Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy Birthday Emma :)

I don't know if you read my blog, but if you do then happy 18th Birthday, I miss you, I love you ....I always have ....and I hope you have a lovely day .....ohhhh and Happy New Year to you both !!!

Nothing much to report recently Andrea and I have had a quiet week, the kids aren't coming back until Wednesday so it looks like we will have a quiet New Years celebrations probably watching TV or a film, then at midnight crack open a bottle of bubbly and bring in the New year, I'm stuck in work today but hopefully we will finish early today, although I very nearly didn't get into work on time this morning, I set the alarm correctly but I think I must have set it to CD instead of radio or buzzer and I woke up at 07:26am instead of 06:30am to a faint clicking from the alarm and panic stations ....not a very pleasant start to the day...... and considering it takes me at least 45 minutes to get into work normally I only managed to be 5 minutes late but the poor Peugot must have thought I had put a brick in place of my right foot this morning, ahhhh well I will double check the position of the alarm next time before hitting the sack.....

and there is no canteen today :( .... but one of the guys I work with is doing a mercy dash to subway at lunch time so all is ok with the world :)

the only other thing of note about this Christmas is the appalling selection of TV programs & films, either I'm so old now that I have seen all the films they crank out every Christmas and can actually remember them after the 9th repeat, I mean come on.... Jurassic Park 1 2 and 3 !!! I could understand if the Velociraptors had festive tinsel in their teeth or the odd Santa hat thrown in or failing that the odd minced up Santa, but come on, and Sister Act purrrrlease !!! very disappointing to say the least

I did enjoy one of my presents that being "Jeremy Clarksons Supercars DVD" , it's not so much I actually enjoy watching supercars flying about the place, it's more the insane antics those three get up to but on this particular DVD it was only Jeremy Clarkson, I had to laugh when he was looking at the G-Wiz electric car made in the UK under license from India, and he set it against an American muscle car, which the muscle car won easily, so he then said it was a bit unfair putting up against a 500HP muscle car so gave it a chance by putting it up against a wooden table carried by four blokes, the table won !!! they then crashed the G-Wiz into the table and battery acid was splashed everywhere.....pointing out that if you want to get from A to B fast.... use a table, and if you want to be horribly burned to death with battery acid get a G-Wiz car !!

anyway Happy New year to everybody that reads my ramblings and I hope 2008 brings you everything you hoped it would :)


addendum

please see YouTube video attached

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv-RMbtKjLU

it explains it far better than I could explain it ;¬)

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Well the Christmas thing is over :)

Nearly.....anyway :) the kids had a blast, The Xbox recluse got an X-Rocker chair which I am sure we will regret at some point as it pumps out 200 watts and sounds like WWIII when he plays his delightful high body count games ....put it this way it sounds like we have an indoor high calibre shooting range somewhere in the house

my step daughter got a chocolate fountain.....apparently it's all she wanted we topped her up with clothes etc new jeans etc, the chocolate fountain I had my doubts about lets just say it's messy, hard to clean and makes the house smell like a Thorntons chocolate factory on a hot day, either way the kids had an equal amount spent on them, even Freya got a look in and is now swamped with various chewy things that vibrate and brightly coloured rattles that light up and clothes even her very own first Christmas teddy, the littlest lad got a astronomical telescope and his first view of the moon was peppered with "Ohhhhh look you can see all the bumps and craters and everything and it looks like it's on fire" I tried to explain why the edge of the moon wavered like that but before I managed "it's caused by the earths atmosphere" he was already running into the house to drag Andrea out for a look, he also saw his first view of Venus, and I was just lining up Saturn for him when he was called in for bedtime, but it was nice seeing his face light up and getting a different view on things he took for granted :)

all in all the kids had loads of presents and remarked how nice it was to have a new source of presents in the shape of my family :) after all it was our first Christmas together.... it was really...really nice I went to my parents on boxing day after I had cleaned up some of the devastation of Christmas day and spent some time with my sisters and their respective husbands, all in all very civilised, Andrea turned up later after her M5 dash..... a bit too late for my London based sister and her family as they had to drive back to the big smoke......but everybody else got a cuddle off Freya and she even fell asleep on Williams lap, he is besotted by her but won't admit it ......I asked my Dad to keep his eyes peeled for a "cheap" wood working lathe, because I'm going to start turning bowls again mainly because it is probably THE most soothing pastime I have ever discovered besides walking and climbing, plus there are craft shops which will snap my hands off for unique wooden bowls which they seem to sell for £30 - £50 and it beats giving them away for nothing, and even if the profits are simply ploughed back into purchasing the seasoned timber and waxes it's worth it :)

as mentioned earlier Andrea dropped the kids off at Gordano Services on the M5 so their Dad could spend some time with them which is cool plus it gives us five days off, her ex even commented on how much of a Daddies girl Freya was, which was nice :) I'm working for these five days which puts a bit of a damper on the time off but you can't have everything, in some ways I wish my ex and I got on even half as well as they do, but it's unlikely, different people, different history.....and neither of them are quite as mad as a box of demented rabid frogs.....

