Videos that have amused me recently.

This is SO clever, and brought to my attention by various City friends. How does anyone get this to look so slick? 😛 :

Stephen took over my PC and forced me to watch shared these with me and I found them absolutely hilarious:

LOVE this one and Stephen Fry’s bemusement 😀 :

Something we never think twice about, but SO true and so funny:

And yesterday’s offering (what a clever man!) 🙂

I’ll miss him sharing these with me when he moves out. It’s the way he comes rushing in telling me to stop everything, then he finds the clip and we watch and laugh together, and then inevitably he finds a load more ’til we end up having spent half an hour or so just laughing together at videos.

6,700 visitors last month!

Having had a couple of mails advising me that my domain had exceeded its traffic allowance, I looked into why. Apparently my dull little everyday waffling on this blog attracted 6,700 visitors last month! That’s unbelievable! (Thank you to my fantastic hosts, Division X, for helping me resolve the problem.)

From my own stats I know I get around 600 hits per day and approx 200 visits but I simply can’t believe that people are THAT interested in what a middle aged dart-playing, football loving, wife, mum, and worker has to say about the world.

Perhaps I should write a book and earn money as an insomniac curing writer! 😉

Seriously – not sure what the attraction here is, but hello readers – feel free to come out of the closet and say hello 🙂

Hilarious spam comment

I have a very good anti-spam programme courtesy of Word Press, so none gets through, but goes into a folder so I can have a peek and check nothing I might want to keep gets chucked. Every now and then I have a look and this one was so funny, I was tempted to approve it just for the entertainment value. Instead I’m sharing it with you myself, minus its links! 😀

HELP! I’m currently being held prisoner by the Russian mafia xyzrxyz penis enlargement xyzrxyz and being forced to post spam comments on blogs! If you don’t approve this they will kill me. xyzrxyz penis enlargement xyzrxyz They’re coming back now. Please send help!

4 Losses

Since I’ve been back home, I’ve been catching up with everything but it’s been two steps forwards, one back as the “4 losses” will show:

    Lost photos!

On Bank Holiday Monday I persuaded Billy to come for a walk with me so we went up to Hadrian’s Wall, picking a spot we hadn’t visited before (together that is – Billy has visited most of parts since he grew up here) The Roman Army Museum. It was a cloudy day with a stiff breeze, though the sun was warm when it managed to break through, so we dressed for the weather and set off – with Billy half-moaning that he didn’t want to walk, just visit the museum. However, after we did the museum, he did accept that I really wanted to walk and he even seemed to quite enjoy it – bar the bits that jolted his bad knee. We set off clambering across the crags and the wall, amongst the sheep, and I loved it. I loved the exercise (walking is my very favourite exercise) and being outdoors in touch with nature. It was up and down hill, across rocky bits and flat grass, and came with magnificent views so I took lots of photos. We arrived back at the museum glowing and refreshed and had a cup of tea in the café, served by very friendly staff before heading back home for a takeaway and the film “Avatar” with Nel. I had a really good day, enjoying the exercise and fresh air, the views, Billy’s company, the film (about which I’d had reservations but found to be really good) and Nel’s company later. I couldn’t wait to look at my photos and post them in a picture-blog of the day, but when I went to transfer them to the computer, there were only three there! ARGH! All the very best ones had disappeared 🙁


Roman Army Museum Walk 1
Roman Army Museum Walk 3
Roman Army Museum Walk 2

    Lost Power!

