Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fridays runner up

krk, originally uploaded by dElay.

Awesome photo - Right, it's time for bed.

Fridays Flickr Fav

Driftwood, originally uploaded by Extra Medium.

Love this photo - the empty ocean and the driftwood in the foreground. Serenity :-)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Fridays Flickr Fav

CHELSEA HOTEL NYC., originally uploaded by lramirezphotography.

CHELSEA HOTEL New York. Made famous by Sid Vicious

Friday, November 30, 2007

Pantene Smiles

pantene smiles, originally uploaded by Idle Type.

I love Flickr especially on a Friday when I'm bored.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Virgin Atlantic Sucks - OR - Form and not bloody function

Excert from FlyerTalk posting regarding a recent flight with Virgin Atlantic Airways.

I arrived at T3 to find just two desks open for UC check-in and a large queue snaking around the concourse. Various staff members were wandering around but none of them appeared to be ready to open up additional desks. After 40 minutes I managed to check in and make my way to security. Thank heavens for Fast Track otherwise I would have been queuing for over an hour. Isn't T3 appalling!!? VA marketing department keep bombarding me with emails about the future of T3 which all sounds very nice but what about managing things a little better during the refurb. Awful experience. Once in the Lounge (Virgin - your lounge rocks!!) I was able to relax.

Service on the flight was average but not exceptional. I sometimes think Virgin crew are more interesting in their wellbeing rather than their passengers. They spent most of the flight discussing their plans for that evening rather than checking on the passengers. Are any other airlines better?

My partner was due to join me in Chicago the following Friday. Just prior to boarding a technical fault was discovered and the flight delayed for an hour. This turned into two hours before they started to bus the passengers to the plane. Once boarded the same fault on the opposite side of the plane was discovered. Surely this is a maintenance issue. The passengers were offloaded and the flight eventually departed 5 1/2 hours later. During that time a few sandwiches and bottles of water were offered but they were insufficient for the number of passengers in the departure lounge.

When returning my partner was travelling PE. I enquired about upgrading using miles or money but was told the flight was full. I checked again at the gate and was told the same thing. After takeoff I wandered around the UC cabin and counted 6 empty seats. I had heard the check in staff @ Chicago were a little on the frosty side (earlier posts on this site) and I would tend to agree. Not the most helpful of people.

We have since complained the Customer Relations and got the 'I'm sorry we didn't live up to your expectations and thanks for telling us. We'll do better in future' letter. Sorry but that’s just not good enough. I've since responded and I'm waiting for a reply before I pick up the phone.

In summary I was very disappointed with the level of service offered by Virgin Atlantic. Check in at T3 and my partners flight are more than enough to send me back to BA but then throw in its extensive route network, One World Partnerships and the new Club World and they more than have the edge. I appreciate that a BA flight hasn't left on time for several years but at least you know you'll get their within an hour or two of the arrival time. Virgin…is it a case of form over function?

Friday, November 09, 2007


Abi receiving an award from the London Health and Safety Group - I'm so proud, then again she won't know that as she doesn't read this :-)

Manly January 2nd 2007

DSC00621, originally uploaded by tidy mind.

A fantastic photo shot by Ms Piper :-)

Thursday, November 08, 2007


What irritates me at roundabouts is people who use all the lanes. Especially those going straight on and cutting the corner or indicating right. Most annoying are those that don't indicate. For all those idiots please refer to the following.

When taking the first exit to the left, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise
* signal left and approach in the left-hand lane
* keep to the left on the roundabout and continue signalling left to leave

When taking an exit to the right or going full circle, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise
* signal right and approach in the right-hand lane
* keep to the right on the roundabout until you need to change lanes to exit the roundabout
* signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want

When taking any intermediate exit, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise
* select the appropriate lane on approach to the roundabout
* you should not normally need to signal on approach
* stay in this lane until you need to alter course to exit the roundabout
* signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want

When there are more than three lanes at the entrance to a roundabout, use the most appropriate lane on approach and through it.

