30.7.06

The end

On Friday, I found out that I would no longer be a member of the choir. Got a phone call which basically said that my services were surplus to requirements. I'm not happy about the protracted method which this entire thing was done, but I guess it's for the best, with all the stuff I've got going on at the moment.

Also, today we say goodbye to an iconic TV show, Top of the Pops. BBC has decided to pull the plug on the show after 42 years, due to competition from 24 hour music channels. Coincidentally, I appeared on Top of the Pops with the choir for the 2004 Christmas party, with Steve Brookstein, the day after his Xfactor win. Here's a pic from the BBC website.



Can you see me? Lol. I'm in the back row, 3rd from the right. Check out other pics here. I blogged about the Top of the Pops show here. We shared a dressing room with McFly, Lemar, Razor light, Girls Aloud (I actually chatted with them yay!), Lemar and Natasha Bedingfield. Kylie Minogue was also on that night, but being the superstar that she was, she had her own dressing room. Her dancers were with us though.
So goodbye Choir, goodbye Top of the Pops !!!

Hope everyone is having great weekend !!

28.7.06

I need a miracle…

Or actually, a new PC would do just fine.

When I bought my current PC, it was at a time when money was tight, and I had just come over to the UK. I spent less than £400 on it, and bought a machine with the very basics, just enough to get me online, and do simple stuff on it. With just 256MB of memory and a Celeron processor, it was no super machine, but it was all mine.

Since then, I've begun to do more and more with the PC. I've upgraded the memory to 1GB now, but with just 2 memory slots, that's all I can do for now, to take the memory up to 2GB would cost £160 for 2 '1 GB' chips !! I've got an external hard drive as well, but with all the programs I run on the PC now, it's running like a dog. It's slow, takes forever to do anything, and it's driving me mad everytime I touch it. For a technophile like myself, it's simply not accpetable anymore. My work PC on the other hand, is everything I wish my PC at home was. 2 3.20 GHz processors, 2 GB of RAM, it's got more juice than some servers I've worked on !!

However, with the baby coming, and all the financial commitments that come with that, my wife's income all but non existent during her maternity leave for the next 6 months, I really can't afford to splash out on a PC right now. Also, with Windows Vista around the corner, why buy a PC with Windows XP now, when I'll be able to get one with Vista in 6 months or so? It's all very, very frustrating and confusing.

I'm on the Dell website everyday, building the PC of my dreams for round about £1000. Plus, I get a 7% discount from Dell through a scheme in my company. I could take a loan from them, and pay about £25 a month for the next 2 years, which to be honest isn't too much. I'm at a loss, but one thing is for sure, something has to be done and soon !!!!

26.7.06

To record or not to record?

I JUST HEARD THE BABY'S HEARTBEAT !!

My wife went for a midwife's appointment, and they called me so I could listen to the little girl's heart racing. It was such a surreal moment !! While I was finishing up my dessert, in the middle of all the noise the staff canteen can produce, I got to listen to my little girl. Brought a massive smile to my face.

Also, I just bought myself a cheap digital camcorder, to use for when the little one arrives. I was asked in the office if I wanted to record the birth. Now, I'd thought about this before, and my decision was a very strong NO. First of all, I think I'll be too nervous/scared/out of my mind to be able to do anything remamarkably close to a good job. My mind will be all over the place, and I won't be able to concentrate. Secondly, my wife will not be 'at her best' if you know what I mean. She'll be in pain, and may not be looking as 'presentable' as she'd like to.

The baby channel on Sky did a show about this, and found that most men thought exactly as I did, but a lot of women actually liked the idea of filming the birth. So I asked my wife, and she agreed with me.

So, all you other mums, mums to be and everyone else out there, what do you think? Would you mind recording the birth of your little ones?

Hallelujah !!

It took 25 days, but finally : My broadband is working !!!

I'm back !!!

So much to do, so little time....

25.7.06

Tropics??

