Thursday, December 28, 2006

Manfrotto 785B

Finally got a tripod for my camera - a nice black Manfrotto 785B (aquired after a good review in digital photography magazine). Seems very good - nice and stable and a gread ball-head.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Xmas!

Got around to looking at my webcam log today and found this little xmas present from R nextdoor! Took me 5 mins to get back up from the floor and stop laughing....

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ouch my head.....

It was R's birthday yesterday - need I say more? The evening for me started around midnight and went on until....well, I'm not entirely sure.... ughhh....

Monday, December 18, 2006

Xmas tree is up!

We put our tree up today and decorated the rest of the house. I took the chance to try a long exposure using my new tripod - this shot was over 30s using an aperture of 3.5 and ISO 100. Bit overexposed, but I like it!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

St. Lucia

K and I went to celebrate St. Lucia at Westminster Cathedral on Friday - hosted by the Swedish Church. The Swedish choir was unbelievable, the acoustics in the cathedral are just amazing. The whole thing lasted for nearly 2 hours by which point I was nearly frozen - should have worn my warm coat instead of my trendy one!


Went to Mom's today for an early birthday for her and an even earlier xmas for my Brother (only time we'll see him over xmas). Had a great time and even got Mom's computer working :)

Xmas tree

K and I went to get our xmas tree today - found a nice Spruce, about 8 foot high (which we managed to fit in the MINI!!). It is currently outside 'spreading'...will come in and get decorated tomorrow...

Friday, December 15, 2006

New South Park Rich

A friend asked for the 'South Park Character' link last night which got me thinking - My old South Park Me no longer looks like me (I am now sans beard) and as such I think it is time for a new one???? Voila!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The end in sight...

A dynamic start to my last working week of the year before I holiday for xmas. Monday was a dash to Hull and back and today was a similar dash to Grimsby and back - that's more than 800 miles in 2 days. With the torrential rain and dark evenings I have spent around 14 hours in the car in 2 days - OUCH! Add that to my 130 mile round trip to the office in a few days and I'll have done ~1,000 miles this week bringing the MINI to over 32,000 miles in a year and a quater! A such I am looking forward to two things - a lie in tomorrow morning and Fri evening when xmas starts for me :) :) :)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Weird photos...

A and F came to stay last night - had a great time and ended up at the Brocket, a fantastic 14th Centuary pub. Took these photos on the way home - weird!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Xmas presents....I'm done!

Ah - fantastic. I went out at lunchtime today and got he last of my xmas presents. I am waiting for one more to come through the post and then I am all ready for xmas. I even wrapped them all up allready :)

Denzil's retirement

Had a great night in London on Tuesday congratulating one of my very first bosses on his retirement. We spent several years at Unisys together and he did a truely wonderful job of guiding an inexperienced kid in his first few years of his career. It was great to see Tom, Matt, Hazel and USA-Chris too - almost like the old team was back together again :) So - congratulations Denzil - I hope we can all meet up once in a while for a beer and a catch-up.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Xmas time

K loves xmas - I mean REALLY loves xmas. She has spent all day making gingerbread and putting up advent stuff. Our house looks like Santa's workshop ;)

New T-shirt

Blogger's image upload has been out of action for the last few days - but now it is up again so I can show you my funky birthday present from my brother :)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Flikr account

I finally opened a flikr account - have a look here:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I got hit!

I was dropping K off in St Ablans this morning (she has a contract there for a few days) and was waiting at a roundabout when I got clipped from behind. Worst of all the driver didn't even stop and I was pinned in traffic. Luckily there is no damage - in fact I cannot believe it, not even a scratch - major good points for the MINI. I am not sure if I should tell the police about this - technically it was a road incident with the other driver leaving the scene. However, with no damage is it realy worth the hassle... Anyway - if you see a light-blue Peugeot 206SE AJ53 WCG driving around beware!!!! I hope they scratched their front bumper :)

UPDATE: I reported it to the Police after advice. My worry would be if the other car sustained some damage and reported it and if I were then to not report it it may look bad on my behalf. I hope the other driver gets a kncok on the door from the law and has to explain!

More photos....

