Friday, September 30, 2005

One fine day.

Some days are so non-descript, that you can't actually find anything bad to say about them.

I bask in the glow of mediocrity.

It's been neither dark, nor light. Neither raining nor dry. Neither hot nor cold. No sadness, no happiness.

Sure, I ate some food, I drank some coffee. I sometimes wonder if I am destined to spend all eternity recycling large mochas.

I watched a film. It wasn't bad, it wasn't good. I played some Pogo, it moved me not.

In a strange sort of way, I have to say I quite enjoy days like this. It represents an element of stability that many people must yearn for. I had time for others, I had time for myself. No worries, no troubles, no drama.

The weekend is here, and I am slowly slipping into the lazy, hazy mood that will envelop and draw me through. I have a little work to do on my bike, and some paperwork to sort, but nothing too taxing (no pun intended).

On the plus side, I invoiced for five weeks work today - yee-haw!!

I hate self-promotion, but I created a little guestbook, it's over there on the right hand side somewhere. It's been there a day, and nobody has signed it. Bloody lurkers!!

This weekend I will be mostly watching kung-fu movies!!

Hope you made it through the week in one piece, and take care not to overindulge yourselves as we head onto another weekend.

Who the hell am I speaking to??

Must let the cats in....

Cool thing for today:

A picture speaks a thousand words.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

One PISSED OFF Fox!!

First, let me set the record straight. I LOVE this time of year. Autumn is my favourite season. The problem with the change between the seasons is really, that I hate the darkness and I hate the rain. I always get flu and/or bronchitis as this season sets in.

Further into autumn when the leaves have changed colour and have started to fall, and hopefully there will be a drier spell, then I will be fully in the swing of it.

I DO suffer from the lack of daylight, and this is simply compounded by being at work for the entire length of it.

Ok, let me get back to the title of this post... I am pissed off!!

I have a Sky+ box... For those of you who don't know what that is, think TiVo, or a hard disk recorder for your satellite TV.

I fekking love my Sky+ box, that is, until today.

I came home from work intent on lying on the sofa and watching half a film and falling asleep - my favourite way to spend late afternoons. I look through the log of recorded programmes, and pick a suitable one - Zatoichi - It's kinda billed as the film that would wipe the bloodied floor with Kill Bill. This reminds me, I must mention another film before I finish this blog. Anyway, I select my film.

Please enter PIN number:

Pin number?? What the....? I randomly press some buttons and find that I am locked out of the system for 10 minutes... Great.

Ten minutes later....

I try every button and code known to man. Nothing.

Five hours later, I decide to ring Sky, and this is the message:

Thanks for calling. Your call is held in a queue and will be answered within FIFTY TWO minutes.

I hang up, ready to throw the TV through the window.

I do some research and Michelle finds the manual for the Sky box. Apparently the default PIN number is the last four digits of the viewing card. It works.

Apparently Sky have implemented a new software revision, which means that if I want to watch anything recorded after 10pm, then I have to enter a PIN number. This is outrageous... How dare they, and if I am able to go on the web and find the default PIN code, then surely a million kids have managed to raid the cookie jar already!!

Pointless, annoying, incompetent fools!!

By this time, of course, it's soap time, I have missed my nap, and I can't watch the bloody film even if I want to.

Ok, Fox calms himself down and breathes into a paper bag.

Have any of you watched Sin City?? I consider myself to be quite a discerning movie fan. I have very little tolerance for watching bad films. Well, my good friend gave me Sin City to watch, and guess what?? It's jumped straight into my all time top ten favourite films of all time!! Accolade indeed. You MUST see it!! Frank Miller (He, of Dark Knight comic fame) is a God!! It gets a full five Foxy stars!! Buy it, rent it, steal it, kill me for it.... Just get it and watch it and punch me if you don't like it!!

Cool thing for today:

My new wallpaper on my computer at work! (Fox is dribbling on the carpet) Thank heavens, for little girls......

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

One SAD Fox!

Seasonally Adjusted Disorder is setting in.

Every year, at around this time, I get very blue. If I still played the old saxamaphone, I'd be sat up on the roof in the rain blurting out some John Lee Hookeresque vibes.

When my alarm goes off, it's dark.

When I'm drinking my first cup of coffee with the lights on in the kitchen, I have no desire to even open the kitchen blinds.

I drive to work with the car lights on.

I work.

I come home.

It's raining, it's grey, and it's bloody dark.

I pity those poor buggers who live farther afield in the north, where they are heading to a state of perpetual darkness for their winter.

I've just turned on the central heating, and am now considering revising the automatic scheduling of said heating apparatus, to accomodate my early morning rise, and subsequent arrival home.

The clocks alter by one whole hour next month... they go backwards. I get an extra hour in bed, but the price is darker evenings and a severely temporarily lighter morning.

SAD sufferers typically feel low, slow, depressed, withdrawn and vegetative. They sleep more, eat more, crave carbohydrates and sweets and, unsurprisingly, gain weight. They may lose interest in sex, become irritable and impatient, have trouble thinking clearly and quickly, and make mistakes.

Someone pass me the shotgun now!!

A new world record.... an eight minute blog.

Cool thing for today:

For the princely sum of £160 I might make it through to the springtime!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Fun and games.

Damn, I used to be such a player of games.

My gaming career started way back in about 1983 when I bought a ZX Spectrum and a copy of Melbourne House's "Hobbit" adventure game. The Spectrum was a 48k machine and cost me the princely sum of £175. Twenty two years ago £175 was a frik of a lot of money!! I loved the Hobbit, and actually had my world record of 82.5% registered as the world's highest score at one point in Sinclair User magazine. I doubt the publication was anything other than England wide, so the concept of world's highest score escapes me.

A veritable rash of Spectrum games followed. Eventually I got bored and sold it to my Religious Education and form teacher and bought a bloody Colecovision console. It was rubbish, and by the time Manic Miner came out, I played it and immediately went out and bought another Spectrum. I never looked back.

Since those good old Spectrum days, I have owned and raved about the following:

Atari 2600
Snes
Atari ST
PC
Gamecube
Nintendo64
Playstation2
Commodore64
ZXSpectrum
Megadrive

They've all been fantastic, and I still have them all with the exception of the PS2.

Lately, I don't have time to play games. I don't really own many "new" games. Probably the newest game I own is Mario Golf on the Gamecube.

I miss playing games, and wonder why I don't do it anymore. I can't find the answer, until I look down at the clock, and realise I've already been typing this blog for twenty minutes. I still haven't caught up on everyone else's blogs. I have a stack of paperwork to do AGAIN. I have a bunch of photographs to sort through and process. I have a bike ride at the weekend to organise. I still haven't unpacked my clothes and stuff from last weekend. I worked a ten hour day. I have only JUST managed to finish my Pogo badges (I don't consider Pogo to be gaming - it's far too basic).

