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Monday, February 26, 2007

Here We Go Again...

Happy Monday.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend. Ours was quite busy.
On Saturday morning, I took Number One to Argos to pick up a game for his DS (as well as a Darth Vader costume, for him, not me!)
Since we were travelling to a different store, I decided to use my new SatNav. Well, he was in raptures, and got quite cross when he was interrupted by 'The Voice' - telling her she was rude. He then started repeating it, and told me that "In 300 yards you will reach your destiny"!

In the afternoon, we all went to see "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". It's about the third time I've seen it, but it was a pleasure to see the boys faces as the songs they know so well were brought to life on the stage.
In the evening, the two of us went to some friends in Warrington; but had to come home early, as Number One was suffering toothache.

On Sunday - his face was all swollen on the left side - an abcess. Great!
Antibiotics were obtained, and the day continued.
However, by about 4.30 he was well and truly drained - probably the late nights didn't help, but he was in bed and asleep before his baby brother (who was asleep by 6pm).

He woke again at about 9.30pm, and went to sleep in our bed. Which meant that I had to sleep in his bed.
This morning, I have not been able to shave, and feel a real scruff (probably look it too!)

Hopefully, he'll be well enough to go to school - I'll find out later.

I'm at work now, and beginning the last week of my secondment to this project. It'll be a shame to leave it, as I've built up quite a lot of knowledge. However, other projects are waiting.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


It arrived. Actually, it arrived on Monday, but there was no-one in to receive it, so the postman took it back to the sorting office.
My wife managed to pick it up today.

What am I talking about? The TomTom of course.

I bought it on Friday (on eBay) and it was sent Special Delivery - thanks to the seller for that.

So - I plugged it in, and off it went. It started up amazingly fast, it located itself quickly, and since I actually needed to go out, I followed the very intuitive menu to enter the destination. Then I set off, and checked to see if it would take me on the normal route.

Absolutely fantastic. It even predicted my arrival time.

I have just signed up for the free trial of the traffic service (where it tells you about jams), since I spend everyday on the M6 - so we'll see how that goes. I'm just not too sure about the GPRS costs involved, but we'll give it a try.

Right now, it's sat next to me, on the desk, plugged into the PC being charged up. I'll leave it overnight, and see how long the battery lasts tomorrow.

Chuffed - you could say that.

Monday, February 19, 2007

That Was The Weekend That Was

Well, here I am, back in the office on another Monday morning.

Don't the weekends just seem so short.

Anyway, yesterday the weather was beautiful, and in the afternoon, I got the kids bikes out from the garage, dusted them down (and pumped up the tyres) before setting off to Heaton Park. The fairground was in full swing, and the queue for the ice-cream van was about 15 deep. Both the boys got their confidence back with their cycling (although for some reason they don't like going up hill!!).

We caught up with Lost last night - it started last weekend, but we haven't had the chance to watch it. It's gripping stuff. I've also subscribed to the Official Lost podcast, with Iain Lee. It's a great way to understand some of the weird goings on and work out the connections. It's shown straight after 24, on Sky One, which is way too late for us, so we record it and watch it at a more reasonable time.

Talking of 24...

We then watched the latest episode last night. It's so over-the-top it's incredible, but makes for compulsive viewing. If you've been locked in a dark room for the last few years, we're on season 6 (which in 24 language means Day 6 - have a look at the website for information).

That's about it. I'm looking forward to receiving my e-mail from Tony Blair, about the motoring petition I signed - I'll let you know what it says.

Right now, it's back to work. So - have a great day.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I Found The Way

Following on from yesterdays' post about satnav; I am pleased to let you know that I plumped for the TomTom. I won a bid on eBay, and am now waiting to receive it.

It's the Mother-In-Laws birthday today (it's been a busy week!), so we bought a small cake and sang Happy Birthday. It's for the kids really - they enjoyed it.

The newest edition to the family is sleeping his way through life at the moment - although I did see his eyes last night. I think they're blue (but then all newborn babies have blue eyes).

Oh yes, and I've just uploaded another video to YouTube. This time it's my middle sons sports day from last summer- and if you fancy a good laugh, then this is for you.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Show Me The 'SatNav' Way

Right then. Are you sitting comfortably?

I've sold my iPAQ Mobile Media Companion (via eBay). Now I want to get a SatNav unit.
Don't ask me why. The car knows the way to work by itself, and I don't do a lot of travelling in areas I don't know.
But - I just fancy getting one. And since I've sold the PDA, I figure this isn't really going to cost me anything.

So, which one do I get? There are so many.

The one I've been looking at is the TomTom. The new version is really quite sleek, and the reviews are all very positive. But then some people say the mapping isn't as good as Garmin (which is a bit more expensive).

So, a dilemma. I think I'll plump for the TomTom. It looks easy to use, and can be used with a Bluetooth mobile to find traffic troublespots - therefore meaning a diversion can be used, and the unit will direct the way - allegedly.

