vin_petrol: (Default)
After an interesting incident (mentioned on FB) involving me waving around a 50cm ruler, saying a quote from what I think is a well know film, and a load of blank faces, I am curious about something:
[Poll #1541431]
vin_petrol: (Default)
She's gone. Finally, almost 10 years after she went live, Ananova is no more.

http://www.ananova.com now redirects you to the Orange news site.

Another icon of the insane dot.com era passes...
vin_petrol: (Default)
Just so I can tell who to cull from my FL should I ever need to ;-)

[Poll #1508347]
vin_petrol: (Default)
Xmas is saved. Tesco had run out of Walkers pork pies, but I have a Dickinson and Morris Ultimate cranberry topped pork pie from Melton Mowbray. Hurrah!

Pork pies
vin_petrol: (Default)
I love pork pies, especially proper Melton Mowbray pork pies. Long ago, I heard that it was a Midlands tradition to have pork pie for breakfast on xmas day. I've no idea if this is true or not, but it seemed a good tradition to keep up!

Over the last couple of weeks, [livejournal.com profile] trash_petrol has been building up a huge Asda online delivery, which arrived yesterday. I had tasked her with getting me a really good pork pie, which I could cut up and eat over a couple of days, possibly sharing it with any other pork pie fans who were around. She was totally aware that it had to be a Melton Mowbray pork pie. She was careful with what she ordered.

Unfortunately, Trash isn't a pork pie eater at all, so although she got me exactly the correct sort of pie, there was one small problem with it:

Find out the problem here... )
vin_petrol: (Default)
Ooh, I got tagged to do a Q&A thing by [livejournal.com profile] da_buffster. That's not happened to me in AGES. Seeing as it's Friday afternoon and things are winding down for xmas here I shall give it a go. That and the fact I wanted to fiddle with some LJ clients on my Linux box...

FIRST: If you've been tagged, you must write your answers in your own LJ and replace any question that you dislike with a new, original question.

Oh, go on then... )

SECOND: Tag eight sexy people. Don't refuse to do it like a pansy (apparently). Oh, go on then: [livejournal.com profile] cookwitch, [livejournal.com profile] rosamicula, [livejournal.com profile] valkyriekaren, [livejournal.com profile] surliminal, [livejournal.com profile] gothadh, [livejournal.com profile] hungry_pixel, [livejournal.com profile] wendles, [livejournal.com profile] rhube.
vin_petrol: (Default)
For the non-Redditors. Ever wondered how English would sound to you if you didn't actually speak it? Apparently, the following song was written by an Italian in gibberish to capture the essence of this concept. It's awesome! I love the way it hovers just out of reach of comprehension.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcUi6UEQh00
vin_petrol: (spacesuit)
Do you like electronic ambient music? Do you like watching live space shuttle missions?

The ambient channels on soma.fm have been filling my ears with droning electronic music to blot out office noise for years. Recently I discovered that they have a channel which is only live during space shuttle missions, which mixes NASA Space Shuttle mission audio mixed with electronic ambient music: http://somafm.com/play/missioncontrol Awesome!

What I found works amazingly well is to have that channel providing the audio, then have visuals on a spare monitor showing NASA TV streamed from http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

Wednesday's space station flyaround was amazing. Atlantis slowly moving around the station, with the Earth shining below, and gentle droning music mixed with Mission Control voices in the background.

The Shuttle is due for a de-orbit burn today at 13:37 UTC, landing at KSC around 14:41.
vin_petrol: (Default)

Mr and Mrs Devil, Vin Petrol and Trash Petrol Mr and Mrs Devil, Vin Petrol and Trash Petrol

vin_petrol: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] trash_petrol and I were discussing the fact that when we were children, in the 1970s, *everything* was expensive. Since then, clearly many items have plummeted in price (in real terms). Technology is laughably cheap compared to prices in the 70s. As far as we could work out, pretty much everything is cheaper now than it was then.

