Monthly Archives: December 2010

Mac versus PC – Round 5, New Years Eve Special

Still wearing that ‘Team Gates’ shirt at the moment – getting quite smelly by now.

Twice this week the Mac has suffered complete freezes that required a ‘forced shutdown’ as they say in Mac world – to you pc users thats the same as starting your task manager and selecting the programme to kick out.

I still say it is not worth the extra dollar – even with the silky smooth keystrokes and backlit keys

Snow at Christmas

I see you lucky buggers in England are getting plenty over the festive  period – snow that is!

I remain amazed at the british ability to moan.  First you say how you want snow for christmas, then when it comes , after a couple of days, all you can do is moan about the snow on the ground.

I miss the snow – i would love to be in england right now, sledging at Avon Dasset, followed by a roaring log fire in the local pub with a pint of guiness.  sadly though I can’t.

Today i am leaving St Maarten and heading for Turks and Caicos and wont be returning until the second week in January so expect complete silence between now and then.

Enjoy christmas and stop whinging about the bloody snow

Mac versus PC – Round 4 – Team Gates

Compelled to write yet again but for the doubters amongst you, I am today wearing my shirt that says ‘Team Gates’

Twice this week i have not been able to connect to the boats wireless network.  Each time this has happened, i have picked up my pc and it has worked effortlessly.  Infact, i am now on the third reboot for the Mac and it still will not pick up the signal from the ‘airport extreme’ – another apple product

Never mind, my old trusty pc is always close at hand

Go Team Gates!

Mac versus PC – round 3

So this morning i opened the pc and fired her up.  After a few minutes, it finally came to life, then opened windows calendar.  I like to open the calendar each day because i use it to programme my scheduled maintenance.

So it opens, then freezes almost immediately and slows the computer to a non responsive halt.  Ctrl/Alt/Del gets the task manager up and i can then manually close the programme.

Ever so thoughtfully, windows recognises there was a fault and asks me if i would like it to check for fixes and downloads that will help the problem i just encountered.  Of course, i said yes.  It also asks me if i would like to re-check on previous problems still waiting for a solution – I said yes again.

Off it went and checked a grand total of 619 errors (six hundred and nineteen) and came back with Not one resolution.

So in the big PC/Mac debate, there is a big plus at the moment for the Mac

Maybe i should get two T shirts made, one says ‘Team Jobs’ the other ‘Team Gates’. whichever system i am favouring that day, i can wear.

Retro Nº 3 – 20th March 2005

i just spent the last hour writing a monster of an e mail. as i~was getting near to the end, the fuse blew in the bar and the computor went off without saving the details….its amazing how much you can write in an hour.

let me try again, forgive the typing errors though, i am getting a little tired now.

Alex left for the uk yesterday. he was here for a week. for those of you that dont know who he is, he used to live with me in rugby a few years ago, then he moved back to cornwall. I was expecting him to turn up with his girl zoe last saturday. as his car pulled inito my road, i could only see him. i thought maybe zoe was hiding in the car. he told me they had split up but i didnt believe him, i was convinced she was hiding in the back………..turns out, he was being honest, she had dumped him. after i had finished laughing, i helped him with his stuff and we had a cup of tea. Alex,s misfortune cheered me up for two reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, i could keep the double bed for the week, secondly, i got to take the piss out of him, just the same as he did to me when fat pat legged it.

there is a bit of a pattern forming here, chicks moving out while boys are away on surf trips…….

