Friday, 30 April 2010

How to complain and win

I really should set up a website to advise people how to complain successfully... I've just got BT to waive their early termination fee for us terminating our contract early. It wasn't a huge amount of money at £44 but it was the principle considering I had been advised by a BT employee who was waving the "we can do it cheaper for 12 months" carrot on the phone... I specifically asked her "are we still in contract?" to which she replied "no, you are free to leave BT any time with no charge"....

So I did and signed up for Post Office broadband which is "considerably" cheaper

Needless to say I launched myself into a low orbit when they sent me an email stating that they were sorry to hear I was leaving BT but did I realise that they would have to charge me £44 for the privilege because of early termination.

So I officially complained and got back an email stating that there was nothing they could do their hands were tied and it was because I had terminated early that they were levying the charge... So I reloaded and fired off a carefully worded email in which I metaphorically dropped a tactical nuclear device in their laps which of course was ticking loudly...outlining their appalling service and giving dates for every visit and names of every person I had ever spoken to in BT.... the list was long and meticulous.

a day later I received an email stating they were very sorry and all charges were being waived as a gesture of goodwill..... re.....sult !!!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

As usual...

My darling wife has talked me around to the Snowdonia Marathon, I might even take my mountain/road hybrid bike and travel the course with her... it's very hilly and I know the route pretty well having walked around and up Snowdon and the surrounding area lots of times... she swung it.... by saying they have a really good time after the race which inevitably involves beer and curry.... sounds like my kind of Marathon !!!


We are actually going to make a couple of days break with it the only thing that bothers me having lived in North Wales for a while is that October can't be guaranteed for anything weather-wise .... Hopefully the sun will shine and bizarrely Andrea should do a lot better on the course time wise because there are less clinically insane people who want to run around Snowdonia mainly because it's not known for its glass like flatness .... apparently mile 22 is a real killer.. I'll probably have trouble getting up it on my mountain bike let alone Andrea struggling with her legs.... it's fairly common for 99% of runners who hit this hill will start to walk.... so no shame there... but it's in October.... a while to go yet before it's upon us.... Andrea is going to book the Hotel early though to make sure we get a room.....

it's a stunning hotel

I've driven past it a few times on my jaunts up the mountains, never needed to stay there because I used to live not far from all the really pretty places in Snowdonia.... should be a good weekend.... I might even get Chris my mate to join us... although I think he will be more interested in the beer and curry than the running..... :)


Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Well the marathon bug has bitten

Andrea has entered herself to do the Snowdonia Marathon in October, I'm not overly happy about it and I've told her as much, because now she'll be busy training for that Marathon and there I was thinking after the London Marathon I might actually get to see something of her... I'm not against her running one bit, but Marathon training takes up so much time and she doesn't have very much of it, so somebody has to take a hit....

I don't know maybe I should start actively go out rock climbing every other night for a few hours.... Oh I can't I've got to look after the kids.... I forgot... yes you've guessed it I'm going ever so slightly mad stuck in the house day in day out.... Ahh well things can only improve I guess...

Off to cut the grass and make the house look respectable...... sigh


Sunday, 25 April 2010

They think it's all over....

It is now !! Andrea has just completed the 2010 London Marathon
START TIME 09:59:53
5K 00:37:52
10K 01:10:31
15K 01:44:17
20K 02:19:52
HALF 02:27:51
25K 02:57:51
30K 03:45:03
35K 04:23:39
40K 05:02:23
Finish time 05:18:12




Really really proud of her :)

I've just come off the phone to her and she said it was impossible to run at the pace she wanted to because there were so many people and if you wanted to run at a faster pace you were constantly side stepping and avoiding people....bit like running in a pack..... with 36,000 other runners that makes sense.... but she said that she wasn't cream crackered at the end of it and felt great and definitely didn't hit any wall... so by the sounds of it she wasn't running at full tilt... but she shaved well over an hour and forty minutes off her personal best of her last Marathon

Her dad Roger did brilliantly coming 13th in his category with the following times

START TIME 09:46:03
5K 00:25:12
10K 00:50:33
15K 01:16:58
20K 01:43:56
HALF 01:49:45
25K 02:12:34
30K 02:46:38
35K 03:21:32
40K 03:55:08
Total
place (total) 13438
place (gender) 10809
place (cat) 13
finish time 04:10:00

Well done Roger !!! he came 10,809th out of all the men and he is in the 70+ age category

And Nicola Quinn's time was brilliant as well

START TIME 09:48:39
5K 00:26:51
10K 00:54:16
15K 01:22:57
20K 01:51:48
HALF 01:58:05
25K 02:21:55
30K 02:55:33
35K 03:28:23
40K 04:02:19
Total
place (total) 14657
place (gender) 2967
place (cat) 525
finish time 04:14:38


bit of a messy blog post... but it gets the results up there :) Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible



Saturday, 24 April 2010

She's off !!!!

