Friday, March 26, 2004


I know I've neglected to update the blog on a regular basis, but work is in full flow, not surprisingly all the deadlines that we were given proved to be way too optimistic, this was really down to the customer not being ready to sign anything and desperately running around looking for someone to blame for them not signing up to the project. They found a couple of errors in the demo and used this to blame us. For goodness sake it was only a demo to give an idea of the look and feel of the product. It wasn't the specification or Business requirement documents which are effectively nailed down.

Well the customer then went on to change their minds, there's a novelty about what they wanted. The real problem was that their project manager kept walking out of crucial meeting, because he had other meetings to attend, leaving no one in charge of their end. So inevitably the domineering bully, who doesn't want the project to start took over, and delayed things. I don't know why People do this, the project is going to happen, they cannot let if fail or their business will be seriously compromised for the next 5 years. Some People are just plain idiots, they're acting like old style civil servants, having meetings to decide what to do at other meetings. Sub meetings everywhere and no one making a decision.

Oh well, as long as they keep paying me, I shouldn't complain. Anyway there will be more silence on this blog next week as I'm off on a week's holiday, I'm not going anywhere special, but we have booked into a B&B in Lincoln for a couple of nights. Hopefully Lincoln has things to see and do, I've never really been over to that neck of the woods for a proper visit.

Something to Amuse You: 

At 40 degrees F - Californians shiver uncontrollably. People in Scotland sunbathe.

At 35 degrees F - Italian cars won't start. People in Scotland drive with the windows down.

At 20 degrees F - Floridians wear coats, gloves and wool hats. People in Scotland throw on a T-shirt.

At 15 degrees F - Californians prepare to evacuate the state. People in Scotland go swimming.

Zero degrees - New York landlords finally turn up the heat. People in Scotland have the last BBQ before it gets cold.

At 10 degrees below zero - People in Miami cease to exist. People in Scotland lick flagpoles.

20 degrees below zero - Californians fly away to Mexico. People in Scotland throw on a light jacket.

80 degrees below zero - Polar bears begin to evacuate the Arctic. Scottish Boy Scouts postpone winter survival classes until it gets cold enough.

100 degrees below zero - Santa Claus abandons the North Pole. People in Scotland pull down their ear flaps.

173 degrees below zero - ethyl alcohol freezes. People in Scotland get frustrated when they can't thaw their kegs.

297 degrees below zero - Microbiological life starts to disappear. Scottish cows complain about farmers with cold hands.

460 degrees below zero - ALL atomic motion stops. People in Scotland start saying "Aye, chilly the day...."

500 degrees below zero - Hell freezes over. Scottish people support England in the World Cup.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

An Update Of The Weeks Events 

It been a busy last 7 days both at work and on the home front. As the project gets into gear and the customer dithers even more on signing the final contract, the bosses are getting more cagey that we ensure all available product demos are upto date and in good order. We don't want the customer blaming us for any delays in signing because of demos that don't look exactly like the product will look for the customer. Sheesh.

On Saturday morning I scooped out load of streamer weed from the pond and saw a fish for the first time in over 3 months. I thought the heron had got them all. Saturday afternoon saw us head off to visit my parents in Middlesbrough to help them celebrate 50 years of marriage on Sunday. En-route we stopped off at Skipton for a wander around the market and light refreshments (a cup of tea and a piece of cake). I sometimes wonder how these markets keep going, there are no real bargains to be had these days, I can get much of the stuff cheaper in high street stores. The rest of the journey was uneventful

The Golden Wedding celebration took the form of a 3 hour afternoon cruise along the River Tees, from Stockton to Yarm and back, including a Sunday lunch. It was interesting to see the old river from this new perspective (ie. a boat), cruising along seeing nice riverside houses on one side with a view of a flood plain and industrial areas on the other, well in the early part of the cruise that is. As we got further upstream into more open countryside the views were better, but at this time of year things still looked a little bleak. On a down side, it never ceases to amaze me how dirty a race we British are, the banks of the river were strewn with litter even in open countryside, and in one remote spot we even saw an old fridge half submerged by the bank. If someone can carry a fridge more than half a mile over fields to dump it in a river, why on earth can't they take it to a municipal tip and leave it there? The meal was pleasant as was the cruise. The journey back was uneventful apart from two idiot boy racers cutting up traffic near Ripley, they caused a bit of mayhem on a roundabout as they drove around it 3 times before taking off in the direction of Harrogate.

Back to work on Monday, continuing with quality checking and bug fixing of the demo. On Monday afternoon, I went with Mrs C to see the consultant surgeon, this is a month after the original appointment date, hoping to get a date for the reversal operation she is expecting. Things went well, but the consultant now wants an X-ray to check things are ok inside before a date is set. We hope to finally be given an operation date on her next checkup (19th April). Why that couldn't have been arranged before they saw her this time I'll never know. The health service just seem to love wasting money.

Yesterday we, in our office, unknowingly worked through a bomb scare on site. Apparently a suspect package was received in the inwards payments section of this site. The police, bomb squad, fire brigade and ambulances were called in to deal with the situation at 10am, an evacuation of a large area of the building took place without our knowledge whilst the package was dealt with. Those not evacuated were given warning via e:mail about what was going on, we weren't informed of the situation as we are just subcontractors working on site. Anyway we found out about the alert at 2pm by which time it was found that the package wasn't a bomb at all, but a hoax. The parcel had been deliberately packed to look like a bomb in an attempt to cause disruption to the workings on this banks HQ.

