Are you ready to go out?

As part of my first year of marital education I have learnt there are questions that when asked to either a husband or wife may elicit the same answer, but the meaning of which is anything but similar.

“Are you ready to go out?” is a good example of this. When I answer “Yes” I really do mean it, and this is further implied by the fact that I’ll be stood outside the house, front door key in hand, car unlocked, raring to go.

When Kate replies “Yes” what she actually means is “No, give me another 10 minutes to decide what shoes to wear, find my handbag, get my coat, perhaps an umbrella, etc”. And this is a potentially dangerous situation because you will be asked “What shoes should I wear? Where we going?” It doesn’t matter what answer you give here, you will be ignored, so, my stock answer now is “Trainers, we’re going rock climbing”.

This then leaves you with 10 minutes to burn. There isn’t really anything useful you can do in this time. You can perhaps further perfect your arse crease in the sofa, or flick through a magazine, but really, you’re just waiting. If you go out and sit in the car and wait, you’ll be in a world of pain. Same goes for the turning the TV back on. Just. Don’t. Do. It! I find that loitering round the house checking the back door is locked about 20 times is fairly effective method of hurrying Kate up.

Still, in the scheme of things “Are you ready to go out?” is a rather tame question. There are some that can really put in your trouble, such as “Do I look fat in this?”

Here there is no right answer. If you say no, you will be ignored because the correct answer is yes because if it wasn’t, the question wouldn’t have been asked in the first place. But for the love of God, don’t answer yes; this will incur a long list of penalties one of which will be a lack of certain privileges ;).

In this case I find it’s best to ignore saying anything sensible and instead go for “I’m going for dump” and then sit on the toilet making farting noises whilst complaining that something in yesterday’s tea gave me an upset stomach. This usually stops any further queries and allows me to slope off and play a bit of Xbox, World of Warcraft or PSP.

So, as you can see, I’m learning, but there is still a long way to go!

2007 Spanish Grand Prix

Start-barcelona-z-03_130507Damnit, that annoying leprecon Felipe Massa won. Again! Still, credit where it’s due, he took pole with a cracking time, by just sneaking in front of Alonso and proceeded to keep the lead, knocking out the fastest lap along the way.

More interesting than that though is that thanks to Hamilton’s second place, he now leads the championship! A pretty amazing feat for rookie in just his fourth race.

Alonso on the other hand had a pretty poor weekend. Hamilton outclassed him again and even though he’d qualified ahead of him, he lost two places due to a risky over taking move at the first corner on Massa which didn’t pay off. Massa held his ground well, pushing Alonso off track and losing him two positions.

It looked like he’d stay fourth but Raikkonen’s reliability gremlin’s made a welcome return (for us Alonso fans) and chewed up his electrics. That made for a quick end to his weekend, and he was off the circuit before the race had even finished. Both the lead drivers for McLaren and Ferrari had poor weekends by their standards. The second drivers are giving them a real beating and as such, they’ve got to raise their games.

Strangely Michael Schumacher was back at Ferrari. Not driving, but in an advisor role. I’m not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing. But that said, it’s nice to see he still has an active interest in the sport.

Coulthard-barcelona-z-21_120507As for the rest of the pack, well, Kubica came in fourth and pushed home just how well BMW are now doing since they split from Williams and bought out Sauber. It’s really good to see. I doubt they’ll be fighting for the championship this year, but I reckon they will be next year. Coulthard also did well coming home with fifth. The Red Bulls have really pushed on since Bahrain which is great news.

I’m not sure Renault will be happy with Honda’s second team, Super Aguri, beating Fisichella to eighth. It’s weird how Renault’s form has slipped so much. It is, however, making for a highly competitive mid-field.

Next up is Monaco in just under two weeks. Hamilton has an excellent record there from racing in GP3 and GP2 whilst for Alonso, it’s not a good circuit. Still, at least Schumacher wouldn’t be able to ruin everyones qualifying times this year by parking his car on the second to last corner… or will he?

Photos from www.F1–

Eurovision Hilarity

Ukr_verkaserduchkaAnother evening of utter chessiness and block voting last Saturday threw up a bizarre result. Serbia? Nothing like last years winner, Lordi. The Serbian song was awful… well actually, they were all awful. This year was a particularly bad crop. But Serbia’s effort was hardly worthy of winning. I was plugging for the Ukraine with their joyful ditty, so at least they came second.

England’s entrant only just missed out on zero points thanks to Ireland and Malta but it was a gazillion times better than last years (which isn’t saying much). I was actually surprised it did so badly given it’s credentials seemed to fit in with what should make a popular Eurovision song. But because of the poor showing they got a hiding from the Sunday papers, which made for some entertaining reading.

