Wednesday Jan 10, 2007

Holiday catchup

So, first blog of 2007... bliadhna mhath ur, and all that.

It was a fairly quiet break for us this year, at least in terms of travelling and seeing family-- we did neither, apart from a one-night spa break up the road at the Johnstownhouse Marriot in Enfield. (The food there really is gorgeous.)

We were out and about around town a bit though... went to see Jason Byrne on December 23rd, and we took in Casino Royale, Flushed Away, Happy Feet and Deja Vu at the cinema (mostly for free-- thanks Curly!)

Work-wise, I'm trying out a Sun Ray 2 at home for the first time this week... the technology is certainly impressive, although it remains to be seen whether it'll oust my laptop as my working-at-home tool of choice. It would probably be more useful if I had one on my desk at work as well, to get the full benefit of session mobility-- maybe it's time to retire my old Ultra 10....

Monday Oct 16, 2006

What I did in September

First I was going to try and post something arty (like a Luis-esque mosaic), then considered writing screeds about the whole escapade, but that would have taken forever. So, in summary:

First we did this:
And then we went here:

And we had a blast.

Thursday Oct 12, 2006

Phishing ingenuity

Have seen it all now... got this phishing email today that actually includes a snail mail address to send your money to, just in case you're too "clever" to click on the link.


Account On-hold: Please pay your eBay fees today

Dear member:

You are late in paying your eBay fees of $718.28 and your account for user kahlocjd is past due. These fees result from listing items on eBay or using related services (ID verify, Stores, etc).

This account has been restricted and you will not be able to bid or list on eBay. To avoid further collections please pay your fees today by following these steps:

1. Log on to [dodgy phishing link deleted]
2. Click 'Site Map' at the top of the page
3. In the 'My Selling Account' section, click 'Make a Single Payment'. Sign in if requested
4. Select a method to pay your eBay fees and follow the online instructions on page

If you do not have access to your account or prefer not to pay online, please mail your payment with your payment coupon and clearly state your account ID E286455801001 on the check with a copy of this notice to:

eBay, Inc.
P.O. Box 2179
Carol Stream, IL 60132-2179
United States

If we do not receive your payment, your account may be suspended and additional collections remedies may be used to bring this account to current. All current listings will be ended and you will no longer be part of the eBay community.

If this past due balance is the only reason for restricting your account, it will be reopened for bidding and listing when your full payment is received. Your account will continue to be charged a late payment finance charge of up to 1.5% of your past due amount.

Thank you,
eBay Global Collections

Thursday Aug 31, 2006

All set... ish...

So, here starteth my last day's work as a single bloke. The next morning I need to go to work (if you don't count later on this morning, after I've been to bed) it'll be with a resized-but-still-not-really-sure-if-it-fits ring on my wedding finger, if I haven't managed to lose it on a South African beach by then.

The arrangements have been anything but smooth, and I'm vaguely regretting not having a stag night1, but otherwise (largely thanks to Julie) things are about as organised as they're going to be before Saturday week. Speaking as someone who's actually never much liked weddings2 or churches, and hates being the centre of attention, it's fair to say it's taken me a while to warm to the idea of combining all three into the one day, but I'm quite sure the end will justify the means!

Now, back to all that pesky work stuff I need to finish before I disappear for a month...

1Most of the people I'd have wanted to invite are scattered too thinly and widely around the planet to have any chance of attracting a critical mass, stag nights in Dublin aren't quite so appealing when you live here and have to wade through scores of them any night you go into town, and the majority of frat house stag night antics have never held much allure for me anyway. As many pints as I could squeeze in at GUADEC was the closest I managed instead, but I'd have been having those anyway, and there wasn't exactly much chance of a final fling there now, was there? :o)

2Don't ask me why, I've just always had a strange aversion to them-- I won't even watch them in films or on the telly, if I can avoid it!

Wednesday Aug 23, 2006


Apparently I'm the only person on the planet who'd never heard of Snakes on a Plane until yesterday. Fortunately, from what I've read about it since, this doesn't concern me in the least.

Thursday Aug 17, 2006

The indisputable leader

Cool, there's a Top Cat cartoon on TV just now without the canned laughter. God Bless the BBC1! I wonder if they'll get the same backlash when they revert that they did when they accidentally showed a chortle-augmented episode of M\*A\*S\*H?

1 When I was a lad, they wouldn't even call it "Top Cat" in the listings, because there was a cat food on the market at the time with the same name...

Monday Jul 17, 2006

It's not you, it's me...