On Tuesday evening after a very long, crazy, day at work, I was ready to relax. We had dinner, cleared up and then prepared to settle for the evening – when the power went off! It didn’t return within moments, there had been no loud click of one our trip switches going, so I had a look outside to see people in our street all opening doors and looking around. OK – so it was a general power failure then. Ho hum. The kids had told me there had been a power outage last Tuesday too, for an hour, and I guessed it was something to do with the roadworks at the top of the hill – so I felt it may be out a while. I decided to get undressed and into bed, light a couple of candles and read my book. I was reading the second of a trilogy and was very absorbed in it so this was no hardship for me. 🙂 However, it WAS a hardship for everyone else – it was hilarious watching the four of them unable to amuse themselves without electricity! First Billy grumbled and came in to talk to me – he’d already arranged to go to the gym with someone though, so at least I only had to put up with his boredom for an hour or so. Nel came in next, moaning that she couldn’t do ANYTHING! She couldn’t draw without light so I suggested she went to my clinic and did it there – but no, she didn’t want to do that. She sighed and said she couldn’t even have a bath. “Why not?” asked Billy. “Er, ‘cos there’s no hot water!” I replied. He thought that because our hot water and heating is gas fuelled, it would still work – forgetting that the ignition spark and pump are electric! 😀 Eventually, Nel left to find something to do and Stephen appeared. He was SO bored, there was NOTHING to do! I suggested he do as I was, and read a book – “I’d rather do nothing!” he said, so I told him to buzz off and do nothing then, and leave me to read my book. Then it was Raji’s turn. he appeared in my room clutching a towel and asking if there was hot water. So followed a similar conversation to the earlier one – Raji had planned to have a bath – not that he ever has baths, nor likes them, but it would have been “something to do” 😀 Off he went. Then returned to ask if I had any matches so he could boil some water in a saucepan and make that good old remedy-for-all-ills – a cup of tea. (The ignition on the cooker is electric.) I gave him some, and off he went. Finally, I got to read my book before sleep time. The power eventually returned at midnight, so at least we could all have tea/coffee/breakfast and showers in the morning. 🙂 (Guess whose job it was to put all the clocks and timers right though!)

    Lost Programmes!

I don’t watch much TV and very, very rarely watch it “live”, but I do record four programmes a week (Casualty, Holby, Stagate Universe and Fringe) and three of them are on Tuesday evenings. Ah! The power cut meant that these three did not record! Not a problem with Holby – I could see that on BBC iPlayer. Stargate Universe was a slight problem, but I knew that Paul records these too so if it came to it, we could go and watch it with him (when he caught up with all the previous episodes which he had still not had the opportunity to watch.) But Fringe! Fringe was a problem! It is still early on in the new series, and there is no way I can watch future episodes until I see the one I missed – but it wasn’t likely to be repeated for a very long time I thought. ARGH! Then Nel gave me the idea of seeing if I could revive our Sky Player service, which she’d previously installed on her old laptop. (You can only have it installed on one computer at a time and without the old one through which to log in, we could not remove it from our account, so we couldn’t install it on another computer.) Eventually, after running in circles online, I called Sky and they removed the defunct computer so I could install it on the laptop. And BINGO! I managed to catch up with the missing Fringe episode and am a happy bunny again 🙂 Perhaps Billy and I can watch the missing Stargate Universe episodes too (two episodes thanks to the two Tuesday power cuts!) Ain’t technology great?

    Lost Match!

On Wednesday evening, Claire came round to watch the City v Spurs league match which had been postponed earlier in the year. Claire is a Spurs fan and usually comes with me to this fixture, but the new date being a midweek evening meant neither of us could go, so we arranged to watch this “4th spot decider” together. For the past several weeks I have been saying that I though Spurs would get the 4th spot and over the season they have been more consistent than us – I can live with that, though I do hate Appy ‘Arry! Anyway, I got some nibbles and beers and we settled to watch it, along with Billy. City started brightly and Claire was nervous, but I assured her that around 12 minutes in we’d slow down and start to let Spurs into the game. And we did – though it was an entertaining enough first half. The second half was even better but I really felt that we didn’t look like scoring whereas Spurs did. And so it proved, giving Spurs the win, which I have to say, was deserved. I can’t claim that I was that disappointed either, partly because I expected it and partly because I don’t think we’re ready for Champions League yet. I would much rather we built our way up gradually than have overnight success with the real possibility that we cannot sustain it. The media always did hype this up more than most (realistic) City fans – or at least, more than long standing City fans. The majority of us feel it’s been a great season, jumping from 10th to 5th (or at worst, 6th) and laying a good foundation for next year. Our chairman gave a brilliant interview on mcfc.co.uk and talks a lot of sense. Maybe the media will calm down a bit now and stop trying to make us something we’re not – but somehow I doubt it! 😛

So – a funny old week, the four losses being slightly annoying, though not hugely problematic. Hoping for some “gains” next week to balance the scales 🙂

Working and batteries.

At the end of last week, I had to call out the RAC for my car again – a it was dead – again! I was sure it must be a problem either with the battery not getting charged again (so a dynamo or something) or something draining the battery too fast – I’m no car mechanic but this seemed the most logical to me. However, the RAC man (who was a keen football (NUFC) fan and enjoyed chatting football while he worked) found the battery was faulty. But it was a new battery installed by the RAC only last August! So he changed it for me – free of charge, under warranty. Phew! At least my car wasn’t starting to fall apart bit by bit as I feared!

