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Monday, 28 February 2005
Smisby sunrise


This is the sunrise in Smisby this morning as seen through the skylight in my bedroom.  The snow on the roof is visible in the bottom left corner of the picture. I suspect it has melted by now, even though we had some more light snow during the course of the day.

I was somewhat taken aback by the recent news: Pope appears at window. Tomorrow I expect the headline Pope is a Catholic.  Still it must be a sign of his greatness, because it took Mary over 2000 years to appear on a piece of toast

While everyone’s thoughts turn to the tricky question of succession, someone bold has come up with a suggestion that looks forward not back.  While this would no doubt be comforting to the world’s 992 million Catholics, there must be some concern that this would leave our country in the lurch during a difficult time. We were all looking forward to backing Blair in the forthcoming general election, as the only leader who can lead us onwards and upwards (possibly to rapture itself).

Posted by bigblue on 28/02/2005 at 10:11 PM
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Sunday, 27 February 2005
Snow joke


The latest in a regular series of photos that I post showing Master Park, this time after the light snowfall this morning, and not from the usual angle.

My lame headline and story of the day comes from icBirmingham:

The weather has already claimed the life of a 20-year-old man when he smashed into a tree while sledging on Sunday night.

Mark Young, from Ashington, Northumberland, died following the accident on a snow-covered slope.

Heavy downfalls affected eastern Scotland and England as well as parts of the Midlands, south Wales, and Northern Ireland yesterday. The Met Office yesterday warned that the infrastructure of the country would be tested as the bad weather continued.

A spokesman said: ” Although many of us haven’t seen any snow yet this year, be warned—forecasters are keenly watching developments through this week, with a real possibility of some significant snow in the south.”

(The story dateline is 22 Feb 2005)

Posted by bigblue on 27/02/2005 at 01:31 PM
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Saturday, 26 February 2005
That will be the high one


Yesterday was another busy day at work, so catching up on my news today I find that two Brits are off to the USA to embark on a defiance campaign.  Apparently they want to test barmy laws (such as that banning whale-hunting in Utah). Strange that, you wouldn’t think they would have to leave the UK. They could have spoken to Charles about barmy laws

As I mentioned a while back, I am the proud owner of an alpaca scarf, knitted by Mac.  It arrived just in time for the recent cold snap, but I am experiencing a slight problem: It seems to be charging me with static electricity so that I suffer a shock when touching the kitchen sink (easily solved!), light switches in my apartment (more tricky), or other people (an interesting conversation piece).  As a result of discomfort I have reverted to using my polar fleece scarf for the past week, and will save the alpaca for special occassions.

Knitting is apparently fashionable at the moment.  The Guardian recently reported on political knitters, and a current exhibition.  The exhibition is by the Crafts Council, and there is more information about the political aspects of knitting here (nice links too).

Posted by bigblue on 26/02/2005 at 05:17 PM
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Friday, 25 February 2005
We don’t <3 it


The snow is melting, and there is not much left although the weather forecast (BBC - not Firefox friendly) for Ashby-de-la-Zouch is suggesting that the temperature will drop to -4 Celcius tonight and -6 Celcius on Saturday night.

Today I received the following email:

From:Mrs.Tiffany Scott,

Please forgive my indignation if this message comes to you as a surprise I got your contact from a database found in internet while searching for a reliable and honest person that will assist me to execute a divine project.I was divinely inspired to pick your name among other names found in the Internet database. After series of prayers and fasting for Gods direction.

I am Mrs.Tiffany Scott a citizen of Georgia undergoing currently medical treatment. I am married to Dr.Andrew.G.Scott who worked with the France Embassy in Georgia for nine years before he died in the year 2000.We were married for eleven years without a child.He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.

Before his death we were both born again Christians. Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $3.6Million (Three Million six hundred thousand U.S.Dollars) with a finance/security company in overseas.The money is inside a big box, but nobody knew that the box contained money apart from me and my late husband, the box was deposited as Photographic Material.

Presently, this money is still with the Security Company.Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not live for the next three months due to my cancer problem. Though what disturbs me most is my disability to move around which is a partial paralysis. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to help the dissabilities centre , church or better still a Christian individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein.

I want a church or an individual beneficiary that will inherit this to use it for churches or orphanages and widows and propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is beautified. They said blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband’s relatives are not Christians and I don’t want my husband’s hard earned money to be mis-used by unbelievers.

I do not want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner,hence the reason for taking this bold decision. I am not afraid of death because I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bossom of my Saviour.

If you will be of assistance, I will surely appreciate and thank you for your kindness in giving me this help.