a few days before Christmas I dropped off my usual Christmas gifts for my daughters, I'm not holding my breath to have any thanks it would after all be breaking the hard and fast rule to expect anything else, I didn't even bother putting in our new address it is after all completely pointless letting them know what it is ..... it does upset my parents though that two of their grand children are complete strangers and the very best they can expect is a thank you letter once a year for any presents they have..... I also heard that Ellie my sisters daughter has been cut off now, as she used to talk to my eldest daughter on MSN..... weird behaviour to say the least..... :(

Speaking of which my eldest daughter is 18 on the 31st of December.... (Bloody hell is it really 18 years since I held her in my arms in St James Hospital.....seems like 5 minutes ago !!!) no longer a child but a young adult.... it saddens me that there isn't any contact with either of my daughters, because they are missing out on so much, as I am in not having any contact with them, but it's her/their decision and I respect it, I could contact them I've known their email addresses for ages, but considering the last response it seems the very last thing they want is anything to do with me or my/their immediate family, so I'll just leave it at that..... as much as it saddens me, and as the years pass by it seems the memories become more distant, it hurts less now than it did, I'm not sure if that's just my own self protection mechanism's kicking in, which I have perfected over the years or because you can't be sad all of the time, or if it's just me getting on with my new life....

It was weird walking up to the old house, to hand deliver the cards (not that I don't trust the Royal Mail or anything) it seemed grimy and cold, actually it was, the door was filthy with road grime and there was rubbish lying around in the front, either way I couldn't wait to turn my back on the place, and get back to our house in the countryside :) I remember thinking "I bet the walls are still pink from being plastered and unpainted" and I shuddered to think how miserable I would have been had a bitten the bullet (again.....) and opted to stay instead of leaving as I did all those years ago, it was the hardest decision I have ever had to make, but it was for the best..... of that I'm 100% sure

I wish my daughters well and every happiness and a good and happy new year and if in the future they find only half the happiness and love I have now they are indeed lucky, and one day I hope they do get in contact but it's entirely up to them

I'm happy now I have a family that loves me (well likes me at least ;¬) ) and a lovely daughter who's smile just says it all, it will be nice when Freya can talk and calls me Dad, it's been a while........but in the meantime her giggles and smiles more than make up for not talking :)

Monday, 24 December 2007

We've just had the "heads up" on Christmas eve

by the security staff..... Apparently we will all be leaving the building at 3:00pm today so not a full day :) which is a bit of a relief because I have a few things left to do before settling into a full on dose of Christmas spirit :)

Andrea was busily wrapping the last of the Christmas presents last night, I wasn't asked to help because apparently my present wrapping skills are second only to a brain damaged chimpanzee, although I can't see anything wrong with how I wrap presents !!! ....but they come nowhere near the skills of my wife, she does wrap a tidy looking present though complete with bows and everything, mine on the other hand look like they've been wrapped by a fruit and veg merchant at the local market.....but then again I have never seen the point in spending more time than necessary on something that is going to be ripped to shreds in less than a blink of an eye !!! but I suppose it does look nice if it's wrapped properly

we haven't gone over board on presents just one or two main presents the rest are just stocking fillers of varying degrees either way they will all have something nice to open tomorrow, we set a budget for all three of them excluding Freya who won't know what the hell is going on anyway, and we have for the most part stayed within budget

and I got a lovely email this morning from the payroll department apparently they haven't received my expenses yet which I sent well over two weeks ago, I wouldn't mind if it was a small amount but this lot of expenses adds up to £504 which includes the hotel at Woking and Teeside, so I'm not a happy bunny

And speaking of bunnies Andrea or "Frith the bunny slayer" as she is now known managed to mow down a cute lil bunny on the Carmarthen/ St Clears dual carriageway, apparently it hopped out into the road she drove over it hoping it stayed still in terror, but rabbits being rabbits it decided to make a quick exit left back to the safety of the grass verge, unfortunately it didn't factor in the back wheel of the Jeep which as you know rapidly follows the front wheels and this was confirmed to Andrea as she "bumped" over it...... I did ask her if she picked it up for bunny stew but apparently not, but with hindsight it would probably be "bunny" pancake rather than stew after being run over by a two ton jeep with balloon tyres at 60 mph .......

fade to.....

