February 2007 Archives


When Jules' died the Deparment for Works & Pensions stoppped her benefits, but not straight away, leaving me to chase things up. It was just another thing to deal with, and not something you should have to sort out. After all, a call or letter explaining should be enough. So it doesn't surprise me in the least that they're still doing it :-( In fact, I'm not even sure if they ever sorted out getting all the money back.

More Coal From Hull

Always keen to hear about developments on Hull's railfreight, the line passes straight passed GT Electrical. So news that GB Railfreight have signed a deal starting in July to transport up to 800,000 tons of coal on behalf of EDF Energy is excellent for the city. There's already 4 trains a day in and out the docks for EWS and Freightliner, carrying over 40,000 tonnes to Drax and Cotham power stations. At this rate the single line will have to be upgraded back to dual track.

I've Been DTR'd!

HP Compaq nc6400 Notebook PC - Business Notebook & Tablet PCsWe're going through a major upgrade of IT at work at the moment, called Desktop Relife, or DTR for short. Shifting from Windows 2000 to Windows XP Professional. And today, or rather this morning, I had my laptop replaced with a new shiny HP NC6400 :-D

Loads better than my old laptop, no more waiting 10 minutes for it to shutdown. The only minor niggle is the BeCrypt software, which means I can't undock or hibernate quickly. Of course, it does mean the new laptops are much more secure, which needed to happen. It's just trying to remember all these new random passwords without writting them down. It's bad enough going on a weeks hol's, forgetting about work, then realising on my return I can't access anything coz my minds been wiped of all the passwords :-( I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.

Tessa's Back

Well, okay, she's actually left the country, and gone back to Rwanda, to continue working for Streets Ahead Children's Centre Association and to cause a Landmark Forum out there.

She's started a new blog, aptly named Tessa's Second Rwanda Blog, so it'll be possible to keep track of on-goings. She's a powerful person for doing this, something which is inspirational for us all.

Completely Random

Search for richard hammond sad news on Google and you get this link, why?

They Really Can't Be Serious?

Just about to go to bed tonight (happy birthday, Dad ;-)), and caught the tailend of the news on the BBC - US 'Iran attack plans' revealed.

Now, is it just me, or does anyone else find this rather disturbing? I mean, they really can't be seriously thinking about it, can they? 2 carrier battle groups already in the Gulf region, a third on its way suggests otherwise. I hope US talk of a diplomatic solution with the UN and Iran is pursued, since I can't see any other solution working and not dragging the region into further turmoil. We shall wait and see. Cuban missile crisis, anyone?

Failed To Mention?

The fact my plates arrived yesterday did take my mind off the hangover from Friday. It was a mates leaving do (there seems to be a lot of those lately), and starting from around 2pm we were drinking, chatting, and boogeying the night away 'til god only knows when.

Today, therefore, was a day of doing everything I should've done yesterday, if only for the fact I felt like death warmed up. And with a Primavera training course tomorrow, I need to get it all sorted out today. An early start in the morning, as always, so better go get some beauty sleep ;-)


My plates have arrived :-D

I only won the bid last Friday, so well chuffed with the turn around. I'd heard stories of 6-8 weeks to wait before they turned up, but these arrived in this mornings post. So, if anyone else is after some stylish metal pressed plates, get over to The Plateman and have a gander. Or get onto matriches on eBay and grab one of the 99p bargains instead.

Straight on the car this afternoon for some pics. Of course, they'll be coming off shortly, once I've taken some pics, and wrapped up ready for the show season. Wouldn't want to get pulled by the Police, now, would I.

Non Text

So, having thought no-one loved me any more, I get awoken this morning at 7am by my mobile buzzing. 8 text messages, all from the last few days, all arrived this morning, in random order.

Orange reckon there's nothing wrong, and recommend the usual soft reset, and clearing out my Inbox.

This is the second or third time I've either not received a text, or got a load arrive days after they've been sent. So, dear reader, I'm not ignoring you, it's the technology that's letting me down :-(

Splitting Apart?

Reading the aerospace news this morning, and it appears Airbus is considering splitting up.

