Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Twitter down "again"?

Labels: , ,

HTTP Server Error 503

No available server to handle this request

Yes it's gone down again. No access on a Saturday night to all the people you normal chat with.

How can this of happened again?

Check back here later & I'll have the answer.

Update from twitter..

Working on unexpected downtime 41 minutes ago

We’re actively working to bring the site back online following an downtime that started a couple minutes ago.

Update (10:15a): We’re recovering from the downtime and looking into the external causes.

What is a denial-of-service (DoS) attack?

Labels: , , ,

What is a denial-of-service (DoS) attack?

In a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, an attacker attempts to prevent legitimate users from accessing information or services. By targeting your computer and its network connection, or the computers and network of the sites you are trying to use, an attacker may be able to prevent you from accessing email, web sites, online accounts (banking, etc.), or other services that rely on the affected computer.

The most common and obvious type of DoS attack occurs when an attacker "floods" a network with information. When you type a URL for a particular web site into your browser, you are sending a request to that site's computer server to view the page. The server can only process a certain number of requests at once, so if an attacker overloads the server with requests, it can't process your request. This is a "denial of service" because you can't access that site.

An attacker can use spam email messages to launch a similar attack on your email account. Whether you have an email account supplied by your employer or one available through a free service such as Yahoo or Hotmail, you are assigned a specific quota, which limits the amount of data you can have in your account at any given time. By sending many, or large, email messages to the account, an attacker can consume your quota, preventing you from receiving legitimate messages.

Twitter down due to Denial Of Service

Labels: , , , , , ,

A denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) is an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users. Although the means to carry out, motives for, and targets of a DoS attack may vary, it generally consists of the concerted efforts of a person or persons to prevent an Internet site or service from functioning efficiently or at all, temporarily or indefinitely. Perpetrators of DoS attacks typically target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers such as banks, credit card payment gateways, and even root nameservers.

One common method of attack involves saturating the target (victim) machine with external communications requests, such that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic, or responds so slowly as to be rendered effectively unavailable. In general terms, DoS attacks are implemented by either forcing the targeted computer(s) to reset, or consuming its resources so that it can no longer provide its intended service or obstructing the communication media between the intended users and the victim so that they can no longer communicate adequately.

Denial-of-service attacks are considered violations of the IAB's Internet Proper Use Policy, and also violate the Acceptable Use Policies of virtually all Internet Service Providers. They also commonly constitute violations of the laws of individual nations.[1]


Labels: , , ,

Swine fever and you.

Labels: , , ,

Swine Fever, Swine Fever, Swine Fever, yes the kids know what pigs are but when they were told that a pig can be called a swine they started to ask the normal question which is "why is it called swine"

Which in the evening after a hard day at work usually gets the respone "I don't know, look it up in the dictionary". I should have said Wikipedia, but after a few checks I've made on Wikipedia, I have come to the conclusion that alot of the information is wrong. They would have probably come back downstairs & said that "swine means a pig that makes you i'll because you've drunk to much wine".
Anyway back to the original theme of this post "swine fever".
Are you worried?, do you think that in a week all the papers will have found something else to write about?, or do you think that this could be the one that finishes a large amount of humans beings & changes the world?
Today a man was quarentined in his house. Maybe tomorrow he'll have a big cross painted on his front door, plague within.
But in the end it will be "no he just had a cold".

Crazy paving can drive you crazy

Labels: , , ,

5 tons of sand, 20 sacks of cement & 55 square meters of crazy paving.

But it was worth it.

Changing the clocks

Labels: , , , ,

Should we change the clocks each year.

First we put them forward then we put them back.
Every year we all have to be reminded & many of us forget.
So let me know with the poll on the left of the home page or leave a comment.

Earth day, it's easier than you think

Labels: , , ,

8:30 pm to 9:30 pm tonight March 28 2009 is when we should all turn our lights off to save money & energy. And reduce the amount of CO2 used.

Sounds easy, doesn't it.

Well thats because it is. It's easy to turn the light on isn't it, & just as easy to turn it off again.

Pacman on drugs?

Labels: , ,

Saying that kids today are affected by computer games is rubbish.
If Pacman had affected us as kids, wouldn't we all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills & listening to repetitive music?????

