Tuesday, 30 December 2008

So how was it for you?

So far so good. Jake has had a blast, and we all know this time of year is all about the kids. I have enjoyed my time away from work (who wouldn't?) and at the time of writing I still have 5 or 6 days of leave left (I say 5 or 6, because I might go back in Monday, I might not - undecided yet.)

As is usual for this time of year, thoughts turn to the upcoming next 12 months and resolutions.

I don't normally make any (well, how can you improve on perfection?...yeah, right) apart from maybe a couple of private ones that I try to stick to for my own good. I mean, I don't smoke, I don't drink excessively, I don't over-eat, and I keep reasonably fit. So it's hard to think of anything that most people would have on their list. There is, however, an interesting thing you can do this time of year - think of someone you know, and suggest a resolution for them. It can be as frivoulous or serious as you like. And, as a public service, I am willing to let you post them as comments to this post. I will even accept suggestions for myself... (what AM I letting myself in for...)

So, have at it, and you could even tell me what your own personal resolutions are to be.

Whatever you're doing tomorrow night (if anything) have fun, stay safe, and here's to a happy and prosperous 2009. Peace.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

'Twas the night before Christmas...

Yes, it's nearly here. So what will today hold for me? I'm 'working' until around lunchtime (I say 'working' because unless something amazingly important and vital goes wrong, I doubt very much if any actual work will be done today) and then I'm off until the 5th / 6th January. I have the 5th booked off, but I might come in, who knows? That's the crazy sort of person I am!

I bought the last of my presents last night - some alcohol - and again using Russ as an inspiration, I went down to Sainsburys at around 22.30 last night. "This will be nice and quiet" I thought... HA!
Yes, there were lots of shelf stackers etc. doing their jobs, but I was surprised at the amount of crazy people down there. Stressed wives who have obviously dragged their husbands out with them trying to buy the last few things for a Christmas dinner... single men with a wild, desperate look in their eyes trying to find that perfect gift in the "Sources & Food Of The World" aisle... Over excited and giddy children bombing around the place, not able to believe they're out and about that late and in a shop... till workers who look either bored out of their minds or off their little nuts on pot - or possibly mogadon...
Still, I managed to get in and out in about 10 minutes, so all was well and good.

If I don't manage a post tomorrow (I may do, during the quiet moments, if inspiration strikes) then have a wonderful Christmas. I hope all your gifts are refundable and all your food stays in you. Peace, love and good wishes to all.

Oh, and I got you all a Christmas present circa 1982... (you'll need to switch it on first).

Speak & Spell

Simon.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

A satisfying job

I know this is going to sound weird, what with me supposed to be a software developer and everything, but I just helped out the building maintenance man to plane a door.
Basically the main rear exit fire door needed the bottom planed as it was not opening or closing at all because of new carpet fitted underneath it. So we had to remove the door (bear in mind this is an external fire door so chuffin' heavy) and then plane it and re-hang it. We did it, of course, but the point is, is there anything more satisfying to a man than accomplishing something like that? There is a physical, actual, end result and the feeling of a job well done. Your hands are dirty, you've worked up a little sweat, and it gets you back in touch with your hunter / gatherer / provider instinct. A very good way to spend half hour this morning.
(And as the maintenance man has access to the stock cupboard, I got a diet coke and a couple of kit-kats for my reward!)

I must be changing

After football last night (crappy game - not enough people on my side could be bothered to run, so no one was tracking back, closing players down etc. I mean, come on, if you're gonna turn up and play, put the f****** effort in please!) I found myself going to the new Westfield shopping centre in Shepherds Bush. (Why? Long story).
Anyway, normally I would rather slice off the tips of my fingers and sink my hands into hot vinegar (think about that for a second... PAIN!) than go to a massive shopping center, especially this close to Xmas - but you know what? I actually enjoyed it! There were some really cool shops there (Vans store for example... I love Vans trainers... drool..) and it was surprisingly relaxed - not as manic or rushed or stressed as I thought it might be.
I also tried to work out why it felt different to the shopping centers (or malls) that I've been to in the U.S - and I think its because a) there's more packed into a smaller space and b) there aren't as many people in the malls in the U.S (well, not the one's I've been to anyway) as there were up at Westfield last night - bearing in mind it was like 20.30 - 21.00 I was up there.
So - another recommendation. If you live close enough then I strongly suggest you pay it a visit (maybe during the January sales?). Nearest tube is Shepherds Bush (better than driving) and it's open 'til 22.00 during the week (not sure about weekends - check the website, I can't do everything for you!)

Monday, 22 December 2008

New Look II

Following on from Russ's revamp, and after helping someone else out with their blog, I have decided to re-work the look and feel of iSimon.

I feel it's less 'busy', and easier to read. What do you think? Love it? Hate it?

Today's the day

I'll be getting the shopping done today. As soon as the shops round here are open, I'm gonna be in there buying the stuff I need. I have a list in my head of what I need, so I should hopefully be able to whizz round in about half an hour.
I'm not looking forward to it, of course, I mean what man looks forward to shopping? Especially this close to Christmas? But needs must etc.

With only a couple of days left at work (we can discount Christmas Eve, I think everyone's working a half day which means I can get away from here at around 11.00 - 11.30...) I'm looking forward to a few days away from the office. I've lost a bit of weight recently, which means I won't feel as guilty if I put back on a few pounds from eating and drinking lots of good stuff - my mothers Christmas dinner is always good, and there's always room for one more glass of wine, isn't there?

In other news, I STILL can't shake this poxy cold - I feel like I'm full up to the back teeth with snot and phlegm (sorry, for those eating at the time of reading this) which is making me cough and feel like I'm this close to choking. Joy.

Anyhoo - have a lovely Monday children. Three days to go!

Update: Shopping? I piss it. In and out in half an hour, all but two presents bought.
I should be able to finish off tomorrow.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Friday

Not much to report today - still got the bastard cold, and right now it's at that stage where I feel full up with phlegm (I know, I know, sorry) and whenever I cough, sneeze, sniff or breathe I feel like I'm drowning.

Six days until Christmas, and STILL nothing organised. I need to buy presents, wrap them and everything yet... I think I should be able to get everything done on Monday. But strangely, still no panicky feelings. Jake's suprisingly calm about things at the moment, but it's his last day at school today so no doubt starting at the weekend and definitely next week, he'll start to get excited.

So what do YOU want for Christmas?

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Why do I do this to myself?


Check this mo' fo' out...
Probably the world's largest spider, Heteropoda maxima has a colossal legspan of up to 12 inches (30 centimeters), according to a December 2008 WWF report.
Discovered in a large cave in northern Laos in 2001.
Guess where I will NOT be going on holiday??

Get a ruler and measure out 12 inches (I could say something rude about looking into my underwear but...) - now imagine a bastard spider with a legspan that wide... Creepin' Jebus that's scary.

I heard a rumor that leaving conkers in the corners of your house would deter spiders from sticking around... but this bastard would eat the things and then crawl up your leg saying "Now give me meat, bitch"... I think I've just pooped.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Observations for a Wednesday

Coughing sucks. I know, I know, you have all experienced a wrenching, painful, chesty, phlegmy, cough - but I have one at the moment and it's a bad one. It gives me a headache because I'm coughing so much, and it's been hard to sleep. Bastard.

Why are environmentalists always 'concerned'? I just listened to a news report on the TV, about airports being sold by BAA and how the new owners would want to expand them... much to the 'concern' of environmentalists. It must be miserable being an environmentalist - you're always concerned and there are so many things you have to worry about how can you just relax and enjoy life? New runways for airports, motorway expansions, redevelopment of waterways, parkland being given over to new schools / hospitals etc. etc. It seems every news report has SOMETHING that these poor environmentalists have to get their recycled knickers in a twist for... poor things.

With 8 days to Christmas, why am I not worried / panicky / stressing about the fact that I have NO presents bought yet? I would have thought that I would be quite wound up by this fact... but I seem surprisingly calm and collected. Is it the drugs? Is my mind protecing me some how? Who knows? But at the moment, I am quite at ease with the situation. I have no doubt I will have everything sorted by the big day even it means I am then skint for the next three and a half weeks!

More profound pronouncements tomorrow...

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Death warmed up

A curious phrase, but no doubt it sums up how I feel this morning.
I had about 3 hours sleep - I have caught number one son's cold and last night I couldn't lie down properly without choking, so I had to try and sleep sitting up, and even then I couldn't stop coughing. I think I eventually nodded off at around 3 something (the last time I checked the time it was 2.45 ish). So this morning I sound like Barry White when I talk, and because I have a mild abdominal strain it hurts every time I cough. My morning cup of tea tastes like hot water and nothing more... Geez, do I feel sorry for myself or what?

In other news, is it right to take offense at the tone of an email? Even though you don't know for sure if the person who sent it actually meant to cause offense, is it acceptable to be offended if the tone of the email makes you feel like that? That's the problem with email in my opinion (and I know I'm not the only one to think this) when you are typing out an email you are no doubt narrating the text in your head, in the tone of voice you want the words to be written in - but unfortunately, at the other end, they do not hear that same tone of voice. Maybe that's what's happened in this instance? I hope so, else I'll be having arguments later!

Oh, and the neon light above my desk isn't working this morning, so the whole office is bathed in its usual white, sterile glow but my desk is a little pool of darkness... kinda like my mood! (grumble grumble cough cough...)

