Monday, March 28, 2005

Happy Easter

I know it's late, but I hope you all had a good one. I've been having quite a busy weekend and although I had to work Saturday morning it was still good. I normally visit my parents over Easter, in fact this is the first year I haven't.

My landlord has a couple of old friends from Canada over and it's been fun going out with them. We went for a lovely afternoon drink or two in a couple of pubs towards Winchester, each had a well in the pub and one of them was 300ft deep. You could drop an ice cube down and it took several seconds before you see it hit the water atthe bottom. The other one was used to supply water for the micro-brewery there that has produced consistently prize-winning beer, and I have to say, it was very nice indeed. Strong-ish stuff, but not sweet like they can be sometimes - had a slight sharpness to it that just suited it perfectly.

Now I've got to find some photos for a competition I usually enter, I managed to win a category last time and usually do fairly well so let's hope I can improve again.

Sunday, March 20, 2005 - easier comments

I think blogger must have realised some people hated their old comments system that was just too involved and hard to post to. You had to create a user for yourself, even just for one tiny one-line comment... I guess that might have stopped quite a few people making comments.

So along comes a new, easier to use comments system; and we also get pop-up comments (in my opinion the best way to go). Great. Might have to post an anonymous one here to test it out. Anyone else feel welcome to do likewise.

School dinners

Everyone rips on them and we all know they are bad, but watching Parky tonight with Jamie Oliver (+ Billie Piper, the new Dr. Who 'babe'; and Ewan McGregor - very interesting, cool guy by the way), are the nations children really suffering that badly from lack of proper nutrition?

School children (heck, anyone) should not subsist purely on a diet of junk fast-food like McD's, BK, KFC etc.. Microwave-meals are almost as bad apparently, and I can believe that. I haven't seen the Supersize Me film but obviously that's aiming at the same problem. I find it hard to believe what Jamie was saying about a lot of the kids (and not just the really young ones) not being able to identify 'normal' fresh foods. Like rhubarb. But apparently that's so.

If you read this and have children living without at least a few proper cooked meals per week, made from fresh (or frozen at least) ingredients, I'd love to have a straw poll in my comments. If you're one of the ones who regularly feeds them good food then I also want to hear.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Nintendo DS and midnight shopping

Ever been out at midnight to do some shopping? I don't mean to the 24hr supermarkets or your local 7-11 type place for essential groceries or snack-attack fixes; I mean other goods shopping.

I haven't done anything this crazy in a while, but this Thursday evening me and my mate Jon decided to head off to our nearest big town's Game games/console shop to see if their Nintendo DS offers were worth taking advantage of. Just for the hell of it. The handheld gaming console was released on Friday so they opened up specially for the punters who just had to get one as soon as possible.

It was weird walking down the main streets in darkness with noone else around, and also, you're probably thinking, kinda sad. But it was also cool in a geeky way and neither of us had to get up early on the Friday or had done anything so mad for a while. So it had to be done. It's not even as if you couldn't get a console already, as they had been available on import from the US for ages - but this was the official UK launch.

I ended up buying a couple of games for my PC (damnit, knew it was fatal to go in there) - haven't bought any for a couple of years. My PC's getting a little old now for brand new games but it'll happily play the older ones so I got Homeworld (had been considering this for a while anyway), Worms Armageddon (been a fan since the first sit-around-the-keyboard multiplayer Amiga version my mates had), and Master of Orion 3 on a buy-2-get-1-free offer. So when people ask "So what was the last mad thing you did?", I can now tell them (if I dare admit) it was this year not last (or the year before, as likely).

Sunday, March 06, 2005

IT Safe - Government IT security initiative

The UK government has created a website to help your average 'net and computer user keep up to date with security issues in general - PCs (especially web browsing, viruses), mobile phones, portable computing. You can sign up with your email address to receive notices of major threats and what you can do about it, so it's not a daily thing for minor risks; more of a heads-up when major outbreaks occur (for those of us not already aware)

IT Safe

I also sent some feedback suggesting they create an rss feed as another way of publishing the information.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Sennheiser PC150 Stereo Headset

The Sennheiser PC150 Stereo Headset looks great, just heard about it from an AliceandBill review. Partly posted as a note to myself to go check them out properly (somewhere I can try them). They look just like the sort of thing I need as a replacement for my fast-falling-to-pieces Panasonic headphones of a similar style. I use skype a fair bit now, having a long cable is very useful, and if I ever start wanting to record myself (if there's something I feel I can talk about with enough enthusiasm and interest to keep it going) they'd be great. Having to hold my other non-free, nice, microphone (not that light) all the time or lean in to speak to it isn't very convenient. Bluetooth is the other possibility I've been looking forward to, but I think the technology still needs to mature a bit and provide better quality pick-up and better battery life (if possible).

Any other recommendations? These ones are quoted at $40 on the review, and I'm happy to pay £30 odd for just a set of decent 'phones so a good price match too I guess. If I can get them in the UK anywhere (don't fancy paying US postage).