January 05, 2008
What Did I Go And Buy That For?

Strap Schneier into a chair in a room with my two girls attempting I Try on SingStar and he'd hand over his private key in minutes.

I'd post a recording, only there's the Geneva Convention...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 06:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
January 01, 2008
Now That's What I Call Service!

I bought Mum a copy of MarsEdit for Christmas. She loved it - ever wondered where I got my nerd genes from? ;-)

Anyway, she was having trouble getting a couple of her inexplicably large number of blogs up and running with it - and somehow Daniel Jalkut, MarsEdit's author, spotted her blog post and came and helped her out. Wow - you don't get Bill helping the frustrated Vista victims out, do you? And that cost far more than MarsEdit.

He was pretty positive about a change I suggested recently, too.

So, MarsEdit is now even more highly recommended than it used to be.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 08:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
Baby Jack

Jack and I having a nice chat.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
December 04, 2007

Bebo seems to be all the rage with the primary school attending demographic all of a sudden. Both my girls are on it, terms of service or no, and were squabbling over the computer all weekend. It's sort of like a Fisher-Price Facebook.

I'm happy enough for them to be on there, so long as I watch over their shoulders to make sure they aren't up to no good. Besides, we've had the whole "The Internet can be a dangerous place, don't trust (or especially meet) strangers" talk, and they are smart girls.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
November 08, 2007
Baby Jack

Jack Brunning

All together now: ahhhhh. This is Jack at circa 24 hours old, sleeping like an angel. Dan and Abby had better not get too used to that.

Update: More photos uploaded now.

More shots, courtesy of Uncle Jim.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 10:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)
November 07, 2007
I'm An Uncle Again!

Jack Brunning was born yesterday evening. Mother and baby are well, despite a rather lengthy labour. Well done to Abby, and congratulations to her and to little bro' Daniel.

A boy in the family at last - well done!

Photos when I have them.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
October 09, 2007
The girls and I rowing at the weekend...


Thanks to Tony for the photo. T-shirt by xkcd.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
January 30, 2007
Hello Charlotte

I seem to have stumbled across SVoC's posting screen again. While I'm here, I'd like to welcome Charlotte Williams Rose to the world. And well done Cathy.

Now, Charlotte - when are you starting a blog?

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
February 23, 2005
Freja's pictures

Freja seems to have discovered email. I've had three from her today, which is really nice.

She's asked me to put a couple of her pictures on the Internet. Here you go, Freja:

Freja's picture

Freja's picture

They seem to have shrunk in the wash. Still, not to worry...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 05:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)
October 11, 2004
PC World

I've been PC buying with my brother Dan, and new sister-in-law Abby for the last couple of weekends. They wanted to meet me at PC World - what a mistake.

I've never bought any serious kit from PC World - and I never will. Their incompetence starts to take on a kind of epic grandeur after a while.

The notebook that they sold Dan and Abby turned out to be sold out - hence the 2nd visit. They then proceeded to try to sell us a number of other notebooks that had sold out. Having been caught out like this before, we kept asking then to ensure that they had some stock, and every time they went off for five minutes, only to sheepishly return and admit that they didn't.

In the end, we went to Comet instead, and picked up a nice little Toshiba Satellite. Which I'll be setting up for them this evening.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (32)
September 20, 2004
The act of removing weeds from one's garden

You'll have to be gentle with me today. My little brother got married this weekend, and I'm a little fragile today.

I've put up the first of what will probably be a number of image galleries - Dan & Abby's Wedding, September 2004.

A few highlights; the bride and groom, the bridesmaids (my daughters and nieces), the bride and groom with the best man and ushers, with me on the left looking pretty dapper, if I do say so myself.

Thanks to Les for these pictures. If you have any more, please send them to me...

Update: Another gallery. These pictures are from Mum, which is why they are mostly of my sister and I, and of our offspring. ;-)

Update 12th October: A late entry, this - yet another gallery, this one featuring the lovely Laura, Claire and Cass, and the not quite so lovely John and Dan. ;-) Thanks to Keiran for these.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (14)
September 13, 2004
She's Got a Bottom!

Freja and I met up with Neil and his girls for a visit to The British Museum yesterday. It was a huge success.

I wasn't by any means sure that it would be. I've taken Freja to the V&A a few times recently. She is happy enough for an hour or so, but she's getting bored and restless by then, so we decamp to the wonderful Science Museum, which is only a few minutes away. And our visit to The National Portrait Gallery didn't go at all well...

But The British Museum was lots more fun. The girls spent a fair amount of time running around, elbowing each other and saying things like "you can see his willy" and such like. Well, shouting to begin with, but Neil and I got them calmed down a bit fairly quickly. The dead bodies were also big hits.

Unfortunately, the Roman galleries seemed to be closed. Freja's looking at the Romans in her topic work, so it was a shame that we missed that section - Freja really wanted a look.

Lunchtime was a bit rough on the pigeons - the girls spent most of the time chasing them. But they needed to blow off a bit off a bit of steam having been kept quiet.

We finished off with Mummy: The Inside Story. We all loved this. The girls liked the gory details of mummy preparation, particularly the brains being pulled out through the nose. I loved the theory as to how the mummy got its hat.

