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Sun, Jan. 18th, 2009, 01:20 pm
Travel to Miami

So with the time difference I have no idea how long I was up yesterday but I got up in time to meet my work colleges at Edinburgh airport at 8:30 to begin the journey.  After the usual hanging around the airport we then got on the flight to London.  thankfully we were flying with BA so it was a connecting flight so no need to worry about baggage and more security.  A quick stop at Boots to pick up suntan cream and a couple of single use cameras and we were on the plane to Miami, the class was world traveler so was quite comfortable once i had taken the tablets the doctor gave me.  I watched hellboy 2 and Dangerous liasons listened to music and read my book.  It was still a long trip and I was very glad to get off.  Then of course we had to do immigration nearly an hour queuing, not really what you want after a long flight. 

When we finally got out of the airport it was a quick drive to the hotel in the Miami each area.  The Circa 39 is an art deco style building and is an OK hotel, bit scruffy and faded grandeur really, though not bad for a budget hotel.  A quick wash and we went out for dinner and then i started enjoying things.  We got a taxi to Ocean drive and wander around till we spotted a restaurant we liked. It's specialty was crab and lobster and not badly priced.  I had the lobster special and we sat outside and watched the people go by.  Once the meal was over we wandered up ocean drive looking at all the little stalls - still open at 9pm local time.  One thing I really noticed was the number of people wandering around with their dogs, the hotel we are in also takes pets.  A drink in the hotel bar and we called it a night at 12pm local time.

It is currently 8:30 local time and  have had breakfast and am waiting to be picked up from the hotel to do an Everglades boat trip and visit to a gator park. On my own as my colleagues were not interested, am I allowed to say good.  Hopefully I got the booking right and a buss from the tour company should pick me up soon.


Fri, Jan. 16th, 2009, 12:52 pm
Work have great timing

 So Sunday is my birthday I and normally I would be going to the Ceilidh to celebrate, but work in their wisdom have decided that I need to go to a web design conference.  Not only that but seemingly they can't find an appropriate on in the UK so tomorrow morning I have to get a flight at 8.30 to go to Miami (only returning late on Friday).  Now I am not normally against trips with work but I am a nervous flier and Miami is a nine and a half hour trip.  Also although Miami sound exotic there is not a lot to do there apart from drink and sit on the beach or round the pool.  Not really my idea of a good time.  Especially given that most of the time will be taken up with going to the conference and I am not that fond of the people I am going with.

I think that on Sunday I will have to play the 'it's my birthday' card so I can go and do what I want with the day rather than hanging around with them all day.

So my birthday celibration has moved to the next weekend and Saturday the 24th so I will be going out for a drink in the evening.  Not that I have chosen a pub yet, but keep a space in your diary.

So I may be out of communication for nearly a week but I am hoping that I can get internet acess from the hotel so I can keep in touch.

Mon, Oct. 13th, 2008, 12:17 pm
Dolphins at Dunbar and Podengos

Yesterday we went to Dunbar for the monthly dog walk that Nora organises. We haven't been since Tara hurt her leg but thought that she would be up to it now. The walks was good and Tara behaved well and all the dogs managed the walk fine, though they are tired today. The high point of the walk was seeing dolphins playing just off shore. It is the first time I have seen them in the wild. I managed to get a few photos and they may not be good but they do prove that the dolphins were there.

The weather was very good and the dogs proved much easier to photograph.

More photos at:


Once we got home I posted the walk photos on the forum and one of the other members though that Alfie looked like a Wire haired Portuguese Podengo. Having never heard of them I did a search on the web and surprisingly loads of dogs looking just like Alfie. So quite a surprise for us as we thought that he was a mix of all sorts of things. Of course he may not be a Podengo but he looks very like one.


Link to google image search for Podengos:


and on the Podengonedio (medio is the medium sized ones) web site:


Look at the 9 year old at the bottom of the page.

Fri, Sep. 19th, 2008, 12:50 pm
Holiday post soon distractions now

So we went on holiday to Wales last week and as usual I haven’t written a holiday report yet, and am only part way sorting through the hundreds of photos that I took.  It doesn't help that I got distracted with edits to one photo.

So far one of my favorite photos is of Alfie our little old dog and newest member of the family. We were in a little antique carriage pulled by a narrow gauge steam train and he had gone to sleep on the floor.

