August 2004 Archives

Tring Beer!

Tring BreweryJust been to get a curry, and whilst waiting for the order we popped into the Weatherspoons. And lo-and-behold! They've 2 guest beers from Tring Brewery. So I had chance to buy them both a pint and explain the significance of the beer. Needless to say I think I've another 2 bookings for the next brewery trip :-D

And a note to Sy - Get yourself back from Turkey pronto before it runs out :-D

No Chance of a Lie-in?

Out last night for Carl's birthday drinks. Nige stayed at home, taxing and food-ordering, having been under the weather all afternoon. Probably over did the furniture removal's ;-)

Woke early, Ian again eager to get on with things. I've now got a decent stereo in the car, replacing the ancient one I got with the car with something a little more up to date. To give you an idea, I now have FM, this new fangled frequency, which I must say I enjoy most heartedly.

Off to B&Q to sort shelving for the shed, and then time to rip out everything from under the stairs.

There's already 3 bags of rubbish outside, and I think it'll be getting bigger before the day's out.

Pics of the night in the extended bit...

Lazy Sunday - NOT!

Well, the bruv's have arrived, with sofa's, and TV's, and thirst!

I'm sitting out the way whilst Ian sorts the bedroom out, all "Changing Rooms" style, and Nige gets on with the living room.

I've 2 single seat sofa's from Mum's to replace the 2 seater we had. Which I must admit does give the feeling of more room in the living room, even if there isn't actually more room. The bedroom is being rearranged as I type, Ian's stuffing the bed in the far corner so that there's more floor space, "....for guests". Hmmm, so there's reasons behind all this - more room for everyone to crash when they come down, eh ;-)


It's 1 o'clock and I've only just got up?! :-O Was in bed by 11pm, asleep and out for the count.

Must've needed it, and I feel ready to take on the world. But first, a bath, and no, I'm not going to fall asleep in it ;-)


Not because of the golf, far from it, 9 holes isn't THAT tiring. But I've been feeling knackered most of the week. So, rather than a big night out, I'm having a quiet night in. Been hard at work all week trying to sort this translation between SAP PS and Primavera using MS Project, and nearly fixing it, only to find it still fails in some instances. (For those Wilberforce chums, the maths equation needed a factor of about 3, which I'm sure you'll understand ;-)) Time to recharge the batteries ready for next week, it's the bank holiday weekend so I've 3 days off.

And besides, there'll be plenty of time to party when the Bruv's arrive on Sunday ;-)

3rd Time Lucky

Played a round of golf, well, a round round the 3 Par course with a mate from work. Nearly called it off, the weather's been awful ;-) But, determination to have a play won over and the weather came good. And I must admit, I did seem to be hitting the ball in the air a bit. Well, I say a bit, if you've seen me on the 2 previous occasions, you'd actually know I've never managed to hit the ball off the ground. Which comes a problem when you're trying to get over the water obstacles.

Now, I know Sy's going to say it's the clubs that did it, so I'll have to leave the verdict to the next department outing. But I'm encouraged ;-)


| 1 Comment

News on the BBC:

Museum welcomes flesh-eating bugs

Hmmm, is it just me, or do you worry about what happens when, rather than if, they escape into the streets of London?

2 Years And Counting

Ivan Noble's Tumour diary: Two years on
It's 2 years since Ivan was diagnosed. And where has the time gone?

He reviews the last 2 years and how things have gone up and down, the highs and the lows. It brings back memories of what we went thro' the last 18 months, and in particular, things less than 12 months ago as we came to terms with Jules second operation and the after effects.

He reflects on what's happened, and is still happening. And in and amongst it all makes the following statement:

Today's happinesses create the momentum for tomorrow

Quite true.

Day 3 of Jornada Joy

Well, it seems to be behaving itself now, and apart from forgetting to recharge it, it hasn't lost any data or had a random reset.

The question now is, what to I do with it? I've been playing games on it so far since I'm slowly building up the confidence that it's stable enough to put stuff on. And now reaching that point I'm wandering what to constructively use it for. Don't get me wrong, it's a great little gadget which I'm sure will save me time and effort, I've just never had a toy like this before, so don't know what efforts it's going to help me save on.

