Monday, 23 February 2009

A brief update to show Im still around

I have had a headache since Sunday, and can't bloody shift it. It's one of those pounding ones at the back of the head and neck...

I was up North last week for a few days, a very nice time had, seeing nieces & nephews etc.

Jake's team won at the weekend (yay!) and City got an away draw against the team second in the league, so kudos to them.

If I can get rid of this headache and feel human again, I'll be playing football tonight.

That is all. I will post more later today hopefully...

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Virgin Trains

OK, so it's been a while since I've had a rant... but I knew that not too long would go by before something or someone pushes my buttons.
I'm traveling up to the north of the country tomorrow by train. So, because I am hyper-organised about these things, I ordered my tickets back on the 26th of January. Now back in December last year, I traveled by train up north, but instead of taking two and half hours, the train journey took four and a half bloody hours to get to where it was going. As you can imagine, I wasn't happy, so I filled in a request for compensation form, not really expecting much. But, low and behold, I received £60.00 of train vouchers for Virgin Trains. Lovely, thinks I...
So I used £25.00 of these vouchers to book my journey tomorrow, and as the ticket was £30.50 I paid the other £5.50 on my debit card (make a note of that word - it's important). Anyway, when I phoned up on the 26th of Jan. I was told I would need to send in the voucher and as soon as they received it, they would send out my tickets. "What about the extra £5.50" says I. "We will take that now from your debit card and that will be fine". So I went through the process of giving the card details and told "Yes, thats fine, it's been approved and authorised". Now, as you know a debit card takes the money from your account there and then - it's either approved or not. There is no middle ground. Or so I thought...
So I wait for a few days for my tickets to turn up, and... nothing. Right, thinks I, I'll give 'em a call and see what the problem is. "We can't help you at the moment, the tickets should turn up but if they are not there the day before you travel call us and we'll arrange the tickets to be at the station". Hhhmmm - now I do not trust this sort of stuff one bit. Leaving it until the last minute makes me nervous. "Was there a problem with the voucher, or the card payment?" says I. "No, all fine everything ok". So I call back AGAIN a few days later, still no tickets you see. I am told the same thing "All ok with vouchers / payment, tickets should be there, but call back the day before if they are not". So I phoned yesterday. Yes I know, its not the day before, but I refuse to leave it that late. And after 35 minutes on the bloody phone, I was told "There was a problem with the payment. The tickets are not on there way because you still owe £5.50." WTF!? Why the hell wasn't I told this the two times I phoned up before? And if I hadn't phoned yesterday, and just left it to pick them up from the station, there would have been NO TICKETS there. I was not best pleased. I asked why the payment wasn't taken when I know the funds were in my account. They couldn't give me a reason. I was just told " was a system error".
Now I am not a racist person. I'm really not. But the call centre is in India, and I have a very strong feeling that the person who took my card details didn't take them correctly, because they couldn't understand me. And I couldn't understand the people I was talking to all the time either - they sometimes spoke too fast, with too strong an indian accent, to make things clear. And I don't like to keep saying "Can you repeat that" because it makes it sound like I'm being rude. *sigh*.
So anyway - I've now been told the tickets will be available from the ticket machine at the station. So I have to make sure I leave enough time to get to the station, get my tickets, and if there is a problem, sort that problem out. VERY frustrated. Why have the facility to order tickets well in advance if you still have to go to the station on the day you travel to collect them? Ridiculous. I've now put in another complaint, and I am waiting to get contacted by Virgin Trains to see what they will do. I will post an update when I get it.
Have a good day people.

Friday, 13 February 2009

She's into superstition, black cats and voodoo dolls

Well, I'm not actually, but as today is Friday 13th (woooOOOooo) I thought I'd see if any of you lot out there are superstitious.
Superstitions can take any number of forms, but for me I only have a couple that I do try and stick to.
* I don't walk under ladders. Although, this doesn't have anything to do with bad luck, it's more to do with not wanting anything falling from the top of the ladder onto my sexy little head (I've seen it happen, believe me).
* Whenever City play, I never put a bet on, either for them or against them. I just don't bet on them full stop.
And that's about it. I don't believe in any other stuff, like black cats, horse shoes etc. I believe that there IS a great deal of luck in the world, good and bad, but I don't believe we can affect it in any way. So now I'll throw the question open to the great unwashed masses (that's you lot out there). Do you have any superstitions? Anything you believe in / do for good luck? Come on, share it with the group...

