Nottingham to Edinburgh

Today we left my Uncle and Aunt in Nottingham and made our way up to Edinburgh.

I stole the TomTom back from my mother today and gave her a map book instead. She traced our actual route on the map while I guided Dad through all the little zigs and zags of our route. Dad even had me turn the camera warnings back on as my uncle had told him that they're pretty fierce.

We had a morning tea break today at the George hotel in Piercebridge, apparently the inspiration for the song "My Grandfather's Clock" and the eventual naming of Long Clock's as such.

From there we continued on to "The North", stopping for lunch at a nice restaurant called Shoulder of Mutton in Longhorsely, which was pretty good.

From there we continued on to our B&B outside Edinburgh; Peggyslea Farm B&B. This place is fantastic. Really super hospitable and a beautiful property as well. Here's a couple of pictures we took around the property:

We're here all day tomorrow, and we've got tickets to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Romford to Nottingham

Today we drove from Romford to Nottingham via Cambridge. Apparently TomTom irritates my Dad as it keeps beeping about traffic cameras. He decided that my mother should co-navigate with TomTom which drove me crazy.

At any rate, we stopped in Cambridge and went for a guided tour via punt. It was actually quote busy, but quite relaxing and informative. I'd highly recommend it to anyone. You just kick back, put the feet up, and listen to the guide tell you about each of the colleges on the tour.

From there we told TomTom to go to Nottingham via the shortest route, rather than the fastest, which was kind of neat. We saw a ton of little English towns that we'd never have seen otherwise. Narrow streets, with stone and brick buildings, roofed with everything from thatch to tile. It was really pretty cool. Some of the roads though, well… I'll admit that I wasn't much of a fan of them. Passing oncoming traffic on a one lane road at 50MPH is a little nutty in my opinion.

At any rate, we made it safely to Nottingham and had a great visit with my Uncle and Aunt. Tomorrow we're planning on being up and out the door by 9:30 AM on our way to Edinburgh. Hopefully I'll have WIFI there in the B&B that we're staying at.

Oh yeah… and happy birthday to my brother Brian too!


Well, that flight was a long one. I got up at 5:30 AM, hoping that I'd be able to sleep a bit on the plane. We flew at 4:00 PM Saturday our time, and during the 9 hour flight I didn't sleep for more than 15 minutes.

We finally arrived in Romford at noon yesterday (Sunday,) and I figured it would be good to kill the jet lag by staying up as late as possible. I managed to last till 9:00 PM local time, which works out to 1:00 PM home time. So I figure I was up for about 31.5 hours. All good except that I couldn't sleep last night, so I'm still tired. What's that all about?

Today we had a relaxing day and went out to the shops at Romford for a bit, followed by a trip to Thordon park for a walk. Here's the fellow that guards the entrance to the park.

We brought my TomTom to navigate and its sure different using it here vs in Nanaimo. Here we get traffic camera warnings, speed limit warnings and all kinds of things. Pretty neat.

Tomorrow we head up to Nottingham to visit my uncle and aunt… hopefully after a good night's sleep.

Lie Back and Think of England

My sister-in-laws's status on Facebook this morning: "Francine Street is wondering what to do today"

Hopefully Francine gets the joke…

Personally, I will be lying back and thinking of England. (For real, not like this.) Although I haven't made much public mention of this yet, in 8 hours I'll to be on a plane on my way to London.

We actually have a pretty large number of family all over England. My dad has two brothers and a sister, all of whom have 2 kids each, some of whom have kids. With the exception of my immediate family and one cousin, (who lives in Japan,) all of them make their home somewhere in the UK. And that doesn't cover my mom's side who naturally factor in there too. And while the bulk of mom's immediate family is in one place, she's got close cousins scattered across the country. Naturally, we're going to be visiting as many of them (on both sides) as we can, and we're doing the grand tour of the UK to do it. And when I say the grand tour, I mean it… check this out:

We fly into London, stay a couple of days in Romford, then head on to Nottingham, Edinburgh, and Inverness. Then back down through the Lakes District to Coventry, and west to Newport for a few days. Why Newport? Well... it's the reason for the whole trip. August 19, 2009 marks my grandparents 70th wedding anniversary and on the 22nd Granddad turns 96. The entire Puls family, with the exception of only my brother, will be coming together to celebrate. It will be quite the event.

