Thursday, 27 August 2009

Evenin' all

A quiet day today. I'm working out of the office that's 10 minutes away, so it's a nice relaxing start to the day at home, easy drive here, and a quiet day working slowly away on some code.

Tonight City are on the TV in a cup competition (a potential 'nana skin) so I'll be consuming a couple of ales I think. Friday tomorrow, which is always a good thing. And then this weekend is a bank holiday (woo-hoo) with the first visit from my parents on the Sunday, which should be nice.

Apart from that, not much is going on at iSimon towers. I'm still not feeling 'settled' up north at the moment, but I think that's because we haven't really got a routine going yet. Once number one son goes back to school, I think that will help a routine form which will in turn help me settle. I still feel like I'm just visiting, but I think that will change sooner rather than later. Everyone else seems to be doing fine - number one son is having a blast, the dog is happy anywhere, and my better half is a northern lass anyway, so she's doing fine.

Oh, and a belated congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. White on the birth of their first child - a daughter. Mother, father & child are all doing well. My love to you all.


Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Following on from yesterday

That CD of pod casts I was telling you about is actually dangerous. I listened to some more of it last night on the way back up the motorway, and I nearly crashed the car I was laughing so hard. I had tears in my eyes and was struggling to breathe. Good Lord it was funny. Some of the funniest bits were when Steve Marchant was reading out excerts from Karl Pilkingtons diary... Jebus, I was in stitches, especially when you hear Ricky Gervais pi$$ing himself in the background too.
The downside is, I've listened to all three CDs now, so no more mirth (shit it). I have subscribed to the pod casts on my iTunes, so we'll see how that goes, but I think I will have to take a trip to a book shop and see what other comedy CDs I can find. I've already got the Mighty Boosh (which is good) but I'll see what else I can get hold of. For the next couple of journeys I will be accompanied by Christopher Lee reading "Children Of Hurin" by J.R.R Tolkein. A complete mood change from Ricky Gervais et. al. but I do enjoy the J.R.R Tolkein books and the first few chapters of this, especially being read by 'The voice of doom' that is Christopher Lee, have been really good.

Still no work to do. I will be having a meeting / chat with my boss this morning, and I'm going to express my concerns for my job... I mean, it can't be good that I'm being paid to do this little, right?? We'll see how that goes.

Finally - soundtrack of the day today is the new album by The Arctic Monkeys, "Humbug", which I downloaded last night on iTunes. I'll let you know what it's like.


Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Ricky Gervais pod casts

It was an 1hr & 20mins to Birmingham again this morning. (Although why I'm here I don't know, I have NO fcukin' work to do again today...ggrrr). Anyway, not too bad. I can handle that. I was only in traffic for about 10 minutes so that was cool. But to keep me company I had Ricky Gervais' pod casts (with Steve Marchant and Kevin Pilkington). I was in stitches. Seriously, it's hilarious, and I can't believe I've only just discovered it. Most people who read this know who Ricky Gervais is (writer / creater of The Office and Extras) but his pod casts just consist of him, his co-writer Steve Marchant and their producer Kevin Pilkington chatting about stuff. Normally it degenerates into a slagging off of Kevin Pilkington because of his weird views and ideas... I'm not doing it justice, but I highly recommend you getting hold of the 3CD set that I've got and checking it out.
Oh, and I had the worst nights sleep I've had in ages last night. I was waking up a couple of times every hour, from 12.30 until 5.30, worrying that I was going to be late. And every time I woke up, I looked at the clock thinking "It must be nearly time to get up" only to see that time had hardly moved on. It was very disconcerting, and the upshot is I feel like freeze dried crap this morning.
So, if I can think of something interesting to write later, as I have no work, I will do another post.

Monday, 24 August 2009

So how was the weekend

Yeah, good thanks. I had my first visitor up from where I used to live, we had a good curry, a couple of drinks, a late night... it was really nice.

