Saturday, 31 January 2009

Change 31

Today's change was dificult to choose, as there were two.

We went over to a bar in deepest, darkest West London this afternoon to say adios to Dan and Mishka, who are moving to Seville next week. It was worth the schlep through the traffic as there were quite a few people we hadn't seen for ages, good food, the footie was on and Freyja was in a terriffic mood, generally being hilarious, entertaining all the adults, charming all the bar staff and scoffing all the chips. But that's really a massive change for them so I am more inclined to go for the discovery that our local pub, The Honor Oak, has just started doing Saturday brunch. On the spur of the moment this morning, we decided to brave the cold and walk over the hill to sample it. I am so glad we did; I had literally the best sausages* I have ever eaten, alongside wonderful thick cut bacon and some crispy black pudding.

I think we may go every week.

* apparently from a local butcher called Peter James, which we will be checking out forthwith!

Have A Wordle

This is just beautiful.
"Wordle is for generating 'word clouds' from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, alpha priority and color schemes. It will work from any text, blog or other web page that has an RSS feed."
And this is mine from here (click to enlarge, obviously):
It also has a randomise button which is mesmerising.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Change 30

Today's change was the bed. Not just any bed, but the transformation of Freyja's cot into a little single bed, complete with duvet and pillowcase adorned with Russian dolls. No more baby sleeping bags or having to bring her books and drinks. She's all growed up now.

Hang on.
No more Saturday morning lie-ins for us either...

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Change 29

Today's change was - and non-geeks can look away now - installing Eeebuntu on my Asus Eee 701 (thanks for the USB drive Mr R, beers on me at the BHT).

So far, excellent; even wireless networking worked out of the box (always often sometimes a sticking point with Linux) and whilst I am more of a KDE man than a Gnome [insert joke here] the OS does appear to be a good fit for the very particular challenges of my - sorry, Freyja's little netbook. Nice.

Ade Togo?

An interesting sentence from Goodplaya caught my eye today, and set me to thinking the unthinkable - what if we were to sell Emmanuel Adebayor in the summer?

We have Eduardo coming back and looking sharp, van Persie is on fire, Walcott returns in March (AW has always said he wants to play him through the middle like Thierry) and Carlos Vela is chomping at the bit. Now I will hold my hands up and admit that none of those players give us a lot in the air - but that is not our style of play. And against Everton, the 6'4" Adebayor won exactly three headers all game; he was crap. Also, what about Bendtner? Stop laughing at the back; his impact off the bench has been clear for all to see, winning us games in the dying stages, and he's still only 21. Attitude or not, the boy does have talent, when the 'right' Nicklas turns up. He's tall and holds the ball up well - sound like anyone else we used to know?

Whilst he had a brilliant 07/08 season, since his summer come-and-get-me-Galliani transfer distraction, Ade has looked well off the pace. Yeah, he then signed a long-term contract but that's not worth the paper it's written on in football. Unless he puts in a tremendous three months in the title run in, working hard, scoring goals and grabbing 4th spot for us, I'd say give him his move to Milan and use the money to shore up our leaky defence.


Overheard #64

"My computer seems to be running slow. Maybe I don't have enough gigarams?"

Almost certainly true.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Change 28

Today's change was yoghurt, instead of granola, for breakfast. Our local Pret has said it is stopping its granola offering shortly (the fools) and it has been in increasingly short supply all week. Still, yoghurt clearly still counts as 'gloop' so my January resolution* is still intact. Two more days and counting...

* my trademarked and patented Soup 'n' Gloop diet, in case you were wondering.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Change 27

Today's change was actually an additional change from yesterday (I know, I know, so sue me...)

Anyway, at the aforementioned vendor lunch, I ordered Cha Han as a bit of a change from my usual. Obviously I'd spotted that it came with prawns but assumed that, given my well-documented-since-childhood disdain for things-of-the-sea, I would just push them to one side and think no more about it. However, when my dish arrived, not only was it steaming hot (and accompanied by those great little multicoloured pickles) but the advertised prawns were most definitely not the pathetic nonentities you might stumble across in a badly-thought-out late night chow mein; no, these were monsters, seemingly grilled to perfection and laid on top of a mound of golden, steaming fried rice, glistening in the lunchtime sunlight ('steady on' - Food Porn Ed). I simply had to try them. And do you know what? They were great.

So I think I may have just had a seafood epiphany. And for anyone who knows me, that's change.

