Sunday, October 30, 2005

New neighbours part 2

Our new neighbours seem to be having fun destroying their new home. Yesterday it was the kitchen and today the bathroom.

There is one thing that causing us a little bit of concern with the new neighbours. It’s not being woken up at 9.15 on a Sunday morning to the sound of banging when you have a hangover – it’s their car.

We have a phantom door bell which plays the Westminster Chimes of what originally appeared to be for no good reason, especially very late at night (3am….) when there is no one at the door. Scary ! ! ! !

We eventually found the culprit – car alarm remotes. Those of you who were at John’s party will remember what happened when the Kings locked their car, the door bell bust into life.

It seems that the new neighbours car is setting off the door bell. Fortunately the door bell plays a different tune when it’s been rung for real so we know when to answer the door or not.

We also had a slight panic a couple of weeks ago when the door bell kept going off. After the seventh time in succession it was getting on our nerves as there were no cars in sight.

We then noticed that Kevin, the neighbour over the road was installing a new door bell. Every time he pressed his bell to see if it worked, ours went off….

I’m pleased to report that things have settled down with Kevin’s door bell. Hopefully the new neighbours car will do the same.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

New neighbours

Dennis our next door neighbour moved house on Thursday. We didn’t actually notice he was missing until late yesterday afternoon. Just goes to show what good neighbours we are….

Him and his family were moving some furniture into a trailer box on Thursday but we thought no more about it as he never mentioned an actual moving date. Do you think he was trying to tell us something ! ! !

Thinking his departure was imminent we bought him a bottle of whisky and a good luck in your new home card at Morrisons on Thursday night.

Next morning this car wasn’t at the door but we didn’t think anything peculiar about it as he was often out early.

When I came home from the childminders (my mam’s but we always call it the childminders) I couldn’t put my car in the garage as a car was blocking the door. I was not impressed. Of all the places to leave a car etc, etc.

I drove round to the front of the house and just as I pulled up out side ours I spotted two strangers come out of Dennis’s. Could they be the garage blockers. I decided to follow them and find out. Sure enough it was.

So it appears that Dennis has done a runner. What of his whisky. Well, he’ll have to come back shortly as I’ve got make to him 2 dozen mince pies and a Christmas cake…..


Friday, October 28, 2005

How’s this for service

I wouldn’t say that we are regulars with the pizza place but….

Whenever we ring them we only get as far as saying ‘I’d like to place an order please’ when the reply is ‘it’s on it’s way’.

The chef gets concerned if we’re late in phoning and they get very confused if we ring them any other night but Friday.

We ever get a bottle of wine at Christmas ! ! !



The wine is waiting. The Pizza is ordered. I like Fridays.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Rhapsody in blue makes me see red

We bought ourselves a DVD writer a couple of months ago so I’m slowly starting to copy the stuff from video onto DVD.

Today was the turn of the film Rhapsody in Blue. I set the video away to play, then pressed the record button on the DVD writer. The little light said it was recording so left it to play merrily to itself.

50 minutes later I came back into the room and noticed that the machine wasn’t recording. After fiddling with it for a bit I realised that I had a dud blank DVD.

No problem, I’ll set it away to record again.

Everything seemed to be going fine until I noticed that I had set it to record at standard speed so would only get 2 hours on the DVD. I couldn’t remember how long the film had to run but didn’t think it was longer than 2 hours.

2 hours and 17 minutes to be exact. The machine must have known that I was willing it not to stop at 2 hours so kept going until it reached 2 hours and 15 minutes…..

I was not amused. However it only missed off a little bit of the end so I wasn’t bothered. John on the other hand was, so I had to record it once again.


Knight Rider

Today I got to drive KITT. Let me explain. One of the folks at work just got his new company car and I had to drive it today. It's a Renault Grand Scenic Grand Something Or Other.

You get in and a sign lights up telling you to insert the smart card. Then another sign lights up telling you to depress the brake pedal and press the Start/Stop button. Then yet another sign tells you the oil pressure is "ok" and by the way it's 18 Celsius and the parking brake is on.

And speaking of parking brake, there isn't one. Just a small button you press when you want the parking brake on. To release it you just drive off. Very weird. Don't fancy trying a hill start.

By the time I'd covered the six miles to the warehouse I was suffering from information overload. It got dark(ish) so the headlights came on. There were a few spots of rain, so the wipers came on. I felt slightly cheated that I had to steer the thing. And all the while these little signs kept lighting up.

The owner tells me that it used to be worse, until he figured out how to turn off all the audible signals too.

I've decided I don't like Knight Rider.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Can't think for an interesting title so this will have to do

As expected the wine and chocolate got a hammering last night. Well it is the TOTM so I’ve nothing to feel guilty about.

Spent the morning making batches of sausage casserole and chilli for mother. Since my dad died last May she won’t cook for herself so gets me to do it. I should point out that I don’t just feed her sausage casserole and chilli – she does get other things as well…..

Other than that had a very ordinary day.


HTML 1, John 1

OK, we'll call it a draw.

On the plus side you can now access this blog directly by going to, and it's got a heading at the top. On the minus side there's still HTML.

But I think I can see what the problem is. Most books contain"worked" or "real-world" examples. I'm a software specialist moreused to dry computer manuals that give you a formal description ofthe syntax. Real-world examples are just too exciting for me.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sod the diet

I’m or rather we are both on diets. We’ve been trying to lose weight for over a year but not having much luck.

We do well for about a week, or two, then something happens:

We go out for a meal with friends – can’t possibly weightwatch in a restaurant.
We’re on holiday so don’t give a damn ! ! !
It’s Christmas/Easter/our birthday’s/someone else’s birthday.
John has a stressful day at work.
My pains are bad so need medicinal wine.
It’s the run up to conference so out comes the wine, cheese, chocolate – in fact just about anything we can get our hands on that’s fattening and yummy.
It’s the TOTM (time of the month) where only large amount of chocolate and wine will do.

Today it’s the TOTM so I can say goodbye to the diet for this week as I’ve a feeling I’m going to need lots and lots and lots of chocolate and alcohol…...

Ah well, there’s always next week (ha, ha).



It’s not funny. I’m a software developer with 30 years experience. I can write in five languages and read another five. I can even still interpret punch cards.

But there are two languages that really leave me flummoxed.

The first is “C” which is probably excusable. It’s been described as a “write-only” language, in the sense that once written you can never go back and understand what you wrote. I mean, come on, what kind of language allows lines like “a++ + ++b”. In any sensible language this would be a syntax error.

And now for a terrible confession. Today I made one of my first forays into HTML. It’s horrible. Most languages you get a feel for how it will look. Not this one. It seems to put in loads of stuff you don’t want and loads of unexpected white space. Stuff those fancy editors, I ended up using note pad .

Tim Berners-Lee has got a lot to answer for.


Hello - er are we on yet.....

Hello from the BOGOF blogs.

Just new to the world of blogging so please be gentle with us. I'm Marie and he's John.

For those of you who know us, this is probably superfluous (I'm glad he spelt that and not me....) but for the rest of you we live in Sunderland, approx 800 yards from the very cold North Sea.

For our sins we organise hospital radio conference. The last one being just last weekend in Portsmouth. You may have read about it in some other blogs. We deny any responsibility ! ! !

For those of you who know us really well, it's past 9pm so time to visit the cupboard under the stairs.

By the way if you want to know who to blame for this, try Gottle or Sybil Baggins. It's all their fault.....

Bye bye

Marie and John