I'm watching a couple on eBay - and I'll let you know. Feel free to point me in the right direction.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

It's A Boy

Fantastic news. At 12:48am, nephew number 4 made his appearance in the world. Last night I alluded to the fact that my wife wanted to attend the birth. Well, she didn't get the the opportunity, since, apparently, events happened a lot faster than expected.

So fast in fact, that the baby was born within an hour of them arriving at the hospital. And not only that, less than 30 minutes later they were on the phone to tell us the news.

I was prepared. I had moved the phone closer to the bed, so I didn't have to fumble across the bedside table for it. I reckon I answered it within 2 rings. Not bad for someone who was fast asleep at the time.

So, he's here, and I can't wait to meet him.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day 2

We went out for a lovely meal this evening. Just a deux. It was nice to spend some quality time out of the house to chat and catch up.

It's going to get very busy over the next few days. I'm about to become an uncle again, and my wife wants to attend the birth of her brother's third child. Quite frankly, having given birth herself three times, I'm not sure what the attraction is to be able to stand at 'the other end'. She'll be so emotional anyway.
So - if the phone rings tonight, she'll be off and I'll have to hope that she returns in time to allow me to go to work in the morning.

On other stuff - I'm just uploading some photos from our recent birthday weekend. There are some crackers, which I'll order for friends and family. I haven't done the video yet, but I'll let you know when it's 'broadcast'.

Now, fingers crossed for the lotto tonight.

Sleep well.

Happy Valentines Day

It's also the middle of the week, so Happy Hump Day to you.

Nothing else to report at the moment. Just dropped by to say hi!

Have a good day.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I Got Connected

Just dropped by to let you know that, at last, my Sky Broadband connection has completed.

When I got home this evening, my eldest complained that he couldn't go on the internet, because it wasn't working. My initial thought was, what happened? Then it dawned on me that the connection must have swapped from BT.

So, I swapped the router, and lo and behold, the internet sprang into action.

I've configured it so only specific MAC addresses are allowed, and then set about the two wireless devices in the house. Quick and easy.

So - a simple solution to saving £180 a year.

Now... where was I...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The BIG Weekend

At last, the birthday has arrived. My littlest is now ONE.

Oh the fuss and bother we made, but it was great fun.

We started with present giving on Saturday morning (since we knew we'd be busy today - and he doesn't know any different anyway).
Then my parents arrived with my sister and nephew. That was wonderful, and the boys had a great time with their cousin.
They played on the PlayStation, and in the evening we all went to TGI Fridays for tea.
Later in the evening, my cousins from Bristol arrived. It was lovely of them to come up, and it was such a fleeting visit.
We plied them with food and drink before they went to their hotel.

This morning it was off to the deli and bakers to collect the respective orders. Then everyone got to our house about 9.30, before getting to the party at about 10:30. I think great fun was had by all.

Back home for lunch (more food) and everyone left at about 2:30 to make the long journeys home. All was not lost - my brother-in-law and his family cam round at about 3.30 to help with the copious amounts of food, and they stayed until about 5:30.

Then, it was bath and bed for the three of them - all exhausted after a busy day.

My baby's ONE.

Let's hope this week is a good one. No doubt there'll be missives as the week progresses.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

That Friday Feeling

Well, maybe it's too late for Friday, but anyway.

It's THAT weekend. My baby is going to be one on Sunday, but we're starting the celebrations early; i.e. today. As Sunday is going to be so busy, we're going to give him his presents today - well he doesn't know any different - in fact one of them needed to be put together and I've already done that. It's a Fisher Price giraffe, that should encourage him to pull himself up.

This afternoon, I took my oldest to Borders to buy a couple of books. He's recently got into Captain Underpants, and having read one of them the other day, I promised we would get another. So that was a pleasant little trip (plus he wanted to look in Game - he loves that shop).

I've just finished watching King Kong (the Peter Jackson version) which is why I'm still up. It's very long, but the effects are terrific, and there are some scenes that are totally computer generated. Beautifully done, but the scenes on the ship could have been shortened. I saw the original not long ago, and that was also great, and about half the length.

Apparently it's going to snow tomorrow. It tried this evening, when I went to Tesco, but since then nothing. I think we're going to get away with it.

Right then. It's late, and it's going to be busy tomorrow. Off to bed.

Sleep well.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Thirsty Thursday

Have you ever listened to the Chris Evans show on Radio 2. He does the Drivetime slot, and each day is given a name - today is Thirsty Thursday (I think he's alluding the fact that he can relax after tomorrow's "All Request Friday" - and enjoy a drink at his local.

Well, the countdown has started in earnest for our party at the weekend. Number three is going to be one (maybe I've mentioned it already) and his brothers are so psyched up for it, you'd think it was theirs. My parents, sister and nephew, along with my cousins are also coming up for the party, which will be lovely. We're having the main event at a toddlers indoor playground, and then it's back to ours to continue to chaos.

No doubt I'll take some video, and post it onto my You Tube channel. Or you can go directly to JET Pictures for a look.

