Something New Every Day

A record of doing a new thing every day in 2011

Jazz FM (276/365) Monday October 3, 2011

Like a few posts ago, it had been a long day at work with the added pain of a delayed commute down to London. I only had a couple of very poor new things in the bag, so I once again turned to my digital radio and decided to give Jazz FM a listen.

Now I don’t really like jazz - from the little I know all that self-indulgent twiddling is a bit irritating - and an hour’s listening hasn’t changed that opinion at all. However as background listening as I read my Kindle it was OK I suppose, but very doubtful it’ll be an experiment I’ll be repeating.

Waffling (275/365) Sunday October 2, 2011

I got a waffle iron for my birthday and with my ongoing diet haven’t had chance to use it yet. Today was the day, and I decided to christen it by making some banana and almond waffles.

I had no idea how they were going to turn out, especially as I spread the rather gungy batter on the griddle. However as you can see they looked pretty decent, and tasted great too. Really happy as they were easy to make, and will definitely be using this very often.


Pruning (274/365) Saturday October 1, 2011

I think it’s pretty fair to say I’m not really a gardener, but yesterday we were having our big pre-winter cleanup.

In the front garden we have three big bushes/trees which were getting very large and were growing far too far onto the pavement. However this needed specialist equipment so Hilary’s brother David got a chainsaw and attacked that.

I got to do some pruning on the bushes that were overgrowing in a similar but reduced way over the front side fence. Never done this before, but it was quite theraputic using a massive pair of shears (about two foot long) to chop stuff out the way. Maybe have another go in 2 years time :-)

Forced onto Chrome Beta (273/365) Friday September 30, 2011

Like loads of people yesterday my Microsoft Forefront anti-virus software started complaining that my Chrome browser was infected with a virus and had to be removed.

Happily this turned out to be a false positive, but while I waited for the servers to release the new virus signatures I found out I could get back to using Chrome by installing the beta version - so I gave it a go.

Not sure why I haven’t done this before, as I’m usually very happy to use beta software quite early. Probably the reason is I’ve never been interested enough to find out where to get it from.

From a technical point of view, it’s interesting that Chrome’s own in-app updating - where the browser is constantly updating itself in the background - gives the user a lot less control and knowledge of when their software is being updated, so it’s not inconceivable that it could have been infected by a dodgy update without my knowing. That was my thought when the virus checker told me it was infected, so I didn’t take any risks and removed it ASAP.

Flaws in the Application Bar (272/365) Thursday September 29, 2011

After installing the latest Windows Phone SDK, I thought I’d have a go at updating my blog-famous Bedside Clock app.

What I hadn’t done for a while is look at the app reviews, and a few people were complaining about the UI changes I’d made in v2. To be fair they had a point, but in my defence I only really developed it for myself and I’m just playing about. You do get what you pay for.

Anyway, I thought I’d try to set the application bar my app uses so it wasn’t shown all the time, but found out something new and a bit stupid. In landscape mode the application bar can’t be minimized - no idea why - so that didn’t work at all.

It made me think of a better solution and I’ll get to learn something new then when I implement that - bonus!

Chipotle Tacos (271/365) Wednesday September 28, 2011

Another stupidly long day at work, so by the time I’d finished I wanted something decent to eat and a beer.

I really wanted to go to Chipotle, but hadn’t done anything new yet, so after wavering a little I decided to go anyway but change my usual order of a burrito and have tacos instead.

The very helpful server explained there were both soft tacos - basically mini burritos - and crispy ones, so to make it more novel I went with the crispy ones.

They were OK, but seemed a lot less filling than a burrito (probably more diet friendly though), so this will almost certainly be a one-time experiment only.

Metallica (270/365) Tuesday September 27, 2011

We were talking about Metallica at work, and even though somehow I knew “I didn’t really like them” I realised I hadn’t ever properly listened to them, so I went about rectifying that.

I also wanted to try out the new Spotify->Facebook linkage to see how irritating it would be for everyone to have what I listen to inserted somewhere in my timeline.

Now it turns out finding Metallica music on Spotify wasn’t easy at all. Metallica were famous back in the day for bringing a lawsuit against Napster, so maybe a hangover of that attitude meant they still weren’t streaming friendly? Anyway I only found one song on there, a couple of covers, and then “related bands” took me into the world of Megadeath and beyond.

I guess I didn’t mind what I heard - a sure sign of getting old in that somewhat tribal arguments over what type of music you like all seem a bit childish now.

Victoria Alternative (269/365) Monday September 26, 2011

A very long day, travelling down to London from home and then having some late meetings in the office. By the time I’d got back to the flat I couldn’t be bothered to try something new AND interesting (well to me anyway!) but I did have something in the bag already - but apologies for the poor quality.

As anyone who’s been commuting via Victoria recently knows, the underground is a complete nightmare as they rebuild large parts of it. Getting out from the Victoria line offers a variety of options all guaranteed to be quite slow, but I found an alternative that might well be the quickest. I went up towards the Circle line, but used the westbound platform instead of the eastbound one. Fewer people used that was as the National Rail sign pointed people towards the eastbound platform, so I probably saved - I don’t know - maybe 10 seconds. These things are important for London commuters!

Voyageur Frequent (268/365) Sunday September 25, 2011

We’ve been trying to sort out our New Year trip (now going to Valencia) which has been quite tricky as the usual budget airlines are already pretty booked up.

After a bit of searching turns out the best way is to take Air France from Newcastle to Valencia via Charles De Gaulle in Paris. Now I’ve done the Paris jaunt earlier in the year on the way to Seattle, but what was new was joining the Air France frequent flyer scheme when I bought our tickets.

Not sure if I’ll be using them that much, but hey why not? I’m at “Ivory” level which is a lot less rare than it sounds so no freebies just yet. I’m still smarting from losing my BA Silver Card, so I’m used to slumming it now :-)

Banana Tarte Tatin (267/365) Saturday September 24, 2011

Usual Saturday drill - diet feast day so can eat what I want, so I go crazy and completely stuff my face. A little surprisingly this is still working, and having this 1 day a week off dieting really helps you through the other 6 days.

Anyway I decided to cook something new and made a Banana Tarte Tatin. It was actually quite simple, especially using ready prepared puff pastry bought from the supermarket which was another new thing for me. With a dollop of clotted cream it was really nice, not overly sweet, pretty fruity and well tasty.

Banana Tarte Tatin)