What a shame.... I have no time.

I miss Dungeon Keeper, Magic Carpet, EA Hockey, Penetrator, Gyruss, Animal Crossing, Mario Golf, Giana Sisters, Nebulus, California Games, Wani Wani World, Pitfall, IK+, Stunt Car Racer, Black and White, Winning Eleven Five, Grand Theft Auto, Super Black Bass, Four Winds Mahjong, Unirally, Chuckie Egg, Manic Miner, Jet Pac, Arcadia, Parappa The Rapper, Um Jammer Lammy, Mario Kart, Magical Hat's Turbo Flying Adventure, Micro Machines, Tobor, Kyodai, R-Type, Salamander, Gorf, Bombjack, Super Bomberman, Mortal Kombat, Super Monkey Ball, Sam Fox's Strip Poker, KP Skips Action Biker with Clumsy Colin, 3d Ant Attack, Command and Conquer, Boot Hill, Ponpoko, Pooyan, Space Duel, Dragon's Lair.....

And so ad infinitum!!

Forty minutes blogging....

Time to go sort some photos.... If I do a good job they may well make it into tomorrow's blog.

Who spotted that I missed blogging yesterday?? Take a gold star and go straight to the top of the class!!

Cool thing for today:

Retrogames - It does what it says on the tin.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Birthday weekender!!

Well, what can I say?

A VERY memorable weekend was had by all.

Friday.

We set off, up to Scotland on Friday lunchtime, and had a pleasant journey. Arrived in the campsite at Newton Stewart around teatime. We set up "base camp" and embarked on a whistle stop tour of the town. Visited a pub for a bit of food.

Headed back to camp, and we all spent about an hour setting our gear up for a night ride. What a strange experience it is, riding in unfamiliar places with very bad maps. Didn't take us long to find a massive hill to climb, and to get a bit lost. Managed to eventually find civilisation again, and completed the ride of about 12 miles. Great fun, and a precursor to the main event. Went out and had a few sherbets. Got a bit tipsy and a bit giddy, and spent the night freezing to death in a tent, accompanied by the first frost after this summer.

Saturday.

Woke up Saturday morning, early, hungry, and eager.

Quick jaunt into Newton Stewart, a coffee and breakfast later, and we set up for a 36 mile sightseeing trip (or so the map would have us believe). If we had known what the ride would be like when we set out, I am not so sure we would have had many takers. Well, it started out right enough, but we soon realise that we are riding round the course in the wrong direction, no big deal, but it's a bit harder to navigate.

The trip ran from Newton Stewart to Loch Trool. We climbed a fair bit and rode into the forest a bit, nothing too technical, some single track lanes, and forest tracks, some cool descending, and a couple of big relentless steadily climbing hills. A puncture en route for Mr. Myatt and some excellent work by Stu with his tyre levers meant we arrived at Bruce's Stone looking at mountains and the loch in time for lunch and a rest. We joked that the mountains in the direction of our travel were the ones we would be riding over.

Phase two of the ride took us down the hill to the top end of Loch Trool. Stu took a bit of a nasty tumble but soldiered on with gusto. We started to climb.

We climbed.

We climbed some more.

We climbed the frikking mountain we had been joking about.

I never knew I had a first gear.

Gary and Stu made the most supreme effort up this behemoth. They were effing miles in front. We all met at the top for some furious drinking of Viper, some flapjack and cake, and a serious moment of clarity and wonder at the scale of what we had just achieved. Soaked with sweat, and not particularly suitably attired for such a mountain top, I was soon cold, and keen to move on.

We descended a way, and a mix of climbs and descents brought us around Loch Dee (a very welcomed sight) and roughly the two-thirds marker.

Turning the last corner of the triangle brought us descending a treacherous road made of broken scallop shells. They were flicking up and flying all around us like winged razor blades. The best descent of the day so far was marred by my very own puncture and everyone else's rapid disappearance from view down the side of the mountain. Yoink. I pushed my bike round the last couple of corners, and was met by Captain Stu and his trusty tyre levers. One patch later and we reach Black Loch.

At this point we are starting to hope we make it back to camp before sundown.

Cycling on, and climbing up again... we climbed and climbed.... even the flat parts were beginning to be a struggle. Every corner brought more heartache, and everyone was plumbing the depths of their energy just to keep moving (Except Stu - his abilities are truly amazing). A couple of very stiff climbs up another mountain, a great forest road descent, and some toruous roller coaster style road sections led us onto the final road descent back into Newton Stewart.

I think we were all in shock. Six hours in the saddle and we'd done forty miles and climbed a couple of mountains, and we all made it round. Truly exceptional ride, and superhuman efforts.

Pint, curry, bed. Shattered.

Sunday.

Woke up Sunday morning and went to a hotel for breakfast (it was warmer last night, but windy as hell, and it rained from the minute I climbed into the tent, until I climbed out of it at about 7:30am). Everywhere was wet and green, and the birds were singing. I had smoked haddock and poached egg as a reward to my body. Delicious. We went to Clatteringshaws reservoir and had a bit of a walk around, then all set off for home. I called in on my Aunt and Uncle on the way and of course managed to leave my house keys there... duh!!

Home again. Bath, food, TV, comfy.

I can honestly say a few things about this birthday of mine.

a) I am totally pleased to have pushed myself harder than ever before and to have achieved something which just two months ago would have killed me.
b) Stu and Gary have totally knocked my socks off with their fitness levels, strength, and character.
c) I could not have picked a better bunch of friends to take this journey with.
d) I don't think I have EVER had a more memorable birthday.
e) Next time I invite people out for my birthday, they might not be so quick to accept.
f) I am battered and bruised, but elated.
g) Photos will follow, when I get time to sort out the lactic acid shake induced version from the good ones.
h) This is a bit of a long blog, and I apologise, but it's three days in one, so you are getting off lightly to be honest.
i) Always carry a compass and an ordnance survey map.
j) Never ride on broken sea shells.
k) This will not be the last time I visit Dumfries and Galloway for a bike ride.
l) Forgive me if I am wrong, but the gene pool of Newton Stewart is somewhat shallower than its surrounding lochs.
m) Two wheels good, four wheels bad.

Thanks for being patient. I'm glad to be home and back in blogland. I will be round to see you all soon, and will post the pictures tomorrow (hopefully).



Crofts at Clatteringshaws reservoirLoch Dee - two thirds of the way roundRiv at Bruce's StoneLoch Trool - colour is not too good but great sceneryLook everyone - Scrapheap challenge!!
Bonsoir mes amis!

