for my birthday weekend this year, Philippa took me to Chester Zoo as I have recently become obsessed with penguins ever since the BBC’s Frozen Planet’s introduced me to the Adelie penguin.They are among the most southerly distributed of all seabirds and as far as I am concerned they are freaking hilarious.
We went up to Scarborough yesterday to mother’s new house for Sunday dinner. Top marks! Not had a Sunday roast by mother in some time and it didn’t disappoint.
On Tue way home we had to pop off at Clifton Moor for a wee, which turned in to an impromptu visit to the cinema. The new Die Hard film was showing.
I was a little nervous about seeing it as I didn’t want it to dissapoint. I was rather pleased with the outcome. The film is a Die Hard film. Lots of action, a yipi-ki-yay and a battered up John McClain. What more do you want eh?
In order to blog more, I have added WordPress to my phone.
Maybe I should keep it simple. A blog a week? Sounds good maybe?
Today has been a nice day, not done too much. I thought that lastnights bottle of Rioja would have prevented me getting up intime for my get fit class. I was awake at 7 so it wasn’t a problem and my head was not too fuzzy either.
For lunch, Philippa and I went to meet up with family for lunch at a local Chinese buffet. Needless to say I undid the good work the keepfit had done.
The evening has been slouching watching the last few episodes of Fringe. Have you seen it… Bloody awesome series!
The Premier Inn’s “Free for 30 min” Wifi remembers your MAC address. Spoof a new MAC address and you can get unlimited access. This is a winning combo… be sure to clear all cookies & browsing history first though or they will think you are the same person.
Again… this is a benefit of using Linux and open sourced software. sudo apt-get install macchanger-gtk
In: blurbs · Tagged with: Facebook, Social Media, Twitter
So, I am residing back in Harrogate. It’s good to be back though I shall miss York.
The move was hard and laborious taking us 4 days to get packed and moved to our now temporary accommodation.
Then we had to head back to York, one last time for our check out with the letting agency.
I was suprised that we were told we’d get our full bond back as I kind of expect a battle with Landlords over little minor scuffs, knocks etc. The flat was starting to look tired and was in need of a lick of paint and a new carpet perhaps.
Having spent 1 week back in the comfort of Harrogate, we have been working non stop to get the intended purchase of a flat to completion. However, I remain optimistic to get a completion date very soon.
Philippa and I joined friends for a meal on Saturday followed by a sneaky pint of Old Rosie or three. Needless to say, my head was a little fuzzy the next day.
Work has been busy since new year, we have been down to two on shift whilst there has been some movement and paternity leave, however some extra experience gained.
So, I look forward to enjoying the comfort of being back in Harrogate and maybe I shall see you soon.
Apparently we all must have our lunch breaks away from the desk. A good policy I think. It means I can maybe be more constructive with my free time as opposed to working.
So why am I blogging?
Since my previous post on Facebook and the reasons I disabled my account I have un-disabled my account. Initially, it was just to send a message. However I left myself signed in. This prompted a big cull the following day, having over 350 “Friends” was too overwhelming. I carelessly reduced this by half which made it look a bit more manageable. However this took me 3 hours as the “Remove friend” option doesn’t give a boolean selection where you can remove people on mass.
On top of this, there are numerous gripes with the native Facebook software client for Andriod. I must have updated the software 4 times in the last few weeks. It’s poor design and sluggish behaviour stop you from doing a “Quick” update and quick nosey on other peoples walls.
New friend requests have been made. Some of which I barely know but has been ruled “Good networking to accept”. I have been informed that my birthday surprise last year was arranged on Facebook too.
There has been some good contact. I met up with an old friend over Christmas who has been living it up in New Zealand for the last 3/4 years. It was a superb afternoon. I have said hello to a few people too via Facebook and they said hello back.
I don’t think I am convinced by Facebook… It will take me a few more weeks before deciding if Facebook is Facearse, though I suspect the latter. Overall I am irritated by it but am not sure if cutting myself off from Facebook is a futile gesture. Social networks are like having lots of phones with different connections to different groups of friends… It could just do with standardising and consolidating.
Image courstesy of www.shinyshack.com
In: Idiots, blurbs, nerdlinging · Tagged with: Andriod, Blurbs, Facebook, Geek
The end of my holiday is nigh! What have I done?
Apart from contacting all sorts of companies [Npower & Sky] and argued the toss with them about all sorts of shenanigans I have managed to take Philippa away for her birthday.
We ventured to the Fir-Trees B&B located in Windemere. We spent the afternoon by the lake and playing air hockey in the arcade when the rain started.
The second day we decided to drive around a bit, having never been there before we discovered an Aquarium where we fed the ducks and watched the otters get fed.
After the Aquarium, we ventured to the South Lakes Wildlife Park with great excitement as the have Penguins.
We have recently been watching David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet and realised that Penguins are funny.
