Neither rain, nor snow, nor blinding sinus infection…

I just spent the last three days in bed. It’s not as much fun as it sounds; rather than, say, three days in bed with my nearest and dearest, a magnum of champagne and a few dozen oysters, this was instead three days of blinding pain, sinus infection and a fever that left me sweating so much the sheets were continually being drenched… and then dried out by the heat of my body.

How bad was the pain, I hear you ask? (you’re a bloodthirsty lot, I’ll say that…).

Well, imagine a large steel support pole, in the middle of an abandoned warehouse. A young, 70’s-era Lou Ferrigno is sitting on the ground, absolutely enraged at this pole for some reason. And as you probably know, you wouldn’t like him when he’s mad. Out of the corner of his eye, he spots a baseball bat. It’s studded with small chunks of glass, and  reinforced with bands of titanium. A serious, heavy-duty hitter, this bat is. He picks it up, takes a nice run-up, and swings with all the might his rather hefty shoulders right at the pole. The force of his swing shatters the bat, driving splinters of wood, titanium and glass flying everywhere. Almost spent with exhaustion, he glances up at the pole. It’s scratched, but still standing. This enrages him more, and then he spots another bat, magically appearing…

Now, repeat that swinging process at my head, roughly every five seconds. And that’s after taking multiple painkillers. At certain points, I’d swear I was actually blind, and certainly delirious from all accounts. Thank God for large horse-tablet-sized antibiotics, says I. Also, thank God for my mother, who coincidentally happened to be visiting, as Di came down with the viral side of my infection as well.

Somehow, in the middle of all this, I managed to get a review submitted, and it’s been published today at

Engin Voicebox 3102: “Annoyingly, we couldn’t figure out a way to force the 3102 to use the POTS line; this may be important in certain emergency situations, but in our case we were merely trying to call for a pizza, and the VoIP line routed us to the wrong store…”

Yeah, it’s like that…

So many deadlines, such a small amount of time.  So this will be brief. Review. Mine. Live now. Enjoy.

Samsung A411: “Either way, it doesn’t look very good, and has the tendency to jab into your personal parts if you stuff it in a pants pocket…”

Baron Silas Greenback, The World’s Most Villainous Toad

At around 2:30-3:00am this morning, my wife woke me up.

Now, regular readers of this blog — that’s right, both of you — will be aware that that particular hour has a special significance around these parts. Specifically, for all three of our children, I’ve been woken up by my wife to inform me that labour was due to start around then.

Naturally, I was a little befuddled. I seem to recall a certain amount of pain and snippage that was intended to make such nocturnal wakings a thing of the past.

But instead, she was waking me because there was something attacking the door to our bedroom with vim and vigour. Nobody ever really uses just vim, do they? Anyway, we pulled back the curtains to reveal Harriet, our missing (well, no longer missing, but you get the point) cat, attacking our door and with an expression on her face that made it look like she was annoyed with us. As though we’d moved the house for a week, and she couldn’t find it.

Brain scans of Harriet have so far come back negative.
Or, in other words, she’s part dog.

She’s a bit thinner, and constantly hiding under things (which, for her, is normal behavior, actually). But all, in all, a good result. Hurrah! Let the ticker-tape parades begin!

Surprisingly, this doesn’t suck…

Must be Telly’s presence..

Ow. My hand hurts…

But, all in all, it’s a pain I’m willing to bear. As it was scraped away by Lita as we just caught her!

Huzzah! Feeling slightly less awful now. Now, if I could just work out where Harriet is…

Venting. Upset.

So bear with me. Today, y’see, two of our three cats went missing. These are the cats that were a housewarming present when we moved in, and, today aside, the two that are missing had never been outside. In fact, if you’d asked me, I would have pointed out that one of them is (or was) positively agoraphobic; I’ve personally seen her cry at at open door because it was open.

And now they’re out there. Somewhere. I hope.

I’m not sure if they got out due to an error on my part, or if an idiot courier let them out. Let’s just say that my usual sunny opinion of couriers just got a lot, lot lower.

Not feeling good right now.

Here’s my longest of long shots for the day: If you happen to see either of these two cats, drop me a line. Anyone sending me an email with “I saw them on your Web page” will be beaten to death with something sharp and solid. I’m not in that kind of mood.





I may not be able to taste anything but varnish fumes right now, but I can still write…

As evidenced by this review, live today at

Samsung A711: “If you’re a secret agent, pressed for time and need to flee this Web page before something unspeakable happens to you, that’s pretty much the A711 in a nutshell. Hey, it could happen…”

Can there be anything finer than being declared the All-Ireland Piano Accordion champion?

Because I don’t think so. Although one has to wonder why there was a lull in competition in the late 1970’s. Perhaps some kind of dastardly IRA plot?

Actually, there are probably things that are finer. The smile of a baby, the colours of a fresh field of flowers, the curves of a beautiful woman, and this month’s issue of Netguide magazine…

**Crickets Chirp**Netguide Magazine. Still proudly Piano Accordion free.

OK, that wasn’t the smoothest segue I’ve ever done. But this month’s issue is out now, and within its pages you’ll find precious little on the fine art of Piano Accordion mastery. What you will find (that I’ve written) is a guide to the best digital cameras under $500, as well as standalone reviews of Dazzle DVD Recorder, iLife ’08, iWork ’08, Belkin Tunestage II, Logitech G9 Laser Mouse, Netcomm BP504UK Router Wifi Bundle, Fujitsu Lifebook P7230, Roxio Crunch, Google Earth 4.2, Bioshock (PC, Xbox 360), Ratatouille (PC, Mac, PS2, PS3, DS, Wii, PSP), Guitar Hero Rocks The 80’s (PS2) and Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm (PS2). Go forth, buy a copy, and feel free to ignore the buskers on the way. Unless they’re playing a Piano Accordion, of course. You could be ignoring a world champion, and that would be just rude.

Got an AK-47, well you know it makes me feel alright…

“There’s no feeling any greater,
Than to shoot first and ask questions later…” has just published my latest review. If you hurry, you’ll get the special premium bonus centerfold edition of the review!*

Acer PD727: “The PD727 is a large projector — 350 x 282 x 119mm ain’t small by any stretch of the imagination — and at a neat 4.0kg, it’s not entirely portable, either. Then again, notebook PCs used to be sold in that weight range on their portability, so anything’s possible…”

*Only kidding. Do you have any idea how hard it is to wrap Web pages in black plastic?