Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hobby horse

Having children is a very expensive hobby, they keep growing, needing new things and also they in turn want to take on hobbies. My son has been playing football for a couple of months now so it's only fair that the eldest takes up her own activity. The pair of them were both involved in swimming but that has phased out now for the time being. My daughter other than trying to hide the fact that she is really a Mermaid has been on at me for the last few weeks about starting riding at a stables. All good and well darling but there is the cost factor. With the ever increasing price of petrol, everyone is pulling the purse strings. I don't know whether horses are also refueled with petrol but I have been amazed at the pricing. Is this a sign of me getting old, suddenly the quote 'When I was young...' seems to be looming and will no doubt in a few years enter my vocabulary. Help!

After the Boys football we fast tracked it over to the Stables, the set up was really nice compared to the other one I had been to. Instead of the small mud pit, it was a much larger pit but it catered for more riders altogether. She was very nervous about jumping in and once the lesson prior to hers had finished I jumped over the fence with her and led her out to the trainer. As she spoke to the lady I walked away leaving her in their capable hands. She got right into it being lead around by one of the girls there. After a few laps she picked up in confidence and was really getting into the rhythm. I clearly am the embarrassing parent taking photo's and receiving the look of not now dad. Afterwards she was full of anticipation for the following week, wanting to spend longer riding next time. My Girl also expressed an interest in taking up riding as well, then next the Boy I expect, followed by Baby. Then what a Horse on the cards, I am going to have to consider getting another job as my next hobby I reckon ha!

Friday, May 30, 2008


FriendFeed Stats
Originally uploaded by eskimo_shreddies
All roads seem to lead (feed) to FriendFeed at the moment, today seemed to be a really prolific day on the site. Firstly there was Robert Scoble who is the stand out person there as he generates a lot of discussion on the site. Compared to my 50 subscribers he already is approaching 12,000 fast so it's clear that the noise he makes people want to listen to! Be it good or bad he is a hot topic!

Google Talk was a client also generating a buzz today, firstly using the status bar to post updates to FriendFeed and then later to post directly sharing messages to the site like an IM conversation! Finally everyone is showing an interest in each other's statistics, what we're commenting on and what we are liking hence the photo attached. A lot of users seemed to be uploading these picture so I decided to share mine as well. Now currently there is no way to see any trends through FriendFeed to know who has similar interests to you with Like/Comments and this appears to be a requested feature. Well using the FriendFeed API some clever people created just that today! I have linked both of these at the bottom of the post for anyone interested. Hoping Facebook provide a decent API at some point and according to some sites it seems possible. Only time will tell I suppose!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tooth Fairies on Overtime!

John Terry in action for Chelsea FCImage via WikipediaJohn Terry must have felt relieved last night, after missing the goal that would have seen Chelsea claim the Champions League last week he started proceedings tonight. A week is a long time in football, the tears last week were replaced with Terry, captain for the game finding the back of the net. Gerrard also got himself on the score sheet and that sealed the 2-0 win over the States.

I didn't really see much of the action as I was at the cinema, watched the catch up last night when we got home though. Also read about it in the newspaper today, seems like Chelsea are now being linked with every manager and his dog. I don't know who I would want, probably Rijkaard wins my vote as then hopefully Messi will follow, if only!

My Girl went into hospital today, she was supposed to be having two teeth out but it must have been buy one get one free or something as they took out four. Needless to say she is in a lot of pain this evening! We were going to head over to see my family and the elder children but stayed with my Girl to look after her instead. Would have been raw and also her Mum was around and had cooked a meal for me! Phoned my parents house to speak to my children and my daughter was full of conversation as the plan is to take her horse riding Saturday. My Boy was the reverse, he was clearly annoyed and said that I was a Meanie as he had brought over his sunglasses for me to see. Oh well, can't please everyone!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sex, City and the Touch Screen interface!

Tonight me and the Lady headed out on the town to watch the Sex and the City movie. I wasn't totally up on all the plot details that had taken place through the series but I knew the basics and the characters. We arrived twenty minutes before the doors opened and it was packed. Girls were everywhere, I noted a few boyfriend's like myself roped into taking their girlfriends out! Honestly that wasn't my outlook as I was looking forward to seeing this, although my anticipation was no where near that of my Girl's. She was like a child at Christmas, in fact rope into that the buzz of Easter and throw in all the other happy day's moments. She was really excited, so were all the girl's in attendance because as soon as the music started there were cheers and clapping.

The ultimate chick-flick it was but it was good viewing and there were some real comedy moments that made me laugh out loud. One thing I did note though was why all the men in the movie were perceived as being loners. Drowning their sorrow's into wine glasses, alone!! Is that how women see us, as hapless fools that crash when we haven't got women telling us off, where to go and how to spend the money! These comments are just harmful spite thrown in to the mix to defend the guys. Although there was no defending Big's actions in the movie, I even attempted to humour him to my girl after but she had none of it. Will definitely be picking this up when it's released on DVD, and no doubt several additions to my Girl's wardrobe as well as she loved every outfit that Carrie wore. Here's to the Lottery!!!

