Month: April 2010

April 29, 2010
The phone rang a couple of times today, and when I picked it up it was a silent call that soon disconnected.

I knew what it was, it was a telemarketer’s autodial, dialing my number, then dropping the line because there was no sales droid available to take up the call. I take a very dim view of this, as it wastes my time in the cause of saving them time.

So I was relatively prepared when the call finally came in.

April 29, 2010
I loved Monday’s episode of Glee, especially Sue Syvester’s wonderful version of “Vogue” (showing that actress Jane Lynch has a pretty good voice).

However, I didn’t realise how accurately they had nailed it until I saw this comparison video on YouTube, which, if anything, makes the scene even funnier.

April 26, 2010
As part of my kitchen project, I have mostly had local people quoting. However, while googling for ideas, I came across the Tesco Kitchens website. I was surprised that Tescos were doing this kind of thing, but thought I would let them quote, to see how they compare.

The appointment was made the week before last, for today at 9am. I wasn’t filled with confidence, as the young lady who called me back (who was not employed by Tescos, but by the local subcontractor) started by apologising as she had only just started working for her brother, and she was “a bit rubbish at it”.

April 21, 2010
I’ve been with Ecotricity for a while now for my electricity supply. Currently, what they supply is 45% from renewable sources, compared to an national average of about 6%. Furthermore, all profits go back into developing further renewable sources for the future.

I’ve now switched to their new Green Gas product. At the moment, there is very little green about it – it is conventional natural gas. However, as with their electricity, the aim is to use the revenue from selling gas to develop gas mills – anaerobic digesters to turn food, sewage and other organic waste into biogas – and steadily increase the proportion of green gas in the mix.

April 19, 2010
Now the boiler has gone from my kitchen, I am getting quotes for fitting the kitchen out anew. Initially, I was thinking of just putting up three new wall cupboards where the boiler was, but I’ll never match the existing units. I then considered changing the doors and draw-fronts so everything matches, but while the existing units are functionally ok, they were a bit old and tatty when I moved in! I’ve lived with them for 10 years, but I don’t want to spend money on the kitchen, and then be disappointed with the result.

So it is all coming out. I had my first chap in to quote today, and it all went well. None of my bright ideas were shot down, and it all seems good. However, there was one question I wasn’t prepared for – how did I want the kitchen to look?

I know what I like, but I was so intent on working out the practicalities – how many units do we need, can we utilise that wasted corner, can we bung a worktop in the (little used) larder to house my kitchen gadgets – that I hadn’t actually specified things like colour and finish. Pretty important stuff.

Anyway, since that visit, 3 hours ago, I have been googling, and have come up with a style guide for the chap to quote against (and for the other companies). Then I thought I would post it here too.

April 17, 2010
Last Saturday, I was due to host my gaming group on an all day + BBQ gaming day. However, I had to postpone it a week, due to my being ill the previous week – I knew if I made it to the Gadget show on the Friday, I would be knackered for the Saturday.

What a decision – today the sky was without cloud. The first gamers arrived at 10am, with more arriving at 11am, and we played through to 1:30, by which time I had the BBQ going. We all ate far to much red meat (except for the vegetarian!), and then went back to play, just in time to hear the ice cream van. We all rushed out to great it, screaming like kids.

April 9, 2010
Well I made it to the Gadget Show Live, and I made it back again. There were a couple of times that my chest got bad, but not at any critical moment, so I just went and sat down until I was better.

I’ve been out since 8am, and was at the show from about 10am to 5:30, so I am exhausted. I’ll post more over the weekend.

April 8, 2010
In contrast with my previous post, on finishing Goldfinger, I picked up this book – The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, and read it cover to cover in two days. It tells the story of William Kamkwamba, from Malawi, and how he built – from scrap and spare parts – a working wind turbine for his family. The story takes him from his childhood, helping his father grow maize and tobacco, through his desire to learn and understand how things work, despite having to leave school due to the fees required, to the genesis of his first windmill, ending with him travelling throughout Africa (and the world) to speak on bringing technology to emerging countries.

Written with author Bryan Mealer, the book nevertheless captures William Kamkwamba’s voice, and is a great read.

April 8, 2010
I like to read, and when I have something good to read, I can get through a book pretty fast.

However, I do have a tendancy to only have one book on the go at any one time, and if I am not enjoying it, it can take me forever to finish. I feel I have to finish the book, but reading starts to seem like a chore, and I am reduced to a grudging few pages a day.

April 6, 2010
Coming to the end of my antibiotics, and although I am sure I am better than I was (I am not shivering and sleeping all the time), I still haven’t got rid of the congestion on my chest.

What is worse, I am actually supposed to be “on holiday” this week – nothing actually booked for most of the week, but the idea was going to be that I got some jobs done in the garden and around the house, and if the weather was good, perhaps go out for a day. Instead I have done zip, except sit and read and watch more “24”. I can’t even do any music, as I can’t sing with my chest like this.