Archives for category: England
Apparently these are the two most pressing questions in the world this morning. It’s got to be a good day when questions like that are the things we’re most concerned about as a nation.

For my part I am a very British royalist. That is to say I’m supportive when they’re good and derisive when they’re bad but like all Brits I believe that the continuity of our historical traditions is the one thing that sets us apart from the rest of the world. We may not be the oldest country in the world but for such a small island there isn’t anywhere that we haven’t had an impact (good and bad).

Ultimately this continuity is maintained by having a monarchy that flexes and changes to fit it’s role into whatever the world may be expecting of it. 30 years ago, could you imagine the Royal family allowing trees in the church for Charles and Diana’s wedding? It seems our Monarchary learned some big lessons from that era and while the change may not be something that they’ve found particularly easy, it is something they’ve suceeded in doing.

The eyes of the world are upon us – 180 countries have taken the live feed of the events and there are over 6000 journalists in the capital. There’s a whisper that Her Maj may bestow a new title on the current Miss Middleton, and if I was a gambling man, I think a flutter on the queens hat being blue, and Prince Charles not becoming King would both be worth a flutter. But I digress into rumour and conjecture.

We’re having a street party, but unlike these buffoons, ours won’t be until about 1pm after the wedding itself and is likely to involve beer and bar-b-q’s.

Image

I mean it’s 7.30 in the morning for heavens sake!!!!

All that remains is to thank the lovely bridesmaids for being, so, Ermmm, lovely? And to wish the happy couple all the very best of British luck for their future together. So ladies and gentlemen, charge your glasses and please be upstanding for their royal highnesses, William and Kate. Here’s to a great time for one and all.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Daughter arrived home about 6am after her night shift. She got a couple of hours kip before going off to the pub to serve Sunday lunches to the masses. This particular Sunday is a big day of sport, and a big day of sunshine, so her hope is that no-one will want to be sat indoors eating roast beef meaning that she may be able to finish up early. Time will tell.

Mrs G and I had a lie in, coffee and tea in bed and then up and off to Tesco because were out of bacon. A travesty!!

A full english cooked breakfast/brunch/lunch which was simply perfect (even if I do say so myself) and then to the order of the day… Radio 4’s “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue”, the Sunday Papers, the British Grand Prix and the World Cup Final. With such incredible weather we appear to have an almost ‘perfect storm’ but without the Pimms.

Excellent hosting skills from Jack Dee, although he can never expect to fill the shoes of the great ‘Humph’ (Humphrey Lyttelton) who sadly passed away in 2008. But in the great man’s own words: “as the loose-bowelled pigeon of time swoops low over the unsuspecting tourist of destiny, and the flatulent skunk of fate wanders into the air-conditioning system of eternity, I notice it’s the end of the show.”…..Beautiful stuff.

The papers are full of the story of the bouncer ‘Raoul Moat’ and not much else. My morbid fascination isn’t particularly interested, yet there’s always some other moments of dross to catch my eye. For example Katie Price’s honeymoon with Alex Ried. I mean, really- where is the news?

Worst moment of the day for me’ has to be the instant that I realised that triple B is actually at Silverstone. Gutted that I’m not there as well. To be honest, I haven’t been for quite a while which is terrible when I do love the whole show and pazazz of it so much. I was lucky enough to fly in and out of the GP a few years ago and to meet Damon Hill (The ex-World Champion and designer of the new Silverstone track) to boot.

Without doubt the best day at any sporting event that I’ve ever had (even if I did have whinging S with me 😉 ). An incredible experience and one I can only save up for to repeat. Good to see Lewis Hamilton in second after he’d been pretty much written off for this race by the pundits. Next stop is Germany on the 25th.

A bit of sunbathing with Mrs G in the garden and a couple of ice cold beverages in the run up to the World Cup Final. Not that I’m bothered or even particularly interested now that we’re out, but I’ll still give it a watch. I will be looking forward to 2014 in Brazil, but before that we have a date for the diary: December 2nd 2010. That’s the date that Sepp Blatter will announce the winners of the 2018 and 2022 bids… Who knows, it could be us.

On the Techy front I’m having all sorts of dilemmas about the best method for writing the blog.

I’ve been playing with WordPress and you can have a look at the results at https://golfyball.wordpress.com. Now, I love the immediacy of blogspot and the way it just integrates into my google stuff so well, but then I love the polished feel of wordpress too. But what’s really got me trying to decide is the results of mobile blogging and blog browsing.

