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I bought Clare a Fitbit Charge

Jul287/28
Recommended / related
Seemed to meet the requirements of a new watch and fitness tracker, that also looks like a security tagging device. Doesn't seem to be working though, so on to their support. It updates the time when you plug it in to charge, but then stays on the same time constantly. Also not logging steps at all is constantly on zero. If I "tap" it so it shows my steps then it will show them while I walk but if it "sleeps" gain (screen goes dark saving battery) then it goes back to zero again...

So far not impressed with this feller, waiting to see what their support say.

We have shredded the packaging, hope that does not affect how we send it back. Sending something back is such a massive pain though, having to get to post office etc.

Could not convince Clare to get a pebble like me, though that is not perfect at tracking either... I've abandoned misfit for tracking as the last update has made it useless too. NFW.
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Heavy Metal logos as CAPTCHA

Jul287/28
Nice idea, great if you only want true metallers in your website, metalcaptcha.heavygifts.com.
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Land Rover Safari

Jul287/28
White Cliffs
Did the on the White Cliffs again for my birthday. Not the white knuckle ride that it sounds, but a gentle tour around the National Trust land on the cliffs, see how the flora and fauna is getting on. Really nice way to spend a couple of hours. They only do this once a year and it fell on my birthday this year, think it did last time too.

Had the free day off from work, they do for everyone's birthday, nice. Tried to go for lunch at Cullen's Yard but got stuck in M20 holdups again. Operation Stack was officially off that day but the whole thing ground to a halt just after the point we could have pulled off onto back roads. We were held up there for about an hour and missed lunch completely.
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Good birthday night out!

Jul287/28
Lovely to have Mum and Dad visit for the weekend, they made it in about four hours because of Operation Stack diversions... so we didn't meet them in Canterbury as planned but we went to Folkestone instead, then Clare and I jumped on the bus while they brought the boys back for their tea... then we went to (each bit in a separate reply, will you see them in the right order?)
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Did we go dancing next?

I seem to think there was dancing. Did we go back to the Foundry? Possibly. Had a good time anyway.

£60 taxi ride home, erk! Glad we were sharing it.
:: 28 Jul :: Comment / reply

After dinner wine flights back at the Shakespeare

Think we just went back to the Shakespeare next. Confusing sort of place, did not seem to be the same place I had looked in earlier. This time we went to the wine bar part of it and had recommended sampling glasses of different wine served in a "flight". We had several of these. It gets a bit hazy at this point.
:: 28 Jul :: Comment / reply

Fantastic dinner at Il Posticino

So glad we looked slightly further afield for dinner, Il Posticino was fantastic. Slightly outside the city walls on the Dover Road side, it's a small and (I would say) authentic Italian. They did some special dishes for me, I had grilled veg and flatbreads with a couple of dips for my starter, then wild mushroom pasta for the main. If they'd not already prepared this set menu for me I did wonder about having the pasta course and THEN the main, but still, very pleased with what I did have. I recommend this place heartily. Everyone else enjoyed theirs too. It's a bit pricier than some, the sort of place where you order your veg separately, but worth a go.
:: 28 Jul :: Comment / reply

Stop five, though really only stop three, The Old Buttermarket

Actually sat down with friends here, outside, nice. Jug of Pimms, some beer, some nuts, catch up, and prepare for our dinner, the focus of our evening.
:: 28 Jul :: Comment / reply

Attempted stop four, La Trappiste

Looking for somewhere different to meet we thought about La Trappiste, seemed nice. Too much hassle though, intercepted at the door, steered to certain tables, tried upstairs, steered away from reserved tables, tried and unreserved table, no that's too big, can you sit at this table? NO we're meeting friends, sat somewhere else, someone else steps in "can you sit a this table please". Had enough of being herded around like this, I literally flounced out of there, and won't be returning.

Saw our friends outside, decided on the Buttermarket instead, much better, will carry on this report later.
:: 28 Jul :: Comment / reply

Third time lucky, The Foundry

That's more like it!

Hmm just tried to post this and lost it, ah well. Great beer in the Foundry, this is where I would sit and wait for Clare! Two schoolboy errors though. 1) I ordered quickly without thinking. I got a lovely Streetlight Porter but I really should have had a 5 x 1/3 pint tasting paddle... 2) I didn't show my CAMRA membership card, for my 10% discount. Flattering possibly that they didn't ask me for it, whereas they did ask the slightly older slightly more beer-bellied chap after me, but still. Canterbury Beer Festival was on that day and there were several refugees in, slightly the worse for wear.

