From Yorkshire To Virginia

Friday, March 31, 2006

Small world

So Kim & I have escaped our normal life for a weekend. We're up at a B&B in Berryville, VA (more on that tomorrow when I can take pictures). Anyway, tonight we arrived and were invited down by the owner for drinks with the other guests. We chatted for a while about the local area, and the history of the town, before we got onto the subject of England. The owner's husband has actually been to Manchester & West Yorkshire investigating his family history. The small world bit came about when another guest mentioned that he used to travel between Manchester & Sheffield. He actually complained about the traffic on Mottram moor, and talked about how much he liked the chippy in Tintwistle, a place about a mile from where my dad used to own a shop, and about a mile in the other direction from the village I grew up in.
I had an experience like this a few years ago when I got back in contact with a former friend, she told me that she'd actually visited the Shenandoah mountains the previous August, but was unable to go down skyline drive because of a fire that day. That exact same day I had travelled out to Shenandoah to take my family & a friend down to see it, and we were unable to go down because of the fire. It really is a small world sometimes...

Fish out of water?

Last night we watched Barbie's Mermadia, and discovered that mermaids can only really survive in the water. Once we found that out we had to make sure that Gwyneth's mermaid was ok.

(I'm hoping to get use of the bathroom sink back at some point... ) ;)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Google news

So, Google are going to buy a 5% stake of AOL. But where could they come up with that kind of cash? Maybe if they issued an additional 5.3 million shares? That's a plan so crazy that it might just work ;)

Up, up and away

Have you ever wanted to know the exact location of any plane in the air (in the US)? Well now you can track them all...

Gwyneth update

Just to keep everyone informed...

Gwyneth had an appointment at Kaiser yesterday, everything looks like it's progressing well. She's put on more weight, thanks to the steroids, and still gets cranky, but she's doing fine. She has an appointment with the nephrologist on Friday, so we'll get more details on the kidney issues then, but it looks like everything is chugging along as expected. So good news :)

Oh, and she's really looking forward to seeing Ice Age 2 this weekend :)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Planning for school

It's already time to start thinking about classes for the fall. For those unfamiliar with the US way of doing things, you have a number of core classes, and a number of elective classes, and it's up to you in what order you do them (of course pre-requisites have to be taken into account). For the MBA there are 16 classes that I have to take - 9 core classes, 6 electives and one international elective. So far I've completed 1 core, and 4 electives, and I'm on course to complete one more of each in a few weeks. I've registered for "International Marketing" over the summer, so that'll satisfy my international elective. I guess I really need to start hitting the core classes in the fall...

Sun over Albany...

I flew into Albany (NY) a few weeks ago, and while I didn't have time to do any sightseeing, I did see a beautiful sunset over the clouds while flying in.

Blog reader takes action!

"Sick fish you say? Let me take a look and see if there's anything I can do to help..."

The fish is doing remarkably well, he's swimming around almost normally today.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

What do you give the rabbit that has everything?

Lots of medication...

Something fishy

This afternoon, Gwyneth and I were scooping leaves out of the pond when we noticed something orange down by the pump. Thinking it was a can I stuck my hand in and tried to pull it, realising right away thtat it was a dead fish. I tried to get it out, but it was stuck way down there, so I left it figuring that I'd come back later. A couple of hours later Kim got home and I showed her the dead fish, we realised that it wasn't floating because it was stuck in the inlet part of the pump, so we turned it off, and the fish floated to the top. After a few seconds it started moving its fins and moving its mouth.
It's now a few hours later and it's still swimming on it's side, but it's looking a lot better and no longer anywhere near the top of the pond. This particular fish is one of four that we've had for at least 5 years, so we've got some attachment to it.

Meeting with the bunny himself

Apparently the rumors regarding the need for a new Easter Bunny were incorrect, we met with him today where he dispelled those rumors. He also brought along a few friends for us to meet.

Job Applicants

Well apparently they're looking for a new Easter Bunny, so far there have been 2 applicants...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

An oldie but goodie

When Gwyneth was small I took a series of pictures of her, and after looking at the results realised that they could be spliced together in such a way as to demostrate her love for the Macarena...

