Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Thai Inspired King Prawn curry

Since last nights dinner was very successful and entirely my own concoction I thought I'd share it with you. I was originally intending to write this sort of thing down in a notebook, but it might be more fun to blog it.

For my very own "thai inspired" prawn curry.. you will need:

King prawns (raw, up-to you if you shell them or not, I do) - 6-8 per person
Zest and juice of 1 lime
3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 thumb sized piece of ginger (grated or finely chopped)
A pinch of turmeric and one of coriander
1 red chilli (de-seeded & chopped)
1 green chilli (de-seeded & chopped)
A splash of Soy, Nam Pla (Thai fish sauce) and white wine
1-2 tbsp Creme Fraiche

Heat some olive oil in a wok until very hot - but not smoking. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli with the spices and fry for a few minutes. Add the lime zest and the prawns and fry, moving/turning the prawns so they coat well in the spice mixture.

Add the soy, fish sauce and white wine (don't add salt/pepper - use soy to adjust the seasoning). Chuck in the lime juice as well.

Once the prawns have cooked through (very quick - don't cook too much or they'll be orrible), remove from the heat and stir in the creme fraiche to finish.

Serve with noodles and stir fried veggies (a mix of fennel, chicory and brocolli spears is a nice green, wintery mix).

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Pie: Sausage, Apple & Sage

Recently, I bought a copy of "Pie" by Angela Boggiano (see Amazon link to the right). This is an awesome book. Well, it is, if like me, you are somewhat addicted to pie.

It was test-driven for last nights dinner and officially gets the thumbs up (so much that I've added an affiliate link to Amazon to try and sell it to you all!).

I even made shortcrust pastry with only a minor adjustment to her recipe. In brief:

Mix 250g of plain white flour with 50g of butter (leave this out to soften for a bit first) and 50g of "good baking margerine" e.g stork (you're supposed to use lard, but firstly I have enough around my middle as is and secondly I forgot to buy any). Rub mixture together until it goes breadcrumby and is soft. Then stir in 2-3 tbsps of water a little bit at a time with a knife. As soon as the dough sticks together, knead it into a ball and let it rest in the fridge while you make the filling.

Extract the meat from half a dozen sausages and set aside. Chop two onions and fry gently on a low heat with a good dollop of olive oil, until they start to soften. Add the sausage meat and cook for a few minutes. Chop and add two small apples - and switch off the heat. Mix in some dried sage (or add fresh sage at the start - I only had dried available), plus a couple of tbsps of creme fraich and one of mustard.

Thats it! Roll out your pastry, assemble the pie in a shape of your choice - in the original recipe it is a plate pie, I made a sort of deep dish one because we're a bit limited on pie-baking-equipment at the moment. Bake for 40 mins (or so) at 200 degrees. Eat. Eat more. Feel a bit fat and wonder how you ate so much pie.

Can't wait to try another recipe out..!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Winter Warmer: Pumpkin and Chickpea Soup

After I mentioned that we'd had some lovely pumpkin soup on Twitter (mentioned on Twitter - clearly we didn't have the soup there; that would make a mess of the keyboard), @Talkinrubarb has been poking me to post the recipe. So thats what I'm doing!

This makes quite a lot of soup. You may want to scale it down a bit.

Put a good lump of butter (about 15-20g) in the bottom of a big saucepan and melt it on a gentle heat. Add 2-3 roughly chopped garlic cloves and two chopped red onions. Add a couple of bay leaves if you like, but don't forget to remove them at the end.

Soften the onions/garlic on a medium heat for about 10 minutes and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of chilli powder if you want to spice it up (add cumin, coriander and turmeric for a slightly curried variation).

Add about 400-500g of peeled, chopped pumpkin (the more you add the thicker and more pumpkinny your soup will be), and cook with the onions on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Then add two cans of chickpeas (drained) to the mix and leave for another 5-10 mins.

Add about a litre and a half of vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you prefer - I find this detracts from the taste, though). If you don't have any fresh, try Knorr StockPots - they're pretty good, and I find two of them make a litre and a half of decentish stock - you want it to be slightly weaker if using cubes, as you won't taste the veg so much otherwise!

Thats it! Remove bayleaves and blend. I use a hand-blender in the pan while it's still on the heat. Although this introduces some risk of airborne-soup-napalm-related-injury (especially if I am involved), it produces a nice thick soup with some bits left in it. You can liquidise properly if you want a really smooth soup - Pumpkin, like most squashes/roots will liquidize down into a really lovely silky puree.


And if like me, you get a whole pumpkin, you'll either have to double/treble the recipe, or find other interesting things to make.. anyone got any other good pumpkin recipes?

Credit to Levi Roots for the original recipe which I have duly adjusted by use!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Still using less electricity and happy about it!

In August I blogged about our rudimentary efforts to use less electricity - not purely out of a desire to be greener, but because it's damn expensive and reducing the bill is worthwhile.

We've had another bill so I thought I'd post a quick update. It also stops my blog looking quite so neglected.

We have averaged 15.5 units a day over this quarter, compared to 22.8 for the same quarter last year, saving about 7.3 units a day. There were 82 days in last quarter, so that means 598.6 units saved at 13.11p (ignoring tax) - so thats £78.50ish in theory. The real saving was just under £70 on the bill, because the number of days differed.

Still not bad. I'm very happy with saving almost 30% on our electric bill!

Whats next?

The kettle needs replacing, so I'm hunting for the most eco-friendly (yet practical/functional) one I can find within a reasonable budget (upto about £30 - I use the kettle A LOT so I figure its worth it) - recommendations welcome.

We are also going to update our heating soon, getting rid of the old power-gobbling wall mounted ones in favour of some low energy flat panels (or similar). Then it's onto the white goods - the fridge and freezer are not currently very energy efficient... can't afford to change those until we've saved more on the bills though!

Friday, 16 October 2009

Follow Friday - The Jersey Ones

A while ago I blogged about #FollowFriday on Twitter and how it was useless to just spam a list of names.

Since then quite a few people have actually suggested blogging - and then tweeting the link (including @NikkiPilkington - she may have been the first I saw recommend it). Obvious when you think about it!

So accordingly, here are some interesting people to follow for this week - they all have a bit of a Jersey theme to them, because, lets face it - Jersey is fantastic (although others who live here don't always agree - I think being away for 10+ years has give me a bit of context!)

So, five of the best Jersey Tweeps (there are more of you out there, and you'll get a mention later, don't worry!)

