Monday, October 30


One word sums up this weekend: Colic.

You know it's not going to be a good week when you start it this knackered.

Oh well..

Maybe I can sneak a few hours asleep under the desk..?

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Friday, October 27

Spoiler Warning

Right, this is a warning:  This post will concern itself with the third series of "Lost" which is currently only being shown in America (and on tellies around the world where people have BitTorrent and Broadband) therefore if you either a) are waiting for series three of Lost to appear on British TV or b) have given up on the show, then I can pretty much guarantee this post is not for you.. move along, move along
just wait for them to leave..
I think they're gone now..
So the third series of Lost is really, really impressing me - the opening four episodes have beaten anything I've previously seen in the last two series.  I like the way the show has managed to reinvent itself again, and yet stay true to the original themes and characters.  And the return of Polar Bears!  Yay!  The question is are the Others the good guys?  Are they being horrible to Jack, Sawyer and Kate because they would be more inclined to mistrust them if they were nice?  Is Benjamin playing the "long con" and does he have operable cancer?  Meanwhile can Desmond see the future?  It's all good stuff.. It's a pity there's a break coming up soon, but then we're promised 17 consecutive episodes and if they're all of this quality I'll be well happy. 

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FIFA 07 was awaiting me when I got home yesterday evening (so I got it cheap and early - result), and -although I didn't have a huge amount of time to dedicate to it (baby to see to, new episode of Lost to watch, etc), I can tell you it's pure fucking class..

First game in? A nice drubbing of the blue shite at Anfield. Marvellous.

I think this review says it better than I could though..

Busy weekend ahead, so not many gaming hours planned, but next week this game is getting a hammering - joy!

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Thursday, October 26


I notice that winter has started outside the window of the office today.
The tree's seem to be being mercilessly blown about in the wind and it looks thoroughly grey and miserable out there.  Almost makes me want to hug my PC for the warmth.  It's usually quite difficult for me to judge how the weather is doing during the winter as I generally arrive for work in the dark and go home in the dark (actually I got home in the Golf, but that's not important right now). 
Occasionally, if I venture out at lunchtimes to forage for food (which is as rare, as there is still fuck all to do in Chadderton during any given lunch time), I may be affected by the weather -adversely or otherwise- but, apart from that, trapped in my office cocoon it's difficult to gauge what's going on.  Probably for the best.
I am beginning to realise that I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to coding.  At the moment I'm on a project that seems to be spiralling out of control and running out of time.  So I am freaked out.  Pity as well as I'm arguably working with some of the finest coders (me being on the team finally proving that "birds of a feather do NOT flock together"), so it's not an IT problem, it's the business who are fucking us over.  I can only console myself by reminding myself that I have two weeks off in seven weeks time.. ..and then it will be 2007 - wow!
However, my cheap copy of FIFA 07 has been shipped (I know this as I got a SMS from - how cool is that!?), so there is some good news after all.  I fully expect to be on the receiving end of seven - nil thrashings on XBox live anytime soon.  Wicked.  Hopefully I'll clock up a few gamerpoints too as the 70 I currently have (see gamercard above) is woeful compared to my online peers.

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Just gone for this new "fresh" look, as was bored of the old blog look.
I like whitespace.

I use Persil Non-Bio to keep my blog's white's white! :)

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Wednesday, October 25

Cash Back!

Yeah, it has been a few days since the last post.. That cold really knocked the stuffing out of me to be honest.

But I'm back and I'm bad and all that shite now so..

Anyway, if -like me- you like your games either on the PC or on some of the shiny, shiny consoles that are in circulation at the moment, then you might want to bob over to

I have been looking for the cheapest copy of FIFA 07 for the 360 online, and did my usual search at kelkoo.. to find the cheapest online deal and were the cheapest. Admittedly they were only cheapest by a quid, but a quid is a quid - right?

Anyhoo.. not only were they cheapest by a quid, but when you buy your first order from, you get £3 off the total price. So suddenly I'm getting four quid off the cheapest online price - result, in fact one might say "Back of the net" (and as a Liverpool fan it's not often this season I can say "Back of the net", so indulge me, okay?).

More posts, including important Torchwood reaction,

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Wednesday, October 18

Ugh! (Part 3)

There's no reason why feeling ill cannot be educational..

Here's what I've found out today about snot (although not what I was looking for - i.e. just what is the amount of snot that can be produced in one day.. I must be into gallons by now) and the common cold..