So is the UK now a tropical country? Nigeria (where I come from) is right on the equator, and is as tropical as they come, especially in the north. However have a look at temperature forecasts for today:

Lagos, Southern Nigeria: 26 oC

Abuja, Northern Nigeria: 26 oC

London, UK: 31 oC

Although it's raining in Lagos and Abuja, so that has brought the temperatures down somewhat. However, in Nigeria, everyone has airconditioning. My mum was at my place for a few days, and she was complaining about the heat, in Nigeria, if it was half as hot, the aircondotioning would have been on !!

It's official, the UK is now tropical !!

24.7.06

Feeling hot, hot, hot

Airconditioning in my office seems to be off for some unfathomable reason. As a result, we're all sweaty, and I think this means I'm sneaking out of the office as early as possible !!

Had a good weekend. However, broadband is STILL not working, still waiting for BT to sort out the problems at the exchange. I'm becoming fed up with all of this..........

On the other hand, we went shopping for the baby on Saturday. I was starving, and I was recovering from an early morning dentist visit, where I'd gained 2 new fillings. My mouth was numb, my stomach was aching and my head was pounding. Needless to say, I annoyed my wife in ways I didn't even realise were possible. I felt like I was in a haze, and the entire experience seems like s fuzzy memory. All I can remember in vivid detail was the final cost of everything £250 !! And we haven't even bought the pushchair yet !! The pushchair is going to set us back another £250-300 !!

Advice to everyone, if you haven't got massive savings, then having a baby might NOT be a good idea !!

20.7.06

Bed sharing ‘drains men’s brains’

or 'Marriage makes you dumber'

BBC NEWS | Health | Bed sharing 'drains men's brains'

First of all, how can ANYBODY do research on this? Don't they have anything more important to do, mmm, maybe something that will save lives?

Anyway, I'm going to speak to my wife about this. I need to conserve my brain power !!

18.7.06

They’ve only gone and done it….

Broadband from Sky. Ranging from free to about £17 a month. Unfortunately, it seems they don't have their equipment in my area yet, but they plan to by the end of the year. Fortunately for me, I'm only on a 1 month contract, so I can switch once they cover my area.

This looks like it will save me about £11 a month on my broadband, which is pretty cool, plus you get a free wireless router !! I guess I'll have to wait a few months, but it's exciting all the same.

 I'm toying with the idea of buying a new PC for home, as the old one was only ever meant to be a stopgap till I could afford a 'better' machine. However, the wife has vetoed that, so it doesn't look very likely for now.

17.7.06

No longer a Londoner…

It's official, I no longer live in London. Last week was hectic, packing and transporting all our stuff across London, and then after several trips (my car did 1000 miles in the last 1 month!), unpacking it all again. Unpacking took forever, as we never realised how much stuff we had. Anyway, fortunately, I had the week off, and last night, we looked at each other and declared 'Mission accomplished!'.

SO today was my first day back at work, and I have to say, reducing my commmute from 2 hours to 15 minutes is SUPERB. In fact, this morning, I forgot my security pass at home, and I had to go back and get it, and I was only 10 minutes late !! Yeah, I can definately get used to this.

 In other news, I'm getting really concerned about the situation in the Middle East. Whatever the hell is going on there, I just hope it gets sorted out real soon.

14.7.06

Broadband hell !!!

I'm still trying to sort out the internet. BT says they have faulty ADSL equipment, so I can't get broadband till they sort that out. No news on how long it will take, so I guess I'm stuck !

Right now, I'm stealing a neighbour's wireless connection, but I promise to visit all your blogs as soon as I've been sorted out.

7.7.06

RIP Grandma

Today is my grandmum's funeral. Back home in Nigeria, she'll be laid to rest at Ikoyi Cemetery in Lagos.

This is a short tribute to I wrote to her, which will be printed in the funeral programme.

“The song is ended, but the melody lingers on….”
Irving Berlin
 

There is an old saying that ‘It takes the whole village to raise a child’. Growing up, I had several people who shaped me into the person that I am today. Of all these wonderful people who I am lucky enough to call my family, Mama had the biggest impact. I never had to pick up the phone to speak to her, never had to travel, or take a walk. All I needed to do was run through the back door, and there she was, with a wealth of wisdom and experience, and a listening ear.

