Friday, March 31, 2006

United Guilds service

Today was the United Guilds service in St Paul's Cathedral. Wow! I haven't been there for some years, and this year, they'd finally got rid of the scaffolding inside. The people restoring the cathedral have done a wonderful job and it looks gorgeous.

It was a good, short, service, with Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor preaching from the pulpit. He told lots of jokes but this was probably the best:

He and a friend were travelling in Ireland and came to a village. The village had two inns, so the question arose as to at which should they eat? So they asked a local; who, after sucking on his pipe and putting it down said, "Whichever one you choose, you'll wish you'd chosen the other."

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A cunning plan.

I have a succession of short weeks ahead: a 4-day weekend this weekend gives me a 4-day week this week and next, and Easter then gives me two 4-day weeks in the following weeks. Four 4-day weeks on the trot. Should be good.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

New toys!

I've been shopping at I Want One Of Those and bought some new toys.

First up is the corkscrew keyfob. Collapses down to a cylinder when not in use so it doesn't make a hole in your pocket.

Next up is a mini-tool. Sort of like a Leatherman (TM) but about the size of a 50p piece. This is actually one that's better for the ladies as it can be easily slipped into a purse and extracted when your glasses need adjusting, the kid's toy needs a new battery or whatever.

The Eon Ice credit-card torch is incredibly cool. It went straight in my wallet.

I was disappinted with the 'glowing keyfob': it didn't really glow that much. Maybe I need to give it a little time?

Put aside for later were the knife and steel and the lantern torch. Okay, I did test that the former really could produce sparks.

Monday, March 27, 2006

So XP died on me

Good thing I've got more than one machine. I tried to use NLite to create a CD with the RAID driver slipstreamed but that didn't work out, so I had to hook up a floppy. I guess I'll have to manually merge the driver - lots of good stuff at

I've had to do a repair install and it's looking good so far.

But why does it happen when I've just finished Far Cry?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Hands free kit

I did get it fitted. I should have postponed it - I really wasn't well enough that day - but it's done and it's good. So next time there's some twit of a Darwin-candidate in front of me, I'll be on to the police; I really don't want to be collateral damage.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I shouldn't have tempted fate

I tempted fate with my last post. Someone shunted my car this morning :(. No injuries apparent so far and the guy seems to have given me good details. Unlike the last one. I'm going to need a new bumper at the very least.

It's back.

No longer am I getting errors when trying to post. Now all I have to do is find something about which to post. :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Got a cold

I am not well and it sucks.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Now this is serious gaming

24 monitors. Yowser!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Driving while using a mobile phone

I felt lucky to get to work alive today. I was stuck behind a Polish car (i.e. left-hand drive) and the driver was using a mobile phone in one hand. He was swerving all over the road. I stayed well back. Unfortunately, I didn't have a hands-free kit of my own else I'd have reported him to the police. I have today ordered such a kit. It's being fitted next Thursday.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I have got to start swimming again. That is all.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Apparently, I'm 'defiantly independent'

So I had my annual appraisal yesterday. As part of the process we get feedback from colleagues and customers. And this phrase stuck out like a pikestaff. Of course, from the context, it was obvious that the person had originally typoed 'definitely' and MS Word's spellchecker had done its worst.

But I couldn't stop laughing throughout the day.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

An evening at Fishmongers' Hall

I'm a Fishmonger. No, not a fishmonger as in someone who sells fish, but a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers. And we had a Livery Dinner last night.

So, I left work early to get togged up in my dinner jacket, only to find that I couldn't find my bow tie. You can't wear a dinner jacket without a bow tie. Fortunately, I was able to dig out my old school bow tie: twenty-five years old and a bit dusty, but it sufficed.

The journey up to London was quick but cold, and we were quickly welcomed with Pol Roger Champagne, or proper, freshly made, lemonade for those not imbibing. I met all sorts of people, including someone new to Fishmongers' Hall and showed him the dagger with which Sir William Walworth, Prime Warden of Fishmongers, slew Wat Tyler in 1381. There was also the Master of the Leathersellers, and some people from the British Shellfish Association.

Dinner followed, dreamed up by master chef Stephen Pini. My starter was lobster with a confit of crab and prawns. Delicious. Then there was a mussel broth with teriyaki salmon with a quenelle of watercress and greek yoghurt. Very creamy and utterly gorgeous. The wine was a Meursault-Genevrieres. The main course was a supreme of guinea fowl and basil, wrapped in parma ham, in a very rich shallot and calvados sauce. I found the guinea fowl rather bland on its own, but it provided a superrb base for the others, and the ensemble was simply wonderful. And swished down with a rather good Ch. Calon-Segur 1990. Then came the desert and then the speeches. The Prime Warden's guest (though actually a Fishmonger himself) was Major Sir Michael Parker, K.C.V.O., C.B.E, and while his speech got off to a bit of a shaky start, he soon warmed to his theme and it was really rather good.

We then retired for more drinks.

I should explain that dinner is served on a huge assembly of a table shaped like a U with a spur up the middle. The Prime Warden sits at the head of the U, presiding over the assembly. My dining companions were most congenial and included a retired microbiologist, an an ex-marine, and a Channel Islander.

The only downer was that my guest couldn't make it - scared of being in a dinner jacket - and no-one else wanted to come!

After that, things went downhill: they'd cancelled the d*mn trains. So there was me expecting to catch the 23:45 from London Bridge, only to have to trek across London and catch a train at one-ish which took the long way home. I got home about 02:30. Unsurprisingly, I was rather late in to work in the morning!

The Renter Warden, the Clerk, Stephen Pini, and the rest of the staff really pushed out the boat and it was a wonderful experience.