OK - simple to understand. It doesn't mean negotiate the roundabout on your mobile phone while arguing with your girlfriend. Or, indicate right whilst going straight on so everyone has to stop until they know what you are doing.....Remember....MIRROR, SIGNAL then MANOEUVRE...muppets.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Christmas Shopping

If anyone is worried about Christmas shopping for me then hop on a plane to NYC and head down the apple store. :-)

Isn't it a fantastic building. Alternatively, go to the Apple store online. Anything from Apple is always going to be goooooooood!!!

Question of the day: Why do blonde women in Blue BMW 520 Tourers fail to look when they pull out of junctions when I'm doing 50 (in a 60mph zone) with my lights on. While I'm having a crack at blondes - check out the next 4WD you see - especially X5's, X3's, Range Rovers and Discovery's. 70% chance there will be a lone occupant. Guess what, she'll be a blonde usually in the middle of the road because she can't drive. Most of them won't have ordered indicators and they'll be in the phone at the same time. Call me sexist and you would be spot on.

Oh & Abi - It's down to £25.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Summit Diner

Summit Diner, originally uploaded by three15bowery.

I'm now able to Blog directly from Flickr. This is one of my favourite photo's on Flickr. It's a diner in Summit, New Jersey. You don't see many of them in the US anymore. Hopefully it's had some form of preservation order attached to it.

What do Time magazine readers think of the iPhone?

Friday, November 02, 2007

My 5* Songs on iTunes

Just testing a new application on iTunes that lets me blog about my music.

You Oughta Know (Acoustic Album Version) Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill Acoustic
The Thrill Is Gone B.B. King B.B. King: Anthology
Curtain Falls Blue Best of Blue
Curtain Falls Blue
Easy Commodores Old Skool Reunion
Never Let Me Down (Split Mix) Depeche Mode Remixes 81...04
(Reach Up for the) Sunrise Duran Duran (Reach Up for the) Sunrise - Single
Good Grief Foo Fighters Foo Fighters
Learn To Fly Foo Fighters There Is Nothing Left to Lose
Mystify INXS Definitive INXS
Call The Police James Morrison Undiscovered
Back 2 Good (Live) Matchbox Twenty Bent - EP
3AM Matchbox Twenty iTunes Originals - Rob Thomas
Bright Lights Matchbox Twenty More Than You Think You Are
Unwell Matchbox Twenty More Than You Think You Are
Back 2 Good Matchbox Twenty Yourself or Someone Like You
Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I) Ray Charles Ray (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) - EP
Down Roachford Feel [UK]
Open Road Roachford Word of Mouth
Tomorrow Roachford Word of Mouth
River of Love Roachford Word of Mouth
Bouncin Back Robert Cray Midnight Stroll
Superstition Stevie Wonder Song Review (The Very Best Of Stevie Wonder) [UK]

posted with beaTunes

Still no response

Now it's £45. Anyone want to take me up on the bet or are you scared.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

New Domain

We now have a new home...

I purchased the domain name through Blogger & Google checkout (google own blogger) for £4.80. The name is currently being distributed to DNS Servers (name registration servers) around the net. According to google it may take up to 3 days to work for everyone. This was my first use of google checkout. Similar to paypal and a breeze to use.

Abi, I'll give you £50 if you read this blog today without being prompted by our two readers!!!! This amount will reduce by £5 every day from today (1st November). I will bet ANYONE another £50 that Abi won't read this blog within the next 10 days.

