Sunday, 30 November 2008

A cooking good weekend

I said cooking :)

I did quite a lot of cooking this weekend, I really really enjoy cooking but do tend to do the simpler things. On Friday night I did an old favourite "Pasta Pie" it was kind of made up and invented by Cath and I years ago, you can see full recipe and details here:
On Saturday evening I did steak and chips, again pretty simple but I do like to add some work into simple recipes so I'm quite careful about how I do the chips, boiled a little first, a splash of oil and some pepper and/or chilli flakes then in the oven for 30-40 mins. The steak is just fried in the pan for about 4 minutes on each side in some butter mmmm :) Top this off with some nice salad and you can't go wrong. Tonight I did shepherds pie, my own touch to this is to add some chillis to the mince when frying it and be sure to add some good quality cheese to the top before putting it in the oven, I did Emma a portion without Chilli's though as she's not so keen.
Catherine and I normally share the cooking at the weekend and she does most of it during the week, I really enjoyed cooking this weekend though. I think the most important part of cooking is the quality of the ingredients you use, this weekend we did shopping at Waitrose which really makes a difference. Waitrose is probably the best part of living down south :)
If you have any (simple) recipes please feel free to leave them as comments.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

A walk in the park.

As some of you may know, Catherine is really into babywearing, this basically means that whenever we go out she carries Emma either in a wrap or shoulder sling or in a baby carrier on her back, this is a rather brilliant ideas as Emma loves the closeness of being next to her mummy all the time, and when we go out it is much easier and more convenient than lugging a push chair around everywhere. Anyway Catherine is also involved in several communities of other Mums and Dads who do the same thing and in particular helps to organise Oxford Sling Meet. A couple of weeks ago it was national baby wearing week so we went on on organised walk around Oxford, through a lovely park and past some of the really nice colleges and then to a church hall where we had tea and cake and the kids had a chance to run around like maniacs, despite the dampness of the weather it was a really lovely day, it even made the local paper and there was a short story on the ITV local news about it as well. I have put some pics up of the day here: and when I get a moment I will also upload the video of what was on the TV as it has a gorgeous shot of Emma waving at the TV cameras.
By the way for those wondering I do occasionally carry Emma as well but only on my back and I need Catherine's assistance to get her up there and back down.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Friday already?

Christ it's Friday already, where the hell did the week go, power cut at work today and the generator failed we finally got power back after 1.5 hours but it was a bit worrying up until that point. Nice few beers out with people from work tonight. Apologies for the short post something more substantial later in the weekend hopefully. Oh Emma's a bit better today (lots of beans) which is nice :)

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

London (Again)

So I went to London again today but this time for work. Won't bore you with the technical details but basically I was powerpointed for the morning, that was after paying 47 (yes 47) quid to stand on a train all the way to London. On the way home there was tube chaos as tfl had suspended the circle, district and hammersmith and city lines, which leaves just the one (bakerloo) going into Paddington, it's times like these you realise what a pure work of genius the London Underground map is (try working out that kind of detour on the tokyo one). Anyway got home eventually albeit 2 hours later than I thought I would.

Emma still has a cold but is looking a little better. Her words are coming on nicely. In the bath tonight, Me: "Time for a wash Emma??" Emma: Mmm a zash?

Mmmm time for a beer or two I think.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Kristen at the borderline