However, and I stress, it's definitely not flu

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Ugh! (Part 2)

This cold (I refuse to call it flu, in case I get the whole "man flu" accusation levelled at me) continues to get worse..
Some form of "snot waterfall" has now formed from my nose..
Honestly, it's like the "Mucus rapids" around there.
Took the drugs early, not that they've helped any.. Lemsip Max Strength my arse.

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The second cold of the winter season is in full effect now..
Consequently I feel like crap.
Just why does the nose need to produce so much snot?
It makes no sense..
I'm getting through more tissues than a horny teenager sat in front of "Hollyoaks"..
And it's thirty five minutes before I can take more drugs.. boo!

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Hidden Cost of "Low Price" airlines

So the beeb again reported yesterday that cheap airlines mean that the UK is becoming "air dependent" and, because of this, the cut in carbon dioxide emissions that the government is aiming for (60% by 2050) will never happen.

However, we were looking for flights yesterday.
You see, we've been given the opportunity of "platinum baby sitting" by the in-laws, meaning we can get a long weekend away (a second honeymoon, if you like) and so have been looking at a cheap city break.
What's the cheapest do you think?
A train ride to London or Edinburgh?
Surely this "Green" alternative to air travel?

Hell no, with Jet2 offering flights of £9 each outbound and £4 return, we're off to Amsterdam for the weekend..

You can see, therefore, why people might just not give a stuff about CO2 emissions when the more green alternative would cost at least twenty times that amount to a our capital city, never mind one in another country..

I'm not entering the debate, just making an observation..

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Tuesday, October 17


USB hamster wheel targets keyboard hammerers

What can I say that the picture doesn't doesn't? It's a hamster wheel. It connects to a spare USB port. Plug it and and watch that furry sucker run for dear life. Round and round. The clever bit - Hammy matches his pace to your typing speed. The faster your fingers, the quicker the hamster's pace. In short, we have at long last a USB toy your boss will approve. Expect a flurry of frenetic keyboard activity as the nation's office works try to out-type and out-run each other. Hammy can be yours for a mere 25 quid

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Mass Blogging

I like this.
The History Matters site is encouraging every one in Britain to make a blog entry today on their site. The 'One Day in History' is a one off opportunity for you to join in a mass blog for the national record. They want as many people as possible to record a 'blog' diary which will be stored by the British Library as a historical record of our national life.

Write your diary here reflecting on how history itself impacted on your day - whether it just commuting through an historic environment, discussing family history or watching repeats on TV.

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Friday, October 13

Shiny, shiny

It's that time of year, the contract is up on my mobile and I fancy a spangly new phone..

It's also quite exciting as I've seen a tariff on Vodafone that I really like (and is comparable to what I'm paying with O2, cheaper in fact with the 10% line rental discount and the 6 months only paying 50% line rental), and now that they've ended their associated with Manchester United I can actually take out a contract with them - hurrah!

So.. now.. a phone.. I quite like this one - it looks very shiny indeed :)

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Wednesday, October 11

Slowly, but surely..

The evening is being rediscovered..

Perhaps I should explain that statement.

Last week we finally had a cot delivered for the little 'un.  There was no point getting one before that as it has taken her over four months to reach twelve pounds and so the Moses basket was more than adequate for her to sleep in. 

However when you have such an ickle baby, they unfortunately only come equipped with little tummy's that cannot hold that much liquid.  Despite the small amount of food intake, however, their metabolism is still on overdrive as they strive to grow up and develop as fast as they blummin' well can.  What this meant for us is that Kirstyn never slept the night through, and -indeed- rarely did more than about five hours of sleep in one go.  So when you combine very unsleepy baby and the fact that we kept the Moses basket downstairs until we went up to bed at night, we never really had much of what you might call an evening. 

However now she's over twelve pounds, twelve pounds ten ounces in fact, is beginning to eat purees (including strawberry pudding - yum! yum!), is sleeping in her cot upstairs, and has an actual bedtime she is *almost* sleeping the night through.  So it's the return of the evening, relaxing after the kids have gone to bed, chilling out, 'tis lovely..


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Black Lodge. White Lodge.

Whilst it's not exactly a disco dancing dwarf who speaks backwards, there was certainly an air of Twin Peaks surrealism on our street last night..

