November 2006 Archives

Catching Up On The News

Some interesting snippets of news whilst having an infrequent trawl of the 'net this lunchtime. In fact, having a lunchbreak has been an event the past few weeks ;-)

On the BBC, an interesting article about the request for a voluntary code for blogs, in line with the codes currently in place for 'normal' press publishing. Sounds like a good idea, after all I can say whatever I like on here, without necessarily backing it up with true fact.

On the BBC, news that chemo drugs 'destroy brain cells'. Something I'm all too aware of, after all the treatment stories JulesJules told me from her childhood fight with leukeamia. I'm sure, if Jules was still here, she'd agree that it, er, it does affect, er, owh, it's on the tip of my tongue, nope, gone, I've forgotten what it was I was going to say... ;-)

And finally, how there's a link between eating bacon and contracting bladder cancer. The story also highlights that regular consumption of chicken increases the risk. What's surprising, on reading the story, the groups assessed were also more likely to not take regular exercise, smoke, and have a diet high in fat. Which, of course, begs the question is it a valid conclusion? As always, the recommendation is to eat a balanced diet. Not rocket science, after all. Bugger, so kebab's and takeaway calzone every night ain't a good thing?


After Monday's news, it seems the unions believe the rumours too now. Interestingly, the BBC don't appear to be putting any spin on it, simply repeating the company's stand, "that negotiations between the two sides had not been moving at the same pace as they had prior to [the break for] Ramadan,". This is further backed up by comment from French sources that they've not yet been approached. We will have to wait and see.

In other news, Saudi Arabia has warned that it will sue global tobacco firms unless they pay the full cost of treating patients suffering from smoking-related illness. An interesting stand,

And in other news, Hull City get thumped by Colchester United. You've got to ask how long before Phil Parkinson is asked to leave.

She's Gone?!

Bit of a shock tonight. Janet rang to tell me, apparently Jules' little sis, Laura, quit her job today and moved up to Hull to live with Nige :-O

If you remember, back in August, they started going out together. Laura's been going up every weekend since, car allowing. Where am I going to get a lift from now :-(

Depressing News

Awoke this morning to find our company's UK shareholder seems to have lost some value. From what I can read, it appears the long on-going investigation by the SFO is upsetting a foreign customer. And, if rumours are true, a large contract could be lost. No job next year, then?

What's interesting is reading into the stories, in particular one from the Guardian, about the Special Commissions allowed under the Defence Export and Sales Organisation (DESO). I won't link directly to it, but you can find it all if you dig around the Guardian's articles, if you, dear reader, wish to ;-)

The Final Week

It's the final week for just about all this years work, starting 7:30 tomorrow morning. And by Friday we'll have an intranet site, the first itteration of Gareth's reporting tool, my project management forum presentation, and a manager's guide to Primavera. Phew :-O

Off for an early night, will be burning the midnight oil all this week, I can tell ya ;-)

I've been saying for ages now, Ian will tell you, that I should start selling stuff on eBay. With all the car bits, Airfix kits, and goodness knows what else. But with work sapping all my spare time at the moment, it's something to put off 'til the New Year (Yeah, right).

So, just to prove how easy it is, after sorting out GT Electrical's eBay stuff, Ian's started selling his own stuff on eBay :-D Videos, games, car speakers, car spares, hats, lots and lots of stuff that's flying off the shelfs, so to speak ;-)

Catching Up On IPMS News

It was the IPMS (UK) Scale Modelworld Show in Telford this weekend just gone. It's the place for sneak peeks and, like last year, news on new releases. So, after the news that Hornby had bought up Airfix, it was touch and go if they'd be making an appearance. More to the point, news on what's happening, when can we expect the Nimrod, Mk1 Spitfire, and the amazing new RNLI Lifeboat.

Well, 'our Trev', Trevor Snowden, was drafted in at the last minute to man a stand, and a select of parts were on display. Not to the same standard as last year, but a presence and chance to hear "from the horses mouth" what's going on.

More news and reports can be found on the usual forums:

Also, some amazing conversions of the Airfix Wallace and Gromit Anti-Pesto Van :-D Go have a look at the pictures on the IPMS forum.

They're On Their Way

AirfixNews on the Plastics and Rubber Weekly site (don't ask why I read it) that the Airfix moulds wing their way to Hornby :-D

Hornby have announced they intend to have production back up and running in the next few weeks, and are asking customers what they want to see back, along with new ideas for the future.