Monday, 15 December 2008

Another reminder that the world is a scary, scary place

An excellently written, if scary, article...

6 Deadliest Creatures That Can Fit In Your Shoe

And while we're on the subject, check out Number 6 in this article... welcome to my hell.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Simple pleasures

Heated seats in your car on a freezing cold day...
That first bite of chocolate...
That first ice cold beer...
Hearing one of your favourite songs from your past...
Waking up early and being able to roll over and go back to sleep because its a weekend...
Hearing the voice of the one person who makes you feel like you're worth a damn just when you need to hear it most...
A really good wet shave...
A great book and a comfy chair when its cold and wet outside...
Being told you're loved...

A few things that don't cost any money but can make you feel, for a few minutes, that everything's right with the world... Care to add any to the list?

Monday, 8 December 2008

A bit of free advertising

I had cause to spend Sunday morning up in Regents Park this weekend. I haven't been up there for a few years, but if you live close enough I highly recommend it.
The residents parking and single yellow lines are not enforced on the residential streets around the park, so a quick 25 minute drive into London and you can park up and enjoy the park. Of course, London Zoo is also there, but we didn't get the chance to visit this time (and I don't think you're allowed to take dogs in!)
We were lucky with the weather - even though it was brass monkies (for our American cousins - Very Cold) - the sun was out and it was a clear blue sky. I don't want to sound like the London Tourism office, but I would strongly suggest a visit. And in these days of financial crap, its a great FREE activity for all the family.

Soundtrack of the day: "Only By The Night" by Kings Of Leon
Soup of the day: Minestrone

Friday, 5 December 2008

So, I'm back...

First of all, thank you for all the comments (and emails) sent to me by you, the concerned public. I know I didn't reply to those of you that I should have, but please don't take offense. As the previous post stated - "Exceptional Circumstances". However - apologies.
Here is a list of reasons why I have not been around at all. I'll let you pick the reason you want to believe in.

1) I have had a sex change operation and so am now no longer iSimon, but iSimone - it's taken 25 days for the swelling to go down enough on my new front bottom for me to be able to sit down comfortably.

2) I've been inside at her majesty's pleasure for 25 days, for the crime of driving while wearing nothing but a pair of emerald earrings and masturbating furiously to Christian rock.

3) I have been held captive for 25 days in a "Boxing Helena" kind of way by a scary fat bloke who insisted I called him 'Giggles', and I only managed to escape when he fell asleep after our 'playtime' and left my cage open.

4) I won big on the lottery and have been on a 3 week round-the-world holiday and have only returned to 'normal' life for a few days to laugh at all the poor folk (credit crunch? HA!)

5) I just didn't like you any more.

On a serious note - no one died, everyone is fit and healthy (me included), and I'm still employed. There has been a big change in my life, and its still on-going. The good thing is that this is a positive change, and will make the lives of myself, and the people around me, better.

So I'm back. I will try and keep this blog updated as regularly as possible, hopefully in an entertaining way, so spread the word...

Peace.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Update

Due to exceptional circumstances, this blog will not be updated for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Further proof that Spiders are evil, evil, evil...

Yes, this is a picture of a spider eating a fuckin' bird....

See the story here.

Still not much going on

God you must all be so bored by now!

OK, so an email went out recently to our department, telling us about our Christmas do... Good grief. My idea of hell. I know some people look forward to Christmas, especially the chance to go out and get drunk and stupid on the company's pound. But for me, I couldn't imagine a worse way to spend my free time. Seriously, I can't stand it. So a few people have been asking "So, are you going to the Christmas do this year?" and I think the way I just laugh and walk away gives them the notion that I won't be attending. It wasn't always this way. I remember a couple of good dos, back when I was sweet and innocent and not yet 20. I used to work for Texaco and we had one do at a hotel in London (can't remember which one) back in the days when companies paid for EVERYTHING. We had dinner, a band AND a dj, and a room in the hotel all company paid for. I managed to bed a girl who worked on the helpdesk with me, and it was a fantastic night all round.
Also, the first Christmas do I went to with the current Mrs. Molloy. We had met and got together during Euro '96, so when our company's Christmas do came round, and we were still at that stage in our relationship where we were keeping it quiet, we were both excited about going to the do together, but not 'together' (if you get my meaning) and then after the do we had a hotel booked in London for the night. I spent the evening getting ready in the hotel before meeting her at the do, but unfortunately overdid the speed a bit, so I was a little 'excited' all night... I think the common term is 'whizzin' my tits off'.
Anyway - they were good dos. But as I got older and more cynical, I went more and more off the idea. I haven't been to a Christmas do now in years, and I'm glad of it.
I think part of the problem is the "getting drunk with work mates and having to see them in the office again" thing. I mean, lets say you have a few too many shandies, and so does that collegue who normally gets right on your nerves. He says something to you he thinks is funny, (but isn't) and because you've had a drink, you give him a mouthful back and before you know it you're slugging it out in the car park. How can you then go back to working in the same office as him, sitting 10 feet away? It just can't be done.
Besides, I've cultivated this aura of misery, anger and cynicism for a while now, and it'd be going against what everyone thinks is my character to go along and play "happy co-worker". My good friends and family know what I'm really like, they are the people I like spending my time with, same as the few work collegues I actually like. Everyone else? pah.

There... for someone with nothing to write about, that was a bit of a rant wasn't it?

Peace. And Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

I'm still alive

Just not much to post about recently. Stay tuned. More updates, I'm sure, soon...

Soundtrack of the day: "Return To Cookie Mountain" by TV On The Radio

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

I am SUCH a wuss

Yes the beard has gone. I had one day, ONE DAY of unbearable itching and thought "sod it, it has to come off". I wasn't expecting to grow a Brian Blessed style mega-bushy number, but I was at least hoping to get to a Bill Oddie...but no, I just couldn't handle how horrible it felt. So as I soon as I got home I was out with the clippers and it all came off - I now have a light dusting of stubble instead.

In other news... played well (again) last night. The guy I've been going with over the past few weeks made the point that since we've been going together, I've never been on the losing side. And I think he's right. We mix the sides up every week, and for a while now I've never lost. Now I know its a bit big headed to say, but I AM good at football! (And I'm gonna say that coz I pretty much suck at everything else...)

Finally, it's three weeks today until the next U.S Presidential Election. A new (so called) "leader of the free world" will be elected. What do we think people? Any opinions? Are any of my listeners from the U.S, do they want to share their thoughts? Do we in the UK even care? (Well, yes, we should actually... do we really want another George W. Bush??) Lets have your thoughts, to the usual address...

Peace.

Monday, 13 October 2008

What I did at the weekend

Well, the beard is still coming along - its at that stage now where its starting to look more like a beard and less like the long ignored stubble of a wino. Its at that itchy stage now, but must persevere as I want a nice bushy one by the end of the month.

Saturday Jake had training - but no match on Sunday as he was not well :-(
He was supposed to be playing against the toughest team in his division, but he had a rotten cough and a temperature Saturday night, so we thought it best he rested. They lost 5 - 3 in the end, so not too bad (managing to score 3 goals against who should be the league winners is good).

Sunday, I borrowed a bike (push bike) and decided to ride to work and back. I have been wanting to ride to work for ages but a) haven't got a bike of my own and b) was worried that by the time I got to work I would be swimming in sweat - and with no showers in the office, this would obviously be a problem. So anyway, I decided to give it a go.
First of all, the ride itself was actually really nice - I left early in the morning, so there was very little traffic, and the mist was just lifting - lovely. But my goodness, was it hard work. My hands were sore (the grips on the bike are not the best... for some reason they're designed with the texture of a cheese grater - I shit you not! - so even with gloves on my hands were agony), my legs, although footballers legs (short, muscular, used to hard work) did ache quite a bit. And fitness-wise, it was a bit of a struggle. But I did it, there and back, a round trip of about 9 - 10 miles I think, 26 minutes each way. I didn't get off the bike once, even up one particularly massive hill, and didn't even have a drink or anything with me. The only downside? I was sweatier than a sweaty thing. When I got to the office, I was swimming in it - no WAY could I then walk into the office in that state, which is a shame, because I think I would enjoy riding to work every now and then.
Finally on Sunday afternoon, to my parents house for a lovely roast dinner.
So that was my weekend - anyone else get up to anything good?

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

You know its bad...

... when you dream about waking up, and getting ready for work, and the you actually have to wake up and get ready for work. That sucks.

I haven't shaved for ages, so I look like Robinson Crusoe, and the beardy hair is starting to get that horrible itchy, scratchy feeling... but I think I'm going to keep it going as long as possible. Yes, I am aiming for a ginger beard... won't that be nice. (Mind you, there are a worrying amount of white hairs in my beard, so maybe it'll be ginger with a distinguished white tinge).

Jake is playing in his first football match for his school tonight. He had 'trials' last week, and has been picked to represent his school. (Not to sound too much like the proud father, but I would have been extremely surprised if he hadn't been picked. He is easily one of the best footballers in his year, in the top 5, if not top 3).
I played for my junior school team (in fact, myself and another boy, Jonathan Morrow, were the first two picked to train with the squad of boys that were in the top year - yes we were that good!) and I'm sure I even captained them for one game. I'm pleased Jake is going to get to experience that.

