Thursday, March 27, 2003

Advance Warning Of Blogless Week

With a weeks holiday fast approaching I'd like to take this opportunity to warn readers, not that there are many readers, of the impending lack of Muses. From around lunchtime tomorrow, I will be leaving work behind for just over a week to take a well deserved break. Well I think it's well deserved, if no one else does.

In the afternoon we will be travelling to Worcester for an overnight stay, and then on Saturday we will continue on our journey to our holiday cottage in Cornwall, where we will stay for a week, taking in the sights, doing the touristy bits (The Eden Project and The Lost Gardens Of Heligan), and hopefully a fair bit of walking of the coastal paths.

I should say now that the cottage doesn't belong to us, it has been rented via a company called Welcome Cottages, whom we have booked cottage holidays from, on a number of occassions, and have yet to be disappointed by the quailty of accomodation. The cottage is situated in a village called Trelowth near St Austell, and should be handily placed for the places we want to visit.

Hopefully on our return we should have firm date from the landscaper, with regards to the work we want doing in the garden. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he will start mid April, but if I'm realistic, I don't expect him to start work until after Easter.

Anyway as this is likely to be my last blog until around the 7th April, have a good weekend or two and don't over tax yourselves too much at work or college.

Spectacular Boredom

Sorry for the lack of blogs this week, but it has been a spectaulary boring week, for me anyway. Work is very hectic and I've been in Dublin for the last two days which has meant that my internet access has been very limited. Unfortunately my trips to the Irish capital are for work and I don't really get to see the sights, apart from the inside of a restaurant in the evening, and a quick visit to a pub for a Guinness or two before returning to the hotel, knackered.

The trips have at least raised the curiousity of Pauline, and she now wants to pay the Emerald isle a visit, so we may book a long weekend there later in the year, in order to get a better feel for the place. It's a long time since I did the touristy bit in Ireland, nearly 20 years, so I expect I'll see a fair few changes.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Inside Baghdad

As war gets underway and the bombs drop, we here plenty of news from the allied side, the news we get from inside Baghdad is from networked services, but what do the normal people in the city get up to, how do they feel? That is something we don't normally see or hear.

Well I've found a blog from someone who seems to be on site as it were. Where is Raed ? appears to be the everyday views of an ordinary Iraqi citizen.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

The War In Iraq

With war looming in the middle east, many people in all walks of life have had something to say on the subject, there are those for the war, those vehemently against it and there even plenty of fence sitters. You know, the ones who either don't give a toss, or are not sure which way to lean in case of offending someone. There are plenty of vocal demonstrations everywhere against war, there always is.

Most of my friends and family believe the war will be unjust, but personally I am probably in favour of the forcible removal of Saddam Hussein from power, not because I believe the case being used against him has been proven, but because of his history of torture and mass murder of his own people. I believe the man is unstable and will employ any means to get what he wants. Having said that, isn't that the definition of any politician?

I do believe he is an evil man, and should play no part in the modern world political stage. I have friends who are Iraqi, they prefer to be called Persians, who fled the country many years ago, in the 70's, because the way it's politics were going then. They stood to lose many things including their life. They want to see the removal of Saddam from power, they want to be able to return to the country of their birth safely. If people are honest with themselves, there are probably not many in the world who don't want him removed, including most arab sates, who cannot openly admit so, because of their shared faith.

Where's this ramble going today, I don't honestly know, but I do have two questions that I would like answering:

1. Those of you who are taking an active part in either demonstrations for or against the war: Did you actually vote for a candidate in your constituancy, the last time you had the opportunity to vote? The reason I ask is because there is always a poor turnout at elections, no one cares, so if you didn't vote you have no right to complain about anything, anything at all. You got the government you deserve.

2. Mr Blair and Mr Bush: You are sending many young men from your nations to war, some may not return, I ask you are you sending your own sons into battle? I'm asking this because you are sending other peoples sons, people who volunteered to defend their country, into a war that is not of their making.

Mmmm, another thought has struck me: In times gone by, a countries leaders would go into battle with their troops, they may have been sat on a horse someway back from the main action, but they were there, and there was always a danger that a surprise action could catch them unawares. Would Mr Blair and Mr Bush be willing to lead our troops in such a way, I doubt it. They may pay a fleeting visit to safe areas, but I can't see them being anywhere near the real action.

