Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The skyline in downtown Middlesbrough. Inspiration for the film 'Bladerunner' or something.

Surely B&Q are wasting electricity here? How about some IR sensors at each end of this isle which turns them on when necessary?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

1982 Atari Home Computer Advert

Very Epcot I thought.


It was a day of waiting for solicitor's phone calls and hanging around.
Eventually, after a re-schedule, I got my 2nd look round the house I'm buying. It seems mad that you make the biggest purchase of your life after spending just 20 minutes looking around, but you just get 'the feeling'.
I'd forgotten how big it was - but I hadn't forgotten that the lights dangled rather low and I tend to walk into them (they'll be the first things to change). I took some digital photos to refresh my memory too. We were going to measure up for curtains, but that didn't happen. I think we measured how big the gap was for a fridge but that's it. The garden room was a surprise - I thought it was smaller, but it has some nice little touches like glass doors to the lounge and two picture lights and it's one of my favourite rooms now. I've changed my mind on which of the bedrooms will be the office too after looking at the photos.
This evening MacDonald's were out of McFlurrys - I really don't know why we go there sometimes. So we got an ice cream from Burger King in a flavour we've had before, but what they gave us was anyone's guess! Strawberry cheesecake?
I'm hiring a van to move my stuff there. I was surprised at how cheap it is to hire a van - for some reason I had it in my head that it would be over £120 a day, but it's actually £47 for a Vauxhall Vivaro. I'm almost tempted to get a Mondeo or Passat for my next visit to my suppliers in the south.
Then to B&Q for some paint. I had noticed the garage floor was painted, so we bought a big tin for that (£49!) and other pots including a nice Roman White from the Dulux Heritage range - there will still be more paint to buy, but we'll see how it goes. It all cost £89. Who said running a house was cheap? No-one, probably.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Some people

I always laugh when either:
a) the military ask for a discount (my response is "unfortunately, we treat every customer equally")
b) medical research labs say something I'm selling is expensive. (my response is "I know how little money there is in the medical field")

Outdoor Speakers removed

Today, I decided to dig up my two Paramount Omnispeaker-esque outdoor in-ground speakers. The TIC one is fab - window shaking bass as I've explained before on here, the other one is good too. They took so long to install, I was surprised at how easy they were to dig out. I was surprised that one one, water had managed to get into the top part, which water is supposed to pour off. The water must have travelled upwards to get into the space, so I have no idea how that happened. Anyway, they will be coming with me to my new house, along with my Bose 151s. I am not a noisy person by any means, but I just love the thought of hi-fi quality sound in the garden. And I may use them to mask the sound of neighbours' fountains that seem to be on all the time, even when they're out (seems silly to me).

Monday, August 21, 2006

Internet saturation

This evening I realised I had nothing more to see on the internet. I was opening up browser windows and thinking "what should I visit" and realising I didn't actually have anything I wanted to visit.

Boston Fireworks accident

20 minutes into a 40 minute display at a sports stadium, and a shell explodes too close to the ground and sets off all the other fireworks for the display at once. Some shell racks fell over and fired at 5 of the pyro team who were all slightly injured. Apparently the viewing public didn't realise anything was going wrong at cheered at the end.

55,000 fireworks in Plymouth

Controlled chaos. The first in a series of films presented here on fireworks.
55,000 fireworks in 5 seconds in Plymouth on 16th August 2006.
Notice the News 24 reporter ruining the moment by jumping in too soon. If I were the man in the helmet, I'd be pissed off with them.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

US Radio Station Playlist Map

Interesting little flash animation showing the titles of songs that are just starting on US radio stations.
I'm not sure if it's actually totally live, but interesting nevertheless.

CDs in cardboard sleeves

Vinyl records were all in cardboard sleeves.
CDs, of similar thickness, in thick, air filled plastic gem cases.
Why aren't CDs in cardboard sleeves?

Bloody football

I can't believe it. It's only been a matter of weeks since that sack of old shit the World Cup has buggered off, and now the Premiership has bloody started again!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Digby and the miniature railway.p

Here is the bright orange stream which flows into a clear water stream and into the sea at Saltburn.

British Steel seem to be sponsoring this bridge, but judging by the colour of the water that's flowing under it and directly into the sea, not doing much good on the PR front! This is in Saltburn.

A nice way to recycle a boat! Saltburn cliff top.

