When I go abroad I make sure I sample the local foods as I consider it only polite. The trouble in America is that the portions are often massive, ah well…
You may have heard I went to Redlands for the GeoDesign summit, what you didn’t necessarily know, was where I ate. As the hotel (Ayres Hotel) didn’t have a restaurant and I didn’t really want to drive, this little place next door seemed to be perfect. El Burrito Redlands
Okay I did eat elsewhere, but the team of 4 or 5 Mexican(?) women making their own tortillas and serving them through that glass hatch did a good job. I won’t say they were polite but it was quick and seemed fresh. I would recommend anyone visiting ESRI in Redlands to have a go and order the Garbage (yes that does sound good) Burrito (preferably ground beef, although the pork was good).
I think if they were really on the ball they should do an ESRI themed Burrito , Basic, Advanced or Pro anyone?
Well that was interesting! Today I was contacted via email by someone working in the UK in a similar related industry who had an HP DeskJet 500 printer at their office and had just solved the problem of getting it to work with Windows 7 (64bit).
They ‘googled’ the solution to see if others had done the same and this post came up on my site:
“HP DesignJet 500 and Windows 7: Yes it does work even without the HPGL2 card!”
Trouble was GeoPlanIT seemed to get his browser (Firefox 3.6) in a refresh loop and didn’t display the post correctly! It seems it was at this point he did some detective work (not that difficult to find me) and emailed me at work and let me know. It turns out that a module on my blog to do with Amazon Associates was causing the problem. So I have disabled this module (don’t worry you aren’t missing anything!). Please accept my apologies to all those who might have experienced this outage (drop me a line if it happens again).
Anyway upon receiving the email I saw that he was in the UK (very important to have an email signature), and since it was Friday (and therefore a bit quiet) I decided to give him a call. We then had a very nice brief chat and not just about printers and blogs….
I’m sure he wasn’t expecting a call or then for me to write this blog post, but hey life is full of surprises! Anyway you know who you are so thank you for telling me about my blog issues, and I hope some of my other posts prove useful to you.
I guess the serious point of this post is to highlight the fact that sharing your experiences via a blog (or via any media) can help others and hopefully save us all from ‘reinventing the wheel’. Most of my walkthroughs and blog posts stem from researching the internet and piecing together useful information. I always try to acknowledge where I got it from and hopefully add to it.
If when reading one of my posts you have ideas or further suggestions please post a comment, and I will include the new information within my post (plus acknowledgement of course!).
That is all, now have a good weekend…..
Well my post on Kindle’s hidden features certainly surprised me on the statistics front, what I didn’t expect was to appear on radio in part because of it…
Yesterday (27th October) I got phoned at work by a chap called John Bowness, who asked whether I would like to come on Mike Parr’s breakfast show on BBC Radio Cumbria, to talk about ‘ereaders’. He said it would be at 7.45am this morning (28th October) and would last for 5 to 10 minutes. He said Lucy Mangan a Guardian Columnist would be talking about how she didn’t approve of ereaders and I would be there in defence of them. It was amusing to be asked whether my Kindle made noises so that it could be heard on radio! Unfortunatley it doesn’t make beeps and I thought it unwise to mention the text to speech feature… (not exactly its best selling point)
|These lifts are never working… (source Google)|
He said he had found me by typing in “ereader cumbria” in Google and my blog GeoPlanIT came up top of the list (try it and let me know if it works for you!). So okay looking at the post that comes up its actually a link for downloading this site for an ereader (check it out here). However I don’t think I would be so prominently listed in google if it weren’t so popular my original Kindle post, combined with my activities on twitter.
My first instinct was to say no, those of you who know me will understand I’m not that shy and am somewhat outgoing. However I can assure you I go weak at the knees at the thought of public speaking! Then a little voice in my head said “why not, you don’t get the chance to go on radio everyday” this time the little voices in my head won out.
|The lifts didn’t work then either|
Fortunately I was somewhat prepared for my appearance thanks to a friend of mine Matt Deegan who works in the radio industry. His calm reassurance in the form of an email was much appreciated.
So this morning I went to BBC Radio Cumbria in Carlisle with my wife and 16 month old daughter (moral support in reception). We had to take the detour from the Castle carpark as pushchairs and that bridge don’t work!
You can listen to it here:
My 6-7 minutes of fame on BBC Radio Cumbria (1hour 18 minutes in)
So barring my hopeless performance (hey its my first time), I was surprised that there was no discussion, I thought that’s what Lucy was there for and the whole thing went by so quickly I was out of the building as before I knew it and struggling to cross Castle Way in Carlisle (I think they’ve given up on those elevators on the bridge)…
|Good luck going 100% internet!|
One last thing I noticed: I was on directly after the owner of Fluffy Bums, who are located next door to BBC Cumbria and it’s where we got our daughters reusable nappies from.