Blogging on the go is most helpful as well as being loads of fun, not least because when you think of something, or stumble over that gem of info, you can jot it down there and then. I do this on and off throughout my waking hours and then a final edit and polish before clicking the publish button. Both blogspot and wordpress have iPhone apps to help me achieve this, but the wordpress one is just a tad cleaner in operation.

Blog browsing also has it’s pluses and minuses. Blogspot blogs work fine in any browser, but they are the same across the board with little scope to manage their look feel for different platforms. WordPress is a real winner here with built in mobile browser detection and formatting to suit. Not only that, but the page rendering they’ve designed for the smaller mobile browsers is (as is the norm with their work) very polished. That’s not to say that it can’t be done in blogspot, but it’s a hell of a faff and I’ve found it a little unstable.

All in all, WordPress is the more pro solution with tons of functionality. It even imports your blog straight from blogger (including comments) – but this has led me to discover an undocumented ‘feature’ that’s rather annoying. I write in Blogger and often embed all sorts of snippets of HTML on the way. Importing these entries into WordPress (which seems to be the best way to manage both simultaneously) often leaves my additions of code out or mangled beyond recognition, requiring a twiddle and tweak to restore them.

So what do I do now? Should I stay or should I go?

I think that just for the time being, I’ll be maintaining both until I can decide. Fun times.

Mrs G and I had a fairly leisurely day planned for Saturday doing not an awful lot. A wander into town to pick up Wednesday’s copy of the local paper (because there’s an article featuring Daughter in it) proved fruitless as we discovered the newspaper office is closed on the weekend. Not much happens round here that’s newsworthy obviously.

Picked up a couple of birthday cards for forthcoming celebrations and on the way back to the car I was surprised and humoured to see a longish line of people in a queue outside the O2 shop. I’m fully aware of the O2 shop queue due to son having stood in it on Thursday for the iPhone launch (which incidentally meant that the back of his head also appeared in the local paper), but this time, there was another familiar face. Auntie S. There she was dutifully queuing up to get herself one. We stopped and chatted for a while only to find out that the O2 store had around 50 handsets in stock. 50!? Really ?? I’d already decided not to bother until at least a couple of weeks, when I figured the stock levels would be replenished, but to hear that they have them again already – was quite a surprise. Needless to say – I joined the queue.

Having now procured, this also meant I could finally save Mrs G from her Samsung thing, and get her on a decent phone instead. After a few grumbles and gripes we soon had her all set up and now she’s a convert too. Thank god that my tech support mantle can be laid to rest for a while.

BTW – Last note on the subject – they really are all they’re cracked up to be. The fastest phone I’ve had the pleasure of using. Video calls with Son have been a blast already even though for the time being we both have to be within a WiFi hotspot. For me personally, not a signal drop out in sight either, although I have heard the talk. I’ve also heard there’s an imminent fix for it in the form of software – this I do find surprising, but it’s not a problem for me at the moment either way.

On the flip side – terrible news from the badman that he is without the necessary drugs to sustain him. I wish I could tell him there was an “app for that” but alas even that wouldn’t help him as he’s also smartphone-less. The best he can hope for is to buy pre-ground and save himself from certain dementia.

So then to Sunday Lunch – obviously the football (more on that in a moment) was the most important thing, so a BBQ at BBB’s house was the plan. He wanted some help getting set up, so I scooted over early so that we could hang the 40″ TV on the garden wall and install shade where appropriate, fill the pool and chill the beer. As a build up to the game (and to be honest this should almost be the law whenever England play Germany) we watched “Escape To Victory” with Michael Caine, Pele & Sylvester Stallone – Fantastic stuff. For the BBQ, Mrs G and I bought this, just like chicken…

And then of course there was the football, which is just too depressing to think about too much. I know it would be easy to say they were crap. But actually they weren’t crap (to start with). I know it would be easy to blame Cappello, but everyone was doing that after the first two games, then after the third and we got through, everyone was saying how great a manager he’d been by showing some real passion. He may have made some “odd” choices in team lineup’s, but I’m sorry, it’s just not his fault.

It seems clear to me, that the touchline/referee method for calling a goal is outdated and obviously doesn’t work. The FA & FIFA’s argument for the lack of technology is that they want a level playing field (no pun intended), whereby every team (right down to pub teams) have the same chance of scoring (or being disallowed). While this has some merit, in the modern world it makes a mockery of what is supposed to be a modern sport. Tennis & Rugby have both embraced the technology with no detriment to the game whatsoever – It’s time to put that right.