Over 35 surfers near the pier in Saltburn.

These dog signs are getting more graphic! This one in Saltburn.

Emmerdale House Collapse

Pretty good special effects of a house exploding and collapsing:
(filmed with a digital camera pointed to the TV - my capture card doesn't work)

YouTube & Copyright

YouTube. How does it work?
I just watched a Two Ronnies sketch in its entirity.
Do the BBC get some payment for this?

Friday, August 18, 2006

PC World TV Advert

"An Intel Centrino processor will let you do two things at once - download some emails and upload some music."

Hmmmm....I think my 12 year old Escom Pentium I 75Mhz with Windows 95 can do that, actually.

Credit Cards

I used a pin number on a credit card for the first time yesterday in a restaurant. I actually had to have the number written down on a post-it note, but it was quite easy to do. It's on my preferred credit card, a Mastercard, which gives me something like 3% cashback on whatever I spend it on.
I have seen a credit card, I think it was a General Electric one, yes here in the UK (weird) that gave something like 5% cashback on all food purchases. But is that food at the supermarket, or would it include eating out too? How can it know? I think I'll apply for that credit card and find out! I'll tell you this, I think the days of my £20 a year business credit card are numbered, when all these other ones are actually giving you money.
* Just been looking it up, it's the GE Everyday Card. 3% cashback on food and fuel, and just 0.5% on everything else.

Thar she blows!

Derwent Water from the driver's seat of the cabin cruiser I was captain of. Cue numerous Pirates of the Carribbean lines - from the 1967 ride, not the film I hasten to add! Although it did at times turn into Keswick Vice, but without the pastel suits, when I enjoyed pushing the throttle to 'max' and doing circles.

This looks more like a tableaux from the Universe of Energy primeval swamp than a meandering walk in the Lakes!

Derwent Water in Cumbria, today. I thought it looked a bit 'Lord of the Rings'y in this weather (which incidentally cleared up within an hour).

Aren't cows massive!?

Mobile phone mast in Keswick - what on earth goes on up these is a mystery to a majority of mast-neighbours.

Morrel's Restaurant in Keswick - one of the finest places I've dined since 2004. I last visited yesterday, and before that, 2004...

Greg Scott as the Statue of Liberty - not bad, considering it was pieced together from props in the studio within 10 seconds of a caller saying he was American!

Greg Scott & Skye the cow - 'insta-milk'.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Credit Cards and PINs

I have to admit, I don't know any of my pin numbers. I have about 5 cards, and because I never use them in real life, I have never needed to learn the pins.
Apparently they've had chip and pin credit cards in the far east for a number of years.
I think we should have plastic bank notes.
And finger print scanners instead of pins.

Rude customers

When I serve people at the checkouts, I'm supposed to ask them if they would like a 15% off voucher emailing to them.
The first person I served on Friday evening responded with "No, no, no, I get enough spam already".
I said, "I didn't say we'd spam you, I said we'd send you a voucher".
Some people are realllllllly rude. Like not saying hello when I say hello to them, for example. As I've said before, it makes the difference between me being rude back, and giving you vouchers, discounts, money off, a bag, a smile, a song and whoop-de-doo.
And our opening hours have been reduced too. When people act like we're taking something away from them, I ask them "When was the last time you were here at 9.30pm on a Saturday????".

Monday, August 14, 2006

NTL's faux-Geordie voice prompts

I'm not sure who on earth did NTL's voice prompts on their customer services line, but it sounds like such a false Geordie accent it's hilarious. Really overdone.
Bring back Brian Cobby!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

To want or to have?

I have wanted one (or a few) Jam Creative Productions jingles sung for me ever since I found out who Jam were about 11 years ago.

I read an article in the Radio Magazine in the mid/late 90s about Alfasound in Cheshire who were the UK reps for Jam jingles. I called them, they sent some literature, I ordered some demo CDs and tapes, I placed another order after hearing them, and they went bankrupt.

With the internet, and an American friend who ordered two jingles before Jam introduced the 'personal cuts' option (a name for cheap jingles) I realised I could still get Jam jingles either through Steve England or from Jam direct.

