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Steve Hooker's Radio: kids, war, blogs, gadgets: A Welsh man in the wrong country, going home

Independent web developer. Graphic designer, web designer, Frontier developer, Manila hoster, latest project: intranet build for Government Office of West Midlands (UK), committed blogger since 1999.
See more details on services and more personal background who and where.
Click here to send an email to Steve Hooker email 'spam free' or phone on: inside UK: 0800 849 6413 or outside UK: +44 1952 271 671 or mobile (and txt): +44 7903 940 427

01 May 2005   


I've moved my blog

how to invest in Equifax shares in Hong Kong Mainly, because it's much simpler, mainly because Radio Userland is dying at Userland. Manily because I can't see a commercial reason for staying with Radio Userland.

So, I've gone back to Manila, or my take on Manila.

Over on BlogFootball I support hundreds of Manila blogs, and slowly that community is growing into other directions like shropblogs.org.

So if you could update whatever you want to update, my blog is now here or here.

I've actually been at the blogFootball Service site since Jan 2002. While the blogfootball community has been going since July 2000! I first started posting with Manila in December 1999.

One day I'll put all these sites or rather all my postings from many, many sites together in one site. One day


2087 Also posted to: cybersaps . At: 4:28:40 PM  . .
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14 March 2005   


Big John at GOWM

day trading platform in Hong Kong Here's the dude, John Garland, in front of his cabinets. Due to the recently announced cuts in the civil service, it sounds as if there will be no IT department. It'll probably be outsourced. But don't tell any one, because it'll scare the horses.

What do you mean Steve?

Well, most of the civil servants are ex pen pushers, ink and quill pens! And not very computer literate. Having someone in the building who could come down and help has helped. Telephoning someone to try and explain the problem so they can figure out what the problem is before they can offer a solution is going to be... problematical.

john Garland


2086 Also posted to: GOWM . At: 2:38:54 PM  . .
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Brad's pouting kisses

day trading platform It's going to have to be my mission in life, to capture the definitive picture of Bradley and his pout as he goes to kiss someone. Here he's relaxed it for the photograph.
brad threatens a kiss


2085 Also posted to: personal . At: 2:36:22 PM  . .
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10 March 2005   


BT: Superfast broadband to trickle out in U.K

Initially, just 2,000 lines in London and Strathclyde, and these will be limited to employees only. The rest of the UK, and only those close enough to an exchange, will have to wait till the 2nd half  of 2005, which means probably Christmas.

I'm on Telewest, 4Mb. They could up that to 8Mb in a blink of an eye, and will surely top BT for marketing reasons. So, that'll be good. Also, good that broadband is becoming so ubiquitous.

2084 Also posted to: shropBlogs . At: 10:45:51 AM  . .
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Something new, something good

I don't know why Google news is still in beta, probably they are worried about the legals of scraping so many news sites.

But, they've added a customisation section, I've deleted sport, since this isn't news in my book and added a blog section. That is, I can now do searches in news papers the world over for references to the word 'blog.'

This reminds me of Netscapes RSS news page back in '98 or was that '99? Where you could add feeds from those who had RSS feeds, which wasn't many then. It's also like my searches with PubSub in my aggregators.

[Update:] I've added some more panels, some of which I use in PubSub and other aggregator searches, like Blogdigger. As Google news is only searching newspapers, these aren't bringing in much that's current. Now, if they add in blogs to their reach, this will be a killer. Really!

google news 2


2083 Also posted to: cybersaps , serviceBF . At: 10:08:59 AM  . .
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09 March 2005   


A day in the park

Just some pix from the weekend's trip to Telford Town Park. We went on Saturday to feed the ducks, but it was bitterly cold with horizontally blown snow. Sunday was much better with warm sun and blue sky.

Now I have a neat-o video camera I'd like to add more videos to my blog postings, but all I'm getting from MPEG4s of the first screen are black screen grabs, so looks like I need to convert them to MPEG2s first, which rather defeats the point. Humph.





Brad shows us his muscles after his exercises.




An aerial view of the park (reflections of me on the right).

2082 Also posted to: personal . At: 1:21:06 PM  . .
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Kids drawings

I love my kids drawings, and the stories behind them. Esme's always drawing princesses. Well, she wants to be one and is always dressing up as one. Brad, he likes dinosaurs though they frighten him and he's had a few bad dreams about them

This is a fireman, fire engine (top, right�see the four wheels and ladder on the roof), and fire below. By Bradley.

Two dinosaurs. Left one a flying dinosaur. By Bradley.

A self portrait at Brad's nursery. And his birthday, I think.

Esme's drawing of a princess. Including crown and star.

2081 Also posted to: personal . At: 1:11:05 PM  . .
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24 February 2005   


Quick video test

This is from my new DigiLife DDV-S670 MPEG4 camera. Pity my routines for grabbing the first frame are only grabbing a black screen.

Worse, if you haven't the correct codecs installed for MPEG4 then you'll not be able to see it.

It's not much, just a pan around my snow covered back garden. Nothing exciting. But it shows the quality, I guess.