I got to spend the whole week introducing him to my friends as Alex, just dumped by his girlfriend. I am glad to say though, that he is in good cheer.

so, iu am trying to remember just what was in my monster mail that i just lost.

i bought a motorbike this week, an old cruiser , a honda V45 Magna, for the princely sum of 50€. needs a bit of work, it has been stood for a couple of years but will be great for cruising when it is finished. might even use it for my 6 mile commute each day, to beat the traffic congestion…….oh, hang on a second, we dont have traffic problems here!!!!!

crashed a van at wortk the other week too, a minor scrape but reveresed a transit into a wall. how i didnt see it i have no idea. in the afternoon i hit another wall with a vw passat so all was good.

can someone please tell me when the clocks change? i know it is soon and i dont want to get to work an hour early on a monday morning.

bought a new wetsuit, or fato as it is called here. very cheap, 77€ including 2 blocks of sex wax. if it lasts as long as my last one, it will be a real bargain. it fits good too. i seem to have more room around my testicles – either that or my nuts are shrinking!!

a customer gave me a fly swat the other day, he is a fresh arrival from england, and a bit of an arthur daly/ Delboy trotter type. this swat is pretty funky though. not your conventional slap em on the wall type. a modern fully electified tennis bat, catch those little suckers and in a flash of light and a pop the are gone, no more. its great fun to use, i now walk the streets looking for flys to kill.

remember the girl christina that i told you about, the one that i had a date with but i was late because i was surfing? well, she asked me out again about a month ago. we went to the flicks and watched the aviator. im my charming way i managed to endear myself to her even more by calling the film ´tacky american crap´ christina lived in america for years and maybe even considers herself american as well as portuguese so that went down like a porn star on bonus! Anyway, just when i thought i really had blown it, she invited me to her place for dinner, seems she likes to cook mexican. she seriously has got the hots for me ( thats understandable though) but i dont think i should do her. i get the distinct impression that she is emotionally fragile so a night of passion with the waynster wouldnt be the best therapy for her. we are still friends but i do have to try very hard to keep her at arms length, especially after a few of the local brews.

i managed to get rid of my last stalker finally. turns out that my boiss russ, his wife went to school with her so she interveened for me and told her to get a life! so my doorbell doesnt ring in the early hours, i dont get ten text messages a day any more but i do still get the pshyco smiles across the bar at night. i try to vary which bar i go into but she always seems to find me. my spider senses never told me that she would be quite so crazy.

the love bus continues to go from strength to strength but sadly its days are numbered. if you know anyone selling a left hand drive diesel car, please let me know.

the weather is getting good again, 22 degrees this weekend. i even managed some naked sunbathing on my terrace. there is a nudist beach near but i want to take my surfboard and try a bit of nuddy surfing. i will wait for the water to warm up a bit though.

Marillia is back at the bubble for easter. she is absolutely adorable. russ near shat himself last night when he saw her and i told him that i had her number but deleted it as she was too hard work. she is a trainee lawyer from lisbon and what a figure, she looks more like nelly furtado than nelly furtado does.

I quit school………russ´s wife used to teach portuguese ands wanted to start again. i was getting pissed off with the coffin dodgers at the class and figured one to one would be better for me than the class i was in. some of the dodgers have been going to the same class for three years. so when the teacher asks a question, they are happy to shout out the answer, after all, they have had three years to learn the answers. we also didnt talk enough portuguese so sarah will only speak in enlgish if i ask her to. she used to teach professionally so i am sure it is a good idea.

the land i was looking at has been shelved, i have to tell the woman that i dont want it any more. Sarah and russ walked me round the village last weekend. we found one place that was drop dead gorgeous. a complete ruin, with no roof but great potential and a garden too. in the garden there were fruit trees with lemons and oranges hanging for the picking. can you imagine waking up in the morning, walking to the garden, grabbing some oranges from your tree, squeezing them in the kitchen and then having the freshest orange juice you could ever have.

we are still waiting to find out how much the owner wants for the land….only in portugal could you put a for sale sign up without knowing how much you want for it…….i hope to find out this week.

well i reckon i got everything covered…………… arse is getting very numb, i have been on this stool for two hours now.

must dash,.

have fun




Mac versus PC – round 2

Ok, its fair to say that i have found myself trying a two fingered scroll on the pc – i am just digging the mouse pad functions on the mac.  I am still running the pc in the engine room, keeping my work histories, notes, photos, internet etc so infact the pc still gets more use than the mac.

