Sunday, September 28, 2008
Lastly, the kids use the Eee too - and although most of what they can do, they can do from the "easy" interface, they're getting to an age where they might want to get a bit more understanding, and frankly linux would turn them off like a shot. They're used to Windows PC's at home and at school.
It is possible to put a cut down version of XP ona 4Gb ee. I've found one forum/thread where a guy reckons he's got his XP install down to about 400Mb.
I'll have a think about it - it is tempting. Don't get me wrong. I still love the little blighter - it's neat, light, portable and perfectly usable out of the box.
We were fortunate enough to live in a large house that had a decent size garden and attached paddock (read big field that we couldn't do anything with). One of my Father's great joys, and still is as far as I know, although he's in a much smaller house and garden now, was to burn his garden waste on what he called a "bunty" or bonfire. Memories fade of course, but I seem to recall that there was a bunty going every weekend during my childhood and sometimes they burnt for weeks.
What fun we had as kids poking sticks into said bunty, and messing about with the ensuing firebrands.
Why this sudden reminiscence? Well today I was hacking down (well rather gingerly snipping) a rose bush that had gone rather wild in our front garden. Many of it's branches were dead and only a few top shoots (on a 5ft/6ft bush) were actually showing anything green. As an aside, it also had the most thorns on it I've ever seen on a rose. My arms and hands look like I've done battles with a multi-fanged monster tonight.
After dumping all the clippings on the floor I decided to burn them - the council green waste collection has finished now until March (obviously not year round gardeners at the Council), and I couldn't be arsed to take them to the tip. So I set fire to them. Oh how those memories came flooding back as I nurtured the little pile to flame, aided on occasions by a soupçon of white spirit (I know, I know - I just couldn't help myself, and besides, I couldn't find the can of petrol I have lying around somewhere)!
It was such fun, though I'm not sure the neighbours were impressed by the billowing white smoke. Even my othe half came out to look and urge me on with the white spirit and had a little prod with a stick herself - I'd rather expected her to berate me or riase her eyes in an "Oh my God, what's he up to now?" sort of way, but love her, she didn't.
Anyway, my pile of rose twigs/branches has now all disappeared into a small pile of white ash. Job accomplished, much fun had. Marvellous.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
They opened the scoring after just a few minutes, with a goal that looked suspiciously close to offside, but one that the City defence should have dealt with nevertheless. Their second goal, towards half time was a great strike, but again, a minute before when the Blues broke forward there was a shout for offside turned down, and then the Bluebirds defence failed to clear the ball and their player shot from outside he corner of the 18 yard box past Heaton in City's goal.
City lacked fire, and certainly lacked any ability to create chances. Ross McCormack again worked hard, as did Bothroyd, but most of his work again was chasing wide balls rather than being the target man in the box.
In truth City didn't deserver anything from the game, but a couple of late substitutions, including bringing on Eddie Johnson who was vilified following City's midweek defeat to the Jacks, shook City up a bit and finally, finally, McCormack ran at the defence, jinked inside and placed a great shot past Maik taylor in the Birmingham goal. With 3 minutes left plus 4 minutes of added time City pressed hard, and this was their best 7 minutes of the match, but eventually we came up short. My MoM was Kevin McNaughton who ran himslef into the ground today - shame some of the other's didn't.
City desperately need some confidence in front of goal, or else we'll be contemplating mid table medicority (or worse), sooner rather than later.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
City opened up in imperious style - for about 10 minutes and then, to be fair were pretty mediocre to rubbish.
The Jacks I hate to say, played pretty decent football, and thoroughly deserved the win.
City gave the ball away frequently and aimlessly. Eddie Johnson up front looked like he'd never seen a football before, and Jay Bothroyd wasn't much better (though the Sky pundits said he'd had a belter). Stephen McPhail managed to get himself sent off for a second bookable offence, though in truth he could have gone several times by then - it was his foul on the edge of the box that gave away the free kick from which they scored. In fact, probably only Darren Purse and Roger Johnson were worthy of a mention in dispatches tonight.
