Camp’s been good to me so far.

in Songs, Witterings by Adrian

The idea for this one came to me in the car yesterday morning when ‘Life’s been good to me so far’ came on the player.
So obviously sung to the tune of  ‘Life’s been good to me so far’.

I have a big tent, I forget the price
Ain’t never been home, they tell me it’s nice
I live in tents, no need for walls
I have mobile coverage for my calls

They say I’m crazy but I have a good time
I’m just looking for views
and this one is real fine
Camp’s been good to me so far

My camper van does 55
I take it easy when out for drive
I have a fridge stocked in the back
I will find my way down this dirt track

I’m lighting the fire, my friends they can’t wait
They send me texts tell me I’m great
So I got me a fire, marshmallows on a stall
Just leave a message maybe I’ll call

Lucky I’m sane after all I’ve been through
Everybody says I’m cool (He’s cool)
I can’t complain but sometimes I still do
Camp’s been good to me so far

I go to camp fires sometimes until four
It’s hard to leave even when there’s no door
It’s tough to handle this relax and rest
Camping’s so different, outdoors is best

They say I’m lazy but it takes all my time
Everybody says Oh yeah (Oh yeah)
I keep on going guess you’ll never know why
Camp’s been good to me so far

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in Witterings by Adrian

It’s the first of November and I have just been dodging step ladders in the Co-Op while they put up their Christmas decorations. It’s 54 days until Christmas and way too early for decorations. I love Christmas just not early decorations.. December is early enough.

More on this later…


in Witterings by Adrian

Nothing better than camping with open fires. We’ve been lucky this year, finding two great campsites that allow open fires. Both farms, both very friendly and both selling their own produce for us to savour.

Both we will visit again. I will add both websites to my links and link them here once home, I’m writing this while the sun sets and cooking some veggie skewers by the campfire.

It’s great to see all the families here with children enjoying the outdoors, playing in the woods, and enjoying cooking marshmallows.

We had a wonderful week, and wonderful evenings sitting by our little campfire enjoying a few drinks, enjoying the peace and quiet (no radios allowed), and admiring the stars.

Those links: Church Farm, Ardeley & Dernwood Farm, Sussex.

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Beer and Ice Cream Diet

in Witterings by Adrian

I stumbled across this at http://astro.berkeley.edu/~gmarcy/thermal/tpteacher/jokes/icecream.html, a diet that is much more realistic to keep to.

As we all know, it takes 1 calorie to heat 1 gram of water 1 degree centigrade. Translated into meaningful terms, this means that if you eat a very cold dessert (generally consisting of water in large part), the natural processes which raise the consumed dessert to body temperature during the digestive cycle literally sucks the calories out of the only available source, your body fat.

For example, a dessert served and eaten at near 0 degrees C (32.2 deg. F) will in a short time be raised to the normal body temperature of 37 degrees C (98.6 deg. F). For each gram of dessert eaten, that process takes approximately 37 calories as stated above. The average dessert portion is 6 oz, or 168 grams. Therefore, by operation of thermodynamic law, 6,216 calories (1 cal./gm/deg. x 37 deg. x 168 gms) are extracted from body fat as the dessert’s temperature is normalized. Allowing for the 1,200 latent calories in the dessert, the net calorie loss is approximately 5,000 calories.

Obviously, the more cold dessert you eat,the better off you are and the faster you will lose weight, if that is your goal. This process works equally well when drinking very cold beer in frosted glasses. Each ounce of beer contains 16 latent calories, but extracts 1,036 calories (6,216 cal. per 6 oz. portion) in the temperature normalizing process. Thus the net calorie loss per ounce of beer is 1,020 calories. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to calculate that 12,240 calories (12 oz. x 1,020 cal./oz.) are extracted from the body in the process of drinking a can of beer.

Frozen desserts, e.g., ice cream, are even more beneficial, since it takes 83 cal./gm to melt them (i.e., raise them to 0 deg. C) and an additional 37 cal./gm to further raise them to body temperature. The results here are really remarkable, and it beats running hands down.

Unfortunately, for those who eat pizza as an excuse to drink beer, pizza (loaded with latent calories and served above body temperature) induces an opposite effect. But, thankfully, as the astute reader should have already reasoned, the obvious solution is to drink a lot of beer with pizza and follow up immediately with large bowls of ice cream.We could all be thin if we were to adhere religiously to a pizza, beer, and ice cream diet.

