Month: April 2005

Wee Free Men

Now that we are in Dublin, we can get books,cd’s, dvd’s out of the library for no charge AND reserve books for no charge too. This is great as it means you can choose what you like and as all the libraries are linked it typically means you don’t have to wait long until you get the item you want. However if it is a recent dvd then you might have to wait a long time. One of the items that Kristen reserved we were the 667th person on the list so I cancelled the reservation. However on other books that we have reserved I’ve got the items in 2-3 days.
Anyway, Wee Free Men was on the shelf in the library and was the next Terry Pratchett book that I needed to read. Oddly enough it was in the teens section and not in the fiction section but I guess it is a kids book. It was still pretty funny and very similar to the rest of the Discworld series and Granny Weatherwax even makes an appearance. The only downside about reading the books in america is that you don’t get the good cartoons on the front cover (as in the amazon link posted earlier) that you do with the uk editions. Actually in this rare case I prefer the US cover. After Josh Kirby died, the illustrations on the books haven’t been as cartoony as they used to be. It only took me a day or so to read whilst cuddling cats so it goes back to the library later this week.
I also got Teach yourself MovableType in 24 hours out to see what it is like. I skimmed the first few sections as obviously I know how to install and use MT otherwise this blog wouldn’t exist. It did seem like a fairly good tutorial although the troubleshooting section was pretty vague. In the authors defence, I wouldn’t want to write a troubleshooting section on installing MT – like most software packages there are an awful lot of things to go wrong.
I’m more interested in the template section of the book but I have not had time to get to that bit yet and I’m resisting the urge to skip straight to that section as there might be something useful in the earlier bits.

Mp3 player arrives

My Creative Zen xtra arrived yesterday and as with all electronic things nowadays I had to wait 4 hours for the battery to fully charge. By then it was bedtime so I only got the chance to have a quick listen to some of the classical tunes before going to bed. However I’ve had a chance to use it a bit today and here are my thoughts.

MS Spyware alerts and alerts and alerts….

I installed the MS antispyware on the parents in law (PIL) computer and although it didn’t find anything it does have some funny things going on.
If I log on as me I get no alerts from the application. However if I log off and then log on as the PIL I get 3 alerts pop up as below. However these only occur if I’ve logged on before they have. I can’t work out what application keeps changing these settings as there is nothing obvious in the startup list. Any ideas?
Interestingly, the url redirects to

Internet Explorer URLs alert

Internet Explorer URL for Search Bar has been allowed to be changed from to This URL is in the user’s allowed Internet Explorer URL list

Internet Explorer Security Settings alert

Occured on: 4/27/2005 at 10:12:49 AM

An Internet Explorer security setting & Warn about invalid site certificates and has been granted permission to be changed. This setting is in the user’s allowed security settings.

Internet Explorer Explorer Bars alert

Occured on: 4/27/2005 at 10:12:48 AM

Internet Explorer Bar Microsoft Shell Browser UI Library c:\windows\system32\browseui.dll has been granted permission to be installed. This program is in the user’s allowed Explorer Bar list.

About Internet Explorer Explorer Bars: An Explorer bar (band) is a panel like the Favorites, History or Search panels that you see in Internet Explorer or Windows Explorer.


When people ask me what the difference is between american living and english living I can tell them a little story….

In england, when you go to a drivethru and ask for some ketchup, you end up with englishketchup.jpg 
However if you go to an american drivethru you end up with

Google Search History

If you have a google account for groups or gmail then if you sign into the account and then go to the SearchHistory page then it will record the searches you have done for your later perusal. It also changes the page to include the searchhistory results as a link. Very handy if you are using multiple computers and know that you found the answers on one of them during a google search.

The first couple of days

Kristen woke up early the next morning and went downstairs to see the cats and found that Winston had found his way into the closed off area of the basement and Basil couldn’t be found anywhere. We subsequently found that he was hiding under the stairs, wedged in as far as he could go and it was a hard job pulling him out. Unfortunately he was not very happy with the move and was still pretty scared. Every sound had him running to the far corner of the room where he could hide. (However you’ll be pleased to know that he is now fine). By this time Frankie and Winston were back to normal and were playing like they’d lived here all their lives. Sometimes i’m sure Frankie has a memoryspan comparable to a goldfish.

Thursday morning we went to the Social Security and I filled in the form to get a number. It is very difficult to do anything in the states without ones of these and why they don’t give you one as you get your permanent resident visa I don’t know. I now have to wait a week for the number to arrive in the post (they don’t give numbers out immediately) which means I can’t apply for a driving licence, credit card or mobile phone under my own name yet. We then went to see the bank to enquire about our credit rating/mortgages and we both applied for a credit card to improve our scores. Kristen had a credit rating from when she lived in the states previously so that helped a great deal, but we are now waiting for my SSN before the card application can come through.
We’ve also got new mobile phones which are quite a bit different to those in the uk. In the States, Nokia phones are very much in the minority and the majority of phones are flip covers. There are about 3 or 4 major networks and we chose Verizon primarily because with two phones on the same network you can talk between them (and any other phone) at any time for free. (and for $5 a month you get unlimited text and picture messages too). Thankfully most of our friends and family are on verizon apart from Kristens Dad so we shouldn’t get any nasty suprises.
We got the phones from Radioshack which seemed to have the best deals that I could find locally and the guy that served us is the owner of the geocache behind the shop so we had a good chat about that too.
I also got a new wireless hub for the computers upstairs. I had brought mine with me but as its an adsl modem I had suspicions it wouldn’t work easily in the current network (cable modem) setup. Also I didn’t bring the uk power supply so I would need to get a US one, and that costs $20 yet I could buy a new wireless router for $29 from bestbuy (after rebates!) That was installed yesterday and works great and I get coverage in the basement too (which is where I am typing this from).

Later on today we get to go to the spring game at Ohio State’s football ground. (A Spring Game is where the offensive play against the defensive and is like a training match that anyone can come along to.) Really looking forward to that and I hope it doesn’t rain. Hopefully we have some decent seats so I can get some good pictures.