From Yorkshire To Virginia

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Yep, today I won a Palm T|X handheld wireless/bluetooth device. Basically I can use it to get my email, view documents, and a bunch more things that I'll hopefully figure out at some point :)

Thanks to the people at Dartsearch and DoubleClick

Monday, February 27, 2006

We need you Luke!

Well, has now been renamed just The reason for this? Well apparently the old guy was behind on some debts, and the bad guys came to collect...
...and if you want to know how nefarious these guys were, well they subjected us and the girls to a chorus of "If you think I'm sexy"... I shall not sleep tonight...

Sunday, February 26, 2006

So good they named it twice?

Well, I'm in NYC. My flight was only a few minutes late, and hit virtually no turbulence. My co-worker, on the next flight, ended up leaving 4 hours late and going through so much turbulence that quite a few people were retching... Glad I didn't take that offer of a free flight to slide from my flight to that one! I went and got some genuine NY pizza from 'famous Ray's', directly across from Letterman's studio. It was ok, nothing special. Since the hotel is one block from the Today show, and the conference doesn't start until 9am, I may try to go down to the barricades and see if I can see Al Roker in the morning, or I may just lie in ;)

Friday, February 24, 2006

The old man is snoring...

Well not too bad news today. The AR that we were told about yesterday is apparently minor, so she's just going to have to take care of herself. There's a chance that in the future she may need surgery, but it's not in the near term, and at least we know about it now. She also has scarring over 25% of her kidneys so they're going to give her medicine to treat that. It looks like she'll get out tomorrow.

Kim had to come home this morning to change, and while she was here she noticed that one of our cats (Katie) was acting strange. So she took her to the vets, and sure enough she's developed full diabetes, so we now have to give her insulin shots every morning and evening.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Not a healthy heart...

We've just been told by the doctor that Gwyneth has a heart defect. She has a condition known as Aortic valve regurgitation We're going to find out more information from the doctor tomorrow.

Biopsy done

She had an EKG this morning, and went under for her renal biopsy this afternooon. As of 4.30 pm her doctor had not received any results for either, so she's staying until they do (although after the biopsy she has to lie still on her back for 24 hours).

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Biopsy tomorrow

Well, she's scheduled in for a 12.30 surgery under general anaesthesia. The surgery itself should last for about an hour, with her needing to rest up and stay on her back for about 24 hours afterwards. As you can imagine, neither of us are particularly looking forward to it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A healthy heart

Well the radiologist at the hospital took a look at the x-ray and decided that her heart was not enlarged, but there are concerns over her kidney functions, so they're going to do a biopsy at some point over the next 2 days to try and find out what exactly is going on.

Back in the hospital...

Gwyneth woke up this morning complaining that her heart hurt her. Kim took her to the doctor's office, and they've said that her heart appears to be enlarged which is a concern for them. While at the doctor's she also started throwing up again. Kim & G. are now in Fairfax hospital, and I'm on my way over there to join them...

Monday, February 20, 2006

A few pictures, no words

The wanderers return

So they arrived home safely last night, and immediately gave me my birthday present (2 weeks early). Gwyneth wouldn't stop hugging me, I guess she really missed her daddy :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Power tools

So I went to Home Depot and rented a wet saw. me w/10 fingers + wet saw = amazingly me still w/10 fingers. I'm not going to do this professionally, but I'm fairly happy with how it turned out. It'll all really depend on how well they set, and how much the grout covers ;)

Cutting tiles

So I've discovered that a tile snipper & a tile cutter are not the only 2 tools that you need to cut tiles, and together the best you can hope for is that they'll function as tile crushers / snappers. (good job I bought a spare just in case). I'm going to have to look to rent a real tile cutting tool so that I can do this properly. So it's back off to Lowe's / Home Depot tonight...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tuesday challenge update...

Phase 1 complete :) The concrete backboard has been cut to size and stuck to the concrete subfloor. Tomorrow (well ok today after I wake up) it's time to apply more adhesive and stick the actual tiles to the backboard. The fun will be cutting them down to size...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Tuesday Challenge

So on Sunday I took a very sharp carpet knife and ripped up the canine urine soaked carpet at the bottom of the basement stairs. The challenge is for me to tile it today. I have a full set of instructions that talk about different kinds of trowels, staple guns, and screed(?). Hopefully I'll be able to find an associate at Home Depot to give me a hand in finding everything (I used to go to Lowe's, but ever since our favorite associate - Smokey - passed away the service hasn't been as good). Even more hopefully, I aim to have all of my fingers still attached to my hand by the end of the day...

