Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Online TV Guide (beta)

Posted by Chris @ 7:37 PM

For the past 2 or 3 weeks I've been working away feverishly on a groovy online TV guide, making use of Ajax techniques, consuming these UK XML TV listing files provided by Andrew Flegg.

Anyway why I've decided to do this and how I've done it I'll answer when I write it all up properly - suffice to say if you've got Freeview, or you watch these channels regularly on Sky, then this should be very useful. It also covers several radio stations.

Anyway as a beta I'm after you guys to give me feedback on my efforts so that I can improve it and make it even more useful. You can find it here http://cgriley.com/epg/ (EPG stands for electronic programme guide). Any feedback you have, be it suspected bugs, improvements in look and feel, usability, etc let me know.

A list of known issues, compatability and planned features is on the page, so check these before contacting me! To give me feedback either reply to this post with a comment, or send me an email direct to epg@cgriley.com. Make sure you include the letters "epg" in the subject, or your email might not get through my spam filter.

Thanks in advance for your feedback, and I hope you find my little creation useful!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Bank holiday outing to Nostell Priory

Posted by Chris @ 3:39 PM

As today is a bank holiday, the cry of "what are we doing today?" came as expected. As usual I didn't really know, however since every time we've seen Mum and Dad this year they've been to Nostell Priory, we figured it can't be that bad, so off we went.

Surprisingly it is quite close to Wombwell, and only took us half an hour to get there. Unsurprisingly it was lovely and sunny in Wombwell, and occasional showers at Nostell Prioiry!

Anyway despite the light rain we enjoyed a walk around the grounds and lake, and a jaunt around the house as well. The staff were very helpful, and we learned a lot about the use of the rooms, more so than some stately homes I've been too.

As usual the best of the pictures I took are in the photos section, under Nostell Priory, however if you can't be bothered to look at them, here's one to wet your whistle!
Nostell Priory through the trees

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Posted by Chris @ 6:47 PM

Come on England, for the second time in recent history (Rugby World Cup) we've got the Aussies by the balls, only by a very slim margin though. So come on England, finish what we've started and bring those Ashes home!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Thunderbird is Go!

Posted by Chris @ 11:49 AM

I've had a Mozilla moment. In a flash of Google Talk being released I'd signed up for GMail. In the instant that happened I loathed Hotmail's lack of decent POP access for free. And so in another heartbeat I decided to start using my cgriley.com email address as my official one, have the GMail address as a secondary one, and to ditch Hotmail.

However to make this change I needed a decent email client, because Outlook Express is useless at organising / filtering / sorting mail from multiple accounts. Something not unlike Outlook I thought, and then I remembered Thunderbird from the Mozilla people. Its free, easy to use and has all the features I need (apart from being able to get my Hotmail mail). So I've downloaded it and imported all of my mail (which was very quick and easy). As an added bonus you can register and keep track of RSS feeds within it, so you no longer have to visit 20 sites to see what has been updated, you can just see, like new mail, in Thunderbird. Brilliant.

So now all I have to do is update my online logins to my cgriley.com address, and phase out hotmail. Obviously I'll still keep an eye on my hotmail account for now, and through this cool looking Thunderbird extension (Webmail) I might be able to do it in Thunderbird after all!

Good stuff people. Mozilla, a pat on the back for you!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Lost and the Wizard of Oz

Posted by Chris @ 1:27 PM

Lost, as you should all be aware is a great new drama that has started on Channel 4 in the last few weeks, and has already aired in the US. And as those of you who watch it will know there is a great deal of mysterious goings on on this programme. The beast in the jungle and the repeating 16 year old French message are just two of them.

Well I think I have solved these mysteries. (Some people I know have already watched the entire series, so to them this theory of mine is going to amuse.) Firstly the strange creature that is on the island knocking over trees and making loud noises. It doesn't exist, it is the Wizard of Oz! Secondly the repeating radio message, it is being played by the Wizard of Oz!

Now crazy I might sound, and my knowledge of the Wizard of Oz isn't great, but wasn't he a little guy trying to scare off Dorothy with big special effects and a booming voice? Cut to a little guy hidden in his paradise island, doesn't want these downed plane passengers on his island, so scares 'em off in his own Wizard of Oz show with beasts and demoralising radio messages?

You've got to admit it is a genius idea I've had here, I look forward to your comments...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Grand Prix Athletics in Sheffield

Posted by Chris @ 11:30 PM

We've been to the Grand Prix Athletics today at Don Valley Stadium, and a good time we had too.

The seats I'd booked were as expected, great views of the stadium, including the main straight and finish line, field and top bend. The seats also put us in prime position for the much hyped entrance of Kelly Holmes, and an entrance it was. Firstly we had a helicopter fly-past, followed by another helicopter, which landed in the stadium to drop Kelly off. Kelly then wandered through balls of flame, which the crowd loved / were slightly scared by!

Following that the athletics got underway, with some jumping, running, hurdling, and more running!

There were also a few big names in the sporting world there. We saw, obviously, Kelly Holmes, Maurice Greene, Lord Coe, Justin Gatlin, and Sally Gunnel to name but a few.