It’s a shame they are closing down the shop and going 100% internet as we always enjoy going in and getting our ‘poop’ related supplies! They’re helpful and always chatty and friendly I hope that ethos continues online.
So there you go a meaningless blog post but I hope you found it slightly interesting. For those of you interested some related links are below.
- My 6-7 minutes of fame on BBC Radio Cumbria (1hour 18 minutes in)
- Mike Parr on Twitter
- Lucy Mangan on Twitter
- BBC Radio Cumbria on Twitter
- Matt Deegan Writes
- Fluffy Bums
As you will have noticed I’ve changed the look of my blog again to keep it fresh and hopefully make it easier to read. Please let me know if there are any improvements that could be made or display issues. I’m still using Artisteer and can I just say its a joy to use
Okay this is very off topic but my recent trip to Canada with my young family taught me something. I never thought about it before but travelling with a baby (mine being one year old) is a bit tricky. In fact it seems like she has more luggage than me!
Anyway lets get to the real issue and that is car seats. If you are travelling with a child and you have booked a seat it seems that many airlines require you to have a car seat…. aha this is where it gets tricky because very few will let you know what is acceptable. Add to that the fact that north american airlines have different rules and you have some issues! North America and Europe have different standards so its important you know what type of car seat to bring….
I haven’t got all the answers but here is what I know from my recent trip
Our car seat: Britax Eclipse http://www.britax.co.uk/car-seats/eclipse
Out to Canada flight:
- Check-in at BMI desk, a staff member called a supervisor to check our car seat. We were told it needed to be a five point harness and be able to secured with a lap belt.
- The hostess on the BMI domestic flight came and checked we knew how to install it and to ensure it was secure.
- Connecting in Heathrow was a nightmare try carrying a large car seat at speed through Heathrow (come to think of it try going at speed through Heathrow normally!).
- On the Air Canada flight again we were asked if we knew how to install it and someone then came to check it was secure…
Return to UK flight:
- Check in at Air Canada desk car seat wasn’t questioned…
- On the Air Canada flight an air hostess asked to see a red sticker, apparently North American car seats have some kind of sticker indicating compliance with a sticker. This being a UK one it has an orange sticker saying it complies with ECE R44/04 certification. I did say that this seat complied with Air Canada’s own rules (as stated by their sales team) we had enough trouble just getting them to tell us this… anyway we were allowed on after her supervisor (I think) looked at it and checked how it was secured.
- The BMI flight a member staff (ground crew)took our car seat and said they would get someone to install it for us, which was very nice until we got to our seat and they had left the strap that secured it twisted and very loose! (Make sure it is tight as turbulence might be an issue!). When we started to put our daughter in the seat the Air attendant said that he thought we should have her on our lap during take off and landing…. argh! Fortunately he said he would check and then never returned.
One more thing: I bought a device to drag our car seat around airports I can’t say how much this saved my back! It seems to fit most car seats (including our Britax Eclipse), this is it, I purchased it in Canada (at BabyDepot in Kitchener, Ontario http://www.thebabydepot.ca/) as I haven’t found it in the UK (anyone any ideas??). It’s called the GoGo Kidz Travelmate. Only thing I would say about it is that we had to take it off to fit through airport scanners and it has the worlds longest screw on it when people are tsk tsk ing behind you….
Before this trip I got the following emails first from Air Canada:
Thank you for your email.
For your forthcoming flight with your daughter, you will require a car seat. The car seat must ensure that item displays an ECE R44/04 certificate label which indicates that it complies with Standards Safety Regulations and requirements.
From April 2008, all child car seats that were manufactured before 1995 and approved to ECE R Standard Regulations 44/01 and 44/02 are no longer legal and must not be used.
You may not use a booster seat or cushion as it is not desgined for aircraft use.
I trust this is the information you require, and should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Next from Britax:
Thank you for your email.
The CAA accept a child seat that is approved to the European Standard and suitable for use with a lap belt. However, as the ultimate responsibility for using the seat on the aircraft lies with the airline, we always recommend that you contact them for confirmation and check that the seat in question will fit (dimensionally) on their airline seat.
We have had positive feedback from users concerning use of the Freeway, Prince (or Fisher Price Forward facing Child Seat) on BA flights. Although the Eclipse and Renaissance technically comply with the above rules we have not had similar feedback from customers concerning these models.
Please note that FAA airlines are likely to have different regulations.
The dimensions of the seats are as follows:
Width = 43cm
Height = 72cm
Length = 47cm
Width = 43 cm
Height = 65 cm
Length = 47 cm
In regards to regulations this is a legal requirement that we have to comply to and not a general decision, there is no worldwide regulation.
We do hope that this is of assistance to you.