I spent this week working hard as I was covering at the hospital for my colleague who was on holiday, as well as trying to get my clinic ready for its open day next week, and re-write the website.

I was writing the website almost every evening and some early mornings – and was not sleeping much, thinking of wording and HTML coding half the night 🙁 Finally, it did get done though and it’s now live, though I shall probably tweak it a little here and there.

On Friday, although I was working as normal at the hospital in the morning, I spent the afternoon sitting in on a clinic as an observer which was really interesting. C, the lovely orthotist, was really good at explaining what he was doing and why – and of course, it helped that I’ve been doing the paperwork for a few years so know the “lingo” 🙂 It was a very worthwhile exercise and I’m so pleased I have been able to do it at last.

By the end of the week, I was pretty worn out but knew I had a busy weekend and following week coming up too. I bumped in to Paul on the way home and he twisted my arm – and then Billy’s – and we went to the pub for a quick drink before going home and getting ready for darts. 🙂

Three working H’s : 3) Home Work

As with most people, I’ve been very busy at work (both jobs) in the week leading up to the Easter weekend, trying to get on top of everything before the four day break. This meant a few things at home just had to be left, so when we got to the weekend, there have been household tasks with which to catch up, as well as Easter to organise.

When I had gone to use the car on Wednesday morning (to give Raji a lift to work after trains weren’t running due to a land slide) it had not wanted to start – the lights came on but no-one was home there was no ignition spark. Poor Raji had to go and try his luck with the buses (who were not having much luck themselves, as witnessed by Billy who was walking past at the time!) I had to leave the car until the weekend as there simply wasn’t time to deal with it, and luckily I was able to do the food shopping at Iceland instead so that they delivered it for me.

Billy was sure it was the battery that had died and it had only managed to retain enough charge for the electrics to work as it was new (previously, it would be dead in a day rather than the week it had taken this time!) He went out in the rain and set up the charger (a very good investment a few years ago, which he protected with a rain coat) and sure enough, it did the job so I took the car for a drive for an hour, to get it fully charged. Phew! (And thank you Billy. 🙂 )

The other MAJOR job I wanted to do at home was to reformat my computer which has been getting slower, and slower and more and more frustrating. The main problem with doing this, is sifting through all the accumulated files and folders to backup before wiping he computer clean – so I spent most of Good Friday doing this before spending the evening at Simon and Clair’s house with Billy, Paul, Steph and Roger, playing games (board and Wii), drinking and munching nibbles.

On Saturday I wiped the computer which was new 3 years ago and had come with its own disc for repairs or clean installs. Great – that went fairly smoothly, but of course, the disc was 3 years out of date. So good old Windows update looked for updates – and informed me that there were 97! NINETY SEVEN? Good grief! There was no option but to install them – it took 2 hours to download them all and then three hours to install them! Then of course, I had to replace all the other software and most importantly, the security software, I use and by now, was in a race to get enough basics up and running so I could watch my football match online at 5.30pm! (I just about made it, albeit with a few bits downloading in the background and reboots necessary at half and full time..)

Sunday morning was spent ironing and putting back files, folders and programmes on my computer, as well as setting up my mail handling programme and favourites. I even managed to do a few online bookings for my trip at the end of the month too. Thankfully, I had an afternoon and evening away from the computer screen as we went to Pat’s for our Easter dinner as usual (though I missed last year as I was with mum) We had a really good time at Pat’s and the boys once again beat the girls at all but one of the games, we all ate unimaginable amounts of food and drank even-less-imaginable amounts of alcohol before collapsing into bed swearing we’d never need to eat again. 🙂

Today (Easter Monday) I have been checking for driver updates, and in particular, sound card and graphics card ones as my speakers won’t work (despite being turned on, and apparently fine according to the PC properties) and I can’t play Spider Solitaire as my graphics card isn’t up to the job 🙁 I found the drivers and installed them – and promptly killed my PC! 🙁 I had to restart in safe mode and UNinstall the graphics drivers to get it back. Hm – I DO love Spider Solitaire so if anyone has any bright ideas, please, PLEASE let me know.

So, I think the computer is about there and is a really good job jobbed. The car should be running fine for my weekend away next week. I’ve spent time with family and friends and feel I’m just about on top of things ready to go back to work tomorrow. I’m exhausted now, but it was a worthwhile few days. 🙂

I am a Web Elk!

I took the web-animal test as part of an experiment in association with the BBC’s Virtual Revolution. Have a go yourself here.

