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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Jul 27 2010

Feeding The Ducks At The River In Evesham

Category: Anna's VideosChrisM @ 2:13 am

Copying the activities from a week before, here we are in Evesham (I’m reliabily informed by Wikipedia that some locals refer to their hometown as Asum??) feeding the ducks once more. The river Avon winds it’s way through a lot of Britain, and you can get to the area shown in the video by walking through the old Abbey grounds.
There are some tables near there, so if we ever visit Britain in the summer, we could probably take a picnic down there, and really give the ducks something to quack about with the breadcrumbs 🙂 However, the 12th of March isn’t really sun bathing season, so we fed the ducks and moved on.
BTW, I didn’t plan on putting Anna’s dummy in a pile of bird seed, the idea was for Anna to take a handful to feed the ducks, however Irina had just asked her to hand the dummy over, and when Anna saw a palm in front of her, just followed the request (ignoring the Mamma part).
Obviously we cleaned up the dummy at home before returning it into general circulation. Anna normally only has the dummy in as she falls asleep, but we take it when there will be long trips in the pushchair, as it works well as a temporary pacifier. Which is why the Americans call it that I suppose?
Also, I was hovering around Anna as 1) She was very close to the river bank and 2) I vividly remember a goose snapping at my fingers as a child and so, along with bees & wasps, I am convinced that they’ll attack Anna if I’m not there to protect her 🙂 Though Anna should probably know that once she is capable of running well, and flapping her arms in the air like Daddy does when he sees something black and yellow buzzing around, she might be best to assume I’ll stop pretending that I’m anything other than a big girl when it comes to bees and wasps. I’ll jump in front of a raging bull/speeding car/other dangerous thing I can’t think of right now, but once Anna learns to run, and wants to run away from bees/wasps, she may find her Dad joining her 🙂

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Jul 27 2010

Breakfast in Evesham

Category: Anna's PhotosChrisM @ 2:05 am

The next day from the previous post was the 12th of March, and we took a few shots of Anna at my Dad’s house during breakfast time. The highchair with no legs reference is to the portable seat you secure to a normal seat, and actually worked really well! Not much else to say for these photos, other than it they include a rare shot of Anna with a bib on without food being splattered everywhere. She is, of course, a lot less messy now. Usually 🙂

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Jul 27 2010

Grandad And Anna

Category: Anna's PhotosChrisM @ 1:36 am

On the same day that we saw some friends in Cheltenham (11th of March), we had also set up camp in Evesham, over at my Dad’s house. He seemed very happy to see Anna, and she seemed totally content with the new surroundings to investigate. The year before when Anna had been there, she obviously hadn’t been able to move around really. In case you’re wondering, that is Anna’s little suitcase you can see in the bottom left hand corner there. Always have a good supply of toys with you at all times 🙂 We were all waiting anxiously to discover whether we would soon have a new niece/nephew / grandson/granddaughter, as my younger brother (Nick) and Roz hadn’t discovered whether they were to be having a boy or a girl, and Nick came down that weekend as he had an interview in the area, and we didn’t know for sure whether we’d be able to cross paths again before our return to Kazakhstan, as for some reason babies don’t always arrive exactly when the doctors guess 🙂
Anyway, enough for now, I think there are some photos or videos of Nick still to come.

(My) Dad With Anna At Home

(My) Dad With Anna At Home

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Jul 26 2010

Arriving In Evesham

Category: Anna's VideosChrisM @ 10:48 pm

The 11th of March saw us visiting my Dad over in Evesham, and later some friends in Cheltenham. Apparently Anna had already had enough of being held that day, and she seemed to want to thoroughly investigate her Grandad’s house – she was barely a couple of months old when last there, so we can’t blame her for her curiosity. Anyway, we have about four videos left of Anna in Britain I think, and about fourteen more photo posts left to publish. I’ll try and complete another four or five pic/vid posts today.

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Jul 26 2010

Soft Friends

Category: Anna's PhotosChrisM @ 10:22 pm

Earlier on in the day (5th of March still) from Anna’s box diving exercise, she had all her soft toys/teddies laid out around the flattened sheep that she loved to roll around on. Whether planning world domination, the intricacies of a double twist with three loops and a pike into the toy box later, or just have a general natter, I wasn’t privy to, but Anna seemed to enjoy having everything laid out in front of her, a theme which continues to this day most mornings; after breakfast she normally extracts most of the toys from her toy box in our flat, just ready for a barely awake Daddy to stumble over. Perhaps world domination starts with small steps?

Anna Has An Audience

Anna Has An Audience

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Jun 23 2010

At Melnitza (the Ukranian rest…

Category: Eating Out,Pictures,TweetsChrisM @ 6:28 pm

At Melnitza (the Ukranian restaurant with tasty garlic breads) with family celebrating Ira’s Dad’s brithday http://twitpic.com/1z8p44

Irina And Anna Selecting From The Menu

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Jun 10 2010

Confessions Of A SysAdmin

Category: In The MediaChrisM @ 11:23 am

Not at all related to the 70s UK film series Confessions Of A… (sex comedies, thought of at the time as soft-core porn), an article over at The Register caught my attention. Before I get back to that, I’d never realised that John Le Mesurier (Dad’s Army star) was in Confessions Of A Windows Cleaner.
Anyway, back on track, I’ve closed the Wikipedia page so no more distractions… So, a systems admin (Trevor Pott) wrote a short article on how a couple of simple small things allowed a conficker infection to survive a cleaning purge on his network, and what he could have done differently (with hindsight, obviously) to prevent it.
Not particularly thrilling for most readers of this site, I understand, but the sort of train of logic and problem solving that I sometimes miss here in Kazakhstan.