So that's the second bomb threat that been through in my time on this planet, the first one turned out to be a joke that went wrong, ie. the idiot that started the joke thought his mate would see it as a joke before it got serious. How the guy kept his job after that I'll never know.

Where Have All The Penguins Gone? 

All the various versions of that "Thwack the Penguin" game can be found on this this site with a little explanation of the history of the game and it's many hacks.

Thanks to Diamond Geezer for the link.

Innocent Man Jailed For 25 Years Has the Cheek To Expect Free Board & Lodge! 

The Sunday Herald reports:

WHAT do you give someone who's been proved innocent after spending the best part of their life behind bars, wrongfully convicted of a crime they didn't commit?

An apology, maybe? Counselling? Champagne? Compensation? Well, if you're David Blunkett, the Labour Home Secretary, the choice is simple: you give them a big, fat bill for the cost of board and lodgings for the time they spent freeloading at Her Majesty's Pleasure in British prisons.

I think Blunkett and the Government in general have lost the plot on this one, once again proving themselves to be totally incompetent and unfit for running the country!

Thanks to Nick Barlow at What You Can Get Away With for raising the profile of this horrendous issue.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

What's Your DuckType  

Captain Quack Rubber Duck Quiz
Captain Quack - What's Your DuckType - The Rubber Duck Quiz

Purloined from Audrey

Friday, March 12, 2004


I know it's been ages since my last post but this work lark has really got out of hand, I've not even had much chance to pop in and read my regular Blog favourites. Sorry I'm not neglecting you just having to put up with an overload. I don't know how long this is going to go on for, but I suppose it's what I'm really being paid to do, so I'd better keep my head down and get stuck in.

At this point I'd just like to say that the people who perpetrated the bombings in Madrid are nothing short of evil scum, may they rot in their own hell. Whatever the gripes they have against society, the western world or humanity in general, they do not warrant this type of action. They are not freedom fighters whatever they may think, they are evil criminals, pure and simple.

My heart and thoughts go out to the people of Spain, especially those that have lost or could lose loved ones.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Double Standards? 

I find some media decisions strange: A man who has killed 2 people and has a shocking reputation for ripping off his clients in boxing, is paid £100,000 to promote the FA Cup. Another man admits to enjoying watching complete strangers having sex in public car parks. he is sacked from his post as a football pundit.

The man in the first instance is Don King, the second man is Stan Collymore. The decision makers in both cases were the BBC. Something isn't quite right here.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Back To Earth With A Bump 

Oh well the euphoria is over, after winning our first major trophy, since the club was formed 128 years ago, on Sunday, Middlesbrough were humbled 3-1 away at Birmingham last night. You can always rely on one thing from this team, we are consistently inconsistent.

After going through most of last week feeling apprehensive about Sunday's big game, Sunday hit me with a bang. Whilst walking home from the newsagents on a freezing cold morning, a strange warm glow came over me. At that momment, 11.12am, I just knew the Cup final was ours. It was going to be our day. The game itself was exciting, and very open, either club could have won it, though I think the best team on the day got their just rewards.

Some observations from the game:

1. Boltons manager complained that the Zenden penalty struck him twice before entering the net and the net and as a result a freekick should have been awarded to Bolton. For a manger he knows nothing about the laws of the game. For one for the penalty to be taken illegally in such a manner there has to have been intent. on the part of the taker, to gain an advantage. Zenden slipped as he took the penalty, he couldn't have repeated that if he tried. For two, in order for the ball to be in play it must travel for the full circumference of the ball, it struck Zenden's second foot before it had traveled an inch, therefore if the ref had by some miracle observed the offence the penalty would have had to be retaken.

2. Bolton's abortive penalty claim, fair do's it hit Ehiogu's hand, though in my opinion he couldn't have got out of the way as he was falling, I don't think I'd have complained a lot if it had been given, but I would have felt it was harsh, as we were denied a penalty for the same sort of offence the week before against Newcastle.

3. Big Sam, Bolton's manager seems to have forgotten that his defender one Mr Hunt should have been sent off in the first half for a totally blatant pull back on Joseph Job when he had evaded the entire defence. The ref missed that completely, so I think that evens out number 2 above.

4. The goal that Schwartzer gave Bolton, was handed to them on a plate, not only that it gave them some encouragement to come back at us and make a game of it. Had that not gone in then perhaps just perhaps it would have been a different game.

5. Congratulations to both sides for making it an exciting game to watch, even if I did have my heart in my mouth for long periods. Congratulations to both sets of fans for enjoying a trouble free day and mixing both before and after the game. They were congratulated by both the police and publicans as the best sets of fans that had ever visited the city for a final.

Suffice to say I had a headache on Monday morning, though I was in work early. I took the afternoon of to meet my brother in Manchester to see him off on his return journey to Australia. He said every penny he had spent getting to the game had been worth it. We had a good old chinwag before he departed, and he was happy to wolf back a large portion of fish and chips from Harry Ramsdens.

Tuesday was when I started to come back down to earth, work was hectic hence there was no updates on here. Wednesday I was at an all day company update conference in Knutsford. This was followed by a company event at a local kart racing track. This was something I hadn't tried before and though I enjoyed it, I'm unlikely to try again.

All I can say is: "I wasn't last, it was fun, but my bones are a little too old these to put up with that sort of rattling about". I hadn't realised that hurtling about a track on a little 250cc go-kart took so much out of you. The worst problems were the overheating in the race suits, plus it was murders trying to put my glasses on through the crash helmet, when I did get them on, they steamed up something rotten. I'll say one thing, 30mph in an kart, affording no protection, feels like more than 100mph on a straight bumpy road.

Oh hum, back to the grindstone.

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