Waiting for your urgent

Thank you and God bless.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs.Tiffany Scott

The email headers of this message contain some more information:

X-Apparently-To: ##########@##########.### via; Fri, 25 Feb 2005 19:10:03 +0000
Authentication-Results: ######.####.###.#####.###; domainkeys=neutral (no sig)
X-Originating-IP: []

Received: from (EHLO (
  by ######.####.###.#####.### with SMTP; Fri, 25 Feb 2005 19:10:03 +0000
Received: from mail pickup service by with Microsoft SMTPSVC;
Fri, 25 Feb 2005 11:10:01 -0800

Received: from by with HTTP;
Fri, 25 Feb 2005 19:09:27 GMT
X-Originating-IP: []
X-Originating-Email: []
X-Sender: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
From: “Tiffany Scott”

Subject: From:Mrs.Tiffany Scott
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 19:09:27 +0000
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 25 Feb 2005 19:10:01.0211 (UTC) FILETIME=[9AC7FCB0:01C51B6D]

I would have thought that some of the headers are faked, but perhaps not…  (although I have censored some of the information that might identify me).

Here are some interesting facts:
The Tiffany Scott domain is Microsoft.
The first X-Originating-IP: is Hotmail.
The second X-Originating-IP: is Skylogic Italia.
The mankindmail is Microsoft.

So this person connects to the Internet via an Italian internet service provider, and uses MSN/Hotmail accounts to perpetrate crimes?

Posted by bigblue on 25/02/2005 at 09:18 PM
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Thursday, 24 February 2005
New Golf


An unusual view of my car, buried by 10 - 15 cm of snow that had fallen overnight (and continued to fall most of the day, either as snow or sleet).

If you haven’t seen the new advert for the Golf 5 you should check it out.

One of the most iconic scenes in the history of cinema has now been changed to show Gene Kelly rapping and breakdancing to a club-mix of Singin’ in the Rain.

Makers of a new car advert received permission from the Gene Kelly Foundation to give the rain-soaked scene a new twist which features three break dancers and body poppers performing a number of modern dance moves against the same backdrop as the 1952 original.

The original star’s face was then mapped on to that of the dancers, who follow the same route Kelly takes in the street, with the aid of computer wizardry.

Now the late Hollywood star appears to be somersaulting, body popping, and break dancing.

The TV and cinema advert has been made to promote the latest Golf GTI, an update of the original.

The song which accompanies it is a remix of the original, created by dance music duo Mint Royale.

Designers created replica streets to look exactly like they did in the film, which was set in the 1920s, and cranes were used to match the camera angles.

Volkswagen communications manager Catherine Woolfe said: “The idea behind the commercial is all about the fact that the new Golf GTI is the original Mk I, but updated for 2005.

“The latest Golf is seen as a classic and iconic car and we really wanted to show that in a very unusual and memorable way.”

More information here.

Posted by bigblue on 24/02/2005 at 11:49 PM
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More white stuff


This is the scene looking out of my bedroom skylight this morning.  Vast tracts of this country were unable to cope with the recent hawthorne winter (a term to describe a late cold snap, at this time of the year when the hawthorne bush is already flowering).  Stories here, here,  and pictures here.

Tomorrow is dress-down day at work. On the last Friday of the month we come to work in civvies, pay a fine and buy and sell foodstuffs (all the money going to a charity).  My client is big on raising money for charity.  I felt like baking today, so spent the evening baking a chocolate brandy cake (with the assistance of my mate Ken Wood).  The cake will be sold off in slices tomorrow as part of the fund-raising.

Posted by bigblue on 24/02/2005 at 11:18 PM
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Wednesday, 23 February 2005
The Courtyard


This photo shows the thin layer of snow in The Courtyard this morning, with a clear patch where my neighbour’s car was parked overnight. 

This evening I had my first unwanted popup advert in a long time. I was shocked when it happened, because I was (still) using Firefox and have become used to the superior experience that Firefox provides.  Furthermore, the information bar showed a message that one popup was blocked.  So, I asked myself,  how did another popup get through.  Still, with Firefox it is possible to plug this hole.

Posted by bigblue on 23/02/2005 at 09:09 PM
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As I was saying yesterday


This is the view from my apartment in Smisby this morning, looking over the courtyard at the barn where the chickens roost at night.  As I speculated yesterday, these birds are clearly shy of the cold white stuff.  Their barn is not particularly large, but you could drive a tractor through it (as the farmer frequently does). 

Talking of poultry, I see that the World Health Organisation is warning of a possible bird flu epidemic.

Posted by bigblue on 23/02/2005 at 08:06 PM
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