Sunday, July 16, 2006

I want to ride my bicycle, bicycle, bicycle!

I just been for a lovely bike ride over to Sandwich. It was either that or go to the beach, but a group of us met up at 3pm and made the 5 mile trip. We had a few pints, had some dinner, and then headed back to Ramsgate for a few drinks in the Belle Vue Tavern, Pegwell. Now I'm back home and watching Spiderman [although I may switch over to watch Mean Machine on C4 at 10pm.] I made this cool may on which utilises Google Maps. Cool eh?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What would you say if I took those words away?

Wikipedia is a resource I use quite a lot, especially on my blog when linking to information. For those of you who don't know what it is then click here, but basically it is an encylopedia which allows users to edit it's content so that it can be refined, constantly updated, and contantly extended.

Previously I've only ever used it as a resource and never actually contributed to it but last week I was a bit bored and saw a few places where I could add or ammend items. It appears I may be addicted! It's nice to be a part of something and to be able to make Wikipedia better.

In other news, what about this eh? I'm sure they'll appeal against it, but I don't think they'll get much sympathy apart from maybe getting their points reduction lowered. My question is that now Juve have been stripped of their titles will they be awarded to the highest position team not involved in the match-fixing, or will their shame simply go down in the record books?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Well, oiled, that's what you are.Come on, and ride, in my muscle car

A few weeks ago I pulled my calf muscle [more specifically the Gastrocnemius_muscle]. It wasn't anything major and it usually felt completely better by a week later, although I could still feel the pull a bit. I'm quite naughty in that I don't normally treat injuries with the respect that I should. I'll get a pull and always take a risk and play sport before I know it's properly healed. Of course there must be some physical activity to aid with the reabilitation, but usually something more sedate than squash or football.

Yesterday I had football training, and I did my stretches and went for a light jog before doing anything that would put too much pressure on my calf, but about 40 minutes into the session I sprinted and changed direction at the same time and I felt a 'pop' in my calf and had to hop off the field. Damn! I am now going to have to restrain myself so that it can heal properly. I'm not going to play sports for a few weeks [hopefully not too much longer], but it's what I have to do to make sure this doesn't become a chronic condition. I can still walk fine, and should be able to ride my bike, but I just can't run on it. Plenty of stretching is called for too to aid the gastrocnemius muscle's reattachmnet to my achilles tendon, and to ensure that by the time it heals I can get back into sport far quicker than if I hadn't done aany physio on it.

Enough about my body now. Now onto what really matters... money!! Last month I told you I was switching over from a Pay Monthly phone contract to a Pay As You Go system. It's now been a month since I made my first top-up and I was interested in seeing how much money I've saved. My bills previously were around £40 a month, of which a vast majority was line-rental, and I was hoping that I could half this to just £20 a month.

When the new SIM card arrived it had £1 already on it, and in the past month I've topped it up with 2 x £10, although I've still got £9.25 left on it, so I've only spent £11.75, £1 of which was free. Brilliant. I also got a text this morning telling me that based on my top-ups from the past month I've earned a bonus of £4 which will go onto my account within 72 hours.

I'm definitely saving money, which was the main idea, but I have to admit that I've changed my phone habits greatly. I've limited the amount of calls and texts I make and now will try and use a landline where I can. At work I was using my mobile instead of the phone on my desk, and I was also sending out quite a few text messages where as now I'm using Skype, emails, and also the 30 free texts that orange customers get from sending messages directly from the Orange site.

It's nice to be able to keep track of the amount I'm spending instead of just getting a surprise bill at the end of the month. All I have do do is select the 'balance' function on my phone and a free text arrives within seconds telling me of my Top-up balance. I am happy to be saving money.

I also had some good news on Monday. I was in Canterbury and my General Manager told me she had 2 bits of good news for me. The first one was that I had been underpaid... for the whole year, and I was going to get this backdated to late August! It's not a huge amount of money but means I will get an extra £200 or so in my pay at the end of the month.

The other bit of good news was something I've been waiting on for a while. You may know that I have 2 part-time jobs - one at the University and one at the pub, and I've done this for the past 2 years, well now my University job will be going full-time!! At first it didn't merit full-time status, but the way the job has progressed over the last year has meant I've been stretched and not been able to commit myself as much as I would've liked. Now I should be full-time from 1st September [fingers-crossed that there are no cock-ups]. Obviously the Uni job pays more than the pub, so fitting in nicely with the vast majority of this post I will be getting more money too, which means I'll be able to sort out my finances sooner, which have been getting on track anyway.

Phew. That's been my longest post for a while.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

You spin me right round

I got Spins CD last week and have been listening to it in the car this week.

