Month: May 2005

Pears

Is it bad that, whilst I do commiserate with my mate and feel sorry for him, I’m still quietly gloating that the hard drive on his shiny widescreen iBook has gone phut?

Anyway, if you do have an iBook, then watch out for some very obvious screen glitches/artefacts. Having seen it on Saturday I agreed with my mate that the video card was shafted, but seems that it was the hard drive. Luckily he’s got stuff backed up, but he’ll be flying to Australia tomorrow without his laptop. Should be fixed by the time he gets back though.

This nicely segues into a little application I discovered the other day called Top Desk. It replicates the functionality offered by Expose on the Mac, and I’m already smitten. Funny how some things just seem to fit with the way you work/operate your PC. Basically, and you can change the settings, all I do is move my mouse to the bottom right corner of the screen – a nice big area to hit as the mouse can’t miss it – and all the currently open windows “fall back” into a grid like display and I can click on the one I want to work on. Handy when you have four Word documents open as you can see what is open in each window. The screenshot on the page linked above explains it better.

Just had to go back and correct some spelling there, so just to confirm that’s Top Desk not Top Deck. Ohh I’m thirsty now.

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This just in – I’ve just broken through the 7000 comment mark (7017 at present count). Blimey.

Little.Red.Phone

Right, that’s the car insurance sorted out. DirectLine were the best of the … ohh 8, 9 places I tried online? The AA were the worst by a good £200. No rhyme nor reason to it, but I gave up trying to figure it out ages ago.

Of the places I tried only two asked for any other quote values, well when I say two it’s really one as is more than evident when you move from the Admiral to Elephant and find the form is EXACTLY the same just a different colour. Weirdly enough they gave me different quotes.

The voluntary excess with DirectLine is higher than I’d want, but they offer a free hire car should I need it, and the windscreen excess is lower and more flexible than most others. They also try and sell you on their home insurance as well, handily pulling your details through into another form if you want. Our isn’t due until August but I thought I’d give it a whirl and, lo and behold, it’s very competitive.

Of course I’m now fully expecting several comments telling me just how bad DirectLine are, and what a terrible mistake I’ve made. However as, price wise, it was between them and esure (it’s just a mouse, dear), I’ll take the little red phone over Michael Winner/Bronx mouse any day.

Now if I can just get the DVLA website to process my car tax application we’ll be sorted.

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I should mention, for the record and all that, that we were all allowed home early today. Which was nice.

Did a little gardening when we got home, but neither of us were in the mood, so I ended up sitting in (bit of a chill breeze where we live) with the window open, reading and doing a little work on a website for a friend. Across the street one of the neighbours started their saxophone practise lending a very Simpson-esque feel to the afternoon.

Unfortunately there were no doughnuts to be found.

Bring me love

What a glorious day it is here in sunny Glasgow. Well I’m presuming it is as things look a bit murky through the film of grime on the window to my right. It was certainly quite lovely this morning, and I almost didn’t get on the train, preferring to stand there and full the sun on my face.

Ohh and top tip. If like me you aren’t really a morning person, one good way to wake up is to get one of the neighbour’s cats to run in front of your car as you head to work. A quick jolt of the system, a stab of the brakes followed by several choices swearwords and you’ll find your heart pumping, synapses firing and you’ll be VERY AWAKE all of a sudden.

Of course as the sun comes out, the country heads into silly season, heralded by the start of Big Brother (which will forever more be referred to as the “Big Boobies 6”) and the fact that that hugely irritating piece of viral marketing has made it to number one, yes the Kerrrazzyyy Frog* is Top of the Pops. And some people give me a funny look when I suggest that there are people worth shooting. Oh well.

In blog world, MBIAT is being overrun by some very good posts from a variety of guest bloggers (I still have a login to the site from when I did the redesign, hmmmmmm), the king (queen?) of excel has cobbled together a list of Most Linked UK Weblogs which doesn’t feature my site – unbelievable as that may seem to both of you dear readers – and keeps my aim of winning a Bloggie next year for “Best-Kept-Secret” intact, and there appears to be a little spat (with my name mentioned! the shame, the shame) between a couple of Scottish Bloggers, him and him, who are violently agreeing on the same topic – the ban on smoking.

Phew. Thankfully all that means I don’t have to be entertaining at the moment, which is just as well as somebody has nicked my muse. Again.

* to be pronounced in morning breakfast DJ-stylee

Weekender

Friday evening is lost in a blur of Guinness and conversations about “tromboning” and generic viagra. So I’ll move swiftly on to Saturday.

Keith stayed with us on Friday night so a leisurely morning, followed by a discussion about his new website (what he wants in it), and then we headed into Glasgow. Couple of beers in a pub full of people watching the Scottish Cup Final, mainly Celtic fans, and once Stuart and Mo had caught up with us we headed to the cinema. I stand by my original verdict about Revenge of the Sith – great story, badly told – and that view was shared by all of us. More beer, then the big mistake of the evening. Food.

Don’t get me wrong, the food was great. We had went for a curry in Modern India, it was about 9pm before we ate though so, despite the best intentions I think we all knew that the night would be shortlived. We staggered onto the Corinthian, had a drink there and gave up. Knackered, sleepy and yawning we headed home. It was a good day though, with plenty of excellent photo opportunities. Thanks again to everyone for their advice, I just wish I’d remembered to take my camera…

Yesterday we tackled some bits and bobs in the garden, my Mum and Dad popped in for coffee and we dozed the night away catching up on Desperate Housewives, House and then 24.

How was your weekend?