Finally all the rumours recently were true about Windows 7 making it's debut at D6. During an interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Chairman Bill Gates, Microsoft demonstrated Windows 7's all-new user interface. I am sure that the news about the Touch-Screen interface will be discussed extensively over the coming months and you can catch up with the latest onTechmeme!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Trick shot

It's hard to get motivated after a three day weekend, it's only an extra day off of work and you would think an extra day of rest. I arrived in work today feeling more tired than ever, and I didn't really get up to anything! It was harder knowing that all of the family were together and made me wish I had booked the time off. Should have really as my Girl also has her operation on Thursday and a few days off would have been a good break. I took too long booking the dates though and over the next fortnight most of my team are in and out of the office on leave!

After catching up on my feeds I had a conversation with my daughter over Messenger. Even with the state of world affairs and the ever increasing price of travel, technology and connectivity really are a welcome break. Without all these means of communication we would be in the dark ages! Sound extreme, I don't think it is! I saw a trailer at the weekend that really caught my attention, a movie called The Happening from M. Night Shyamalan and although not much is revealed in the trailer due to losing communication everything shuts down. I will definitely be watching this movie when released, as Signs and The Sixth Sense before were both excellent.

Today passed by really quickly and at home now after dropping the children home. They made me some really nice cakes while I was at work, although I feel this was just to sweeten me up so that I would put their swing together in the garden. Once this was complete I played football with the Boy leaving the girls to swing to their hearts content. He made me laugh when I told him to try and trick me before shooting and responded with 'Look Dad, there's a fox!' Classic!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Cats and Dogs!

Mr. Magorium's Wonder EmporiumImage via WikipediaWhat a miserable day, no chance of really doing anything today, well unless you wanted to build a giant Ark and round up a large group of animals for a party. Come to think of it I think that happens on the Thames on a regular basis, with large volumes of alcohol consumed and some wild antics. None of that from us, instead we had a chilled day watching television and making cakes.

We did venture out briefly in the evening but that was only to head over to the video store. From there we picked up Penelope; a tale of a girl cursed with having the face of a pig. And we also picked up Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium which we watched first and this also features a multitude of animals. Seems to now be the theme for this post! This was a great movie and full of colour that the girls really enjoyed, I want my own wonder Emporium now but I suppose for the time being I will have to settle for the shed! Off to work tomorrow and my Girl will be having the children for the day, the best of luck to you my dear as I am sure that you will be kept on your toes!!! Luckily they have Penelope to watch as if it's as miserable as today they aren't likely to be able to get out to enjoy the weather!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hat story

Today was not just a bad hair day, it was also not a good idea to wear a hat. Now that's my opinion but I am sure if you happened to be the hat then you would have a different outlook. If this was the hat's blog I am sure it would write about not receiving much attention after Lanzarote and that it was needing an adventure.

Today it got just that and went out into the rain, flew off in the wind and also get to see one of it's heroes in the form of Indiana Jones hat. Even with being the provider of all this enjoyment I wasn't exactly beaming with pride. I felt the opposite as taking the family to the cinema was great but wearing a hat to watch Indiana Jones I must have looked like he was my idol. Going to the cinema is an adventure I suppose as for thirty minutes I had to rock Baby in the push chair and carry Boy on my shoulders. The joys of parenting, what made me laugh is how animated my Boy was towards the movie. He was throwing his arms up and really getting into it. Maybe in another 19 years we will both go wearing our hats ha!

Earlier that day me and my Girl got tattoos, she designed a really good piece for her foot which looks really impressive. I on the other hand got a tattoo of the Eldest on my arm to go with the one of my son that I already have. Eager to show them off we got the first opportunity after the movie when we went for a meal at Zizzi. I was oblivious to people around me, trying to set up the family so that we could eat.

Felt I was safe from prying eyes so I took off my hat to enjoy the food. As the meal finished everyone went for a toilet break leaving me alone with a sleeping Baby. Then as a couple departs I hear my name and feel myself slowly shrinking into my chair. Typical, and I can't emphasise enough the roughness; bearded and definitely seeing better days I struck up conversation with my friend I hadn't seen in a while. Great day and really enjoyed the movie although I feel it was more X Files than Indiana Jones. Just watching the Formula 1 repeat and trying to take my Daily Mugshot with me and the hat for today's photo ha!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Drastic Plastic

Today the expected happened in that Avram Grant was sacked as manager of Chelsea. I think it's sad to be honest, the supporters never really got behind Grant but he excelled and we finished runner up in three competitions. Okay he was a close friend of the owner but he still had a job to do and he did it well with the weight of expectation. If he had won a total of three more games we would be now celebrating a genius, a man who would have taken us on to an unprecedented treble in his first season. It just wasn't to be though and now we wave goodbye to Avram and await what will take place this summer.

