Wednesday, January 31, 2007
It can be cold in Woodley, damn cold.
The boiler failed last night (broken extractor fan) so the house now reminds me of when I was a kid in the 70s. Back then there was only a gas fire in the living room and no radiators throughout the house; frost on the inside of single-pane windows in the bedroom after a really cold night (remember those?); hot water bottles in the beds to make it possible to actually get under the covers.
Modern life is just too cushy.
Microsoft has launched a new operating system, Windows Vista
Monday, January 29, 2007
Posers with Laptops
So I get mildly irritated when I see seemingly intelligent people walking around with the laptop open like a book as if they don't dare close it up.
In the lift this morning were two such people, chatting to each other across the small space. Their colleague, laptopless but with a rucksack on his shoulder, bade farewell on an earlier floor and walked past them through the narrow gap between their laptops, neatly snapping off an exposed USB memory stick on the way.
To have laughed would have been rude and insensitive. Inwardly I cackled all the way to my desk.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Big Garden Birdwatch
As we get so many birds visiting our garden (for its size), we joined in with the RSPB "Big Garden Birdwatch" to help them with trend data.
The birds are artificially drawn to our garden on the whole with peanut and bird seed dispensers - during the summer they tend not to bother at all. The most frequent visitors are Blue and Great Tits that take over the tree/bush/weed at the end of the garden where we hang the food dispensers. The occasional House Sparrow will turn up and wait its turn - the tits are quite territorial and not worried about chasing other birds off.
The birds are very messy when picking out food and many fall seeds to the ground which is where the Wood Pigeons come in (they also hop up onto the garden table where I have spilt peanuts and seeds when filling up the dispensers). A lonely Robin will hop down from the to along the floor too, and a pair of Dunnocks (Hedge Sparrows), especially under the fat balls.
Lastly a pair of blackbirds will root around in the rotten wood and under leaves looking for insects, like bargain hunters at a jumble sale.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Always lock your PC when you go to make a coffee...
Sent: 24 January 2007 15:48
To: Internal Microsoft alias with lots of members
Subject: Help Please!
I am new at Microsoft and am wondering if someone can help.
One of my clients asked about the “Xbox”?
Does anyone know what this is?
Can you sell software assurance with it?
Is it an EA only product?
Many thanks in advance,
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...
Sunday, January 21, 2007
We will fix it, we will mend it...
As you can see, all the fence panels from the brick wall on the left (behind the red flare on the picture) fell down as the bases of the wooden posts had rotted through. We spent many a happy hour, usually in cold rain, replacing them with MetPosts (Ghod's gift to bodgers).
This time all the MetPost-planted posts held firm (as you'd expect as they can't rot anymore) but the remaining rotters went. We found that it wasn't possible to simply replant the broken post as one of the arris rails had broken and this one dated back to an era when fences were supersized. The DIY stores only stoked shorter arris rails so we had to improvise. We already had a spare post from last time so we added that to the broken post (with new Metpost) and effectively converted 2 long panels into 3 small ones. You can also see the ginger planks from 2002 too standing out against their anaemic but younger brethren:
Chatting to a neighbour we learned that the brick wall in the garden used to blow down without fail until the previous owners added a small buttress to it - I must say I did not look forward to rebuilding that. Bodging wooden fences I can manage as there is a lot of hitting things with hammers but building a brick wall would be definitely something I couldn't get away with.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
An endless wind whips at the headstones of the dead and wails in the trees for all who have and have not sinned.
5-10 minutes later my phone rings as my wife reported that the fence panels that we DIDN'T replace are starting to blow over... obviously I emailed in haste!
And in Germany some of my colleagues are going to work from home due to a hurricane warning!
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
|"So," I said to the player of the character escorting the chambermaid back to his room, "are you getting a 'Do Not Disturb' note for the door?"|
"A what? Hell, yeah! I'm all for job creation for minorities."
Admittedly not as amusing as a "what did I just say?" from a game the other night. Three characters are chained together, two of whom are dangling down a pit. The woman playing the samurai (the chained character at the top of the pit stopping us falling to the bottom) said "I am not going down on you two". I must admit that being rescued was uppermost on my mind at the time so I wasn't too disappointed ...
Friday, January 05, 2007
Xbox 360 may have to be repaired
- I'll start with my criminal record. I have been a really bad boy in my time. In 1984 I was fined for being a "Pedestrian on the Motorway". I had been hitch-hiking from Swansea to Portsmouth and was dropped off with just a mile or two from the end of the M275. Coincidentally, the end of the motorway is yards away from a police station so I was easily spotted by a car returning to base.
- I am one of a very select group of people that have attended a full University course and completely failed to get a degree as a result. It was my belief that the 82-85 group of students studying Chemistry at Swansea were in the fortunate position of being so small in number that the department couldn't afford to drop any one (i.e. me). In contrast, the department went through the 83-86 intake with a chainsaw (although, unfortunately in some cases not literally).
- I used to publish a fanzine in the mid/late 1980s and early 90s under the title "The Green Goblin", named partly after Games Workshop's glossy magazine "White Dwarf" and partly after the Spiderman villain. Content initially was game-oriented but spread eventually to any old rubbish. I gave it up as filling up a whole fanzine with new writing (and not just plagiarising stuff) was bloody hard.
- I play D&D and have done since 1977, apart from a barren stretch in most of the 90s when I settled down and started a family. These days I play twice a week (player and DM) during term time at Reading Uni. Actually, that reminds me - D&D (and Green Goblin) probably directly contributes to "2" above but that would give the false impression that getting a degree was my big ambition and other activities got in the way - quite the reverse, really.
- I love butterscotch (but my weird family don't). There is something in that mixture of sugar and butter that really does the trick for me. A bowl of Angel Delight butterscotch is NOT for sharing.
After having bared all, I hereby tag John, Mike, Zoe, Kristine, and Jess.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Secret Santa knows I've been good
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
"Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies."
Gore Vidal b. 1925. In The Sunday Times Magazine 16 September 1973
This came round on the QuotationOfTheDay emailer that I subscribe to
(and have done since 1994 - one short email a day, often educational, sometimes funny. Recommended).
Monday, January 01, 2007
Stick 'Em Up!
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