October 2004 Archives

Little Changes

I've been watching Little Britain on BBC2. So, being a poor Southern, not having the dosh to upgrade to digital, I was disappointed to hear the new series was being shown on BBC3, with no suggestion it would eventually move across.

So, happy me when I heard it was moving over, this time to BBC1. Except it's being censored, something I can't quite understand since the BBC3 transmission must've been okayed before it went out.

BBC Online - Little Britain edited for BBC One

What Have You Done Mr Adams?

Been eagerly listening to the new Hitchhikers over the 'net, since I don't have digital radio. Too expensive and new fangled for me, cough!

Looks like I wasn't the only one doing it that way!

BBC Online - Hitchhiker gets 1m web listeners

Boosting Spitfire

Today was Spitfire's trip to the vet's for his vaccination boosters. Or at least it would've been, except, for various reasons, he's been 2 years now with out them. So a new course was needed, and at £60 was a little more than I was planning to spend.

Needless to say, I've an unhappy cat, and equally unhappy wallet now. At least the wallet isn't running around giving me funny looks and scratching the furniture in protest. Doesn't bode well for the return in 3 weeks now, does it.

Surfing The Black Country

There's a guy somewhere in the Midlands ()who'd sent a number of comments to Jules site, and here. He'd had a brain tumour experience, if that's what you can call it, and found the site whilst surfing for information on the disease. Well, I've stumbled over his site today, and found a number of references, which I thought I'd publish here. At some point I'll update the site links to include his site too.

Olympic Dream ended..
What Makes 100%
Dad .. 12 Months on.

Has The World Gone Mad?

I remember thinking, when Macdonalds had to start labelling their hot apple pies as HOT, that the world was taking a back step. And KP with their packets of nuts, warning the consumer that this product may contain nuts.... But this, surely, is going too far:

BBC News Online: Brewer to use beer health labels

Next they'll be telling us to take breaths between gulps, in case we drown?!?

More News from Ivan

Ivan Noble's Tumour diary: Awkward questions
How do you tell someone? His daughter is starting to ask questions, and he's working on how to tell her. And hitting the realisation that they don't really know of a time when their dad wasn't suffering from cancer.

Tough call, I hope it goes well, and wait for the report back on how it went.

5 months...

5 months have passed now. 153 days. 3,672 hours. 220,320 minutes. Not that I'm counting, well, okay, I am.

Spent the evening helping Nigel out at his pad, blowing away the leaves, and burning up the twigs and branches blown down in the recent winds. His landlord's popping round Wednesday, so he wants the place to look good!

Anyway's, I was stood there, watching the fire, reminiscing about the last time Jules was up here with me. That was a long time ago. And as the darkness fell, I looked around, half expecting her to come running round the corner. Which, of course, she didn't. But I can still dream.

Off upstairs for a large Jack Daniels now, as Kev's arrived with a big bottle. Yes, I'm staying and going back in the morning. Can't really face going back now, and the company of a good bourbon convinced me that having to make an early start tomorrow is worth it.

Quick Visit Hull'ward

Work's going mad at the mo', lots to do and get done before Christmas. Usual rush at the year end, with everyone wanting to use their hol's up, and this time me being at the back of the queue. So the long weekend I wanted up in Hull has been cut to a quick dash up and back down.

As I mentioned this morning, we're all off to the country for a night out at Nigel's local. Then back home, Star Wars trilogy on DVD, and lots more beer, nibbles, and junk!

No idea what time we'll rise tomorrow, but I have to go and buy a new suit, so it can't be too late!

Taxing The Car

Tried taxing the car today, and discovered some things I didn't know. For one, my MoT runs out on 31st October, and so I can't actually get the tax, since the MoT would have run out on the 1st November, when the new tax starts. Now, I'm sure I've done it before, but was assured by the lady at the Post Office that that would've been impossible. The second thing, as a result of my lack of a valid MoT, was the discovery that you can go get a MoT upto 4 weeks before it runs out. So I could've sorted it last week, and not, as I thought, have to wait 'til this coming week.

The end result of all this is bad tho'. I've £165 burning a hole in my pocket, and Nigel's local to go to tonight. Must remember NOT to spend it there!

Delays All Quiet

News picked up on the works internal news service, via Janes, which goes into detail. A snippet found on The Times Online:

£1bn radar system hit by delays

So it looks like Raytheon's ASTOR is slipping 6 months. Hmmmmm...... No news is good news?


News on the BBC today:

French cinemas act to jam mobiles

Hopefully it'll be some sort of Faraday cage type of arrangement, and not a high frequency jamming signal, since that would be bad for health, wouldn't it? I can just imagine the lawsuits cropping up now....

I'm Part of The Jetset!

Thanks to one of the Deletetheweb chums, I've now got a GMail invite! "What's that?" I hear you cry. Well, for those not reading the rest of the Deletetheweb's blogs, (Mija's Garden: GMail, iMark: There's no place like, it's the new webmail being pushed by Google. I won't go into detail, it's all posted on the other sites, but you get an account (Beta that is), by invitation.

The only downside, like with everything web-based, is the fact I can't access it at work. The joys of working behind the "iron" curtain.....

Chunderbirds are go!"