Social networks are habit forming

Labels: , ,

A while ago I started this blog & it seemed to take up a lot of my time each day checking to see how many page views I'd had.
Then a few weeks ago I signed up with Twitter. Which is great by the way.
Then my wife mentioned her friend in the UK had asked her to join up on Facebook to keep in touch.
We both signed up & now we can keep up to date with our families back home.
Which is also very good.


It is now taking up so much of my time that I managed to completly kill my laptop at the weekend.
I promise to myself that from now on, I will try not to hurt my computer any more. Because reinstalling windows, the updates & all the software you need to run your life is a serious pain in the arse.


Labels: , ,

My wife told me that "my horosope was very bad for this week".

I told her that I don't believe in astrology. I'm a Capricorn & we're very grounded.

Buy IKEA but learn Jovian

Labels: , , ,

I have made it through day 3 of the kitchen installation, just. It's supplied with instructions written in Jovian by a little man in Japan who has no concept of what a kitchen unit should look like.

If the instructions are easy to understand, then I assume he doesn't get paid. It's the only explanation.

Kitchen blues

Labels: , ,

The kitchen is out of it's boxes............but still not completely installed. Perhaps tomorrow.

Decided the best thing was to stop, shower & grab a beer.

New kitchen for Easter?

Labels: ,

No pictures today  I have spent the day ripping out the old kitchen & time is getting on.

The kitchen units were already installed when we moved in & behind them lurked untold horrors.
The new kitchen is still all boxed up in the gite ready to be installed tomorrow. We'll see....................

Easter Weather

Labels: , , , , ,

Easter's not far away & you are already thinking of your holiday. But you need to know, is it going to be Spanish weather in the UK or is it going to be UK weather in Spain.

At the moment your guess is as good as mine. It could be sub tropical, torrential rain or driving snow, here or there.
The weather forecasters, for the past few years have told us that worse is yet to come , either too hot, too cold, too windy or too wet.
But remember they come on after the news, which is all doom & gloom. Whilst writing their forecast they must think "light winds in the South & drizzle in the North" is a bit boring after all the stabbings, shootings & bombings that have been on the news. So why not "Dangerous gusts in the South & possible flooding in the North".
Severe weather warnings, flood warnings, high UV levels, smog warnings, you name it they will warn you about it. We were raised on fish fingers & drizzle. We're used to bad weather.
Is it really getting hotter in the summer & colder in the winter, or do we just believe what we're told in the press. "coldest since records began", "most rain in 24 hours for 79 years", "statistics show that it is getting warmer / colder". A popular Sunday paper recently told us that statistics show that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the population. Is that really true? It can't be that high can it?

Happy Birthday WWW

Labels: , , ,

20 years ago this Month Tim Berners-Lee wrote a document called "Information Management: A Proposal." It set out how using "hypertext" to share information between researchers based at CERN would make life a lot easier. It was the birth of the World Wide Web.
Only 20 years later we are blogging, twittering, facebooking you name it, it can be done on the Internet. Keeping in touch with loved ones all over the world is all thanks to Tim Berners-Lee.
So many thanks & happy birthday.

Facebook brings a family closer

Labels: , ,

Last week Facebook got some bad press along with other social networking sites. So I decided to give it a try.

Yesterday I signed up & started searching for family members. I have now been in touch with members of my family I haven't seen for years. they have photos of their kids, holidays, nights out you name it they've posted it. What a great way to catch up & keep up to date with your family. As you may know we live in France & rarely get a chance to go back to the UK. So for us it's the best thing since sliced bread.
As a result the saying that "there's no such thing as bad press" has worked.
We are now in contact with our huge family once again. In fact I think we will chat more now than when we were living in the UK.

Celebrity Twitter goes bad

Labels: , ,

This morning, after the kids had gone to school, my wife ran upstairs to the office to check on her twitter updates.

She had seen that Phillip Schofield had been tweeting the night before & decided to leave him a good morning message.
To her suprise he replied straight away saying good morning back.
She then noticed she had a new follower. Yes it was Phillip Schofield.
She shouted to me downstairs to come up quick & then told me all about it. But she couldn't understand why her picture had changed on her home page. Pleasure soon changed to rage as she realised that the evening before I had been tweeting & not logged myself out.
As a result she had sent the message as me.
But on a positive note, at least Phillip Schofield is following one of us.