Talking of chaos. Suppposedly the weather was going to be treacherous today. Well, I can happily report that the one or two flakes of snow seen in Manchester did not settle.
Oh, and good news. My Sky Broadband box finally arrived at my house. So all the calls to redirect the delivery were in vain, but never mind. It's here now, and I just have to wait until next week before my line is switched over.

I've not been feeling too well over the last few days, and it got the better of me today. I finished work at about 3.30 and headed home, where I promptly fell asleep for about an hour. I really don't fancy driving down tomorrow, so I'll see how I feel in the morning.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Into the Dragons Den

Just watched the first of the new series of Dragons Den on BBC2. It's terrific entertainment, and you have to wonder where some people dream up their ideas. In the past, it has usually been the last person who gets the money, so I was pleased to see that two 'contestants' managed to persuade the Dragons to invest. It was especially nice to see Levi Roots get his £50,000 for his "Reggae Reggae Sauce" - so good he named it twice, after his serenading performance and pitch.

On the Sky Broadband front - news just in. Parceline tried to deliver it today, after they confirmed it would be tomorrow. Again, no-one was in. So, I've called Sky and asked them to send it to my in-laws. There is always someone in there, and hopefully it'll arrive before the activation date - which I've now been advised is Monday 12th. Fingers crossed.

Well; once again, it's past my bedtime, so I'm heading upstairs.

Sleep well.

Happy Hump Day

Yep. It's Wednesday. Halfway through the week at last. Once again I had to scrape the ice off my car, before heading to Tesco to get some nice fresh fruit (and the latest Empire magazine).

Hopefully, my Sky Broadband router will be delivered tomorrow (there was no-one in to receive it yesterday) and I can get going with them. At only £5 per month, this is almost £15 cheaper each month, saving a massive £180 per year. What can I spend that on?

Ah. Break over. Back to work.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I must be crazy...

I've just decided to place a bet on the final of the Tri-Nations cricket.

Australia v England - and I bet that England will win!!

The odds? 17/5!!
I bet £7.19 (which is the balance in my William Hill account).
If they win, I collect about £31. Break open the bubbly!!!


Following my blog this morning about the weather - I think we're in for a cold one for the rest of the week - and apparently, it's going to snow again on Thursday (fingers crossed).
I've checked, and it's not snowing now, but my car is iced over - which means an earlier start as I'll have to scrape it all away.

Anyway. I've got a massive headache. So I'm off to bed.

Sleep well.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow...

It's snowing.

The temperature gauge on my car this morning showed -3 degrees. Brrr. As we travelled down the motorway, the snow started to fall, and was actually settling.

The question is... will it continue? Can I make a snowman tomorrow with the children?

Oh - BIG news. My little baby has crawled. He will be one on Sunday, and at last he has discovered the ability to move himself. OK, so he's not that graceful, and is more commando than crawling - but he did propel himself along the floor to get to Heffalump. He loves that toy - and won't sleep without it. There's one in his cot, one in the buggy and one in the car. All bases covered.
His two big brothers were so excited about him crawling, and I'm sure that helped motivate him.

I'll keep you informed of his progress.

Right. Now time to get the stats finished for yesterday.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Upload to You Tube

So what of the weekend. At last, I actually got my hair cut - it needed it. Back to normal now.
Last night we went to Akbars, an Indian restaurant in Manchester. The food is terrific and the service is second to none. What's more, it's extremely good value for money. I recommend it. Visit the website for more information - and a look at the menu.

On Friday night I finally got around to editing the video I took at Christmas, and have now uploaded it to You Tube. You can also see it right here.

I emailed the family with the link, so they can view it as well - cheaper than burning discs and posting them.

Hope you enjoy it.

That's all for now. It looks like I will be postponing my 2 days off next week, due to work commitments. Bit of a bummer, but then that's two days saved for later in the year.

Keep well.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Unfair Road Charging Policy

Thought I'd post an email I sent today.

As most of you know, I'm not the most political person in the world, and with my laid back view of life, it takes a lot to rile me. However, I feel very strongly about the government plans to add another tax burden.
So strongly, in fact, that I had to write.

The Petition states:
The idea of tracking every vehicle at all times is sinister and wrong. Road pricing is already here with the high level of taxation on fuel. The more you travel - the more tax you pay.

It will be an unfair tax on those who live apart from families and poorer people who will not be able to afford the high monthly costs.

Not to mention the potential big brother issue of the government knowing where you are at any time.

The current, suggested, charge is £1.38 per mile (and since I drive over 100 miles each day, then you can take my point...)

The link below will take you directly to the on-line petition, where you can add your name to the 600,000+ that have already signed. The deadline to sign is 20th February.

Please feel free to pass this on to other friends and family who might be affected by this planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and if this has offended any of you, then I apologise.

Right. Rant over. Now back to work.


I've just looked at the archives of this blog, and most of the entries are at the beginning of the year. So, what does that tell me?

New year, fresh start at blogging? Does that mean that over the next few weeks I'll get fed up and stop? Very possibly.

Or, you can comment as we go, and that will keep me motivated.
Or, I can make sure that there is a regular entry, on things that interest me, or annoy me.

Let's see how far this takes us.

Have a great day.


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