Now, from the "I can't believe how small this world is" book, it turns out that Roger Govier lives all of about 20 miles from Granny & Grandad. And during our four day stretch, we have a day off so we've got the chance to hook up with Roger, who is going to give us the local's tour of Cardiff. Dee and I are quite looking forward to being able to go out and spend the day with a friend, something we're not going to have nearly enough opportunities to do.

Our next stop after Newport is to head down to Poole, where we'll be staying for 3 days. Now there's something funny about Poole, and I'm sure there's a comment coming about this… 😉 Pretty much all of my mom's immediate family live in Poole, as does our great friend Bob Phillips. Nick Hodge isn't too far away from there, and nor is Richard Schollar. So there seems to be some kind of gravitational pull about Poole for some reason. Bob has graciously offered to host us while we're there, as there's not enough beds with family, and is going to show us what makes Poole the centre of the universe. 🙂

After Poole we head back to Romford, and have the opportunity to head into London for a day of sightseeing before we have to head home.

So now, for the disappointing part…

I have friends all over England/Scotland and, as I mentioned at the top, I've been pretty silent on my trip till now… As I think everyone can see, we have tons of family to see, many of whom we're only going to get to see for one night. The trip is going to be a hectic one to say the least. So if you haven't received an email from me, please don't be offended by it… it's not personal at all, just survival. I'd like to see all of my friends, many of whom I've never had the chance to meet in person, but time just doesn't afford me that luxury.

At this point it's looking a lot like we've got one opportunity to get together with friends… dinner on August 28th in London. If you can make it to London, please drop me a line and we'll see if we can hook up. 🙂

Last but not least, I also would like to throw out a big "Thank You!" to my buddy Ted who will be house-sitting for us while we're gone. Much appreciated, buddy!

Do you block Twitter followers?

So today I got yet another follower on Twitter. Whenever I see one that is following a few hundred people and who has tweeted less than 5 times, I go take a look. I usually find that they're an attractive young lady who uses their favourite bikini beach shot for their profile picture, and that their only tweet is something like:

Need strong man to keep me satisfied all night every night.

Of course, that's paraphrased a bit, but you get the idea. They're young, attractive, and horny for Excel knowledge.

While I'm flattered that these people think I'm a "strong man", they obviously haven't done much research. I'm a bony armed accountant for crying out loud! All my muscle mass comes from moving around packages of paper, pushing a pencil, and typing. Not exactly a body builder… unless you consider developing a belly is "building".

The second thing that amuses me about this is that, while I do talk a lot, I think I might run out of things to say about Excel after a couple of all nighters. Yeah, it's my favourite app… and I do like to think I know a lot about it, but still… I have limits.

Now I'd hate to not be able to perform, and I'm worried it would damage my confidence. So with thoughts of protecting my self esteem from being ruined, I block them from following me.

But now I'm stopping to think about it… am I hurting my chances at getting that Best Buy job? Should I leave them on my list? Or maybe I should just tweet them a link to Mike Alexander's blog?

So question to you… when you get one of those do you block them, or no?

Using getSize with RibbonX buttons

A friend just asked for some help with making a getSize callback work with some buttons. I figured this should be an easy one, and dove into the RibbonX book to check the table on page 172. Aha! There it is in the middle of the table:

Static Attribute Dynamic Attribute Allowed Values Default Value VBA Callback Signature For Dynamic Attribute
size getSize normal, large normal Sub GetSize (Control as IRibbonControl, ByRef returnedVal

So I whipped up a quick example to prove it out and… wtf? I started getting an error message:

Interesting… it returned a value that could not be converted to the expected type. What the heck is that about?

When you set up your XML code, you use normal or large in the code. So far as I know, they are the only allowed values, although I can't say I tested that. What I did test, however is both normal and large in VBA callbacks. Both return the error listed above.

Interestingly enough, I decided to try passing a value of 0 or 1 to the callback via VBA and it worked! So then I gave it a whirl with true and false. Likewise, it worked.

So it looks like, in order to use a getSize callback with a button, you actually need to pass one of the following to the callback:











Just in case anyone wants to have a play with this, I've also attached a workbook here: It also shows how to use getLabel on a tab, as well as getImage on a button. (It's in a zip file, so you'll need to unzip it first as my blog won't accept xlsm uploads.)