Get out of jail free

Labels: , ,

So you get into the hospital room of a celeb, there's no one around & you have a hammer. Then the celebrity starts to scream for help & the nurse comes who then calls security, then the police & the person with the hammer is arrested. Charged with possession of an offensive weapon. All straight forward for the police. Clearly some nutter on the loose. Caught red handed or hammer handed which ever way you see it.

But I have now read that the woman in question was charged but then released & that security around Jade Goody has been stepped up.
What if this women thinks that anyone in hospital deserves a bit of hammer action, not just celebs. In a few days time will we see lots of people walking around with hammers knowing full well that if they get caught, they will get a very severe telling off from the police, their hammer confiscated & sent on their way.
This sounds like another get out of jail free card to me.

Sunday Roast

Labels: ,

Yes it's Sunday evening & normally it would be roast chicken, pork, lamb or beef. But not today. Today it's Duck. Juicy, tasty, succulent roast duck. So this post is going to be short because I can't wait. So short in fact that's it, bye.

Tweetdeck rules

Labels: , , ,

A few of days ago I signed up with twitter to follow the celeb team climbing Kilimanjaro for comic relief. I explained the object of the site ("what are you doing")  to my wife who thought it was good for friends & family, until she signed herself up & found a number of celebs like Phillip Schofield who she likes also twitters frequently. We are both now completely hooked. So much so that we have downloaded the best software ever invented, "tweetdeck". You will be amazed at what celebs are up to. We are. I have even put my "twitter updates" at the bottom of this blog page. Give it a try, you'll be hooked.

Website & the Dentist from hell

Labels: , , ,

I have just finished (well almost) the new website for our gite.

It still needs a few tweaks here & there, but all in all I'm quite happy with it.
Give it a try & let me know. Just click the word gite.

I didn't get to post a blog yesterday as I had been back to the French dentist I have learnt to hate. She gave me the injection after she had prodded about & inflicted as much pain as she thought she could get away with. Three injections later she got her little black & decker drill out & started grinding away through my tooth & it felt out of the bottom of my jaw. When she finally realised I was still in pain, she stopped & asked if it still hadn't gone numb. Had my French been better, I could have told her that my nose & right ear were numb, but the tooth no.
All I could muster was the international sound that everyone knows as "WTF do you think".
Now this I think might have upset her as she then turned the drill back on, set it to hammer action & continued attacking the tooth.
When I eventually came around, she said "that the cavity was very deep & had to be filled three times." It was so deep because she had drilled it so deep & wide. I'm sure with the hole being so large I had some subsidence at some point & in consequence my right ear is now lower than it was.
The worst part of all, is that after she had finished the torture, she then stood & asked for her 100€ for the pain she had inflicted, gave me a quote for 400€ to inflict more pain & told me I had two more appointments with her as she had found another cavity (or created one).

Red Nose Climb

Labels: , ,

Today talking about what went on, on the QE2 has taken a rear seat (but just for today).

I have just been reading the updates for the Red Nose Climb on Twitter.
I'm sure we have all been through some days when we have thought "wow that was hard".
But I think these guys are going through things that not many people have experienced, & the hardest part is ahead.
If you want to keep up to date with their progress click this link http://www.rednoseday.com/climb . If possible make a donation.

I have just re-read the first line of this post & noticed the on, on bit.
See if you can solve this puzzle. Can you say a (proper) sentence with the word "and" in it 5 times in a row?

QE2 & that sinking feeling

Labels: , , ,


Yes a ship held together with bits of rubber sheet & jubilee clips.
When we had a pipe crack or start to leak in the bulkhead, there was no time to drain the system cut out the pipe & replace it. So in consequence you got a 4 inch square piece of sheet rubber from the stores along with 2 jubilee clips (hose clamp in the USA) . Place it over the leak, fix the clips in place & cross your fingers.
Now time for a true story.
A main water pipe on 4 deck burst one day. It was like Niagra Falls. The floor was covered in over an inch of water. When the water reached the staircase gravity took over & I must admit for a split second it looked like a very nice water feature.
The passengers didn't think the same, even for a split second. They were more concerned about their Louis Vuitton luggage.
Just as the torrent reached it's peak, the captain turned up to find out how serious it was.
An elderly lady in a bit of a panic spotted him & grabbed him by the arm & said "CAPTAIN, CAPTAIN THERES WATER FLOWING DOWN THE STAIRS".
The captain in true British fashion took her hand off of his arm, held it in his hands & said "Madam, you only need to worry if the water is flowing up the stairs". 

