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Friday, 30 July 2010


Just had an actual real life chat with Golfy today, first time in weeks.  Great to catch up with the old wotsit and also great to hear his working life is nearly as miserable as mine.  He has at least given up smoking, which is a good thing.

A total time-waster of course, but I did learn quite a lot about.... um... er... bear with me, it will come to me in a minute.  Nope, gone, but no doubt will be leaping in to my mind at 3am tomorrow morning.  Now that really IS  a thought you don't want to be having.

Have a great weekend, and hope the sun shines down upon your head, with or without hair, all weekend long.  Except Brad of course, for whom the sun shines in a totally different place.  Boom boom.

P.S. Based on a blog by Golfy, I have deleted my Facebook account.

just a quick note

Busy day tidying up a number of loose ends, as I gently drift towards my summer holiday, which starts next Thursday evening.  I say gently, because that seems to be how time itself is passing.  In terms of what I am screaming at time to get a jolly move on, it is anything but gentle.  Needless to say my anglo-saxon heritage is being put to good use.

Looking forward to the weekend, which will be mostly planning and packing for next Thusday, since I will be in London all week.

I hope you have a good one too.  Oh, and Golfy, very funny, almost laughed out loud. 

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Dragon Ponder

I am experimenting with a new peace of softwear called Dragon poonder.  You may not have heard of it, and I am not that sirprized since it is top secret, and also becoz it is only in beta testhing right now and I am part of the testing team.  This software allows you to just think of things to right and it translaytes it in to tecst.  From the brain to the payge without a keybored in site.  It does have a few ruff edges, but I think you will agree that it certainly has promise.  I am lieing in my bed right now, just pondering the power of thought, and low and behold, the text is appearing.  The trouble is, the softwear has not mastered controlling the mouse, so I have had to step out of bed to press the "Publish" button.

Expect to hear much more of this amayzing softwear in futur posts.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Some times I likes to sit and think, and sometimes I just likes to sit...

... had a fantastic weekend with our friends Brad and Angelina, Harrison and Calista and Tom and Katie, and their respective maggots.  Camping, obviously 'vannin' in our case, in Wiltshire.  Nice site with a country park along side that included a zip wire and other country-like maggot play things.  Had a thoroughly good time.  

Even went fishing, first time in 30 years for me, first time ever for maggot 1, ably accompanied by champion fisher Brad.  I caught one, and had an absolute whopper break my line, maggot 1 caught four and Brad caught seven, including an 8lb carp, which for the modern amongst us was pretty bl00dy big.  Mine was a more conservative size, but it was definitely punching above its weight and put up a pretty good fight.

The weather remained dry and warm, and a couple of days were downright sunny, so we really could not have asked for more.  Except maybe more days.

Now back at work, in London, in the hotel, looking for a good 10pm show to watch to send me off to sleep, only to be rudely awoken at 3am by either a) the people next door doing exercise, b) a drunken resident returning via every flat surface between the lift and their room or c) a loud advert on the telly.  My preference would obviously be the shout of room service bringing my breakfast in bed at 7am, but likelihood is that I will be queuing outside my favourite juice bar for breakfast at 7am just before the office, for my usual order of porridge (with soya milk) and honey, followed by a juice, followed by seeds for a snack, and finally a sandwich for my mid-morning snack.  And all for half the price of breakfast in the hotel.  Lovely.

Off to find that telly show now.  Have a good evening, speak again soon.


Tuesday, 20 July 2010

A journey with no destination

The title represents my ideas for this blog, namely that I don't have any, but will just meander and see where it takes me.

Actually, just as I am half way through that sentence I DO know what I am going to write about.  I met up with Brad and Angelina on Sunday for our friend's daughter's thirteenth birthday party.  I remember when she was this high, and so it was lovely to also be part of her journey into teenagedom.  I can only hope she remains as she is today, and that is bright, funny, balanced and a lovely young woman.

Anyhow, to link back to the title, squirrel moment now passed, Brad and I were discussing a book we had both just read called Tuesday's with Morrie.  If you have not heard of it, probably shame on you, and if you have, no doubt you enjoyed it as much as we did.  The premise is none too promising; a young man, and old man who is dying with a very sad wasting-away type disease, and a regular Tuesday meeting where old man imparts his wisdom to young man.  The beauty is in its simplicity.  Morrie was a philosophy teacher, so did have some good and well crafted thoughts, but in essence it was about how he turned his condition into a positive thing, and on the way, how he gave some interesting words of wisdom.  Love your family and friends, show compassion, give back to your community, look for the good in people, searching is unhappiness, that kind of thing.

Now, the book was sold to us as a life changing book.  When able to reflect on it for a while, the person who recommended it thus did accept she may have over-sold it.  Having said that, it was a very interesting and enjoyable read and it has made me think about things, particular in my current work situation.  If you have not yet read it, and are able to read, then I would definitely recommend it, as long as you open the book with modest expectations.

