Monday, 30 July 2007

Ouuuuuchhhhhhhh !!!!

Well I managed to bring a bit of Haven holidays back with me, I have what feels like an outer ear infection in both ears, it hurts to touch or move my ears, it feels like it's in the cartilage of them, fortunately I had a
course of Amoxicillin left over from the dentist which is a broad spectrum antibiotic and I double dosed yesterday and I'm going to double dose today (the maximum dose is 1 gram a day which I am taking) it's eased off from yesterday at least..... I wasn't a very happy bunny yesterday at all, so what with my impressive bruise on my left inside forearm from the archery and my ringing painful ears, I haven't done too badly injury wise this year.

I'm convinced I got it from the pool in Haven, it seems a bit of a coincidence that both my ears flared up at the same time, mind you I have never forgotten what my father said about swimming pools (he built a few in
his time)

1. Never go in a swimming pool if the water looks cloudy
2. A clean pool is a crystal clear blue pool
3. If you can see any cloudiness it has massive levels of bacteria floating
about in it

plus I didn't see the pool attendants checking the pool chlorine and alkalinity levels once.... the whole time I was there, and it's policy to check a pool every 2 - 4 hours where it is under heavy use....and it was !!!

And I will never forget as a boy in Penarth Swimming pool, my father was friends with the owner and he used to let our family in after hours to have the pool to ourselves, and I remember once my Dad saying "nobody get in the pool yet it needs chlorine" and he was right the water looked very cloudy, so he went into the stores cupboard and measured out the correct amount of chlorine for the pool and dropped it into an intake on the side of the pool and turned the pumps up, the change was miraculous the pool changed from a cloudy blue to a crystal clear blue in a matter of 10 minutes you could see the bacteria dying off as the chlorine mixed with it :)

I have to admit in Haven there were times when the pool looked decidedly cloudy especially around the lights underwater, but having said that none of the kids caught anything and they were in it a lot more than me, who knows maybe the bacteria just loved me.... Anyway I'm on the mend now the Antibiotics are making a huge difference already, and that reminds me I must take my second hit today :) It should be gone in a couple of days, but the ringing in my ears is driving me nuttttttttttts !!! (I wouldn't be worried normally.... but it's the voice in the background saying "kill everybody" I'm worrying about not the ringing so much ;¬) )

That said I really enjoyed our holiday, had a complete blast with the kids, especially the youngest who seems to be enjoying his time with me, although he did say something bizarre.... apparently his Dad told him at some point that "I wanted to kill all the children"....which made us both laugh.... but we are used to some of the ridiculous things he has come out with over the past year, and it says something when the youngest actually repeats to his potential lunatic killer step dad what his real dad has said...... guess he must be really scared of me huh ? ;¬)

Anyway enough of these ramblings time to work

Now where is my coffee :)

Sunday, 29 July 2007

We made it back from Filey in North Yorkshire

We went for a week to the Primrose valley holiday park run by Haven Holidays, we didn't have much money to spend on a holiday anyway, but we all needed a break we were all a bit jaded from the relentless weather, and so we were chuffed by getting a 4 star static caravan for just over £400 for the week self catering, we had looked at Butlins and Pontins but both were ridiculously priced and in most cases nearly double what we paid.

I have to say the Caravan was immaculate, you could actually live in it, it was spacious and had everything you could want or need and the shower was to die for, it had 3 settings, concrete cutter, steel cutter, diamond cutter... you had to be careful which parts of your body you presented to it !!! overall it beat Pontins Chalet's hands down....this is where it stopped however....

Haven holidays are geared up to systematically fleece every last penny from you, it says in the brochure "a nominal charge will be applied to some activities" what they mean is ALL activities and most of the other ones and that charge is astronomical because it all adds up, cycling for instance was £5 for half an hour !!! £5 seemed to the the cheapest you could get away with, some charged more, they had a on camp fun fair, for which you had to exchange real money for orange plastic tokens, what it didn't say is that the tokens lost their value and wasn't like spending real money........and so started the fleecing process !!!

we did manage Archery and Go Carts, and probably some other stuff but it's all a bit of a blur now, the week passed so quickly, I think we probably spent as much on activities and other money grabbing things as we paid for staying in the caravan !!!