Happy eating!

Other jokes from the Sydney School of Physics, http://astro.berkeley.edu/~gmarcy/thermal/tpteacher/jokes/jokes.html

School of Physics, University of Sydney

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Website A – Z

in Witterings by Adrian

After writing the post for the Google Instant A to Z and noticing quite a few of the sites I visit on the list I thought it was time I wrote my own A to Z.

So here it is.

A is for Amazon

Books and mp3s.
Amazon is a delight to use, not always the cheapest for books, especially specialist ones.
The site is easy to use and as used by many you can often find a variety of reviews on the books you are looking at.
I like the fact it remembers what I have brought so knows what to suggest. Yes it’s a marketing ploy to get me to spend more money but if I’m on the site I am there to spend money! What I don’t like is when they send me emails suggesting, which reminds me I must turn that off.

B is for BBC News

The BBC site is all good but my use for it is the news (and weather). It is always my first stop to find out what is going on in the world and the local area. Lunch times are often spent browsing the beeb to see if anything interesting has happened.

C is for Celtic Spirit

A wonderful drink I cam across at the Good Food show a number of years ago. I was very pleased with the taste and the nice warm feeling it left afterwards and even more pleased that they have their own website that I can order an extra bottle or two from when it has all gone.

D is for Dominos

Should I have a fast food listed in my A-Z? I do like their pizza and it does get eaten at least once a month. The other choice for D was my own website which would be a bit silly and egotistic.

E is for eBay

What can I say. Everyone has heard of eBay, and nearly everyone has used it. Not a big user of the site, but great for a bargain. I got my last phone there for £8.50 and will most likely do the same for my next (though this one has a lot of life in it yet!)

F is for Facebook

The website to tell everyone you vaguely know what you are having for lunch.

The site can be used or abused and too many people take it too seriously and the rest of us know it’s there for a bit of fun and stay in touch. I admit ashamedly it is the only way I stay intouch with some people, but at least it means I do.

G is for Google

Google is a search engine, Google is my friend. I am a BIG fan of Google. The results always seem better and more relevant than other search engines I have used. And I like knowing the answer, and if I don’t Google knows. My happiness with Google is complete knowing that I can take it with me wherever I go.

H is for Homebase

I usually shop instore but the website lets me find what I am looking for first. As we are doing a lot of work on the house (though we are taking it slowly) Homebase is often my port of call for bits and peices. The fact it is only five minutes up the road and open after work is a great bonus.

I is for IMDB

I like to know the answer. Watching a film and not knowing what I have seen them in before bugs me. IMDB, The Internet Movie Database, has the answers and allows me to rest easy at night.

J is for Jigzone

More a website for the wife though I used to play it a lot. I very large selection of jigsaws available to play online and you can even choose a selection of shapes and number of pieces.

K is for Kevin and Kell

Married life of a rabbit and a wolf. A brilliant comic strip set in a parrallel world full of animals that live pretty much as we do. Some of the jokes, especially in the early strips, can be computer based but that just adds to my enjoyment of it.

L is for Last.FM

Another website I often use, not directly but through my Roberts internet radio or the Xbox. Last.FM allows you to stream music to your device (or pc) according to certain tags or by artist. By artist will also play music by similar artists. Sometimes finds a hidden gem of an artist I hadn’t listened to before. And the best thing unlike normal radio if it does play anything you don’t like it can be skipped.

M is for Microsoft

I was a little loathed to make this M but the fact of the matter is I use their products and often use their websites too.

Windows 7, Live, Visual Studio Express, Office 2010 have all been used today and suprisingly the XBox hasn’t so Microsoft had to have a mention. I’m liking their products more than I used to, I think they really have got better over the years.

And the fact I have a reasonable development suite (Visual Studio Express) for free makes life easy.

N is for National Lottery

It’s only £2 a week but I am sure I would be a little bit richer if I hadn’t spent them. Nevermind I’ll keep my hopes up and one day I could get that email that says I have won a fortune.

O is for Ordnance Survey

Maps at the ready. Or more importantly if you haven’t got the map OS have.

P is for PlusNet

My phone and broadband providor. I have been with PlusNet a long time and have always been happy with the service (they have won awards for it). Used to be called FreeOnline, when they offered free dialup internet, and now owned by BT they have been through a few changes but have always been a reliable and value for money service.

