Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Yule be sorry...

...I couldn't resist it!

I had the most amazing Christmas. So good to see all the family and really ace to have Tola there too...even if it did mean seeing less of Joe than normal ;)

As the elder brother I really enjoyed being driven to Cambridge and shepherded onto buses and into shops...no responsibility. I felt like Andy from Little Britain ("I want a hotdog!", "Not that shop", "I'm going...it's the Grafton Centre!")

Actually, I think mainly it was faffing. Bro, you faff for Britain.

Moments of note: being killed by cats, smoking with the dog, 5 minutes sh!tting myself coz Mum's stereo wouldn't work, meeting up with: Vera, Den, Nikki, Steve, Liza, Paul, Mark, Jan, Rory, Andrew, Emily, Sam, Jack, Tom!...apparently no person un-mentioned (thanks ma).

Wish I'd taken more photos, but all I managed were 3-beer-art and the odd dog/cat photo.

I love Rubes....I'd like to love LillyCat (so I do not get confused with LilBabe) but she keeps running from me!

Good night.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Last Lil til Xmas

So. Just had my last Lil sesh before I head back to M&D's for Yule.

I bought her a rattle....she loves it!


Monday, December 19, 2005

As I Thought...

...I am indestructible!

Even biology cannot kill me!

My lump was a intramuscular haematoegina.

Apparently this is rare and wierd. In that, it looked really bad when they looked at it, but sending it away resulted in: "NOTHING"!



Sunday, December 18, 2005

Storing & Watching Video on PC

I keep a lot of movie files on my machine at home. A lot...I've just backed up 200Gb. Lots of people have said, "Why so many films?", I have no TV, "How do you store and watch them?"...read and learn.

I take no responsibility for the illegal downloading/xopying/distribution of copyrighted content.


Fundamentally, there are 3 ways of getting Video (by which I mean TV, Films, and other Video) onto your PC: Record from a PVR/TV Card, Download, Rip from DVD/VCD. I do all three; so I'll deal with each in turn, beginning with the latter.

Burning from Disc:
1. Rip It!
- I like to use DVD Shrink, for which there are many options. Probably the best thing to use as you can cut out unwanted subtitle languages/audio and compress a DVD down so it's generally still usable in a standalone DVD player but MAINLY takes up much less disk space even as a DVD filesystem.
- For "guaranteed" easy ro use (read "slow") results, you need a combo package like: "1 Click DVD Copy" with "DVD 4 3" and "CopyToDVD". For unencrypted DVDs CopyToDVD should be enough.
- VideoLan. Well.....see below, it rocks but can be complicated. :)
You'll be able to rip from DVD to MP4 by the end.
VideoLan can also read BIN/CUE files (about 1/4 size of a DVD)!

1. Erm, use your favourite method of downloading: IRC, Usenet, or a good Torrent portal. Or maybe just right-click a file. ;)
- You've probably got an AVI/MPG of something using DivX and probably playing sound in Windows MediaPlayer or your other run-of-the-mill media player software.
- GET VIDEOLAN! I cannot stress this enough....there will be more
tutorials to follow; this is just the basics.

Record from TV Card:
1. Most, e.g. Hauppage, TV Cards record to MPeg2, which is a bit fat. So, that's OK for the original recording but then you need to compress it down. Again I recommed VideoLan. Do a convert to MP4 or something, because then you can easily lower the bitrates to get it onto your
iPod/Mobile mediaplayer.

If anyone has any tips on screen re-sizing (using VideoLan or other program) I'd be grateful for them.

How to stream with VideoLan!

I've not been too helpful really, but if you have an ounce of sense you'll do some looking around t'internewt for usage of the appropriate software. :)

PS. I just re-encoded the Babel video for Pearl Street Raga to iPod (video) and am now creating a mobile phone version (should work on good Nokia's, SE/// and Orange SPV)! You can mail me for a copy...

Far Less Gruesome

So, are you fed up with pics of scars and manky staples yet?

Thought so...here's someone much less gruesome :)

Fast asleep on my sofa...it seems the trip to Tesco to stock up on blank DVDs wiped her out...and what's with Mothercare: "Open at 10am but no purchases before 11am"? That's just f*cked up! Still, Rosie would probably have killed me if I bought the "When I grow up I want to be big & strong like my Dad!" T-Shirt....so obviously for boys....but, heh...next time.