I am having great fun with me new EOS400D. I read the manual cover to cover and as such am starting to understand a bit more about apperture and how it relates to depth of field, etc. Am now waiting for a nice clear sky to do a 30s exposure to see if I can see the stars :)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Canon EOS 400D Digital-SLR

A came over on Fri night and bought his new SLR with him. K quite liked this - so much so that she marched me to the local camera shop to get one for ourselves. So, one new Canon EOS 400D later (and a long lens, 4GB CF card, bag and extended warranty) I am once again immersed in gadgets. I have spent all afternoon playing with the various settings and have come to the conclusion that I need classes or something. Awesome bit of kit though...

Saturday, November 25, 2006


As of yesterday afternoon I am now a MCTS SQL 2005 (Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist). The exam took over 2 hours and was the hardest MS exam I have sat to date. Still, I passed with over 75% giving me a comfortable margin. I am now MCP MCSE MCDBA MCTS - nice! :)

Friday, November 24, 2006

MINI hits 30k miles

It actualy happened a few days back but I only just got the pics from K's phone. 30,000 miles in 14 months - I dirve a fair bit :) Interesting things to note - still on first set of tyres, car has not cost a penny yet, it's still as much fun as when it was new. I quite like this MINI :)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Xmas lights

K told me to take the xmas lights off the tv. She didn't say anything about where to put them. I found a good place for them :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Neighbourhood Watch

One of the things I managed to catch up on during my recent week off was some neighbourhood watch work. Thanks to we now have a website - have a look

Saturday, November 18, 2006

New (new) MINI

J and I were invited to the new MINI launch - that's the *new* new MINI. We both got to drive the Cooper and CooperS back to back. The new S feels fantastic, the Cooper a little sluggish - although this could be due to the limited miles on the engine. Overall though we both fealt that the cost-cutting was a bit too evident. The cheap plastics down the centre consol and tacky switch gear spoil the whole car whilst little details like the seat not lowering as much and the mirrors being odd shaped should not have ben allowed to slip through. I am certainly in no rush to upgrade and might even try to hang out until the mid-cycle face lift in a few years.

Monday, November 13, 2006

New hair...

Not satisfied with the shaving of the beard I managed to pluck enough courage to get my hair cut also. Strayed from the usual military style and went, for the first time, with something a little more up to date... I like it!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Secret webcam discovered :(

It turns out that my 'secret' webcam appears to have been discovered...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rick Stein

Went to one of Rick Stein's restaurants last night with Grandma (am in Padstow). Managed to get hold of a couple of bottles of his new beer (launched last week). It is actually very nice - tastes like 4% but is actually 6.8%!! Not only that but Rick himself was at a table at the other end of the room - looks just like he does on telly :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I am an Uncle

I got a call last night from K (I am away on business) to let me know that I had become an Uncle. My brother-in-law and wife (M&C) had just had a boy. So - mega congratulations to them, as far as I know all went well and everyone is fine. This just leaves me to contemplate what the meaning of being an Uncle is (I am starting to feel old I think).

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Spangly TV :)

K made the mistake of leaving me alone for 10 mins with xmas lights to decorated TV later :) - I like it!

No more beard...

I fancied a change so I shaved my beard off.... Of course, I went through the usual several stages of novelty beard looks en-route :)

Saturday, November 04, 2006


K and I went to Cambridge today - hard to believe that we have lived so close for 4 years and never gone! We parked up in Park Street and walked around the pedestrianised parts. Lovely architecture - loads of nice shops and lots of places to eat. We also found two markets and several of the colleges. Nice day out.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

UKC Alumni Forum

My University has launched an Alumni forum -

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Ufff - my brain hurts! I have set myself two challenges by xmas. The first is to get my head around a new(ish) web publishing platform we have developed at work. It involves an understanding of XSLT along with a bespoke editorial application. The second is to attain my MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist) on SQL2005. I have an exam voucher for the latter that runs out late Dec. However, I have found an exam centre just down the road which will allow me to book with 24 hours notice. So - my plan is to get the MCTS out of the way asap leaving me a clear run at XSLT coding. Today was my first uninterupted day of studying - something I have not really done since Uni and my brain feels squished as a result. Beer!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Pumpkin soup

With the help of two pupkins (see below) I made some pumpkin soup yesterday for lunch. Actually, it was pumpkin, coconut and chilli soup - sounds strage but tasted quite nice. J and S came for lunch and I even managed to restrain myself from adding my usual ammount of chillis :)