Tuesday, May 29, 2007

(No) Cricket At Headingley - 27th May 2007

So this weekend was the much anticipated trip to Leeds to watch England vs The West Indies in the cricket.

Unfortunatly the weather was against us. It rained all day so although we did see the ground we did not see any cricket. At least we get our money back for the ticket.

Not wanting the day to be a complete loss we instead went on to enjoy a day of drinking.

The day started at 8am at Sheffield train station. We got the 08:39 train to Leeds which was stupidly busy. There were 2 carriages and it was standing room only for the whole journey. It must have stopped at 8 stations on the way to Leeds to take on more people and it was very overcrowded when we finally reached our destination. Surely this is not legal! If they shipped cattle like this animal rights nuts would be digging up peoples granny's and if there was an accident then we would all surely die! I think the overcrowding is what caused Ian And Conrad to start drinking at 08:55!

Anyway, we reached Leeds at 10ish and after we met Dave we got a taxi to the Headingly Taps, a convenient pub near the cricket ground. It was packed at about 10:30 and everyone was in a good mood considering the rain so the atmosphere was good.

After a quick pint here we went to the cricket ground for more beer and to wait for the rain to stop. It never did. We were teased with the possibility of cricket at about 13:30 but then it started raining again. We had to entertain ourselves by playing Phil Buckaroo with his hood and plastic glasses.

At about 14:30 we left the ground for another near by pub, The Arc, and had more beer. After a couple of hours it became obvious that there was to be no cricket so we headed (via Subway) to Leeds centre. While half the group went to The Reliance the real men went to the North Bar for some stupidly strong beer served in a stupid glass. One of those was enough for me so we then headed for The Elbow Room, guided by Ian's knowledge of Leeds pubs. This was a cool pub with lots of pool tables.

We were joined by the rest of the group after about 30 minutes but Chris and Liv decided they were 'Tired' and were going home. Satomi decided to join them and Mark said he was ill so also left. The remaining 14 enjoyed an afternoon playing 'Killer Pool' which was fun. Ryan won the first round and I won the second. Ian said he was about to win round 3 but then we ran out of time. Yeah, right. :-)

We got the 20:20 train back to Sheffield. It was nice and empty thank god and we got 2 adjacent tables where we played poker and Tony made crank calls to the Carlsburg helpline.

Back in Sheffield and the evening continued with a drink in The Showroom. After this we headed up West Street and ended the day with a Popeyes Kebab (it's been a while. I've missed you).

All in all a good day apart from there being no cricket.

Anyone want to pre-book for next year? :-)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Wisdom Of Alice part 2

Alice: "My Bottom!!"

Me: "What's wrong with your bottom?"

Alice: "I can't find it!"

Friday, May 25, 2007

Amazingly It Both Sucks And Blows!

As you know, we had a new bathroom fitted over Easter. It's great. We are really happy with it.

In our old bathroom we used to get little spots of black mould above the shower, so we thought we would have an extractor fan fitted there to fix this issue. The fitters put in a very nice droplight/extractor fan.

When they first showed it to me working I heard a little rattle coming from it, the same rattle that you hear from a PC fan when it is about to fail.

"That fan is about to fail." I said.

"Nah, they all sound like that at first. It will settle down" came the reply.

So, a week later, when the fan had failed, I called the fitter and asked him to come and fix it. I won't go into the fact that he promised to do it on Tuesday but never turned up or phoned so Victoria stayed in all day for nothing and Alice missed her swimming. In the end I had to work from home yesterday (Thursday) and my god he actually turned up.

He fixed the fan which took about 2 hours as he had to go and buy the part after poking around for 30 minutes and left in the knowledge of a job well done.

I was having a shower this morning and was admiring the new, quiet extractor fan when I noticed that it was not in fact sucking at all, but blowing the steam back down into the bath!

How useless are these people?

I will be phoneing 'Andy' this morning to ask him to return, again!!

Victoria and I are getting a bit sick of these bathroom fitters. When the bathroom was first being fitted the workmen were clean, friendly and worked hard. We then had a gap to get the tiling done and when they returned to fit the shower/radiator etc they were surley, stroppy and acting like we had offered them a shit sandwich instead of the cake Victoria had been feeding them. They then said they were not taking the rubbish away and they then charged me an additional £120 for some undisclosed reason. After this we have the fan issues and the fact that 'Andy' just didn't turn up or phone on Tuesday and we have a bad experience.