we went to an American Circus as well, although I doubt there was one American in the place to be honest the ring master had the most appalling fake American accent I have ever heard... there seemed to be a lot of Polish workers up in that area (who knows) the circus was fun we ate popcorn, watched the acts, some were amazing others were....well.... pathetic, but overall we all seemed to have fun, and we won the biggest stuffed dog on the planet in the raffle, it made the trip back "interesting" to say the least... he has been named imaginatively by the youngest "Dog Dog" I wanted to call him "Hagrid" because he was huge !!!

anyway lets get back to whinging about the "Stalagluft 17" the drinks in the club were extortionate in fact most things around the camp were borderline daylight robbery, we did manage to escape to "Flamingoland" but even that gave me a sharp intake of breath @ £98 for five of us, but it was a good day out, Flamingoland has changed radically since I was last there when I lived in Yorkshire, the ONLY real highlight besides "Flamingoland" was seeing Keith Harris live and Cuddles the monkey and Orville the green duck, we mainly stayed for the cheese factor, but he was funny, especially "cuddles" the monkey, who injected some VERY adult humour and wasn't PC at all !!! bizarrely only one of the kids knew who he was and you know when you are getting old when the kids don't know who the hell he is or was ....... in this case

On the way home the A1/M1 link road which bypasses Leeds was nose to tail traffic so I punched in a "avoid roadblocks" on my Tom Tom and it took us past Kippax where I used to live, strangely I had no desire to visit old haunts, I even saw my old house, the place hasn't changed much except for breeding numerous speed bumps which had no effect on the Jeep whatsoever because my tyres straddled them completely !!! the Tom Tom took us through Garforth past the "knocking shop" then up past "Elmhurst Windows" .....lovely memories....NOT.... then up through Kippax and out onto the M62... the old A64 has been hacked to pieces with roundabouts and new shops, it was hardly recognisable any more

they say never go back..... unfortunately I had no choice, I know why I left Yorkshire now the place is depressing to the extreme....... the quicker I got out of that hell hole the better and we did, the journey was a marathon it took 8 hours to get home, I was cream crackered by the end of it.......

back to work on !!

holidays smollidays ;)

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Root Canals don't hurt.......yeah right

I had my long awaited root canal yesterday, the roots were stripped out well over 10 months ago now, but because of cock-ups with my female polish dentist who has now been sent back to the salt mines of Siberia for being incompetent... it's only now I managed to get my new Polish dentist with broken English to do it...fair do's though he has a greater vocabulary than the previous one, little did he know he was to add some choice Anglo Saxon words to his ever expanding vocabulary

I've had root canal treatment before and although it's not my idea of a fun day out the pain involved is transitory, short term pain, long term gain :) the worst bit being when they remove the root itself, after that it's plain sailing and you are pain free....


You are made to wait for 10 months before it's completed, I "thought" it would be a pain free procedure as previously because of the lack of roots, but alas the root canal itself had started to close up or basically heal up, growing back and filling the void, which meant the dentist had to ream out the canals so they were big enough to fill once more, it also meant he had to drill down THROUGH the root tips to ensure the whole root canal had been enlarged and all "nasty" material removed.....there is one slight problem with this procedure, you have to have it done without being numbed so the dentist has feedback when he has drilled through the root tip and made contact with tender flesh.... something which would be impossible with anesthesia.....

He got feedback alright and plenty of it, in fact he learnt a new swear word with each tip he drilled through, and I have to say on doing the second root of the three, he slipped and jammed the rapidly rotating file/reamer right into the my gum as it passed through my root tip and embedded itself deep into my gum, I wasn't that alarmed after I had stopped screaming and
cursing, after all mistakes happen.....and as my tortured gum subsided slightly pain wise... my alarm levels were pretty low.... right up until the sucky thing the dental nurse gingerly moves around your mouth like a Kirby vacuum cleaner turned from opaque white to bright red, and the dentist said "quick lighter" to which I heard the unmistakable sound of a gas lighter
being struck behind me...."was he having a smoke break I thought ?" no he wasn't.....on looking back I could see the dentist heating the reamer/file to a lovely cherry red and then I felt the heat on my lips and tongue as he gingerly rammed it into root hole number 2 immediately stemming the blood squirting from the hole....."Marvelous" I thought (well actually the scream
was probably heard in Carmarthen, possibly Swansea) I thought not only is he content with torturing me with a high speed file but now he is ramming a superheated one straight into my gum via my root canal, courtesy of a 99p lighter bought from the local SPAR shop !!!

