Monday, February 27, 2006

Murder in the pits

Posted by Chris @ 10:07 PM

Whilst up in Carlisle this weekend, we took part in a murder mystery evening. It was a jolly good laugh, and a chance to get dressed up into our various roles. Not much more to say really, other than check out the photos!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Speedwell Cavern

Posted by Chris @ 3:27 PM

What do you do on a cold wet February day when the Mrs wants to "do something"? Answer, you head for a cave, because the chances are its a bit drier and warmer than today's weather!

Our cave of choice was Speedwell Cavern. We were sucked in by the idea of a boat journey underground, in an old lead mine, leading to an underground cathedral like cavern. In reality you do get a boat ride in a small tunnel, but its straight, is about half a mile long, and at the end of it you have to get out to admire the cavern. We also got to enjoy our boat ride with a bunch of school kids, two of which chickened out when they saw the tunnel! I'm being a bit harsh though, it was actually really cool thinking back to when they were blasting out the tunnels in the late 1700s, and it certainly was a different way to spend an hour. It gets the Riley recommendation, but you might want to combine it with some other caverns in the area.

Photos of our adventure underground can be found, as always, in the photos section.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dining room furniture

Posted by Chris @ 5:08 PM

We've been shopping today for a new dining room table and chairs. The state of dining room furniture in England is diabolical. We went to Habitat, DFS, SCS, Barker and Stonehouse, Furniture village, John Peters and Ikea. In every single shop, except Ikea, the tables and chairs were simply huge or overpriced. I think all furniture designers must think we live in mansions - who has a dining room big enough for any of these things? And the prices? Do they just dream up stupid prices and stick them on the table? I mean, over £600 for a table and 4 chairs, how do they justify that? (I know that's just tempting a smart alec to comment against on post, so lets see how many I attract!)

Anyway, much to my usual annoyance, Ikea had the solution. A table and chairs, reasonably priced, and ready to take home that day. We've got the Kloffsta table and 4 of the Hendriksdal chairs. It looks very nice, as you can see below. Another good days work!

Our dining room table and chairs

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Judge A Book By Its

Posted by Chris @ 9:09 PM

I've launched a new website this evening. Some of you who've been helping me with it will already know about it. Those of you who don't know about it, get over there and check it out!!

Its taken a couple of weeks to get up and running, but I'm pretty happy with it! Its got its own blog, so your best bet is to head over there, read the blog post and get judging!

Oh, and tell your mates - its a social website after all!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Help predict the end of the world

Posted by Chris @ 9:29 PM

Or not.

What am I on about? Why the great climate change experiment that's been running for a dog age, but I've just got involved with because the great behemoth that is the BBC is supporting it.

It is one of these many distributed computing experiments, where people download a small application, and whilst your PC is sat doing nothing it chugs away working out if the world will end due to climate change, or will just melt a bit.

The folks running it all do a better job of explaining it all than I am, so skip on over to their website to find out about it and get involved. And then we can compare our globes, and see which one of us brings about the most doom to the world!! Awesome.

BBC Four are also trailing some programmes to do with time that look interesting - I'll be keeping an eye on these.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Snowboard cross is great!

Posted by Chris @ 7:25 PM

For those of you who were round at our house watching the women's snowboard cross the other day, you already know how great this sport is, but you really should have waited to watch the final!

Essentially, its a great lesson on why, when you're out in front in the Gold medal position, you shouldn't try and impress the crowd, show off, be smug, showboat - basically be American in your victory!

For much to my amusement, on the penultimate jump, a good 30 metres in front of second place, American Lindsey Jacobellis did an unnecessary grab and fell over, handing gold to her more reserved adversary.

You can see more on it on the BBC website - I especially recommend you watch the video highlights the BBC have provided that show the quite eventful race in all its glory! Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Smoking Ban

Posted by Chris @ 1:21 PM

Well done, the MPs of England have made the best decision for our country's future for a long time. Thanks to the total smoking ban, I might start going to the pub more often to enjoy the fine real ales that can be found in delightful pubs across England.

However, I have to stop being cheery and rant a little. Watching BBC Breakfast this morning, it again managed to show what idiots live in our land. This particular small minded baffoon texted in that, now we've decided to ban smoking, and all these people are going to give up, where is the Chancellor of the day going to find the money to plug the gap in his tax revenues when people stop buying ciggys.