I did find myself muttering today ‘the mac wouldn’t have done that’ as my pdf document hung and the pc told me the programme had ‘stopped responding’. ok it did restart itself and solved the problem but i wonder if the mac will ever do that.

I am still waiting for the software that will allow me to read windows word, excel, powerpoint etc.  The guy in the shop did offer me the microsoft for mac software but i really want to keep this mac clear of microsoft shit.

The thing that still hangs in the balance is the cost.  Today, while in the engine room i needed some space to work, i closed the lid on the pc and put the cordless drill box straight down on top of the laptop without a thought in the world.  So the mac is too expensive to use in a hostile environment i would be too worried about scratching or chipping the paint.  No problem, just keep the mac for home use – but then that means having both mac and pc – which again brings up the cost issue.

The debate will continue for some time i guess

8 days until the Bos arrives

Where is Lexa?

My first post with the Mac – so let me answer a few questions and then maybe in a month i can revisit them.

Was it worth the extra cost?  at the moment, i would have to say no.

yes, it is very well made, i dig the idea of making it out of one billet of aluminium – very environmentally friendly, i like the back lit keyboard, i really like the mouse pad and all of its one finger, two finger, three finger and even four finger functions (that was almost like talking about ex-girlfriends).

I am impressed with the speed that it shuts down at.  the navigation is not so bad, i am easily finding most things – others i am having to look for, just like with microsoft.

Of course the big win is that apple make the software and the hardware unlike microsoft – so if it doesn’t work, there is only apple to blame.

It is just so damn expensive – which makes me think back to what i have always thought – they are really for fashion victims! I reckon at least 75% of Mac users do not know how to use the function that macs bring – sure, exactly the same can be said about windows but remember, a pc running window will cost half or maybe a third of the price.

It hasn’t done anything i didn’t ask it to, unlike that packard bell – of course, packard will blame the software, microsoft will blame the hardware – i like the idea of one company responsible for all.

It is very nice – i just expected outstanding for 2200 dollars

So – lets pose this question again in the new year and see if my views have changed.

Anyway, enough of that old bollocks – Lexa, where are you?  I have heard nothing in so long.  I realise there are many time zones between us at the moment but that is just no excuse. Get your lazy fat south african arse over to the keyboard and send me a message.

13 days until the Bos arrives

We Fear Change

All change

Had a call this afternoon from Raj at Blue Point.  The Mac is in.  Tomorrow i will collect it, then i have to begin learning how to use it.

To add to my confusion, messenger has just changed and so has skype  – that sounds like great fun.

My Ipod has finally shat the bed, infact, i don’t think any of my ipods have made it to their second birthday, but they always make it out of their warranty period.

On a lighter note – my car is also wanked! Am now trying to find a replacement engine.

Retro Nº 2 – 27th February 2005

well i made it through another week busy as hell at work, didnt stop once all week. that was good for the bank balance.

´this week i am meeting with the local council to discuss the building project i am interested in at Raposeira where i work.  if they will let me make the changes i want to, i might have some big news by the end of next week. i would like a place of my own now, there is nothing wrong with where i live, in fact i will miss it but there is something i cant explain about having a place of your own. and some extra income from renting rooms would be good too.

school is good. sometimes i think i am not learning enough but when i am in a situation where no-one speaks english i surprise myself just how well i can manage. i try to be gramatically correct with everything rather than just muddle through like others in the class but typical of latin language there are masculine, feminine and plurals to learn, even some words are exactly the same but with a different accent above one of the letters which completely changes the meaning or sex so it can be tricky.

i put the 10’2” in for repair last week so have been trying to cope with the 8’6” i am struggling. the big board (Ark Royal as it is nick named) is great fun and a very chilled and relaxed ride – i am missing it a bit too much. had a minor fault with the love bus this week, a wire snapped on the temperature gauge but that was a quick fix so nothing to worry about there. have started trawliing the papers looking at cars. even considered a small diesel car. diesel is about 60p a litre here so it would pay for itself in fuel alone. road tax can be as cheap as 7€ a year – yes seven euros, that wasnt a typiing error. and insurance is cheaper too. i considered coming back to england to buy a cheap motor but once it was here it would be completely worthless, and the steering wheel would still be on the wrong side.