Clare joined me here, I had one more half, a cripplingly strong Scottish porter possibly called Wee Heavy and then on to meet friends.
:: 28 Jul :: Comment / reply

Next stop The City Arms

I looked in, bustled past the rowdy crowd of smokers at the door, and again didn't really fancy any of the beers. They did have real ale but they all looked a bit light and summery... what am I to do? This is a poor start to going out? I dithered, and then apologised and left again. Just remembered, I should go to The Foundry! So I did!
:: 28 Jul :: Comment / reply

First stop The Shakespeare

Clare wanted to do half hours shopping so I thought I'd check out The Shakespeare. We were planning to go there later with friends. Man I love sitting in the pub in the afternoon when other people are at work or shopping. This was more like five thirty though, so actually the start of the evening and hardly counts.

The Shakespeare is a Shepherd Neame and didn't have an inspiring lineup of real ale so like a tabloid reporter I made my excuses and left.
:: 28 Jul :: Comment / reply

M20 closed again

Jul257/25
Good luck to Mum and Dad heading this way today. Going to meet us in Canterbury and so avoid the M20 mostly. The open bit at the top looks ok on trafficengland.com traffic cameras so far. Man alive that is a bad website, it just doesn't work for me in chrome, some reliance on java I think. I think the data is available and open so maybe I'll try and build something.

Eurotunnel is facing a four hour delay today because of "migrant activity" at the terminal again. If they're saying it's a four hour delay this is probably an underestimation, so I'd not bother trying to cross today.
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Nice to see Operation Stack is now national news

Jul247/24
It's in two big stories on the BBC today including this one. The roads round here are a mess. Operation Stack is not confined only to the M20, when it's on and people try to avoid the motorway they clog up the local roads. It always seems to cause accidents too, the extra traffic being on the local roads. It's been on several times in the past few weeks, I think this is six or seven times in the past two weeks? Today's reason is people trying to cross the channel illegally overnight by storming the tunnel, causing it to be closed.

You want to start the ferries up again, that's what you want to do.
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A goldilocks planet

Jul237/23
And only 1400 light years away, let's go! Named keppler-452b, discovered by the Keppler telescope.
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Good weather for War and Peace

Jul237/23
The Folkestone Racecourse
It's the War and Peace show this weekend at the racecourse, right next to work. I've seen the vehicles arriving throughout the week. They all seem to head to Sainsbury, it's been great seeing all these massive jeeps in the car park there. Not going to the show myself, we don't have time, but I'm glad they have good weather for it. It's hot hot hot again here.

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Getting rid of jquery

Jul237/23
Following up on yellowlab.tools that I posted the other day one of their speed improvement recommendations was around the number of uses of jquery on the page. Not that there were too many, but that there were not enough. If I'm not really using it that much then why not get rid of it? So I might try.

jquery.com is a javascript library, a brilliant one, it makes all sorts of coding easier taking into account the different quirks of different browsers. I, like most people who use it only really use it for selecting things on the page, and then adding events (when you click here that happens). So why not get rid of it! I already removed it from pages like this one so I'm going to roll that out across this site too.

Glossary:

javascript: a major programming language of the internets, mostly how I make my living
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Yeah turns out I'm using more than I thought

Doing a lot of manipulating of html and inserting things into the page (mostly for admin type stuff) so it was not the quick twenty minute job to remove this that I hoped to do at lunch. Should have gone out for a walk instead...

Glossary:

javascript: a major programming language of the internets, mostly how I make my living
:: 23 Jul :: Comment / reply

Booked two more edinburgh shows

Jul227/22
Gilded Balloon
We already booked a big comedy gala at the Gilded Balloon, but today - in spite of having no money at all and Clare's birthday to pay for this weekend - I booked two more. We're going to An Audience With Jimmy Savile which is supposed to be amazingly creepy as you'd expect. This means two of the prime 8pm slots of our four day trip are now booked, so that left only two in which we could see Henning Wehn. We both love him and really enjoyed him last time, so it's a good one to see again. One day of our trip his tickets were cheaper than the other, so makes sense to get some of that.

It's getting close now, looking forward to Edinburgh!
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Just found out we were unsuccessful for BBC tickets

Have applied for some BBC tickets in Edinburgh too. These are filmings / recordings, and were great last time (we went to Just A Minute. This time though we've been unsuccessful for our first batch. Let's the pressure off a bit as now we have more time to do something else!
:: 22 Jul :: Comment / reply

Paul Clarke's - I live and work in Seabrook near Folkestone, Kent. wed to Clare and father to Harry and Tommy, I am a web dev, and I do javascript, Node, php, and ruby. I like Folkestone Gerald, pubs, restaurants, home automation and other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, TV, popbitch, squirrels, pirates ☠, and time travel...