February 2006 Archives

Time To Take A Look

 BAC TSR.2 It's arrived. I have, in my hands, thanks to my local model shop and Janet, an Airfix TSR.2. At last :-D

Still no sign of my exclusive Airfix one, with it's next-day delivery postage. Reading the Airfix forum's those abroad have received their's, and some UK people. But there's quite a few who've not had any news, or deliveries :-( And, I hear, it's being delivered by ANC, the local office for which is in Harlow. So, a long drive to go and collect when they can't deliver it some day this week :-(

Can't complain though, it has to be the best kit produced by Airfix I've ever seen. The quality of detail, the rather unique way the parts are broken down (not the usual 2 fuselage halves affair of old), and a set of decals which are in register at last. All in all a good sign that things are on the up after years of minimal investment and new build kits. Looking forward to the Nimrod later in the year, a kit I remember talking about with Trevor Snowden many, many moons ago in the tiny offices of Marfleet Lane ;-) You can grab lots of online pics on various sites, some of the best can be found on Hyperscale.

A Bit Quiet

I know, not posting up as often as I'd like. There's lots behind the scenes, stuff I've drafted. But, times just zooming along at the moment. For instance, I'd normally be online most evenings, one way or another. But tonight's the first time in 3 days I've actually had the home PC on :-O

I'd love to say it's because I'm crawling about under the car, or out socialising 'til the wee small hours. But it's simply there's just not enough hours in the day. And this place is taking a back seat. So, over the next few days I'll set to and publish some of the news and stories. Which will mean a need to use the archives more than the front page.

Normal service, as they say, will resume sometime in April. Providing I get a little less work to do, hint, hint ;-)


Monday morning blues, except it's more like Monday morning cramps. I reckon the curry from Saturday night is wreaking it's revenge. Should've realised there'd be a catch to having what was the best curry I've eaten out in a long time.

Ah well, only a couple of hours and I can go home. Although, as I've said, there's so much to get done, I can't really afford to be going home early. Will have to set the laptop up in the bath, it's the only answer ;-)

A Day Out In Cambridge

Well, got back from Cambridge late last night, and straight down the Old Town for curry with Sy.

It's been months and months since I'd been up to Cambridge to see The Don and family. So it was a chance to catch up on all the going's on, find out how much Geoff's enjoying his retirement, and also get the latest on the ETA of Ruth and Phil's baby :-D

A few pints in The Regal, before going next door for a good ol' british lunch of sausages, eggs, chips and beans :-p Then another pub and pint, before heading off back to the station to grab the First train to London, rather than the One train ;-)


Back from the trip North to teach Primavera to our North colleagues. Dropped in for a couple of beers in Stotfold, which turned into a night. So didn't technically get back home 'til this morning. To say Spitfire was pleased to see me would be an understatement. I've struggled making sure he hasn't followed me into work. In fact, even now, if it wasn't for the fact we've security doors everywhere, it wouldn't surprise me to have him jump up on the desk right now ;-)

A good night out, in fact, and just what's needed after 4 odd hours in the car. The weather hasn't helped, it's rained practically all the way, with the occasional bit of snow thrown in for good measure.

Anyway's, better get on with catching up on all's that been happening in the last day and half. Want to get away early today, the weekend starts here :-D

Nothing To Do In The Hotel Tonight Then

Just popped home at lunchtime, to pick up my stuff and set off North for tomorrow's Primavera workshop session at work up there. Was hoping something might have arrived, but it hasn't :-( No card through the door, or parcel hidden away :-(

Ah well, better get off and start the drive Northward. Looks like I won't have anything to do tonight except drink and eat. It's a hard life ;-)

The End Of A Looong 2 Days

Just finished 2 days of training on Primavera. Different to the normal courses I run, as it was customised for a specific department at work. Part of the Strategic Objectives programme for the coming year. As I mentioned yesterday, we crammed a 2 day course into 1 rather long day, and then spent today putting it all into practise, with me on hand in case they needed advice on what to do and how.

