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by Karl Bunyan

Programming, PHP, JavaScript, .Net, motorbikes, pubs, poker, football, news, restaurants and anything else

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Warden Abbey Landmark Trust property

I spent last week at Warden Abbey, just outside Old Warden near Bedford (and Biggleswade). It's a Landmark Trust property for up to five people (one double bedroom, one triple). It's a great way to spend a weekend too, as long as there's plenty of coal and wood to keep the fire going.

We took a visit to Bedford Museum (which really isn't that great, unless you want to see a stuffed vampire bat), but Sunday lunch at the Fox and Hare in Old Warden was very good, although it needs booking about two days in advance.

Here are some photos:

A view of the building from the south:

Warden Abbey from the south

The main room, with fireplace (and Ann):

Warden Abbey main room, with fireplace (and Ann)

One of the chimney stacks:

Warden Abbey chimney

Some information about the abbey in Bedford Museum:

Warden Abbey information in Bedford Museum

It's possible to get out onto the roof:

Warden Abbey roof hatch

Ann climbing through the hatch:

Ann on Warden Abbey's roof

Jo Lintonbon climbing through the hatch:

Jo Lintonbon on Warden Abbey roof

Bob Blundell on Warden Abbey roof, looking more like The Bob Monster than anything else:

Bob Blundell on Warden Abbey roof

The fire at Warden Abbey:

A Viking 'fighting' display at Bedford Museum (this was a special event):

The Landmark Trust website

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Leyton Orient 1-0 Darlington

Leyton Orient vs Darlington

With Leyton Orient currently 5th in League Two, two places off the automatic promotion places, every game is vitally important. Darlington are pushing for a playoff place so the points are just as vital to them which doesn't make for an easy match.

It was a high quality game with Darlington pushing hard early on but a few chances going in each direction. Despite a lot of hard work from Conner and, to a lesser extent, Alexander, it was Shane Tudor's excellent strike from the edge of the penalty box that put the O's 1-0 up after 13 minutes.

More chances followed from either direction including a close scrabble to get a ball out of play by Garner and a few good shots from Orient that never quite found clear space. A penalty award towards the end of the first half made it look like it could be game over, but Lockwood scuffed it and the keeper guessed the right way and made the save.

The second half was more of the same, with Orient pushing more and Darlington becoming more frustrated and seeing more yellow cards, until finally a second yellow brought on a red for Matty Appleby right at the end of full time. Our nerves were jangling as the 1-0 lead never looked enough, but the time we'd spent waiting in the cold for the final whistle was eventually rewarded by the victory and the important three points.

BBC SPORT | Football | League Two | Leyton O 1-0 Darlington

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Horoscopes - 27th February to 5th March

Horoscopes for the week starting 27th February 2006:

Aries March 21-April 19

On Tuesday you may have pasta. Usually, you make too much pasta, but be careful that this week you don't overcompensate and make too little.

Taurus April 20-May 20

If it rains, take an umbrella with you to prevent you getting too wet, particularly on Thursday.

Gemini May 21-June 21

All Gemini's have an evil twin in a parallel universe. Make sure you don't 'do a Star Trek' this week and cross over into that universe or all your friends here will be really upset.

Cancer June 22-July 22

Many people think you should lighten up, but believe me when I say that putting a sign above your desk saying "You don't have to be made to work here, but it helps" isn't going to fool anybody.

Leo July 23-August 22

You may have difficulty distinguishing Marxists from Fascists this week which is a common problem. Try not to elect any state premiers on Tuesday.

Virgo August 23-September 22

You may inherit a profitable chocolate empire this week, just make sure you don't eat the profits.

Libra September 23-October 22

Make sure your computer antivirus is up-to-date this week and don't open any dodgy attachments, or look at dubious web pages with horoscopes. Ooops, too late...

Scorpio October 23 - November 21

It's one of those weeks where the toast pops up either slightly too early or slightly too late. You may also have trouble getting the shower to exactly the right temperature.

Sagittarius November 22-December 21

You may be especially depressed about your starsign sounding a little bit like an Italian meal this week. Try resolving the issue once and for all by writing to Sainsbury's asking them to produce centaur shaped spaghetti.