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Tiredness = irritability - in action

Good day to you all.
For a while now I have been a lot calmer, especially with things that used to wind me up - annoying co-workers, bad drivers, incompetent customer services people on the phone etc.
But for the past couple of days, I have been feeling really tired when I wake up. I have had a good nights sleep, unbroken (for the most part) and I've been waking up at my normal time. But for some reason when the alarm goes off I feel like I've been awake all night.
Because of this I can feel / see / hear myself being more irritable and intolerant. This morning for example, driving to work, I got stuck behind a white van - literally, he pulled out in front of me as I was leaving the end of my access road. He drove 10 miles an hour below the limit all the time I was behind him, kept braking sharply because he couldn't judge the width of his van, and kept swerving out way too wide to avoid parked cars.
I know that a few days ago I would have had this sort of experience and not been fussed about it, I would just shake my head and laugh gently to myself when stuck behind some brain dead pile of monkey spit who couldn't drive. But because of this new tiredness, this morning I found myself turning the air blue in my car, little bits of spit forming at the corners of my mouth with anger and frustration... it's not healthy for my blood pressure I tells ya.
When there was too much background chatter and laughter in the office yesterday, I just wanted to stand up and scream "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" because I couldn't concentrate - but again I know this is down to feeling more tired than normal. The worrying thing for me is, I have no idea why I feel this tired. I just hope with the weekend coming up and the possibility of being able to stay in bed a little longer will make me feel more normal again. So to those people who know me, if I snap a little easier, I do apologise. Don't take offense, it's just me bein' knackered!
Now to try and stay awake at my desk for the whole day...

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Batman is dead?!

Good morning. I found this article today: Lesbian Batwoman Is DC Comics' First Gay Superhero.
OK, not a bad headline I thought, so checked the article out... and I saw this line:
" taking over from Bruce Wayne, who suffered an untimely demise in a recent issue of Detective Comics' longest-running series."
WTF!? I had NO IDEA that Batman is dead... but then further research showed this:
NY Daily News Article
So it looks like he's NOT quite six feet under just yet. But this got me thinking about Superheroes and why people view me as one. Not really. I actually got to thinking about who my favorite Superhero was, and I'd have to say it was always Spiderman. I know, he couldn't fly, and I know, he couldn't stretch, go on fire, go invisible, or turn green and break things. But he always struck me as being more 'human', more like a normal guy, and the way he could bounce around walls and things like a free-runner got me really excited in his adventures when I was younger. He was the one Superhero I wanted to be.
So a question to the unwashed masses - who was YOUR favorite? Who did YOU use to want to be? Responses in the usual manner...

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

It's all wet

What a crappy day yesterday. It rained all day - from when I went to work, to when I played football, to when I went to bed. So I got soaked at football, even though it was good to get out because I haven't played for two weeks due to the weather. Still... I felt like I'd swam the channel by the time I got home.

Dog was up at 04.30 this morning, and wouldn't settle (cold I think) so I was downstairs with him by 05.15. *sigh* So I'm quiet tired today.

I've made a bit of breakthrough with regards to work over the past few days. I felt like I was drowning a bit with all the work on my plate, but I've suddenly broken through the other side of it, and now I've got things under control. That's a nice feeling.

This week, not much planned - Jake has training tonight (no more rain, please!) but apart from that I don't think I'll be doing much.

Oh, and I got the guitar out last night for the first time in what seems like ages. Played for about 15 - 20 minutes, but my fingers were too sore. So, I'll have to get it out again the next few nights and get back into it.

Anyway - soundtrack of the day today is "Jarvis" by Jarvis Cocker...

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Where'd Saturday go?

