Thursday, March 30, 2006

Chris' Somme website

Posted by Chris @ 8:58 PM

I just thought I'd help draw attention to Chris' new mini site for his trip tracing the history of the Sheffield City Battalion.

Chris' unique style makes it a great read, and brings to life the sacrifice these men made for our country - make sure you check it out. I'm looking forward to the photos and more tales of the "Sheffield Pals" on his return.

(P.S. The great design matches the subject matter perfectly, and makes me rather jealous of his eye for design!)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

How to use Illustrator and Photoshop to draw a cruise ship, properly!

Posted by Chris @ 8:34 PM

For those of you out there who, like me, struggle on with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create graphics, the odd icon, touch up photos etc for your websites, prepare to be blown away by what a professional can turn out!

Kevin Hulsey is far too good at his job. His latest piece of work is a cutaway technical illustration of a cruise ship. Its very very good, and he gives you a little guide to how he did it too. [Via Boing Boing]

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Vauxhall Astra review

Posted by Chris @ 8:40 PM

Well, another trip to Maidenhead HQ, another hire car to drive, another review to write. This time, as you might have guessed, I had a Vauxhall Astra. As you may remember I've already had an Astra (and Golf) to drive, but this was a better specced Astra, and an automatic!

Its the first time I've driven an automatic, and I have to say, it was actually quite good. I still wasn't properly used to it changing down all the time when I stomped on the accelerator, but other than that, really cool, especially in heavy traffic. Would I buy an automatic in the future? Probably not, but certainly for driving to Maidenhead I wouldn't mind one again.

As for the rest of the car, well, as I've said it was well specced. It was a 1.8 Elite trim level. That means heated seats, trip computer, a/c, CD player, automatic lights, semi-auto wipers (you have to switch it on, but then it adjusts the speed to the intensity). All pretty good, and all worked. The engine had its bad moments (odd ticking), and lacked power in the mid range if it was in 4th, but I think that's partly due to the auto gearbox, and that its been ragged around the country by drivers like me.

I'm going to finish on a down though - the indicators. Why oh why manufacturers have to mess with the humble indicator stalk God only knows. Why they decided, click it on click it off wasn't working I can't work out. Now its a crazy tap it down and let how you steer the car decide when we turn it off nonsense. That's probably not how they describe it in their blurb, but that's how it works, and it annoys the hell out of me. Big mistake, I hope other manufacturers don't follow Vauxhall and stick with indicators that work.

Anyway, that's me done for another review, and its nearly time for the Apprentice, so in summary, 5/10 (average).

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Posted by Chris @ 1:27 PM

Whilst we were out on Friday night, celebrating St Patrick's day the only way English people know how, drinking Guinness and wearing a silly hat, talking in a rubbish Irish accent (OK, that was just me), I discovered I had a talent.

As the title of this post suggests, I am, apparently, a good winker. I'm not entirely sure why we started winking, but it turned out my wink had Dawn and Suzy giggling away like little girls, whilst Tony's wink left them laughing at him, going "Your wink is rubbish!" It is something to do with the fact mine is sly, understated and noticed only by the person it was intended for, where as Tony's whole head moved when he winked, not very good.

Anyway, on discovery of this talent it obviously meant there was a lot of winking going on on Friday night! But I'm rambling slightly now, for there is a point to this post. On Saturday night, we were half watching the "Stars In Their Eyes - Kids Live Final" on ITV1, and in it I noticed Cat Deeley wink not once, but twice! I have to say she has a very good wink, and I wouldn't be surprised if that wink has helped her get to where she is today! But it led me to think, what other celebrity winkers are there? Obviously there's Anne Robinson, but other than that I'm a bit stumped. I'm sure there used to be a BBC Weatherman that always ended on a wink, but I can't remember his name.

Anyway, there's the question, can you name any other celebrity winkers? And no changing any of the letters in the word wink to make an amusing comment, keep it clean please!!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Its ok, I'm still here!

Posted by Chris @ 1:22 PM

I am still here, for those worried about my absence from my blog. Its just I've been busy recently, and the wife keeps restricting my time on the PC in the evenings! Couple that with getting home later because of work, the fact I'm trying to promote a new website, and do some really interesting family tree stuff, you can see why I've not posted!

Anyway, what is going on? Well, for starters, The Apprentice is getting better every week, and as Dawn rightly pointed out, at this stage none of them seem worthy to have the crown of apprentice 2006. Its only a few weeks until we go snowboarding, and all the signs point to plenty of snow! Yeah!

Judge a Book isn't doing as well as I'd like it to, it was an encouraging start, but has tailed of dramatically now. My next plan is a press release, just got to find time to write it!

On the family tree front, I'm attempting to link together all the various family trees of Dawn's family and my family that have been researched, and make them into one super family tree. So far I've merged the Riley tree with the Trenholm tree, but there is a long way to go yet so I'll keep you informed. (In another post I'll write more about how I'm doing it.)

To be honest, life it pretty normal, just busy at the moment, but busy with nothing of note, if you know what I mean? If you don't, tuff. That'll do for now, back to work chaps.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Family tree update

Posted by Chris @ 10:31 PM

Just a quick note for those of you that visit my site for family tree stuff; Tony has updated his family tree code to include the person's occupation against their name (where available). This is quite interesting, and it turns out most of my forefathers (is that spelt right?) worked in the mills and were weavers. You could say as a web developer I'm a weaver of code? Bit tenuous isn't it, I'm drinking wine, that might explain things! ;o)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Langsett reservoir

Posted by Chris @ 5:01 PM

We had the folks over today, and we went for a lovely walk in the crisp afternoon sunshine around Langsett reservoir. It is a lovely walk, and really invigorating for the week ahead!

Anyway, as usual I took some photos, one of which will be quite good for a poster when I crop it, all to be found in the photos section. Enjoy!

Our new headboard

Posted by Chris @ 10:11 AM

A while back we bought some material and asked Kevin, Dawn's dad, if he could turn it into a headboard for our bedroom. We asked for something quite tall so that even if I sat up in bed my head would still have plenty of headboard to rest on. Anyway, 3 months on and here it is!

Dawn and I both think it looks fantastic. Magic.

Our headboard