Archive for the ‘web’ Category

wallchart wars

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

My brother Robin is quite the regular in the BBC’s online Magazine Monitor these days. Yesterday he had a post up about something in the Guardian (scroll to the post from Robin, Edinburgh).

I felt that I had to reply with a comedically stern rebuke, which to my surprise they actually ran:

Further to the snarky comment from Robin of Edinburgh regarding the Guardian’s apple wallchart, I feel I should make you aware that this comment came from someone who used to have a ‘Sheep breeds of Britain’ poster. I should know – I’m his big brother (which also gives me the right to humiliate him in public).
Andrew, Minneapolis (formerly from Edinburgh)

new reader

Sunday, October 8th, 2006

Following a recommendation from Lifehacker, I’ve been trying out the new Google Reader instead of my trusty bloglines to read blog and other rss feeds. So far so good. Just need to work out if it’ll handle the blogroll feature which bloglines does so nicely – you can see the results on the bar at the left of this page.

Zoomed down to Austin, TX this evening for a couple of days after a really nice day with Emma and Toby. I was upgraded to first class again. Much better food than last time – instead of dry chicken and cruncy rice it was garlicky beef pot roast which was really tasty and the best plane food I’ve had in ages, except maybe for some great stuff on Jet Airways in India. It was the first time I’ve ever been the first person off the plane – it was a bit disorienting not to have anyone to follow. The airport of course had canned country music. Now I’m in my hotel room I’m listening to some African music show on the local public radio station which is kind of fun.

On the plane I was reading a book Emma used for her last course, “The Worldly Philosophers” by Robert L. Heilbroner. Really interesting summary of the thinking of the major economists. I’m almost at the end of the second chapter – the first was about the western world in pre-economic-theory times, and now it’s Adam Smith. It reminded me of being at Glasgow University like the great man himself, although he didn’t have to contend with the monstrously appalling early 70s building which was named after him. The only thing that has grated on me in the book is overuse, or rather incorrect use, of the phrase “in a word”. On the last page of chapter one, a paragraph ends “In a word, the time for the economists had arrived.” Furthermore the chapter ends at the bottom of that same page with “In a word, a new vision had come into being.”

luckily he saw the funny side

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Toby’s pretty good on the computer – he likes to play a Winnie the Pooh game and various things online at PBS Kids but fortunately he has never (as far as we know) bought a pink classic car on eBay.

firefox and activex

Monday, September 25th, 2006

For some reason lately I’ve been getting an error in FireFox when I visit web sites with ActiveX controls. It’s been really annoying – a message pops up saying

active x error:
could not create the control {00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}. Check that is has been installed on your computer and that this page correctly references it

but after I click OK the page works just fine. It’s been especially annoying on pages with multiple controls because you have to click on the popup once for each control.

Nothing a quick Google search couldn’t fix though. I found the solution which is simply:

1) Navigate to your FireFox plugin folder (usually C:\Program Files\Mozilla FireFox\plugins)
2) Find file npmozax.dll
3) Rename the file to BAKnpmozax.dll
4) Restart FireFox.

You’re welcome.

more on the state fair

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

I mentioned that Emma and I were at the Minnesota State Fair last week. Today there’s an interesting thing in Slate on the evolution of the Minnesota State Fair, which mentions a few things I hadn’t written about.

Another thing for today – ages ago I read something about calculating your age in hours using Excel, and working out when you would hit certain milestones. I had forgotten that I’d put a calendar reminder in my phone about this, so this morning I was cheerily notified that I am three hundred thousand hours old.

follow-up on fish news

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

I’m sure you were waiting with baited breath about the results of the fish slap thing which I posted a couple of weeks ago. Well, from the BBC: Man slapped in face with wet fish.

Great quote from the woman who slapped the bloke in the face with the fish: “It is kind of a dream of mine.” This actually makes sense in a way. Your dreams are seldom linear and often don’t make a whole bunch of sense. Alexei Sayle said once that he wouldn’t actually enjoy the holiday of his dreams because it would involve floating in the air and landing in a swimming pool full of green rabbits etc etc.

non-fish news

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

Due to the lack of fish news lately, here’s some exciting, stop-the-presses cows news.

more fish news

Monday, August 14th, 2006

A charity fish face slap on offer. Emma’s comment: (incredulous tone of voice) “Wait – you have to buy your own fish?”.

beirut blog

Monday, August 7th, 2006

Someone mentioned to me a couple of days ago that there’s a spot on this site’s hit map (on the left hand side) from the Middle East. Well, mystery solved:

I got an email today from a former school friend of Emma’s who is currently living in Beirut – she moved there a few months ago little suspecting what would transpire. She’s keeping a blog at Bloggin’ Beirut – I’ve added it to my blogrolls list so we can watch her progress. Spare a thought or three.

trout news

Friday, July 28th, 2006

On the Minnesota Trout Unlimited message board:

As reported in The New Yorker, edition of July 10 & 17, 2006:


From the Chaska (Minn.) Herald.
A man passed out on the banks of Courthouse Lake attracted the attention of local police in the early morning hours on Jan. 14. The man appeared to be extremely intoxicated and was using a trout as a pillow.

As if this story wasn’t bizarre enough, note that the date is Jan. 14 – it probably would have been well below freezing.