31 July 2006

Networking News.

I thought of having a new feature called 'Networking News'. Where here it is. In today's 'Networking News' a new wireless network popped up, someone in range of my bed (I was on my laptop on it at the time) has a BT router. Unfortunately they have enabled wireless security, so I can't use it when my router occasionally decides to go on holiday. Tune in for more news tomorrow.

Well that was fun. I didn't do that much today. I did manage to 'fix' my old cycle computer, and then attach it my brothers new bike, then it died. It seems to sometimes record the speed, then it will just die. Another interesting piece of information is that my Creative Zen Last.fm group has finally reached one hundred, yes 1-0-0, members. Shame then, I'm considering getting an iPod or the Microsoft Zune...

29 July 2006

A Temporary Fix.

It wasn't me, ok. I didn't do it. Someone broke the till. It was fine when I used it. It was fine when I left it. In fact, I was in another room when I found out about it, and had been there for at least ten minutes. Well, somehow the little metal bit which tears the receipts off had fallen off. When 'called into action' I thought I'd fixed it, by pushing it back into the groove, but it fell off again. So out with some glue. I maybe should have thought more about that move. Out with the glue on the glass cabinet where we lay stuff down on. Well I don't go back until next week, hopefully it is now fixed, or at least the glue had dried...

28 July 2006

Don't Click IT!!!

Ok. So I haven't posted in a while. I thought I might post about something, but didn't have anything to post about. Well that was until I heard the latest edition of Buzz Out Loud. There is this really weird/interesting site called Don't Click It, where you navigate about it without clicking.

You just move the mouse about making sort of gestures and movements. Well it's different to most sites, so check it out...

22 July 2006

WTF? Prehistoric Park.

When I got to the charity shop I was told one thing, "You're on till duty - all day." What??? It seemed a bit daunting to spend the entire day on the till, considering I had just about worked out what buttons to press and what each button did. In all it went pretty well, I didn't mess up once which was amazing. To make things even better there was one man who seemingly donated everything he owned. He literally spent half an hour bringing stuff in. Fortunately since I was on the till I didn't have to sort any of it out.

Later I was dragged along to Halfords to see some bikes. Not for me mind. Well after a while I muttered, "How much? This is going to affect my birthday present." Well somehow my mum said that I may still get, "An Apple computer." What??? (for the second time) How did she find out about me wanting one? Wow. Well maybe I might be able to get one, and without even telling them I want one!

Did anyone see that show on ITV called Prehistoric Park? I only watched it because I am getting sick on dancing, and the BBC are killing the whole idea. Maybe I should have watched it, it would probably have been less cringe worthy. Come on! The guy was 'tracking' dinosaurs and then running away from them. This would have been perfectly reasonable if they were real, but they weren't. He was running away from dinosaurs which didn't exist. Fool. I heard somewhere that ITV have spent about a million per episode. Well, they wasted their money...

21 July 2006

Why Can't It Rain?

I've developed a solution for combating the heat. Sit in a fridge, or even better buy one of those freezer chests and lie down in one. Alright, alright. Maybe that might not work that well. I'm thinking about delaying the possibility of getting a MacBook (possibility' because I need 'permission' from the 'powers above') for an air con unit. Considering that some of the early MacBooks are dumping out heat, and air con unit may be better in this weather. I mean I could wait a few months I guess. Well at the very least I ought to get 'permission', while if I don't there will be an almighty strop on my part.

In other, but related news, it's only forty glorious days to my birthday. Ok, so this is pretty much related to the previous thing. Forty days to convince my parents, assuming I get a "I don't think so." Anyway, another 'stint' in the charity shop tomorrow. I was just thinking it's gonna be damn hot tomorrow in the back, but then remembered no. The door will probably be open, held open by the glorified bog roll holder (which can't be sold because it has an ash tray on top). Imagine that, someone goes to put their cigarette out and light their bog roll. Hilarious...

20 July 2006

Feel For The Pigs.

I heard something interesting on the radio yesterday. Pigs cannot look up at the sky. Why should you care (you ask)? Well while we are all melting in the heat the pigs running around (or perhaps trotting around) the fields of England don't know why it's so hot. We should all go out and push them over so they can see the sun, then we roll them back again. In fact, I might go and do this now, oh wait, the sun isn't up...

19 July 2006

Buzz Out Loud.