Around midnight, odd noises could be heard on the street outside, and so I peeked through the curtains quite unsure as to what could possibly be making such a racket (and, yes, I'll admit to thinking "who the f*@k is making that noise at THIS time of night, on a school night no less").  When I looked out I saw three people pushing a single bed, complete with mattress down the middle of the road.  The fact that they were obviously just moving the bed (they hadn't nicked it or were trying to joy ride in it), and were just calmly strolling down the road, occasionally commenting on how to keep it pushed straight, made it seem completely bizarre..

Okay so maybe it's not a lady conversing with a log, but at that time of night it was surreal enough for me.

Now I need a damn fine cup of coffee.

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Tuesday, October 10

Duck Season! Wabbit Season!

No actually it would appear to be wedding season (again)..

I've only just about recovered from my own wedding (not financially, of course, but in other ways) and suddenly two more marriages are on the horizon. 

I'm really looking forward to going to these weddings though, not only because I want to see my friends happy and tying the knot, but also because my own wedding is now a complete and utter blur. 

Honestly, I've never felt time pass so quickly in my life.. One minute I'm stood in the bar sneaking in a cheeky pint (or two) before "kick off", the next minute someone's tapping me on the shoulder to tell me that the taxi's here to whisk me and my wife (hang on, did you say "wife"?) away from the reception.  It really did feel that quick.  So I'm looking forward to enjoying the next couple of Saturdays in a relaxed and (most likely) quite squiffy state.

It was only this weekend, when we finally picked up the wedding photo's that I began to recall everything that happened that day (the "Reservoir Dogs" photo-shoot before the service, the missus on the verge of blubbing through the vows, the mysterious "chimney sweep", the £10 cigar, etc, etc) and now I'm actually very glad that we posed for all the photo's we did (because at the time it felt like a right pain in the arse).

With any luck *some* of these will be online soonish, as there are some really good ones of friends and family.. so watch this space.

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Monday, October 9

Lap it up..

Anyone fancy a quick razz on Project Gotham Racing 3 tomorrow evening (10th Oct, about 9pm BST)?

You'll probably win (as you can see by the massive 20 Gamerpoints I've amassed to date from the game I'm a complete novice!!), so there's an incentive.. but due to some interesting cornering techniques I've learnt you may well be pushed to the limit..

See you on XBox live if you fancy some race madness..

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Friday, October 6

Happy Days

There are very few "good telly nights" these days.
Indeed there are very few good television programmes these days.

With the advent of digital, multi-channel broadcasting beaming a multitude of programming options, with staggered start times and on-demand movies, not to mention the proliferation of Sky+ and other similar recording devices allowing the viewer to pick and choose what they watch and when, it seems that the schedulers struggle to put a quality consecutive run of shows on a single evening.  All too often the television schedules are filled with Police Car Chase shows and Z-list celebrities either dieting, eating bugs or commenting on the 1980's or the top 100 films, or top 100 comedy moments, etc, etc..

The bar has indeed been lowered and the barrel has indeed been scraped.

However Thursday evenings are starting to really shine. 
Admittedly you still have to span two channels to fill ninety minutes, but at least Thursday now offer a good solid hour and a half of comedy. 

"Extras" season 2 (on BBC2) has really raised the bar this year. 
Not that I didn't enjoy last year's series, I just think that this year Ricky Gervais has moved onto a whole new level of comedy genius.  What's really made it stand out this year though is how he's got his guest stars to act: Ronnie Corbett snorting lines of Coke at the Bafta's, Chris Martin looking to get starving children to hold up copies of Coldplay's greatest hits for promotional purposes and -the series highlight- David Bowie taking on board Andy's pain at having creative control of his sitcom wrestled away from him, and turning it into the most derogative song I've ever heard.  


It really is laugh out loud stuff (whilst simultaneously hiding behind your hands whenever Maggie opens her mouth).  This is then followed by the "Mitchell and Webb Look" which, despite having highs and lows, hits the comedy target more often than it misses.  Now we know.  And any show that brings us the genius that is "Numberwang" must get a special place in the Sky+ planner.  And finally, you flip over to ITV2 for "Entourage" which is HBO comedy at its best (well, second best, you'll never beat "Curb Your Enthusiasm" in my humble opinion).  I know, me watching something other than Champions League footy on ITV, who'd have thought it. However, despite usually being the most banal channel on the EPG, ITV has actually bought a good show with "Entourage", a damning yet highly amusing insight into the cult of celebrity in Hollywood.  Yes I know it's the repeat of Sunday's show.. but if I watched the Sunday show then I'd not have my 90 minutes of quality comedy, now would I?