Soundtrack of the day: Old skool nu-metal (Linkin Park, Lost Prophets) and some Heavy Metal Ragga (Skindred) - I want something loud and obnoxious...

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Sitcom World

I was thinking the other day (yes, me, thinking) that I sometimes wish life were more like a sitcom.
Let me introduce you to Sitcom World(Registered Trademark).
Your relationship problems could be sorted by performing some deed for your partner, with the intention of them not finding out, just a totally selfless act, but in Sitcom World they would find out somehow and that would make them realise how wonderful their partner was and they would fall in love all over again.
Or if someone is diagnosed with an illness, a serious illness, and they are shocked and stunned and upset, but it turns out they have the same name as the person who REALLY have the illness and so they do NOT have two months to live after all (never mind the other poor fucker who actually is going to die - you never meet them in Sitcom World).
Another example, when you are walking home late at night, on your own, you can have all manner of fun adventures in Sitcom World, because you keep hearing things, or seeing things, that make you scared and jumpy and can have over exaggerated reactions that leave you laughing in the end, instead of walking home and meeting a group of teenagers out of their heads on cheap beer and poppers who surround you and kick the living shit out of you and leave you in intensive care with a wired shut jaw and a fractured skull.
Everyone's job in Sitcom World is fun, well paid, and a pleasure to do, rather than the mindless, droning, brain death that we have to live through.

Sitcom World. Who wouldn't want to live there?

Following on from Phil's comment - in Sitcom World, your house would never get dirty, dusty or dilapidated. Bulbs never go, unless its a good moment for an amusing "fumbling in the dark" anecdote. Mortgage payments never go up, and homes are never repossessed. If there is any danger of a repossession it's always saved by a last minute find of cash that no one knew existed before the moment it was needed. Ever tried laying your hands on £50,000 at short notice? Whereas in Sitcom World the money is found with just enough time to spare, and everyone ends up laughing and drinking champagne toasting to a bright future (What about next months payment??), in reality you're evicted, and end up living on the street in a box from a washing machine drinking meths and swearing at the demons that constantly dance around your fucked up head.

Monday, 6 October 2008

I hate football...

...sometimes. The weekend's football started off badly - Jake had a poor training session, (bad attitude, not concentrating etc.) but then Sunday morning his team played their first league game of the season, against a good side, and they came back from 1 - 0 down to win 2 - 1. And guess who got the winner? Yep, number one son. So I was buzzin' when I went home Sunday lunchtime, thinking "football's great" and I was looking forward to watching the Sunday afternoon games while listening to reports on how my team were doing. And that started well! 2 - 0 up at half time, so 45 minutes left to hold out... and what happens? We go down to 10 men, and lose 3 - 2 in the last minute. Absolute kick in the teeth. So going from the high of Jake's win, to the low of City losing in one day. F*ckin football.
Still, I'm telling myself to look on the bright side and focus on Jake's performance on Sunday. He was outstanding, doing everything I think he should be doing as a centre forward, and to score the winner... well, perfect.
This week:
Tonight - playing football myself (I still get pleasure from that, so thats OK)
Tomorrow night - Jake's training
Wednesday night - no plans as yet
Thursday night - Im playing again
Friday night - no plans (where does the week go?)
I've also got a lot of work on this week, so am going to be pressured.
Soundtrack of the day: "The Illusion Of Progress" by Staind & "Strange Days" by The Doors and "Started Out With Nothing And I Still Got Most Of It Left" by Seasick Steve.
Update : New soundtrack of the day - "Dig Out Your Soul" by Oasis (yes, the new one).
Its been slated in some of the music press, saying "It's half a good album" but that would not put me off buying it - I mean, it's Oasis. And I have to say, I'm not disappointed.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

The anti-flu

Even though a lot of my life is still pretty much toilet, I'm feeling more upbeat and positive today.
This gives more credence to my theory (albeit stolen from Red Dwarf) that there are 'good' viruses as well as bad. As in the anti-flu. Nothing really has changed with the crappy parts of my life, but I'm sitting here at my desk in a much more positive and upbeat mood. Could I have caught the opposite of a the common cold or flu?

Of course, it could be the fact that my mind has decided to shield myself from the real truth of things, so I can drift through the days in a mindless fog of ignorant bliss... but still, I feel better than I have done for a few days. The question is, of course, how to keep this mood going... drugs? Alcohol? Hypnotism?

Soundtrack of the day: The various Bluetones albums...
Update to the soundtrack of the day: "I Started Out With Nothin And I've Still Got Most Of It Left" by Seasick Steve.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

No post recently

Sorry about that - some things going on in my world are too stressful to post about.

Anyway... what else has been going on? Not a lot really. Jake's team had two friendlies at the weekend - one on Saturday (a 4 - 0 win) and one on Sunday (a 4 - 2 win) so things are looking good for their season which starts this Sunday.

Work wise, I'm starting to struggle a little with my workload. I think I'll be OK, but because of other issues, it's made me feel like I'm drowning a little. Still, we soldier on, do we not?

No golf played for a few days, no time, or weather, to get out.

Goodness, what a boring post. Right, must crack on. Soundtrack of the day: R A N D O M button on my MP3 player again, so who knows...

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Thank you for your kind words of support

Im being sarcastic of course - I publish a post saying Im angry and pissed off at the world - and I get comments back saying people find it funny! Thanks. For. That.

Anyway - Im working from home today, dog sitting. I have a few bits to do so will have no problems staying motivated.

No football AGAIN tonight, cancelled again. So its a night in for me with a couple of cold ones and a good book I think.

More posts soon, you horrible lot.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Grrrr

In a f*ckin bad mood today. I woke up with a start to the alarm, like I was kicked out of bed, I then had that feeling that I've forgotten to do something all morning, the anal fungus that is the man who lives at the back of my house had left his rubbish out over night and a fox had got to it and strewn it all around my f*ckin garage, saw a really shitty email from someone in the U.S when I logged in this morning that wound me up even more, and now Im in a conference room all day helping out the other developers, which means I can't even sit and growl at my own desk.

Its mornings like this that I just want to swear and spit and twitch like a full on tourettes sufferer.

Stay out of my f*ckin way world.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Blaah

I can't remember which songs I used to play a lot on the guitar. I was strumming around last night, and found I was only playing two or three songs... "Everything Changes" and "Outside" by Staind, and "Street Spirit" by Radiohead. I couldn't think of any others to play and sing along to, which was annoying me. Actually, maybe that's not 100% accurate - maybe it was more a case of not thinking of any other songs I wanted to play. There used to be loads I enjoyed playing and singing, but last night they weren't there in my head. A case of creative malaise perhaps.

It was my best mates birthday on Monday, so I went round his house on Saturday night for a little while. I was driving, so wasn't drinking (obviously) and there was a guitar there but... I couldn't bring myself to get it out and play it. I think it was because a) I was sober b) it didn't feel like that sort of night and c) shy (probably linked to 'a'). Which is was a shame, as there were a few people there, and if I had been drinking I probably would have enjoyed playing for them.

Good football last night (played well again) and it's Jake's turn tonight as he is training. Golf tomorrow (all being well) football on Thursday (again, hopefully) and then Friday night to relax.

Soundtrack of the day: "The Seldom Seen Kid" by Elbow (Mercury Music prize winner).

Monday, 22 September 2008

Monday morning haiku

Monday has started
The body responds with shock
How I hate Mondays

Soundtrack of the day: "St. Jude" by The Courteeners

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Tired

Manchester and back in 27 hours with a game of golf in the middle... tired today.
Still, it was a good journey both ways - 3 hours for each leg.
Before I left I bought The Mighty Boosh radio show on CD... so I spent most of the journey cracking up. I can imagine people looking in their rear view mirror as I bomb up behind them in the outside lane laughing like a loon. Scary.

I have a boring crappy meeting today from 10.30 'til 12.30 *snore*

I hate meetings. No matter how interesting the subject matter, the room is always too warm, so by about half an hour in your eyes are getting heavy, but the seat isn't very comfortable so you feel like you're being tortured. Some mindless tit always has to ask questions that drags things on and on and on and on ad infinitum. Luckily I can text to twitter and to this blog, so if I get really bored...

No football tonight - its been called off. :-(

Peace.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Had to post this

Some of you may know I visit the site Cracked.com. Its an excellent way of wasting time at wor... I mean, an excellent way to spend a lunch break.

Here is one of my favourite articles. Not so much the subject matter (although its pretty awesome) but the way it's written... I've read it three times now over the past couple of months, and it ALWAYS makes me laugh. Enjoy.

The 5 Most Horrifying Bugs In The World

(don't have nightmares!)

Boobies

I thought I'd share what my son and I talked about on the way home from school yesterday.
We got onto the subject of my job and what I do, and he asked "Do you sit in a big chair like Homer Simpson, eating donuts and drinking coffee?" to which I replied "well, sometimes, and I do have a big chair like Homer Simpson".
He then started to describe how he'd like his job to be...

"I'd like a job like that - I'd have a computer with donuts on one side and big bottle of coke on the other. I'd sit at my desk, and my boss would come to me and say Jake, do these data sheets, and I'd say yes sir, but when he's gone I'd type BOOBIES on my screen and sit and eat donuts."

He then proceeded to crack up, which of course got me laughing as well.

He likes boobies. Definitely his father's son.