As I speak sitting on a train bound for London for the Marathon tomorrow her Marathon number is 34317 which can be tracked in Facebook or various other applications like the Nike website.... She has my rucksack packed to the with various bits and pieces and my compact digital camera which she is under threat of death or worse if she loses it !!


She's hit her fund raising target and has actually gone over it which she is pleased about because this time last week she had nearly £200 to find, thankfully a few of her friends chipped in and a few from the school where she works and it took her over her target. So all she has to do now is run the 26 miles around London..... doddle.....


On a slightly different note I see that my eldest daughter Emma has climbed Snowdon for the first time, I'm sure it's not a secret because it's in her Flickr account although once she has read this she will probably lock down everything and scuttle away because the Eye of Sauron has found her....(again)..... it's actually not that hard to find people if you know how, and requires absolutely no effort on my part.......I've known about Emma since the the days of World of Arl but she burst onto the Internet proper on the 23 January this year when she started her blog I guess she has to what with her studying her BA in Photography etc

I was informed of it's creation within minutes via email ........ and I've even found my middle daughter Rhiannon as well... It's nice to know what they are doing and up to these days... but if they choose to disappear again so be it.... I don't get upset about it these days what will be will be ......if they put their head above the parapet again I'll be informed via email... easy come easy go.....

Anyway judging by the stunning pictures she went up the Pyg track which is by far the easiest route and descended down the motorway track (as I call it, its the ones the tourists use in their trainers and flip flops) which follows the railway track again the easiest , not knocking her achievement at all just voicing my personal preferences .....it's a nice climb but not my favourite, I much prefer the Watkin path which starts at the base of the mountain not half way up it and is definitely the prettiest of routes scenery wise, it passes some stunning waterfalls and bridges and has bitter sweet memories for me because that's the path I broke my coccyx (my arse bone to anybody else) on one freezing January a few years ago...... but if you really want a challenge do Crib Goch but it's not for the the faint hearted or the ones terrified of heights....the consequences of losing your footing would be pretty terminal......

The only thing that upsets me is that on her first walk up Snowdon she got to see the magnificent views from the summit and take some stunning photographs to boot !!!! ......something which I have never seen or done in the 16 or so times (I forget it may be more....) I've got some foggy ones and some snowy ones and some raining ones but that's it !!! gutted !!! I've even guided friends up there and brought them back down safely but NEVER not once have I witnessed the stunning views..... :(

I've done every route up and down every conceivable path it has and a few of my own..... she must just have beginners luck... I'll see it one day for myself.... Who knows maybe one day she'll do some of the rock climbs I've done and put her hand in the same holds I used... bizarre.....Although I don't think she is into rock climbing.... yet.....

We were hoping to do Snowdon this year ourselves as a family just Me,Andrea, Fomo boy and Freya... but Freya is getting a bit too big for a Carrysack and I don't think she'd be too happy being lugged up there and back down and she certainly wouldn't be able to make it up there and back under her own steam... but who knows we shall see.... we might have to postpone that until she's a bit older..... and me.....


Thursday, 22 April 2010

"Darrrr" is dead long live the Marathon season

Yes it's sad but true, our hamster "Darrr" popped his clogs died sometime through the day yesterday, I went in to check his water and to make sure he had enough hamster food and when I opened his cage and filled his food bowl but there was no frantic race to sink his yellow fangs into me response from his fluffy boot... so I gingerly put my hand into his fluffy boot because "Darrr" was known for being a bit of a vicious bastard Jack Russell of a hamster, so savage in fact that it would make Alien look like a stoned docile bunny who had just munched his way through a field of Marijuana lettuce .... but alas instead of being ambushed in the fluffy boot I bumped against something cold and although fluffy.....quite stiff motionless... a few more prods to make sure in case he was simply hibernating or more probably knowing him waiting to savage nibble me....... nothing.... Oh dear.

