Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Fall/ Horay for Milk

A friend needed a hand getting the battery out of his
old Ford Escort, it seemed like a simple enough task. But the bolts
holding down the battery were seized and my ratchet just couldn't shift
them. Then I had a brainwave, if I used the rotary clothes dryer that
we have in our garden I can use it as a lever on my woefully inadequate
tool and assert a lot more torque on the seized nuts.

It worked a treat, in no time at all I had sheered off the top of one
of the bolts

And before long the second bolt has also snapped off, allowing us to
easily lift the battery out. Now came the supposedly easy bit, all I
had to do was put the clothes dryer back in it's hole in the ground.

But there's a small matter of a 10 ft drop from our patio to the level
of the garden that the clothes line lives on. And I built the step,
quite creatively I think you'll agree. Buoyed up by success of my recent
appliance of the laws of physics I probably wasn't paying as much attention
as I probably should have been at the top of the step. For some reason
my ankle gave way at the very top, sending me down the step at some
speed. My head was nicely aimed for a big plant pot below which I decided
against giving a Glaswegian Kiss. I twisted mid air, like some slightly
plumper Jackie Chan with wooly hair and skillfully landed all 14 stone
of my weight on my shin on the edge of a step. When the six foot something
of the rest of my bulk hit the ground pain went rocketing up my left
shin. The kind of pain that takes away your breath, shrinks your nuts
and make you feel like you are going to puke. My foot felt slightly
numb and for a second I worried that I'd broken my leg. I tentatively
felt my shin and it all appeared to be in one piece. After a few minutes
of rolling in the dirt, contorting in agony I found that the local cats
have started using this level of our garden as a latrine. I eventually
stopped talking in tongues and made my way indoors to inspect the damage.

I'm not the kind of person that bruises very easily, so I was pretty
disappointed with what looks like a feeble graze. It really hurt and
I felt in a daze for about an hour afterwards. Emma's mum (who was a
nurse) helpfully told me that if there's no bruising then it means all
the damage and bleeding is happening internally, which I took great
solace in.

One of the great things about being English is that thanks to a evolutionary
quirk a cup of tea will cure most aches, pains and pretty much any other
troubles. I had a little more milk than usual, after all I'm sure it's
my love of milk that strengthened my bones to the point that even 250
pounds of my man weight falling at height couldn't break my shin bone!
The moral of the story? Don't buy a Ford I guess, it's certainly the
only lesson I'm going to take from this episode!

Footnote - you might wonder why I had recorded this
event in photos, especially when at the start of the day I had no idea
I was about to cobble up my leg. Well I've had a really smart little
digital for a couple of years that fits nicely in my pocket and goes
everywhere I do. It's got a really tough case, which is one of the main
reasons I chose it, in fact I kinda landed on it when it was in my pocket
during this fall, and it's still totally fine! I take LOT of photos
of a LOT of things, I've never really thought hard about why I do this,
I guess it's becuase life is so precious and there's so many things
we take for granted around us that we never stop to fully absorb. Well
plus the fact I have the memory of an infant flea.

Another Footnote - My mate Dave rang me after
I finished my cuppa and told me that he had run out of things to cut
up with his new chainsaw. He wanted to know if I had anything at my
house he could come and cut up, I decided that the law of gravity had
already made it clear to me that my DIY for today was well and truely

Friday, October 28, 2005

Satanic Surfers

Swedish melodic punk rock legends Satanic Surfers arrive in the UK next week for three gigs in support of their new album 'Taste The Poison' on Household Name Records

The dates are:

Thurs 3rd Nov - London, Garage
Fri 4th Nov - Bristol Croft
Sat 5th Nov - Leeds Joseph

Monday, October 24, 2005

Do missing emails go to the same place as odd socks?

These days (thanks to the spammers) all mail is scanned in some form or another, in fact most mail is filtered several times between destinations. Unfortunately the result of this scanning is that more mail goes astray than it used to.

In addition to ISP mail filtering (scanning on the servers) a lot of people now filter mail in outlook. This happens one of two ways. The first being through the inbuilt spam filtering that comes with versions of Outlook later than Outlook XP, mail believed to be spam is automatically moved from the inbox into the ‘junk e-mail’ folder as it is downloaded from the server. The second filtering method is via software installed on the user’s own computer; again mail is moved from the inbox into a designated junk folder. Some users may not be away that this filtering is happening as in the case of Outlook it is set up by default. This is a problem especially with Hotmail users. Often mail that doesn’t appear to have arrived is languishing in one of these ‘junk’ folders.

There are precautions people can take to make sure they receive mail from you. If they are using a recent version of Outlook or a dedicated spam filtering program then they can add your address to their ‘safe list’ (also known as a white list). This ensures that all mail from you is let through without being filtered. Recipients can also add you to their address book or contacts list to help ensure mail gets through.

Mail filtering amounts to essentially what is a big pain in the bum. As the internet evolves there will always be those that take advantage (like spammers), and it’s becoming the role of people like me (IT people) to try and ensure genuine messages continue to move unimpeded, whilst causing the minimum inconvenience to the end user.

More free IT advice -

More spam advice -

Great antispam software -

My hosting -

Friday, October 21, 2005

Avian Flu Pandemic

There's a lot of fuss in the press at the moment about bird flu (also called Avian flu). My own opinion is that these pandemics seem to come round fairly often, and the human race has outlasted every one of them!

However, there is a real impact on business. There is a good resource for Avian Flu Pandemic here -

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bye Bye Broadband

About two years ago I saw the advent of widely available broadband services as a great opportunity to launch a site and maybe make some affiliate money. I launched a site called 'Broadband Suffolk' with a sub-site called 'Broadband Ipswich'. At the time there didn't appear to be many sites offering people comparisons between the deals, so my site gave you straight forward information about the pros and cons of each deal on offer. But as the number of providers grew so did the number of sites providing this comparison information.
So today I decided to close my broadband sites, partly becuase there are now large and professional sites out there doing a far better job than I was!
If you want to have a look at the sites you can see the old intro page here -

Incidently the best deal for UK broadband is this one:
Seriously Internet

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Six Ripped-up pictures from 1990

Written Winter 2005
£? For 56 A6 pages
And it really does have a ripped up photo stuck on the front, mine is an odd double exposure of a bike wheel and a lass with a bob cut having a chuckle. The actual zine is lovingly hand-made, and bound with gaffa tape. The tales inside are of the authors mis-spent youth and are written in a very matter of fact sorta way, almost like a confession. Kat grew up in Phoenix USA and it really is a million miles from the kind of environment we live in here in the UK. One stand out difference is that by about 6pm here in England every shop bar the big supermarkets and petrol stations shut down. There is nowhere to go at all between midnight and the morning, whereas in Phoenix there appears to be an entire subculture that exists only in these secret hours. I have a lot of affection for this zine as it captures one of the essences of what got me into zines in the first place, Kat writes as your friend and after reading this you really do feel that you know her pretty well. She doesn’t bare her soul like some zinesters do, and there’s nothing soppy about the writing style, it’s just kinda ‘warm’. That’s really the best way I can describe it, you’ll have to read it for yourself, and please do! For some reason I can’t put my finger on I was expecting this zine to have a harsh end, I was half expecting that Bridgette would die. Read it and see if you feel the same way. Kat also writes for MRR
If you want to buy this zine let me know and I'll pass the message on for you.