More hospital news

Thankfully not Gwyneth this time. Apparently my sister-in-law decided that she wanted to clean her toilet, so naturally she poured a large quantity of bleach down it. She's now in the hospital on oxygen, while her lungs heal up. Her husband & son both have pneumonia, so they're having lots of fun... Kim and her mother are waiting for further information before they decide on whether or not to leave Disney world early and head back to Fort Myers. On the plus side, they were able to have a 10 minute conversation with her on the phone, and she sounded fairly normal (plus being on oxygen should stop her smoking for a few days at least)...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Sleeping Beauty, Ariel & Jasmine

That's who I was told that Gwyneth met tonight. Kim's wallet arrived by 11.30am thanks to UPS, and they set off from Fort Myers to Orlando. Gwyneth sounded so excited on the phone, I wish I could have been there to share in her excitement, but I guess I'll just have to go another time. Ah well, she deserves this after everything she's been through over the last few weeks, and may have to go through when she gets back (more tests on the state of her kidneys await).

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Problems and solutions

So the cd player in the SUV died the other day. A cd got stuck in it (one of Kim's that I didn't particularly like, so no big loss), and the damn thing kept trying to eject it, even with the engine turned off. Finally the motor in the player burnt out. So I was left with a choice:
  1. Who needs a cd? Well given the rubbish on the radio I do, so this is a no go
  2. Buy a new cd player (~$100), get it installed (~$50) - possible, but nah
  3. Get an FM transmitter to attach to the iPod ($35), plug it in in the car, and listen to my music whenever I want
Yep, option 3 was what I went with, it works nicely. I guess I"ll be able to listen to the Danny Sullivan's DailySearch cast in the car on the way to work, it'll be a change from listening to it on the treadmill, it's not got too much of a beat to it ;)

Saturday, February 11, 2006


So I took Kim, Gwyneth and Diane to the airport this morning. I asked before we left if they had everything, they told me that they did. So we arrive 90 minutes before their flight is due to leave. I drop them off at the door, and drive away. I got as far as the exit fro the airport when my phone rang. Kim had left her purse in the car. I drove round the airport again, pulled up out front and looked... it wasn't there. So I drove around the airport 4 more times (although one time actually ended up with me heading almost into DC). We talked about how I'd have to take Kim back home and have her rebook her flight for the next day. Amazingly, National Airport, the one that's supposed to have the top security let her through without any identification.
So later on in the day I had to faff around finding a postage store that could overnight her id, credit cards, cash, etc down to Florida. Of course, overnight ($25) actually means Monday by noon, and they're leaving from Fort Myers to go to Disney world Monday morning...

8-14" of snow...

So yesterday they were claiming 3-6" of snow for our area, we wake up this morning to find out that they've upped it to 8-12". Well by late afternoon there was nothing, just a bit of wet on the roads and a slight white coloring to the grass. Pshaw, this wasn't going to turn out to be anything... as usual. So I stayed inside for the afternoon, and tidied up a bit, did some laundry, etc. I just got back from taking Kellie out for a walk, we're already at 4" and it's still coming down. Looks like the weathermen were right for once.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

If you don't know how to tab between windows...

...just have a separate monitor for each window! I'd have to get a much bigger desk to use this monstrosity (if I were to find someone crazy enough to shell out the 9k+tax it costs)

Fun Stuff

Here are some interesting fun tools to play with, generate your own church sign, love heart or tombstone...

In true Blue Peter fashion - here's one I made earlier for one of the sites I'm working on...


Marketing is an interesting art. You have to target the particular demographic that you want, and position your message to appeal to them. There are many examples of cultural mistakes in marketing, with the most commonly known one being the Chevvy Nova car, which they attempted to sell in Mexico... not realising that in Spanish No va means No Go, sales were not so good. So today I was interested to read about the German police force and their planning for the world cup. They decided that they'd try to push a nicer image by coming up with a logo, to show their solidarity with the footballing world. They made a cultural mistake. Look at the logo, and see if you can see why...

(think German, think world domination)

Friday, February 03, 2006


G. is back home. She was discharged around lunch time yesterday. She's not in any pain (unlike last time), and seems in good spirits. She has a follow up with a Nephrologist next week to assess her kidneys, then hopefully she's off to Disney next Saturday (the doctors have said that it'll be good for her to go).