Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Latest Windows Automatic Update

"The Windows Genuine Advantage Notification tool notifies you if your copy of Windows is not genuine. If your system is found to be a non-genuine, the tool will help you obtain a licensed copy of Windows."

To me, they're pushing their luck. How is this useful to anyone? If you have a legal copy, you know it. If you have an illegal copy, you know it and would never install this update because it would more than likely disable Windows. A truly pointless update for everyone!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Radio Microphones

It's funny to still see fake radio microphones for recorded backing singers on the television which are just Shure SM58s with an XLR cable snipped to about 5cm. Are the majority of the audience savvy enough to know they aren't real?

The new AKG radio mic system could change that. A small 'dongle' fits into any XLR microphone's base to make it a radio microphone. Much smaller than the frankly hideous Sennheiser brick version, and very light too. You can now have an economical radio microphone system that uses virtually any microphone!

I always remember the Micron TX203 hand-held mics on television from the early 1980s, and through to today (of course the technology and model numbers have changed, but the outer casing looks the same - a long rectangular metal block). I first remember it on The Price is Right with Leslie Crowther, then on virtually any programme that used a hand-held radio mic. I also remember Paul Zenon doing a joke about it looking like a shaver on children's tv.

I've wanted one for over 15 years. Before I knew what they were, I even wrote to the BBC to ask about them. Now I have 3. But I still want a TX503 in black.

Top of the Pops used to use the Sennheiser MD441 radio microphone equivalent, along with much of the BBC like the Lottery show. Then suddenly, one day, I was watching Blue Peter and they were using the new Sennheiser SKM5000. It was unbelievable! It looked quite chunky, with its solid aerial. But they're still the radio mic of choice today on TV stations around the world. Although more recently many are using the Neumann head capsule. TOTP went to using Shure SM58 and SM87Beta radio mics, which, to me, seemed a step backwards but perhaps gave them more versatility and definitely wouldn't have been anywhere near as expensive as the SKMs. I remember a kid's TV show in the late 90s giving away 5 (yes, five!) Sennheiser SKM5000s in a competition - each one signed by a member of the then popular boy band "5ive". I'm sure whoever the lady winner was didn't realised she was getting microphones worth over five-figures!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles

I've recently been fascinated by the BBC's change of name and title sequence of the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles animation back in the late 1980s. I have to admit, at the age of 9 I was swept up in the craze after a family friend babysat for me and bought me the 1st magazine. I then discovered it was on TV, introduced it to my school friends and we all became fans. I couldn't estimate the amount I poured into the arcade game at the amusements!

The BBC thought that the word 'ninja' had to many violent connotations for a children's cartoon, and had the name and title sequence re-done to change the word 'ninja' to 'hero' (and to remove the appearance of nunchakus from not only the title sequence, but also the entire programme with the BBFC's blessing). I support this. Compare these two videos and look out for the absense of Michaelangelo (the orange band wearing turtle) and his nunchakus from the 2nd version. And the lyric changes.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1.99Mb WMV)

Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (2.56Mb WMV)

Now there's a theme tune that's faaaarrrr too enthusiastic to be heard on children's TV today (more's the pity, I say).

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Quizmania vs. The Mint on ITV

I don't understand why The Mint, ITV's cash cow late night quiz call-in programme, is now simultaneously on ITV1, ITV2 and ITV Play - three digital terrestrial channels at once.

Digital TV gives choice? Not on ITV channels it doesn't!

Quizmania is back on ITV1 on Friday, Saturday and Sundays giving away the amounts of cash they used to. I saw it on ITV Play at about 6pm one day and the jackpot was £50. Not worth many 60p phone calls, that one!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Another bogus Nigerian enquiry

Hello sales, i want to make an enquiry from your store/company but firstly i want to know if you ship to nigeria, because, i have a trading store based in nigeria and i will like to ship directly to nigeria and i also want to know if you accept credit cards payment. i awiat your earlier mail. Regards

He'd CC'ed all other companies in my field - nice one. Yahoo webmail address too. You can spot 'em a mile off, although they usually specify express delivery via FedEx or UPS.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Haunted Mansion Re-created

Haunted Mansion

On the link above is a 23 minute film produced by Greg Wright and Anthony Hayes. It's not edited, but this only adds to its charm. Fast forward through the long bits.