I hope Dave Jones doesn't do any of the "it's only the Carling Cup" nonsense, gives them a right shouting and gets them up fro Saturday's match at home to Birmingham. Or else we'll be in for a drubbing.
I think I'm underwhelmed by this.
A year or so ago there was much hype about Android and the competition this would bring to an already crowded market.
I'll wait to see the reviews, but frankly I don't like the design. On the face of it it's OK, but that slanted "chin" has already seen reports of it cramping text entry when the slide out keyboard is deployed. I've also heard reports about it's compatibility (or lack of) with certain forms of email, though no doubt it will work swimmingly well with Googlemail.
Watch with interest, but not too much anticipation.
Monday, September 22, 2008
They may not have been the most glamorous ISP out there, but they certainly helped shape the market to how it is today.
Personally, I think it looks great, but reviews have been mixed - some people think it's brilliant, others OK and some think it's just something to keep diehard Palm fans off the company's back until a Nova handset appears.
Ultimately how a device performs that's the key. I'm not particularly a WM fan, and I know Murray isn't, but I'm sure part of it is that old Palm pull. If I was in the market for a new phone (and I'm not, being more than happy with my Centro just now*) the two devices I'd be looking at are the iPhone 3G and this Palm Treo Pro
* I might not be gasping for a new device just now, but there's a big difference between "need" and "want"...
Saturday, September 20, 2008
First up I pressure washed the conservatory (the outside of course!) as it was beginning to get a bit green here and there. Then I trimmed back some young trees that were starting to overhang our fence from the field next door. After that I dug up my dahlia tubers.
After a BBQ lunch (yes a proper BBQ!!! - in the sun and everything!!!) we went to the garden centre. I needed some autumn lawn treatment/feed, some sweet pea seeds, some string and some more tulip bulbs and a couple of bags of compost. Whilst I was there I also got some wallflowers and garlic.
Back home, treated the lawn, planted my tulip bulbs where the dahlias had been, and then planted up two or three tubs of daffs. After that, the wallflowers went in, and then I planted up the garlic - then it was time for a beer.
Now I'm knackered.
It's nice to get a draw away from home, although reports suggest City were the better side, so collecting all 3 points on offer would have been better.
It's also a bit worrying that we really can't seem to get amongst the goals, and of late, despite playing well it's been 0-0, or 1-0 or as today a penalty. Time for the strikers to step up to the plate methinks.
Although we're handily placed in 7th, it's still early days, but worryingly, Wolves are steaming ahead, 8 points in front of us on 19, with Birmingham, who we play at home next weekend 5 ahead and clear in second place on 16 points.
Next up - the Jacks away at their gaff in a Carling Cup thriller. It's a big one all right. I'll be settling down in front of the telly with a beer I think.
Friday, September 19, 2008
The forecast for the w/e looks pretty good. So good in fact we're going to have a barbie tomorrow, just to say we've had one this year!
The next couple of days are actually very quiet. Our daughter Bethan has dancing tomorrow morning but that's it. No cricket, no visiting, no other "trips" (as far as I know), City are playing away, so no football which all makes for a very unusual day or two.
Given the weather's actually been dry most of the week I can also get out in the garden and start thinking about planting my spring bulbs, and digging up my dahlia tubers.
Elsewhere the skittles season starts next week (hurrah!) although it looks like I might have to miss the first couple of games - there's a school thing on on match night 1, and I'm away in London on match night 2 the following week.
All quiet on the device front too. Nothing takes my immediate fancy apart from an iPhone and a Treo Pro or a Samsung Omnia, and as I can't afford any of them I'll stick with the trusty Centro which is proving a gem of phone, and does all I want of it. (Why do you want one of those others then asks my alter ego?).