I reckon the first step is to sync it with the home pc, and then my work calendar, so at least it's got my diary on it. Then I won't keep forgetting what day it is and where I should be, because it'll beep at me when I do! After that? Well, there's some nice little bluetooth gadgets I could buy to integrate it with the mobile and allow surfing and email. And it does have MSN built in, which has impressed one of my younger relatives (eh Laura ;-)).

We'll see how it goes, and if Sy's reading this from his Turkish holiday villa, ta mucho matey, the pint's are standing outside the Marquis awaiting your return ;-)

Found What To Do

Scrub the last comment about not knowing what to do with my spare time, I've just decided to hand my notice in, pop down the bank, and get a business loan for this:

BBC News - Glenmorangie distillery for sale




A topic dear to the heart, having had over 100 comments one particularly badly timed day over on Jules weblog. It would appear, at least until Friday last week, that the spammers had been banished, using a little bit of code modified by one of our Deletetheweb community, tech whizz Mark. All it needs now is for the world's biggest e-mail spamming culprit to clamp down on it with the same vigour as their campaign to rid the world of physical terrorists. Just think, you send spam, and the next thing a laser-guided package pops thro' your study window....

Also, having my email provider eventually jump into the 20th century and start scanning email for spam so I can filter out the dross, is helping too. The upside? Well, I don't actually get any email now. Instead of the 30 odd messages a day offering me all manor of help, I know get the odd comment, note from a friend, and backups for mum's business. I've even been able to resurect one of my dead accounts, since it no longer reaches it's inbox limit (~250 emails) every day.

With all this extra time on my hands now, I'm at a loss on what to do!

New Toy


After forgetting about the meeting on Friday and missing out on a day's R&R, I decided to take today instead. I've still a few days hol's left, and I don't want to end up with it all left over for Christmas, so it needs using up.

So, attacking the cupboards, boxes, and general household bits and bobs. Had a right good clearout, tinkered a bit with the PC, and even managed a complete spring clean of the place.

Off for an early night, ready and recharged to attack the work week, which is only 4 days long, hurrah!

The Boyz R Back In Town

But only a flying visit, dropping off Janet and Laura from their trip up't North. Off out and about, so I'd better get me skates on.

Sit By Her Side

So, after a night out, several beers, a nice chinese, some wine, a good cognac, then Goodies on DVD, I've returned homeward to sort out the tip before the masses arrive.

Popped up to the cemetry for a sit and think. A year ago we were messing about, taking pics of Jules surgical wear for the operation. And deciding what we'd do with ourselves during the day, waiting for it to be over and finding out what had happened, and seeing Jules once more.

It's a beautiful day, a change from the last week and all the bad weather. I can't imagine what it's been like for the Scouts in Lochearnhead. I was supposed to be going, but everything this year has been a bit unplanned, so couldn't in the end go. Hopefully all's well, and I'll no doubt be brought up to speed with it all later in the week when they're back.

Eating Pizza

This time last year I was eating pizza, outside, in London. No chance of doing this today, since it's been raining and thundering all day.

Is it really a year since Jules went into hospital for her second op? Where's the time gone?

Off out with Sy later to get him pissed and so calm his nerves before he flies out with the Leyshon clan for their hol's in Turkey on Sunday. Probably won't have pizza, but if I don't go out I'll only end up stewing at home.

Time for A Day Off

After sorting out this MS Project translation between SAP PS and Primavera P3e, getting copies of plans to the 2 project areas at work into Primavera so they can start checking things themselves, I reckon I could do with a day off. Well, I say a day off, the bruvs are coming down, the house is a tip, and the food levels in the fridge are running at critical.

Thing is, I've forgotten about a meeting in the morning. But as Mike pointed out, I've had a couple of early mornings this week, so should be able to grab Friday afternoon off as flexi instead. Bonus!

Done It!

As you may recall, I've been busy trying to create a VB macro in MS Project. The function? So we can transfer plans out of SAP PS and into Primavera P3e without loosing any data, and, more importantly, keeping the dates and values, since MS Project does some funny things to them if you're not careful.

Having lost the laptop, not kept back-ups, and loosing templates twice, it's been a struggle to say the least.

Well, tonight, after a few jars, and a relaxing bath, I cracked it! Can't wait to get into work and tell John Green!

Pay Day

Got my appraisal result today, in cash, the important bit that pays the bills. And although it's never as much as you hope, it was a nice surprise. Still not near enough to allow me to buy a house, but then, in the current state of things, would you pay 160,000 for this place?

