Come on Henman, show us how it’s done!

WimbledonSo just as one international competition takes a break from all the action, another one serves up some great entertainment. The weather looks good for Wimbledon and hopefully it can take the pressure off our boys in Germany. Tim Henman will face Roger Federer in his next round. There hasn’t been much news about Henman lately, I bet he is glad the England football team are getting the third degree in the news papers, but honestly what can we expect from him this year? Personally my money is on Mario Ancic from Crotia. Something about him tells me he is going to go far in this tournament.
Martina Hingis

In the ladies competition I will be following Martina Hingis. She retired from tennis 5 years ago, I think because of injury, but has come out of retirement to show the world that she still has what it takes to be a Wimbledon Champion. She was awesome in her day and was looking like her old self in the match against Olga Savchuk. She thrashed her 6-2, 6-2. Did I mention she is still looking awesome?  😉

I was doing some database housekeeping on my web sites last night and found the following Mysql Search & Replace to be very useful.

UPDATE table_name SET table_field = REPLACE(table_field, ‘replace_what’,’with_this’);

Isn’t the Internet a marvellous place?

I’ve been searching online for an Ultra Compact Digital Camera ever since I got my Canon Powershot S2 IS camera, only because it is not a "pocket camera", and it’s a bit too big to lug around every day. It great for everything else especially when you use the 12 times optical zoom.  So, for the past couple of months I have been doing my usual research, which entails reading through all the digital camera sites, reading reviews, forums, asking questions, pondering over every pro and con etc. Finally I decided on the Casio Exilim EX Z-850.

Click for actual size.">Casio Exilim EX Z850

Click for actual size.

I purchased it from PurelyGadgets.co.uk, they are locally based (In the Docklands). I originally purchased my Canon from them and their service was brilliant. I ordered the camera on Monday morning, and fetched it from their office on Thursday afternoon (ready to be used for the England vs Trinidad and Tobago game).

Some of the features I like so far:

  1. Large 2.5" screen – as well as a small optical view finder for when you don’t want to use the screen. The screen is very bright, and there are 5 settings to turn it up or down. In direct sunlight you are still able to see the screen.
  2. Manual Controls – It’s not just a point and shoot. There is a dial setting for Aperture and Shutter priority. It also has a manual focus mode, which  works very well; the central section of the preview is enlarged when you adjust the focus.
  3. Best Shot mode – There are no less than 34 (plus one custom ‘user’ mode), covering everything from the usual portraits, landscapes and night scenes to pets, ‘splashing water’ and food to special effects and modes for copying documents and text that remove perspective distortion. In each case a brief description is shown on-screen to explain how and when to use it.
  4. It’s flat out between shots – Focus speed, shutter lag, shot-to-shot times and so on are excellent, and overall the camera feels very responsive indeed to use.
  5. Excellent battery life – I’ve taken roughly 425 photographs so far and have not needed to charge the battery.

So overall I am very happy with the camera. Even the video is fine. I really don’t know what people are complaining about on so many of the forums. I’ve shot about 25 minutes worth of video and it’s bright, clear and smooth. Video can be set to 640×480 or smaller.The video for me was never going to be an issue, because the video option on the Canon S2 IS is out of this world. Even better than some DV camera’s.

Charger and battery

I also purchased a spare battery and charger from ibuynow.co.uk10/10 for speed & efficiency – I purchased the items on Thursday night, and it arrived this morning at 8am.

SD card.
And finally the flash memory. I purchased a 1GB SD card from Picstop.co.uk on Monday morning, (at the same time as I ordered the camera). The memory card arrived the following day (Tuesday). Their service is by far the best. For flash memory you cannot go wrong with this site. I highly recommend them.

Have you noticed?

Geeez, if you are a Londoner or live in the South East of England, you would have seen the flash floods we had this afternoon. It was bucketing down. There was even lightning and thunder, anyone would be mistaken to think we are in the middle of a drought. I wonder if any of that water was saved and stored?

But after seeing the chaos it caused at home time today, I started to wonder if London is in fact a city in a first world country…. let me explain.

Short Geography lesson for those who didn’t know; England is surrounded by water, yet we are experiencing a severe drought, which the government and the environmental people have known about for some time, or knew it was going to happen, yet have done nothing to kerb it by building more dams, or reservoirs. We have the Thames River (salt water tidal river running through the drought stricken area), yet no one has thought of setting up a desalination plant to convert salt water to fresh water. It’s easier for the water companies to increase our water bills, or penalise us for our water usage. Again totally daft when we have all this water on our doorstep.