Only other news is slightly sad in that I found out on Friday that a good friend and colleague at Starfleet has decided to cash in his chips and has resigned.  I hope to catch up with him to see what his plans are, but as a work colleague he will be sadly missed, and as a friend hopefully we will keep in touch, but us being men, probably not. 

We are off camping in our little white box for a long weekend starting Friday, and a better antidote to city working I cannot imagine.  I absolutely completely and utterly cannot wait for Thursday evening.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

So where the bloody hell are you?

Not me losing control of my editorial style, but obviously an old advertising tag line for Australia.

It is also of course what my vast readership has been saying about me.  It is true;* my blogs have been just a tad sparse of late, but I do have an explanation.  Not a good one mind, but the truth, which is sometimes good, sometimes bad and sometimes fish**.

The reason for my bloglessness is, simply and rather boringly, due to work.  Long hours in the intense environment of the City, followed by a walk, a tube and a walk to the hotel.  And then I have to put up with the hotel messing me about.  Again.  A long wait to check in, a lift ride up to my room, only to find the "key", or bit of plastic wot is programmed for the technical readership, did not work in my door.  "Bother" and "dash it all" and a few other Bertie Wooster's carried me back to reception.  "Oh yes, that doesn't work does it" said the receptionist, with what probably equals the highest level of understatement I experienced all day.  A pair of new keys later and I was in my room, twice.  With the noisiest air conditioning I have ever heard.  Now a chap can bunk down with the best of them, but dash it all to hell, a poorly working air-conditioning unit is against my basic human rights.  And being a proactive person, I took off my socks and put up with it.  In the morning I did complain, to be told I needed to pack all my stuff up in my room "... because our porters cannot touch your stuff..." ready to be relocated.  I am writing this from the sixth floor, the highest I have ever been in this hotel.  I certainly know how to live.

I have also had the a missing breakfast from the 30th June just added to my Amex on 6 July, for which I now have a receipt, since I am happy I did have it, but at the time the receptionist said don't worry, it is on us.  And I also had some bar drinks that were definitely not mine, and have been left for the manager to sort out.  Which if every other complication I have had here is to go by, will go nowhere fast.  In fact, I am just now ringing reception to see where it has got to.  I am on hold for the manager.  Still on hold.  Yep, still on hold.  I have now gone back to a receptionist.  Chocolate teapot.  Back on hold.  Lovely lady telling me about the "... unique experience at the Cumberland.  For a sneak preview at our breath-taking services...".  Then I was being asked to press 0 to speak to someone.  Now back to the same chocolate teapot to tell her again what I just told her.  I am finally with the manager, explaining for the fourth time.  So I finally get to the nub of my problem, rather than theirs, and it is kind of sorted.

Anyhow, I would love to stay and chat, but I have some TV to watch.  Have a good evening, and don't be a stranger.

*For those who like to know these things, that is the first use of a semi-colon in the Kenobi blog.  And that is a fact, in real life and in this country.

**A little joke for the abstractionites amongst us.  And don't bother trying to argue that there is no such words as abstractionites, you flognatites.

Friday, 9 July 2010

So there you are

I have been looking for Friday all week, and now I have found it.  Another week over, and a bit of progress made, but definitely time to go home and see my family.  I am not even sure what we are doing this weekend, but I don't care, I would just like to be sleeping in my own bed and spending some time with the family.  

I did manage to go shopping one evening, with the big shops open until 8pm.  Got myself some of them there long short things for my summer holidays, and a little present each for LO, maggot 1 and maggot 2.  The emphasis on little.  Sent a text last night mentioning it, and realise I have set myself up to fail.  However much they are preparing for something "little", I imagine that the "little" that they are going to get is somewhat "littler" than the "little" that they have imagined.  We will all try to laugh it off at the time, but I expect to be left in no doubt that my card is marked.

I hope your weekend will be as good as mine is definitely going to be.

Enjoy the sunshine.  I hope to be in the (large) paddling pool with the maggots, maybe a little lie in the hammock, and participating in whatever activities we have planned or make up over the weekend.  Ah, bliss.  ttfn.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

What's on your mind?

I am an avid ready of Golfy, Bad Man and Stretch*, and have been picking up a common theme amongst them all, a theme that I myself have touched on from time to time.

We are all, as it happens, troopers of Starfleet, aka Dante for Bad Man, so it may well inevitable that common themes will arise when each of us discusses our work.

So, what is the gist of this theme?**  Well, it is all about the "era of change", departing colleagues and friends, and an assessment of the atmosphere amongst those who remain.  I like Bad Man's view that we are now in the era of "initiatives", which is management speak that translates in to trying to make a pint fill a quart pot.  These initiatives will all start "now is the time to regroup, and to work smarter not harder."  I would like to believe this, but as Bad Man succinctly puts it, in an organisation the size of Starfleet/Dante "fundamental change is all but impossible and dilution of ideas and objectives is a fact of life."  Rather well put I think.  And unfortunately that does mean that we can expect to work harder, and probably longer, to fill the gaps left by those who have departed.  We have been urged by our leaders to "not let the service to our customers drop" and having done the maths, the options do seem limited.

