Sunday, 30 May 2010


I had to chuckle this morning - heading down to the bakers, I suddenly realised there was a little blackbird following me. I stepped back to watch him as he hopped towards the baker's van and waited whilst the baker shoved a tray of loaves in. The bird peeped in the door of the van, looked round, peeped in the van again ... and hopped in. The baker came back out with another tray and asked what I was looking at. I quietly pointed at the wee blackbird eating the crumbs from the floor of his van and he laughed. "Cheeky bugger - he's been inside the shop twice today already!" And for forgetting my sammich, he gave me a free pecan slice - yay!

BLACKBERRIES! We loooooove the blegs! Blackberries and raspberries and cherries and strawberries - Tsammy Dragon's face has turned all purple and pink, he's eaten so many! he yommed one so hard he nearly bit my finger. He crammed the second huge berry down, and demolished the third one. I held out a fourth and he grabbed it, bit it - bit it... bit it again and realised it wouldn't fit in his mouth. He was forced to put it down and he looked heartbroken. He was all "oh nooooes. My blackberrieeeeeeee...." He's still wandering round with a bleg tucked in his throat pouch for later - greedy boy. Eyes literally bigger than his belly!

Joe has recently rescued a beardie called Bug, after hours of discussing the matter via MSN. Bug's perfectly healthy, he just needed a new home as his owners had a baby. Bug's getting him well trained, in much the same way Kyle used to do with me. She used to go through phases of demanding in and out and in and out of her tank, banging on the door 'til I came over...I got clever and left her door open, but then she'd want in or out of the door that WASN'T open. So I got really smart to it, and opened both doors into the middle, so she can get in and out of either end herself. And so now now she gets her revenge - Kyle sulks in her house instead.

I'm disgusted. Co-Op shop used to do a nice big bag of chocolate coated peanuts, and another of raisins, for a pound each - but they've pulled them in favour of the smaller Cadbury's bags. Two pounds a time. I'm not paying that for a bag of peanuts!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Nibbles in Neopia!

"Congratulations! Your entry, Nibbles in Neopia: A whole Neo-World of food, has been selected to appear in the Neopian Times. A shiny trophy has been added to your user lookup. Thank you for contributing to the Neopian Times!" At last I am a prize-winning, recognised author with a circulation of 179,788,606 people so far. If you'd enjoy a read, here it is - Nibbles in Neopia!

Watch out Neopets, this is just my first article - there's more to come.

If you'd like to join Neopets and see what the fuss millions of players are raving about, come and sign up via my reference!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Frightful Food and Missing Meal!

His Lordship has "perfected" a not-very-nice edible rubbery foam. It was SUPPOSED to be what he thinks is a chocolate microwave brownie. 4 tbsps self raising flour, ditto sugar, 3 milk, 3 oil, 2 cocoa, 1 egg and 3 minutes in the microwave in a mug. I have to say, it is properly revolting - literally like rubber foam furniture filling (and c'mon, we've all had a bite on rubber foam at some point, just to see)... I didn't get a pic, so here's the atomic-fail pizza from Hornoxe.

Whilst microwaving it was amusing because "it ballooned out of the cup, which is visually entertaining"but upon emerging from "it's natural habitat" of the microwave, it shrank by about 50% and "seems to create some form of new polymer liable to be of interest to NASA." It seems to have great defensive properties once cooled, resisting a vicious attack with a spoon: "Once cooled it's suitable for the MoD to attempt ballistics halt experiments." In fact, he's actually abandoned it - he says he daren't finish it. Coming from a man happy to drink 3 days out of date milk? That's impressive.

I can honestly say I've never eaten spiky jelly before either. The fridge swapped modes again and froze everything in it again - including my bowl of lime jelly. Very bizarre - it's melty and crunchy, solid and squashy, lumpy and soft... "Odd." says man of few words. Crunchy jelly is WRAWNG. (Neopets: Frozen Jelly)

It didn't help that the local baker didn't actually do his banking today and completely forgot to deliver the sammich I paid for this morning, but his cleaner was very amused when I arrived after work, to "collect my non-existent lunch". I got a refund and I shan't complain - he does do the most wonderful doughnuts and pastries! This IS the world's CUTEST sammich though - as found on

Does it count if it only has one bread? No, wait, I don't care. It's still supercute.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Bluest Blue and Fastest Fast Browser!

You may have noticed I've given the old Blog a bit of a makeover. After many years of my new-modern ironic reverse bookprint style, I got bored of this classic back-black and white, so I have upgraded everything for a subtle, fresh blend of blues. This brings the advantage of richer, balanced colours and it's easier to read as the contrast isn't quite so strong whilst retaining that comforting density. (Pic: unknown source. Message me. "Knork" is my favourite!)

