Friday, June 29, 2007


Nikki's been playing with Facebook for a few weeks and has tracked down lots of old school, college and work friends. I signed up today and there are now links to our profiles under the column on the right. You have to be a member to see them though, sorry.

I have only found one person other than Nikki so far, I suspect that my people are all a bit too old to have caught on so far, but I did get a chuckle out of Nikki's mini feed after she added me and I updated my profile:
I don't waste any time, me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bangkok - Day 2

What can you do after an evening in a red light district, except head for a temple? Nikki and I took the Skytrain and the MRT to the river before catching a river taxi to Wat Pho. Since there are two slideshows here I've turned autoplay off, (which I think is a new option, that I will default to from now on).

Pictures from the river:

Pictures from Wat Pho:

Bangkok - Day 1

As any good tourist does, Nikki and I immediately headed for one of Bangkok's red light districts, in our case Soi Cowboy. Our strategy was to plant ourselves in a strategic position, buy a couple of beers and watch the world go by. This worked incredibly well. After a few Singha's we decided to order food. A process that involved our waitress running off to a street vendor to grab a menu which we ordered from, she ran back and then the street vendor came back and delivered our food personally. It was more food than we could possibly finish and it all tasted fantastic. A fine way to spend an evening.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


As my wife has pointed out, in increasingly forceful ways, I haven't even finished showing you the Singapore pictures yet, never mind the Thailand ones. This is not entirely because I am lazy, but also because I like to take my time and write about the pictures individually. Nikki suggested a Picasa web gallery, which is, as all my wife's ideas are, a great one. However, I don't like redirecting folk and having them leave comments in different places that I rarely visit. Thank goodness then, for the embed slideshow feature of Picasa that I only just noticed. Not sure I like how they've implemented comments, but you can turn them on or off, by clicking on the little speech bubble that pops up when you move your mouse to the bottom left. Enjoy.

OK, That's It

We're upgrading to Layouts. I found yet another thing that doesn't work until we do, so we're doing it. Some stuff may stop working around here for a while. But we'll be back, with a slightly cleaner interface and slightly less uniqueness.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Just Like Pamela Anderson

It was pool brushing time tonight. It must have rained all week while I was away, and though the pool looked okay when Nikki left to join me on Friday, it must have really rained all weekend, because it was manky when we got back. We get a fine layer of crap on the steps and seats and, when it's hot, algae will try to take over, so I brushed everything, emptied the baskets, threw in some phosphate killer and loads of chlorine. Run the filter for 12 hours and it will be ready for humans again. I went back inside.

I realised I'd forgotten to turn the outside light off. I went out the bedroom door and flipped the switch just in time to scare a little toad, who in his panic, leapt into the pool. Damn. He swam quickly to the other side. Probably a good tactic in a pond. Not so much in a pool, where the sides are 3 inches above the top of the water, all the way around. I rushed into action, collecting my shoes from the garage and running out to grab the net. The little toad gratefully climbed on and I soon deposited him safely on the patio, where, with a little encouragement he hopped past the door, so Nikki could see I hadn't gone mad, and off into the night.

Pamela does have one thing on me though (okay, two things, or would it be three, total?). She probably never locks herself out of her beach hut whilst charging off to save the day. Luckily Nikki was there to let me back in, otherwise I'd have had a fair amount of explaining to do after breaking into my own house.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mamma Mia!

This is a worrying trend. I hate musicals. An unfortunate early exposure to Cats pretty much turned me off the entire idea of musicals forever. But Mamma Mia was great last night. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Since I took Nikki to see Spamalot for our anniversary I have now seen, and had a great time at, two musicals in the last 13 days.

When I get back to Houston I'm going to visit the doctor and get my testosterone checked. If I don't do something now I might end up at the ballet.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Gin City

Vegas. It's a hard place to attend a conference. Last night was particularly difficult. I had to drink. A lot. Mostly for Professional reasons. Honestly, here's the list

1 beer - personal, I was waiting for Paul.
2 beers - professional. Chatting with Paul.
2 gin and tonics - professional. Vendor paid, trying to get me drunk so I'd buy stuff.
1 red wine with dinner - professional. Vendor bought me dinner at Stripsteak.
1 glass of port - professional. Same dinner.
2 beers - professional. Playing roulette with vendor. Relationship building. You know?
1 whisky - personal. To help me sleep
1 whisky - professional. Chatting with vendor at bar. He wanted to buy me another.

I had to get up and attend more sessions this morning. Life is hard.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fame! and other blog stuff

Thank you to for featuring my entry about The Battle Box. Very kind and very possibly the first time in history I have been quoted anywhere.

Plus, check out the number two result for weird shoulders on Many apologies to whoever followed that link here looking for answers. We only have more questions.