@JerseyTourism - keep abreast of the latest tourism related news and highlights from the local events calendar.

@FreshFishCo - possibly the freshest fish in the Island! Friendly and helpful too.

@DunellsWines - free wine tastings on a Saturday so you can pick the perfect bottle(s) to go with Sunday lunch!

@Channel103News - news updates and more from my personal favourite local radio station (err not that there are loads of options, mind you!)

@BrianLeLion - as well as being a very nice chap, Brian does on occasion post links to photographs and videos he has taken, which show off our lovely island wonderfully - highly recommended!

Enjoy - and why not leave me a comment with your own recommendations?

Thursday, 15 October 2009

ASP.NET shows a blank page in IIS?

OK. So this keeps getting me. Thus I'm blogging the answer as an aide memoire to myself.

If you have an ASP.NET site in IIS (typically one you've just installed or updated) and all you get is a blank page in internet explorer (or a nasty xml error in firefox)..

If you also use Global.asax to override the error handling, then you will need to temporarily uncomment that - basically something fundamental has gone wrong, and not even the error handler is working.

Normally this means the site can't load its configuration file(s), can't get to it's database, etc. Best thing is to uncomment the handling in global.asax and try again - then put it back once it's fixed!

Jersey Tennerfest 2009 - One Down!

Well, a while ago I mentioned that it is now tennerfest season - and duly, we managed to make it out to visit the Museum Brasserie - which was really good.

Trying to make space in the calendar (and bank balance!) for another night out before the end of the month - have any local readers been out to sample the various tennerfest menus available?

If so - any recommendations?

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Another do-follow blog

A while ago I posted that my grumpy blog had become 'dofollow'.

I thought I'd come back and post another quick note to say that Mattched IT's Blog now accepts comments and offers do-follow links. So please feel free to swing by and take a look.

Also applies to News/Articles posted on our Web Development site.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Jersey Tennerfest 2009

This years tennerfest supplement was in the JEP last night - and a few of the menus actually look quite appealing this year - there seem to be more £10 or £12.50s too - seem to remember a lot of £15/£17.50s in 2008.

One or two are a bit wierd (some bananas popping up where they don't seem to belong, for a start), and the odd one is a bit cheeky (£10 for 1 course! Not really a fest - although the menu in question looked interesting).

Will we have time to get out and enjoy a few this year? I'm sure we will!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Lloyds internet banking? Another thumbs up!

For quite a long time, I've been a big fan of Lloyds internet banking - it works well, and always has, really.

It's user friendly and generally not a complete pain in the arse like some others (Alliance & Leicester, Barclays - I'm looking at both of you).

They've added something new - which I'd forgotten about, but thought I'd mention because it's a good idea.

When you add a new person to make a payment to, and automated system calls you on one of your registered contact numbers to confirm that you want to add a new payee and make a transaction - a good security measure, I think. Perhaps not totally convenient if you were out on the move and potentially irritating - but quite well executed in this case. Well done, Lloyds!

8mb broadband in Jersey? Next week?

It might be!

As we speak, I'm filling out the form to get my Newtel broadband re-graded to 8mb (or however fast it decides it wants to go - I'm not holding my break, but I am hoping for a pleasant surprise).

It's been long enough arriving, so lets hope the service is at least half decent (I whinge a bit, but current service from Newtel is OK)..!

So 8mb broadband in jersey? Yes! Next week!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Using less electricity?

Had our next electric bill today, and being a bit sad - and in light of all the things we've changed to try to reduce our bills, I thought I'd track our success.

We have averaged 18.25 units a day over this quarter, compared to 18.55 for the same quarter last year. The two intervening quarters were 22.80 and 25.20 respectively.

The first 18.55 is a bit anomolous as we were still moving in, and neither this quarter nor last quarter did we have the heating on at all - therefore I'm going to say that we've managed to reduce from 25.2 to 18.25.

Thats a saving of 6.95 units a day. If we assume the electric is used 300 days a year (bit of a rough figure, but hey), and as per current bill is 13.11p a unit, well, heck, thats a possible saving of over £270.00 a year. Thats equivalent to roughly a quarter's usage!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

A Night in the Park - Jersey Film Festival

We went to one of the "Jersey Outdoor Film Festival" nights, in Howard Davis Park, last night, to watch "A Night at the Museum 2".

The film itself was pretty good.

The picnic we had, and generally the atmosphere with what could well have been 2000+ people all in the same space, watching the movie, was brilliant.

Shame there aren't any more movies on in this run which we want to watch!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Think twice? Too right!

As you may or may not know, there is a big 'Think Twice, Buy Local' campaign running here in Jersey (if you're local, I'm sure you're getting a bit fed up of the advert on Channel 103 by now).

I do think it's a good idea, and we've even pledged some support to the concept through our collaborative eCommerce website, Jersey Market - you can read a bit more about Think Twice Buy Local and find some other links, there.

Anyway, back to the point. I wanted to buy a micro-SD card for the other half's phone. This is not a significant purchase, therefore I thought - well - price locally is going to be within about a quid of Amazon, and it's a lot easier to just pick one up in town.

So I popped into a smallish local computer shop (seemed a logical place) - I won't name names, but I'm sure you can work out which one. It was just gone 9am - I'd be in town sorting a few other things out early.

The door was open, so in I popped. Only to be gruffly told that they didn't open until 9. Oh well. Back home - straight on Amazon! Will not be going back there in a hurry. OK, a bit petty of me to quibble over a minute or two, but still - there are ways of doing things and ways of not doing them, and I was pretty much told to piss off because I was too early! Grr.

Still here, never fear!

Oops. Bit of an unexpected break in the blogging schedule here.

Sorry folks - things have just been so crazy busy, both at work (this web development lark isn't as easy as you think!) and at home - lots of barbeques when we had a nice couple of weeks, and so on - that I've been totally neglecting my blog.

Needless to say, I've made some notes on things which have annoyed me over the last few weeks, and will try to post some of them up very soon!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Marks and Spencer Jersey - 125th Birthday Redux

A while ago I blogged about M&S in Jersey failing completely to honour the 125th birthday promotions in the rest of the chain.

One of the bosses was quoted as saying that this was because they hadn't been open for the full 125 years.

Having been shopping there the other day (sadly they are the only shop in town who seem to sell nice chinos which fit me really well so I can't boycott them completely) - I noticed that despite this, they have no problem in using "Celebrating 125 years" carrier bags.


Friday, 3 July 2009

The Developer's Tattoo

I have no idea of the original source of this, but a friend just forwarded it to me in an email.