Cool thing for today:

It's not a website, it's not a link, it's just a fact: Friends. Thank the lord for friends, for without them and their support, this birthday would have probably disappeared into a drunken haze somewhere in a gutter in Huddersfield. I honestly think EVERYONE present will remember this birthday for a long time to come - noticeably, every time they try to sit down.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Tee minus one!

Tomorrow, I will be jetting off (well driving actually) into the wide blue yonder (well Scotland actually) to enjoy a wild weekend (camping and cycling actually) to celebrate (commiserate actually) yet another birthday.

I don't know why, but I have been a right miserable fekker all day today. I think it's the pressure of hoping that everyone that's coming this weekend enjoys themselves. I used to get like this when I was trying to organise big nights out with a large bunch of pals. I find it hard to relax and enjoy myself when I have other people to worry about.

It's looking like a fairly cold, windy, showery weekend weatherwise.... Good cycling conditions I guess, but bad camping conditions. The highest forecast temperature for Saturday is 12 degrees Celsius, that's about 53 degrees Fahrenheit to you foreigners!! Cold!!

If my bike doesn't stand up to this weekend, there's gonna be one pissed off Fox!! I emailed the manufacturer today to thank them for their assistance and to tell them that the bike may well be finding its way onto eBay, and I will be looking for one that I don't have to ride so "carefully" - what a joke!! I will post the eBay auction link as soon as I have decided.

Well, I can hear the bagpipes playing in the distance. I have a lot of packing and organising to do this evening. What a carry on. Note to self, don't forget camera.

Here's a little picture I captured this morning on my phone camera. I KNOW it's not good quality, but dammit, it's just a phone. I don't always have my camera with me. Don't be too angry Spice.


I guess you all have realised that I shan't be around this weekend to read your blogs, or to update mine, or check on my comments. I guess the next update now will be Monday the 26th September.

I've already started opening birthday presents... hehehehe!!! It's all gonna be over before it even started!!

I am so disgruntled lately, it's untrue.... Must snap out of it.

Thought for the weekend:

Due to my bike troubles, the following Japanese proverb applies - It is foolish to deal with fools.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Happy birthday Crystal.

It's my partner in the "dark side"'s birthday. That alone makes this a very special day. I won't try to detract from this day with my rants.

I will, however detract from this day, with my pants!! I bought some new shorts today, and boy, are they comfy and nice!!

Just to keep you all updated.... The server migration is not going to happen. The weekend plans are all back on track. We have a party of six heading out to Newton Stewart this weekend for some fun and frolics in the forest. I can't remember the last time I camped out anywhere. It's set to rain and be very windy... It's all coming back to me now....

I FINALLY convinced the bike shop that there is a problem with my bike, and they begrudgingly changed an offending part as a goodwill gesture... better that than incurr the wrath of Fox!! Listen bike shop boy, I have a blog... and about ten readers!! You wouldn't like me when I am angry.

Speaking of which... My cousin Dan used to be terrified of the Incredible Hulk... I seem to remember my other cousin Joey Cool, his sister stuck a poster of said green monster on the back of his bedroom door... I used to think I was cruel!! Joey Cool and me used to whack the heads off the red-hot poker plants in my grandma's garden and smash the shed windows!!

Coincidentally, the reason I decided to go to the Forest of Galloway this coming weekend, is because my uncle and auntie live near there... I love my unc and aunt!!

My bike's fixed... woohoo!!

Dead man, walking the blogs... walking the blogs..... I now read so many blogs, that I spend more time reading and commenting than I actually spend updating my own... that's a kind of crazy statistic... Oh, yeah, on the subject of statistics (I think I always wanted to be a statistician of some sort - I find stats fascinating) I have now added site statistics to my blog. One of the big things that was missing here was stats... if you scroll right down to the bottom of this page, there's a little stat gizmo... I can now see little red dots on a picture of the globe to show me where you all are reading my blog from. Magic.

Right, time to go play some Pogo.

I love Reeses Cups!!

Cool thing for today:

Add some stats: One of the final pieces of the jigsaw to make blogger the overall champion over MSN spaces.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Smoke and mirrors.

What the heck is going on in the world? Does anyone actually know?

I am amazed some days, that the news portrays events in such a disjointed fashion that it's almost impossible to follow anything.

Admittedly, there's a lot going on in the world, but who really gives a flying monkey about Kate Moss and her coke habit? Probably only her dealer is really interested, 'cos he's about to lose a top paying customer (I imagine).

Suicide bombers, nearly one and hour were happening in Iraq recently, it was in the news, but the next day it was not. Did they just stop, or was it no longer the titillating headline grabbing fodder of the day before? Was Rick Parfitt waking up in bed with an electrician in a Harrogate (the worldly centre of rock and roll) hotel, too big a story to simply let slip under the carpet of tabloid journalism?

Should I be amazed that these things happen? Not really. Imagine if we did actually know what was going on. What's happening in Afghanistan? What's going on after the recent riots in Northern Ireland? Remember back to when the tanks were rolling into Baghdad, and the toppling of Saddam's statue... Isn't it slightly odd that those three weeks or so of conflict received more coverage than everything that's happened there since?

It's all smoke and mirrors. It's specifically designed for us NOT to be able to follow a story. No matter how hard we try, we will never be in full receipt of the facts. It really IS true that yesterday's news is today's fish and chips wrapping.

Keep 'em stupid, keep 'em happy.

I shouldn't rant, but it's a while since I did. Now that I think back, weren't we recently launching a massive attack on the opium fields of Afghanistan? What the frik happened there? I rest my case!!

Cool thing for today:

Today's news in pictures - An interesting view of the world.... Stop and think....

Monday, September 19, 2005

Dreamweaver!!

Ok, I'm a Weaver, I live in a weaver's cottage, and my favourite piece of software EVER is Dreamweaver.

I've got bugger all to say today, so thought I would treat you to some pictures. Not just any old pictures mind you, I have selected my favourite photographs (that I have taken) and made a fancy old image map. It's a long time since I did any html, and it's high time I started again, and used the features that blogger will allow. You can't do this on MSN I bet!!

I don't quite know how to arrange the pics so they flow with the text, so I will stick them at the end.

Ok, here's my pics:

Bumble BeeRainbowButterflyUrko
Oh, ugly spaces... I can't get rid!!

Oh, as an afterthought, I've just been out nightriding with my new bike lights.... a nice rugged off road course. Wow, the shadows at the side of the road are quite unnerving... Quite spooky even... Terrific.

PS: For those in favour of the butterfly pic.... Yes it's good, but dammit, it's actually upside down... It just wouldn't cooperate!!

Cool thing for today:

Another Spike poem..

Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I'll draw a sketch of thee,
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Don't weekends just fly by?