IF, and of course it’s a big IF, but IF the england goal had stood, which (as we can all see from the video playbacks) it should have, then psychologically the England squad would have been playing a different game entirely. I disagree when people say it wouldn’t have effected the overall scoreline, because quite simply a goal boosts the confidence of the team, just like a disallowed (obvious) goal dents their confidence.

Too late now though. What’s done is done and at least we don’t have to bother watching any more of it. My predictor has Argentina and Portugal in the final, but I don’t really care.

A few interesting snippets that I’ve picked up over the weekend for you now:

Anyone who’s read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (which I mentioned on Friday) will be aware that the meaning of life is exactly 42 (sorry if I’ve spoiled it for you, but you should have read it already). It turns out that the maths behind this has been expanded, and here’s the result. Magic….

I was also very interested to read that:

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) developed a software program that can detect depression in blogs and online texts. The software is capable of identifying language that can indicate the writer’s psychological state, which could serve as a screening tool. Read More

Good to know that when I’m depressed, my blog could tell me.

TED always teaches interesting concepts. Never thought I’d see this one though.

Then there’s the Rubik Cube art, which makes me want to buy a whole bunch of Rubik’s cubes and make my own: RubikCubism

For the electrical engineer’s I spotted this:

Resistance Begins at Ohm – $14.95 by Chris Murphy



So finally, back to the real world and two stories of interest.  First of all. Cash dispensers are about to start chucking out £5 notes again. Everyone runs out of fivers, so the bank of England have been making it their business to get them back into circulation. I for one am very pleased to hear this news because when I only want a fiver out of the cash machine, I only want a fiver and not a tenner.

Second of all, someone is having a crack at Facebook. Kevin Rose, the founder of “Digg” tweeted on Saturday the following: “Ok, umm, huge rumor: Google to launch facebook competitor very soon “Google Me”, very credible source”. Can’t wait to finally kill off my Facebook account. Oh I do hope there’s a super-fast hi-definition, multitasking app for that! Bring It On!

Well actually it wasn’t… It was Jermain Defoe that kicked it in the goal (well off the goalies hands) – but none of that matters. It being Thursday, today is the official launch in the UK of the iPhone 4 – but none of that matters either.  What matters is we won and we’re through to the next round. This means we’re playing on Sunday afternoon at 3pm against GERMANY. First point here is it’s at a much more sociable time so we as a nation have no excuse for not getting behind our boys and helping them get the job done.

That said, plenty of us did get behind them, and huge numbers watched the game. According to the BBC:

UK internet traffic rose by almost a third during England’s crucial World Cup match against Slovenia. Figures released by internet service provider KC suggest that the game triggered a 31% jump in web traffic, as users watched the game via the BBC’s live online stream.

Early figures suggest the total number of ‘concurrent streams’ peaked at 800,000 although the total number of viewers will be many times higher. The BBC said this was a viewing record.

Second point and more worrying though is Zee Germans. Right now they’re 3rd in my table which is high above England in 9th. So far, this method of prediction has been spot on. Every team above their opposition in the table has won, so I’m not expecting good things. Here’s the top 10 as of this morning:

  1. Argentina
  2. Portugal
  3. Germany
  4. Uruguay
  5. Netherlands
  6. Brazil
  7. Chile
  8. Paraguay
  9. England
  10. Spain

But…. and it’s a big but…

This is against zee Germans, and we all know how that can be. Going back to 1930 of the 27 games played against Germany, England have won 12 (7 of them up to 1966), while Germany have won 10, and also won both penalty shootouts that followed two of the five draws. So we’ve got form. Whether form is enough to get us through though, well that’s the million dollar question. Still, it will be a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon – worrying about our national team. I predict massive sales of BBQ food from all the supermarkets this weekend, which will fit in nicely with the British weather. Very typical:

We’ve had ’em before, so let’s have ’em again!

COME ON ENGLAND!!

Oh yes… It’s iPhone 4 day isn’t it…  I hadn’t forgotten. But I had made a conscious decision not to get up at the crack of dawn and stand in a queue for one. Not least because there are no white models in stock, and Mrs G would prefer a white one. On top of that, Tesco announced their pricing plans yesterday, which look like they might be better than O2. They have doubled the amount of 3G download data and you can have a nice simple 12 month contract as well. Interesting times.