QE2 wife & kids

Labels: , ,

Yesterday I was talking about having kids & the things they say.

Today I thought it might be a good idea to tell you about life pre kids. On the left you can see a picture of the "QE2". Many many years ago I worked on board this ship as a petty officer. It was on board this ship that I met my wife.

She was pure white with a black & red bottom (I'm talking about the ship now) . When I arrived at Southampton docks the first day & saw her for the first time, she took my breath away (I'm talking about my wife now). She was so tall against the cranes (still my wife). The ship was also very high, I had never been this close to a ship so big before & it was a little bit scary. We set sail that day, it was the first Atlantic crossing of the year after the world cruise. 5 days after leaving Southampton I would be in New York. In fact it was more like after 5 days heaving that I reached New York. I always thought it was in films that people went green with sea sickness, but I was wrong. I was so bad that I had to visit the ship doctor, who gave me an injection (that had to be injected into my bum cheek) since then I have never been sea sick again. Although I did get a lot of the crew asking if the doctor "had given me a prick in the bum". The answer to this question changed depending on who had asked it. Anyway back to the topic of this post "meeting my wife" & "the QE2". The story is long, funny & sun drenched. In future posts I will explain all the tales, floods, passengers, rubber & jubilee clips, even the one about how it helped that she had a smooth bottom (the ship by the way).

Snow, Snowing & Snew

Labels: , , , ,

On the right is a photo scan of my new (& first) nephew. It's alot clearer than the scans my wife had when she was pregnant with the twins. It was like an 85 year old on drugs drawing on an etch-a-sketch. But as you can see, you can clearly make out the head, nose, mouth & arm. He also looks like he's scratching his head. (just like my brother). Kids are wonderful at stating the obvious, embarrassing you in front of strangers & family & making you fall over laughing.

Teaching the kids the subtleties of English whilst they are being brought up in France can be funny & frustrating. A few years ago we were trying to teach them that the past tense of throw is threw not throwed, & the same with grow & grew not growed. But then our daughter said "Oh I get it, if today it's snowing & tomorrow it will snow, then yesterday it snew.
NO NO NO NO NO. It's impossible, I thought learning French is hard having masculine & feminine everything. But teaching English grammar rules, & when they are to be broken is not easy.
Because a child when told something like that says the one thing to stop you dead in your tracks "but why?"
Can you answer it? No, it just doesn't sound right to say "it snew yesterday" or why the word "close" can be said two different ways even though they are spelt the same.
My brother is looking forward to the birth of his son, but I haven't got the heart to tell him what he's in for.

PS my spell checker has just had a nervous breakdown

How to keep your family warm in France

Labels: , , , , , ,

It's sunny, It's warm & the French papers say that spring will be ending on Monday.
I don't care. I sat on the terrace this afteroon, took my jumper off & my brilliant white skin blinded everyone.
No it was a very nice, 18c in the shade & if the French papers are correct that spring is ending on Monday then that means summer is next, or have I missed something.
As a standby, I have lit the wood burner & turned the heating on for the evening.
I have also decided to cook the family Mexican chicken fajitas tonight for a bit of internal central heating.
Normaly anything spicy I cook starts with hot mouth, hot throat, hot stomach & in the morning you melt the toilet.
But I have promissed the kids I will not to go to hot tonight, because normally every time I do chilli for them, the shares for Andrex double the next day.
I'll let you know tomorrow how it went.

Did dinosaurs eat Adam & Eve?

Labels: , , , ,

Heres a question for ya. Last week after we bought a lottery ticket, my wife said "please god let us win". 