We then went out shopping on Saturday into Manchester, where I spent too much money on stuff I don't need. But strangely, it felt good doing it. I then had the house to myself from about 15.00 on Saturday until Sunday evening. So I watched the football, watched a couple of films, did some ironing, and generally chilled. Last night, my better half and I went out to dinner at a local eatery called Damson, which was very nice. It's a proper 'adults' restaurant (i.e. no kids menu) and the food was good, the wine excellent, and the service / ambiance very nice.

This week, we get back to normality with the return of number one son and the dog. I am working out of our Birmingham office tomorrow and Wednesday (cue long drives / traffic etc.) but to accompany this time I have 3 CD's worth of Ricky Gervais's pod casts. Should be good.

And that's about it so far. I have zero work to do for the rest of the day (the last bit of code I had to write has been given over to the users to test) so I'm sat here looking forward to lunch, when at least I can sit here and read with good reason.

Have a good Monday people.

Friday, 21 August 2009

The Dice Man

I don't know how many of you have heard of this book, but I'm re-reading The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart. It's about a man (a psychiatrist actually) who decides to change his life by writing down a list of six things on a piece of paper and letting a dice roll decide which choice to follow.
Now this all sounds very dull, boring etc. but these choices he writes down aren't just things like what to have for lunch, or which book to read. Oh no. How about "Be Jesus for a day" or "go downstairs and rape a neighbour"? Or, because he is a psychiatrist, deciding on how to treat his patients based on a dice roll?
The premise of the book is that he follows the dice without question. To change the way he is, his life, how people see him, react to him etc. He starts off doing it as a new form of analysis on himself, but it turns into... well, I won't spoil it. I'll let you discover it.
Anyway, this got me thinking - could I do something like this? And I found the thought of even leaving minor choices up to chance quite daunting, especially if leaving something 'risky' on the list. For example:

Roll a 1 - Convince a stranger you are in love with them
Roll a 2 - Make drinks for the whole office
Roll a 3 - Take of your shoes for the rest of the day
Roll a 4 - Behave normally all day
Roll a 5 - Only use the ladies bathroom all day
Roll a 6 - Talk in whispers all day

Now one of the above is fine. Two of them are manageable. Two would earn you a lot of funny looks and comments. And one is just a bit scary. The thought of actually allowing fate to make the choice for me is quite a thing, isn't it? But I think that's the point of the book. It would really make a massive change to your life, if you give yourself up to the dice completely.
The above choices aren't too bad, but if you had this list:

Roll a 1 - Attack a stranger in the street
Roll a 2 - Find a cat or dog and kill it
Roll a 3 - Defecate in the street
Roll a 4 - Walk into the office naked
Roll a 5 - Make a pass at a friends female partner
Roll a 6 - Make a pass at a friends male partner

Could you even pick up the dice?? But these are the sorts of things the Dice Man would put on his list. Scary stuff.

Anyway... I highly recommend the book, so if you can, get hold of a copy and read it. (If anyone who knows me wants to borrow my copy when I'm done let me know!)


Things that have passed through my mind this morning

  • The lumberjack song from Monty Python (thanks Phil).
  • There is a building site near our office, and all this week they've been pile-driving building foundations. Its loud enough to be annoying. thump! thump! thump!
  • All I've had for lunch all week is Subway. That can't be healthy.
  • I had a fantastic curry last night. A non-vegetarian thali. (For those that don't know, its a combination of dishes in smaller portions. So on one plate I had - chicken curry, meat curry, tandoori chicken, a seek kebab, pilau rice and a naan).
  • I'm looking forward to seeing my friend tonight who's braving the M6 to come see us.
  • My coding genius knows no start... er, I mean, my coding genius knows no bounds (that's the one).
  • A cup of hot, sweet, strong tea is the perfect Englishman's breakfast.
  • Worms on iPhone is scarily addictive.
  • I should be getting my new toy delivered today... I'll tell all next week.
  • HDMI Connection on my Xbox setup last night - and its brilliant. HD gaming.
  • Oh, and I have another post in my mind... coming up shortly.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

