Something New Every Day

A record of doing a new thing every day in 2011

Facebook Likes Josie (76/365) Thursday March 17, 2011

As you may know I’ve been running the website for my artist friend Josie for many years now. Josie is in London right now for a week or so and at dinner on Wednesday we agreed on a couple of small changes to the site, which I did on the train home on Thursday.

The first was after Josie made the interesting observation that everyone looks at pictures on Facebook now, so you expect to be able to click on the image and go to the next one in the series. I hadn’t really considered that as an common interface feature before, but it was both obviously true and easy to implement that I made the change.

The other update was to add the ubiquitous Facebook Like button to the site too. Now I’d done this before, but it’s really hard to test it’s set up correctly as if you’re the admin of the application you don’t appear to be able to “like” it as well. After a few tweaks to the page design I think it both works and looks reasonable.

You can see the results as well as one of Josie’s paintings at

Tuk Tuk for lunch (75/365) Wednesday March 16, 2011

We were a bit bored of doing the same thing for lunch, so on Wednesday we decided to head out into Soho and go somewhere new.

We ended up at Tuk Tuk on Old Compton Street, a noodle bar that looked promising. I got some vegetarian noodles and Paul had some sort of duck-based food with some watery soup. It all looked nice, but actually my noodles were exceedingly dull and I don’t think Paul thought much of his food either.

I don’t think we’ll be going back.

All By Myself (74/365) Tuesday March 15, 2011

The troubles at the mighty Halesowen Town have been well documented elsewhere - if you don’t know what’s happening by now it’s too sad to relate, and all you need to know is after nearly 140 years of existence we’re on the edge of folding.

I hadn’t been to see us play for a while, so an evening game at Chesham was a great opportunity to see for myself how far we’ve fallen, and do something new - go to a game on the tube after work.

We used to take loads of fans to every away game, but understandable apathy and disgust at the situation means for a while I thought I was the only Yeltz fan there. I always stand behind the goal we’re attacking, and for sure I was standing on my own there. We’re bottom of the league so I had the lowest of low expectations for the game, but although we lost 3-0 we never gave up trying, which under the circumstances was a fantastic effort.

We did come close to scoring on a couple of occasions, which meant I could count 6 of us encouraging the team. Popular consensus means it could be the lowest away turnout we’ve ever taken, but completely understandable. I’m really glad I went, and really hope it isn’t the last time I see the club play that’s been a big part of my life.

It took over 2 hours to get home, as the Metropolitan line goes so far out of London it’s not really like the rest of the underground, so I was probably back after my fellow sufferers got back to the Midlands.


Sunrise, sunset (73/365) Monday March 14, 2011

Getting so far behind on posting I’m close to forgetting what I did. Luckily with my trusty Bedside Clock phone app telling me I have 15 minutes before my alarm goes off, I can tell you of the progress of version 2.

One feature I’m considering is showing an icon that visually displays what time of night it is without needing to see the exact time - for those of us so short-sighted we have to get close to the phone to focus on it. My idea is to have a sun/moon icon depending on whether the sun has set or not, then different colors through the night.

First problem is to calculate the sunrise and sunset times, and this is what I learnt about Monday. It’s a spherical geometry problem, something I vaguely remembered a little about as I’d studied astronomy for a year at Uni. Searching around I found a very useful description of the algorithm at, and after a few slips on the way not using the correct degrees or radians in the calculations I finally got some code to work.

Version 2 is coming along very slowly as this week I’ve been out late 2 nights running - a very rarer occurrence - but hopefully on track to be finished by April.

The King's Speech (71/365) Sunday March 13, 2011

Yesterday we went to see The King’s Speech at the Hexham Forum Cinema.

Going to the Forum is always fun, as it’s a real old-fashioned non-multiplex cinema. We tried to book online, but they had this bizarre rule in the system that you couldn’t book 2 seats in a block of 3 because it would leave one on it’s own. Even more fun was we had those exact same seats when we bought the tickets at the cinema.

