Me and Keith . . .

September 15, 2009 · Posted in Cooking · Comment 

Food again . . . well, yes.

This morning on the train I read a tweet from someone saying that Patrick Swayse had died . . . very sad and all but my only connection to him is a couple of, let’s be honest, somewhat crappy movies that I like (Road House and Point Break). About 2 hours later, and via another tweet, I discovered that Keith Floyd had also passed away and that one hit me a bit harder.

After a little introspection I think the reason is that the way I cook and generally muck about with food was clearly influenced by him. After a quick shuffle over to his page on Wikipedia I discovered that his first TV show, Floyd on Fish, was broadcast in 1984 and on my birthday as well. That would have made me 11 and I vividly remember watching it.

Floyd cooking on TV seemed to be a world of chaos. From ordering a handheld camera wielded by a poor bloke who Keith always thought was pointing it in the wrong direction, “not at me, at the food!”, to occasional spills, the odd missing ingredient, the general feeling that not a whole lot of planning had gone into the actual making of the dish and, of course, a generous glug of wine.

Throughout all this I always got the impression that the man really knew what he was doing. Ingredients weren’t just being thrown in for the sake of it, he knew tastes, he knew his palette and he knew that right now what this dish needed was a little touch of this . . . what I got from his programs, apart from a few laughs (and if I remember rightly some damn fine scenery) was that you didn’t have to follow a recipe like a maths formula, just go with it, create and enjoy

For one or two other view on the late great Keith Floyd you should head over to The Grauniad and check out what a few professionals think.

Keith Floyd, RIP

KFC’ish . . .

September 14, 2009 · Posted in Cooking · Comment 

Here’s how it starts.

theWife: What do you fancy for dinner?
me: (shrug) dunno, what do you fancy?
theWife: don’t know . . . something chickeny, with lots of vegetables!.

And with that my brain starts ticking, my taste-buds start tingling and I know we’re in trouble. Read more

Food, glorious food . . .

September 13, 2009 · Posted in Cooking · Comment 

I would say it’s that time of the year again but it isn’t . . . the fact is I’m on a diet. again. This isn’t the first diet I’ve been on and it almost certainly won’t be the last but what makes this one different from the others is that this time i’m keeping it in my pocket, it’s online, readily available and there’s no getting away from it.

I should probably back up a bit at this point and enlighten you all with some background facts. I’m 35 years old. I weigh, or at least at the start of this weighed, 19st 1lb and I have arthritis. The reason I mention the arthritis isn’t some cheap attempt to garner sympathy be simply a way to explain why I can’t just go and run the weight off like a lot of other people might. Read more

Fix please!

September 11, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Dear WordPress,

yesterday during my commute home from Kings Cross to Cambridge I crafted a wonderful post about food, the glory of eating and the pain of my new diet.  I had started writing this post on the backend of my website during lunch but picked it up on the train using my iPhone.

I immediately realised that there was no way I could turn a Draft post into a Local Draft on my phone so made sure I saved the post back as a draft every few minutes (or so I thought). About 25 minutes into my journey I saved again after finishing a section extolling the virtues of the site I’m now using ( While the phone claimed it was saving the train entered a tunnel and the phones internet connection was cut off.

The application seemed to stall for nearly a minute and when it came back my post wasn’t showing on my posts list. I checked in the Local Drafts and couldn’t see it there either. Upon going back to the main posts list I noticed it was showing at the bottom with an update time of 31 December 1969 19:00 and, having clicked (pressed) it discovered the post was in the same state it was before I’d got on the train.  All my edits had gone!!



Todays Tweets . . .

September 9, 2009 · Posted in brain dump . . . · Comment 
  • have just blocked and spam reported a dozen accounts that seem to have grabbed hold of theWifes companies conference tag, bastards!! #
  • RT @vero:CharityHack at PayPal on 19-20th Sept looks like a great weekend: Still some 30 tickets going! #
  • the 09/09/09 09:09.09 pic for todays #ebethchallenge (been up for 3 hours and I'm not a morning person!!) #
  • oooooooo, ouchie!! #
  • it's nearly that Apple time again . . . time to put up or shut up, what's happening today? #
  • have just seen a pigeon inside the tube . . . surprised it doesn't happen more often actually! #
  • at Cambridge Geek Nights listening to a talk about Yahoo Pipes #
  • hmmm, probably shouldn't have started updating my phone at this time of night! #

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My predictions . . .

September 9, 2009 · Posted in brain dump . . . · 1 Comment 

It’s time for another Apple event, well, it will be in a couple of hours so I thought I’d put up (because it’s very difficult to shut me up) about what I think is going to be announced.

