Archive for February, 2009

Visit to Stone Henge

Visit to Stone Henge

When James and Gemma came to stay with me in Swindon we had a day out to Stone Henge where I succeeded in capturing the stones in a variety of lights with my camera

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Rare footage of Narwhals

A BBC camera crew in the Arctic have captured the most amazing photographs and video footage of the elusive Narwhal – known as the sea unicorn because of their large spiral tusks which can grow up to 2 metres in length.

The immense beauty and almost mythical nature of these creatures really captivated me when I watched the footage. Seeing this reminds me all the more that our world is truly a wonderful place and we should protect it in any way we can.


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Council Parking Confusion

So my residents parking permit is up for renewal and the council send me a letter informing me of this along with a form to renew it and a summary of the various options for payment. I fill out the form, enclose a cheque and trudge out through the snow one evening to put it in the post.

Given the simplicity of the process and the fact I had followed the instructions enclosed with the renewal notice to the letter, I was surprised to get a phone call today citing a problem. I was even more surprised to discover what the problem was.

It would appear that the occupant of the basement flat below my house has also recently decided to avail of a parking permit, except instead of giving his address as the flat he gave it as the house. For reasons unknown to me they allowed him to do this even though I already had a permit.

The result of this confusion was that I was called to say that I couldn’t renew my permit because there was already one issued for the house; I would have to pay twice as much for a second permit as I was a second occupier requiring a second permit.

I replied that I’d love to know who else was secretly living in my house and buying parking permits for it as I certainly hadn’t seen anyone. I demanded that they process my renewal and do so promptly as they had only condescended to send me the renewal forms two weeks before the expiry of the old permit. They said they would “Look into it” and before I had a chance to say anything else they hung up. I would have phoned them back but they had withheld their number.

All I can say is that I shan’t be paying any more than what I already have and that if they screw this up and I end up getting parking fines because of their failure to renew promptly and correctly I shan’t even be writing them a letter, I will be passing the issue straight to the small claims court. What with the lack of rubbish collections and running out of grit for the roads, I’m pretty damn sick of Swindon Borough Council at the moment.

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KJO Web Services Closure

It will not have escaped the attention of customers due to the extensive notifications that have been sent out, but others may not yet realise, that I have decided to close KJO Web Services.

The best way of explaining this is to post a portion of the e-mail that was sent out to clients.

It is with great sadness and regret that KJO Web Services announces its closure. We have always been a small time affair and have existed on a diet of available time on the part of company owners and a regular stream of customers.

Sadly this stream of customers has slowed to a trickle in recent months. In addition the available time that the owners are able to put into the company has dwindled to the level where we no longer thought it appropriate that we on-board any new customers. This has enabled us to keep service levels to existing customers high.

Without new customers however we are unable to continue to fund the infrastructure on which your websites and other applications are hosted for an indefinite period of time. For this reason we will be closing down and assisting with the migration of existing customers away from our infrastructure.

We understand that this will be disappointing for you and perhaps slightly worrying. Let us reassure you that we will help where we can and will not leave you in the dark. Feel free to make contact with us to discuss any concerns you may have.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank you for hosting with us over the years and for the many referrals and recommendations that have come our way. It has been very much appreciated. We’re sorry to have to close – we’ve enjoyed being in the hosting business very much – but as an old saying goes “Needs must when the devil drives”.

I am very sorry to be closing but as I said in my e-mail, needs must. I’d like to take the opportunity here to thank everyone for their support and to reassure people that my departure from the hosting business will not result in my departure from open source projects such as RouterTech and Calendar.

Those of you that are kindly linking to KJO Web Services for whatever reason, if you could please link to the homepage of this site instead it would be much appreciated.

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Crazy Stoat

The BBC were sent this amazing video of a stoat going crazy in the snow. It’s really rather amusing to watch. I guess this one had never encountered such wintry weather before!

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No Rubbish Collection

We’ve had a fair bit of snow in Swindon this week but I’ve been braving it all pretty well and have made it into work every day. One of the best days weather and traffic wise was Wednesday with most people making it into work.

How annoyed was I then to come home on Wednesday evening to find that neither my recycling nor my conventional waste had been collected and my street was filled with rubbish sacks on account of residents believing the better weather would result in a collection.

Combine this with the council running out of grit on Friday leaving roads slippery and just darn right dangerous, I think I have a fair claim to have a quarter of my months council tax refunded!

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Tiny Car

The picture below was featured on the BBC and I thought it was rather cool. We’ve all heard that smaller cars are the next big thing and a big part of helping look after our environment with respect to carbon emissions, but this little car almost looks like a toy!

Very Small Car

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Snow Cat

After parking my car this evening I spied this wonderfully sculpted snow cat atop a garden wall.


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Snow in Swindon

Snow in Swindon

When I awoke for work and peered out of my bedroom window I noticed that my street had taken on a surprising transformation overnight. I attempted to capture the large snowfall on film.

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Leaking Ceiling

The occasional leaky ceiling problem worsens. This large crack can’t be a good thing.


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