The wince factor was way up there, more than I had experienced before..... The pain was borderline "way..way too much" I've had injuries to my body that some would consider extreme in the last 4 or so years, such as a smashed coccyx (arse bone) and three broken ribs (all at the same time, I might add), a broken finger ripped ligaments from climbing etc and various other tears, rips cuts and general clumsinesses, but for that hour of being drilled and filled was utter and unadulterated agony... and if childbirth is worse than what I experienced with those 3 root canals then I take my hat off to women all around the world, my lower jaw is aching like mad, it wasn't helped by the fact that my new dentist has fingers like a bunch of large banana's.... my mouth is split on the right hand side from having it forced open and my top lip was very nearly impaled on my canine by his other hand. Overall not a very pleasant experience.... give me Novacaine next time and lots of it!!!

Friday, 13 July 2007

The holidays are upon us

Well I've booked a week off at the end of July, the weather forecast is looking horrible but I need a break from the routine, we have no idea of what we are going to do, my intention was to take two weeks off but because of the shift rota we can't have too many people off at the same time, so I have to split my summer break over two one week breaks. I was hoping to balance the two weeks between months so the pay packet wasn't hit too hard, I've still managed to do that but have had to forego the two week break.

At least this way we might get better weather in August, this year just seems to be flying past, what with getting married, having a new arrival in October coming, all the preparation, buying of cots and clothes and other baby related stuff.

It's a long time since I've been in this position, I didn't think I would have the opportunity again, but I am looking forward to it, we don't know it's sex yet, and we could have found out at the 20 week scan, we decided
not to though, what will be will be, and it will be loved whatever sex it is :) although I have to admit I would prefer a boy mainly because I have never experienced having a son before, but if it's a girl then at least I know what to expect, the tribe don't really have a preference except perhaps our resident teenage girl, she wants a sister, probably because she is outnumbered by the boys.

Andrea is being kicked to death on a daily basis now she is 25 weeks I think (probably a bit more, I'll probably be corrected), she isn't having a brilliant pregnancy she was blighted by blinding headaches in her first trimester her second calmed down a bit, and now she is suffering quite badly with aches and pains, I do feel for her, but there isn't a lot I can do to help ease her discomfort....I wish there was :(

I am convinced women have a selective memory when it comes to having babies they wipe out all the trauma of childbirth and pregnancy, or lessen it at least, it's a good thing I suppose or the human race would simply die out.

The netball/basketball hoop is going down a storm, probably the best £19.99 I have ever spent :) the kids have invented a game called "blob-ball" whereby you take it in turns to shoot and you have to shoot from wherever you manage to stop the ball, you also cannot pivot so if you catch the ball with the hoops behind you, you have to throw it over backwards, its good exercise and you would be surprised how knackered you get playing it, Lauren is probably the best at shooting she does after all play netball regularly, the Andrew can basket quite a few and is getting better as we play, it's 9 feet up the wall so it's not that easy to score, and in the few times we have been able to play in between torrential downpours this's been fun :)

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Suse Linux

Linux has come a long way since the early days of it being a command line operating system, I've tried Linux on a few occasions and liked it, mainly for it's speed of booting, it's no fuss configuration, and it's apparent immunity to virus infection and other malware, but it lacked support for the
major applications available at the time, but that has all changed now with OpenOffice (A Microsoft Office clone), I am sure there are some weaknesses to it as in all operating systems do, but they pale in comparison to any flavour of Windoze, so I have decided to install Suse Linux on the laptop at home.

