Thursday, November 26, 2009

2009 one of the coldest years on record?

You'd believe it wouldn't you, we've had some rotten weather this year, after being promised a BBQ summer.

I've heard people say "global warming must be wrong, this year has been one of the coldest on record"

And because the summer was a wash out, people tend to think this is true, rain makes you feel cold and miserable.

2009 was one of the top 5 warmest years!

Since records began about 150 years ago this year will rank in the top 5 at least, possibly even higher if the weather doesn't get colder soon.

Here's the BBC report.

BBC News - This year 'in top five warmest'

"This year will be one of the top five warmest years globally since records began 150 years ago, according to figures compiled by the Met Office."

So why was this year a washout? well warmer weather leads to more evaporation, leading to more clouds. If the wind patterns are right, this drops more rain on the UK. This year we lucked out, wind patterns dumped all that rain on us.

So don't believe the global warming hoax people, believe the science. This is why "global warming" was changed to "global climate change", not because it was wrong to call it warming, but because summers like this one would make people believe "warming" was wrong even when it was warmer than ever.


I should point out comment No. 3 by 順利 was removed as it linked to a malware site, not because I can't take criticism.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009, url shortener Opera Button

Due to request, I have done a shortener as well.

Click on the link below, it will add it to your opera custom buttons, then drag the button from that custom button panel to the menu bar you want it on.

Monday, November 23, 2009

URL Shorteners - Opera Buttons

A lot of people use URL shorteners, but they are still a bit clunky to use. Quite a few twitterers and bloggers use. URL Shortener

Firefox users gets all sorts of useful add-ons but Opera, although it has the ability, somehow doesn't get the press about extensions. has a firefox add-on, so I thought I'd knock up an opera button for the site.

If you are using opera just click the link below to add the button to your set of customised buttons, then drag it to the tool bar you want it to be on, I have stuck it just next to the address bar. Opera button

Hope you few, you merry few, you Opera users appreciate this button.

Happy Birthday Doctor

46 today, and you don't look a day over 900

Monday, November 16, 2009

Kite Surfers jump over Worthing Pier

And here was me thinking nothing exciting happens in Worthing

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Time sheets

It's the most hated part of many peoples jobs, filling in that dreaded "crime sheet" every month, but what value do they actually have to a company.

Personally I have never worked for a company which demanded timesheets where the upper management didn't admit (under pressure) that usually they were simply filed and never looked at.

So why are they required? the only reason I can think is mistrust, the company likes to have records as they don't trust their workers. A timesheet can be used against someone simply by piking holes in it and claiming an employee falsified it. Lets face it, when it comes to the end of the month, that's what most people seem to do, make up figures based on half remembered jobs and dates.

I can see limited justification for them if the company services several clients, and bills by the hour, but surely it's down to mangers to keep track of this sort of stuff, let the expensive techie folk do their job rather than bugging them to keep track of what they did for whom and when.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Installling Linux (Mandriva 2009.1)

I must start by saying my hardware is a nightmare for Linux, it uses an SiS chip-set for graphics sound and the network etc. This is notorious for causing problems and the last version of Linux I put on here was a struggle, really a hassle.

Mandriva 2009.1 however, was a dream, I burned the CD the rebooted with it in the drive.

Mandriva booted first time with no problems, and ran fine, if a little slowly, straight off the CD.

Once I was satisfied it had identified everything properly I went for the install option. I mean how great is this (Microsoft take note) I could run the version of linux I was thinking of installing, without making any changes to my computer, to make sure everything works BEFORE doing the installation.

I know this is old news for hardened Linux users but for those thinking of taking the plunge this is a HUGE bonus.

The install took about 30 minutes, then a quick reboot and I had a working, up to date, Linux setup.

I do have to confess I had already prepared an empty partition, the install might have taken a little longer if that had had to be part of the process.

Plugged in a rather old Laser printer I have (Laser-jet 1100, not plug and play) and asked Linux printer manager to go look for it. 2 minutes later it's running.

