Sunday, December 30, 2007

Smart Shower Cap

In order to totally protect the Smart from the rain and the ievitible small leaks that occur we got a shower cap for it. It takes only 2 or 3 mins to fit and provides protection against rain, frost and sunlight. Quite why we didn't buy one ages ago I am not sure...

Friday, December 28, 2007

We're ill :(

K and I both caught colds in Sweden. K is worse than I but we are both pretty sorry for ourselves... Just hope it clears up for new year!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Am currently enjoying being very relaxed in Sweden. My nephew is now a walking (nearly talking) 1-year old who seems very advanced for his age. He likes his food - a LOT :) I arrived mid-afternoon a couple of days back to be immediately whisked off to a local Tiki-Bar - huzzah! Several cocktails later we made it into town to carry on festivities. Celebration was due as M has received the job offer he was gunning for - a good xmas present to himself. C is happy there will be two incomes for the first time in several years :) K has found an open internet connection allowing me to check email and write my blog and as such I currently write to you from the comfort of the living room having just had a fantastic breakfast with lots of coffee - perfect!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I finally got round to switching to OpenDNS today after making a note to do it some months back. It does indeed feel snappier and I am already enjoying the benefits of URL typo correction and ad-blocking :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Rich the Dancing Elf :)

Was sent this today by M - funiest thing ever. Click this link to see it in action - I am, of course, the second Elf from the left.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Starting to get cold...

It is starting to get a bit cold here. Last night it was well into the minus numbers. K picked a good day to get her soft-top back from the garage!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Xmas Tree

Our Xmas Tree - awaiting decoration this weekend... We found quite a ncie one this year.

Monday, December 10, 2007

TimeMachine and NAS

Found a nice little hack here to enable TimeMachine on a network share - seems to be working so far.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Fajitas night...

In what has now become somewhat of a tradition, we went round to L's for fajitas night :) As always the food was excellent and the chillis hot (VERY HOT). For the first time ever neither K or I were driving so we could both enjoy some cold beers with our spicy food - awesome!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Xmas Office

I went on one of my now rare trips to the office today for a morning technical meeting. I was greeted with this on my desk - very festive! Note the expertly made bubble-wrap bows :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Time Machine Problems...

Apple's Time Machine appears to have a few bugs. I am not alone in finding a perfectly working TM drive suddenly become corrupt when you try and mount it leaving you with no option but to re-partition and start from scratch. Has happened twice now, the second time after 48 hours and several good backups.... Would not be so bad but an initial snap-shot takes over two hours!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Time Machine

One of the new features in OSX Leopard is 'Time Machine' - a way of incrementally taking backups of files on your Mac. I had a spare 60GB laptop drive hanging around so I ordered an enclosure for it and am now in the process of the initial snapshot process. Hopefully this will mean K will not have to worry about manually backing anything up ever :)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

K's new MacBook

A few weeks ago I bought K a MacBook as a surprise. It was not meant to be delivered until tomorow (Mon). However, whilst in Aberdeen last week they attempted early delivery. This would have been fine except that they wrote on the note 'Apple'. K twigged and the surprise was lost :( However, this did allow me to get my hands on it before xmas and as such I have been playing around with it over the weekend. First impressions are good - I'd not change my Vista machine for it but as a laptop for K it is perfect.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Aberdeen is cold.... brrrrr

Last time I was in Aberdeen it was bright, sunny and most importantly - warm. This time it is the opposite.... It was raining all day yesterday and everything is cold and grey. K would feel cold just looking at the pictures of this place :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Stabbing at Uni!!

I logged into the University website today to check my mail, etc to find a new item concerning a stabbing outside the Uni. Two guys both got injured, one in the leg, the other in the back. Apparently neither are related to the Uni but even so they are holding two Q&A sessions for students and staff. It happened in the middle of the night so one wonders what they were doing there and what the argument was about!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Busy Weekend

What a busy weekend! Friday we went to T's place north of Ely. Had a great homemade Malaysian cury and some even nicer whisky :) Sat was A's 'village people' 30th celebration at the Wellington. Have to say, it was one of the nicest meals I've had there. Sunday was spent at Uni working on coursework. After a week of 'holiday' I am exhausted!

