Driving Lesson #28

January 19, 2009 – 20:23

Moving towards my 60th hour of driving, and I am still enjoying it. Made a couple of silly mistakes today, the first (not the first mistake just the first silly one) was not taking a right turn where I should of. It was down to my perception of how the road went, I hadn’t anticipated that the road itself went straight on, I thought it went off to the left. Kev asked me to take the next right, and I missed it and went straight on.

Second mistake was not stopping at a give way line, someone came round a sort of blind corner, had I crept further forward I would have seen them. This was bad because they had to slow down, on the off chance they are reading this, sorry! Lesson learnt though.

Kev has said he is happy for me to book my test, so I did. I am not going to post it on here until I have it confirmed with Kev. It is against by better judgement to post it at all, as I am likely to end up with twitters, texts and e-mails soon before the test which might make me nervous. We will see.

Driving Lesson #27

January 12, 2009 – 22:18

Today was a new skill, parking in a shopping center car park. Or at least an adaption of existing skills.

  1. Get yourself parallel to the line kerb equivalent, roughly a doors width from the bounding line of the parking space.
  2. Reverse until the near side bounding line of the parking space is about half way through rear window.
  3. Once at this position steer full lock to the left.
  4. Keep reversing, making corrections by straightening up then moving back to full lock.
  5. As you finally come round to parallel to the left and right bounding lines straighten up.
  6. Reverse until the front bounding line is level with the mirrors.

That’s roughly it, I think. Hopefuly I will get to practice it again next week and draw you all a diagram. This week I was less hesitant than I had been in the past, I still made mistakes and got confused by the trafic but I was more decicivie. Felt conftable and confident in the car, if a little weary of being asked to do emergency stops again.

Driving Lesson #26

January 5, 2009 – 21:53

Today was a day for gear changes and roundabouts, some dual carriageways and national speed limit single carriageways in the pitch black freezing cold. Kev was trying to get me more confident and less slightly dangerous on roundabouts which is good as I find them shockingly confusing, particularly if I need to do a gear change coming up to them.

Lifehack has an article on making decisions under preasure, which I think probably covers the broad techniques I should be using to make sure I am better at roundabouts than I am at the moment.

Specifically – know the situation, know the outcomes and commit to the task at hand.

Happy New Year

December 31, 2008 – 21:54

This is just a quick post to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I have been wanting to post some statistics gathered through Google Analytics for some time now so here we go. The following data covers 1st January 2008 until the post time 31st December 2008, all data excludes administrator visits and search engine crawlers.

Visit Statistics

  • Visits: 3,066
  • Visitors: 2,708
  • Page Views: 4,935
  • Bounce Rate: 74.72%

Top Visit Origins

  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • France

Most Popular Posts

  1. Lakeland Revival
  2. Center Parcs Longleat
  3. Google Chrome
  4. EasyWorship

Top Search Terms

  1. lakeland revival
  2. richard slater
  3. easy worship
  4. breaking distances
  5. easy worship


  1. Internet Explorer (56.23%)
  2. Firefox (37.18%)
  3. Safari (3.59%)
  4. Google Chrome (0.95%)
  5. Opera (0.27%)

Operating Systems

  1. Windows (89.11%)
  2. Macintosh (7.47%)
  3. Linux (2.67%)

The main thing that I get from looking at those statistics is I would like to get the bounce rate down, the average time on site is only 51 seconds, which I would like to increase. The only way I can go about that is by creating more useful content and the only way to do that is to keep plugging at it.

See you all in 2009!

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2008 – 10:51

It’s that Christmas time of year again, I am fortunate to be able to spend time with friends and family this Christmas. I hope my readers get to spend Christmas with those that you love too.

Merry Christmas!

Driving Lesson #25

December 22, 2008 – 20:21

First lesson in two weeks, for that matter I don’t get another lesson for two weeks either. I feel a little stuck with the driving to be honest, each lesson seems similar to the previous lesson, it is possibly a mix of the law of [[Wikipedia:diminishing returns]] and fustration at doing the same thing over and over again.

Took a look at the Burgess Hill Test Center the website still says no information available, and I can’t seem to select any times or dates on the “book a test” page on direct.gov. Never mind, hopefuly will be able to book a test at some point in 2009!

Anyway, as I said no more lessons for two weeks because of Christmas, will update again then for sure.

Learn a Little More About Richard Slater

December 13, 2008 – 23:37

Graeme Arthur tagged me, normally I hate these things but this is kind of a reverse chain letter… sort of… maybe if i re-write the rules slightly.


