The (Un)Interesting Life

It’s just not Cricket…

After a whole year of threatening to do so I've finally started playing Baseball. Yes. Baseball. In Scotland. Scotland! To say it's an underground sport here in this country is probably over stating it a little and insulting to underground Scottish sports (I'm looking in your direction Ice Hockey...)

Having said that the blokes that run it here are really a great bunch of fellas and among the yanks, Europeans and South Americans there is even some Scotsman! You can tell which ones they are as they're wearing the kilts and speaking like Fat Bastard (not strictly true...). They have made me feel welcome and it's pretty good banter and a lot of fun to play. There is even another Australian Chris already in my team so some of the time last Sunday was spent coming up with alternate name for me - will keep you updated on the outcome of that one - Killer was top of the list and that's a story for another day that involves me and a lump hammer...hmmm....nevermind.

Growing up in Australia my first sport was always cricket closely followed by cricket and then after that some cricket and maybe some indoor cricket so already physically programmed to seemingly slow and strategic games involving belting a very hard small ball with a bat, running flat out for small distances and standing out in a field waiting for something to happen I don't feel it was a hard transition to make.

I first started getting into Baseball when the Wee Man was born and he was up all hours of the night as a baby (what am I talking about?? he's still up all hours...) and I'd be watching the MLB on ESPN sports channel for want of something better to watch at 2am. Then having a job in Dell and my main office is in Atlanta, Georgia many of my colleagues were of course fans as well. So it followed that the Atlanta Braves became my team by default really. I started really getting interested, enough so that I now have a MLB.TV subscription which mean i can watch any game, any time on demand or live. The MLB season is 162 games. 162! that's a LOT of baseball. Just ask my wife...

The biggest thing I've had to get used to is this glove business, cricketers don't use gloves to catch the small hard ball - except if you keep wickets - so to "untrain" myself to NOT stick my bare hand out to catch things had been a surprisingly hard challenge for me but I'm getting there.

My brother-in-law has so very kindly let me use a Lousville Slugger baseball bat that his dad brought back from the states for him at some stage, that has been sitting up at his parents house for ages. Lovely bat it is too. My team mates call it my tree trunk but I've found that if you get to hit the ball it tends to stay hit. It's a very nice feeling having that ball crack off the bat's sweet spot let me tell you.

Anyway it gets me out of the house and outdoors in what has been a very challenging year for me and my family and it basically keeps me out of trouble. Anyone interested in checking out the teams FB page look here

P.S. I've not got my uniform yet but when I do i'll update the blog with a photo



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nVidia and optimus penguin…

I've had the pleasure to be working much closer with linux in the last few months and have decided in the spirit of advancing my tired old brain to run a couple of Ubuntu Linux Gnome machines for testing (and breaking) purposes.

An interesting thing I came across today was that one of the machines has something called nVidia optimus hardware, which means simply put that the "normal" 2D graphics are processed by the inbuilt Intel graphics chips whilst the intensive 3D stuff such as gaming or CAD is handed off to a nVidia graphics processor. How interesting. (Who remembers 3DFx VooDoo cards?...)

This is not current officially supported natively in Ubuntu 13.04 at this point and loading a vanilla setup will not give you full advantage of the nVidia card BUT as always with the linux community someone has done something about it. Enter Bumblebee.

So here is what I did:

1. Fresh install of Ubuntu Gnome 13.04

2. Now you'll have to add the repo's for bumblebee.

a. $ sudo apt-get-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable

b. $ sudo apt-get update

c. $ sudo apt-get install bumblebee virtualgl linux-headers-generic

d. reboot

 3. add your user to the bumblebee group with

a. $sudo usermod -a -G bumblebee $USER


Now to run a program through the 3D graphics card just type 'optirun <app name>'

a. $ optirun glxspheres

See below a screen shot of the results.

glxspheres running normally reports using the MESA DRI Intel GL renderer and pumps out 67 FPS whereas the second time I've run it with $> optirun glxspheres it users the NVS 4200M as the GL Renderer at 137 FPS - twice the speed.



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Scottish Summer

Well, even though it's over now I think that we've had probably the best summer since I've been living in the UK (7 years now!) Here are some nice wee pics from a day at Crammond with Wee P

2013-07-06 12.14.29 2013-07-06 12.36.03

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Christmas 2012

What a good Christmas it's been this year , I've had the week off and I'm not back at work until next Wednesday, giving me plenty of time to spend with the kids and the wife. Got a very decent haul of pressies including a Kindle, Lego Star Wars: The Battle for Hoth from the Good Lady and The Hobbit board game and MtG: Dueling pack from some friends and Forza Horizon (xbox) along with the usual teeth-rotting haul of chocolate and cola....

Christmas dinner was at ours this year and we hosted the Mother-in-Law so it was a chilled out day. The Good Lady did a great job on the turkey dinner and we've been eating turkey ever since...

Major pressies for the tin lids this year from Mr S were a Doll's House for Wee P and a Little Tikes slide for the boy - although they spend more time playing with each others gifts I think...

2012-12-25 15.55.39

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Cartoon: Mana Tapped…

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BBC Radio 6Music breakfast at the Fringe

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The wee man


My wee lad is well handsome...

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Weekend 04.08.2012

The middle weekend of the Olympics - which has not been off our TV really. Some remarkable scenes tonight with Ennis winning the gold medal for the heptathlon. Big thing have been happening in the Shooter household as well: a few weekends ago was Wee P's 3rd birthday and we had a great little party over at Drum Brae leisure centre where we had free rein over the massive sports hall with a bouncy castle basketball hoops and loads of sports equipment!

Between then and now there has been a few weeks of self imposed hell where we took it upon ourselves to finally bite the bullet and teach Wee P to sleep in her own bed all night, as up to this point she would appear by our sides sometime between 12 am and morning. Well it took a lot of sleepless nights and a lot of tantruming but we've cracked it with the help of some tough love and shameless bribery. I've loosely documented what we did and will write about it separately for those of you interested.

Now we are working on the wee man as we have moved him into the room with Wee P and that's not going too badly either, one thing I've discovered: our bed is frigging HUGE...

Today I took my bike for a ride and broke the pedal right off the crank....that was a fun walk home. Tomorrow we are off to some of the festival activities to the CBC and Cbeebies shows with the kids. Should be fun.

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