Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Random Stuff

Because of my limited time I haven't really had chance to post about stuff I've been looking at or doing these past few days, so here goes.

My new Wireless hub is all set up! Well its actually wired to the PC but it allows me to play DS games from the front room. This bodes well for connecting wirelessly to the Wii which has now been pre-ordered.

Nintendojo ran a interesting article about a group of fans that are trying to make a 2D version of Metroid Prime! You can download a demo here.

This blog is very clever.

It's always annoying to discover there are 2 things happening simultaneously that you want to do. K's autumn concert is on the same night as this, which looks bloody brilliant.


Why is it that I just don’t seem to have the time for anything at the moment? I seem to be in a constant state of tiredness and yet don’t have such a great deal to show for it? Perhaps my desire to do lots of interesting stuff has meant I don’t focus on relaxing and unwinding as much as I should.

Work seems a bit of a drag at the moment to be honest with some days just an endless list of stuff that needs doing without any view as to the whole point of it all. Added to that I’m going on a course next week and I have to do 8 hours of pre-work before then. I either fit it in during the day or do it at home. Neither appeal to be honest.

I want to do more exercise and all last week I parked away from the office and walked the last mile in. This week I just can’t be arsed!

Evenings are a bit of a wash out as well at the moment. We have G&S rehearsals once a week (which in spite of myself I’m enjoying much more), dancing once a week and then the remaining nights get filled with house jobs and trying to watch the good telly/DVDs that we’ve been storing up. I think the biggest problem is that we’ve not had a free weekend in ages.The last few have been Paris, Cumbria, Cumbria, Nottingham, Wales and this one coming up is Norwich. Hmmm, I hadn’t realised quite how busy we’d been. Don’t get me wrong, the travelling has been great but in hindsight it would have perhaps been better if we’d spread it out a little more!

The biggest casualty so far has been video games. This includes GameCube (Chibi still hasn’t sorted out The Sanderson’s problems), Xbox (I don’t know how The Bard’s Tale ends) & DS (I dread to think how infested my Animal Crossing village is at the moment) and my weekly Sunday evening Neverwinter Nights have fallen by the wayside.

What I also miss is time to cook. This one is a little tricky at the moment because of the diet but I haven’t really had chance to play in the kitchen for ages. Celebrity Masterchef is giving me ideas as are a couple of the food website I go to. But time and the fact I seemed drained at the moment make the kitchen a place of work and not play.

This is all quite aside from the new things I’d like to give a try or find out more about. These include Geocaching, Morris Dancing and Photography.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Back from the Wilderness!

Originally uploaded by Leighbob.
Finally got around to updating my blog after being very lax this past week. I feel like I'm getting old and tired and can't cope with the normal stresses of life!

Anyway, all of this year's holidays are taken (August/Sept was very busy) now that we're back from Wales. Headed over to Shell Island where Alex has spent many a summer and returned with great stories. You can read all about it here and check out my photos here. Needless to say we had a great time but tides and no love of breaking camp in the wet (even if it was only a potential wet) meant we left a night early and headed back to Derby.

Which would have been great but we don't live there anymore! Another trek across country saw us home (safe but wet!) in good old Ipswich yesterday around lunch.

Monday, September 18, 2006

TNG are selling whole series of Star Trek: The Next generation for £16.99....amazing!!

Sure you got some stinkers (anything from Series 1, a load of Series 2 and quite a bit of the rest) but you do get some classics (Anything from Season 3 or 4 and some highlights in 6 & 7) in there....very very tempted!

Not TNG I know but YouTUbe is stuffed full of Star Trek stuff! Hardly a surprise as the geek worlds of sci-fi and cmputers converge!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

No pen is safe!

A mere month ago K was regaling everyone on her blog about her pen fetish and the fact she had too many pens in her handbag. I think she ended up with 10 pens in the end.

I made her empty her single handbag out yesterday...15 pens! She has a real problem. No pen is safe!


It's been a busy weekend!

I've recovered after Friday's tense wait for the European Wii press conference. We are getting it this year (Dec 8th), it won't be too expensive (£179) and it'll come with a free game (Wii Sports). I've booked the day off and am just waiting for Gameplay or Amazon to open their preorder services so I can get it and a load of games and accessories in. You can get the full low down here.

The internet community has gone a little crazy over it though. Penny Arcade sums it up best I think. I especially like the phrase "retard rodeo". This was all because Nintendo have decided to make a profit on their hardware this time round instead of making a loss in the hopes of recouping it on software sales. This isn't how the console market traditionally works. It interesting to note that you can only try this strategy (i.e. make a loss on hardware) if you're a large company with other divisions that are making profit (see Microsoft & Sony) which Ninteno isn't and also that through the life of the Xbox it never broke even!!!