But can anyone think of anything that is not cheaper now? About the only thing I could think of was tobacco. I'm sure that duty on cigarettes now is higher than it was in the 70s. Alcohol duty may well be higher, but alcoholic drinks seem to be far cheaper (think deals at supermarkets) so that the price seems to me cheaper overall. Not that I was drinking much in the 70s :-)

I'm wondering if the wisdom of my friends list can thing of any other examples? Fuel costs have fluctuated wildly - petrol was stupidly expensive after the oil crisis in 1973, and has been again recently, so that kinda doesn't count in my head. (Ooh, nice graph on wikipedia: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/Oil_Prices_1861_2007.svg)

Tuna fish, possibly. That seems to cost more now than it did in the 1980s, as production methods have changed ("don't drown the dolphins") making it harder to produce. However, I was eating pilchards in the 70s so I don't know how much they cost then.
vin_petrol: (argh)
Is it just me, or are there a lot more Category 2s seeking the warmth of our houses this autumn?
I found one this morning lurking under a small pile of my dirty washing, as I picked it up to put it in the washing basket. I'll never wear those underpants again...
vin_petrol: (Default)
After years of working away on things only visible on WAP or via SMS, recently the new Orange News site has gone live:

http://www.orange.co.uk/news

With back end CMS loading services written by me! Loads of wobbly XML comes in, gets parsed, processed and placed in our CMS using the Atom Publishing Protocol. So now you can all vaguely see what I do for a living.

Although, for how much longer, given this rather interesting news story that appeared on the day we launched:

http://web.orange.co.uk/article/copycat_fears_after_23_staff_die_by_suicide

Eek!

[In case you don't know, France Telecom owns Orange. And yes, I am well aware this means I work for a French company. It has been pointed out to me before. Regular and often! :-)]
vin_petrol: (child)
I suspect we all have one of these. When you were at school, the cheap, local, default location for school trips. You probably went there multiple times. Kinda like the box factory in The Simpsons.

Mine is the supposed location of the Battle of Bosworth Field (I went to school in Ashby de la Zouch). [livejournal.com profile] trash_petrol's is Ironbridge Gorge (she went to school in Sutton Coldfield). I seem to recall [livejournal.com profile] road_runner telling me of several visits to Hartlepool nuclear power station (he went to school in Chester-le-street).

So what's yours?
vin_petrol: (Default)
I am in deepest darkest Devon, in East Budleigh (birthplace of Sir Walter Raleigh). We drove down single track roads with grass growing in the middle of them to get here. I have no internet connection. I also have no mobi reception in the cottage we're staying in, something that's not really happened to me this century. To send out this message i have climbed a hill behind our cottage to get one bar of GPRS coverage. 3G doesnt happen round here.
Fortunately I got an HTC Touch Pro the other day so I once more have a phone with a 'real' keyboard.
Took sprogs to a donkey sanctuary this morning, which they enjoyed. Then we had a bracing walk on the stones of Budley Salterton beach in the wind and rain. Hurrah for England in the summertime.
Tags:
vin_petrol: (villain)
*click*
Michael Jackson
*click*
Michael Jackson
*click*
Michael Jackson
*click*
Michael Jackson
*click*
Michael Jackson
*click*
Michael Jackson
*click*
Guns N' Roses! Hurrah for the Kerrang! channel :-)
vin_petrol: (Default)
You know what I want from a watch? I would really like one that displays:
1) The current datetime for UTC in ISO 8601 format: 2009-04-01 11:33:06 as I type.
2) The current local datetime in ISO 8601 format: 2009-04-01 12:33:06.
3) The current Unix timet: 1 238 585 633 as I type.
Come on Casio, build it for me! There are watches for pilots and divers. I want one for a speccy nerd like me! Working with 24 hour rolling news and data services I have to think in terms of UTC, and lots of the code I work with uses the Unix epoch time. What clocks on the wall say is for 'locals'.
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