Random thoughts of a Brit living in the Imperial Valley of California

Archive for May, 2008

A Small Mac Whine

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So my Macbook Pro is set to turn off the screen after 10 minutes of activity, but then if I play a movie the screen switches off after 10 minutes unless I hit a key or touch the mousepad. I don’t want to do that. Yes, I know I can change the setting before I put the movie on but wouldn’t it make sense to let QuickTime (or whatever) override that setting when something ‘hands off’ is happening?

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May 29th, 2008 at 9:46 am

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Notes from a Small Island

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Yes, we’re back from our week in the old country, had a pretty good time though mostly family matters rather than sight-seeing etc. Finally got to see the nephew, quite a cute young lad (as babies go), I think he’s going to be a real handful when he gets older though! Other than hanging out with my sister and family, we also spent time in Exeter with some of my mum’s family, drinking way too much wine and eating some fine BBQ.

There is no doubt that England does pig way better than the US. England has good bacon (as opposed to the crap over here), gammon steaks, and pork rashers. All are delicious and sadly unavailable here.

With the dollar being largely worthless, things were real expensive. I couldn’t stop doubling every price and then recoiling in shock at what I was getting. Food especially got me going every time, we’d be getting double the portion at half the price in the US.

The number of speed cameras seems to have dramatically increased and they are very effective at slowing people down – virtually everyone does the speed limit when warned there might be a camera near by. And a new thing – ‘average speed zones’ where, allegedly, they have two cameras spread over a few miles which will measure your average speed through the zone and send you a ticket if that measurement is too high. I almost don’t believe it, though.

Saw a lot of MINIs but no MINI Clubmans. I saw quite a few in Champagne which I quite liked.

Political correctness is running amok in the UK, it almost seems like it has gone beyond what it is here. I had a couple of examples in mind as I started typing this but now they’ve gone. Grrr… well, take my word for it.

Saw some live football on the TV which was good. Not so good was watching my arch-rivals Portsmouth win the FA Cup. My brother-in-law was at the game and very pleased for the result but that doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

Weather was really warm and sunny for the first few days, sat out in the garden and got burnt at the sea front for one day down in Dawlish. Even though it was probably only around 75/78 it somehow felt worse than the 90+ that I am used to home here. Maybe some comment about “dry heat” is appropriate?

Going to upload some pictures to my Flickr page this weekend so watch for those if you are interested.

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May 23rd, 2008 at 6:30 am

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Single of the Week

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Almost a little bit country, but I love the Irish (even though she is from Scotland) twang in her voice. Amy Macdonald This Is The Life:

And with that, we’re out of here for a week – off to old Blighty to suffer the pain of a worthless US dollar.

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May 9th, 2008 at 6:43 am

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Bad Doggie!

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For some reason people bring their dogs to work all the time, probably not a day without at least one dog in the building, and we’re not talking miniature poodles, either.

This could be coming to an end, though. On Monday one of the project managers left his dog in his office for a couple of hours while he attended a meeting. According to reports, the dog started barking and howling until eventually his boss went and got him to tell him to take care of the animal. On opening the office door, an odorous stench escaped and all could see that the dog had enjoyed ripping up whatever he could get into his jaws and, at the same time, suffered some kind of rectal issue.

It was bad enough that 10 minutes later the entire office was sent home lest the smell make them sick.

This all happened in a different part of the building so I didn’t get to enjoy the experience but the guy who owns the dog is an idiot so I think it’s pretty funny. Probably going to ruin the dog-friendly environment though.

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May 7th, 2008 at 4:24 pm

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