Review coming soon.....sorry for the delay

Monday, July 10, 2006

Let's get dirrty

I have to admit Christina looks good in this. Thank God she's grown out of that skanky "I don't like washing" phase. And the song ain't too bad either.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I'll do graffiti if you sing to me in french

I can't believe that Zidane got himself sent off... and maybe indirectly lost France the World Cup. After his headbutting incident my allegiance swiched from France to Italy, and so I was happy when Italy won in the shoot-out.

What a way to end your career.

Papa's got a brand new bag

I've just got a new toy.... and it's completely free!!

What I'm talking about is, which I originally spotted here, but also came up in a Skype conversation with Chris and Tom. Basically it gives you access to free streaming music via the radio player, which you download once you've registered on the site. They have an amazing catalogue, with every song tagged by the users, and you select radio channels by typing words into the search menu, which selects a huge list of songs via their tags, and they are streamed to you without any breaks or adverts. So I could type in 'Prodigy' and I would get a songs played to me by not only Prodigy but also Chemical Brothers, Underworld, etc, and any other songs that were tagged with the same tags as Prodigy. I could also type in tags such as 'Britpop' or 'Depressing Songs', etc, instead of just a band name.

Brilliant. The other benefit is that all the songs you listen to are added to your profile and your own personal charts, which you can add to your blog, to show people what you've been listening to. You can also download an Audioscrobbler plug-in which will send the name of every song you play on your computer to, which are added to your charts too.

Have a muckaround with it and see what you think.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Another head hangs lowly

We've just had our 2 minute silence at work in rememberance of the July 7th bombings from last year. It's weird how 2 minutes can seem such a long time when you are being quiet and contemplating, and yet a year can go by so quickly.

On another completely different note I've added a new blog to my links, which I stumbled across over at Kierans place. The blog is called The Capgras Delusion and it is very funny in a post modern, self loathing, hatred of all, kind of way. It is very much my sense of humour. Enjoy and take it all in the way it was intended.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

We are your friends, you will never be alone again. Come On!

Just heard this song 'We Are Your Friends' by Justice & Simian [a remix of Simian's original 'Never be alone'], which was released on Monday. Justice are a Parisien duo comprising of Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Auge, and have been labelled in some circles as the new 'Daft Punk'.

The song is wicked, and I can imagine dancing along to it at a club [if I actually went to any now!], and the video is very good too, and reminds me of what my friends are like.


“Is ‘We Are Your Friends’ one of the best songs ever? We think it probably is.” - NME

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

McDonalds, McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and a Pizza Hut.

I've just seen the Dolmio advert, the one with the two old guys pretending to be kids so that they can get hold of the new kids microwave in the bag Dolmio pasta [I know that other ones have been around for a while]. Can you believe it? Pasta is one of the easiest things to cook, but soon there will be people who will laugh at you when you suggest boiling pasta. I see TV programmes sometimes where they have 'hopeless cooks' who don't even know how to boil an egg, and beans on toast is their culinary expertise.

I really enjoy cooking, and yes I do sometimes cheat and get takeaway or a microwave meal, but at least I know how to cook. Surely it's better when all the ingredients are fresh, and not rehydrated, powdered, mechanically recovered, factory sealed packets of 'nuitrition'?

End of rant.

McDonalds, McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and a Pizza Hut.

I've just seen the Dolmio advert, the one with the two old guys pretending to be kids so that they can get hold of the new kids microwave in the bag Dolmio pasta [I know that other ones have been around for a while]. Can you believe it? Pasta is one of the easiest things to cook, but soon there will be people who will laugh at you when you suggest boiling pasta. I see TV programmes sometimes where they have 'hopeless cooks' who don't even know how to boil an egg, and beans on toast is their culinary expertise.

I really enjoy cooking, and yes I do sometimes cheat and get takeaway or a microwave meal, but at least I know how to cook. Surely it's better when all the ingredients are fresh, and not rehydrated, powdered, mechanically recovered, factory sealed packets of 'nuitrition'?

End of rant.

I have to cough it up...Open my wallet up. It never stops.

Anyone had problems with their copy of Windows XP telling them that that it is not a genuine copy, and asking them to buy an offical one?? All this stems from some anti-piracy software that Microsoft is putting out, called Windows Genuine Advantage [WGA].

The reason they are doing this, according to Michala Alexander, head of anti-piracy for Microsoft UK, is because "Customers have been crying out for a tool which could tell them if they have been duped". Really??!!!

Surely it's just another way of Microsoft to take control of your PC, installing their own version of spyware, with yet another piece of poorly programmed software.

The problem is that the WGA is quite regularly detects legitimate copies of XP and brands them as counterfeit. In one statement they say "We are 100% adamant that key codes blocked by WGA are illegal", and in the next say "validation failure is almost always caused by the use of a non-genuine Windows licence". So it's almost always 100% correct eh?? In my book that means that mistakes will be made, and genuine users are being treated poorly.