Saw my orthopaedic Consultant today for my 3 month post op follow up. He's happy enough. Says I'm looking ok, although I may well need a full knee replacement at some point in the future, but he's not keen to say how long that might be. What he did say and I quote was....
"With someone young and fit like you (hey, doesn't he know I'm 50 next year and 2 stone overweight?) if I were you I'd stay away from orthopaedic consultants for as long as you can manage it"!
He did say it with a smile on his face though!
Hey, 50 next year. That's actually very scary. On thr plus side though, I guess it means I qualify for SAGA holidays!!!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
There's an initial review on PDA247 at the moment where Gavin, the reviewer like it so much he bought it (Hey, remember Vincent Kiam the Remington shaver bloke and those cheesy 80's commercials where he told us he like the shavers so much he bought the company?.....I digress).
Anyway, the Omnia looks like a neat device if you discount the horrible telescopic stylus that hangs onto the phone by a bit of string (sorry, 'lanyard') and it's clearly aimed at the iPhone market I think. I've seen a couple of reviews now, and they've generally been positive. The interface looks the business, although it's still WM underneath the paint. If you want the glitzy promo stuff, visit the uk Samsung Omnia site as I don't see the point of duplicating all the specification stuff here.
After four draws, a win is welcomed, and another clean sheet also is a good sign. I caught snatches on the radio when collecting my daughter from Guides, and the commentators were saying how comfortable City were, and how much like a training game it was. Maybe so, but when you're only one goal to the good anything can happen. That goal, came courtesy of Peter Whittingham in the 14th minute, and City should have wrapped the game up with a number of other chances spurned, and I'm sure the 6 minutes of injury time gave Dave Jones a few anxious minutes on the touchline. Still, I'm not going to knock a 3 pointer.
Up the City!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Probably second only to a Cardiff/Swansea game in terms of atmosphere, these are always decent encounters.
I'm amazed it finished 0-0. Both sides had chances, and I reckon the Bluebirds edged the game, having long periods of pressure on the Robins defence, but sadly lacking a killer touch in front of goal.
Jay Bothroyd is yet to impress in a City shirt, and at times he looked like he was scared to have a go when in with a chance, looking to offload to someone else. He missed the chance of the game in the first half when one on one with the keeper.
Elsewhere, City's defence looked solid enough, and Darren Purse, for all my doubts about him, had a superb game and was rightly named man of the match. Ross McCormack also looked dangerous when he came on for Parry, and I only hope it was fitness that prevented him from starting - he seems to give City an extra edge up front.
Joe Ledley who to me so often seems inocuous, though I'll get slated by ofther City faithful, also had a tremendous game, and I think he's moves up another gear this year.
This was one of the best 0-0's I've ever seen at Ninina Park, although to be fair, there have been some pretty dreadful ones down the years!
Oh, and to make the day even better, the Jacks lost!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I also use the mighty fine (and free) Zone Alarm as my firewall of choice, and it too does the business quietly and efficiently.
Today, I fired up Internet Explorer, something I rarely do as Firefox is my preferred browser, and I rarely go anywhere near IE if I can help it. However, tonight I did, and it would lad any web pages. I was connected to the Internet, Firefox worked fine, and IE was also connecting with no problems on my other PC.
Much scratching of head ensued, but I ran the inbuilt diagnostic tool in IE and it gave me the following error.
Now the only thing I recognise here is the word ALE, and I was pretty sure I hadn't tipped any beer on my keyboard. A quick Google suggested this was a policy issue (doesn't help me) and not too much help in suggesting an effective fix, and to be honest there's not much info on this returned on Google anyway.
I dug a bit more before I remembered that when I shut down last night there were some automatic updates waiting to install. I wondered if that had anything to do with it, and then a comment on a Forum about Zone Alarm caught my eye.
Now good though ZA is, there have been a couple of occasions when it conflicts with something - Norton AV seems to ring a bell, but NAV as I recall conflicts with almost everything anyway!