Well bloggers, it's Sunday night again, and I am in mourning for the passing of yet another weekend. This week should be better than most, as I have a trip to look forward to next weekend.

I have done absolutely bugger all this weekend, which, in no way sets it apart from most other weekends. I always enjoy just kicking back, doing my own thing. Michelle is very disciplined at weekends and manages to get her chores done around me. I couldn't do it.

I went bike riding, not once but twice today. I tackled the infamous Harts Hole and beat it. I tackled my old arch nemesis, the Round Ings road and beat it, and I tackled a couple more very stiff hill climbs. Normally I'd be chuffed to beat any one of them, but today I tackled and beat them all. I do admit to not tackling them at any great speed, but six weeks ago I couldn't have managed a single one of them. Triumph on a small scale.

I am going to take the baking books into work tomorrow so we can pick some cakes for Michelle to make for me to take to Scotland... What's the betting that they will feature oats or bran??

Vegged out with a curry and the goggle box. Had a shower. Let my legs calm down from all the climbing. Feel quite good. If only I could cut down on the cigarettes.

I love Antiques Roadshow... What does that say about me?? I also think Rolf Harris is a cool guy. Last night I watched Spike Milligan with Paul Merton on Room 101. Emma, it was fantastic. His first item for consignment was Portsmouth... Where it goes from there, I am sure you can imagine. Have you read "Badjelly the Witch" - It's a Spike masterpiece done in his own handwriting with little doodles and stuff, totally sumptuous!!

Well, I've just put a spliff out and it's Hercule Poirot on the box... Exit stage left for the Fox while Michelle indulges in her favourite detective!! She's frikking nuts!!

Hope y'all had a good weekend, and are all prepared and ready to get your shoulder back to the grindstone in the morning. I know I'm not!!

Peace out.

Cool thing for today: - This is particularly poignant as it's from the year of my birth.

On the Ning Nang Nong

On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
And the Monkeys all say Boo!
There's a Nang Nong Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots Jibber Jabber Joo
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the Mice go Clang!
And you just cant catch 'em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong!
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning!
Trees go Ping!
Nong Ning Nang!
The mice go Clang!
What a noisy place to belong,

Is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!

Spike Milligan - from Silly Verse for Kids, 1968

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Get fresh at the weekend!!

Happy Birthday Spice!!

I've had a stiff neck all day.... I blame Gary!!

Result of having a stiff neck all day has been very little action.

Got up early... very early. Watched the golden glow of the sunrise make its way across my lounge.

Played backgammon on Pogo, and completed my badge.

Riv came round. We put my new tent up, so as to make sure all the parts were there, and that I would be able to set it up next weekend near Newton Stewart on my birthday cycling/camping trip. The tent's actually very good. A real bargain for twenty five quid.

Climbed on the sofa and rested my neck... i.e. slept!!

Watched Thunderbirds Are Go!! A great movie, and one that brings me onto a topic I have discussed before, but which never bores me.

There was the most fantastic piece of footage in the film where Lady Penelope was having a cup of tea. In Thunderbirds, when they do a close-up of hands, they use real hands with props. The scene in question had me a little puzzled because they showed a silver tea service with a real hand pouring a cup of tea. The silver tea service was so obviously made of plastic and sprayed silver. I began to wonder why they didn't use a proper silver tea service, and then, lo and behold the next shot is of the puppet putting down the teapot, and of course it's an exact scale model made of plastic and sprayed silver. What fantastic foresight and continuity. For anyone that knows me, you will already know, but for anyone else, I have this amazing love for scenes of this nature. In the film Cats and Dogs when a dog is operating a computer, it's blatantly a pair of fake paws on sticks thumping a few keys.... Every time I find a piece of film like this, I spontaneously start to jump around on the sofa and whoop with delight!! Am I strange??

Ok, well that was about my day... lots of Pogo, pizza, chips, biscuits, and coffee. Not exciting but very weekendy!!

Cool thing for today:

From boiled eggs to Smoked Haddock chowder, she's a domestic Goddess!!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Robinson Crusoe.....

.... Had everything done by Friday!!

I, on the other hand, don't!!

I went on the most lovely bike ride tonight. Just the way I like it, not too hot, one bottle of water, fifteen miles, fantastic visibility, great scenery, no stops!!

On the downside, my two favourite gears, seventeen and eighteen, are jumping - it's very annoying!!

Not much can really piss me off just now. I've just sat through two episodes of Coronation Street, and an episode of Eastenders, and I am still quite cheerful. There's a first time for everything.

There's a beautiful full moon tonight, and I have tried to capture it - yes spicey, I used my Samsung... A tripod.... And some cardboard boxes and about ten shots to get one half decent one. I don't know about apertures and exposures and stuff, but it didn't come out too bad.... Perhaps a quicker shutter speed might have preserved more detail in the moon, but the effect is nice. See for yourself. Guess you have to click it to get the full size version. Nice corona baby!!

Well, I don't really have much to say. Gary's gone bike accessory mad. Clem called round on his bike tonight, and we discussed the possibility of a night ride this weekend. Oh, I've missed my bike this last week. I had a bit of a rest, and I don't really know why!!

The weekend away next weekend is pretty much planned now. We have the campsite booked, the transport is arranged, and all we need now is a box full of accessories, cake, buns, and flapjack.

Oh, yeah, remember when I started cycling, and my arse was sore all the time.... It's like steel plated now, but can you imagine how Gary feels today?? .

I am gonna sign out, and watch the next thrilling episode of Meerkat Mansion, courtesy of my lovely Sky+ box... I could kiss it sometimes!!

In the same vein as yesterday, I wanted to leave you with poetry, but the poem I most wanted to leave was one called Skyman. I don't know who wrote it, or where to find it.... From memory it goes along the lines of:

Cool thing for today:

Skyman - Apologies if it's incorrect, but I haven't read it for some twenty plus years.

"My God I'm dead"
The young man said,
As he saw his battered head,
Petalled on the crimson sand.
Oh mother come and meet me now,
And take my hand.
His body like a fountain played,
Along the empty esplanade.
A neon sign blinked on,
And when the moon came,
He was gone..

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pneumonia is coming, and the goose is getting fat!!

First things first.... I think some folks have grasped the wrong end of the stick... It's NOT my birthday this weekend, it's next weekend... 24th September!!

Fifteen miles of cold, wet, grimy moorland riding. If that hasn't scared Gary off, then he will have a great time in Scotland. Tonight was grim, even by my own exacting Pole Moor standards. Sandy, muddy, rocky trails aplenty, and we even tackled my NEW nemesis - a hill called Harts Hole - that's a pretty funny name if you come from Yorkshire, because we always drop our H's!! Credit to Gary... He has a good pair of legs, and with the help of a little Viper, we both made it to the top... One stop each, and believe me THAT is good going!!

