Archive for 2008

    Have a Happy 4th!!!

    Friday, July 4th, 2008

    Today I’m celebrating independence from the monarchy and tyranny of the non-scurvy ridden British. Without having grown up here I don’t know if its just a recent thing but people seem to not want to call holidays by their ‘official’ name. For example, Merry Christmas is now Happy Holidays and Independence Day, while ‘also known as’ 4th of July is now generally shortened to “Have a Happy 4th”. I wonder if this is trying to break away from the orignal meaning of the celebration as with changing Christmas to the secular Holidays. So maybe its peoples trying to make me feel more welcome, or perhaps its more laziness – moving speech more towards the brevity of emails and text messages.

    Start your engines!

    Sunday, June 15th, 2008


    Mario Kart Wii

    Originally uploaded by Neilwill

    I never really got into any of the previous Mario Kart games on the SNES or N64, etc. but this one has really got me into it. It’s pretty good as one player but the multi-player is great – I’ve had 4 players on the one Wii and today I had my first inter-continental race. I played against my family back in England and it’s great fun! I did add in a webcam so it gives more of a feeling of playing against other people, we had that running on laptops alongside the Wii.

    G’day Ma’am

    Monday, June 9th, 2008

    The QueenWe celebrated the Queen’s Birthday today at work with a big sponge cake. I seem to be celebrating Britishness more outside of the country than when I was in it (with the exception of football tournaments, though I doubt that is getting much celebration this time around).  This one was celebrated because the president of the company is an Australian and out there they get a day off work, while a few of my colleagues pointed out to me back in April (I still had to look it up again to make sure of the date!) when it was St George’s Day.  There was no celebration for it but I think while working in England it was always a day that passed without notice until a couple of weeks later when someone would raise their head from their monitor and say ‘Oh, it was St George’s the other day!’

    I suppose it’s normal to be more aware of your national celebrations when you are abroad but I’ve been surprised that Americans seem to be more aware of it than Englishmen.  I can’t see a 4th of July passing and a couple of days later a Limey reminding Yank that he forgot to celebrate.  I never seem to use those slang names so I thought I’d throw them in there – I should try to get more of those in here in future, maybe something a little more ‘exotic’ like a Pom reminding a Septic.

    A few days in London

    Sunday, June 8th, 2008

    hmm, this was supposed to have been posted a month ago but it shows how much attention I’ve been paying recently when I just found it in my drafts folder.  Well it’s all written so I thought I might as well post it albeit a little belated.

    The weather was a lot better than expected this week.  Last week when I checked it was supposed to shower all week and was supposed to be quite chilly.  We got quite lucky and have had beautiful blue skies all week, kind of like California with the heat turned down.

    National Gallery

    We’ve been out and about a bit, Oakmere Park, in to London to see the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square and Picadilly Circus.  Wandering around really but I did manage to find an England shirt from Lillywhites now that they have no significant games this summer.

    I came across some interesting people in London yesterday, there was a guy doing some kind of Irish/Scottish dancing (for Jesus & peace I believe) in Trafalgar Square but he looked like the kind of guy that would be eliminated in the first round of Pop Idol/American Idol.  He wore a mini skirt instead of a kilt.

    There was also the guy miming and dancing to the Michael Jackson songs in his head.

    Michael Jackson

    Reinstalling Windows

    Saturday, April 26th, 2008


    Its that wonderful time of the year, the tree outside my balcony is blossoming, the sun is out, the sky is blue.  And its time to reinstall Windows on my desktop.

    Its not been running too slow but I made the mistake of trying to install something without being certain of the source and got bitten.  The AVG anti-virus found the source file and some other infected files which seem to have stopped the pop-ups trying to get me to sign up for a credit card but I still don’t have a back button in Firefox and I can’t get to any search sites along with a few others.  It’s frustrating but my own fault.  You always hear that the best protection from viruses is your behaviour on the net and I knew when I tried running setup.exe and nothing happened that I was in trouble.  I tried a system restore but all my restore points had been deleted and replaced by one called “last known good restore point”, which I can only imagine would install more junk.

    Well at least its a chance for a fresh start, should speed load times.  Most of my data is not on the C drive, just the programs so it shouldn’t be too painful.

    Importing the old blog

    Sunday, April 20th, 2008

    I hadn’t even though of importing all the old posts from blogger.com until Paul misunderstood something I said and mentioned the importing. It was surprisingly easy and now I have everything on this one site so most likely I will be using this going forward.

    Only downside is it imported all the tags as categories so I think I’ll have to manually move them across.

    New design

    Sunday, April 20th, 2008

    I’ve put this together with a few bits and pieces in the sidebar. There’s not quite as much functionality there as the jaiku badge won’t work, I suppose it won’t allow flash content on this free version of WordPress. But it looks like you can do a lot more with it otherwise, I should be able to see if there is anyone visiting and reading the site or if I’m just talking to myself ;)

    I’ll see how it goes and then think about moving across from Blogger.

    CSS

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

    I’ve been working on my web design skills a lot in the last month and have been learning all about CSS. Quite possibly a dull subject to those of you without any interest in web design but its a very powerful tool.

    Check out CSS Zen Garden

    Click the designs on the right and it will display exactly the same page using a different CSS style sheet so the look changes completely. Its what all the social networking sites use for skinning so I should really have a go and re-doing my myspace page and this blog. Almost done with the other site I mentioned before, still waiting on some content there and then I’ll see what I can do here.

    Though don’t be surprised if I still have the same template in six months :)

    Edit: I went in and made a quick update – I’ve always thought the page is rather narrow so I widened it a bit. It’s a start…

    Out at the park

    Friday, February 29th, 2008

    We went along to Irvine Regional Park at the weekend and I finally got round to sorting the photos I took. It rained a little so there was some water in the stream there which I haven’t seen before. It’s a nice park, quite large compared to most English parks but its normally very crowded and noisy when I’ve been along there – this time (probably because of the rain) it was almost empty. It was a little worrying walking along the trail with mountain lion warnings (which basically said ‘they live here so it’s not our fault if you die’) and no-one around to notice.

    Click here for a few of the pictures I took.

    Blogging about blogging

    Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

    I have a new website project going on at the moment, a friend of mine is setting up a web presence and I’m part of a team putting together the site. At the moment I’m installing WordPress on there which is a blogging tool, kind of like this one. I saw it on Paul’s site Oz Adventures and I’ve heard quite a bit about it before so I thought I’d give it a go. Looks like rather than just blogging like this you can make it seamlessly into part of your site, as I think Paul also did on Utterly Recipes. The blog there seems to have gone but it’s had a bit of a face lift and is looking nice.

    Anyway I’m learning lots of new stuff about blogs and am looking in to learning flash too to make my sites a bit more useful. I won’t post the new site yet as its all still under development but will post a link once complete, which will hopefully not be too much longer.

    I haven’t had a post this nerdy for a while. I’ll have to come up with some less tech stuff next time.