Then yesterday I was in the car with my daughter, who suddenly said "I don't believe in god anymore". I asked her why & she told me that she had prayed to god so that we would win the lottery, & we didn't.
Now we are not a religous family, but the kids have just started learning about god  in school & are constanly asking questions.
I told her that if there was a god, praying to him to help you win the lottery wouldn't work, you are meant to pray to help others.
After a short silence she said "dad, what came first then, Adam & Eve or the dinosaurs."
My mind became so overloaded with possible answers, all I could say was "I don't know."

Gmail & NASA

Labels: , , , ,

Both Google & NASA are having a bad day.

Googles Gmail decided to crash, putting millions of people out of touch with each other.
NASA lost contact with it's co2 satellite which will be doomed to crash.

Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) 2009

Labels: , ,

It's pancake day  or shrove Tuesday if you prefer tomorrow 24th Feb.

As some of you may know I live in France & although pancake day is celebrated in France they are not called pancakes, they are crepes & pancake day is "mardi gras" which literally translates as "greasy Tuesday" nice. They have for many years in France had restaurants called creperies. These are restaurants that sell unsurprisingly crepes. But with a difference.

The typical menu would be something like: 
Starter- Jambon (ham in a wrapped up pancake)
Main course - BergerCrottin de chèvre chaudsaladetomate (goats cheese, lettuce & tomatoe wrapped in a pancake).
Dessert -Crepe avec confiture au choix Abricotfraisemyrtille, orange, framboise (pancake with choice of jam).

So as you see pancakes shouldn't be a big thing in France, but still the supermarkets are full of frying pans & lemons advertising "greasy Tuesday".
So tomorrow morning spare a thought for me, because at 7:05 the kids will be wanting a pancake breakfast.
As I say "there's nothing like a good crepe first thing in the morning". (please excuse any typos"

Jade Goody the truth

Labels: , ,

Many celebrities invite the press & media into their lives when they have something to promote, new single, new film, new program etc. Then when the press & media continue to follow them after the promotion, they get very upset & call it intrusion.

I once heard Will Smith being asked "fame & wealth must be great" he replied "wealth yes, fame not so much".
So what about if you're famous but not so wealthy, should you court the press & media to increase your wealth. Normally I would say no, but in the case of Jade Goody I am going to say "good on ya". The press have had a field day with her in the past, they had reduced her to a figure of hatred. But now she has turned the tables. They want the big story & she knows she has it. So for the financial security of her kids she has courted the press & media & has come out on top. One million pounds is the reported amount for covering her wedding. For many of the major celebrities this would be a drop in the ocean, but for her, shes willing to die publicly for it. The press & the media should club together & raise as much money as they can for making her look as bad as possible in the past & give it to charity, & show they're not as heartless as the public think they are.


Labels: , ,


Yes it’s that day again. We all dream of it all week.

The french news today is about Damien Meslot the UMP member of Belfort receiving a 700 euro fine & calling the magistrate a "gaucho de merde" (i’ll let you translate that).

And the second most popular story is, how busy the roads will be this weekend as the schools are be back on Monday.

The weather in France at the moment is sunny & warm. Not hot, but nice sat on the terrace with a glass of something. The evenings are still cold, but the log fire is alight & it’s nice & warm indoors. I feel a visit to the beach this weekend with the kids & dog might be coming up.

Blogging all over the world

Labels: , , ,

How many times have you sat there in front of your computer after checking your blog & seen the "next blog" button. You hit it & then you hit it again & again & again until eventually you hit upon a blog written in English. You read it & then you're back to the next blog button. I do it all the time. Sometimes I start clicking it at 6pm & before I know it it's 8pm. Addictive?, maybe.

But if I see a blog that I like, I leave a comment. I always look at the "blog of note" each day & if I like it I will leave another comment.
But today on the news it was reported that social networks are inhibiting social interaction.
I don't think so.
Without these sites would you ever of left or received comments from people from other countries.
When I was young we had pen pals. You wrote a letter, put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it & posted it.
Today, posting is what i'm doing now. It's just spelt "blogging".
These people who have been paid to do this survey of social inhibition due to the internet today, should get a life.
I can think of lots of better things the money could of been spent on.
What about.............actually let me know with the poll on the right.

Classic English Breakfast

Labels: , , ,

After watching the old videos yesterday & watching some old comedy programs. I found a piece of classic British comedy on youtube "Morecambe and Wise breakfast". It's been years since i've seen it, but still made me laugh out loud. Today on UK television there is an advert for PG Tips tea bags, which is an up to date version of this classic. But will never be as good as the original.