In conclusion to this mini ramble, I think Saddam has to go, but I just wish those that make the decisions would be more honest about their real reasons for the war. If have have offended anyone then I'm sorry, I have no political or religious axe to grind nor do I wish to deny you any of your beliefs. I don't want the ordinary Iraqi people to suffer, they've suffered enough already, but genuinely believe that they will suffer even more under Saddams' regime.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

The Weekends Just Get Better

Sorry for not posting any rubbish on here lately but things have got pretty busy both at home and work. The weekend started on Friday night, we went out to a local pub restaurant with a couple of friends, which was nice in more ways than one. Not only did we have a good night in the company of friends, but the restaurant had an offer on: A free bottle of wine would be supplied to each couple that ordered two courses each. That was fine we ended up with two free bottles of wine and they were of a reasonable quality considering that they were free. As we started on the first bottle, a couple on the next table offered us there free bottle too, as neither of them were drinking that night, and they didnt want to take the bottle home with them as the waiteress had suggested. They declined to take anything in return for their gesture either. So there, it's official, there are some nice people in this world.

What could be a better start to a weekend than a good meal, with good friends all washed down with free wine?

Saturday saw the delivery of some Old Calder paving with sand and cement, for the garden project (more of that another time). So Saturday was a busy day moving everything into the back in preparation for the hard work. I spent some time, marking out the area the paving circle was going to occupy and doing some preparation work, ie digging out an area for the base. The paving is going to form the basis of a circle around a tree, around which we plan to erect a tree seat. At some point I intend to develop some web pages about this ongoing project, which will show some before, during and after photographs, of how our "field" developed into a garden. That hopefully, we can enjoy in the near, rather than distant future.

Whilst all this was going on, Middlesbrough were turning over Leeds 3-2 at Elland Road, which gave me even more Reasons to be Cheerful.

Sunday saw the good weather continue, so we drove out to Delamere Forest in Cheshire and went for a walk in the Forest. There were a surprising number of people out and about, I suppose everyone were making the most of the first really decent weather that we have had this year. The walk pleasant enough but spoiled by the fact there was a Mountain Bike trial taking place in the part of the forest that we had chosen to walk, so many of the tracks were closed on the day. Still the words Musn't Grumble spring to mind, the weather was fine the walk was enjoyable, we had a good lunch at Delamere station, and we discovered that there was a lot more to the Forest than we had found on the day. We will be back, to walk different tracks, using the local map, bought at the Forest Ranger shop.

Oh, and St Helens hammered Salford in the Quarter Finals of the Challenge Cup. Not surprisingly they will meet one of: Bradford, Wigan or Leeds in the Semi Finals.

Mole Watch

A few blogs ago I reported finding mole hills at the bottom of the garden, well an inspection over the weekend indicated that there had been no more activity in that area, so keeping my figures crossed, I am hoping that they have moved on and no further action is needed.

Friday, March 14, 2003

The Blueman Returns Unscathed

The Blueman made a welcome return to blogging circles last night, none the worse for his ordeal.

The Blueman Groupies denied the allegation that they were involved any kidnapping plot, but did try to negotiate different ransom terms. Unfortunately for the self proclaimed Blueman fans and erstwhile kidnappers, they made the mistake of returning 'The Horn' in one piece, whilst trying to offer proof that he was still alive and well.

The Blueman's family and friends are happy to see him home and well, obviously all previous offers in the ransom negotiations have now been withdrawn.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

The Blueman Is Missing Presumed Kidnapped?

It seems that The Blueman has gone missing. He has not blogged since 20/03/2003, and has not been seen since Monday when he last posted on a UK tag board.

His friends on the board are speculating over his disappearance and have come to the conclusion that he may have been kidnapped. Suspicion for such an act has turned towards The Blueman Groupies, whose obsession with the great man himself may have led them to take more drastic measures to gain his attention.

Family and friends have discussed this in depth and have contacted the groupies, laying their suspicions on the line. It is also rumoured that a ransom fund has been raised, in anticipation of any kidnappers demands, details of which can be found on the comments section for the blog, dated 11th March 2003 and entitled [Announcement], on the above Blueman Groupies fan site.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

More Useless Distractions

What a productive day I'm having, here's yet another mindless distraction to take your mind off work: Bubble Trouble.

