Saturday 18th March 2006

For the first time in many months I was seriously considering not updating my blog on a Friday night. This was not because I had other plans, going out for a night on the tiles. Nothing like that at all. I seriously had nothing to report, nothing interesting to write about, which is so unlike me. Usually on a Friday there is something I can scrape together and upload. Actually I am curious now to find the last time I did not the last time I did not blog on a Friday with no valid reason. I looked through some of the latter entries from 2005, but could not find a clear example. Never mind. Friday are busy and in their very nature you have to be at the top of your game to deal with all the calls on the helpdesk. Though it is not all about work, we do try and enjoy the fact that the weekend is near. I opted out of the order for Subway for lunch, preferring to keep it as the odd treat, perhaps once or twice a month. I had been waiting for a laptop to arrive on Thursday afternoon, but it had not arrived. The client was concerned that it had gone missing in transit, so I chased our receptionist to see if there was any news. There was none. At 4pm, the phone rang. DHL had just dropped off a package, so I headed over to the other side of the complex. To my surprise the package was a laptop case, with document sticky stuck to the side. This is how it had arrived, no bother. I took it over to my desk, and opened the case, in front the prying eyes of my manager. My jaw hit the floor, the laptop itself was twisted in two, with fragments of the keys clearly visible at the bottom. How could anyone send a laptop like this in transit? My colleague took a photo, at my request but my manager took a step further and asked for us to film a small comedy sketch. I open a brand new laptop case, took out a working IBM Thinkpad, then the camera stops, we swap to the damaged device. The shot cuts to me throwing my head forward, to head butt the computer and you see the destruction caused. (Yes, I do have a metal plate behind my forehead!) I have a copy of the image, but it is quite poor in quality, so I will take some further pictures on Monday when back in the office. I may, if you are good, upload the avi for limited time download. For the time being, feast your eyes on the following damaged goods. Smashed, broken and finally the destroyed. In other news, I have this week concluding the last pieces of administration in preparation for my trip over to Germany next month. Less than a month, in fact. Upgraded my RAC cover (which I only started in September) to cover the cars on the drive to and from the continent. Also contacted Vodafone to arrange for my phone to be enabled for international roaming. I was worried that they may want me to pay some kind of deposit. My old college friend Dave (whom we bumped into in Reading last Saturday night) had to pay £200 as he had only just started his contract, when I last went to Germany in October 1999. Thankfully they tried to offer me this Vodafone Passport offer, which meant after a connection fee, I could use my inclusive minutes while abroad. However the catch was that my current plan was not sufficient as it was no longer offered to new customers. I had to upgrade to the next plan, from 25 to 75 minutes, which would be an extra £5 a month. No thank you. I use my phone so little, I could hardly justify it. I mean it is off for the majority of the working day. While over in Germany, I will only be using it to ring home and let my family know how I am. I was concerned that by selecting the pay as you go option for international usage I would be hit with bearing the cost of incoming text messages. Thankfully there is no charge for incoming messages, just incoming calls. Simple, keep my phone off as much as possible. In my hunt around the web, I have found a fantastic site by enthusiasts from the UK for greatest racing track known to man. North Loop which has become a labour of love for the web site owners. Some fantastic picture, information, links and perhaps most importantly directions from the UK to the track. We are nearly there, I can smell the rubber burning on the tarmac. Pav is working hard on getting his car ready for the big weekend. I believe all the engine modifications will be finished by next weekend, so he can get the vehicle fully serviced. Then there is just the minor issue of some ICE. This afternoon on Score Interactive (the joys of digital television!) they showed a preview of all of the cities, hosting World Cup matches, with the classic Autobahn by Kraftwerk. The German electronic syth pop group’s debut single, the title track to their 1974 album (which hit number 4 in the UK charts) which reached number 11 in May 1975 in the UK singles chart. Consider that track, downloaded and burnt and ready to be played the moment we hit the soil of Deutschland. Can you tell I’m really excited? My old house mate, Nav wondered why I added my Amazon Wish List to my web site. He did not think that a complete stranger would appreciate my blog enough to make a gift donation. Yet there are prime examples across the web of web readers making these purchases for the site author. At times you would feel I have nothing on my wish list, because when every birthday or Christmas comes around I do not know what to ask for. I suppose I enjoy the satisfaction of earning something. Which bring me to my next point. This afternoon I received a package from Amazon. It was, to my surprise two gifts. This was in recognition of my work on bringing back to life a colleague’s home computer. Personally I enjoyed the job which took little of my weekend. The best thing about such tasks is the satisfied customer at the end of the day, particular when you hand them a DVD with all their personal ‘stuff’ fully recovered. This was the first time my Wish List used for the purpose it was created.

Stars Wars Trilogy DVD Boxset FlickR Hacks

Had a quick flick through the book (sorry that was a rubbish pun, no intended) and it covers every aspect of the online sharing web tool. I really want to get my teeth into the more techie programming API side of things, but I think it will take some time. Strange, how on 31st January, the author, JBum recommended I purchase the book and here I am, with the book at hand. There are just two things I need, time and photographs. There will be little trouble in snapping away on my digital camera. Better get out there and start capturing the moment.

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