Oh, and I noticed a couple of people commenting on entries from days, even weeks ago. I may have, rudely, not noticed your comment at the time and inexcusably left you sitting, possibly even cursing, while waiting for a reply. This has now, I hope, been rectified, if I have still missed your comment, I deserve your curses all the more, but require your guidance as to my oversight.

Finally, in one of those statements that gets me into trouble, some time ago I mentioned that I have hundreds of pictures from Singapore and Thailand. They're coming, (so is Christmas (so is the upgrade to Blogger Layouts, so teasingly previewed some time ago)).

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Year! Already?

Nikki and I celebrated our first anniversary yesterday. We had a fun day, stocking up on goodies at the farmer's market in the morning and then lounging around in the pool for a bit before going to The Melting Pot for dinner. Before we went out Nikki tried on her wedding dress again. It's a bit too loose for her these days, but she wouldn't let me take a picture. Here's one of the two of us instead:

Thursday, June 7, 2007


YouTube changed their embedded video thing to cause all videos to have an annoying "related videos" MTV style pop-up if you sneeze near your mouse during the playing of it. I noticed it this morning when looking at a video on Mindy's blog and immediately thought it was obnoxious. Since I try to restrain myself from ranting on other people's websites I thought I'd do it over here instead.

Take for instance this clip, an awesome 4 minute, one take steadicam shot from "The Protector":

See what I mean? Annoying right? It covers up half the action. It can be turned off by adding &rel=0 to the end of the URL but should surely be off by default. Here's the video with the pop-ups turned off.

It took me a little bit to figure it out because the instructions on the YouTube site are not clear. Basically in the embed code there are two references to the same URL, in the case above it is:
I changed both of these to be
and that turns it off.

The trouble is, since it's on by default, if you have a lot of embedded videos on your blog you're going to have to go and edit them all to add the &rel=0 or else you are stuck with YouTube's fuzzy matching that may offend your mum, or worse, presented with videos of someone else's kids, who are nowhere near as cute as your own family are in the video you just posted.

I don't think it's going to last very long, because it's a very un-Google move, but you never know. A feature, of no real value to the end user, added to a popular program, without consultation and confusingly hard to turn off, I mean, I know Google are trying to take on Microsoft, but turning into them isn't the way to do it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

What The World Eats

Time magazine has a great photo essay showing a week's worth of food for 15 different homes around the world.

It's interesting to compare the amount of fish the Japanese family consume compared to the others and there's a shocking amount of chocolate bars in the British family's picture. The family from Mexico have a massive amount of fruit and veg, but look at all those Coke bottles. Meanwhile in Mongolia they probably don't have to worry too much about getting enough protein in their diet.

I wish Time had bigger version of these pictures you could click on, but it's still fascinating.

Check it out.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Carbon Footprint

Global warming eh? I think we now all agree that it's a fact and the current argument centers around whether man has caused it or if it is simply the Earth's natural cycle and there's nothing we can do about it. Anyway, there's been a lot of talk recently about carbon footprints and saving energy and planting trees to offset flights you take. I don't really understand how that last bit works, but I do know this...I chopped down more trees than Brazil this weekend, so I'm probably not going to win any awards from Al Gore any time soon:

Friday, June 1, 2007

Baseball! Again!

I know that pretty much everyone who reads this blog hates baseball. I know that. I do. I, on the other hand, love baseball. I don't want to bore my loyal readers with a sport they hate reading about, so instead I'm going to talk about something I know you all love: Sitting!

So last night I had the best seats I've ever had at a baseball game. The seats were not only comfortable and nicely equipped with a cup holder, but they were this far away from the action:
That's right. From my excellent seat I was less than 20 feet away from where the Astros players waited in what is known as the on-deck circle. For example, the picture above shows the view, from my seat, of Astros legend Craig Biggio warming up as Astros pitcher Woody Williams grounds out. The on-deck circle, despite it's name has no deck chairs, plus there's usually a bloke swinging a bat in it, so there's very little sitting potential. After grounding out Williams made his way to the dugout, which has more of a bench kind of arrangement and no arm-rests or cup holders, so my seats were better than most of the other options around. There are, as you can see, people in front of me, but there's a big gap in the safety net at their level, so these people are more like human shields for my seat than spectators with a better view.
My seat also afforded me a fantastic view of Astros Legend Craig Biggio's 2,975th career hit, pictured here. Biggio should get his 3000th hit sometime in early July. This is a major baseball milestone and has only been accomplished 26 times before. Its equivalent in the sitting world would be being able to keep the remote control and the most comfortable chair all the way through a 24 hour TV marathon of The Biggest Loser, it requires skill, determination, stamina, durability and a little bit of luck.

I really, really, wish I'd thought to bring a proper camera to give you a better view of how fantastic these seats really were. Maybe I could get one of those telephoto lenses for my camera phone.