Yes - that *is* a candle in his meal. I was only joking when I asked the waiter to put one in :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

MSc Coursework

Have had quite a shock to the system this week - I had to start my MSc courwsework for one of my modules. This is a 3,000 word report into organisational culture and structure with respect ot the successful delivery of projects. I think I have rewritten it about 3 times now. However, as of 5 mins ago I have a version that I am, at last, happy with. Need a beer me thinks!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

40D - new firmware (1.0.5)

New firmware for the 40D released today here

Monday, November 19, 2007

Curran's 30th

K and I travelled to Southampton for Curran's 30th birthday meal with his friends and family. Fantastic food, great company - a brilliant night. Pics on flickr

Friday, November 16, 2007

Office is now 100%

It may look messy but at last (new Dell dock arrived this morning) I have all my screens up and running. From left to right - my Uni area, home area and then work area. Two screens each of course :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Does K let kitten get away with to much?

Snapped this last night - kitten had decided that K's face was the most comfortable spot to sleep!!! If this was me then kitten would be told off and moved - K, however, thinks that he is small and cute and is allowed!!! We have *another* spoilt cat!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rasmus's Collar

We put a collar on Rasmus for the first time today :) He has spent most of the morning walking backwards trying to figure out what he has on him...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Remote Shooting

Now that I have a good tripod I can try one of the things I have been looking forward to with the 40D - remote shooting. With a simple USB cable I connect the 40D to my machine. I start the EOS Utility and select liveview. Now I have a real-time image on my machine of what the camera sees and can control ALL the functions via the computer - AWESOME!

Tripod - carbon fibre - ooOOOooo!

I just picked up my new tripod and head for my 40D. I went for a Manfrotto Magfibre set of legs in the end and the excellent 322RC2 trigger head. Should do nicely...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Fireworks Party

We were invited to S&S's FANTASIC new house - a converted barn in a gorgeous village not far from us. What a cool party - good food, fireworks, apple bobbing and the best toffee ever! Loads more pics on flickr (see link in title). Such a good night. I tok along my 40D and a tripod (thanks Al) and tried to capture some of the fireworks - I did better than I thought I would which made me even happier!

Friday, November 02, 2007


This week I have been mostly in Aberdeen. I was up at 04:30 on Tue to catch the only morning flight up and have been here ever since (flying back late tonight). It's been a good week work-wise although I am quite tired. Highlight of the week was meeting up with J last night for a few drinks and a 11-year catch up chat! J and I used to live in the same village when we were at Primary school but have not seen each other since we left for Uni. She saw I was in Aberdeen via Facebook and sent me a message - you gotta love FB! I have to admit - it is excellent having friends spread so far around that in most places I end up there is someone to grab a beer with!

Monday, October 29, 2007


I was thrown a surprise 'Pirates Only' birthday party on Sat night for my 30th thus fulfilling a childhood dream of one day being a real-life Pirate. S and R spent far too much time sorting out the food and K masterminded a fantastic event. It was sooo much fun. More pics at flickr.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Birthday Present

S came round this morning to drop off a present for my birthday - on the understanding that I had to wear it in public at some point soon. It is so funny - cannot believe the trouble he has gone to :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Port Party

We had the village around last night for the grand opening (and drinking) of my 1975 port magnum. It always seems a shame to open such an old bottle but the vintage was ready this year and what better than my 30th for it. Needless to say - the cork required some work but, despite coming out in several bits, it had held its seal. The port was lovely - I have never tasted such a smooth one before! J bought me a present (see below) which I think is inspired - I am having my morning coffee from it right now...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Ahhh - it finally happened. Despite attempting to put it off by by pickling myself over the weekend it finally caught up with me and today turned up on schedule. I am now officially no longer in my late mid-twenties. However, on the bright side I don't *feel* any older and I have been given presents. Thanks to all of you for your birthday messages!

Monday, October 22, 2007


Have just has one of the best weekends ever. As my birthday surprise K flew me out to Dublin for the weekend - with 6 of my best friends too! We stayed in the Westin, drank champagne, had breakfast in bed, went to the Guinness storehouse, watched the F1 Qualifying in the Long Stone, ate chicken wings at the E&C and had surprise cake, sipped hot-choc around St. Stephen's Green, caught a live band in the Porter House - generally we had an utterly UTTERLY fantastic time!

C has some pics here and I'll get some more up later here

It was an awesome weekend!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Clean car...

How can you tell when K's car has been in for service? Because it is the only time that it comes back clean :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Busy busy busy

Have just come back from a very busy weekend in Bristol upgrading a client's systems. Actually I came back on Mon afternoon to go to Uni that night (several hours of statistical maths) and then returned to Bristol on Tue to finish off. Am very tired! Kitten however, is very awake! Max and he seem to be 'tollerating' each other better than before which is promissing. I am having to be carfeul with him though - on more than one occasion today I have found him on my keyboard typing random stuff into my machine :( PS - we won (again!!) the pub quiz last night...