Looking forward to a week off work....and get my biopsy results tomorrow...fingers crossed, coz I really can't be doing with further surgery or chemo or anything like that.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Pain...

...is diminishing; it feels like am getting over tonsilitis or something. A slightly painful lump in the throat while swallowing (where the lump on my thyroid was) and a sort of tightness of the neck skin where the staples are.

Props to Bucko for this (rather gruesome) pic.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Today's THE Day!

Surgery Day!

Yay!.....or rather, not Yay!....

Here are some pics to get you in the mood.

There's a lot of important blood tubes around there! :/

Hopefully I'll be out tomorrow (Thursday) and fully functional by the weekend....I'll get some pics of the scar up here when I can :)

Wish me luck...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Back in Briz

Had a lovely morning with Lil yesterday. We played with her singing Sunshine toy (which makes her squeal and make miaowing noises), went to the Market (where I bought a Hydrometer and Lil was admired by the brewery lady) and had a little singsong while we walked to the Farm.

Current song (with a tum-te-tum-te-TUM rhythm):
There's a rainbow in the sky
And it makes me wonder why
They are such a pretty sight
Well, it's the refraction of the light
Through rain...
...It's plain...
That makes them shine so bright.

I'm still working on the one about the coriolis effect, but the "Prime Number's are kinda cool" rap is coming along nicely....

So...check out those boots...

The bib is on because we are teething and thus very dribbly! :)

Friday, December 09, 2005


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Todays Boring Room

Day 3 of the Borefest sees us in the Novotel a few doors down from the office we'd been using previously...today was a continuation of yesterday really as we are seeing the same supplier as we saw yesterday afternoon, but for different applications. Unfortunately I am only interested in 2 of them and now I have seen 4 separate applications...well when I say interested, I mean "have a vague concern about because it relates to my job".

I have been emailed by a lady!


Not going to tell how or why, but potential lady on horizon...w00t. Trouble is I'm not sure what she looks like....but I do know that we share similar interests....not limited to geekdom either!

So...here's where I am spending my 9 hours of internment today.

Still, tomorrow is the last day and me & Big Stu are heading back on the evening flight...let's hope there's no delays and we actually make the flight on time.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

How boring is this....

Where I am spending my days...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Gay Paree

So, I'm in Paris for the week....up at 4:30 this morning, but I tricked myself by going to bed at 9pm the night before! Winner.

Not a lot to say yet, I suspect it will be boring, but I did see a massive motorcade full of Asian looking people hairing round the peripherique near Montsouris.

Anyway...here's a pic from last week.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Please Scroll Down...


Realise it's been a while since I posted but I've been busy trying out the new job. I don't yet have full control of my own projects as I am only in the office for 2 weeks before the hospital/recuperation period, so I am helping out Big Stu with his Emerging Markets SIM applications....this may mean nothing to you. To me it means 2 days of filling out documents. scoring applicants and then spending 4 days in some anonymous room in Paris next week.

At least Big Stu is coming too....so I wont be forced to wander the streets of Paris on my own or sit in the lobby/bar reading my book :)

Got loads of new software and films to play with at home too.

Lil came round this morning for a couple of hours. It was only scary for about 10 minutes when she cried like mad and would not settle. Had to call Rosie, who suggested taking her for a walk. Obviously this worked. Straight to sleep......I walk pretty much everywhere in Bristol, so this bodes well for the future. She loved her singing baby plaything though....and the nest I made her from duvet, pillows and blankets...

So. Please scroll down and check out the links on the right hand side...I'll be posting some stuff from Gay Paree hopefully.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Fingers Crossed!

I fixed Azureus!

Long story short: it was Norman.

Not Huntley.



Saturday, November 26, 2005

WTF Gwan?

Something very strange has happened to my Windows machine.

For some reason:

1 - Azureus throws a Java error suddenly (and randomly)
2 - uTorrent (which I just upgraded to 1.2.x crashes randomly)
3 - Parsnips cook slower than potatoes
4 - All of this happened as soon as I DL'd a .dmg file for Huntley's Mac!
5- Erm....

Huntley. I fear I must kill you! :)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Nearly Forgot....

