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Thursday, 30 November 2006

Catching Up With Our Lodgers

Previous Entry - Visitors From A Parallel Reality

The Aliens from a parallel reality have finally arrived. They eventually turned up at 8:30pm on Friday 10th of November, armed with several bin bags of clothing and surprisingly little else. Having deposited their few possessions they left in order to shop for food. They returned later with one box of 6 Mince Pies and a take-away each. All very nutritious you understand.

On Saturday it was time for the furniture to arrive, by the car load. Three car loads in fact. I was most surprised when they actually managed to fit it all into our box room and still managed to get in the door.

One of the items they bought with them was a wireless broadband router. I was tasked with installing this to allow our guests to connect their laptop PC and Xbox360 to my broadband connection. It was surprisingly easy to install and setup. Oddly it seems to have improved my PC’s internet access speed and this with 2 extra devices connected.

We are now 3 weeks into this arrangement and I’m surprised how it has work thus far. I completely expected to be sick of the sight of them within a week. This has not happened and most of the time I hardly notice their presence. In fact there have been a number of benefits. These include,

  • Conveniently located Baby Sitters.

  • Someone to talk to when my Wife is at work.

  • Emergency transportation when a crisis arises, which is common with my Wife’s family.

  • Occasionally I haven’t needed to cook for myself.

  • We’ve used the rent money to buy ourselves a much needed new bed.

There are also a few downsides,

  • My Brother-in-Laws work clothes get so dirty that when washed the drain blocks up.

  • His Girlfriends’ long hair blocks the bath trap.

  • There’s no room in the fridge for my sandwiches.

  • Our hallway looks like a shoe shop.

  • I keep finding unwashed baking trays in the oven.

Overall though, it’s working out quite well and they are not getting in the way anywhere near as much as I’d expected.


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    Thursday, 23 November 2006

    Works Phone Update

    Previous Entry - I Have The Ability To Destruction Test Anything!

    I have today finally had my broken work mobile phone replaced and so far I haven’t managed to break this one. Hopefully it will stay that way.

    The Nokia 6233 isn’t a bad phone, but the voice recognition circuit is far less reliable than that fitted to my Nokia N70. Instead of calling the expected number, I often end up recording a voice memo. The other problem I’ve noticed is that I have been unable to get it to see my Bluetooth headset.

    It’s not all bad though, as it has quite a good camera and the speakers are very good considering their size.


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    Saturday, 18 November 2006

    The Zero Emission Car Has Arrived, But….

    BMW have just built a hydrogen powered concept car. It uses a 6 ltr 300bhp internal combustion engine and it's only emission is steam. Sounds good until you realise there are some serious problems with it.

    1, It only has a range of 200km between fill ups.
    2, There are only 5 fuelling stations in the whole world.
    3, The production of the hydrogen uses considerably more fossil fuel than just sticking petrol in it.

    But at least they are making an effort. How many other major car manufacturer have got this far?

    Almost there, but no cigar.

    Read full story - BMW's hydrogen car: Beauty or beast?


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    Wednesday, 15 November 2006

    I Have The Ability To Destruction Test Anything!

    At work last week we all had shiny new mobile phones delivered and they were due for changeover to the new service last Thursday. On Wednesday evening I spent many hours transferring phone numbers, assigning ring tones and generally fiddling to find out how everything works in readiness for the big day. Towards the end of the evening I found there was a Rally game on it, so it had to be exercised in the name of research. I pressed the go button and received a warning that the phone was low on memory, which was closely followed by a blank white screen. I turned off the phone and that was the last time it worked. I’m now the proud owner of a very smart looking inanimate object.

    I reported the fault the following day, but they were far too busy with the changeover to deal with my problem. “Could you call back tomorrow?”. Which I duly did.

    On Monday a replacement arrived, which turned out to be the wrong model and must be returned due to ‘Company Policy’. Therefore I must continue to wait for my new toy. On the up side, I’ve had a lovely quiet week as no one can contact me 8-)


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    Wednesday, 8 November 2006

    Visitors From A Parallel Reality

    My wifes younger brother and his girlfriend are in the process of buying their first home. However, they have a gap between the lease on there current house ending and being able to move into their own home. Last Thursday he rang my wife to say that they would be coming to stay with us. This wasn’t a request, but a statement of fact.

    My wife has spent the week running around like a navy bottomed winged insect trying to find places to put the contents of our spare bedroom. The materials for the extension are now hidden under the bath, my synthesizers are wedged behind my Sons wardrobe, our golf clubs are in the loft and the bed is in a storage unit.

    They are under the impression that their mortgage will be sorted and they will move into their house in a couple of weeks. I suspect they will still be here for Christmas. My question is, what happens if something goes wrong with their purchase? Will we be stuck with them for ever? AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!

    I can’t wait for Friday night to arrive 8-(


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    Tuesday, 7 November 2006

    Danger of letting one rip...

    ....when chopping of feet by dropping something of 18kg or heavier

    I found this on Flickr.com today. It's sound advice, don't you think?

    Saturday, 4 November 2006

    Never Agree To Anything When You're Drunk!

    Boxing Day last year we had what remains of both of our families round for dinner. This consisted of tinned stewing steak and chips. Not very festive, but it was once an annual event that took place at my Uncle house. I thought it would be fun to resurrect this old tradition once more. My Mum found it very amusing, but my wife’s family didn’t really get the joke.

    After dinner I was lurking in the kitchen, in a rather happy & mellow state. This was due to the copious amounts of alcohol I had consumed. We got talking about my Dad, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and the problems he now has getting about. Mum mentioned that he doesn’t like visiting us because we only have an up stairs loo and he struggles with our stairs. This is where it all goes a bit blurry as I can’t remember whose idea it was, but by the end of the conversation I seemed to have agreed to have a down stairs loo built onto the back of our house.

    Within about two weeks we were knee deep in bricks, sand, ballast, cement and mud. Both my back and front gardens closely resembled a very muddy builder’s yard. It did stop there as the house also became full of mud.

    My next mistake was believing that I could hide all the soil and clay that was dug out for the footings. My plan was to hide it behind my shed, which seemed a good idea at the time. There seemed to be never ending wheel barrow loads of the stuff to dispense with. If you look at a 2007 copy of the Sussex Ordinance Survey map you will notice a new hill in the Crawley area. Yes that’s right, it’s my excess soil.

    The main structure was complete by mid February and my back lawn still had over a ton of sand on it. I say lawn, but by then it was just a gooey mud bath where once I had lush green grass. What about the sand? I hid that next to the shed as well, but I had no idea what I’ll use it for.

    After the roof went on and the floor was laid in mid March I made mistake number three. To save money I decided that I would finish off all the inside work my self. I must have been mad.

    That was seven months ago and the toilet suite is still in our back bedroom. I should have learnt my lesson with the bathroom refurbishment, which is now in it’s eighth year! Due to unforeseen circumstances, which I will not go into here, the progress has been painfully slow.

    However, there is a glimmer of light at the end of what has become a very long tunnel. Over the last few weekends we have finished insulating the walls, put up the plaster board and today I finished plastering most of the walls. Fingers crossed and God willing, it might be finished by Christmas. Which year? I’m not prepared to divulge that information at this time.


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    Digital Photography School

    I've just stumbled across an excellent photographic blog and website. They have lots of useful tip & tricks to share with the world at large.

    Digital Photography School

    If you are into digital photography, it's well worth a visit.


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