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Robo Babies

Story location: Home / Blog / Hamsters /
28/Aug/2008

Redrum and Nuglet have been living together for a few weeks. We thought Nuglet was getting a bit fat. Just as we were getting ready to go to Leeds we noticed a tiny pink wriggling thing in the nest. Later in the morning there were 4 more.

When we got back there were still 5 baby roborovski hamsters but they had started to get more fur.

 

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New Lidl in Coventry

Story location: Home / Blog / coventry /
27/Aug/2008

Coventry's new Lidl opened last week but we were away at the Leeds Festival. We poppped round tonight to check out the store. They must have had a busy opening weekend because quite a few of the shelves were empty or only half-stocked.

Back in 2004 when I lived in Aberystwyth, I used to regularly shop at Lidl. The food is really cheap and it's possible to spend around £10 on a balanced weekly shop and have so much food it was a struggle to carry it home.



Leeds Festival 2008

Story location: Home / Blog / music /
26/Aug/2008

We're back from the Leeds Festival now. Unfortunately a lot of the bands suffered from poor sound quality, especially on the main stage where the sound was sometimes muffled or microphones weren't working so vocals were inaudible.

Highlights include:

  • Tenacious D put on a good show.
  • The Plain White Ts, who were blessed with a rare moment of good sound quality.
  • A singer/comedian called Stephen Lynch in the Alternative Tent. We had never heard of him but the tent had filled up with many fans who sang along with him.
  • The Manic Street Preachers, who headlined the NME tent on the Sunday. Their set consisted almost entirely of Greatest Hits and old favourites, which is what you want at a festival.

This years festival was muddier than any Leeds I've been to before. I've ended up with a 'welly tan', where my legs have only tanned in a band around my knees.

 

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Leeds Festival Shop

Story location: Home / Blog / music /
24/Aug/2008

Written 27/08/08 but backdated to when it happened

The Leeds Festival site has a supermarket which sells a lot of packaged convenience food. Sunday is the last day of the festival so the shop usually has all food items as buy one get one free.

When we went to the shop on Sunday evening we noticed a slight anomaly with some prices. Cakes which used to cost £1.00 for a pack of 2 suddenly cost £1.80 per pack. Packs of 4 of cookies for £1.50 had somehow turned into packs of 2 cookies for £1.50 each. Cheeky ****ers.



New CAPTCHA for comments

Story location: Home / welcome /
18/Aug/2008

I've modified the comments system to use the reCAPTCHA system, rather than my home-made one which relied on the user to count the number of animals in a photo.

reCAPTCHA helps digitise old books by letting people type in words which are a challenge to OCR systems. More information can be found by clicking on the link above.

UPDATE:

Not impressed so far. Only an hour after installing the reCAPTCHA, I received 2 spam comments. Under my old system I rarely got any spam comments. I'll give it a day and if it stays like this I'll put the old CAPTCHA back.

UPDATE UPDATE:

Two hours later and another spam comment. I'm putting the old CAPTCHA back. I had hoped that reCAPTCHA would work. I didn't expect to get more spam with it installed.



Rhubarb Wine

Story location: Home / Blog / food_and_drink /
11/Aug/2008

I bottled our rhubarb wine tonight. It was a fairly simple recipe:

  • 1.5kg Rhubarb
  • 1.25kg Sugar
  • 1 small tin of grape concentrate
  • bakers yeast

I managed to get just over 5 bottles. I'll give it a few weeks to begin to mature before tasting.

On a related note, I've ordered an electric juicer. This should make future wines easier to make. It's blackberry season at the moment and hopefully I'll have time to go and pick some soon. A friend with a grapevine has promised to give us a load of grapes, so the juicer will definitely come in handy there.



A bit like Spielberg's Duel

Story location: Home / Blog / coventry /
07/Aug/2008

This morning's commute was a bit like something out of the film Duel. When I joined the ring road, a lorry flashed its headlights to let me on. We both left at the same junction and drove 3 miles down the same road, turning right at the crossroads.

I pulled into the car park to let Emma out, then turned around and drove back to the main road. The lorry had also pulled into the car park and turned around, and followed me back to the road.

At the next crossroads I turned left, with the lorry following me. I took the next turning left, but by now I had managed to get a bit ahead. I think the lorry also took the same turning but it was too far behind me so I can't be certain.

I'm sure this is just coincidence, and nothing sinister at all. There are roadworks in the area and some roads are closed. Otherwise the lorry wouldn't have had to turn around where it did. I think the driver might have found himself at the wrong end of the roadworks and the route to the other side happened to be the same route I was taking.



Composter

Story location: Home / Blog / house /
06/Aug/2008

Last week I ordered a compost bin for the garden. It arrived today and it was a struggle getting it to the garden. We live in the middle of a row of terraced houses and it's easier to get it through the house rather than using the alleyway. Unfortunately the compost bin was rather bigger than I was expecting and it only just fitted through the front door.

Now I need to find somewhere to put it in our rather small garden. The best place for it would be the far corner, but there is a courgette plant growing there at the moment. While the plants are still producing decent sized veg, the compost bin will have to wait before it can be used.



Google Street View

Story location: Home / Blog / coventry /
03/Aug/2008

This morning we were joining the ring road when we saw a car parked on the side of road (where Gosford Street turns into Far Gosford Street) with a strange camera-like attachment on the roof. I wondered whether it was one of the Google cars - this was confirmed by the small 'Google' logo on the door.