What's your best score?

Google Hit

I got my first hit from Google today, someone seaching on the keywords: 'Barry sheen death'. I tried it myself and hey I was number nine on the page. Funnily enough the searcher also made the same mistake I made in the original post, now corrected and spelt his surname as Sheen, and not Sheene. I also came across this rather errr, morbid site: The Grim Reaper's Celebrity Death Pool

Building Your Own Nuclear Power Plant?

Are you building or thinking of building your own nuclear power plant? Then here's your one stop shop for a fuel source. Mmmm... I wonder how secure the safeguards really are?

Even Boony Wouldn't Go This Far

You can't beat a cold beer on a warm day, but I don't believe that even the acclaimed beer monster, well in divot circles anyway, Boony would go this far: Jet Powered Beer Cooler, to ensure that the beer he drank was always cold. At least the guy picked a decent beer to experiment on. Enjoy.

Animal Cruelty?

A pre work search for an interesting,or amusing site unearthed this little gem: Smack The Monkey. It should keep you amused for all of err.. 2 minutes

Monday, March 10, 2003

Sad News From The Weekend

I learned this weekend of the deaths of two 'stars' from my past, firstly: 2 times winner of the 500cc World Bike Racing Championship, Barry Sheene, who died of cancer at the 'young' age of 52. Barry lived life to the full during his motorcycling exploits, and also twice won the Segrave Trophy.

During his racing career, it has claimed that he had broken every bone in his body. It's also claimed that he had so many metal plates in his body, that he only had to get within a 2 miles of an airport and the alarms would go off on the metal detectors.

It has to be said that Barry was one of my heros in the motorcycle racing world, along with Jarno Saarinen, he was a battler and didn't let a little thing like being near to death beat him. Sadly the big C got the better of him in the end. Barry you'll be missed.

I'm sure Barry wouldn't want anyone to be too morbid about his fate so I'll leave you with one slightly amusing obscure racing fact: Barry was an extra in 'Saturday Night Fever' .

The second star death is that of Adam Faith, a man of many talents. He died aged 62 of a heart attack, only hours after starring on stage, in Love & Marriage, at the Regent Theatre Stoke-On-Trent . You may ask why I was saddened by his death, well he was probably one of the first of the early modern day pop stars that I can recall liking as a child. I can vaguely remember singing along to "What Do You Want" in 1959, ased 4 years old. I thought it was a catchy tune then, and whilst it is now dated, it is still a catchy tune.

Over the years Adam turned his hand to a number of things, after singing he went into acting, I remember his performances as a chirpy cockney just out of prison in the 70's, then became a record producer, finally turning to financial journalism and the development of digital TV's The Money Channel. It was the collapse of this latest venture that caused financial ruin, as he was declared bankrupt last year. What did he do? He picked himeself up and went back into acting.

Adam's death, from a heart attack, probably won't come as a big surprise, given that he had already undergone open heart surgery in 1986, but at 62 it still seems a tragic loss. To me he was one of the few what I call genuine stars. He had fame but it didn't go to his head, the man had time for his fans and was willing to give advice to anyone who asked for it.

Barry and Adam this is my mini tribute to you both, may your Gods go with you.

Friday, March 07, 2003

Writing Styles

Fed up of writing your blog's in your natural style, want to try something different like Cockney, Jive or Redneck even. Well here's your chance try the new found dialect translater. Just enter your days writings, choose your style, click the button and bingo a whole new world awaits, or something.

Here's an example of my first sentence in Jive talk:

Fed down uh writin' yo' blog's in yo' natural style, wanna try sump'n different likes Cockney, JIBE o' Redneck even. 'S coo', bro.

Productive Days

I've had one of those days at work where everything went right, I couldn't do any wrong today. It was so good I completed the days tasks by 3pm. I've even started on Mondays work. Great I here you say, take a rest. Well I can't, that's because I'm still playing catch up, after some disasters a couple of weeks ago. Still things are going swimmingly and at least I'm pulling some time back now without killing myself.

Sheer Madness

Whilst looking around for some mad sites to lighten my day, I came across this a novel beer opener. I'm not sure why someone would want to pay good money for a beer opener that talks, but there must be a market for them somewhere. Perhaps it's lonely people that buy, at least then they would have something to talk too, or more to the point something that talks to them. Who knows?