Capricorn December 22-January 19

You'll lose faith in horoscopes this week so there's no real point in me writing anything. Come back next week when you've seen the error of your ways.

Aquarius January 20-February 18

You've no more birthdays this year, and Christmas is ten months away. Bummer. At least the clocks are changing soon.

Pisces February 19-March 20

If it hasn't just been your birthday, it will be during the next three weeks or so. Now go and tell your friends how you've found the most uncannily accurate horoscopes ever.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Google Page Creator - friend or foe?

Google have launched an online web page creation program. The idea isn't that new as all kinds of portals have been offering simple 'create a web page' wizards for years, but Google's looks to be pretty good compared to most of those, and of course with the weight of Google behind it then we can't really ignore it.

Initially, it may seem 'oh my god, they've knocked the bottom out of the market!'. However, on reflection it may turn out to be a good thing for those who can actually provide a high value, high quality consultancy service. By providing a way for people who just want to put up anything online and aren't too bothered about how it comes across it provides a free route to that. This isn't taking away any of our clients, but it is stripping away the clients of the hobbyist with a dodgy copy of Dreamweaver who doesn't mind building a website for £50.

No serious company is going to want a website address of http://yourgmailusername.googlepages.com in any case. So it could be that the only thing that Google's new Page Creator service may end up doing is creating another barrier to entry at the bottom of the market and strip out a few people who really shouldn't be here in the first place.

Google Page Creator

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Preventing bird flu

Those birds should listen to their mothers:

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Telegraph Fantasy Football password

The Telegraph Fantasy Football password for Wednesday 22nd February until Tuesday 28th February is SQUARE. It's a strange week of games coming up, with Manchester United not having a game until 6th March (which is weeks away) and other teams not playing a particularly packed schedule. Champions League action is also potentially causing some of the top players to be rested in FA Cup and Premiership games.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Monkey - I can't wait

I'm reading 'Monkey' at the moment, I've got the DVD, now I want to see the new series.

BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Monkey magic casts spell in Asia

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Horoscopes - 20th February until 26th February

Here are some horoscopes for the week starting 20th February 2006. I think I have a natural gift to share with the world:

Aries March 21-April 19

You may see a squirrel this week. Don't worry, you're not hallucinating: everyone sees them. If it looks to be carrying a briefcase and riding a moped then you should see a doctor.

Taurus April 20-May 20

Taurean's shouldn't go into china shops often, but Wednesday in particular would be a bad time to venture into one.

Gemini May 21-June 21

You may find you end the week with fewer legs than you started with, but don't be too concerned as Pluto's ascendence over March will help any missing limbs grow back.

Cancer June 22-July 22

Cancer could learn a lot from its symbol 'the crab' this week as shuffling sideways may help you get onto that crowded bus and prevent you missing a meeting.

Leo July 23-August 22

You may be prone to losing things this week. On Friday, your keys will either be on the dining room table or have fallen out of your pocket onto the sofa.

Virgo August 23-September 22

During a visit to a jewellry shop, be wary of a man in a mask shouting 'Eat lead, motherf****r': he means you no good.

Libra September 23-October 22

Someone will ask you to lend them a book this week. Things will be better for everyone if you point out you're a Libran not a Librarian.

Scorpio October 23 - November 21

The US trade deficit with China is going to weigh upon your mind this week. Pak choi and noodles should be off the menu if you want to sleep easy.

Sagittarius November 22-December 21

You may end up visiting your daughter this week, if she's had her boiler fixed. You don't want to have to stay in Edinburgh with no heating so if she hasn't gotten round to it, I'd consider cancelling now.

Capricorn December 22-January 19

With such a long time until your next birthday, plus the fact that everyone buys you combined birthday and christmas presents, this is a particular depressing time of year for Capricorn. Sorry, I can't help there. Blame your parents.

Aquarius January 20-February 18

Someone will try to keep fish in you this week. Things will be better for everyone if you point out you're an Aquarian not an Aquarium.

Pisces February 19-March 20

It's a wise person who knows that February is not the time to be eating ice cream outdoors, and you'd do well to heed this advice during the week. On Saturday, however, you can go wild and eat all the ice cream you like.

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Telegraph Fantasy Football password

The Daily Telegraph Fantasy Football password for Wednesday 15th February until Tuesday 21st February is FAMILY.

