31.12.07

OpenID, Blogger and self hosted blogs

A while ago, our friends at blogger.com started using OpenID for commenters without Google Accounts. This works fine if you have a wordpress, livejournal or typekey blog, but if like me, you have a self hosted blog, you will have to create an Open ID identity, and link it to your blog.

I have been putting this off for a while now, which meant that either I left comments on blogs without a link back to mine, I left comments using my wordpress blog (which I don't actually use), or I didn't leave any comments at all.

Anyway, today, I decided to sort it out once and for all, and it took less than 15 minutes, and now http://boso.me.uk is now a valid OpenID.

First of all you need to sign up for an Open ID at https://www.myopenid.com/

Then you need to claim your blog, there's a useful tutorial here.

And that's it !!

Just thought I would share, for anyone else out there who needs to do this.

Happy new year people !!

28.12.07

Warning - Politicians about.........

Politics. It's always been said to be a dangerous game. A group of human beings who claim to work for the people, but most of the time, have nothing but their own self interests at heart. Give them power, and then it's a recipe for chaos. And most of the time, it's the innocent followers/citizens that end up paying for their mishaps.

Let's take a look at some stories from the last few days:

1. Pakistan: Sadly, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated yesterday, and has been laid to rest in the last few hours. Her killing has left her country, Pakistan in political turmoil, and as I type this, the country is erupting in violence. The military dictator, Pervez Musharraf is now in a difficult situation. Some accuse him of having her killed, as she was set to become prime minister after next month's elections. The obvious suspects are the Muslim extremists, who disliked her liberal stance. However, what happens now? Who will clamp down on the extremists?  Pakistan is crucial in the West's 'war on terror', and the stability of that country is essential. The next few days will be interesting. What will the West do, sit back and hope things work out, or interfere? Sadly, the Bhutto's have seen this before, her father was executed after a military coup, and both her brothers died violently.

2. Nigeria: The EFCC has been doing a stellar job in tackling corruption. While some might say that they have been a tool in the hand of the government, oppressing the opposition, what cannot be denied is that Nigerians believe that you can no longer steal money when you are in power, and get away with in. At the moment, seven ex-governors whose terms ended this year are being prosecuted, and three of them are in jail, including the 'all-powerful' James Ibori. So what does the government do? Sideline the head of the organization by sending him on study leave. Nuhu Ribadu has done a wonderful job heading the EFCC, but has stepped on several toes. Now, it seems that politicians have had their way, and this will be a major blow to Nigerian president, Umaru Yar'adua's credibility. Again, what happens over the next few days will be very interesting.......

3. UK: The government has been talking about immigration for a while now, as British citizens believed that it is out of control. Sadly, immigrants like myself are those that suffer the backlash, as the government squeezes out out of existence. I currently have the right to apply for British citizenship, but let me add up how much it has cost for me to get there:

  • £500 - Priority application for 2 years resident's permit in 2005
  • £35 - Life in the UK test (Does not include cost of study materials and a day off work to take the test)
  • £950 - Priority application for indefinite leave to remain November 2007
  • £710 - Citizenship application + Nationality checking service

Total : £2160 in the last 2 years. That's a lot of money, and that's only because I'm the only person in my household applying. I met a man at the Home Office applying for indefinite leave to remain for his family of five.

If it costs so much to be a legal migrant, no wonder people are going down the illegal immigrant route.

The government has been talking about 'the biggest shake up of the immigration system ever' which is about to happen, and at the heart of this is a points based system for non-EU migrants. But this my friends, is just politics. The UK has had a points based system for migrants since 2002 called the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme. And for all the government's huffing and puffing, the 'new' points based system is identical to the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme. So nothing new there, just a massive announcement about nothing. They are also talking about banning non-skilled non-EU people from coming to the UK. Again, nothing new there. There is currently no visa or scheme for a non-skilled migrant to settle in the UK. What programme are they canceling? Which visa have they announced they will get rid of? None. Because again, it's just a massive announcement about....nothing. A new clampdown on forced/sham marriages? These measures have been in place for a few years, a foreigner cannot get married without applying for permission to marry from the home office, despite the high court saying this was illegal and a breach of human rights. Another announcement without substance.

The only new things in all the proposals? Shortening standard visitor visas to 3 months from 6, which to be honest is not a bad idea, but for family visas, the government is 'considering' making UK based people pay a cash bond of up to £1000 when they invite people to visit the UK, and this will be forfeited if the visitor does not return home. What? this year alone, my wife and I have invited almost 10 people to visit, all of whom have returned home, but this measure would mean that we might have to think twice about it. And a lot of people agree that this is just a bad idea and that innocent people would be the victims.

So what do the conservatives come up with. Well, for them, a £1000 bond is not even good enough. No sir. Under a conservative government, if you invite someone to the UK, and they don't go back home, you could go to jail. So the government lies through it's teeth, and the opposition gives us a completely senseless alternative. Nothing new there then.

This is what happens when you put politicians in charge. You get a whole lot of hot air, no real decisions made, and a bunch of men in suits, just looking after themselves, ready to do anything to prolong their tenure. Or in the case of Benazior Bhutto, senseless, unnecessary death.

May her soul rest in peace.

17.12.07

Actual Call Center Conversations

It's been ages since I've done a post, I've been so busy. Will do a Baby O update later this week, but until then, a couple of these gems will have to do.....

*************************

 Customer: "I've been ringing 0700 2300 for two days and can't get through to enquiries. Can you help?"
Operator: "Where did you get that number from, sir?"

Customer: "It was on the door to the Travel Centre."

Operator: "Sir, they are our opening hours."

**********************

Caller: "I deleted a file from my PC last week and I have just realised that I need it. If I turn my system clock back two weeks, will I have my file back again?"

**********************

Samsung Electronics Caller: "Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?"

Operator: "I'm sorry, sir, I don't understand who you are talking about."

Caller: "On page 1, section 5, of the user guide, it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the AC wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning. Now, can you give me the number for Jack?"

Operator: "I think you mean the telephone socket on the wall."

**********************

RAC Motoring Services Caller: "Does your European Breakdown Policy cover me when I am travelling in Australia?"

Operator: "Doesn't the product give you a clue?"

**********************

Caller (enquiring about legal requirements while travelling in France): "If I register my car in France, do I have to change the steering wheel to the other side of the car?"

**********************

Directory Enquiries

Caller: "I'd like the number of the Argoed Fish Bar in Cardiff, please."

Operator: "I'm sorry, but there's no listing. Is the spelling correct?"

Caller: "Well, it used to be called the Bargoed Fish Bar, but the 'B' fell off."

**********************

Then there was the caller who asked for a knitwear company in Woven.

Operator: "Woven? Are you sure?"

Caller: "Yes. That's what it says on the label: Woven in Scotland."

**********************

On another occasion, a man making heavy breathing sounds from a phone box told a worried operator:

"I haven't got a pen, so I'm steaming up the window to write the number on."

29.11.07

ENGLISH 101 by Patricia Etteh

Early this month, after a corruption scandal , the leader of the House of Representatives in Nigeria, Patricia Etteh, resigned after several weeks of pressure. She was replaced by Dimeji Bankole, a graduate with Masters degrees from both Oxford University and Havard. Patricia was a 'professional Hairdresser and beautician' .

The Representatives were keen to choose an educated person to lead them. A look at the following quotes below will explain why.

  1. On the day the National Assembly was inaugurated, Mrs Etteh reminded House of Representatives members of the need to register their names, warning that any person who failed to do so would have their name "striking out". Slip of tongue?
    Perish the thought. The following day she repeated the phrase "striking out" several times.

  2. When a motion was tabled, she asked the member who was speaking,"are you in support of favour?"

  3. Any time the ayes have carried the day on the floor, she wastes no time in announcing, "the hayes has it".

  4. Giving her defence before the David Idoko panel, Etteh informed the nation that she spoke to the management of the national assembly if due process was followed and each person "answered in the affirmation action".

  5. When the German ambassador in Abuja visited her, the speaker enthusiastically announced that the first place "I visited as a young parliamentarian was a German"

  6. When the Spanish ambassador paid her a courtesy visit with a fairly large delegation, an impressed Etteh spared no effort to "welcome the strangers".