Going back to this afternoon… When we have a flash flood like today, all the gutters were clogged up (why?), the roads flooded (why?) – I’ll tell you why, because some lazy bastards on the council didn’t clear the drains or gutters, the tunnels flooded, major roads were closed, the traffic jams were so bad there was 2 to 4 hour delays…. 6 major underground train services were suspended (Why, who knows???), some overland trains were suspended??? (Why?)

What is wrong with this picture? Why can’t this wonderful city cope?

When it snows, the trains are delayed, drivers on the road become mad, cause accidents, cause traffic congestion, when there are leaves on the rails, the trains are delayed, when the temperature moves towards 30 degrees, the lines buckle, and the trains are delayed.

We must be the only country in the world that complains and has enquiries into everything, I mean during the bombings last year, the police, ambulance service & fire services did an excellent job in rescuing survivors from the trains, and getting everyone out safely, yet one year on, the media are criticising how things were done, who should be made responsible. In the case of the poor bloke who was shot (12 times in the head) by accident, we haven’t stopped hearing about it since it happened. The media is saying the top bloke in charge wasn’t told the truth about what happened because they were worried at how he would take it… Huh! – what is that all about?

And now recently this botched up raid in which 250 police men and women broke into two brothers house looking for something that wasn’t there, as we discover after a week of questioning, the police have nothing… I mean really, what sort of police do we have in this city? What sort of intelligence are they working on? I am all for them protecting us from terrorists, but just raiding a house for no cause seems a bit stupid doesn’t it? How come the media aren’t asking questions about the raid, and what they hoped to find? What were their leads, why that house and why did they need 250 officers working overtime to raid one house with two people in it? Seems strangely odd!

Unless of course they found what they were looking for but are being held to ransom by the terrorist cell the two brothers belong too (free the two brothers, apologise for the mistake and pain and anguish caused) and the real terrorists won’t blow up more stations or public areas… you never know, (it’s the world cup, lots of people in pubs, stations etc, and I am sure we will never know either). I just smell a rat, especially since I do believe the police do an excellent job protecting us from these evil people.

However, we would love the police to raid our house without any cause, because then we could sue the police for 500 000 pounds, which is apparently what these two brothers are going to do, and there goes our tax money (ransom)…

We are in the middle of a knife amnesty, yet all we are hearing these days is that someone has been murdered or stabbed. It’s not exactly encouraging to hear such negative news every single day.

And as for the government (who give them credit have made this country economically stronger in the time they have been in power), can’t seem to do a thing right at the moment. What else can go wrong for them?

So there you have it! – I just wondered if anyone else noticed?

3 days to go before England’s next game.

So, the weekend has come and gone, England scraped through thanks to an own goal by one of the Paraguay players (idiots!!!). There were plenty of games on the weekend to keep us busy, and of course the F1 Grandprix at Silverstone. That Alonso, what can we say about him… Nothing. 🙁

Just heard Australia has beaten Japan (3-1).

Staying with the world cup theme, someone kindly sent me a link to Heidi’s Babe World Cup. This is a must for all you guys and lesbians out there who are following the world cup.

Heidi's Babe World Cup.

The start of a GREAT weekend…

The wait is finally over. The world cup football starts this afternoon in Germany. Every football crazy fan will be waiting in anticipation for the start of the tournament. England’s first game is tomorrow afternoon at 2pm. I can’t wait for the game to start. I was walking though Canary Wharf this morning on the way to work, and there were some lovely looking lasses handing out stress balls that looked like footballs. I think they will be needed tomorrow.

The England Teams last supper with Sven.

Did you see the last supper photo in the papers? David Beckham and the England football squad have been transformed in this Da Vinci Code inspired version of world famous painting – The Last Supper. The re-working of Italian master Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting was designed by a team of photoshop experts and is titled Sven’s Last Supper. – Quite clever and naughty I thought, although if you take the world cup into consideration and the fact that the Da Vinci Code movie is the BIG hype at the moment, then they have probably timed it really well, and it shouldn’t offend too many people.

Silverstone F1 GP on Sunday.

GO! GO! GO! – Yes, it’s the British Grand Prix on Sunday. Alonso is already running scared and saying Ferrari are stronger. Don’t believe the Spanish bull that comes out of his mouth. What he is really saying, is that his team are crap!  Poor Button is keeping very tight lipped and not saying anything. He knows his team are crap. Don’t forget to tune in earlier on Sunday. The race starts at 11:05am.