From the BBC

Web Elk

Slow-moving – Web Elks like you take their time finding exactly the right morsels of information – just like the real-world elk who carefully browses for shoots and leaves to eat.

Sociable – Real-world elks are social and stay in herds to protect themselves from predators. When you browse the web you are also a social creature, often using social networks, or other sites whose content is created by its users, as sources of information.

Specialised – Web Elks perform best when they focus on one thing at a time, rather than trying to multitask. Just as the real-world Elk is perfectly specialised for its environment, you have learned that while the web makes it possible to multitask, it’s not always the best approach.

How we worked out your web animal
Our web animals are just for fun, but the test is based on solid and rigorous science, so your results should tell you something interesting about your web behaviour.

Three aspects of your web behaviour were used to work out your web animal.

Adaptable or specialised?
The internet allows us to do lots of things at the same time. You might be listening to music and updating your blog while receiving news alerts and chatting online with friends. Then an email arrives. Can you switch seamlessly between different tasks? Or are you actually less efficient?

Indeed, a study from Stanford University in California suggests that people who spend their time multitasking might actually be less good at juggling tasks than non-multitaskers.

If you are an ‘adaptable’ web animal, then you scored highly on our tests that measured your ability to multitask. If your web animal is ‘specialised’, then you are probably better suited to taking on one task at a time.

Fast moving or Slow moving?
The internet helps people find information fast. Practice makes perfect, and its possible to learn techniques for getting to the information you need quickly. But speed isn’t the same as accuracy. The first answer you find isn’t necessarily the right answer.

We measured the time it took you to complete a series of search tasks. If you are a fast-moving web animal, you took less time than average. This maybe because you know exactly what you’re doing, but could also mean you missed important information. If you are a slow-moving web animal, this could be because you’re less confident, that you focused on getting the right answer rather than the first one.

Social or Solitary?
The internet has radically multiplied the ways in which we can meet new friends and stay in contact with existing ones. (Internet guru Clay Shirky once said that before the internet came along, the most recent technology that affected the way people sat down and talked to each other was the table.) So how social are you online?

If your web animal is social, you probably told us you spend quite a lot of time on social networking sites and that you tend to trust sites whose content is created by its users. If your web animal is solitary, you probably don’t socialise as much online and are inclined to trust sites whose content is produced in a more traditional, ‘authoritative’ way.

Social behaviour online is a fascinating area of study for our scientists. They would like to understand the relationship between time spent online and the type of information sources users choose to trust.

We need as many people as possible to complete the experiment. Share your web animal with your friends and invite them to take part.

Boro 0 v 1 City (FA Cup 3rd Round)

On Saturday I planned to watch City’s FA Cup game away to Boro on the PC through Liveonline Footy and had renewed my subscription accordingly. With Billy at work, I duly got all my jobs done so I could sit down at 3pm and got the stream running a couple of minutes before hand. Lovely!

Then it died!
And would not reconnect!
No
matter
what
I
tried!

GRRRRRRRRRR!

Having kept up as best I could via the BBC live text commentary, I FINALLY got the stream working again 35 mintues into the match! (No thanks to Liveonlinefooty’s helpful hints, nor their non-existent support!)

The picture was poor on this occasion so it was a bit of a struggle to make out much, other than the general movement of players – though it WAS better than nothing.

We rode our luck a bit, I thought, and I was VERY nervous throughout, but again Mancini changed things as and when needed and just kept the opposition on their toes. Thankfully we got the goal, got the win, and got in to the 4th round. Phew!

On the Sunday, Raji, Billy and I all watched the ManUre v Leeds match. Raji wanted *cough* THEM to win, I (along with every other non ManUre football fan in the country!) wanted Leeds to win and Billy wanted both the lose! More, though, he enjoyed Raji and I (sitting on one sofa, with Billy on the other) “debating” some of the game’s heated moments 😀 Leeds played well, ManUre played terribly – and Leeds thoroughly deserved their victory. To the delight of a grateful Nation 😀

Sorry for the interruption to service!

My domain name registration had run out, but my WONDERFUL web hosts DivisionX have bailed me out (with some help from the friendly and helpful Nominet people.)

Stephen originally registered this domain for me 4 years ago, using a company called Planet Domain. He renewed it for me 2 years ago, but this time round he didn’t receive any notification that it needed renewing and hence my disappearing act!

