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...that we haven't got any heating in the office. Again.

See, since I walk in, the building feels warmer than the outside world, and therefore it doesn't immediately register that it's cold. The drivers who've come aways, though (thus discounting the short-hop folk where the cars don't really warm up) definitely do notice.

The same thing happened yesterday; it's just that yesterday, we didn't have snow settled on the ground.

In other news, the tangential discussion on this week's Football Weekly was collective astonishment on the panel's part that Jimbo (the host) hadn't seen Pretty in Pink nor The Breakfast Club nor The Goonies (yeah, 'football' weekly :-) Also good for learning how to poach eggs). He had, somewhat redeemingly, seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Lost Boys. For my part, I've not seen Pretty in Pink, nor the Breakfast Club and I'll also volunteer the cultural disadvantage that is not having seen St Elmo's Fire, nor even Heathers.

Any other 80s classics that I should've seen?
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Having mentioned Edge of Darkness in the previous post, I thought I'd amble over to the Wikipedia entry, where the following sentence struck me:

The series' director, Martin Campbell is filming a remake...

Awesome! The original director, filming a remake. YES!!!

...for release in 2010...

And I don't even have to wait that long for it!!! *bounces*

starring Mel Gibson

WTF??? *ded*
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Nothing is quite as suave as only realising that you've dribbled toothpaste down your jumper after you've sat down at your desk in the office.
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I actually have two XBoxes/XBoxii/XBoxen; one is at The Farm, and the other is/was here at Castle Fox. The latter was a relatively recent acquisition, in that I bought myself an XBox Elite at the end of November.

Well, this morning it died on me after barely five weeks' service; not hugely impressed, although I have to credit Game with at least swapping it over for a new one with absolutely minimal fuss, and the new machine is about to be plumbed in once I've finished typing this post.

To be honest, I had my doubts about the old Elite; I'd mentioned to Colleague N that the dashboard seemed to ... stutter, when scrolling through different panes, and I'm sure that it was noisier and, well, coarser than the Farm-based 60GB machine I bought a year ago. So mebbe I was just landed with a dud.

Of course, google "red ring of death" +360 and you'll get a whole wealth of hits warning you how spectacularly unreliable the 360 is. I'm somewhat sceptical of such a dramatically bad picture, and was when I bought the original 360 in 2008; certainly, the launch incarnation of the console was appallingly bad, but the thing's design has been tweaked year on year, and reliability has supposedly improved markedly (depending upon who you listen to).

The 60Gb was a Falcon, whereas the Elite was a Jasper, supposedly the newest, and most reliable variant. So on my totally statistically significant sample of 2 consoles (out of, what, 34,000,000?), my preference is leaning towards the Falcon (which is a bit tough, since all the motherboards are now Jasper anyway).
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It feels like it's been a long day: Castle Fox to ex-Brother-in-Law's house and back in day. 400 miles, c8 hours driving, so as to pick up P.

Anyway, because I knew I'd be out of the house for longer than my five hour Mali-threshold, I took the hound with me; he had a good walk through the woods with P and his cousins, even if the world was just a little muddy.

Anyway, it was a long drive down, so I stopped half-way, to let Mali have a break from the Fox-Mobile. And we got to the target abode c1.30ish, just after lunch (I purposefully timed it so that I'd miss lunch there, it not being practical to join them with Mali in tow). Then we had the walk, and then P and I (and Mali) set off back to Hull.

By about 5ish, I was feeling hungry, and P opined that whilst not exactly wasting away to nothing, some sustenance would hardly go amiss. However, I didn't really want to leave Mali in the car whilst we had a meal proper, so we went for the lazy option, and a McDonalds Drive-Thru.

McDonalds doesn't have a wealth of options for vegetarians, but their Spicy Veggie Deli thingy's OK, so that's what I ordered. P had a cheeseburger. We pay at one window, and crawl forwards to Window 3, where the attendantette hands us a milkshake (correct) and a bottle of water (um, nope), which really should have been the clue.

The water was promptly changed for a fruit juice, as ordered, but when the bag of food itself was handed over, the girl was already looking behind impatiently at the queue of cars, so we set off without checking.

So it was only once underway that we realised that we had someone else's order; given that I had Mali in the boot, I didn't want to get into parking up, explaining the mix-up to the staff and waiting for a resolution, so we just made do as was.

On the positive side, though, at least it meant I had the right change for the Bridge.
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So, it's a bit chilly in our office this fine morn.

The heating engineer's just been round with his snazzy laser-pointer-thermometer thingy, to reassure us that we're all not actually freezing, and in the process, explained the philosophy of the heating installation we're enjoying.

And it goes like this: the panel radiators around the walls, which have just been fitted with thermostatic valves, run off recovered heat from the air-conditioning system. This is considered a supplementary system to the panel-heaters.

What panel heaters, we wondered, in a state of collective perplexity.

The ceiling mounted ones, came the answer.

Huh. OK - that'd be the ceiling mounted panel heaters that we can't see because of the polystyrene-tile-based floating ceiling that we have, then? Thought as much...

Aside from the fact that hot air isn't well known for falling downward, there's also the slightly odd design decision of then placing an insulating barrier of polystyrene betwixt what little gravity afflicted thermal action might be headed our way and us poor code monkeys.

And all this topped off by a radiator system running off the recovered heat from the air-conditioning, such that when the air conditioning is working hard, the radiators are warm (positive feedback loops FTW!), and when the air-conditioning isn't running, said beasties are stone-cold.
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Mali is fed a special diet - although he does his best to supplement it with assorted burger and kebab remnants as left thoughtfully on pavements far and wide in this fair city, the basic staple is Burns Fish and Brown Rice (since you asked).

Which, if I may lapse into pet-food ambassadorial mode for a moment, is great stuff.

And until today, I didn't think it was that pricey, either - a 7½kg bag does us (well, actually, just Mali, since I don't partake) for a month, and normally hits me for £23.

Imagine my mild consternation earlier today, then, when the shop assistant rang the new bag through at £22,109.99! This was one occasion where I decided to shelve the standard-issue British reserve (part of the standard complement of functions gifted to those of us born in this green and pleasant land, alongside the legendary stiff upper lip*, a fabled Sense of Decency™ and an alleged fondness for a peculiar game known as 'cricket') and query the charge.

The second attempt was more to my liking, at £2.99, but the shop was less thrilled at this (being an 87% discount - I mean, I'm a good customer of theirs, but I'm not that good).

So it was a case of Third Time Lucky (and incidentally, I've noticed in fics of US-origin, that people seem to favour 'third time's the charm' in the colonies, whereas such sounds distinctly odd on this side of the pond), and I thus avoided having to re-mortgage Castle Fox to keep Mali in the type of lifestyle to which he has become accustomed.

* - my own stiff upper lip is not so stiff, being as I arrived with it in kit form, so to speak
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Now that's inspiring, no?


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