I found this really cool and funny podcast on technology at CNET called Buzz Out Loud. They sort of talk about the stuff which has happened 'in technology' in the day along with some very strange and funny comments. Well after a couple of days I was downloading it every time a new one came out. So naturally I decided to email them and tell them how much I liked it. You'll never guess what. They read my message out right at the end of the show. Well I'm pretty chuffed, anyhow, check it out at Buzz Out Loud it's right at the end of the 'Lawsuit Tuesday!' podcast.

I'm going through a sort of Jimi Hendrix phase. I blame it on the 'Purple Haze' or maybe because 'The Wind Cries Mary'. Oh, the punnage! Well 'All Along The Watchtower' now...

15 July 2006

Would You Like A Bag With That?

Well after I posted yesterday Last.fm was back up, after they had shut the site down for the day. Wow. They have been busy. It looks pretty cool now, with album art along with your charts and the whole site looks really cool and is much better. Well that's the good stuff. Now for the bad. It takes forever to load, like ten seconds, and that is with a pretty fast broadband connection. I use to be able to click on the link which I have in IE (now Firefox...) and Last.fm would load in about a second, now well it takes much longer. Also along with the plugins you need a whole app to be running. Well I guess it might be worth it for the 'new look' and better charts. I dunno.

Also last night the top four Italian clubs were relegated/points deducted/thrown out of the Champions League. Well they should be grateful, they did win the World Cup? You can't have everything.

Today there was some more 'helping the community' in the charity shop. There wasn't a lot for me to sort out (which is good - less work to do, and bad - nothing really to do then). Well some stuff did come in eventually and I also had a couple of spells on the till. I'm getting better at it now, as I seem to remember which buttons to press and not to press. It seems all I say is "Would you like a bag with that?" although one person asked for it to be bubbled wrapped and I make a complete pigs ear of it. In the end they did it for me. Well I don't normally wrap stuff, that's my defence...

14 July 2006

Mozilla Firefox.

I know I've said that I'd never do this ever, but I have finally done it. I'VE SWITCHED TO FIREFOX!!! There. It's out. I've done it. Well I switched for a couple of reasons:
  1. I do not like the look of IE 7. In fact I cannot stand it. I installed the beta of it and within ten minutes took it off again. It is likely that Microsoft would make it a 'compulsory' update and I would have to use it.
  2. Hopefully I will convince my parents to let my get a MacBook, and well, IE doesn't run on Mac OS X. Firefox does however, on PC, Mac and Linux. Also Google makes an extension which constantly syncs all the browsers, so stuff like my bookmarks are the same everywhere.
  3. You can customise Firefox with themes. One of the reasons I didn't like it when I first installed it, ages ago, was that it looked horrible. I found a nice theme for Firefox which sort of looks like Safari on Mac, which looks pretty cool.
It's also supposed to be more secure than IE, but that doesn't really matter to me. I still have to use IE for some things unfortunately, as some pages look positively dodgy and some don't even load at all. Well I better do some more burning/ripping, I haven't done any since yesterday and am sooooo close to finishing...

13 July 2006

Dark Side Of The Moon.

I haven't really blogged lately, partly because I've not really done that much and partly because I've been sat in front of my laptop frantically burning music, then ripping it again. No I haven't gone mad, I need to get my music from DRMed WMA to DRMless MP3 (because of a future MacBook? Here's hoping! And so I can put it on other computers more easily). Well even with my small library of about 500-600 songs it has taken a while (even longer if there was the CTRL-C and CTRL-V shortcuts).

Well it isn't all that bad. I've had a chance to listen to ALL of my music collection, and I've 'found' lots of songs and albums that I'd forgotten completely about. I've also had a chance to rip some other music which is lying around the house. I really like The Eagles greatest hits album and also, surprisingly, found Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon'. I heard about this on the radio when it was voted 'The piece of music which changed my life'. Well to be honest it's actually an album, so it couldn't have won it - but it did. Well I've gotta say I really like it. I'm not really sure about 'changing my life' but I guess it's pretty close. I particularly like 'Breathe', 'Time' and 'Money'. Well back to burning and ripping music, I've only got about 20 songs to go...

11 July 2006


I had an orthodontist appointment today. 12.40 was the time I was given. What time did I get seen? 1.20. Disgusting. I didn't bring anything to 'do' so I had to just sit there for what seemed like an eternity. I was so bored I actually worked out the pattern of the wooden floorboards. (In case you want to know what I discovered, well, all the boards were the same in each row, so presumably they all came from the same part of the tree, but none of these boards appeared in another column. Yes I was actually that bored.)