New Haunted Mansion Bride

New Haunted Mansion Bride

With an appearing hatchet, and disappearing husbands' heads in portraits, apparently this new effect added to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland on 3rd May has to be seen to be believed! (you can see a short video of it by clicking the link above).

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Clouds (and telephone line). Taken 2 minutes ago.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Maplin FAQs helpful as ever!

UHF Hand-Held Radio Microphone System FAQs:

Q) it comes with one hand held mic?. What part number do you need for additional hand held mics and seperate 'tie clip' mics?. Or does the package provide 15 additional devices that standard mics plug into to make then radio mics? - richard carter

A) Yes

Television's Evolution?

So here's how I see TV:

1980s - colour TV, 4 channels. Memorable programmes whose absense is still lamented.

Early 1990s - colour TV. Analogue satellite. Still good programmes.

Late 1990s - 5 channels. Digital satellite.

2000s - widescreen, surround sound, HD, hundreds of digital channels - NOTHING TO WATCH!

It's a sorry state, and will never improve. Choice isn't always a good thing for the masses.

I was watching some title sequences from programmes in the 80s and 90s, and many of them lasted over a minute. I don't think there's one TV programme today whose credit sequence is longer than even 20 seconds - too frightened that viewers will lose interest and flip over to something else.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The North East's Saga 97.5FM

The new FM licence for North East England has been awarded to Saga 97.5 FM, wholly-owned by Saga Group Ltd. It will provide "easy, melodic, popular music from the past six decades and today, with news, information and lifestyle oriented speech, primarily targeting listeners in the North East region aged 50 and over.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Poetry: The Rain

The rain falls, pit patter, pit patter, pit patter 'pon the pavement.

Tiny water-type droplets merging on impact to become - a puddle.

No longer pit patter, pit patter 'pon the pavement.

Now pud, pud, pud 'pon the puddle party.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Paul Daniels' Blog

Paul Daniels' Blog

An amusing and sometimes thought-provoking read.

His older posts, which is where I found the blog, are here:

Paul Daniels' old blog

Saturday, May 20, 2006

DAB Death

Experts believe the move by Kenwood sounds the death knell for DAB radio unless reliability improves quickly. Users have reported interference and lost signals, problems which deter potential buyers. Kenwood's Mike Edwards said the brand has no plans to reintroduce DAB radio products. Fellow in-car entertainment specialists Clarion and Blaupunkt admit
in-car DAB has been 'slow to catch on'. Further comments on that article can be read at: www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/65920/digital_radios_a_turnoff.html

Friday, May 19, 2006

Eurovision 2006

There's quite a buzz around the United Kingdom entry in this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Athens (it all happens in Southern Europe!).

I hope we win. The big European countries put so much money into the whole thing, we virtually automatically get through to the final anyway, but I'm confused as to why France and Italy are never there. Does anyone know?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

DVLA News

In order to assist other motorists to identify potentially dangerous drivers, it is now compulsory for anyone with a lower than average IQ and driving ability to display a warning sign.

The sign is flag comprising of a red cross on a white background to be attached to the top of at least one door of their vehicle.

For drivers of exceptionally low mental ability, additional flags are required.

Do you think bauble ornaments for British television programmes will catch on like in America?

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

World Cup mascot firm goes bust

World Cup mascot firm goes bust

What a shame. Football doesn't always equal money though. But it is a shame that the stupid game, as I call it, has caused an otherwise thriving toy company to fold.

Apple rival 'tries to ban iPods'

Apple rival 'tries to ban iPods'

Good luck to Creative. I've always liked their products. And if Apple are illegally selling iPods; no-one's too big to be punished.

iPodding

The term 'industry standard' gets banded around far too much. I think I should start a website listing the industry standard equipment for each industry going on votes or something. I keep reading reviews of products claiming to be the industry standard, yet I'm in the industry and know it's not the standard - or that there are several equally popular models.