Anyhows, I closed down ZA and bingo - IE connected like a dream. I decided on the spot I'd prefer to have ZA in place and working than use IE as a browser, so fired up ZA again and IE stopped working.
My guess, for what it's worth is that last night's auto update changes something somewhere in IE or system code that conflicts with ZA. Whether this gets fixed remains to be seen. It's not on the MS knowledge base yet, that's for sure.
For info, the updates that got installed last night were:
- Security Update for 2007 Microsoft Office System KB951944
- Security update for Microsoft office system 2007 KB954326
- Security update for office 2003 KB953404: MSO
- Security update for office 2003 KB954478: GDIPLUS
- Security update for office XP KB953405: SHARED
- Security update for Microsoft Windows KB938464
- Security update for Microsoft Windows KB954154
- Update for Microsoft Windows KB954366
- Update for Microsoft Windows KB955302
- Update for Microsoft Windows KB905866
- Security update for Microsoft Works 8 KB956483
- Security update for Windows Media Encoder KB954156
I'm set to auto update, but I've no idea whether any of these updates are critical, useful or a waste of space.
There's no obvious one of the above that might have caused this conflict, and I can't be arsed to delete them one by one until I find out which one caused the problem - if indeed any of them did.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The boys had never played this sort of cricket before, and it's fast and frenetic, and to be truthful I feared we'd lose comprehensively against more experienced opposition. But it didn't happen.
In the 6 a side/10 overs per innings format our lads batted first scored 50-4 and then bolwed the oppo out for a mere 22 runs.
I haven't been as chuffed as I was at the end of the match for a long time. Quite brilliant. Well played lads, I'm proud of you.
Up the Dinas!
Monday, September 08, 2008
We arrived in Torquay on Friday evening booked in (after some drawing of straws to find out who had to share doubles!! - not me!!). Then it was out on the town.
Torquay seems to be a 'happenin' place if you're under 25 and want to get rat-arsed in bars where you can't hear yourself think. Great for most of our boys. Too much for an old git like me though. I called it a night about midnight.
The following morning I was "called aside" by the management about various complaints ranging from people wandering round the hotel in their boxers, trying to steal the hotel cat and attempting to light the gas fire. Quite how or why I should manged to be cast as the one with assumed responsibility for the tour I don't quite know, but I grovelled some apologies, said it wouldn't happen again (fingers crossed - still 2 nights to go) and gave the boys the riot act. They obviously denied all responsibility and said it was no where near as bad as had been described.
After a morning walk to clear the heads we played a rain shortened match in the middle of nowhere (a £20 taxi ride away) which we lost, but we did drink the opposition out of their stocks of beer.
Saturday night was 'mad trouser' night. Decked out in my chef's B&W checks we strolled into 'Tour-quay', which if loud and noisy on Friday had turned into Soddom & Gommorah on Saturday. I've never seen so many people tring (and mostly succeeding) to get rolling drunk in the shortest possible time. There are no real pubs here - just bars. I gave up again about midnight when someone tries to set fire to 3 shots of Sambuca they'd poured over a table.
Sunday morning saw some very bad hangovers. However, some were up for a pitch & putt session which was good fun. Then we played our second match of the tour in the 'Babbacombe Bowl' which was close fought but we scrambled home by about 9 runs. Some of the lads went home after the match. The rest of us had a few quiet beers - the town is a different place on the Sabbath - the obligatory end of tour curry and an early night. And that as they say is that.
It's been good fun. Some priceless moments,good company and considering the weather decent cricket. But just maybe, I'm getting too old for this.
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Thursday, September 04, 2008
Last night's rain was enough to flash flood around our children's school, and as a result the school was closed today and will be tomorrow. They've only been back a couple of days.
Worse, the school's really only just recovered from a similar problem they had a year last July, with probably the best part of a million pound spent on refurbishment. It's not as bad as it was then, but they could have done without it, and the forecast for tonight is worse than last night!
