Archive for October, 2007

Ghouls and Gadgets

Monday, October 29th, 2007

This weekend was the (now-)traditional neighbourhood halloween party.
Fresh from my success as Frankenstein last year, I decided to go with a less scary diguise for fear of frightening the little guests like I did last time. And so Fred Flintstone appeared.
This costume came complete with strap-on feet but it was only when I got home that I found out they were both left.It didn’t spoil the overall effect and once more I garnered the respect of my neighbours. At least, I think they were looking at me in awe.
Sunday saw a real gadget-fest for Sam and I. I finally succumbed to the Dark Side and purchased a MacBook Pro from Apple. It is from this very machine that I am typing to you now.
Sam had her dreams realised and is now the proud owner of a Roomba vaccum cleaner. Anyone who doesn’t know about Roombas should head towards www.irobot.com. Knowing that she now doesn’t need to vacuum as much, she’s already planning the other machines that she’d like.
We’ve already come up with the WashingUpba, the Ironingba and the Dustingba.

New addition to the family

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

We’ve managed to keep this under wraps for a while now but at 2:01pm on Saturday 20th October 2007, we welcomed a new addition to the Kelly family.

Yes, it’s true, we have the pitter-patter of tiny feet once more.  Everyone’s excited and we’ve had visitors already cooing.

So, I’d like to introduce you to Truffles and Martini, the guinea pigs.

We wanted to get a dog but our landlords weren’t comfortable with that so we compromised and got some critters.

Truffles is brown/black and Martini is jet black. Their previous owners kept great care of them but had picked up two kittens from a rescue centre and the kittens kept eyeing the critters and licking their lips so something had to go.

The girls are really excited as they were too young to really remember our bunny rabbits and we think they’re at the right age to look after these animals. The good thing is that guinea pigs like to be picked up and cuddled so it’s going to get the girls more comfortable with handling them

Today’s foray into pet care is to clean out their cage. This is something that Sam and I had to do on a regular basis with the rabbits and it’s a skill we’re passing down to our children. Sam wants to get some more play things for them. I was thinking about a plasma TV and table football but she wants climbing frames and a see-saw.

These things have personalities of their own. Truffles is more outgoing. If you make a noise that sounds like a rattling food bag, she’ll stand up on her hind legs with her front paws on the cage and start squeaking. She’s comfortable with sitting in the open.

Martini, on the other hand, is a silent partner. She’s content to sit inside her log but she’s not beyond nipping Truffles in the backside when there’s food to be had. I think some administrative punishment may be called for.

Change of server again

Friday, October 19th, 2007

I’ve purchased a hosting service with uk2.net ( the people that manage DNS for me ). They’ve been really good in the past and I don’t see any reason why this won’t continue.

Anagrams ?

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

I’ve come off the SFO-IAD flight and made use of Virgin America’s entertainment system. One of the games was an anagram puzzle where they give you a word and you have to make as many words of 3 letters or more as you can. Even taking into account the American/Proper-English spelling confusion, the dictionary that was being used was not as up-to-date as you’d expect in a game like this.

One word I was given was BMOERSB

According to the game, I couldn’t use the word ORBS. I could use ORB and I could have plurals of any other word I wanted but not ORBS.

Ironically, for an American plane, I could have BOMB, BOMBS and BOMBERS.

Go figure.

A Whole New World

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

So my first week at Cloudmark has ended and, so far, I’ve not had to do anything 🙂

I’m very much the new guy but, remarkably, I’m also not the token Brit. The CEO and CFO are both from the UK.

Getting to the office has been a breeze so far. The Caltrain goes from Millbrae to San Francisco every 10-15 minutes in the morning and is about 3 blocks away from the office. Getting back is a little more difficult because after 7:20pm, there are only 2 other trains at 8:25pm and 10:00pm which means lots of waiting around if I get held up in the office. It’s still more cost effective than driving in but I’m losing flexibility for that saving. We’ll see how it goes for a few weeks.

Next week, I’m in Washington, D.C. for MAAWG ( Mail Anti-Abuse Working Group ). It’s a chance for ISPs, vendors and customers to get together and discuss standards on how to tackle things like spam. Again, I don’t have to do too much other than listen and smile while I direct people’s queries to m’colleagues.

I’m not sure how long I can play the ignorance card, my boss and a couple of colleagues come from Scalix so they have been selling me up to management. This means that big things are expected and I hope I can deliver.

Apart from working, I’ve also added to my list of flat-pack furniture construction skills ( and injuries ) by putting Rachel’s loft bed together. When I was taking my “between jobs” vacation, I found out that a honey-do list had been drawn up without my consent. This included painting the girls’ bedrooms and going to IKEA to buy new furniture. We got the rooms painted but the furniture didn’t get delivered until this week. So, last night, while I was supposed to be packing, I built Rachel’s bed for her.

I now have stigmata-like blisters on my hands where the screwdriver was rubbing while I attached the bed rails to the frame. I’ll use this to my advantage by pretending I can’t lift anything up with my hands.

Sadly, I’ve not had too much time to play World of Warcraft and I feel like I’ve gone cold turkey. Stupidly, I forgot to install it on my work laptop before I set off for this business trip so that means I won’t be able to play while I’m in the hotel :S