Is it a kind of dream,
Floating out on the tide,
Following the river of death downstream?
Oh, is it a dream?

There's a fog along the horizon,
A strange glow in the sky,
And nobody seems to know where you go,
And what does it mean?
Oh, is it a dream?

(no actually it's a 10 year old two ton Nissan Terrano and this one my son you're going to lose......big style) ;¬)

Friday, 21 December 2007

bit of a scary moment this morning

I was merrily minding my own business driving along to work when out of the slip road just past the Crosshands roundabout out popped a huge truck with a trailer behind it so I slowed down and let him in and was waiting for the column of cars in the outside lane to pass me before pulling out, when all of a sudden the trailer started billowing blue and white smoke as the two back wheels simply locked up....

I slammed on thinking I was about to become intimately entangled in the truck in front of me because I thought the truck driver had slammed his brakes on hard.... only to see the truck carry on and still have all this smoke pouring from the wheels of the trailer, well after I managed to push my heart back into my chest I started flashing the driver (with my headlights.....rolls eyes), by this time sparks were flying off the wheels as they were rubbed down to the wire braid they have in them, I continued flashing then beeping as did the rest of the cars behind me and to my side, eventually the driver after about 3/4 of a mile pulled over to the hard shoulder, by this time the back wheels of the trailer were a full on blaze..... and as I was driving past, the truck driver jumped out of the truck with his fire extinguisher and in my rear view mirror was dealing with the blaze....

Certainly woke me up !!!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

The great Christmas tree hunt

I overdid it again it seems we are now the proud owners of THE most ENORMOUS Christmas tree EVER....

I took the 2nd youngest (well Freya is a bit young to wield a bow saw) to Salem near Llandeilo to chop down our own Christmas tree, I took my "estrangier" daughters there once and I'm sure we got a more modest one on that occasion, either that or we had higher ceilings...... anyway we arrived at the Christmas tree emporium, which is basically a bit of land set aside which is planted year in year out with Christmas trees and their sole purpose is to die horribly in some centrally heated house at some point, we both walked up to the rather grubby looking father Christmas with a beard that wouldn't have looked out of place hanging off an Aberdeen Angus's backside.....I asked the jolly gentleman if I could have a bow saw and handed it to the eager and budding lumberjack, we then went off into the plantation to pick our tree, it was more difficult than we expected there were lots of trees there but none seemed suitable either too big or too bushy or too straggly, all the good ones had gone :(

anyway after much trudging around on the icy hill top I went down into this little valley leaving the budding lumberjack to his own devices within view I might add !!! Anyway I thought I saw a suitable candidate and I started back up the hill and could hear the familiar Zzzzzz Zzzzzzz Zzzzzz of a bow saw on fresh green wood, as I turned the corner there he was hacking through a sapling birch tree !!!


"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" I exclaimed "that's not a Christmas tree"

"yeah but it's nicer than the other ones it doesn't have any needles on it"

"you're missing the point you numpty !!!" I replied as I removed the bow saw from his death like grip unlike the young sapling birch tree which had practically been murdered where it was standing.....we wandered off and hoped the birch survived..although the first bit of wind in the wrong direction and it will be on the floor of that I'm sure...

This seemingly fruitless exercise went on for about another half an hour when all of a sudden we saw our candidate, it was at least 15 foot high but had a good shape at the top half of it so I eyed up it's trunk and started to chop it down about three and a half feet up the trunk, the budding lumberjack shouted "Timbberrrrrrrrrrrrrr" and it flopped to the ground

we.....sorry I..... dragged it back to be bagged add tagged @ £3.50 a foot we bought a big cast iron tree holder of santa claus design....chosen by the budding lumberjack (albeit failed lumberjack on his tree identification skills) and some more lights and left the place £76 lighter, but a good proportion of that will be used again.....minus the tree of course.... the fun started when we tried to get it into the back of the Jeep the last two foot of it had to be bent over to close the back door !!!

