Tuesday, 23 November 2010

A thought provoking post

Well, it got me thinking, I don't know if it will do the same for you unwashed, unenlightened lot. (hhmmm... I suspect lesson one in "How To Increase Your Blog Readership" is probably don't insult your readers... but hey ho).
Anyway. I was sitting at home last night thinking about this and that as you do, when my mind wandered onto the subject of uniqueness. Now bear with me on this. Imagine we start off at the highest level and we are going to 'drill down' into more and more detail to try and work out how unique we are. I started off by thinking about all the 38 year old males in the world.
Millions, right? So we drill down deeper. How many 38 year old males have red hair? (No jokes please). Remember, this is out of the whole planet's population. Let's go deeper - how many 38 year old males with red hair are separated? How many are separated and have a son? How many are separated with a son and work in I.T?
You get where I'm going with this? I was trying to work out to which level of detail I would have to go to to get to the point where I was completely unique? Oh yes I know everyone is unique in their own way, we're all special and wonderful and no one is like us and we are the bestest in the world blah blah blah but would I be surprised if I could find out that there were 6534 people who were 38, male, with red hair, separated, with a son, working in I.T?
So what would make us even more unique?

As I said, it got me thinking before it gave me a combination of a headache and vertigo... but I don't know what YOU lot think. So why not tell me?

Comments to the usual place....

Monday, 22 November 2010

Nearly a week...

... since my last post - I do apologise.
The fact is I'm getting back into the same routine as all you lot out there (probably).
Getting up, feeling knackered, going to work, feeling grumpy, racing home, feeling frantic, sorting out tea, feeling rushed, having a drink, feeling tired, going to bed.
So that's really been my life since my last post. A couple of notable events...

My bestest friend Mr. P. Senior popped over to see me on Sunday. He was in Buxton with his family and could spare a few hours to come say hello. He hasn't seen me up here since the whole break up thing so it was awesome he could come say hello. I had Jake this weekend so the three of us went and played basketball in the park (Jake's idea) then went to the pub for a pint and a Sunday lunch. So that was a really nice day.
Sunday evening Jake went back to his mums so I spent the evening ironing and watching House.
This Saturday is number one son's 12th birthday. So this week I need to sort something out as a present. I'm actually paying for a paintball party for him and some friends, but that's not until 11th of December so I need to get something for him to open on Saturday. I feel an online shop coming methinks....

Anyway - I hope you had a nice weekend. I'll update more often, promise.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

A sucker for technology

Saturday was a day of housework and football, so not worth blogging about really.
Sunday however was a really good day.
It started with my LGF and I going to The Chill Factore so I could buy her a new jacket. She has used my winter / snow jacket recently and really liked it so we went to get her a similar one.
We also stopped for lunch at Chiquitos, a chain tex-mex type of place. I had the enchiladas. They were filled with slow cooked cajun beef and were awesome.
We then decided with nothing else to do til the evening we would go to the local and sit with some magazines and cold Corona beer. It was a really, really nice afternoon with some of her friends coming in and hanging out. It was a proper 'couples' kind of afternoon and something I haven't done for ages.
Sunday evening was a time of jumping up and down, flapping my arms, crouching down and lots of side stepping. No, my LGF and I hadn't confused our copy of the Karma Sutra with an exercise manual, I actually took delivery of an Xbox Kinect on Saturday night.
For those that don't know it turns the normally mild mannered Xbox into a vindictive fitness machine.
Basically it removes all need for a controller when playing (Kinect enabled) games. There is a camera that tracks your movement so whatever you do in the privacy of your living room gets shown on the screen (like my friend Mr. P. Junior's video camera - dirty boy).
If you know about the Nintento piss... or squirt... or wee or whatever it's called it's like that but without having told hold the little white plastic dildo.
Anyway - after much moving around of furniture in my (small) living room and moving around in front of the camera to set it up I played some of the games. Goodness. I thought I was fit. But it gets you jumping and swaying and side stepping and crouching and sweating and swearing... but the kicker, the thing that actually cracked me up, is that during a game it takes photos of you at random points and then displays them to you on the screen. It. Is. Hilarious. I hate my photo being taken at the best of times but seeing myself displayed in various poses of indignity and minciness really was funny. (I look quite camp when jumping up and down on the spot - who knew?)
I'll post a more in depth review when I have taken delivery of Kinect Sports (which should be turning up this weekend) but so far I think it's going to prove quite a laugh.
Have a nice Tuesday.