I'm becoming sick of the general assumption that everyone has iPods. They don't. Personally, I would have said more people have non-Apple MP3 players, which are, according to reliable reviews, better than iPods anyway. And a huge majority more don't have any portable MP3 player at all and just listen to music whilst sitting at their PC doing another task.

I've just been looking at the Army On Everest website - whose aim is unclear - but to watch any videos requires an iPod and iTunes (an evil piece of software that takes over your computer)! They're perhaps incorrectly assuming that future army recruits are techno-savvy artsy-fartsy iPod users.

Apple and Google are two companies whom I think everyone should be wary of - they have reached a status and level of control that is intrinsically bad for freedom and choice.

As Matthew Wright said today, why doesn't Bono give away £100million of his own money, and shut up and go away for a while. I don't remember anyone electing him as some sort of new Pope, and goodness knows what the poor Africans think when this unshaven loon wearing pink sunglasses turns up in their hut with his U2 iPod....but there I go again!

Hope you like the new look to the blog - post comments on what you think about it. It doesn't seem to put posts in little sectioned-off boxes like the old one, but I think it's easier on the eye, and hopefully more people will push down their left mouse button on the commercial messages from the very lucky companies who pay to publicise their wares and services around my Views & Opinions.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Farewell PrimeTime Radio on DAB

I received a great shock this evening when tuning in to PrimeTime Radio on the national Digital One DAB multiplex network. I heard a looped message in 64kbps mono telling me that PrimeTime is no longer broadcasting nationally on DAB and suggesting I re-tune to other stations like Core (!).
It's now only on ntl cable, Sky and London DAB (and online).

Their website has the following statement:

From Monday 15 May PrimeTime Radio will no longer be available nationally, on DAB digital radio. However, I am pleased to say that PrimeTime Radio - MORmusic will continue to broadcast on Sky channel 0132, NTL cable channel 872, DAB digital for Greater London and Northern Ireland, plus on the Internet at www.primetimeradio.org

Owner, Roger De Haan, made strenuous efforts, but was unable to agree terms with the national commercial DAB multiplex operator and has decided to withdraw from digital radio.

PrimeTime Radio is one of the success stories of digital radio and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support.

David Atkey - Programme & Operations Director

PrimeTime won a gold Sony award about a year ago. It was a great station, but the schedule now looks like the original presenters have gone. According to some broadcast forums, their output was voice-tracked from late last year when it was retained by De Haan (who sold Saga but kept PrimeTime). Apparently they used old voice tracking links from old shows, so I've been essentially listening to repeats for quite a while (I did notice Sandy Chalmers got the day wrong once). I've just been listening to the online stream and heard Dave Gillbee say the most generic link I've ever heard him utter in 3 years of listening, not mentioning anything about previous or forthcoming songs, stories about the songs or funny newspaper stories (sounds crap, but it's what he adds to the blend that made it all so listenable). For a number of months, I never turned it off - literally. The radio was on all day and all night whilst I slept (to drown out neighbours).

A great pity that all the presenters now seem to be 'pickled' robot voice tracks. But it is a business, and if times were hard and ad rev was dwindling, something had gotta give. I will miss it, and I'm sure many other loyal listeners will too. I managed to record quite a few minidiscs of output in ultra-long play (5 hours per disc).

Remember the jingles with this montage:
PrimeTime Radio jingles (3.8Mb) by JAM Creative Productions, Dallas.

Why is Pete Doherty given the oxygen of publicity?

Pete Doherty has enraged his bandmates and a television crew by squirting a syringe of his own blood at two cameramen, during an interview with MTV News.The incident came just minutes after Doherty had injected himself with heroin, and left the crew with thousands of pounds worth of equipment to sterilise, as well as worrying over possible infection.

Well, MTV, if you will interview known heroin addicts you have no sympathy from me or my entourage.

