Monday, November 29, 2010

Naughty Alice

Alice loves Moshi Monsters. This is a website for 5-12 year olds where you adopt a monster and build it a house, make friends with other monsters and play games etc. It's like a safe, mini Facebook for children.

Victoria pays the £5 monthly subscription for Alice as a reward for going swimming each week, something which Alice is rather scared of. It's worth the money as Alice uses Moshi Monsters a lot.

Last week she tried logging on and got the error 'Account Suspended'. Strange I thought. I then got an email saying 'We are sorry you have cancelled your account...' etc etc. Even stranger I thought.

I mailed them back saying we don't want to cancel our account, just access it and why on earth have you suspended my daughters access. I have to admit I was a bit stroppy.

I then got the following mail by way of reply:

Greetings Moshi Parent!

Thank you for your query. Your child alicebriddon and all associated accounts were permanently suspended for inappropriate behaviour after they posted/attempted to post the following message(s) to another Monster Owner:

"add me or i will cill you"

I was appalled!!!! That's not how you spell kill!!

I asked Alice if she posted this message and immediately knew that the answer was yes even though she denied it. She eventually admitted it after we promised not to tell her off. Being suspended was the best punishment ever! It's not being handed out by us so we can't give in to her. She was devastated. I've never seen her so upset. She actually appears to have learned a lesson.

The hardest part was Alice not seeing Victoria and I laughing. It's not a nice thing for her to do but we are not exactly worried about her turning into a psycho. I'm pretty sure she didn't know what she was writing.

Anyway, now I am going to install a proxy server on my network so I can monitor everything she does on the internet. :-)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

How Cool Is This?

It's amazing how quickly people have hacked Microsoft's Kinect Xbox control system. Now these guys are controlling browsers and Windows with it. This is going to turn into something cool.

Click here to read/watch.

Why We Blog

A few years ago everyone regularly posted to their blog site. You can see by the list on the right side of this webpage that I have links to friends who all have blogs and who all used to update them at least a few times a week.

Then came Facebook.

There is nothing wrong with Facebook but unfortunately it seems to have caused people to stop blogging and instead post to it's various walls and comment pages. I myself have spent many hours on Facebook doing exactly that but I have tried not to let it stop me blogging.

Why would I be so bothered about blogging when I can just use Facebook? Well Facebook is so transient. You see a comment or a status. You laugh or click the link. You 'like' or you comment. Then after a day or so the status falls off the bottom of the page and it's gone. Forever lost unless you can be bothered to manually go back through pages and pages of peoples posts to find the lost status you are looking for. Facebook is great for keeping in touch with or finding old friends. It's great for every day chatter. It is not good for keeping memories though.

The other day I was reading through some of my old posts and some of the posts on Victoria's webpage. I was amazed at how much stuff I'd forgotten. I've kept my blog for over 6 years and although the frequency of my posts rises and falls it pretty much covers every important event in my children's lives. It serves as a reminder of holidays, trips to London, Grand Prix weekend, concerts, theatre visits, restaurants, great nights out. The list goes on. Mostly it is a reminder of my children's lives from birth to birthdays and the amazingly funny things they do and say.

Children grow up at a frightening rate and all the little memories can so easily vanish. OK, so it is also full of my brainless mutterings but they are quite funny to read a few years on as well. :-)

So that is why I blog. If you have or are about to have children I strongly recommend you document the things they do for reading in later years. It's so easy to forget and having this modern day version of a diary is a great way to not only share their antics and pictures but it is also great to read yourself a few years down the line.

I just wonder what Alice and Amelia will think of it all when they eventually get round to reading it. :-)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh My God!!! I'm Nearly Weeping Tears Of Joy!!

It's just been announced that Lotus will be running their classic Black and Gold colours on next years car!

When I started watching Formula 1 when I was about 8 years old it is the Lotus that I loved because it looked so cool. I had a toy version of the JPS Lotus and I watched Mansell and Senna drive the car over the years. This is my absolute favourite F1 car of all time!!!

