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lilstevey (4628)

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  • Heinekin
  • Kro
  • Addlestones
  • Old Rosie
  • Thatchers
  • Strongbow
  • Erdinger
  • Guiness
  • Budvar
  • Leffe ( usually blond )
  • Various Real Ales when in premises suitable

Journal of lilstevey (4628)

Sunday June 17, 2007
01:44 PM

Ban The Bog Troll


I've been running a little campaign that may interest some UK based Perl Mongers. Its about Bog Trolls - those chaps who sit in the 'bathroom' in pubs and clubs with a tray of aftershaves and lollies.

Unfortunately for the customer, the presence of the Troll isn't advertised, and the first time you hear of it is when you stumble into the toilet afting paying the pub in question for a few jars of ale.

Unsuprisingly, many toilet visitors do not require to buy food stuffs stored in a pub bathroom, and aren't that bothered by the sprays. Many Trolls then try to secure funds by offering an enhanced service - such as turning on a tap for you, or passing you a paper towel.

I have heard people tell of occasions when the troll has removed towels, or soap from the pub, forcing customers to pay for a service that should be complimentary. A search of the internet will yield tales of abuse and intimidation

I think it's time to call time on this behavour, and to preserve an important part of British Culture. Lets stamp this practise out before it spreads to every pub in the country. Demand your traditional right to pee in peace. Please sign the petition at, and visit the site at The websites primary purpose is to act as an easy to remember URL to pass onto friends should you encounter this whilst Drinking - I don't make any cash out of the ads.

Wednesday March 07, 2007
07:18 AM

Bargain Perl6 and Parrot Essentials

Not content with having "Higher Order Perl", and a highly recommended "Domain Driven Design" by Evans on my book shelf in a to read state ( together with GOFs "Design Patterns" which requires work ), I have just recieved my copy of "Perl 6 and Parrot essentials" from Price Cut Books ltd via for £4.09 which I consider to be a bargain. Whether I get time to read it before perl 6 is production ready and the equivalent of camel is out I don't know.
Wednesday February 28, 2007
08:37 AM

Resolution Review and java certification

Firstly, I passed my sun certified java programmer exam today. Yay! The exam, for those who are unaware is generally considered difficult, and I went into it anticipating failure. I developed the philosophy that each question was testing one thing, it just may not be the one thing that is immediately apparent. I don't know if thats true or not, but as a coping strategy it certainly helped.
As a result of passing the scjp exam being on my 2007 targets, It's probably a good time to revisit my new years resolutions:

2007 Resolutions:

Resolution: Sort out finances
Nope - not by a long shot
Resolution: Learn French
Yup - I am still attending classes
Resolution: Technical Self Development
  • * Pass Java Programmers Certification
  • woohoo - done!

  • * Register for Java Developers certification
  • I think I'll sort out my finances before I pay any money to sun for further testing

Resolution: Get Fit
  • Reduce Weight to below 13.5 stone by New Years Eve 2007/08
  • Still a bit of work to do - just stepped on the scales and was 14.5.

  • Have cycled, on average 50 miles a week for each week in 2007
  • err, managed 30 I think in total so far...

I think its fair to say there is still someway to go - fortunately I have ten more months to acheive them in. I think there will have to be an awfull lot of cycling if I'm to achieve that goal though...

Friday February 23, 2007
06:21 AM

New Rule

I have recieved this excellent wisdom via email:

New rule:

If you do not know how to achieve a task then you have no right to set the deadline for when it will be done.

Tuesday February 20, 2007
07:03 AM

Magic Magic Java

I do like a lot of things about the java language, however occasionally it does things that I do consider counter intuitive. Consider the following line of code:

BigDecimal result = new BigDecimal(10).divide(new BigDecimal(3));

Given appropriatte imports, by looking at the code I would not be at all suprised to see any of the following values stored in result:
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3.33
  • 3.33334
  • 3.333333

I find the actual output slightly outside of my predicted pool of predicted behavour:

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.ArithmeticException : Non-terminating decimal expansion; no exact representable decimal result. The logic thing to me given the operation would be to use defaults ( preferably controllable ones ), not to produce occasional errors that can confuse hell out of a beginner.

