May 2013 in the Life of Ben (Blog)

  1. January
  2. February
  3. March
  4. April
  5. May
  6. June
  7. July
  8. August
  9. September
  10. October
  11. November
  12. December

New Screen Protector for Lumia 800 (28th May 2013)

These rarely go as well as I hope. This one is adequate, which is better than the previous one.

Fitted this during my lunch break at work. It’s a high-rise office block next door to Waterloo Station’s listed entrance. Although fairly free of dust, a couple of flakes still managed to get onto the protector!

Dad’s phone has a great protector but I didn’t see what product it is. Think I’ll find out and get one for next time.

Sunny Weekend with Zoe & Bella (27th May 2013)

Took a few photos and a couple of videos. Did some Gran Turismo 5 and really enjoyed it, for the most part.

We got outside quite a bit, partly in the back garden. The garden is laid with astroturf which is a stroke of genious!

The local green space has a very rural feel with a big pond and common. Bella loved charging after the frisbee. I was getting reasonable distance with it, by the 20th throw!

Gran Turismo 5

Sadly the NASCAR School is ruined by having the stability control system forced on. This makes the event impossible with a normal controller. With a wheel and pedals you stand a chance of avoiding the system stabbing the brakes on as you load up the tyres through fast corners.


  1. Cycled to Waterloo.
  2. Bought my ticket.
  3. Got on train.
  4. South West Trains provide decent spaces for full-sized bicycles.
  5. Jacket potatoes with corned beef, cheese and baked beans for dinner.
  6. Bella looks a lot different! Much more like a traditional, black and white border collie.
  7. Bella was born on a farm. Her parents are working dogs!


  1. Zoe made a Sunday roast for me!
  2. Lamb, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, farmhouse veg and gravy!


  1. Left a little after the family returned back from their holiday in Cornwall.

(More to follow.)

Scanning from Kodak ESP 7250 (25th May 2013)

Wouldn’t see my PC over WiFi. Eventually plugged into it over USB, using the cable for my external HDD.

  1. 5 or 6 drivers installed. 2 of them took several minutes to be located and installed but it was all automatic.
  2. Scan To: USB Connected Device would appear to start but then cancelled itself.
  3. Preview of the scan didn’t work.
  4. Kodak AiO Home Center is the thing you want to open so you can do this.
  5. Preview of the scan made the scanner run up and down the paper but the PC never received the scan.
  6. Various error codes. Simply wouldn’t work!
  7. At the scan settings screen, set your preferences on the left. Then click Next and it works fine!

The software is actually quite capable, although the accordion on the left is so flat that it doesn’t look like an accordion. More like a set of controls followed by a bullet list of links to online support articles.

But it does work, if you’re geeky enough to fiddle with the settings.

Document in Greyscale at 75dpi is all you need for e-mailing black and white documentation. Save it as JPEG with the Quality set one step down from maximum.

32nd Scalextric Club (21st May 2013)

Gran Touring cars grace the track at the London Scalextric Club this evening.

There’s a big grid so all 6 lanes are being used for 2.5 minute sprint races.

Tony let me try out some of his Moslers made by NSR. Each one has different components and layout so it’s a bigger variety than you might think.

I selected a slightly older one with a small transverse motor. It’s mounted at a very slight angle to give the axle some clearance. Very nicely balanced with strong corner speed and a lot of straight line performance.

Green Lane

Fastest Lap 10.43s
Laps: 13.55
Position: 5th
Crashes Not sure

Brown Lane

Fastest Lap 9.59s
Laps: 15.65
Position: 2nd
Crashes 0!

White Lane

Fastest Lap 9.38s
Laps: 15.65
Position: 4th
Crashes Not sure

Blue Lane

Everyone else jumped the lights so got an automatic 5 second delayed start penalty! I could have got 1st but the crash lost me a place. Did the tyres before this race and it seemed to help a lot.

Fastest Lap 9.07s
Laps: 15.85
Position: 2nd
Crashes 1

Yellow Lane

Had a close moment but held onto it and completed a clean race.

Fastest Lap 9.26s
Laps: 15.90
Position: 2nd
Crashes 0

Red Lane

Was running in 2nd but a small crash with a slow marshall dropped me back to 4th.

Fastest Lap 9.19s
Laps: 15.25
Position: 4th
Crashes 1

Stir-Fry Photos (7th May 2013)

We followed the general timings from our normal stir-fry process but used Sainsbury’s vegetables this time.

This time I took photos because it looked so professional! Tasted as good as it looked, too.


Haircut 18 (4th May 2013)

Got my hair shortened and thinned out quite a lot this time, in preparation for the warmer weather. It’s on the way. We keep reverting to chilly winds and overcast days that are about right for cycling in normal clothes.

Any warmer and I’d be getting quite sweaty. Shorts might become the item of choice this month.

Looked through my calendar and blogged my 17th haircut.