Archive for January, 2009

London Boat Show

After a hectic week at work I headed to the London boat show on Sunday with my family to have a look round at all the new vessels for sale, not the mention the myriad of equipment one can buy for an existing yacht.

There were a few things at the event that gave us food for thought in terms of new equipment for Burnaby but in the end we just ended up wandering around, taking in the sights and buying a few books from the various stands. Of course one can’t miss out the fact that there was a Guinness stall so we stopped there for a pint and a bite to eat over lunch.

The three main things of interest at the show for us were a company that built boats entirely from wood using traditional methods, a fully operational lifeboat that we got to have a tour of and to top it all off, the opportunity to walk around the HMS Westminster which was moored in the Thames outside the show.

You could tell this was a genuine warship by the positioning of various warning signs around the ship pertaining to missiles and guns. My favourite sign read Danger! When warning rattler sounds, missile about to fire. I guess that also amounts to “Please don’t touch” 😉

All in all it was a good day out. I’d recommend you catch it while you can but unfortunately it’s all over until next year – the show ended on the day we went!

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Walk around Coate Water

Walk around Coate Water

After considering just having a lazy Saturday I decided to go out to Coate Water with my camera and grab a couple of shots

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Birthday Outing

I went out for drinks with a few friends from work to celebrate my birthday


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Golfing and hearing damage

It’s official, golf can damage your hearing. It seems that some of the modern drivers are constructed in such a way and with such a set of materials that they can cause a significant amount of noise when they come into a contact with a golf ball on the tee.

I can’t say I’ve experienced an excessive volume of noise when I tee off using my drivers but I regularly hear the tee shots of other golfers on the course, sometimes from a few holes away. I guess this is going to become another factor for golfers to consider when purchasing new clubs.

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Office Party

Some photos taken at the office Christmas party have been circulating at work. This is one of me alongside Amrita and David.


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Snowy Morning

I woke up this morning to find there had been a reasonable snowfall during the night


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Blog Statistics 2008

Seeing as we’re easing into a new year I’ve been taking a little time out to look at the 2008 statistics for my website. I’ve collated the most interesting of these and narrated them a little to put them in context.

  • I’ve received more than 120 times as much spam in the comments boxes as I have legitimate discussion over the last year
  • Twice as many comments have been made on the site as I have posted articles, making each post worth, on average, two comments from readers
  • I’ve made slightly over 1 post every two days
  • This site has consistently appeared first in Google when the search term “Kieran O’Shea” is used, second when “Kieran” is entered
  • My blog received over 500,000 hits during the year and on average over 300 unique visitors per day
  • More readers used RSS to consume my content rather than visiting the articles directly, with over 50% of traffic being comprised of requests for my feed links
  • The most popular time of day to read newly posted articles in 2008 was between 7 and 8 pm
  • In terms of refering sites, the most traffic was sent my way by Leeds RAG
  • Apart from my name or variants thereof the search term “hubble” sent the most readers my way from search engines
  • Despite my Linux leanings Windows and Internet Explorer remained the most popular operating system and browser amongst my readers

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Back in Swindon

As the title suggests I arrived back in Swindon today. I drove back just before lunch so I would have plenty of time to get my house sorted and prepare for my return to work tomorrow but thankfully I’d left my house in a pretty tidy state so I didn’t have much to sort out, just a little bit of washing and a trip to the supermarket.

Initially I was going to remove the wreath from my front door and take down the Christmas lights but then I though I may as well enjoy them for one more day, after all I don’t need to take them down until the 6th January and they won’t be up again until next year!

As if in acknowledgement of the fact the festive season isn’t quite over we had a brief snowfall earlier on in the evening which temporarily left a light coating on the cars and pavements, even exhibiting that satisfying crunching sound when walked upon – most pleasant. It makes me look forward to my ski trip in the planning all the more.

Hopefully I won’t have too many e-mails waiting for me when I get into work tomorrow although I don’t hold out much hope. Its not all bad though. Apart from catching up on missed project progress during my absence from the office I’ll be using some spare time tomorrow to ping an e-mail round a few colleagues encouraging them to come out to the pub on Friday for a few birthday drinks with me. If I can get a good crowd together it should be a nice night.

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Leaving Leeds

I’m now on the train heading away from Leeds and back to St. Albans. Its been a really nice few days, seeing friends and relaxing in a different environment. As I’m sure you’ve seen from the photos, new years eve was a blast and I’ve been able to enjoy a great start to the new year what with several social evenings and of course no work to speak of.

In the course of my stay in Leeds it dawned on me that this is the first Christmas holiday I’ve had in as long as I can remember that hasn’t been overshadowed by coursework and January exams! It was nice to be able to share this time with those in exactly the same situation. Many thanks to Chris, Sarann, Michelle, Norm and Liz for letting me stay with them, as ever it was most enjoyable. All I need to do now is arrange a weekend when they can come and stay in Swindon!

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Yesterday, after a lengthy lie in and a quick lunch, Michelle and I borrowed Sarann’s kite and went into Roundhay park to attempt to harness the forecast 7mph wind and get the kite into the air. Taking advantage of a large hill and a favorable wind direction relative to it we nearly succeeded but the wind strength wasn’t quite enough and after a brief 20 seconds or so of success on my part the kite came crashing to the ground and showed little signs afterwards of getting into the air again.

Lack of success aside it was an enjoyable end to the afternoon and it was nice to get out of the house in the fresh air and have a bit of a walk/run around. I’m really feeling the effects of Christmas indulgence! Still, I’ll be back in Swindon tomorrow and with that will resume regular visits to the gym so I won’t be idle for long. While I’m not pleased my holiday is nearly over I can certainly look back on it and say I’ve had a good time.

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