This didn’t deter Son though, who was up at the crack of dawn and stood in a queue of about 60 people in the center of Gloucester.  He was there early enough to be in the first 15 or so and most likely won’t stop harping on about it for weeks, once he gets his mits on it.

There we have it then – back to the drudgery.
We need a Tribble invasion – far more interesting than this stuff.

3pm Is on it’s way…..

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’


Sunday went well, what with Algeria making a complete @rse of thier game against Slovenia, not that I understand it.

As you know (unless you’re not paying attention) England get the delights of playing Algeria this coming Friday. My only concern about that game is Algeria’s tendancy towards violence when things don’t go their way. The last thing England need at this stage of the tournament is some North African Numpty raking their studs down the back of Wayne Rooney’s leg or one of those short arsed, short tempered, reactionary types getting carried away with shirt pulling all the way up Peter Crouch (they’ll get a nose bleed at that height! – Probably from John Terry or Frank Lamp-him-hard).

The Algerians have got form for it as well. By the end of their game against Egypt last November (which they lost), they were down to eight men, with the referee dishing out red cards like they were half time oranges and the bus half full before the full time whistle was blown. They were even down to 10 men yesterday! You understand my concern here?

But then I know nothing about football, honest I don’t. My biggest worries for the rest of the show would be Argentina, Brazil and Germany. Argentina won their first match (1-0 against Nigeria), and the hand of god paced up and down the sidelines the whole time. Hopefully his reckless past will come back to haunt him – although you can’t deny Maradona has played some incredible football in his time. I can deny that though, because I don’t know anything about it.

We have to wait to see the, once mighty Brazil, until tomorrow evening when they play North Korea. Apparently the North Korean government will only screen World Cup football matches that they win. This sort of oppression seems crazy in this day and age, but then it’s been there for a long time. They still celebrate the birthday of Kim Il-Sung, who is officially the countries’ “Eternal President” while his son, Kim Jong-il is secretary of the KWP Central Committee Secretariat and leader of the armed forces. Nothing odd about that – other than the fact that Kim Il-Sung died in 1994.

I’m pleased to say, zee Germans totally dismantled Australia (well what do you expect if you refer to your team as the ‘socceroos’ – it’s football for heavens sake!!!) but equally I’m disturbed by the precision they showed in doing so. We’ve faced zee German machine countless times before but there have been few times that it’s been a pleasent experience and plenty that it’s been otherwise.

Not to worry though, as I really dont know what I’m talking about.

Today’s games are Holland vs Denmark (Holland will win that) @12.30, Japan vs Cameroon (Likely to be Cameroon) @ 3pm and Italy vs Paraguay (Italy probably) @ 7.30 this evening.

Here are my predictions for the tournament in full (bearing in mind I have an England bias): BBC Wall Chart Predictor. Why don’t you figure out your prediction to and then share in comments if you dare, safe in the knowledge that I know nothing about football. Honest. I really don’t.

Happy Monday.

Friday was as Friday is. Work, work, work, although I think I’m finally starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. One largest piece left and just pick up a new smallish one. Of course the one’s I’ve done will be nothing but trouble for a while. We have all these processes to make things run smoothly and they never (and I do mean never) ever do. Such is the way of Starfleet. Swan like to our customers.

On the plus side, a good colleague (I’d say friend but we, as yet, have not had the oppertunity to socialise outside of Starfleet). Is that what makes a colleague a friend?? – you know I don’t think it is. So as I was saying before I so rudely interupted myself – a good friend of mine at Starfleet has suggested he knows of someone who may be a source of reasonably priced (ie: US priced) iPads. I think we know where this is going. Mrs G’s laptop may very well be appearing on eBay in the coming weeks. Time will tell.

Now Saturday has arrived and the kids will be back this afternoon. Mrs G and I are going to take a walk to the city to do a few ‘bits & bobs’. I’ve persuaded (well told) her that an iPhone 4 will solve her phone rage. Scobi intrigued me with his tale of an Android he’s bought for Mrs Scobi, but as we’re an Apple household now (barring Mrs G’s and Daughters laptops) the choice is as clear as a retina display (see what I did there?). So a visit to the O2 shop is in order. I’ve pre registered for micro-Sims, but I want to talk to them about the recycle option, and most importantly the cashback which I’ll be wanting to offset against buying out the remaining contract. I don’t think I can officially pre-order until next week though.

