Archive for January, 2007

I need to learn First Aid

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

Scary moment this evening – Grace choked on a banana.

She’s fine now, although I guess that’s kinda obvious. If she wasn’t, writing a blog post about it wouldn’t have been high on my list of priorities!

I’d given her a banana, a big chunk of which she shoved in her gob and swallowed without chewing. It got stuck, and she couldn’t breathe. She panicked: tried to spit it out but couldn’t; tried to cry but couldn’t.

We managed to get it free by holding her pointing downwards. After what felt like a lifetime (but was probably only a few seconds) out came a solid lump of unchewed banana.

The little monster aged me 20 years tonight! A basic First Aid and Resuscitation course was included in the antenatal classes we went on before she was born, but to be honest, I didn’t feel all that confident or in control when it came to it this evening – that 40 minute introduction a couple of years ago felt very distant.

So I’m thinking that I need to learn what to do if this happens again. St John Ambulance run a course which looks like the sort of thing that I want, but not near me. I’ll keep looking…

How to drive a minibus

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

I spent about three hours this morning doing the first half of my MiDAS refresher training. Today was theory – next week will be the practical.

I occasionally drive the minibuses for some of the youth activities that we run in SYA (although this has become increasingly less frequent as we have grown… which is a shame, really).

I wont reproduce the training here, but I will pick out some of the bits that I found interesting…


It’s possible to sound too sincere

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

I’ve mentioned before that I used to work as a volunteer for Chris Huhne – my local MP. So I was pleased to see this story:

Chris Huhne shortlisted for top award:

Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne has been shortlisted for the Opposition Politician of the Year award in the 2007 Channel 4 Political awards.

This is the top award exclusively for Opposition politicians at the network’s annual political prize-giving…

…MPs will soon receive their ballot papers for a secret ballot of all MPs conducted by the Electoral Reform Society.

Well done, Chris – and good luck.

But, it was the rest of the story that really caught my eye.


Maternity Leave in small businesses

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

In April 2007, changes made in the Employment Rights Act 1996 start taking effect, which improve the entitlements for employees who become pregnant. I’ve been reading a bit about what these entitlements will become.

I started by reading up on what expectant mothers are entitled to…


Calling the Windows Mobile emulator

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

This is apparently an old tip, but was new to me so thought it was worth posting:

…you can make phone calls or send SMS messaages to yourself in the [Windows Mobile SDK] emulator. The phone number for the emulator is “+14250010001”. This is really handy for testing SMS interception or how your apps responds to an incoming phone call, etc. Just send an SMS to +14250010001…

…It’s also a great way to freak your buddy out who’s working on the emulator and doesn’t know about this feature.

Write a little app that will place a call to the emulator with a time delay before it places the call, deploy it when he’s not looking and start it. Wait your prescribed timeout and watch as he tentatively answers the call from his emulator 🙂

from Windows Mobile Team Blog

Cool! 🙂

More to ‘Blu-Ray vs HD DVD’ than I realised

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

I’ve been vaguely aware of the format war between the new high-definition video disc formats hoping to be the successor to DVD: Blu-ray and HD DVD. But, to be honest, I’ve not paid much attention – I assumed that the two formats would just be different approaches to making pictures so pretty and detailed that they would be hard to tell apart, and that ultimately it would be stuff like pricing, licensing approaches, deals between supporters, and other more business-related drivers that would make the difference.

But, with all the coverage of high-definition video that CES has stirred up, I thought it was about time that I find out a bit more about them.


Happy New Year

Monday, January 8th, 2007

Holidays over… I’m back! I didn’t post much over Christmas, as I was trying my best to avoid computer screens for a couple of weeks.

That’s not to say that I didn’t learn anything new at all over the festive season. I learnt many things – for example, being at home with my daughter taught me that potty-training a two-year old isn’t the easiest task in the world and that if you’re made to watch The Snowman enough times it can actually drive you a little bonkers.

Board games with the family taught me such nuggets as that tiger stripes go through to the skin not just the colour of the fur.

And what little web access I got away with before getting glared at reminded me that Hursley can look pretty cool (thanks, Andy!).

Hope everyone else had a good break.