Also, it's suggested they're planning to restart production in the UK, something Airfix haven't done since the 80's and the Palitoy days. It'd be a small boost for UK manufacturing, and national pride, to see "Made in the UK" written on the side of Airfix boxes once more :-D

Adults In Need

Of a hangover cure :-(

Nige and Laura have already gone to GT, Ian's thinking about getting up. Me? Can't really talk straight, and having difficulty walking too :-(

No recollection of getting home. Looks like I missed the takeaway. And, if my wallet is correct, I spent 80 :-O

Ian reckons it was the TVR's, Tequilla, Vodka, Redbull, that I was putting away like it was going out of fashion. I honestly couldn't say. If Ian told me I'd been drinking petrol I'd have to believe him.

Off back to lie down, the world's started spinning again :-(

One Child Definately In Need!

Just about ready to leave work. Laura's picking me up on her way up to Nige's. It's nice having a chauffeur up to Hull ;-)

Once we're up there, it'll be a quick change, and then straight out. It's Kev's birthday bash tonight, down Bev Road, and let's just say, he's in for a big surprise ;-)

Won't say what's been organised, but it's big, real big :-D

Hopefully a few of the Agoonoree gang will be out, they're off on a night hike, so will no doubt be desperate for some liquid refreshment when they get back. I just hope Bailey remembers to leave his mobile at home, lost count the number he's lost on nights out this year :-O

Chuffing Good News!

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AirfixNews via The Airfix Tribute Forum that Hornby have bought the rights to Airfix, Humbrol, and the Young Scientist brands :-D

Everything is to be moved to their facilities in Kent, in terms of what was based in Hull, sad news that another Hull firm disappears from the city. I just hope some of the guys n gals there get an opportunity to transfer over. No detailed news as to when we can expect the Lifeboat, Nimrod, Canberra, and various Spit's to be produced, or how the brands are going to be managed into the realms of Hornby, other than the expectation that much more will be manufactured in China along with their model trainsets. But it's good news to know Airfix is going to be back, and soon :-D Of course, Frank Martin is no stranger to Humbrol, he used to be the boss many years ago before the move to Hornby, so it's a return back in some ways.

News Online:
Hornby steams to the rescue of Airfix
Hornby snaps up Airfix for 2.6m
Hornby rescues Airfix
Hornby assembles Airfix acquisition plan
Hornby Buys Model Kit-Maker Airfix, Plans U.K. Manufacturing
Hornby Official Press Release
Hornby cements deal for Airfix, Acquisition news and company results
Hornby and Airfix to stick together
Hornby saves Airfix from a sticky end
Hornby swoops on Airfix toy plane business
Airfixed - wonder where The Mirror got their headline?

Phileas Fogg On The Shelves?

Grabbed some last minute shopping on the way home tonight, popping into Budgens rather than fighting my way through the early weekend shopping families at ASDA. Wandering past the snack shelves to see what I could grab, and I noticed a rather new styled bag of tortilla chips, with, surprisingly, the name Phileas Fogg on the packet :-D

I remember reading last month about United Biscuits takeover, not realising they owned the brand, along with some other favourites, including Jafacakes, Hula Hoops, Skips, and McVites biscuits. Not seeing Phileas Fogg snacks for what must be years, I'd assumed that the competition had seen away with what I'd considered a quintessential part of Friday or Saturday night in with a few beers. In particular their California Cornchips, although I guess the food colouring, which seemed to stain just about everything, was probably some early form of food-based nuclear waste ;-)

Having a Google around, I've found they're relaunching, hence the lack of presence in the shops. A new site is up, with news on what's coming, competitions, and the like.

So, I'm off to enjoy a pint of London Pride, and a small bowl of Chill con Queso Tortillas, yum :-p

Voice Gone

Well, that's another 2 day Primavera course over with. And, again, as always, my throat's all sore and dry :-(

It's one of the things we brought up at the recent Train The Trainer course we did. Interestingly, water is the best preventative measure. Coffee, apparently, dries the throat, as do most other warm drinks. So taking that advice I've been drinking probably twice what I'd normally sup in good ol' H2O :-D

It's helped a little, certainly by the end of the first day's training my voice hadn't completely given way. But what is normally a quick second day turned into a long haul. Sometimes the student's just get it straight away, and everyone starts using Primavera and speeding through the workshops no problem. Today however, it took just a bit longer on each lesson. We got there in the end, and 10 more Primavera users walked out the door and back to the desk. It's quite fulfilling, teaching, although I'm glad I don't have to do it every single day. For a start, I don't think my old voice would cope. Imagine, an Al who can't speak... ;-)

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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