....I don't celebrate Thanksgiving (obviously), but Boing Boing [see links on right] posted this....A Thanksgiving Prayer, by William S. Burroughs...which is pretty damn cool in my book.

I Hate Today

Today has been very annoying.

I have 45 pence in my pocket. I have 8.59 in the bank. You cannot withdraw this amount without going to the bank. The bank is closed. And anyway, the nearest one is about 2 miles away. The local shop does not accept Amex. Luckily Tesco do. Tesco is about 1 mile away. Luckily I have food and it is pay day tomorrow.

Work is aggravating. Having to fill out reams of documents to "track" (read create red tape) for the last version of OGDR (basically, the Orange mobile bible!) I will have to contribute to.

I have watched all my films and downloaded TV. Myth Bustered out...watched The Life Aquatic last night, Sin City the other day....new stuff not downloaded yet. And anyway I can't for the life of me think of a film I want to watch....any ideas?

I have read all my books. At least twice.....I need more! Any ideas? SciFi please!

I got so bored last night I made cardboard robots for Sonny and Esmae.

Lil got sick on me. :)

I only have the crappy camphone right now, so no pics thereof.


It is payday tomorrow and M&D are coming down on Sunday and I do have Lil for 2 hours that day....and I did buy her a new toy today :)

So....I am going to hibernate this evening...and wake up tomorrow when it is Friday, Pay Day, Happy Day and unfortunately Washing Day.

Take the rough with the smoothe.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Stupid man!

I've just implemented and tested some great (free!) upgrades to the blog...then I noticed the maintenance warning from Blogger.....Damn. Damn Damn.

This is why I am looking to go back to self-hosted, self-managed servers.

Still, I have not lost any old posts. Only the last few hours hacking CSS/XHTML.


Friday, November 18, 2005

I am the Nodulator!

So. Turns out (after some messing around with the wrong dates) that my lump is just that....an unidentified lump! Bloke stuck an endoscope up my nose to look at my vocal chords and apparently there's a bit of a "bulge", so I will have a sore throat and lack of voice for a while after the surgery on the 14th.

Good News!

And to celebrate, here's a pic of Lil playing with her favourite toy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Apparently the biopsy results are back.

I have an appointment for 7pm this evening.

Scared :/

Will update later when I know the score

Monday, November 14, 2005

Been busy

Been a bit busy doing other things recently...also swapped back to the SE/// K600i which makes it a bit harder to swap files between laptop/PC/phone....however, here's a few pics with taken with the K600i over the weekend.

Lil is still gorgeous.

You can't really see here, but she's wearing some new clothes (Thanks Nicky!!!!).....the 0-3 months babygro's only just fit her, so I got Rosie to exchange them....good ol' Mothercare ;) So she got a lovely romper suit thing and a coat (all for 1 year olds, but they kinda fit).

Still waiting to hear about my "lump".

Hey ho.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Been a while...

Since I posted. But hey It's my blog, I'll post when I want....or when I can.

My lord, I love BitTorrent! I have spent the weekend and most evenings this week watching Lost (Season 1)....and thanks to the torrent I'm now ahead of the UK season (on C4). In fact....I'm 5 episodes into Season 2....so if you want to know what happens.... ;)

Also, got Star Wars III on download at the moment :)

The main reason for the lack of updates in tha past week can only be put down to "sadness". Yes, I have been feeling a bit down: am I a crap dad? and how can I tell when I only see Lil for 4-5 hours a week? Yes, I have the new job to look forward to, but getting out of a job means lots of work for handovers and stuff....plus I am actually nervous about the new job....never thought I would get a job that I'm not sure I can actually do. Plus, the beauty of depression is that you don't actually have to have anything specific to be depressed about.

So, my recovery plan?

A night out with the female Ricola on Saturday night to see Babel featuring the male Ricola (amongst others)....check out that link....they RAWK! In a folky-klezmer style ;)

Oh....that's why started this post...

Also...do not give money to this man! ;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

DJ Koala makes me feel strange...

...mixing chicken clucks with Evangalist preachers!

thumbs up! to teh ricola....

here is Lil snoring in my ear....i did not want to wake her up...thus...

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Watched "Batman Begins" last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. A classic disposable action movie...though it did take me 2 applications to find one that would play DivX with sound properly.