Plane Crazy

Having vented about our recent Heathrow Terminal 5 experience on Twitter, I was pointed at this by a top-secret inside source (hello, H!)

I am speechless. It's a sodding airport, it doesn't have emotions! Stop this incessant anthropomorphising in the name of soft and cuddly customer relations. We're not idiots.

And it still doesn't have enough trolleys *fume*

Monday, 26 January 2009

Change 26

Today's change was a last-minute invitation to lunch with one of our vendors, which was rather nice. There's a lot of it about at the moment; anyone would think they were the teensiest bit worried about the threat of major cost-saving contract negotiations amongst City brokerage institutions...

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Change 25

Today's change was difficult to put my finger on, as I had a stinking hangover due to excessive Chianti intake and a late-night SingStar marathon (thanks, Katie & Paul!).

So maybe I'll leave it at that :)

Take The Long View

Wow. These would make some amazing desktop wallpaper(s):

Long Exposure Photography: 15 Stunning Examples

(via Neatorama)

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Change 24

Today's change was to my age. Yes, thirty-eight years ago (around 6.30pm, I'm told, just in time for a gin & tonic) I arrived in the world, a little yellow* bundle of joy**. From Kingston Hospital back home to Richmond*** where my mum finally got to tuck into her pork chop****.

Still here, though; so far, so good. Happy birthday to me!

* like all the best people, I had jaundice
** possibly a little artistic licence here

*** now there's posh
**** long story...

Friday, 23 January 2009

Change 23

Today's change was a visit to a new (to us) restaurant, Sapporo Ichiban in Catford Broadway. What can I say - fantastic Japanese food including fresh gyoza, ramen, teriyaki & katsu, all made to order in front of you and at credit-crunch prices. Whilst nothing to look at from the outside, the 'sunken' tables at the rear are an fun & interesting feature and it would be worth coming with a big group and taking advantage of the unlimited buffet, with a shed-load of Sapporo (what else!) Did I mention they do takeaway as well? We have a new favourite place...

Back In Your Boxxy

Feel free to ignore this post if you are over the age of fifteen, or have a life, or both. It will make no sense to you. Run away now.


OK? Anyone still here? Right then...

The same internet machine that could propel you to the top of the Youtube charts and hand you online fame will happily chew you up and spit you back out just as quickly, with zero remorse or consideration for the consequences. This is the reality of the internet today, this case is not the first, and surely not the last. Catie, at least, well and truly learnt the power of the world wide web. Somehow, I doubt that will be of much consolation to her.
Utterly. Bonkers.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Change 22

Today's change was the arrival of my parents for the weekend, who were greeted by the sight of a very excited Freyja in a vest, performing some modern interpretive dance in the hallway (either that or she needed a wee).

Offside Online


They're going to make the same mistake the record industry did. Don't fight it; embrace it. As I commented here back in November, if they offered reasonably priced, live streaming Premiership matches with decent bandwidth, picture quality and commentary, the thousands - nay, millions - of fans who cannot get to a game or see it on TV would pay for it. More money in the FA coffers, not less.


17 Years 21 Days

The new Liam Brady anyone? As previously mentioned, the future is here and its name is Jack.

(animated gif via arseblogger)

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Change 21

Today's change involves us entering the astrological sign of Aquarius, which also means it is very nearly my birthday! Now I have to admit that I am not a follower of the mystic art of astrology, as it is what is commonly known as 'a load of claptrap' but apparently Aquarians display some or all of the following traits *deep breath*
Strong-willed, stubborn, obstinate, very opinionated, conceited, far-sighted, visionary, revolutionary, original, innovative and inventive, tolerant of other views, seeing both sides of the argument, unprejudiced and objective, humane, humanitarian, altruistic, idealistic, having high expectations, friendly and sociable, inconsistent, shirking personal commitment, loyal in friendship, remote, detached, aloof, impersonal, emotionless, cold, devoted to goals, free-spirited, rebellious, hides true feelings, independent, individualistic, intelligent, intellectual, curious, seeks mental challenge, very clever, witty, unpredictable, eccentric, unconventional, misunderstood, enigmatic, magnetic, progressive, imaginative, intuitive, frank, outspoken, unwilling to participate in any standard of protocol.
So we are friendly & sociable but detached & aloof, objective & progressive as well as obstinate & outspoken and loyal & enigmatic whilst still emotionless & cold.

