Pools Update

Last week was a bit of a disaster, lots of draws knocking about, but only managed to pick one scoring draw 🙁

Draws: 3/10 Burnley, Hull*, Hearts*

Homes: 2/5 Rangers, Dundee

Aways: 3/5 Celtic, Charlton, Rochdale

Here’s the predictions for this week

Draws: Port Vale, Tranmere, Cheltenham, Peterborough, Scunthorpe, Aberdeen, Exeter, Wycombe, QPR, Sheffield Wednesday

Homes: Arsenal, Rangers, Aston Villa, Dundee, Gillingham

Aways: Chelsea, Man Utd, Celtic, Partick Thistle, Northampton

Post Office Broadband

Been busy travelling again, but thought we were overdue an update on the great broadand switchover of 2009. It was actually pretty much a non-event, I was away in Alderley Edge on the day we switched over and by the time I got back the phones were already with the Post Office (1571 message had changed) but Virgin broadband was still working via the Netgear router. That was just because it had been connected for days though, a bounce of the router and it would no longer reconnect.

So far so good then, broadband had switched over to the Post Office but unfortunately they hadn’t supplied the username and password for the router. Instead they provide a preconfigured Zyxel router for you to use, so we plugged that in and it worked first time. Unfortunately as a router its rubbish, and as pre-configured by the Post Office its a positive menace.

Using the default admin password of 1234 and leaving the configuration ports open to the internet is not a good combination, so plan was to extract the username and password from the router and plug them into the Netgear. Logging into the router clearly wasn’t a problem with the default password, and the ADSL admin screens showed the username in the clear (annoyingly similar to the broadband account name but not quite the same) and the password as a row of blobs.

Fortunately in keeping with the general naffness of the Zyxel router to see what the password actually was you just needed to do ‘View Source’ in your browser, so we plugged the details into the Netgear and the switch over was complete.

Its been working flawlessly for the last couple of weeks, and we’re getting about 25% faster downloads than we did from Virgin – and for half the price.

Pools Update

Its Saturday morning again so time for a quick recap on last weeks efforts, and some predictions for this week.

Last week was a mixed bag with defeat for the tooth fairy and a perfect score on Home wins

Draws: 2/10 Cheltenham, Queen of the South

Homes: 5/5 Arsenal, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Norwich, Celtic

Aways: 2/5 Man Utd, Rangers

Here’s the predictions for this week

Draws: Burton, Bradford, Burnley, Hull, Leyton Orient, Hearts, Bristol Rovers, Barnet, Dagenham & Redbridge, Doncaster

Homes: Chelsea, Rangers, Tottenham, Man Utd, Dundee

Aways: Celtic, Charlton, Leeds, Man City, Rochdale

Everyone’s a Winner

Well we didn’t win the pools (although we did ok with the home wins) and the tooth fairy is still waiting on the other wobbly one, but it has been a successful week otherwise. Megan won a rather nice Sony digital camera in the raffle at the School Fair last weekend, which was followed up by a massive £10 win in the Lotto draw Saturday evening.

The cherry on the cake was when we found out Megan also won a writing competition at School – her poem will be published in one of the Young Writers’ Poetry Explorer books next year.

Winter Poem

Winter tastes like tomato soup.
Winter smells like hot chocolate.
Winter feels like being cosy in the house.
Winter looks like snow.
Winter sounds like jingle bells.

Megan Bamber (7)

Candy Floss & The Tooth Fairy

Megan is particularly attached to her teeth, and has been cultivating a couple of wobbly ones for some months now – strategic chewing and tooth brushing mean that a bit like a Weeble, they wobble but they dont fall out. At least not until last night.

After the parade we were wandering the village making the most of the free wine and shortbread when Megan spotted the Candy Floss stall, and managed to twist Grandad’s arm for a bag. Unfortunately for Megan the second mouthful grabbed hold of one of the wobblies and managed to turn it right round –  ‘I can feel the smooth bit from round the front at the back with tongue!’ to quote Megan. Although she did say it with a bit of a lisp and one or two tears, which is little harder to convey using the written word.

Unfortunately for Mum and Dad the tooth was still wedged between its neighbours and not for falling out of its own accord – and Megan was all for turning it round and shoving it back in. However as a life of soup through a straw loomed, a judicious flick of the toothbrush (‘I promise I wont go near the wobbly one’ – guess she’ll not fall for that again) saw said tooth fly across the room.

The Tooth Fairy left five pounds under the pillow last night (and in the middle of a credit crunch too), but this time it did at least manage to make off with the tooth – I think it’s got designs on the other wobbly one though.

As promised here’s the predictions for this weekend :

Draws: Wolves, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Hartlepool, Tranmere, Walsall, Aldershot, Cheltenham, Partick Thistle, Queen of the South

Homes: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Norwich, Celtic

Aways: Liverpool (might regret that one), Chelsea, Man Utd, West Brom, Rangers

Wobbly Teeth: Tooth Fairy

Only time will tell…

Christmas is Coming…

…and Megan is doing the Yuletide Parade round the village this evening with the Brownies (let’s hope its dry – its sunny just now so fingers crossed).

A quieter week this week in terms of travel for me, but last week included a day trip to Aberdeen and a weekend working in Glasgow on the back of an expedition to Shetland. There’s only one flight per day from Glasgow, and its a relatively small turbo prop that is prone to landing at an unconventional angle to combat the strong sidewinds at Sumburgh.

Made it there and back in one piece all the same, but Sumburgh must be the only airport where to get from the car park to the main road you have to negotiate a level crossing – over the runway! Seriously there’s flashing lights, barriers and a ‘look out for aeroplanes landing’ sign. The ‘Ahead Only’ markings on the road are useful too, helps to stop you from playing chicken with the 15:30 to Aberdeen.

Working again this weekend (Highland Council this time but fortunately its remote so I don’t need to go to Inverness) and next week will include a trip to Alderley Edge but also some days at home.

There may be some broadband fun to be had next week too, my annual argument with Virgin to try and get a good deal out of them went badly the other week. We had been paying £7.50 a month for unlimited broadband and free evening and weekend calls, but our line rental was still with BT (who can be intensely annoying in their attempts to get you to switch your calls back to them). We just wanted to switch the line rental to Virgin (who are finally offering this as a service) but they seemed to think that £37.50 was a good deal for unlimited broadband, free evening and weekend calls and line rental.

We were only paying around £15 a month to BT for line rental so clearly that wasn’t going to happen, so one MAC code later and we should be getting unlimited broadband, line rental and free evening & weekend calls from the Post Office for £20 per month. The switch over should happen on Monday, but I’ve no doubt there will be some teething troubles to report next week.

Last weeks pools predictions were a bit rubbish, but in my defence there wasn’t much thought went into them – it was all a bit last minute.

Draws: 3/10 Aston Villa, Scunthorpe, Motherwell

Homes: 2/5 Celtic, Hibernian

Aways: 3/5 Man Utd, West Brom, AC Milan

I’ll take a bit more time over this week’s efforts (will post them tomorrow) but they probably won’t be any better…