A nice local

I popped round to my local pub last night. It's about a two minute walk, but far enough away that we don't hear any noise from it. And I must say, I was pleasantly surprised! It's got a lounge bar (or 'snug' for those that know that term), a public bar, and at the back a bowling green. Now I know that some of you will think "Bowls? That's an old mans sport" and you are sort of right, but I have a fondness for it as it's my dad's sport of choice (he's actually very good at it). I was lucky enough last night that there was a match on between my local pub's bowling club (called The Nursery) and another team, so I stayed for a few ends (bowling term) watching in the evening sunlight. It was lovely. Of course I partook in a couple of cold refreshments... with the result that I had a little bit of a woolly head this morning. It's a real 'local' kind of pub, and I think if I pop in there often enough, I'll get known as a 'local' seeing as I stand out from everyone else in there with my lack of an accent.

I've still got a big bit of coding to do today, and then no plans for tonight. Then it's Friday, which is always a good thing (especially if you're working from home as I am!)

Have a good day listeners.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

This is bliss

In the office today, there is one other person. It's heaven. It's SO quiet, I can concentrate, I'm not over hearing:

  • How the pregnancy is going
  • Complaints about office politics
  • What some loud mouthed slapper did last night
  • What such-and-such is doing at the weekend
  • Screams, shouts, and general mucking about as though the office is a school playground
  • Phones ringing off the hook

I mentioned this to my better half, and she said it sounded like hell - she likes the interaction with other office staff etc. and I must be honest, the occasional "hello" or brief chat breaks the monotony... but where I was before was just too much of an extreme. Here, its quiet, peaceful, and I can actually work without grinding my teeth and biting my lip to stop myself screaming "SHUT THE FCUK UP YOU NOISY TWUNTS!"

Anyhoo... lots of code to write today, so Soundtrack Of The Day is lots and lots of random albums on my MP3 player.

Have a lovely Wednesday people.

Update: This is genius

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Shock to the system

For the past couple of days, I've actually had work to do (!). This is a good thing, as the day goes by a lot faster... but the thing is, I'm knackered now! Working flat out yesterday & today has made my mind go a bit "What the fcuk?!" Still, it beats sitting staring at the windows wishing I could go home suppose.

Ikea again tonight (new bed).

Nothing tomorrow night (taking it eeaassy... )
Nothing Thursday night (as above)
Visitor Friday night, which I'm looking forward to.


Monday, 17 August 2009

Another day, another new office

First day in my 'local' office today. This is the place I will be hoping to work from a lot more than our Birmingham office. I thought to myself this morning "I'll leave a good half hour to get there, I don't know the route, the traffic could be bad" etc. etc. and how long did it take me? 15 minutes.
OK, there are no schools in at the moment, but still, it's about the same journey time as I am used to back down South, so I'm very happy. It was a weird feeling of being the new boy and imposing myself on the office here today - but then we're all the same company and I should be allowed to work in any office that's linked to my company. So sod 'em all, I'm here, live with it!

We had a good weekend - things were a bit manic on Saturday, shopping, going to Ikea at about 20:00 (don't ask) and watching the football. We had to get ready for our house warming party which we had yesterday. From about 14.00 to 18.00 we had a house full, and it was really good. The booze flowed (well, for some of us) the food was plentiful and nice, and everyone had a great time from what I could tell. The only problem(?) is that we have a lake of booze left. Loads of beer & wine that needs to be drunk... oh the things I have to do.

This week, number one son and the dog are staying with my in-laws, so it's just me & my better half at home. This should give us time to get all the last little bits and pieces sorted, and to have some quiet time.

So, thats about it for now. I'll post more soon, so stay tuned. Peace.

Update: Great impression on my first day in this office - just smashed a whole pint of milk on the floor. Fcuk it.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Another post stating the bleedin' obvious but...

Isn't modern technology good? My son, who's 10, has just got his first mobile phone. That is so scary to me.