The thing is, I recently found that wanting things is often a bit more fun than actually getting them. A list of things that I have wanted for at least 12 years included: Bose 151 outdoor speakers, Micron TX203 radio microphone, Shure SM57 microphone, a Colt 4 smoke machine. Within 1 year, I now own these items. They are good, and fun, and on the whole exactly what I thought they'd be. But maybe because I'm older and they are now mere objects I once desired or that my imagination cannot fully appreciate what they mean to me this far on, that I realised wanting them held almost more fascination than owning them. Especially as I don't use them every day by any means - the things I use every day are items such as my PC, touch screen monitor and chair. My original list included a 286 PC!

Of course, 12 years ago I couldn't afford any of them. Recently I was feeling flush and bought them all.

So maybe it is better to just want nice things rather than always having them.

Top of the Caterpillars

I suppose it's telling that a video of a furry caterpillar on youtube.com gets move viewers than Top of the Pops!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Capital Disney forgets target audience's age

I've just heard the top-of-the-hour news on Capital Disney, the digital radio station aimed at 10-18 year olds.

They talked about the 100 Farenheit temperatures currently being experienced in the US.

Very good for people over 30, but everyone under 18 -- indeed, under 30, has been brought up on the Celcius unit and has no idea what 100F is! Get your bloody act together, journalists!

American Grammar

The Internet copyright law passed France's parliament June 30 after fierce debate and a gradual weakening of its initial punch.

This is what I hate about American news articles.
The words 'in'/'at' and 'on' are missing, and highly noticable, ruining the flow of the sentence.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

High street solar panels on sale

High street solar panels on sale

I'm pretty on the ball with this blog, aren't I?! This is on BBC News online at the moment - £1000 solar panels from high street retailer Currys to power homes. The UK is still behind countries like Germany with regard to solar panels. However, they are very expensive - this system is £9000 all-in, and only saves around £75 per year, which means it wouldn't pay for itself until 125 years after it is installed....but the panels have an expected life of 20 years. DOES NOT COMPUTE!!!

I think people will still want to buy a car or holiday than solar panels if they had that amount of money to spare.

Don't get me wrong - I'm really pro renewable energy - it's a tremendously exciting field, but the price of solar energy is still too high to be within the reach of many, many households.

The Universe of Energy at Disney's Epcot Center in Florida is an interesting ride - watch an on-ride video at my Horizons tribute site (the Universe of Energy video is 178Mb - be warned!).


The average home in the UK consumes approx. 3300kWh (or units) of electricity per annum. A typical PV system would be a 2kWp system which would produce approx. 1600kWh per year (based on 800kWh per 1kWp installed under UK conditions), roughly half of the yearly consumption. Payback varies greatly depending on the individual’s electricity consumption pattern and of course the energy prices of the day. Payback time will obviously reduce if energy prices increase in the future. It has been important to remember also that solar panels could add value to your home, so in actual fact they may well have paid for themselves by day one!

This makes more sense! I think the BBC's news item was a bit wrong. This quote from Currys' website shows that the panels would provide approx. half a home's electricity in a year - that's more like it.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lowest life

If you want to see the scurge of British life, visit a McDonald's car park.
One evening I was in one, I saw several people throw their litter out of the window even though they were 5 feet away from a litter bin, then someone saunter over to the wall near the cash point to urinate - even though there are toilets inside. Rats scurried around all over the place. It was pretty grim.
Today, a hot sunny day, there are car fulls of people having a 'post happy meal' fag - clearly the whole experience of eating must me so much like sex they can't help but light up. A car full of rat-faced TWOCers with hoodies - and it's 30C, with some hard trance music as loud as their Ford Fiesta's speakers can go. A land rover with bald driver on mobile phone, keeping his engine running continuously for the air conditioning, yet with his windows wide open. Maybe he doesn't know how to turn his car back on if he turns it off? If this does not typify the wasteful, consumption addicted reflection of Amercian living in the UK, I don't know what does.
I then went to Comet and saw fridges taller than me - surely large enough for catering companies or restaurants, but intended for high consumption families and costing £1499. I carried on looking at the £119 ones.
Solar panels should have a cool image. Recycling or healthy living campaigns should be advertised in McDonald's car parks. Here endeth today's reading.

Golf The Game

I was at the driving range today. You hear people thwack the ball and then utter something along the lines of "king 'ell".
I mean, for God's sake! It's just a bloody game!
And it's not even a bloody game on the driving range - it's just practice!!!
Some people take things far too seriously.

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