Friday, 29 May 2009

I've been Paintballing today !!!

And I have to say it's probably the most fun you can have with your clothes on !!! Although the downside is that when you get hit it does leave a rather nasty welt/bruise on you......and it BLOODY HURTS !!! but you do wear full face masks and they do offer body padding..... the face mask yes.... but body padding is for wusses !!! ;¬)

I only got hit on my right bicep, one on my left shoulder and a partial one on my left wrist.... thankfully that's all the damage I took... the strange thing is you don't actually feel it very much other than the initial "THWACK" but that's only momentary and you just get on with blatting the other guys..... it is a bit disconcerting hearing them zip over your head when you break cover and run like a lunatic though.... The xbox recluse took a real pearler to his neck just behind his ear.... that had to sting ..... Unlucky !!

we went to the new one in Glanamman (sp) near Ammanford on probably the hottest day of the year thus far and spent the entire day running up hills and running down hills..... I am absolutely cream crackered tonight.....

do you see the picture above ???? this particular one was taken from a paint balling website..... I suspect they are trying to glam it up a me there are no women like that running around in the woods...... it's more like this

Even so don't let that put you off it's pretty damn good for getting rid of any aggression you might have pent up...... there was one guy there who zipping the balls past me and had me completely pinned down until one of my team mates distracted him..... that's all I needed.... I mounted a full frontal assault screaming at the top of my lungs blatting away .... I must have hit him about nine times in all starting at his shin and working my way up his body in a nicely spaced join the paint ball collage of colour all in a matter of five seconds.....needless to say he surrendered.....

do it .... it's FUN !!!

Monday, 25 May 2009


The beach didn't happen, it was pretty overcast this morning and other than a brief burst of sunshine at about midday that was it.... so we decided to cut the three lawns we have instead, which is no mean feat when it uses about two tankfuls of 4 stroke petrol to do them all... I did manage to learn something though .... NEVER strim fungus, I ended up smelling like a punnet of gone off Tesco value mushrooms but to my credit I didn't actually see the fungus until it was too late.... and in that split second I made the wrong decision.... ahhhh well

Andrea has upped the anti on her running she did 5km today which she is pleased about, I'm actually seeing a real change in her body shape.... not that it was bad before, far from it... she is just more toned overall .... but that's exercise for you .... does wonders especially when you stick to it like she has...... :)

I spoke too soon on the broadband problem it's dropped back to 500kbits/sec on the BRAS profile after a drop out on the Signal to Noise ratio and retraining down to a sedate 576 Kbits/sec.... weird thing is once the modem was rebooted it shot back up to 2.6Mbits with 6db SNR instead of -2db !!! So I think we are talking interference on the line here what though is beyond me.... all I can do is tell when the line is noisy for ADSL

I had Mr Gupta from BT ring me to ask if the problem had been solved..... "NO !!" I said "it's dropped back to the world wide wait speed" .... completely wasted on him of course, I'm guessing Indian humour is a bit different in Mumbai, anyway we are now faced with another three day wait for the BRAS profile to update AGAIN !!! I'd change broadband suppliers but I've a feeling that would be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire..... :(

It's been a lovely day today....

Quite relaxed and very sunny.... Freya has been pottering about in the garden pushing her pink pushchair around and generally pestering me to take her for a bike ride on her bike... which of course she can't actually ride yet, but she likes to sit on the seat and she thinks she's riding it.... so that's all that matters really.....she is such a sweet well natured little girl..... but we are starting to see some naughtiness surfacing.....

As for me....well I've managed to repair a touring bike that was left in one of the sheds... it had become overgrown by the ivy since before we moved into our house and when we were shown around our house before we moved in...... the previous people mentioned there were bikes in one of the sheds.... well I say shed... it's huge and at the moment contains all our junk... anyway I was considering getting another bike as my old one was left up in St Asaph because the front fork bearing had gone and I simply didn't have the money to repair it then... and as I was wishing I had brought it back, I remembered what the guy had said about there being a bike in the shed.... so off I went and ripped it out of the death like grip of throttling ivy, honestly not expecting much for my exertion and it turns out it's a hand made Carrera Italian 24 speed touring bike with an original price tag of well over £450 possibly more !!!

On first inspection it looked like it only needed an alloy back wheel and replacement tyre after the previous owner had very obviously curbed the wheel and put a kink in the wheel you wouldn't believe.... I tried to re-align the wheel by spoke tensioning but it was too far gone for minor I contacted the Italian makers via their website and email and they wanted £125 for a new alloy back wheel alone !!! I couldn't swear in Italian neither could I breath very well after hyperventilating at the price..... it didn't take me long to realise though that I could very probably get a very "similar" non Carrera wheel at a fraction of the price.... I ended up going to a local bike shop in Carmarthen and paying considerably less for my alloy wheel and new tyre.... I've got to be honest it doesn't look any different from the original.

