Friday, October 26, 2007

Our bathroom

Posted by Chris @ 9:05 PM

For those that haven't been paying close attention to my Facebook status we've been having our bathroom done. After 3 and a bit years living here we decided it was about time we had the bathroom sorted out, and like the good blogger I am I have documented its trasformation in photo format. So, head on over to the photos and enjoy.

We had it done by Nu-Gas and we're very happy with the work they have done, not to mention from quote to it being finished was 12 days! They use email you see, so getting revised quotes and clarifications was a doddle. Quite frankly in this day and age it is what all building firms should be like.

All we've got to do now is paint, fix on the various cabinets and towel rails etc. and get the floor done by Dawn's dad. Job well done.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Editors

Posted by Chris @ 11:57 AM

Well, I'm now in a fit state to start reviewing the gig I went to last night. It was on a school night, but luckily I'm on holiday this week so I could recover from my lightweight credentials safely at home! But enough about me....

So in case you haven't guessed from the title I went to watch Editors at Sheffield Uni last night, and they rocked! Admittedly and rather sadly this was pretty much my first gig watching a decent band. I've been to gigs, but normally the band have been crap, or I've been working so I wasn't really a punter. So the upshot is I have little experience to draw upon for this review, but I'll give it a good go.

It was busy so that was good news, because that means they must be good ;o) Generally in the past I've not gone to gigs because I've always thought live music sounds a bit rubbish. I know now that is wrong, and that it was because the bands were rubbish! I know this because Editors were great, in tune, and very competent. Whilst the lead singer's voice undoubtedly is unique, I felt the lead guitarist really adds that Editors sound.

The set was a good mix, made up of the popular upbeat singles from their current and first album, with a few of the slower ones peppered in between. There was a good flow, and the encore was great, really ending the night on a high.

I'm a fan of Editors, as you can probably tell, so it is no surprise I enjoyed this gig. But coming up is the Pigeon Detectives, and I'm really looking forward to that one as they are really energetic, I might even attempt a mosh!

Reading back through this it isn't the best review I've written but what the hell, they can only get better! (Goes to Tony's blog for a few pointers...)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Gargh!

Posted by Chris @ 8:43 PM

I have no particular opinion on racism, gay rights, etc, except to say that I'd probably regard myself as open minded and not really bothered by any of it. However what really gets me annoyed is these so called campaign groups and activists positively discriminating because they feel they are getting a raw deal. Can't they see that by highlighting race/sex they help enforce the idea that that particular group are discriminated against. Gargh!

I feel, as always, that I'm not getting my point across so here are a couple of examples. Firstly, what started this post off was this piece on BBC News - JK Rowling outs Dumbledore as gay. In it are a couple of paragraphs:

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell welcomed the news about Dumbledore and said: ”It's good that children's literature includes the reality of gay people, since we exist in every society.

“But I am disappointed that she did not make Dumbledore's sexuality explicit in the Harry Potter book. Making it obvious would have sent a much more powerful message of understanding and acceptance.”


I'm sorry, why should JK Rowling have made it more obvious in the books? To satisfy the gay and lesbian community, to make a point? Quite rightly she didn't make it an issue or try to highlight it. Dumbledore being gay has nothing to do with anything, and that is exactly the approach we should all take, why does there need to be a big thing about it. JK Rowling didn't need to highlight the straight people in the book, or the black or Asian people.

My second example is from a few years back, when Halle Berry won her oscar. See this partcular quote from her acceptance speech:

“This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It's for the women that stand beside me - Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett and it's for every nameless, faceless woman of colour that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”

Again, what does it matter about colour? The door is open if you can act, it has nothing to do with the colour of your skin, and by highlighting the fact that it is an achievement to receive an Oscar as a black woman helps re-enforce the idea that there is some kind of discrimination. If she had said nothing about it, we could have just congratulated her on getting an Oscar, but instead it became a story about race.

I know this opinion is likely to get some negative comments, and if so I've maybe not explained myself well enough, but hopefully you'll see what I'm getting at. What do you think?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Our unborn baby kicking!

