Thursday, July 28, 2005

The pros and cons of marriage

Posted by Chris @ 7:41 PM

Well it is almost 3 weeks since we tied the knot, and busy weeks they have been. You don't quite realise how much work getting married is until you do it, and by then it is too late!

For instance, if you think planning and executing the wedding is enough, post wedding there is a whole host of crap to deal with. Firstly you leave everything for a week whilst honeymooning, which means you come back to a right old mess!

You've got to sort out all your presents, which in many cases means a lot of washing up so you can use things, and loads of rubbish. You have to find places to put them. In a small house this isn't so easy, and so we're now having to look at getting a new kitchen, just to put everything in it!

You got to sort out all the multitude of photos from the wedding, send off disposable cameras etc.

You've got to buy and write all your thank you cards, and in timely fashion before the new in laws start moaning!

You've got invite people round for dinners, and visit as many relatives as possible as the new Mr and Mrs Riley. I say you've got to like we don't like doing this, but we do. We're really trying to see as many people as soon as possible so that its done, and then we can actually get a weekend to do nothing!

You've got to go to Debenhams and close off your wedding list.

You've got to change Dawn's name. This is a lot of work. The number of places that ask for the original marriage certificate means you can't do it all in one go, you have to send it off to one place, get it back, send it off to another... Then the money - you have to get a new passport which is £42 these days! On the upside being married meant our car insurance came down by £40 (although Dawn being married to me doesn't mean she is less likely to crash now is it?) And the number of places you have to change it - for the house alone there is the mortgage, life insurance, house insurance and the name on the deeds with the land registry. Luckily Dawn's name isn't on any of the bills save the TV license, so that makes things a bit easier!

Anyway as you can see getting married keeps you busy, but at the end of a hard day the main thing is I can sit down, crack open a beer, and put my arm around my wife.

Monday, July 25, 2005

MSN Virtual Earth (Beta)

Posted by Chris @ 1:23 PM

It seems once again Microsoft are playing catch up to Google - but this time I'm a bit impressed with their offering. I am of course yabbering on about MSN Virtual Earth, Microsoft's answer to Google Maps.

Essentially the interface works pretty much like Google Maps, with sat photos, keyboard shortcuts etc. A cool feature they've added is to find your location using WiFi networks - they triangulate your location using three WiFi networks around you. This has meant they've had to find out the location of a lot of WiFi networks in North America, but still cool. And I have to say I prefer the road map on this interface to Google's, it seems a bit more detailed. The zoom feature where it appears to zoom in is a little lame, but a good attempt none the less.

Overall it seems a bit quicker and stable than Google Maps, in the past with Google I've had images not load, but no problems so far with the MS offering. Obviously it is only for North America at the moment, like every new release, but no doubt the UK will come online eventually.

Get mapping....

Friday, July 22, 2005

Extras, in fact BBC2 last night

Posted by Chris @ 9:02 AM

Before I begin, I'm not trying to offend Germans in any way, but on reading my friend Anthony's blog I do wonder, is he part German? For the man doesn't get the humour in The Office, and now it seems not in Extras either.

The subtle humour, the observations of life, the situations you've seen, experienced and endured through our lives all condensed into great 30 minutes shows, expanded upon just that bit more to take it where you wished you had, or hadn't in real life. This is the brilliance of it, pretty much everyone can relate to it. Don't try and "get it", just watch it, if you stick it out I'm sure you'll start to see the comedy in it all.

As for the rest of BBC2 last night, what followed Extras was The Catherine Tate show. This was sheer brilliant comedy. Apparently it's the second series, more fool me for missing the first. Dawn and I were in stitches, if
you didn't watch this, why not, and make sure you do next week. It's a great little sketch show, with great characters, my favourites being the "bothered" teenager, the couple from Beverley, and the cockney couple talking about their day.

Finally after that hour of brilliance was Absolute Power, again the second series on TV, I've missed the first but decided to try this one out. And I have to say I enjoyed it, very political, very clever and just the kind of high brow humour to finish an evening off before collapsing in our John Rocha sheets (thanks to however bought them off our wedding list).

Right, I think I've achieved the right balance of TV criticness, slagging of
Anthony and smugness with this post, so I'll sign off here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Our Honeymoon

Posted by Chris @ 8:18 PM

I was going to write a big day by day post about what we did on our honeymoon, with links to the relevant photos and the like, but quite frankly I can't be bothered now.

So instead you can find our honeymoon pictures here, and if there are any that interest you that you would like more information on, leave a comment and I'll elaborate.

Monday, July 18, 2005

We're married!

Posted by Chris @ 8:44 PM

Wow, I mean wow, seriously, what a crazy fantastic time the last week or so has been.

It started off as I'm sure you are all well aware of with the wedding of the year. You've all said how perfect it was, and Dawn and I can only say thank you to all of you who came along to make it such a perfect day for us. Also thank you to all of you who couldn't make it for your cards and gifts, you really all have been very generous. I'm sure you'll agree with me that Dawn looked absolutely stunning =:o)

Its a very strange feeling being centre of attention for a day (and for the following days) and also very weird hearing so many nice things about yourself and your wife, with nothing bad!! It was a really great day and we're overwhelmed, as you might detect I'm finding it a little hard to put into words how we're both feeling about it all.

Anyway as with all weddings we have photos a-plenty, and video as well. Some photos have already found their way onto the web via Chris, Tony, Anthony and Bob. The best of the many photos taken with our camera are available on our site now here, and as we get the official ones, and finally some video clips, I'll let you all know. If there are any of our pictures you like and you want a better res pic, let me know and I can send it on.

Finally we've been on our honeymoon in Prague for the past week, hence the lack of posts, but there are a whole host of photos from that for me to sort out and get online. I'll post details on the honeymoon later this week, and as for the pics you'll get to see them in due course, for now enjoy the various wedding pics!

Update
On closer inspection I have to say these are my favourites from our selection of pics:


Sunday, July 03, 2005

Live8 was gr8

Posted by Chris @ 5:02 PM

So, to summise the title, Live8 was great, the show was amazing, and the amount of awareness out there now about Poverty in Africa is huge.

In conclusion Make Poverty History.

Friday, July 01, 2005

I'm valid - XHTML Strict valid that is

Posted by Chris @ 12:50 PM

I've been chipping away under the hood of the website to bring my html coding up to scratch, and I'm finally there. Through a labourious conversion to XHTML 1.0 Strict from classic HTML I've learnt a thing or two about XHTML, like you can't use Iframes.

Anyway to check that a page on my site is valid, simply click the link on the right next to the site feed image. The validator should come back saying the page is valid, if it doesn't then let me know! (There are some problems with the individual post pages due to the comments, but I can't update them frustratingly!)

In the coming weeks I'll be adding a standards and accessability page to the footer nav, which will explain what standards I'm trying to maintain, and what accessability features I have added to the site. Whilst you won't notice much difference, hopefully it will mean the site is viewable in more browsers as it should be viewed, now and into the future.

Carry on.