All the events were great fun, the weather was ideal, and it was a really nice send off for Kelly, despite her injury she struggled on and we got to see her, so top marks for effort.

Anyway, looking at the time I really should be in bed for the coming week of work, not posting on the blog, so enjoy the athletics photos and good night!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

X Factor - a renaming is in order

Posted by Chris @ 7:53 PM

Ok, so just finished watching The X Factor, and I feel another renaming is needed.

Similar to Flamingo Land becoming Chav Land, The X Factor shall now be know as "The Chav Factor."

What a bunch of useless deluded fools appeared on that show. I love every second of Simon Cowell crushing their dreams in a single word - no. Fantastic.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Petrol / diesel prices, and dumbass drivers

Posted by Chris @ 12:37 PM

I was watching BBC news this morning, and as so often is the case, the stupidity of the people they Vox Pop enraged me.

They were talking about the ever increasing price of petrol and diesel at the pump, and how diesel is pricier than petrol at the moment. The enraging comment made was a classic mistake of the masses, tied up in their own selfish lives (of which I am guilty, I won't deny it, I'm a hypocrite, so sue me) they weren't thinking about the big picture. The comment was:

"If the price per litre went over a pound I would probably sell my car, and use public transport instead, because in London you don't need a car anyway."

My God, finally after all these years, she didn't realise it but the policy of taxing fuel so that you consider alternative means of transport is finally working. Consider this a small victory for the environmentalists who continually lobby the government for higher fuel tax to get us out of our cars. Of course she can sell her car as she lives in London, for any other place in the UK you'll find it hard to get about on public transport reliably. But that brings us back to the fuel tax, money from that goes into improving public transport (supposedly) and thus harmony and clean air is brought to all our towns and cities across the UK. If only the masses could add 2 and 2 together to see why we pay so much fuel tax Gordon Brown could get on with his job much easier.

End of rant.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Official Wedding Photos

Posted by Chris @ 2:43 PM

The official wedding photos are here! Well to tell the truth we've had them for a week or so now, but wanted to show the parents before they were put on general release.

But now the parents have seen them, get your eyes feasting on these!

And if you fancy getting any printed out let me know which files they are, and I'll send you over the 3Mb full resolution version for you to use.


Friday, August 12, 2005

Flamingo Land

Posted by Chris @ 6:27 PM

Yes, after much secrecy I took Dawn to Flamingo Land for her birthday day out. Now first things first, a little renaming needs to occur, Flamingo Land is now to be known as Chav Land! It was littered with them, one can only assume they were all staying at the lovely Flamingo Land caravan park!

Anyway, we've taken loads of pictures of the rides and animals for you all to look through. The new ride Velocity is especially good I thought, Dawn doesn't quite agree!! The Wild Mouse ride is scarier than it looks, and after that we sidestepped most of the other coasters, in favour of the animals.

We've also got a special announcement to make - can I introduce Larry the Lion, our newest addition to the Riley family. As you can see he's already integrated well into a Riley day out!

Anyway, we're knackered now, so we're off to watch Eugene win Big Brother, and if he doesn't its a damn shame.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Best and worst places to live in the UK

Posted by Chris @ 9:05 PM

Can you hear them? The typewriters of local hacks across the UK are now feverishly writing a response to Channel 4's The Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK.

I can see the headlines now. "Why are we the worst place to live?" "We are the best place to live!" "Why weren't we in either list!"

And local councillors too for those places featured will be falling over themselves to get the next soundbite about how wrong / right Channel 4 was, how they are turning things around / going to continue the good work in their area. And those places not featured will have councillors wanting answers as to why their area wasn't included.

It will be pandemonium, at a local level.

I for one would just like to add why wasn't Wombwell on the list? We're part of the ripple effect from Sheffield, surely that deserved a mention? I shall be writing to my local MP. ;o)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Weekend summary

Posted by Chris @ 4:39 PM

We've had another fun weekend with Dawn's parents and her brother Martin. Saturday saw Martin spending money he hasn't quite got yet on a new CD player and amp, however they are very nice.

After that we went walking around Foxhouses and Burbage Rocks. It was very pleasant and you can see photos of it in the photos section, surprisingly!

Saturday evening saw us at the dogs at Owlerton Stadium. Another fun night was had gambling on the canines, and at the end of the night I was up by 51p, have that, bookies!!

Sunday we spent far too much time and money in Meadowhall - however our DVD collection is now 5 stronger. We've bought Love Actually, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Collateral, The Day After Tomorrow and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. I also managed to get to play around with the Sony DigiBox I'm hankering after. I'm pleased to say it lived up to my expectations, being fast as lighting in response to commands, especially on BBCi and in the EPG - just got to buy it now.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Big Brother - Craig

Posted by Chris @ 10:38 PM

Someone please shoot Craig on Big Brother, now.

I can't wait for that podgy smothering pyscho to be evicted from the house to the loudest boo ever, and watch him have a mental breakdown on live television.

That is all.