I can't work out what is wrong with these people. They have the skills and do great work but as soon as you give them a cheque (even if it is not for the full amount)they can't be arsed.

My family, who have had more work done on their houses than me, all say that all workmen are the same and you have to put up with it as there are not enough plumbers etc about. Bollocks I say. In every other business you have to be friendly and polite to get by, why not bathroom fitters, builders etc?

Anyway, that is my rant over.

I should have called this post 'Plumber Review' and had one word in it : SHIT!

I'll let you know what 'Andy' says when I call him this morning.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Every Office Has One!

Yesterday one of our servers stopped processing tasks, mails, everything. I spent at least an hour trying to fix the issue before getting totally stuck and confused. I can normally fix most things so this was very annoying


There is a guy in the office who looks after the network and does such things as patch servers. I'm not going to say who it is as you may know him. When I reached my confused 'but this should work' stage I asked this person "Have you made any changes to this server recently?". "No" came the reply.

After another hour of frustration I asked him again. "Are you sure you have not made any changes to this server recently?". "Definitely not" came the reply.

All in all I asked him 4 times and every time the reply was no.

This morning I was trying again to sort the problem when I looked at the patch log. Amazingly there was a patch installed over the weekend which had the name of the person who is the subject of this post all over it. This patch was not supposed to be installed on this server as it will break it.

"Oh yes, I remember. I did patch it" came the reply when I mentioned the patch log.

It's just one school-boy error after another. :-)

Some of you know the person I am refering to but I will not mention his name. Let me say though that everyone in my department all fight to have the day off after this person has applied fixes, upgrades or patches. :-)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Wisdom Of Alice

Futurama is Red.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Nintendo Wii - Levelling The Playing Field

I've been playing video games for many years. I remember my brother and I playing Pong on our black and white TV when we were kids.

We've played Space Invaders, Phoenix, Asteroids, Star Wars, as well as home computer classics such as Elite, Way Of The Exploding Fist, Paradroid, Alien 8, Manic Miner, Knightlore....all the classics.

This video game enjoyment has continued into adulthood with Playstations, Xbox's and the ultimate format for games, the PC.

We now, after 30 years, come to the Nintendo Wii.

I like to think I am pretty good at playing games. Not the best as I also have a life but still pretty good. I did not expect to be beaten by, let's say, Victoria for example.

Unfortunately, my years of games playing have come to nothing as Victoria is constantly beating me at Wii Sports Bowling. She has even bragged about it on her new website.

This is not fair! I am supposed to beat her with my finely tuned reflexes and excellent hand/eye co-ordination.

I love my Wii but I think I will have to stick to playing Tennis! I can still win at that....for now.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Subtle Changes

I made a few subtle changes to the website this morning.

Firstly I added some new blogs to the list. Dave "Thinks he looks like Magnum PI" Callaghan has just started a blog so I added a link to it. I'm sure it will be full of info on his son, Luke, and on Dave's geeky interests.

I also added links to Tony's blog and Chris Riley's blog as I read them often and have decided I can no longer be bothered to type the url's into my browser. Even bookmarks are too much work for me. ;-)

I have also seperated blogs from other links in the menu and it is in the links section you will find access to my Flickr page. There are also several sites I visit on a regular basis. I'm sure I will add more later. Of particular interest to anyone who keeps track of when those elusive US TV shows are airing will be My Episodes. Add the programmes you watch to your personalised list and it let's you know when to download them, er, I mean when they are on.

There is also a link to Briddon Bun's which has lots of pictures of Victoria's cakes. Will get round to doing her a proper website one of these days!!!

Finally I have added an admin section as I am too lazy to type the blogger login address into my browser whenever I wish to add a post.

OK, that's enough of that. I'm off to play Wii Sports!


**********UPDATE**********

Victoria has decided that her website should become a food blog. As she loves cooking and all things foodie she thought she would log her activities in a blog. I have therefore moved her link to the blogs section.

I would suggest you check it out here. I happen to know that upcoming highlights will be a report from the BBC Good Food show and probably a recipie for the god damn tastey cookies she just made. :-)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Anyone For Tennis?