That way we won't be bothered by Trojans and spyware and anything else that might want to infect the laptop and the kids can browse to their hearts content, The kids have their own computer but a laptop has it's obvious draw to them, thing is if I let them use it and I have anything business critical on it I would be a fool to let them use it, you can lose so much in the blink of an eye these days, so linux seems the obvious choice, they can use it and I don't need to worry about what is getting on it through the back door so to speak.....and of course the other thing is speed, linux is very fast, it knocks Windoze into a cocked hat for most things, and is well on the way to being a full featured operating even looks better than Windoze and probably gives "Vista" a run for it's money on less memory !! plus it will enhance my skill set looking after a linux desktop, something I haven't done for years since I supported Unix in it's many flavours..... And of course the other advantage is that its free !! so I feel a torrent download coming on tonight :) should only take a day or so it's 5 CD's worth !!! :(

you can get it here

addendum !!! it's installed "OpenSuse 10.2" and it installed without any real issues, the only thing it had a problem with was the Belkin 54G PCMCIA wireless card, but once the firmware had been extracted from the windoze driver (don't ask it's a licensing issue) and put in the right place in /dev/lib it booted and worked faultlessly, and works like a dream, laptop battery power has been extended by 40 minutes :) which I am pleased about, and the speed of loading applications is approx twice as fast as Windoze :) :) the only thing now is getting the kids off it to do some serious work on it.....because they have found the games which are installed by default :(

Monday, 9 July 2007

This old chestnut again

Well it's July, summer is supposed to be here alas it seems to have forgotten where I live, after the torrential downpours of the last couple of months it would be foolish to expect a British summer to actually deliver anything remotely like sunshine. This weekend we had a brief window of the bright stuff interspersed with heavily laden rain clouds and I awoke this morning to FOG !! the whole valley was covered in thick summer mist (well I thought I would make it seasonal, but I can assure you it was FOG)

The only other news is that the mouse population has dwindled since I changed my tactics from releasing them in a "Born Free" style in the Savannah that is our 10 acre field to humanely removing them from the food chain, it was the only way to ensure they didn't find their way back, the red hand (and foot) gang never returned, probably traumatised by their punk style dye job, I haven't caught a mouse for over a week now.... I think the message is out on the jungle drums

Needless to say we now have ample food to feed the woodpeckers and blue tits and green finches (green sparrows to anybody else).... we eventually gave up on the cheese mountain left over from the wedding it was starting to grow penicillin in large quantities...... it is now feeding our bird population they really seem to like Stilton, it's quite funny really they queue up under the eaves for a stab at the nuts and snack on the cheese when it's raining then go back to the end of the queue once they have had their turn at the peanuts.....obviously British Birds, if they were German they would have already laid their towels out on the feeder :)

It seems like I am being dragged into the Big Brother 8 experience, I normally hate shows like this, mainly because of the so called entertainment value gained from the exploitation of others, having said that they do sign up for it so probably get everything they deserve for their 15 minutes of fame, but since the weather hasn't been fantastic it doesn't leave much else to do, if it had been nicer weather I would have been out on the hills walking somewhere..... But I have to say since having to watch it because of my nearest and dearest and her 13 year old daughter's obvious ravenous appetite for it, I have been drawn into it... I don't think there is a person in the country who doesn't want Charley out and to stay out, that is one eviction I will watch with interest, she has to be the most obnoxious person who has EVER graced our television screens, in fact I cannot recall having disliked a person more than her, and it takes quite a lot for me to dislike anybody, I hope she gets evicted on the fake eviction this Friday it might make others in the house realise just how awful she is as a person.

Anyway it must be a slow day for news, I'm talking about big brother sad is that ?????

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

But Why Invent Global Warming?

Answer: to get research funds that have been made available. The Australian government recently granted $7.8 million to the CSIRO to investigate Greenhouse Gases. Some gases are sure to be found. In the 1960s geophysicists believed that with enough resources they could predict earthquakes, lobbied hard, and in 1966 the Japanese government funded a $270million per year into the program. In 1997, after wasting $2.7 billion dollars on no results, the program was axed. A research team is presently in Antarctica to study ice depth. They envisage this to be a 10 year project. In 2004 $4.3 billion was earned by the global warming industry. Most was invested in research and development, but media fed at the trough too, while various governments instituted new bureaucracies and taxed emissions industries. Fear is bankable. If a population can be convinced that global warming is occurring, there is money to be made. What started off as a small group now has thousands of employees drawing wages.