Posted by Chris @ 4:40 PM

As you know all babies when in the womb like to kick out, and mothers and fathers can see and feel these amazing movements. Well now, using the power of our camcorder, we bring you video of our little one kicking and wriggling around. It is not unlike something you might see in Alien, but it is amazing, and trust me, even better to feel it in person! So sit back and enjoy! Oh, she is 28 weeks in this video by the way.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Now playing

Posted by Chris @ 1:43 PM

I've coded another hopefully useful web page. This one is called Now Playing and shows you information about the artist currently being played on BBC Radio 1, BBC 1xtra, BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music.

I made it because when I'm listening to the radio I like to know a bit more about the artist. Have I heard some of their tracks or albums before? If I've no idea who they are what have they done in the past? How much can I buy their albums for, what has been released? What is on their website, do they have a website? Which artists are they like?

All those questions are answered by this new page. It is designed to update itself in real time with the current artist being played, and seems to work quite well. As always the best way to see what it does is to give it a go, and if you want more info about how it works, data sources, etc. then there is an obligatory about page.

I know I could have just hooked into a Last.fm page and updated it as the artist changed, but I wanted to do this because I can, you know ;o)

As usual your comments are welcome, but only once you've read the about page (I don't like time wasters). Enjoy!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Another busy weekend

Posted by Chris @ 9:03 PM

Well, we've been busy again this weekend, so in order for us to help recongnise how much we've done here's a summary.

Friday evening after work we painted 3 walls of the nursery.

Saturday we had the builder / plumber come round to give us a quote for the bathroom, he arrived on time, was very helpful, and asked me for an email address so he could email me the quote, which he duly did at lunchtime, the same day - amazing! We then went out to look at carpets and the toilet we liked in Bathstore. In the afternoon after a spot of lunch we did the wallpapering. We're only doing one wall, but it wasn't much fun. That said I'm pretty chuffed with our first effort at wall papering, it has turned out ok. After that Mum and Dad came over, Dawn cooked a fantastic shepherds pie and then we went to Liv's concert, of which our favourite piece was Dvorak's New World symphony.

Sunday we had a bit of a lie in, then we set off and bought the chosen carpet and toilet. After another spot of lunch I watched the rugby I'd recorded and enjoyed the triumph of England going through to the final, get in! Then I went to the tip with some more junk whilst Dawn cooked a lovely beef stew. Whilst that was cooking we finished off by painting the wall papered wall, before finally sitting down to eat and enjoy our evening.

Looking back we've done quite a bit, well done us! Shame we're back to work tomorrow.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Spooks is back

Posted by Chris @ 8:38 PM

Well, Spooks is back on the BBC on Tuesday and I for one can't wait, it is great! Anyway in anticipation of the new series I checked out the website and found a little gem. It doesn't take much to excite me, but I loved the loading screen for Spooks interactive. Check it out, that cool white logo on black, with the small reflection and circle animation. I love it! Anyway, I had to have my own, so I've grabbed the logo and using the power of JQuery I have my own cool security services page. Check it!

I know, I'm a little sad.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Paint, rugby and walks

Posted by Chris @ 7:32 PM

I thought I'd just give you a quick update on things here in the Riley household. This weekend has seen us finally make a start on decorating the nursery after several weekends of clearing out junk. All we've done is put a coat of white paint on the walls to hide the current peach colour, but it's a start!

I also watched the rugby on Saturday, what a fantastic match. We had all the power in the pack, and had a great game, so bye bye Australia, until next time losers! One thing is for sure, the next time we play Australia it will be a cracking game.

Sunday we took it easy, starting off with a nice relaxing walk along Rivelin valley. It is the first time we've been down there since the floods, and there is some definite evidence of it in the form of piles of rocks at various points down the river. It is still a very enjoyable stroll.

We also finally managed to hear the baby's heartbeat on our home heartbeat monitor (borrowed from the neighbours) today. That was very exciting and reassuring, even though since she moves about so much anyway!

Finally as I sit here and type this I'm watching the X Factor waiting for Top Gear to start, so I'd just like to say I think the group Hope will win it this year.