We had a very short notice visit from Mum who needed a place to stay for a golf tournament even though we were going to be away in Nottingham celebrating Mr. Palmer's 31st birthday. Great to see everyone and decided to put the diet on hold for one meal. Ate quite a lot but nowhere near what we would usually eat which is good. In fact the scales show a loss of 7 pounds this week, although I think this is partly due to faulty scales and the fact I would have lost some anyway as I was no longer on constant gorge mode like I was on holiday. Anyway we're giving it another week as we've discovered some more really nice things I can make and we're able to eat for free on the diet!

While in Nottingham I also managed to snag a pair of sky blue flared cords and a lime green silky seventies shirt! It's for the show, not because I like those things!

Although having said that I did have a penchant for Knots Landing! Radio 2s betamax challenge quiz on the Stuart Maconie show reminded's a clip for your delight...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wii-news galore!

Not the full proper european version (Nintendo has been holding press conferences all over the world yesterday & today) quite yet but lots about the North America and Japanese launches here.

Scarily the same site references a rumour that we won't get it unitl March 2007, like the PS3. Please say it isn't so!! It wouldn't make much sense to be honest as the thing is supposed to be region free, if Nintendo don't release it here at the same time everyone will just import it!

It's finished!!

Originally uploaded by Leighbob.
And we love it!

Aside from a few little leaks it's all done and not a moment too soon. The man ruined another meal plan on Tuesday night (don't try and cook gammon in 5 mins under the grill) but it's finally all done.

Tidied up and painted bits last night and I've just finished the second coats this evening. The chap is back in the morning to collect his cheque and tighten the pipes again...just in time for a visitation by mother!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Master of magic, spells and illusion

I think it was at Emma & Paul's birthday bash that I was singing the theme to this TV show. Not sure why I was exactly but it might have been that someone mentioned it or didn't believe I could.

Anyway here it is for you to enjoy....

It also looks like they'll be releasing this on DVD soon...hmm might be tempted!

I can hear sawing

Despite claims that the bathroom would be finished today I can hear sawing coming from downstairs and there's still a builder in my house!

They turned up at 7.20am this morning while I was frying a 'Red' day breakfast (bacon & mushroom omelettes) and returning at 5pm tonight I can't tell if they've done anything. The mirror, shelf, bath panels, radiator, cupboard & loo holder are still in the dining in their boxes. I suppose he might have been boxing things in but I'm not about to start poking my nose in.

There were here quite late last night at well, only leaving at 6.55pm. Normally this would be fine but since we were due to go to a rehearsal at 7.10pm and the kitchen was full of tools I couldn't cook dinner. My carefully thought of 'Green' day meal (vegetable stirfry) had to be hastily replaced with a pan of quick cook pasta with some peas and a stock cube thrown in for good measure and then swirled with olive oil and parmesan. To be fair it didn't taste all that bad but I'd got my mind set on something else.

It's only day 2 and to be honest I haven't been thrown into a massive depression about it. I even managed to fit in some exercise as well! I shan't mention that I had to do this as my normal step class had to be shoved aside while I got brow-beaten over the phone by a team that wants some new reports.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Finished Super Princess Peach tonight! Perhaps I achieved something on my holiday after all!

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Despite the many walks on our holiday, I've come back half a stone heavier. Hmm the copious pasta meals, chocolate and cream teas may have something to do with that!

Anyway it would appear I am approaching the dreaded 13 stone mark and I don't want to!!!


FitDay tracks your food and excercise and shows where you're going wrong. Pros: Free, seem easy to use. Cons: Not sure it actually offers you advice on what you need to do. It's American, so has US measures, food names etc.

WeightWatchers Online Pros: It's run by the pros. I lost 1 stone on this last time I did it. Cons: It seems pretty pricey, £40 for month one, then £10 for each month after. Can I bear to count points? Or live off the 'Free' menu?

Slimming World Online bodyOPTIMISE Pros: It's run by the pros. Their online tools look pretty snazzy. It's something new. Apparently I could lose 10lbs by this time next month. Cons: It's pricey as well, no initial fee but £20 a month (with a minimum 3 month subscription).

Hmm...decisions, decisions!

We made it back!

Got back yesterday from a great trip to The Lakes!