Abingdon is just far enough from London that going to a gig there is possible but a bit of a pain logistically which means to be honest it's only going to happen when something special is going on. That said gigs by Kristen Hersh (or one of her other guises, Throwing Muses, 50 foot wave) are generally very special, she's one of the few artists that I would still drive up and down the country to see several times in a row if I didn't have family responsibilities.
So I left home at 5.30 yesterday and drove to the Metropolis that is Didcot, ( in truth Didcot seems like a bit of a hole to me, it sits beneath a large cloud created by one of the UK biggest power stations, and just seems quite run down, but it has a very well connected station, with frequent trains to London that take less then an hour, shame they arrive in Paddington, where there is mmmm nothing) So on arrival I find that tfl have closed the district and circle lines mmmm great start, luckily the bakerloo line is still running and is almost as conveninent anyway. The gig was at the Borderline, which is just a little down Charing Cross Road from the Astoria (Where Uriah Heep were playing last night, my god are they still going) I'd never been to this venue before but I was vey very impressed, probably enough to say it's now the best one I've been to in London, it's tiny with a very low stage and plenty of bar area, the toilets are a bit miniscule but hey you can't have everything. I got there by 7.30 and K was not due to start her first set until 8.00 the venue was still pretty much fillng up, so I got a very good place right down the front. As usual 8.00 turned into 8.20 but hey was worth waiting for (although hanging around at gigs on my own like Billy No Mates is not really my idea of fun). Kristen played two sets of about 40 minutes each, the first set was all Appalachian Folk music, this is traditional American folk music which I believe was taught to her by her grandparents, seems to be centred around murders a lot which she did make a joke about between songs. Kristen looked a little tired but I'm guessing she was jetlagged to hell having only flown from the west coast a few days earlier, but her voice and guitar skills were up to their normal selfs. There was a small break of about twenty minutes and then she came back and did a second set of her own songs some very old, some more recent but all instantly recognisable, I preffered the second set but the first half did have it's moments. I'm not sure if there was an encore as I ran out to catch my train at the end of the set (Kristens manager had set two sets of 40 mins to me in an e-mail earlier in the day so I have a feeling there wasn't going to be an encore anyway) I rushed back from central London to Paddington to catch my train and got on it with about 3 minutes to spare, there is one later but it would of meant hanging around Paddington for an hour which is not really what I want to be doing. Finally got home at about 5 to 12 and was pleasantly surprised to find Catherine still up and awake with amusing stories of Emma and eggs maybe I'l tell you a little more about that tommorow.

I didn't manage to take any pictures of last nights gig as my camera mysteriously stopped working but I've found some online already here:

and a video here:

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Sunday Excitement

I was pretty annoyed last night to find that Kristen Hersh is playing in London tonight and it's sold out, why the hell hadn't I noticed she was playing earlier. Anyway after some hurried and frantic e-mailing and with great thanks to Billy Kristen's manager I have blagged a guest list place (Not so much blag as I'm a member of cashmusic but it was good he could sort me out at the last minute). I also really have the most fantastic wife in the world who didn't mind me springing this on her at the last minute, despite a lack of sleep last night (thanks Cath). So I'm off to the borderline tonight and I'm (very) excited.
More tommorow (with photos)

Friday, 21 November 2008

Top 100 Books

Thought this was quite interesting, thanks to Jez (I nicked it off her livejournal)

According to The Big Read, the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books on their list.

Y = Yes read
(Y) = Loved
? = will probably read at some point
M = own but never got round to reading
X = Never read

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen = X
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien = ?
3. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling = X
4. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee = (Y)
5. The Bible - = X
6. Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë = (Y)
7. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell = Y
8. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman = ?
9. Great Expectations = X
10. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott = X
11. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy = X
12. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller = X
13. Complete Works of Shakespeare - Y (some of them)
14. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier = X
15. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien = Y
16. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks = X
17. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger = (Y)
18. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger X
19. Middlemarch - George Eliot = X
20. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell = X
21. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald = X
22. Bleak House - Charles Dickens = Y
23. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy = X
24. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams = (Y)
25. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh = X
26. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky = X
27. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck = X
28. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll = X
29. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame = X
30. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy = X
31. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens = X
32. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis = X
33. Emma - Jane Austen = Y
34. Persuasion - Jane Austen = X
35. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis = X
36. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini = X
37. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres = X
38. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden = X
39. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne = Y
40. Animal Farm - George Orwell = Y
41. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown = ?
42. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez = X
43. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving = X
44. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins = X
45. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery = X
46. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy = X
47. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood = X
48. Lord of the Flies - William Golding = Y
49. Atonement - Ian McEwan = X (Hated the film so not much chance of me reading the book)
50. Life of Pi - Yann Martel = X
51. Dune - Frank Herbert = X
52. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons = X
53. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen = M
54. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth = X
55. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon = X
56. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens = X
57. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley = X
58. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon = X
59. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez. = X
60. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck = X
61. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov = X
62. The Secret History - Donna Tartt = X
63. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold = X
64. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas = X
65. On The Road - Jack Kerouac = X
66. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy = X
67. Bridget Jones' Diary - Helen Fielding = Y
68. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie = X
69. Moby Dick - Herman Melville = X
70. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens = X
71. Dracula - Bram Stoker = X
72. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett = X
73. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson = Y
74. Ulysses - James Joyce = X
75. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath = X
76. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome = Y
77. Germinal - Emile Zola= X
78. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray = X
79. Possession - AS Byatt = X
80. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens = X
81. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell = X
82. The Color Purple - Alice Walker = X
83. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro = X
84. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert = X
85. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry = X
86. Charlotte's Web - EB White = X
87. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom = X
88. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle = X
89. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton =X
90. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad = X
91. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery = X
92. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks = X
93. Watership Down - Richard Adams = X
94. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole = X
95. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute = X
96. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas = X
97. Hamlet - William Shakespeare = X
98. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl = Y
99. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo = XI

100 and 3 seem to be missing for some reasoin

So I scored 12% double the average but still pretty bad eh :)
Now if it were IT books :)
Leave a comment with your score.


