Bit of an update

    I seem to have neglected my blog for a while now, so let me bring you up to date:

    Since February ’13 I’ve been mostly working – I had a lot of trips to Singapore/Malaysia last year (Lisa came with me for one week out there). Working in the heat out there is so draining…

    Talking of work, we have now moved to new premises. Where we had the office separate from the workshop by about 5 miles, we now have everyone under the same roof – the old workshop has been knocked down and the land is going to be redeveloped for houses. The new building is the same distance as the old office form home, so just as easy to get in, but I’m no longer over the road from Lisa, so lunches have to be planned more.

    I may have mentioned I’m now a director of the company – all this means is I work more hours and end up worse off financially…this should change over time now though (I certainly hope it does!).

    Lisa and I bought my old house in Mallard Lane last year – as it was an ex council house, I qualified for a 45% discount (cost me £68,000, now valued at £130,000). After 5 years, I can sell without having to pay the discount back 🙂

    We’re now buying the house next to us in Green End Road to make our living space bigger – this is proving to be a drain on resources, so going out is no longer something we are doing 3 or 4 times a week.

    Gif is still Gif, Mallard Lane is being rented out and Bob (a friend) looks after Gif for me – I still treat him with Frontline for fleas, so I’m the bad guy 😐 Once we get into next door, we’ll bring Gif there to see if he’ll settle next to our 2 cats. Talking of our 2 cats – Gizmo (Giz) and Widget (Widg) – Giz got hit by a car last week so we took her to the vets: dislocated hip and perforated diaphragm 🙁 The vet operated on the diaphragm and while she was out, he manipulated the hip back into place. Hopefully the hip will stay in or she’ll need another operation to have the hip bone trimmed. Again, this expense has hit us hard so money is tight right now.

    On the bright side, my asthma seems to be good this year (last year I had a series of chest infections not helped by the almost constant flying), and the weather right now is awesome. We (Lisa, me and the 2 girls) also had a great week in Spain late May/early June.

    Ooh, how about some techy stuff?

    We don’t own a DVD player in the house (other than those in notebooks) – everything is stored on NAS drives and streamed to rooms using WDTV Live SMP boxes. All the bedrooms are connected wirelessly – there is a wireless extender upstairs to boost the signal.

    The NAS drives consist of:
    2 x WD 6TB (2 x 3TB drives) NAS enclosures setup in RAID1 – one for TV shows, 1 for Films
    1 x DNS-320 4TB (2 x 2TB drives) NAS enclosure (again, setup in RAID1) for the more adult shows/films not suitable for the girls to watch

    There is also a Zyxel NSA310 1 drive (2TB capacity) NAS enclosure which is used to store music and photos. I also use this as a network torrent client and seedbox. I’m waiting on delivery of a eSata drive to connect to this to give me a backup – I just had the drive replaced after failure and lost all the music etc. on there. Fortunately, all the pictures are up on my or Lisa’s Flickr accounts, and most of the music is replaceable (a lot of it is on my phone, USB drives for the car etc.)

    As I’m partial to the odd game of football, I also have a satellite setup – a 1000mm dish on a motor which can pickup about 45 satellites meaning I get every Premier League game I want to see 🙂 The satellite feeds into a Linux based box (I used to have a Dreambox DM600PVR, but needed a new box with HDMI output, so bought a generic box which seems to be fine).

    To view all the content we have, we bought a new TV (well, ‘toaster’ – see explanation below) earlier this year; a Sony 46″ 3D enabled smart TV. The picture is stunning, it’s like looking out of a window. There is no pixelating like you get on other TVs – just a really good picture.

    Toaster: well, we went out purely to research toasters, find some we liked the look of, then see if we could get a better deal online. I got bored and wandered off to the back of the store where the TVs where, and everything just snowballed from there.

    Guess I should get back to work now…

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