Thursday, May 31, 2012

Halo Effect

In a News at One bulletin about the United Nations Security Council, the channel accidentally used the logo of the fictitious United Nations Space Command from Microsoft's Halo.

The presenter Sophie Raworth was talking about Amnesty International's criticism of the UN involvement in the ongoing conflict in Syria.

But next to the Amnesty symbol behind her was not the light blue of the UNSC symbol but the black and gold of the computer game organisation.

Master Chief was unavailable for comment.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC)

The irony of this will be lost on anyone apart from the profit burglar.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Catching Fire

The Bomber nearly having finished The Hunger Games, I need to pop along to WH Smith, after my lunchtime visit to the gym, and pick up a paperback copy of Catching Fire which is the second book in the series.

The exercise scheduled today is half an hour on the recline bike. I usually read my kindle while I'm doing that, but I've left it at home this morning so the iPad will have to take the strain.

Sushi and Beyond: What the Japanese Know About Cooking arrived in the mail from Amazon yesterday. It's not available as an ebook and thus becomes the first physical page turner I've bought for some time.

So that is what is happening with me bookwise. Thrilling eh?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Seven Fat Years

The line up for AbbeyFest 2012 is out.

The WBI time machine tells me this is our seventh year of sponsoring it. That went quickly.

Prodnose: The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years.

Myself: The dream is one.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Minecraft is a game about placing blocks to build anything you can imagine. At night monsters come out, make sure to build a shelter before that happens.

It's taking the Bomber and his friends by storm at the moment on both XBox and PC, though noses have been turned up at the iPad version.

You can read the story of the game at It does my heart good to see what was until comparatively recently a one-man-band achieving like this.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

And so it came to pass

I have now binned Netflix, as previously I binned LoveFilm.

I'd prefer simply to rent or buy from iTunes or Zune. I'm quite happy to pay as I go. I think the all-you-can-eat flat price subscription services flatter to deceive.

So now you know,

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Hood

With the European Championship and the FA Cup in the bag, I have to acknowledge that bringing in the super villain from Thunderbirds as Chelsea manager for the latter part of the season was an inspired move.

Wikipedia:What is known for certain about the Hood is that he possesses a significant reputation among the less ethical groups of the world, as he has been shown to be contacted by spy agencies or military generals seeking information or for a target to be eliminated, such as in Edge of Impact when he was hired by a general to sabotage the Red Arrow program as it was a threat to his work. He regularly spends his time in a strange Aztec-themed temple in the heart of an unspecified jungle, which features a statue of Kyrano that he regularly stands in front of when communicating with his brother, as well as other high-tech equipment that he uses to monitor his enemies and prepare his plans.

A shoe-in for Chelsea; could that be Roman Abramovich he addresses as General X in the video below?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

gross hypocrisy

How dare they criticise London Welsh. Who do Premiership Rugby think they are? Have they completely forgotten recent history? At various times Harlequins and Northampton have rightly been relegated to Division One but prospered massively from the experience and bounced back as model teams.
How dare Premiership Rugby, via the RFU, attempt to deny that to other equally ambitious rugby clubs. How dare they be judge and jury when the only people benefitting is their self-appointed elite. It is so against everything Rugby Union stands for as to be laughable, which they will quickly discover if this London Welsh situation is allowed to go any further.
A sober and judicious response from the Telegraph's Brendan Gallagher of Premiership Rugby's denying London Welsh the right to play in top flight.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vulcan Mild Meld

Vulcan pub to be preserved at St Fagans
Peter Finch says the loss of historic Cardiff watering hole is only partly compensated by its finding a home at the National History Museum.
Farewell to the Vulcan. In the Second World War, my father would peep from his bedroom window to watch watch American servicemen spilling out of it  fighting, then being clubbed and thrown into wagons by their own military police. It was a 1940s XBox for the children of Newtown.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Soul of a Man

I bought  Tom Jones new album "Hit or Miss" on iTunes yesterday. Sufficient to say it is just as good as 2010's "Praise and Blame" and inspired some truly appalling electric blues guitar stylings from your truly before I went out last night. (Oh, we won the quiz in the Antelope again, thanks for asking.)

Monday, May 21, 2012

I for Novello

The Cockney Alphabet:
A for ‘orses (Hay for horses)
B for mutton (Beef or mutton)
C for th’ighlanders (Seaforth Highlanders)
D for ential (Deferential)
E for Adam (Eve for Adam)
F for vessence (Effervescence)
G for police (Chief of police)
H for respect (Have respect)
I for novello (Ivor Novello)
J for orange (Jaffa orange)
K for ancis (Kay Francis)
L for leather (Hell for leather)
M for sis (Emphasis)
N for lope (Envelope)
O for the garden wall (Over the garden wall)
P for relief (Pee for relief)
Q for music (Cue for music)
R for mo (‘Arf a mo)
S for you (it’s for you)
T for 2 (Tea for two)
U for films (UFA films)
V for la France (Vive la France)
W for a fiver (Double you for a fiver)
X for breakfast (Eggs for breakfast)
Y for God’s sake (Why, for God’s sake)
Z for breezes (Zephyr breezes)
Which is by way of a grudging acknowledgment for me of Chelsea' European Championship win.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cathays Park

My trip to see Gareth Evans' The Raid has been put back until Tuesday due to the giddy social whirl that is and will be watching the European Championship Final in the pub yesterday and cycling to, round, and from Richmond Park today.