Q is for Qimo 4 Kids

Qimo is a Linux distribution aimed at children from 3 up. It all looks pretty and is the choice of install for our net book, which will be our son’s first computer (who is 3). And might let me do something rather than watch nursery rhymes on YouTube.

R is for Ronnie Sunshines

Cast iron camp cooking equipment. We got a lovely pan and dutch oven which was put to good use over the summer holiday. They also keep a wide selection of knives and bush craft bits ‘n’ bobs. And if you are that way inclined guns, sling shots, bows and arrows as well.

Delivery from website has been prompt (next day) and the staff were very helpful when we went in the store.

S is for Scouts

My hobby and some weeks it seems my life! I have been involved in scouting for nearly 30 years (from when I was a Scout myself). As a leader I still get a lot of enjoyment, friends and weekends away out of it as I did as a Scout. Now I’m passing on what I learnt, sometimes hard work but it’s all good at the end of the day and would recommend it to anyone.

T is for TVGuide

Don’t buy TV guides. And there is no need to interrupt the programme being watched (or turn the TV on). This wonderful web site will show you what is on the TV, you can easily see what type of programme, change time and day and even select what channels you want to see.

U is for UK Campsite

I use this website every time we book a stay on a commercial site. We have found some great sites through here. Lots of info about the campsites and other peoples reviews helps me to decide if it is the site I want. Great search options and the ability to show children free sites and sites you can have a real fire.

V is for Vango

I didn’t really have any V sites, but I have visited the site recently when looking for a new sleeping bag for my son. And the sleeping bags we use already are Vango so it had to be worth a mention. Of course they do more than sleeping bags which you can find out all about on the site.

W is for WordPress

An obvious choice for W as the code behind this website, and some others I do, is WordPress. I used to fiddle about writing my own code but when thinking I wanted it to do so much more and a lot of writing I did some searching and found that WordPress had come on in leaps and bounds and would do everything I wanted. And WordPress is used by many sites, Number10 & CNN to name two.

X is for Xbox

Our home media system. The Xbox is a clever bit of kit that allows us to play our stored movies on to our TV as well as our stored mp3 collection and stream from Last.FM. Ofcourse it is a games machine as well, and though we didn’t buy it for that ability I do now have a collection of games that I can spend all night playing.

Y is for YouTube

YouTube has one main use in our home, to keep my son entertained and educated. I’m no good at remembering nursery rhyme words and awful at tunes but YouTube has them all. It’s a nice way to relax together before sending him up to bed.

Z is for Zune

Time for a movie and there is nothing on the TV and a trip to blockbusters is too much bother. Zune is the answer, allows us to stream movies (often in HD) through the XBox to the TV. It often has the latest DVD releases, so really does save a trip out.

So there you have it 26 sites that I use (directly or indirectly), some more often or not.

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Google A – Z

in Witterings by Adrian

I just found Google Instant and I like it.
So I thought I would have a play and a bit of fun!

What would be the top result from just typing a single letter?
This is what would give me 26 links (A to Z).

Really it’s 26 links plus a few more, where an addition or alternative is suggested in the comments for each result.
But firstly if you don’t know what Google Instant a quick quote/link from Google.

Google Instant

Google Instant is a new search enhancement that shows results as you type. We are pushing the limits of our technology and infrastructure to help you get better search results, faster. Our key technical insight was that people type slowly, but read quickly, typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30 milliseconds (a tenth of the time!) to glance at another part of the page. This means that you can scan a results page while you type.

A is for Argos

The one stop catalogue shop for all those items you really can’t be bothered to shop for. And once you realise it’s rubbish, doesn’t do what you thought or only needed for the day you can take it back again.

B is for BBC

A site I regularly visit especially for the news and weather. You can’t beat the beeb. And just in case I miss my fave shows there is of course the BBC iPlayer.

C is for Currys

Part of the Dixons group and one of the big ‘no personal service’ retailers. I’m not a fan, especially working for an independent retailer, where we do offer personal service and can give those little extras.
So two more links Euronics, the buying group behind many independent electrical retailers which give them more buying power than the likes of Currys, and Lea Electrics, the place I work and who will give you a much better service and deal on your product (plug plug plug).

So that’s 4 extra links so far!

D is for Debenhams

Another large group, though this time a department store. Yes I have shopped here, mainly good for finding christmas presents and the wife likes the furnishings. But there are still much better places to go. I do like the coffee shop and their hot chocolate at the Luton branch.