Had free tickets to a preview of The Break-Up tonight, so I went along with Julie, expecting it to be a fairly average chick flick. Can't say I was disappointed... despite a few funny moments, it basically fell at the first hurdle for me, in that I had absolutely no desire for the two protagonists to stay together anyway1 after the very first scene (in which Vince Vaughn is presumably supposed to endear himself to the audience as much as he apparently does to Jennifer Aniston's character, but actually just comes across as an interfering slimeball).

1No, that's not a spoiler... it is called "The Break-Up" after all...

Sunday Jun 11, 2006

Germany So Far...

Not too many dud games in the World Cup so far... Sweden v. the Scots' adopted team of Trinidad & Tobago was probably the least action-packed, but livened up considerably by watching it on the big screen in a pub full of Trinidadians and Tobagans (and one bloke from Montserrat).

Of course there were all the usual jibes from the English media in the build-up to the opening Germany v. Costa Rica game, about how the Central Americans beat Scotland 1-0 in Italia '90.  It's funny how everyone conveniently forgets that in same group, Costa Rica also beat Sweden (as did Scotland) and were unlucky to lose 1-0 to Brazil (as were Scotland), thus progressing to the next round (where they were, admittedly, whipped 4-1 by Czechoslovakia).  They certainly weren't the mugs that everyone makes them out to be; it's just unfortunate that Scotland had to play them first before everyone else cottoned on!

Incidentally, any British fans who are bemoaning the lack of Baddiel and Skinner's Fantasy Football on the telly this time around might be interested in their World Cup Podcast instead-- I only came across it by accident, so you might not have noticed it either (unless you read The Times, presumably, as they're sponsoring it...)

Thursday May 18, 2006

Le Moan

Can't believe all the complaints from Wenger and Henry today about the referee costing Arsenal the Champions' League Final last night. Er right, and what about the fact he should have allowed Barca's first goal to stand when Lehmann was (quite rightly) sent off, and that you scored from a free kick that was the result of a blatant dive? Learn to lose with some graciousness, you whiney muppets.

Wednesday Feb 15, 2006

Geek reference overload!

A day late, but check out all the background detail in Geeks in Love (flash required).

Tuesday Jan 24, 2006

Good news, everyone!

New Futurama episodes confirmed :)

Monday Jan 09, 2006

(Belated) bliadhna mhath úr

First day back at work today after an extended Christmas and New Year break, pretty much all of which I've spent feeling under the weather one way or another. We also had to spend a couple of weeks back in the UK fulfilling our pre-nuptial obligations, which is a perfectly good reason, but I really don't like travelling around over Christmas at the best of times, let alone when I'm not feeling too great. Did get a fine selection of Christmas pressies, though, so no complaints there :)

Now, back to those 500 bugzilla emails that have accumulated since I was last here...

Sunday Nov 27, 2005

Best and Worst

After all the OTT hoo-hah about alcoholic wife-beater and sometime Dunstable Town stalwart George Best finally carking it in the press over the past few days, the few seconds given to the untimely death of world champion rally driver Richard Burns on the BBC news yesterday was a bit rubbish, really. (Although maybe it's just as well; it's always kind of frightening to think of that sort of thing happening to somebody the same age as you.)

Wednesday Nov 09, 2005

Route Sixty Sucks

Sounds like Linksys have finally admitted (to some people at least) that their new-ish WAG354G modem/router doesn't work with the PS2. I've been trying to tell them that for months, but this post at is about the most informative (and least encouraging) I've seen about it so far.

I'm not completely hosed as I can still swap out the Linksys for my old ZyXEL modem (no router) and run a cable downstairs from that straight to the PS2, but that's not quite the wireless utopia I was hoping for.

Monday Oct 10, 2005

Who are these... yoomans?

Got hold of Carl Sagan's Cosmos DVD boxed set today, which I managed to find on eBay a couple of weeks back for rather less than the $100+ that Amazon want for it.

When it was first aired in the 80s-- and it's never been repeated since in the UK, AFAIK, at least not on a terrestrial channel-- I remember being blown away by the visual effects, the music (mostly from Vangelis' Heaven & Hell album), and the suitably epic feel of the whole thing. I also remember missing the very last episode, about which I was rather upset at the time, so I'm looking forward to seeing it all again. (It should certainly help fill the pre-bedtime TV hole in our new house that's still waiting for NTL to get off their cretinous backsides and join two wires together in our living room.)


I am a Principal UX Engineer in the Systems Experience Design team, working at Oracle (via Sun Microsystems) since the turn of the century. I currently work on sysadmin user experience projects for Solaris. Formerly I worked on open source Solaris desktop projects such as GNOME, NWAM and IPS.


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