Friday, October 12, 2007


See - energetic kitten :)

Rasmus Arrives

We picked Rasmus up at 20:00 last night. He was very quiet when we got him home (mainly as he was recovering from his first injections still) but still managed to run around a bit before finding a box and going to sleep. Max is VERY unsure about this new thing in his house but has not tried to kill him yet which is good. Rasmus was very quiet all night and when we came down this morning it would appear that he had been asleep in his box all night. Since then he has been a bundle of energy - has eaten a massive breakfast and found the litter tray - all good.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Kitten today

We pick up our new kitten 'Rasmus' this evening. Be sure that there will be lots of pics coming soon of small fluffy kitten. In the mean time check out the link in the title - had us laughing until we were in tears last night ;)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Beer Tokens *DO* exist - I have proof!

A and I visisted our local pub after the KNW meeting last night. As we arrived they were half way through a pub quiz and just taking a break. The lanlord (R) sauntered over and asked if we wanted to catch up. Seeing as it was a free quiz we thought we'd go for it. We rattled through 20 questions and then sat down to join in for the last 20. Well, we won (by some margin)! Not only that but we were then given the prize (unexpected) which was a 'gallon of beer', or in reality 8 1-pint beer tokens valid for 7 days! WOOHOO - BEER TOKENS - FREE BEER!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Originally uploaded by rakh1
I am testing the ability to blog directly from Flickr. It is raining hard outside and the leaves are turning gold/red. Autumn has definately arrived....

OK *THIS* is awesome!


Things are looking better this week. I sorted out the bank at last, my cold is going and on Thu.... we pick up Rasmus :) :) :) Also had a very good night at Uni, my Sunday studying paid off well. K bought home a HUGE cardboard box from work which I think will be turned into the "Rasmus Hus 3000" - this cat is so spoilt already, and we don't even have him yet!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Tod, kitten-stuff, toilet, F1 and LRC

A busy weekend so far. Tod made a surprise visit on Fri night for dinner - cunningly organised by K. Have not seen him for 8 years or so - was great to catch up and have a beer. Yesterday was spent fixing the non-flushing toilet (I am now a master of WC plumbing) which now fills far more quickly and quietly followed by purchasing lots of kitten toys and making a kitten house from a cardboard box. Max thinks it is Xmas - wait unitl Thu Max :) We woke up early this morning to catch the F1 - which was dissapointing and I have just returned from Uni where I spent an hour in a Library (or LRC as they call it). oh - and I appear to have a cold - great!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Mortgage completed (at last)

Our remortgage has *just* completed after a very painful experience. Everything was going so well until the start of this week. It was meant to complete on Mon but the solicitors forgot something (they say the bank changed a process but I am not sure) so I had to sign and post another form. It then took until today to get them to complete it despite me calling every day! Due to the late start I ran into the non-discounted part of my old mortgage meaning a HUGE payment (nearly twice normal) on the first of the month. Add that to the lost interest due to this overrun and the up-front payment on the new mortgage and I am VERY VERY VERY poor this month and not at all happy.... This was further exagerated when it turns out that the bank has the wrong account number to take the DD from and cannot seem to find a way to change it (despite having me on hold for over 20 mins). I have to call back on Mon. GRRRRRR. HUFF!!!!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Adobe Premiere Elements 4.0

I have been using PE3 for the last 6 months and it is ok(ish). My main annoyances are that it is very flakey and does not work well under Vista. Something Adobe promissed but never delivered. However, they have now launched version 4.0 and I have just found out that it *will* work on Vista 64. As such it is well and truely on my birthday wish-list :) Main feature improvements include direct-to-youtube and sharing the same organiser as PSE6 Elements. There is a very good review in the link in the title and the Adobe Forums here.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Birthday list :)

This time of year is always fun - various family members always ask me what I want and I never know. Well, this year I am 30 and to mark the magnitude of this year I spent some time thinking of a birthday-wish-list. Here goes, in order of preference:

1 - Money towards a Canon 40D camera body
[This is the one I really want most!!]
2 - Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 and Premiere Elements 4
3 - Pantone Huey Pro
4 - Megadeth 'United Abominations' CD
5 - PGR4 for the XBox360
6 - 28 Weeks later DVD
7 - Flickr pro account
8 - Bioshock pc game


K and I went again to the cat lady to look at kittens. We had thought we were going to go for the black one - several posts down - but just weren't sure. In the end we changed our mind for the grey/black one. Everyone - say hi to Rasmus! We pick him up next Thu....

Helitech 2007 - Duxford

J and I went to Helitech for the afternoon yesterday. *LOTS* of helicopters on show and even surprise military flypasts. We also bumped into W who was wearing a suit....this I have *never* seen before and am still recovering from. I have loads of pics on flikr (link in title).

