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Snape enjoys Tosha’s piano practice

Our cat Snape. What can we say? He is a very social creature – loving to get right up close for attention. If that means enjoying Tosha’s piano practice right there on the keyboard – within easy petting distance – then so be it!

Video of the fun below (or watch on YouTube HERE)…

My dad’s creative way to tell someone to ‘go jump in the lake’

My dad, Brian, had a creative way to tell someone to ‘go jump in the lake’ (other phrases exist).

Here’s a video I just found in my archive – I filmed the brief interview at Heathrow airport while we waited for his flight back to his home in Toronto. My camera at that time was an Olympus C5050 digital camera that had a 320 x 240 “high resolution” video format…well it was considered “high resolution” at the time! It even recorded audio!

It works again! Installing HP PhotoSmart 1218 on Windows 7

My 2 HP printers: the Color LaserJet 2605 on the bottom; and the 1218 inkjet on top.

I came across my old ‘HP photosmart 1218′ inkjet printer this afternoon.

Well, I knew it was in the garage; and I knew it was time to clean the mirrors on my HP LaserJet 2605 again; and I knew I really couldn’t be bothered to go through that rigmarole again; and I knew buying fresh inkjet cartridges would be about 1/4 the cost of buying 4 fresh laser toner cartridges; and I knew…

Well, you get the picture. I hauled out the old inkjet and plugged it in.

Lights came on and it made some noises. But Windows 7 didn’t like it.

It dawned on me why the inkjet was sitting in my garage: Windows 7 doesn’t include drivers for it (and I couldn’t bring myself, all those years ago, to throw out what I knew to be a perfectly good quality printer just because some software stopped it from working in the modern era).

So, I set about trying to find out if it could be made to work (or fool Windows 7 into using it). Sure enough…

Read the step-by-step instructions of how I got my 1218 working again by clicking HERE.

Tolii makes his first YouTube video

Tolii has joined the YouTube generation – he just created his first video: of Minecraft gameplay of course!!

Check him out over on his own blog Here’s his first blog, including links to his first video: My first video uploaded!!

His YouTube channel is also called TheTreeTwins.

British Government refuses to let Babushka visit her grandchildren this Christmas

Galina with Tosha and Tolii 2012

Our boys Tosha and Tolii with their babuska Galina – “Baba” – during her visit to us in January 2012. Hopefully our MP can make smiles appear on our boys’ faces again this Christmas.

Short cut to this story:
Click to see the Facebook page about #ChristmasBaba

(updates have been added to the bottom of this article – scroll down)

Some disappointing news: the UK government has refused to let Babushka (“Baba”) – real name Galina – visit the UK this Christmas to be with her grandchildren, our sons Tolii and Tosha.

Katya’s mum has been visiting from her home in St. Petersberg, Russia for 14 years without any issue. Until now.

The UK government now claims that they are not convinced that 76 year old Baba has somewhere to sleep and won’t take a job away from another grandmother. Or words to that effect – see below.

Also, earlier this year, 25 June 2013 to be precise, the UK government announced (HERE) that it had eliminated the right to an appeal whenever a family visitor visa is rejected. Great. Not.


The UK Government’s decision is especially disappointing this year because grandpa – Andrew’s dad – died earlier this year and so won’t be with us around the Christmas table either – see  ‘In memory of Brian Henry, my dad.’

Thankfully “Grangela” – Andrew’s mum Angela – is here with us. She lives in town near us and doesn’t have to worry herself about any jobsworth government bureaucrat getting between her and her grandchildren.

We have informed our MP, Sir George Young, of this whole sorry tale and are hoping that he might be able to find out why, after 14 years of family visits, the UK Government has now resorted to such cruel behaviour.

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