I put the budding (failed) lumberjack on the back seat next to the tree and tried to drive home with a Norwegian Spruce pressing against my cheek, turning right was a challenge and required me to look under the tree to see if anything was coming

it was at this point I realised it "probably" wouldn't be a snug fit in our house......we got back and it was eventually dragged inside......Andrea got a little stressed to say the least and remembered why she didn't like real Christmas trees and came out in a sympathetic rash all over her arms....anyway after much careful tree surgery with a very sharp bread knife we managed to get it so it wasn't lifting the ceiling whilst it was in the tree holder.........The smell of pine was making my eye's water but my sinuses were clear and my hands were sticky with sap, but eventually it was up and the stress levels reduced noticeably ..... :)

"it's a bit big Derek ?" as Andrea stood back to admire her handiwork at decoration placement

"hmmmm it didn't look that big in the 4 acre field......fancy a cup of tea ?"

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Damn !!!

I now have two bayonets on the way I won both of them, never mind one of them can go back on ebay I should get back what I paid for it......hopefully..... I did suggest that I could take up knife juggling as a hobby or knife throwing although who I'm going to persuade to stand against the door I have no idea ;¬)

Freya has been an absolute moose today apparently, she seems to have really really good days followed by really really bad days....hopefully the cycle will just settle to really really good days all the time....but I'm not holding my breath neither is Andrea

well we have practically all the presents lined up...... again I can't go into detail for obvious reasons but they are nice :) and my step daughter has really bad tonsils and really isn't feeling well, she was sent to bed this evening .... but will she take anything ???? I dunno.....teenagers

the only other thing of note is that the xbox recluse has suffered the ultimate humiliation or the "ring of death" on his xbox 360 whatever that is, apparently it's terminal (or should that be console....geddit ?) and the xbox has to go back to microshaft to be replaced, his father has the receipts apparently because they didn't arrive last year when he said he was sending them so who knows where they are either way bandwidth on the broadband is definitely a lot perkier since the "ring of death" arrived ;¬) we might even get a full sentence out of him if he stays away from it long enough

Monday, 17 December 2007

Ooooops

I ordered 1000 litres of heating oil early last week and as far as I knew it hadn't turned up, so I sent a snotty email off to the oil company, I get home tonight expressing my disgust at the companies obvious lack of service only to be told by my darling wife that they had delivered it on Friday !!!!

"oooops didn't I tell you ?"

Never mind job done tank topped up everybody warm and toasty for Christmas etc etc

I've been giggling to myself in work today during the enormous slack moments because it's Christmas and nobody seems to care if their computer is working properly......They are all probably out wearing silly hats and drinking far too much to care "another mince pie ?"

anyway to fill in these enormous gaps in an otherwise normally frantic days work......I've been reading a forum for ex service men and one thread in particular caught my eye, it was about Celle in the 80's where I used to be posted and particularly the actual regiment I served in, in fact I'm still reading it there are so many posts relating to that time and place, I'm just reading about an incident when one of our blokes offended a green jacket (different Regiment) and all his mates tried to ram his head through a plate glass window outside the Bierdorf nightclub.....nice" ...... I remembered a lot of what the guys were saying on it, things that happened on exercises etc, personalities, events... you know "ohhhh yeah I remember that" and "do you remember when so and so did that ?" and what are you doing now moments.......etc

but one thing that nearly made me spit my coffee out all over my keyboard was a post referring to my darling of an ex wife who used to work in the Naafi......it seems she is remembered quite fondly (by quite a few).........lets just say there was a lot I didn't actually know about her and what she got up to when I was on exercise.....the most bizarre post was "that honey that used to work in the Naafi who used to empty the bins" and it's definitely her because somebody said "Smike's wife ?"(somebody we both knew)...."no" he said "the other one the dark haired one"....... it was quite hilarious reading through it..... it's true what they say ......beware your sins will find you out (even if it is 26 years later)

ahhhhh happy days................... :)

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Well I bet the Government are quaking in their boots

After this weekend's fuel protests, I saw the enormous turnout they had in Cardiff on the local news there must have been at least eight people there and two police officers....I'm glad I didn't have time to turn up because it would have been a complete waste of time and effort and above all "expensive" fuel....

on the transaction-2007 website they are stating that it was designed as a peaceful protest, they were right eight people hardly ever means an out and out riot....