I was emotional when the British Racing Green Lotus returned to F1 this year but a Black and Gold Lotus is just amazing.

I can't wait to actually see it. Roll on F1 2011!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Wedding Anniversary London Trip - 16th October 2010

For our wedding anniversary my mother in law kindly furnished us with tickets to go and see Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre in London. This is a good thing as I know from seeing the film that Chicago is full of scantily dressed ladies singing and dancing for my pleasure. :-)

We got the 06:30 train from Chesterfield station and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the train has wireless internet that was free and that actually worked. Brilliant! The journey flew by.

We got to London in about 2 hours and had already decided to go see the Natural History Museum, so we jumped on the tube to South Kensington. After a quick breakfast in an Italian cafe/restaurant called Dino's which served the worlds best coffee we hit the museum.

I have to say it was a bit it and miss. The dinosaur section was best with loads to see. Skeletons, animatronic dinosaurs etc. It was great. We then moved onto the mammals section which was also very good, the highlight of which was a life-sized model of a Blue Whale. Wow those things are big!

The rest of the museum was not nearly as good. They had a great Earth exhibition you got to on an elevator which carried you through a metal sculpture of the earth and you got to stand in a model of a shop that shakes to show you what an earthquake is like but apart from that it is all stuffed animals. OK, but not great. Still, it's definitely worth a visit.

By now it was time for lunch. We were recommended a restaurant called 32 Great Queen Street. It looks like a cafe from the outside and a gastro pub from the inside but the food is fantastic. Good proper English food. I had Grilled Lambs Heart with Creamed Spinach and Victoria has roasted Partridge on Garlic Toast. Both were fantastic. The lambs heart just melted in the mouth and the garlic bread that the partridge sat on was possibly the most garlic tasting thing I have ever eaten.

Lunch for us both including a couple of drinks each came to just over £50 including tip which I though was very reasonable. I very much recommend you visit this restaurant if you are near Covent Garden.

Next we walked to the Cambridge Theatre to watch Chicago. It was excellent. There were indeed lots of scantily dressed ladies singing and dancing for my pleasure, but apart from that it is just a great show. Apparently it had someone from Eastenders in it but that means nothing to me. I just know that all the cast were very good.

Once the show was over we did a bit of shopping, this highlight of which was visiting Neil's Yard Dairy Cheese Shop. This place really stinks of cheese, in a good way, if you love cheese. On the other hand if you are Phil it will be your worst nightmare. We tried quite a few cheeses and bought a couple to take home, one of which was called 'Stinking Bishop'. It really lived up to it's name. We had to eat it quickly once we got it home as it was stinking out the fridge. Delicious though.

So that was our trip to London. We had a great time as we always do when we go to London. I think my favourite part was lunch. The restaurant is so understated and just do damn good. I am so pleased Chris recommended it to us.

Happy anniversary Victoria. :-)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Happy Birthday Alice - 6 Today!

Alice is 6 years old today. Happy birthday sweetie!!

I can't believe how quickly my girls are growing up and that it is 6 years since we were sat in the hospital looking at our beautiful little baby.

I'll post about her birthday weekend and the hell on earth that is Jungle Mania when I have uploaded the pictures.

Happy Birthday Alice.

UPDATE : I've now posted pictures of Alice's birthday here.

Mac Users - You Must Be Worried.

Can a Mac user please read this article on the Register and explain to me why you are not worried about the direction Steve Jobs is taking your platform of choice? I really don't understand why none of you seem bothered that he is slowly adding the same software restrictions to the Mac as there are on the iphone/ipod/ipad.

I'm serious. Please explain it to me.

My prediction? Within 12 months there will be a Mac announced without an optical drive as Jobs has decided that the Mac App Store is so good that nobody needs CD's or DVD's any longer.

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