  7. When officials of FERMA visited the House, speaker Etteh urged them to urgently "make our roads habitable".

  8. To demonstrate the urgency of fixing major roads nationwide, she did not fail to make the point of the"deploration state of our roads"

  9. When a House member tabled a motion on the unenviable condition of Kaduna Airport, Etteh called attention to the "two run-aways of our airport".

  10. Concerned about the increasing wave of vices, such as occultism on university campuses, excessive drinking, smoking and womanising by our youth, she has set for herself the task of reducing, if not, eradicating these social vices, which she colourfully calls "social devices".

  11. In far-away South Africa, at a meeting of the African Parliamentary Union, speaker Etteh stated that Nigeria has vast land where agriculture could thrive so much, that it could serve as an alternative source of foreign exchange, or in her own words, " Nigeria has fast land where agriculture is alternate"

  12. To Etteh, the community of nations can sometimes be referred to as "international countries".

  13. The office of the speaker has regained its aura as, not just an exalted place, but an "exotic office".

  14. The House has become respected as"a hollow chamber",rather than just a hallowed chamber.


Let's just say that I'm glad she's no longer the fourth most powerful person in the country.

26.11.07

I won !!!

1994 was the first time I ever played FIFA Soccer. It was on the Sega Megadrive, and I remember playing mock world cups with my friends. Since then, I've been a FIFA fanatic, I've played almost every single FIFA game since then, on consoles, PC and even mobile phone !! I was briefly converted to Pro Evo in 2005, but FIFA 07 brought me back to my first love. And right now, FIFA 08 is getting a lot of love on my PS3.....

Anyway, I digress.

Every week on FIFA 08, you can represent the club you support online, in the Interactive Leagues. And every week, there's a prediction competition for the results of the Interactive Leagues. And last time out, yours truly won, with 9 out of 10 results spot on. The only result I got wrong was the Arsenal - Reading match, which ended in a draw. (Remember it's the Interactive League results, not the real life ones). So Arsenal fans, you messed me up !!

Anyway, the game downloads a podcast every week, and this week, they named me as the winner, and said how close I came to winning. It's mentioned about halfway through the podcast. They pronounced my name as 'BoZo', not 'Boso', but I don't mind, lol.

The prize is any EA game of your choice, so I've decided to go for the sequel to a game that gave me many hours of Joy on the original Xbox.

[gametrailers 22092]

Mecenaries 2 is not out till February, but I think it's worth the wait !!

And I thought I'd take the chance to show one of the funniest game trailers I've ever seen, which coincidentally, is also an EA game.

[gametrailers 17334]

It's pretty original and it shows how far video game advertising has gone.

21.11.07

Taxi for Steve McLaren



No punchline needed.

To all friends, family and even neighbours of Steve McLaren, please do not pick up a paper tomorrow morning. The press have been sharpening their knives for this man for weeks, and you might just get caught in the the carnage.

England paid for a poor first half, they did very well to get back in the game, but they were just poor tonight. Croatia were magnificent, especially since they did not need anything from this match.

Beckham has played his last match for England, he will probably never get that 100th cap.

At least, the English players will have next summer off !!!!

And to all foreign players in the premiership, watch out, because once they are done with McLaren, they're coming after you. !!

20.11.07

Myfootballclub.co.uk, will it work?

Fans' community website MyFootballClub has agreed a deal to take over Blue Square Premier outfit Ebbsfleet United.

It looks like the deal of a lifetime, pay £35 plus a £7.50 administration fee, and you are now a joint owner of a football club. The website was created to take power away from Russian and American billionaires buying up all the big clubs, and give power back to the fans. 'Owners' will get a vote in all major affairs, including transfers and team selection.

When the news about this website first broke, I thought about joining. However, I decided not to, due to the following reasons :

1. The £35 is not an investment, but a membership fee. It's payable annually. And if the club is sold in the future, you don't get anything out of it, proceeds would be given to a charity with similar objects. All profits are reinvested in the club, and dividends are not paid out. If I wanted to manage a football club, I'd head over to play.com and buy a computer game, and save myself 10 quid. 

2. At the time, they were dreaming about buying Leeds or Halifax, or some other 'big' club. I thought this was unrealistic.

However, now they've gone ahead and agreed in principle to buy a club, it's no longer a dream. Ebbsfleet is getting a lot of publicity as a result, and it's being hailed as a fan's revolution.

However, I seriously do not think it will work in practice. And here are the reasons why :

  • The manager has effectively been demoted to head coach. He will give his thoughts on players, their form and fitness, as well as possible selections and tactics. Members will then submit their preferred 11, formation and tactics. A database will calculate the most popular choice. This will be handed to The Head Coach to instigate. So 50,000 people will pick the team? How is this going to work? Every man and his dog feels they can manage a football club, listen to the radio show 606 on BBC Radio Five Live every week, and all you hear is how some bloke who plays Sunday League football thinks he can run Liverpool FC better than Mr. Benitez. Now imagine 50,000 people with a chance to prove their 'footballing prowness'. And what happens when it's 60 minutes, the team is losing one nil and the manager needs to make a change to try and win the game? Does he need to wait for a vote to do that? Ian Holloway, Plymouth manager thinks the whole thing is a joke.

 

  • And what happens in the transfer window? All members are to vote on potential transfers. Will all members be given all the confidential information about a transfer? (The transfer fee, the agent's fee, and wages) But most importantly, as David Sullivan, the co-owner of Birmingham city points out here, transfers are done at light speed.

"If a player is in demand you need an instant decision, you can't go on the internet for six or 12 hours and let people vote,Virtually every transfer deal has to be done at tremendous speed because other clubs are going to be interested.
"We have jumped in at transfer deadlines, buying players that were going elsewhere. We have got hold of players that were en route to one club and brought them to Birmingham.
"Middlesbrough beat us to signing a player in Turkey this summer. "
"A few years ago Craig Bellamy was coming to us and Celtic jumped in and got him and derailed the transfer."

Enough said. Voting on transfers will never work in real life.

  • We have leaders for a reason. You can't have everyone taking decisions at the same time. It will be a recipe for pure chaos.

Having said all that, I guess with the right men in the right places it can all fall in place, it will be a massive success, and soon fans will be buying clubs all over the country. Only time will tell.

Football Look-a-likes - Roy Keane


One is a maniacal dictator hell-bent on the destruction of anyone who opposes him, and the other is the President of Iran.

24...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-2A7bhy9fQ[/youtube]

The TV series 24 has been hit by the ongoing strike by US screenwriters, as Fox does not want to continue filming till they are sure that they can show all 24 episodes in a row.

This trailer is really intense though, and look, Almeida is now a baddie !! We might have to wait till 2009 for this, but BOY I want to see it NOW.

18.11.07

Mafia's Ten Commandments

Apparently, the mafia's ten commandments have been found at the hideout of a captured Mafia boss.

1. No-one can present himself directly to another of our friends. There must be a third person to do it.
2. Never look at the wives of friends.
3. Never be seen with cops.
4. Don't go to pubs and clubs.
5. Always being available for Cosa Nostra is a duty - even if your wife's about to give birth.
6. Appointments must absolutely be respected.
7. Wives must be treated with respect.
8. When asked for any information, the answer must be the truth.
9. Money cannot be appropriated if it belongs to others or to other families.
10. People who can't be part of Cosa Nostra: anyone who has a close relative in the police, anyone with a two-timing relative in the family, anyone who behaves badly and doesn't hold to moral values.

Mmmmm.....my application form is in the post...........

17.11.07

Heartbroken......

Tonight, I haven't been myself. I've been subdued, a shadow...

The nation of Scotland was ready for the match of their lives. To qualify for Euro 2008, it was simple. Beat the World Champions.

Sadly, it was not to be.

But the Scots can be proud that they came this far, although it will be little comfort. It would have been the mother of all parties if they had done it though.

Nigeria also lost to Australia in a friendly today, in a match played in London.  I'm starting to think Berti Vogts is not the right coach for Nigeria, but let's see how things shape up at the African Nations Cup next year.

Oh, and by the way, Israel did England a favour and beat Russia, meaning that England only need a draw with Croatia on Wednesday to qualify for Euro 2008. Lucky Buggers.

But for all the Scots out there, my heart bleeds with yours tonight.

So what do you think?

Go on, have a look around........brand new spanking design !!

You like???????

15.11.07

We're getting there !!!

I changed my web  host this week, and moved my blog over to the new host. To be honest, I have been thinking about doing this for a while, but was afraid of all the data I would lose, like pictures, and the blog design, but since my previous host lost everything all on their own, they pushed me along.......