Well looking back I probably would have wanted to have waited longer. I already know that orthodontists like to cause pain, but this time it was different. I'm surprised I actually have any teeth left. Honestly, I don't think she'd like it if I treated her teeth like that. Where's the mallet...

09 July 2006


I wasn't planning on posting, but after watching the World Cup final I had to. Well I missed the first half, because of church, but was back in time for the second half. It didn't seem like I missed much, one goal each to France and Italy. I think that I wanted France to win, well to be honest I wanted England to win, but some things just don't happen. One thing to note though, the ref is the same ref who sent Rooney off last week.

Italy were denied a goal, because they were offside. France still looked like they could win. 90 minutes up, still level, extra time, still level. Then suddenly Zinedine Zidane went, well seemingly mental. He was being tugged by some player, then they exchanged some words and he suddenly turned and head butted the player! What was he thinking??? It looked like he got away with it, but then the Argentine ref (who was obviously itching to hand out a red card) sent him off. What was he thinking???

So the World Cup final was to be decided on penalties. France lost, though they played better, even with Zidane's moment of sheer madness. Well the world is an unfair place. Still, it's only another four years, not long. We can all get some relief at the situation Italian football is in back home. There is some massive corruption scandal where pretty much all the top clubs could find themselves in the third division. That should be a laugh...

08 July 2006

Cybermen vs. Daleks.

Today's gonna be a short post, short and sweet. I spent the afternoon in the shop again, sorting out some donations and occasionally manning the till. All was going well, like the last time I was on the till, until just before closing time when a woman bought some stuff. I entered it into the till, collected her money and gave her the change when she said I had not given her enough money back. Well, sorry. I think I have. I checked it again and confirmed that it was correct. But no, she still would not believe me. I maybe should have mentioned that I go to a 'GRAMMAR SCHOOL', but it was only until her daughter checked and confirmed that I was right all along did she finally accept it. No apology either.

Well, what a finale to the second series of Doctor Who. I haven't really talked about it much here, but I do think it has been better than the last one. There was a huge battle between the Cybermen and the Daleks (who have returned, in some sort of cult?), and Rose has finally left. The effects didn't exactly look as convincing as say, Lord Of The Rings, but still, it was pretty cool...

07 July 2006

Day Ten: Some Advice.

Well my two weeks of work experience are over. I left at 5pm with three pieces of advice to use, and possibly treasure, in the rest of my life:
  1. Become a banker.
  2. Do not marry an American woman.
  3. Do not get involved with dodgy women.

Well, they might be useful later in life? The reasoning for the first piece of advice is that you get paid loads and will get a cheap mortgage. The second piece of advice is based on messy American divorce laws. The third, well I dunno. Depends how you define dodgy?

After having to run to get my lift in the morning, the marine antenna was put into the chamber. This took all of the morning, as everything had to be set up perfectly. And I mean PERFECTLY. The turntable had to be pointing in a exact direction, to three decimal places!!! It took me at least twenty minutes to get the antenna pointing at something like 155.133 degrees. You had to keep nudging it back and forwards. The antenna itself was only about 20kg, and proved pretty impossible. I dunno how on earth they managed to do it with the 2 ton antenna last week.

At 12 noon the fire alarm went off, so we had to evacuate the building. Unknown to us it was the 7/7 two minute silence. The fire alarm was meant to sound for three seconds, then turn off. Well it doesn't in the building, so we all had to leave thinking there was a fire. I mean it would have been nice if reception could have told us beforehand?

After risking what looked like fish at lunch, there wasn't that much to do in the afternoon. Well it's over now. I actually really enjoyed it, it was pretty cool. Now time for one looong holiday.

06 July 2006

Day Nine: Nearing The End.

Well, all was well today. The guy I was shadowing was back today after falling down the stairs, although calling him 'immobile' is an overstatement. I didn't really do that much in the morning, but did do general 'helpy' things. For instance I had to unpack three yacht antennas armed with only a pair of blunt scissors. I managed it in the end, without damaging the antennas (too much...), but having to get through loads of tape with blunt scissors is 'difficult'.

Lunch was later than normal due to one fact. The 'Microwave Antenna Test Facility' is a dictatorship, ie. what the boss says gets done. We were all going to go to the canteen after the current test had finished and the next one had been started, however it became apparent that it would take too long. We (the person whom I am shadowing and me) finally convinced the customer to go to the canteen, which was 3 against 1. In any normal democracy we would have gone to lunch, but we would all go to lunch together. So we had to wait ages. Well it did save time later, but we were damn hungry.