I didn’t know what to expect from the film, despite it winning all those Oscars. However it was really good, funny in parts and really moving. Definitely recommended.

The only pain was the unbelievably inconsiderate people sitting behind us who managed to crackle their sweet wrappers loudly through the entire 2 hours. Despite that and the fire alarm briefly going off right at a crucial bit at the end, it was a fun evening out, and at least we could walk home afterwards.

Spicy Dumplings (72/365) Sunday March 13, 2011

With the weather still not very Spring-like, on Sunday I thought I’d cook something warming, and made a chilli stew with a new thing for me - dumplings. They were much easier to make than I thought, just flour, butter, a little milk some freestyle spices I added for kicks. It was hard to tell when they were done in the slow-cooked stew, but I guessed at 20 minutes and they came out perfectly. A rare culinary triumph!

Even my presentation wasn’t bad, as you can see from the before and after pictures.



WP7 Phone Apps Galore (70/365) Saturday March 12, 2011

Seems like lots of friends are releasing Windows Phone 7 apps right now. I think everyone who’s given WP7 a try really likes it - I much prefer it to my Android phone despite a few limitations. With the deal announced with Nokia seems like there will at least be a future for the platform for a while.

Anyway, I gave my first review on the App Marketplace for my friend Kurt’s app called Blastastic. It’s a simple app that lets you post quickly in one go Twitter, Facebook and Windows Live. It’s really clean and has a great interface. I wrote my first ever review in the app store - the new thing - and gave it 5 stars.

Secondly, Mark’s game called Bubble Wrap Zap also got approved. Basically you pop bubbles like bubble wrap in increasing levels of difficulty. I’ve been seeing this as it’s been worked on and it’s really nice now - and a lot harder than it looks. Great free game, although I just can’‘t do the “three bubbles at once” level :-(

My own Bedside Clock is now at 1461 downloads and growing at a steady 50 downloads a day. Version 2 is being developed on right now, and then I’m thinking I may tackle a game.

Full English (69/365) Friday March 11, 2011

After Wednesday’s disappointing dinner, I was absolutely starving in the morning and with the prospect of an 8 hour meeting ahead I needed a decent breakfast. So I did something I’m pretty certain I haven’t done before and had a veggie fry-up on the way to work.

I went to Cafe Rendevous, a place I’d walked past a few times when I used to walk in to the office from Pimlico. My meeting was in Victoria, so it seemed a decent place to go. The veggie breakfast was fine and really hit the spot.

Hopefully I won’t be making a habit of this, but sometimes you just need a good breakfast!

Piccadilly Stale Sandwich (68/365) Wednesday March 9, 2011

Desperate times lead to desperate measures. I’d had a massively busy day and then spent a couple of hours in the pub before realising I hadn’t done anything new. And I was starving.

Solution was to do something new and a bit stupid, which was to get a sandwich from the newsagent/mini-shop in Piccadilly Circus tube station. It was a stale cheese and onion one, but I was so hungry I would have and did eat anything.

Probably the least interesting post so far - only probably because there is plenty of competition :-(

Mornington Crescent (67/365) Tuesday March 8, 2011

I was up early as usual on Tuesday, so decided to try getting the bus into work for a change rather than the tube.

From Seven Sisters to Soho there isn’t a direct bus, so my plan was to get one of many buses to Manor House, then get a 29 to Charing Cross Road. 

After I’d bought The Times to read on the way, the first part went well and in 10 minutes I was on the 29. This was an old-skool bendy bus and was already full so I had to stand all of the way. At 7:15 the traffic wasn’t that bad through Finsbury Park and obviously Mornington Crescent, but then it unexpectedly terminated at Warren Street because of supposed congestion in Trafalgar Square.

Luckily I saw a 24 that I knew went my way as I used to get it up into town from my old place in Pimlico, so hopped on that and was soon in Soho. Journey time was around 50 minutes from home to work, whereas on the tube it would probably be 35. Not sure I’ll do it through choice again, but at least I know the alternative when the idiots on the tube go on strike again.