It's about the same as what I was paying before, but these new guys (Bluehost) are recommended by wordpress, and have 24/7 support, which I've actually used while setting up this whole account.

The strangest thing is that while my nameserver records were being updated, I actually had two blogs, and for a while, it was pretty random which one you saw. At home, I was getting connected to the new one, while at work, I was getting connected to the old one. Sppadic and Calabar Gal both left comments on the old blog, which is now offline, so sorry folks, but thanks for stopping by !!

Now, I'm working on the plugins that power this baby, it took a while for me to find all of them again, but I've got all shiny new versions, and it's a painstaking process of activating them, making sure they don't break the blog in any way, one by one. Most of the stuff they do can't be seen by you guys, but you may notice one or two things over the next few days.

After that, I'll have to rebuild my blogroll, I'll use my RSS feeds, this will be a good opportunity to remove inactive blogs as well.

Then, it will be time to work on the design, looking for a good theme for the blog that works with my combination of plugins. It will take a few weeks, but hey, it's fun, and I'm not complaining !!

I think I can start blogging again as well, haven't been able to do anything sensible in a month, which is a real shame.........

12.11.07

Sick leave….

Hello friends...

Sadly, my blog has been on sick leave for about 2 weeks.

Due to 'technical issues' with my webhost, my blog went missing, and I've been fighting tool and nail for them to restore it from a backup. This has now been done, sadly, it appears I've lost TONS of data. The blog text is all intact (Thank God), but it seems that all my images are gone, my layout (which took several painful hours to design), my plugins, are all gone.

I guess the good news is that in essence, I've got a brand spanking new blog to play with !! But it will take a while, time which sadly, I don't have too much of at the moment. I'll try and resolve all technical issues before the end of the week, once that is done, then I'll start working on the layout again, and searching for, and reinstalling plugins.

I'll post every now and then while I'm doing this, but I reckon it will be next year before the blog is up and running to my satisfaction.

24.10.07

A blast from the past : Why England will win Euro 2008

Back in 2003, my hatred for the England football team was at its height. Nigeria and England had been drawn in the same group in the World Cup in 2002, and the English press said all sorts of terrible things about my Nigeria, and how the English would tear us apart. I was forced to listen to this babble from The more they talked up their team, the more they talked down mine. Sadly, we lost our two previous matches to Argentina and Sweden, and England needed to beat us 2-0 to guarantee top spot in the group. I was so happy when they couldn't break us down, and the match ended 0-0. We had only our pride at stake, and we stood firm and resolute, with what was a reserve team at the time.

But what turned me, and why I will never forgive the English press was a quote in the newspapers the next day. It was from a Coca-Cola advert. "Goodbye Nigeria. At least, you dazzled the world with your luminous shirts". Still smarting from our first world cup exit from the group stages, this incensed me. And from that day, I have hated the England football team, and have quietly rejoiced whenever a result doesn't go their way.

OK, so back to the title of this post. Back then, the press were all waxing lyrical, in the way only English journalists can, about how England's 'golden generation' was coming off age, and how they were going to win the world cup in 2006. A lot of stuff was written, but I remember one article very distinctly. A chap called 'Dan Warren' felt that maybe 2006 was too soon, but that England would definitely win Euro 2008. At the time, he would have been labelled a 'pessimist' such was the height of belief at the time. He felt that Alan Shearer would be England Manager, and he would have a wealth of talent at his arsenal. Looking back at the article now, I can only laugh at his 'foresight', but it's interesting how time has changed what was actually a very realistic outlook. I mean today, all you hear is how English talent is not coming through because of all the foreign players, and how it is affecting the national team, back then is it was:
The recent steady flow of talented young stars has turned into an veritable torrent, with a new teenage hero seemingly unearthed every week.

A brace by 19-year-old Michael Tonge against Liverpool on Wednesday, while 20-year-old Neil Mellor was scoring at the other end, added two more names to this term's astounding production line of promise.

So let's look at Shearer's team of 2008, shall we? Remember, this was written way back in 2003. It is surprisingly accurate, and a lot of these players made it through to the big time, while a few faded into relative obscurity.



And where are they now?

Goalkeepers: Kirkland, so much promise, but an injury ravaged career meant he has never really had his chance at international level. Robinson however, is England's number one, and not on the bench as projected, although a few recent gaffes means that he may not be there for much longer. And who would have imagined that David James would still be contesting for the keeper's spot ??

Defenders: Rio Ferdinand is still going strong. His younger brother Anton Ferdinand is still a rising star though, and not quite international standard. Martin Taylor is now with Birmingham city, and now 27, he had a lot of promise back then, but never made it to the top. Ashley Cole has made the left back position his own, and Shaun Wright-Phillips eventually moved forward and is now regularly playing as a right midfielder for England. John Terry, far from being on the bench is now England captain, and one of the world's top defenders. Wayne Bridge is slowly fading from international reckoning, with the emergence of Joleon Lescott and Nicky Shorey.

Midfielders: Liverpool's Gerrard is now is his prime and is doing very well for England, although his form has dipped in recent weeks. Joe Cole plays on the left now, and is doing ok in what was England's problem position for years. David Dunn is now back with Blackburn Rovers after a spell with Birmingham. Once tagged "the new Gazza", today, he has just one England cap to his name, and his time has come....and gone. And from the bench, Carrick still makes the squad, but Micheal Tonge had his best season in 2002/2003, and never really reached the dizzying heights that were expected of him.

Strikers: Owen and Rooney are still what many regard to be England's best strike partnership. However, a certain Emile Heskey is trying to change that reality, although at 29, he can't really do that for long. Defoe, Defoe. So much talent. Eriksson left him behind for the 2006 world cup, opting to take an untested Theo Walcott, that was the day I confirmed that the man was insane. And as for Neil Mellor, he now plys his trade with Preston North End, never made it to the top, he was king of the reserves at Liverpool then, but injury and bad luck have meant his career never really took off, which is a shame really.

And of course, manager Alan Shearer is now a football pundit with the BBC !!

And as for the 'all conquering England team' they are all hoping that Israel does them a favour against Russia on November 17th, otherwise the match with Croatia a few days later will be largely an academic affair. And all the players listed in this post will have one thing in common, they'll all be home watching someone else win the tournament.

And my hatred of the England team? It's still there, but now that this place is my adopted home, I have to admit that I have come to admire the sense of national pride be it Rugby, football or even curling !! I have to admit, it's infectious, and I only wish Nigerians had the same sense of patriotism and national identity. And sometimes, I get carried away along with them. I'm still not an England fan, but I can see myself rooting for them one day in the near future.

22.10.07

Made in Nigeria

Saw this story yesterday, but it's really gone round today.

A Nigerian undergraduate has reportedly been making helicopters out of old car and bike parts. Imagine my surprise when this story appeared on Slashdot, the tech news Mecca.



With all the bad news about Nigeria that normally goes round, and some so called smart person claiming that black people are not as intelligent as whites, this makes me really proud.

Let's just hope that the exposure this boy has gotten will help him out, although sadly, it would almost definitely mean him leaving the country.

The Diet: Week 1

OK, so the diet has well and truly begun. I've been on the diet for a week now, and I don't feel like I've lost any weight, but I'm not giving up yet. It hasn't all gone smoothly, but one step at a time, eh?

So, I'm cutting my calorie intake to between 1300-1600 per day. I'm using the slimfast plan as a template, but I'm using slimfast meals as well as normal food. So it's basically:

1. A 300 calorie breakfast

2. A 300 calorie lunch or dinner

3. A 600 hundred calorie lunch or dinner

4. 3 100 calorie snacks

And the total intake is 1500 calories.......Slimfast meals are about 200 calories each, so that would reduce it to about 1300. The recommended intake for a man is 2500, so this is a significant cut, and should make the weight drop off. The first week is meant to be when you lose the most weight, so I'm not happy I haven't dropped anything significant, but I'll keep on keeping on.

With Baby O taking ill on Wednesday, I was unable to do any exercise this week, working from home and looking after a baby at the same time is essentially doing two full time jobs at the same time, and is remarkably difficult/impossible. At the end of each day, I was mentally exhausted. This week though, I intend to take at least 3 30 minute walks.