Mornin' all

It's the start of a couple of tiring days today - I'm leaving work an hour (ish) early to drive up to Manchester today. Tomorrow I'm playing golf (yay!) so no work, but then after golf I have to drive home from Manchester. So lots of miles to be covered in the next 48 hours.

Not much else happening... played football last night, and even though I say so myself I played well. I seemed to have lots of energy so was very effective. Even the guy I go with said I played well, so when someone else says it, you know you're doing something right... (although, I do give him a lift there and back, so maybe he had ulterior motives...)

So, head down today, code code code, and then away I go.

Soundtrack of the day: I've got heavily back into R.E.M recently, so I'm thinking "Accelerate" and maybe "Automatic For The People" and maybe a little "Out Of Time"...

Monday, 15 September 2008

A poem about Mondays

Not mine, ripped off from some site or other...
------------------------------------------------
Monday must be the most horrible of days.
The reasons it's horrible are too horrible to say.
But with that said, I'll try to explain
Why Monday must bring us oh so much pain.

You see on Monday, you work with a frown.
The full work week ahead has gotten you down.
The weekend has come, and the weekend has passed,
And like all weekends it just didn’t last.

But Monday sure lasts, it lasts so long.
You keep checking your watch to see what’s wrong.
But against your wishes your watch is just fine.
Against your wishes you can’t speed up time.

So you sit and you wait and you pretend to work.
You dream of a boss that isn’t a jerk.
But then you wake up and you almost cry.
You wish and you wish that the day would just die.

But wait, please listen, don’t worry my friend.
For one thing is certain, all Mondays must end.
Now that it’s been said, I’ll say it again.
More Mondays will come and more Mondays will end.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

I've found some time

Its Sunday morning and everyone's out, so I have a little alone time this morning. Apart from this post, I'm spending it reading and chilling out, which is what I think Sunday mornings are for.

Jake had a good training session yesterday, but as his manager wasn't there, his assistant and I took the training session. I tell you, I couldn't do that on a regular basis. Its hard enough trying to stay in charge of one nine soon-to-be ten year old, but ten of them? It was hard going.

Also in the iSimon world, I have money worries at the moment. Those of you that have lived through that know that it seems to take over your whole life. You can't get past the this big black cloud of financial problems. I will be trying over the next few days to get some kind of solution / resolution to this, but if I seem quieter or more miserable than usual, ("How will we notice" I hear you cry), then that's why.

Have a great Sunday listeners, we'll be back after these messages...

Friday, 12 September 2008

Last post for the working week

Yes its Friday thank Shiva, and nearly time to relax for two days.
Not much going on - Saturday morning training with Jake, and as far as I
know, he has no match on Sunday, so I might be able to get up the driving
range for the first time in ages.

Next week I have a busy week... football on Monday night, driving up to
Manchester Tuesday after work, playing golf up there Wednesday then driving
home again, playing football Thursday, then before I know it it's Friday
again.

For some reason, I'm feeling very tired today... and my neck is very stiff
and sore. Weird.

Anyway, have a good weekend all, and stay tuned for possibly more posts
this weekend.

I feel like I'm shouting out into the abyss...

..."Is anybody out there?"

Thursday, 11 September 2008

I twittered these questions

I was sitting here thinking about this & that this morning, and came up with these questions... answers to the usual address:

If you met yourself, would you like yourself, or would you get on your nerves?

If you were the opposite sex version of you, would you fancy yourself?

This is not so much questions about liking yourself / loving yourself (I'm not allowed to do that anymore, not since the sores and the rash), but more about combining your own perception of yourself with how the rest of the world sees you...

Let's see those comments flood in....

I'm going to H E double Hockey Sticks...

I had my two bestest friends in the whole world over last night to watch the England game. And I confessed to something that one of them in particular found amusing.

The Paralympics are being held in Beijing this week, and I've caught a few of the broadcasts on TV... and I have found myself being amused by the midgets in the competition.

Now I know, this is reprehensible, awful, and wrong but let me try and defend myself a little... I admire what they do, I couldn't do the things they were doing and I'm a completely able bodied (if overweight) and normal-man sized. Sure I might be able to run faster than them, but in front of a massive olympic crowd? Doubtbul. And I know I couldn't swim as fast as them. As one of the hosts of the show said, the Paralympics proves that sport is about ability, not disability.

But...

But...

Watching them run, I can't help but be reminded of the film Time Bandits (one of my all time favourite films by the way). Watching them dive into the pool, I can't help but think of that ancient and venerable sport, midget tossing. In fact, maybe its not just at the Paralymics - I've seen midget basketball... midget judo (which even a priest would find funny, I bet) and who's the funniest character in the Austin Powers movie? Mini-me.

Don't get me wrong, I don't sit there in front of the TV cracking up, but I hate myself when I realise I'm watching them do whatever they're doing, and there is a faint smile on my lips and a man in my head wetting himself.

I'm going to H.E.L.L aren't I?

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

This could be my last post

In fact, it could be the last day of everything. As you may or may not be aware, scientists will be switching on the Large Hadron Collider today in Geneva (at about 08.30 UK time) to fire hydrogen particles at each other round a 27km track of accelerators (or something... here's a better explanation).

There has been some worry that switching this thing on will cause black holes, the end of the world, dark matter to be exploding all over the place, new dimensions to be seen... personally, I think it will be a MASSIVE anti-climax. I'm sure the scientists (I actually typed scienTITS then... freudian slip) will say it was a great success and we discovered loads, but I have my doubts... (cynical? Moi?)

Anyway, just in case we do all disappear up our own existence, thanks for reading this blog, and I hope to see you all on the other side. And as an after school project, if you knew this WAS the last day, and you could say one last thing to one last person, what would it be? Now, I know if you want to take part in this, you may not really want these thoughts and feelings made public, so you can leave out the persons name if you like - just the sentence or sentiment you'd like to share with that person.

In other news, working from home today as I need to dog-sit so I must try and stay motivat...zzzzz sorry, motivated.

Have a good last day of the world all (or not...).

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

I'm no restaurant critic...

...but I thought I'd let you all know about the place I went for dinner last night. It was a 'surprise' invite as I expected to be playing football last night. But, it was my sisters birthday on Friday, and she lives in Bournemouth but was at my parents last night as she is flying out to Canada, then onto Australia, from Heathrow today. So we thought we'd get together for dinner. (*phew* - convoluted explanation over).

ANYWAY - we decided to go the place called The Waters Edge. Those who know me and live near me know where that is... those that don't, well, talk amongst yourselves if you like.

The food was nice enough, the ambiance more like a quiet chain pub than a restaurant, and it only had a few a la carte dishes on the menu. Also, it only had one veggie option, but my wife, who is unfortunately afflicted with vegetarianism, will eat pretty much any veggie dish anway so that was OK. The main thing, however, was it's carvery. (I'm not too sure how Manuel The Waiter feels about carveries but I think they're OK every now and then...)
"So it has a carvery" I hear you shout "big deal", but let me tell you, the big thing about the carvery was the PRICE.
What with all that credit being crunched all over the place and belts being tightened more than a man of 45 wanting to look 25, price has become more important to me than before.

Check this out - You get a choice of three meats (and yes you can have all three - last night was turkey, gammon ham or beef all freshly carved) and then a selection of veg (last night: peas, greens, swede, carrots, two types of potato and cauliflower cheese) plus sauces (cranberry, apple, that sort of thing) and two types of gravy. You also get stuffing and yorkshire puds. Once the carver has given you the meat you want (and you can ask him to be 'generous', I know I did!) you can help yourself to veg and gravy. You can imagine how piled with food your plate could look. And the price for this frankly massive feast? £3.95!!! Yes, UNDER £4.00 for a ludicrous amount of what amounts to a Sunday roast. And for the quality of food I would quite happily pay something like £10.00 or £12.00 for it.

OK, so it wasn't Gordon Ramsey quality food, and eating in a chain pub / carvery isn't the classiest of places, but it WAS very nice food, and it was quiet, and my son was welcome, and the beer was cold, but the PRICE... my God, you can't knock it. So - highly recommended for those of you in the area who want a cheap, tasty, dinner.

Peace.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Perfect start to the week

Some gormless twat bumped into my car this morning. I was approaching a three lane roundabout in the middle lane (because I was going straight over) and I passed this idiot as he was in the outside lane. As I went past him, he pulled into the middle lane, and caught the back quarter of my car. Yes, he was in error, yes, he hit me. So we pulled off the side of the roundabout, and got out to inspect the damage. Luckily, there was no damage to mine except scuffing, which I rubbed off and all looked fine. The thing that wound me up was the first thing he says to me is "Its OK, it looks like you caught the inside of my car, and there's hardly any damage"... So I just stopped and looked at him and said "No, I didn't catch anything of yours, YOU hit MY car. I was in the middle lane and YOU pulled out and hit ME". I then said that my car was not damaged so I am happy to not go through insurance . He agreed, and as we parted company he said "Sorry about that..." so he knew he was in the wrong. Berk.
So if that's what the start of my week is, what's the rest gonna hold?! I dread to think...
Peace.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

400 posts up

Yes, just saw, this is my 401st post.

Anyway - a good day today (Sunday). Jake had his first tournament of the new season, at his home ground... and his team won his age group, which was nice. They got all the way to the final without having to go to extra time or penalties, but the final did go to penalties. Unfortunately Jake missed his (not like him) and he was more annoyed about that than the fact his team actually won the thing! Still, another tournament and another win. I think he's going to have a good season this year.