It's 17.00 already, and I can't believe half my weekend has gone already! We've walked the dog, had lunch, watched City win (yay) and watched England win the first RBS Six Nations match. I'm sitting here now, about to watch Ireland (hopefully) batter France in the six nations, and then we'll taking the dog on his afternoon walk. Tonight, I have my parents over for dinner, which will be nice.

Tomorrow, as there is no football for Jake (f***ing weather!) we'll be taking it easy, apart from getting the shopping done.

The one thing about this weekend so far has been the temperature - chuffin freezin, and a day for staying in doors and relaxing.

Hope you've all had a good Saturday, more posts soon.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Pre-weekend post

Not much to post about today. Weather remains crap (cold, sleet, snow, rain, slush everywhere... bleurgh) but at least it's Friday.

I think I have made the choice on my next mobile handset - the Nokia E71. Can't upgrade until next month, so!

RBS Six Nations starts this weekend. I'm not a massive rugby fan, but I do enjoy the six nations tournament. I can buy some Guinness / IPA, sit in front of the TV and relax.

Jake was supposed to have a match on Saturday, but that's been cancelled so it'll be training as normal. Apart from that, a quiet weekend planned.

I'll be posting regular Twitter updates and maybe another post on this here blog, so stay tuned.

Have a great (and warm!) weekend people.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

The internet is a big wide place

And there are things in it for everyone. For example - this caught my eye. I checked it out because I used to be a massive fan of Garfield when I was younger. Take a look... click me!
The basic premise (as you will see from the site) is that the site removes the Garfield character from Garfield comics to (and I quote) "...reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle." How can someone come up with stuff like this? What made them sit there, reading a Garfield comic, and think "This needs the main character removed because it would make Jon look like he's going through some mental anguish...". Insane! However, after looking through some of the archives, I must admit it is kind of funny...
This got me thinking (again, as I often think this) that the internet really is huge. I know, I know, stating the obvious but have you ever really realised how much stuff is out there and available? I don't think you could think of anything that does not have a site dedicated to it, (or to something very very similar). I don't know, maybe someone slipped some wacky baccy into my tea this morning and I've gone all 'deep'. Anyway, have a good day listeners...

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Back into the office

Yes, two days out of the office because of the snow. Monday was a "can't get in and why risk it" day - I can work from home just as effectively so why not do it? Yesterday was a "Jake's school is closed so I have to look after him" day. I've heard conflicting rumors that it's gonna a) snow again tonight and tomorrow where we are or b) snow again tonight and tomorrow but miss where we are. Who knows? But if it does come down again around here, it'll be another day or two of home working I think.

On the subject of working from home - I know I'm lucky that I can do that. I know a lot of you out there would love to be able to work from home, and I just happen to have a job (and the technology) that I can sit at home in my pants and still be as effective as if I was sat at my desk. I have phone contact via my mobile, and I use VPN software (Virtual Private Network) so that I can log on to my servers and access everything I need.
However, because being honest with my blog-reading public is what I always intend to do, I have to say I find keeping motivation the hardest part. Don't get me wrong, I get done what I need to get done, but maybe not in the same way as I would if sat at my desk.
One of the best things about working from home (I know, there're loads!) is looking out of the window in the morning and seeing traffic, bad weather, freezing cold etc. and knowing I won't be going anywhere near it. It gives you a warm, satisfying feeling...

Anyway - enough blathering on - I am in the office today so I'd better get back to the grind stone.

Soundtrack of the day: Metal! (G'n'R, Metallica etc.) Peace.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Dog egg roulette

Yes, it's a blanket of white out there today. And no doubt, if Jake's school isn't open, he will want to come home and play in the garden (and if it IS open, he'll want to do it later). The problem is, I know for a fact we haven't cleared up all the dogs eggs from the garden. So when we're gathering snow to fling at each other, we're gonna have to be careful we don't fling anything 'extra' like the chimps do. I'm working from home, as it seemed the sensible thing to do. Travelling will be a nightmare (and even dangerous) so why risk struggling into the office, when I can do the job from here?

So anyway, if you're struggling into work, or have done, well done and I hope you have a safe journey home. If you haven't, enjoy the snow!

London comes to a stand still again

6 inches overnight according to the weather lady... "oh for six inches overnight" as the actress said to the bishop...