I couldn't believe it - he's obviously desperately grabbing at any excuse possible to stop the ban going through, because, if he'd stopped for 10 seconds and engaged his brain, perhaps the more logical side of it might have kicked in. His thought process might then have been more along the lines of:

  • Smoking ban equals less people smoking
  • Less people smoking means less tax for Brown (this is where he stopped and got out his phone, but should have continued)
  • Less people smoking means less health problems for the nation
  • Less strain on the NHS equals less money needed by the NHS to treat smoking related problems
  • Plus the fines for places allowing smoking to happen
  • Plus those hardcore smokers who won't give up, we'll tax them even more
  • Equals very little difference in the budget. I'll put my phone away. (Sadly he didn't make it to this point.)

Obviously my maths might be wrong, but I think its a bit closer than the baffoon's! Anyway, that is my piece on the matter.

In summary, smoking bad. Ban good.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentines Day

Posted by Chris @ 1:03 PM

Dawn Riley - I love you! Happy Valentines Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

135 days

Posted by Chris @ 6:49 PM

3 months and 2 weeks, or 135 days, or 3240 hours...

...finally, our kitchen is finished!!!

We've pulled our finger out and done the last coat of paint and couple of jobs to get the kitchen finished. Hurrah! It has been a long journey since we placed the order at Wickes on the 1st Oct 05, but we've come through it all, with some help from a few friends, and the kitchen now looks amazing, we're really happy with it.

Not much else to say really, only that the before and after pictures below show the difference we've made, and that you're free to comment away on how great it looks! (There's a couple more pictures in the kitchen gallery.)

Update: I've just worked out how much the kitchen cost (inc cabinets, floor, tiles and all the odd bits and bobs for decorating) for all you stat fans! It came to £2220.24 - not bad really for what we've got. Bonza.

Old kitchen New kitchen

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Some people have all the luck

Posted by Chris @ 1:17 PM

For the past couple of weeks, you'll be aware that I've been trying to speed up paying off our mortgage with various schemes, however these have not been terribly successful.

But just to really rub it in Charlotte's mate has only gone and won herself a blinged up BMW M3 on MTV that was used to promote a PlayStation racing game! As she can't keep it due to boring things like insurance and storing it, it's now being sold on EBay! At the time of writing the current bid was just over 20 grand - 20 GRAND!!! And the buy it now price is 90 grand! That would pay off our mortgage and leave us with 30 grand change.

It is just not fair. :o(
(Although I've not entered any competitions lately!)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Mums birthday

Posted by Chris @ 7:18 PM

We've been over to Selby today to celebrate my mums birthday. As you can see from the pictures below and in the gallery we bought her a nice vase from John Lewis, and a great bunch of flowers! Dad also baked her a cake, we're told it is the second cake he's made, and I can testify that it was good!!

We went to The Owl in Hambleton for dinner. It has been done up since I last went, and they've done a fantastic job, it looks really inviting and cosy. The food was spot on to. Happy birthday mum!

Flowers! Mum and cake!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Snowboarding and music

Posted by Chris @ 5:03 PM

Well, finally, after a lot of falls, bruises and bumps, I have joined Dawn in passing my level 6 snowboard lesson, meaning I can board down the slopes of Sheffield unaided by costly instructors! Hurrah!

On the way back from my triumph I listened to Muse - Absolution in the car. It has been released for a while now, but listening to it again it still sounds fresh and absolutely amazing. If you've not heard it get clicking on the link above and have a listen, then buy it! I've also bought the album of the band of the moment, Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not. Bit of an odd one this, it is good, don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure all the hype that surrounds it is justified. And it is a bit too short for my liking! However the second album I bought didn't disappoint. Despite being in the top 10 albums at the moment, when I mention Editors - Back Room to people they go who? Chances are you've heard their songs (especailly tracks 2 and 3), but just not realised who they are. Again, I strongly suggest you listen to the clips on the link above, and then buy the album!

If you have heard these albums then let me know what you think of them. Always interesting to get different opinions on music, no two people have the same taste!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Muslim Cartoon

Posted by Chris @ 9:39 AM

The world has gone insane.