Oct 12 2010

NRJ visited by CIA!!

Category: Anna's PhotosChrisM @ 2:55 am

Just before we left Britain, Irina, Anna and I all went to see Nick, Roz, and the newly arrived Jack down in Cornwall. There are no photos here of Anna’s cousin as they prefer him to have some online privacy for now, but the following shot was taken in their house in between bouts of coo-ing and cuddling Jack a little. It felt really strange to see such a (comparatively) small baby again, though since that time Jack has made it quite clear that, physically at least, he’ll have no problems playing rugby in the future. Fingers crossed for our trip back to the UK this Christmas, and if we do make it, I’m hoping we’ll be able to cross paths. Anyway, enough of “Uncle” Chris, here is my brother Nick and me on the sofa.

Nick And Me

Nick And Me

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Sep 26 2010

Mum has arrived :) Free sauna …

Category: TweetsChrisM @ 7:42 pm

Mum has arrived 🙂 Free sauna now offered on Turkish Airlines!(v.v.v.hot).Great to have her here&looking 4ward 2seeing rest of family @ Xmas

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Sep 07 2010

Plane Tickets

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 10:41 pm

I am pretty sure that this post will end up working my anti-spam plugins overtime, but I was wondering if anybody knew of where to get good Astana <> Britain tickets – price wise? Back in 2006 ChrisD managed to find a return flight that was ridiculously cheap, something silly like two to three hundred pounds. Whenever we go back to the UK for Christmas/have family or friends over, we try to find the cheapest deals going, but never really get very far. We obviously try Travelocity, Expedia and LastMinute , and then once we’ve found the cheapest flights, check the airline’s own website, in case there are special offers on. For a short while, Air Astana had a great deal on return flights (but only from Kazakhstan and back again, not vice versa) but that offer expired. Anyway, does anyone have a tip of where to look, or alternative approaches to consider? Mum will be here in Astana in a little over two weeks, so it would be too late to save her money, but we are hoping to go back to Wales around Christmas/New Year time, so if we need to book well in advance for savings, now would probably be a good time to check, I’m assuming.

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Sep 07 2010

Present Time – A Little Delayed

Category: Anna's Photos,PersonalChrisM @ 10:08 pm

Delayed in two senses. When Nick came up to Evesham (btw big congratulations to him for recently passing his driving test!) he bought the Christmas and Birthday presents that we had not been able to open due to being in Kazakhstan at the time. Even though his son Jack was about to be born, we really appreciated him making the effort and making sure we had some more time together (he also had a job interview in Cheltenham, so the timing was perfect). The second part of the delay? The video of this evening was posted a little over a month ago. I have been very slack recently at posting to this blog, other than occasional tweets. Now that PockeTwit (my preferred Windows Mobile twitter client) isn’t working due to OAuth being required for logins, the site has been quite bare recently. I am hoping to put up a few more posts by the end of the week, and if I can just create 36 hours in a day, I might even manage to post more next week 🙂 Oh, 12th of March is the date these photos were taken, which reminds me, I need to check if AnnaMerriman.com is still pulling these posts in automatically, and also start manually embedding those videos that don’t make it across.

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Jul 27 2010

Opening Presents With Nick

Category: Anna's VideosChrisM @ 2:22 am

Still in Evehsam at Dad’s place (the same evening (12th March 2010) as the duck feeding video), Nick came over to say hello. He had a job interview in Cheltenham, so we decided to all converge at Dad’s at the same time. Roz couldn’t make it as she was very close to giving birth to Anna’s cousin at the time. Nick bought up all the Christmas and Birthday presents that we hadn’t been able to receive whilst in Kazakhstan, and Anna seemed to enjoy another paper ripping ceremony :). I look forward to using mine in earnest when Winter once more hits Astana, and Anna still plays with hers regularly. The Big Hungry Caterpillar is also a big hit with Anna, and I’m very glad Nick and Roz got it, as it seems to be a “proper” childrens’ book to me 🙂 The hand puppets and toys also get played with often, and Anna seemed to lose interest in the wrapping paper and sellotape very quickly…
Obviously since the clip was taken, we now know that the baby was a beautiful boy (Jack), but Nick and Roz didn’t know that at the time. PS Nick, it has been a good 15 years or so since I studied French, but I’m pretty sure they have male and female endings to words, and it is German that has neutral as well? ;-P The last of the three clips shows me trying on all my Christmas presents at the same time. It wasn’t cold in the house 🙂

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Jun 24 2010

Looking At A Kinect

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 11:11 pm

Most times I don’t find myself wanting an add-on for a console or gaming device for a PC very strongly. Microsoft’s Kinect (formally codenamed Natal) is starting to tempt me already though. Hopefully it will be available by Christmas, at least in Britain.

Michal Czerwonka/Getty Images

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Jun 14 2010

Backpacker Anna Eating

Category: Anna's PhotosChrisM @ 10:24 pm

Although Anna could already feed herself by the 24th of February, back then she was still a little bit more messy by the end of the meal. We also don’t tend to need to worry about using bibs with arms any more 🙂
Anyway, still working her way through all her lovely Christmas and Birthday presents, Anna, Gwen and I went for a little walk around the garden, and Anna had her backpack on. The dolly that came with it stayed indoors, perhaps she didn’t think it was warm enough?
Gwen performed her Anna guarding duties well, making sure that no harm came to her. Not quite sure what could go wrong in the back garden, but it was really nice to see Gwen acting protective over Anna.

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May 07 2010

This is a bit like Xmas Eve (w…

Category: TweetsChrisM @ 2:34 am

This is a bit like Xmas Eve (w/ UK General Election). Except with the possibilty of finding a turd in my stocking come morning…

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Feb 04 2010

Noisy Smiles

Category: Anna's PhotosChrisM @ 12:15 am
Anna And Irina Smiling Together

Anna And Irina Smiling Together

This was shot on the 22nd of January, and is just a nice picture of Irina and Anna smiling together on an armchair. You can see the mini Christmas tree still up in the background, though I don’t think it survived until Ira’s birthday. Excuse the low quality around the armchair fabric – the original has a lot more noise, for some reason our camera, even with a decent amount of lighting available, doesn’t like the fabric/colour of our living room furniture!

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Jan 21 2010

Video Hosting Needs In The Future

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 12:28 am

It looks as though the video I received a warning about (Anna dancing at Christmas time) won’t be removed, or have the audio track modified. I’m guessing an actual human checked it out, rather than just the initial song recognition process that was most likely fully automated. This is now my second account with them, as the first was removed due to issues with short clips of BBC programs. I never did get around to check whether fair use was a legitimate defence or not, but I am now certain that if I ever decide to use video for business purposes that I will need to check out the competition as well.

When I originally set this site up, I simply stored the videos on my own servers, and had little flash scripts to stream them. This was back when I had maybe 80 unique visitors a week, and even that took me over my initial bandwidth limits a couple of times. Having done a little research online, I discovered that for getting the background information on how others use Video Wikipedia had a lot of useful information. The ability to upload a file once to someone else’s server, and then not worry about my own web sites’ servers exceeding their limits, and also have a system in place already to check visitor statistics, video popularities etc. was an improvement.

However, to take it to a professional level, where profits are on the line, I would need to take other factors into account, and start looking for more features. I looked over a few companies’ approaches, including viddler, and if the time gets closer for me to go professional, I’ll probably make sure I choose a company that offers a free service, to get a feel for it. It would be nice to move to a community sometime that unlike YT, doesn’t feature so heavily with teenagers leaving badly spelt simplistic or ignorant comments 🙂


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