I've not posted any of my photos recently, mainly due to a lack of time. So, rather than burden this homepage with a massive batch of images, I've set up a gallery page with the big splurge of images instead. They've all been taken between the end of August and yesterday. You can visit the full gallery of images here, and follows are a couple of what I consider the cream of the crop to tempt you over.
Well, can't believe October is almost done, this means I've been self employed now for 16 months, and to be honest - it's flown, I'm enjoying this life too much, as hard as it is sometimes trying to keep everything ticking over. I have to say I've enjoyed every minute of it, you'd never get me back in an office now. So what have I been up to recently? Well, there's a lot of change afoot, so I'll bore you a bit with all the stuff going on.
The biggest news is that we're about to buy a house. We've been renting in Tenby since March, but now we've decided we're going to settle a few miles down the coast in Saundersfoot. If you remember, that's where we were originally going to move to back in March, but had to change at the last minute. The place we're buying is on the hill above the harbour.
It's a bungalow with lots of potential, a really cottagey feel and big back garden which will keep both the cats, Elis and Mrs Dio occupied. We're expecting to complete in the next few weeks, and be in before Christmas. In the meantime I'm going to be doing a shed load of work to tart the place up before we move in. That'll be fun and games, but I'm actually looking forward to the break.
On the work front, there's been lots of bitty stuff that doesn't really sound impressive, but none the less has taken up a lot of my time. There's only been one new site to shout about. It came from a drunken night recently when my parents visited. My father and I stayed up late polishing off a bottle of whiskey and trawling eBay looking at the price of Fender Stratocasters. He's a big guitar fan, he's been playing live to pubs across South Wales for decades, but recently packed it in.
Anyway, we were looking at what was up for auction and I spotted the price that some of the vintage Fender Stratocasters were selling for, and instantly saw a website opportunity. So, with out further a-do I set about creating Vintage Strats - another BANS site. I've still got some loose ends at the site that need attending too, but that's about it.
Along the way I got to play with CaRP, a RSS to HTML converter that I've looked at in the past but never ventured into. The MagpieRSS I normally used is getting a bit dated and isn't as featured as CaRP, so I wanted to try it out. It took a while for me to get my head around, but in the end I got there, and now it's powering the Stratocaster News, Stratocaster pictures and Videos pages.
The other bitty stuff has involved lots of content, fiddling with international ad-serving via the latest version of openads and making my first ever video blog for Playing Bingo (yes it's cheesy, I know...) And speaking of Playing Bingo, I spent a couple of days in London at the end of September at the 2nd Annual Online Bingo Summit. It was a good break and provided a large amount of content for the site.
I also completely redesigned my Chav Test site to make it a lot simpler. I have to do this to a couple of older sites I've made and forgot about, to try and unlock their potential now that they've aged a bit and I'm a bit more savvy about how to make them work for me beyond Google's AdSense programme. All in all, at the moment I could clone three of me, and they'd all be gainfully employed 24 hours a day. Busy times, lots of fun, lots to do...
So, for years I've been a caffeine addict, generally five to six cups of well stewed tea a day. So I was watching something at the weekend, and decided the time had come to quit my addiction. I've been feeling that the tea wasn't so much waking me up as knocking out the negative effects caused by caffeine dependency. That's kind of what smoking was like, smoke to relieve the negative effects caused by smoking. I think it was Diet Doctors or something I'd watched, and it mentioned caffeine and the effects it can have and it acted as a spur to get out of the tea fuelled rut I was in.
From Monday, I stopped drinking tea. I gave up once before, and remember getting bad headaches for a week after it. Well, the same has happened again. But worse than that, I've been suffering what can only be described as Flu. My back aches, my joints are all sore and it's a struggle to sit up for any length of time due to the discomfort. I've had headaches as well, and also been really tired. I thought I'd got ill at the same time, but as it turns out, it seems this is just the effects of the caffeine withdrawal.
It's pretty powerful stuff caffeine, given its acceptability and dominance. Reading around it, it only takes a small amount a day to get addicted, but most people don't realise they are, as their intake is regular enough to not hit the withdrawal stage. In many people though, that morning hit is not the coffee waking them up, it's the removal of the withdrawal symptoms the drink causes.
I've been sensing this was what was happening with my tea drinking. And I've found already, despite the symptoms of the withdrawal, I feel more awake, or at least as awake and alert as I did drinking the stuff, if not a fraction more so. My concentration seems to be improving as well. Now if this aching body could just sort itself out, I'd be on to a winner...