I shall be watching their progress because apparently they are stepping up the protests after the new year, who knows maybe it was engineered to not upset Joe Public right before Christmas ???? ....we shall have to wait, I cannot believe the apathy of the UK sometimes (I can include myself in that statement) .....they/we just roll over and accept whatever their elected governments throw at them, be that higher taxes, ID cards (still in debate), Speed cameras (oooops sorry SAFETY CAMERA'S)..... the French have it right despite all their faults they hold a massive protest and barbecue at the ports when imported lamb threatens their livelihoods and dodge rubber bullets for a hobby....

The thing is it doesn't really matter which political party is elected these days they are all much of a muchness there is no distinction these days between the Tory blue and the Labour red, we have been melded into a practically colour blind nation with few expectations and just to accept our lot and get on with it....... and the ones that are different couldn't be trusted with loose change let alone the economy of a country..... and they keep trotting out statistics about how much better off we all are, and how the NHS has had more money spent on it than at any other time, or that how our education system is the best in the world (which makes me laugh considering we are 17th... I think..... in the world for languages and numeracy)

I was speaking to an ex Para on my health and safety course who had only recently left the Army and he didn't even know what "atropine" was and that they were never issued with it except for morphine during the Iraq war(s) ....considering we were supposedly trying to find Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction which I presume meant such things as nerve agent and other such nasties then why weren't the troops issued with atropine autojects which were standard issue in time of war when I was serving and the ONLY known antidote to nerve agent poisoning ??

he went on to tell me that now it's standard practice when a suspected gas attack alert was sounded they volunteered one of their own to "sniff" the air prior to giving the all clear, what the hell happened to the blot test and the various different field test papers you used to find out if gas or chemicals had been deployed ??? his answer was extremely depressing they were now trained to sacrifice one of their own if needed and weren't issued with blot test kits any more.....they'll be rationing ammunition next.....

Friday, 14 December 2007

I won something on Ebay !!!

Ok it's not a folding set of deck chairs or a mattress for a babies cot.....or in fact anything pink :)

but it's something I have always wanted it's a bayonet from an SLR (Self Loading Rifle) and ok it's not something you want to be discovered carrying around with you without a damn good reason...and mine is FISHING !!! :)

it has THE sharpest blade I have ever felt on a knife and it's scabbard or frog as it's called sharpens it automatically when you either put it in or take it out :)

it's un-issued so it's never been anywhere it shouldn't.... perish the thought...... you simply couldn't buy a knife like this in the high street, but because it has a collectable nature ie/ military memorabilia it's allowed, it has an 8" blade and makes an excellent cosh to bop the fish from this world into the next :)

and all for £25 !!! plus £3.50 post and packing..... a bargain !!!

just a tad pleased because I won it...... completely by default because I forgot about it and got back to it after the auction ended.....and found I had won it !!!

the last one I saw on ebay went for £65 ...... not that I would spend that much on one....£25 being more than enough

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Dentist today ....... :¬(

I had a very apt appointment time of 2:30pm (tooth hurty.... infantile I know but very apt)
I was scheduled to have two minor fillings and a tooth extraction but when I got there and the dentist eventually called me in 3/4 hour later than my appointed time because he was running very late....... between the both of us we decided not to pull the tooth because the gum had closed over the remaining three quarters of the tooth and the xray looked like he would need semtex to loosen it... anyway he decided to fill one of my front bottom incisors with a white filling it was only a very small filling but that was only after he had emptied very nearly all of his anaesthetic supply into my bottom jaw.... it's 6pm now and my lower jaw still feels like it's been borrowed from a butchers block and it's very bizarre touching my goatee and chin it feels like somebody else's..... anyway I'm a grand total of £39 lighter for one filling I probably had six times that in anaesthetic !!!

Apparently if I had one or all of my teeth filled in one session it would still be £39 so sort of buy one get all of em done free - ish... it was very painful, he said it's probably THE most difficult tooth to numb, in the end I just said carry on rather than pump me full of more anaesthetic.... he had to stop anyway it was starting to leak out of my ears......anyway I endured raw agony for 5 minutes as he reamed out the previous filling....all I can remember about the encounter is him saying "sorry hurting" in his broken English.....my guess is he was thrown out of the Nazi party for cruelty ;¬)