Watch this space for updates.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Amercian Pie

I’ve just spent the past two weeks on a course in Chicago and had a fantastic time (the course wasn't too bad either). I can’t wait to go back. Amazing architecture (Hancock Building, Wrigley Building), awesome music (Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy & John Lee Hooker), great food (Chicago Pizza Pie!!!!!!) but shocking roads and awful traffic. I’ve been fascinated by America ever since went there as a child. The size, history, politics, scenery, people, culture – This is the country that didn’t necessarily invent anything significant but has showed people how to develop and market products – Who designed the iPod – A brit! Who invented the TV – a brit! Who invented the jet engine – a brit! However, who turned the iPod into the product of the millennium – Steve Jobs - An American!, Which company developed the worlds best selling jet aircraft – Boeing – An American Company! Who produced The Godfather, When Harry Met Sally, Shawshank Redemption – Americans. Anyway, I’m not going to go on. Here are a few ‘funny’ things I observed on my trip

• Driving while on your mobile phone is a legal requirement. If you can reverse while using it you get a special award.
• The higher the fuel consumption the better the vehicle.
• City driving requires the largest SUV you can afford.
• Never stop at a traffic light if it’s orange. It has to be red for several seconds.
• While waiting for a traffic light to turn green keep inching forward.
• Undertaking should be performed at every opportunity.
• Saying thank you is optional but if you say thank you should expect ‘uh ha!!!’ in response.
• People can eat a whole meal with just a fork.
• If you order a take-out work out what you want and then half the order. Still expect to throw most of it away.

I’m not being serious – well only a little as the above could be applied to most countries. What amazed me the most is the number of people driving and using a mobile phone. These people have cars that cost tens of thousands of dollars, mobile phones that cost hundreds of dollars and they can’t afford a $5 hands free kit.

Enough said…..

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The iPhone has landed

I've just purchased one from the local apple store and managed to unlock it to Vodafone. Words cannot describe how cool it is. It's has Form and Function. Prepare to be blown away.

Dilbert had something to say about the iPhone this morning and Abi said that it was spot on. I am officially a MacFan!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Google Earth just blows my mind

Abi's flight was delayed by 5hrs 45minutes because of a couple of hydraulic failures. So instead of arriving at 14:15 local time I probably won't see her until 21:00 or even later.

Anyway I was trying to find a web site that would show her flight location so I could track it in. Most sites only cover North America BUT I came across a very interesting Google Earth Blog that described a service run some guys at FBOWEB.COM. They provide services to pilots including live flight tracking. Most of it being subscription based. However they provide some sor
t of link from Google Earth enabling you to see live flight arrivals at several of the major US airports. What they didn't explain is that you can see EVERY flight that is on it's way to the airport in question and not just those coming into land. For details go here. Check out these pictures of Abi's flight.

Check out these pictures of Abi's flight.
There are two other aircraft very close to Abi's. The first is an Air India 747 going from Heathrow to Chicago. The second is a private Lear Jet Ambulance going from Goose Bay (Canada) to Iceland.

Abi's flight landing at Chicago O'Hare - She's the one with the yellow track.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Interesting weather

Thunderstorms and all sorts expected in the midwest this evening. Everyone was sitting around talking about it - mostly worried about tomorrows flights. We are supposed to have a severe storm around 6pm tonight. Looks bright and sunny outside at the moment (5pm) so I'm interested to see what happens.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Random photo

Did you know?

Loch ness is 20 miles long and 750 feet deep. It contains as much fresh water as all the lakes in the uk and is deeper than the north sea.

Live from loch ness

No sightings of the monster so far but i did see something resembling nessie when i looked in the mirror this morning.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

In search of a stag

Its 730pm and we are moored at the castle. We had an uneventful journey with a solitary tornado for company. Abi has been on the lookout for stags. We've heard lots from our mooring but only seen a few on a distant hilltop through the telephoto lense. 'stag watch' continues tomorrow.

Overnight mooring

We've made it to the end of the canal. We reached fort william yesterday afternoon but decided to spend the evening a few miles back up the canal at Gairlochy locks. A lovely setting next to loch lochy with hardly a soul around. Today we are heading back throug loch lochy into loch Oich then mooring at invergarry castle.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Captain Abi

We couldn't find a patch.