I got into a discussion about him and the photo on a rescue forum I am a member of so had a go at improving the photo in PhotoShop so we got this:

I did the following:

Put a green cast on the white wall and tidied up the discoloration on the pale parts of the wall
Repaired the seat
Removed the bolts
Removed the seat supports
Used the burn tool to over expose the edges a bit more for a better edge to the circle of light

Lisa from the rescue that Alfie came from said "Its so lovely to see the old Bear out and about and full of life and enthusiasm." Which reminded me of the conversation about how Alfie looks a bit like a teddy bear and how he reminds me of the

lines in the velveteen rabbit children's book.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Alfie is an old dog and has his problems, poor eyesight, kidney troubles etc. His foster mum loved some fur off (shaved for his hernia op), then we loved some more off (shaved for a blood sample). So he might be a scruffy boy but he is a very real dog.

Wed, Jun. 25th, 2008, 01:41 pm
Happy Birthday Tara

Today is Tara's third birthday. 

When we got her she was only small.

Then she grew a bit:

And then she grew a lot:

So tonight when I get home we will do a special dinner and Graham should have lots of presents for her (treats in boxes and tubes wrapped in scraps of wrapping paper).

Wed, Jun. 11th, 2008, 10:07 am
Anyone looking for an IT Job

Just in case any of you are interested I am currently looking for a new developer to join my Internet Development team at Schuh. We are also looking for a developer for the other IT team.  The job adverts specify 2+ years experience but we would also look at applications from someone happy to go into a more junior role and be trained up.

If anyone is interested or wants more details just let me know.


Two new opportunities have opened up in Schuh for Software Developers. Both roles would suit someone with a passion for IT, who is always keen to learn new skills and try something new, but who is also flexible enough to be able to support and develop core business systems.

The first role in the Web Development Team will be to continue to enhance our online presence. The successful candidate must be experienced (2 years+) in each of the following areas: Coding HTML, JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), ASP, SQL Server and IIS

You must have the ability to work in a small team as well as taking responsibility for your own projects.

Knowledge in any of the following areas would be advantageous, but not required: ASP.net (VB), Ajax, Payment Gateways, Replication or experience of distributed web sites, Project management and knowledge of Internet Security (SSL).

The second role is within the team which develops software for our many in-house stock and sales management systems. This team provides high levels of service to Head Office users and so the successful applicant must have very strong skills (2 years+) in the full software development life cycle using Visual Basic and SQL Server. Good interpersonal and analytic skills will be required to liaise with users to determine their requirements, to test and refine software and to maintain existing systems

Thu, Mar. 6th, 2008, 12:54 pm
What did you make at the weekend?

So I gate crashed the LARP weapons workshop that Kieran arranged at Skian Mhor.  Not that I went to make LARP weapons, been there done that and never used them.  I just like to go and play with all the workshop toys that Sean has and to pick his brain on making things.  So what did I make, strangely only one thing, I decided that I want to get into making nice leather collars for the dogs. So I spent all weekend designing and making a dog collar for Tara.  I didn't quite get it finished at the workshop the colour and buckle were put on last night at home so if you were at the workshop this is how it looks now.

I also came a way with a pair of demon wings  (bought) and a set of horns that Sean made and I painted up and loads of ideas of other things to do.  I also have a mould to make greyhound shaped ornaments as well.

Thu, Feb. 21st, 2008, 09:43 pm
Pipe dreams


I want this or something like and it sounds like a bargain at £825,000 but so out of my budget and Aberdeen is a bit far away as well.

Details and more photos here:  http://www.countrylife.co.uk/en_GB/property/details/property/47342

I can dream.

Tue, Feb. 12th, 2008, 01:47 pm
Meme (there not memes really) stolen from Bracknellexile and kashandara

Describe your life in six words

If you describe me in six words, I shall do the same for you.

"Trickster in training. Child at heart"

Wed, Feb. 6th, 2008, 04:26 pm
The Great Christmas Cake and Games Day Party

Saturday seems to be free of other events, and we've got all this Christmas Cake and games and such, so...

This Saturday (9th Feb), from around 2pm, Claire and Graham invite you to a gathering at their home. We will be eating Christmas Cake, chatting, maybe playing some games, and generally being sociable. We'll provide some pizza (home made), etc. but ask people to bring some booze and/or snacks. As always, lifts to/from Linlithgow station will be available. Let me know if there's anything else you need to know.

Hope to see you then.

Just a thought could anyone who may be coming round to ours on Saturday let me know? Unless you already have. Just so we have some idea how much food to buy...

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