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Browsing the Dilbert archives.

Story location: Home / Blog /

I have been looking through some of the old Dilbert comic strips and found this one:

Dilbert Comic - LifeSuck 3000
This is one of my favourite Dilbert comics. I remembered seeing it first time around. It summed how I felt at my workplace at the time. I wouldn't have been surprised if they had a LifeSuck 3000 hidden somewhere on site.

The original cartoon can be found at Dilbert.com.

The Whitefriars Heron

Story location: Home / Blog / coventry /

There is a heron which regularly hangs around near the pond between Whitefriars and the Coventry University library. There seem to be fewer fish in the pond these days - the two might be related. The pond is also full of water lillies at the moment, so the fish might be hiding beneath those.

The Whitefriars Heron

Water Lilly

Locked Out

Story location: Home / Blog / work /

I was locked out of my office this morning. The electronic card reader in the main corridor was broken so nobody could get into the department. I had my laptop with me and I managed to find a spare desk in a colleague's office so at least I managed to get some work done.

Unfortunately I couldn't make any tea or coffee - although I had teabags with me and there was a kettle in another office, my mug was in my office so I had nothing to drink the tea out of. I had brought a chocolate mousse from home, which I intended to eat during my morning break. All the spoons were in the kitchen, which was in the locked part of the building. By the time someone managed to open the door, the mousse had warmed up and gone sloppy.

At least the door was opened before lunchtime. I was going to have a ham sandwich for lunch. I had the bread with me but the ham was in the fridge, behind the locked door.

Nikon 55-200 VR Zoom lens

Story location: Home / photography /

Earlier in the year, I tried to take some photos using an old telephoto lens which wouldn't focus on my Nikon D40 camera. The experience taught me that a modern autofocus camera really needs an autofocus lens. Older manual focus cameras had viewfinders designed to make it easy to focus accurately. Most modern cameras (at least in the 'amateur' price range) aren't as easy to focus.

I ordered the Nikon 55-200 VR lens on Sunday and it arrived this morning, which was impressively quick. I have only had time to do a quick test of the vibration reduction and I must say, I'm impressed.

I took 6 photos, all at the 200mm end of the lens, at 1/10s exposure. The first 3 had VR switched off, the next 3 had VR switched on. The increase in photo sharpness was remarkable.

You can't really see any difference in the thumbnails but the photo on the left was taken without VR. The 2nd photo used VR. Click on the thumbnails to see a larger version.


Thumbnail Thumbnail

Click on the thumbnail to view the image

Same old Emile, but with a new hat

Story location: Home / Blog / degu /

Emile wearing a hat

I've noticed that I haven't uploaded any photos of Remy recently. We still have him but he doesn't seem to pose for the camera as often as Emile.

The Birmingham Witch Doctor

Story location: Home / Blog / coventry /

This morning I found a small card which had been left under the windscreen wiper of our car. It was advertising the services of someone in Birmingham who could remove evil spell and bad luck. It seemed to be for some kind of local witch doctor, claiming to help with home and business issues and advertising powerful spell to reunite with a loved one.

He also claimed to be able to cure people who use alcohol or tobacco. Right now, I'm writing this while drinking a glass of sparkling wine. I don't feel like I'm using alcohol or that I need curing of it. I don't think I'll be phoning to make an appointment.

I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue

Story location: Home / Blog /

The self proclaimed Antidote to panel games made a welcome return to Radio 4 tonight. Stephen Fry replaced the late Humphrey Littleton as chairman and made a reasonably good job of it. Apparently he isn't a full time replacement - there will be other people acting as chairman in future shows. They did a similar thing when Willie Rushdon died. Instead of finding a replacement they used a series of guest panellists. Tonights guest was Victoria Wood.

Despite the changes in personnel, the show has continues in much the same vein as before. There were the occasional touches of genius, such as in the round where the panel give new definitions to old words. Serpentine was re-defined as something for cleaning paint off snakes.

If the show can maintain this quality then there is no reason why it can't continue for many more years.