It's so good, I just had to share.

Thursday, 2 July 2009


I'm a big believer in giving credit where it is due - which is why it's always irritating to see that most blogs, sites, etc only give nofollow links.

For example, the crafts directory site I am involved with gives a do-follow link if you sign the handmade pledge. So. Finally, I've gotten around to editing my blog template, so that I can incorporate follow links in my posts.

And if you leave a comment with your name and url, you'll get a link back against that too. But please use your name, or at least something more sensible than a load of keyword spam, or you won't get anything at all.

Friday, 26 June 2009

The fridge of death



Yesterday, our new cooker (to replace the oven which I may or may not have told you had died) arrived. A nice bloke called Tim brought it round, as he is moving to Belgium. It cost us £100 and is well worth the money for a double-oven cooker with a good hob, which is approx 18 months old (well used, but thats not a problem).


I had to remove our old integrated hob and fridge, open up the worktop a bit, then wire in and put into place the new cooker. This sounds quite easy.

This would be quite easy.

If when you lift the hob, you don't see this:

Suffice to say, once I finally managed to extract the fridge, I didn't plug it back in. Back to the classifieds to look for a fridge/freezer, methinks!

Friday, 19 June 2009

It's "Follow Friday" - not "List of names Friday"!

OK. So, I've blogged about #followfriday (Follow Friday) before. I'm just going to follow that up (ha ha), in light of a recent trend.

It seems to have become 'vogue' over the last 2-3 weeks, to simply tweet a big list of names. Or lots of big lists of names.

Frankly, that just annoys people. I'm not going to follow @rod @jane @freddy @tom @dick and @harry just because you spewed out 40 names and they were in there!

Why not tweet 2-3 names, one at a time, and give a good reason?

Here were mine for today (copied from twhirl):

First.. @GoodAndBadPR - because some of the examples they point out are just brilliant (brought to us by @10Yetis) #followfriday

Second.. @Oolamoola because of their great posts about the things you can achieve on a budget (plus they're up for a challenge) #followf ...

And finally @mestiere, because his tweets are a great way to find new crafts! (see also @ukcrafts) #followfriday

So there we go - food for thought, and a whinge off my chest. You may all return to your breakfast/lunch/dinner now! ;)

PS: You can follow me here: @mattchedit

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Lard? Aye Carumba!

Looked up a recipe for frijoles (refried beans) in a newish cook book (love charity shops) last night. I know how I make them, but thought I'd get a second opinion.

The recipe listed the ingredients: Black beans (250g), Lard (50g)...

Wait. Hang on. Thats the first time in bloody ages I've seen a recipe actually come out, bold as brass, and say "LARD"!! Something we normally joke about!

In the end, I used approx 250g of beans (soaked overnight, washed, simmered for an hour) - frying in a pan with lots of olive oil, salt, pepper, sweet paprika (pimenton dulce), coriander (powered, as ran out of fresh - doh) and a good splash of milk to help loosen them up and turn them into a nice squishy beany mess.


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

8mb Broadband in Jersey? Surely not!

Well, apparently yes - in August.

Although we will have to wait and see how much it's going to cost!

Kabaretki - brought to you by Biscuitgate!

After several discussions about biscuits (tagged #biscuitgate) have popped up on Twitter, largely at the initiation of my twitter buddy Ed Stivala, I decided to photograph todays biccie and post a picture.

So, I give you... Kabaretki!

Um. Or in english, "sort of quite long chocolatey waftery biscuity things".

Standby Saver - get rid of the red lights!

OK. So. Electricity prices went up 25% here, at the start of this year. Thats quite painful. Add to that that one of my pet hates is wastefulness in general, and you've got a bit of a challenge.

How much can I reduce our electricity bill over the course of the year, and how much will it cost me to do it? We already mostly use energy saving bulbs (will post separately on that), so the first obvious port of call was devices which sit on standby.

First, a quick bit of maths. The telly is target #1, as it gets quite warm, and in the lounge, the Wii, TV and DVD player are all on standby (so is the Sky+ box, but that doesn't work properly if you keep turning it off - because it doesn't store Anytime programs - very irritating).

A quick bit of guesstimated maths. An "energy saving recommended" LCD TV must use no more than 1.5 Watts of power in standby mode, so lets take a midline figure - 1W. Lets round that off, and call it 9kWh a year for arguments sake. Thats about £1.20. Oh. Thats pretty crap for a saving in a year. I carried on in the same vein, looking at the Wii (expensive if the little yellow light is on, which ours was), which we'll call approx £12, plus the DVD player - another £1.80ish.

So far, thats £15 a year. Not good.

We got a standby saver (as seen on Dragons Den) - - which claims on the box that we could save upto £43 a year. Not right in our case, however, if we had a few more devices plugged in, you can see how it could easily add up - we have no hi-fi in there, for a start. But we only paid £21.95 for the gadget at Lakeland, so we should be quids in within 18 months. Not to mention the environmental benefits. Imagine if everyone did this!

In pure product terms, it was very easy to set up, has a little infrared detector which allows it to operate off the TV remote, and frankly you don't notice that its there. Two sockets with independant switches are provided, excluded from the saving functionality (i.e. for Sky+).

Fab. Highly recommended. If you have another console, VCR (??), Hi-Fi, etc also plugged in, you could save all the cash well within the first year.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Avocado and Leek soup (chilled)

A nice summery one for you now (or, in the case of my OH, something you can eat after having a wisdom tooth removed).

3x leeks (white part only), finely chopped
1x small (sweet - ideally red) onion - finely chopped
2x very soft, squidgy avocados
1x clove of garlic, halved
750ml chicken stock

Chuck the leeks and onion into a saucepan and soften them with some olive oil (lid on). When done, splash in a little white wine vinegar to deglaze and mix in the stock.

Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 mins.

Allow to cool (until warm/tepid).

Chuck into a blender with the avocado and utterly blitz to hell and back a few times.

Allow to cool completely and chill.

Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche - a lovely summery treat!

Optionally add some fresh peas with the stock! :)

Friday, 29 May 2009

Tax doesn't have to be taxing..

.. uh huh.

Moving swiftly on from the awful gag therein (guessing someone at HMRC was in stitches for days over that? They certainly should have their mouth stitched up, anyway)..!

I thought the original idea behind the "Tax doesn't have to be taxing.." campaign was to promote and raise awareness of the fact that the UK Tax system isn't the hideously complex mess we think it is.

Of course, it IS, but thats another matter.