Mind you, before I get to morose about the state of television, at least I have the first episode of Season 3 of Lost to watch this weekend - rejoice!!

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Wednesday, October 4

Return of the Mac

So McDonalds are doing the Big Tasty again.

This is a great thing (not as great as if they brought back the McRib, like) as the Big Tasty almost rivals the Whopper.. And you cannot eat in Burger King anymore since they ruined the fries (King Fries my arse).  Neither of them are a patch on Wendy's however they seem to have gone from the UK altogether now.  Boo.

However it did take a brain significantly more "with it" than mine however to point out that having a burger on your menu called the "Big Tasty" kind of implies that the rest of your burgers are neither big (well we all knew that - can you remember the first time you actually saw a Big Mac?  It's not that big is it?) nor tasty..

Speaking of the McRib (what a wonderful sandwich that was.. ahh fond memories) - just whatever happened to it?
Seriously, it was lush.

I did see an episode of "The Simpsons" once where Krusty Burger introduced a product called the "Ribwich" that had to be discontinued for some dodgy reasons - this wasn't based on any sort of actual McFact was it?

Guess I'll never know..

Anyway, "Hurrah" for the return of the Big Tasty.. Now if only we can see a return of the MegaMac (last seen in Ardwick McDonalds just before a Slayer gig in 1994)


My curiosity got the better of me and I found this McRib information out..

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Been a while since I mentioned a cool site.
However I think I have one now..

Yesterday lunchtime our heads were pecked whilst we tried to recall how the theme tune to Eldorado (the Beeb's much failed soap filled with sun, sex and sangria) and also how the original Hollyoaks theme went.. (it's best not to ask why this was such a burning issue, it just was, ok?)

Despite heavy googlage, no results were forthcoming in either WAV or MP3 format.. it was looking grim to be honest..

And then.. I found it...

TV Theme Tunes Online!!!

Oh they're all there, where else can you find the theme tune to Dogtanian, Diff'rent Strokes, Flumps, Littlest Hobo, Rainbow and many, many more all on one site??

Whether settling a bet or having a tv themed round of "Name That Tune", TV Theme Tunes Online is for you..


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Tuesday, October 3

My Medicinal Dilemma

So the cold has developed now into a full blown illness and I feel like crap.
In order to reduce the misery somewhat, I've been taking Lemsip Max Cold & Flu capsules, and this has been easing the misery of the blocked nose, headache, etc.  However they seem to be having a very negative effect on my stomach meaning I feel sick almost all of the time after taking them.

So I have to decide..
Do I want to feel crap because of the cold or because of the cure?

Surely there's another way?

(answers on a postcard please)

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Monday, October 2

It never rains, but it pours..

Also this weekend, the football blew goats..

So all in all it was pretty much 48 hours that sucked..

I'm almost glad to be back in work
(I said almost, dammit)


To add insult to injury

On top of everything else this weekend, the slight cough I mentioned on Friday has turned into a full blown head cold..


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Just like buses..

It's the Magic Number.
Yes it is.
It's the Magic Number.

Well, allegedly..

You know the saying "Bad things happen in threes"?
Well, about six weeks ago, the oven packed in -it just wouldn't get hot, which is sort of a fundamental flaw in an oven, really.  Then, just before the wedding, the tumble dryer packed in - the drum just wouldn't spin, which is sort of a fundamental flaw in a tumble dryer really.  And then we get to this weekend..

..and I should have seen it coming..

"bad things happen in threes"

..this Saturday morning, the television blew up.
It just packed in - it completely stopped working, refused to show any pictures or generate any sound, which is sort of a fundamental flaw in a television, really.  Initially I thought it was the fuse, something simple like that, but it wasn't.  It was fubar'd.  Now after a wedding, and paying for a honeymoon this really was the last thing I needed. 

I could literally feel the credit card cringing in my wallet. 

You see the oven was repairable.. admittedly at a hugely inflated call out and labour charge, but it could be fixed.  And the tumble dryer, well that could be quite cheaply replaced mainly due to the fact that we had some John Lewis vouchers left over.

But a telly?  Oh lord.

We eventually decided we'd have to bite the bullet and replace the tv (when you have two kids, and not a massive amount of access to babysitters you begin to realise how fundamental the television can be).  Now buying a new telly should be a joyful experience, there should have been tears of happiness.. Well I can tell there was almost tears, but they were bittersweet at best.

I just hope that everything else electrical and mechanical can keep going now for about eighteen months as I really cannot afford anything else right now..

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