We saw the following animals on our day at the Wildlife park:
- Spider Monkeys
- Noisy Kids
Overall a worth while visit.
* I came eye to eye with the Tiger [which was behind glass] It hissed at me. There was about 2 inches between our faces. It was G-r-r-reat!
I have had a quick log on to my supposedly deactivated Facebook account to find it has not been deactivated. Why am I not surprised? After all everyone must have Facebook. I don’t want Facebook for the following reasons:
- It is slow and clunky – Well, with 3/4 of the world population using it, it is bound to be at times. A soon as it slows down when Resturant City is being played someone [mentioning no names] complains the Internet is slow and asks what is my laptop doing to cause this frustration? Answer: Nothing. This is never good enough especially when it is being used with Internet Explorer on Windows Vista with 1GB of RAM and multiple tabs open.
- The Advertisements are annoying, ill placed and the epitome of all things wrong. The adverts target the vulnerable for example: “Cheryl Cole lost 10lbs – find out how” [insert picture of the irritating celebrity looking extremely gaunt]. This is not going to help anyone feel happy with their physique. The other Advert I have seen is from money lenders/sharks: “Here borrow some money and find out will will charge 4000% apr” I have been in debt and know how tempting it is to apply when desperate. It is not a good thing. The Facebook owners need to ensure all the advertising is appropriate for all audiences which will not exploit the vulnerable and the stupid.
- “Poke” – Stupid & pointless. Why I would be angry with any of my “Friends” if the poked me. If you want to poke me… Do it face to face you coward!
- “Like” is it morally wrong to click on the like button to a message that read: “My cat had a freak accident and has no head… Woah is me!”
- “Friends” – I have never known since you used to bully me at school 15 years ago. Why would I possibly want to accept your friends request? And if I decline it, you try again. F**k off already!
I am not going to venture in to the privacy nightmares as most social network sites seem to have a few garish policies.
As an observation, Google + seems more sensible, mature and… well clean. Twitter is my chosen form.
I sat my SDI Service Desk Analyst exam on Monday and passed first time, which is a relief as I have only been doing the job for the last 13 years.
Next i want to get the LPIC out of the way and the ITIL Foundation courses. These are clogging up social times and personal time which is very frustrating as I have too much TV to catch up on.
Talking of TV, I have hooked my Laptop up to the TV and have acquired wireless Keyboard and Mouse which allows me to work from the sofa in style. ‘ing brill!
This weekend just been has been rather mental. On Friday night we had Philippa’s parents stay over and we ventured out to Barley Mill, just off Stonegate in York. We attended a party filled with dutch police bikers and the Lord Mayor of York for a Medieval dinner which featured mead, minstrels, storytelling, dancing and pisspots.
The food was superb all lit up by candles. I can thoroughly recommend this venue for small weddings and events.
The minstrels were like the compares for the evening, giving us a great insight into how a medieval banquet may have gone and providing the entertainment for the night.
On Saturday Philippa’s parents, Philippa and I ventured to the Treasurers House for a bit of National Trusting. This was followed by a Chinese lunch at the Happy Valley Restaurant [the best Chinese cuisine about] We demolished the soups and the main courses. I had Hot n Sour Soup followed by Crispy Beef in Chilli. Superbamondo.
We ventured to Philippa’s sisters in the evening for our usual card games and snacks.
Sunday, being fathers day, I visited my Dad for lunch. A surprising break in the weather ensured the BBQ went without fault and the spatchcock chicken was simply amazing. I at about half a chicken! F**k Nando’s this was awesome.
Yes, so far the year has been good. I haven’t eaten pies for over 40 days now and am feeling fitter already.
Following the new year we have not been far and haven’t done a right lot to be honest. There have been births and a serious lack of weddings to attend however my birthday celebrations were, as always the pinnacle of birthday events. I was surprised by Philippa who had bent over backwards to ensure that I had a bit of a lads night out, a first class break to Edinburgh and a family meal in York.
Not been blogging much, again apologies. I just haven’t had the time recently. A piss poor excuse I know, however other things have priority as of late.
Will blog again soon and will be less brief… i promise x
Finally, we have Internet access at home!
Having been without it since May 2010 when I moved in with Philippa, I can rejoin the land of geekery. I started by implementing a proxy server and webfiltering which worked a dream. I then decided to try out Windows 2008 Enterprise edition and set up DNS, DHCP and Active Directory on it. Finally I formatted the hard drive and stuck Debian 6 on the ol’ laptop. I have also been working on another blog for my technotes [ http://adam.mcpartlan.net ]
Working for a communications provider, they require I get my tech certs. Which they’ll pay for the exams and they provide some study material for. However, having not studied for exams since 1995, where do I start?! I don’t want to be forking out cash for courses and I don’t want to go down the avenue for brain dumps.
In: nerdlinging · Tagged with: debian, Internet, Tech Certs
I watched Paul and Black Swan yesterday and was rather impressed by them both, so much so, I decided to Blog about it.
