Pauly's Soapbox


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We did a hackathon at work yesterday, it was fun. The guys from Amazon Web Services came to our office, gave us a load of AWS credits and access to some new services, and we had 7 hours to build something cool. They gave us access to the "streaming fire hose", a live stream of 10% twitter, and we had to build something work related. We built something that parses that stream of jibberish looking for people who look like they're going on holiday, then working out where and when they're going and rating them according to how likely we'd be to sell them something. We did not win. The winners made a comedy horse racing thing that assigns twitter hashtags to horses then they race, the more the new tweets come in with the hashtag the faster it runs. Theirs was funny, and a better presentation / pitch than ours...

Was nice to do something out of the ordinary at work, and it forced me to have a play with some new services.

Then watched a great film last night Paul, can't believe I have not seen it before.
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Surprised The Ship has a bad FSA rating

Ship Inn
The Ship Inn, Sandgate, where we go to probably more than any other pub does not have a great rating from the Food Standards Agency. Surprised me, it's nice. It's based on more than just hygiene though so might be to do with the quirky access, it's a bit of a squeeze inside and I don't suppose you'd get a wheelchair from the front bar to the toilets.
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Habitat Radius bench on the cheap

Here, be lovely if it stayed at that price, guessing more like £100 though... still a bargain!
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Vintage Lego technic for sale

Not ours but someone's selling a similar kit to ours but in worse condition for over a hundred quid...

Had a nice day yesterday, took Harry to gymnastics, they say with a bit more practice he'll get his next badge soon. He loves it that's the main thing. Then in the afternoon we went to John Lewis again, just for the cafe really. This is our new Sunday thing...

Just remembered I stayed in my pyjamas all day on Saturday, was a super lazy day.
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A rare night out

Emma and Jeff were in town yesterday, so Dean kindly sat in with the boys and we got to go out! A quick drink in The Ship, then a splendid meal in Escondido. Nice to sit and chat with them, really nice for us all to be out together. Usually when they are in town Clare and I have to take turns to go out, usually Clare for the first half of the evening then me for the last bit. Such a nice time that it went really quickly. We had one more drink after in The Ship again and then back home. Will be seeing them again at Christmas.

Today Harry and Tommy and myself have been in the house all day. Clare was working and it wasn't nice enough to be bothered to go out, so we've just played around here. Quite a lot of TV, but we did Harry's homework and started on some christmas cards too.

A quiet night in for me, Clare's now gone out to a quiz with work. I have some electronics tinkering I should do, but I have quite a lot queued up on the TV too...
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Hot Salvation coffee + music opens tomorrow (22nd Nov)

Hot Salvation
Hot Salvation opening day 22nd Nov
Rate Hot Salvation opening day
There's a new coffee shop / record shop opening on Rendezvous Street in Folkestone! Nice to see the old Prince Albert hotel building coming back to life:

Opens tomorrow, good luck to them.
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An internet campaign? That seems to have worked???

Fantastic news - our people-powered pubs campaign has defeated the government!

On Tuesday night, the government was forced to pass a law which bans pub companies from charging their landlords rip-off rents. [1] This was an unfair practice which squeezed the pennies of our local pub landlords while those at the top of pub chains made huge profits.

It's great news for our pubs - and proves that people-power works. Over 45,000 signed a petition calling for an end to the Great British Pub Scandal - then over 2500 of us emailed our MPs to make sure they voted the right way. And they did.

But it wasn't an easy win - up until the last minute it looked like MPs would vote the wrong way. Then they u-turned - and this doesn’t happen often. In fact, Tuesday's vote was the government's first defeat on one of their bills since the coalition formed in 2010. [2]

This proves just how powerful we are together. The government was on the side of giant corporations, until we spoke up. Thank you for being a part of this amazing victory for our pubs.

[1] Mirror: Pub landlords given fair deal after Coalition beaten by MPs revolt:
[2] Daily Mail: Cameron left humiliated after MPs defeat Government in bid to end scandal of 'rip off prices for beer':

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Paul Clarke's - I work and live in Seabrook near Folkestone, Kent. married to Clare and father to Harry and Tommy, I am a web dev, and I do javascript, nodejs, 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...