The afternoon was pretty much the same as the morning. We attached some strange stuff to the antenna - which was when I had to vault across the chamber. I was the only person who could get the foam needles (as two people were on the antenna, and Andy (who fell down the stairs) could barely walk let alone jump across a large gap. Well I was surprised I actually made it, and it was damn good I did, as it would have damn hurt if I didn't. I also got to listen in to some people around the world talking to each other using amateur radios. They are pretty cool, and I might get one (though not for a couple of years, they cost like £800!!!). So, my two weeks are almost over, last day tomorrow...

05 July 2006

Day Eight: Radar Tower.

Well I arrived promptly at 8.30 am knowing that if the person who I am shadowing did not turn up I would have to sit around until about 10. This was because the other guy had to have another check up and I can't get into a locked building. So when it got to 8.40 I texted my Dad and he picked me up (again). This is probably one of the best things about working at Great Baddow, my Dad works on the same site so can send me/pick me up.

Well I went back again around 10.30 and still I couldn't get in. Well the (Romanian) customer was also there and found it funny of my dislike of the Portuguese football team. This was cut short when someone came in and told me that I had left my lights on, yes, of course how stupid of me to leave the lights on in my Romanian BMW. Right. Well he quickly ran out and turned it off, or else we'd have to push it back to Romania to get fixed.

Lunch came really early. Well it seemed that way because it was only an hour in. Then I didn't really have much to do for the rest of the day. I had a couple of cycles around the site, on the bike which they use when they can't be bothered to spend ten minutes walking to the main building. I also built a tower out of paper (good to see I'm not wasting my time...).

I also took a couple of pictures of the chamber, because Bunting said she 'would like' some. This was very funny because it says at reception 'No cameras allowed on the site'. Well there is actually a BAE Systems camera on the site, which was 'lost'. It was then found in someones home and then brought it. So I took a couple of pictures, and got some awesome shots of that massive tower outside...

04 July 2006

Day Seven: A Bit Of The Same.

Well today was a bit like yesterday. I didn't do much really...

03 July 2006

Day Six: Hospitalisation.

Well I got to the 'Advanced Technology Centre' a bit late this morning, not my fault mind. Well it didn't really matter. Everyone in the department were in hospital - bearing in mind there are two people in the department. One (who I am 'shadowing') had fallen down the stairs and the other had to have an X-Ray for something completely unrelated. This was unknown to reception, who promptly sent me to a locked building. Damn. Fortunately after going back to reception, then walking back the guy who had the X-Ray was back.

In short I didn't have much to do. I was going to build an antenna, but the man was in hospital. So not much was done. I did however get some lovely melons from the customer, but more on that another time. Also, since the last post Beckham has resigned as captain (though he still hopes to play) and apparently there is not rift between Ronaldo and Rooney. Yeah right...

01 July 2006

What A Day.

The day began really after lunch when I went to do my spell at Farleigh. It was surprisingly quiet in the shop, despite the fact that the match hadn't started yet. However loads of donations had already come in in the morning which I had to sort out, including the most LEGO I've ever seen in one place. Well after sorting it all out into boxes sealing them up, nothing much happened. I took the old stock off (twice - long story) and went home, after the match had started.

I was partly hoping for the score to be 1-0, or maybe even 2-0, but not it was 0-0. Then there was half time. Beckham off, because of an injury, then, Rooney off. Sent off. It looked a bit dodgy, so maybe a yellow card, but not a red. I sort of blame it on two things - Argentine ref and Ronaldo running up. Anyway did you see his wink afterwards? The next time he plays in England or meets Rooney - it ain't gonna be pretty.

Well it went up from that point and it looked like England might score. But no. Extra time - nothing. Then penalties, and we lose. Out. Well everyone says we didn't play well. Look at Lampard and Gerrard, every week they score in the Premiership, but not when we really need it. I guess we can wait another four years, everyone gets hyped up, then we get knocked out. And anyway, now Sven's gone, we don't get Scolari who seems to keep beating us, but Sven's right hand man, who seemingly helped make the decisions (which contributed to us being knocked out?).

Then, in Doctor Who, all hell breaks lose. Cybermen are back and supposedly 'invading Earth' and then, Daleks? I thought they were long gone, in fact they were - that is supposedly why the Doctor changed (apart from the fact he didn't want to get type cast). Well one thing is for certain, England are out...