The PC also picked up a Trojan sometime while I was in Nice - I'd left it downloading some torrents ;)

Somehow it got past the 2 Firewalls but was picked up by the scheduled virus scan...so that was OK...and I've now updated the Firewall software and tightened up some logging. This was the 1st ever succesful (or not, if you see what I mean) attempt to attack one of my PCs. Inevitable I suppose.


It took about 5 seconds to from smiling to p!ssed off :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Nice is nice....

....but not very sunny. gun metal grey cloudcover and a definite nip in the air.

The GeekFest is going well and I have so far avoided being hassled too much....and i managed to blag an extra 45 euros of "drink card"....probably best not to ask ;)

I have this photo as my phone's wallpaper and I can't stop looking at it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Revenge of the Sith...er Cyst

Apparently I have a Thyroidal Cyst!

Joe noticed that I appeared to have 2 adams apples at the weekend, so Monday morning I was off to the quack....didn't take long and apparently the "consultants will love you. They'll have all the students in trying to figure out what it is. Prodding and pokng you." Now, this happened to me once before, a long time ago when I was in hospital to remove a similar affair from somewhere a bit more sensitive (boys have 2 of them....girls don't)....and that was seriously embarrasing.

"I have private healthcare", I squeaked!

Hopefully, it will all be sorted soon.

In the meantime:

Monday, October 10, 2005


Joe came down from London this weekend and we had a great night out on Saturday. Fulleride and Mr Knife came out too and a few beers (and 2 rounds of Tequila) were had by all.

Managed to sort out a couple of problems with Joe and Tola's laptops...introduced him to his niece (and then freaked him out a bit by repeating "That's your niece" over and over again. Fulleride did the same to me last month, repeating "Your daughter" over and over....it'sscary.

Took a couple of videos over the weekend too, I'll figure out how to get them here sometime. They're MP4 so should play in Real Player.

Comedy Gold moment, was Joe attempting to hold Lil....I've never seen anyone lose co-ordination so quickly...like he was holding a sack of spuds!

Had to go to the quack's again today...I've been 4 times in the last 8 months....prior to that I hadn't seen a doctor for about 8 years!!!...am I falling apart or something now I'm a dad?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


So, the big boss from my team (we'll call him David, cos that's his name) was over in Briz today for some kind of meeting about the new organisation structure and he asked to have a word with me about why I'm leaving his team...my answer?

Because after 8 months you have just had a meeting to define job roles and objectives. I've been asking for over 1 year for this to be done....too slow.

Then he started whining (wineing?)....erm, whingeing about how hard it will be to find someone able to fill my "Java ME" shoes....not my problem. Yours!

*Sniggering to myself all the way home*

On another note, you could do worse to check out this a rather wonderful website from another member of the family...this one is older and better.

Oh, and...given that I don't have a TV (are you reading this Licensing people? Stop sending me the f*cking letters!), the ol' PC has been "torrenting" some of my fave TV programs for the last 48 hours...got me some "American Chopper", "Myth Busters", "StarTrek Enterprise Season 1", "Lost" (which people keep telling me about so I thought I'd have a look)...and the Fantastic Four movie.

Legal? Dunno...don't care.

And finally...

i'm a gonna punch you if you scare me again, dad!

I think the flash on the camera scares Lil :)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Just a quickie...

Had a great night out with the Ricola (female) and loads of other people on Saturday night. However smoking and drinking did no good for my cold/cough.

Woke up Sunday morning sounding like Barry White!

Other than that, I'm working from home today as I just got Broadband sorted on my home PC...so no more slow 3G connection...and thus I am preparing to get my arse kicked by Ferdinand de Buckos on Far Cry online :(

No further babber pics yet...but I'll probably post some later in the week.

I just got on National Radio!!!

Thanks to the fact that I was working from home I had BBC Radio 4 on in the background. On the Money Programme today they were asking for people to phone in with questions about benefits..."F*x it! I'll phone in" I thought (not expecting to get through)...got through, they took my question "What benefits are available to a parent without parental responsibility, who works full time, while the parent with full control is on benefits...?" ("and intends to stay on them forever!", I nearly said...but don't want to antagonise the Rose).

Anyway, bit later....walking back from Rose's having seen Lil for 10 minutes (sleeping, not spotty.....BBBEEEEeeeeeaaaauuuutttttiiiifffffUUUUUULLLL!!!!! lolols!) and they rang me!