anyway changing the subject slightly......apparently there was a bad crash on the M4 this morning, two cars had had a minor bump and pulled over to the hard shoulder to inspect the damage and exchange details and some lorry driver had ploughed into the back of them, either way the M4 was closed while they picked the bits up, the M4 recently seems to have at least one bad smash a week these days.....mad..... I caught the news just as I was leaving for work.......I dutifully punched in "avoid M4" into my GPS and it took me the exact same way everybody else was being guided by their GPS's, it's quite comical actually as I looked up the row of cars stuck at the same set of lights as me all indicating the same direction, and they all had their GPS on and they all went exactly the same way as I did, it's almost like convoys form as if by magic when some major road gets closed off, I managed to escape the satellite city convoy by punching in "avoid sheep at next junction" and it worked (actually I just told it to take me the most direct route possible) and in no time at all I was winding my way down dirt tracks with grass in the middle of the road bouncing badgers off the front of my car.....but alas I suddenly appeared at a road I recognised and I was off.....wasn't even late for work :)

Monday, 10 December 2007

Fuel Protests are revving up ;¬)

As you may or may not know the group which were responsible for the 2000 fuel protests are back, and I've got to admit I'm with them on this.......although I can't see me chaining myself to the running board of my 4x4 or pop riveting myself to my bonnet, the last protests caused havoc in the UK I think this time around with the police and the powers they have now, anybody carrying a Nike sports bag can be jumped on and arrested for terrorism....I have a feeling it will go well to start with then be blown out like a candle in the wind......one suggestion though which I thought was a pretty good one, was to park up outside refineries not unlike a Tesco's car park on a Saturday afternoon (but more organised and orderly) ........have a (sober) nominated key carrier to whisk all the car keys off site and the protesters then get blind drunk so the police can't force you to drive your car off the protest site.....I have to admit it would cause havoc all the cars having to be towed away......


Even better do it in Liverpool or Leeds or Manchester and just wait for all the wheels to be nicked ;¬)

it does make my blood boil how the government keep heaping taxes on drivers in the guise of "green" taxes yet nothing seems to EVER materialise in the shape of

"look we have ploughed all this green tax money into Hydrogen fuel cell development and have developed a Carbon free car which cost's £0.10p a mile to run".......

no instead they want to put up a veritable forest of wind farms along our beautiful coastline where we will end up looking like Blackpool pleasure beach.......in fact why don't they go the whole hog and paint the blades different colours ?????

wind farms are fine when the wind is blowing but on a flat calm day where it's supposed to provide 60% of our energy ....eventually(.....yeah right)..... what happens then ?....... "sorry you can't have a cup of tea the wind has dropped"

Do you realise that petrol would be £0.19p a litre if the Government (I use the word very loosely) didn't have ANY tax on fuel but that's extremely unlikely they depend so heavily on fuel taxation now to give any meaningful tax cut on fuel would mean the cockle picking industry would collapse (think about it) and the NHS might actually turn a profit

The picture I have used above is based on prices before the recent tax/price hike in most cases fuel is well over £1.00 a litre.....ahhhhh those heady and much cheaper days

Sunday, 9 December 2007

We are in Wales .....you know

and that explains why the river at the bottom of our field is flowing to it's brim and had in some places burst it banks, you don't really appreciate it unless you have seen it in summer running normally a babbling lovely river, put it this way if I went to fish right now where I did this summer it would be a good foot over my head and not even my waterproof gear would stop me getting wet.......probably still wouldn't catch any fish and drowning would be a high probability ;¬)


Well the Christmas buying frenzy has started in our house, I can't say what has been bought because certain people in this household read this blog from time to time..... I've put my foot down a bit though, I don't see the point in buy tat that will be used once and then take up a corner in the house until it's thrown out.......we are going for functional presents this year, something they will appreciate and hopefully get "some" use out of, (well bar one which I suspect will be used once then never used again.....) we have decided not to buy each other presents, it's a bit pointless neither of us have any clue what to get the other and we have practically everything we need or want anyway....(I did hint at an Aston Martin DB9....but I'm not holding my breath) plus it saves us money something which there is precious little of at the moment, I tell you Christmas comes along at the worst time of the year, it always has ;¬)

I've also been tubed for the worst possible dog shifts over Christmas, and that's because I wasn't entitled to paternity leave so had to take my holiday instead....hopefully it will be quiet.... we will be down to a two man team.....and yes you've guessed it I'm one of them :(

nothing much else to report, Freya is coming along leaps and bounds, sometimes she is a sweet smiley girl sometimes a witch in a growbag.....pretty normal stuff really :)