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Another Happy Day

Once again I'm happy because of a football result, Middlesbrough have beaten our other local rivals, Newcastle 1-0 last night. It's been a good season for us as far as results against local rivals are concerned. First the Mackems and now the Geordies. It's only the second time we have beaten Newcastle since the Premiership came into existance.

I won't dwell on that too long, as I have a few geordie friends who sometimes visit the site, there's no point in upsetting them more than I already have.

Garden Pests Going Underground

Whilst in the garden last night I noticed that something not quite right. At the bottom end near the compost heaps and near an old Sycamore tree I noticed some mounds of earth. Now these aren't mounds of earth dug my me over the last few weeks and I've done a lot of digging, I can tell you. These are mounds of earth that are often associated with littles brown furry creatures that burrow underground. Yes you've got it moles.l

Whilst they are at present in a area of the garden where we haven't done a lot of work, they are never-the-less getting a bit too close to our lawn for comfort. So in anticipation of having to do something about the problem, I started searching the web to see what I could find and lo... I came accross this: Joy and Celebration of Mole Control. Someone had not only dedicated a site to mole control but obviously enjoyed catching the furry pests so mch so that he went out of his way to have a go at animals rights groups and also produced a video on the subject. Now that is one man dedictaed to his profession.

Another man dedicated to the subject, even writes a newsletter, Moleman News on subjuct, detailing his exploits around the globe, though it appears to be a bit out of daten now. I hadn't realised that passions could abound at such heights on the subject.

Now I'm not a supporter of protest movements, but I do feel sorry for the things that are currently burrowing under my garden. After all they were pobably there before me, or at least their ancesters were and they are only trying to find a crust or two to keep going, or as one of the articles I read put it, to eat their own boyweight in earthworms each day.

Now that has made me angry, I mean the little swine are competing with me for worms. My free angling bait supply could dry up within weeks if they really get going. What am I going to do?

Well nothing at the moment, as they are only scuffing around the edges of my garden from woodland at the back. If they stay there then they can burrow to their hearts content.

If the move further into the garden, then that's another matter, I've got the number of a local molecatcher, who claims operate a catch and release policy, which at this stage I'm in favour of. Watch this space.

Monday, March 03, 2003

An Overdue Update

Ok, it's been a busy last 7 days, we had a disaster with the water heating last week, booked for a plumber to come out on Wednesday and see it and what do you know? He didn't turn up. Despite numerous calls to the companies control centre I couldn't elicit when the operative would actually call, apart from: "He will turn out sometime in the evening", this after promising that we were his next job at 2pm.

I told the company to forget it, I appreciated that jobs can turn out bigger than first exepected, but all I asked for, was to be kept informed of what was happening. They didn't, so I found another plumber.

He promised to be at my house first thing Thursday morning, he was on time. He looked at the problem, told me what it would cost, then went off to get a part and said he would be back by 1pm. He came back on time and finished the job by 2pm. Now why can't all tradesmen be like that. What's more he didn't expect to be paid until he issued an invoice, I'm still waiting for that but that is now his problem.

This Weekend

A busy Saturday, potting up plants and cuttings donated by friends for the garden development cause. Middlesbrough drew at home to Everton and given that Everton deserved to win, probably, this was a good point. The thing that made the game was Juninho scoring on his return from long term injury. A big Yay for that! St Helens my favourite Rugby League side easily beat a lower league side in the challenge cup on Friday night, this was no big surprise but was good news anyway.

All this excitement was followed, on Saturday evening, by our attendance at a surprise 50th birthday party for one of Pauline's (my partner) former colleagues from her student nurse days. It was a successful do, although I didn't know anyone there, Pauline enjoyed it, but more importantly the victim did too.

On Sunday we had an away day to the Lake District, the weather held out, it was cold but dry and fairly fine. It was more enjoyable than the last time we went, around 16 years ago, mainly because the time of year meant the traffic was light. We had a few hours in Bowness and then drove to Hawkshead which turned out to be a pleasant surprise, I hadn't been there before, and found it to be more like a local village than the more touristy areas. The trip turned out to be more expensive than expected, we ended up buying a new pair of walking boots each and vowed to pay more visits and get back to doing more hikes.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Referencers