Monday, November 27, 2006

Volume Control for Children?

Now that Ali and I are expecting our first child I have discovered an interest in babies that I never expected to have. Whilst I obviously found babies cute I was certainly not interested in talking about them. Yet this weekend Ali and I joined new parents Marcus and Ellen (Holly is on the right in the Pink) in a trip to Lincolnshire to see our mutual friends Wig and Damon who have also just had a new baby (Oliver on the left). Since both the babies are only just 3 months old they don't do much except for dribbling, eating, pooping, gurgling, burping and occasionally smiling. One little grin from these little fellas makes even the iciest heart melt. In fact the smiling makes it all worth while. Except for the noise. Sweet Jesus can they belt is out! For such a small package it is astounding how many decibels they can create. And just for good measure they sound like they are being murdered. It seems my life of quiet contemplation is going to change a bit when our nipper comes along.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ooop Norff

Busy week. In the last 4 days I have had customer meetings in (in this order) Shrewsbury, London, Wakefield, Newcastle and Manchester. This required me driving about 1200 miles. In Australia they drive 1200 miles to get a pint of milk, but in the UK that is quite a lot., The last leg of the trip, driving from Manchester back to London, involved travelling on the M42 motorway (freeway). This was the first time that I had been on the M42 since they allowed motorists to drive on the hard shoulder when the road is congested. What a brilliant idea! The electronic signs make it very clear when you are allowed to use the shoulder and the addition of a fourth lane really mades a big difference. At 5pm the M42 is often a car park, but with the addition of the extra lane it was flowing smoothly. As I understand it, this is just an experiment to see if using the hard shoulder as an extra lane when the roads are congested is practical but based on my experience today it is a winner. I will be very interested to hear the results when the trial finishes. More detail here.

So what do I do to relax after this behemoth driving experience? Well this weekend I am driving Ali and my sister Pink back up to Leeds for our nephew Jonny's 14th Birthday. Maybe I should buy a cab ;-)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Microsoft Firefox

I love a well done spoof and here is a brilliant one for us geeky types. Someone has pretended that Microsoft have acquired Mozilla and have produced a brilliant web site at to explain it. The site is packed full of in jokes ("The removal of Microsoft Firefox from your system violates international copyright law. Therefore, you cannot legally uninstall Microsoft Firefox.") and is beautifully designed. If it weren't for the subject matter you could easily believe it had come from the MS themselves. In fact if you check whois, the perpetrator has even gone as far as to register the Domain as being from Bellevue - which is Microsoft's home turf in Seattle, WA. Nice but very cheeky touch. I suspect that this site will be removed quite soon so if this sort of thing amuses you, have a look soon.