Andrea's parents are coming down soon to do the Christmas drop and I believe they are staying over for the night, not sure..........they are most welcome as usual......I had best stock up on the Rioja for Dorothy and the cheap french beer for Roger.....he could have ANYTHING but apparently he likes the cheap french beer.....there is no accounting for taste

We have also decided to NOT have turkey for Christmas dinner this year as to what we ARE having I don't know yet, I do know it doesn't include any kind of stuffing chestnut or otherwise

Friday, 7 December 2007

Well I passed the health and safety course :)

In fact everybody did, in fact they have only EVER had one failure and I suspect that was a cerebrally challenged single celled organism which just happened to be passing the classroom and decided to take the test......it's a no brainer.... it's basically a bit of card with your mug on it, to show you know what is and isn't dangerous, the majority of it is common sense but by the very nature of accidents unless they are avoidable then that's what they are "accidents" and I guess it's making you aware of how to make things avoidable if you can

we did have a good discussion about what a "near miss" was....I explained that there is no such thing as a "near miss" because a "near miss" is actually a "hit".... if you nearly miss something then that means you have actually hit it.......(think about it) it took a while for it to sink in around the table but eventually everybody "got" what a ridiculous statement a "near miss" is, we decided a "near hit" was more accurate, I then pointed out that the instructors video recorder didn't have a valid electrical safety sticker on it and that it ran out in June of last year.....

nobody likes a smartarse ;¬)

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Health and Safety.......

Quite possibly the driest subject on the planet probably even drier than the Gobi desert in the middle of a heatwave, as courses go, but I need to do it so I can have my passport to safety which will allow me onto various sites around the country and show anybody that's interested that I can indeed breath unaided and don't feel the need to throw myself into fast moving machinery by accident or suffer horrendous crush injuries by standing behind fork lift trucks or lorries whilst they reverse, or in fact try to drink molten metal........ and I won't even go into how dangerous ladders are, and that indeed falling from height is hazardous to your health...(actually that isn't technically correct....you are fine while you are falling, it's the stopping that causes the injury ;¬) )

I know it's a case of dotting the I's and crossing the T's from a corporate point of view.........but I would still rather stick pins in my eyeballs than have to sit through another day of flowcharts, consequences and responsibility chains.......which reminds me I have to go back tomorrow for day two of the course and be presented with my "Safety Passport".......looking on the bright side they do a fabulous lunch and even provide tea and coffee with some indescribable biscuits but it really isn't good enough ...........now where did I put those pins looks like I am going to need them ???

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

And for my next trick

I decided to walk over to the local tesco's today to get my lunch for a change, anyway I trudged across the sodden ground and walked past the discount tile warehouse and noticed they had blocked off a vehicle access port and had turfed over it, so I gingerly walked up it remembering the ground was sodden with a recent torrential downpour and probably extremely slippery, I got to Tesco's bought my sandwich and start the long walk back to the office......I got to the very same place and completely forgot they had recently turfed over this vehicle access port starting my walk up it ......fine.........started my walk down it.....and you know you get that moment every now and again where you should have been paying attention to where your feet were going ?

well I can quite honestly say I hold the distance record for surfing a grass turf (is this what they mean by "surf and turf" ? ) and finishing with a very artistic kneeling split all whilst texting on my phone, I got up and looked down at my knee which had ploughed up a considerable trench in the newly laid turf.......swore several times and continued back to work with the left trouser leg swinging under the weight of the mud I had collected, fortunately I was able to dry my shin off under the hand dryer and brushed the majority of the mud off once it was dry..... but lesson learned.....don't eat Tesco sandwiches !!!

Monday, 3 December 2007

Happy smiley faces :)

Well here is smiling girl :)..... she seems to smile at the drop of a hat now and has a wicked sense of humour....


My tooth is giving me extreme jip, but I'm off to the dentist tomorrow so hopefully the outcome will involve little pain and long term gain :)

I went around to my parents tonight after work to sort out their installation of Ubuntu linux, my Dad apparently is a habitual button clicker.... ie/ lets see what this one does....ooooops.... anyway I put things right it was nothing serious and my mother gave Andrea and I a lovely fresh pasta maker, a soft toy for Freya and a £20 voucher for wine......which we are at this very minute selecting online our choices..... sounds like the conveyor belt from a 1970's generation game reading that back...(didn't he do well ????)

Anyway it was very thoughtful of her :) although I thought I had escaped endless pasta dishes with my first wife......but I have to say Andrea does know how to cook up a mean pasta dish....it even tastes nice, which I have to say was a bit of a novelty ;¬)

Sunday, 2 December 2007

My 100th post and to specially mark this wonderful anniversary.....

