Archive for November, 2004

Camera arrived at three o’clock…

… this afternoon. Raced to the shop and took it home to play with.

Camera arrived at four o’clock this afternoon…

… back at the shop where I bought it! The flash and the shutter did not synchronise 😦

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Who is Dave Barry?

16 things that took me over 50 years to learn:

(by Dave Barry, Nationally Syndicated Columnist)

1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings.”

3. There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.”

4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

5. You should not confuse your career with your life.

6. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. (I wish I had!)

7. Never lick a steak knife.

8. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

9. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

10. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

11. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age 21.

12. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

13. A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)

14. Your friends love you anyway.

15. Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

16. Thought for the day: Men are like fine wine . . . They start out as grapes, and it’s up to the women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

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My Camera

I am still awaiting delivery of my new Minolta Dynax 7D Digital SLR. Minolta are still awaiting their next large UK consignment.

Meanwhile I have purchased a fast 1GB Compact Flash card – and will keep my slower existing 1GB card for backup. In addition I have purchased an 80GB Flashtrax gizmo. This is a little like a superior iPod. It has a built in CompactFlash card reader, a 3.5″ square screen, and can also play music files.

The nice thing is, Smart who market this phototainer device, upgrade the firmware whenever it is needed. The Flashtrax can also display RAW files from Canon, Minolta and Nikon and the latest firmware upgrade also caters for the new RAW makeup of the Canon 1DS series II.

OK, hard drives are not as secure as CF cards, but that is if you throw them around, rather thann keep them safe in your camera bag.

A good place to purchaase these is at MacWarehouse a division of MicroWarehouse. The difference is you will pay postage from MicroWarehouse but not from their sister company!

Follow the link below to MacWarehouse, UK.

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Link to me?

Why not link to my blog from your website, or blog?

I have prepared a little advert which you could use.

It can be expanded or contracted to the size you would prefer, just click on the link below, right click on the graphic and save it to your hard disk..

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Bullying at school

What is wrong with todays children? I was bullied at school. I never told my parents, I just got on with life and gave as good as I got!

I was an English boy brought up amongst Afrikaners in Stellenbosch, the heart of Cape Afrikanerdom. I went to an Afrikaans boarding school from the age of eight!

For those who don’t know, Afrikaners really hate English people. The average size of the other boys in my class was twice my height and weight. (I grew up on war rations in the UK and was a small skinny lad). And I wouldn’t pass their test which was to say that South Africa was better than England, although I did secretly believe it at the time.

Throughout the first year I had an average of three fights a day. Never less than three large Afrikaner boys attacked me at any one time. But after a year they had come to accept me and life became easier. In fact when I was in sickbay with Yellow Jaundice at the end of the year just about every boy came to see me, and I was told that the headmaster remarked (in disbelief) on this at assembly. Yes, he hated me as well. But I never complained.

Funnyly enough, I look on those days with pride. I never gave in and admitted that their country was better than mine. And the funny thing was, even they grew tired of the 24 hour hate campaign so, after three months it was an understood thing that they only attacked me in school time. Believe it or not, we played together after school, and fought the next morning. Utterly unbelievable!

But then, two years previously, when I was six, in Lancing Sussex, I told my mother that I like Robins. “Why” she asked with interest? “Because they are not traitors, they don’t fly south in the winter” I repled.

Which is why, I suppose, I joined the UK Independence Party, and feel all politicians who have sold our childrens inheritance to strangers are traitors to their country.

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How was the nickname Ampers born?

Like most stories, the origin is very simple…

Back in the eighties I ran a BBS called “The Qutron Executive” and also messaged prolifically on Keith Barnes famous five line BBS called “Mission Impossible”, sometimes Miss Imp, or Mish for short. For those who remembered those days, both boards were run with Wildcat BBS software.

As my name is Andrew, I used to sign my messages &Roo (and-roo) for short. Many members developed the habit of refering to me as Ampers and thus the nickname was born.

As I said, the story is a simple one 🙂


PS As a short aside, it was around 1986 that we adopted Internet messaging. Most of us, when we saw the huge long headers, came to the conclusion that this would never take off. So we all joined the ranks of the CEO of IBM who once stated there would never be the need for more than five computers in the world!

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The battle of Trafalgar 2004

Nelson: “Order the signal, Hardy.”

Hardy: “Aye, aye sir.”

Nelson: “Hold on, that’s not what I dictated to the signal officer. What’s the meaning of this?”

Hardy: “Sorry sir?”

Nelson (reading aloud): “England expects every person to do his duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability”. “What gobbledygook is this?”

Hardy: “Admiralty policy, I’m afraid, sir. We’re an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil’s own job getting ‘England’ past the censors, lest it be considered racist.”

Nelson: “Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco.”

Hardy: “Sorry sir. All naval vessels have been designated smoke-free working environments.”

Nelson: “In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the main brace to steel the men before battle.”

Hardy: “The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. Its part of the Government’s policy on binge drinking.”

Nelson: “Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we’d better get on with it… full speed ahead.”

Hardy: “I think you’ll find that there’s a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water.”

Nelson: “Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow’s nest please.”

Hardy: “That won’t be possible, sir.”

Nelson: “What?”

Hardy: “Health and safety have closed the crow’s nest, sir. No harness. And they said that rope ladder doesn’t meet regulations. They won’t let anyone up there until a proper scaffolding can be erected.”

Nelson: “Then get me the ship’s carpenter without delay, Hardy.”

Hardy: “He’s busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the fo’c’sle Admiral.”

Nelson: “Wheelchair access? I’ve never heard anything so absurd.”

Hardy: “Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier free environment for the differently abled.”

Nelson: “Differently abled? I’ve only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn’t rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card.”

Hardy: “Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under-represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency.”

Nelson: “Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons.”

Hardy: “A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and safety won’t let the crew up the rigging without hard hats. And they don’t want anyone breathing in too much salt – haven’t you seen the adverts?”

Nelson: “I’ve never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy.”

Hardy: “The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral.”

Nelson: “What? This is mutiny.”

Hardy: “It’s not that, sir. It’s just that they’re afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There’s a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks.”

Nelson: “Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?”

Hardy: “Actually, sir, we’re not.”

Nelson: “We’re not?”

Hardy: “No, sir. The Frenchies and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn’t even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation.”

Nelson: “But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.”

Hardy: “I wouldn’t let the ship’s diversity co-ordinator hear you saying that sir. You’ll be up on disciplinary.”

Nelson: “You must consider every man an enemy, who speaks ill of your King.”

Hardy: “Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it’s the rules.”

Nelson: “Don’t tell me – health and safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?”

Hardy: As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there’s a ban on corporal punishment.”

Nelson: “What about sodomy?”

Hardy: “I believe it’s to be encouraged, sir.”

Nelson: “In that case … kiss me, Hardy

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