Monday, October 01, 2007

Pigeon and fire

We had our first fire of the year this weekend and it was lovely. Max decided to celebrate by dragging a pigeon into the house whilst we were out.....

Saturday, September 29, 2007


K and I went to look at somew new kittens on Fri night. There were more then 20 in the room and although K wanted all of them we attempted to pick one. It came down to this one and a grey coloured one. Impossible to choose but we cannot have both as 3 cats would be too many! So - could this be Rasmus? We might go for another look before making our mind up...

Friday, September 28, 2007

First week at Uni

Last week I spent 3 days at Uni attending my first elctures for 8 years. It was good to meet up with the full-timers and make some new friends. The work set for us was not too hard - but oh my god I can see me spending a LOT of time reading and researching. J and I sent Thu afternoon wandering around the campus and drinking student-beer (not soo cheap at £2/pint). However, we noticed that on Mon nights it is £1/pint :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lotus 40th Birthday

J and I went to the Lotus Factory today in Norfolk to celebrate their 40th anniversary. We both had hot laps around the test circuit, coffee from a modified Smart and a lot of fun wandering around the factory - which they had completely openend! Highlights (other than the fast laps) included a Police Exige and a sneak look at the Exige GT3. More pics on flickr (link in title).

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'm a student (again...)

Fri afternoon was a fun yet somewhat painfull experience. There's a certain excitement about going back to Uni and all the new sights but at the same time there is an annoyance when you are made to stand in line for 2 hours to process your application - I think I have become too use to the commercial outside world and the service one expects from it. However, register I did and I am now officialy once more a student. First thing I did - Student bar for a cheap pint - excellent :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Starting Uni today

Today I register at Uni - for my MSc in Project Management - 11 years after I registered at Kent and 8 years since I left education. I have to admitt I am a little excited although trying to match the unorganised rambling of academic life with the somewhat more strict timetables of work has already proved somewhat straining. At least once next week is out of the way (intro-week) it will be a nice and predictable Monday afternoon only affair. So, my new laptop is packed, I have my passport and degree certificate for registration and am all set..... I wonder what the student bar is like???

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Chillis from M

My brother surprised me the other day when a large package was delivered. Upon opening it revealed several packages of chillis and peppers and some hot sauce. The perfect 'no reason' present - thanks M!!! :)

400D Firmware Update -> 1.1.1

New firmware came out for the 400D a week back. I left it long enough for others to find if there were any problem but seeing as there have not been I flashed mine today. Takes about 3 minutes to do. The new firmware adds support for 3 new lenses and Polish as a language. Nothing I need - but you know me, latest and greatest :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

iTunes on Vista x64 not working

The new version of iTunes 7.4.1 and 7.4.2 gives an error message on loading complaining that iTunes was not installed properly and if you want to import or burn cds then re-install. A re-install does not work. A quick check around and I found this thread: which says to install this driver. More info on it can be found here. It does appear to work and I have a functional iTunes again...

Sick Rich :(

It started yesterday morning at 10:00 with massive (and I mean MASSIVE) stomach cramps lasting for 20 mins at a time. All day yesterday was on/off immense pain. By the evening it was just very uncomfortable. My stomach woke me up this morning with the amount of noise it was making. Today has been better but I am still sat here in my pyjamas feeling sorry for myself. I think it was some old salt beef that I had for lunch on Mon - who knows! Uff - just my luck to be ill on 'talk like a pirate day'.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Busy Weekend

K and I had quite a busy weekend...

On Sat morning I went and drove the new Smart For2 (I couldn't resist). It is *much* improved over the last one and could be a serious contender for my next car.

Sat afternoon we headed into town to the Oriental Club - - where T&H were having a UK reception for their recent wedding. Pimms and sammiches all round! Congratulations guys.

On Sunday we were good and gym'd in the morning followed by a not-so-good lunch at A's with J. Nothing like a roast lunch made for you ;)

In the afternoon we moved the TIKI bar inside to its new home in the Embassy. We fgured this would allow all-year-round access and make more use of the Embassy than is curent. We had a few drinks with S,J and A to christen this move :)

Sunday, September 09, 2007


We have just got back from a weekend of 4x4'ing at Cheapfest with C. Had an excellent time - did lots of runs, including a night run that was brilliant. We also spent the night in our new tent which turned out to be fairly comfortable actually. Not a lot of photos but video to come soon...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Painting House

Our house is in the midst of being repainted. The woodwork and rendered wall are all getting the treatment. New paint is a lot lighter than the old!