Phoned local tax office, re: a letter they had sent (corporation tax, not personal) - on the number they gave. Just to ask a really simple question. Was told that I had phoned the wrong office - Ah yes. Silly me. I only phoned the one who wrote to me - not the one who would answer questions on a letter they hadn't sent?

I was given another number to phone. I phoned it. I was told I had been given the wrong number, and was given another one, because (I think - it was for some strange reason, quite hard to understand the 2nd call centre operative..) - although I had been given _A_ number for "The London Office", it was the wrong part of the building. Or something.

Having now been refered from 0208 to 0207 (and slightly baffled as to how that can be the same building), I finally got through to the right person. Surely.

Well. No.

"Ah. Yes. Well. I can see why you've been redirected here, but really, you should call your local office on 023..".



Thats where I started!

I kept my cool, and explained. This time, the lady was helpful.

"Right. OK. Well I can see the file here, so maybe I can answer your question?"

She could, and did. Very good, thank you.

Now if only person #1 had been able to do it - which I suspect, they could, because it was a general query - not even related to our file in particular!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Smoked Haddock and Prawn Fishcakes - Recipe

Another recipe - this time, one of my own concoction. I made some fishcakes (mainly on a whim), the other night, and they turned out great - so I'll share what I did!

Ingredients (makes about 3-4 cakes, each suitable for an adult portion):

1x fillet of smoked haddock
A handful or two of prawns
2 medium sized potatoes
1 small or 1/2 of 1 large sweet potato
Half a red onion, very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
Some cheap white wine

Skin, bone (with tweezers if necessary) and cube the haddock. Chuck it into a warm pan (with a bit of olive oil) and turn up the heat a bit - you want it to break up as it cooks, not to fry immediately. Add the prawns and the onion.

Allow to cook for a few seconds, then move around the pan and squash - repeat until the haddock has flaked and broken up nicely. Add the wine and simmer until most of the juices is gone - don't allow to dry out completely. Take off the heat.

At the same time, peel, chop and boil the potato and sweet potato - together with the garlic. When soft, mash and allow to cool.

Mix both together, and press into cake shapes - I use a burger press with waxed discs (hurrah for Lakeland) to achieve this. Flour lightly and fry. Serve with vegetables (we did carrots, asparagus and broccoli - lovely).

Moneybookers scam - Western Union

If you are asked to engage in a transaction via Moneybookers ( - don't panic immediately - they seem to be legitimate, although I have never used them personally.

However, a friend of mine in Spain was asked to perform an escrow transaction through them, and to transfer money via Western Union.

This rang a couple of alarm bells, so I gave them a ring for him (my english is better, and the only phone number available was a UK line).

They confirmed that they do not work with Western Union in any capacity. I wouldn't normally pass on scam warnings, etc, however, this one was very credible and almost fooled us both - so beware!

If you do encounter anything like this, please forward related correspondence to

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Lentejas (Lentils) - Andalucian Recipe

Recording here for posterity. We have lost this one once already, and as I continually fail to buy a notebook for the kitchen, I shall blog it so at least I can print it next time..!

This makes 'Spanish style' lentils - and is my OH's mum's recipe. Very good and well worth a go!

Add the following to a largeish saucepan on a low heat. Feeds 2-3 people (fed both of us, once, plus I had the left-overs for lunch the next day).

3 (large) handfuls of lentils (e.g puy, but will work with any), washed
1 tomato, roughly chopped (quarters)
1 pepper (ideally green/mediterranean style), in big slices
1 onion, quartered (in such a way that it hangs together)
3-4 cloves of garlic, whole or halved
A couple of bay leaves (whole)
A generous splash of olive oil - if you're not good at "splashes", approx 1 tbsp per person
Ground pepper or Pimenton Dulce (Sweet Paprika - if available) - approx 1 tsp
Cumin - a pinch
1x Chorizo (small, cooking variety - approx 100 gms) - skinned and sliced thickly

Add water to cover. Bring almost to the boil and then simmer gently until cooked. Remove the bay leaves and any large pieces of vegetable which are left.

Serve with white wine vinegar (as a condiment - splash on and mix in before eating), and lots of bread..!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Blogtastic, but for how long?

You may have noticed, that I'm trying really hard to be active on my blog again - my aim is to blog at least once a day, when I am at the PC (so that mostly excludes weekends, bank holidays, etc).

I'm also hoping that this will lend a bit of balance to my blog - as I won't ONLY be writing when something winds me up!

Of course, the risk of it turning into a spool of inane drivel (if it hasn't already), is also increased.

How long do you think I'll keep it up for??

Gorey Fete de la Mer - 27th June 2009?

Following it's last minute cancellation (owing to a forecast of high winds), I am reliably informed via @JerseyTourism that the Gorey Fete de la Mer has been rescheduled for 27th June 2009.

Looking forward to not missing it this year..!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Answer the phone, curse you!


You have a restaurant.

It has been recommended to me by someone whose opinion I trust (he's a good chef himself, plus is one of the party I'm booking for).

So I'm calling the number on your website (comments reserved!) to book and make a reservation for tomorrow.

You haven't answered the phone on any of the first four attempts. It's not engaged, so I know that either the number is wrong (I shall consult the phone book shortly), or you are not there - or worse, you are there, but not answering.

Luckily I'm probably going to persist until I get hold of you. I wouldn't normally - nor will a lot of customers. Tip - buy an answering machine. Heck, Amazon have one for £3.95 on special offer - here.

There is no excuse.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Diet Water. What next?

On the subject of the country going mad, I have to thank @lazygiraffe for pointing out this superb example of how utterly ridiculous our society is.

Holland and Barrat are now selling what, essentially, appears to be - diet water.

My thoughts and feelings can only be expressed thusly: ?????!!!!!

Nickelback - Silly Censorship

Most of you probably know (or suspect) that I think a lot of censorship is silly, anyway, but this morning I realised, while listening to the 'air play edit' of "Rockstar" by Nickelback (on the radio)..

The song has been somewhat detox-ed, but the manner in which this has been done reflects poorly on the moral values of our society.

I'm not referring to the lyrics themselves - they're fine. They're not offensive at all, and I think it's a pretty well written song, which makes a reasonably clever point. Ironically it has been censored in such a a way as to reinforce part of that point.

What I mean is - the word "drugs" has been blanked out (leaving us with such classic phrases as "everybody has a *hmmp*dealer on speed-dial"), however the phrase "We'll all stay skinny 'cos we just won't eat" has been left in.