Good Food Show

Story location: Home / Blog / food_and_drink /

The summer Good Food Show included entry into the Gardeners World show but we were more interested in the food so we only had a brief look round the garden side. We talked to people at a few of the stands as we wandered through but most of our time was spent at the far end where the Food Show was being held.

We were impressed by the amount of free food available. We ate numerous samples of cereal, yoghurt and ice cream. We also tried a lot of different wine and spirit samples, buying bottles of any which impressed us.

Before we left, we went outside to look around the rest of the garden show. The BBC were giving away free packets of vegetable seeds. Most of the seeds should have been planted earlier in the year but there was still time to plant carrot and beetroot. We don't actually like beetroot and don't eat many carrots but I sowed some of each in the garden to see if they grow.

Yes, we have no courgettes

Story location: Home / Blog / house /

I haven't been having much luck with the garden veg this year. None of the courgette seedlings have survived beyond a few inches tall. One reached 3 inches and formed a couple of decent sized leaves, but then hasn't grown at all for several weeks. Only one of the salad veg plants is big enough to eat. The only things doing well are the beans and tomatoes.

By this time last year the courgette plants were flowering and I had an abundance of salad leaves. I don't know what the problem is, if it is weather related or due to some other problem. I have re-sown a couple more courgette seeds so if these grow then we may enjoy some late season courgettes.

Asda Price

Story location: Home / Blog / food_and_drink /

We stopped at Asda on our way home. We spotted this bargain in the fridge - the product is sliced cooked chicken with a chinese style flavouring.

One for 2 pounds 90 or two for 6 pounds

Kailasha, Far Gosford Street

Story location: Home / food_and_drink /

The Sunday Buffet wasn't running so we ordered from the normal menu. We started with poppadoms and chutneys for starters. The poppadoms were large and crunchy and pretty much what you expect.

For the main course, Emma ordered Chicken Jalfrezi and a chilli naan. The jalfrezi was classed as medium but had a couple of whole chillies decorating the dish. The naan was surprisingly spicy. I ordered the Chicken Bangladesh, medium spiciness. There were huge chunks of chicken in it, along with a hard boiled egg. I chose Nasi Goreng Rice as the side dish.

The curries were full of flavour without being too hot. The rice was almost like a meal in itself. It contained herbs, onion, chilli, egg and prawns and was very nice.

The restaurant was empty while we were there. This may have had something to do with the weather - it had been raining all morning and the streets were empty of people. The food was good and at good prices. We spent less than £22 in total, which included a drink each. Definitely worth re-visiting. We intend to go back when the buffet is on.

Rustenberg Roxton Viognier, 2007

Story location: Home / food_and_drink / wine /

This bottle came from a case bought from Virgin Wines. We were surprised to find it was 15% alcohol - I don't think I've seen a normal non fortified wine at this strength. It didn't taste strong but after drinking a glass, I could certainly tell that I'd had a drink. It was a dry pleasant tasting wine.

Animal Update

Story location: Home / Blog / animals /

Degu enjoying his bikket
We buy these parsley biscuits, and the Degus really love them. They run up to the side of the cage and beg for them. They don't eat them straight away but usually run around carrying them in their mouths for a few minutes first.

Sapphire hamster baby
One of Fadle's babies - currently un-named but we refer to her as 'Big Blue' She has a slightly smaller sister called 'Little Blue'.

Chocolate Mouse
Chocolate Mousse hiding in the igloo.

Handful of Mice
All of our female mice. Clockwise, starting from the top:
Chocolate Mousse, Ikea, Shiny Black, Tricolour, Fake Cow, Momma Mousse and Pinky.

All Quiet at the Polling Station

Story location: Home / Blog / coventry /

There seems to have been a low turn-out for for the voting for the European elections, at least in our part of Coventry. We only saw one person on our way in to the Polling Station, and 2 further people as we were leaving. We were probably there during the evening rush. The polling station had been open for nearly 12 hours and had averaged just over 10 people per hour.