There’s also father’s day just around the corner. Mater G has suggested Pater G would like gardening vouchers – which Sister G has agreed to. This is all fine and dandy but I’ve also caught sight of something in waterstones that may be of interest to him, so it’s an excuse to peruse the book shop (not that we need one).

I have it on good authority that there’s a fairly interesting football march on today. Something to do with little stars on football shirts. What is all that about? Oh yes….
I absolutely refuse to have flags on the car – because it really does make you look like a d1ckhead, but I will wear the shirt….

COME ON ENGERLAND!!!!
Oh dear…. What am I doing?

I’ve mentioned before how disinterested in football I am. This remains the truth, but a couple of football things have been unavoidable this weekend. I’m also not a fan of Simon-high-trousers-Cowell. It would seem however that he has become as pervasive as News International as he’s manipulating, sorry, I mean producing everything….

I wouldn’t mind, but I’d rather make up my own mind about what I like or dislike rather than be told by some bloke with a £10 haircut that’s trying to rule the world (the bloke, not the haircut).

Here’s a case in point.

Simon says

“Hey ITV! I see your ratings are a bit crap aren’t they. I’m here to save you. Here’s my next idea for a show. It’s called Britain’s Got Talent, it’s the same as the X-Factor (remember, you liked that didn’t you) but with other acts as well as singers. Anyone who is any good, I’ll sign up to my production company. The winner can have £100,000 and 5 minutes on the Royal Variety Performance. The £100k comes from all the plebs at home who phone up to vote for whichever act they want too win (that’ll be the takings from the first nights phone vote) and the rest we’ll split 80/20 – 80 for me, 20 for you. The spot on the RVS is easy because they come to me for their talent because I’ve got the sodding big production company with anyone who’s any good signed up to it.

Once the wannabe talent have done their bits and while the plebs are all phoning in their money…erm.. I mean votes… We can put on some of *my* A-lister’s to promote their current piece of crap that they’re releasing onto the unsuspecting plebs. This will generate just a bit more cash because the plebs will go out and buy it. I win, you win, some wannabe talent will win, the public WILL be entertained because I said so and everyone’s happy…. oh except maybe for the wannabe talent that get’s kicked out or looses to a dancing dog, an acrobat or some sh*t like that.

It’s Genius. I am a Genius. Bow down before my Geniusness…”

It’s a clever trick as long as us plebs aren’t paying attention. But hang on, what’s this??

Simon goes on to say

“Hey ITV!… You’re doing some of that World Cup stuff aren’t you? My A-listers for this week then, will be….. Dizzee Rascal (coz he’s so down with the kids) and James Corden (coz since he did those two things for Sport Aid or whatever it was, he’s a good football bloke) that lots of people think is quite funny, although I think he was funnier in Gavin & Stacey. Anyway, I’ve got a song for them – I say got – bought really off of some blokes that the kids won’t remember (Tears for Fears – Shout) which I’m putting up as my unofficial World Cup Song. It’s just a lot of shouting and some blokes of some football stadiums chanting and sh*t. The plebs will love it.”

And that dear reader is how we end up with this on Prime Time Television:

But then this is what you get from the man who chose to take “Hollywood Wives” by Jackie Collins and a mirror onto his desert island in desert island discs.

The production company he owns is called “Syco” which has 3 divisions, Radio, TV and Film. I think it would be a fair guess that both Mr Rascal and Mr Corden have signed some sort of deal with them. Afterall, everyone else has….and Mr Corden isn’t stopping there. I’m sure you’ve missed the adverts for his World Cup Live which has all sorts of “after party” mentality going. What’s really annoying about this is that I really like the song they’ve used (which is probably owned by Syco), and the clever use of slow-mo and a few famous faces makes it look pretty good. Fear not – I’m certain it will be crap, but judge for yourself.

….and there’s more. Soccer Aid 2010 last night featured James Cordon all over the place as the assistant to the Manager (Redknapp). It’s Robbie Williams’ show, but once again Simon Cowell has had his fingers in it, with Olly Murs (The bloke who didn’t win the x-Factor) playing on the England squad.

This week…. more reality TV in the form of the last ever ever ever Big Brother. Honest, it really is the last one. Series 11 apparently. Here we go again….