I have snapped a back molar !!! not on a toffee, or even a hard boiled sweet......but a piece of toast !!!

if you have been reading my blog you will recall I had a rather harrowing root canal done on a tooth which had been butchered then neglected and finally the ex spetsnatz KGB trained dentist who I was under her expert torture was sent back to Poland to the salt mines in disgrace.....well it's the very same tooth, I bit into a piece of toast transferred it back to my molars on the right side to be seen to......and there was this horrendous ping/crack......no pain just a crack that seemed to resonate inside my skull...that's when I thought that didn't sound quite right for chewing a piece of toast. At first I thought I had something on my piece of toast which had been quite forcefully chewed into submission by my back molars (not the first time I might add) but no luck .....

Ironically I am booked into to see the dentist on Tuesday which was going to be a routine check-up with a scale and buff up with added Vim....again it seems I have lucked out, Andrea tells me half the tooth has cracked off at a sharp angle with the cracked off bit grimly hanging onto my gum which means only one thing......it's a deep crack... :( it probably means it will have to come out..... at this rate I'm going to end up looking like bugs bunny or a very bald vampire...

(well if it worked for Nosfuratu it can work for me)ahhhh well they say as you get older bits start falling off

now where did I put that rather fetching toupee I bought off Ebay ?

I'm sore all over, I feel like I have been run over by a battle tank and now my teeth are falling out......at least the jeep can go around corners safely ;¬)

onward and upward...... :)

The shock absorbers are on....

And it's a completely different car....it even goes around corners now and you don't feel like you're playing the lottery as to if you'll make it out the other side. I have to say that after riding on the same shock absorbers since it was bought in 1997-98 they proved just a tad difficult to remove, and I am aching in places I never thought I had muscles....my back feels like I've been rolling around on marbles all night...... all I can say is whoever invented WD40 and hammers .....Thank you !!! to say they needed replacing is an understatement, the rear shock absorbers could be held up and they would slowly slide to their full extent and if you tipped them up the other way they would full contract in about 20 seconds, slack to say the least, That said it only took me 3 1/2 hours to replace all four shock absorbers..... but today I am taking on the anti roll bar, theoretically it's fairly simple it's only two connectors bolted onto an iron bar with some bushings which sits between and in front of the front wheels between each axle....However this is a two and a half ton jeep we are talking about not a Nissan Micra and the anti roll bar is made of steel and is as thick as my wrist..... I am bruised to hell from the battering I gave the front and rear suspension yesterday (it's not often you bruise your palms and have spanner rash all over your knuckles is it ?) so I'm going to dose up on painkillers wait for them to kick in then "once more into the breach my friends" I'll come back in the house looking like a black and white minstrel again, but it isn't going to beat me, I'm just glad I have a fully kitted out garage complete with a full length inspection pit right next to the house.....because it's hammering down outside :)


Anti roll bar is done too !!! :)


Well it's 4:00pm and the anti roll bar is properly installed instead of clattering around on one side, it turns out the garage that did it a few months ago had forgotten to fit a washer under one of the bushings which caused the nut to work it's way up through the rubber bushing destroying it and the one above it, they have been fitted properly now with new connectors and bushings and I took it for a test drive and it sticks to the road, I must say gas shock absorbers give a much better ride than hydraulic ones even 10 year old ones ;¬)

I did manage to drop one side of the anti-roll bar on my head, it's ok though the roll bar wasn't damaged in the slightest but it bloody hurt !!!! other than that it went pretty much like clockwork, it makes one hell of a difference working in an enclosed garage with a full size inspection pit, it would have taken me a lot longer and I would have been incredibly wet by the finish without it.....plus it's nice and draught free it almost makes me want to throw the towel in on IT consultancy and take up car mechanics........NOT.....I'm sending Andrea out in it to St Clears to get a bottle of wine and I'm going to soak myself to near death in a hot bath before every muscle I possess seizes up through over use........file servers and computers are much easier to fix ........I'll never complain again about them.....I promise..... despite all that it has saved me a fortune in car repairs considering Nissan in Crosshands were going to charge me £87 EACH side plus £75 an hour labour + VAT that would have been £500 to start with, not including the anti roll bar so easily £500 - £600 whereas it cost me £179 from Milners off road and a bit of my time and elbow grease and several torn muscles....worth it ? .... I think so :~)