Thursday, June 21, 2007

this blog has moved

my blog has moved to here

please update your bookmarks and links

sorry for any inconvenience 

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

keep meaning to ...

... paint that bit of wall
... not stay up so late
... get more done in a day
... try not to spend so much time on my new mac
... blog more often

but who has the time

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

so good they delayed me twice

so we made it to new york via the upper class virgin lounge
very tempted to stay there and not bother with the trip
people kept asking me if i needed anything
and then just bringing it to me

i was persuaded by the lady wife that trogging up 5th Ave ... in the middle of the night ... with an expensive gadget under my arm ... was foolhardy ... the apple store on 5th is open 24/7 ... it was very tempting ... mrs sensible won the argument as she so often does

the following morning 8.45 sipping coffee and waiting for the apple store in Soho to open ... at 9am i strode through the door only to be met by a smiling apple employee who told me they didn't open until 9.30 ... ok the lesson today is patience ...grrr

i get a txt from a friend asking me i i am still in NY ... i tell him i am and resign myself to another trip to the CK store to buy some pants ... no i dunno why either but they all ask me ... do i look like a lingerie salesperson? ...shuddup liz nobody asked you ... actually does the word lingerie cover boys pants? ... anyway ... turns out he is also in NY at the other apple store buying a mac book ... so we arrange to meet for lunch

9.30 and i am waiting outside the door looking at a young american student type wearing a t-shirt with a dalek on it !? i mean how can they know about daleks? ... we will exterminate ... oh i get it ... small war mongering robots  with only one thing on their minds ... inevitable i guess any way on with my mission 

it is quite amazing just how quickly you can spend a large amount of money when you really need to ... i returned to the hotel to unpack it all ... and then it slowly dawned on me ... i was having lunch with my friend ... i didn't have time to play with the new toy much ... that patience thing again ... at this rate i will be a saint by the end of this trip

lunch was followed by shopping punctuated by refreshment stops which was followed by dinner ... finally this morning i sat down with a large coffee ... wireless connection ... a new mac pro book and fell in love all over again

Thursday, June 07, 2007

taking a bite of both big apples

many years ago in another country i got to do something that changed my life
i happened to be working for a computer software house and they asked me to teach people how to use a new machine called a Mac Plus ... they had the cutest GUI and i fell in love

I never quite understood how computers could be 'fun' until that moment ... i didn't know how to programme ... the internet was in it's very early days ... and mostly computers were about work ... apart from that text game of Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy

Over the next twenty years that little Mac Plus evolved into the most glorious achingly beautiful bits of technology and i craved to own one ... but it was not to be ...

the reasons for not owning one were very sound ... they were expensive (yet beautiful) ... they were not very compatible with the PC world (and yet they were so ... beautiful) ... and we couldn't afford to support two different operating systems and software (and yet so beautiful)

it is possible that i needed to come up with more convincing arguments for owning one

and then ... one day ... the planets aligned ... and a miracle happened

it all started when the lady wife announced that she had to go to New York on business ... and i managed to blag an Air Miles zoo class seat and tag along for the ride ... apparently mrs wife wasn't gonna downgrade and yes she loved me but not that much and besides she had a lot of work to do when she got there you know

it's just for a few days but i am sure i can idle away the time in my own way ... a little shopping ... a little lunching ... a little chillin'

and then of course there is the other thing that has been happening over the last six weeks ... my very expensive Vaio laptop ... 18 months old ... looked after and cherished and used all the time ... suddenly got very sick in a wavy screen everything crashing and dying kinda way

so ... deep breath (gonna just rant for a moment but not to much cos i really do try to avoid making this blog like a text version of Watchdog) ... i send it for repair on the understanding it will take 4-5 working days .... which becomes two weeks ... they return the machine never telling me what was wrong and within 36 hours it is doing it again .... so they ask me to send it back ... i mention that it may be a graphics card problem and could they check it please ... it seems they think it best to ignore customers

at one point i discover that my laptop is sat waiting for 'authorisation' to be repaired for five days ...apparently this is Sony's idea of 'high priority' ... the usual thing of calling their ironically named 'support' line ... many times being on hold for forty minutes waiting for someone to answer ... to find out later it is a premium rate line and has in total cost us £106 ... they can never tell me what is wrong with the machine or when i will get it back and after three weeks it comes home

where within 24 hours it does the same thing all over again ... oh and they managed to disconnect or break one of the speakers ... so it's a good thing i sent it to the experts really ... incidentally this is a company that refuses to let anyone else repair a Sony Vaio and will not send parts to anybody even if the machine is out of warranty ... and yes i did point out that just because it has the word Sony on it does not mean that they own the machine and thta i had in fact paid some money for it and it was mine and therefore i was withing my rights to ask questions about it

losing the will to live and very despondant i discuss the situation with my insurance company ... who agree that i have made a valiant attempt to repair the machine and that they are happy (sic) to pay some money direct into my bank account to replace the machine ....