I've just seen an article on the BBC news website about global warming and I had to comment about it in my blog

basically it's saying people are sceptical about man's influence on the global climate, if you look at the comments on this article 90% of them are not as you would imagine or expect for what the green lobby are asking for i.e. reducing carbon footprints (lovely sound bite that one) etc., but quite simply do not believe that man who has been around for a mere blink of an eye in the time scale of the planet earth, has had any major effect on the current climate change, most do agree that man has had "some" effect on climate, but not to the extent that some scientists are saying, the industrial revolution has only really been hardcore for the past 200 years, are they seriously saying that everything pollution wise produced by man in the last 200 years, outweighs every volcano this planet has ever had ? every meteorite strike ? every forest fire in the last 6.5 billion years ?????? a major volcanic eruption produces more greenhouse gases in one month than an entire country ever has

Most see it as a cynical attempt by the various governments to tax us more and more about something that cannot be proven beyond any doubt, and you can see the sense in that argument, if you tax the population on something that cannot be proven, then you will never be found out as liars and consequently will reap massive amounts of revenue from this form of taxation. It isn't helped by the rabid lentilista brigade and wannabe hippies who want you to recycle your own poo and convert it into methane to run your 2 stroke moped on a moped lift sharing scheme!!!

I firmly believe that although man has had "some" effect on the climate, it is not as bad as the scientists claim (most of whom are funded by government hand outs to research climate change anyway), we are after all coming out of the last ice age, so logically it is going to get warmer, polar ice caps ARE going to melt, water levels WILL rise, as they have many times before man ever walked the earth, it is in the ice core samples taken from the Antarctic it's all happened before, CO2 levels will increase as they did before but no more than they have in the past, and consequently when they do, plant life will flourish, as it did before in the Cretaceous period where the earth was covered with lush plant life fuelled by the CO2 rich atmosphere and pumped out massive amounts of oxygen as it's by product, then balance was restored when eventually they died and were compressed and turned into fossil fuel, another thing I find totally laughable is CO2 rising into the atmosphere ???? anybody with a smattering of science knows that CO2 is heavier than air, CO2 does not rise into the sinks, that's why balloons blown up with your lungs simply drop to the floor when released and that's why CO2 fire extinguishers work, the gas settles over the fire and removes the oxygen needed for the fire to burn, if it was lighter than air it would simply rise and be replaced with oxygen, elements of CO2 do rise through turbulence in the weather systems, but it really wants to sink back down to earth, but that's gravity for you !!! it sucks !!!

Humans haven't been around long enough to make informed predictions on 250 years worth of data gathered since weather records were first started. 250 years worth of weather data is a not even a pin prick in comparison to how long the earth has been around, unless you are a Christian of course but Christians only think the world is 6000 years old (estimate)

I am all for not being wasteful, but when our Government try and tax us into submission, by increasing road tax based on emissions and road fuel taxation and rising prices on so called "bad energy" and even taxing biofuels !! and still, all that money raised from "green" taxes is simply poured into the state with no concern for funding really beneficial projects that help everybody.

If the government was that concerned about being "green" they could have ring fenced those green taxes and poured the cash raised into something like the introduction of heat exchangers into every home in the UK, not hundreds of wind farms or wave energy farms dotted around the country generating minuscule amounts of energy dependant on the wind or waves and blighting the countryside for years to come, and I won't even begin to discuss the ludicrous Bristol channel/river severn barrage, yes it will generate millions of megawatts, but at what cost to the environment and animals ? I should imagine it will mince quite a few million tons of fish as they pass through it's turbine blades at speed, the really smart fish will of course go through the courtesy fish gates.........(I don't think so) !!!