Luckily I got my Welsh-connected action movie fix from Wesley (straight to video) Snipes on Freeview's 5USA channel on Friday. To my mind, there is something irresistibly funny about the scene above in which Cardiff's Cathays Park Civic Centre stands in for London in an identikit rifle-assembled-by-a sniper-from-a-brief-case-on-a-roof-top assassination scene.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


This Is Local London
Plans to bring AFC Wimbledon to Colliers Wood have been drawn up by the council alongside massive regenerations plans for the area, we can reveal.
The Wimbledon Guardian understands proposals for a football stadium on the site of the Savacentre in Merantun Way, currently home to Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer, are being worked on by planners.
In what is being called the "Merantun Way transformation and AFC Wimbledon master plan", it has also emerged insurance giant Aviva has been identified as a developer to build a mixed use development of 1,000 new homes along with the 20,000-seater stadium.
Perhaps the Merantun Boulevard (Icons passim) wasn't a flash in the pan after all?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Here we go!

"If you like your action movies pounding, proficient, and as bloody as a Boxing Day sale at Selfridges, The Raid is something to behold. Gareth Huw Evans announces himself with an almighty Welsh roar as the latest successor to John Woo, trapping us inside a derelict, 30-storey Jakarta apartment block for a relentlessly brutal showdown between drug dealers and an out-of-their-depth SWAT team." The Telegraph.

"There is not, to the best of my knowledge, much competition for the title ‘best Indonesian martial arts movie ever made by a Welshman’. But, if there was, The Raid would see off all comers with a flurry of flying kicks and a selection of gruesomely snapped spines." The Daily Mail.

"Such a lot of talent comes out of Wales. Ivor Novello, Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins, Rhys Ifans, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Sheen, to name only the bleeding obvious...... Even so, there’s hardly ever before been quite such a drastic example of talent out of Wales as Gareth Huw Evans, the writer, director and action director of this radical martial arts film, made and set in Jakarta, using only Indonesian actors, speaking only Indonesian throughout.". The Evening Standard

"The Raid does not detain the audience with expositions of character." The Guardian.

You may safely assume that I will be visiting the Wimbledon Odeon this weekend. As the for the Grauniard's sniff, to paraphrase Gus Petch in my beloved Intolerable Cruelty, "You want tact, call a tactician. You want an ass nailed, you come see Gareth Evans".

Thursday, May 17, 2012

getting in your face

This time last  year I was in the middle of a Bikram 30 day challenge (Icons passim). If I make it to the Saturday morning session I've booked for the day after tomorrow I will have been to yoga one hundred and sixty nine times altogether.

Good to see the All Black baiting Richard Cockerill getting with the programme.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Raising the roof

If a leak does occur on a flat roof then damage often goes unnoticed for long periods of time during which water penetrates and soaks the decking and any insulation and/or structure beneath it. This can lead to expensive damage from the rot which often develops and if left can weaken the roof structure.
Wikipedia may be less than perfect, but it is right on the money when it comes to a flat roof. The new one on my bathroom is now complete, and I am flirting with the notion of putting a Warre bee hive on it, though the jury is still out on whether that is a good idea or not.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tiddy Oggy

Last night, essentially because I was so entranced by its name,  I made a Tiddy Oggy or Somerset apple and pork pasty for today's lunch.

Then I went along to a pub quiz which we won.

At this rate it can't be too long until I'm wearing open toed sandals and intoning endless folk songs about the decline of the honey bee.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Harvey and I sit in the bars...

The plan for tonight is to go along to the Antelope for the quiz at 8pm, my deep knowledge of Jimmy Stewart's 1950 Harvey having come in very handy for the film round last week.
I'd just put Ed Hickey into a taxi. Ed had been mixing his rye with his gin, and I just felt that he needed conveying. Well, anyway, I was walking down along the street and I heard this voice saying, "Good evening, Mr. Dowd." Well, I turned around and here was this big six-foot rabbit leaning up against a lamp-post. Well, I thought nothing of that because when you've lived in a town as long as I've lived in this one, you get used to the fact that everybody knows your name. And naturally I went over to chat with him. And he said to me... he said, "Ed Hickey was a little spiffed this evening, or could I be mistaken?" Well, of course, he was not mistaken. I think the world and all of Ed, but he was spiffed. Well, we talked like that for awhile and then I said to him, I said, "You have the advantage on me. You know my name and I don't know yours." And, and right back at me he said, "What name do you like?" Well, I didn't even have to think twice about that. Harvey's always been my favorite name. So I said to him, I said, "Harvey." And, uh, this is the interesting thing about the whole thing: He said, "What a coincidence. My name happens to be Harvey."