Then the real test, the HP Desk-jet F2200 all in on printer, this was a faff to install on the old system, and I never got the scanner working.

I plugged this in, up pops a nice easy dialog, I answered a few simple questions and it was all installed, scanning fine and printing perfectly. No need to even find the installation CD or download anything, the printer manager went and found everything I needed by itself.

I remember the horror of the "torch" in windows as windows tried to find the correct drivers on the Internet, has that ever worked for anyone?

My MP3 Player and camera connect just as you'd expect, nice and simple.

Overall I'm very happy with it, looks good, works nice and quick and so far I have not had to go to the command prompt for anything!

Next I have to try my web-cam etc. but that's not here so I will report back some other time.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Daily Mail caught with hands in photoshop?

*important update 28-11-09

They have changed the pictures in the article, but the original images are still on their server!

and the full image

The Daily Mail has it's usual "Bash the Beeb" head on in this article. They claim BBC bias as the BBC has broken with convention and put Nick Griffin first, whereas it's always the serving member of government first, in this case Jack Straw.

Scroll down and you find this image.

dailymail QT 2

Which seems to confirm their point, unless you enlarge it, when you see the full document it looks like this!

daily mail QT sheet

Nick Griffin appears to be on there twice! not only that, but there is no sign of Jack Straw.

Look again at that image, look at the creases on the paper, look at the creases on the paper under the Nick Griffin section, they match, apart from a slight darkening of the top section, this is clear proof they moved the Nick Griffin section.

I can't understand why someone would move it from the top spot down to cover Jack Straw if he was in the 4th position, but I can see someone might move it from the 4th position to the top, hence covering up Jack straws section.

The BBC state that this is not the document they issued. I think I believe them, don't you?

Incidentally, I have hosted the pictures on flickr, they are supposedly scans of BBC documents so therefore cannot be copyright of the Daily Mail, of course, if they have been altered, then they class as derivative works and the Daily Mail can use copyright laws to have them removed.

UPDATE: The Daily Mail may have been sent this forged document I suppose, but if that is the case, to publish it without a simple bit of fact checking is not a wonderful inditment of their editors.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Introducing Dream Stationery

Alison has just launch a new website, partner site to the dreambag

Dream Stationery offer customisable cards for all occasions, personalised photo baby birth announcements, christening invitations, naming day invitations and thank you cards.

They also do affordable business stationery printing, for business cards, A6 flyers, promotional leaflets, brochures.

Go have a look, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Dream Stationery, personalised photo baby birth announcements, christening invitations, naming day invitations and thank you cards. Business stationery printing, business cards, A6 flyers, promotional leaflets, brochures.

*disclosure notice, my partner Alison works for the company*

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Tornado A1 Peppercorn Class Steam Loco

Steaming through Crossgates Station on Oct 3rd 2009, A1 Peppercorn class Loco Tornado (60163) 105.2 Long Tons of power pulling 13 carriages

This is the train Clarkson raced May and Hammond in in Top Gears "Race to the North"

More information about this engine can be found on their website here

Although the wikipedia article lays out the information in an easier to read and more comprehensive way.

The video was shot by my 10yo Son, he's becoming quite the cameraman.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Me and My Boy

Went up to Temple Newsam with our radio controlled boat, had it years but it was gathering dust. Anyway, you can see how much he enjoyed it.


This is what my dads neck looks like after his operation.

They clamped of the carotid artery and opened it up the clean it out. Apparently it doesn't hurt him at all! Click on the pic for more stapled neck detail!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Dad

Has had a second stroke

fortunately only a minor one this time, he didn't even really realise at first thinking he'd slept on his arm funny.

He's now in hospital, undergoing tests, and there is some talk of surgery. A blockage in his caratoid artery they want to remove.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Oliver Cromwell in Crossgates!

Engine number 70013 Oliver Cromwell pulling the Scarborough Flyer.

And on the return journey later that day.