Basically, was too flustered to sound coherent, and I rambled a bit - after they'd put me on silent actually so you don't me hear talk about my "pre-emptive strike" :)

I think you can find it here and obviously I do not use the name "guri", but "Ben".

The answer was essentially "None, you're screwed son".

Human Rights? Bah!

Friday, September 30, 2005


Got the job!

Bit of a payrise, with hopeful promotion up the scale mid-year 2006!

No more French line managers! That's the best bit ;)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

New phone...spots....and a job?

OK, not so lazy this time, eh?

Actually, I'm waiting for part 2 of the Dylan documentary on BBC2 which is on again at 9 this evening and rather than watch bollocks TV until that time I've got The Archers on in the background, checking a few late work emails and faffing with this new phone.

I'm trialling a new Nokia 3G device, the N70i. It's bigged up as a "Music" phone and runs Series 60 Symbian...I've already managed to delete all the "Signature" applications (by formatting the memory card), changed everything so that it's less Nokia and tried out the 2 MegaPixel camera.

...though I'm disappointed to note that there's a delay between the "shutter" sound when you press the Capture button and the actual taking of the picture...I think this might be something to do with the flash, as it's much worse when using "Night Mode"...almost 0.5 second delay between button press and flash/capture....anyway that's a rant for the relevant Trials Manager. The earphones and MP3 quality is nice....and it's got a radio....and supposedly there will be "TV Viewing" software (the whole point of signing up for the trial!) soon. It's still a Nokia though and I still prefer my SE/// K600i (which, incidentally is being flashed up to commercial software tomorrow).

Other than that, I've realised a few more blog-watchers than I expected (you've probably all gone after that geek-out on mobiles), the ale is conditioning in the keg ready for Fulleride and Marlon to sample. Lillian is lovely...beautifuler than your baby!!! So what she's spotty...those'll clear up; you're ugly mug is there for life! ;)

Still not sent Thanks to Nicky or Ivor/Sue...tell them about this place...It's cheaper than a stamp :)

If i get the job I'll post a quick w00t and then go spend some money I don't have on beer....MMmmm, sweet beer how I miss thee!

Monday, September 26, 2005


...that's me.

Yes, I know it's been a while but I've come to realise that this is probably the same reason why I never managed to keep a diary for more than a few days when I was a kid!

Life goes on as normal....work is....well, work. Though I have applied for a new job within Orange and should find out if I have an interview in the next week or so. No more gadgets for Guri :( though working with "big boxes" again should be fun. Certainly more fun than I had sorting out my CV.

Thanks to Nicky et famille for the lovely baby grows and Ivor & Sue for the wossname and the little hat....still working our way through the ton of supplies M&D bought down...how many teethbrush?

Anyway, some pics...

And here's one if Nic being shy....or a Nazi....happy birthday for Saturday female Ricola!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

One Week On

So, it's been a week now....can't really believe that Lillian is approximately 0.02 Years 0ld already! I'm getting a few hours every morning and another hour or so in the early evening, which is about as much as is needed.

Next week I'm going back to work part-time plus more work done from home so I'll see her less, but The Rose is allowing a couple of 3 hour sessions and a couple of 2 hour ones so that's good....I know most dads have to work and so don't get much time with their kids, but having the time dictated by (essentially) The Roses whim is definitely going to be hard. Apart from the beautiful beautiful baby in my life, this is the hardest time I've ever had.

Enjoy the latest piccies!

And one of Esmae, just for fun!

The "Lil Smith's" IPA I started homebrewing has been ready all week, and I've tucked into 4 or 5 pints already - I only got 30 pints this batch, due to some "mismanagement" with the fermentation bin and the spigot on the barrel....not as bad as the time I sprayed 2 gallons of half-brewed lager round my room in Potton ;)

The brew is crystal clear, has a very light fizz and a sweet, almost nutty flavour. A very good choice in the end. I hope to get a couple of smaller conditioning kegs in the next week and to start up a batch of something different...something nifty for Chrimbo, and then immediately get started on something dark and heavy. For the winter months you understand.

That's it for now; I'm off to illegally copy some DVDs...I mean watch a film or something ;)

Oh yeah...and happy birthday to Ground Zero!!!

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