Email account pruning

I'm not sure if I've done the right thing, but I've consolidated my 20+ email accounts so that they now all forward to just 4 email addresses. It was starting to take quite a while for OE to go through them all. I'll still be able to see where spam is coming in. Apparently South Americans now make more money from spamming people than they do from drug running.

I do get a lot of spam - mainly to the email address I use to register domain names (around 200 per day). One from today was such a barrage of spelling mistakes I couldn't help but read on!

Hib there lovely,I was searching the net few daays ago. I am new to this thiang.and saw youbr profile. I decided to email you cause I found you attractive. I might come dowan to your city ain few webeks.Let me know if we can meet each other in person.aI am attractive gairl. I am sure you won't regret itb.Reply to my personal email at ww@datetodayy.com

Very odd! I have since changed my Spam Assassin settings to delete all spam (because the renewal notices don't get tagged)

Congratulations to The Sky At Night Magazine's first year of publication. I've only just bought the May edition, with CD ROM, and it's a great read. I'm tempted to subscribe, but fear I know so little that I should read a beginner's book or two first!

I have two 150 watt garden speakers installed in my garden. They're the same ones used at Disney theme parks and Alton Towers - buried in the ground with amazing bass and 360 degree sound dispersal. I have them rigged to a Cambridge Audio amp I bought one summer day with my good friend David C. Evans after a meal at one of Linthorpe's eateries. (As an aside - visit David's blog and tell him to update it. I'm miffed as to why he doesn't have more amusing anecdotes, photos, observations or viewpoints to share with the world - not drivel like mine.)

These speakers can get LOUD. I've just been talking through them to my dog in the garden with my voice-over mic and laughing my head off at his curious reaction. His tail wags like I'm there, but his head is on its side as he tries to figure out where I am coming from. Worth every penny!

Brico Dépôt! Le dépôt qui fait baisser le prix de vos travaux!

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The Bayeux Tapestry's 'company car'. Understated, functional and French. Excellent!

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Mr. Bricolage!

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Ships in the Solent.

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Maybe this is my ultimate home? No neighbours! Maybe I was a sea-farer in a past life. It's a sea fort in the Solent.

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Ahhh, the Barfleur. Birttany Ferries' finest!

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Not a bad pad on Portsmouth's docks!

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Portsmouth really is a naval town.

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Nelson's HMS Victory at Portsmouth.

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Exchange rates

It seems silly that credit card companies' exchange rates lag behind the actual rates so much. I bought something from America last night, and although the official exchange rate is £1 = $1.89, PayPal converted it at $1.83. It's quite significant when it's hundreds.

The FlashMic has arrived! A Sennheiser capsule with 1Gb memory, 48kHz record rate, 6 hours max. All in a hand-held microphone. It's one of those great inventions that makes you wish you'd thought of it (and could actually instigate its design and construction quickly). Although at £821 it's maybe more than a radio mic and some sort of digital recorder (but I suppose you're paying for convenience).

Today's attempts to suspend a square office light fitting meant for gridded ceiling tiled ceilings didn't go too well. I was going to perch it on two lengths of nylon twine going across from one side of the room to the other, but they clearly weren't taught enough, as the fitting was below shoulder height when fully loaded, but did provide some interesting twangy musical noises (before nearly severing my left ear).

Friday, May 12, 2006

Google's 32 year old cookie

Can anyone justify why Google UK's cookies placed on your computer have an expiry date in 2038?

32 years on the same computer without formatting hard drives or replacing the base unit is a very long time.

Don't be evil? There's something inherently evil about that, me thinks.
(Google.com's expire in 2070, in case you were wondering).

Today's Events

Maybe if martians came to earth (I doubt they would invade) perhaps they could show us how to run the planet better.

I sell CDs and DVDs and sometimes books on the Amazon marketplace thingy. I find it most infuriating and moronic when someone buys something and their address is all in lower case - but I suppose this is one of the problems of the internet empowering people to write and display their illiteracy to the world.