Anyway, the week went pretty well, Monday and Tuesday were great, I worked from home for the rest of the week, and that was tough, but I pulled through. Saturday was a bad day though, it was a friend's engagement party, and we'd chosen what we wanted to eat about 2 weeks ago. Let's just say I choose my pre diet normal, and the portions ended up being larger than normal, basically what you would expect from a Nigerian restaurant. So one off day. Today, back on track, and spot on.

So next week, the battle continues. The important thing is to make sure I get my 30 minutes exercise 3 times this week. Luckily, my office is in a massive park, so I'll be able to do this without going to far, as long as I wrap up warm, I should be fine.

Wish me luck !!!

21.10.07

The post that could have been COME ON ENGLAND but is now called "Bad things happen in threes……."

This weekend looked like it was going to be a hat-trick of sporting glory....

1. England would beat Russia in the football and qualify for the Euro 2008 championship with a game to spare. I'll do a post later this week about the England team and all that....called 'Why England will win Euro 2008'

2. The England Rugby Team would win in the World Cup final, against the favourites South Africa.

3. Lewis Hamilton would cap off a fine season by clinching the Formula 1 championship. All he needed to do was come 1st or second.

Well, what happened?

1. England was 1-0 ahead, and after four minutes of madness, Russia were in the lead, and won the match. Now England's qualifying hopes are hanging by a thread, basically hoping that results go their way, if Russia fail to win in Israel or Croatia fail to beat Macedonia (probably never going to happen), then England will need to beat Croatia to qualify. But it is very possible that by then, England would be out, and everyone will be asking for the manager to be sacked. Tsk Tsk.

2. Hey, it was always a long shot, wasn't it? Well, England gave it their best shot, and went down gallanty......6-15 to the mighty Springbok.

3. Now this one was painful. A pretty bad start, and a careless mistake, and he found himself in 8th place. Then, even worse, a dodgy gearbox dropped him into 18th place !! The dream was over. But he battled on, and ended up in a remarkable 7th place, sadly outside the points. If he had come 6th, he would be world champion right now. Fortunately, that IDIOT a.k.a Fernando Alonso, who has been acting like a real spoilt brat didn't win it, the outsider Kimi Raikkonen won the race, and with it the world champsionship. Lewis Hamilton will be bitterly dissapointed, but he should not despair, he's had a REMARKABLE season, he will be champion one day, I'm sure of it. And Alonso will end up driving a lorry across the continent................................

So, England failed to win on all three fronts. So, so sad........

STOP PRESS : Edit at 23:22 (21-10-07)

Hamilton may yet be crowned World Champion.The cars of BMW Sauber and Williams are being investigated for alleged irregularites with the cars' fuel. Williams's Nico Rosberg was fourth in the race, followed by BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld.

If they are disqualified, Lewis Hamilton would be promoted to fourth, giving him enough points to displace Raikkonen as world champion. So we might be waking up to good news tomorrow morning. YAY !!

 EDIT :  09:15 (22-10-07)

They met for six hours and then decided to do nothing. Spineless. Mclaren is going to appeal, but I doubt it will make a difference. The next race is in 22 weeks. GAME ON !!

16.10.07

My near death experience…….

Last week, I came face to face with my mortality in a very strange way. I suddenly felt very mortal, very vulnerable, very hopeless as my life flashed before my eyes. I haven't spoken about this to anyone, not even my wife. It's been running round my mind for days now, so I've decided to bare my old here.

No, I wasn't hit by a car, or something like that. I was denied life insurance on 'health grounds'.

You see, in two weeks time I'll be 30 years old. And for the last few months, I've been starting to feel old, starting to realize that I wasn't going to be a millionaire before my 30th birthday after all (There's still a few days though!), I won't rule the world when I'm 40....and so on and so forth. With all this weighing on my mind, the life insurance thing hit me right in the gut.

The insurance company didn't give any information other that it was on health grounds. Now just think about it. They are so sure I'm going to die, that they have decided that I'm not worth the risk of a few quid a month to insure.

I'm going to die..........yes, I know I will one day. But these guys must of thought I will die pretty soon. So I decided to look at the possible reasons. This is the information the insurance company had.

  1. I'm very overweight

  2. My dad had a stroke before he was 50

  3. My grandad (father's side) died of a stroke at 52

  4. My grandad (mother's side) has diabetes


The stuff they didn't know was :

  1. My uncle (Dad's brother) has high cholesterol

  2. My grandmother (Mum's mum) has high blood pressure (hypertension)


All of a sudden, the fragility of my DNA was staring at me in the face. My genes are all messed up. I'm a walking time bomb. I remembered last year, when I tried to join the gym at work last year, I was turned down because my blood pressure was too high. They said I should get a note from my doctor before I can join. I brushed it off, never went to see the doctor.

I thought about my wife and daughter. What would happen to them if anything happens to me? What about all the plans we've made, all our hopes and dreams? Our little family? My heart was breaking into tiny little pieces.

I felt so hopeless, even became ill towards the end of the week with worry.

Over the weekend, I suddenly realized that out of all the stuff on my list, I can't do anything about any of them, except the very first one.

I can loose weight.

So I've started a diet this week. I've slowly come up with a plan.

Use the stairs at work instead of the lift. Take a 30 minute walk 3 times a week. And in a month, go to the gym to try and join again. If my blood pressure is still high, go and see the doctor. It's time I started to look after myself. change my eating habits for good, not just a short term diet.

It's going to be a long hard road, but maybe this is the kick up the backside I need. I'm not getting any younger. I owe it to those who love, and who I would never want to leave behind.

5.10.07

The long walk…….

I woke up this morning with a knot in my stomach. I've been dreading today since that letter dropped on the doormat a few weeks ago. Well, the day had finally come, when I would have to betray the trust of someone I loved.

I managed to start the day as normally as possible. We spoke to each other, although I couldn't make a word of what she was saying, my mind was somewhere else. And then I looked up. 10 o'clock. Time to go.

We went downstairs together, and got in the car. It was a short journey, and we were there is almost no time. I went into the waiting room, and was told to wait for our name to be called. All the while, she had no idea what was about to happen, and was darting about the room.

There were several of us, all there for the same reason. Some of us were there for the first time, the look of guilt on our faces gave us away. Some were veterans, hardened by experience. We all sat together waiting, trying to make decent conversation, and looking up every time the board lit up.

It didn't help that they were running late. 1 hour after my scheduled appointment. I finally saw our name on the board.

I got up, picked up my darling daughter, who had no idea what was going on, she was enjoying playing with the other babies. It was a long walk, but we finally got into the nurses room.

After a short talk, I held her down, and the nurse dug the injection into my little girl's leg. She had a look of horror, fortunately, it was the nurse she was looking at, not me, I couldn't take it. And soon it was over. She held on to me for comfort, and started to cry. If only she knew, that all along, I was part of the plan..........

While we completed the paperwork, my little girl was back to her cheerful self. In less than a minute, her wonderful smile was back. She got on the floor, and continued trying to walk, stumbling, and eventually, giving up, and crawling away as fast as I could chase her. My little girl was back !!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I took my little girl for her immunization today for the first time. My wife has done all the previous ones, but I had to do it today. She was pretty good about it though, cried for less than a minute. I think it affected me a lot more than her.......

By the way, her birthday party went really well. She actually had four parties, my mum had a little party at her place, and my dad had one at the family home, both at the same time while we were entertaining guests here. And then she had one in school the next day.

SO much love to spread around !!!!!!

2.10.07

The most inspiring thing I’ve read this year……..

I got this from here, it's an AWESOME read, very touching and inspiring.

Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer-science professor, was about to give a lecture Tuesday afternoon, but before he said a word, he received a standing ovation from 400 students and colleagues.

He motioned to them to sit down. "Make me earn it," he said.

They had come to see him give what was billed as his "last lecture." This is a common title for talks on college campuses today. Schools such as Stanford and the University of Alabama have mounted "Last Lecture Series," in which top professors are asked to think deeply about what matters to them and to give hypothetical final talks. For the audience, the question to be mulled is this: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance?

It can be an intriguing hour, watching healthy professors consider their demise and ruminate over subjects dear to them. At the University of Northern Iowa, instructor Penny O'Connor recently titled her lecture "Get Over Yourself." At Cornell, Ellis Hanson, who teaches a course titled "Desire," spoke about sex and technology.