Dive bombing

Cruising across loch lochy at 1030 on a tuesday morning and the RAF have got nothing better to do the scream across the loch in their jets. Seriously though its fantastic. I keep trying to take photos but by the time i hear them they are long gone. Ar per the request the speedos will be coming out tonight. You'll wish you hadn't asked.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Peace and quiet

We spent the night in fort augusta and sampled a few of the local ales. Nice place which is full of tourists by day and just the locals and boaters in the evening. After a hearty breakfast of porridge (apparenty i could have had a heart attack inducing scottish breakfast if i'd walked 100 meters up the road) we attempted a staircase of 5 locks. Due to the size of the locks the boats had to be pulled through. If we had left the engines on we would have suffocated. It wasn't too hard but with all the tourists watching we tried to look like pros. It took an hour to get through before we were on our way again. Cruising across loch Oich we spotted a couple of stags and even more exciting were the two tornados that buzzed us at very low level. We've arrived at our home for the evening, Laggan Locks.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

On the loch

Cruising loch ness at a top speed of 8 knots. Fantastic weather this morning. Clear blue skies with mist over the loch. We've ended the day at fort augustus next to a flight of 5 locks. We are currently sampling the local ales while i wait for my haggis to cook.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

First night aboard the Eriskay

We arrived at the boat yard at 12:30 after a journey lasting 9 hours. Our home for the next week was called Eriskay. A 38 foot cruiser built last winter. Its a great little boat, compact and very modern. After an induction and a short safety video we were off. We had a 45 minute journey taking in a swing bridge and a lock. All navigated without incident. We crossed loch ness and took a berth in Urquhart bay harbour across from a ruined castle. We've had dinner and are about to settle down for the night. Further adventures to come x

Nearly there

50 miles from inverness and the temperature has been dropping all morning. The scenery is fantastic and its yet to rain.

On the road

Services at Dunfries on the A74. 5 hours since we left home and 4 to go.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Off to Scotland

...We're off to Scotland tonight to spend the next seven days cruising the Caledonian canal. The weather looks fine this weekend but starts raining on Tuesday and stops sometime in March. Still, I'm not working so what do I care.
I'll be blogging from boat so more details to come.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I can understand why she's crying

I've just listened to Amy Winehouse singing 'Tears dry on their own' live and all I can say is it was awful. One of the worst singers I've EVER had the misfortune to listen to. As Public Enemy once said 'Don't believe the hype'

Friday, August 24, 2007

More Tunes

Still haven't managed to recover my iTunes data yet and I'm getting more and more annoyed. I can recover the songs but everytime I try to recover the Metadata my iMac crashes. I'm going to try this on my MacBook tonight. It has more space, a lot more memory and a faster processor, so hopefuly this will work.

Today’s top 10 songs
Love Removal Machine – The Cult
Last Chance on the Stairway – Duran Duran
Good Grief – Foo Fighters
Stupid Girl – Garbage
Used to Love U – John Legend
Midnight Show – The Killers
Numb – Linkin Park
Better Love – Luther Vandross
Lonely No More (Acoustic) – Rob Thomas
Crazy (Unplugged) – Seal

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Tunes

It's been a while since I last posted so here is a little update

We've booked out next holiday - end of September cruising down the Caledonian Canal with Caley Cruisers. It should be interesting and I just pray the weather holds out. We looked at the Norfolk Broads and the English/Welsh canal system but as I said to Abi 'It's not cruising if I can jump over the canal'. After out experiences in Australia (Hawkesbury River) I wanted to go somewhere similar, lots of space and as few people as possible - Scotland fitted the bill - wide canals and huge locks. We’ve hired a 35 foot cruiser which comes complete with an LCD TV, DVD and MP3 player. How cool is that (providing we can find a mooring with electrical power). Abi, as second mate and chief cook is preparing the food for the trip. I expect gourmet meals and plenty of good wine. My role as captain involves driving (is that the correct expression), navigation and keeping order on ship.

I deleted my iTunes library last night!!!!!! Not something I do every day. The library was nearing 130GB and I decided a little pruning was in order. I'd downloaded some freeware to help me identify any redundant files and when prompted to backup the library before starting I clicked on No!!!!! I could have said yes but being the cowboy that I am I replied NO!!!!!...Why did I do that?!?!?!?!?!? All my history disappeared in an instant and I was left with an empty library. Not the sort of pruning I intended. I've recovered the music/videos but lost ALL the metadata. Bang goes my play counts, ratings, comments and import details. It doesn't sound that important but I use this information to create dynamic play lists and get rid of rubbish. Anyway, a few minutes spent on goggle unearthed iPodRip which should solve the problem.

