Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Are you ready for Christmas?

Time is ticking away, for in five weeks it shall be Christmas Eve.  Have you got your presents bought yet?  The shops are full of seasonal wares, the television is filling up with Christmas adverts, and a niggling ache is growing in the back of peoples heads as they begin to wonder if they ought to start thinking about getting presents.

I have been putting odd presents away haphazardly over the last couple of months, but now it's time for me to get organised, get a detailed list of presents for friends and family together, lose the list, and then buy what I can think of for people.  What typically happens is one of two things:
1) I end up with too many presents, and end up having to keep three Toblerones for myself, or...
2) I miss out someone's present and end up having to send them something slightly odd like a bag of Haribo.

Last year I had a little problem in that I sent some packs of shower gels and deodorants through the post as presents, and they were intercepted as possible bombs.  They did in the end make it to their destination, but was about a month late, which was a shame.

How are you preparing for Christmas?  Have you started yet?  Or do you leave till the last minute?

Those lovely folk at have published an app review of mine, a review of Relax Melodies: Sleep & Yoga.  Do go take a look.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

I am a caring wife

I took an online test this morning, and apparently I'm a caring wife.

That's probably the reason why, when I had to plug my laptop in to charge this morning, I chose to unplug the recliner on the sofa rather than the pump aerating the fish tank.

Damn my caring nature.  True, I prevented fish genocide, but my feet would have loved to be elevated.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

In the world of soccer...

So, I'm playing FIFA 12 a lot.  I'm aware that any soccer enthusiast will now be calling me all kinds of names because I'm playing a game which is an entire 3 years old, but it was £2, so there.

For much of my spare time over the last week I've been managing Bradford City and helping them to work their way up the leagues, win cups, that sort of thing.

And I thought that I'd share a few of the action packed moments with you?

Here we are facing the deadly Swindon Town.  They apparently have an OVR of 59.  I'm not entirely sure what OVR stands for, but the higher the number is, the tougher they are to beat.


The team from Swindon was seriously hampered when they chose to play eleven coloured dots instead of actual people.

I would note that the game attempts to sabotage my team by rearranging my players periodically, generally putting my best players in reserve and instead equipping my team with a variety of cleaners and lollipop men.

Here's all the action going on.  I have many many pictures that look like this, and they're all just as informative.

And because I'm such an ace player (aka I have it on "easy"), I score goals, and the below happens a lot.

That is to say, things get physical.
Time for another game!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A fridge lands on a comet

In less than 12 hours, a fridge called Phil will be touching down on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

Of course that's nonsense, but in less than 12 hours, a fridge sized lander called Philae will be landing on the aforementioned comet as part of the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission. The mission will analyse the comet and do all kinds of interesting stuff.

Find out all the latest, including watching the mission control room, at - to be honest it's not that exciting, but I think everyone's been clearly briefed about the webcam - everyone looks busy (although you can't see their screens so they could be playing Solitaire) and they do seem to surreptitiously glance at the webcam when passing near it. And there appears to be music playing, I don't know if the music is actually playing in the control room or if its to replace whatever noise there is in the room, I assume that it's much like any other workplace and there's the danger of someone within the range of the webcam complaining about a co-worker, eating a bacon sandwich, or swearing when they realise that they forgot to charge their smartphone, so not transmitting sound is probably a good idea.

Nevertheless, I'm doing my best to piece together what's going on. There's a guy in a suit who walks around - I think that he's a boss of some sort, perhaps making sure that the mission will achieve its agreed objective of landing on a chunk of ice.

Then there are some guys with shaved heads with headsets on. I think that these are possibly telesales operatives selling secondhand fridges, as I presume prior to launching the mission they probably used a lot of fridges to see how to crash one into a comet without breaking it - they're probably a lot cheaper to damage than a space science probe.

There are also some other guys also wearing headsets but with hair. I think that these are IT technicians because I've seen them at least once get under a desk, which in my experience means that they are computer techies fixing the network or plugging in a USB cable or some such thing.

Finally there is one other quite young guy with hair, glasses, and no headset. He's clearly a trainee who perhaps is on day release from the local college, and I'm surprised that I haven't seen him bringing anyone coffee yet.

So do head over to the website at about 8.30am GMT when I expect the room will be a lot fuller as they do the rather challenging task of landing a fridge probe onto a speeding chunk of ice by remote. Seriously though, all the best to the ESA with this incredible mission!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Garage doors, Downton Abbey and FIFA

I'm typing this having just come inside from the garage, where I've been power tooling.

This would be a picture of a power tool.

Over the last few months, we've been having a battle with thieves attempting to get into our garage for nefarious purposes (I assume that it is for nefarious purposes, if it is a holy order attempting to find the secret of life and they believe that it is located within the concrete and metal construction at the bottom of the garden, then they're welcome to explore for it,as long as they leave it tidy. (or at least tidier than it is at the moment).

They broke in one of the doors - we've secured it. So now they've broken in the other door, so it's now been secured too.  I hope that this will be the end of it, but for some reason I suspect not.

Next - Downton Abbey Series 5 has just finished!  I won't spoil it for anyone that hasn't seen it yet, but it's all very good.  I just always gets disappointed because I've just got into the habit of spending Sunday evening watching Downton Abbey with a coffee and a yoghurt or something, and now I have to think of something else to do.

Which I may have, actually - I got Fifa 12 (yes it's old, but it was only £2) for the Wii at the weekend, and am thoroughly addicted.  So far I've got Bradford City promoted and won a cup with them, that said the game is on easy so I'm thinking that I might restart and try on Medium.

Or the other hand,beating Hull City 6-1 was quite fun.  Maybe I'll stay on Easy a little longer.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Woe is me...

I have to report a loss in our household.

My PC is dead.

Last week it refused to turn on, so after replacing the power supply with no success, I gave in and sent it to the repair shop, and they've told me that the motherboard is fried.

So, until I get a new motherboard/CPU/memory combo (which isn't something I budgeted for right at this moment), I'm on the laptop.

But there is something different on the horizon - this weekend, I have the house to myself while my partner and my son are away.  Don't get me wrong, I love them both very much and I'm sure by Sunday afternoon I'll be waiting for them to come back, but the novelty of this weekend is still something that I'm looking forward to right now.

I've been working up a list of everything that's happening in Hull this weekend so I can go out and make the most of the time.  As things stand possible activities include:

  • Remembrance Weekend at the Streetlife Museum
  • Going to the gym
  • Buying and wrapping Christmas presents
  • Clearing out the garage
  • Going to a lecture at Hull Uni about "northerness"
  • A poetry reading at Central Library
  • A matinee showing at Hull Truck Theatre
  • The Freedom Festivals "Freedom to Tell Tales" storytelling project
  • Sunday jazz at Pave Bar
  • Blogging / making videos
  • Going out Saturday evening (actually that one isn't optional, it's the reason I'm at home)

Or of course I might end up spending all weekend playing on my partners PC, with a bag of snacks and beer within reach.

What are you up to this weekend - and which of the above do you think I should do?  Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Thank you

Firstly, thanks to everyone that took part in #HOTDRINKDAY on Sunday, regardless of whether you supported tea or coffee, it's much appreciated, it was great fun to do and I hope to take part in more debates of equal seriousness in the future.

And most importantly tea won.

I'm continuing to struggle on without a computer as mine is under repair - I'm very much hoping to hear something in the next day or two about what the problem is, in the meantime I'm using my partners PC while she's at a school meeting, typing as quickly as I can to attempt to finish this post before our temporary cat stands on the keybardso;dfjpwaejiof.,vdv;


Fingers crossed I'll be back in a day or two - with a working computer!
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