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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hail Clouds And A Knock Up Online Store

Bit of a flyer. I've been working full pelt tonight, got a lot of stuff on that's keeping my old noggin' firing. I'm playing with this great new script that allows you to quickly and easily put together an Ebay powered store. The scripts called Build A Niche Site - and in less than 30 minutes I was able to get this basic site up and running - Commercial Art.

That time included a quick 5 minutes in AdWords and it's up and running in Google hopefully to send me some highly targeted customers after cheap art - eventually (with some refining). A nice piece of software - what's more, you can implement it into existing sites. I have some great ideas for what I want to do with it. The art one was a one-off spur of the moment test. We'll see how it goes.

Bit of a funny day today, what lots of hail showers. Went to the shop earlier, the light was lovely and the clouds big and interesting. Took a few snaps of the local houses between here and there - nice contrasty light on terraces, an old favourite of mine. Enjoy. :)

Hail Clouds, Church Park, Tenby

Hail Clouds, Culver Park, Tenby

Hail Clouds, Church Park, Tenby

Hail Clouds, Church Park, Tenby

Posted by Dio Bach at 22:57 | 4 comments | links to this post
Thursday, March 22, 2007

Birthday Stroll Along Tenby Esplanade

I'd almost let it slip and forgotten about it, but Tuesday was my birthday. Which also means it was Mr Chicky's birthday (if you see this Mr. C, sorry I've not been in touch, but Happy Birthday as well and drop us an email some time.)

Anyway, we took a trip out to get tea, but as Tenby is out of season, we ended up wandering around about 10 pubs to be told that food was not on for another hour or so as it was so quiet. We ended up in the Wimpy. Yes, they actually have a Wimpy here - no MacDonald's or Burger King, just a Wimpy. That sort of makes it like Cardiff circa 1981. :D

The sun was out, so we had a nice stroll along the Esplanade into the castle walls. Took a few snaps, late evening sun and lovely views, so here you are. They are bulldozing the entrance to South Beach - not sure what they're doing, if they're removing the Winter sands that have blown in or what - but that's what the tracks in the first image have come from.

Tracks on Tenby's South Beach

Bench and vistas on The Esplanade, Tenby

View across the water and beach to Caldey Island

Last of the sun on one of Tenby's big hotels

Last of the day's sun on the roof-tops on The Esplanade in Tenby

Posted by Dio Bach at 00:01 | 2 comments | links to this post
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bye-Bye Beef Free Bovril

I grew up on Bovril, the rich bed-time treat I'd have as a youngster at my nan's. I loved the stuff and it was always a great late night drink. I don't know why, but I sort of fell out of favour with it for the best part of 20 years, until last August I got back into juiced cow. It tasted great, better than I remembered - rich and tasty and a once more a great pre-bed drink to calm the body.

I joked to Elis I was drinking juiced cow, so you could have knocked me over with a feather when I looked at the ingredients and spotted that it was suitable for vegetarians. Great, all the better because as great as it tasted, deep down to my mind there's something distinctly unsavoury about drinking cow extract on a regular basis. Then I started spotting the Beef variant of the drink - and thanks to a mix up bought one.

To be fair, it tasted OK, but wasn't nowhere as near as nice as the non-beef version. So, over the last months, I've been picking up the non-beef version at the Co-op on Fairwater Green, back in Cardiff. I was watching in dread as the supply of non-beef variant died out slowly, I knew every jar on the shelf (neatly avoiding the one out-of-date one.) Every three weeks I'd go back and buy one of the remaining ones.

I bought the last jar on the shelf just before we moved, and just this minute finished the last scoop. Having not seen a non-beef version anywhere in the shops I thought I'd take a look and see what's happening. To my horror, the non-beef version of Bovril is no more. It's beef Bovril all the way from now on. But what's annoying is they say in taste tests, no one can tell the difference. Well bah! The difference is massive. I'll miss you beef free Bovril - you've been my faithful and warming companion for half a year now. Rest well my friend - your passing has been marked and not gone unnoticed. /Dio sobs uncontrollably and considers trying Marmite as a drink instead.

However, on the late night drink front, all is not bad. I do enjoy a calming cup of St John's Wort Tea before bed as well. I could only buy it in specialist shops back in Cardiff, but remarkably, the local corner shop sells it! Pretty good showing, no fear of running out of that for now!

Posted by Dio Bach at 23:02 | 1 comments | links to this post
Thursday, March 15, 2007

Follow-Up To The BT Mishap

Ho-hum, Wednesday 21st for my Broadband to be re-enabled. My mum suggested I complain, but once I go through all the rigmarole of writing a complaint and trying to complain, it would probably be counter-productive. My time is money. I've got it off my chest now, so I'll move on.

Posted by Dio Bach at 20:58 | 0 comments | links to this post
Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Thanks BT - Way To Treat A New Customer!

FFS. What a pain in the arse. I've just finished with NTL because of the move, after 8 years of great service (when you could get a hold of them) and 6 years of a solid and hassle free broadband service. With this move I decide to go for a BT Business account, as I was advised (by my mum, who works for BT) that it would ensure better service and fasting sorting of faults.

So fast forward to today, the date the line and account was due to start. Let's not forget what my business is, and the necessity of being online to do it, being a web based marketer / web master. OK, so this morning I plugged in and configured the hub they sent me. It took some figuring out, but I managed to do it manually. Then I made my first mistake of the day - I put their installation disk in.

That had the effect of hijacking my wireless settings and employing something called the Wireless Adapter Configurator (WirelessDaemon.exe) to manage them. The installation disk failed, but it left that behind. It killed the standard wireless dialogues and made it impossible to connect to the other wireless network that's been saving my bacon.