the movie tonight in the dromedario is ‘anger management’ an excellent film with jack nicholson and adam sandler. if you havent seen it already, go and rent it.

i had an e mail from my friend Zeni in america. she is coming back this week! a little later than expected but she is so sweet i have to forgive her time keeping. i have a forfiet to pay now, i have to take her to the cinema. i bet her that she wouldnt return until summer………..bummer. anyway, i have to dash, the bar is getting noisey. a group of spanish people walked in and asked if the bar had salsa music. turns out they do so they pushed the tables aside and turned the place into a salsa dance hall – a noisey bunch they are too. until next week keep warm my english chums!!!! keep warm çiao

Retro Nº1 – 20th February 2005

If it’s money that matters – You are in the wrong place!!!!!

A good week yet again in the Algarve. didnt have a lot of work this week, only managed two and a half days. This is not normally a problem as i have an agreement with russ my boss that when there is no work, i can go surf – without pay of course.  One big issue with this is that you need some waves to surf.  South and West coast beaches were as flat as a witches tit!  so i had a bit of a depressing and boring week. Then payday came and of course my earnings were very low, so on friday night, i did my food shopping for the week, put my rent money away and fuelled my car which then left me with the grande total of 10€ for spending money! i wasnt the happiest bunny in the world.

Saturday came and i went on surf safari with the two german girls, kati and franci.  Same old story though, no surf.  I am not grumpy very often but this week things were wearing thin.   As a last effort, we hit tonel, one of my local beaches.  James was there too so all four of us headed onto the beach complete with surf gear.  there was a small wave, not ideal for a big board, but we gave it a go anyway.

The surf effort was mediocre at best. i had to use my 8.5 board as the 10.2 is being repaired so i really struggled to get any rides.  i had two but they werent exactly classy.  i got out to have a cup of tea and then realised i had left the kettle at home, so no tea!! we sat on the beach until 4.30 in glorious sunshine, the sound of the waves crashing in front of us and finally everything was peachy again.

compare my saturday afternoon to yours in blighty! suddenly a smile came back to my face.

Ii left the beach and also franci and kati, they wanted to stay to watch the sunset. i headed home to have some food. washed out the wetsuit, put the dinner on, made a cup of tea, turned the stereo on and watched the sunset from my terrace to the sounds of the red hot chili peppers – under the bridge. as if by magic, i was back in heaven…….what a glorious place this is.

On saturday night i headed to the dromedario to spend my well earned 10€, of which i only managed to spend 8.40€ and still managed to get pissed!!  for the first time i am aware of, there was a fight in the bar. the bar is a great place to be, if you dont want to climb up on the bar and dance, step aside, because the bar staff will do it for you.  The police came in at two and told the owner to close up for the evening, they are having a bit of a clamp down here at the moment.  during august all bars are allowed to stay open until 4am.

The first year i came here i was talking to the bar manager. he told me there was a nightclub here in sagres, i was surprised. i asked him what time it opened – he said ‘when i close’ i then asked, ‘when do you close’ he smiled and replied, ‘when i want to’ .  a little different now, last year they changed the rules. the club can stay open till 7 or 8am depending on how busy it is.

Because work was slack, i had time to check over the love bus. the rear brakes were completely worn out – i mean nothing left of them at all.  there are also a few oil leaks which means it wont pass its MOT here in august.  So with a little sadness i realised that the love bus’s days are now numbered.  it is just not worth fixing the leaks, gearbox out, maybe even the engine, and i do need a left hand drive really, overtaking is a real pain in the ass. so i am on the lookout, either for a left hand drive from england or to buy a portuguese registered car here instead.

The bus has now covered 195000 miles and still never misses a beat. looks like work will be a bit busier this week so can earn a little more cash. surf forecast is still lame so wont be missing too much at the beach. so i guess thats all for this week.

keep warm



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