Yesterday a friend came around with his laptop which has a genuine version of XP on it, and he was being dogged by the WGA tool, which insisted it was a pirated copy. I used the step through guide on the WGA, which didn't help and in the end resorted to just cracking the WGA, using some code of the internet. Now obviously I wouldn't openly reccommend doing this, especially if you did have a pirated copy of XP, but if you'd like to know [for educational purposes] then you could try one of these options [do these before you run a windows update] :

Option 1

For Internet Explorer users:
You'll need to download trixie [] and the relevant user script . Simply download the .js file and drop it into trixie's scripts folder.

Fire up Internet Explorer (32-bit) and click Tools > Trixie Options. You should see WGA Workaround. If it's not already checked, check it. Uncheck the others if you don't want to use them (recommended).

Visit Microsoft Downloads [] or Microsoft Update [] to test it out!

For Mozilla Suite/Firefox users:
You'll need to download greasemonkey [] and the relevant user script.

Simply download the .js file to a temporary location (like the Desktop), drag it onto a Mozilla Suite/Firefox window and click Tools > Install User Script. Keep the defaults.

Visit Microsoft Downloads [] to test it out! NOTE: Microsoft Update does not support Firefox.

For Opera users:
The script for Firefox above works as-is in Opera. Instructions later.

Option 2
goto: IE->tools->internet options then goto: programs->manage add-ons seek for Windows Genuine Advantage, and disable it.

Option 3
Type the following into the Internet Explorer address bar and press enter.

Warning: I do not endorse these, and obviously Microsoft are constantly changing the WGA code so some of these may not work in the near future.

n.b. The header title is lyrics from 'WIndows 95 sucks' by Weird Al Yankovic

Monday, July 03, 2006

Out there tonight is the night of my life

I've had an absolutely great weekend. I made my choice to go to Chichester because I'm really crap with keeping in touch with people once they move away so thought my time would be best invested by bidding Karen farewell instead of hanging around Ramsgate. Of course it would've been easier to stay here, but on midday Saturday I made my 135 mile trip to Chichester, and my first port of call was the Uni bar where I'd be watching the England match. I met up with Karen and Matt G, and as it was a very warm day we drank jugs of cider and lamented for England. I must admit I was close to tears when England were knocked out as I'd been though such a series of emotions during the match. Anyway enough about England... we shall not talk about that for a while.


I stayed at the Bar till around 9pm drinking with Sam, Jo, and Stellie, and then made my way down to the Vestry, where Karen was meeting up with everybody. Now to me, I was a little surprised that she had chosen the Vestry for her leaving do, as in my time [2/3 years ago] it was merely a restaurant and not really a place to hang out, but it seems that real pubs are on the decline in Chichester and that a vast majority of them are being turned into wine bars!! All the the tradtitional student haunts have disappeared, and so the Vestry is now the place to go, and boy was it busy!

On my walk down from the Uni bar to the town centre I spent my time reminiscing about the old place [for those of you who don't know, I lived in Chichester for 5 years before moving back to Kent in 2004] and it's weird how it still feels like home too, as well as here in Ramsgate. I guess I'm looking at it through rose-tinted glasses though, because it has changed a lot, and that was one of the reasons that I left. Shopping Centres are being built, my favourite pubs are being knocked down, the University is expanding at an amazing rate leaving some of it unrecognisable to me, and being a university town, the population is constantly changing. I still love the place though, but I would get bored of it if I was there, and it's nice to stil get all these feeling when I visit, instead of loathing the place which was starting to happen just before I left. I still have friends there, and it's nice to be able to pick things up from where they were left and have a chat over a few beers, transcending time and any notion of not seeing each other for quite a while.

I got drunk, then went back to Sam and Jo's, had a few more drinks, and then went to sleep on their sofa.

Quite a lot of the time when I visit Chichester I'll go down there for an occasion in the evening, and then go home the next day because no one is up for doing anything after a heavy night, but this time we actually did something as so Sam, Jo, Phil, Stellie, and myself went down to Climping beach for the day and I had a good time. I spent a long time in the sea diving off of the groynes, and then once us boys had had enough of the sea we joined the ladies back on the beach and had a BBQ. We stayed until 6pm and then headed back to Chichester, and then I made my way back to Ramsgate. Before I left something happened to my car driverside window and it wouldn't close! It is an electric window, and somehow it's malfunctioned, which meant I had to drive all the way home with the window open which is great fun when driving between 70 and 80 miles per hour! My drive back was delayed by a traffic jam on the A23 which mean it took 90 minutes to travel 40 miles, but after the jam took 75 minutes to travel 95 miles!


Now I am home, and have had to take the day off work so that I can try and sort out my car, which involved taking the whole door apart. I haven't figured out how to fix it but have sorted it so that the window stays shut. Anyway how was your weekend???