Being as no-one seems to know why jelly sweets go solid in jelly, here's a new question: why do bad guys always have to have rotating chairs? His Lordship thinks it must be so they can have a dramatic entrance without actually having to get up.

Hehehehe. I told Tsam it wasn't a good idea to try to climb the stack of DVDs, but he ignored me and tried it anyway. The Green Mile promptly fell over and smacked him on the head. He's having a marvellous time chasing Kyle around, whom is heavily defended by her giant hamster ball. She's got really good at trundling that around now!

If you're still using Firefox, or worse, Internet Explorer - then please, do yourself a favour and stop it already! I've been encouraging friends to convert to Chrome - and I'm pleased to announce that NONE of my converts have gone back to their previous internet browser! I have been using it since the betas, and have been pleased by each successive tweak. Watch the video below, and then come join us:

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Cloudberry Chocolate

After a hard day of scouring numbers in our central branch, His Lordship brought the dragons in their basket to see me. The sun was blazing down, roasting hot, so at Tsammy's insistence, we all stopped off at the Butcher's pub for a swift half. A cool glug (or a few licks in the lizards' case) and we were off for a quick nip around town to grab a new pair of work shoes and some Thorntons.

We had a nice poke about at the sale lines, picking up a nice 330g box for £3.50 (not a bad price) to enjoy later when the weather cools down.

Ooooh. New Limited Season range is out! I wasn't too fussed about the new praline, but the salted caramel, the cloudberry truffle and the banana pistachio was a must! The salted caramel had a sweet, firm dark chocolate shell that bit with a distinct "POP" (reminiscent of the way the Eden collection does - deeply satisfying!), releasing a thick, dark, almost dirty-flavour liquid caramel centre. They've balanced the notes well, avoiding the coffee-ish burnt flavour, but retaining the true feel of the caramel. Cloudberry is a strange one - I'd never heard of "cloudberry" before - and little surprise. They turn out to be one of the most expensive berries due to their rare environment; preferring to grow in Arctic, boggy land. In a chocolate truffle, it has an odd, delicate and elusive flavour, fruity and similar to... baked apples actually. The banana and pistachio was a real treat though and certainly my favourite. A light, sweet banana mousse (thankfully not overpoweringly artificial - it didn't taste a bit like a milkshake!) sat on a base of soft, squidgy, sweet pistachio nougat, contained in a smooth dark shell sprinkled with pistachio crumb. Heaven! (Image: - the salted caramel)

Jelly Question for you - why do jelly sweets melt and go rock solid in jelly pudding, even when made with cold water?

Friday, 21 May 2010

Slow But Smart!

Uberawesomecool! I came home on my bike and as I pulled up, I noticed what looked like a glittery gold strip of plastic or something. I hopped off and took a closer look. I just met my very first slow worm! Let me explain. Slow worms look a lot like little snakes, but these odd English reptiles are actually lizards with no legs and rather rare in the rest of the country. Since moving down South, I have longed to meet a slow worm; we don't tend to get them back home, but they're said to be prolific in Somerset - yet I'd never seen one of these shy, elusive animals. Today was my lucky day!

It seems I'd encountered a youngster, possibly two years old as he/she was still bright gold and had a black striped belly, trying to hide on the rough gravel. Poor thing seemed to have a real struggle getting over the concrete and stones, so I carefully picked it up with my bike gloves and brought it into the garden. (I kept the gloves on, because I understand these creatures have a powerful bite!) I popped him/her on the grass for a moment whilst I picked up my big chunk of slate (originally for Kyle to bask on, but she never bothered with it) and popped it under the rhubarb next to the onions. Image - Jonas Bergsten's from Wikicommons.

When I turned round to encourage the slow worm to go towards the rock, it took me a moment to find it - they literally SWIM through the grass! I didn't want to accidentally step on it - they're a protected species, so I tugged my gloves off and got him/her by the middle (thankfully I'd guessed right, that they can shed their tails) and gently pulled it out. S/he didn't need extra encouragement, and wriggled underneath the rock I'd provided.

div>It appears I've done the right thing, as a quick peek a moment ago reveals the little "worm" is still tucked under there. I won't take a photo, as we don't want to upset it but I do hope s/he decides it's a nice place to stay, because I've just discovered they're voracious slug and small snail munchers! And we've got plenty of those here...

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Disappointing Dinner :(

I'm getting quite disappointed by The Real China as the quality of the food really seems to be dropping which is a shame, as I used to really love it there, especially the value!

