Little Bang

Just have to add a link to this. Dawn and I saw the Bang Goes the Theory pykrete ice boat experiment as it happened down in Gosport, but Aaron and Scott missed out as they were at school. So, when the weekend came we decided to repeat it in miniature. Dawn tweeted some photos we took, and @bbcbang asked if they could use them in the live show on the red button after the programme on BBC1.

So, if you take a look between 16:10 and 16:40 (roughly), you’ll see Aaron and Scott’s very own pykrete ice boat experiment featured – they we very excited about it! I love the quote from Yan to Jem at the end “do you take apprenticeships”, followed by Jem’s reply “they’re already way ahead of me” 🙂

Moonlit memories

Apologies to those catching this through syndication and are expecting it to be Linux or computer related, but it is in a good cause.

I am going to be joining the Rowans Hospice Moonlit Memories Walk this year, which is a 12 mile walk from Southsea Castle, along to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, back via Old Portsmouth, along to Eastney and back – with a few wiggles along the way just for good measure. It will all be starting at midnight on the 20th June, so being late at night will be adding to my general lack of fitness! Having just got the pack I’m wondering what I’ve let myself in for, but it is for a good cause so I’ll crawl if I have to!

As many visiting here will know Dawn’s dad died at the end of January after a battle with cancer. His last few weeks were spent at Rowans and the staff and volunteers there do an amazing job.

I’ve known Geoff, on and off, since I was born, and he was the best father-in-law / grandad you could wish for, so I signed up for this walk for Dawn and Geoff. Since then, however, the memories part of this walk have taken on more meaning with the death of my mum at the beginning of April, particularly as the Rowans chaplain spoke at her funeral.

I very much hope that as many people as possible will give generously as Rowans is a very deserving and worthwhile cause, and if you pay tax do make sure you use Gift Aid to get the tax donated too.

Many thanks,

To sponsor / donate visit, and if you have any problems let me know as I have been told some people have had trouble, although that may be down to the complete failure of the JustGiving Facebook application!

No sign of foxes

Sadly there seems to be no sign of our regular foxes this year. For a good few years now we’ve had cubs playing in our back garden by now, but we’ve not seen or heard any yet, so we fear the worst.

Earlier this year when I was chatting to a friend who lost their dog to having eaten something poisoned, which was thought to have been put down for foxes. That’s pretty unpleasant on both counts – somebodies pet was killed, and there seems little justification for killing foxes to me, but there’s no accounting for some people.

The first fox in our garden goes back a good few years now, and sadly we dubbed him Basil. There was a bit more to the name than simply being a fox though. When he first appeared I was doing some painting in the garden and he crept up and nicked my paintbrush!

There’s some shots that should convince most that foxes are loveable creatures in our family photo gallery.

Do I really want to switch to Orange?

I finally managed to get myself sorted to abandon Vodafone and decided to get a couple of free SIMs from Orange and try out their coverage on PAYG for a while. According to their adverts you can keep your existing number, which is critical for me. I was taking a look at this late last night, and since I couldn’t do it on line I decided to phone them. Well at around half past midnight they were experiencing a high volume of calls so claimed to have a waiting time of 13 minutes! I decided to try again in the morning – a bad mistake!

Just after nine this morning I tried dialling the number that came with the the SIMs and got through to the automated service. First it asked me if I wanted a new number, no, then it asked me to confirm that I had an existing number I wanted to keep, yes. Next it told me it would transfer me to a customer operative. The message told me that Orange was committed to providing excellent customer service and then promptly cut me off! I tried again a few times, and then again through the morning (thankfully this is a freephone number) and got the same problem.

Continue reading “Do I really want to switch to Orange?”

Farewell to Studio 60

Having just been reading the HantsLUG Planet and seen James Ogley’s entry about the final episode of Studio 60 reminded me that the series had been advertised for More 4 and that I had completely forgotten to watch the whole series. After a bit of thinking I then remembered one of the reasons why – apart from a case of bog standard forgetfulness! I then headed of to James’ blog to post a reply, only to find another Blosxom blogger who, like myself, hasn’t got the talkback plugin installed. So I’ll post to my own blog and with any luck James will spot it on the HantsLUG Planet 🙂

Sorry James, but I’m afraid Studio 60 is no more. In fact it struggled to get aired to the final episode in the US. I think it took a break for Christmas, then stopped again in February, only just managing to air the final episodes with a change of night when it returned in May. I seem to remember hearing this and wondering whether I really wanted to get into another series that had been axed. I’m afraid I’m a little fed up with good series being axed while some utter rubbish that’s cheap to make gets similar or worse ratings and survives. I guess it is all about profit and the quality of the programme has absolutely nothing to do with anything. I think the show I am most annoyed about being axed is probably Firefly. That’s one of the best series I’ve seen in a very long while. Thankfully there was enough interest to manage a film to, sort of, finish off the story, but you could tell that there was far more story there that could have made a truly wonderful sci-fi series.

Ah well 🙁

Which dot dot dot… again!

Well I haven’t really given much thought to updating by blog for a while now (nearly a month in fact), which starts me wondering whether my initial thoughts that, at least for me, blogging wasn’t really worthwhile may have been accurate. Still, I checked through the Hantslug Planet today (again for the first time in about a month) and spotted another one of these questionnaires. I’m still not entirely sure why I did another one, but anyway, I came out as:

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are you?

Well that didn’t come out too bad did it? It could certainly have been a lot worse, after all some people come out as Wesley! Since the text appears to be missing from the link and image (unlike the others) I’ll add it – it could be critically important after all 😉

Jean-Luc Picard An accomplished diplomat who can virtually do no wrong, you sometimes know it is best to rely on the council of others while holding the reins. There are some words which I have known since I was a schoolboy. “With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.” These words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie — as a wisdom, and warning. The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged.

Incompetent Revenue

Yesterday I got a lovely letter through from the Inland Revenue regarding my PAYE and NIC contributions and talking about ways and means to avoid ‘recovery proceedings’. This worried me a little to say the least so I phoned them up to find out what was going on. The person at the other end of the phone started asking about how I filed my P35 and when, so it was on to the accountants next. This resulted in a bit of slightly frustrated explanation from the accountants.

Continue reading “Incompetent Revenue”

Defining processes

I’ve been clearing a few things out of the study over the past few days, well study may be a bit of a grand name for it, but I tend to use it rather than office. There’s two reasons for that, firstly there’s the fact that I can’t have a dedicated office for work at home otherwise it is liable for business taxes. Secondly there’s the practical reason that it hasn’t always been an office and isn’t really one now – there’s way too many non-work bits in there. Books of all sorts (sailing, photography, cetaceans, fiction, etc., not just computing), and lots of old retro computing bits (more magazines as well as the machines and software).

Continue reading “Defining processes”

Let’s get the ball rolling

OK, so this is my first blog entry. I’ve just thrown together a very quick Blosxom based weblog system. It looks quite nice and suits my way of thinking, and should even integrate very nicely with the other scripts I am using and hope to develop 🙂

All things being well I should add a few entries here once in a while, although past records may well indicate that it will die a horrible death due to neglect 😮

Continue reading “Let’s get the ball rolling”