So where does this leave those who remain?***  Cynicism could easily set in, apathy may also be just round the corner.  Optimism has a lot to be said for it, and energising one's self to tackle future challenges is definitely a good frame of mind to be in.  Attack is the best form of defense and all that.  However it can sometimes struggle under the torrent of "initiatives". 

For others, it has been a time to ponder "is this it?" and consider whether alternative roles or companies is the way forward.  I fear the losses to troopers may well continue for a good few quarters yet.  Aghh, I am even starting to count normal time in quarters.  

All in all, I am not looking forward to the next year, as we regroup and try to work out how the hell we continue doing what we do with gaps in the organisation.

Well, it was good to get that off my chest.  Not sure it made for much pleasure in the reading, but you know, some days...

On a different tack, some of my group of friends have been discussing the possibility of going to Glastonbury next year.  Traveling light, sharing tents and other logistic-related discussions ensued.  We are all tempted by the Ness (Gavin and Stacey) approach to such things.  "I just take Femiwipes and tic tacs."  Hmmmmmmmmm.

* This is not to say that I am not also an avid reader of Gorse Fox, however he does not tend to discuss these things as much as the other three.

**Should one put a question mark on a rhetorical question?  Not that this is a rhetorical question of course, but I was just wondering.

***I find myself pondering the rhetorical question debate once again.  Isn't that rather interesting.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

hot, hot, hot

I know what you are thinking.  When Derran Brown says that, you are inclined to believe him, and a person likening himself to someone who has Jedi powers you may also be inclined to believe, however, and I am letting the jabawaki out the bag here, I am just an ordinary bloke.

However, in this instance, I really do think I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking "Arrogant beggar, talking about himself again."  But no, dear reader (and I fear you are in the singular now), I am referring to the weather, of course.

Us Brits are obsessed with it.  When it is cold, we want it hot.  When it is hot, we want it cold.  When it is wet, we want it dry.  When it is dry, we want it wet.  You get the idea.  Right now, it is fair to say, it is pretty hot.  Combine the fair weather with a life spent in London, then the effect is magnified.  And don't even get me started on the Central Line.  That is global warming all on its own.  If you throw in the need for a tie and suit, then you have the makings of one very hot little Scobi Wan Kenobi.  My whole day is spent being either a bit hotter or a lot hotter than I want to be. 

So what is a guy to do.  So far, not a lot, except perspire quietly and long for that French holiday home with its magnificent swimming pool.  Being off the beer during the week just adds to the injustice of it all.  I just thank all that is good in the world that my hotel room has a good air conditioning unit that, on entry to said room, is turned up to eleven, to cool the room and everything therein.

I just thought I would let you know about that.

Off to London for 3 nights now, and already cannot wait for the weekend.  Will no doubt have a chance to blog from my hotel room, with my meal-for-one room-service watching some dodgy bit of TV.  Or I may read.  Or have a bath (cool of course).  Whatever it is I will be doing, you can be assured that it will all be carried out at an even nineteen degrees centigrade.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Some days it just doesn't quite hang together

I always like to try and make my titles relevant.  Pity really because I am mostly known for my squirrel-like tendencies, but this one is hopefully going to point the way to that which I am about to write.  It reminds me of the story about the green pygmy and the bottle of Cherryade.  But I digress.

So this is how today went wrong.  I had originally booked for only two nights.  On the first night, I asked if I could book for the third night, and was told, after the front desk personageness wandered behind the screen to "talk to her supervisor", that her supervisor also said no.  I asked again the next morning, and was told the same.  I then tried to book the following week for three nights, and was told the supervisor would ring me.  She didn't.  When I checked that evening, having just managed to book a different hotel via the Starfleet hotel booking system, I checked again to see if the following week had been booked.  It had not, but the third night had.  Doh!  So I ring the other hotel, cancel my night there, and sit back to relax in the knowledge that my razor would still be on the shelf when I returned.

After a pizza and a couple of beers with a colleague, I returned to the hotel.  Do I take the red pill, or do I take the blue.  I tried the red pill and decided to go straight to the room to see if my stuff was still there.  The key didn't work, so back down to reception to try the blue pill.  "My key does not work," I said to the personageness on front desk.  "I need to check with my supervisor," she said.  Off she trotted round the back of reception to speak to the said supervisor.  I should add at this stage that having just travelled the Central line, which is hotter than Hades, I was hot, bothered and tired.  Back comes the supervisor to sort it out, and my key was thus programmed to let me in to my room.  "I am slightly concerned that I will enter the room to find someone else asleep," I said.  "I will accompany you if you like," the supervisor said.  I said I did like.  So she accompanies me, I put the key card in the door, and guess what.  There were two people at it.  Is probably what you are thinking.  Luckily all my stuff was there, and as a parting gesture the supervisor offered me a bottle of wine for my trouble.  Chateauneuf du Pape, I suggested.  Chateau La Gasparde 2001, bottled especially for Guoman is what I got.