Er, right...

Overheard #63

"That kebab looked nice, where was it from?"
"A lamb."
Absolutely ROFL.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Change 20

Today's change was to our monthly payments for our gas & electricity supply. Suffice it to say, it wasn't downwards. Robbing b*&%@#£$.

Change USA

Today's other change is, of course, this:

Good luck to him. And while we're at it, where's our young, thrusting man of the people to guide our ailing country out of the mouldering pit of recession into a future fit for our children? Well?

Sing Us A Songsmith

Good old Microsoft have apparently been working on a fantastic application that takes any vocal sung into it and provides 'suitable' backing tracks. Sounds like good clean family fun, yes?

Quite apart from the jaw-droppingly Stepford-esque promo video, the good burghers of the internet have since decided to play it some acappellas of famous tracks, with astonishing results.

Microsoft Songsmith Remixes [Videos] @ Pitchfork

Clear winner has to be Radiohead's 'Creep'. They should do their whole next album like this. Utter awesomeness.

Of course, it has to be a massive spoof ... er ... doesn't it? Anyone?

Bin Done Before

This message box always gives me the soft, warm glow of recursive madness:

Do you have a favourite Microsoft message box? Why not keep that to yourself, they might send the men in white coats round (again).

And yes, that is Office 2002.

Yes, seven years ago.

I know, you'd think, wouldn't you?

Yes, in the thrusting financial centre of the
City and everything.

But no, apparently not.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Change 19

Today's change was that I started five-a-side football again, after a lengthy hiatus.

I scored twice in an 8-5 win, thanks for asking. And today, I can hardly move :)

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Change 18

Today's change was to the three black-and-white photos on our mantelpiece, which now include a rather fetching one of Theo (in which he looks slightly like Employee Of The Month at a photocopier repair firm in Weybridge).

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Change 17

Today's change was a massive clear-out of clothes, toys and books for the charity shop. We all piled into the car, loaded the various bags and boxes into the boot, and set off to unburden ourselves of some of the detritus of modern living.

It was closed.

How To Watch Football

OK, so I'd rather be actually at the match but this is working pretty well for me today: + Twitter + Guardian online commentary + BBC live text = one happy Gooner

Of course, we still need to avoid throwing away an early lead for once *sigh*

I Can't Believe Its Butlins

The line-up for this festival looks absolutely amazing:

Aphex Twin / Future Sound of London / Jamie Lidell / DJ Qbert / Carl Craig / Green Velvet / Afrika Bambaataa / Skream & Benga / Busy P/ Altern-8 / 4Hero / Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry / Rusko / Ed Rush and Optical / Mad Professor / Modeselektor / Beardyman / Appleblim / Joker / Ulrich Schnauss / BassClef / Rob Da Bank / Billy Nasty / Radioactive Man (and those are just the ones I've heard of...)
Lord knows I'd like to go, but I've never been to a Butlins before - will they still have a poolside knobbly knees contest? Maybe a gurning competition might be more suitable :)

Friday, 16 January 2009

Change 16

Today's change was Roy's mobile phone. His previous one had a rather abrupt landing and subsequently ne marche pas. Luckily, 30 quid gets you a decent Nokia and £10 of PAYG credit. Sorted.

You Gotta Know When To Fold Em

One for us Dads:

The best paper airplane in the world!

I know what I'm doing this weekend -- bet it rains :(

Darth, Like, Whatever

Some chap in Texas realised that his friend had never seen the Star Wars trilogy, but reckoned she knew enough of the plot to narrate it. Being a comic artist and animator, he then put this together, as you do:

The "counselor" (sic) and also the extended "Han/Hans" debate did make me chuckle :)

(via Neatorama)

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Change 15

Today's change was actually rather a lot of changes, to an Excel VBA app which runs one of our client reports. You see, the original author rather forgot about the inexorable march of time itself, and hard coded all the annual data, thus ruining my day when I realised and had to amend all the references to 2008. Alex knows my pain...

(Could be worse; could have been socks again :)

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Change 14

Today's change was updating Google Chrome to Version 2.0 Pre-Beta including auto-complete, full-page zoom, profiles, autoscroll and most excitingly*, experimental Greasemonkey support.

*stop yawning at the back -- it was socks yesterday, give me a break...

Obamicon Yourself

Everyone else is doing it, so:

Yes, I was wearing a wig. Long story. Have a go yourself (wig optional) here: Obamicon.Me

Nifty Fifty

This is genius.