Not much else happened today, as we were out from around 09.00 until 14.00... so a long day, and the rest of the day has been spent sitting on my arse drinking tea.

This week, my new fitness regime starts... playing football Monday AND Thursday every week, and less alcohol to be consumed (not going to stop completely, that would be silly). I AM a fat bastard, and need to lose weight.

More postings this week.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Who's my teacher?

I received a comment about my last post, asking who my teacher was... and as I've done before, I started to respond in the comments, but realised what I wanted to say would be better done in a post.

She is a girl called Fiona - and yes, she IS a girl compared to me, she's a student at Brunel University which is 5 minutes from where she lives. So, when she opened the door to me I thought "OK, I know age is no indication of talent, but still...".
Anyway, we went into her house (which I have to say was a typical 'student' house if you know what I mean... not the nicest, but only because it was rented and it was rented by students, who of course can't afford really nice houses... but I digress) there was nobody else in at the time, and she led me through to the kitchen and to a room just off the kitchen. "I'm sorry" she says, and I think "what for?" then she says "would you mind removing your shoes? My mother always taught me to be polite when going into someone elses bedroom and to remove my shoes". REMOVE MY SHOES?? What am I, 12? Are we in Japan? I don't mean that to come across as horrible, but it was a bit of a shock. So shoes removed, we went into her 'bedroom' (I saw NO bed...) and had the lesson. The thing is, she was very young... and she was wearing a very low cut top and she had rather large sweater puppies... and she was sitting very close to me... and I know this sounds like a statement read out for the defendent in a court case, but its all true. Anyway, I felt like SUCH a dirty old man - don't get me wrong, she was very good at the piano, and the things she was explaining to me about how we would go about teaching me were all good, but I couldn't get away from this nagging little feeling of how it would look if someone came into the bedroom and saw me and my age, looking all overweight and sweaty, and her with her age looking all young and nubile and perky... doesn't bear thinking about.
So, am I going to continue? I honestly don't know, but I doubt it. Fiona is on holiday now for two weeks so I have some thinking time. When she gets back, I will decide what to do.
More posts later...

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Another Thursday night alone

Yes, it's just me and the dog again for a Thursday night. Sitting here watching Kerrang TV with a beer and contemplating my comittment to Twitter to create something creative tonight.

BTW - Slash is my hero - one of the all time great rock 'n' roll guitarists.

I'm actually considering going down to that pub that has the open mic night / jam night I posted about a little while ago... is it sad to go into a pub on your own? Bit Billy no mates isn't it.
But, maybe popping down there for half an hour to see what the situation is? Maybe.... depends how much more beer I have to drink before its time to go.

Oh I didnt post about my piano lesson did I? It was a 'consultancy' lesson first, so it was free (bonus!) but I didn't actually get to touch the keyboard! It was all about how we are gonna move forward with the lessons, a lesson plan, what I wanted to learn, what music I was into etc. etc.
Am I going to continue? I honestly don't know - it seems awfully complicated, but then that's because I have picked guitar up so easily...

Listener contributed Haiku

"Through the barricades"
"Always believe in your soul"
Spandau Ballet rock.

Broadband Internet
Spending All My Time Watching
Streaming Videos

Haikus make me smile
They also seems to bring out
Lots of random things

Dial Oh eight hundred
Double Oh ten sixty-six
(for Hastings Direct)

(That one was genius)

Premiership Clubs
Playthings for billionaires
Killing the good game.

Carol Vorderman
Picking Out All The Letters
Constanents And Vowels

Eating far too much
No time for excercising
Putting on some weight

Chopping Up Bodies
My Cellar Is Nearly Full
Thus My Work Is Done

(I have informed the authorities on this one)

So a couple of you liked that

A good few Haiku responses - Im going to compile them into a post for all the world to see...

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Twitter

The eagle eyed among you will notice I have decided to give Twitter another go...

we'll see how it goes.

Haiku

I have been toying with some other creative outlets. I was thinking of poetry (I may post some efforts up here) but I have been reading a book that had some Haiku in it - and that got me thinking, could I do that? Here is what wikipedia says about Haiku:

Haiku (俳句?) listen is a form of Japanese poetry. Previously called hokku, it was given its current name by the Japanese writer Masaoka Shiki at the end of 19th century. Shiki suggested haiku as an abbreviation of the phrase "haikai no ku" meaning a verse of haikai[1]. A hokku was the opening verse of a linked verse form, renku (haikai no renga). In Japanese, hokku and haiku are traditionally printed in one vertical line (though in handwritten form they may be in any reasonable number of lines). In English, haiku are usually written in three lines to equate to the three metrical phrases of a haiku in Japanese that consist of five, seven, and five on (the Japanese count morae, which differ from English-language syllables; for example, the word "haiku" itself counts as three on in Japanese (ha-i-ku), but two syllables in English (hai-ku); writing seventeen syllables in English produces a poem that is actually quite a bit longer, with more content, than a haiku in Japanese). Because Japanese nouns do not have different singular and plural forms, "haiku" is usually used as both a singular and plural noun in English as well. Thus, practicing haiku poets and translators refer to "many haiku" rather than "haikus". Senryū is a similar poetry form that emphasizes irony, satire, humor, and human foibles instead of seasons, and may or may not contain a kigo or a kireji.

So, I had a go. To recap, here are the rules (no exceptions!)

3 lines
5 syllables in the first line
7 syllables in the second
and 5 syllables in the third

Of course, they must make some kind of sense, not just 17 syllables of nonsense...

My efforts:

Jaded attitude
Cynical to the last breath
My grave epitaph

Dying heart of love
Restored by your soul and grace
My life is complete

Dark shades on the wall
Unknown sounds that bring nightmares
Fears of my childhood

So, come on then, lets have your efforts children

Inspired by cheesecake

First of all I don't know who cheesecake is, I think I do, but I might be wrong.
Anyway, he / she (I think its a she) asked me a question in response to my last post, and I was starting to write it out as a comment but thought I might as well make a post out of it. (Warning: the word 'cock' appears twice in this article...)
cheesecake wrote:

"How about a few pics from your friends wedding or some insight as to why you are so fed up?"

I actually don't have any pictures from my friends wedding! I need to get hold of them from my friends who had their digital cameras there. As to why I am so fed up? My God where to begin... there are big reasons that don't change from day to day, and little ones that do. For example, today, I have a sore arse. I know, not very nice, and its actually my coxi... coksi...cocksi... tail bone that hurts, but it is VERY sore and it even hurts just sitting down. What did I do to it? I have no idea but its another little dig with a cocktail stick into the gums of my life.

Anyway - Wednesday today, work to do (cue headphones and albums) and then a piano lesson tonight. I'll be honest, I nearly backed out - the main reason being this low mood I'm in, but I will go through with it and see how it goes. Jake's first training session of the new season last night, and he looked good. Sharpness still has to come back, but it won't take long.

So there we go - a longer post, and slightly more upbeat. I will really try and make more of an effort again listeners - apologies to those who have come here to read and thought "what a miserable bastard". Peace.

Update: A tip of the day - DON'T start reading other peoples blogs before you start work, especially if they are as well written as Well Done Fillet as you will NOT be able to start work. Damn my bone-idleness

Update II: Soundtrack of the day - "Stadium Arcadium" double album by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Not much...

...going on today. Jake starts back football training tonight, and then he has a tournament on Sunday. I have piano lesson tomorrow and then I will be playing golf Thursday. Apart from that, in the words of Bjork "It's oh so quiet... it's oh so still...".

Still in the mood to read read read, although I picked up my two favourite magazines yesterday - Wired and Q Magazine, so I have those to enjoy...

My God, what a boring post!

Help me people, give me some inspiration...

Monday, 1 September 2008

Back to work today

Yes, back to the grind. I've discovered my boss, and HIS boss (so effectively my second boss) are both on leave this week, so I have a feeling it's going to be a lazy week. However, as previously posted, I do have a project on the go so I will have to be more than a little productive.

So what's happened recently? Not much. My mood has gone into one of those "Why am I bothering" kind of states (with regards to blogging, song writing, anything creative) and in fact all I want to do is sit in a big comfy chair with something nice to drink and read, read, read. I got through 3 (yes three) novels last week while away - so you can tell how much reading I got done.
The problem is finding good books to read that I haven't read before. Well, I'll be popping to the book shop today so who knows what we'll find.

ooh, I have a piano lesson this Wednesday - trying something new. We'll see how that goes.

Have a nice day all.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

I'm still around...

Just a quick post to say Im still alive. The wedding in Armagh was very nice, the ceremony was grand and austere, the bride looked lovely and the groom looked a little green.



I'm currently writing from North Wales, where I'm staying with my in-laws (they have broad band at last - yay!).


I'm not too sure how much posting I will get done this week, but I just wanted to let my faithful listeners know (all two of them) that I'm still online.



I'm spending this week doing the grand total of not much - in fact before this post I had just woken up from a little afternoon nap! (Sleeping during the day? How old am I? 80? Still it's what holidays are for...)



Anyhow - have a nice week, and I'll post when I can. Don't forget, I'm still accepting posts from my readers to be put up on their behalf - certain people who read this I know will have something to say, so come on, don't be shy...