Off to jolly old Torquay tomorrow for the cricket tour. Forecast for the weekend for Torquay from the Google website?
Saturday Chance of rain
Sunday Chance of rain
How about the BBC weather page?
Friday Heavy rain
Saturday Heavy showers
Sunday Sunny intervals
Not much chance of cricket methinks.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
I'd naturally checked to see what 710's were going for beforehand, and basically it's anything upwards of about £90, so I can't really complain about my £105, although to be honest I'd rather hoped for a bit more.
Anyway, it's gone, shipped, is no more and I've got 100 big ones in the gadget "kitty" (unless I spend it all on beer on this weekend's cricket tour!)
I'm not desperate to change my Centro at the moment, although I am keeping tabs on reviews of the Treo Pro (ordered one yet Murray?) which I think looks a cracking device and I also have half an eye on the PAYG iPhone due to hit O2 stored on 16th September. The bottom line though, is I'm happy with my T-Mob contract and I don't want to chuck that to move to a worse plan on O2 just to get hold of an iPhone.
I am eligible for an upgrade on T-Mob, though there's nothing on their upgrade list that takes my fancy - certainly nothing that would replace the Centro (which I bought SIM free / unlocked anyway), and it would as well tie me in for another 12-18 months, so I'm just keeping my options open. I just wish I knew if there's any likliehood of an unlocked iPhone appearing. Probably not, at least for a while I'd guess.
Do you know, I questioned the wisdom of shceduling a cricket tour to Torquay in September (LOL!).
Seriously, I'm just about fed up to the back teeth with the lousy weather. If it hadn't been for our fortnight in Zakynthos a month ago I don't think I could have claimed to have seem the sun for nearly a year and a half.
If I was younger, I'd seriously contemplate emigrating, but at my age no one would have me.
The BBC, and specifially Jamie Lillywhite, reporting on today's washed out cricket ODI between England and South Africa at the Swalec Stadium (formerly known as Sophia Gardens) in Cardiff, said...
Well excuse me!
As it happens, September in Cardiff is normally very nice - much better than the rest of the summer as it happens, and to be honest, but if you are going to pick holes in the scheduling the wisdom that needs questioning is not so much scheduling it in Cardiff (anti-Welsh bias if ever I heard it), but scheduling it in September at all. It hasn't just been raining in Cardiff today mate if you've checked on the weather. You'd have been lucky to play this match anywhere in the UK today.
And what about the fact that the County Champinioship is scheduled to continue until the end of the month? Any problems with that? I suspect not.
I despair. And I'm not even Welsh!
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
First up it appears that Alexei Smertin, formerly of the parishes of Chelsea, Portsmouth, Charlton, Russia, Dynamo Moscow and currently Fulham, may be joining City on a season long loan, subject to getting work permit. (There's always a "subject to..." with City isn't there?)
I've always thought he was a decent player, and although it's another one well over 30, I think this would be a great signing.
It appears good old Alexei has done a "Robbie" on us and rejected the offer on the table. Now I guess that was too predictable....
The BBC website almost gave me (and I suspect loads of other City fans) a heart attack earlier when it reported Joe Ledley had signed for Stoke for £6m. We know Stoke had a £5m offer turned down last week, so it was credible. However City moved quickly to quash this rumour and said he's going nowhere. We'll see.
And then the news that the City v Jacks Carling Cup match will be on the telly (Sky) which is good news. Much as I'd like to go to the Liberty Stadium on a rainy Tuesday (it's bound to be raining), I'd rather watch it from the comfort of my living room. Safer.
Steve "The Thommohawk" Thompson, alleged striker of the Borough of Ninian Park, and collector of yellow cards and blank scoresheets has signed for Burnely. Good luck to him. He worked hard but it never really went for him at City. No doubt he'll bag a hat-trick when we play them....!