Someone called today at 18.40 to ask if I could help with a bank raid. I said I'd do what I can, but would want payment in advance. It's going to happen next week in London.

Of course, they wanted my help in the capacity of special effects consultant, as it's for filming a music video or commercial or something. But in a grade 2 listed building with some historic wooden floor that cannot be damaged. Things are never easy!

Two things made me laugh in the media today. Jack Hannah and David Letterman on The Late Show. Jack runs a zoo and brings out lots of amazing animals - Dave makes fun of how twitchy and nervous Jack is while he tries to spout as many facts as he can remember. Chaos usually ensues - he's on quite often, but you really laugh out loud at the whole thing.
And Allan Lake on Capital Disney earlier in the evening. On top form again - this time, he announced he's having surgery and may be away for quite a while (he has metal plates in his chest). His sidekick, General E, runs a regular quiz that pits two callers against each other. All of the answers to the quiz this evening were death related, to wind up Allan. One of the questions was, 'what is the name of the lever that stops trains if the driver is incapacitated or isn't there for whatever reason?'. Of course, it's a dead man's handle. But the 14 year old regular caller Blain gave the answer "Allan Lake's corpse" which I thought was brilliant. Another regular who makes me laugh is Sam from Greenwich. He's even been on Quizmania with Greg Scott promoting Allan's show.

I also watched a DVD today - The Late Shift, about the Tonight Show when Johnny Carson left and Jay Leno and David Letterman were both wanting the gig. It was an interesting film - almost documentary-like, but didn't really tell me a great deal more than I already knew. But it was good. I also started watching the Spongebob Squarepants Movie that someone bought me when I gave them a computer, but stopped it about half way through - I'm not a great one for sitting still doing just one thing for over an hour.

Did you know, The Disney Channel doesn't play adverts!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Good Evening!

I had a great evening. Because everyone in the area was glued to their televisions watching football, I took my opportunity to test my smoke machines. After filling the loft several times, I filled the shed to do a leak test. I found that there is a large crack along the full length of the front panel at waist height, and upon standing on a fibre glass urn (undergoing theming for the lagoon) could see that smoke was issuing from a 3 inch gash on the tarpaulin roof! That's where the water's been getting in!

Did you know, you can buy sheets of stamps online? I bought 200 x 2nd class stamps from royalmail.com - free next day delivery. Beats standing in a queue for hours!

You have to wonder how far UK radio has moved on when Chris Evans and Danny Baker are winning gold and silver Sony Awards. I still can't understand how a station on the GWR network with centralised playlists and formatics can win a gold award. Then I remember why I stopped trying to get into radio!

Isn't it weird when albums only have 8 tracks? I always think that they should have at least 15. I remember returning the Survivor soundtrack CD because it was something like £16 and only lasted about 30 minutes. It seems a waste not to fill at leasts 60 minutes of a 74 / 80 minute disc.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cotton vs. Polyester

I can buy an excellent quality 100% cotton t-shirt from Matalan for £3, so how can any football clubs justify charging £26 for a polyester (plastic) garment with company names all over it?

Football 'clubs' are businesses. They want as much money off gullible 'devoted' fans as possible. Deny all you like, but that's how it is. You all need to get lives instead of flapping clip-on flags reducing your white van's aerodynamics. Petrol ain't getting any cheaper lads.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Amstrad Emailers

I've had it with them now.

I have an Amstrad Emailer Plus and an Amstrad Emailer E3. I love their digital answerphones, their call ID list and their phonebook function.

I've managed to get the older Emailer Plus to not dial out for emails every day by doing something clever with it, but recently I thought I would let it dial out after a period of about 2 or 3 years. Since then, there has been a little gauge at the side of the screen which has slowly been moving down. Today, like its bigger E3 brother, it will not let me use the phone at all unless I check my emails. "Features disabled - use email" the screen says. This never happened before the recent email check, which proves it doesn't dial up to just check emails, but also does a little software update too.