At Carnegie Mellon, however, Dr. Pausch's speech was more than just an academic exercise. The 46-year-old father of three has pancreatic cancer and expects to live for just a few months. His lecture, using images on a giant screen, turned out to be a rollicking and riveting journey through the lessons of his life.

He began by showing his CT scans, revealing 10 tumors on his liver. But after that, he talked about living. If anyone expected him to be morose, he said, "I'm sorry to disappoint you." He then dropped to the floor and did one-handed pushups.

Clicking through photos of himself as a boy, he talked about his childhood dreams: to win giant stuffed animals at carnivals, to walk in zero gravity, to design Disney rides, to write a World Book entry. By adulthood, he had achieved each goal. As proof, he had students carry out all the huge stuffed animals he'd won in his life, which he gave to audience members. After all, he doesn't need them anymore.

He paid tribute to his techie background. "I've experienced a deathbed conversion," he said, smiling. "I just bought a Macintosh." Flashing his rejection letters on the screen, he talked about setbacks in his career, repeating: "Brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want things." He encouraged us to be patient with others. "Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you." After showing photos of his childhood bedroom, decorated with mathematical notations he'd drawn on the walls, he said: "If your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let 'em do it."

While displaying photos of his bosses and students over the years, he said that helping others fulfill their dreams is even more fun than achieving your own. He talked of requiring his students to create videogames without sex and violence. "You'd be surprised how many 19-year-old boys run out of ideas when you take those possibilities away," he said, but they all rose to the challenge.

He also saluted his parents, who let him make his childhood bedroom his domain, even if his wall etchings hurt the home's resale value. He knew his mom was proud of him when he got his Ph.D, he said, despite how she'd introduce him: "This is my son. He's a doctor, but not the kind who helps people."

He then spoke about his legacy. Considered one of the nation's foremost teachers of videogame and virtual-reality technology, he helped develop "Alice," a Carnegie Mellon software project that allows people to easily create 3-D animations. It had one million downloads in the past year, and usage is expected to soar.

"Like Moses, I get to see the Promised Land, but I don't get to step foot in it," Dr. Pausch said. "That's OK. I will live on in Alice."

Many people have given last speeches without realizing it. The day before he was killed, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke prophetically: "Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place." He talked of how he had seen the Promised Land, even though "I may not get there with you."

Dr. Pausch's lecture, in the same way, became a call to his colleagues and students to go on without him and do great things. But he was also addressing those closer to his heart.

Near the end of his talk, he had a cake brought out for his wife, whose birthday was the day before. As she cried and they embraced on stage, the audience sang "Happy Birthday," many wiping away their own tears.

Dr. Pausch's speech was taped so his children, ages 5, 2 and 1, can watch it when they're older. His last words in his last lecture were simple: "This was for my kids." Then those of us in the audience rose for one last standing ovation.

30.9.07

Today is……..

Baby O's first birthday !!!

I can't believe it. It was a year ago that my wonderful princess was born. Time flies, eh?

So much has happened since then. She's had stomach bugs, eczema, banged her head, bitten a girl at day care, gone on holiday, the list goes on and on.

But one thing doesn't change. Her smile always melts my heart. :)

27.9.07

My baby…………..

is ill.

Another stomach virus. 3 days to her birthday. :(

20.9.07

16.9.07

I don’t know why…….

but I love this advert.

[youtube XdO2aYfQa6I]

I can't put my finger on it, but I just can't get enough.

However, it's not good enough to be my favourite advert of all time.

[youtube hF3wZomtnII]

Because THAT'S how I feel in the mornings. And the mother who seems so full of energy, that's how my wife is in the mornings...........

14.9.07

How could you?

As I've been ill this week, I've had sometime to watch football, and it's been a brilliant week for lover's of the beautiful game.

The most impressive story has to be Scotland beating France in Paris, I didn't see that one coming !! And I bet you, the Scots will never let us forget it, Chxta has a very funny 'story' with regards to that match here, that left me in stiches.

But to me, the highlight of the week is centered around Manchester City's Stephen Ireland, who plays for, wait for it, Ireland. Anyway, Stephen Ireland was meant to play for the republic this week, but he pulled out of the squad, saying that his grandmother had died. However, the player soon found himself at the centre of an embarassing mix up.
Ireland was told by FAI officials shortly after Saturday's 2-2 draw in Slovakia that his maternal grandmother, with whom he was particularly close, had died. He was still under that impression when he flew back to Manchester the next morning.

It was not until he arrived back home in Cheshire that Ireland discovered it was in fact his paternal grandmother who had passed away.

In the meantime, the FAI issued a statement which led to the wrong grandmother being named as deceased in the first editions of some newspapers.

Ireland boss Steve Staunton didn't do himself any favours with this statement.

He revealed: "I was up half the night [sorting it out]. It's not on his mother's side, it's on his father's side. We were given the wrong information. It's his grandmother, we send him our best wishes and that's the end of that."

It took you half the night to figure that out? I actually felt sorry for Stephen Ireland and his family, especially his grandmother, who likes to see their obituary in the papers.

Anyway, the truth has now come out. And Stephen Ireland was apparently trying to pull a fast one. Both of his grandmothers are alive, and apparently, he pulled out of the squad to be with his girlfriend who had just had a miscarriage.

He and his girlfriend came up with the lie about his grandmother dying, so he could be released from the squad. How silly are these people though? Did they think that they could do that, and get away with it? I had some harsh words, then remembered that the man is only 21, and at that age, I made some mistakes I'm glad never made it to the press. Anyway, I'll keep my mouth shut, and let Mr. Ireland do the talking:

"When the game in Bratislava ended our manager Stephen Staunton took me outside the dressing room into the corridor, along with the Ireland team doctor.

He told me that they had taken a call from my girlfriend, Jessica, and she said my grandmother had died.

I was deeply shocked because I believed it was my maternal grandmother who had brought me up from when I was five.

The manager went back into the dressing room to get my phone and when I got it I immediately rang my girlfriend to get more details.

My girlfriend was distraught and explained that she had just suffered a miscarriage.

Jessica said she was very lonely and wanted me to come home. She said she thought they might let me home quicker if they thought my grandmother had died.

When I finished the call I told the manager and doctor that my grandmother had died and because we were very close I wanted to go home immediately.

The manager said that was no problem and he would get the FAI to sort it out.

The FAI hired a private jet to get me home and I flew out of Bratislava the following morning. Before I left I told the FAI media officer that the name of my grandmother was Patricia Tallon.

Early on Monday morning I got a phone call from Stephen Staunton telling me that the FAI had discovered my grandmother in Cork was not dead.

He wanted to know what was going on and I told him that there had been a mistake and it had been my father's mother. I told him her name was Brenda Kitchener, that she lived in London.

Jessica and I were still very upset over the miscarriage so we flew home to Ireland for a few days.

On Thursday, I got a phone call from Manchester City stating that the FAI had discovered that my grandmother, Brenda Kitchener, was also alive.

I decided at that stage that I must tell truth and admit I had told lies. "

11.9.07

Drug Cocktail

1. Anitbiotics - Penicillin. Take 2 tablets 4 times a day. Must be taken on an empty stomach, or at least one hour before eating

2. Painkillers - Aspirin and Paracetamol. Two tablets every 6 hours. Must eat before taking these, as Aspirin on an empty stomach can lead to stomach ulcers.

3. Lozenges - To keep throat lubricated, and treat the worst sore throat I've had in my life.

4. Water - Good old H20. As I'm not eating properly I need to make sure I'm not dehydrated. I've been told to drink SO MUCH water, that my piss should be clear, not dark.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm suffering from a throat infection. The pain from my sore throat was so severe that I had to see the out of hours doctor on Sunday morning.

I've been told to rest for 7-10 days. And take drugs. Loads of drugs.

10.9.07

Well done boys !!!!

naij2

 

NAIJA !! 

 

Nigeria won the U-17 World Cup yesterday in South Korea for the third time. A new generation of world beaters.

Watch out, the NIGERIANS ARE COMING !!!

5.9.07

Politicians and Video Games just don’t mix……..

Following the murder of Rhys Jones in Liverpool, politicians have gone into 'soul searching' mode, and everyone has come up with their own solutions to the perceived epidemic of gun and knife crime in the UK. And as usual, one of the usual suspects is in everyone's firing line, video games.

Last week, opposition leader, David Cameron decided that it was time to clamp down on video games. Some excerpts from his speech are below:

"We are never going to deal with crime unless we look at the broader context and say, 'Yes, tough laws, strong action on the police, but also action to strengthen our society'.

