Archive for August, 2005

Pop up massacre

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

I have had enough of the latest rash of pop ups and pop unders that seem to circumvent Firefox’s Block Pop-Ups option. An hour’s reading and research has led me to implement the hosts file solution detailed here, using Dan Pollock’s hosts file text posted here. As well as seemingly halting the annoyances, it was also a useful first introduction to working in Mac OSX’s Terminal app.

Because it is there

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

‘Because it is there’ was George Mallory’s now-famous response to the ‘Why climb Everest?’ questions that he endured before losing his life on his third attempt in 1924 – 29 years before it was finally accomplished by Aucklander Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. We have a good friend, Elaine, who lives in the Netherlands and visited us recently. Elaine has unknowingly provided me with my equivalent answer for all those who ask us why we are moving to the other side of the world without having secured a job or even residency. In an email yesterday, she quoted Charlotte Bronte and I find the quotation apt for describing the mixture of excitement and uncertainity within us all as we approach this new phase in our family life:

“Better to try all things and find all empty, than to try nothing and leave your life a blank”

Joy and numbness

Friday, August 19th, 2005

A day of mixed emotions. Earlier today, the last major obstacle to our move abroad disappeared when we received a call to say that our solicitors had finally exchanged contracts on the sale of our flat. This means that, barring unforeseen circumstances, the shippers will pack and ship our entire home contents on the 5th September and we’ll move out on the 6th, the day before we leave the UK for the first leg of our trip to New Zealand. An hour later, the upbeat mood had evaporated as, oblivious to the traffic noise and rain, I hugged my father goodbye at Kings Cross mainline station. He was returning home to Yorkshire after a three day visit and, although we knew this moment was coming, I doubt that either of us were certain in the knowledge of exactly how we would feel when the time came. Speaking for myself, I feel numb and more than a little off-centre, as I keep hearing him saying ‘have a good life’ as he walked away from my without looking back. It was a simple statement without side but it resonates inside me still. His words drive home the fact that our decision to move abroad, fuelled by a desire to offer the kids a better family life than we can in the UK, also means the inevitable estrangement of our nearest and dearest. Whilst we have often discussed such partings and what the effect on those involved might be, I sense that it is only when faced with these moments of separation that we truly know what is in our hearts and how we might cope.

Not wanted on voyage

Thursday, August 18th, 2005
The Sealand Michigan

Reading through the paperwork sent by our international movers this afternoon, I noticed that they have even specified which container vessel they will be shipping our worldly goods on. A swift search on Google produced a good few pictures showing the 75,000 tonne Sealand Michigan, like the one above. Seeing all those containers stacked that way reminds me of nothing so much as a giant game of topple blocks and this image doesn’t sit well with the phrase ‘total loss insurance’ which features prominently in the shippers’ contract.

My connected life

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

Click through to the Flickr version on the photo above and have a look at why I am having trouble remembering which mouse is connected to which computer…


Sunday, August 14th, 2005

Dave aka funkypancake has posted a couple of photos that I snapped last week. If you are not familiar with his work, his photoblog is well worth perusing.


Sunday, August 14th, 2005

We had open house yesterday for folks to pop in and say goodbye before we leave so I feel a little fragile today.

The Guardian profile: Tim Berners-Lee

Friday, August 12th, 2005

The Guardian profile: Tim Berners-Lee, the godfather of the web, named last year as the greatest living Briton.

Little Mac

Friday, August 12th, 2005

Whereas previous posts to this blog have invariably been created with Blogjet on a variety of PCs, this one was crafted with ecto on my new 12″ iBook G4. Whilst the leaning curve is moderate to steep in some places and I keep looking for keys and combos that aren’t there, I’m having a ball and thoroughly enjoying the out-of-the-box wifi/bluetooth capability.

iPod versus iBook

Tuesday, August 9th, 2005

The long-awaited iBook has just arrived from the Far East via Copenhagen, the Netherlands and the obligatory smart-arsed & butter-fingered courier (note crumpled packing top-left of big box).

As it is sprog No.2’s birthday today and she’s just unwrapped an mini iPod this morning, I’m trying so hard to ignore the siren call of the boxes so as not steal her thunder and spoil her day.