To reset the Amstrad Emailer Plus, you have to unplug it, hold down both the Stop and Handsfree buttons, then re-insert the power lead. It loses all data and you need to re-register it, but apparently the software updates version by version, so it'll take a while to get to the version which disables the unit automatically.

Credit card fraud email

I get a number of these each month - this one from "Mark Tayol"

Hello Sales, We are interested in purchasing some order in yourstore,We reside at [adress all on one line, no spaces, no capitals] Tel:+447031927565 and we will like you to shipit to the address above,also our mode of payment willbe you Credit Card account#,while we'll like you tocharge by those terms and more also we'll be more thanhappiest store if you can include your websites tovisit again and look for the items list we want fromyou.We are looking forward to read from you.

They don't even know what the website address is or what products they want to order. Usually they want ultra-fast FedEx or UPS delivery. I feel sorry for any companies who take these seriously and send out goods after processing the stolen credit card number, because they'll get a chargeback and have the money taken off them and will never be paid.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Candied Yams

If anyone was wondering where the Hollywood Blvd. sign has gone, I saw it in a VW camper van in a drive on Richmond Road in Stockton.

We all discriminate. I discriminate. If someone doesn't respond when I say hello to them at the tills, or they throw the book at me, or are just plain rude, I don't give them the 20% discount they can have. Simple as that. It costs nothing to be nice, does it? But it costs 20% of whatever you're buying to be an arse-hole.

Why is Maplin's air in a can £8.99 when their foam cleaner is £2.99 - same volume, same sized can. Surely air is free and foam cleaner costs more? Daft.

There is a down-side to catch-all emails on domain names. Not the huge amounts of spam everyone gets from 'guessed' email accounts (I must get about 100 a day - only started this year though), but the fact that if you send an email, like I did today, and not notice that you've spelled the person's name wrong (in this instance I put 'Beev' instead of 'Bev') it doesn't bounce back as "unknown recipient" but quietly dissappears into the ether, to be followed hours later by an irate message from Bev saying "Where's the email you said you've sent?". Hmm. I sometimes wonder if I'm daft for buying too many domain names. I worked it out in the Moon in the Square in Bournemouth with my good friend Richard Martin once, and it was well on for £900. In 1998 you see they were £180 a year. But the point is, if I just had one domain name and had all the websites on it, would that domain be so popular that its centralsation and economies of scale (love that term!) would benefit it through in-bound links? Or am I getting to technical and boring (I think I got boring as soon as I started this post!). But hey! At least this is an active English blog!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Today's assorted waffle

Scientology is weird. I don't understand why they need to press gang people into joining them. This is the technique they use - I was accosted in Bournemouth like this once:

They approach you with a clipboard and ask you questions about how you feel about yourself, your qualities and what you would like to achieve. They write down your answers. They then say they can help you achieve these things and, on my particular experience, they escorted me into the basement of a gay pub called "Marylin's", frequently reminding me that they only rent the room (which was very oddly decorated and quite smelly). Then begins the hard sell. They want you to buy L. Ron Hubbard's book. They won't let you leave unless you buy it. They then want your address so that they can keep in touch with you. I gave them a PO Box number which they weren't very impressed with and never sent anything to. I wonder where the Data Protection Act comes into this, as all the details are scrawled on one piece of paper.

Butchery is a fine trade. Watching a master butcher at work on a cow's leg or whatever - sharpening knives, knowing exactly what bits of meat are which. Great.

I don't like Tom Cruise. I'm not sure if I've even seen a film with him in it. But from what I see of him, I don't like him. And I don't like the way that people in press conferences and interviewers on the red carpet are frightened of upsetting him and pretend to be interested in his wife and baby, as if they are some sort of holy people. In fact, it's quite sickening to watch, and to see him sit there and think that people are interested in him and carry on waffling about it like they care so much.