Searching has never been easier

I've got to say that I've turned into a big fan of Google desktop search. Before when I'd have to find a particular file on my harddrive, I'd be rooting around to find it, now I type it in, and whoomph there it is. The same goes for Outlook, searching in there used to take ages, even with the imbedded search in the application, now it's back in less than a second with all of the results.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

More Bunny troubles

Yesterday our local vet, who assured us that she could handle rabbits, decided that she couldn't handle rabbits and referred us to the place that we wanted to go to in the first place (before she convinced us that she could handle them). Apparently Vinny has an oral infection (which the self-alleged rabbit vet failed to identify), which has today resulted in him having to have several teeth pulled, and explains why he's not been eating so well lately. The reason that we took him back was that his eye had started to develop what looked to me like a cataract, it turns out that the infection was so rampant in his mouth that it's entered his eye. He's staying overnight, and apparently he may have to have more teeth pulled... $$$ :(

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

How long?

2 hours to travel 4 miles... that's how my commute went this morning. Apparently there was a particularly nasty accident that closed down the major artery between my house & work. Given that that road is already over-travelled, the secondary roads were at a standstill. It actually took me 1/2 hour to backtrack, as I had to take some time going down part of one of the secondary roads. I've just heard that the accident has been cleared and sand put down on the road. I'm going to give it a couple of hours before I try again. At least I have the ability to work remotely.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

In class

Well I'm writing this in class on my palm TX. About 20 minutes to go until class. Only 2 more meetings to go for this class, but 4 more for the other, with 2 of them being on Saturday... This will put me at 7/16 for the degree. Whoops low battery...

Monday, March 13, 2006


I recently saw this book at the airport when I was on my way to Albany, and decided that it'd be something interesting to read. I'd heard the uproar over the book back last year, but hadn't really been moved to purchase it then. I have to say that I found the book interesting, but it seemed a bit thin to me, there were a few interesting studies such as why drug dealers live with their mothers, and why and when Sumo wrestlers cheat. The main meat of the book was dedicated to his idea that the reason that the crime rate has fallen is due to the legalisation of abortion in the US in the 1970's. It's interesting reading a book about economics from a different perspective, but I really wish that it'd had at least a couple more chapters.

My Strengths

For one of my classes I've had to write a paper on my 'unique' strengths. This was done by sending a request to 20+ people that know me, and asking them to each write 3 examples detailing where I've displayed a particular strength. I managed to get 13 responses (thankfully I wasn't asked to ask them for my weaknesses, or I'd have probably got 20+ responses, with more than 3 examples from each). The responses that I got back were interesting, some people listed experiences that I just didn't remember, which kind of highlighted to me that what may seem like a small thing to you, may be a much bigger thing to others, and others had higher opinions of me than I myself hold.

I ended up with 9 common themes among the examples returned. It's been a challenge extending these ideas to a 10-15 page introspective paper, but it's been a fun kind of challenge. If you were one of the people to respond, thanks, and I'll leave you with the final line from my paper.

"Maybe the biggest challenge for me after this exercise will be living up to the perceptions that some people have of me."

Friday, March 10, 2006

More feline problems

So we noticed the other day that India was having issues with her right eye, so another trip to the vets was on the cards. After another $200 spent we got a phone call this morning about the test results. Apparently she has an overactive thyroid gland, so she needs to go on medication. I'm thinking of putting an "Animal Hospital" sign on the front door, and just hiring a live in vet, it'd probably be cheaper...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Yep, it's that day of the year when I have to remember that my age has changed. This year it's one of those driving license renewing years (divisible cleanly by 5). At least I hit my target of having my masters degree before 35, now I just have to see if I can hit the target of having my next one before I'm 38 (currently targeted for a completion date of May 2008).

Painting again

So Kim has finally got around to doing some painting again. Here's her latest work. Now if I could only get her to finish the faceless rabbits on the tv cabinet...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

More maladies

So I arrived home last night to find out that our rabbit - Vinny - has an upper respitory infection, and is on antibiotics...

Celebrity sighting

Yep, while in the big apple I did happen across one of the biggest names of today (no, not Marilyn Manson, although I did walk past him). While I was surprised to see him coming out of the theater showing Lestat, I was at least glad that he wasn't coming out of one of the "gentlemen's clubs" up the street!