I don't know about the delegates, but my head's spinning after all that :-O And it doesn't stop there, I've a morning session tomorrow looking at Serena Collage, a new content management system work's using for the intranet, and then jumping in a car with the boss for a long drive North for a series of Primavera sessions in our Northern branch. Mmmmm, curry and beer... :-p

I just don't know where the time's going at the mo', I really haven't stopped in the last few days, but it's all interesting and exciting stuff. Keeping me busy and off the streets ;-)

Early Start

Got a 2 day custom Primavera course to deliver over the next 2 days at work. And with Nige staying over last night after bringing Laura back down, it was an early start this morning. Hence me being in at 7:45am :-O

Didn't stay up too late last night, although the monster 18" pizza's took their time. Of course, it also mean't there was plenty for brekky this morning, even if that was at 5am :-O

So, onto the day ahead. We're going to attempt to cram the normal 2 day basic Primavera course into 1. So I'm guessing I'll be rather shell shocked come 6pm tonight, not counting the state my students will be in ;-)

A Day Under The Car

With a need to have the car ready and fighting fit for Dubfreeze in a couple of weeks (I'm taking the stand and merchandise!), it was time to set to and give her a good servicing and clean.

First off was sorting the exhaust leak which has been bugging me since well before Christmas. And, it turns out, there's now lots of little holes elsewhere in the pipes. No sooner had I sorted the clamp which was the root cause of the "farting", all manor of other leaks have appeared. Bugger :-(

So, onto servicing, and giving the sparks and throttle a good clean. Now, the carb cleaner I have has a little nozzle attachment for squirting into tiny places. And, with this attached, I stripped down the air box so I could get to the inlet manifold and squirt in some of the cleaner. Imagine, then, my distraught frustration when said nozzle flew off and down into the inlet :-( Whether it'll do anything or not, I don't know. I can't take the engine apart to remove it, well, not easily. And, being plastic, it should just melt away. But, Murphy and his Law, I'm sure, will say otherwise :-(

Thankfully, cleaning the car was much easier. Although it does show I've not cleaned the alloys or underside for a while. Rust and the winter grime taking a lot of working to get off. But a shiny car now stands outside the house. Until I drive to work in the morning, of course ;-)

Hello? Is There Anybody There?

I know, I should've learn't from my last experience, but, rather foolishly, on Wednesday I agreed to upgrade my phone. Except, this time it was for the one I wanted, or so I thought. A misunderstanding, apparently. I said 6280, and they thought I'd said 6230. Suffice to say, it went back in the post yesterday, and that was that. Or so you would think....

Woke up this morning, and my phone's dead. Great :-( So I call 1st Fones (you'll love the website), and they inform me that the deactivation that should've been happening this evening has accidently happened last night. Err, right. But don't worry, in about an hour it'll spring back to life, as they've received back my upgrade this morning and have processed the return.

Well, all this conversation was at 11am this morning. And it's now nearly 6pm and my phone's still not working :-(

As an aside, I did find out why I'm getting all these unsolicited calls. I'm a Band 4 customer, apparently. Which means Orange authorised retailers get a whopping 200-300 if they can get me to upgrade and resign for a year. Which certainly explains some of their willingness to lie through their teeth to get me to accept.

I think I'll take a leaf out of Ian's book, and tell the next caller where they can stick my free upgrade :-(

It's Ordered!

 BAC TSR.2 After waiting weeks, months, neigh years, the day arrived, and my order's in :-D

Premium rate paid for P&P, next day delivery, so I should be the proud owner of an Airfix TSR.2 Monday or Tuesday next week :-D

Right, off back down the pub for the rest of the evening. All this excitement's made me thursty ;-)

Valentines Day

And I got a card and 2 text's :-D

What a popular guy I am ;-)

We Have A Network!

At last, after lots of installing, reinstalling, and finally, chucking the whole wireless network in the bin and using good old cable, it's there. All the PC's can see each other, they all have internet access, and, more importantly, the rather expensive Philips fax machine, can be phased out. And with ribbons costing 12 a throw, it's about time it went "to pastures new..." ;-)

So, with the time fast approaching 2pm, I'm off back home. Rain, heavy traffic, and a rather noisy front wheel bearing to contend with. I'll just turn the stereo up a bit more, can't hear it, can't worry about it, eh ;-)

Almost There

Well, after 4 days of installing and configuring in between serving in the shop, answering the phones, and booking in jobs and orders, it's nearly there. We have both PC's talking to their respective printers, 1 PC talking to everything, and the other PC refusing to find the network, even though the network is happy it's there.