My trainers had JUST dried out from the near miss with a bolt of lightning... 2 weeks ago I think, and now they are literally soaked through again.... What a shame!!

The bike still needs a bit of adjustment, and I am gonna have to go back to the shop AGAIN!! It's really starting to grind me down now. Time for evil Fox to surface!!

Regan, so you joined Pogo?? Please don't get too addicted, it's a massive black hole of time and energy. Let me know your screen-name and I will furnish you with a guest pass that will allow you to play the "special" games, with the very big kids!! In fact, that goes for anyone... I have guest passes galore... Jump on board!! If anyone's into backgammon, they could come and help me get my badge for this week!!

Work was very good today... Left a 2pm to go bike riding . Went out and bought a "crud catcher" which stops all the crud flinging up and landing in my mouth... It's so nice to get home without a mouth full of mud!!

Spicey - I can't just take my camera everywhere with me, it's just not practical. I do actually have a mini tripod, but sometimes the phone is the closest I have... Don't hate me for it... My history will just be a scaled down, low res, out of focus version... A bit like my life really!!

Ouch, my lungs are on fire... I REALLY need to stop smoking, in fact, if I could just cut down it would be a blessing. Mebbe it's just the pneumonia setting in??

Ok, I think I have rambled and ranted for long enough. Oh, wait.... Riding my bike lately, I have seen many wild fruits ripen and come flooding into bloom. It reminded me today of my old English Literature teacher - Vicky Payne... She was every schoolboy's fantasy. Eloquent, voluptuous, and passionate... Well, passionate about English language and literature.... Who knows what else she may have been passionate about?? Anyway, I am going all doey eyed and dreamy now, what I wanted to say, was that she used to have a passion for the great Seamus Heaney, and a particular poem she read us really stuck in my mind, and has been dragged back into my consciousness. May I leave you with the following poem?

Cool thing for today: (In honour and admiration for someone who managed to actually help me achieve a qualification)

Seamus Heaney's Blackberry Picking.

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Meerkats.

I frikking love the meerkats!! They are one of the most amazing animals on earth. In this country we are suckers for these shows on Animal Planet and the like that follow a colony of animal X for a given period... You know, like Big Cat Diaries, and the current one Meerkat Mansion. The problem I have now, is that they leave such massive cliff-hangers at the end of each episode, that you DARE NOT miss the next episode. Believe me, I don't need a cliff-hanger to force me to watch. I am only too happy to do so. The plight of the young pups that look destined to die was tonight's bombshell that left me on the edge of my seat. How cruel to portray nature as a soap opera style show!! Michelle says she won't be able to sleep tonight for worry!

You can tell, if that's all I have to worry about, that I am having a much better day!

I have finished my paperwork... Two and a half months accounts are all finished. I am immensely pleased with myself.

I have collected my camping equipment - unraveled a self inflating mattress and a double sleeping bag (complete with two pillows) and couldn't fit either of them back into their original bags. I am such a camping novice. Managed it eventually, but broke into quite a sweat. I still need to set the tent up.

I have decided to resume planning my birthday weekend away. The chances of the planned server migration actually taking place are very very slim.

So, things are looking brighter. Thanks everyone for sensing my state of agitation yesterday and being so sympathetic.

It's badge day on Pogo too, so you can bet your bottom dollar that I am gonna be spending a bit of time nailing those suckers.

I was shocked to find that although the company has paid for my bike, that I now have to ride it to work, and that I don't get mileage for doing so - how mean is that??? At least I saved the VAT (17.5%) and the tax (approx 25%)... So it's worked out a fair bit cheaper.

Got a little bike trip planned for tomorrow afternoon for Gary and myself. Hope the weather picks up a bit, it's been too grey and windy the last couple of days.

Well, that's about me for today. I am just waiting for my onion fried rice, chips, and prawn curry to turn up... Hungry hungry fox!!

Ok, so this picture isn't exactly a work of art, but I DO love interesting clouds. The sky was full of these lovely wispy lines of cloud tonight. It was real windy, and there were different layers of cloud floating about at different speeds. The phone camera doesn't really do the skyfull of cloud any justice at all.

Cool thing for today:

Pogo : Where the grown ups play!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Boredom overtook us....

And he began to speak!!

Today the Fox is quietly fuming. The project I am working on has deemed that we have to move a server on the weekend of my birthday. All my plans are turning to dust and running through my fingers, and there's nothing I can do to stop it. This is not good. I am contemplating retirement. I wouldn't normally mind about this, but for the following reasons it's doubly painful:

1) I never plan anything, because, as soon as I do, somebody stomps me from a great height... the best laid plans of mice and men and all that!!
2) I haven't really had much work to do for a few weeks, and now they go and decide to implement on MY weekend!!
3) The fact that I have to shelve my birthday trip plans does not escape the fact that the timescales for moving this server are unattainable, and it won't even happen.
4) I am going to have to cancel my weekend, and the frikking server isn't even gonna move!!
5) My gaffer is on holiday until next week, and without his say, we have to proceed to the requirements of the business. I know, as soon as the gaffer comes back, there will be an inordinate number of spanners thrown into the works, but it may well be too late to resurrect the weekend plans by then!!

Grrrrrr.

I should know better than to try and have a life!!

I should have followed my calling in life to become either a baker, or a dolphin!! Life MUST be easier than this.

I am currently venting my spleen, surrounded by several mountains of paperwork. There are piles of rubbish, piles of personal filing, piles of business filing, piles for attention, piles still to sort, tv guides, empty coffee cups, full ashtrays, and none of this is getting me any closer to actually completing my accounts, which I began last evening!

My life is in ruins. Someone needs to grab me by the shoulders and shake me violently.

To cap it all, my camping equipment that I ordered for the forthcoming monster birthday weekend camping and mountain biking has all arrived today.... I just want to set fire to it all right now!! I also shelled out on some special lights for my bike for doing some night riding in the forest.

Can you tell that I am not best pleased? I've had better days.

The only source of amusement for me at the moment is to smirk at everyone queueing up "panic-buying" petrol at the moment. There is no real danger that the promised protests (due to begin tomorrow) will cause any real disruption to supplies, but the media feeding frenzy has created this weird ball of self perpetuating fear in the minds of all motorists. Every petrol station in the land now has queues around the block. I have a full tank, and to be honest, it will last me a couple of weeks... especially as it looks like Scotland may well now be off the cards. Oh, no, I've slipped back into miserable mode again!!