(rolf aussie accent) can you see what it is yet ?

after three more big sleeps (a measure of time we were taught by friends to cover the run up to christmas or any over excited up and coming event) and after a flight and a limo ride i will be sat in a very swish hotel in the Big Apple ...

a few blocks away is an Apple store ... where i have booked an appointment with a personal shopper who is going to help me choose a Mac Pro Book ... one of those sleek thin silver ones that make you wanna drool

it took over twenty years but i am about to take another bite of the apple

NB: this is a rather long winded way of saying ... sorry i haven't been blogging ... but lost my computer with all my settings and passwords etc .... oh and i am gonna be away for a few days .... if you need me you can call me if i don't answer leave a message ... i have a funny feeling i am gonna be a little distracted

Monday, April 30, 2007

retro life

i have just spent two weeks without my computer
i won't bore you with the crap customer service provided by Sony Vaio
you know the score by now ... slow ... indifferent ... never calling back when they say they will
from now on we should only talk of customer service when it is good ...
you know ... how it should be

so that was what life was like before 1984 ... hmmm ... don't like it much
unfortunately living as if it was '84 did not make me look any younger
i did get a lot done ... the house and garden has never been so tidy
i got so many jobs done that i had been meaning to get to but never had the time
then again i had no itunes ... no updates for my tom tom

once more i am sat i n the warm sunshine ... sipping coffee and answering a ton of emails
isn't technology great :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

summer time and the living is sweaty

i have slowly been working on the garden ... i am a reluctant gardener but i also recognise that there is little substitute for hard work and planning ... in a back breaking / dirt under the nails kinda way

as this winter has been mild ... (yeah it could be global warming but it also might just have been a mild winter) ... i have been able to get ahead ... i have started some seeds off in the greenhouse (unheated but it does offer some protection and looks great when it is full in the summer) ... i feel slightly on top of things so far ... the garden looks organised and tidy with a short lists of jobs i must get around to doing

one thing i am trying to tackle is to improve a piece of land we use for growing salad stuff ... i am trying to sift the soil and remove all the large stones and roots (we are blessed with bindweed and some other weed that i don't know the name of and if you don't get rid of every last bit ...) ... we also have the London clay soil that clogs the spade and is generally unhealthy ... it holds moisture well but I imagine it must be hard for little plants to force their way through it ... once i have it all nice and soft i can then add some compost and manure and stuff and make it all nice and yummy ... well yummy for plants anyway ... i wouldn't eat it

anyway ... i have a little hand rotating sieve which is better than one of those old style ones that you use for finding gold ... it is quite hard work and i started to wonder if there was an electronic version ... i wandered towards the laptop rehearsing arguments for why it is justified to buy an electronic soil sifter ... the good news is i found one ... the bad news is it costs £300 ... hmmm

so then i thought ... it is the kind of thing you only need to use a couple of times a year ... we have the space to store it ... maybe if a group of people brought one between them ... it would need to be people who do enough gardening for them to see the sense of such a gadget ... hmmm

after visualising people quietly hanging up the phone on me i faced the fact that it wasn't going to happen and i should just stop pontificating and get back to the hand sieving

what is weird is you can't hire these gadgets ... i would have thought it was just the thing for HSS to have ... but nothing ... i tried

and when it is all done ... later in the summer ... someone will be sat eating the salad from the garden ... we might comment that it all came from the garden and they will chew and look momentarily impressed ... and yet they will have no idea of the sweat and toil and broken nails ... careful you don't choke on that tasty radish

Thursday, March 08, 2007


so ... i'm a boy
and boys like gadgets
but this one really wasn't my fault

a few weeks ago the lady wife started a conversation
that went something like this

ladywife: do you think if we got a flat screen TV and put it on the wall above the fireplace we could get rid of that unit ... make more space ... add a couple of chairs so we have more seating

me: (hardly daring to breathe) (not believing my luck) (approaches the subject really carefully looking for traps) ... well it would certainly make more space

ladywife: well i have a bonus and it makes sense to do it

me: well if we are going to do it we should do it properly ... no point buying that kind of thing only to have to upgrade it later

ladywife: oh im not interested in that kind of stuff i'll leave all that to you

me: (opens mouth to speak) (closes mouth) (rendered speechless)

ladywife: what?

me: it could be quite expensive

ladywife: how much?

me: well with large screen and surround sound and fixtures and we'll need leads and this and that (names a large sum of money) ... (waits)

ladywife: ok then sort it out (goes to make dinner)

me: (casually wanders to study to look at shiny new TV's online)

so we have a nice shiny TV (42" Pioneer Plasma) ... surround sound ... amplifer/dvd with High Definition ... two old leather chairs off ebay ... loads of space and a whole new look to our lounge

it is so cool ... can't wait for wimbledon ... keep watching old dvd's just to see how good they look ... thought i might get over how cool it was but i haven't yet ... surround sound makes me jump outta my skin sometimes ... and it's not like an ipod you can't wander about with it ... and boy do other TV's look pants ... ladywife says it is wrong to sneer at other people's small TV's ... one friend pointed out that they were younger than us and their eyesight wasn't going yet

you wonder why i don't blog so much