The holiday started off OK but on the way up we visited Mum who talked mysteriously about an email and my brother and so far I'm none the wiser. Hopefully that'll clear itself up in the next few days. We then had a tortuous journey up to Cumbria as it seemed that every rroad I wanted to use was somehow hampered with problems. I hadn't realised that England were playing at Old Trafford and half the country was on teh same road as us trying to get to Manchester! That'll teach me for not keeping up with current affairs!

We got their safely in the end and settled into our new home for the next week. Now, don't get me wrong the cottage was very nice but the owners seemed a bit funny. There were little notessaying things like "Please don't leave the tidying up until Saturday morning", "If you break anything leave the appropriate remuneration on the dining table", "There are 2 plastic beakers in the kitchen cupboard that you could use for your toothbrushes. If you do use them please put them back in the kitchen cupboard before you leave" and so on.

The biggest thing that annoyed me was a little leaflet about their water problems (their tank is nearly empty) and that we should refrain from taking long showers, using the washing machine or dishwasher or even having baths, but (rather magnanimously of them) we shouldn't let it ruin our holiday too much and if we must do any of the aforementioned things we could. It just seemed so patronising and unnecessary. And quite frankly the kind of people who could afford to stay in a place like this (its wasn't exactly budget friendly) would be doing those things anyway! Also if you're going to shoehorn 4 flats into a single building (that being my other complaint, the living room was tiny) and install incredibly powerful showers, baths, washing machines and dishwashers in them all then you should have been better prepared for water difficulties!

Besides, given the almost constant rain we had I think it was a bit rich! For the first few days each morning was greeted with a couple hours of rain but actually it didn't bother us too much. I don't think either of us had realised how much we needed this holiday. Until Tuesday I think we were asleep until at least 10 every morning. I know that doesn't sound late but for me & K it is. Fortunately this sleeping time coincided with the rain so we were OK.

We took it really easy the first couple of days. The position of the cottage was great as it was a leisurely mile stroll into Grasmere village which, much to our delight was full of tea shops and places selling cake.
We did a fairly easy walk around Grasmere (the lake) itself and then enjoyed a cream tea.

The nexy few days were raining so we did a mix of short walks and visits to other towns (Windemere, Keswich, Ambleside) in the area. To be honest they were all a bit towny so we didn't stay long. We did visit a place called Lucy's in Ambleside which took itself a bit seriously but did do a nice lunch!

We did also manage to go into the flagship Lakeland store at Windemere and visit a museum called the Puzzling Place in Keswick that was pretty cool. Most of the rest of the time was spent reading, watching TV or playing on the DS. Managed to finish The Eyre Affair and got stuck on both Final Fantasy 4 and Super Princess Peach, sigh!

Thursday rolled around and we kinda realised that we had not much time left so we should make the most of it! Fortunately the rain had completely stopped by this point of we had 2 great days of sunshine. We started with a visit to Greystoke Gill Pottery where we were both able to have a go on a potter's wheel and create something. I made a bowl and K made a vase. Once the potter has glazed and fired them for us, he'll pop them in the post. I'll take some pictures when they arrive!

We then did a walk up to Alcock Tarn near Grasmere. Strenuous to say the least but it was a great view! We finished the day with a meal and cinema visit at Zeffirellis. We didn't quite realise it was vegetarian until we were seated but it was highly enjoyable nonetheless. My Rain Forest pizza was delicious! This was followed by The Sentinel which was actually not too bad at all.

Friday was a no car day and we did 2 walks. the first a strenuous climb to Easedale Tarn and then a more sedate (but not much) trek around Rydal Water. Also of note is the fact that Rydal Mount is a house and not a hill! Didn't we feel stupid! We also managed to pop into Williams of Grasmere for breakfast AND lunch (although you can't really call a bowl of fries and a cream tea lunch, can you??)

We then tidied the flat and left nice and early on Saturday. The journey back was going great until we discovered that junctions 1 & 2 of the M6 were shut. Our detour via Coventry and the A45 turned into a nightmare when the A45 was closed. When we did finally get around that diversion we discovered that the M45 only joins the M1 going southbound (we wanted it northbound). Fortunately it worked out OK in the end and we diverted through Northampton and finally rejoined the A14 at Huntingdon. Phew!

Oh and despite being away for a week the bathroom isn't finished. I can't be too cross however as the new toilet, bath and shower are all in and usable. Just waiting for the sink, extractor, boxing in and cupboards to be done. I must say the floor and walls do look pretty damn good though!

Saturday, September 09, 2006


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Friday, September 01, 2006

They've started

The bathroom men I mean. And with pretty good timing as we're about to head off for our hols...that means no updates for all of my 3 readers. I'm sure you'll cope!