Now, I won't go into why we get a pay rise in August when most of the modern world gets it in April. Less to say, it's taken a while negotiating the cost of living, and it is back-dated, so you can't really complain. And before you tell me, I know, the cost of living is published by the Government. But what you need to realise is that that figure isn't real. The Government lie about these things, and your employer knows best.... and that, you see, is where the argument between the Union and HR starts.

And finally, for those friends from Uni and college, you've nothing to worry about, you can still claim to be, "..substantionally richer than yawuoo..." to coin a phrase from Harry Enfield. And I can still comfortably sit with Nurses, Policemen, Firemen, and Teachers, talking salaries.

Another Part of Hull Gone

In the news today:

Sainsbury's snaps up store chain

It was the local corner shop back home for many years, and now it's become part of one of the bigger fish of retail. Hopefully things won't change too much, and it'll still be open 24-7. Wonder what will happen to their bakery and all those lovely cakes?

24 Series 4

Alan Bell's 24
I've been in discussion with Fox over the last 3 days about the theme for the next series of 24. And since the change in legistation over disposing of cars, they think, like me, it'd be a good topic to pick, highlighting the plight of the down-trodden car enthusiast.

We've thrown together some ideas, and even got a poster proposal.

Some pics of Chaz and me's valiant attempts at tidying things up, along with the poster, in the extended bit, as always

Chaz Is Back

My old flat mate (one of many) returned from New Zealand this week, and popped over to Stevenage to catch up. We nipped over Stotfold to see Gareth and grab a few beers and a rather spicey curry, before heading back to Stevenage.

He'd said he'd been thinking about coming back to the UK, having had a good time out there, but starting to miss things. However, the English pub experience, the traffic, attititude, and our great summer weather soon put his mind to rest that he's done the right thing!

Having arranged to spend the weekend here as a base whilst popping about to see people, Chaz gave a helping hand to sort the cars and parking spaces (see later entry).

It was great to catch up, but, as he said, it'd have been even greater if things hadn't gone the way they did. I know Jules would've been kicking herself the last few days, knowing how much she felt about the last time he popped over. But, as Chaz said, life just ain't that fair, is it?

More News on Ivan

More news over on the BBC site about Ivan's progress, and his getting to know his new baby son:

His dread of the next scan hits home since it's over a year now since Jules went in for news of her follow up scan which lead to the second operation. I'm keeping my fingers crossed Ivan's will show remission, since everything he's been saying sounds like the treatments are going well.

As for today, I'm off down the pub now to introduce our American friend from Primavera to The Woodman and good ol' English beer ;-)

Crushing Shock

| 1 Comment

Got home last night to discover the council has served a Removal notice on all 3 cars outside the house :-O And the best part? I've 24 hours before they're removed and crushed :-O

Under the The Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 they're now entitled to remove a vehicle which, in their opinion, has been dumped or abandoned. They define abandonment as follows:

  • Are the tyres flat?

  • Is there any litter, weeds, etc. under the vehicle indicating that it has not been moved for some time?

  • Are the brake discs rusty?

  • Is the windscreen or any of the windows broken?

  • Is mould present on either the inside or the outside of the vehicle?

  • Does the vehicle contain items of waste, for example tyres?

  • Does the vehicle have a number plate?

  • Do local householders, businesses, councillors or the police know how long the vehicle has been there and do they have any knowledge of who owned/abandoned it?

There's also a chance of going to prison :-O

And according to Mr Council Man the vehicles are, in his opinion, abandoned. He couldn't tell me who reported it, but I've got a good guess. So I'm off this lunchtime to buy a new electric footpump and get the 2 flat tyres sorted, which I'm sure have only recently gone flat. But then, as I said to the guy at the council, not that he seemed to give a monkeys, I've had other things to worry about over the last 18 months :-(, but that, in his words, isn't an excuse, people die every day.

Better get on and check my SORN declarations are all up to date too.


Due to the large volume of trojan's and virus' lurking out on the W3 we've had restrictions placed on sites we can visit using work's internet access. So many of the forum's, webmail, and other dodgy sites have been banned.

Imagine then, today, my shock at trying to get to this site:

BBC Radio 1

Try it from work and you'll see what I mean. And the same's true for other sites, like Radio 2 or Radio 3 The best bit? You can get to Radio 4, eh? Now, can someone explain what exactly is dodgy about the BBC?