Uk_scoochThing is, the political voting is really spoiling it. Switching to telephone voting was such a bad idea and they should go back to old style jury. But I doubt that’ll change, with 100 million people across Europe tuning in to watch, they’ll be coining it in from the phone votes! Image if just 1% of the audience voted, 1 million votes is a whole lot of cash. Ah well.

You’re probably wondering why I watch it since all I do is slag it off? Because I like cheesy shit and I enjoy shouting at the TV. That and Sir Terry’s sarcastic commentary.

Site tweakage: Comments fixed, old theme is back!

Thanks to a heads up from Pope I’ve fixed comment entry. I’d change themes and forgot to put in a box for the math comment spam protection thingy, which would explain why there have been no comments for two months!

I’ve also switched back to my old WordPress theme. I’ve not been very keen on any of the minimalist ones I’ve been using, but I’m not so happy with this one any more since it’s a bit long in the tooth. So I’ve either got to find another one I really like or make one meself. Doh! renewed

Is it that time already? Yep, another two years have passed. The difference being is that this time, I actually have a site for MPQ Archive.

But it’s no thanks to EasySpace’s craptastically confusing “Control Panel” that I’ve renewed it for another two years. The option to renew was hardly obvious and ideally I would have liked to have done it for more, but the crappy thing only gave me the option of renew for two years or cancel…

Anyhoo, job done!

Outlook rules that actually work

I’m not the worlds biggest fan of Outlook and whilst the new lick of paint in Office 2007 makes it slightly more bearable, one thing that has constantly driven me up the wall has been it’s inability to run rules properly.

It seems as if I’m the only one in the office afflicted with this problem and no matter what I try to fix it, they just won’t run. Exporting, deleting and re-importing my rules did nowt. Running Outlook.exe with /cleanrules didn’t help and even going as far as deleting my mail profile and recreating it gave the same useless result. Which, incidentally, is not a fun thing to do, having Outlook resync your OST over a VPN is not pleasant at the best of times.

Plus it’s not specific to a machine, I’ve switched to three different machines in the last six months, four if you include the virtual machine I ran for a while, but none seemed to want to work.

I wouldn’t mind but it’s not like I have anything fancy set up, my seven rules (yes, seven) consist of moving email’s to different folders depending on various things like who sent it, keywords in the body and subject, update info, etc. Hardly rocket science.

However, I now have an answer, an add-on for Outlook called Auto-Mate, who’s job is to run rules, and nothing but rules. It’s a bit options overload at first, but it’s pretty easy to get the hang of and I love the Preview option. This is genius since it makes checking what you’ve just set up a doddle.


It’s not quite as flexible as Outlook rules for setting some things up. For example, if you have email’s that have slightly different subject lines and you want them to go in the same folder. In Outlook you can have just one rule and specify two different things to match on. In Auto-Mate you need two rules. Not the end of the world, just something worth knowing.

Also, Auto-Mate isn’t free, there are two different versions, Standard ($29.99) and Pro ($59.99). The Pro version seems a bit steep to me and I’m a bit miffed that I’ll most likely have to shell out for something that should just work in Outlook!

The reason for such desperate measures is because of the barrage of email’s I now get that strictly speaking don’t require immediate attention. I like to keep my Inbox relatively clear and just have things in there that I’m working on or are currently of interest. As such, filing email’s automatically has become incredibly important. So Auto-Mate, along with SpeedFiler, makes Outlook just about manageable!

Yummy! Fast food…

Spotted this via BoingBoing the other week where someone has gone to the trouble of comparing the publicity photos of fast food with what you actually get.

Kfcbowl2 Kfcbowl1

I was also amused by this related quote on BoingBoing:

I worked (briefly) in the photography studio of one of the biggest ad agencies in NYC. They paid a professional “food stylist” around $2000 a day to make the food look like that. Every golden sesame seed or drop of crystalline dew was hand placed. That mayonnaise isn’t mayo, it’s hair gel and that chicken looks so good because apparently everything looks yummier when it’s been sprayed with lacquer. A lot of that “food” isn’t food at all and the stuff that is food has been treated with more chemicals and “tricks of the trade” than most super models.

Mayo that’s hair gel? Chicken covered in lacquer? Hmmm nice! Although for some fast food, that’ll probably taste better!

The thing this initially reminded me of was a scene from Falling Down (wiki) with Michael Douglas where he goes to Whammyburger and tries to order something off the breakfast menu. When that fails, since it was a couple of minutes after breakfast serving time, he orders a burger and then goes ballistic when what he gets is a sloppy mess that looks nothing like advertised.

Not that this should come as a surprise to anyone who eats fast food. The local Burger King microwaves all their burgers so it’s no wonder they’re always soggy…