He's been going out and about a lot on his own since we got up here, and we felt he needed something to keep in touch with us, for us to keep in touch with him, and for him to know the time. So obviously a phone is the best thing. It's one of my old phones from when I was with Orange (*spit*) so he now has a PAYG phone with his own number. That's the thing that really make me go "wow". He's 10, and he has his own contact phone number. That's scary. He now has my number and his mums in his phone, and he's itching to get his mates numbers in there. He can text and call etc. I'll say it again... he's 10.
What was I doing when I was 10? Nothing anywhere near owning my old mobile phone.

Soundtrack of the day: "Stone Roses" - the 20th anniversary edition (yes I succumbed).

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

A much better journey today

Only an hour and twenty. I know, it still sounds like a long time, but that is purely down to distance, no silly stop-starting or sitting in crawling traffic. But when I got into the office, feeling pleased with myself, one of the other blokes here piped up with "Oh, that was a good journey wasn't it, don't worry, it won't last, that was a fluke". Great. So when the school start up again apparently I can look forward to an extra 30 - 45 minutes on my journey. Hellfire and biscuits.

So it's been a week now since I moved away. Am I settled yet? Not really. Partly because the house is still a bit of a tip, and partly because I haven't really got into a routine yet. But we'll get there.

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

Monday, 10 August 2009

First day in the office

I don't know if I mentioned this in a previous post or not, but as part of my new location I have to work out of an office in Birmingham twice / three times a week. For those who DON'T know, that is about 80 miles away from my new home. Yes, 80 miles. So each day I have to come to this office, I have to do a round trip of 160 miles, with a days work thrown into the middle of it. To say I'm disappointed is like saying the Atlantic ocean is 'a bit damp'. So this morning, I left the house at 06:00 (yes, they have a 6 o'clock in the morning as well apparently), and finally sat at my desk at 07:50. To be fair, most of the journey was OK, it was the last little bit as I actually got to Birmingham that sucked, when everything came to a standstill. *sigh*.

The unpacking is coming on slowly - we are chipping away at it bit by bit. It has to be done by next Sunday however, as we are having a little house warming. Nothing potty, just a few family and friends for drinks and stuff. So obviously, we need to have the house as done as possible by then.

Number one son has settled in brilliantly - so well in fact, that he has spent most of the past few days out on his bike with his new friends. On the one hand, this is excellent news as he has new friends to socialize with and play with. On the other hand, it's terrifying as he disappears out of the house for a few hours at a time and we have no idea where he's going. I know, we ALL did that when we were his age, but it's different when it's your own son! Part of the solution to our worry is to get him is own mobile phone, which I'll be doing this week. So far he's been back at the time we've specified, and he's learning the area very well. But we'd still like to be able to call him back in when we need him, or for him to call us if he gets lost or something.

So, a lot of things have changed in a short space of time. I'll update more as we go this week.

Soundtrack of the day: Nothing so far...

Friday, 7 August 2009

Hello from the North West

Sorry for the lack of posting - for those of you who have moved house, you know how stressful / disruptive / annoying / tiring it is. I've only just now got a few minutes to post an update.

The move went well. We were all packed up and out of the old house by about 14.00 Monday afternoon. I stayed with my parents, had a last drink with my closest friends on Monday evening, and then Tuesday morning myself, number one son and the dog all travelled up at about 9 o'clock.

I'm sitting here now, watching my new plasma TV (purchased today... it's very nice) with still loads of unpacking to do. We're kind of chipping away at things day by day, and it shouldn't be long before we're all sorted. We have to get it done by a week on Sunday, as we're having an 'open house' house warming with friends and relatives coming to visit.

My accent hasn't changed yet (!) and it's not likely to. A little information about the area - there's a pub with a chippy opposite (for my American readers - a fish & chip shop) about 2 minute's walk away which is nice. It's a nice, very quiet street with no thru-traffic or main road traffic (like the old house) so it's a lot quieter. The city of Stockport is a walkable distance away, so we have shops we can go to.

Tomorrow we have more unpacking to do - our target I think is to get number one son's room finished, and hopefully more of the dining / family room.

Sunday, it's the Community Shield (the new season's opening game) and then we're back into a new football season, which will be good.

I'll post more updates soon. Thanks for sticking with me.