Well Hamsters aren't known for their longevity, they do last longer than low energy bulbs but not much longer I'm afraid, so I put him back in his fluffy boot and went to bed and broke the news to Andrea,,,, He was removed in the morning and put outside on the decking still in his cage because he had started to give off a bloody awful stink familiar non moving rodent smell.... We kept the news from Freya until this evening when she spotted his by now empty cage in the outside toilet (we do have an inside one as well.... we're not that backwards in Wales)

I was about to say to Freya "Darrr" is dead but Andrea stopped me in my tracks with a "DON'T YOU DARE BE AS BLUNT AS YOU USUALLY ARE"......So I didn't actually say he had died... just that he had gone for a long sleep...

I don't think she quite understands the concept of death yet.... either way a long sleep or death... she reacted pretty much upset for about 5 minutes then all was well with her world.... no doubt she'll store that experience away and bring it up at a completely random time and ask questions endlessly about where he's gone to sleep and is he coming back and when can she wake him up etc etc...

The thing is how do you explain to a 2 year old the concept of death ? hmmmmmm bloody hard difficult one

Anyway the next morning I removed Darrr from his fluffy boot and buried him next to Fifi our cat which got hit by a car last year... I did warn about having a cat and living next to a rural road like we do... they come down that road like a formula one driver some of them, but does anybody EVER listen to me ? ... ahhh well I don't think we will be getting another Hamster like all animals in this house it seems to be either me or Andrea who looks after them because the kids are lazy little toads ....

(For those of you that don't know why he was named "Darrr" it's because Freya was quite attached to "Star" a previous Hamster who also died and we went to the local rodent emporium and bought another similar looking Hamster which she insisted on calling it "Darrr" because she couldn't pronounce "Star" and the name stuck, I'm convinced she thought it was the same Hamster ).....

Anyway enough rodent related news....

Andrea has hit her target of £1500 for Asthma UK !!!! which means she can go to the London Marathon this Sunday knowing that she has achieved her fund raising goal .... all she has to do now is do a little run around London in a decent time .... (she will.... she's a racing snake) .... I will be watching the Marathon on Sunday with Freya on my knee .... we don't stand a snowballs chance in hell of seeing her with so many running on the day, but it will be fun trying... I'm really really proud of her achievement over this last year... I'm sure her and Nicola will absolutely love it... They might even stop bloody talking about running after this, hopefully .....Andrea's parents are doing it or at least her father Roger is I think her mother has had to drop out with an injury but who knows that all may change :)


I wish I was there to cheer her on and give her a big hug at the end of it.... but alas I can't I'll just have to save it up until she gets back :)


Monday, 19 April 2010

Fascinating......

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)

In recent years, recognition of PAS has increased.

PAS is systematic denigration of one parent by the other with the intent of alienating a child against the other parent.

In some instances, all of the family members play a role for PAS to take hold. There is an easy temptation to place all of the responsibility for the process on the alienating parent, whose manoeuvring is the most obvious.

Motives will vary from family to family. In some, revenge for felt injustice or for feelings of rejection will dominate, but in others, the fear of loss of or abandonment by the children will be the driving force.

The targeted parent may be insensitive to the child, and usually has limited insight into his or her own contributions and role in the PAS, ie failing to counter the alienation theme, focusing on the alienating parent rather than the needs of the child.

Children most vulnerable to PAS, due to several converging developmental issues, are in the 8- to 15-year-old range. While some children seem completely drawn into the themes of the alienation, seemingly believing every word they say others are very aware of the exaggerations and lies.

In families with multiple children, roles in a PAS drama often are divided up, with the children representing the range of alienation - usually one child completely alienated, one ambivalent, and one still attached to the targeted parent.

A once loving and close relationship with a parent is suddenly ended by the children with little warning. The child aligns with the alienating parent and rejects the targeted parent.

Richard A. Gardner. M.D. defines 3 types of PAS:

"The mild type - The alienation is relatively superficial, the children basically cooperate with visitation, but are intermittently critical and disgruntled with the victimized parent.

The moderate type - The alienation is more formidable, the children are more disruptive and disrespectful, and the campaign of denigration may be almost continual.

The severe type - Visitation may be impossible so hostile are the children, hostile even to the point of being physically violent toward the allegedly hated parent. Other forms of acting-out may be present, acting-out that is designed to inflict ongoing grief upon the parent who is being visited".