It's a big weekend coming up too, with a few FA Cup matches. It's either going to be Man Utd or Liverpool getting some extra matches in (although a 0-0 draw and a replay would be good for anyone with defenders in either team). Liverpool have also caught up most of their games in hand so not so many free points from them any more.

Good news that Mido is back from the African Nations Cup, albeit because of an argument. He didn't score on Sunday, but give him a chance...

Best of luck!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Night out at Paolina's, Chris Greenway's party

The 'sad people that all met through a mailing list' (that includes me) met up on Friday night, and Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon... pretty intense. It largely revolved around alchohol consumption, and that even tempted Paul down from Newcastle, a place that I had not previously associated with alchohol shortages but he must be desperate.

The full list of attendees at Paolina's were:

  • Paul J White
  • Chris Greenway
  • Susan Engel
  • Dave Edwards
  • Nick B
  • Neelesh Sonaware

Paolina's is an excellent (small) Thai place just a few doors down from King's Cross Thameslink station.

There were a whole load of other people at the party but I can't be bothered to list them.

Photos are all below. These were all taken from Paul's camera.

Me and Susan, in Paolina's:

Paul and Dave:

Me, with beer:

Susan:

Nick B:

Neelesh:

Me and Susan, again:

Neelesh's tongue:

Me and Susan, yet again:

Neelesh, again:

Nick B said he was depressed. I believed him:

Chris Greenway, at his party:

Ann and Susan, at the same party:

Chris again:

Ann, at the party:

Me, at the British Museum on Sunday:

Paolina's restaurant

Paolina's is here

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Leyton Orient 0-0 Carlisle

It was an extremely high quality game, with Carlisle dominating at the beginning and then Orient putting in a strong performance for the rest of the match. Both goalkeepers were tested multiple times, and certainly kept their respective teams in it. The result could have gone either way, but it didn't. It was a good performance, however, with the new striker Conner showing some good skill. It was especially refreshing to see some off-the-ball movement which is often lacking in this league. Simpson in particular had a very good game, and a few times the player off the ball would make space by puling a defender away.

Overall, the O's should have had it, but there wasn't a lot in it.

Match report on the BBC site

Ling feels that O's were unlucky

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Husband eats 50-year-old chicken

"We kept it safe, and I always said 'on my 50th wedding anniversary I'm going to eat that chicken' - so I did"

BBC NEWS | England | Manchester | Husband eats 50-year-old chicken

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Telegraph Fantasy Football password

The Telegraph Fantasy Football password for Wednesday 8th February until end of Tuesday 14th February is DEAL.

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It should only happen in films

From a BBC article about Islamic hackers defacing Danish websites to protest about the cartoon publications.

There was even evidence that the protests had brought one older hacker out of retirement just to make his feelings known.

An old hacker who comes out of retirement to do one last job? My money's on Client Eastwood to play him when the film comes out.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Anti-cartoon protests go online

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mixed metaphor of the day

But it remains to be seen whether the cloud of uncertainty currently plaguing their build-up will dog their vision on the track.

Does uncertainty come in clouds? Do clouds generally go round plaguing things? Do clouds 'dog' anything?

From an article on the BBC site about Renault's Formula 1 prospects in 2006.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Google bans BMW

Google has reduced BMW's page ranking to 0 because of its use of doorway pages (pages full of links that are pretty much useless to the user). Unfortunately, the article isn't going to help genuine SEO companies much:

A BMW spokesman admitted the company used the doorway pages, a practice known as search engine optimisation and banned by Google.

BBC NEWS | Technology | BMW given Google 'death penalty'

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Mike Davidson: Lessons From The Roundabout SEO Test

This blog posting by Mike Davidson gives an interesting view of SEO and standards-compliant code. It's not exactly an exhaustive scientific test, nor is it meant to be, but it's an interesting and entertaining read.

Mike Davidson: Lessons From The Roundabout SEO Test

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Telegraph Fantasy Football password

Another quite low-scoring week all-round, possibly aided by Arsenal not really playing many of their players and both Chelsea and Liverpool deciding to let in a goal. Anyway, the Telegraph Fantasy Football Password for 1st February until end of 7th February is NAME.

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