The chicken balls were more like dumplings with a surprise chicken centre - the surprise being when you actually find it. The sweet and sour chicken, whilst good in flavour, seemed to be missing much of it's meat, and the lemon chicken was similarly lacklustre - it ought really have been called just "chicken" as no lemon was discernible in the flavour at all. This seemed to be another current theme of the food, as (normally my favourite dish) the crispy shredded chili beef appeared to have little to no taste whatsoever.. And why are the noodles SO orange? I want the prawn toast back! I miss the chicken-fried, sesame coated, juicy and crunchy prawn toast...

Terry is 14.3g now after a good dinner, and developing a real cute character. He likes to watch TV late at night from the point in the vine that bends into a comfy, U shaped bench, or he likes to "sneak up" on me and find new ways of drawing my attention purely by staring from some odd position. My favourite so far has to be hung upside down, head twisted round and peering round a corner from a leaf.

"If your gecko is broken, do you have a reptile dysfunction?" - Jack and Jill, Pixdaus

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Banana Mad!

Tsammy's currently squiggled in an S shape, his head resting on his hands and his mouth hung open again as he slowly nods off. He's been sat on the windowsill gaping, and sat on his log, gaping. It's very hard work all this gaping. I mustn't forget that banana-devouring is exhaustingly strenuous. He was reeeally going for that mushy, over-ripe fruit! YOMNOMnom.

This time of year is his favourite, as all his favourite fruits come back in the shops. Strawberries are freakin' awesome too! Tsam has eaten strawberries, cherries and raspberries this weekend and now his face is all stained pink from the juice! Mucky pup.

Holy CRAP though. Heston Blumenthal the chef really blows me away! I just caught the episode of 1970's foods on Demand, with his sweetie smells flying saucer spells, followed up by the 80's foods... Noooooodles!

Kyle has been exercising her impressive staying-in-one-place ability and putting a lot of effort into keeping me company. I have just won a silver trophy in Cellblock! It's been a rough week at work - Tuesday I had to close my branch because I didn't have enough staff to run it, and Weds I had to close early and drive to work at another branch in the other village...

Then I had to go to the main office for another two hours to sit in on a meeting - as none of my permanent staff were available to go and someone really ought to know what's going on. Come leaving, I hop onto the bike and the heavens open with the full works, hail and all - for just long enough to cause a flash flood at the bottom of my street and completely soak my suit and uniform. Nice! Oh, I also bagged my gold Cellblock trophy. Shame winning tournaments doesn't work so easily in real life - I'd be rolling in it right about now.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Sorry, it's a boring rant blog. But the centipede is cool!

Meet the Pink Dragon Millipede, Desmoxytes purpurosea, native to Thailand - one of the world's most beautiful insects. It looks like candy, smells like delicious almonds and shoots cyanide from it's mouth. Yup, you heard me. Cyanide. Spiny little sod ain't so pretty now, is it? (Img: Here) Perhaps that's where the cave name comes from - Hup Pa Tard. I think I'd shout something similar if this cutie got me.

Talking of "looking innocent but is very dangerous" - have you all seen these new money adverts? They offer "short term" loans - at shocking APRs like 2689%! To translate to English, £100 for 30 days is £137... and here was me being concerned about your average overdraft APR (18%ish). But at least Wonga are honest about it - "Is this APR expensive? Yep, we know. It’s huge."

Whilst I'm having a rant, is it too much to ask to get some proper TV? I'm currently getting 73 channels: adult, sales and news. What really gets me is why can't I watch something I like, for example Dave, in reasonable quality - but "Gay Rabbit" and QVC come through crystal clear?! As much as I appreciate Russian news, I'd rather have Film 4. Or anything of quality other than "Lambing Live" on BBC1. Mm, this is SO much an improvement from terrestrial TV. *pixellate crackle crackle pixels* In fact, I have decided - it sounds like the TV has hiccups!

Talking of TV - BLARH!!! They're not CHIPS, they're CRISPS! Chips are chunky bits of fried potato served with fish - big "chips" chopped off the potato. Crisps are thin and oh wow, get this - crispy! (Check out the size of that Prawn McCoy's crisp. Awesomeness.) American culture is creeping into the UK and it's deeply annoying; it's fish and chips -"Fish and fries" just sounds wrong. Piss off, Pringles and your stupid adverts. Bing too: Bing's adverts are ruh-huh-huh-HEA-lly annoying with the oversaturation on 4. I'm NOT going to be using your service, it's ugly and SUCKS. Viva la GOOGLE!

I can't believe I got ID'd for His Lordship's beer though. Why is it only the times I don't go shopping on my bike, and thus don't have my licence with me? Mind you, I love Tesco's. I really do. I like their bargains, their savings, their delivery and their "Express Shopper" facility. I even like their customer service staff, whom were incredibly efficient at solving my minor problem - the driver accidently drove off with my crumpets. They've refunded me the delivery costs and the missing items, sending me a very polite apology. I certainly don't mind, because I got a tenner off my shopping in the first place with one of their random emailshot money off vouchers! Although I bet you also didn't know that most wine, some fruit juices and alcohol isn't vegetarian. Turns out companies use fish or gelatin products to clarify them.