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Starkey Raving Bonkers

Starkey makes 'cultural' link to gang jailed for sexually exploiting girls

Historian calls on schools to teach English history to ethnic minorities to make them 'English citizens and English men'

Has this nation a toad more odious than David Starkey? I've been unfortuate enough to share the same air with him at a couple of events. Not a day goes by when I don't regret not slapping the smug grin off his face with a wet fish.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Robbed Raided Reunited

The Profit Burglar spotted some of our software in use on the police intranet, in Staines I think, on a TV show called  Robbed Raided, Reunited earlier this week and grabbed a couple of screen shots.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

In which we are excited

Dear Amazon Web Services Customer,
We are excited to announce the launch of Amazon RDS for SQL Server and .NET support for AWS Elastic Beanstalk. You can now take advantage of these managed database and application services to deploy, manage and scale SQL Server databases and ASP.NET applications using familiar Microsoft tools.
We have come a long way since Friday, August 25, 2006, that is for sure. These could be the final pieces of the jigsaw as far as migrating our our code base to the cloud is concerned.

(See also.)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Friday, May 04, 2012

The Rain Redemption

The Bomber and I are off, later today and for the third year- tempus fugit, to the Burnham-on-Sea Rugby Festival for Under 8-13s.
The rugby club are confident that the festival will go ahead as planned with maybe a few tweeks to pitch allocation. Please come prepared for wet conditions under foot.
I hope it all goes well as my Mum and Dad are coming over from Wales to watch himself play for the first time.

I'm taking the iPad and will try out 3G access but I may not post here as I personally find Apple's globe straddling wonder device something of a trial when it comes to text input.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Raid Redemption

They hang huge posters that you can see from the escalators on the way up to the Wimbledon Odeon's screens. When I was there last weekend one of these behemoths was for Gareth Evans "The Raid" - see Icons passim. Only a fortnight to go.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Heavy Sedation

Two drunken Welshmen Wednesday escaped with a fine after being convicted of stealing a penguin called Dirk from an Australian theme park after consuming large amounts of vodka.
Former Royal Marine Rhys Owen Jones, 21, and his bricklayer friend Keri Mules, 20, broke into Sea World on Queensland's Gold Coast last month and swam with the dolphins and let off a fire extinguisher in a shark enclosure.
The pair, in Australia on a working holiday, then stole Dirk, Southport Magistrates Court heard.
Their lawyer Bill Potts, who Australian Associated Press reported was wearing a penguin tie in court, said his clients meant no harm.
He said after they awoke the next day with hangovers and found the bird in their room they tried to care for it by feeding it bread and putting it in the shower.
"They tried their incompetent best to care for the penguin," Mr Potts said.
The little bird was eventually found, exhausted but otherwise well, after a couple spotted it in a nearby shallow estuary when they had released it.
The couple said they saw the captive-bred penguin get chased out of the water by another animal - possibly a shark - before it was then herded back in by a dog. Sea World workers eventually came to retrieve it.
Potts said the men, who pleaded guilty to trespassing, stealing, and keeping a protected animal, regretted their actions and were deeply embarrassed by the international media coverage of their exploits.
Magistrate Brian Kucks fined them Aus$1,000 ($1,034) each and said they were lucky not to have drunkenly stumbled into the polar bear enclosure.
"You could have found yourselves in a morgue if you'd gone into the wrong enclosure. Perhaps next time you are at a party you will consider drinking a little less vodka," he said, AAP reported from the court.
Hat tip, Vince.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


An unexpected friendship between the Special One and a Premier League referee led to an inspiring story of generosity and recovery.
Compared with the life-threatening tumour Mark Halsey has survived it is not much of a worry, but something he must consider. On the one hand, he naturally wants his friend to come back to England after working abroad. On the other, he knows that it might end his own career. For his friend is Jose Mourinho.
You could call Halsey and Mourinho football's odd couple: the referee and the referee-baiter. Mourinho was dubbed "the enemy of football" by Uefa's refereeing overlord in 2005 and subsequently suspended after claiming that Anders Frisk, the official in charge of a Champions League match between Barcelona and Chelsea at Nou Camp, had been visited at half-time by the home manager, Frank Rijkaard. As recently as last week, Mourinho, now at Real Madrid, continued to imply that decisions involving Barcelona could not always be trusted.
Halsey, meanwhile, has always liked to be on amicable terms with players, managers and the game at large. Yet they have become so close that if Mourinho were to return to the Premier League next season, Halsey would have to drop off the referees' list.
The whole story (which you can find here) is well worth a read, but what I'm taking from it today is that it seems very odd that a football referee should have to accommodate a much firmer line on the perception of his own possible conflict of interest or lack of impartiality than seems to be required of the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, with regards to the News Corporation takeover bid for BSkyB.