Peace.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Off to Belfast today

Away for my friend Colin's wedding to Shauna, taking place in Armagh.

I'll post about it when I get back. Have a nice weekend all.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Monday, 18 August 2008

That was a really miserable post, wasn't it?

But I can't help it, it's how I've been feeling lately.

What to do, what to do - do I go into the why's and wherefores? Or do I just suck it up and keep on going?

Well, those that know me know its very rare for me to spill the beans, so I guess it's another case of me dealing with it myself.

So, what else is going on? Working from home tomorrow... then on Thursday night, there is a 'jam night' at a pub near here where local musicians go along and... well, play stuff I guess. The advertisments say "all equipment provided" and "all musicians welcome" so I think I'm going to go along and check it out. Now I'm not going to go along and play anything, but if I get a good vibe about it, and it's that sort of place... maybe I will in the future? Playing to an audience of people I don't know - can I do it?

Then, on Friday, the wife and I are off to Ireland for my friends wedding. We're flying into Belfast on Friday afternoon, the wedding is on Saturday morning, and then we're coming home Sunday. The on Monday we're off for a week to the in-laws where I plan to read, relax, and do the grand total of nothing. It's my 'summer holiday' which I have yet to have.

So that's where I am so far. More later in the week hopefully. Peace.

No post today

Fed up so can't be bothered.

Friday, 15 August 2008

The poor dog

I would like all the men who read this to bow their heads and take a moment to sympathise with our dog - he's having his knackers lop'd off today.

Yes, poor Shadow is being neutered. There's nothing wrong with him, or his cojones, but to help him be a calmer dog, and to avoid any future problems with prostrate or testicular cancer, we've decided to get it done... (well, I say we but of course as a man I would never choose to do this. The wife has chosen, as it's her dog really, but I'm supporting her and her decision).

He goes to the vet's this morning, and we will pick him up later this afternoon. I can't lie, I'm worried and a little upset that he's going to go through it. I can't help picturing him afterwards with a look in his eye that says "what the FUCK just happened?! I trusted you!" But in a few days (or a couple of weeks) he won't remember and he'll be a lot happier and healthier in the long run. *sniff*

Not much else going on apart from that... playing golf after work, (yes, I know, so I won't see Shadow until later), no plans tomorrow apart from some gardening (I need to cut back a load of vines that have grown up round my back gate) and then on Sunday the mighty City get their premier league campaign started with an away game to Aston Villa. (They played last night actually, and lost 1 - 0... oh that familiar sinking feeling...mighty my arse...).

Have a great Friday all.

Soundtrack of the day: R A N D O M B U T T O N on MP3 player...

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Soundtrack of the day

"I'm Your Man" by Leonard Cohen

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

I don't like this word...

Where the f*ck has the word "moob" come from? For those not in the know, it's short for "man boob" or "man yam" or those excess bits of flesh sitting on the front of my chest (those men, or boys, reading this that are still in their 20's, they'll get you too). They are degrading enough as it is, but the word "moob" for some reason really ranckles. My better half commented on my sweater puppies the other day and called them moobs, and I thought "what the f*ck?" Yes, I've put on weight, yes, I no longer have a six pack and a chest you could pound meat on, but please, there is no need to make me feel any worse. I am now more or less middle aged, (or approaching it) and so my body has started to feel a little bit like butter left in the sun (warm, sagging, and slightly greasy). But I like to think I have other qualities, like a well developed sense of cynicism and the ability to ignore even the most insistent of people when I don't want to talk to them.

Anyway - not much going on today apart from working through more code. Head phones will be going on in about 10 minutes and the rest of the world will be shut out for a few hours.

Peace.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Yesterday

OK, so no post yesterday, but then there wasn't much going on.
And, funnily enough, the same applies today. I'm sat at work, working through Java code, listening to music. (Currently - "Damaged" by Lampchop).
This is like my default state at work - headphones in, code on the screen, not talking to anyone all day. Its bliss. I get left alone, the day goes quickly as I'm busy, and I'm turning out good code.
This week - I have a friend coming round tomorrow night, City are playing on Thursday night, and then this weekend the new Premiership season kicks off. So, back the routine of Saturday afternoons in front of the TV watching Sports Centre... *contented sigh...*

I'm a little disappointed that I didn't receive more posts from 'guests' - those that did so, thank you, those that didn't - whats wrong with you all? I know some of the people who read this blog WILL have stuff to say, so come on, get it organised!

Have a good Tuesday people.

Update: You know, sometimes, when life is getting crappier and crappier, and everything seems to be turning to shit, you just have to think "fuck it" and do something that flies in the face of all that is sensible and right and advisable.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

The long slog to bed

So I'm home safe (thanks for all your messages of good wishes... NOT!)
and at time of writing I've been awake for 32 hours.... not too bad. Things feel a little hazy, bit light headed etc. but I'm doing ok.

Flight home was good, business class makes all the difference!

No plans for the rest of the weekend apart from washing clothes and sorting out stuff ready for work on Monday.

More updates soon.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Home coming

Yes, coming back to the U.K today. The flight leaves Chicago at 16.00 local time, and I touch down hopefully around 06.00 on Saturday morning U.K time.

It's been a good week, but a long one. I'm looking forward to my home, my bed, my family.

Last nights game was pretty superb... the result went against the Bears (24 - 20) but we saw two Bears touchdowns, got a good feel for how an NFL season game might feel, had some beer, a hot dog - it was a good night.

I've taken a load of pictures, so hopefully I will get to upload some of them so you can get a feel of what it was like... I also took some of the Chicago skyline.

Anyway - I have about 3 hours work to do, then I'll be on my way to the airport. Have a nice day listeners, and my next post will be from the proper side of the pond!

TTFN

Update: I've uploaded some photos to my Dashwire site.... enjoy

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Two days left

Alright?

A more sensible dinner last night - just a pizza from a place called California Pizza Kitchen. It was only a small one, and with no desert, I went back to the hotel NOT feeling like Mr. Creosote from the Monty Python film "Meaning Of Life".

Some exciting news yesterday afternoon - the three of us U.K guys and our 'host' have been given free tickets to.... a Chicago Bears NFL game! It's their first pre-season game against the Kansas City Chiefs, playing at Soldier Field in Chicago. So, we leave work at around 17.00 today, get the train downtown to Chicago, and then go see the might Bears play. Should be good. I used to follow NFL a lot when it used to be shown on channel four years ago, so I know the rules, the tactics etc. but I've never been to a live game, and though it's 'just' a pre-season game it still should be a good evening out.

I'll try and take some pics of the game while Im there for posting later.

Peace.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

No... more... food....

Hello campers.

very very hot here in Illinois yesterday. We played golf, but I think it's the hottest weather I've ever played in. Luckily it was only 9 holes. The plunge into the pool afterwards was just what the doctor ordered.

We then went out again for dinner, although we couldn't decide where to go... we eventually ended up back at the Cheesecake factory. Yes, boring I know, but the food is good and the prices reasonable. I had;
Grilled skirt steak with mash potatoes and a mushroom sauce.
And for desert, we each had a slice of their 30th anniversary cheesecake.... As nice as it was, it was very heavy, thick, and sweet. We all of us waddled out for a beer afterwards and then waddled home. I know I have put on a little weight, but I don't know how much because I'm scared to look at the scales.
Anyway - I think there's some shopping planned for this evening, and something small(!) for dinner. Have a nice day y'all...

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Not a bad day

What with one thing and another, I didn't really get much productive work done as my laptop wasn't behaving. This has now been sorted so I can push on with some code today.

Last night was... interesting. There were some really bad thunderstorms over us last night, and although it was hammering down a lot of the time with really impressive lightning shows, it was so warm it was like being in a warm shower.

Didn't do much after work - went back to the hotel, had a swim, then went to dinner.

Last nights meal:

Half a dozen fresh oysters to start (from different waterways around the area)
Shrimp, Scallop and Blue Crab in a Lobster and Sherry sauce, with rice and fresh vegetables
White chocolate and raspberry cheesecake.

Num num num.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Just a quick one

Arrived safe in the land of the free and home of the brave.
Flight was good (business class rocks) and the weekend's worth of golf was... well, the weather was nice, but a little hot, the company was excellent, but my golfing ability sucked.
First day in the office today, and we have a lot of work to get through this week.
I will try and post a more detailed post, and maybe get some pics up onto Dashwire, as soon as
poss.

Last nights dinner: Hibachi Steak, french fries and sauted mushrooms, followed by white chocolate and raspberry swirl cheesecake from the famous Cheesecake Factory.

Have a good Monday / Tuesday (time difference).

Friday, 1 August 2008

Last post from the UK for a week

Flying to the U.S tomorrow morning (business class... hem hem) so if I manage to post it'll be from Stateside.

And I had such a lovely journey this morning into work (that was a VERY sarcastic sentence because...) I think I got speed trapped.
(You can now imagine me swearing my little boobs off... I won't type in all the colourful language that is going through my head right now)

Basically I was driving down a duel carriageway, not going overly fast, but over the speed limit (maybe by about 15 mph) and I saw a florescent jacketed man standing in the central reservation... of course, by the time I'd got close enough to realise what he was doing (pointing some sort of 'device' at me) it was too late. As I went past he was checking the readout. Now, he wasn't wearing a policeman's cap (as the traffic cops normally do) and the van he was using didn't look like the normal police transit thing... so maybe, just maybe, it wasn't the rozzers, but just some council bloke??? I'm hoping against hope aren't I? I'm screwed aren't I?

