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Grandaddy no more

Story location: Home / Blog / music /
29/Mar/2006

I was listening to last nights Mark Radcliffe Show on my way to work this morning and he was talking to Jason Lyttle, from the band Grandaddy. One of the things they talked about was the band splitting up. The Sophtware Slump was one of my favourite albums and it was a shame to hear that the band were no more. Hopefully Jason's next project, either solo or with another band, will produce some more great albums.



Send my coffee to Bournemouth

Story location: Home / Blog / birmingham /
28/Mar/2006

The train was ready to leave Birmingham New Street when the announcement came on to say that the departure was cancelled and we all had to go over to platform 1 to board the Bournemouth train. Something to do with a failure with the overhead lines causing other trains to be cancelled or diverted. Anyone travelling to London would have to change at Birmingham International and hope for the best. Thankfully the Bournemouth train stops at Coventry so I was ok.

The train was a bit over crowded with many people standing in the aisle and by the doors. On arrival at International, the London bound people got off and a few other people got on. There was one unfortunate chap who was standing on the platform, arms were full of various bags and holdalls. He was also carrying a cup of coffee which he set down in the doorway of the train as he got his bags ready. Just as he was about to climb aboard the train, the doors closed. He was still there on the platform clutching his luggage as his coffee sped off into the distance.



Pepsi Max Cino

Story location: Home / food_and_drink /
26/Mar/2006

We first heard about this from an advert on the side of a bus shelter. Even though I like coffee I wasn't sure whether I would like this or not. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting - mainly because it doesn't have a very strong coffee flavour. To me it seems to taste more chocolatey. Worth trying but I don't think I'll be buying it regularly.



British Summer Time

Story location: Home / Blog /
26/Mar/2006

I suppose I should set the time on the rest of the clocks in the house, moving them an hour forwards. Thankfully the computers sort themselves out and our phones have a 'daylight savings time' setting which needed selecting. All the other clocks need doing by hand:
2 in the bedroom, kitchen clock, 1 in the living room, 1 in the dining room, video recorder, my watch (twice - for the analogue and digital display).



Coventry Beer Festival

Story location: Home / Blog / coventry /
25/Mar/2006

Last year the festival was held at Highfield Road but with the stadium being demolished (because Coventry City have moved to the new Ricoh Arena), this year it was held at the Butts Park Arena Rugby Club. This was handy because it's just round the corner from where we live.

We went to the first session yesterday lunchtime (£1 entry fee and a full range of beers on offer) and the final session tonight (£2 entry in evenings). It should really have been cheaper for the final session because a lot of the beers had sold out.

We managed to try a good selection of beers and wines, and also came away with one of the 'festival branded' half pint glasses (which we had to pay a deposit for so they expected some to be taken as souvenirs).



Pinhole Photo of Leicester Space Centre

Story location: Home / photography / pinhole /
21/Mar/2006

Yesterday I developed the photos from my pinhole Lubitel camera. This was a photo of the space centre from sunday:

View of the Space Centre



Office Move Part 2

Story location: Home / Blog / work /
20/Mar/2006

This morning I remembered to take the lift up to the 10th floor, rather than going to the old place on the 5th. Thankfully everything of mine had moved up there ahead of time and all I had to do was unpack my stuff and re-arrange everything on the desk (including my computer ornaments - a beany baby squirrel called Harry, a kinder surprise toy medieval style knight/soldier eating a chicken, and a bloodshot eye which lights up when hit, which came from the Wetherspoons Halloween beer festival. The eye started off white but the combination of sunlight and flourescent tubes has yellowed it a bit).

Sadly I no longer have a window seat so the view isn't as good as before. Also, there's a cabinet to my right which is about 1/2 inch higher than the desk surface so is positioned perfectly to do serious elbow damage. I'll have to watch out for that.



Leicester Space Centre

Story location: Home / Blog /
19/Mar/2006

It didn't take long to drive to the Space Centre - I think it took as long to get out of Coventry as it did to drive the rest of the way to Leicester.

Entry includes a film show in the planetarium style 'Space Theatre'. The film was called Big and was about the scale of the universe. Other highlights include Astronaut training which included a simulator ride to Jupiter's moons.

While we were there, we had a quick look at the Abbey Pumping Station which was next door. This was billed as Leicester's Science and Technology Museum but was on a much smaller 'local' scale. As the site used to be a sewage pumping station, a lot of the exhibits were to do with toilets and sanitation.