More Slow-mo and good tunes. Sneaky that. It appears that this is the death toll chiming for “Endemol” (who at one point pretty much controlled the TV schedules) and I guess this leaves a hole which is all set to be Syco’s time. I just wish I was in BB11 this year so that I wouldn’t have to put up with Mr Cowell’s influence all over the World Cup. Football AND Cowell??.. Bleughhh!!

Big day today. Best not dwell on that though.

Now I’m not really one for football. Most of the time I can take it or leave it. I flirted with Crystal Palace for a while and an experience like that is about enough to put anyone off it. I still occasionally take notice. I know a few Chelsea fans, the odd Liverpool fan, a “remains-of-Pompy” (or should that be Pompeii) supporter and living in the south of the country, hundreds of Manchester United fans. I see these people week in and week out during the football season loving the highs and despairing at the lows, while I, non-supporter that I am, get to sit back and enjoy the game when I can be arsed to take a fleeting interest.

Sadly this stance can be socially damaging for me when the conversation turns to the trials and tribulations of a particular team or a game that I have no frame of reference with. Still I count myself lucky that I can see it as ‘only a game’ while to others it really is ‘life or death’.

And then there’s the World Cup… Now that does keep me interested. The national team playing a national game (I can’t bring myself to call it the national game – we invented most of them anyway) is something to get excited about.

They beat Mexico last night (3-1) in their last friendly before this year’s World Cup starts in 16 days time, in South Africa. I will of course be glued to it, especially when it’s England v Brazil in the final (you heard it here first). However, I managed to watch them score the first goal last night and then lost all interest. Not because it was boring and not because we were winning, but because it was a ‘friendly’ which to my mind might as well be a kick about in the park with jumpers for goal posts and all that. At one point, I swear I heard Wayne’s mum calling him in for his tea!! Fish fingers if I’m not mistaken.

So instead of watching the match, Me and Mrs G had a couple of online games of Buzz – Quiz World. If you’re not familiar with it, a quick explanation is in order. If you are, the next paragraph is not for you.

Basically it’s a games console quiz show, much like most quiz shows you’ve seen on TV. It’s hosted by a virtual bloke called Buzz (who happens to be voiced by Charlene’s ex, Jason Donavon). Each player has a hand set with four coloured buttons and a big red buzzer. Buzz asks the questions and you press the appropriate coloured button that matches the (hopefully) correct answer. Simple. Here’s the clever bit though. You can play online against your friends (if they’ve got the same setup) or against completely random strangers. Nothing is better than beating someone you don’t know on a subject that they’ve chosen. Include some witty script for Buzz to abuse each of the participants with and you have a parlour game for the new millenium which is easily worthy a some of your down time.

Glad your back… Needless to say, we kicked butt (to use the parlance of our times)

Post Buzz, daughter arrived home and S not far behind her. Full of excitement regarding her new suntan and her forthcoming travelling which takes place on Wednesday. I’m still struggling to get excited over anything due to the Starfleet cloud (not the cloud I was referring to yesterday), but the pain will be over soon enough. Channel 4 had a celebrity ‘come dine with me’ which still continues to be entertaining followed by Davina McCall (who any red blooded male such as myself can’t fail to enjoy watching) in her newest vehicle ‘The Million Pound Drop’ or #mpd if you’re following along on twitter.

Davina McPhwoar

This leads me to finally mention a fairly new phenomenon that is the driving force behind such products as Google TV. If you haven’t tried this and you have a laptop (or any web enabled device in view of your TV), I’d recommend it for giggles. Watch something on the Telly. Anything, it doesn’t matter what, but you’ll get better results when it’s something that the masses are watching. Go to twitter.com in your web browser and search for whatever’s just being mention or happening. The results are a bit like having the general public sat next to you on the sofa. Everyone’s got something to say about everything, and some of it is very funny. Not always, it does very much depend on what’s happening, but worth a look if your interested in social comentary on a buffoonery level.

This sort of thing is what you should expect from Google TV, but the funtionality will be built into your TV and not your PC.

It does sadden me a little (much like the death of narrative cinema) to think that this tech encourages you not to share the experience of something in person, but digitally instead. That said, it also enables us to share the televisual experience with friends and loved ones who could be anywhere physically, and yet emotionally right here. My other concern with it, is just because it greatly enhances the tosh that’s on TV, the producers of the tosh mustn’t be allowed to think this gives them carte blanche to keep producing tosh – but instead get creative with the tech and bring us some new tosh, that’s better than their current tosh – if you follow me…..

