December 2006 Archives

True Hull Blokes

You're probably well aware of my origins, the regular references to Hull and all things from Gods County. Well, I didn't appreciate until a YouTube session today, that there's a Hull Blokes website. And, more importantly, one of their bunch is someone I know - Paul Route :-D

There's some cracking vids on YouTube, including a great one on how to pronounce things in Hullspeak, which I'm sure will help those of you with understanding what' I say ;-)

Hmmm, Think I've Broken It?

Finally got my Mindstorm NXT running today. Well, more like spinning around in a circle. It should run along, detect a ball, pick it up, and return it back to where it started from. Instead, it runs along, gets the ball, and then spins uncontrollably around the room like a drunken spider Would explain why mine runs along, grabs the ball, turns round and then spins round the room like a drunken spider :-O

Sy reckons the guidebook has built-in bugs so you have to figure out what it's really doing and fix it. And they say it's for Ages 10 and over, maybe there's an upper age limit too :-O

Merry Christmas!

In case you don't see a greetings card from me this year (and that's highly likely what with the changes in posting dates this year), a very merry christmas, and all the best for the New Year to you all :-D

Now, I'm off to try and see if it's possible to get 5 people in my kitchen round the table for Christmas dinner, wish me luck :-D

Some Unbelieveable Footage

Ian's been surfing the web, exercising the PC, finding no end of clips and videos on YouTube. Today he found some horrific footage of an plane crash from back in June 2002. It's Sky News coverage, and I can't remember seeing it back then. You have to see it to believe it, but even then it's like something out of the movies.

The BBC has the full story of the US firefighting plane crash on it's website.

Crap Year?

Ignoring the worst cold in years, I went into work today. Probably not the most sensible of ideas, but it was the last day for quite a few people. And also my End-of-Year chat with The Boss.

The difficulty with the year has been the lack of viable objectives from up on high. So everything's been done on the assumption somewhere within the business it'll be agreed. My job has been easier, after all, Primavera is the tool we use for Project Management planning, and everyone needs to know how to use it ;-) So I've been busy with training, support, and getting the Project Management intranet site up and running on the company content management system , Serena Collage. All good fun, and kept me busy for the year. But all the exciting new things I could've been doing haven't come to pass. Let's see what the New Year brings, as they say ;-)

All in all, the day's gone well. I've still a couple of things to do before Friday, so the adverts for Lempsip Cold and Flu better be true (No, they're not: Ian).


After yesterday, Friday, and things looking better than it did Thursday evening, I've awoken this morning with a stinking cold. As I always seem to suffer, it's mainly a sore throat from hell, but, for a change, I've got a runny nose. Sorry to those readers in the middle of eating, but it's a significant event for me. I can't remember the last time I had a pre-Christmas cold, further more, a running nose. It's just like the ones I'd get as a kid, with Mum stuffing tissue up me jumper before dropping me off to school. Typing away right this moment, I can feel it running along :-(

More importantly, for those regular readers, is the shock that I've no stocks of Lemsip Cold & Flu in the house. How that happen? I've no idea, but as Ian's down helping me straighten out the car, so we'll be off shopping in a mo' to stock up on the essentials, and lots of chicken soup (NOT beef ;-)).


On the way home tonight, someone decided to crash into the back of me :-( Not looking where he was going, saw a gap in the traffic I didn't, and drove straight into the back of the car.

The back is all smashed in, the drivers seat's bent, and I've the worst headache and neck pain EVER :-( No-one was seriously hurt, which is good, but it's the faffing around I'm now going to have to do to get it sorted out. And I just know, given the age of the car, it'll be written off. All before Christmas too, which is the last thing I need. Urgh :-(

I'm off to fill myself full of Ibuprofen, and a hot bath.

Pics in the extended bit...

Another Primavera Conference Over

Just got back from the Primavera UK User Conference. Didn't present this year, so it was a lot more relaxing than last year's, not worrying about my slides, the words, or what questions I'd be asked.

Interesting as always, with insights into the technology and where Primavera plan to take it. 2007 will be a big year for us, with plans already under way to look at the web-based side, myPrimavera, and how we can use it to encourage more of the "MS Project is best" brigade to move across to a proper project planning and scheduling application. I must admit, after seeing the snippets, I'm itching to get my beta copy next year and start having a play. Hmmm, I guess that's kinda sad?

Embarassing Headline?

Free Sim!

Orange™From Ian, an offer from Orange, a free Pay-As-You-Go SIM :-D

Once the SIM's registered, topped up with 10, you get 300 free texts, and, more importantly for you surfers, 1Mb of Orange World access, as well as the free evening calls to other Orange mobiles. You've got to keep the topping up each month to receive the extra texts and Orange World access, and they don't carry over to another month. You can still sign up if you've already got Pay-As-You-Go, so I'm going to have a rummage around for Jules' old mobile, if it still works, and get that transferred over and start saving on my surfing bills :-D

The offer ends 7th December at midnight, and restarts on the 11th until midnight on the 13th next week.

Bad Day For Hull

TigersWas going to just write about the news on car insurance in Hull, and how you're 126.1% more likely to claim for car theft than the national average. But, it seems, that's not the only bit of bad news - Tigers have sacked Parky.

Not really that much of a surprise, after last week's 5-1 mauling and then Saturday's dismal second half performance (or lack of) :-(

I just hope for the sake of the city and football, whatever happens next brings some good results. It's been a long time waiting for top flight footy to return to Hull, without seeing it disappear back again so soon.
[UPDATE]Getting home, noticed there's some more news on the temporary management team at Hull City on the BBC.

A Weekend Of Sounds

HP Compaq dx6100 Microtower PC - Business Desktop PCsThe first, Ian's new Mk2 GTI. Which, unfortunately, has a HUGE crack in the exhaust. But, it does sound rather sporty, and goes like stink :-D

Second, my new, second hand HP PC, with sound :-D Yes, I know, how have I managed the last 6 years in the digital age without sound? Well, I don't know, having spent most of the evening with Ian showing me no end of Youtube vids and music. So expect more links and stories on Youtube stuff in the future ;-)

Big Hint

Lego Mindstorm NXT Make and Create (8527)Lego Mindstorm NXT is now only 129.99 from Toys R Us, cough ;-)

It's still 179.99 online, and I only found out the price from Sy, who'd been shopping nearby and just popped in on the off chance ;-)

IF I'd bought one, (50 cheaper, you'd be daft not to ;-)) I'd have been amazed at the stuff you get. And it does probably look as good as it sounds from the explaination on the Lego site. Let's hope Father Christmas is reading and I've been good enough this year ;-)

Owh, and also especially for one or two of my readers, have a look at what else Lego are doing now :-D

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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