"And that includes, I think, video games and things like that where we do need to think of the context in which people are growing up."

 Then today, the Prime Minister himself has decided to jump on the bandwagon. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Brown said he was "aware of growing concern about the effect of screen violence on youngsters", adding that he wants to draw up new legislation for the promotion and sale of video games.

"Parents are concerned about whether children are exposed to harmful violence and sexual imagery in games and on the internet."

Ok, whenever I hear these arguments, it really ticks me off. And one thing is blindingly obvious. Neither David Cameron or Gordon Brown have played a video game in their lives. I don't blame them. My generation grew up playing games, and most of us are now in our thirties now at most. Our so called leaders are of a generation that grew up thinking that video games are for children.

Well, one thing needs to be said. While we grew up, video games grew up with us. I remember a long time ago playing 'Midnight Resistance' on the Commodore 64 all those years ago. You ran around shooting people with a gun. It was a classic shoot-em-up, like many others at the time like Super Contra. This was the age of innocence, when you shot people in the game, they just turned to dust.

Then in 1992, along came Mortal Kombat. Unlike it's rival at the time, Streetfighter 2, Mortal Kombat brought something to video games that changed the entire industry. Blood and wanton violence. When you beat people up, blood splashed everywhere, and after winning you could execute a 'finishing move' like tearing their heart out of their chest, or chopping of their heads. I might be wrong, but for me, that was when video games grew up.

So today, violence, foul language and sometimes, sex are commonplace in video games. And politicians, who remember the age of innocence have decided that enough is enough, and it's time to clean things up.

My argument is that what is needed is not new legislation, or censorship, but EDUCATION. Let's look at one of the games that comes up whenever anyone wants to talk about how video games are poisoning the minds of the youth, Grand Theft Auto. In the most recent release of this game, you can among other things, kill policemen, have sex with prostitutes and then kill them afterwards to get your money back. You steal cars to get around. It's violent, and I agree, kids should never play such things. But let's look at the game cases.

I've included the covers of both the UK and US versions of the games. Now, look at the bottom left hand corners.

UK - (18) The game is rated 18

US - (M) Mature 17+

Just like movies, video games have been self regulating for years. In theory, you cannot buy this game in the UK if you're under 18. And to be honest, most of the time that works, most retailers won't sell a game to you if you're under the limit. However, there is one problem that is often overlooked. Parents.

I cannot count the number of times I've seen parents buy games for their kids that are completely inappropriate. And they have the same problem both David Cameron and Gordon Brown have, they have never played video games before, and as far as they are concerned, it's 'kids stuff' and there can't possibly be anything in the video game that can corrupt the minds of their young ones.

So once again, I put it to you that the solution to this problem is EDUCATION, not of the kids, but of the parents. Just like the Internet, parents need to take an interest in what their children are doing, and make sure that their children do not view or use material that is inappropriate.

There is most definitely no need for new legislation, all that is needed is to enforce what we already have in place. Make sure parents know that just like they wouldn't knowingly let their children watch a porn flick, they have to knowingly keep their children away from inappropriate video games for their age.

The government can do nothing about it. It is in the hands of parents.

3.9.07

WARNING !!!

Marrying a woman with the same name as your mother may seem like a romantic idea. However, the following activities will keep you on your toes:

  1. Sending Emails to either of them
  2. Sending Text Messages to either of them
  3. Calling either of them

One simple lapse of concentration could give your mother several sleepless nights after reading a (romantic) email that was intended for your wife. Or a quick text to your mum could leave your wife wondering why she married a mummy's boy.

My only consolation is that my dad and I are also namesakes, so I'm guessing my wife is being kept on her toes as well.

31.8.07

Am I just being shallow….

...or is it right to be really, really, really glad that they're building a subway resturant just a few minutes walk from home?

 WOOO !!!!

 Have a great weekend people.

27.8.07

Incognito…..

Wow, it seems like it's been forever since my last post. And since then, life has been moving fast, really fast, like living every minute at 100 miles an hour. So many things have happened, most of them good, and I'm sure I'll blog about them as things start to get finalized.

Anyway, Baby O can now say her name !! It's really sweet to hear, and she loves saying it, over and over again. Melts my heart every time.

I took my speed awareness course about 2 weeks ago, and I have to say it was nothing like I expected. In fact, I would like to say, it has made me a safer driver. I was the youngest person there, and it was mostly middle aged, middle class people, who just wanted to get in and out of there as quickly as possible. Anyway, let's hope I don't get caught by any speed cameras again anytime soon....................

I've also taken my 'Life in the UK' test. This is the test you take before you can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, or British Citizenship. So let me share some interesting facts I've learnt from studying for the test:

  1. One third of all adults in the UK have used hard drugs (heroin, cocaine) at least once in their lives. Even worse, HALF of all young adults (under 19) have used drugs.

  2. Employment law in this country is pretty tight. The only way you can be dismissed immediately from your job is for 'gross misconduct'. For poor performance, or consistent lateness, you must first be issued with a warning, before you are given notice to leave your job. Very unlike Nigeria, where some people are rumoured to fire people for very trivial reasons. I will mention no names (Mike Adenuga).

  3. There is actually a situation where you are allowed to discriminate. If you are hiring someone to work in your home, you are allowed to refuse to give the job to someone based on race, sex, etc.

  4. Guy Fawkes night is actually the celebration of an assassination attempt. Guy Fawkes was trying to kill the King, and the entire parliament at the state opening of parliament. Only the English would have a sense of humour to celebrate such an event.


Anyway, I'll try and blog a bit more often, take care people !!

2.8.07

Go, speed racer, go !!

Those of you who have me as a friend on facebook, would know that I was caught by a speed camera a few weeks ago. (And those of you who don't send me an email, and we'll fix that).

It was a Monday evening, about 6pm, it was raining heavily, and I had just come back from a days' work at a customer site in London. I had gone to my wife's office to pick up the car, picked my daughter up from day care, and decided to do the nice thing, and pick up my wife from work, so she wouldn't have to walk in the rain. I was clocked doing 37 mph in a 30 mph zone. In my defence, I have always thought the speed limit on that road was 40 mph.

Fortunately, instead of getting 3 points on my newly acquired license (which would have led to increased insurance premiums), and paying a £60 fine, I have been offered a 2 1/2 hour speed awareness course for £74, which I have gladly accepted. Coincidentally, there is a recent article about this course on the BBC News website, here.

Speed cameras are meant to make roads safer, and reduce accidents. However, in my case, this whole episode has, if anything, made me a bit more reckless on the roads. Let me explain.

Anyone who knows me, knows I do not speed when driving. If anything, I can be accused of driving too slowly (and my wife does this on a regular basis). I have always driven like this, at university, I was called 'family driver' by my friends, due to the fact that I was driving like I had my family in the car, and was being careful/slow. So, I'm not exactly a 'boy racer' or a daredevil. However, on occassion, when driving on slower roads, I tend to lose concentration, and go over the speed limit every now and then, not by much, but I do go over the limit.

Well guess what? The speed cameras do not enforce at the beginning of the zone. In a 30 mph zone, that means that you don't get caught unless you're doing 35 mph or more. 46 mph in a 40 mph zone, 57 mph in a 50 mph zone, 68 mph in a 60 mph zone and a whopping 79 mph in a 70 mph zone. Plus, Thames Valley Police has 330 fixed speed cameras, of which only 22 are in action at any one time. (According to the BBC article mentioned above) So the probability of you getting caught if you are speeding? 6.6 %. Just oveer 1 in 20.  The engineer/mathematican in me tells me that in the event that even if I'm over the 'real' limit, the odds are in my favour.

Please note that the figures above are for Tmaes Valley Police Speed cameras, I can't confirm for other police forces.

Unlike a lot of people, I'm a fan of speed cameras. I don't like people who speed, I think it's dangerous, and I've seen how bad driving can destroy lives, not only for the drivers, but for innocent people as well. Left to me, more speed cameras the better. If I'm over the limit, I should be punished, because I'm breaking the law.

So to find out that the cameras are  not as effective as I thought, I'm actually quite dissapointed.

You're only offered the speed awareness course if you're caught in the first few mph of the enforcement zone:

30 mph zone - 35 -39 mph
40 mph zone - 46-50 mph
50 mph zone - 57-61 mph
60 mph zone - 68-72 mph
70 mph zone - 79 -83 mph

Anthing higher than that, and you have no option but the points and the fine. Points on your license translate to higher insurance premiums.  Plus, you can only do the course once every 3 years.