Excuses

There will be no blogging this weekend because:

  • My best mate is in town tonight and tomorrow, that means a lot of beer
  • Going straight to the pub from work tonight
  • Out most of day tomorrow – beer, Revenge of the Sith, food, more beer
  • Sunday and (hangover permitting) either out in garden (weather permitting), or doing some minor DIY stuff, possibly even visiting family
  • I can’t really be bothered at the moment anyway

I know fine well that I might post at some point over the weekend but right now, at this very moment, I’m actually looking forward to a weekend away from the PC. It may even stay switched off ALL WEEKEND (shock, horror!!).

In the same vein, I can also see me not bothering to take my camera with me on Saturday as I’d much rather sit and chat with my friends than take photos of them (I’m a bit odd that way).

Never fear, I will return on Monday and regale you with tales of drunken debauchery, hilarity and sarcasm, I’ll try and avoid too many in-jokes as well.

I hope everyone has as good a weekend as I’m planning.

UPDATE: Just realised why blogland is so quiet today. Most of you buggers are on holiday, aren’t you! Well poo to you (theme of the day according to Adrian and pix). AND I’m working on Monday as well. Double poo!

On your marks

To which of these ethnic groups do you consider you belong?

White
British
Any other white background

Mixed
White and Black Caribbean
White and Black African
White and Asian
Any other Mixed background

Asian or Asian British
Indian
Pakistani
Bangladeshi
Any other Asian background

Black or Black British
Caribbean
African
Any other Black background

Chinese or other ethnic group
Chinese

Any other: Please describe.

Why am I asking? Because I received a survey this morning as I boarded the train. It was asking me about my train journey, my expectations for it, the experience of my commute this morning, and from a long list of multiple options what my preferences would be for future changes (better information, better cleanliness etc etc).

At the end of the survey was the usual age, sex and type of work questions. Then I was asked the question above. I paused.

Should I answer it?

Whoosh

Pulled into an impromptu training session today, plans for the day abandoned, and so playing catchup with the quick and easy tasks.

Playing football from six to seven, heading to Asda once I get home.

Aiming to be home by nine, have dinner, maybe watch some TV and then to bed.

Where did the day go!

Real people

I was working at home the last couple of days, mainly research and planning (which now means I fully understand the tasks ahead of me for a particular project and it’s now scaring the heebie jeebies outta me!!), and it’s always a bit odd slipping back into the stream of commuters and co-workers. It’s akin to the feeling you get on your first day back after a holiday, but not as powerful and I guess there is a degree of paranoia attached – the joke asides about having a nice “couple of days off” wear thin after a while.

As the weather has been horrible I’d not even set foot outside the door and was thoroughly enjoying some fresh air until a guy wandered onto the station platform and proceeded to chain smoke three cigarettes in ten minutes, I moved as he lit the second one unaware or uncaring (or both) that he was covering three separate people with his smoke. But you know my feelings on that topic, so let’s move on.

There appears to be a new trend, or at the very least a repeating trend, amongst female office workers. Now, don’t get me wrong I understand the reasons and I don’t want to delve into the psychology of it (although I will in a second), but I counted 11 different woman all wearing business suits and trainers as they walked to work this morning. Is this the fashion again or was I just lucky to be in the presence of some smart ladies??

Speaking of which, a comment from the newspaper leapt out at me this morning. I can’t recall who exactly, but it was an editor of handbag.com stating that she was surprised that woman still felt they had to be attractive to get on in the workplace and that they felt they had to display some masculine tendencies if they wanted to be considered equal to their male counterparts.

The reason it caught my eye was because she was “surprised” which suggests a degree of naivety. Now, before anyone leaps down my throat, let me state that I don’t think it’s RIGHT that this kind of atmosphere is perpetuated but the basic facts are that in many work places it still holds true. One of the problems is that, a lot of the time, some men just don’t realise when they are being offensive as it’s “just office banter”. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fallen into that trap in the past, and I’ll continue to do so in the future but I am much more aware of it than I have been previously.

They Won!

Kings of Europe

Well done Liverpool, what a game, what a victory!!

Sporting

I watch and follow a lot of sport, in fact there are few sports I don’t watch – horse racing being the main one (I just typed “house racing” which could be an interesting DIY show…). I prefer basketball to football, football to rugby, and everything else falls in line after that. I play 5-a-side irregularly, used to play badminton, and the odd game of basketball.

Not sure where this post is heading, maybe it’s just an excuse to point out that the Scottish international rugby team won a game last night, beating the Barbarians 38 – 7. Or maybe I just want to wish Liverpool luck tonight, even if they are playing my preferred Italian team.

Ohh there’s a thing – who do YOU support?

I’ve never really followed one team in any support, with the exception of the Lakers whom I’ve been a fan of since I saw my first skyhook and heard that they had a player named “Magic” (damn that Jordan bloke and the Chicago Bulls…).

Football wise I tend not to follow the specifics of any team in Scotland as I’m from the West Coast and growing up that meant choosing one of the two Glasgow teams, something I wasn’t keen on as it wasn’t anything to do with football. Of the English teams I have to admit that this season I’ve been pulling for Chelsea, mainly since catching Jose Mourinho’s interviews last season with Porto – anyone see a comparison with Martin O’Neill (who’ll be departing Celtic soon)? Both very honest and dry with their humour.

My latest sporting passion may very well be Extreme Dodgeball which I stumbled across on Saturday, very VERY American and over hyped but actually quite tactical and fast paced. Too much equipment required for it to catch on properly though.