Paul is another Simon Pegg/Nick frost film where a couple of “Nerds” are enjoying a holiday in America after visiting the Comic Con they go on a road trip in an RV. There adventure takes a turn when they come across an Alien called “Paul”. There is a lot of film references and lines borrowed from other cool geeky films. Personally I lughed my socks off at a Battlestar Galatica reference. It looks like Simon Pegg’s imagination has run wild again. I can highly recommend this film.
Black Swan was Philippa’s choice. But I decided to ‘play along’ and I am glad I did. The film, basically is about a frigid ballet dancer who has been chosen to play The Swan Queen, a role that requires her innocence and a darker seductive side which she struggles to find. A good story, a little graphic – Natalie Portman is involved in serveral scenes of masturbation and one lesbian scene. But don’t let this put you off! There are some rather gruseome bits and some parts which will make you cringe. Not one for the faint hearted.
In: blurbs, nerdlinging · Tagged with: Movies
Being a Newcastle United fan, I have shared in a few heart aches over the last 30 years. After last seasons promotion to the Premiership my heart has been in a limbo as to how the season will end. Especially with good results over the top of the table giants.
Newcastle United’s active supporter campaign for improved ownership of Newcastle United has this week had a meeting with with Simon Esland, Head of Customer Relations with an agenda of questions looking into the recent decisions by the business.
I have very kindly been sent a summery of the meeting which is very insightful and positive step towards the future of Newcastle United
Newcastle United have increased the amount of away tickets offered to visiting away supporters to SJP.
The increased away tickets are indeed due to having to comply with Premier League regulations, the minimum they can offer being 3,000. The reason the maximum away capacity is now 4,000 is simply for evening matches where it’s on TV, and they feel they won’t sell the stadium out, so they can offer more to away fans and hopefully make more money. In games like the Sunderland matches, they’ll definitely not be given to the away team.
What will be done with the money made from the sale of Andy Carroll?
The Carroll money will be reinvested, and the club are looking for more Tiote type players. Quality players that they can get for reasonable prices. Just because they have a lot of money, does not mean they’ll splash out over the odds for someone.
Everyone in the club is aware that they are light, and “strikers are a priority.” They’ve also pin-pointed several areas that need cover, and will attempt to acquire decent cover in the summer. They accept that they need better players in order to push for Europe.
What for the future of NUFC?
The club’s ambition is to steadily improve. They want success on the pitch, but won’t bankrupt to do it. The apparent stinginess is simply Ashley’s way of doing things. The club now breaks even every month, and isn’t taking loans out. They want to be in good shape for the UEFA rules on finances for when they do get back into Europe. Wherever they finish this year, next year they will aim to better it. Much of the club’s current investment goes on behind the scenes.
The club have offered Enrique a new deal, and will sit down with him to discuss. Whether he wants to sign or not is up to him. They have a wage structure, with a cap which they wouldn’t confirm the amount of. Enrique’s deal will be within that structure, but ‘fair‘ for the structure that’s in place.
The club confirm they are not a selling club, but as with any football club, every player has their price. The only other circumstance in which they’ll sell is if the player says they want to go. They don’t want anyone who doesn’t want to play for the shirt. The club have also confirmed they want to hold on to the likes of Barton, Coloccini, Enrique and Tiote, but admit it will be a “difficult summer”.
Mistakes, Communications & Sponsorships
The club accept their communication has been, at times, insufficient, and we suggested they look to put more information on the official club site. The club said they gave lots of information to newspapers and media, but accepted that they could not control if it was published. We suggested that in order to rebuild trust with the fan base, they should go above and beyond the call of duty for a while, in order to rebuild that support through transparency and integrity. The club said there would still be “situations they would not comment on”, ie. Carroll leaving, since they have their stance and won’t get drawn into an argument on it.
The club accepts that “mistakes have been made in the past, and says that mistakes are still likely to be made in the future”. But that is ‘human error’, and everyone in the club has one aim: success on the pitch, and that is the long-term goal.
With regards to SportsDirect sponsorship, the club insist that money does go to the club from SportsDirect, and since Ashley does not own SD but is merely a majority shareholder, it is not simply a conflict of interests and the club does benefit. Though this has angered some fans it is a very good way to get money flowing into the club.
A spokesman for United For Newcastle has concluded:
“It was a productive meeting, with several points put across effectively from both sides. Unfortunately, the club would not confirm that they would take a strategy to communicate more effectively with any great enthusiasm however, they have promised to us that they will attempt to relocate the singing section rather than let it go. We hope that this meeting will help us form an effective relationship between us and Newcastle United, to ensure the voices of fans can be heard by the club on a regular basis.”
You can follow United for Newcastle by checking out their Facebook page or by following them on Twitter
Sign the Saint James Park singing corner petition: http://tinyurl.com/5vanfu6