Bollocks.

Anyway - have a nice weekend listeners... and to my American congregation - I'm coming... mwahahahaha... (evil laugh).

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Another guest post

This time todays author is Greeny. Enjoy!

Contemplating why, even though I am pretty active physically, certainly agile and most importantly not afraid to sweat I never was an athlete.
My father was active-strong, a hard worker, a very swift runner. My mother certainly in her youth was an ice skater, swimmer, boat rower, walking to and from her job or between friend's houses. Even in their parental capacity they were quite active physically.
My brother was one of the two top basketball players early on, a hard batter and swift in running the bases in baseball, and all around athletic. He made it seem effortless but in fact he was driven to be the best (I think I have answered my own question right here). He continues to this day to be a workhorse and powerhouse of strength in his daily job as a farmer. He is tough as shoe leather. Too bad his diet is so lousy. But we won't go into that...
My sister was predominately cerebral and continues to be. Not active physically which is not a great idea in this family. She never has liked to sweat.
Now to me. I always played outside and rode my bike, walked to friend's houses, climbed trees, helped garden (we all did), but when it came time to try out for basketball in 9th grade, I tried dribbling down the court and bounced it off my foot, stood there as it went rolling and bouncing away and thought-'SHIT' and never went back. I tried playing softball one year but instead of having a coach that worked up the lower end of the bench of players(my area) so they could support the better players when time, he let us languish there. Not having anyone to practice with, I sat the bench and played a lot of outfield and not well, I might add. I did round offs and cartwheels like nobody's business.
We had intramurals during lunch time and I excelled here. I was second in arm wrestling one year, my record for the 50 yard dash was not broken until a few years after I graduated, and I played intramural badminton and volleyball. I think we did other fun stuff like frisbee distance and accuracy throws and similar activities. Point is, I was good at a lot of things that took some athletic ability.
I remember working and working to jump on our pogo stick when I was young. Years I spent in frustration. Then about 2000, my mom and dad bought each of the grandkids a pogo stick for Christmas. We were all out in the farm shed on concrete trying them out. Low and behold- A Miracle! I kicked butt the first time I jumped! I was stupefied.
Another example- when I was in middle school, we would accompany my dad's first cousin and his family to a beautiful lake for weekends. Many, many times I tried with much tutelage I never could get up on water skis. Probably 3 years I tried. The last year we went I popped up the first pull the first trip down. That trip I also went to one ski. Then a year later I skied with the handle in my mouth- stupid I know but no dent istry was needed. Hehe! I just skied in Michigan behind my uncle's Wave runner this month in fact.
A few years back at a family reunion, we older cousins decided to play some softball. I am pretty good at catching but figured I would strike out when I batted. I stood there (again) when I hit the stupid ball in a high fly to center like I had been doing this my whole life. I did it time after time. So I had a swagger after that and my family oood and ahhhed.
I wasn't a team athlete. That is that. But I am athletic and as usual, a late bloomer in the sports that make one feel like an athlete.
It should be interesting to see what happens with my kids.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

He's had a good innings

Guest author: Charlie Naseweis

I played in my first 'official' game of cricket yesterday. (For our American cousins, cricket is a bit like baseball, only better ;-p)

I've always enjoyed watching cricket. Not as much as football, but if there's an England game on I'll try to watch it. When I was growing up, it seemed to be on the BBC all the time. I still vividly remember watching Ian Botham & Bob Willis tearing apart the Aussies in the 1981 Ashes Series. I always found the statistical part of the game quite fascinating....maiden overs, bowling figures, wagon wheels..... Later on, I recall watching Phil Tufnell's exploits, whilst I was supposed to be revising for my Finals. It's amazing how much time can be swallowed up watching an absorbing Test match.

Just recently, cricket has had a bit of a renaissance, in no small part due to the advent of 20/20 cricket. I still prefer the traditional full test match - call me a traditionalist. Last year I watched my first test match 'live' at Headingley (England vs West Indies); next week, I'll be going to the 1st day of play at the Oval for the final test between England & South Africa. I hope there's still something riding on the result!

Anyway, I digress. This Friday afternoon, my work is having a game of 20/20 cricket at Harefield CC, between UK & Europe divisions. As preparation, Europe had a practise match yesterday at Pinkneys (no seriously) Green CC near Maidenhead. The opposition were quite decent - in fact we were quite concerned when they all turned up in whites! We looked like a rabble in comparison, with our t-shirts, shorts & tracksuits. Luckily we have quite a few handy players within the ranks. Our skipper & opener is an Aussie, so he's bound to be good! Further down the order are a few guys who either played at school, or for clubs when they were younger.

We lost the toss and were put into bat first, and achieved a fairly respectable score of 104-8 (our captain had to declare at 25 n.o. to give everyone else a chance to bat!!). I was down to bat at #7 in the order. When I went out to bat, my targets were: (1) to avoid getting out first ball, then (2) avoid getting out for a duck. My boss was umpiring and he gave me the helpful advice "get your eye in first", which I did do, building up a good partnership with Batsmen #6. I found it a little bit intimidating in the middle due to the other team's banter around the wicket. In particular, their wicketkeeper was doing a running commentary of the game.... "they don't like your pace"...... "next ball, he's a goner" ...... "Oooh, I can smell a wicket coming!"..... not quite sledging, but it did a good job of distracting me. It's a lot harder than it looks, batting. I had to concentrate quite hard as each bowler I faced had a different bowling style, and varied line & length.

In the end I knocked up a respectable 7 not out, working my way through 4 different partners (fnarr). I'm not a big hitter, so left it to the other batsmen to hit the boundaries and build up our innings score. As it was 20/20 I took a few risks, and unfortunately ran out bat #8 in the process (ooops, it's just not cricket).

The other team tried in vain to chase our total, but fell well short. We had a tasty bowling attack, and rattled through their top order batsmen. Fortunately I wasn't required to bowl - in practise I was so bad that my team mates actually stopped taking the mickey out of me, they felt sorry at the number of wides I was bowling!!

Looking forward to Fridays game - I'm hoping for another solid score. One of me, eleven of you? I think it's Pimms O'clock!

Not much to say today

As I'm in Gloucester all day today in a meeting (*snore*).

I can't believe no one has sent me anything to post on their behalf yet... I feel very let down, internet.

Have a nice day all.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Try something new

OK, I've had f*ck all to do today, so I've been reading a lot of other blogs. And it's given me an idea. I want to try "guest posts". Send me an email with a post for this blog, and I will post them under your name (or pseudonym if you prefer - if you want to remain anonymous, tell me, else I'll tell the world who's wonderful words we're enjoying).
It can be about anything, and any length. I won't post them all at once, maybe one a day. And no, this is not an attempt to keep posting things but not put any effort in myself. Cynical lot, aren't you?

So there we go. Go wild.

Send them to
simon.molloy@gmail.com

Another excellent waiter blog

Well Done Fillet

Enjoy...

So...

...I managed to record one thing yesterday. I don't know if I'm going to post it up or not yet, as I want to listen to it to see if I'm really happy with it. But, the recording stuff is out again and set-up ready for me when I get home from work, so I might be able to do more (if my fingers aren't too sore - I played a lot yesterday).

It feels weird knowing I'm going home to an empty house tonight - it does every time they go away. Some people might think "excellent, no obligations to worry about" and I can see their point of view... but there is a very good chance that when I leave here, I won't speak to another person until tomorrow at work again. Which makes me feel kinda lonely. And I do miss them.

Enough. Melancholy begone. It's too hot for words here in West London at the moment, but I'm not going to be one of those people who complain about it constantly. What's the point? We can't change it so we might as well just deal with it. We know we can't sleep in this heat, and it's horrible being at work while its this nice out. If it bothers people that much, phone in sick and take the day off.

Not much else to say today really... peace.

Friday, 25 July 2008

What I shouldn't have read...

...just before flying to the U.S next week: How to crap your shorts on an airplane

Read it first...now, can you imagine the fear?! The would cause lumpy farts all over the plane, wouldn't it.

Everybody say bleeurgh.....

So now the complaints will start

... and me first. It's too f*ckin' hot! I know, I know, its a typical English attitude, nes pa?
But its horrid when it's like this, you can't sleep, you can't concentrate at work, and you can't get into your rubber incontinence pants without heavily applied talcum powder.

Still, according to reports, it's gonna rain soon, so it should be a little cooler at night.

I played the best round of golf I've ever played yesterday... I was 1 over through the front nine... (for those who don't know golf that much, that is a good score, believe me). Unfortunately I collapsed a bit on the back nine, but still finished with a score of 79, which is the first time I've broken 80. So I was buzzin on the way home from the course last night.

No plans tonight (I'm not going to that leaving do I mentioned...) and I think it'll be a day of housework and cleaning and shopping tomorrow, as Sunday the family are off away to the in-laws for a few days.

I have been practicing a new song which I am really enjoying playing, so I might be recording that this week.. (yes, I'll post it up for your enjoyme.... your punishment).

In the words of a 90's rapper - Peace Out Y'all....