  • Link to the original tagger(s), and list these rules on my blog.
  • Share 7 facts about myself in the post – some random, some weird.
  • Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

7 Facts About Me:

  1. At the time of writing I have been alive for approximately 871 million seconds.
  2. I first started programming (in Spectrum BASIC) at about the age of 8 since then I have coded projects in [[Wikipedia:Visual Basic]], [[Wikipedia:Pascal (programming language)|Pascal]], [[Wikipedia:C (programming language)|C]]/[[Wikipedia:C++]], [[Wikipedia:Java (programming language)|Java]], [[Wikipedia:Ada (programming language)|Ada]], [[Wikipedia:PHP]] and [[Wikipedia:C-sharp (programming language)|C#]].
  3. I have played [[Wikipedia:EVE Online]] for almost five years now, have been playing less often of late however I still get to enjoy the time I do spend in EVE, although it is getting increasingly more and more lonely in space.
  4. I have been learning about [[Wikipedia:Sharepoint]] over the past few weeks, I have already completed most of the Microsoft e-Learning on the topic and read several blogs, I recently signed up to the Sharepoint User Group UK.
  5. I wrote my dissertation on the future of [[Wikipedia:MMOG]]s, I disagree with a good proportion of what I wrote, however it was one of the most enjoyable parts of my Degree.
  6. I type at between 40 and 60 words per minute, it has taken me 5 minutes to get to 300 words in this blog post, some of them however were copied and pasted from Graeme’s post.
  7. Like Graeme I also play bass (albeit I play badly) and dabble in live PA, although I don’t really enjoy the later any more.

7 people to tag:

  1. Catherine over at I Married You
  2. Haly over at Halycopter
  3. Tim over at Thoughts of a musing pedant
  4. CrazyKinux over at CrazyKinux’s Musing
  5. Winterblink over at winterblink.com
  6. James Glass over at Outthere
  7. Peter Arthur over at Robotii

I know the last two were on Graeme’s list, however I honestly can’t think of anyone who would appreciate it most of the blogs I read are a strictly one way thing. I was tempted to link JoCo, Felicia Day and Mark Russinovich – however I really don’t think they would appreciate it.

Driving Lesson #24

December 8, 2008 – 21:02

So today was the 48th hour of driving a car, we didn’t do anything new one emergency stop at the end after being chased round by a 4×4 for a bit, should have guessed that was going to happen after Kev had said he wanted me to do an emergency stop.

Trying to perfect manoeuvres on difficult roads (read steep), was quite interesting trying to do a three point turn on a large hill. One thing that is slightly concerning me is reversing into parking spaces in supermarkets and the such. I am not sure why I would want to reverse into a parking space when I could just go in forwards and then put the shopping in the boot, it just seems like something that might be useful at some point.

Anyway, no lesson next week Kev is going Christmas shopping.

Ordering Pizza

December 1, 2008 – 20:48

I know I have only just blogged, but this wouldn’t fit in Twitter.

Ordered a Pizza tonight from Famous Moe’s Pizza, we ordered a large deep pan pizza with pineapple, sweetcorn & mushrooms; on the side we were going to have coleslaw, two sprites, garlic bread and [[Wikipedia:Häagen Dazs]].

Just had a phone call from said Pizza company who said they have no sweetcorn, coleslaw, sprites or Häagen Dazs. Leaving us with a pineapple and mushroom pizza with garlic bread… strangely enough I asked them to cancel the order and refund the money to me. In times when people are less likely to spend money on take-away it doesn’t bode well for your business model to not have 70% of products in stock.

Driving Lesson #23

December 1, 2008 – 20:23

Emergency Stops…


My head is buzzing after doing my first four emergency stops, it isn’t the emergency stops that I don’t like it is being in charge of a car after doing one, also having your mate shout “STOP” in your left ear, has a somewhat negative [[Wikipedia:Pavlovian]] conditioning effect on the enjoyment of driving.

So as with my earlier posts I am going to try and write down the procedure for doing an emergency stop, as with previous posts this is my memory of what to do, not official. Please take advise of a qualified driving instructor (like Kev) before trying this.

  1. Instructor/Examiner shouts STOP in your left ear ;-).
  2. Press down the brake, then the clutch (this is for an [[Wikipedia:ABS]] car).
  3. As you are doing to try and lock out your arms and push yourself into the chair to avoid being thrown forward.
  4. In the event of rear wheels drifting out, steer into the same direction as the the drift. f.ex. if you drift right, steer right.
  5. Put on the hand break.
  6. Change to first gear.
  7. Look over both shoulders (left and right…).
  8. Move off slowly and carefully.

Chances are if you are anything like me your head will be buzzing, this would probably be a good time to pull over and compose yourself.