Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Rattles, Prams And Blog Delays.... 

It's been another busy week in the office, fixing software bugs attempting to reject things the customer claims is a bug but really isn't and failing miserably to deliver an update regarding visiting Singapore.

It looks as if that's going to have to wait until next week now, as tomorrow I'll be attending 2 courses and on Friday we've all got an unofficial day off to travel down south to attend our Company Christmas Dinner. The company is paying for the overnight stay for myself and the few northern based colleagues so who's arguing. I'm not especially as we've seen sight nor sound of a pay rise in the last 3 years. I'm grabbing all I can whilst it's on offer, oh and the company are paying for our partners to attend too.

It's been fun arguing the toss with the customer, this week, regarding a software defect that isn't. Their claim is; part of our 'vanilla off the shelf' software does something that they claim is considered a security defect within their organisation. That's fine but when the specifications and requirement changes were drawn up, this wasn't highlighted and no customisation work in this area was contracted for. I merely said, "fine we can do the work but it's extra, as the software is designed to work as is". What they want is a change over and above the contracted agreement, but they are adamant that it's a defect. We're at an impasse, so they have been told to raise a Change Request and forward it via the normal channels, the boss can sort out if we'll do them a favour or whether they'll have to pay. They'll pay as we've done them more than enough favours to dig them out of holes over the last 12 months.

Customers who'd have them? They want everything they ask for, or think of at the last minute, doing for nothing. I'll stick by my Customer Support Managers motto here; ie. "Customer Support Begins On The Scaffold".

News of the Singapore/Australia trip will have to wait until next week now.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Snow Joke..... 

We didn't get any. We saw a brief 20 minute snowfall this morning, at about 9am, but it didn't lay. We now have clear skies a few clouds apart. Long may it last.

Friday, November 25, 2005

What Next? 

Watch this space next week for a report on the Singapore stage of our holiday, back in October. Some photographs of it can be seen here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

To Which Race Of Middle Earth Do You Belong? 


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
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Stolen from Alice

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

She Took Us On A Carousel, She Made Us Smile And Oh, How We Laughed..... 

The title relates to something we did in the during the time I haven't been blogging. It was Sunday 25th September, just under two weeks before we went on holiday. It was something I'd been looking forward to for much of the year but Mrs C was having bad vibes about.

If you had been following the blog earlier in the year when I was posting on a more regular basis, you might realise that I'm talking about a gig at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, and if you can cast your mind back you also might remember that the artist I was going to see was Steve Harley, playing under the banner of Cockney Rebel for the first time in 30 years. Yes it is 30 years ago this year that Cockney Rebel split up, coincidentally the split occurred after their last gig in Manchester.

The tour is called "The Quality Of Mercy Tour" and is promoting his new album, his first for 8 years. Mrs C's bad vibes stemmed from her dislike of some of the albums I had been playing over the preceding months trying to help her get to know his music. She didn't like it, a few better known tracks apart. If the truth be told I was a little worried myself as I hadn't been following his career since the early 80's and was wondering how much his material might have changed.

The big night arrived, it was the 2nd night of the tour which opened in Halifax, we arrived early and parked at the GMEX car park before retiring to the Bridgewater Hall bar for a pre-concert drinks. Looking around at other concert goers, it has to be said that the vast majority were of our age group, though there were a few younger fans around, I think they were mainly in tow with their parents. As the start time neared we filed into the hall, the attendance was pretty near full to capacity and there was an expectant air about the place. The announcements were made and on came the group, Steve was somewhat smaller than I had imagined, never having seen him live before, but that's by the by, the group launched into a great rendition of Mr Soft to start which set the scene for the night.

It wasn't just about old stuff like; 'Judy Teen', 'Sling It', 'Make Me Smile', 'Mirror Freak', 'The Best Years Of Our Lives' or even 'Sabastian', which all seemed even better, performed live after all these years. It was about newer songs too, such as; Saturday Night At The Fair, A Friend For Life, Coast Of Amalfi, Riding The Waves (For Virginia Woolf), A Fathers Promise, etc. etc. I thought it was a fantastic show and can't wait for his next tour, I'll be boooking again that's for sure. The one thing about Steve Harley is he will never short change you at a gig. He was on for over two and a half hours. Every song was performed with feeling and the guy genuinely wants to please his audience. The audience in turn were not slow in adding their voices to the songs at appropriate times, something that Steve seems to welcome and actively encourages.

Well I had my say, what about Mrs C and her bad vibes? They were gone by the second song, she nudged me and said, "He's not a full shilling, but I like him, it's nothing like those tracks you were playing!". What more can I say? She only went and bought two of his CD's on sale at the gig including the new one, which at the time hadn't been released. Needless to say, they have had almost continuous airtime on my in-car stereo since.

If you are vaguely into any old Cockney Rebel songs then I'd urge you to treat yourself to attending one of the remaining gigs. I don't think you'll be disappointed. You can find more information about tour dates at the following link: http://www.steveharley.com/dates.html. It's a belting show.

More updates soon, honest, I promise.

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