Through bleary eyes

I type this. Struggling after the weekend a little, but that is mainly down to staying up until 5am to watch the Australian Grand Prix. Not quite got the sleep back, was up relatively early (for us) on Sunday to get out to TK Maxx. Telling the weekend backwards, lets see, quiet one in Friday, stayed up to fall asleep during the qualification for the GP, then out to get a haircut, catch a friend for a quiet drink in the Black Swan. That was heaving already at 2pm, being an Irish pub, and it being St. Patrick’s Day. Then into town to meet Mrsfb and a friend, nice meal at Bar Ha Ha’s, and onto Luminox again. That was good again, except it was just too busy, could barely move. So we had a good look around at it all, then wandered off to a couple of pubs. We ended up trying the Black Swan again, but by then it wasn’t even standing room only, so we moved across to A1 pool hall, which was lovely and quiet. Sunday we did TK Maxx, then came home to not do much at all, although I had an hour or so in the garden and got some more heathers planted out the front.

Should have some more pics from Luminox to show soon, did manage a few more on the Saturday, getting a bit more used to the camera. Need to read up more on how to use it.



Well Luminox was utterly spectacular. Here in Oxford, they’ve closed off Broad Street for three days, and allowed some French artists to set up some huge displays of fire lanterns. There was a ball of fire and a chandelier of fire amongst others, some almost ambient music playing with a couple of great singers singing live over it, huge crowds, and mainly a lot of fire.


I went down tonight on my own to take pictures, along the way bumping into a couple of people from work doing the same thing (Hi Al!). I’m still very much getting used to my camera, so compared to some of the other pictures I’ve seen on Flickr thus far mine don’t look that great, but it was very good practice on that count. Our plan for Saturday is to take a couple of friends down who are visiting to see it. I got the impression that more might be happening later on in the evening, so I might get to see some different things then.


It was simple a wonderful thing to see, so many people enjoying something quite unusual, particularly for Oxford. I can’t wait to go again!


Move easily from Ubuntu to Kubuntu

As a relative newcomer to using Linux, I’d never really known why I should use Gnome over KDE, or vice-versa. I’ve had a few different distributions installed in the past (Suse, Red Hat, Knoppix) and have just gone with what they’ve installed as default. However recently I had found that several apps I had wished to use ran under KDE. So I decided it was time for a change.

I found a nice little guide at The How-to Geek, which told me everything I needed to make the change, which installs Kubuntu (KDE for Ubuntu). All you really need to know, unsurprisingly is:

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

It is quite a long install, and you will be given the option to choose whether you want to set Gnome or KDE as the default. Having tried them both now, KDE seems to have some more apps (Kflickr was one I really needed for uploading the large numbers of pictures I take to Flickr, and under Gnome I had been doing this by hand for a little while), and also wins on the look and feel front for me.

Not very hard to change at all, I have found my way around quite quickly. If you make the change and have been using Gnome for a while, it is worth looking through the new apps you now have installed, and also comparing old apps you’ve been using to see if there is a KDE version that might now suit you better.

Bit tired today

a lot going round in my head today. Nothing of consequence really, more ideas and things I’d like to do or remember. I’m hopefully going to go and take some pictures tonight at Luminox. Which is basically someone setting fire to lots of things in the centre of Oxford. What’s not to like?

I was also trying to set something up with a wordpress plugin last night to show my twitter feed on here, but that isn’t behaving yet, so you are spared a little more insight into my head. Probably for the best.

My suggestion of the week

is to download the latest episode of Fighting Talk from the BBC, their sports panel show. Not only does it feature the return of the original presenter, there is a story about halfway through about Will Buckley’s old PE teacher that genuinely had me laughing uncontrollably in the street this morning. Fantastic stuff.

In other news I am waiting impatiently for a macro lens for my camera, which should hopefully be with me in the next day or so. Ideally tonight.

Was I a proto-blogger?

I’ve been blogging a while, strictly speaking going back to 2002 (I’ll say something worthwhile one of these days). If you go back to the start of this blog, you’ll see I have entries from 1985. However these are absolutely from my earlier teenage diary. A few years later though, is when I believe I started blogging.

I used to keep a small red diary. All the names were sort of changed to protect the innocent. And it had a readership. I can’t remember how it started, but I used to carry it everywhere with me, and I think someone asked one day. And I let them. It was sort of anon, and kind of random, and most of the people that read it were mates that knew most of it anyway. I had a readership. I think it was during English lessons it would happen the most, one of my friends would ask to read it, and they would go off with the diary to catch up on my life to date. I didn’t have commenting, which I think would have been one of the crucial things to have really made me like a blogger back then, but I was pretty close. I still have this, and there are a few entries from that period on here somewhere (may have a dig later on).

More twitter than usual

I have been using a little a service called . It is sort of like a really quick blog, and you can easily access it via IM like gmail, by phone or of course just online. This is what I have been up to thus far. Where I can see it working nicely is as a channel to compare yourself with other people, but on its own, most of it I can do myself onto here. I might even consider doing that, just doing quick tiny mood updates. We’ll see, that could easily be very dull.

Odd few days

I have been working from home for a few days, sorting out an issue with our content management system at work. Quite nifty really, was talking to a chap in Sweden on MSN in the evenings whilst we worked on the same computer. Isn’t technology marvellous! So spent a couple of days getting up, gaming and relaxing in the morning, then working afternoon/evening until fairly late at night. Very odd way round to have your day, not sure I liked it.

Anyways, this weekend brings a visit from my parents, and possibly a little light gardening. That was the other thing I did whilst working at home, spent a little time each day in the garden so I got out, and so that I started the clean-up operation that needs to take place to sort it out. Am going to blitz it over the next month or two before things really start growing in earnest again.

I have finished Crackdown, and got to one of the lamest plot twists in the history of gaming. It is a must-see, if only in terms of how not to do it. Still, great fun game, which has still got me cleaning up the achievements.

And so another weekend is done.

And a good time was had by all. Yesterday we went off to Magdalen college to have a wander around the grounds. However we got there about 11:30, and it didn’t open to the public until 1. No matter, we instead moved onto the Botanic Gardens across the road. Gorgeous day for it. Some fascinating things to see there.

Lime tree

We had a good wander around there. Looks good now, will look even more beautiful in a few months, and I reckon we’ll probably go and see for ourselves.

Well-crafted area

After that, we carried on into town, went to the fishmongers, and got some fish for the purposes of making this:

Finished plate of sushi

Which was rather tasty, if I do say so myself. Plus some scallops which I spiced, and served with some noodles.  Whilst I was preparing all that, I had a call from my friend J, and we met him for a few pints at the Black Swan, where a pleasant evening was had by all. And on the way home we got to see the post-eclipse moon. Rather good fun all round.

The proverbial quiet weekend

So this week is intended to be quiet. Our main aims are to decide on a hotel for our NYC trip (we’ve made a shortlist of five, and will be inviting all the hotels to compete in a Pop Idol style showdown for our affections. Well either that or going with the one we really like because we can get a room there). After that, well, I’ve never done a proper tour round a University since I came here, so we are going to have a walk into town, and stop off in the grounds of one of them for a good wander round, obviously taking the opportunity to wind Mrsfb up by stopping and taking photographs every 15 seconds. And then I’m cooking some sushi and an as-yet-unchosen fish dish, possibly involving scallops.

There may well be a bike ride on Sunday too if it stays at all reasonable (I am definitely a fair-weather cyclist). I do need to start getting out on some little treks on the bike to get back into it. Oh and finally I may brave the garden for a little tidy up (i.e. start the massive amound of tidying there is to do).