Ainsley Harriot, another patronising idiot for the list. My father, who, at 50 something is becoming increasingly deaf, has Ready Steady Cook on at full volume as soon as he comes home from what he considers such hard work that he had a strop on last week because he had to go to Netto himself and buy his 43 bottles of red wine which he hides in the full boot of his car and drinks almost 2 per night. "I have to go to work AND do the shopping". Well poor you. If you hadn't noticed, your wife has been doing twice as many working hours as you are doing now and managed to work and shop for 28 years. I'm not apologetic that I now have absolutely zero respect for my father and would not be at all bothered if I never spoke to him again. The man is a idiotic, selfish, ignorant, lazy and rude buffoon. I won't tell you how bad his bathroom towel smells, but the other day I seriously thought that my dog had defecated in there until I realised where the smell was coming from. And he has the gaul to accuse me of spending too long in the shower. At least I actually wash. But he's so lazy and stupid that he won't wash that towel of his own accord for a long time yet. He seems to be oblivious to what his senses tell him. Whether volume or smell, he can't appreciate when something stinks or is so loud that you can hear every word in the entire house. When the TV is loud, it's on 32. He was on his own, eyes glazed, watching some bloody mindless football match post mortem with it on 42. I actually had to shake him and shout "Think what you're doing!" into his face for him to realise what an idiot he is being. His plan for the entire summer holiday is to sun bathe. I really don't see why mum nor I should have to drag his sorry self to a holiday cottage in Norfolk for a week with the dog.

I think that was a rant. But I feel better, and that's the main thing.

Cheese Strings. Now they are weird. Should cheese be peelable and stringy? Is it really normal cheese?

It's weird when they put on Christmas specials in May. It's a strange feeling watching them and getting sucked in.

iPods are rubbish. People follow trends. I've been researching music and video players and these Creative Zen players appear to totally blow iPods out of the water.

That's it. I'm going to bed.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Who needs wireless?

Today, I wired up a new PC I've bought my mum to go in the extension - the fartherst reaching part of the house. I used a 30 metre CAT5E cable, which meant I had to move the Netgear router from the study at the front of the house into my room which overlooks the garden and extension. It was easier and less troublesome than I had envisaged, and it all works perfectly. I'v also decided to have the garden lights powered from the extension, which makes more sense re: switching and cable runs (and one less cable running out of my window!) but I'll have to do that sometime tomorrow as I have to work this evening.

I also installed an intercom so that I can talk to mum when she's at the other end of the house for quick Qs. The cable is thin 4 core terminating in a mono 3.5mm jack. I am very impressed - it works excellently (you can even 'buzz' the other station when the main unit is off) and the sound is crystal clear. Everything is hard-wired. It cost much, much less and works the same, if not better. And I would assume is more secure - when there's a cable with two ends, both on your property, you know what's going on; when there's wireless signals with no boundaries, how do you know someone's not listening/using/logging/hacking? Exactly!

20mph speed limits?!

Some group or other is lobbying for the 30mph speed limit in built-up areas to be reduced to 20mph.

It's tedious going at 30 at the best of times, especially when there's no bugger around and you're just on the look-out for speed cameras.

I think people should just look where they're going, then they won't get run over by cars whether they are going 40mph or 20mph. Just 'be aware'!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Click to activate and use this control

You may have noticed recently if you use Internet Explorer and downloaded a recent update that whenever there's any Macromedia Flash on a webpage you are viewing, hovering over in with your mouse will outline it and bring up a balloon saying, "Click to activate and use this control".

So, does this mean the end of Flash on websites? It will no doubt help Firefox's case, as this doesn't happen to Flash sites viewed in Firefox. And how about Opera? Time will tell.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Mr Popular? Me?

I don't know what I'm doing differently, which planets are aligned, or what pheromone I'm giving off, but I suddenly seem to be Mr. Popular at work.

In two days I've been invited to join the supervisors in a weekend football kickabout, and asked to the pub for a Sunday evening drink by 4 people. The problem is that I abhor football and I have heard that the pub is frequented by gypsies and ruffians.

Apart from that, I thought it went quite well!

I've also been offered some good walks spoilt (golf) over summer, and a customer invited me to fly in his plane when I showed interest in his Pilot magazine. I don't think that's ever going to happen though.


 
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