You may, or may not, remember a comment I'd made earlier in the year on some interesting news on Eurofighter in the Sun - Some Interesting News. Well, our colleagues up North invited the press to have a look at things, and this is the Sun's reaction:

The Sun Online - Chunderbirds are go!"

So much can change in a few months. Or maybe a better informed review this time?

Sweet, but Bad

Fit and fruity mousse
I caught the Panorama programme last night on sugar - The Trouble with Sugar. And after many quality programmes on investigative journalism, it was a major disappointment. Maybe I missed a point whilst popping into the kitchen to make a cuppa, but it didn't seem to be that clever, compared to some of the other stuff they've churned out. I just hope that it isn't a sign of a downward turn for what is normally a fantastic programme.

The most disturbing thing in the programme though, was people's lack of ability to take some responsibility for their choices. If your child is eating too much, tell them to cut back. Maybe it's a sign of age, but I remember as a child that we had a limit on what sweet and fatty foods we could eat. It was a treat to have an ice-cream, sweets, a reward for a hard day at school. Maybe I'm getting a bit old-fashioned after all.

Other people's thoughts can be found here, and it looks like I wasn't alone:

The Trouble with Sugar - Your comments


| 1 Comment

Would've sorted a few things out over the weekend, but spent most of it doing physical sorting, such as cleaning, dusting, and throwing out more stuff I've no idea I had.

This place seems to be okay, apart from an annoying habit of throwing me out and asking me to log back in before completing the publishing circuit. Better call in the expert - Jonathan, are you there!

Friday Down The Pub

And where else!

Spent an evening with a few of Sy's friends, discussing the merits of real ale, the chances of England winning tomorrow, and why the stronger beer only seems to take effect after leaving the pub.

Good night!

We're Back!


Some of you will have noticed yesterday that things round here where in a state of flux. Jonathan was in rebuilding and remodelling, ready for 3.11. And it's here now. And it's real funky. Except, you probably can't see that much of a change your side. But, as Jonathan says in the test comments, it's really different round back, in the bit that makes it all happen.

I'm going to have some fun over the weekend tweaking it, and maybe redecorating too !

Test post


Test post to see if this is genuinely working, or just pretending.

Apologies for the mess, folks - I'm in process of upgrading and generally futzing with Alan's blog here, and (surprise!) it's not going smoothly. Bear with me...

Another Successful Away Day

Had our department away day today. And it seemed to go well. Well, there was a free bar afterward, and I wasn't driving, so certainly from that perspective it was a resounding success!

Had the opporunity to hear from our new Head of Project Management, Andrew Brown, on the way ahead and the ideas on how we'll approach Project Management. Which sounds great, more so since I'll be positioned as part of the team looking at the tool and process delivery. Exciting times ahead me thinks.

Also presented the latest on Primavera between the three of us. And the new intranet site got a rav review, "What did you use to create the site then?, Dreamweaver, Hot Metal Pro?", "Errr no," says I, "Notepad...."

Bit of feedback on issues, but overall an acceptance of what Primavera can do, and what P3e 4.1 will deliver. And agreement on the use of Excel as a tool for the short term reporting side of things. So I'd better sort out my Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) skills pronto.

A Bench

Finally got round to ringing up and sorting a bench for Jules graveside the other week, and the paperwork arrived yesterday. Hopefully it'll all be sorted out in the next couple of weeks.

Oh, yeah, nearly forgot, it'll cost 440........COUGH!

Highs & Lows

| 1 Comment

Today's been a day of highs and lows.

The highs - sorting out the last major project to move to Primavera. The data transfer using my MS Project macro to automate the process between SAP PS and Primavera, including stripping out the Christmas shutdown so that the calendars don't conflict. And the end result, a programme of 7 years being only 8 minutes out. Fantastic! We'll see by Monday what the manning and cost looks like, but at the mo' it's looking good. 2 days to transfer and sort, compared with 3 months when moving from the previous system to SAP PS. Job well done I say!

The lows - it's exactly a year since we were told of Jules' final diagnosis. I still haven't written to Mr Dorward at the Royal Free to tell him. I'm slowly putting a letter together, but it's taking a lot longer than I thought it would. And I can't believe a whole year has gone by since that evening in London. It also means the conference on alternative treatments will be coming up again soon. And I promised the guy who told us, that these so-called Vitmain B-17 things would cure Jules of all her ill's, that I'd return a year later and permanently punch his lights out because, at the time, I said he was promising the impossible, and he said I was kidding myself. Well, in the case of brain tumours it looks like this B-17 shit didn't work as advertised. Apricot kernels full of cyanide, killing off the cancer cells. And it wasn't available commercially because the big pharmaceutical firms can't make money out of something that occurs naturally. You know, like aspirin, or penicillin. I regularly use white willow bark for headaches, and the mould of the melons down the supermarket when full of cold. It's a damn shame they can't isolate these things and mass produce them cheaply, say, in an easy to swallow tablet form. They'd be onto a sure fire winner there. But I guess, like the mystical B-17, it's naturally occuring so the big pharmaceutical firms can't make money out of it. What an absolute crock....

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 October 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2004 is the previous archive.

November 2004 is the next archive.

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