How long until the censors decide that juvenile anorexia is such an issue that this must be edited, too?

I agree that we shouldn't broadcast expletives pre-watershed, however, I don't see how blanking out "drugs" in a song, when a reference is made to the illegal variety, protects youngsters?

Or am I just unduly grumpy today?

Marks and Spencer Jersey - Birthday Failure!

Yup. M&S here have irritated me again. Not that I shop there anyway, but still.

Despite the widely publicised 125th birthday 'penny bazaar' promotion, they won't be doing in here in Jersey. As with all the Marks + Sparks special offers (well almost all), we get to miss out again.


According to Channel 103, bosses say it's because they've only been here for 42 years. I think it's because they're a bunch of tight fisted b______s.

But I might be extra grumpy, because I haven't had enough coffee yet.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Remoska: Brilliant. But lets hope it doesn't blow up..

Indeed. Our oven blew up the other night. Well. It didn't actually "blow up", but it did go "Whoomf!!" and cause one of the trip switches to pop.

Upon further inspection, it is now more of a fan than a fan oven - suspect the heating element has given up the ghost. We will learn more when I lever it out of its mountings and dismantle it later on.

Anyway. We had a roast dinner yesterday - this is quite a feat without a working oven - or would be - if we didn't have a Remoska! You can buy these from Lakeland, here - and they are really amazing.

They actually cook roast meat better than ovens - because they are a sort of combination oven and casserole dish (not a slow cooker at all - quite rapid infact). Well worth a go!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Monday, 11 May 2009

..and we're back!

For some reason, getting home from holiday is really, really nice.

Although I wonder if thats 'cos we were staying with the "inlaws"?

Oh well. Back. Buried in email and paperwork! Will blog soon..

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Almost time for a holiday..

Saturday, we head out for two weeks in Spain (staying with the other halves family).

To be honest, I could do with a bit of a break, although it has ended up landing while we are really busy in terms of work, etc - so very much looking foward to it.

Will attempt to write at least 1-2 blog posts while we are out there (most likely whinging about how rubbish the journey has been, or how pants something at Gatwick is). Will also endeavour to smuggle back some sunshine in the luggage.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Blog posts and work?

Just noticed how my number of blog posts has tailed off this year.

Wonder if this reflects that things have been getting steadily busier?

January - 25, Feburary - 9, March - 7, April - 4 including this one!

Northern Rock? Failed? Well we knew that..

.. but!

OK, we all know Northern Rock have already failed quite spectacularly, largely due to the BBC's social experimentation (don't get me started), however, our mortgage in the UK is with them - and I called to get a statement of mortgage interest, for my Jersey tax return.

The first one didn't arrive - I blame Royal Mail for this. Fair enough. Used to that.

The second one did. It says:

"I confirm that the gross amount of interest charged to your mortgage loan from 1 Jan 2008 to 31 December 2008."

You'll probably read that once and go 'Yep - fine.' - read it again.

It seems to be missing one piece of information. Yup. The amount!


Third time lucky?

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Barnardos: Fail

Quick gripe from yesterdays brief after-picking-up-the-mrs-from-work dip into the shops.

We quite often go round the charity shops - although we realised we hadn't actually been into the Barnardos near the Royal Sq, ever. So we nipped in.

It was bad enough that they had a "Steps" cd.

It was worse that they were selling it for £0.99

It was even worse that it was obviously a copy, which someone had kindly donated! Even the cover was faded, and printed on a cheap inkjet printer. Oooops!

Monday, 20 April 2009


Wow. Sorry folks, haven't blogged for ages!

April has been a bit hectic so far, to put it mildly. Still. I'm going to try and clear up some of my 'blog post queue' this week, as we're off on holiday for two weeks on saturday, and I don't really want to leave a month long blank space here!

If you have FireFox, you need to put this: "about:robots" into the url bar and hit enter (no quotes).

Somebody seems to have smoked something they shouldn't during the development phase, I think..

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Good vs Evil personality test

Note: I am not a psychologist, although my other half often suggests I'm mental (and possibly in need of one)!

What sort of person are you, though?

Two sides fight a battle. One side wins. The is scrubbed out completely. Did the good guys win?

Optimist: The good guys won, because they deserved to.

Pessimist: Everybody lost.

Realist: History is written by the winner - so of course they're the good guys (eventually).

Feel free to make up and add your own types! :)

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Barclays Bank - They suck, incase you didn't know

Yeah. Barclays.

I was going to write a furious rant about this, but I have been busy, and the fury has now fled.

On Wednesday, the day BEFORE my trip to London, I wanted to change some Jersey money into English notes - not a complicated exercise, but makes it easier when you are on the mainland.

So I popped into Barclays, and asked at the Bureau de Change - this seemed logical to me.

"Oh." Said the surly woman at the counter. "Uh. We don't really do that here. This is the Bureau de Change.".

OK. My french is rusty. However, I'm pretty sure that 'bureau de change' means "somewhere you can exchange money". So I had a bit of a moan.

"Well.", she tried again. "Do you have a Barclays account?". She had clearly had enough of me by now - I was in town doing the shopping, so not wearing my sunday best - and if care is not taken I can lean towards the scruffy. And I have a baby face. This causes all sorts of issues.

"Well yeah." I said. "But it's only a business one - and frankly after the last couple of years, the service from Barclays has been so abysmal - something which is typified by the fact that you're refusing to change 30 quid for English notes - it's not one which I plan to keep open for much longer."

She was a bit taken aback by this. Perhaps because I was waving my business delta card about a bit. I didn't feel it was out of order though - their Business service is pretty damn crap - and unfortunately she had hit on a sore point.

"Oh. Well. I suppose you could go up to the other counter and they might do it for you."

The other counter. In the same bank. Ah. Through that queue of approximately twenty other pissed off 'customers'? Um.. Uh..

"Oh, no thank you..", I said, probably far louder than I should. I added my parting shot: "I've got to go to the Market anyway, I'm sure the guy in the greengrocers will swap it for me - he actually gives a damn about his customers.." and walked off, feeling slightly less angry. At least one of the women in the queue was sniggering by now.

I am a bit ambivalent on this point though. Either:

1. It's unfair to have a go at the people 'on the front line' of large companies with crap service, because it's not their fault.


2. It's absolutely fair, because they could choose to work elsewhere, or they could try to improve the service - rather than being jobsworths.

Given that I run my own business, and try damn hard to look after our customers - even if it's a bit inconvenient - I tend to err on the side of #2.

Rantette over.

Sometimes I wonder..

.. why I bother?