E is for eBay

What can I say. Everyone has heard of eBay, and nearly everyone has used it. Not a big user of the site, but great for a bargain. I got my last phone there for £8.50

F is for Facebook

The only community site I use, as do many many others. But how many people really do have 456 friends? I’m happy with 59, but how many of them are really friends? Shouldn’t there be a sections for work colleagues, family, aquaintences and I don’t know who you are but you asked me.

G is for Google Maps

Well it couldn’t be Google we’re searching from there, so it’s the next best thing. How would I ever know where I’m going with out it? Well on the ‘puter I always used Multimap but since Microsoft have ‘binged’ it up I am more inclined to switch to Google. The phone is always Google.

H is for Hotmail

To be more accurate Live. Microsoft’s service that brings Hotmail, Messenger and everything else together.
With the online office tools that make my life easier it’s another site that gets a regular visit, though I have never used Hotmail.

I is for ITV

A rarely watched channel at home. BBC always comes top of the list, mainly 1,3 & Cbeebies. With the ever expanding choice of digital channels ITV will probably be forgotten altogether by me. A channel that is worth a mention is Dave, it’s free, it shows old BBC stuff and calling a channel Dave is brilliant, especially as the +1 is Dave ja vu – BRILLIANT

J is for John Lewis

Another department store and one the wife is a bigger fan of. I like their food department (Waitrose) and the fact that even though we don’t have a Waitrose in Luton Ocado still deliver here. And recently I did a small price comparison of the local deliverying supermarkets and they worked out only a few pence dearer than Asda. Maybe I will have to compare a full shop and list the results.

K is for KLM

Royal Dutch Airlines.
Never been on a plane, so never used them. Can’t really comment on airlines. Once I’ve used one I’ll have an opinion until then…

L is for Lotto

The National Lottery. Hey I’m sure it’s my turn to win. Yes I am sad enough to play every week, best win is £65 but I am waiting for the big one! I do get emails daily from around the world telling me I have won big money on some lottery I’ve never heard of which you can read all about here.

M is for MSN

Another one for Microsoft.
Microsoft’s portal, offering local News, sports, MSN Money, games, videos, entertainment, gossip, weather, shopping, etc. And somewhere I never use. The BBC already have their link above where my news comes from.

N is for Next

NEXT! Usually full of too many people looking at overpriced sales! Or completely empty.
Not my place for shopping.

O is for o2

My mobile phone service providor. And a good job they do too. Never lost service, works nearly everywhere and now they do the simplicity sim I have a contract service that fits me without having to buy a phone I don’t want or need.

Though for the internet/blackberry abilities I wanted I have more texts and minutes than I would ever use. But I do have as much Google and emails where ever I am, especially to annoy the wife

P is for PayPal

The payment service of eBay, and used by other websites too. Easy and secure and not much else to say.

Q is for QVC

The shopping channel for quality jewlery and nik-naks. Okay, if it looks cheap and tacky or you really don’t need it you will find it here. And add up those really amazing offers (plus the phone charges and packaging).

R is for Rightmove

Not a website you would use everyday but we did use it A LOT when looking for our home. The new home search engine.

S is for Sky

The main subscription satellite service for the UK. I used to subscribe a long while ago, but it wasn’t worth it as I was still mainly watching the BBC, accept for the odd Sky1 sci-fi show. A much better option is Freesat, lots of digital channels from satellite, no monthly cost and in my opinion all most the good channels are there (no Dave).

One nice thing is Sky’s Skyplayer on the XBox, now if the beeb and Microsoft could add the iPlayer I would be more than delighted.

T is for Tesco

My choice of supermarket. Why? It’s a short walk down the road, prices are usually good and it’s the least annoying of the local supermarkets. Though this opinion may change once they have finished the extension and re-arranging the store. I don’t think I have walked out of store in annoyance which I have done at both Sainsbury’s and Asda (well never even made it through the door).

U is for YouTube

Well you would expect Google to put YouTube at the top. Second option was utube which FireFox tells me is an untrustworthy site and WOT (Web Of Trust) advises me to stay away when clicking. WOT is a very useful extension for FireFox and worth a link.#

V is for Virgin Media

Broadband, TV and phone all at a wonderful price. Or so the headlines say, until you read the small print.