2080 Also posted to: personal . At: 3:46:26 PM  . .
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10 February 2005   


Throwing stones in Ironbridge

Another throwing stones trip to Ironbridge. Amazing the differences between seasons.
down stream Server River Ironbridge throwing stones

Looking down stream to the Ironbridge
brad with church in background

From May this year, with lots of leaves.
May 2003 looking up to the power station, you can just see a cooling tower behind the trees

From October 2003, nice Autumnal colours
throwing stones in Ironbridge

This Winter 2005. Looking up to the power station

2079 Also posted to: personal . At: 12:12:05 PM  . .
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Esme off to a pyjama party

Esme had to go to a girlie pyjama party. Sue's daughter Amy. And me and Brad go on a lad's afternoon out
bradley in Batman car in Telford market

Lad's day out in a Batman car
Esme in pyjamas off ot pyjama party

Dressed in pjs and slippers

2078 Also posted to: personal . At: 12:11:24 PM  . .
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A trip to Bridgenorth

Another trip the Bridgenorth.
Bradley Manor the train

As we are now near the very big shed and I'm acting a bit sneaky, they get the willies put up them thinking they're going to get told off any minute. As it was I merely decline an offer of a guided tour from the friendly staff.
i expalin coal to Esme and Bradley and Teddy

Explaining coal to Teddy, Bradley, Dolly and Esme. Though it isn't dolly but I can never remember all her dolls names.
from bridge over Severn Valley Railway Museum

Looking into the sheds from the Bridge
Esme with doll next to steam train Bridgenorth Severn Valley

Posing with her doll. Bradley was too scared due to the steam
self portrait by Esme at Bridgenorth

Hey it's me! By Esme. I've grown my hair!
cliff railway Bridnorth Esme Bradley cheeky grins

Another of Esme and Brad's cheeky grins
Bradley and Esme cuddle top cliff railway Bridgenorth

A nice cuddle
brad peeping past Esme who looks over River Serven at Bridgenorth

Looking at the River

2077 Also posted to: personal . At: 12:10:30 PM  . .
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Working in the big city

Sometimes I have to do real work. At least work away from my office. Here I'm visiting the new offices of the Government Office for the West Midlands and snap this picture out of the top window.

It's over looking the Cathedral down Colmore Row.

A short morning that seemed to drag on for hours and hours. I miss all the pretty women to be seen in cities but all the hussle and bustle and parking 'issues.' Glad I'm not a commuter that is for sure.

Colmore row map

looking over Birmingham past the Catherdral Colmore Row

Colmore Row, Birmingham City Centre

2076 Also posted to: GOWM . At: 12:09:27 PM  . .
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At the pub always nice pix (and beer)

We go the the Kinnersley Arms in Leighton as often as we can which means once a month if we're lucky. It's a 5 mile drive. Started going there on my way back home from fishing (November 2003). Just after Bradley was born, and numerous occasions since:
esme does hand stand in pub

Esme does a handstand in the pub. This is as high as she gets, and holds it for 2 or 3 seconds
brad does hand stand in pub

Bradley doesn't hold it for so long, but they both get applause from Amanda and me. The rest of the pub ignores them
brad enjoying meal

We stopped for a mean in the Kynersley arms
cheesey smile of bradley in the pub

What a winning smiler Bradley is
esme the princess in pub with tiara

She takes a good picture
esme wears tiara to the pub a princess

Am I embarrassed? Nah! Everybody laughs with her, or rather they are too polite and bow gracefully
brad sits to watch pool players at the table only they drink beer

He waits patiently but they take far too lang at the bar and this bores Bradley the audience of one

2075 Also posted to: personal . At: 12:08:27 PM  . .
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The Sleeping Beauty Pantomime

Oakengates Theatre
And a great time was had by all. Bradley was a little scared of the nasty fairy, kept saying, "tell me when this bit is finished, Dad!" And hiding is face in the back of the seat. Them pulling it back to peep through under his arm.

We went with some friends of Amanda' sister, Amanda was to go but had to drop at the last minute, so as a stand in I was very pleased. Even if the main 'Buttons' character was quite camp and some of the jokes fairly risque. On the weekends apparently they are�for the parents. In the weekdays for the schools he's... well I can only guess.

pantomine stage set before start

Esme had been before, with the school so felt ever so confident there, even if she kept telling me what was happening and what was about to happen

2074 Also posted to: personal . At: 12:06:31 PM  . .
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Sponge Bob coming soon

esme and bradley nexrt to the sponge bob cinema poster

We can't wait for the Sponge Bob movie, there's big excitement in our house. This snap was taken on the 4th Jan! Tomorrow, 11th of Feb it's out!

2073 Also posted to: personal . At: 12:03:18 PM  . .
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01 February 2005   


Curing Float Drops and Wraps

Cascading stylesheets: "Unfortunately, however, you'll occasionally run into a situation where one block drops down below the other one instead of sitting side-by-side as you anticipated. This is commonly referred to as a float drop."

Shudder! Yip, I've suffered from f-f-float drop. It's a bastard. Where it comes from, how to get rid of it? It can make an afternoon disappear into the late, late nights. I hope, if I print this article and say all the magic words I'll save myself weeks, and bloody weeks.


2072 Also posted to: cyberSaps , serviceBF . At: 8:53:58 PM  . .
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