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Jun 03 2010

Step By Step New Hotmail Account Guide

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 12:41 am

If you are Roger (Dad’s next door neighbour), this post if for YOU! If you aren’t him, and are just reading this blog post because it is on the front page, feel free to keep reading if you need a step by step guide to starting a new Hotmail account. If I was in Evesham right now, I’d probably try and convince Roger that a GMail address might be a better idea, but that would take too long using Dad as a message relayer 🙂

Anyway, onto the guide.

1) Turn on the PC. Start your preferred internet browser (likely to be Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome)

Start Your Internet Browser

Start Your Internet Browser

2) Enter www.hotmail.co.uk in the address bar, and press Return or Enter on the keyboard

Enter The Address

Enter The Address

Press Return Or Enter (Thanks Wikimedia)

Press Return Or Enter

3) Click the Sign Up button located in the lower left of the screen
(Hoping a screen shot isn’t necessary here 🙂 )

4) Decide whether you want a @hotmail.co.uk or a @live.co.uk address. It makes NO differences, other than personal preference. If hotmail is your choice, proceed to step 5. If you want live.co.uk, click the first drop down box and click on live.co.uk

5) Pick an address you want to use. It makes sense to choose something that is difficult to mis-spell, easy to remember, and finally, something someone else will not have already registered. Bad choice examples: amateurastrologer@hotmail.co.uk , committed_drunkenness@live.co.uk , john.smith@hotmail.co.uk . All of those are either easy for other people to spell incorrectly, or will most likely have been registered already.

6) Enter your chosen e-mail address in the first text entry box. Click the check availability button. Swear loudly as you discover someone else already has the exact address you want. If it isn’t free, Microsoft will ask for your name and some relevant interests and suggest available e-mail addresses you might like. Either follow their steps, or click on the little X in the Windows Live ID advanced search box and type in a new e-mail address. Again click the check availability button. Repeat these step until you are informed that your chosen address is available. (If possible, try not to select an alternative address they offer that has a number on the end. Again, easy for other people to mis-type/remember it).

7) Select a password that you want to use to sign into this e-mail account. If possible, choose something you do NOT use anywhere else online. It needs to be six characters long, and if you use a mixture of lower and UPPER case letters, numbers and special characters (£${ etc. etc.) it will be harder for other people to guess your password and hack in. It will also make it more difficult for you to remember, so try and find a balance 🙂 Type this same password into the retype password box.

8) If you have now selected an e-mail address and password that Microsoft isn’t complaining about WRITE THEM DOWN NOW. TWICE. Keep each piece of paper in a different room, so if you ever forget your address or password, and can’t find the 1st piece of paper with the details recorded on, you have a second chance.

9) If you already have a different e-mail address that you can still access, enter it in the Alternate e-mail address box. This is the address that Microsoft will use if you ever ask to reset your password if you’ve forgotten it (and lost both pieces of paper). If you don’t already have an e-mail account, click the “Or choose a security question for password reset” link. If you clicked the link, select a question you won’t ever forget the answer to, and enter that answer in the Secret Answer box.

10) Fill in the rest of the boxes down to Birth Year with your relevant information.

Fill In Other Boxes. ZIP=Post Code

Fill In Other Boxes. ZIP=Post Code

11) In the text box below Birth Year, you need to type the eight characters shown in the image just above it. This is Microsoft’s attempt to make sure you are a real human asking for an e-mail address. They apparently had problems with hamsters and motorbikes pretending to be humanoid and asking for addresses. Or it could have been people using automatic systems for spamming. I can never remember which.

Capcha Code

Capcha Code

12) Untick the “Send me e-mail with promotional … ….” box. Double check all the boxes on the page are correctly filled in.

13) Click I accept. If all information has been entered correctly, you will now be logged into your e-mail account. The first time you send an e-mail, you may be asked to enter another eight letters from a strange looking image. Again, another anti-spam step.

14) In the future, visit hotmail.co.uk, and if you see your e-mail account on the right hand side, click sign in. Then enter your password, and click sign in. If you are on a different computer or internet browser, you will also need to enter your e-mail address.

15) Ideally, repeat steps 1-13 and create a second e-mail address that you will use when signing up for other accounts online. Why? Your first e-mail address is for friends, family and people who you trust to send you real e-mails. The second account you create can be given to anyone/any company online. This way, if these companies spam you, it won’t interfere with your personal e-mail account, and if the spam ever gets too bad, you can just create a new second account, and not have to tell all your friends to use a new e-mail address.

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May 07 2010

Compilation Of Videos From B-Day Party

Category: Friends,Kazakhstan,VideosChrisM @ 7:25 pm

As all the videos were taking up the whole front page on this blog, and contained a few dud, four second long accidental recordings, I decided to compile them into a couple of posts instead.
It was a family friend’s birthday party at the Attila restaurant in Astana, and there was food, drink, dancers, music and an MC, as usual.
Oh, the titling of Qik videos (on the site) is totally screwed up again, most of the videos have the title from the previous clip, and virtually all of them lost these (wrong) titles when tweeted. Combine that with the jerky 320×240 video, and you can see why I’m still looking for an alternative Windows Mobile based live video streaming app…

Shots from outside the Attila (as in Attila The Hun) restaurant, here in Astana…

Irina’s Dad toasting the Yuri Constantinovich – the birthday boy 🙂

People dancing

Golka! (People chant this at weddings to encourage the bride and groom to kiss, a little bit like when the priest/vicar says “the groom may now kiss the bride” during a wedding ceremony). This was a reference to when Yuri and his wife got married many years ago.

Here we had an example of Korean dancing from some local enthusiasts (Yuri has Korean heritage, Kazakhstan has a wide mix of nationalities making up it’s population)

His Mum toasts Yuri

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