Archive for June, 2006

Old Blighty

Monday, June 26th, 2006

It’s been over two weeks since we landed in the UK. We’ve been staying in Coventry with my brother, sister-in-law and family while we were waiting for my other brother to get married. They made us very welcome and the girls got to play with their cousins. Unfortunately, my parents had already made arrangements so we only got to see them at the start and end of the holiday. My brother’s wedding went without a hitch (at least that’s how it appeared from our side ). Rachel and Joanna along with their cousins were bridesmaids and a singe page boy and all of them had the “aah” factor.

The weather held up perfectly for the pictures and the reception was great with my brother trying to sell his house during his speech. My nephew was the star of the show with a fantastic demonstration of dancing skills to The Proclaimer’s 500 Miles flanked by two six-foot wedding guests.

I got to watch all three of England’s first-round matches. The first match was at the house of my brother’s friend. They’d laid on a garden party so that the (predominantly) female partners and children got to play in the sun while the (predominantly) men got to watch the game. Later on in the evening, it was close approaching 7pm (Doctor Who) and I was planning to make my excuses and leave so that I would watch it at home. I told people why I wanted to go and they were giving me a hard time and funny looks but put the TV on for me so I could watch. As soon as the program started, all the comments about how cheesy/nerdy etc Doctor Who used to be disappeared to be replaced by people telling me how they’d been watching the new series since it started and they were discussing all the recent episodes. I sat there in smug satisfaction.

We left Coventry and headed to Basingstoke to stay with Sam’s friend. Big mistake. Sam’s friend and her husband are also confirmed gadget freaks and showed off their Sonos sound system. If you’re not technically-minded, look away now…

The Sonos system is a network device with audio out and a wireless controller so that you can have up to 32 devices networked together. You can either group them or control them individually which means you can have them upstairs playing one music track and downstairs playing another. Good stuff. Very expensive.

I’m thinking of whether I can do the same thing on the cheap with my MVP devices ( which means I need to buy a couple more ).

This weekend, we came to Poole to stay with my friend. This stay ended up being a little longer than planned because, unfortunately, Sam’s brother’s daughter and wife ( who we were going to be staying with after the weekend ) came down with bad colds and tonsilitis. We’re hoping they get better by the middle of the week as Sam is taking part in the Race For Life in Basingstoke on Wednesday

In the mean time, I have been back to the UK office to find that nothing has changed. The UK manager still has Tourette’s and a Basil Fawlty-like appreciation for the Germans which would explain why the German support engineer that sits opposite him is heading for the US in a few months time.

Since we landed, we’ve slipped back into our UK lifestyle again like we’ve never been away. I didn’t have a problem with driving on the right (correct) side of the road but when we went through the supermarket, I was a little bit paranoid to talk in case I got stared at because of my British accent. It turns out that everyone else in the supermarket was British as well so I needn’t have worried.

Computer frustration

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

I’ve just wasted 20 minutes of my life taking my mail/DNS/CVS/DHCP server apart to work out why it wouldn’t reboot after I accidentally knocked out the power cable only to find that the reason there was no display was that I’d also knocked out the monitor cable ( must remember to screw it in properly this time ) and the motherboard will not boot until it detects a monitor.

Arrrgghh!

Just thought you should know…

Tax again

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

I forgot to mention that Sam’s ITIN arrived last week which means a) My tax return was received and b) We can file the state return. Unfortunately, the timing means that we’re not likely to see the cheques until after we come back from the UK but that doesn’t stop me accosting the postman every time he arrives in case there’s something we can fast-track through the bank.

It’s been a year

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

June 2nd saw our one-year anniversary since landing.

To celebrate, I invited my poker buddies around for the evening for cards and alcohol. It was a good evening up to about 1:15 when I had to stand up and go into the bathroom to speak to my friend Huey on the porcelain telephone.

Everyone else left about an hour later 🙂

Obviously, the next day was a fuzzy blur and Sunday is now the official Saturday of this weekend seeing as I missed out on the real Saturday.

The good news of the evening was that I’d managed to win about $25. So, I ask everyone, what’s worse ? Me being drunk or me winning when I am drunk ?

Saturday afternoon saw me taking the standard oath to swear off drinking forever. I had my fingers crossed so it doesn’t really count, it’s more of a token gesture towards sobriety. I guess that come my brother’s last night as a free man, the gesture will be one-fingered.

So…it’s only a couple more days until we fly back to Old Blighty. To say we’re really excited is an understatement. We now have to work out exactly what we’re supposed to packing and chances are we’ll still be doing it a couple of hours before we’re due to fly.