The other stand out thing today was the amount of times that I misplaced my bank card. I gave it to my Girl last night for her to get some food and have a sunbed whilst I went and herded up all of the children. Firstly I should have returned it to it's rightful home in my wallet yesterday as I nearly ran out of petrol whilst returning home. Instead today I got ready with the Boy, headed to football only to have to do a U turn as I had no money on me.

Eventually we got there but I felt a bit embarrassed coming so late. They were alright about it and Boy just got straight into the action, nearly breaking free to score in one of the matches he played. All things come in three's so they say and at the checkout at IKEA later I again couldn't find my card so had to abandon ship and leave everything at the checkout.

Once the smoke had finished pouring from my ears, I found the card and we headed home. Just taken my Girl out to meet her friend and watching Be Cool with the children! Although as you can see from the pictures they have had too much action for today!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Get a room

I didn't participate in the Twit-out earlier this week, this was basically a large number of people from Twitter who boycotted the site. Fed up with the outages they all descended onto FriendFeed and hid in a corner under a large pile of leaves. Maybe not a hundred miles from the truth but anyway they all dispersed and took their conversation with them.

The discussion on the FriendFeed site is growing all the time, the Twit-outer's were there anyway making noise and generating discussion so the purpose of the Twit-out maybe was to just massage ego's. Twitter has dominated the blogosphere for a long time, where as FriendFeed is still the new kid on the block. A lot is being written about the two sites, playing them off against each other and I see that being the popular topic at the moment. I will continue to use both as I enjoy what both offer and switch between the two regularly.

Today FriendFeed has launched rooms, I think the best way to describe them is like IRC Channels. The only fault I see at the moment is in actually finding these rooms as I am working off of recommendation. Following where other people are pointing and jumping into discussion. I think it's a great addition and I will write more about my findings and if I see anyone hiding under piles of leaves later!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


John TerryImage by Twin Peaks via FlickrThe day after the night before and I feel deflated, matches like the one last night really take it out of me. I remember when England got knocked out of the World Cup, I felt crushed for a while and there was a real backlash aimed at Ronaldo. Maybe it's our culture to blame, already I have received emails about John Terry's penalty and his slip but I don't see how he can be held responsible. I know I wouldn't be able to handle being stood over the final penalty that would clinch the Champions League.

Just imagine being stood there, placing the ball on the spot and feeling a million eyes on you. What I feel is that John Terry is a victim of his own petulance, Chelsea are renowned for it at the moment. Surrounding the referee, kicking off with players as if they deserve to be respected. Tevez played the game, he knew what he was doing, he wound up Terry and he bit. Drogba had no reason to steam in but he did and his reaction was totally unnecessary but it was John Terry that led to all of this kicking off in the first place. I don't blame John Terry, I don't blame Drogba as he got caught up in the moment but had it not kicked off what would the outcome be now. According to the newspapers John Terry was not on the penalty sheet to take one of the five. If Drogba had of stayed on the pitch would he have converted and would we now be Champions. I would have loved to have woken up to that feeling but I have the opposite. For now that remains a dream and hopefully that dream as well as England one day winning the World Cup will come true!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It's only a game...

Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United F.C.Image via Wikipedia It had everything agony, ecstasy, anger, suspense, desperation and now I feel totally crushed having just watched Chelsea lose in the Champions League final. Another season where we came so close but fail to get our hands on the trophy we want the most, this season we came closer than we had before. Making our debut in the Champions League final and were unfortunate to not to win in the end as I think we were unlucky and at times the better team for long periods.

Manchester United entered the game as favourites and deservedly so as they have Ronaldo who is the best player on the planet at the moment. I headed out with some friends, one also a Chelsea supporter and another a Newchulster Unicity (Newcastle+Hull City+Manchester United) fan. The bar we chose didn't have the best of sound but to be honest I only needed my eyes as the sound of the United fans there in the bar was enough for me to switch off my ears and use my sight only.

The Final kicked off and after a slow 10-15 minutes Man Utd took control of the game and when they attacked they looked really threatening. The boy they call Ronaldo scored in the 26th minute as Wes Brown combined with Paul Scholes and lifted a cross over to the far post where Ronaldo was waiting. He jumped and everything else seemed to stand still, the ball hit the back of the net and although Chelsea were almost straight back in it they had the momentum and it looked certain they would add to their lead. Cech kept us in it with two superb saves from Tevez and Carrick and my heart was racing. My Newchulster Unicity fan was getting well into it and he had every reason to as his 'team' was on the ascendancy. Then right on half time Chelsea were back in it as Lampard latched on to a loose ball that cannoned off the United defenders before sitting up for Frank who scored what was a lucky goal.