[UPDATE]: Since posting this Radio 2 has come back online (?)

The Goons Online!

Whilst searching around the 'net for news I stumbled over this - BBC 7 Comedy - The Goon Show. And since it works via MediaPlayer I reckon next Monday I'll be able to sit back and listen to it in work - hurrah :-D

Must set to and dig out some of my original recordings (no, I'm not that old, they're repeats) and sort out burning them to CD and MP3.

Spitfire's Album

Prodigy - Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned
The new Prodigy album is out on 23rd August. And amongst the tracks is one entitled "Spitfire" - wonder if it's anything to do with the maniac running around my house the past few days in the thunderstorms? ;-)

Will have to get my advance order in now, do you want a copy Ebo?

Humid Sleep

It's been just unbelieveably hot and humid the last few days. And despite the torential rain today it's still not any better :-(

Not being able to sleep I had a trawl thro things, wondering what was happening this time last year. And sure enough, it was the same:

I remember the night, as Ian had said if it didn't get any cooler we'd be straight back home in a taxi :-O
Fortunately Chicago's got air conditioning so it was like boogeying the night in a fridge.

It was Jules last night out too....:-(

For Sale

Our neighbours house is up for sale, and at quite a price. Even working on 5 times salary mortgages I'd be still 1,000's short of the offer price.

House for sale - HOW MUCH :-O

How do people manage to buy houses round here these days? The only way I can see it happening for me is a pools win, a HUGE pay rise (hint, hint), or keeping my fingers crossed the next share save comes out trumphs. Although the way the share price is going, it'll take a miracle before that happens :-(

Sorry Mate, No Trainers

Spent the day bumming around town, having some Subway foot long's for lunch, yum, and then buying new outfits for the big night out :-D

Imagine, then, the feeling when, on getting to Chicago's, Nige gets told his new Ben Sherman shoes are trainers, and he can't come in :-( So we went home, raided the fridge, and ordered a stupid amount of pizza. Good job Nigel and Ian had bought loads of DVD's on Thursday.

So, today, it's off to Burtons to return said trainers and get some shoes - should be fun!

What A Day for A Holiday!

Said to Phil yesterday at work I'd probably not be in today. And awoke to the sun streaming through the window. Which is something, this summer at least, that hasn't been the case as often as it should for Summer.

A bit of shopping, some Subway for lunch, and then set-to on the cars and garden to sort out all the things I've missed over the last couple of weekends.

Hitting the town later, in fact in a few hours, so better get off and sort it!

The Stotfold Experience

We hit the village around 8pm, going first to the Pig and Whistle. Then onto the Two Brewers for a quick IPA, then the short walk round to the Chequers. Except the walk was too much effort, so we ended up at the Stag for pool and cocktails instead.

Pics and bits in the extended bit...

The Boys Are Back In Town

Nige and Ian have just arrived, with mate Kev, for a short visit at the end of their 2 week hol's :-D

We're just unpacking the car before nipping over to Stotfold for a few beers in the many pubs in the village. It took a little longer than normal for them to get down, Ian's car's timing seems to be out, cough, so it was backfiring quite a bit...

Anyho's, better get off now, as the cold one's are a-calling ;-)

Lazy Garden Day

Finally planted out the remaining bedding plants, and began hacking down the jungle that's grown in the back garden. The grass just seems to have got a right spurt on in the last week.

Found 2 frogs, much to Spitfire's amusement. Had to lock him in the house whilst I found a couple of holes for them to hide away in. He's since spent ALL evening out there, waiting, hoping that they'll come back out and play.

Need to sort the garden properly tomorrow night as the bruvs will be camping out there when they get down. Should be quite a party atmosphere come the weekend.

Scanning Thro'

Just sorting out bits and bobs, too hot to sleep, so beavering away in the office a.k.a. Back Bedroom.

A year ago Jules was getting a scan, and a few days later we got the news she needed to go back into hospital.

It's just hit me, it's now over 2 months since the funeral, and over 11 weeks since she went. Where does time go......?

About Alan Bell

Lapsed: electronic engineer, scout leader, project controller.
Now: Oracle Primavera training consultant, business support manager, occasional website designer.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from August 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

July 2004 is the previous archive.

September 2004 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.