Thursday, 28 June 2007

Q. What's Green and Cone Shaped?

Google Hate U

Following on from the embedded slideshow story, I just found another really useful feature in Google's products that appears to have been available for ages, but only if your language is set to "English (US)". I was looking for a Greasemonkey script or Firefox extension that could easily add stuff (selected text, information from emails etc.) to Google Calendar and discovered that, if you can't spell harbour properly, there is already a feature in Gmail that will sniff out some event information from your email and display an "Add to Calendar" link. It's pretty cool although I would suggest some improvements, like automatically setting the Description in the calendar entry to be the full text of the email, and allowing non-US folks access to it. I still want an extension so I can select any text and create an event using a Google Calendar Quick Add style thing though.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Give him the sack!

Lachlan's school sports were supposed to be last week but the weather was terrible. Fortunately the rain stayed off long enough for it to take place today. Lachlan managed to get 2nd in the relay and his team came 2nd overall, so he was quite pleased. The main thing is that he said he enjoyed himself and didn't come last in anything!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Mosaic Update

I've managed to find some time recently to get a bit more of the gecko mosaic done. I decided the corners were going to look a bit bare so have added greeny-blue reedy plant type things to the design.
Posted by Picasa

Tar Party

Yesterday we had the first ever (as far as anyone knows) Queens Road Street Party, held on the tar outside our garage, and called "The Tar Party" by the kids.
The idea started a while ago when Vikki and her friends decided it would be a good idea to try and get the whole street together for a few drinks so that everyone could get to know each other.
Everyone was asked to bring along some food and drink and it worked out pretty well: the rain stayed off (just), over half the street turned up (which gave us a good chance to talk about those who didn't), everybody seemed to enjoy themselves and there was heaps of food (cooked, uncooked, and overcooked) left over so I assume everyone had plenty to eat.
There was even talk of doing something similar again at some point in the future so it can probably be regarded as a success.
Definitely a good idea - a nice way to get to know your neighbours, and an excuse to drink beer all afternoon.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Sports Day

Today was sports day at Calum's nursery. Strictly non-competitive of course, but they appeared to have great fun, running through things, ...

...getting up close with girls, ...

...wanging wellies, ...

..., and getting a medal and a big hug from his Nannie.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, 14 June 2007

MapMyRun - new feature

If I sound a bit tired, that's because I've been out running with jogscotland this evening. We did the run which should appear below. Nothing very remarkable about that, but I found some new features on MapMyRun including a nice feature that makes the line follow the road (it saves a lot of time rather than having to put in multiple points round bends). Also, I wanted to try out the "embed map in blog" feature.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

The Silence Of The Woodland

Yesterday we went for another jaunt up Bennachie, this time ascending to the highest peak, Oxen Craig (after which Vikki's primary school house took its name), from the Back O' Bennachie car park (where I once camped during my Scouting days). It was a good walk and the weather was warm, but a drifting mist at the top cooled things down a bit and reduced visibility quite a bit.
On the way up, we noticed some interesting carvings - a rock set in a burn with the message "the tumbling of waters is the teeming of life" and a path of stones leading to a stone seat with the words "the silence", "of", "the woodland", "is", "the sound", "of", "calling birds". Very interesting, especially when walking backwards.
We also managed to save some mice that had got stuck in a barbecue bin and saw a bright green spider, a big bug thing, and a black millipede.
On the way home, we stopped to see the Maiden Stone which looked more worn than we remembered but I think that's more to do with the erosion of our memories than the stone.

Here's Vikki and the boys getting ready to start the walk.
This is the men at the top.And here's a panorama taken from Little Oxen Craig.
There are some more photographs on the Picasa ablum. Click below to see them.

2007-06-09 Oxen Craig

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Where have all the carrots gone?

As reported a wee while ago, I planted some tatties, some carrots, and some onions in the garden.
And everything started growing well: three nice rows of appropriate shaped leaves sprouted out of the ground and were looking pretty healthy. I even allowed myself to feel a little bit pleased with myself and started looking forward to those tasty vegetables.
Then, this evening, as Vikki was cutting the grass, I noticed that the little carrot leaves had gone. Gone! Not just nibbled away a bit, but gone. All except two had completely disappeared without trace.
Any explanation or advice would be gratefully received.

Sunday, 3 June 2007


Welcome to "My So Called Blob"! A blogger collection of nonsense and photographs about me and the family. Hopefully you'll enjoy this as much "Iain & Vikki: It's our Blob" which I may yet go back to. You never know.

If you went up to the woods today...

Well, the open air pool opened today but we decided to give that a miss - we'll wait for better weather and avoiding the first day rush (the pool opened at 11:00, but the queue was already forming at 10:05 when we went to the indoor pool).

In the afternoon, we took a walk up to Dunnottar Woods where the Forestry Commission were doing some stuff. We played Giant Connect 4 and Giant Jenga....

...played some cool tunes on a giant xylophone...

...and then we had a go at bodging, under the guidance of Dan Dan, the Forest Man (as I like to call him). We all had a play with some axes, a shaving horse and drawknife, and then a foot operated lathe. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to produce a smooth finished product of any use, but it was very good fun.

The boys also assembled some little woodpeckers which were pretty cool as well.