This week I bought a Nintendo Wii. For those few who don't know, this is the latest video games console from Nintendo and features a unique control system where you wave the remote in the same way as you would wave the sword/racket/gun you are using in the game, so when playing tennis in the included Wii Sports game you hold the controller and pretend to hit the ball as if you were actually playing tennis. It's great!!!

Even Victoria wanted us to get one and she's a girl!!

Wanting a Nintendo Wii and actually finding one are two different things. Unlike the stupidly expensive Playstation 3, the Wii is clever, reasonably priced and it appeals to men women and children alike. This means that they are akin to rocking horse shit, ie, you can't find one. This is why it has taken me about 5 months to take the plunge. The only reason I found one at all is due to looking at the right website at the right time.

Now I have a Wii I am extremely impressed with it. Wii Sports lets you play tennis, baseball, boxing, golf and bowling and makes great use of the new control system. I also got the latest Zelda game which is also great.

The Wii connects wirelessly to the internet and you have a web browser built in. You can also download games from previous Nintendo and Sega consoles to play. It even tells you the weather and the local news!

Anyway, I love my Nintendo Wii and it is made even better because Victoria likes it as well and actually wants to use it. It may not be as powerful as the Xbox 360 or the PS3 but it is much more innovative in it's own way, and it appeals to a much bigger audience.

Anyway, just to finish this post, Victoria and I were bowling on the Wii yesterday and we were being watched by Alice. After a few minutes she decided she wanted to join in and so picked up a football and threw it at the TV!! She was delighted and squealed "I did it, I did it". She's so funny!!

Nintendo Wii scores 10/10!! Buy one if you can find one!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Movie Review - Spiderman 3

I watched Spiderman 3 last night. I'd been looking forward to this as I liked the first two films, even though the second one went a bit flat in the middle. This time however the bad guy was Venom, my favourite of all the Spiderman baddies.

Having watched the film I now have a feeling of real disappointment. It was easily the worst of the three movies.

After an initial fight scene lasting a good 5 minutes it's another hour before we get another. The second one, with The Sandman, lasts another 5 minutes and that's it for another hour. In between all we get is Peter Parker with a supposed attitude as the black goop that got stuck to his suit makes him more aggressive and self-assured. It's crap! We have Peter walking down the street like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. He even does a little dance in a club. He then snaps at his landlord and that's it. Rubbish. This could have been done much more convincingly.

Anyway, it's not until the last 15 minutes of the film that Venom appears. He does not look particularly good, like a black Spiderman with a head resembling a South Park Canadian but with more teeth, and he's not malevolent enough. We also get lots of 'cute' scenes cut in during the fight which takes away from the little bit of action we do get to see.

All in all a rubbish third movie, with only the usual Bruce Campbell cameo saving this film from a zero score.

The Good:
Special Effects (when we see them!)
The god amoung men Bruce Campbell as the MaĆ®tre d’
Stan Lee Cameo

The Bad:
The story
Venom
All the characters spending half the time crying
Not enough action scenes

1/10

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Jane's 30th Birthday - 27th April 2007

Last Saturday was Jane's 30th birthday and she had decided to have a party. As Victoria and I don't get to go to many parties these days due to a certain little girl who shall remain nameless we were both rather looking forward to it.

As is the tradition for a party at Phil and Jane's fancy dress was the order of the day and a punk theme had been chosen by the birthday girl.

Victoria and I have a tradition of not bothering to dress up at these occasions as we don't really like fancy dress, but in this case we decided to actually make an effort!! Victoria created some t-shirts for us and back combed her hair along with some very nice black lipstick and nail varnish, while I spiked my hair and wore a t-shirt in the style of punk. OK, when I say spiked my hair I mean I tried. It has so many curles in it that it was a bit hard to get spikey but it's the thought that counts.

Victoria also made a cake for Jane which was also punk themed. You can see it above.

The party was great. There were lots of people there including some we had not seen for ages (Nick and Rachel especially) and Victoria and I managed to get extremely drunk. I think we actually managed to do it without insulting or upsetting anyone which was a bonus!

Happy birthday Jane and thanks for the great party. Victoria and I both felt VERY ill the next day which goes to show what a good time we had.

Pictures are here.

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