Yesterday, day in London to see clients. That part of it was great. The travel part was not.

The following things were crap, and annoyed me:

1. FlyBE (Fly MayBE?) flight from Jersey to Gatwick delayed by approx 30 mins because of a flat battery.

2. Gatwick "Express" was not very express, and delayed me a further 30 mins because the first train was broken, and the second was just plain slow (it got overtaken by a normal 'South West Trains' one - and they go really slowly as we all know).

3. Gatwick Express back to Gatwick was not express either. Oh well - just badly named and overpriced as usual!

4. When I got to Gatwick, the flight said 'Gate opens, 19:35' - this was a bad sign, as departure was supposed to be at 19:30. Eventually left around 20:45, landed at 21:20. Gave up on the idea of waiting 25 mins for a bus and got a cab.

The only bits which worked out well for me, really were: The London Underground (shocking as that is), the walking bits (even more shocking, as I normally get lost when left to my own devices), and the very nice cabbie, who knew my dad - this is quite common in Jersey, as my old man was a copper and then a cabbie - most people encounter one, the other or both at some point!

Grr. Stupid FlyBE. Stupid Trains.

Mackerel - not posh enough for nosh?

OK. Now and then, we are nudged, via the Telly, by Celebrity Chefs (or at least, the lesser evil, Chefs who are also Celebrities) to support some ingredients which are under valued.

One program in particular leaps to mind as it is relevant to my musings - Hugh Fearnley Whittingstal did a program about different types of fish which we don't really eat - including a good segment on the Channel Islands. Interesting stuff.

However, one fish I think is severely underrated - and which I can't recall having ever seen on a restaurant menu is Mackerel. It's lovely. It's also really cheap. And if memory serves (I have done no research, please forgive me), more sustainable than cod. Or at least, theres more of it left in the sea.

So - why not? It can only be because it's too cheap, surely? Does it have a poor image?

If a chip shop near me did mackerel and chips instead of the usual cod/haddock/plaice, I'd jump at it - its a lovely, tasty oily fish (so really good for you too - much better than boring old white fish) - equally, I'd be happy to pay the going 'main course rate' for a nicely cooked mackerel.

So come on restauranters - you're missing out on a really tasty ingredient which is (added bonus) cheap to buy in fresh - get some mackerel on your menus!

Monday, 23 March 2009

The Tata Nano launches.. and a bad omen?

So today, the (new) worlds cheapest car - the Tata Nano, launches in India.

It's actually all quite interesting, and cool, but.


My memory is niggling me and saying: "Isn't 'TATAs' slang for boobs?" - surely that isn't good.

Did they mean to call their car "Nano Boobs"?

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Irony or Stupidity?

Is it ironic, or just plain stupid when a roll of black bags come with wrapping?

E.g. the first thing you put in the bin after changing it - is the wrapper from the bin bags!


Friday, 20 March 2009

Tart up your Tatties!

Yes! That's right! People of Britain! Tart up your Tatties!

If you're still there, possibly slightly confused, and haven't switched me off yet, what I mean is:

Mashed potato doesn't have to be boring.

For a nice change (away from the much cliched celeriac mash or the calorific cheesy mash), why not try adding a small turnip per person (or medium per couple) to your mash? It adds a lovely flavour and along with a bit of seasoning and some garlic, produces wonderful smashed spuds!

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Reduced Shakespeare Company: The complete word of God (abridged)

So. We went to see RSC do their infamous Bible show, at the Jersey Opera House last night.

It was simply amazing - a very well planned out show, acted by a trio that have obviously done it a thousand times (or more), but who still love the routine -and are so comfortable with it that they are able to ad-lib without the audience really catching on.

I would advise against entering one of their performances late, though - they made last nights latecomers really suffer!

So - if "The complete word of God (abridged)" is on near you - or indeed in the same country - get tickets, get on your bike and go to see it. Best £16 that I have spent in a very, very long time.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Twundling: Digital playground fun

Lets invent a new word. It seems fashionable to twitterise things.. so..

"Twundle" - the twitterquivalent of shouting "Bundle!" and all leaping on someone in the playground (in other words, sparking a mass-follow of them!)

So why not pick a victim and Twundle them today?

You could even pick me or the co-creator of twundling!

Have you received a twundle? Let me know!

Food ideas: Pork with caramelized apple, veggies and mash

Decided to start blogging some of the more interesting things we have for dinner. Last night was:

Pork medallions with caramellized apple rings, vegetables and crushed parmesan potatoes.

First, core, peel and cut into rings a nice softish apple (golden delicious or braeburn work well as they are sweet). Leave it out to brown a bit.

Wash/brush, chop and boil the potatoes - for mashing, but skin-on. Do not peel!

Once they are nearly there, steam some trimmed green beans and baby carrots (don't peel these either - do brush them to take a bit of skin off, though).

Heat a frying pan, splash with olive oil, sear off the pork and move it aside to rest. Chuck a good measure of caster sugar (a couple of table spoons) in, and move around the pan a bit until it starts to form a (sort of) caramel - you should use butter really, but I try to avoid that!

Fry the apple rings until they start to soften, then turn them over and get lots of gloopy caramel on 'em.

Mash up the potatoes, mixing in a bit of butter and some grated parmesan.

Pass the pork back through the pan (off the heat) to coat it in the left-over caramel on both sides.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Einstein vs Vodafone Airtel


I sent the other half a text message today. It arrived more or less immediately. This is quite good going based on my recent experience with Airtel here, however, the amusing thing was the timestamp on the message when it got to the other end.

Both phones said the same time. And the message apparently was not going to happen for another 15 minutes - yes - it was a quarter of an hour in the future.

Either Einstein (and various others) have made some fundamental errors in their calculations, or Airtel have a TARDIS hidden away somewhere - or - possibly more likely - somebody, somewhere has broken something.

Friday, 20 February 2009

I'm not ignoring you all..

I know - I've been really slack with my blogging this month! Even Rob Wray has said so!

It's a shame, because I've got some really good bits and pieces to blog - some stuff from our trip to London, a few work related things and a couple of good .NET tips to add to the mix (and possibly a recipe or two, even).

I'll get to it soon - as quickly as I can - just have a lot of work to get out of the way first!

Please bear with me.. normal service (Um. Am I normal?) will be resumed as soon as possible..

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Ironic soup..

There is something ironic about having a can of "Slow roasted Lamb and Vegetable soup" for lunch - which cooks in approx 5 mins.