Monday, 15 November 2010


So Thursday night I had number one son staying with me. This is obviously a good thing but the downside is that I then get to work late the next day (usually by about 20 minutes) and then I have to make that time up aftwards. I had dinner plans with my LGF Friday night so was fretting a little bit about getting back in time to clean myself and be ready for our date. It got to just before four in the afternoon in the office when there was a click and a whirr and everything went black. Well, dark. The power had gone. Now I haven't been any office for a while where there has been a power cut like that. The last time was about four years ago and the power went off for like fifteen minutes and then came back on. This didn't happen on Friday. I showed my level of professionalism by wandering around the office asking aloud "so should we go home then?" while my collegues carried on trying to work on laptops with the battery power.
And of course my bladder decided this was the perfect time to alert me to the fact it needed emptying. Our convenience is basically a cupboard with no windows. So no windows plus no power equals pitch black toileting. NOT a fun time. I used my phone to light the way but it goes back into standby every 5 seconds so it was like trying to hit the target in a slow motion strobe light.
Anyway, eventually at about half four the announcement was made that the power wouldn't be available again until at least half past seven that evening so we were free to go home. As I was looking forward to a) the weekend 2) seeing my LGF that night and d) a lovely curry I was out the door and on the motorway before my working pals could finish the sentence "have a nice weekend Simon".
We had decided to try a local curry house called "Masterchef" which is in walking distance and that neither of us had tried. So stomachs rumbling and mouths salivating (well mine was - my LGF is far too ladylike to have the same sort of bodily malfunctions as me) we arrived and ordered. Now I'm not a massive fan of spice (be it spicey food, Old Spice, or the Spice girls) so I usually order things that are flavoursome as opposed to raw magma. This is what I did this particular evening but unfortunately the chef seemed to have some kind of vendetta as he overdid the chilli on everything. Even the usually tasty but heatless mushroom bhaji was like eating hot, soggy coals. My LGF can handle more spice than I and even she said it was too hot to really enjoy. So we left unsatisfied and annoyed but educated in the fact that Masterchef is shite.
Finally, we adjourned to the local for a few drinks and that helped the mood somewhat.
Bells = awesome.

Saturday's post to follow....

Preview post

I started to write a post about my weekend but realised that too much had happened for one post. Here's a preview of what will be coming up in the next couple of posts:

An early exit from work due to a power cut...
gasp as I fumble around and try and pee in the dark!

Masterchef fails to deliver a nice curry...
laugh as my mouth gets as hot as Satan's own kitchen!

A suprise delivery on Saturday night ...
coo as you try and work out what that means!

A wonderful Sunday with my LGF filled with coat buying, enchiladas eating, flying children watching, pub visiting...
sigh as I tell you how wonderful the day was!

A Sunday evening of furniture moving, jumping and flapping around, and seeing myself on TV looking like a tit...
scream "what the what!" as you wonder what the hell I'm talking about!

Stay tuned folks...

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Radio 1 and groundhog day

This new company I work for has some very relaxed attitudes to how the office works.
For example I have come to work today in a pair of tracksuit trousers, trainers, and a (free) sports shirt from my employer. It looks like I'm dressed for housework! (No, I'm not a cleaner here, shut up). As part of that relaxed attitude we have the radio on in the office and the station of choice (not mine I hasten to add) is Radio 1 - and it's starting to drive me mad.
I'm not a massive fan of the more modern dance / R&B / pop stuff in the charts (do they still call it 'the charts'?) and it's really starting to grate on my nerves. You can pretty much write a playlist of all the current modern stuff and by the end of the day you will have heard those songs at least twice.
I understand Radio 1 is for the more modern gentleman and it wants to play the popular stuff but do they really have to play it over and over and over again? It really does make you feel like Bill Murray when he wakes up in the same bed to the same song every day.
It had one redeeming day last Friday. Because of the journalism strike (I assume) they left the whole days music to the listening audience. They do something called "You Take Control" or something where every day at a certain time, for ten minutes, everyone can text in any song they want to hear and it gets played. Well last Friday they did that for the whole day and it was awesome. There were classic tracks from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and whatever the current decade is to be called. Not once did I hear some one-hit-wonder screaming over beeps and screeches about being drunk like a G6 (whatever the fcuk that means) or raising a drink to the douchbags (seriously, a song celebrating douche bags? Jebus...)
So. Radio 1. Not for me.

Oh, and that stupid Firework song... cr@p

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Blog reading and difficult relationships

This is just a quick post while I'm running my sons bath (that's bath pronounced 'barth' not 'bath' even if I am up north).
As I'm back at work now I can catch up on the blog reading that I have been so remiss on. One of my favourites is Well Done Fillet written by Manuel The Waiter (someone who, even though he's a dirty red :-) I still consider a friend). If you've not checked out his blog before I highly recommend it. But there's others too like Stephen Fry's blog (which I actually read using his snazzy iPad app.) and my lovely girlfriends Thoughts
I would say mine too, but as you're here you already know how awesome it is.
It's been a difficult couple of days. Jakes mum and I had a conversation about Christmas and it got a little heated. I won't go into details but it is hard for me... No, I'll be fair, it's hard for us to remain civil for Jakes sake. There are still so many emotions involved that they can come to the surface very easily and last night was one of those times.
I think after a further text conversation today we have regained our equilibrium and we're back to being polite and factual. It helps if we don't actually talk to each other and keep all communication to email or text - it keeps us at one remove from each other and saves the rawness of the emotion. No real point to this little ramble, just thought I'd share a little of the difficulties separated parents go through. Have a nice evening. More soon.
Update - a friend of my lovely girlfriend (from now on to be known as my LGF) has created a new blog so I will happily recommend it here. Have a read of My Weird Yet Wonderful Life

