma of any match called "For Newbies" is off-putting, that's why nobody was joining those games.

Computer Nerd

A friend of ours wanted me to look at her computer one evening this week, I get asked now and again by various friends. It was running slow, same problem that my mother in-law had but for a different reason. She had two different security programs running and they were working against each other. She has a teenage boy who likes to play games and do his music on the PC, so it was mainly to help him. He gave me a list of stuff that needed doing but I didn't have much time to do it all, so I removed the security program that they didn't want but couldn't remove themselves - it was a bit complicated but I got it sorted. But then as I rebooted, it wouldn't recognise any internet connection so I left her feeling bad about that even though she tried to reassure me it happens regularly. I refused any payment, as I would for any friend I can help. When I got home, I got a text saying that the internet was OK again and that her son was well impressed with me. Apparently it's much faster now, so I was pleased in the end. So I think the other playground mummies think I'm a computer nerd. My son was even called that by one of his nursery teachers because he likes his computer games so much.