Forget the magazine editors & big label marketing budgets. This is the best music from 2008 chosen by the most passionate music fans alive: music bloggers.
You can stream the Top 50 Albums individually off the site, or listen to them in blocks of 10 as a podcast. Oh, and while you're there play the Top 50 Songs by month or read the Top 50 Artist reviews, as compiled by the thousands of music bloggers around the world.

Wow. There goes the rest of the month...

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Change 13

Today was a bit short on change so I'll have to go for the obvious. My socks were successfully changed earlier today (I'm sorry).

Monday, 12 January 2009

Change 12

Today's change was a breakfast-based one. My usual Granola (with hot milk) was accidentally swapped for Oat & Granola. Which was basically like porridge. And I really hate porridge :(

Snow Goal

Inventive goalkeeper abuse from those cheeky Atletico Madrid fans.

They still lost.

Cut Copy Paris

One album making it onto many of 2008's Top Ten lists was from Ladyhawke - personally, I thought it was patchy but it did spawn a veritable slew of remixes, one of which I stumbled across on Palms Out Sounds and share with you below, because it's great:

Ladyhawke - Paris Is Burning (Cut Copy Remix)

Yes, it's a little bit Euro-nu-disco-tastic but sometimes, just sometimes, on the rainy January struggle home from work when the Tube is packed and he's forgotten his brolly, a chap needs to be transported back to a balmy summer night at Pacha watching a gaggle of po-faced European girls in spangly hotpants gyrating on a podium waiting for a fat Lebanese shipping magnate to take them home in his Bentley. Okay? Good.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Change 11

Today's change was the fitting of voiles* to our front bay window (ostensibly to keep the low winter sun from shining in and disturbing our mid-afternoon viewing of Season 3 of Heroes, but actually so we don't have to look at the chavs.)

* your Aunt Enid would know these as nets, but nets aren't very Habitat :)

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Change 10

Today's change was the return of the stairgates. Yes, Theo is now crawling like a demon. Go on, lad!

Geek Girl

Scene: A domestic kitchen in South-East London, 8.15am

A man, the father of the family, enters dressed in a dark grey dressing gown and carrying two half-drunk mugs of tea. His daughter, aged three, is perched at the kitchen table in blue spotted fairy pyjamas, clearly doing something with the laptop. He watches her move the mouse and purposefully click the button.

FATHER (intrigued): Hello you. So what are you up to, sweetheart?

DAUGHTER (nonchalant): Oh, just checking my email.

The man stands for a moment. His daughter clicks again, gives a chuckle and closes the lid of the laptop.

Fade to black

Friday, 9 January 2009

Rafa Laffa

Great quote from the Liverpool boss responding to Demento's whinges about the fixture list:
There is another option - Mr Ferguson organises the fixtures in his office and sends it to us and everyone will know and cannot complain."
Splendid stuff; just hope he hasn't peaked too soon and done a Keegan:

They didn't.

Change 09

Today's change was in our selection of oriental takeout. Normally, we opt for Thai but tonight we both agreed that Chinese* was what we wanted this evening. Delicious.

* For the record: Crispy Aromatic Duck with Pancakes, Lemon Chicken and Char Siu Noodles.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Change 08

Today's change was Jeremy moving desks to opposite me at work. Now I can't see the equity analysts any more. Actually, this may not be a bad thing...

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Change 07

Today's change was clothing related; due to the somewhat inclement weather, I have swapped my colourful but thin Boxfresh scarf for an extremely warm slate grey knitted one from Solveig's mother, which I received for Christmas. Toasty!


xkcd on form, as usual:

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Change 06

Today's change was the princely sum of £2.35

MacBook Wheel

This is amazing. Apple has introduced a revolutionary new laptop with no keyboard, based around the iPod 'click wheel' system of navigation. This could revolutionise the user interface as we know it:

Very good, Mr. Onion.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Change 05

Today's change was an increase in the number of Theo's teeth, from two to four! No wonder he was yelling a bit :)

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Change 04

Today's change was a drop of 24 degrees in temperature, arriving back in the UK (-1°C) from Dubai (23°C). Brrrr!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Change 03

Today's change was that Theo started crawling!

Friday, 2 January 2009

Change 02

Today's change was 44 UAE dirhams (approximately £8.20).

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Change 01

Today's change was an obvious one. It is now the year 2009.