Enough – I’m clearly in need of my second cup of coffee and I’ve taken up far too much of your day already. To the bat-cave!

My last word on the Political situation…..

The new Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says he wants to form a “new kind of Government”.

Speaking after the Liberal Democrat party approved a formal coalition deal with the Conservative Party, he said he would not have entered into the agreement with the Tories unless he was “genuinely convinced it would offer the unique opportunity to deliver the kind of changes you and I believe in”.

Mr Clegg said he hoped his time in power would be “the start of the new kind of politics I have always believed in, diverse, plural, where politicians of different persuasions come together to overcome their differences in order to deliver good government for the good of the country”.

“I hope you will keep faith with us,” Mr Clegg said to Lib Dem voters.

“Let us prove to you that we can serve you and this country with humility, with fairness at the heart of everything we do with total dedication to the interest of everyone in Great Britain.”

The Lib Dem leader paid to tribute to Gordon Brown, who quit as prime minister on Tuesday evening. He described the Labour leader as a “towering figure for more than a decade in British politics.” Mr Clegg said Mr Brown had acted with “grace and humility” over the last few days.

Sky News political correspondent Glen Oglaza said there was no triumphalism to Mr Clegg’s speech, the words and promises being delivered in a workman-like manner.

“The most interesting part perhaps was the reassurance he sought to deliver to what he described as the seven million people who voted for the Liberal Democrats, accepting that some of them may find the governmental arrangement strange, assuring them he wouldn’t have entered into it if he couldn’t deliver,” he said.

And that is why I voted for him.

…..so it comes to pass that the great British way of doing things has all clicked and whirred into place in that very Heath Robinson way that some of our greatest traditions do…. And hey Presto! New Government.

The country settles back into it’s comfortable routine, like a slightly older gentleman relaxes into his comfortable winged back chair in the Library. Slips on his worn slippers, taps the remnants of his pipe out and picks up the paper to follow the goings-on in the crimea – or some such place.  Meanwhile the kids (Dave & Nick) are running round like headless chickens in the dining room.

“Betsy!!….  BETSY!!!” he hollers, for that is the name of the Nanny who keeps the kids in line. “Sort those damn kids out will you!?, I’m trying to read the bloody paper!”.

Betsy emerges from the Kitchen, crown slightly askew, catches the two kids by the ear and tells them in no uncertain terms. “Now come along you two.  Stop messing about and get and do something more constructive with your time. You’re always under my feet.  Form a government or something.  Didn’t you hear him??”

England has spoken.

Let’s hope that this time, in theory, a slightly more thoughtful bunch are at the reigns. As you were.     Keep Calm & Carry On.

Meanwhile back in Tech-land….

I kicked off a download of Ubuntu Netbook Edition yesterday PM (not Prime Minister, we’re done with that for a while – pay attention). It comes it at a decent 700Mb and by 6pm last night it was sat ready and waiting for me to do something interesting with.

Mrs G’s laptop has Windows Vista sitting on it and it is a constant source of annoyance for her which means it becomes grief for me. The biggest issue is it’s speed. Vista is just bloaty and slow. It’s WiFi network connection time is painful and getting things done is simply hard work. I understand that I’m spoiled what with having OSX and XP (Yes, XP really is OK nowadays, especially when compared to Vista) but it’s just not good enough. I’ve heard good reports about Windows 7, but I figured I should try the new version of Ubuntu for free before shelling out the £100 to upgrade.

So first job is to create a bootable flash drive to install from if you’re building on a Netbook. As I’m trialling on a Laptop, I can simply burn the .ISO image to a CD and boot from that. Building a bootable USB Stick takes a little bit of faffing, but once it’s done you simply plug it in your netbook and boot off of that.

It says here:

Ubuntu Netbook Remix is optimised to run on a new category of affordable Internet-centric devices called netbooks. It includes a new consumer-friendly interface that allows users to quickly and easily get on-line and use their favourite applications.

Sounds perfect for Mrs G’s needs although if it doesn’t have Spider Solitaire and some elements of Open Office, my head will be on the block.

A boot off the new CD results in an impressive looking OS with plenty of quality features. WiFi came up straight away and operation (even from CD) is zippy. If I can find some time this evening perhaps a dual boot installation will be the preferred result. Good stuff.

At ease.