Something New Every Day

A record of doing a new thing every day in 2011

Opened a BetFair account (126/365) Friday May 6, 2011

As I’ve mentioned before we have a betting syndicate at work where we are trying to predict the football scores using our nerdy skills.

Our predictions were working great to begin with, but we’ve been “unlucky” recently and have been on a terrible run of results. I’ve always been a traditional bookmaker sort of gambler, with Ladbrokes being my favorite for no particular reason, but we’ve been looking into using BetFair instead.

At BetFair you can either bet or lay odds, which generally means the margins are more generous. Anyway I’d never used the site because to be honest it was always a bit complicated to figure what to do, but for research purposes I’ve opened an account and made some investments.

If you’re interested, the matches where we think the odds are in our favour this weekend are:

  • Blackpool to beat Spurs
  • Stoke to beat Arsenal
  • Man. United to beat Chelsea

Obviously the first 2 are pretty long odds so unlikely to come up, but we think the odds are better than are offered. We will see :-)

Ten Ten Tei for lunch (125/365) Thursday May 5, 2011

We had an internal lunch meeting, and ended up at Ten Ten Tei, a Japanese restaurant just around the corner in Brewer Street - another place really close I hadn’t been before.

According to the mixed reviews on the London Eating site, it’s a typical place you might find in a Japanese suburb. I’ve never been to Japan (yet), but it was a nice and simple place and the tofu and rice I had was very tasty. The sashimi the other guys had looked fantastic almost made me wish I ate fish. Almost.

Fencing (124/365) Wednesday May 4, 2011

We had broadband problems in the flat which scuppered my plans for something “more exciting”.

However I did do something new - Ben and Mandy are having the garden done and part of that is getting a new fence put up. I was helping them carry the pieces through the flat, but unfortunately we couldn’t fit them down the back stairs.

The only way we could sort it out was to take them through next door;s flat, which was a totally new and slightly bizarre experience - walking through a stranger’s house with a piece of garden fence!

Made my first contactless payment (123/365) Tuesday May 3, 2011

Shopping in Tesco on my way home as usual, and for the first time I used my credit card contactless by simply swiping it on the machine.

I’m not sure why I haven’t used it before, but I think it’s because I believe it only can be used for small payments of less than 10 pounds, and generally I’d probably use cash in those circumstances. It was pretty cool (in a nerdy way) and obviously much quicker than using chip and pin.

Lunch at Boatside Inn in Warden (122/365) Monday May 2, 2011

Monday was the last day of my extended between-the-bank-holidays vacation, so we decided to take advantage of the nice weather and walk down the Tyne to Warden for lunch.

The pub there is the Boatside Inn, which is a nice little pub which does decent food and has a nice beer garden where you can sit out. It wasn’t as warm as you’d hope despite being very sunny. Hilary had been there before but it was my first time, and will definitely go back again - although I was struggling with my knees on the walk home :-(

Spanish Evening (121/365) Sunday May 1, 2011

I’m off to Valencia in a couple of weeks to visit my friends Frank and Josie, and as usual I was thinking of brushing up on my pretty awful Spanish before I went.

However for once I did something about it. I listened to my “One Day Spanish” CD all the way to the end for the first time. To complete the theme I did it while watching Valencia lose to Osasuna on the Sky Player.

I’ll try to do another few listens before I head out next week, but has it improved my rudimentary Spanish? Si!

Using application bar in phone app (120/365) Saturday April 30, 2011

Well I thought I was done with my phone app but my v2.0 got rejected because I didn’t have a privacy statement in the app. While pondering where to include this, I decided to rewrite the UX and include an application bar control to hold the different options.

To be honest the hardest part was figuring out what the control was called so I could find the documentation. Once that was done I moved all the controls into a much better place, and the app definitely looks better - you can see the screenshots on the Brave Location website.

I also found out how to load a webpage from your own app too, so all in all a very productive day. The updated version has been resubmitted to the marketplace and hopefully this time will pass the quality bar.

Had my first famous Shepherds Pie and Champagne party (119/365) Friday April 29, 2011

We saw prize knob Jeffrey Archer on the TV last week banging on about his “famous Shepherds Pie and Champagne parties” and thought that would make a good theme for doing something on Royal Wedding Day.

I did watch some of the happy couple on TV, and obviously as they are following in me and Hilary’s footsteps in meeting at St. Andrews I’d given them a few tips, but soon got bored and retired to the kitchen to knock out a spicy shepherds pie. Washed down with a nice Cava it was just the job to make sure I could have a nice afternoon kip to avoid the rest of the coverage.

Yeltz Forum Redux (118/365) Thursday April 28, 2011

Back in the day I used to run a supporters site for the mighty Halesowen Town - the remains of which live on at However after getting sick of the ridiculous amount of vitriol and moaning I stopped doing it a few years ago.

However we’ve had a replacement at for a while now, but it’s been plagued by reliability problems mainly because it’s been hosted by a cheapskate and useless hosting company.

It went down again a week ago and they couldn’t recover anything worthwhile, so we decided to move everything to a new hosting company. As “technical adviser” I did the setup of the SMF forum software which I hadn’t done before. It was pretty straightforward in the end once I’d copied all the files across, and everything appears to be working well although we’ve lost all the old posts and member details.

Fingers crossed as I don’t want to ever have to do that again!

Home made Vegetarian Sushi (117/365) Wednesday April 27, 2011

I eat sushi (vegetarian obviously) reasonably often, but I’ve never made my own before.

Our local Tesco has all the stuff required in the specialist food section, including a bamboo rolling mat. There were precise instructions for doing the rice and it turned out pretty well (very sticky!). For filling I used, shittake mushrooms, chilli, garlic, spring onions and finiely chopped pepper.

As you can see from the photo the finished result definitely looked like proper sushi, and with some super-hot wasabi sauce they tasted OK too. Quite fiddly to do, but will definitely experiment with doing this again.