It'd be even more ironic if I owned a microwave. Oh well.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

So far.. not so good

At airport. Good. In plenty of time, with no queue to check in - also good. Sadly the fire alarm has gone off twice, involving a full evacuation of the building. Currently waiting for the massive queue for security to die down so I can get through to airside - and hopefully onto a plane!

To London, and beyond!

Off to London shortly (well, this afternoon).

Will report back on situation re: snow, et al! Hasn't been terribly snowy here in Jersey, to be fair.

Expect occasional blogs on how things go over there - will be back on the 11th!

Monday, 2 February 2009

January Google Roundup!

So.. lets go for it! I'm going to recount the top four ranking (because a top ten would include pretty much all of them and be really dull to write) topics which brought in the most traffic via google, to my blog, in January 2009!

4. A tie between three subjects with four hits each:

Teamed network cards and the intel proset drivers made the following entries: proset teaming with nlb, software intel proset 12.2, install proset "windows 2003", intel proset for win2003 sp2

The use of HttpHandlers in the App_Code folder popped in here (though I particularly like 'app_code bad' - I do believe that app_code is generally bad, therefore this was quite a fitting addition): ihttphandler web.config app_code, reference httphandler within app_code, app_code bad, httphandler appcode

And the topic of VAT in relation to Jersey: avoid vat in jersey, buying from jersey vat, do jersey pay uk vat, vat jersey blogs - Although the first one tickled me - it's not exactly 'avoiding vat' when you aren't subject to it!

3. In third place, with seven hits each are two more searches (ironically both restaurants):

The WildFire Grill in St Helier made a series of entries: wild fire in jersey c.i, wild fire, st helier, wildfire jersey restaurant uk, wildfire jersey uk, jersey uk wildfire restaurant, wildfire restaurant jersey uk

As did the Diamond Chinese Restaurant: diamond chinese jersey, chinese diamond jersey, diamond chinese in st helier, diamond chinese restaurant jersey, diamond restaurant jersey

I'm a little surprised by the latter - it's been there forever (well a long time), and while I expect people to search for 'trendier' places on the web, I wasn't predicting that one. Maybe it's time to launch that portal site for local restaurants, after all!

2. A techie search, with nine hits. The keyword phrases vary only by use of ""s and fullstops - which to me definitely denotes this as one made by developers (let alone the subject matter): "failed to cocreate profiler", "failed to cocreate profiler.", failed to cocreate profiler, failed to cocreate profiler.

Noone left any feedback on it though, so I don't know if my post(s) are useful enough - someone let me know, since we've run into and solved several permutations of this issue.

So, finally..

1. With ten searches, it's another techie topic: ajax validationsummary, updatepanel validationsummary, validation summary + ajax, validationsummary updatepanel, two validationsummary two updatepanel, updatepanel validationsummary, validationsummary in ajax c#, validationsummary in updatepanel

So there you have it. I was hoping that Handmade Crafts would make more of an entry, but it didn't! Perhaps in February?

Friday, 30 January 2009

Smoke Free for over three weeks!

Hurrah. Today is the 22nd day of my latest attempt to become a non-smoker (hopefully my final attempt).

Really good now. Had a horrible smokers cough for most of week 3, plus sinusitis for a fortnight (weeks 2+3) - according to mum this is what happened to her, just milder (mind you, she smoked for a lot longer).

Getting hungry more. Turning to chewing gum and Jelly Beans. All good.

Today's Twitter #FollowFriday bit

For today's #FollowFriday I'm going to recommend @DuncanBannatyne (I'm a bit of a fan) and @DuaneJackson - because of his recent (and interesting blogs about Sage Live).

As ever, you can follow me / Mattched IT on Twitter.

My desk. DOH.

I've been somewhat slack on the blogging front. Therefore, here is a pic of my desk, which I took this morning to post on a forum (long story - well - no - actually a short story, but one I can't really be bothered to tell).

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Film: Jumper

Well. Could have been a LOT worse.

It was actually not bad. Although that was after half a bottle of wine and a curry, and I had a strong desire for brandy (or similar) once the film had finished. Not sure if that was the film's fault, though.

Not bad. Although it didn't really 'get going' - it started mid-paced, continued mid-paced, and ended a little abruptly, really. If it had contained a bit more substance, I would have said that the ending was deliberate so as to leave a second film viable - however, I don't think thats particularly likely.

In short - if it is on TV, or you are offered it as a lend - it's worth watching when nothing else is available. You won't rue wasting 2-3 hours of your life, as with some other films (Golden Compass - pfah). Do not part with money on the behalf of Jumper, though - that you would regret.

A picture. Albeit a rubbish, old one.

Yes. I've finally attached a picture to my blog - along with some other online bits and pieces.

It's a few years old, though. I'll be getting a new one soon when I exchange my UK driving licence for a Jersey one (must remember to do VERY soon), though.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Invalid Postback or Callback argument

I'm going to post this one, because it caused us a little bit of pain recently. The error itself, and one of the (seemingly common) causes are so disconnected from each other that it really can be quite baffling.


We had the following. This happened only in IE (Firefox coped fine), when a LinkButton was clicked in a .NET page.

Invalid postback or callback argument. Event validation is enabled using in configuration or <%@ Page EnableEventValidation="true" %> in a page. For security purposes, this feature verifies that arguments to postback or callback events originate from the server control that originally rendered them. If the data is valid and expected, use the ClientScriptManager.RegisterForEventValidation method in order to register the postback or callback data for validation.

If this happens to you, the first thing you should check is simple.

Do you have more than one form in the page? Is one form nested inside the other?

That's what we had (DOH) - taking out the inner form, and all will be hunky dory.

Not that two forms is valid anyway - it was just a regular joe c*ck up - but nonetheless, I thought it was particularly unhelpful of .NET to spew out an irrelevant error!

Friday, 23 January 2009

#FollowFriday on Twitter

Here we go - something new every day - or at least every week.

If you go to this twitter search for #followfriday you'll see a massive list of recommendations. Essentially 'follow friday' is a sort of game played on the twitter network where users recommend other users as "good to follow" - incredibly this takes place on Friday, hence the name 'Follow Friday'.

The # infront signifies a Twitter Topic, and seems to impact how things are indexed for searching, and so forth.

Incidentally, you can follow Mattched IT on Twitter here.

Meet George. He's approximately 5ft tall, and has lived in our bedroom for some time - this is just for all the people who have not seen him yet!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

A whole year in a month?

Hmm. I started my blog in 2006. If you scroll down and look to the right, you'll see I made 17 posts in 2006 (think most of that was at the end of the year, and I started the blog quite late).