I recently looked into changing service as our broadband is only 2meg as we are far from the exchange. But it all looked good until I read it carefully and noticed what was missing (the phone line charges) and it made the service to much more expensive. My choice PlusNet, provide phone and net, now owned by BT but cheaper

W is for BBC Weather

The beeb again. No complaints here and I use the weather site often and most of the time it’s correct.

X is for XBox

Our home multimedia centre, oh yes and it’s a game machine. Another site that I now and then but the XBox itself gets used everyday, mainly to play DVDs or other media.

Y is for YouTube

Already listed, good old Google getting there own services in first. But wouldn’t you?

Z is for Zara

Never heard of it! A quick look at the clothing website it only went online on the 1st September so it’s not suprising.

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Twigs For Burnin’ You Fire

in Songs, Witterings by Adrian

A song for a fire on a cold night ?

Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do

Do, do, do, do, do, do, do

Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do

Do, do, do, do, do, do, do

Tonight I wanna feel it all  from you

In the darkness

There’s little I wanna do

And tonight I wanna sit and rest my feet

‘Cause fire, I was making you

And fire, you were made for me

I got twigs for burnin’ you fire

You were made for warmin’ me

And I can’t get enough of you fire

Can you burn up all my tree

Tonight I wanna see it in your flames

Feel the magic

Fire’s something that drives me wild

And tonight we’re gonna make and heat my stew

‘Cause fire, you were made for me

And fire I was making you

I got twigs for burnin’ you fire

You were made for warmin’ me

And I can’t get enough of you fire

Can you now warm up my tea

I was made for burnin’ you fire

You were made for warmin’ me

And I can give it all to you fire

Can you burn it all for me

Oh, can’t get enough, oh, oh

I can’t get enough, oh, oh

I can’t get enough

Yeah, ha

Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do

Do, do, do, do, do, do, do

Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do

Do, do, do, do, do, do, do

I got logs for burnin’ you fire

You were made for warmin’ me

And I can’t get enough of you fire

Can you warm enough of me

Oh, I got twigs, you were made

I can’t get enough

No, I can’t get enough

I got twigs for burnin’ you fire

You were made for warmin’ me

And I can’t get enough of you fire

Can you warm enough of me

I got wood for burnin’ you fire

You were made for warmin’ me

And I can give it all to you fire

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Can I Play With Matches?

in Songs, Witterings by Adrian

Sung by a Beaver…

Can I play with matches?

Give me the sense to wonder

To wonder if I’m good

Give me the sense of wonder

To know I can light wood

Give me the strength to hold my hand still

Sit back on the floor

Don’t need to flee or put-out this fire

Gonna break down the walls

Break out and burn this door

Can I play with matches?

The Leader stared at my hands so small

Can I play with matches?

There’s no parent here at all

Can I play with matches?

The Leader looked and he laughed at me

Can I play with matches?

He said, “You’re here on camp to be, yeah”

He said that you’re here to be, yeah

I screamed aloud to the old man

I said, “Don’t lie, don’t say, I can’t play”

I say, “You play with these matches

At this fire and the next.”

Oh and then he fixed me with a smiling glance

And the knowing beamed in his eyes

He said “Do you wanna know the truth

I’ll tell you the truth”

You’re now gonna burn some twigs in your own fire

Can I play with matches?

The Leader stared at my hands so small

Can I play with matches?

There’s no parent here at all

Can I play with matches?

The Leader looked and he laughed at me

Can I play with matches?

He said, “You’re here on camp to be”

Can I play with matches?

The Leader stared at my hands so small

Can I play with matches?

There’s no parent here at all

Can I play with matches?

The Leader looked and he laughed at me

Can I play with matches?

He said, “You’re here on camp to be”

I CAN play with matches!

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in Songs, Witterings by Adrian

I’m the camp fire starter, flaming instigator.

I’m the fire addicted and backwood proficient.

I’m a firestarter, district firestarter,

You’re the firestarter, district firestarter.

I’m a firestarter, district firestarter,

I’m the backwood teacher, fire infactuated.

Help cook the food you tasted, greatly appetizing

I’m a firestarter, district firestarter,

You’re the firestarter, district firestarter.

I’m the self instructed, fire animator.

Yeah, I’m the one invested district detonator.

I’m a firestarter, district firestarter,

You’re the firestarter, district firestarter.

I’m a firestarter, district firestarter,

Starter… starter… starter…

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