Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Catch Up

Becoming very lazy, it must be the dark days (and even darker nights) we've been having. Went to the Farmers' market last Sunday and got soaked - Jacqueline had the sense to stay in bed. I did, however, order the christmas turkey.

Alice proved herself to be something of a dark horse - after the usual moaning about doing homework when she finally got to do it not only did she do it quickly but she also did it proficiently. I've always thought her quite weak at math but she was able to do her times tables with very few problems. The work was set from this Education City website, so assuming the questions were typical for her age, she did very well indeed. She only got 9/10 first time around, so being the hard taskmaster that I am I got her to do it once again, whereupon she got full marks.

Been upgrading computers again. Upgraded Alice's hard disk, plus the hard disk in my laptop. For the desktop machines, whenever I've upgraded the disks I've always upgraded them to Maxtor disks, and Maxtor have published a (freeware) utility which allows disk cloning - but only where one of the disks is a Maxtor disk. When upgrading the laptop, though, I had to find an alternative. The laptop is a development machine and so I run Windows 2003 Server on it. I contacted one company who told me that because it was a "server" operating system, I would have to buy their whizz-bang server product for $699 (the new hard disk just cost £75), however I found another vendor - Acronis - who push a product called MigrateEasy. It is very slick, very painless, very easy to use, and did not whine about my "server" system. It is also very cheap ($40 to buy, $0 for a fifteen day trial). It was so good that I set it going as I went to bed last night, and this morning I was greeted by a simple message telling me that everything was finished, I swapped the new disk for the old one, and simply started the computer up. Wonderful. So good, in fact, that I have no further need for the software so won't be going beyond the trial version. However I've made a note of their name, so if ever I need (or am asked to recommend) a backup solution...

Apart from that....have just paid the Revenue off so am now quits with them; on the other hand, my car is due for its service/mot; have finally got Alice to write down a list of all the presents she'd like for christmas, and I think I'm just going to give her the money. Oh, and I've booked for us to come up to the west end over christmas to see The Snowman. In lieu of panto this year, I think.

Monday, 20 November 2006

Leaves on the Line

Today's train journeys took 2 1/4 hours this morning and 2 hours this evening. The scheduled journey time is about 1h20.

I wonder whether "leaves on the line" was ever an excuse before privatisation?

Monday, 13 November 2006


Looks like the anemometer is working normally once again. Praise the lord for inventing the sycamore tree.

Sunday, 12 November 2006

Windy Miller

I've been a bit worried about my weather station lately. The weather here has been calm for a few weeks now, but even so I was a little concerned that in all that time, the wind speed indicator has not moved above zero.

Now, its not overly unsual for the wind speed to be zero for a day or so, but for about the last three weeks? The wind direction indicator is obviously working, since that has been showing realistic values throughout. Unsurprisingly the wind speed and direction are measured from the same instrument, so at least if the direction were working it would be unlikely to be either the connection or the base unit (which has been measuring temprtature etc. quite happily).

I'd resigned myself to having to buy a new piece of kit - apparently these things only last so long in any case - but today (in near dark and after around 4 hours tidying the garden, I might add) I summoned the courage to climb onto the roof to take a look just in case.

Lo and behold the little propeller seemed to have been jammed by, of all things, a sycamore seed.

Only thing is, it is very still once again right now, so I haven't been able to see whether I've fixed the problem yet. Otherwise I guess I'll just end up dipping into my pocket once again - plus of course another trip onto the roof.

Friday, 10 November 2006


I noticed last night that the Evening Standard now runs with the banner "London's Quality Newspaper". Presumably this is in the wake of the start up of the two free evening papers in London.

True, from what I have seen they both appear to be rubbish. But equating the Standard with quality? That's stretching my imagination a bit too far...

Thursday, 2 November 2006

I smell winter

Last weekend the clocks went back, so my journeys home are now immersed in darkness. Then over the last two days there has been an overnight frost on my car. We have gone during the course of just three days from a low of around 8° Tuesday, 3.5° yesterday, with a light dusting of frost, down to zero today, and a somewhat thicker frost.

For all of that, because of it I suppose, the weather is bright and as I drove into Salisbury this morning the cathedral appeared at its finest.

I have been lazy with my blogging this week, having felt under the weather since around Sunday. However colds are only to be expected at this time of year, and most everyone is sniffing at the moment. In essense, therefore, not a great deal has happened.

I interviewed some people on the client's behalf earlier on in the week - my first time interviewing in around four years, and my first time at all on behalf of this client. Great fun doing it and almost having lost my voice!

I put the Yorkshire photos in the web site last Sunday, some quite good ones in there, must try and put one into the blog at some point. I was so struck by the Dales that I have since been onto eBay and bought a couple of "landscape" books of the area - Jacqueline would say they're a waste of money, which is why she doesn't know!