To be honest, I think I have six degrees fever.... It doesn't actually matter what I choose to write about just now, I will end up on the subject of my weekend being ruined, or the fact that I STILL haven't done my paperwork. I will spare you my pain.

Blog ends here!

Cool thing for today:

I only want my revenge!! Go on, it'll make you feel better.

Monday, September 12, 2005

You should feel obliged....

Just couldn't resist letting you in on this. Remember Wallace and Gromit, and their love of Wensleydale cheese?? Well the new movie premiered on Sept 4th in Australia, and in the new movie, they get a taste for a different cheese... the cheese in question is Stinking Bishop - the guy who makes it is panicking because he won't be able to meet demand. I heard an interview with the farmer this morning - very funny!! Read about it here!!

Under normal circumstances, I would not participate in the continuity of blog questionnaires and quizzes. This one, however, had me slightly rattled, as I was specifically "tagged" to do it. Thanks BootJockey... and apologies to the seven I have named to follow on... think of yourselves as the magnificent seven - I do!!

Ok, well, without further ado, on with the quiz .

7 Things That Scare Me:
1. Sock puppets
2. Muggers
3. Losing my marbles
4. Catastrophic blog block
5. Death by shark
6. The Grudge (Japanese horror film)
7. Electricity

7 Things I Like:
1. Friends and family
2. Cooking a good meal for Michelle
3. Watching a good movie (uninterrupted and without falling asleep)
4. Video games
5. Starting fires!!
6. Having time to watch the grass grow
7. Bruce Campbell

7 Important Things In My Room:
1. Crystal hanging in the window that casts rainbows
2. T-Shirts
3. TV
4. Escape deodorant stick
5. My hair clippers (I always cut my hair in the bedroom)
6. My cats
7. The views (front and back)

7 Random Facts About Me:
1. I have two cats: Urko and Maurice
2. I have been with Michelle for about 16 years
3. We don't have an anniversary date of when we met
4. I hate Christmas and Birthdays
5. I wish I was more productive
6. I think I am quite creative, just haven't found out what my particular skill is yet
7. I am an incorrigable flirt

7 Things I Plan To Do Before I Die:
1. Live a bit more
2. Pay off my mortgage
3. Make sure Michelle is well catered for in the event of my untimely passing
4. Travel some more
5. Go fishing
6. Stand up for truth, honour, and justice at least once!!
7. Be nice to my mum

7 Things I CAN Do:
1. Cook
2. Make people laugh
3. Kick ass on Donkey Konga
4. Type long blog entries about nothing
5. Be a good friend
6. Make myself a bit fitter
7. Get drunk, and make a complete ass of myself

7 Things I Can't Or Won't Do:
1. I can't Hold my drink
2. I can't express my emotions very well
3. I can't draw
4. I can't sing
5. I can't keep secrets
6. I won't ever buy another Peugeot
7. I won't tolerate cruelty to animals

7 Things I Say The Most:
1. "Aaaa-reet"
2. "swit swoo"
3. "oink"
4. "Is this really necessary?"
5. "fook"
6. "Change it"
7. "make us a cuppa love!!"

7 Celebrity Crushes:
1. Kylie
2. Jenny Agutter
3. Ziyi Zhang
4. Melinda Messenger
5. Heather Small
6. Billie Piper
7. Dennis Hopper

7 People I TAG To Do This:
1. Regan
2. Spice-the-cat
3. Kev
4. Kristiine
5. Crystal
6. Ahm
7. Emma

Phew, that was tough.... sorry magnificent seven, but it's up to you now!!

Cool thing for today:

Fake blogs?? Whatever next??

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Groan!

Hungover, and totally flat... had a right good night out with some great company. Got totally smashed and finished with a customary curry... very pleasant. What's more, I think Karl actually liked his DVD that I chose. Result!! Great to see... Hugo, Ben, Al, Len, Lucy, Clem, Dave, Sandi, Raps, Scoff, Spencer - sorry for spitting all over Raps while no doubt venting some venom over something and sorry if I left anyone out of the list (I was in a state)... and it's always good to outtalk a doorman who objects to trainers!!

I have to say, yesterday in MVC in Huddersfield when I went to get the DVD, I actually had a good customer experience. I had a list of DVDs that I could have chosen, and took the list to the counter. Sometimes trying to find a DVD in a big store is like looking for a proverbial small, sharp sewing utensil in the proverbial pile of dried grass!! I asked the assistant if they had "Look around you" and not only did he actually know what it was, and that they had it in stock, and fetched it to the counter for me, but he had actually seen it and we had a little chat about it. These experiences are very rare in England. We do not treat customers well, and shop staff are generally unhelpful and have no real knowledge of the products they are selling.

I hate hangovers. I got up this morning, drank a pint of Viper, and went back to bed until midday. Michelle dragged me round the supermarket. I honestly don't think I should have been driving!! I just remembered we were drinking (amongst other things) Wraye and Nephew overproof jamaican rum .

Patented hangover cure for me this afternoon, was to lie back on the sofa, with an iced coffee, and watch a movie. The movie I chose today was the most excellent House Of Flying Daggers. Probably not such a good thing to pick something with subtitles when you have a hangover but the dialogue was minimal, and the movie was absolutely fantastic. If you liked Crouching Tiger, then you'll love Flying Daggers. I am not gonna spoil it for you here, but it's beautfiful and tragic. A great way to recover from last night's excesses.

Well, it's one of them truly wasted days again - I STILL haven't done my paperwork... haven't been out on my bike for a few days... haven't really done anything... still what are weekends for except vegging out a bit??

Think I'll have a bath and relax a bit more. My neighbour's been round... he wants me to go and have a look at his computer... I realise this would count as my random act of kindness, but I am not totally sure I can be bothered!! How bad am I??

Right, I've been blogging this stupid entry, with nothing to say, for far too long now. I think I have been here typing and surfing, and chatting for an hour already!! Laters world!!

Cool thing for today:

Cream a penguin for luck : The orginal and best free online penguin whacking website. Great fun.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

It's grim up north!

No, really, it is totally TOTALLY grim up north. In summer I long for these grey, foggy, rainy pennine days. When they arrive... Well it's a bit of a shock. The moor grime here really gets into your joints and slows you down. It's all a bit wuthering heights, or mebbe hound of the baskervilles... You get the picture. No real daylight to speak of, just a living night.

Autumn is just around the corner, and you can tell!!

Autumn is THE best time of year. I love walking along scooping up piles of leaves with my feet. The autumnal palette is one of true beauty. The leaves on the trees in my garden are on borrowed time. Soon I will be able to see out of the windows again, and what little daylight there is will be creeping into my lounge. I am SO looking forward to riding my bike round the Galloway Forest in a couple of weeks.