Let's just hope I don't get caught again anytime soon. Otherwise, I'll be seriously considering buying this.

26.7.07

What a difference a year makes….

This time last year, I was complaining about how hot it was in London.

This year, we're talking about the wettest summer since records began in 1766.

Gotta love that global warming.

25.7.07

I’m loving it !!!!

I wish I could fast foward to 2010 to have a look at this beauty.



16.7.07

Abandoned….

That's how my blog feels right now.

I haven't blogged properly in weeks. The last few posts were set to autopublish from ages ago.

It's not that I don't have an excuse. I can't blog from work anymore. And I've been really busy over the last few weeks.

But I know in my heart of hearts, I can do better. Plus, after spending m0ney on my domain name, I might as well try a little harder.

In other news, I upgraded our home PC to Vista over the weekend. My wife is still not speaking to me.

The printers are still not working, but the biggest disaster was with RSS Bandit.  It survived the upgrade, but I've lost ALL OF MY RSS feeds. I haven't been to visit my favourite blogs over the weekend, because for a lot of them, I can't remember where they are. 150 feeds, gone, just like that. And don't say 'You should have made a backup'. Just don't say it......

9.7.07

Prank calling….

[youtube un_PjRXV5l8]

If you hate Telemarketers as much as I do, you'll love this video/recorded phone call.

25.6.07

18 stone of idiot…..

Johnny Vegas is the funniest man alive, as far as I'm concerned. In every interview I've seen of him, he's completely taken over the conversation, he makes you laugh till your sides hurt, as long as you can understand what he's saying !!

I found this video of him doing an interview with Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear, and thought I should share. Enjoy !!!

[youtube ZIqq_vTwUeU]

20.6.07

News bites

That should be bite news actually.

Baby O BIT another girl in day care this morning, on the knee. My little princess is teething, and I guess the soft knee was too difficult to resist. It was pretty serious, and left a large, purple mark on the other baby.

I had to fill out an accident report, and so did the other girl's dad. Baby O is particularly fond of this other girl though, she regularly climbs on top of her !!

Anyway, let's hope this doesn't repeat itself. Who knew that 4 teeth (yeah, we're up to 4 now) could cause so much trouble !!

19.6.07

User Review: Ubuntu Linux 7.04

[youtube LAr3XbqUbjo]

A few weeks ago, I installed Linux on my 2nd PC at home. While the 'adventure' ended with me reinstalling Windows this weekend, it was a very revealing experience.

OK, I don't want to geek you all out, so check out the review on my other blog.

9.6.07

One, Two, Three…….

3 - Number of teeth Baby O now has

2- Number of times she's fallen off the bed  since this

Chxta reminded me that I hadn't spoken about Baby O in a while, so I decided to do a lil' update.

she's now 8 and a half months old, and while she's not quite crawling yet, she's slithering on the ground with such ease and skill, it's hard to keep up !! Her favourite 'toys' are wires and paper. Yup. That's right. My daughter loves to crumble up paper, and she gravitates to every electrical socket in the house !!

Oh, and she can now pull herself to a standing position. We saw it for the first time this morning, an my wife and I were so excited, the poor girl was wondering what all the fuss was about.

Oh, and at her day care, her favourote past time is sneaking up behind the other babies, and climbing on top of them. Scares the hell out of the other babies !!

8.6.07

Obasanjo’s ‘wisdom’

From today's Punch

“I have always told young Nigerians that they should not make money alone here in Nigeria; that they should spend it here. They asked how they could spend it here and I told them, ‘If you have married one wife, marry another.”
OBJ's answer on how to invest money in the country, has this man heard about family planning?

“You see, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan, once called me after I left office to ask what I had been doing since I left office. I just told him that I’ve been learning to become lazy.”
Two retiree's exchange notes

“Lecturers are powerful. If they scold me, I don’t have a choice but to take their scolding. Were you not scolded when you were in school? Did you refuse the scolding? If you had, I don’t think you would have graduated. So, now that I’m back in school, I want to graduate too. So, I won’t take their instructions lightly. I don’t want to fail. When they scold me, I’ll take it like a normal student.”
OBJ enrolls in the National Open University of Nigeria. I want to meet the lecturer with the guts to fail him. Anyway, let's hope he doesn't become to lazy to study !!

1.6.07

My brother’s road trip

tosins-road-trip.JPG

(Click on the pic for a larger map)

And once upon a time, I used to think that driving to Offa from Lagos (4 hour trip) was a long journey !!

trip-details.JPG

I'll really, really, really, really love to do one of these trips sometime in the not too distant future. It took him about 6 days in total, with a sleepover at every stop.

Oh Oh………..

"Unfortunately, I still have 7 months left on my warranty, and I wasn't about to void that. I was left with only one option, so I tearfully formatted 100Gb worth of data.

All songs that I've been collecting for 5 years now...
All my documents since 2001...
All my papers...
All my movies (which includes some of the greatest films ever made)...
All my pictures (a lot of which I can never get the hard copies again)...
All my games...
All my projects...

Gone. I'm so sad and I feel like crying"


The immortal words of Chxta.  (Even though he was only joking at the time)

However, this is a scary thought.  One power surge, one flick of the switch, one wrong turn, and whoosh. All gone. In the blink of an eye. I remember in 2004, just before I came to England, my laptop was stolen. I am still felling the effects on that till today, I lost SO MUCH data.

Anyway, when I got here, I got a copy of Norton Ghost, which I used to backup my data to an external USB drive, which was ok, although it meant leaving the PC on at night.

Anyway, now, online backup seems to be the way to go.  Data Deposit box seem to be a good example, easy to setup, easy to use, and it backs up your data when your PC is idle. you also get the added advantage of access to your files from other locations through secure links (Have you ever tried to send a large MP3 file or video), and you can access previous versions of your documents. And for $2 a month, at the current exchange rate, it's not a bad idea at all.

Previously, this kind of service was only offered to businesses but Data Deposit Box and other providers have begun to provide service to individuals at competitive prices.

30.5.07

Microsoft unveils table computer (or do they?)



Microsoft has unveiled a new touch-sensitive coffee table-shaped computer called "Surface".

Designed to do away with the need for a traditional mouse and keyboard, users can instead use their fingers to operate the computer.

Also designed to interact with mobile phones placed on the surface, Microsoft says it will initially sell the unit to corporate customers.

These will include hotels, casinos, phone stores and restaurants.

With a 30-inch screen, Surface will initially sell for between $5,000 and $10,000 (£2,525-£5,050).

Talk about fiction becoming reality, anyone remember minority report?




HMTK Steve is far from impressed though, as he fails to see any real world applications for this device. He also feels that it's Microsoft repackaging someone else's technology to make money.

I don't agree though, casinos will find this very useful, and I'm sure they'll be more and more uses for this when the marketing people sit down and think of where the money is. It's all down to your imagination, this thing could really go places.

And with the clout of Microsoft behind it, the sky is the limit.

On the run…..



Four Nigerian governors are now officially MIA. Following the end of their tenure, and the expiration of their immunity from prosecution, these four men were not available to hand over to their successors, and are believed to have left the country.

1. Plateau State's Joshua Dariye (pictured) - Also a wanted man in the UK, where he skipped bail.
2. Adamawa State's Boni Haruna - Atiku Abubakar's self proclaimed political godson
3. Enugu State's Chimaroke Nnamani
4. Jigawa State's Saminu Turaki

Also, the vice President, Atiku Abubakar is said to have fled the country.

I suspect in the next few days, more governors will disappear, Lagos State's Bola Tinubu is also reportedly under investigation, as well as several other governors.

It will be interesting to see how the new President chooses to tackle this problem, and what the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) does next will be very interesting.

Nigerian Bloggers make the news



Yesterday's blogger's protest was covered by the BBC News website.

29.5.07

The Nigerian Proclamation

In recent history, Nigerians have been overwhelmingly betrayed by those charged with addressing their needs. Instead of serving the people, public servants have served themselves to the detriment of the masses. The result is a nation lacking adequate infrastructure, organisation and security.

The ineffectiveness of Nigerian leaders indicates a lack of accountability to their constituents. Nigerians are no longer relevant to their leaders, thus, leaders do not feel responsible to them.