If you ever encounter this - the solution is to go into the service section of XP and disable the service - Wireless Adapter Configurator (right click and select properties.) Then you re-start Wireless Zero Configuration and all should be well. Bad showing BT, especially considering the configurator left no menu or shortcut entries to uninstall it. I only spotted it by luck as I was trying to get Wireless Zero Configuration to work.

Ok, so the broadband was connected and working at 10.00am this morning. Then, the engineer arrived to enable the phone line (I was under the impression it already was - but what do I know?) So he does his stuff - I point out that the number he's telling his engineer is different to the number on all the order forms I've been sent. He writes down the new number, and I already know this is the start of problems getting the broadband working, as it's enabled for a different number.

Sure enough, all the lights that were on earlier to show a good connection are out, broadband's dead. On the phone I go, and spend £10 of my pay as you go phone bill being put on hold and moved from person to person - after telling them to call me back as I'm on my mobile. 'No worry' they say, 'it will only take a minute.' Roll forward 15 minutes of holding, and the ominous mobile phone voice kicks in with the 1 minute of money message and the phone goes dead, my hard earned spent on nothing.

So I plug in all the phones here, which needed to charge before I could use it to ring them. Now, I also tried ringing the number the engineer wrote down was the new number and get a 'line does not exist' message - when, obviously it does as I can now ring out. So after the first lot of ringing around, no one has rung me. I ring again on the mobile, and get a lack of understanding on the line that makes me know I'm going to go through hoops again, and obviously no-one I'd spoken to earlier had left details on my file of the problem. I hung up not wanting to blow another tenner and went to the now charged land line instead.

I get through and am told that the line has to be rectified as there must be a fault on ringing in, and once that's fixed the broadband can be reactivated, here's the kicker, as it's a new number it will take another 5 working days before they can activate it. I explain my position (yes I know I can use another's wireless, but that's not the point, is it?) about needing the net to do business and am told there's nothing that can be done about it. By now I'm trying not to lose my cool, knowing it's not the lady on the lines fault.

She puts me through to the telephony department to sort the line invalid fault. They sort it out, problem is, the engineer wrote the number down wrong. (/Dio rolls eyes and sighs)

She redoes the order, so now I'm to phone back tomorrow to find out when the broadband will now be activated. So, that takes us through to next week before I get my own connection. Oh NTL, how I miss you, I won't hear a bad word said about you in future. Let's hope things pick up soon. I got a 5 year contract with BT. :(

Posted by Dio Bach at 15:47 | 0 comments | links to this post
Saturday, March 10, 2007

First Tenby Shots As A Resident

Well, the move went OK, and our house in Cardiff is no longer ours - I hope the new owners enjoy it. Paying for the removal men was one of the best things we could have done. It was expensive, but watching them do all the work was worth it. The way my back is, it wouldn't have lasted the day.

So, now we're here in Tenby, our new home. Everyone's starting to settle in, the cats, Elis, me and Mrs Dio. Thanks to everyone who wished as well, blog readers and otherwise. We still lots of boxes to sort and unpack and IKEA furniture to put together - but we've already found time to go out on a couple of long strolls. I think there's a week's worth of unpacking to do, easily.

Yesterday morning I took Elis out for a long stroll, we took in The Esplanade, Castle Beach, the harbour and back to the playground near the Kinloch Court Hotel. The weather was sunny with a chill wild. It was glorious, just how I like it.

It's looking like I'm going to be in the market for a new camera. My Minolta is showing all the signs of being on its last legs as the focusing has gone screwy on it. I've always relied on the autofocus as manual focusing was always near impossible on such a small camera. It's the autofocus that seems to be failing, most of the shots are very softly focused and a bit off. It doesn't notice so much when I shrink them, but the originals are very poor.

I'm thinking of stumping up for a Canon EOS 400D DSLR, but I want a point an click job as well, I think my photography would get too laboured again if I used an DSLR all the time. I like the freedom of being a snapper.

Anyway, on to the photographs. Some views from the various locations. I couldn't do lots as I had Elis with me - so they're just some nice quite views and stuff from around where we walked.

Late Winter sun and shadows on the Esplanade at Tenby

Elis gets stuck in with a massive sand castle

St Catherine's Island in silhouette

Tenby cliff top houses

Slate covered houses in around Castle Beach, Tenby

Comedy sign on Castle Beach - FBM is the local Estate Agents

The view out from the Kinloch Court playground

Kinloch Court Hotel from the playground in an Edward Hopper stylee

Ah well, back to the boxes. Got to sort Poll Tax and parking permits ASAP. Oh yes, and thanks to Padidivers Tenby for the wireless connection, without whom this post would not have happened. Whoever or where ever you are - it's a life saver. :)

Posted by Dio Bach at 14:45 | 2 comments | links to this post
Monday, March 05, 2007

The Joys Of Moving House

It's all go - we're up to our eyes in boxes - the removal van gets here Wednesday PM and I feel like there's a lot still to do. As well as packing it's all the address updates and stuff to sort our as well. Fun and games.

Naturally, the first thing I arranged for the new house was the broadband connection. Unfortunately, it won't be set up until Tuesday next week. I'm hoping I might be able to pinch a wireless connection or something when I'm there - to keep me going till the line is connected. If anyone knows of good wireless spots in Tenby, feel free to drop a comment and let me know. Touch wood the move goes well.

Posted by Dio Bach at 23:42 | 5 comments | links to this post

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