  • New iPod touches with cameras are pretty much a given, particularly after an online store put up pics of it’s new cases a tad early, whoops
  • iTunes 9, I think it’s about time Apple did something about helping people to organise their iPhone apps and, rumour has it, they’ve been working for a while on some sort of social integration (presumably to compete with and Spotify. It’s probably about time Apple and iTunes got into supporting Blue-Ray discs too
  • I’d be very surprised if the Beatles catalogue wasn’t made available on iTunes. Rock Band Beatles and all the new remastered  CD’s are out today so why not – having said that and EMI rep earlier said it wasn’t going to happen.  Smoke and mirrors??
  • a new music format.  Something called Cocktail has been kicking around for a while. It’s supposidly a new album format that includes lyrics, artwork and other goodies designed to encourage people to buy whole albums rather than individual tracks.  Unfortunately you can probably also expect it to come DRM’d up to the eyeballs
  • and they’ll probably bump up the storage on the rest of the iPod range, and maybe the Apple TV too

and what’s not happening,

  • The much vaunted Apple Tablet . . . nope, no way no how. It’s just not the right time for Apple to introduce this (and I’m not really convinced they’re particularly useful anyway).  I’ll eat my hat if Apple show up with this
  • dropping the iPod Classic. Why?? There’s no other iPod with this amount of storage yet. Once the nano gets it’s storage above 100G for a reasonable amount of cash then you’ll see that back of this but not until
  • integrated AppleTV/HDTV, lol, don’t make me laugh!

    Tell me about yourself . . .

    September 9, 2009 · Posted in MySQL · Comment 

    A little while ago MySQL introduced Stored Procedures thereby, in some peoples eyes, making it a ‘proper’ database (clearly a load of rubbish as it was totally fit for purpose anyway but that’s another argument).

    For security reasons if you DROP a stored procedure in MySQL any grants to use it are also removed. This makes perfect sense as stored procedures can be set to run internally as a different user that the one that called it. If the GRANT wasn’t removed it would be possible to have a perfectly innocent procedure removed and, a while later a new one added that happened to have the same name (I know that this would require a deal of disorganisation but hey) that could drop the whole DB. The user who had access to the first procedure would then have access to the new one (bad times).

    While it makes sense that the GRANT is removed when the stored procedure is removed it doesn’t really make sense that you can’t update stored procedures, you have to drop and recreate them, thereby losing all the grants applicable to them every time – damn annoying

    The solution . . . Read more

    Todays Tweets . . .

    September 8, 2009 · Posted in brain dump . . . · Comment 
    • having seen todays 26 degree forecast I'm wearing shorts to work, maybe for the last time this year? #
    • (picks up card) huh . . . Advance to Chalfont & Latimer. Do not pass Paddington, do not top-up your Oyster, fair enough #morningtoncrescent #
    • #morningtoncrescent hmm, would have gone with West Ruislip but with the Monument/Bank interchange still b0rkd it'll have to be Hatch End 🙂 #
    • coffee or tea . . . that is the question??? #
    • RT @eBeth: Ooh – native Flickr app now out for the iPhone.. (must go take a look now!) #
    • forgot I'd booked beer and a curry with a colleague over from Amsterdam #pectember #FAIL #
    • oopsie . . . diet go bye bye!! #
    • oooooffff . . . have eaten too much, leaving the curry house now 😐 #
    • goodnight Twitter (facebook) . . . going to bed now to dream that I didn't just totally blow #pectember with that curry 😐 #
    • yea, ignore the tweet from half an hours ago, had a couple of things to do . . . NOW I'm going to bed! #

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    How old are you???

    September 8, 2009 · Posted in MySQL · Comment 

    Everyone knows how old they are, right?? Well OK, so sometimes I have to think about it a couple of times just to check (what with it nearly being my birthday) but still, it’s pretty easy.

    However if you’re a database without a function to find out age it’s a tad more tricky.

    This just came up as someone in the office was writing a report that included calculating the users ages . . . the solution they used was good enough for our purposes but was also one of those little things that bugs you because you know there’s a better way to do it.

    The initial solution was as follows . . . btw, let’s also chuck the date of birth into a variable to simplify the queries 😉

    SET @dateOfBirth=’1972-10-03′;

    SELECT (DATEDIFF(NOW(), @dateOfBirth))/365;

    Read more

    Todays Tweets . . .

    September 8, 2009 · Posted in brain dump . . . · Comment 
    • at end of the first week of #pectember I have lost 4lbs!! Have turned the dial to 2lbs a week and have lost 300 calories/day! #
    • something weird going on in Cambridge, just been past the Courthouse and there are a bunch of satellite vans round the back??? #
    • ah, I guess it's related to this, #
    • have a couple of free evenings while theWife's away – am spending the first driving my in-laws to Heathrow, M25 'fun' and games approaching #
    • in-laws depoited, at South Mimms for a comfort break on the way home, denying myself the usual Burger King motorway treat today #pectember #
    • I should really go to bed now – gonna be wrecked at 6am tomorrow morning 🙁 #

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