That means so far in Jan 2009 I've made as many blog posts as I did in 2006!

I admit that isn't a useful fact, though.

Jersey Telecoms begins 8mb Broadband Trial

Very newsworthy if you live in Jersey. Finally, we are at risk of catching up with the rest of the world!

Jersey Telecoms are trialling 8mb Broadband.

Not sure when it will become publicly available, though!

Saturday, 17 January 2009

A busy few days!

Wow. OK. I'm still not smoking (yay) - coming up for two weeks. I believe my personal record is at three weeks, so some sort of celebration will be due at the one month point.

Beyond that, I haven't been blogging because work has been rather busy. In addition to some work on a rather exciting customer project (can't really blog about it here, or yet) - we have been doing some advance publicity for a new project.

Our Handmade Crafts Directory site will hopefully become a wonderful resource for UK based crafters (and those who appreciate handmade goods) - giving them space to promote themselves and their wares, and also helping to build a community dedicated to furthering the interests of local products - and local artists.

More news will be made available via the Handmade Crafts Facebook Page as soon as possible!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Eating out in Jersey: Jaipur

A very honourable mention to the Jaipur Indian restaurant - we had a lovely dinner there last night (they were also busy, for a Tuesday night - and had a few tables of 1).

The Machky noodles and Lamb Vindaloo are highly recommended!

A smoke-free week!

Hurrah. Made it through a week, smoke free (even if I came down with sinusitis at the end). Even went to the pub and for a curry without struggling!

Feeling very good about it all.

mattchedit | Twitter Grader

mattchedit | Twitter Grader

Posted using ShareThis

Monday, 12 January 2009

Calzone Night: A success!

We had a Calzone night the other night - you know - those sort of folded pizzas. However, to make it more interesting than it might have been otherwise, we made them completely from scratch, ourselves.

For the base you'll need to make some standard bread dough, then after letting it proove for at least an hour, roll it out into quite flat circles. Then you can stuff it, crimp the crust and bake for 20-25 mins. Lovely stuff.

Also made some tomato sauce by roasting two packs of vine tomatoes with a huge red pepper and several cloves of garlic - passed through a mill to remove the skins, then blended with some tomato puree. Add fresh basil when putting into pizza - not when roasting!

We did three fillings:

Gammon ham (which had been fried, then soaked to de-salinate it a bit) with homemade tomato sauce, mushrooms and mozzarella

Mixed pepperoni/salami with tomato sauce and mozzarella

Fried onions (well sweated in a saucepan, until they go all gooey and yellowish - like fairground hotdog onions), with slices of artichoke heart and anchovies

Odd as it sounds, the third one was probably my favourite - and it was inspired by a recipe featured on UKTV Food - Rick Stein's French Odyssey.

Film: Flushed Away

We watched Flushed Away yesterday. Well. Most of it. We both fell asleep for a bit in the middle - which perhaps says more than I can in the rest of this post!

It wasn't bad - probably quite good for the kids, but lacking something for adults - I love those sort of 'kids movies with a bit of humour twisted in for the grown-ups - and this wasn't really one of them.

Decent, and worth watching, though.

Find Mattched IT on Twitter!

Thats right - just posting a short note here - Mattched IT (via me) now post to Twitter on a semi-regular basis. You can see the latest updates here on my blog, you can follow MattchedIT on Twitter or you could go to read the official Mattched IT Blog which also has a post about this!

Stopping Smoking: Day 5

Well, it is the dawn of day five, and it's freezing! That aside, all is going well. I've started to notice that tobacco smoke smells horrible - which can only be a good thing! Apart from that, little to report - it hasn't actually been very hard to date, though I remember last time I had issues around the one week mark.

Lets see what happens this time!

Friday, 9 January 2009

Stopping Smoking: Day 2

Well, here we are - day two. I'm going to do a few more blogs on this topic (until my ultimate 'success' or 'failure'), as it will serve to remind me why I have bothered - a written record of the changes I have noticed. You never know, it might be of value to someone else, though I doubt it!

Yesterday wasn't fun to start with, however, by about 2-3pm, it started to get a lot easier. I did eat quite a lot more crap (particularly Jelly Beans, which I have now hidden), though.

This morning I noticed a distinctly diminuished "ashtray mouth" effect, which was nice. I also feel slightly less tired than usual, although that may be psychological. One hacking cough attack instead of two - the norm - which was nice.

Encouraging, all in all!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

QDOS: Social networking gone mad?

Not sure if this is a cool idea, or social networking gone mad. QDOS is a newish site (in beta), which essentially aggregates data from all your webpages, social networking profiles, bookmark lists, etc, and gives you a sort of "your internet impact" valuation.

You can see my QDOS Profile here. If nothing else, interesting to play with for ten minutes.

Stopping Smoking: Day 1

Cigarettes: Gone.

Boots NicAssist patchs: On Standby (don't really fancy using them after reading the side-effects in the instruction booklet, but we'll see).

Hopefully this time (possibly 3rd, realistically more like 5th-6th) will be the charm..!

Blogging about it to try and give myself some encouragement!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

C# .NET Simple Predicate Example

Someone asked me this question the other day, and I had to really think hard about the answer, so I'm going to blog it. That way next time I need to know, I'll have somewhere to look right away - and maybe it'll be useful to someone else!

Assume you have a class "Product" with a property called "SKU".

You have a strongly typed generic collection e.g. List and want to find a matching instance inside it:

string skuToFind = "SKU2";

Product matchingProduct = myCollection.Find(new delegate(Product current) { return current.SKU = skuToFind; });

There you go!

Monday, 5 January 2009

New Year, New Projects

This is going to be an exciting year. Apart from the fact that (flying in the face of common sense, perhaps? Popular opinion, certainly) I keep touting 2009 as "The year of the small business", we have lots going on to keep us busy.

You can read all about MattchedIT's latest projects via our corporate blog, but we have now put holding pages up for:

Handmade Crafts -
Trade Info -

.. watch this space (well, not THIS space, but THOSE spaces)!

Film: Alvin and The Chipmunks

We were quite bored yesterday.

So bored that we watched Alvin and The Chipmunks (the movie) on Sky Anytime. Amazingly, it wasn't bad. Not fantastic (don't pay for it), but not bad (worth watching given the chance).

Far better than The Golden Compass, anyway!

Happy New Year

First post of the year (yeah, yeah OK - took me a few days to get around to it) - so - Happy New Year to you all!