Getting back to heat exchangers they would tap into the massive amounts of FREE heat beneath our feet, negating the need for millions of people to pay for their heat, including the elderly, You only have to go down into a coal mine to realise how hot it gets down there, completely naturally, for a few thousand pounds a heat exchanger could heat a house all year around including the hot water FREE of charge FOREVER!! Except for the minimal cost involved in the electric pump required to pump the solution around the pipes to extract the heat and dissipate it into your house, and even with the electric pump it's only a minute fraction of what it costs to burn fossil fuels to heat the same house

But like all governments before this one, it's all about grand gestures, higher taxes, spin, corruption, you name it they have their finger in the financial pie, but nothing is EVER done to improve the lives of millions of people, they wring their hands in despair at our current plight, introduce more green taxes to supposedly discourage us, impose more controls over how we live our lives, invade our privacy etc..

And they wonder why we end up not believing them and throwing them out of government??? For it all to start again.....

Personally I'm still waiting for the ice age we were promised in the 70's when scientists categorically stated that we were heading for a massive drop in temperature as we plunged into the next ice age......ooops sorry they got it wrong, they meant "Global Warming" instead.... how careless of them

Monday, 2 July 2007

And the rain never stops

Other than our brief window of sunshine on the 22nd June it has practically rained constantly since and before then for nearly a month, with only a few breaks in the weather to remind us summer is coming…..(allegedly) , the stream at the bottom of the 10 acre field has turned into a roar that can be heard from the decking, somebody is going to cop it further down methinks

We were going to go to Oakwood this weekend for a belated birthday treat for the youngest, but the torrential downpours put a stop to that, so we ended up in the Lyric Cinema in Carmarthen for “Shrek III” I have to say there were parts which were funny but the remainder was pretty formulaic of the “Shrek” genre, and overall raised little more than the odd “guffaw”…. we did bump into my sister and her husband and kids who obviously had the same idea, and despite some early popcorn throwing exchanges, eventually settled down to watch the film, my other half didn’t seem to like my choice of Sugared Almonds and Army & Navy cough sweets, thinking it was rather a strange mixture, but what do I care, I enjoyed them :)

We left the lyric cinema to yet another downpour and took his friends home then retired to the house on the hill, overall a pretty uneventful weekend, although I was given a laptop by my ex girlfriend who donated it once she realised that I had supplied her new shiny laptop at cost, it works very well and I showed my soft side (I do have one but it’s rarely shown) because the two teenage tribe members are at home today with it being a day off while the teachers doss around in school pretending to work on an inset day….I have temporarily loaned it to the female gruntee and I am sure it will pour oil on the computer war waters, currently raging between the two eldest teenage tribe members one of whom is heavily involved in “World of Warcraft” and seems to think nothing of playing the game from sunrise to sunset given half the chance, so much so that the lily white skin he currently sports is in danger of becoming transparent, and he may well evolve paddles instead of fingers to increase his efficiency in game play !!!

He has just finished his bronze DoE so he did gain some colour to his cheeks, the laptop however will not be a permanent solution to the digital wars raging currently, things electronic seem to have a very short life in these particular teenage hands, it’s only a matter of time before one of them sits on the laptop or snaps something off it or drops it, and it will only be brought out when there is no other solution, regardless of what they think it’s intended use should be :) (see not that bloody soft !!!)

There is absolutely not the slightest chance on this planet any of them are getting near my/our (deep thought........dual core X2 AMD64) computer both accounts are locked down with passwords and log out if left for more than 5 minutes unattended……..not that I don’t trust them or anything :) they can abuse their own computer as much as they like, in fact that reminds me I must do their computers weekly check and remove the usual ½ million items of spyware and malware before they complain it’s running like a slug again.

On a slightly lighter note, we did win a “Mama & Papa’s” Cot on Ebay for £31, which isn’t bad considering they are £165 new, and this one looks to be in excellent condition, I’m starting to see the attraction in Ebay, oh well only a travel cot and pram to get now……..the expense starts…….again… but I don’t mind it will be lovely to be a Dad again and all that comes with it, I’m quite looking forward to it to be honest, and things will be far easier this time considering both of us are rowing in the same direction, hopefully my business will start to find it's feet again now I have a base to operate from and it's quite handy being married to a curriculum officer, their admin and accounting skills are second to none ;¬)

on a slightly different note I do miss my other two daughters quite badly sometimes, it doesn't seem to get any easier... :( but sometimes life doesn’t turn out as you would like after divorce, I’m sure I will see them again at some point, I certainly hope so, I just hope they are as happy as I am at the moment