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

OK, this is winding me up now

I so want to start sketching / drawing (maybe even painting) but I just can't get started!
I don't know where to start, what my subject(s) should be, what media to start with (pens, pencils, chalk, charcoal...) but I know I have this urge in me to create. And yes, there is still that fear of producing something that a recovering stroke victim could better, and have me left feeling inadequate and miserable. (No sex life jokes please).
I have a few days coming up when I am alone, so hopefully, maybe, I can start something then. I also want to record a few more things AND try and finish this song I'm working on... so much to do! I could do all this anytime I want, I know, but when the house is full and there are other people to put first it's hard getting enough of my own time and space.
Jake had a good last training session last night - we now have a break from football until September, and I know he's going to be driving me up the wall in about two weeks with "When am I playing football again?" - never let it be said my son isn't a football fan!
Playing golf tomorrow after work...
Oh - there's a leaving do on Friday after work. Now normally, I don't go to these things, because I pretty much despise the people I work with (in a good way) but I am thinking of making an exception this time as the girl who's leaving has been here since I started and I've done a lot of work with her. So maybe I'll go.
Soundtrack of the day: The sound of silence given to me by my noise cancellation headphones... soothing.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

I'm not a hero, anyone else would have done the same

Sunday was a lovely day weather-wise, a lot better than Saturday. Clear skies, warm temperatures. The worry, whilst we were getting ready to go back to the beach, was that there would be no surf (hark at me, using the terminology... two days on a boogie board and I sound like a surf bum, brah)...
Anyway, we got ready and hit the beach again, the plan was to surf a couple of hours in the morning, go get some lunch, then take part in a coasteering course, which is basically a three-hour long assault course climbing rocks, abseiling, and diving into pools. Sounded brilliant.
As we arrived on the beach, we saw the tide was out but the swell was good, so in we went and caught some decent waves.
Unfortunately, after a while, it all went a bit pear shaped. At around the same time, we all noticed we were a little further out than we thought, and that none of us could put our feet down on the sea bed anymore. The swell had dragged us out over a drop in the shelf, so it was a lot deeper than we expected. Most of us were OK with this, as we were strong swimmers, but a couple of our group got into a bit of trouble. I will not name & shame here, but one of my friends started to panic a little as he is not a strong swimmer at all, so instead of pushing him under and nicking his board, I stayed with him, swam along side him, tried to keep him calm, and got him back to where he could stand again. We then got out to have a breather.
However, at the same time, the groom-to-be's future brother in law was also having trouble, and he was a little further out than us. The groom-to-be saw this, and as he is a strong swimmer also, he went out a little to try and help him in. But unfortunately, as he was swimming, he was hit at the wrong angle by a wave, and his left shoulder popped out. It was already weak, as he had dislocated it last year (at the same beach, ironically) and so it came out a little easier than it should. This meant that he, and his future brother in law had to be rescued by the coast guards that were on the beach. Obviously he was in quite a bit of pain, and we all thought "Shit, thats the weekend f*cked!"
At first they tried to put his shoulder back in in the back of the ambulance that had turned up, but it wouldn't go, so he had to go to hospital with his brother. The rest of us went and got some lunch and went back to the chalets. We waited around, had to cancel the coasteering, and then decided to go back to the beach for a couple of hours. I didn't bother with the wet suit or anything anymore, I stayed out of the sea with my mate and we just chatted and watched the others flailing about. The groom-to-be finally turned up at around 17.00... after spending four hours in the hospital. Poor bastard.
So, we headed back to the chalets, got showered and changed, and decided to go into Padstow to get some dinner. We went to a fantastic sea food restaurant (just round the corner from Rick Stein's place, but according to my mate who's been there, the one we were in had better food and better value). After dinner, we went back to the chalets and spent the evening drinking a few cold beers, chatting, with me gently strumming my guitar. A very nice end to a strange day.

Monday, we were up at the crack, and back on the road by 07.45 for our journey home. So all in all, a good stag weekend, but commiserations to the groom-to-be. Luckily, he's not getting married for about 6 weeks, so he has plenty of time to recover.

Some lasting thoughts and memories from the weekend:

Lee Stevens MASSIVE feet
The groom in a bikini (I have photographic evidence)
Smashing my left knee on the car door as I was packing up the car to leave on Friday afternoon - and then smashing my right knee on a bench on Sunday night
Discovering that Parmesan cheese isn't suitable for vegetarians as its made in calves stomach or some such bollocks (groom-to-be's brother in law was a vegetarian...)
Not looking as bad in a wet suit as I feared
Two men in one chalet bedroom over night after beer = the smell of the opening to the gates of hell.
Mussels in red wine vinegar and spring onion are gorgeous
Diving into a cold sea after too much wine the night before is bliss

Some random pics from the weekend


Above: view across Padstow harbor


Above: The restaurant where we had dinner on Sunday


Above: Another view across Padstow harbor


Above: A third view of Padstow harbor

So I'm Back

Hello listeners.
Where to begin? We finally got down to Cornwall at about 22.00 - 22.30. The journey out of London was crap (heavy rain, loads of traffic) so we were really delayed in actually getting going. It didn't help that I got car sick (I know, how old am I, 8?) so we had to stop so I could take over the driving. Once I got behind the wheel, I was fine. (My mate was so good about it, he's brilliant... he even let me drive all the way home to save me feeling ill again. Some people might say that driving four hours straight is mad, but I much prefer driving to be a passenger... anyhow, I digress...)
Didn't do anything Friday night apart from watch a bit of TV and then hit the sack as we were knackered.
Saturday dawned cloudy, but warm and dry, so we hit the surf shop to get me my wet suit and boogie board.

(Excuse the jabbering mental patient in the background)
We then went to the beach for my first taste of body boarding. The first 'session' was pretty crap, I couldn't catch a wave and it wasn't really very windy, but after a short break and a drink the wind picked up and we went back in... and then bang, got one. It was hard to stay on the board because I was laughing so hard. It's weird, you kind of jump up onto the top of the wave just as its breaking, and if you get it right, you get a massive surge that flies you forward toward the beach... and I just found it hilarious. One of my friends who's been before said the same, he was giggling like a school girl the first time, and I can see why. It was even funnier the first time for me because as I was flying through this wave I looked to my right, and there was my best mate... he had caught the same wave! I couldn't stop laughing, I must have swallowed a gallon of sea water...
Anyway, this continued for another couple if hours... catching waves, laughing, it was a fantastic time. We then decided to call it a day around lunchtime, played a bit of beach football, then went off to get something to eat.
After lunch (fish and chips... nice) we went back to the chalet, and the three people who were staying in the chalet with me went off to get some cash and provisions, as I relaxed with a book.
That night, we went to a really nice local pub, where we had some drink, played pool, and generally relaxed... for a stag weekend it wasn't very raucous but I think thats down to our age. We still had a really good time though. Then, Sunday dawned, with near drownings, life saving, hospital visits and mussels in red wine vinegar...

Friday, 11 July 2008

Stags away

Yes, today is the day I leave for my friends stag weekend down in Cornwall.
My best mate and I are working today, and then leaving after work (around 16.00 ish).
This means a lot of travelling but I think we're gonna share the driving so we should do fine.
I'm due to come back on either Sunday or Monday (probably Monday) and I expect with a sore head. It should be a good time though... some of the activities planned are;
Surfing
Sea fishing
Cliff jumping
Drinking
I might be taking my guitar as well.

So, should be a pretty manic weekend. I'm gonna be trying to take lots of pics, and I might post the most embarrassing ones here.

Have a nice weekend listeners.

Soundtrack of the day: Aerosmith albums...

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

My long lost russian relatives


Those who know me will get this....
Let me clarify that - those that know what I look like will get this....

Found this excellent site...

... enjoy.

Motivated Photos

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Where's everybody gone

How can I log on to the websites I normally check each morning, and not find anything new or interesting? I went to the normal sports sites I go to, news sites, blogs, etc. and saw nothing of any interest. Do you know what that means? It means I have to start work now. You've let me down, world.

So, here's a message to some of the people who read this blog but don't comment OR write their own blog. Blogging is easy. I know recently I kinda lost the will to carry on doing it, but I'm working on that and trying hard to keep going. So those people who don't blog (you know who you are) and those who don't update their blogs enough (Mr. GP - Mr. RB) sort it out. Give me something interesting to read in the morning, otherwise I'll be getting into the office at 7.00 and starting work... you don't want that, do you? I know a lot of my readers have loads to say - some of them can't shut up! They are interesting, fabulous people who the world would love to know about. So come on, get it together.

On another note, my new driver turned up yesterday - its very nice, I can't wait to get out on the course to try it out, but wouldn't you know, the weather for this week is shit. Wet, miserable... English summer my spotty arse. And, countdown to stag weekend - leaving in four days. I need to but some speedos today to wear under my set suit... now won't I look good in those. N O T !

Update: I found this website on reddit - MadCowTouristInfo
The author is quite, quite insane. Its not very well presented, and the article the link points to is very long, but when you get some time, take a look at some of it. She is a complete nut case.
For example - she says she has been courted by Prince William, believes she was poisoned at Heathrow Airport... she's mad. Here's just one quote from the site:
"I am also including my cat, Meetzy, who received the awe and respect of Hollywood producers after he was quoted in my script. He was very conversational and spoke two words: "oou" ("hi"), and "row-ou" (hel-lo)." Madder than a bucket of hammers!