I heard a thought provoking comment by a politician on the news this morning. 'With rights comes responsibility'. He was discussing the case of an Italian guy who murdered a teacher 12 years ago. It seems the gentleman is up for parole and has appealed the decision to deport him. His appeal was upheld as he had been living in the country for 20 years (12 of which he spent in prison!!!!). So he is being allowed to stay. I really don't care about his rights, kick him out and send him back home. He didn’t care about anyone else when he murdered that teacher. I don’t want a person like that living in this country. He probably won’t be able to work and will be on benefits for the rest of his life. Why should I work to support someone like that? Apparently the reason they can’t deport him is that Italy is in the European Union and he can just come right back. Fantastic!!! I think I’m going to vote for the UK Independence Party next time. I’m quite happy with free trade and the single currency but that’s about it.

Is it me or is the BBC 1 Breakfast news dumbing down. I have 30 minutes to eat my breakfast and watch the news. I want to know what’s going on, some local news and the weather. Not some stupid report on newreaders learning so water ski, or sailing at Cowes or finding funny stories in the newspapers. What a lot of rubbish. I’m going to have to find another news channel to watch and it’s not going to be Bloomberg or Sky News.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mottisfont Abbey

This is a national trust property near Winchester. Mum has been bugging of for years to take her here. I've finally done it. Lovely walked garden and grounds and a lovely day regardless what the BBC say. He BBC weather is a sore point. I think they are useless. Never that accurate and always wrong at the weekend.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

On the road

Somewhere in kent having a fab time x

More mobile Blogging

Just had to post a picture of my lawn. Ops, i should probably say our lawn. Doesnt it look fab. I'm really proud of it. Its just a shame it isn't bigger. Off to a family party this afternoon so i may try a few more mobile posts.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

..It has arrived

It's out, 700,000+ units sold since 6pm EST Friday. Stock price has rocketed and Vodaphone, T-Mobile and Car Phone Warehouse are tipped to be the UK distributers. We await Apples thoughts on 3G and Video recording with interest. Points to any Gerries that know what I'm taking about.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Someone working

Someone in the building is actually working. Thought i would get a photo of 'manus workus' for future reference. One thing I have to say is that I've worked here for 19 years and I don't have a window!!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

US Journalist refuses to read story live on air

How fantastic is this. At last people understand what a waste of time Paris Hilton is. See the attached video

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I'm Blogging from the garage as i build abi's cross trainer. Fantastic machine but more parts than a ford mondeo. Looks like i'm going to be here for a while.

Another mobile Blog

Lovely photo from italy. Abi and I had lunch at the harbour here. Great banana splits.

Blogging on the move

Just found another fantastic feature on my new phone. Mobile Blogging. How cool is that! I can blog directly from my phone anywhere in the world. More mobile thoughts to come. Bet you can't do that on a blackberry ;-)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My new phone

Just ordered a Sony W850I from Vodafone? Why I hear someone ask? Weren't you going to order the iPhone? Well I still might do but there are a couple of issues. No confirmed launch date in the UK, no confirmed partner (rumours it may be T-Mobile) and no reports from the US.

So I've swapped providers so I should now be able to get service in the office and signed up for a twelve month contract. Hopefully by this time next year we should know a lot more about the iPhone.

Why did I pick the Sony? We'll Nokia and Motorola seem to make phones that look good but have very poor functionality. I've had Sony phones for the past six years (apart from a couple of awful smart phones which are now on ebay) and I've been really impressed with the phone, features and the OS. So I thought I'd try another one. Looks quite sexy and fingers crossed I'll get reception in the office.

