Site News


After about a three month break, I’m happy to be back to blogging about my photographs and exciting events.

After leaving Oxford I have been on a whirlwind tour of many places and hope to update you on my travels.  If you want a brief update you can catch my instagram feed here.

Otherwise I hope you enjoy the facelift to the main site, and stay tuned for the new content.

Site News

There has been a lot going on here in the Brideau household lately, some good, some not so good.  I’d like to say that these happenings are the only reason for my lack of posting, but I’m not sure that is the case.  Although I have been preoccupied with some of this stuff, my hope is that I should have a bit more free time to post now.  And I know I’ve said it all before, so we’ll see where it goes.  Thanks for reading.

What day is it again?

Wow time flies.  We have been very busy here in the Brideau household in the past few weeks, and busy enough that I was either away from my computer in the evening, or so exhausted that I just could not manage to sit and type a man diary entry.  BUT I’m hoping things slow down a bit the next week or so (probably not) and here is a small list of topics you can expect to see in upcoming posts.

1.  Day trip to London: How we took advantage of a stupid situation

2.  Useless Government: A rant on the ineffeciency and stupidity of the UK border agency

3.  North Carolina: A fun wedding and visit with my Grandma

4.  Bike Repair: Sometimes the best solution is to dismantle everything

5.  Evening Drunkenness: An update to our pub guide and maybe some wine events

That should keep me busy for the next couple of weeks when a whole new set of topics are due to be discussed.  Stay Tuned.

Site News

Not sure what the problem is, but I have been getting server time out errors every time I try to access my own site.  This means no updates and no reading of the archives for all my friendly readers.  Hopefully the server issues sort themselves out and I can continue to post.  More coming soon, I promise!

All systems go

Wow, what a sorry excuse for a blog this site has been for the last few months.  After some encourgement, and the arrival of my laptop, I’m happy to be back on schedule posting tidbits about our lives here.  Thank you to anyone who bothers to read anymore, hopefully I didn’t lose too many readers.  I find it quite challenging to post as frequently as I would like to, I normally either run out of material or energy.  All excuses aside, I hope to have at least a few weeks worth of posts lined up in the queue, and then after that if nothing pops up maybe I can play an optimistically-modified game of  “what can’t Adam complain about?”.

First things first, I’m happy to have my computer back.  About three months ago I started noticing a strange problem with my sound.  One minute sound would come out of the built in speakers, and the next it wouldn’t.  Sound would work through my headphones, and then it wouldn’t.  And sometimes sound would come out of the speakers when my headphones were plugged in.  I couldn’t figure it out.  At first I thought it was a strange setting problem, but quick checks of all the programs and drivers and settings said everything was functioning as it should – except it actually wasn’t.  I let it slide for a while because the problem didn’t occur all the time, and I didn’t really need the sound anway.  It turns out that I could only take that for about a month.  The problem with the unpredictable means of sound exit meant that I couldn’t listen to music through the headphones while at work for fear of alerting my co-workers that I like Cheryl Cole, and it also mean that I couldn’t use the HDMI output to watch TV or movies or sports through the projector.  Lose-Lose.

Luckily, my computer was still under warranty so I could send it back to the manufacturer for repair.  Unluckily, my warranty only applied to US cities, and I would have to send it back to the States from England.  Seems like a stupid policy for a global company like Acer to have, but I spoke to several customer representatives that confirmed this was the case.  Fortunately for me, we were traveling back to the US for a wedding in August, so I sent it back when we were home for a week.  Apparently my computer arrived to the repair facility after my warranty period technically expired, so I was not very optimistic that they would actually fix anything.  About 2 weeks later and an expensive plane ticket (thanks Mom!) later I opened my laptop to find a detailed repair notice.  They successfully replaced the mainboard, LAN board, thermal module, lower case assembly with speakers, and keyboard.  Basically they replaced everything except my aftermarket RAM, hard drive, and screen.

And I noticed something funny when it fired up.  Instead of displaying the ACER logo at the initial startup, the screen said Gateway.  Well it turns out this has a good reason, Acer group owns Acer, Gateway, Packard Bell, and e-machines.

I didn’t think the three latter companies even existed anymore.  Packard Bell and Gateway were two of the first commercial computers to enter the common household.  I remember when those two companies were HUGE.  If you had asked me a month ago to rank the 4 companies independently, I would probably rank them in the order that I listed them above.  I have never had experience with an Acer computer before, but until the sound issue I would have recommended them.  They lose credit for selling me a computer that died within the first year, but totally redeem themselves for fixing an out of warranty computer quite quickly.  I suppose someone decided that fixing a computer is probably a better way of retaining customers.  I might just buy Acer again in the future, or who knows, maybe Gateway or Packard Bell since the insides are all the same anyway.

All I can say for sure is that I’m glad my computer is back, and I’m glad to be back blogging again.

Back but sans technology

We have been doing a bit of traveling lately, including a whirlwind trip back to the US.  I have plenty of material to catch up posting on, but it might be a few weeks before I get to it.  The reasons for the delay are that we are busy working and traveling again next weekend, but also, I don’t have a computer.  While home in the US, I sent my computer back to be repaired via warranty, and have no idea how long it will take to get back to me.  I do the majority of my posts in the evening on my little laptop, so not having one probably makes those go away.

According to comedian Adam Carolla,  the internet is like chapstick, lotion and sunglasses – you don’t really need them until you get used to them and are then forced to go without them.  It probably isn’t a stretch to say that this statement is true for me, and I would even say that my computer could be substituted for the internet.  Even if I don’t have an internet connection, I can find ways to kill time on my computer.

I just got a computer at work that has been collecting dust but will now be my “work only” computer, and I’ll see how long I can go without one at home.  I like to think of it as a chance to get in touch with other non-computer parts of my life, so hopefully I’ll be back with an enlightened outlook on life.  Perhaps I’ll have read a book, spent quality time with my wife and cat, started my new workout plan, or cooked some fantastic recipes.  Or maybe I’ll just use my work computer.  Or the WordPress App for my Android phone.  Either way, I’ll be sure to report.

Quick Updates

I know I promised a bunch of updates on the house stuff, but to be completely honest, we have done so much on the house in so little time that I cannot keep up with everything.  I’ll do what may be a final set of posts on the house repairs sometime in the next week or so.

Also, I’ve been away from writing because as I mentioned before, our wireless router laid an egg, so we are back in action with our spanking new wireless-N router (subject of another post I’m sure).

Site maintenance

Sort of.  The site was down for a bit yesterday because one of the guys I share server space with doesn’t understand how the internet works and decided to delete my stuff instead of his.

Als0 – our wireless router at home decided to spontaneously lay an egg and not work anymore, meaning my evening posts are on hiatus until I can figure out how to fix it or find a cost-effective replacement.

AND finally most of the voters for the recent poll were spot on, that spat definitely happened in the Walmart parking lot.

Coming Soon…

Hopefully some new content.  Over the holiday break I had a jam-packed schedule complete with 2000 new miles on my Honda, and not much of an internet connection.  I’d like to say these are the main reasons I didn’t post anything but in reality I only updated 3 times in December and two of those had to do with Thanksgiving – Lame.

Anyway, my new years resolution (not that I ever believe in those) is to try and update regularly.  Beginning with a recap of the most recent vacation, an update on This Old House, and maybe even a post or two about technology.