One of 55 of the "Britannia" class, Oliver Cromwell was built at Crewe Works, being completed on 30 May 1951. 70013 was initially allocated to Norwich depot (BR shed code 32A) on the Eastern Region of British Railways and employed on London to Norwich expresses. The locomotive is notable as one of the four steam locomotives which worked the last steam railtour on British Rail in 1968 before the introduction of a steam ban.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Castles in the Sand

Porthcawl, Monday we started to build a sandcastle, and got somewhat carried away

It began fairly small.

But we added detail and it grew.

J had started his own castle so this was detailed as well.

He was quite pleased when it was getting close to finished.

Then we linked the two castles with a retaining wall and another gateway.

Most of the build team (unfortunately B and S had had to leave before we were done)

We could have carried on for ages, there was much finishing work to be done, but home time beckoned.

Doctor Who Exhibition Cardiff

I must admit to being disapointed, there was plenty to see from the current shows, but nothing from before the "regeneration" of the series.

The whole place was smothered in "Do Not Touch" signs which meant very little up close and personal stuff.

The Vashta Nerada seem to be following us?

But at least we met K9

The gift shop had plenty to tempt us, but even J commented just how expensive it was.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Out on expedition, looking for the "moon ponds"

And I just love this photo of my two explorers

Friday, August 07, 2009

Tropical World, Leeds

Last weekend we took a trip to Tropical World as it was a rainy day and it's always worth a trip.

E had a butterfly land on her hand (we all had them land on us somewhere), J managed to almost completely avoid the camera, and between them and Grandad, we all had a great day out, I even managed to capture a lucky shot of a meerkat (I say lucky as even though I took several, this one was shot blind with the camera held over the glass wall, and it turned out great)

Proud Grandad? I think so.

Not many greenhouses have a waterfall this big in them!

Grandad got distracted by a parrot!

This fish will come up and try to "kiss" you through the glass if you put your face right up close.

Hold your hand out in the butterfly section and they will land on you, we all had at least one land on us, but I only caught E on camera.

J took this close up of the Leeds crest froma plaque near the meerkats

My "Lucky" meerkat picture

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Lilyest Hobo

So funny, a mashup of lily allen and the theme to an old TV program, "the littlest hobo"

Who remembers the program? what? no-one? am I the only old git in the house?

any way, the video

and a link in case youtube embedding fails.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New favourite singer/song writer

By chance I heard a song on the radio (Steve Wrights show on Radio 2) which I liked on the first listen.

However a search of the radio 2 play lists didn't turn it up, Steve had slipped it in and of course I had missed the introduction.

Searching the half heard lyrics on the Internet didn't help but luckily someone on mumszone knew what it was.

Check him out, Henry Priestman on MySpace

His MySpace features two of my favourites, "Don't you love me no more" and "He ain't good enough for you"

You can also go to Henry Priestman .com.

It's really my sort of music, and well worth a listen.

Monday, July 06, 2009

A wonderfully silly

Look at homeopathy, crystal healing and other woo "science"

I think I'd prefer proper doctors myself.

The link, in case embedding fails

Pay attention, the hospital signs are a giggle in themselves.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

How to drive a Model T Ford

And people say nothing changes, it seems strange to me how the controls are so different, but they must have made sense to someone.

Not convinced with the safety aspect of taking your foot off a pedal to go faster, but I'm guessing safety wasn't a huge consideration.

link in case the embedded video doesn't work

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

compressed air cars

Not news to some, but I promised I would stick up links to the manufacturers

A compressed air car, somewhere on the site will be the PSI that the compressed air is stored at, probably in French as the English version of the site is not very consistent

oops, forgot the target text in the link

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mythbusters debunk the moon landing hoax

It's been done more effectively, but mythbusters just make it more fun

this link is to the torrent of the show

Torrent of Mythbusters Moon Landing Special

Opera users will be able to download it straight from their browser, otherwise you will need sme sort of torrent client.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why is it

if you've upset someone, they wont tell you why?

I knew on thursday I'd upset someone, but it took until today to get an oppurtunity in private to find out why.

