View My Stats

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Quick one

  • first half of deal going well - one down, one to go
  • Caravaner of the Year, hideously addictive, crack cocaine for the middle classes
  • Looking forward to a long weekend
  • Enjoy yours

Thursday, 21 April 2016


Our internet and phone line has been down all today.  I have therefore had to tether off my phone to get any kind of connection, and it is slow.  In a sense, it is a walk down memory lane, to the days when the main broadband was this slow.

I had to Google the likely speeds for my 3G, and to be honest it is faster than I thought at 6-7Mbps.  I was not sure if that was a real bandwidth possibility or just pie in the sky, so I loaded a Speedtest app, and can confirm that it is actually delivering me 5.46Mbps just at the moment, which I have to say is pretty amazing considering.  It certainly blows out the water my first broadband, which ran at  the nose-bleeding speed of 0.5Mbps but which was, nevertheless, awesome compared to the 64Kbps of my dial-up modem (younger readers may need to ask an oldie about this).

I have been able to get on with bits and pieces, but all at a much slower speed than normal.

Tomorrow I am on my travels to near Bath to visit my client, a one and a half hour meeting that will basically take me all day, with a two and a half hour drive each way.  I am therefore unlikely to blog, but I will be able to get through a shed-load of podcasts.

LO is away Saturday night at a fiftieth girlie night away, so it is just us lads for most of the weekend.  Maggot 2 has a match Saturday and Sunday, and Maggot 1 wants to go over to Pompey to a five-a-side football place with his mates Saturday afternoon, so Sunday evening is likely to be lazy time, as we all get to know each other again.

Have a great weekend, and speak next week.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Busy week.

Been on a two-day conference with my practice, which was fun, interesting, alcohol-laden on the night inbetween, and a great chance to meet more of my colleagues.  I am starting to build, if not quite a network yet, then at least a mesh of acquaintances with whom the next interaction will be the easier for us knowing each other.

First two days I was up at Head Office, helping two new starters with their early induction.  One was ex Starfleet, and the other ex the "phone place" where Brad used to work.

I am now back to the day job, with a client visit in the offing.  For this, I will need to be on my best behaviour and top performance, since I am representing the technical aspects of our unsolicited bid.  It will be fun, and all part of the ever-steeper learning curve.

I had a text and an email from two Starfleet colleagues who are likely to be in line for redundancy.  Both excellent people, good at their jobs, and I would say an asset to the company, but I fear they both suffer from two fatal flaws:

  • they are UK based, never a good thing is this new global marketplace
  • they are the "good workers but don't shout about it" variety, and that breed of animal is often overlooked, their good bits not fully visible to the spreadsheet-poring managers looking for heads to cull.
Sad for both of them, and sad for the business they leave behind.  Maybe it is progress.  All I know is that, while anywhere near immune from such activities, I have at least, for now, made a positive move that has avoided such a thing for a bit.  I am definitely on higher ground now, higher up the pole, so that gives me some time.  I just need to get good at my job, really start adding value, so that my current employer looks past me if they are searching with their axe for a head to fell.

Enough analogies I think.

Normal weekend for us.  Football was this morning, we lost something like 13-3 to the team in the year above.  Some good points, and some things we can work on, so a good workout, a good test, and only by playing better teams can we really see where we need to improve.

We are at David and Samantha's this evening, which will be nice.

I hope you have a great weekend, speak next week.

Friday, 8 April 2016

That is a bit better

It was inevitable, but never the less it is rather pleasing that it is coming to pass.

After another week, I am starting to feel like I am starting, just starting, to start on the journey to starting to get it.

That is a lot of starts I know, but for good reason.  I am still regularly being side-swiped by acronyms, ffs, and also with impenetrable process and baffling colleagues.  But* at least I am saying words, and they mostly make sense.  Even my "I know this is probably a dumb question"**  questions are hitting the mark.

I have been working from home ever since my training.  I nearly went to head office on Tuesday, as part of a deal I was loosely supporting, but in the end it sorted itself out so I was not needed.  I think things on my main deal will start to build now, with client meetings planned for a week or two's time, but so far my main fear that I would be putting too many miles on the lease car has not come to pass.  I suspect they are savings now that will need to be spent later, but that is fine.  It may also mean that I can fit in a European tour within the upper limit as well.