 

She taught me how to live a live with God at the centre. She taught me discipline when I needed it, sometimes with a cane, sometimes with strong reprimanding words. Today I look back on all of that, and I thank God for making her such a big part of my life.  To say that Mama lives on is an understatement, her input into all our lives is there for the whole world to see, and I am sure that several people will agree with me.

 

While we are mourning the loss of our Mama, others are rejoicing to meet her up in heaven. Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But as Christians, there's a difference for us, you know. Because in that other room we shall be able to see.

Grandma, I know you're looking down on us from heaven. I love you, and miss you terribly. Rest in peace, you deserve it !!

6.7.06

World Cup Final…..

A month ago, if you'd asked the best football pundits in the world to predict who would be in the world cup final, no one, and I mean NO ONE, would have said it would be France v. Italy. The French were written off as a group of 'has-beens', a team which would be broken up after the world cup, and with a coach who believes in astrology, likes Leo's as defenders, and doesn't pick Scorpio's (As a scorpio, I find that offensive). The Italians came into the tournament on the back of a MASSIVE scandal in the Italian League, and interest in football at an all time low.

These two teams are now the talk of the town, and are preparing to face each other in the first all European final since 1982, when Italy beat West Germany to lift the title. Looking for more omens? The last time Italy won the world cup (1982) came on the back of another massive match fixing scandal. And just like then, the scandal will be quickly forgotten if they win the tournament.

Italy are my prediction to win it. But every other prediction I've made so far has turned out to be wrong. So can Zinedine Zidane in his last match in a French shirt, win the world cup? Talk about leaving on a high !!

Sunday. 7pm. We all await with bated breath.

Â

5.7.06

The four animals

You've got to love this little girl. What a woman she'll make! A teacher asked her class, "What do you want out of life?"
A little girl in the back row raised her hand and said, "All I want out life is four little animals, just like my Mother always says." The teacher asked, "Really and what four little animals would that be?"

The little girl said, "A mink on my back, a jaguar in the garage, a tiger in the bed and a jackass to pay for it all."

Today I’m so….

bored !!!

4.7.06

I know this is a long shot but….

Does anyone have a copy of yesterday's metro? I'm after an advert in the paper from Vonage, which offers unlimited calls to the UK, US and other countries forever for £7.99. I need to know the number on that advert.

If you can get a copy, can you please let me know the number, as the offer ends tomorrow. Thanks.

3.7.06

Freedom of speech….

as far as I'm concerned, is a God-given right for all men to enjoy.

So it is a big shame when the Nigerian government chooses to charge 2 journalists with sedition. Their crime?

Rotimi Durojaiye: wrote an article on June 12th 2006, in which he questioned the cost and age of President Olusegun Obasanjo's newly acquired presidential plane. In part, his article was justified. The 'new' plane had to make an emergency landing less than a month after purchase, due to a loss in cabin pressure.

Gbenga Aruleba: Discussed this article on his TV show. Seriously. That's all he did.

 

Durojaiye, Aruleba, and their colleagues after their bail hearing

It's comical, if the same standards were applied in the UK, then Piers Morgan would be rotting in jail for publishing fake photos of British soilders abusing Iraqis, and half the British press would be in prison with him. Having read the article, it's a shame that the government decided to go down this route, instead of presenting evidence that the information in the article is false.

Ahead of elections next year, people believe that this move is sending a signal to the media, that the government will not take any criticism whatsover. However, I believe this entire episode in Nigerian history is a case of 'one step forward, two steps backwards', and that fact that it is happening under a 'civilian' leader is all the more disheartnening.

I for one have been very critical of the British press for going too far at times, but even taking things to the extreme as British tabloids sometimes do, cannot justify this kind of behaviour !!

What the?

Telewest have an office less than 10 minutes walk from my house. From what I've heard, this is where they run all their network services from.

However, they don't provide services to my area? Does that make sense?