Monday February 19, 2007
08:26 PM

cum reed this

Bumped into this online. Interesting theory - Makes as much sense as dumping the pint and adopting the litre*.

* I'm all for it - when you are really thirsty there are few things in life as satisfying as a litre of cool crisp Czech Lager, however, despite the aforementioned beverages qualities, I do respect and hold our heritage in high regard, and perhaps a pint would be best preserved as an oversized glass in which beer is served, with a lined 500ml, thus accomodating a healthy flavoursome head above the metric half litre.
Friday February 16, 2007
01:20 PM

RIP New Media

I've been sorting through my worldy possesions of late on a kinda "mother of all spring cleans". I have a stack of old floppy disks ( some dating back as far as my atari ST, having parted with my atari 800 stuff some years ago ), and a cd case full of discs containing opensource software and data.

A lot of the material is now pretty obsolete - I don't need suse from 10 years ago, debian cds from 2 years ago, and to be honest would be better using a pen drive to do the ubuntu install I'm embarking on, rather than adding another soon to be obsolete cd to the collection.

Now aside from backups, which I should probably use rewritable cds for, I'm starting to see that in my life, electronic/optical media is starting to become quite irrelevant, as the small collection of audio tapes I seem to keep but never listen to testify.

I like books, and don't envisage that they are going to go anywhere soon ( short of a Blair enacting a Farenheit 451 trick as a leaving present ). I still have audio cds and film DVDs, but increasingly use on demand services for movie watching, and coupled with a hardrive tv recorder I feel less inclined to buy something that I know will be on within 6 months or so.

I think what I'm trying to say is that in this digital age, with increasing storage and bandwidth, not to mention DRM, physical digital media can't have long left in it. I don't think thats particulary revolutionary.

What is interesting though, is the rise of hosted services for the consumer. Once content is freed from media is there any reason why all of our digital content can't be fed over a pipe, making the home computer of the future more like a gas boiler, to be ripped out and changed on a whim without effecting the delivery or consumption of services.

What I do find interesting is the rate of change of how fast this is happening and how far advanced this movement already is.
10:05 AM


I watched Hot Fuzz last night. If you're a fan of Shaun of the Dead, Spaced etc you've probably already decided to go.
My only regret is that they had sold out of the couches with waiter service at my local indepenent so I had to watch it in cineworld.
Sunday January 14, 2007
12:13 PM

Birmingham to Vienna (x2)(x2)

I've booked one trip to Vienna, and am now planning another one for later in the year.

For the later trip, I've started off with a flight to Prague. The plan is to spend the weekend there with the missus, and then find our way to vienna, before returning, possibly by another city the folowing weekend.

I'm now trying to link up the journies. It looks like the best option for Prague to Vienna might be the train ( £49 for first class ) as I don't seem to be able to find reasonably priced flights.

For the return trip I am contemplating a trip on hydrofoil down the danube ( though it looks pricey ) to Budapest and spending the night there before flying back ( maybe via wizz air ).

Another option would be to fly back from vienna to an interim destination nearer blighty on the saturday ( maybe using airberlin ), before making the last bit of the journey on the sunday ( perhaps direct to BHX would be a good thing ).
Wednesday January 03, 2007
01:10 PM

New years resolutions

As good a place to list them as any.

In the past I've been a little vague, but at least partially successfull. This Year I am going to set clear assessable targets which I can measure myself against.

2007 Resolutions:
Resolution: Sort out finances
  • After doubling current savings be in credit instantly before pay day.
  • Be in credit at end of year
  • Long term savings to have increased by at least anticipated current levels.
Resolution: Learn French
  • Continue to Attend Classes.
  • Re-inroll for 2007/2008.
Resolution: Technical Self Development
  • Pass Java Programmers Certification
  • Register for Java Developers certification
Resolution: Get Fit
  • Reduce Weight to below 13.5 stone by New Years Eve 2007/08
  • Have cycled, on average 50 miles a week for each week in 2007

What would be nice is a program which would let me record various metrics ( weight, financial balances, miles cycled etc ), and send me weekly reports based upon it. Anyone know of a nice web site?