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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Wednesday, 30 June 2004


It's been a crazy day for anyone who wants to do any kind of wheeled travelling around London; people took to their bikes, and the rest of the traffic ground to an unceremonious standstill. Our company wheeled out some of the oldest buses I've ever seen, to help ferry the employees to such delightful locations as Liverpool Street, Victoria and Waterloo.

I was going to link to this site (warning: contains strong language) as it's a list of daily overheard conversations on the tube and thus, in some tenuous way, related to today's tube strike but, having experienced daily tube journeys for a couple of years, I know for a fact that nobody ever talks to each other and mobile phones don't work. Perhaps he lives in the 'overground' region... or he's clearly making it up.

Hot on the heels of handy clothes folding hints from yesterday, comes a collection of myths about batteries. There's so much to learn about on the internet...

I've got tomorrow off; I'm hoping it's as nice as today (not too warm, with just the occasional shower) so we can go and get some fresh air.

I was thinking about refections (it's something I'd like to tell Christopher about - I've brought home some shiny stickers for him - but I can't quite work out why light bounces off a metal surface!), and came to the conclusion that water is amazing... it can steer photons, crush a polystyrene cup (I saw it on a television programme), turn into drizzle and makes for a healthy, thirst-quenching drink. Oh, and it can sustain the phenomenal sea monkey (of which Christopher has a number as pets).

Well, it's going to be a long journey home, so I'd better sit back and enjoy it...


Posted by james at 9:21 PM

Tuesday, 29 June 2004

Tuesday evening

How quickly the day comes to an end... not much to report today, save that I didn't realise that laminating was so much fun.

A friend of mine witnessed this (291kB MP3) piece of wonderful radio this morning, and I felt I had to share it with you. I understand that the scream is that of the presenter.

Before I nip off to do some tidying, here's a marvel of the broadband era (apologies to readers using dial-up!); I came across a video (14.4MB Windows Media) of a radio-controlled stunt helicopter doing things I would never have believed possible. Obviously, it's not planting conifers or writing a magazine article, but I'm sure you see my point.

And if it's folding clothes you're after, then look no further than this brief demonstration video (315kB Windows Media) - it's dial-up friendly - from a Japanese television programme. I've not tried it yet, but I'll be upstairs emptying out my t-shirt drawer as soon as I've finished this! Or maybe not.


Posted by james at 8:45 PM

Monday, 28 June 2004

Sunny Monday

I have to be careful, coming home from work on a Monday evening - I have Radio 4 in my earphones, and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue is playing. My uncontrollable sniggers, I'm sure, cause my fellow travellers to wonder what's wrong with me.

It's been a crazy day at work - strangely, the equipment we look after, which is based on an extremely expensive, reliable Open VMS system and DEC Alpha server, has started to fail catastrophically and often. There are lots of bits to it, and diagnosing exactly what's wrong is quite tricky - I spent much of Friday afternoon and today working on one of the twenty-something servers with a member of the manufacturer's company, who has come to the UK to do other things. In the end, it turned out that two of the bits of kit and one of the spares we'd tried had gone faulty, which made for quite a bit of fiddling. The day was over before I knew it, though; once it had all been typed up (who hasn't got to do documentation these days?) it was time to go home.

The journey to work was a nightmare, incidentally. Perhaps it was the 'normal' Monday morning rush, but it took two-and-a-half hours door to door, where sometimes I can do it in 80 minutes. Oh the joys of the M1, eh?

Posted by james at 7:13 PM

Sunday, 27 June 2004

family time...

Well, Sunday, and therefore the weekend, is on the wane already! It's been a good one, though - we started today with a trip to the park before church. Our playing, however, was cut short when Christopher trod into some unpleasant (is there any other kind?) dog-mess behind one of the swings. Some people are so inconsiderate, and we arrived a little late at church as a result of this and the slow-moving traffic arriving for the 'Race For Life' event which was taking place nearby.

After lunch, Christopher and I popped to PC World to pick up a new power supply and cooling fan for Beth's PC, which has been crashing rather a lot just lately. Christopher selected a fan with a red glow, and we came home and fitted both with (hopefully) no problems. It took a little longer than before because I wanted to tidy up the cables at tbe back of the PC using some rather innovative 'Cablezip' product - and there are a lot of cables!

Last night, while watching the third of the far-from-ordinary Quarter Finals of the Euro 2004 football championship, I was sitting on 'my' sofa with the lounge windows open; there was a bird chirping loudly ouside, making a noise reminiscent of a mobile phone. I made a brief recording (192kB MP3) although it doesn't quite hae the bizarre 'R2D2' noises I'd heard before.

Speaking of Euro 2004, I'm surprised that there are still lots of cars sporting "chavflags" (as I've dubbed them) in spite of England's unfortunate defeat at the hands - or rather feet - of Portugal. For the sake of posterity, here's a link to the DVLA "announcement" on a new driver identification system.

Not long until the week starts again... better make the most of the time with the children!
AUTHOR: Mother
EMAIL: mary@chepbourne.freeserve.co.uk
URL: http://
DATE: 06/27/2004 20:10:11
Good to read the everyday details. Such things happen to all the best people! So depressing when they happen. Still, life goes on. and we warily watch out for dirty doings for a while. I just wondered about the pictures in a gallery, of Ed and Kate's wedding. I don't seem able to find it - the gallery, I mean. Love,MotherX

Posted by james at 5:10 PM

Saturday, 26 June 2004

"Ed and Kate is [sic] getting married"

Well, it's been a good while since I've written in here, so I'd better make amends! One of the things that was putting me off was the hassle of reformatting pictures so they'd fit between bits of text here. Fortunately, I've discovered the joy of a Gallery program that can turn a bunch of digital photographs into a rather pleasant photo album slide-show affair.

That is, for example, what I've used for Ed and Kate's wedding, which we attended last Saturday. It was held in the depths of Herefordshire - close enough to Wales for some of the roadsigns to be in two languages - and made for a three hour journey there and back.

The children, however, were very well-behaved considering the circumstances, and although we arrived 'on time' (we would have preferred to have been at least quarter-of-an-hour before the half-past-two wedding), Kate, it would appear, bucked tradition and turned up early. Beth didn't have any room to comment, mind - so did she on our wedding day!

It was a large church celebration, with wonderful music and a service led by Ed's Dad (who is an Anglican vicar) followed by photos in the grounds of the ancient church. We then drove to Kate's parents' large house, where a marquee had been put up. We were very lucky that the rain held off, although it did start to get a bit chilly at times.

Because we had such a long journey home, we had to forego the food; with - it must have been - over a hundred guests, the queue had formed long before we'd come in from giving the children a run about in the garden. But it was OK - we were home before 10pm, and with Beth driving the second half of the trip home, I could sit in the back and entertain the children through the medium of mini hair-clips (don't ask) and chocolate.

All the photos I took that day are in the photo gallery - a few of them are remarkably similar, but hopefully they capture the event to some degree.

I'm unsure whether to mention the alternative folk band OffWight Radiator's 'musical' tributes to Ed and Kate (which can be found here, although it is not recommended). I don't think I'll bother.

Well... with any luck there'll be plenty more from me here in the future!

Posted by james at 5:43 PM

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