Office Move Part 1

Story location: Home / Blog / work /
17/Mar/2006

Over the weekend our office is moving from it's current location on the 5th floor, up to the 10th floor right at the top of the building. We had to pack everything in crates and label things - including chairs, phones, computers, bins and any drawer units which we moving.

While checking though one of the drawer units to see what could be thrown out, I picked up a folder and found a wide selection of condiment sachets lurking underneath (as well as salt, pepper, ketchup, salad cream etc. there was tea, coffee, hot chocolate). It was a bit whiffy because a vinegar had leaked sometime in the past. Nobody had any idea how long they had been there or who had put them there. The only thing I could find with a date was a sachet of hot chocolate which expired in March 2004.



Error 404 in Japanese

Story location: Home / computing /
13/Mar/2006

Found while searching for info about computer memory. I clicked on the 'translate this' link next to a japanese language page which google found for me.


There is no excuse, but the file which corresponds to the URL which is
appointed existence was not present in this server.
You can think the cause below.

    * Type mistake of URL
    * Link of the page has not stretched normally
    * It is deleted by code violation and the like


Freeview in Coventry

Story location: Home / Blog / tv /
12/Mar/2006

We've been watching Invasion on Channel 4 and it's recently started to get interesting. After last weeks episode, Emma was impatient to see the next episode so we switched on our Freeview box and watched it on E4.

We'd been wanting to buy a Freeview box for a while, but the various digital TV websites all claim that the service isn't available in Coventry. In the last few months though, a lot of the supermarkets have started selling freeview boxes so we asked in Sainsburys and were told that they should work in most of the city. We bought it last month and most of the time we get a watchable signal. Even at the best of times, the signal strength is weak (due to the transmitter being too far away) and we can't receive all of the channels on offer, but it's better than nothing.



Wireless Router gone kaput

Story location: Home / computing /
10/Mar/2006

Yesterday, our wireless router died. We didn't get chance to take a look at it because we ended up going out to Wing Wah for an all-you-can-eat buffet, which was kind a spur of the moment decision.

Tonight on my way home from work I popped into the Birmingham branch of Maplins to buy a multimeter. I tested the power supply and it turned out to be dead. We went to the Coventry branch of Maplins to buy a suitable replacement. We ended up spending £20 instead of £45 it would have cost to buy a new router.

We suspect that the old power supply overheated (and the router itself would get very hot) so we now use a timer plug as well, so the router is turned off for a couple of hours each night.



Crowded Train

Story location: Home / Blog / birmingham /
09/Mar/2006

It was very busy on the train this morning. A lot of people got off at Birmingham International (presumably for Crutfs at the NEC), including a woman with a huge fluffy white dog.



Homebrew Party

Story location: Home / Blog / food_and_drink /
04/Mar/2006

Tonight was the party to drink the rest of the Biology Society homebrew - this was made in december and the first party (where about half of the beer got drunk) was last month.

As well as homebrew, we also tried 'turbo purple' - this was inspired by the drink served at the real ale festival, where they used strong lager, cider and blackcurrent wine. We used homebrew lager, a bottle of strongbow, and our blackberry and elderberry wine. It tasted fine.



Car Park under attack

Story location: Home / Blog / work /
03/Mar/2006

I was sitting at my desk in work when I noticed a puff of smoke out of the window and a second later heard a bang. It turned out that a firework or rocket had been fired from the roof into the car park, narrowly missing my boss's car!



Wallace and Gromit Night

Story location: Home / Blog / films /
03/Mar/2006

The University Student Cinema was having a Wallace and Gromit Night, where they showed all 3 short films, the Cracking Contraptions mini-episodes and the film Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
Update 06/06/2006
I was glad to see that 'Were-Rabbit' won the Oscar for best animated film.



Beer Festival

Story location: Home / Blog / food_and_drink /
03/Mar/2006

Last night was the final night of the university's Real Ale Society's beer festival. Over the last 3 nights there have been lots of beers, ales, lagers, ciders, perrys and wines available to taste. Unfortunately I've had to get up early for work every morning, meaning that I've not been able to try as many beers as I'd like but we did manage to sample a good selection. There was only one (a dry perry) which we didn't like but it wasn't bad enough to leave it undrunk.