The second half I felt was all Chelsea, United were not the dominating team from the first half and it was looking increasingly like the Blues would score again. I was worried that Chelsea would slip off the pace and concede at the end but they kept going. Drogba was creating problems and with the prematch build up and statistics showing him to be the player of big games it was the occasion for him to settle the score.

The game moved into extra time and Chelsea hit the bar and also the post and there were many anxious faces all around the bar. A guy behind me was yelling about it being an omen that United would win as Bayern Munich did the same back in '99. The clock was slowly ticking down and then Drogba left his mark all over the game and likely all over the newspapers for weeks to come. And for the wrong reasons as he was given his marching orders for slapping Vidic around the face. Typical, I remember back at the Camp Nou he was also sent to the dressing rooms a few seasons ago and that cost us. With him off and Chelsea down to ten men it was destined to go to Penalties and that it did.

I hate penalties, I have seen England fail so many times, Chelsea also as recent as last season against Liverpool and here we are again going into the biggest game of our history and the lottery begins. Every second I could feel my heart pounding, every goal felt like it echoed around inside my body, reverberating from the cheers in the bar. I probably looked a wreck to my friends, and I suppose I know I take it too serious but that's how I define support for my team. When Ronaldo missed my fists were clenched for the four penalties that followed waiting and hoping.

Then with the score 4-4 on penalties our captain John Terry began the long walk to the penalty spot, his kick would/would not win it for us. I always look at the players face before they take their run up and he looked confident. Our captain, our leader now to create history with everything in his hands and likely pressing down on his shoulders as well. As his foot reached the ball his left leg gave way and the ball lifted up and rebounded off of the post and away. At that moment I knew it was over, even though four more penalties followed and Anelka eventually missed to hand United the trophy. Fate had spoken, the Busby Babes were remembered in the most emphatic way and Chelsea were left to rue the missed chance. Until the next season as they say but this will hurt for a very long time!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Eve of the storm...

Back at work today and it was straight back into everything, the holiday now just a memory. My friend being a star had left me a copy of Mario Kart for the Nintendo Wii which will see a lot of action this weekend I am sure when the children are over. After work headed over to see them and they were full of beans. The eldest straight into action organising the game and transferring all of the houses, people and vehicles into the garden for all to play with. My boy was trying to impress with his half volleys and headers with my brothers.

Both were really excited and happy we were back. A week seems like a long time as they both seemed so much older although my son let himself down at the end of the evening as he was getting annoyed with himself at not being able to volley the ball as many times as he wanted. He is getting better all the time! On the subject of football and the Champions League final is tomorrow and I am already getting nervous already. Looking forward to it though!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Homeward bound...

And so our holiday comes to an end and I really enjoyed my time at the Barcelo Lanzarote this time. The entertainment is great and worth going for as the people are all good fun and embrace you into the resort and activities. Would like to go back again taking the older two children and possibly hiring out a car to travel around the Island. Don't know how I would fair with driving on the other side of the road but will have to try it eventually.

Below are some photo's from the Airport and the Plane, was told whilst air born that using my Phone in Flight mode isn't allowed. What's the point in Flight mode then?!?! No parking tickets this time which was a relief but a tonne of washing to get through and a jungle to cleanse around the house! Good to be home though but back to work tomorrow which is not fun!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Final night...

Wasn't in the good books today as I stayed out until around 1AM last night with the reps and my friends who left for home today. Had a few to drink and staggered in late which didn't go down well so it created a bad atmosphere for the day. We kept our distance for the morning with her sunbathing on the beach and I just tried to get in the mix with the activities so as not to end up in a confrontation. We eventually worked things out and the rest of the day ran smoothly. Not the best to fall out in another country with your partners family but I think we handled it well. Wasn't the best of days as it was overcast and there was a breeze but still the day went okay!

I played a few games but the outcome was no more certificates which was a shame especially as I came within one point with rifle shooting. The rest of the games I may as well have not shown up as I wasn't even in contention. Mini Golf and Bowls were no go areas and then we were annihilated in the Volleyball but then we did have this young guy playing who wasn't the greatest. He punched, whacked and volleyed anywhere and everywhere, I suppose it's the taking part.... After the game we threw the rep into the Pool and headed back to the room. Me being the Rocket man ended up locked on the balcony for thirty minutes which was a lot of fun!

Last night at the club and we didn't hang about too long, watched a Parrot show which was amusing as they rode bikes and did tricks which were really novel. After saying our goodbyes we headed off to throw all of our belongings into a decorated box with a zip ready for the long journey home tomorrow! Give Polly a cracker!!!!

Oh and if anyone can explain to me who and what Kaka man is it would be most appreciated as I have absolutely no idea what the show was about!!!