We tried to contact PD to renew but couldn’t get any responses so I turned to the cavalry, my heroes at DivisionX and they told me what to do to transfer the registration to them, via Nominet. I requested a phone call from the latter and they told me (in nice simple terms) how to go about it and a couple of hours later, here I am once again 🙂

The very best news is that now DivisionX are in control of my account (along with my professional one which they’ve had for – oh – forever!) I shouldn’t go AWOL again as they are very efficient, very friendly, and very much my favourite domain/web hosting company in the world.

21st Century City

Well it’s all been happening at my beloved MCFC this summer – and I don’t mean all the transfer speculation or even actual signings. (You will know by now that I don’t speculate, nor do I get too worked up or excited – I will judge any and all of our aquisitions for myself, when I see them play. Not until.) Not even the improvement of training and other facilities for the players. I mean the stuff NOT directly related to what’s happening on the pitch.

During the summer I believe a lot of work has gone into staff offices and improving the City store, museum and Social.

The stadium itself has also been receiving a bit of a Blue makeover to make it less a bare concrete, albeit impressive, stadium and more a real Blue home for the fans:

Latest stadium branding going up to celebrate our Hall of Fam... on Twitpic

The stadium is getting a lick of paint! What do you think so ... on Twitpic

This has been and will be, well received by the fans who have long wanted some personalisation. Last year we had our names on the huge banners around the outside, which was great, and this continues the work and takes it further. Next up: names on our seats please?

We’ve also seen the new shirt break the records for shirt sales. I had difficulty placing my order, but I did manage eventually and duly received my new shirt on the day of release – though I had to wait until 3pm for it to finally arrive. (Note to club – stick to Royal Mail Special Delivery like previous years, please. City Link are rubbish and come so late!) I wore the shirt all day on the Saturday with it being a match day (yes, pre-season friendlies DO count 😛 ) the shirt is an excellent fit, very comfortable and I love it. (It also washed well, though whether the “Etihad” ont he front has staying power to survive weekly washing and drying remains to be seen. It looks a bit flimsy.) I thought the name on the back seemed a bit high until I compared it to a couple of previous shirts – and it’s just that the writing is straight not curved.

Sorry for the fixed grin – I was actually trying to get ready to go to the Charity Ball but interrupted proceedings for Nel to take the photos for me quickly whilst she had time!


New Shirt 2009/10
New Shirt back (2009/10)
Photobucket

THEN City carried on the face-lift to include online presence: a whole new look to the official site; an official Twitter; official overseas Twitter; offical Flickr; AND an official Facebook group! The latter lot are great fun and quite clever on the part of the club – we fans are always happy to be together, talking, sharing opinion, having a bit of fun and sharing photos so why shouldn’t they take advantage and be in amongst us? 🙂

I am still finding it difficult to navigate the new main site and it’s very easy to miss some of the latest news since it seems to be hidden away within a subgroup (such as club news, player news, etc.) and I’d rather they had the main news page showing ALL the day’s new stories and then archived them into those subgroups. I also had a devil of a job to find the online ticket system when I wanted some pre-season tickets, (in fact, I didn’t and needed help from a fellow Blue )but am giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming that once the season is underway and tickets regularly on sale, this will be easier. Generally, though I do like the depth of information now available and must just remember to scroll right to the bottom of the page each visit as there is content right the way down now, instead of being merely a load of annoying ads which can be ignored.

Best ever though, is the FREE online streaming of the South African pre-season friendlies. 20,000+ watched the first game against the Orlando Pirates and 29,000+ the second against the Kaizer Chiefs and I wouldn’t be surprised if even more watch the final this weekend. I missed most of the first, but did tune in for the second and was very impressed by the high quality stream. Brilliant stuff. I think, if this continues, I may well be watching away games on there (though I must buy some new speakers as watching without idiotic commentators (stand up Andy-bloody-Gray & Co.) is bliss, but missing the match noises is just weird!)

Whilst the media and certain bitter fans of other clubs are getting slightly hysterical at City spending so much money on players and wages, they are failing to see all this other investment and the thought being channelled into it. Now I’m not daft – the club wants to become a global brand and the online stuff, at least, is definitely aimed at a world-wide audience, but I’d like to think they are also trying to keep the club in touch with its fans. So far, anyway. The day it loses its soul, then I will jump ship, but for now I’m letting the Blue wind fill the sail and take me with it to see what’s over the horizon.

God Bless the good ship City and all who sail in her 🙂

Coincidentally, the day after I posted this, I saw The Independent had written a good piece: Here

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