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Tuesday, November 22, 2005


We're heading up towards Cambridge tomorrow, to celebrate Thanksgiving with Kristi & Jamie. Should be fun - it's my first Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Pete's Guide to the World Wide Web

As Lindsay can testify, I like computers. I also like the internet. (She is not here, so I am allowed to write such things. Otherwise I would be talking to her, which I always do whenever we're together. I don't go on the internet when she's trying to talk to me. No, never. That's bad, kids - don't do that when you get married.)

Anyway, on with the post. I thought I give you avid blog readers a little treat, (depending on your interpretation of that word). I call it, 'Pete's Guide to the World Wide Web'. So, make yourself a cup of tea; get a few chocolate digestive or rich tea biscuits; open a new tab/window in your web browser; and enjoy the ride!

Our first stop on this great journey starts with the last sentence. If you didn't know what I meant by opening a new 'tab', you have not had the pleasure of using Firefox. The World's Greatest Web Browser. You'll never go back to that pile of junk that is Internet Explorer again. Of course the best way to understand what I'm talking about is to try it. So, give it a go, download it. If you don't like it (and I can't understand why you wouldn't) you can always uninstall it. Since we need to continue on our whistle-stop tour I won't go into more detail, but I'd be very happy to explain the fantastic features of this brilliant (and did I mention, FREE) web browser to anyone who asks.

Ok, moving on... My favourite web site of the moment has to be the marvellous Wikipedia. This online, free encyclopedia is the best place to find out about, well, pretty much anything. I, for example, have spent many happy hours finding out about such exciting things as the London Underground, U.S. Highway Systems, and Traffic Lights, to name but a few things. Not only is it a fountain of knowledge, but... click on an article for me... now see the tab at the top of the page, labelled 'edit this page'? Click on that... Yes, that's right, you can edit the article. This encyclopedia is created and maintained by me and you (well, maybe not literally, but you know what I mean). Some people will be struck with horror by that idea. I, for one, think it's brilliant. Who, after all, knows the most about Lots of Things? Lots of People of course. It's also well moderated, so don't be afraid about the quality of information you're getting. Just sit back and enjoy. Or share your own knowledge on a subject with others! Or tidy up their spelling!

Ok, on we go... I seem to have a habit of finding things on the Internet which cost money, sighing because I really like them but can't afford them, and then a few months later finding they have been bought by Google and made free! You've got to love Google. My favourite of these, and probably my favourite program (as opposed to website) is Google Earth. You need a broadband connection to use it, and it's not yet available outside of the Windows world, but it is truly fantastic. I 'invented' this program in my mind long before I found out it actually existed. Upon starting Google Earth, you are presented with a 3D globe of the earth. You can spin it round, see different countries etc, all good fun... And then you see a little search bar on the page. So you type in an address... and the earth shoots up towards you at an alarming rate. Closer, closer, closer. Country, city, street, house. "There's the house of that person I know. In fact that might actually be their car. Hmmm, now I think I'll go off to Taiwan. Now Sydney. Now Johannesburg." Yeah, it's not quite 'Enemy of the State' live cameras, and it doesn't (yet) have a lot of the world outside major cities, but it is immensely fun, and I could (and do) spend hours on it.

Well, I could go on, and maybe some other time I will. But, I'll leave you with that for today. If you're still reading, well done. If not, well you're not reading, so I can say what I like to you. I'm off to Hong Kong, and then bed.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Extortion at the library...

hello, well, i am back from a day at uni...having cycled in the cold and dark i am now tucked away in a cozy sweater, my slippers donned, with a glass of wine in front of me, my husband beside me, and soothing christmas music on in the background...the goodness of life has been restored.

i don't know how many of you know this, but i am a student rep for my year of my degree. which basically means that i occasionally have to attend boring meetings. i say 'boring', but to be honest, they are interesting, i just resent spending three hours in a meeting. so, this afternoon was the latest occasion of one of these gatherings...i tried to get one of the other reps to go, but everyone had an actual excuse, making mine (which consisted of 'i-really-want-to-go-home-and-take-a-nap' seem small). this morning, i woke up thinking, 'i hate meetings! so pointless and stupid!'...and cycling to uni that became my mantra. arrived at my lecture, feeling resigned to my fate, but happy that i didn't have to face my meeting for 4 more hours, only to discover that the topic of our lecture was 'running effective meetings'...right, three hours on what makes a successful meeting, power dynamics of meetings, theories behind meetings/group work, blah blah blah, blah-stinkin'-blah.

so, i have spent six hours of my day dedicated to meetings.

in other adventures at uni, yesterday i managed to finally set aside all of my procrastination and denial and return four library books that i've had out since september! oooh, i was dreading that moment, i even had to ask pete for the cheque book (always a bad sign, library fines should always be payable by whatever change you have in your pocket...there should be a law about these things). walked into the library at uni, took one last big breath and mustered all the dignity i could find as i set my humble stack down and said, 'i need to return these and i'm afraid i probably have quite a big fine'. (WHY do i always feel the need to apologize to the librarian for the inconvenience/shame of incurring a fine...they should be thanking ME, i am giving them money afterall!) ... then...moment of truth...as he scanned in the first book... ever so nonchalantly he said (with a smile...jerk) 'yeah, that'll be £28.53' ...oh, my life! wanted to exclaim, 'pete is gonna kill me!' but with all these social workers around one can't make idle mention of domestic violence...so kept me mouth shut.

Monday, November 07, 2005


We do have a reason for not blogging for a while - we've been on holiday to Ireland! We spent a week in a big house on a small island, called 'Island Roy' (check out this map). We played a lot of games - Killer Bunnies, and Settlers being the highlights, (in my opinion), even though I never won a game! (There were 8 of us - 10 at the beginning of the week - so that might have had something to do with it!)

Beaches; cliffs; 3 hour drives which supposedly should have taken 1 hour; getting up late; games, games, games; DVDs on a big screen; lots of food - all in all a great week with some great people. We've set up a Flickr account, which we've put some photos on - more to come soon. You can access it here or by clicking on one of the photos in the sidebar to the right.

More stories to come - Lindsay has promised to write a blog soon!