I bought a DVD for Karl's birthday present today.... Buying such items is always difficult, 'cos there's always the possibility he may already have it. I hate choosing gifts. Usually when I go out to buy a gift, I end up spending ten times the anticipated amount on loads of new stuff for me... Is this commonplace?? Suffice to say, I could have spent a squillion pounds on DVDs for myself... I resisted, in a rare act of self control.

My paperwork still isn't done. It's bearing down on me like a ton of bricks, and I am finding every possible excuse to avoid it. This is a very typical tactic of mine for avoiding something. I often put things off so much, that they become insurmountable obstacles and completely consume me. In three years, this is the furthest behind I have ever been. I reach a point where I can't see the wood for the trees and it means I just run away.

Well, I am off out drinking tonight (for Karl's previously mentioned birthday) - must try not to get too drunk... I am a terrible drunk and usually and up causing some sort of upset.

Cool thing for today:

Penguin Chat : Ok, so it's probably inhabited by teenage girls, and lonely sad lads.... But what's wrong with that?? I occasionally pop in because it reminds me of the good old Micro$oft comic chat days... Yummy!! It's just a chat room, but with some cool twists. See you at the disco!!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Oops!!

Ok, it's Friday... Woohoo!

Let me get the apologies out of the way first.

Normally, I like to keep a "family friendly" blog. I realise yesterday's link to a prostitute in Blackpool was wholly out of keeping with said "family" theme. I will not try to justify it, other than it DID actually tell you what it was before you ended up there - I couldn't have been much clearer about that. Apologies to anyone who was offended or found their kids/spouses surfing some of the pornographic links from that page. Personally, I just thought it was an interesting blog.

Gary and Vicky, I have to apologise for the manner in which the second half of Olivia's gift arrived. I bought her some banana flavoured chewing gum from some stupid German goth website... otherwise it'd have had to come from America and one of the sites wanted to charge $60 postage... can you believe that?? I wasn't to know it would come with a catalogue emblazoned with a bloke with a revolver in his mouth saying "buy or die" and/or that it would come with a complimentary set of demonic hair-sticks (you know like those chopstick things that chicks wear in their hair). Sorry... hope the Double Monkey Banana Gum was ok though??

Banana chewing gum and trampolines are NOT to be mixed!!

Ok, down to business....

The bike is back.. and fixed... and I took a crash course in lubrication - and it was nothing to do with Suzie Slut - so take your mind out of the gutter!! I also looked at some nice night riding lights... budget ones... I can't afford the £200+ for the good ones yet. I am liking them!!

Damn, I have to focus on my backlog of paperwork... any young ladies that want to wear black stiletto heels and short white skirts and spend the weekend filing for me are more than welcome to come and help - I will make sure all the paperwork is for the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet!! Well, you gotta make the most of a bad job I reckon!! Wages aren't too good, but the boss is a nice bloke!!

I want to go riding my bike, and that's the motivation for me getting my paperwork done - curses on my bank for canceling my internet banking account, and curses on them for losing my new internet banking application form. Curses curses curses!!

I am gonna stop writing and surfing now, and make a start....

... see you on Sunday probably!!! Damn companies don't run themselves!!

Cool thing for the day:

Uber geeky ascii star wars animation - a veritable work of art in all its ascii glory!! Behold the work of an uber geek!!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Rats!

My bike's poorly. I took it into the shop because it wasn't quite right, and apparently, I have a condition called chain sucking. The condition itself isn't too serious, and should be quite easy to rectify. Unfortunately the damage that has been caused is more serious, and potentially requires a crank transplant. They are keeping her in overnight under observation. They won't even let me visit her!!

Yesterday's random act of kindness (the purchase of a little fluffy arctic fox for my pal Olivia) resulted in the highlight of my day. Gary presented me with a little hand coloured envelope this morning, and inside were a "thank you" note and a lovely drawing of a fox with the words "To Uncle Fox love Olivia XX" - it's gorgeous, and has brightened up my desk space imeasurably, I can't help looking at it and smiling to myself. Gary even produced a little photo from his phone of Olivia asleep with the fox!! Sweet!! (see attached photos) - Shhhhh don't wake her!!










I've done quite well on my Animal Crossing - I now only need one more type of fish and four types of insect to obtain a golden fishing rod and a golden butterfly net respectively. I believe the missing fish is a guppy, and I haven't a clue what the missing insects are.

I am missing my bike.... I hope she's ok in the bike shop... she needs lots of attention and taking out for a run in the countryside every day!! I am counting down the hours until we will hopefully be reunited tomorrow evening.

A few people have asked when my birthday is.. this is strange because it's in my profile, but for some reason it doesn't display it. Well, for anyone that's interested, my Birthday is September 24th and I share the day with the late, great, Jim Henson (creator of muppets); Linda McCartney (famous for vegetarian convenience produce - and infamous for using animal products in them); Anthony Newley (the Artful Dodger) - now the depressing thing about all that is that they are all effing brown bread!! Great!!

My paperwork is now 2 months overdue.... I MUST crack on and get to it. I hereby resolve to start it tomorrow... tomorrow... tomorrow never comes... I need the money... a set of flipping lights for our planned night ride in the Galloway Forest are likely to set me back about £100.

Well, that's about it for today... I stumbled upon a couple of quite interesting blogs today, and thought I would share them with you:

Slut Suzie - A prostitute from Blackpool.
Amience Grise - Not updated recently, but what style!!

Perhaps I will write more later, but more likely I will just spend the next two hours working out how to display my pictures in the right place in my blog - it's a steep learning curve, and the sooner Blogger's help facility and search engine start working, the better!!

Cool thing of the day:

Touched by his noodly appendage - The cult of the Pastafarians!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Rest and relaxation.

God bless Wednesday. It's not the start of the week, it's not the end of the week. The positive that I draw from Wednesday is that, once it's past midday, then I consider that the weekend technically starts here.

I'm having a rest day from my cycling today... Just let the old muscles relax a bit, and try to get my bike back to the shop tomorrow for them to inspect all the bits that I am unhappy with.... Somehow I managed to pretty much total the gears, chain, and front cogs.... And I am only a lightweight novice rider (lightweight in effort.. Not literally, as I am sure everyone who knows me will agree).

I turn 37 in a couple of weeks. For the weekend of my birthday, I am trying to organise a little trip to Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland for some mountain biking and camping shenanigans. A few guys from work, and a couple of pals are up for it so far, and if anyone out there in blogworld would like to accompany us, then drop me a line!! It's bloody hard work organising things. Some people are more interested in riding bikes, and others are more interested in turning native and going Rambo style in the woods... It's a fine balance!! It is also imperative that I get my bike sorted out before this jolly old jaunt.