I have to say you can tell it's a quality touring bike and after tuning up both the front and rear dérailleur gears so that they changed up and down all 24 gears..... and making sure the brakes were good...... it's a fantastic bike so smooth to ride and FAST !!! I think it will give me many years of service..... the saddle is a bit vicious though.... that may have to be changed.....

Shadow boy has learned to ride his bike as well..... although he is a bit dangerous at the moment, he thinks he can ride it like a pro AND without using his brakes.... either that or he simply forgets he has them.... he crashed into Freya today she's ok although he knocked her flying.... she's a bruiser though and a tough little cookie.... it wasn't long before she was up and playing again with no serious damage.... Shadow boy who was visibly upset for having knocked his little sister for six immediately blamed his brakes saying they were too stiff for him to operate..... I pointed out that he was incorrect in his assessment of his braking system... but even so checked them over and found no fault with them...... pilot error methinks !!!

Hopefully we are off to the beach tomorrow either Telpyn point or Morfa Bychan not sure yet and that is of course if the weather holds.... no doubt the teenagers will want to stay at home and either MSN or Xbox themselves to death..... whateva innit.....

Friday, 22 May 2009

The joys of BT Broadband

We've been having trouble with our broadband of late, it dropped down to a pedestrian 149kbits/sec which is barely faster than the days of the 56k modem connection...... Anyway after various calls to BT's wonderful first line broadband support based in India and manned by lobotomised script monkeys, who if you deviate off their pre-written scripts have a mental breakdown on the spot.... I eventually got through to somebody in this country, who :-

A) I could fully understand
B) They could fully understand me
C) Didn't apologise every other word
D) Seems to have fixed the problem

I sent them this pretty picture :- (click on picture to get a better view....although it's not compulsory.... it's pretty boring in fact unless you're into S/N ratios and bitswapping or HEC and FEC errors)

anyway after he had a look at it he came back and said "hmmmm your line noise is greater than your signal, that's the problem Sir !!" so after I awarded him the prestigious "no shit sherlock" award for outstanding deductive skills.... he pumped up the volume on the exchange and we got this pretty picture instead :-

needless to say we now have more signal than noise and are connected at a blistering 2.3 Mbits/sec..... (believe me that's blistering out here in the sticks where we live) ......although our BRAS profile is still set to 250kbits/sec (Broadband Remote Access Server) that apparently will take up to 24 hours to up the speed to something above a slug on valium..... fingers crossed it works because I have my MAC code and I'm not afraid to use it BT !!!

ohhhh and for those interested in monitoring their ADSL modem/circuit the software used was RouterStats available at :-


Saturday, 16 May 2009

Thank God it's Summer (ish)

Our Oil Boiler packed up last week, the ignition circuit fried itself so we have been hovering between hypothermia and shivering with only the £5 an hour electric fan heater to keep us warm....

The central heating bloke eventually turned up and did his stuff, he wasn't too happy with the state of it, we calculated it hadn't been serviced in at least 5 years (and no that isn't our boiler pictured above)

A new one will have to be purchased methinks and plumbed in before the two weeks of sunshine that we call summer in Wales has gone and we fall into Autumn around the end of July time ;¬)

I've still had no luck on the job front, it's getting worse I fear, the amount of jobs available are dropping on the various websites I visit and even the job centre website has less to offer..... the family is doing ok, the Xbox recluse has just taken his ICT exam so we'll get to hear about that at some point and he is off into Carmarthen this afternoon job hunting seeing as he has practically finished school now bar one exam left.....he only wants a job for spending money.......since we stopped his pocket money at 16 he's beginning to realise not all things in life are free !!!!

I'm slowly going mad with this house husbandry business.... my mind is starting to slowly dissolve under the strain and bombardment of the mind altering day time TV..... I did manage to get out and have a walk on the Pembrokeshire coastal path the other day, and that blew some of the cobwebs away.... and I am seriously considering saving my pennies for the purchase of another mountain bike... I wore the other one out up in North Wales.... it's probably still sitting there underneath the steps in St Asaph in the little house I used to live in rotting away.... well practically every bearing it possessed was worn out... it needed retirement it simply wasn't safe in the end....

Andrea is shedding the pounds she's taken up running again... I have to say the difference is noticeable but she wasn't fat to start with....but you know women .... never happy with what they have....

right time to do stuff ..... although what I don't know