Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Aftermath 

Thanks to everybody who sent me their good wishes. The bash went off without any hitches apart from nobody turning up for the first 45 minutes. At that point we felt like a couple of 'Billy No Mates'.

Everyone had a great time, some got more drunk than others. That wasn't myself or Mrs C by the way, we were probably the two soberest people there at the end. The last guests left around 2:30am on Sunday morning and we retired to bed at 3am. Unfortunately we were both awake again by 6am and, as we couldn't get back to sleep, we finally made the effort to get out of bed at 8am. After breakfast I summoned up the energy to walk to the newsagents for the morning papers, then the pair of us slumped in the garden chairs for the rest of the day recovering.

As you can see from the picture above the cat obviously thought I had take root and used me as his personal lookout post.

As for the night I didn't get to play any of what I threatened, mainly because no one else liked that sort of music, but there was lots of 1960's stuff played from a multitude of compilation CD's, plus a blast of The Committments and a Joe Cocker CD.

As for presents, I recieved £40 in cash, £20 worth of Smiths vouchers, two shirts, 2 bottles of Irish whiskey, a half bottle of Glenfiddich, 1 bottle of Moët & Chandon, 5 bottles of red wine (are people trying to tell me something?), a cool soft leather wallet/credit card case, a device from Mrs C to play my collection of vinyl LP's on (in the old days we called such items: a record player), and finally also from Mrs C, a weekend away at a nice hotel at Sedbusk near Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales. I'm now looking forward to that weekend break which will take place towards the end of July, in fact it will be nearer to Mrs C's birthday than mine.

I now feel like a big kid again.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Drive In Saturday 

Well it would be a Drive In Saturday if I could invite you all to my 50th birthday bash tomorrow. As it is, I certainly can't post my address up on here for all to see, therefore you will be all saved from listening to endless David Bowie, Cockney Rebel, Roxy Music, Beach Boys etc. CD's/LP's tomorrow night. You'll all just have to settle for a virtual tipple on me.

With that I'll leave you until Monday, that is if I'm still alive by then.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It Might look Quiet, But It Isn't Really! 

Things may look quiet on here, but that's merely due to a "work" situation again. We've been working towards a major release of our software over the last month with a view to it being completed by last Wednesday. Well it over ran to Friday but we got an extension from the customer, so just about made the revised deadline.

Unfortunately that is not the end of things, we are now going full out to meet the next deadline of August 3rd when the final product is handed over to the customer. So once again the blog is liable to be neglected over the coming weeks.

As I said it may look quiet on here, but it certainly isn't quiet from where I'm sitting. Oh and I'm now on the final countdown to reaching my half century on Saturday.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Spring Cleaning 

Regular readers, which I know I don't have many, may have noticed that my links to other blogs have deminished recently. This is all down to a rather late spring clean, with the intention of removing links to blogs that have either disappeared or seemingly gone into a long term hiatus.

If I've removed a link to your site and you are now blogging again, let me know and I'll restore it asap.

Mottos For Work No 1: 

Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings, they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.

Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity

If at first you don't succeed, try management.

Succeed in spite of management.

A person who smiles in the face of adversity...probably has a scapegoat.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Garden Update 

I mentioned yesterday that I'd completed one of four boxes that we'd planned for raised beds in the garden; well I've taken a few photos of the garden at the weekend and have uploaded them here to give you an idea on how it's progressing.

One of the pictures shows the aforementioned box in front of the shed. It's made out of treated 4"x2" planks and 3"x3" cut down fence posts. The other 3 will be appearing in the coming weeks. They are currently in the process of being part assembled in the garage. The area around the shed is completely overgrown and has hardly been touched, apart from the odd strim, since we moved in. It's now time to start tackling it in earnest. If I can get the beds in and some paths laid this year, then I plan to dig over the rest of the area and start planting fruit bushes eg. blackberry, blueberry and loganberry bushes. Hopefully this time next year we'll be reaping some nice rewards for our efforts. I just hope it's not too shaded down that part of the garden.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Depressing Isn't the Word For It. 

Well that was a thoroughly depressing weekend. The blackbirds have once again flown the coop on Friday. One of their fledging was hopping around the garden unattended and in severe danger of being ambushed by one of the local cats. The nest was wide open as if a cat had got in and there was a dead fledgling hanging half out of the nest. Not sure what to do about the survivor I phoned the RSPCA for advice. We couldn't stand guard on the survivor until it could fly and there was no chance of the parents being able to chase away the predators lining up for a snack.

After explaining the situation the RSPCA asked me to put the fledgling in a box and an officer would collect it as soon as possible, unfortunately that wasn't to be the same day, and the bird died overnight despite our efforts to keep it safe, warm and secure. OK the bird would have been killed anyway but which would have been the quicker or better death?

Moving on, Mrs C's brother was diagnosed with terminal cancer on Friday, after having been treated for 6 weeks for what was thought of as a trapped nerve. As the treatments failed he was sent for a CAT scan and MRI scan. He was in so much pain the MRI scan couldn't go ahead, the pain killers weren't touching the problem. To cut a long story short, he has lung cancer from his years smoking but worse than that the cancer has got into the bones, hence the neck and shoulder pain. The cancer was blasted with a massive dose of radiation on Friday, to slow the progression and ease the pain and he should be sent home sometime today.

We visited him on Sunday and he is remarkedly upbeat and is now trying to give up the dreaded weed, but it's all to late. Obviously the family is devastated and Mrs C is feeling pretty low at present. It seems like over the last 4-5 years that cancer has reared it's ugly head everywhere we have turned.

To cap it all, I phoned my brother on Sunday to see how he is doing, he's been off work since the beginning of April following an industrial accident, involving an explosion and release of Hydrofluoric acid into the atmosphere. Though he wasn't the worst affected, he had some contact with the gas, which affected his breathing and burnt the inside of his mouth. He is now experiencing flashbacks and some personality changes. Psychometric tests have shown that he is suffering severe post traumatic stress disorder and the experts have said that he won't be back at work for at least 6 months.

The big problem is that his company are playing stupid games, it's the second explosion and gas release, at the plant, in 6 months, but they have been very tardy on processing sicknotes, trying to force the affected personnel back to work early. My brother has yet to receive a penny in sick pay since he has been off and that's over 8 weeks now. Not only that but documents regarding safety recommendations, that weren't carried out, are mysteriously disappearing. The union lawyers are on the case and I suspect the company will be hammered but all they care about is getting the shipments of oil processed, that doesn't help those with problems in the short or medium term.

I hope they are bloody well closed down when it's all done and dusted. The directors should be hit with jail sentences at the very least, when the truth about how they treat safety issues comes out.

At least the weekend ended on a positive note as I completed one of the four 'boxes', that will form an area of raised beds, for growing vegetables, at the bottom of the garden.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Is That All It Is? 

Good grief, I've just realised, it's only 3 weeks tomorrow that I hit the half century.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

It Could Be A farmer's Ticket To Untold Riches. 

Ananova reports:

A Romanian farmer is hoping to make a fortune after a chicken was born with four working legs..... He is planning to keep the black feathered chick until it grows up at his smallholding in Dambau and then breed it to produce more four-legged birds.

If the farmer does manage to successfully breed from the chicken, the offspring could go a long way to settling family arguments over who gets to have a leg from the Sunday roast.

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