My random act of kindness today was to send a little arctic fox to Olivia (Gary's daughter) who I met at the weekend... I think I mentioned before that she was confused because I wasn't dressed up like a fox!! Bless her little cotton socks... She loved it. I got it from a site which really made me laugh.... Consider this..... You wanna send someone some flowers?? Use Interflora... You wanna send someone an animal?? Use Interfauna of course.

Oh dear, I've set out my stall in this week's Celebdaq to bag some dividends, and my share prices are falling through the floor. I can only hope and pray that someone notices the potential dividend yields of my shares and starts buying them, otherwise I am destined for residence in the lower ranks until kneecapping day.... Shame!!

I think I might play a little bit of Animal Crossing on my Gamecube this afternoon (instead of healthily riding my knackered bike).... I haven't played since August, and hopefully some new fish and insects will be there for the taking!!

Foxy fact #1 - In England we have a type of sweet (candy) called CurlyWurly... It's a caramelly/toffee centered squirly thing covered in chocolate.... When I got run over (Aged 4) I was eating one of these bars, (in fact my mum actually thought I had bitten my tongue off, but it was just a mouthful of chewy toffee), and have never eaten once since. The reason I was reminded of this, is because my cat (Maurice) is asleep on a bumper bag full of them, that Michelle bought, and I can only imagine they will be all totally melted and trashed... hahaha... Serves her right, she should have more compassion for me than to bring said items into the house!!

Cool thing for today:

Bugsy Malone Lyrics - Next time it's on, you can sing along with all the words... No excuses....

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

It's Tuesday and it's hot.... Very hot!!

Don't get me wrong! I love England in good weather. I would go as far as to say that it's my favourite place in the whole world when it's warm. Today should have been a bit cooler, because I am destined to go out bike riding this afternoon... Fluid loss central.

Yesterday was a boring old Monday. I've never liked Mondays on the basis that I have to drag myself, kicking and screaming, from a warm fluffy bed, accompanied with the usual post binge battered kidneys, stiff legs, and watering eyes. It's never the best way to greet a day or to have a day greet me!

I didn't even manage a customary bike ride because I was too busy working out how my new blogger blog works. Personally, I MUCH prefer blogger to the MSN spaces, and here are a few reasons for anyone thinking about making the change:
1) I haven't lost a single post or comment or anything yet.
2) There is a downloadable Word blog template so you can compose your blog in MS Word (I presume) - I haven't tried this yet, but it will surely appeal to some.
3) Spell check - Blogger has its own in-built spell checker... Sure it's a bit flakey and runs on an American dictionary, but it's a Godsend to the fat fingered types like me!!
4) HTML - It's a little bit more "tinkery" than the MSN spaces, so if you have a bit of HTML knowledge, you can take your space a little bit further.
5) Address - the blog space addresses are so much nicer.... My old one was http://spaces.msn.com/members/arctic--fox and that's a frikking mouthful. The new address skips lightly off the tongue http://arctic--fox.blogspot.com/ and I like that so much.

There are a couple of minor drawbacks, to which I will probably come to terms, but initially, I notice:

1) No photo album thing like MSN.
2) Permalink doesn't seem to be an option.
3) Profile page doesn't seem to conform to your blog theme... It looks weird in a different style.
4) I miss my old MSN pals .
5) The layout of the page isn't as easy to handle... MSN drag and drop dashboard interface was good.

Overall, I think Blogger is for a more serious blog-head... and MSN is for less competent web-heads.... As both of them are free.... Knock yourselves out... Personally, I envisage staying put on Blogger for quite a while... There are a few "plug-ins" that are yet to be explored and I would like to know how this blog handles photos at some point.

Oh, well... I think I shall finish off here, have a surf round my old blog-pals and sail off into the sunset on a full stomach and a mountain bike.

Bonjour!!

Just a little catch up.... cycled about 18 miles tonight.... Didn't even think I was going to make 10 miles at first, but you have to push the boundaries a little... I know I'll feel better for it after a shower.... I'm all sweaty, and my quads are ready to explode.... come on girls... touch 'em!!

apologies in advance for my phone camera picture quality... it was MUCH more beautiful in reality:













Cool thing for today:

The Mole (a really cool 70's cartoon from Czechoslovakia.... I have such fond memories)

Monday, September 05, 2005

The weekend - Take 2!

Thanks very much MSN for royally rogering me with your bugs. I lost my entire account of the drunken weekend (which admittedly wasn't very much). I think blogs should be spontaneous, and as such I hate to rework an idea, but it's only right and proper that I make some sort of effort with my new blog space.

Ade and Vivian's wedding was lovely. A lovely hot Saturday afternoon in Nottingham. Colourful and very enjoyable.

I spent most of my drunken evening chatting to the kids at the reception and feeding them on cherry menthol airwaves chewing gum!

A couple of very funny foxy moments stick prominently in my mind:

a) I printed out some maps to the apartments on Friday for everyone at work. Whilst driving through Nottingham, Don asked Anna what the name of the apartments was... She actually thought they were called "Arctic Fox's Patented Apartments" according to the coversheet of the map pack that I printed out.. hehehehe.
b) Gary's daughter was disappointed that when she finally got to meet the Fox, that I didn't actually have a fox's outfit on!! Bless!!

A quick note to everyone on my old space who is under the assumption that I am "bulking up" - none of the supplements I take should cause anything other than hydration/lean muscle build up. Also, the supplements I take are non-steroidal, so contrary to popular belief, there is not likely to be any more underpant room than there was before!! Creatine is actually acceptable under IOC rules and regs!!

I've had a totally Guinness powered weekend!! Probably managed to pile back any weight I lost in the last month in one fell swoop!! Brilliant, and instead of going out riding my bike tonight, I find myself sitting here blogging!! Ho hum!!

Cool bit for the day:

Remember 3d magic eye pictures? Well, these are not strictly magic eye, but they work on the same viewing principle. These are mysteriously called "floaters" and they take a little bit more concentration. The more you get it, the better the 3d effect.... cool beans!!
Ok, so welcome to the new and improved Fox's lair.

I have lost far too much information on MSN spaces to actually be bothered to use them any more. Hopefully Blogger will NOT let me down. I really preferred it when I ran my own blog, but I just couldn't be bothered to add all the bells and whistles that come in these kinds of spaces.

The transition is complete. I am a fully fledged Blogger convert.

It's a shame the photo album functionality of MSN is not present here, but the other things that ARE present more than make up for it. The fact that, when I click "publish" it appears on my blog is of course lovely.

So, for anyone who never read my blog before, there's a link over there on the left to the burning ashes of my MSN space. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Fox lives on!

I am sad to leave behind some pals on MSN... Some new visitors and some good memories. Rest in peace - random shopping!!