Getting old too quick

Labels: , ,

I've been transferring some old videos from cassette onto DVD today. Mainly videos of the kids when they were young. It's amazing what you forget you recorded all those years ago. Watching them back, you realise just how young they once were. & if the camera happens to swing around onto you, then you think "my god where did that person go".

I have also just put our wedding video onto DVD, & when you look closely at the bridesmaids & page boy, you notice that although they were tiny then, they now have kids of their own, & it scares the life out of me.
My kids have sat for hours this afternoon watching old videos of themselves, & have laughed all the way through. I However walked into the bathroom after watching my wedding video again, looked in the mirror & nearly cried. Because the man who married my wife isn't here any more.
Then I watched the video of the kids when they were little & I did cry.
Because I was sure it was only a year or two ago. But now I've worked it out it was over 10.

barn to gite

Labels: , , ,

I forgot to say that I think I have nearly finished the
barn to gite blog. If you can leave any comments or ask any questions, that would be great.

There is a photo album on the left, if hover your mouse over it you can view all the pics.

Funny piano playing by Dudley Moore

Labels: , , , ,

I had forgotten about this video I had on the computer. It's from "An audience with Dudley Moore" sorry about the quality, but I had to rip it from a video cassette. For those of you under 15 years old, look up video cassette on Wikipedia here. You might also try looking up Dudley Moore here.

Dancing on ice falling to learn

Labels: ,

Why was Melinda Messenger in the bottom two again. She's not a great skater I agree, but apart from Ray Quinn non of the others are either. But they're not supposed to be are they. They are "celebs" who are doing this for entertainment, our entertainment. They all began as novices, & as far as I can see, they are now good skaters. (I don't include Todd Carty in this group by the way). He brought a whole different kind of entertainment to us. As far as I can see, Melinda seems like a very nice, bubbly, down to earth type of person who is trying hard to entertain us & is always smiling & up for a challenge. There are others on the show that burst into tears as soon as the camera is pointed at them. When you are a novice, falling over is part of learning. If you don't fall you don't learn.

So if you haven't been voting for her you should. 

Broadband meltdown

Labels: , , ,

It's Sunday, the kids have got their friends here for the afternoon. I think they've invited everyone they know. My eldest is online with his xbox & ipod, his friend is online with his psp. My youngest son & his friends are online in the office upstairs & my daughter is online in her bedroom to all of her friends. I am now online on the laptop. If for any reason the broadband to the west of France melts down then it's because it's Sunday & it's the school holidays, not anything to do with me. I'm just glad that we haven't got a download limit for broadband or it would cost thousands.

Technology is great, & it's getting better by the day. I owned my first PC in 1982, it was the Sinclair ZX81, & I had the 16K ram. My friend also had the printer which I think was thermal, & printed on special grey paper.
We spent hours typing in lines of code, just to play breakout. Then came the ZX Spectrum. My god it was the mutt's nuts. It had rubber keys, & to save or load programs all you needed was a tape recorder & a double ended jack lead. But more about that in another post.

Now back to the broadband problem in the west of France

Falling on ice

Labels: , , ,

Today we have been ice skating, the first time. The picture you see on the left is the only one that we took that had all the family in, & all the rest were blurred due to the high speed of the kids on the ice. After half an hour the twins were skating backwards & doing spins, the eldest was happy to skate around with me & keep out of trouble (good idea). After an hour the twins were doing double axels & triple toe loops, & after two hours they were asked to leave. "There is a time & place for that sort of thing" the man explained. "It's a public ice rink during the school holidays, you shouldn't be surprised if theres a little blood on the ice" the twins said in protest. It was cold & I don't think we will be allowed back, now as I type this I ache in places that I didn't know I had, but it was good fun. The next time we are going to try roller skating as this doesn't require any ice & therefore must be warmer, unless of course the rink is outside. Lets hope the people that run it are more forgiving.

14 Feb


OK OK it,s the 13th of February, & that means that tomorrow is the 14th. You all know what that means, holy shit I forgot (again). Sorry for any spelling mistakes but i'm in a rush.

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter