Friday, May 04, 2012

Forfeit and Injuries... SIGH!

Our previous game against Rocket Boys was a hostile one. Things were said. Ego's were bruised. So when a new match up against the Rocket Boys was announced I for one was keen on getting a chance to hit out at them again. But when Rob sent me and Blackout's latest recruit, Kevin, out to open in the batting we did so knowing that only four players were present. We march out and were ready to put on a big total in the hope more troops would arrive. However I was to face trouble on the first ball. I struck the ball downwards into the ground and thought a run may have been on. Kev sent me back to avoid a stumping. But in my effort to dive back I fell heavily onto my left hand with my bat in the right hand and injured myself. I played on not having known the seriousness of the injury and played out the rest of the match with a "mallet finger". Basically it's a bone fragment that has dislodged itself in my ring finger.

We managed to finish off our opening stint with a total of 45 runs on the board. Not a bad knock with only the single wicket falling... mine! Next out to battle were Rob and Langy. Slow and steady lead the race. This was proven with a total of 33 runs with only one run out to play against that pair. However Blackout's biggest worry here... and one that actually cost us the match, was the distinct lack of players in Black. In the end only four players showed and as a result we had to forfeit our match.

Rocket Boys were good enough to play on knowing that they had already taken out the win by sending both batting partners out in turn again. We notched up another 45 runs with three wickets this time round and the Hammer/Langy combo snared 34 runs on their second outing with only one wicket to speak of. Talk about consistent.

The fielding innings for Blackout was made up of four Blackout players with four Rocket Boys but Rob refused to let the Rocket's bowl to make things more interesting. What resulted was a thrilling match despite the circumstances which led to a draw! 157 runs a piece! There were some awesome bowling, catches and tight fielding to speak of. But the fact that it was all for nothing left a bad taste in my mouth. The fact that I ended up with an eight week injury made that fact even more hard to take.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Waze Around Traffic

I stumbled onto an app for the Android (also available for that other phone… the iPhone!) which promises to help duck around traffic jams with a social network system of people reporting roadwork's, speed patrols and other hazards on the roads. Living here in Sydney can be testing at the best of times when it comes to life on the road. Our silly government put up roads that are half as efficient as they ought to be and as a result roads become parking lots real quick!

Waze promises a social GPS navigation experience with user built maps, user built warnings and user built social experience. I downloaded this in a heartbeat! You start off as a baby “wazer” and the more dots on the road, more traffic reports you upload and basically more interactions you have with the software the higher up the ranks you go. You start by telling the program where you wish to go. Unfortunately, as with most GPS programs, this is where you’ll encounter your first problem. Admittedly the developers website do state that Australia is only a recent addition to the Waze network but for the time being, finding your address can be a nuisance as the roads are still being entered into the program by the users themselves. Once entered though you get to start driving and when it works, the system is great. It tells you that there are speed traps ahead, displays on the screen when you have stopped of locally reported hazards from other users… LIVE! But the navigating is so unreliable at present it’s almost better off at this stage to simply not use this software for that. Simply using it to warn of problems on the road is where this system is currently at it’s most usefulness.

You can have the software report to Twitter or Facebook of your events with the software (eg; Just reported a hazard on Marsh Street. m5 tunnel is closed eastbound. My mood: happy, using @waze - Social GPS) or you can check into locations via Four Square from within the app itself.


Here’s my wish with this software. I had so much fun using this app. Seeing other peeps using the software with me in real time is cool. Having little neat touches like a tag left behind in your trail on the map showing your speed at that point or if you’re stuck in slow traffic getting to see your app upload that live to the network. So much at promise with this app it’s cool. Things I disliked immensely with the app was it’s reliance on cutesy games like collecting on screen chocolates for points and dots on the map for Pacman style scores was a little too left of field for me despite the fact I once imagined a GPS program having this feature one day!

Currently I don’t believe that there are enough users on this network here in Sydney to show the programs full potential. Being able to warn the masses about a closed road really gives you a sense of being a good do’er doesn’t go unnoticed! Entering in the updates while driving though should be so so simple. Currently I’d need to bring up the menu screen, click REPORT and then select my type of warning and then click the field to type the message and then hit ENTER and then hit send. TOO MANY CLICKS! Admittedly I do use voice recognition with mixed success but having said that the program does need to cut down on this procedure and stream line it to make it safer to use.

One last problem was that once you’ve reached your destination you need to quickly shut down the program or it will falsely report the road you are on as a stand still as you are not moving.

This app has so much potential and despite all its many current flaws (such as Botany Bay taking up most of the St George area in a virtual tsunami) I believe if this was an add on for current top named GPS programs then we could be onto a winner! Imagine Tom Tom or Navigon where you, the drivers, could contribute to the traffic reports. One day me thinks!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Samsung Galaxy S Upgrade

I have finally got past those pesky Samsung Kies related problems in attempting to update my Samsung Galaxy S from the now outdated Eclair (Android 2.1) to the new slimmed down and more zippier Froyo (Android 2.2). My problem in getting the update was that Kies wasn’t recognising my Galaxy S when it was plugged into the PC. After many attempts using a whole plethora of techniques after scrounging through many online forums with frustrated users with the same problem I decided to bite the bullet and factory reset the phone. Now important that if you do this that you have your contacts, calendar stuff backed up via Google or any other online service (Google stuff works best I believe) and also that you have all your photos backed up too via Picasa.
Good so once you’ve gone and done that you need to get the scary business of resetting your phone to factory settings. There’s a heap of different advice out there but the one that got me one the way was this video:
WARNING: THIS WIPES OUT PERSONAL DATA - Basically you need to dial *2767*3855#
Then after you’ve done that you should start to see your phone set about resetting itself. Once you’ve got this far you need to connect your phone to the PC with Kies running. You SHOULD see the phone connect now with no problems. Then you need to update the firmware from Kies.
The benefits? Well not only does 2.2 run so much smoother than 2.1 but it has many improvements in speech recognition commands, better lay out in on screen design and improved design. But also Samsung offer a free GPS program from Navigon. Overall the Navigon program is actually quite good and runs better in many ways than even Tomtom does. It displays ultra smooth maps on the screen and has the added bonus of being able to Google your destination direct from the phone to the Navigon program. This saves you time in setting your course as most people don’t even have their address they’re going to when attempting to plot their course!
Google have recently released Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and this update should be available to the Samsung Galaxy S as soon as Samsung OK this. But till then this is a must do update for all owners of the Galaxy S. It may be a hassle for the average user but the benefits are worth it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Movember 2010 in Full Swing

It's now day 16 of the Movember effort and being my third year into this shenanigans I'm finding it easier to tolerate the 'tache and also a little easier to raise awareness of the Men's Health issues at stake here. Now in the past I've never really been one to give much to charity. Not through being selfish. Just that I've been pretty much finding myself struggling to just pay bills etc. But as I'm getting a little older and hopefully wiser I'm realise it's not just money that helps a cause. Simple education is sometimes all it takes to be of help. Education in this case via a fun and trivial effort such as growing a moustache is proving to be very effective. Even if I encourage just one guy to go and get himself checked out medically rather than putting it off means that I have done my job. It's amazing how many people I have had come up to me and laughing at my dire mo and ask "why you growing THAT THING?". What's even more incredible is the number of people who have not heard of Movember yet! If you're one of those people that have yet to hear about the Movember movement and the good work that they are doing for Beyond Blue and the Prostate Cancer Foundation then you need to head to and get it started in your part of the world next time November hits.

On a personal note, the first year I donned the Mo for the movement I first did it just for the novelty of growing the Moustache. But in the following months after that November finished I noticed a bulge developing in my stomach. So what did I do about it? I did what any normal guy does... I ignored it. I put off going to the doctor. Why? I don't know. Laziness most likely. I hate waiting rooms. You go there to... well... wait! But eventually it got too noticeable and I decided I had my back to the wall and HAD to go. I then found out that I had a hernia. A bad one. TRIPLE! I had gotten it playing Indoor Cricket going for a catch. It's funny how when you hear about bad news regarding your body and you suddenly just KNOW how you got it. I remembered going after a diving catch (yes I held onto it!) and after coming down after the leap feeling somewhat uncomfortable.

Fast forward to now and I'm all healed up and jumping and leaping again. So all you guys out there. Don't be scared of the doctors waiting room. Bring a Nintendo DS or something to make it pass by quickly. But just don't put it off! And if you see a chap on the street during Movember with a less then perfect Moustache throw him a tenner. It'll be going to a good cause! Or head to my Movember page and throw the tenner my way! As I type this I have $119 raised and quite frankly would like to see that figure go much much further north!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Word Press Bites The Big One

Just recently everyone who had a Microsoft Live blogging site was asked oh so politely to vacate the premises. The party's over. Microsoft have a history of doing this. So much so that I no longer even get angry if a program or service that they provide gets axed and I was a fan of it. Xbox Live for Xbox (1), Microsoft Money, Microsoft Picture It, BOB... OK... BOB had to be aborted but in hindsight.... BOB was not such a bad idea. Just poorly executed.

Back to the topic at hand though. I figured that maybe with this terminal stop by Microsoft that Word Press would try to do as much a humanly possible to make the landing into a new blogging site as smooth as possible. Not so. The feeling I got when I seen my blog in this new home was that of being stopped off in some form of vast barren wasteland! All my themes, GONE! All my widgets, GONE! The themes they had on offer were so... so... 1990's! Yuck!

So it was soon a mission to get my long running, totally uninteresting to anyone else but to yours truly blog to a nicer home. Blogger! I've had a good experience with Blogger with my indoor cricket site. It handles new entries with ease. There's a great range (although more would be nicer) of themes to choose from. Having multiple bloggers is also not a hassle.

So what I want to know is... why does everyone rave so hard about Word Press? I found it to be a immensely dull site with little offered in the way of innovative. Kinda like Yahoo. They were once a power house in innovation and offering cool new features. But then they just kinda put their feet up and pat themselves on the back and said "we've made it". Google at least are releasing new stuff all the time. Although Google reminds me of a child with attention span issues! LOL

So after being booted out by Microsoft I have found a nice new home with Blogger with my old entries. Anyone wanting to get out of Word Press to move to Blogger just remember that you can do it. Just Google your heart out on the issue. There are apps out there that goes through your entries. Turns it into one big dirty file and then you simply use Bloggers Import feature. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Mee Mee


For the past few years the question of getting another cat has been raised on and off many times. We were scared of the extra burden it would have on us in resources. Space, time and money. Kittens do cost a lot in many ways you don’t imagine. But a post on Facebook from an old work mate got me ignoring all that and now we have an addition to the family. Introducing Mee Mee!

Meet Mee Mee! Mee Mee! Foo Foo vs Mee Mee


So far we’ve been having problems with getting Foo Foo to accept Mee Mee. She hisses at her and basically is anything but nice to her. But we half expected this. Foo Foo has had a troubled up bringing and is generally a non trusting cat. Suspicous of everyone and anything! But she still has her moments!

Mee Mee is the complete opposite of Foo Foo. A very happy cat with loads of energy. I’ve been having trouble keeping up with her. So far (and it’s only day three!) she’s broken my Xbox 360 headset cord. Chewed clean through it! She’s a pretty little thing. Part Persian with little white whiskas and white eye brow whiskas to boot.

LiveJournal Tags: ,,,,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Blackouthouse Homepage Update

New major updates have been now made to the homepage. Added are:

- Time Till countdown for next game
- Scrolling java script news feed which now shows images from the team blog
- New improved youtube feed box
- Cruiser font (yes I found the team font!!!)
- Time widget... I figured you lot don't have watches!

Check out the new look site now and come back here to leave remarks!
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