I'm still not sure what I've done wrong as I upset a friend of theirs, so I need to talk to that friend to sort things out. I will as I hate upsetting people, and when I know what I've done I will sort it out, apologise etc.


Don't sulk with me, I can take it, tell me!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Hunt

For Gollum

A "Fan Flick" some 40 minutes long, I've seen the trailer and watched the first part of it. and it seems very good. Made with a budget of just £3000 and a cast of 160

There's an interview with the director on the Beeb here

BBC interview

And you can watch the full movie here

The Hunt for Gollum

Hope you enjoy it

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's the end of the world as we know it

And I feel fine

Server 5 (travian) has finished, my team won, I ended up with them more by good luck than good management I must admit.

The world wonder was impressive, can't believe the number of troops in the end, I grabbed a couple of screen shots.

I find it hard to believe I've been playing this game for almost a year, joined 1/5/08 and it finished yesterday!

Never again! it just gets to much!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

unpleasant surprise today

A card arrived, red envelope, white heart on the front, my dad glanced at it and handed it over to me, my initial and surname.

When I looked at it I noticed it was to Mrs P rather than Mr P

My mum had my initial as well, but of course she's been dead 11 years.

Not absolutely sure what to think

Thursday, April 02, 2009

silly adictive

sailing game

you can trade raid and do missions

I prefer the "free game" as opposed to the "story game"

but either way there's something strangley addictive to it, to the point of me having to print the map out and plot all the ports!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

It's been found

Not in Temple Newsam as originally suspected

The UK's tallest tree

Not a redwood though? curious.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Paranoid agnostics

Do paranoid schizophrenic monomaniacal dyslexic agnostic insomniacs lie awake all night wondering if they ARE the dog that's out to get them?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I've just signed's petition for a British 'New Deal': calling on our government to supplement the banking bail-out with a stimulus package for other areas of the economy, which will create jobs now and lay the foundations for a greener, fairer society.

We need to send a clear message to politicians, telling them that they cannot spend billions rescuing the richest without investing in the rest of us.

Britain cannot go back to the pre-crisis status quo, with its growing inequalities and its dependence on the financial sector- we have to move forward to a socially and environmentally sustainable future. You can sign the petition by visiting But act fast- the petition will close on 2 March.

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The BBC and the DEC Gaza appeal

It strikes me that the BBC's refusal to broadcast this appeal has actually done more to raise the countries awareness of it then if they'd agreed to broadcast it in the first place.

Far be it from me to second guess what BBC executives are thinking, but a little part of me would like to think whoever decided to refuse the broadcast knew this would happen!

For those who want it, here's the DEC appeal web site

DEC Gaza Appeal

regardless of who is right and who is wrong, Israel or Hamas, innocent people are suffering.

In my humble opinion, blame can be placed firmly on both sides.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Drips revisited

Back in March last year I posted pictures of a drip of water coming off the porch roof catching the sunlight.

Here's a frozen revisit to to same scene

What to do

When it's cold and dark outside

Tuck up warm on the sofa with a good book!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Carloyn and Paul popped in to visit today

I took the obligatory pics!

Carolyn with M

Paul caught on Camera, a rare moment.

All the children squeezed onto the sofa.

It was a great afternoon, looking forward to them coming back soon, they are only about 50 miles from us, still a fair way to come. The children where pretty excited, chaos reigned of a rather pleasant noisy kind. I always love the sounds of a house full of happy children.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The View

From our bedroom window, over Brynmawr and across to the Coed-cae Mountain.

A little nicer than the view of Marshall Street Motors I lived with for 10 years!

Cold and Frosty New Year

There's been a freezing fog over Brynmawr and the surrounding area, spectacular but far to cold to be out for long!

Outside last night.

Up in the mountains.

It was too misty to see the other side of the gorge, somewhere in that mist is Alisons mum and dads house!

This is just before the roundabout to Brynmawr, The pot hole seems to extend under the roadbed itself, I've been meaning to get a few pics for ages, but when I saw the icicles I just had to stop.

Love this country, it does lend itself to some spectacular views, today though was too misty.