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Monday, 15 February 2016




And here's the little scrote who stole it....

Over two years since I've posted here, but I just had to share this with you, because often when I bump into people they mention the bike because of this blog, and now it's been stolen by a rotten little ten-year-old.

The photo comes from the brand new HD security system installed just weeks ago at the local cornershop. The shop staff immediately identified him, (it's clearer when you play the video in the shop) but the police were so pathetically slow in reacting that he had got rid of it by the time the law finally decided to interview him about it TWO FREAKIN' WEEKS LATER, despite me giving them this clear photographic proof of him in the act of stealing the bike, his name, his address, and everything they needed - handed on a plate to them... Clowns!

Apparently he had disposed of the bike, what a surprise, and although he told the Police what he had done with the bike, when they went to investigate there was no sign of it, and the recipient denied all knowledge of t - what a bloody surprise!

So I'm on foot for the foreseeable future - I'll be buying a replacement around April I guess!?!?!

Sigh... I really liked that bike.

Friday, 19 July 2013

My new(ish) bike!



I Need To Do More Exercise, So....

Well, there it is... I received a handy sum of money for my birthday back in April, and it's been safely ensconced in an envelope marked "Bike Fund" for the last couple of months, and then finally, the weather was right, no more excuses or delays, I rushed out and got myself an eBay super-bargain - as long as you don't count the van hire and petrol to collect it from Bristol, a round trip of some 350 miles... Because frankly I could have bought a new one for less - but where's the fun in that?

Since buying, I've realised I am not a good eBay buyer... I didn't ask about anything, I just knew I needed a bike and I was gonna buy one today... I arrived, said "hi", piled the bike into the van and drove off without more than a cursory glance at the thing. Unfortunately it's not actually as mint as it looked in the photo - there's some rust, and some wear and tear, the tyre valves look like they have been mucked about with, yep, I could have bought a new one for less - but where's the fun in that?

I definitely had to replace the saddle for something, how shall I put it, a little more capacious! I also noticed one of the pedals looked a bit knacked, and yesterday it decided to give up the ghost, so I've got a new, larger pair of those installed now too. I've only had the bike one week and I've realised I'm going to need a water bottle cage - wow... I could have bought a new one for less - but where's the fun in that?

I've managed to get as far as the seafront and back, although even the new and improved (huge) saddle can't claim to be exactly comfortable, and my legs we're trembling in shock for the rest of the day... It sounds like hard work, but actually, I've got a sneaking suspicion that there's a lot of fun to be had in this!

Thursday, 30 May 2013



YouTube - sigh!

If you're going to force us to have the boring OneChannel format - don't pretend you're giving us a choice.

Didn't we have this last time with YouTube, forcing an unwanted redesign on everyone.

All the accounts I've seen using the OneChannel format look really dull and boring - and who wants an introductory video? To be able to show our content in a design that we choose, that's what we want. 

End rant.

Monday, 20 May 2013



The Pro Tube

Pretty much every day, for the last six years, I have spent a few minutes searching for a fresh video to feature on our front page. Sometimes it might be a new video from a recent tournament, other times it might be something instructive, sometimes it might not even feature American Pool, but some other discipline, or perhaps it might only have the most tenuous of links to our website's focus... But every day, I go through this ritual selection process - at weekends I try to feature the best live streams from tournaments all over the world, with a particular focus on European events and players.

Some videos don't make the grade because the recording quality isn't sufficiently good enough to grace our front page, other videos may be too rude, or not quite polished enough. Having said that, some videos may be very poor recording quality, but have such fascinating content that they simply have to be shown.

Over the years, I've repeated very little... One that does get a regular airing is Efren Reyes' magical shot from the Color of Money challenge - I'm sure everyone forgives me that  little indulgence. Another is a cartoon of Donald Duck explaining, in his own unmistakable way, the simplicity (and then the complexity) of his own personal diamond system - I just love it. 

Apart from those two videos - and the odd occasion when Pro9 is promoting a featured livestream, we have had a new video every day - that's over 2,000 videos!!!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Maximum Reportage!!!



Return of the Blog

I'm going to have another crack at the blog, and you're going to have to learn to take the rough with the smooth - today's post is definitely one of the rough ones, so here it is...

It always tickles me when one of our snooker articles receives 147 reads.

That's it!

Monday, 18 June 2012

The Pro Shop on eBay - here we go again!



eBay - take two!

In their wisdom, eBay doesn't permit business partners to take over existing eBay shops if the shop is a single person's name, and in all honesty I can see why - just because business "X" has taken over business "Y" doesn't mean standards will remain the same, and the reputation and feedback built up over time by the original manager of the business wouldn't necessarily continue in the same vein, and wasn't necessarily earned by the new owner.

So it's back to square one for The Pro Shop on eBay, as it was in Andy's name, and now it's in mine.

To be fair, we only ever dabbled with eBay - listing no more than 70 items at it's peak - a real tiddler among eBay shops - but it was just to see if it was worthwhile, and in all honesty, I still don't think we can tell for sure. It's simply not enough product to make an informed decision, so starting today, it's back on, you can follow my trials and tribulations here...

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/ThePro9Shop

...One word of warning though... We always added 10% to The Pro Shop's prices on eBay to cover their extortionate fees, and to encourage customers to buy from our own shop at www.TheProShop.biz where no such charges apply. So if you're looking for a bargain, forget our eBay shop - unless you are chasing extra feedback and are willing to pay for the privilege - or perhaps you prefer the security that eBay affords it's customers.

Actually, there IS something rather satisfying about running a shop on eBay, and it's the satisfaction you get from receiving the (albeit somewhat coerced by eBay) feedback from the customers - we'll see if I'm still saying that after receiving my first negative shall we?  hahaha... I hope I'm not tempting fate saying that!

;o)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

"Web Master?" ...Don't make me laugh!



The trials and tribulations of...

I'm not sure that anyone really uses the "web master" monicker any more, and it's a good job too, as the depths of my ignorance seems to be virtually plummetless - I know, I just made up that word, but it seems appropriate, so I'm sticking with it.

Case in point, I've only just agreed to increase Pro9's monthly bandwidth transfer limit from a stupendously massive 80Gb per month, to a truly awe inspiring 100Gb monthly allowance (Pro9's just a website remember, not a blinking live streaming video channel) and already I'm receiving 80% limit warnings from our hosting company???

Sometimes I wish that it weren't so popular - ok, no I don't really, but seriously, you can hardly go up to a potential advertiser and say, "it uses loads and loads of bandwidth - honest". So what's it worth? Well, a fair few quid to our hosting company I suppose!

;o)

I shouldn't complain... I've submitted more than my fair share of Support Tickets to them already this year. Only yesterday I was unable to upload anything to the website at all - all day long. Apparently the problem was so serious that it needed to be... Oh... What was the word they used? Spiralled? Ascended? Promoted? "ESCALATED!" That was it. It was such a serious problem that it needed to be escalated to an S2 Engineer. Oh my goodness. Had I broken something? Hosting companies never tell you what the problem was, but I've a sneaking suspicion that they'd let the server get full... LOOOOOOL

Maybe I'm not so daft after all!