Bad nights sleep again, was all going fine but then the Central heating came on about 2am. The boiler in our house is located in a cupboard in our bedroom (how nonsensical is that?), so we need to make sure the heating is turned off at night time, I forgot therefore it's my own fault :)
Fixed a problem I was having with compiling some software yesterday (thanks to a developer) so that made me very happy indeed :)
Work is full of political wranglings at the moment:

So it's kind of a strange place to be. That said I still love working here, not quite as much as RIPE but a close second and sooooo much more than Merrill Lynch.

I love Fridays, I get to spend the weekend with my two favourite people, relax and best of all today I get to finish work at 4pm, hey I love work but I'd still rather be at home.

I don't think we have any specific plans for the weekend, but rest assured I'll keep the blog updated on our movements.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Two things to keep Pete Amused

Well that was going to be my last post of the day however I then found two things which I thought might keep Pete amused (He's working in Libya at the moment)

Create some beats within the browser

Need a laugh? Monty Python now have their own youtube channel

Brett (spending far too much time on the internet)

Thanks to Al for the beats :)

A normal day in paradise

So now to the art of blog posting, do you need to post something new refreshing and interesting every day or just a chronicle of your life, well I guess it's much easier to do the latter than the former but not so interesting for you dear readers, I'll try and do both but please if it's too boring give me a nudge, push or kick.
The day started with tiredness, I had a bad nights sleep, I don't know why it was just one of those nights, but that coupled with a cold morning and a warm bed/wife made it pretty difficult to get up :) Emma was pretty quiet first thing but soon livened up when i gave her some "crispies" Emma and I usually enjoy starting breakfast together while Catherine showers then she joins us halfway through, it's our morning routine and works really well, off to work then where my ongoing project work has been interrupted by a flood of Solaris related tickets which mostly involve building new packages, Solaris is a pretty cool OS in a lot of ways but it is probably my area of least expertise and I find it's user unfriendliness really frustrating, so there was a fair bit of swearing at my monitor today. Anyway I got a fair amount of it done in the end but have an issue which I have raised in a support forum so hopefully I'll have an answer on that tommorow when the US have had time to read it, this really is one of the best parts of having a worldwide Internet the colloboration and support oppurtunities that it opens up are endless (see the book wikinomics how mass collaboration changes everything) Anyway I seem to be drifting off into geekdom, (sorry) I'm finishing off this post while Emma is about to go to bed, in the last few weeks she has started consistently happilly going to bed in the evening while still awake without any mis-behaving or crying and I'm really proud of her for it.
So tonight a relaxing night in front of the TV beckons I think, Sundays Top Gear and the new series of Lead Balloon being the highlights.

Favourite Emma things at the moment

beep beep
The Emma language she is developing and inane chatter, (apparently sar sar=finished)

Least favourite Emma things at the moment
Sofa climbing with no fear

Currently reading: Traders, Guns and Money by Satyajit Das
Currently listening to: Pigeon Detectives

Why the title

I'm sure somebody will ask why the title? When I decided to create this blog I was installing Solaris for about the 100th time this week and I was at the prompt "Part of a subnet?" and it kind of stuck. I'm currently researching virtualisation solutions for Nominet and hence am looking at LDOM's which is a hypervisor solution for the sparc processor, quite interesting stuff but does have the knock on affect of having to do lots of OS installs which is a little tedious. However this has just been interrupted by a ticket to build some solaris library packages (which is even more tedious)

Away from techy things, I have a headache which is probably caused by drinking german beer while watching England beat Germany last night, wayheeeey.

So trying to blog again

Inspired by friends (you know who you are) I decided to get in on the act and do a little blogging. I'm not really sure exactly how this will go yet so expect nothing and hopefully you will get something. I thoiught it would be quite nice to have something Emma could read when she's older and get an insight into what her dad was up to while she was growing up. I will however try very hard for it not to be all about Emma but also include work, interests and opinions as I feel like it at the time. I'll try and do a (small) update each day but my life's not that interesting so don't expect gripping entries every day.