The recent failure to conduct a free and fair electoral process was yet another illustration that the needs of the many are secondary to the wants of the important few.

From this day, all Nigerians are responsible for the future of this great & powerful country. Consequently, all Nigerians must commit themselves to the following:

  1. We must demand that elected officials be held accountable for their actions and in-actions.

  2. We must expect democratic principles to be honoured, respected and maintained.

  3. We must believe that all Nigerians are equal under the law and should be treated as such.

  4. We must apply ourselves to improving the lot of every individual Nigerian regardless of gender, religion, tribe or social status.

  5. We must strive to maintain a united republic despite our differences.


Only upon achieving these principles can we as a people fully live up to our potential as a land of greatness. For ours is a country renowned for its illustrious people, ample resources and sheer physical beauty.

You lost me….

Anyone else catch the Lost Season 3 finale last week?

Well, well, well.......

All I can say is that if I wanted to mess with my head like that, I'd take drugs, it would be a lot easier.

And now, we have to endure 9 months for Season 4. Even worse, we've been told that Lost won't end till 2010, and we have to endure 3 more 16 episode seasons !!!!

At least, now, we won't have the mid season break, which can drive even the calmest person bunkers !!!

23.5.07

Don’t let your heads drop….

"Don't let your heads drop. All the players who go on the pitch after half-time have to keep their heads held high. We are Liverpool. You are playing for Liverpool. Do not forget that. You have to hold your heads high for the supporters. You have to do it for them. You cannot call yourselves Liverpool players if you have your heads down. If we create a few chances we have the possibility of getting back into this. Believe you can do it and you will. Give yourself the chance to be heroes."
 
(Rafa Benitez – Half time. Ataturk Stadium. Istanbul. 25th May 2005)

When the chips are down..



It has to be Gerrard....!!!!

Some slogans from the liverpoolFC.tv site.......

 Milan: A Greek Tragedy. Part II

3-0 HEADSTART AGAIN?
 
Zeus out, Carra in
 
PLATO?
ARISTOTLE?
PARMENIDES?
ARCHIMEDES?
PYTHAGORAS?
RAFA... PURE GENIUS !

SuperCarraRafalisticExpectToWinMoreTrophies

AC MILAN
STUFFED IN TURKEY
ROASTED IN GREECE

CARRA'S GOT THE HEART
STEVIE ALL THE TRICKS
RAFA MAKES OUR DREAMS COME TRUE
IT'S TIME FOR NUMBER SIX

And my personal favourite:

We're leaving with players
We're returning with legends


You'll never walk alone !!

COME ON YOU REDS……

 



Tonight is the night !!!!!

22.5.07

We won it five times……



We won it five times,
We won it five ti-i-i-i-imes,
In Istanbul,
We won it five times........


We'll win it six times,
We'll win it six ti-i-i-i-mes,
In Ancient Greece,
We'll win it six times...


Right now, I'm completely focused on the Champions League Final tomorrow night. Even if Liverpool end up losing to AC Milan, they have done all Liverpool fans proud. The match itself is finely poised, I think any team can win it, and it will be a heart-stopping affair tomorrow.

Anyway, let's look back at Liverpool's last five triumphs in Europe's premier competition :

Liverpool 3 - 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach, 1976/77


Liverpool's first European Cup final was a defining moment in the world's most prestigious club competition - it was the first to involve an English club for a decade, and began eight years of English dominance in the competition.

The Reds had murdered FC Zurich 6-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals and had the league in their pocket, but their spirits had taken a blow just four days before the final when we lost to their fierce rivals ManYoo in the FA Cup final.

Having gone in 1-0 up at half-time, Liverpool were pegged back by Allan Simonsen's equaliser. But it took just ten minutes for them to regain the lead - through defender Tommy Smith on his 600th appearance for the club. Then Phil Neal whacked in an 85th-minute penalty, and Emlyn 'Thrush' Hughes squeaked his way up to Liverpool's first European Cup. Also, this was the year I was born. Need I say more?
Liverpool 1 - 0 Club Brugge, 1977/78


The Reds only had to wait a year for their second European Cup. Keggy Keegle, whose mazy run had won the penalty that sealed victory in 1977, had departed for Hamburg, and been replaced by Kenny Dalglish.

The Kop had had reservations about Dalglish's ability to fill The Incredible Perm's boots. They shouldn't have. His goal - chipping Birger Jensen after being set free by Graeme Souness (winning the first of his three European Cups) - was his 31st of the season, and was enough to settle the tie.

And so the cup with the big ears was on its way back to England for the second time in two years. Actually, it never left, because the final was played at Wembley - probably making the patriotic Scotsman Dalglish's goal even more special. Especially as he, unlike the England squad, was on his way to the World Cup.
Liverpool 1 - 0 Real Madrid, 1980/81


Phil Thompson wasn't always the big-nosed Liverpool fan on Soccer Saturday. Back in 1981, he was the big-nosed Liverpool fan captaining his club to their third (and his second) European Cup.

It was an important win for a Liverpool side keen to prove they were the dominant force in English football. Their previous two title wins had been overshadowed by Nottingham Forest winning and retaining the European Cup, and the 1980/81 season had seen the title won by Aston Villa - the only time between 1978 and 1985 that it didn't end up at Anfield.

In the end the final was a dour affair settled by a tale of two Kennedys - Alan picking up Ray's throw-in to net the only goal, and make Bob Paisley the only man to manage a team to three European Cups.
Liverpool 1 - 1 Roma (4-2 on penalties), 1983/84


There was a new manager - Joe Fagan - but the same old guard of players. And the man who had played in all of Liverpool's three previous wins broke the deadlock just 13 minutes in. He'd scored in 1977, remember - the Olympic Stadium in Rome was a happy hunting ground for Phil Neal.

Unfortunately for the Reds, Roma weren't keen to let their home advantage slip, and Roberto Pruzzo levelled things before half-time. No-one found the net in the following half, or in extra-time, and the stage was set for penalties.

You'd fancy Roma in their own stadium, wouldn't you? Especially after Phil Nicol started things off with a miss for Liverpool. But then you'd be forgetting Bruce Grobbelaar's spaghetti legs, which were enough to put off World Cup winners Francesco Graziani and Bruno Conti, and give the world that legendary photo of a heavily-'tached Ian Rush with the cup.
Liverpool 3 - 3 AC Milan (3-2 on penalties), 2004/05


Spaghetti legs and penalties were to prove decisive once again when, more than two decades after their fourth European Cup, Liverpool finally picked up their fifth. But before that came a match that, in terms of excitement, put their previous four triumphs firmly in the shade.

It only took 52 seconds for Paolo Maldini to give the Italian side the lead and start a nation laughing at Liverpool. By half-time, Hernan Crespo (on loan from Chelsea, as if salt needed rubbing into the wound) had added two more, having been set up by Kaka and Andriy 'look how good I used to be' Shevchenko. Oh, and I smashed my MP3 player in frustration at the end of the first half. All was lost. Or was it?

Well, you know it wasn't. Dietmar Hamann came on for the injured Steve Finnan, Steven Gerrard pushed further forwards and pulled one back in the 54th minute - and the rest was history, with more than one fairy story thrown in.

Vladimir Smicer had come on as a substitute for Harry Kewell, who had either a groin strain or a bad case of not wanting to be involved, depending on who you believe. The whole world knew Smicer was on his way out of Anfield, and he signed off in style, slapping in a second. Then Milan Baros freed Gerrard in the area, and for the sake of diplomacy we'll say Gennaro Gattuso fouled him. Xabi Alonso needed two bites at the cherry from the spot, but Liverpool had done enough - after a fantastic double save by Dudek from Shevchenko - to take the match to a penalty shoot-out. Another Dudek save from Shevchenko, and that fifth time you've heard so much about was sealed.

Can they make it six on Wednesday?

YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE.....

Information about the finals was from Football365. Pictures from BBC.

18.5.07

Please keep looking, please keep praying

Banner2

She's been missing for just over 2 weeks now.

My hearts goes out to this little girl's parents.

I really, really, really, really hope she is found alive and well.

16.5.07

Rip off Britain…..

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On the right:1.5 litre Listerine Mouthwash -  $3.00 (WalMart, USA)

On the left:

500 ml Listerine Mouthwash - £3.99 (Tesco, UK) that equates to almost $8 !!!!