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March, 2009

  1. TV Weekend

    March 30, 2009 by Daniel

    Had a bit of a TV weekend again this past one. I think it’s one of our favourite things to do and while I do get a bit fidgety sometimes I do enjoy doing it.

    Friday came and I had no idea what to do for the weekend. Usually there’s something we’ve planned to do. The Six Nations has been occupying us for the last 6 weeks or so and we’ve been on a couple of visits to people. At the start of the 6 Nations I had been planning to spend every game in the pub, but I’ve found it difficult to find a pub that I like that shows it (and getting timings and friends to meet turned out to be difficult). The same old problems really – poor views, not enough seats, queues for beer, expensive beer, bad beer, not even showing rugby, too far away, etc.
    We’re coming to the end of out little experiment living in North Manchester and I suppose one of the major facors is we don’t really know anybody up there. We don’t really feel comfortable in any of the local pubs and our friends aren’t likely to want to travel up to drink with us in them. So i’m looking forward to that once we move. Walkable distance to nice quality places and able to meet up with people there. Hey, if they even show rugby all the better.
    But anyways, the TV weekend. Kate and I are big fans of TV and Films, typically we will devour TV series one after another.
    This weekend we we watched:
    • 30 Rock – a bit silly but sometimes funny. I want to carry on watching them.
    • Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip – far superior to 30 Rock, cannot believe there’s only one series.
    • Lost World of Communism – have felt really enlightened by this 3 part series. It has enlightened me somewhat. I am still a bit in shock that during my lifetime this was happening and ended and I was only dimly aware of it in my childhood. Such a change happened and I would love to see more documentaries about the subject. It did fascinated me.
    • Tron – part of our 80s double bill
    • Pretty in Pink – part 2 of 80s double bill
    • Taken – Liam Neeson. As much as I don’t like him – not a bad action film
    • The West Wing (we watch at least one episode before bed every night, it’s perfect and by the time you get to the end of the seventh season you’ve forgotten enough of the first to go back and watch it all over again)
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Because it’s on, in this one Gul DuCat was a Bajoran!
    • Austin Healey’s ‘Big’ Tackle – really enjoying this series…
    Am missing Battlestar Galactica and Skins already, but there’s Lost, Heroes, Terminator and hopefully Big Bang Theory to look forward to this week. Along with obviously The Apprentice and Shameless (which I feel isn’t as compelling as it used to be, but i’m loving the current story with Paddy).
    We had a nice walk over to the shops and back on Sunday. My knee still appears to be a bit weak so not sure what to do about that really.
    My sister is coming to stay with us for a few days this week, she’s on Easter break from uni and wants to come over to chill out and go to the cinema with us so we’ll probably head up to the Bury Vue to eat out and watch Young Victoria.

  2. Exciting Times

    March 26, 2009 by Daniel

    Apparently many are calling this the opposite to exciting times. Many would say scary is a more appropriate, frightening or worrying. But for us the (cue music) ‘economic downturn’ means cheaper houses.
    Over a year ago, we had a look around for houses. We scoured Manchester for cheap but nice locations and we ended up looking at a lot of houses in Droylesden. But we found we couldn’t get much for our money, at the very top of what we could afford we could get a decent but basic house.

    Not only that but timing for our lives, we were about to get married and needed all the cash we had.

    Now though I have a new job, have been married six months and we can get a three bedroom house not too far away from work and close to amenities and friends.

    We’ve had an offer accepted on a house and we’re now going through the tortuous process that is buying a house. I can’t help but think that this is the easiest house we’ll ever buy what with being first time buyers – however there is a trade off of not really knowing what you are doing!

    We’re really looking forward to moving into our own place. We have so many plans for it and little touches we want to do. It’s going to be a while before it’ll all get done, but hey that what home owning is right? It never ends.

    So we’re excited but also nervous, but not frightened or scared.


  3. Old Mac Things

    March 15, 2009 by Daniel

    We’ll be buying one of the new Mac Mini’s soon so I wanted to reflect on some Apple related things for a bit. I can remember getting each of my Mac’s clearly.

    I’ve been using Macs since I started Year 7 where my School used them throughout, perhaps even before that actually as I used to go up on Summer playschemes whilst at primary school (so perhaps 1995?). The Head of IT was a massive fan and this being back in 1997 Mac’s were hardly seen as cool or nearly as pervasive as they are now.
    We had classrooms full of Macintosh Classics and later IIcx & IIci’s and as I started to get to know them I thought they were brilliant.
    My Dad had PC’s at home- Acorn’s, Amstards, a 486 Windows 3.1 box and I felt they just weren’t a patch on the already aged machines I was using at school. How could machines built years before still feel current and useful?
    So I knew then I wanted one, I found out the IT Head who he got them from and convinced my parents to buy me one. I don’t know what they thought at the time, but they must have smelt a deal. I got a Macintosh IIci for myself – a machine already 9 years old.

    My next computer wasn’t till 2000 and in the time between I had gone through every nook and cranny of the IIci pushing it to the limit, finding out what every setting would achieve.

    I then got my Ruby iMac DV+ which is still in the loft at my parents house. I’d made sure I got the version with DVD but unlike machines nowadays removable storage was an issue. iMac’s had no floopy drives, USB sticks weren’t nearly as prevalent as they are now and emailing larger files was cumbersome over a dialup modem. In the following years I bought a USB floppy drive and an external LaCie CD writer – best CD writer i’ve ever had – rarely failed discs unlike now when I simply have to look at a CD writer and it fails to write another coaster of a CD.
    This workhorse of a computer took me from OS 9 to OS X, through GCSE’s and A-Levels up to university when I donated it to my sister who subsequently has used it for her GCSE’s and A-Levels. Now that’s longevity and value for money.

    In 2003 before I went to unviersity I bought a PowerBook G4 12″, which I still use as my primary machine at home to this day. It’s a bit worn now but probably because I’ve found it so durable. This machine was my first laptop and i’ve found they don’t age as well as desktops. But that’s probably down to dropping it so many times and REALLY pushing it’s limits. I haven’t reformatted it since 2005 so that probably has something to do with it too.

    I managed to find a still working Macintosh Classic at work recently, it was the machine I originally wanted all those years ago.

  4. Bogle-ing

    March 8, 2009 by Daniel


    Tired Dan
    Originally uploaded by dnisbet

    Had a hard time of it walking for Kate’s guides the other month. But just wanted to mention we (so far) have raised £475! Which is amazing and they are very grateful for.

    Unfortunately I had to pull out at the 18 mile mark as I’d hurt my knee, but congratulations to Kate who has the willpower to do anything she wants to and finished the whole of the northern loop.


  5. Wales for St. Davids Day

    March 2, 2009 by Daniel


    IMG_0656.JPG
    Originally uploaded by dnisbet

    We were in Wales to visit friends for St Davids day and had a wonderful time staying with the Davies’ despite losing against France in the Six Nations…

    On St David’s day itself we went to the Botanical gardens which was a revelation and happened to be attempting to break the world record for the most people gathered togethter in traditional welsh costume, not that any of us did – but I heard that those who did broke the record.