Interesting Word of the Day: "Defenestrate - to throw someone out of the window."

Monday, 10 May 2010

Kyle's Hatchday

My present to her is a techno-gift - a direct link to the University of South Carolina's Roach Cam. Refresh this page to see where the Madagascan Hissing 'roaches have moved around in an updated, constant link image! With thanks to:

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Snow Wars and Snotters

Ugh. This bug really HAS taken it out of me as I appear to have contracted that horrible computer virus. It's rotten: my throat is sore, my nose is running, my head aches and I feel queasy. I have been working hard though, as we didn't have enough staff - but I'm afraid they'll just have to work it out tomorrow. I haven't taken a sick day since I dislocated my knee last year. I've been mostly snoozing on and off, coughing a lot, being sick a couple of times, snotting buckets and poking simple games on the computer when I can't sleep. On a plus side, this does mean I scored another trophy, landing the silver in Snow Wars - Neopet's version of Battleships. It's a very simple game, one you can switch your brain off and do the same grid clicking until you win. Tsammy says "Haaaaaaaaaaaa."

I hope it rains soon - it's been grey and glum for nearly a week, but not a drop of rain for my poor parched garden. Either that, or I need to get better sharpish, the plants are starting to suffer. Although, interestingly, two of my pepper plants are rocketing up and one is collapsing. I can't for the life of me work out why as they've been treated identically. Oh, there we go, told you it was easy enough to beat - I just won the gold trophy. Wonderful what you can do when you're snoozing. His Lordship makes a marvellous pasta sauce for poorly people, all textural with sweet and salty tones; perfect if you can't smell to taste things. I've had several naps too - I'm exhausted! Tsam now says "Haaaaaafff" with cress breath.

"Aaaaaaaaah." With his eyes shut. Oh - wait... "Blaaa. Blib. Blicklicklick." All good!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Computer Crash!

You can somewhat upset calculators and computers when you try to divide anything by 0. But they can be really upset like this: I was happily reading some website on deep sea fish, when a juicy fat trojan smacks me one, claiming to be some sort of antipiracy software. The whole kit and feckin' kaboodle's gone spare...

Basically, this nasty little worm downloaded itself from wherever it saw fit (probably a compromised javascript in one of the pages I wanted to read) and disguised itself as anti-piracy software. It promptly told me I'd downloaded illegal stuff, completely locked me out of everything and told me that I'll go to court - or I can pay a fine now... So I dug my way out of that (with a sneaky use of "convert to Excel" to nip back into my C drive) I managed to get back into my system - to find it's riddled me with some rather convincing looking "Your system has a virus!" cleaner programmes demanding money to go away. What an unpleasant piece of software!

So far I count over 800 replications of itself that I have deleted and wiped. That thing moves faster than I possibly can, each time I shoot down one, there's another! I feel sorry for any poor sap that gets stung with the same thing. Hell, I feel sorry for me right about now! I've been running scanners, deleters, wipers, manually erasing bad files myself - but now I'm stumped (and writing this blog on good ol' Notepad). I worry for the people that don't have computer knowledge as it's reduced me to swearing on a regular basis. I'm not particularly savvy - but I am smart.

(But you can really, really upset calculators if you try to divide 0 by 0...)

It's now day two of fighting off this beastie. It's got registry folders, random accesses, trojan viruses, blocked ports and back doors all OVER the damn place. I've been manually pulling chunks out and trying to get programmes that will clean it: but the virus has proxies and port blockers built into it too, complete with lines that specifically block updaters for antivirus/malware scanners and block specific sites with the really useful programmes that stand a chance of finding them! AUGH!

If I didn't have a spare, unaffected computer, I'd have been really stranded. is doing the best job so far, but expects you to pay for it. It appears to be a programme dedicated to this particular virus/trojan stream however, and will find all the threats (222 on my laptop now). I'd be tempted to pay for it - but the viruses mean I can't actually get onto the website...

However, using the information it HAS found for me, I was able to carefully delete the separate parts of the viruses from my registry. If you have the same problem, you'll need to remember to change the permissions on some of the folders before you can delete them - the sneaky coders covered the root source with a "read only" script, but that's easy to shoot down. So yes, that's why I've been a bit quiet - I've been a little preoccupied pounding this hack.

I swear to God, if I ever find you, the little asshat that wrote this nasty crap which caused me these problems and wasting my weekend off, I'm going to smash your face in - and that's a promise.