Monthly Archives: August 2014

Another Pi discovery

Spending some time messing about with the Raspberry Pi yesterday led to another important discovery. After switching to a new media player, I found a pretty good XBMC remote control app for the iPhone. It’s so much quicker than using the keyboard/trackpad and easy to set up.



I may need to resort to the Lego method of keeping the Pi and its associated bits tidy though.



Since suitable power leads were already in use when I felt the need to mess about with the Raspberry Pi, I plugged-in a phone back-up battery. And, strangely, the Pi worked fine. It ran for the hour I was using it, with no signs of running out of power, so this may have been a useful discovery for future use.


Or, perhaps not, since the battery wouldn’t power a screen. Well, not a reasonable sized one. Further experimentation may be necessary.

Mr Smith in Peterborough

Just had a lovely conversation with the barman who introduced me to Sam Smith’s chocolate stout. I’ve stuck to the extra stout tonight though. Beautiful beer in Peterborough.


Earlier this evening, I detected a transformer just round the corner to Birmingham New Street station. I’m sure it was seconds away from bursting into another shape.


Think about it.


I’m having a pre-train pint of Maisel’s Weisse in the Wellington, in Birmingham. I now realise why I’ve had a déjà vu kind of day, thinking I’d been in Brum recently, but knowing I hadn’t. Until I came in here. Then I remembered a meeting around the end of last year. I ended up in here with a bloke from my team and had several pre-train pints. I think I slept the whole way home, which is unusual for me.

Anyway, I can recommend both the pub and the beer. Time for a second I think.



Yesterday, my second in command and I had appointments with our dentist in Sunderland. On parking at St Mary’s, we noted a low cost approach to tackling multiple roof leaks.


After dental work was completed, we rewarded ourselves with a now customary pint in the Isis.



Despite living on a busy main road, with several pubs within a couple of minutes walk, I’ve found life here to be less hassled than living on an estate. I’m a week or two away from living in this house for ten years, but the the only crime I’ve come across has been:
– a couple of pubs with window related vandalism.
– a stabbing outside one pub.
– a road accident involving someone fleeing an altercation.

Now, these aren’t all exactly minor, and I’ve almost certainly mentioned one or two at the time, but only the last one could really be described as a reasonably serious crime. Well, it seemed to involve assault and robbery.

Last night, I woke (barely) around 3:45 (I’m guessing, since I didn’t check) and could hear a heavy duty truck engine outside. Assuming it was a rubbish collection, I dismissed it and nodded off again. I woke again just after four and could still hear the truck. Wondering why it was still there, I took a look out of the window. It was actually a fire engine. I jumped to the obvious conclusion that someone had had a minor fire – I’d not been woken by sirens. So I closed the window and climbed back into bed.

There was no obvious signs of any external fire damage to any of the houses in the street when I left for work this morning, so i put it out of my mind.

Until my second in command told me that the Police had called this morning, asking if we’d seen anything. Or heard the explosion. It seems that someone had poured petrol over a car in the street and set it alight. Strangely, there’s nothing about it on the Internet and it wasn’t mentioned on local news (unless I missed it).

Stuff like that just doesn’t happen around here.


Another bee

I just had a failed attempt at taking a picture of a bee in the garden with my second in command’s (posh but complicated) camera. While I’m sure the camera is far superior in the right hands, my phone hasn’t done so badly.




I came across a poster for this the other day.


I think I’m going to have to check it out. After all, it’s educational.