You see, the mummy has what what looks to be a shallow pottery bowl on its head, somewhat like a skull cap. This is the only mummy to have been found with one of these, and since the workmanship of the bowl appears to be pretty rough, its unlikely to be of ritual significance. No, the theory runs that this was on of the embalmers bowls which got stuck to the corpse's head with resin during the embalming process. Rather than own up to this, the embalmers simply wrapped the mummy's head up with the bowl in place. They thought that nobody would ever know! People never change...

Museums are always tiring, especially when you have a good time. Freja and I were both totally knackered on our way back to Reading, and by the time I was back in Colliers Wood again I was nearly comatose.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
August 24, 2004
Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

It's not just my Mum who's getting all 21st century - my Aunt Kathy (or Great Aunt Kathy as I keep encouraging the girls to call her) has a web site up to publicise the Mersea Seafood Festival, which she's helping to organise.

You won't be seeing me there, though. I can't stand seafood - it smells like pants - and if you are willing to sample Mersea Vineyard wine, you are braver than I am.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)
August 20, 2004
Thanks, Mum!

Mum's just called to tell me that she's bought be an iPod for my combined birthday and Christmas present. Thanks, Mum!

Posted by Simon Brunning at 09:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)
July 01, 2004

Just a little update on Dad's condition: He's over the painkiller side-effect issue, which is a huge relief. This has meant that he's had to come off the Codeine, though, so the pain has come back a bit more. Still, he's back on the road on steady improvement, so all's well.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
June 28, 2004
Three steps forward, one step back

Dad took a turn for the worse this weekend. It wasn't a serious problem, but quite uncomfortable; a side effect of the pain-killers that he's been taking. A real shame - he's been making very good progress otherwise.

Nothing to worry about, but not very nice for Dad. Things are a little better today, too.

I bought him a 2nd DVD player on Sunday, to go in the bedroom. He has been and will be spending a lot of time there, so it seemed a good idea. Besides, you can pick up a cheap-'n'-cheerfull player for fourty quid these days. Amazing. I also took over a pile of my discs for him to watch.

Oh, and don't forget - it's his birthday tomorrow.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
June 25, 2004
All quiet

All quiet on the Dad front at the moment. He's a little better every day, but it's going to take a long time 'till he's back to 90%, and that's as far as he's likely to get - but that's good enough. We were worried that we wouldn't have him around at all, so 90% is all that we can ask.

I got him a couple of Dad's Army DVDs for his birthday - that'll keep him occupied.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 07:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
June 22, 2004
A nice little walk

Dad went for a little walk yesterday, 30 yards down the road to his old friends Les & Eva's house. My brother Daniel and I were along, but our support was mostly moral rather than physical. Mostly.

He was absolutely shattered when we got home. He's on the road to recovery, but it'll be a long road.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 04:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
June 21, 2004
Home again

Dad's back home. He flew in to Gatwick yesterday, and was brought back to the house by ambulance, arriving yesterday afternoon. I wasn't able to be there when he arrived - I was delivering the girls back to their mother - but I managed to get back not long afterwards.

Dad's fine mentally, but very frail physically. He's been almost totally immobile for two weeks, and eating no solid foods, so what muscle tone he had is now totally gone. He can't do stairs unassisted at the moment, and I can't see him making it out of the house for some time to come. The GP will be visiting later, so hopefully he'll be getting some good dietary and exercise advice, and some good drugs - he's still in a lot of pain.

He was advised at one point that he shouldn't drink tea! That's a cruel blow to an Englishman, but thankfully he's now been told that tea is fine as long as it's not too hot.

One surprise was that he's got two badly broken fingers on his left hand. Compared to the other problems that he's been having, this is pretty trivial stuff, but Dad will be upset if he's no longer able to play the bass. :-(

Posted by Simon Brunning at 02:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
June 18, 2004
I spoke to Dad

He's sounding a million times better. Soon after he was taken ill, he was slurring badly; now he just sounds tired. He's still pretty fragile physically, but we hope to get him back soon.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 01:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
June 16, 2004
On the right track

Dad's very much better now, I'm glad to say. He's totally fine mentally, thank goodness, but he's still a bit fragile physically; he gets tired extremely quickly. He should be coming back to the UK some time early next week, hopefully.

Posted by Simon Brunning at 03:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
June 14, 2004
Get well soon, Dad!

My Dad's pretty poorly. He was on a Med cruise last week, and on Tuesday he fell over and banged his head. This triggered an epileptic fit of some kind, which triggered what seems to have been a TIA - his second. He was taken to hospital in Corsica, the next landfall.

As if this wasn't bad enough, in the small hours of Thursday morning he started coughing and throwing up blood from his lungs and stomach, and was rushed to the ICU. Thank God, this turned out to be relativly minor - esophageal bleeding due to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease exacerbated by total immobility. I didn't get much sleep that night, I can tell you.

He's stable, out of the ICU, and very much more comfortable now, but we still don't know when he'll be well enough to travel back to the UK. Thankfully, he's not on his own.

It's been a fraught few days...

Posted by Simon Brunning at 12:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)