Last night, we had ten teenagers on a sleep over for Maggot 1's fourteenth birthday bash.  They are a good crowd, but that does not take away from the fact that they are ten basically fully-grown, testosterone-oozing*** lads, like overgrown puppies after one too many Red Bulls, intent on "pulling an all-nighter" and mostly succeeding.  Mind you, they were not so clever at 8.30am this morning as I made the commute from bedroom to study.  Ha!

This weekend we have the usual sport, and also lunch at my parents with my sister and her family, to celebrate my mum's birthday.

For the rest of the weekend, I hope to do not much, though I now have a DIY booklet, not list, booklet, with all the stuff I need to do, and I will probably try and knock some of that off.  To be honest, a Saturday afternoon painting Maggot 1's bedroom (some residual and historical damp patches that my filling and painting the year before has sorted, but it takes a year sometimes for it all to dry out once the exterior is actually water-tight) with the football on the radio is not a bad way to spend a few hours.  I continue to be happy doing anything, if it can be uninterrupted, since that is the complete opposite of a normal working day.

Anyhow, enough from me.  I hope you have a great weekend, at least for those that know when the weekend starts and ends, and speak next week.

* I know you, dear reader, like things to be correct, so I did just Google whether starting a sentence with a "But" was acceptable, and apparently it is, for some people.  I just hope you are part of those "some people"
** A technique taken from the same stable as "you are probably going to kill me dad . . . " and "I could have bought a £500 pair of shoes, but instead . . . "
*** I have missed using my stars!  Teenage boys stink, if not of body odour (Lynx and the ladies seem to keep that to a minimum) then of testosterone.  I mentioned this to my hairdresser, let's call him Paul Weller, and he told me the day that forty-one rugby players were in for a sponsored head shave.  They had a 2m x 2m bag 15cm deep with hair after the cut, and the whole salon stank of "eau d'homme"

Friday, 1 April 2016


I could get used to these four-day weeks.  As I write those words, I can hear Gorse Fox muttering something about zero-day weeks, but I shall choose to ignore that.

I am now officially working.  I have two deals and a side project on my plate.  This is still not really working me fully but it is getting there.  It is a very frustrating experience being in the position of needing to do stuff with not enough idea as to how to do it.  Everything is different (as I expected); department names, department responsibilities, the client's departments, divisions, groups and systems, and most of it is described with either three or four letters.  I have a little list going at the back of my notebook as I find out the meaning of each one, but what I am finding is that people do not seem to want to slow down too much on the local jargon, expecting me to be able to just pick it up.

Anyhow, it is Friday, the rest of the clan have had the week off, and we head in to a weekend of fun.  We are seeing David and Samantha tonight, and Brad and Angelina on Sunday.  It will be good to catch up with everyone.

We are also blessed with no football at all this weekend.  That means lay-ins, but also a need to do something physical to stop the wild animals from crawling up the wall.  On the subject of football, I have shown Maggot 2 the John Smith's "av' it" advert with Peter Kay, and he now introduces "av' it" in to any appropriate situation.

It has been nearly two months now since I made the leap, and I feel the need to ponder, briefly*, how it has gone.  I have done well to get all the required training completed and passed, which will put me in good stead for the future (indeed, I got an award from my boss for doing so), and I have started to build a network.

The bit that concerns me is simply that I need to be doing a job, and I don't really know how to yet.  I have observed in me the fact that I do like to know all aspects of a role before I feel I can really do it, to understand the ins and outs of a cat's behind, and this may hold me back, so I need to constantly remind myself to deal with what I can with what I know and keep pushing forward.  The trouble is when faced with an issue for which I do not have a clue, I feel so impotent not knowing how to handle it.  Oh well, that is all part of the package, so I just need to grit my teeth, gird my loins and clench my buttocks, and settle in for the ride of my life.

On that note, I wish you a fantastic weekend, and speak next week.

* thank goodness for that. Ed.