So, it's gone 7pm on a Saturday, and I'm off down the pub, for a well deserved drink. Owh, and it's Jules' sisters birthday, Laura's 17th, so we've something to celebrate too :-D

It's Here (well, almost)

 BAC TSR.2 News from Airfix that the TSR.2 will be available to order on Friday 18th February. As all the 10,000 have been sold to distributors already, this will be the only ones available direct from Airfix. And, as an additional treat, they will include a superb free canvas print of John D. Jones' TSR.2 box art, a picture of which you can see to the right.

Still haven't managed to get down to Smiths and grab a copy of the February edition of Scale Aviation Modeller International. Would've done that this week, if I wasn't trying to sort all the PC's out here in Hull.

So, 18th February, guess where I'm going to be sat at 6pm ;-)

[UPDATE]: Shots from the recent The Fleet Air Arm Model Show at Yeovilton showing the first pictures of production sprues and built-up model.

You're Havin' A Giraffe?

BBC News| Food scarcity is hitting sparrows. Image: Ray Kennedy and rspb-images.comNews this lunchtime, that the decline of the house sparrow could be down to a lack of insects during the summer months.

What's more frightening is reading that the house sparrow's been put on the Red Data list of bird species of conservation concern, due to their decline over recent years being more than 50%. How long before it becomes a rare bird, rather than the common sight in everyone's garden?

Janet gave me some bird feeders just after Christmas, having had a couple in their garden. It's increased the visitors, including the neighbourhood cats. A wider variety of birds visiting now, although not as many Blue Tits or Great Tits as I'd have thought, the Starlings seeming to take to what I would've called the more normal feeders for the tits. Owh, and Spitfire's taken to going outside more too. In fact, he recently lost another collar, I wonder if that's anything to do with his new watching habits?

Full Of It

Well, despite the arrival of my new mug, and bringing it immediately into action yesterday, I awoke this morning bunged up and full of cold once more. Nowt like the cold's of old, that must be the encanaza, vitamins, and healthy lifestyle, but still a bunged up nose, headaches, and general feeling of crappy-ness ;-)

Would like to say I'm going to spend the day swotting up on all the stuff I need to for work, but I'm actually going to set to and sort out the portable telly upstairs with the new toy of me bruvs :-D Failing that, it's decamping downstairs and watching telly from the comfort of the bed-settee ;-)


Early finish yesterday, and a fantastic trip up to Hull, getting me here before 8pm, which, as Ian will verify, has to be a record in recent times ;-)

Today's doing my busman's holiday bit and sorting out the GT PC's. Networking them together so everyone can access the internet, and also book in jobs, print to the various printers, and get rid of the hugely expensive fax machine.

All as easy as pie, apparently, thanks to the wonders of Windows XP Professional. I know, those Mac-users amongst you, will no doubt be giggling, or screaming, at the thought. Well, I'm off out for a few beers tonight. And I'm sure you'll all tell me after I've completed this simple task, I'll be saying, "A few, you better make it a LOT"

Easy as...

News that EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou has unveiled plans to enter the fast food market. It seems we'll all soon be able to get an easyPizza ;-)

Quite a nifty business model, you pay a premium to get a pizza at normal eating times, but if you're happy to wait a little later, or eat a little earlier, you can save money. It's been running as a pilot in Milton Keynes for a while now, and hopefully with the success of that, the franchises will expand out and about. Although I doubt they'll be able to beat the cost and quality of grub that my bruvs enjoy in what I consider the capital of takeaway-dom, Hull ;-)

I've Gotta Date!

Off out tonight for a curry with the woman I met on my pre-Birthday night out last week. Wish me luck ;-)

Happy Birthday

To Uncle Jeff, Ian, HMS Daring, and anyone else who's born on this day :-D

Off down to Chicago's at lunchtime to buy the round, have a little lunch, then back home for a rest (it's the age), and then a quiet family-style celebration in the evening.

What did I get for my birthday? 20, which will come in very hand in an hour or so when I get to the bar ;-)

About Alan Bell

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

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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