Monday, 8 November 2010

A proper post-working week weekend

Yes that was a mouthful wasn't it, sorry.
As I've not had Jake all week I was looking forward to seeing him this weekend. On Saturday we had a lazy morning, then went to play basketball at a nearby park with a hoop. It's his latest 'thing' and apparantly he's captain of his class / house / college team. So we went and played some one on one before lunch. After lunch he just wanted to hang out with his friends so I didn't see him for a few hours.
Sunday was nice, we had a lazy morning again, then more basketball, then a walk to the shops and back then he had Stagecoach (his performing arts school). After that I decided to take him to Pizza Hut for tea for a change which was nice. One thing I learnt however - DON'T use the salad bit where you can buy an eat-as-much-as-you-like bowl and gorge on green stuff. Kids are given free reign by their parents to go get their own salad and you can guess what happens when 5, 6, and 7 year olds are let loose to fling salad around, try bits and spit it out etc. Not a pretty sight.
Now I'm back at work I remember how quick weekends go past. It only feels like half an hour ago I was sat at this desk. I have a feeling I will get on OK here, if I can sort out the journey home. It took me 35 minutes this morning which is more than bearable, but on Friday it took me an hour and a half again to get home. That sucks. I'm going to try a slightly different route tonight so fingers crossed.
This week - Manchester derby on Wednesday night, Jake's parents evening on Thursday (I can't go - I can't get back from here in time so his mum will go and let me know how he's got on) and that's about it. More nonsense soon.

Update: I've re-discovered the small joy of live web cams (no, not those sort). When using these things before the network response hasn't been brilliant and so there was a lot of lag, kept on freezing / buffering etc. but just now I went to the BBC Radio 1 live web cam to watch the character "Chloe" from 24. Very quickly it becomes strangely addictive - knowing you're watching someone do something live. I know this is the sort of attraction that things like Big Brother played on and even though I couldn't stand it, I do get the appeal for some people.
So there we go... when I'm on lunch or on a quiet period I'll be investigating some more live web cams... (no, not those sort!)

Friday, 5 November 2010

So that's the first week done

Its been a long hard week. It's not just the fact that I've gone back to work after 4 months out, it's also the way this job is. The journey is a bit of a nightmare in the evenings, the hours are long, and it's always stressful settling into a new place.
Because I wanted to take this week to settle in properly, I haven't had Jake with me all week and I've missed him too. I know (I hope!) that in a couple more weeks I'll be properly settled and I'll have got into a good routine especially with Jake. But I can honestly say I'm really looking foward to this weekend!
Not much else going on outside of work - I went to training again last night to test my leg and it's not good. I stayed for the full session to keep the numbers fair, but I was only jogging round and not working very hard. As hard as it is I really think I'm going to have to have another two weeks of doing nothing to rest it properly. One thing that did make me feel good was after the session, the few of us that were there were talking and the manager was discussing how the past couple of games have gone (they've lost them both). Someone said "We've really missed you in the middle Simon" (meaning in the centre of midfield) and everyone there agreed and the manager himself said "God yeah, that's obvious, there's a big whole in the middle of the park at the moment". This was good for me because while I'm out injured I am so worried about my place being taken by someone else but hearing that makes me think I'll be OK. Still really frustrated though.
Finally a note on my hands - I suffer from some sort of ezcema and the skin on my hands is very sore, sensitive, and (excuse the stomach churning image) peels away easily. I have not idea what brings it on and although I think stress makes it worse I'm not 100% certain. I've tried different creams and some Chinese herb remedy but nothing seems to work and at the moment they are bad. So I'm asking my listeners... do you have any ideas??
Have a nice weekend everyone.

Monday, 1 November 2010

First day done...

...and it was a long one.
My hours are 8.30 - 5.30 which even if I hadn't been out of work for ages would still be a shock to the system. Still, it's better than being out of work permanently so I will be making the best of it. There will be some adjustment needed and I can quite happily accept that but it's going to be harder seeing as much of Jake AND my lovely girlfriend as I'm used to and to be honest dear listeners that sucks.
So today was all about company inductions and meeting people. I lost count of how many people I did meet and I can only remember one name - but seeing as he's the MD that's the one that matters!
My new boss is a nice enough bloke and then other guys in my team seem normal enough (for I.T people!) so I don't doubt I'll settle in ok.
I'm hoping that by the end of this week I'll be used to the journey and be settled in enough to feel relaxed.
No interesting characters to speak of yet, but no doubt they will be coming out of the woodwork soon enough. Stay tuned.