So, is it surprising to read another big multinational is thinking about splitting apart? Have we seen the end of big firms, with bits being hived off into suppliers which can then try and find work elsewhere, a bit like Visteon, for example? It'll be interesting to see what does happen with Airbus, and also the effect change at Daimler Chrysler will have, since they're a large shareholder of EADS, Airbu's parent.

Also, what's happening to BAE SYSTEMS? Shares have been rocketing the last few weeks. I'm guessing it's the predictability of performance, the last few reports marry up with their predictions. All I'm waiting for is June, when my Sharesave cashes in and I'm no longer financially tied in. Doubt I'll be able to retire on it tho.

All Networked Together

At last :-D

Picked up another HP PC eBay bargain today, and after a rebuild and reinstall, got it working and talking to the first PC Ian got me. And then, just to see if it would work, I connected up my works laptop. And, rather interestingly, it does. So a chuffingly good evening, all in all. Even if it only seemed to fall into place with a little single malt lubrication ;-)

in other news, I read that the latest Sanderson kettle has passed on, having gone off the boil for the last time.

So They're Back

The Police 2007Probably one of the worse kept secrets, certainly from the rumours floating around the various fan clubs, but last night, The Police announced their comeback with a performance at the Grammys.

The last time they performed a set was at Sting's wedding back in 1992, and last in action together in celebration of their 2003 induction into the Rock `n` Roll Hall of Fame.

Tour dates are on Stings' website, sting.com, as well as a dedicated Police Tour site, which also has details of the new fan club. No news on UK dates, but I'm sure they'll appear and sell out shortly :-D

So glad to hear, as Sting's last album (Cheers Carl ;-)) was dire, and he's just re-released it with remixes? Sorry, but it's just not my cuppa tea I'm afraid. Looking forward to seeing them this time round, was too busy with my dad building a jubilee hat for school last time round ;-)

I've Got Me Some German Plates

Won a bid on eBay last night, whilst down the pub, and I'm now the winner of a set of German style number plates :-D Been recommended by members of the car club as a good source for German metal pressed style plates, The Plateman, a.k.a. matriches on eBay, so noticing he's doing 99p bids, I thought it worth the gamble.

Ian's also gone and bid on some, so it's only Nige who needs to get himself a set for the Merc :-D

Now That's My Kinda Baby Seat!

One of the guys in the car club has modified his kid's booster seat, VW style. See what you think, I reckon it's gonna start a trend :-D

It's Snowed

And if you'd believe some of the news, we're snowed in :-O Luton airport closed, schools closed, I wonder how I got into work this morning. Although, it was a good drive in, as someone commented in the office, it was like a quiet Sunday. It makes you wonder if we've gotten to a stage where risk is too risky, so we'd better wrap up in the duvet and go back to sleep. All in the name of chaos.

There's some cool pics from around the place on the BBC, and some of my pics in the extended bit...

It's A Writeoff


Rang the insurance company to chase up my claim. And, my car's been written off :-(

Turns out the repair bill from their approved repairer is just short of £1,600, and with the car value on the policy of £1,500 it's a no goer. "But Al, surely you've valued the car higher, didn't you say it was £2,500?". Ah well, dear reader, this is where reading documents comes into play. My insurance was for a £2,500 car when I took it out 7 years ago. But, and this is the annoying bit, as the years go by the value drops. After all, the car's a year older. And, if you don't notice at renewal time, tough!

Fortunately, as I've mentioned, I've a local garage which should be able to repair it for £800 or so, with me doing all the prep and stripping. So, once I get the confirmation from the insurance I'll start the negoiation. More faffing around, just like I said before Christmas :-(

Happy Birthday!

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To Ian from work, Uncle Jeff, and HMS Daring, a year old today :-D, although I'm not sure if launch is what you class as birth for a ship?

Day off work, as always, and Ian's down to collect another raft of Golf GTI eBay bargains. An interior, which is in Big Al's Storage, and some alloy wheels to replace the one scratched over Christmas during the roundabout slip incident :-D.

What's interesting for me this year, is looking back on previous years online, now that I've several blogging years behind me. 2006 and a trip to Chicagos for lunch, 2005 and the news of Ivan Noble loosing his battle, and happy times in 2004 with a special party night in Letchworth ;-).

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 February 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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