Friday, March 31, 2006

It's Still Rock 'n Roll To Me ...

I want some LED Rims too!

Now I know I'm a synical onld whatsit, but I'd get in there quick before they get banned. These babies are wide open to abuse. I just think that they're missing one feature: animation. Just think .. you could emblazon your wheels with a moving image of - wait for it - spinning hub caps! Now that's what I call a set of wheels ...

Well, are you gonna cruise the miracle mile?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

If a picture paints a thousand words ...

Having been reminded about GPS on Stray Toaster, I present to you, the wonders of GPS Drawing. My favourite is the Brighton Boat. The waterline of the boat is the coast road: nice touch.

Some people really should be given more to do! ;^)

Friday, March 17, 2006

It's a bittersweet symphony ...

Well, well, well.

Our two year (!) search for somewhere to live our lives moved another step closer to resolution on Friday. We finally exchanged contracts on selling our old house, with completion scheduled for this Friday. Now empty, the place looks slightly shabby; but the new occupants seem enthusiastic enough to breathe new life into it. Which is nice.

Meanwhile, our attempt to buy ourselves somewhere else seem confused: we're getting different stories from the Estate Agent and the Solicitor. The Agent says the vendor is happy to move out into temporary accommodation to enable a speedy sale; the Solicitor is saying that the information tey have indicated that the vendor is tying the sale into their further purchase. So .. who's telling the truth? Watch this space for answers to this and other questions ...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year ...

OK, not an original topic .. but I'm getting bored with winter, now. "Next, please!"

Maybe the spring weather is trying to force home the point that Spring only really starts at the equinox - later this month. Maybe it is waiting for our house sale / purchase farce to sort itself out. Maybe global warming is already having effect ...

I was trying to explain to my children that global warming may not - as they had assumed - mean that the UK will be basked in all-year-round sunshine. I tried to explain about gulf streams and pointed out that at the same distance north of the equator, the great lakes freeze over every year. They weren't impressed. Truth to tell, I probably didn't explain it in child language very well - but then, they did spring it on me. The down-side of home educating is that child-led learning means you don't get the preparation time that school teachers get. Ho hum.

Meanwhile, it is snowing outside and I don't yet know whether we're going to exchange contracts this week or not. This is the last (and only) time I'm moving into rented accommodation before my house is sold! It's too much stress to be worthwhile.

Here's to a balmy spring (when it arrives), and the joys of exploring new territory.

Toodle pip!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction ...

So sang the Rolling Stones - at number 1 when I was born, apparently. [Thanks to Stray Toaster for this one.]

This seems rather apposite, today. We seem to have moved a step closer to being able to exchange contracts on our house sale - but the buyer has managed to squeeze another 1400 quid out of us in the process. When selling a house in need of investment, it seems, you get stung both ends. The selling price gets dropped by some amount due to the work needing to be done, and then some more money has to be put aside for the same work when negotiating the contract. Pah!

.. ’cause you see I’m on losing streak.
I can’t get no, oh no no no ...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Mary had a little lamb ...

I can't decide whether this is a good idea or a rather sad sign of the times. Parents are now being offered a chance to learn nursery rhymes. What's up with that? I blame the parents .. Oh, I see.

In other news, another screen icon faces its end. Open All Hours? Not any more!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I hear the talk in codes ...

Roll up! Roll up! Here's your chance to be a part of Internet HistoryTM.

Cast your memories back to somewhere in 1942. Yeah .. well imagine, then. The Germans have begun encryping their radio transmissions using a "complex new cypher system" .. the Enigma. The Allied forces have discovered how to decrypt these and Station X has been set up at Bletchley Park.

For computer-heads like myself, this was a particularly significant development, as the modern computer as we know it has its origins in the "Colossus" machine created by Tommy Flowers - thanks to Alan Turing. (Later ordered to be destroyed by Winston Churchill - go figure!)

In 1995, three intercepted Enigma messages - never before decrypted - were published. Now, Stefan Krah has written a code-breaking program designed to be run by many computers - connected via the internet. This is where you come in. Go to his website. Download the program, install and run*.


* you'll need to have access to port 65500 on If you're behind a firewall and nothing seems to be happenning, consult your network administrator

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I read the news today, oh boy ...

Amongst the sadder news this week (the death of Lynda Smith, TV comedian and a shooting at a Kanye West gig), I found this gem:

Colon Family in exploding toilet ordeal.
Ay caramba indeed! Some surnames are just trouble ... though I'm certan I shouldn't laugh.