Sunday 3rd August 2008

Yesterday was a rather lazy day, I did not do much really. Even though it started with so much promise. I got up very early and went to the Esso garage to check the pressure on my tires and then went over to ASDA to buy some toasties. I bumped into my old school friend Ryan on the George stand, putting out new stock of jeans. I had bumped into him a year ago and we had arranged to meet up but never got around to it. So I promised to text him when I got home and arrange something for the end of the week. When I got home, I watched TV for a while (Sonia Deol on BBC News) before jumping on my computer at around 10am. By midday I was tired and decided to have a little afternoon nap. I did not get up until 2.30pm and then in a mad panic, decided I had to get ready and actually make up for doing nothing for most of the day. I watched episode four of John Adams and then afterwards remembered that it was the weekend of the second ever Emirates Cup. I switched on the television to see Van Nistelrooy score the opening goal for Real Madrid but decided to come back later for he Arsenal match. The last match I had seen on the television of my beloved team was against Everton (the final home game) on the penultimate weekend of the season. It had been a long wait. You can read the match reports over on ArseBlog or Arsenal.con. Before the game finished, I had to get ready and head out the door. I wanted to leave by 6pm and I was a few minutes past this deadline. I drove across to Reading and parked in The Oracle. I then walked across to the Hope Tap (when I eventually worked out where it was but was surprised to find no one in there). So I text Pav and decided to wait for him to arrive before headed up the road to Xen. He text me that their ETA was three minutes and twelve seconds, how more precise can you get than that? Everyone else was already there and had even ordered their meals and had been served their starter. We had the long table to the side of the restaurant and the only seat left for me was at the end. Next to Nicola’s twin brother, Dan and opposite Toni. My first time in this triple header restaurant (they do Indian, Thai and Japanese food) and it was a very good experience. Prompt, attentive but discreet service, that is how a restaurant should be run. I hate to be over pestered. After the wonderful meal we headed downstairs to the bar. We had a few drinks here before headed over to Bar Mango. As we walked past Bar Risa, they tried to get us in with the temptation of free entry. Andy (quite drunk already at this point) said, “Sorry, on the guest list at Mango” and we all burst out laughing! There was a bit of confusion in the queue when we did get over there, we left Eddie to deal with the bouncer. We were on the guest list and pay only a fiver to get in. They could hardly turn us away, the place was dead. Eventually after a phone call, mobile phone with text message confirmation and explaining that we our birthday boy with us. Once this became clear, that we were a birthday party, we were allowed in. At the bar, Eddie was very generous, he bought two bottles of champagne and we headed to the side of the dancefloor. We were here for awhile before venturing outside onto the terrace bar area. I had never been here during the summer months and the area is quite restricted in window as the smoking area. However, now there was a bar and small dance area, with tables and chairs. Plus an area on the side for a barbeque. It was like I had come into a new club with a new room. It was here we spent the rest of the night. If I am honest, I was not hoping to make it too much of a late night, but the tunes just kept getting played. Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics was a particular highlight. Every moment I thought I would leave, another cracking tune was dropped by the DJ and I had to stick around for a little dance. I eventually left at around 1.30am and got home at 2.15am. Great night out, just a shame I had to rush off but I knew I had so much to do on Sunday. Somehow I dragged myself out of bed and got to the gym around 7.40am, I was the third person through the doors and spoke to Matt briefly before starting my program. The issue with the dedicated news channel has changed once again back to Sky News. Not sure why they have done that but never mind, perhaps they just fancied a change for a week. My weight programme is hard but I am slowly getting used to it, particularly the new machines and the new routine in terms of the order, to make sure I do not work all my upper body muscles too quickly. My next review will be in about a month but I think I will just increase my cardio programme but leave my weights as they are and perhaps add in a free weight programme. Have you seen the Sky Sports trail for the new football season featuring Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists eScalla? My friend Terry has a big crush on one of the blondes. Must say it is one of the better adverts in recent years, just consider the recent cast. Rachel Stevens, with “More More More”, Elton John with “Are You Ready For Love” are the only two that come to mind instantly. Can you remember any others recently? I watched Vantage Point tonight (I was not in the mood for Wall-E but perhaps made the wrong decision). It was a good movie but I expected more. It was similar to the movie Go, which I saw during my first year at Uni. Interesting and a good way to burn away my Sunday evening. The plot was clever to begin with but then eventually you realise what is going to happen and then you do not really care for the ending. In fact you do not really care about the characters that much either. Plus, it was annoying to have scenes in Spanish with no subtitles. Come on people, sort it out! I remember seeing the trailer at the cinema, earlier this year and although the action scenes looked impress the story was pretty pathetic. (They should not have revealed the main twist in the trailer, big no no Mr. Director and Mr. Producer!) I got a lift back home with one of my colleagues in his black 55 plate, Mazda RX8. It was my first time in this type of vehicle with the unique rotary engine. I was extremely disappointed, yes it was quick but when my colleague put his foot down, it sound tinny electronic and fake (even worse than the V-Tec you find on Honda Civic Type-R. In fact, I was more impressed with the digital dashboard display, the LEDs shown the speed. I have something similar, but far less elegant with my Micro RoadPilot. Development continues to bring streaming option to the iPlayer script on XBMC. RMTP support is available on XBMC on Linux and Windows but not yet the device the media centre was designed for. I keep a regular, almost daily check on this thread to find out the latest news. While I wait for that to be released, I found a Windows based application that enables you to download iPlayer video DRM free to watch at your leisure (beyond the thirty day limit). It can be found over on the fantastic blog Po-Ru. I have tested the software and it is quite reliable, you get the Programme ID from the iPlayer website, enter it into the dialog box and hit download, set the file location and job done. The files are saved as mov (QuickTime) and the quality is acceptable, after all the files are designed to be viewed on an iPod or iPhone. I think this will do nicely while the geeks and nerds sort out the script or plugin for the XBox.

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