Other news - I'm starting to think about what I can do job wise. I have a few ideas I just need to do some more research. Current thinking is to stay for another 18 months and then go - hopefully with a nice cheque or just sod it and go anyway.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Its official - I hate my job and the people I work for (perhaps hate is too strong a word but it will do for now). The enthusiasm I used to have is long gone. Every morning it’s a struggle just to get out of bed. I know it's a struggle for most people but I'm not interested in coming in the office. I’d much rather stay at home and watch reruns of ‘Cash in the Attic’, that’s how bored I am. Perhaps I'm suffering from depression? Could it be I've been working for the same company for too long? Maybe I've been in the same role for longer than I should have? It might be that I’ve never really had a career and have no interest in climbing the greasy pole (you won’t see me on the Apprentice). Perhaps I should have taken the offer of a job in the RAF. I could be a retired technician working for a middle eastern government earning some tax free cash with a lovely pension to fall back on and no worries about the future. I do appreciate it's a means to an end - you work to live and don't live to work (well some of us do anyway) but spending another twenty years in this place would drive me up the wall. The office has all the atmosphere of a train spotter’s convention on a rainy Wednesday afternoon in Crawley. The people with any sense have gone and most of those that were left have been outsourced. Just the Muppets and paper pushers left. I was offered redundancy a few months ago; perhaps I should have taken it. I wonder if it’s still available. Hmmmmm, now there’s a thought.
I suppose the time has come for me to move on; unfortunately I have a mortgage to pay and no idea what I can or could do if I left. ANY ideas would be appreciated? You can leave a comment below; job offers will also be welcome.

Right now I'm off to investigate SOAP and find out if I'm actually able to do my job.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Abi speak 101

Comment from Abi I found in an old email.... ' North West or North would mean a huge amount to me (it depends which way I'm facing!!)'. Some of her comments do make me smile, they may be accurate but they are funny all the same. I remember standing on the top of the CN Tower in Toronto (pronounced Torono by the many T's Victoria?????!?!?!...sorry another joke), we'd gone up from the main observation deck to the Sky Pod, another 350 feet or so. Looking out the window Abi was heard to say ' can't see any more but what you can see is smaller'. How fantastic is that.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Grüße von Zürich

Switzerland isn`t in Austria but they all seem to speak the same language. Highlights of our trip so far include drinking Champagne in a bar all afternoon and watching the whole world go by, finding out that `Leffe Blonde` gives you a hangover wherever you are, that graffiti is just as popular here as it is in Copenhagen and Stockholm, Zurich Old Town hosts most of Switzerlands stag and hen nights and Super Man in Swiss is pronounced SupiMaan (sounds a lot funnier after a few beers).

Took the train to Lucerne yesterday and spent the afternoon wandering around the city from coffee shop to coffee shop, last night we had fondu (again) and then retired to a lovely jazz bar for several beers until we were kicked out. It`s an interesting city to spend a weekend, expensive but very nice. Not as clean as I expected but the trains are fantastic and are ALWAYS on time.
More next week

Friday, May 25, 2007

Great photos...

Abi recently sent out an email with a fantastic photo. She said she would love to be able to take great photo's. Well she does (and me too). Have a look at the following and tell me it's fantastic. Thanks to Flickr Tools

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

43k is not enough...but who cares

Completed our own little walk this weekend. The Abi & Rob 43K Van Ieper. We were walking around Ieper in Belgium along with Germans, Dutch, Belgians some French and quite a few Brits. A 100K walk staggered over three days. I think we were a little too ambitious and the lack of training showed. Still we managed 43K (I'm including the walk to and from the hotel to the start line) and had a wonderful time. It's all about taking part and enjoying yourself - thats what I keep telling myself anyway.

Great picture below. Notice the difference in walking styles. Muzza on the left is really focusing, trying hard and doing a good job, Dave in the middle is taking it in his stride, like he was walking to the corner shop and Abi - well she's very special ;-) The only girl walking in a mini skirt and doing it with such style.
The photo's are on Flickr in the usual place (Link down the right hand side. Off to Austria next but will update the blog before we leave on Friday.