If parental alienation influences the child, the targeted parent may well be faced with the alienating parent -

* Condemning them for not having enough money, changes in their lifestyle, or other issues in front of the children.

* Supporting the child's refusal to visit the other parent without reason.

* Giving children in depth inappropriate and unnecessary information (ie why the marriage failed,discussing the divorce settlement).

* Questioning children about the targeted parents personal life.

* Giving children reasons why they should feel angry and reminding the children they have good reason to feel angry towards the targeted parent - Brainwashing: Through a process of rewriting the child's experiences in a way to create reality confusion, the alienating parent incorporates the child into a false view of reality. This can include outright lies ("Your father never enjoyed spending time with you. He complained about that all the time, but not in front of you because he didn't want to hurt your feelings. I wonder why he wants to see you now"), subtly implied rewrites of the child's feelings ("You were scared of her even when you were a baby. You wouldn't even let her hold you"), or implanted memories ("Remember when your father used to hit me, or have you blocked this out of your mind?").

The child resolves the confusion by adopting the alienating parents view of reality.

To the targeted parent the child may show -

* Refusal to visit or spend time with them.

* Displays of anger and hatred for them.

* Nastiness extending to their extended family without remorse.

* Having delusional or irrational beliefs, due to what they have been told.

* A one-sided alliance with the alienating parent.

The PAS is a family system defence mechanism. The function of the defence is not always obvious, often there is a subtle underlying complicity on the part of the family members in the drama -

* To protect the alienating parents self-esteem (ie, when PAS escalates as the target parent becomes more "successful" after the separation, including getting on with life and remarriage).

* To help the alienating parent cope with his or her difficulty "letting go" of the marriage (ie, when the alienating parent can't stop thinking about or talking about the other parent; or when PAS escalates around birthdays, holidays, etc.).

* To maintain the alienating parent's symbiotic dependence on the child (for example, when the AP calls the child every day when the child is with the targeted parent).

* To deal with anger and revenge (ie, when the alienating parent expresses moral outrage at the exposure of the child to a new romantic partner, when the real issue is anger for an affair, or simply at being so easily replaced).

* To help the family cope with the alienating parent's tendency to turn on the child or anyone else who disagrees, or to abandon the child if there is a change (the child fears having feelings independent of and in opposition to the alienating parent and becoming a target of the rage and rejection he or she has seen the alienating parent direct at others who disagree).

EFFECTS OF PAS ON THE CHILD

The effect of PAS on the child is never benign; it is malevolent and intense. The degree of severity will depend on the extent of the brainwashing, the amount of time the child spends enmeshed with the alienating parent, the age of the child, the number of healthy support people in the child's life, and the degree to which the child "believes" the delusion. In many cases of PAS, the child will exhibit all of the signs of absolute rejection of the targeted parent, but in private will disclose that the rejection is just an act.

The child's internal psychological and emotional organisation becomes centred around the rejection of the targeted parent.

The child develops identity and self-concept through a process of identification with both parents, a process that begins very early in the child's life. The rejection of the hated parent becomes an internalised rejection and leads, over time, to self-loathing fears of rejection and depression.

These developments often are a surprise to the alienating parent and others, since at the time of the alienation, the child will often look mature, assertive, and confident.

These are fa├žades, however, often reflecting the feelings of power granted the child in cases of PAS, who is given reign to lie, be manipulative, and be as hostile as he or she wishes without reprimand. The child is also internalising the rage of the alienating parent as part of the self-concept, which often combines with intense guilt over the harm done to the targeted parent to become chronic feeling states. Sadness and longing often accompany these other feelings.

Children who maintain continuing relationships with both parents have higher satisfaction with their families, better overall adjustment (including higher self-esteem, better sex-role identification, higher IQ scores and academic performance, better adjustment to the divorce, and better adjustment to adolescence), substantially lower levels of fear and anxiety (again, especially of abandonment), and an increased quality of relationship with both parents.



isn't it..........

Sunday, 18 April 2010

BT Broadband

Well they have finally shot themselves in the foot with a shotgun but then tripped over the bloody stump and it accidentally went off and blew their head off with the second barrel ..... but in the process they managed to give me my MAC code so I could change broadband providers....

When we were with BT basically we went down to option 1 with a 10GB limit because it simply wasn't worth paying for option 3 with the unreliable speeds we were having.... I mean having unlimited broadband with BT at our house was like having an Olympic sized swimming pool but only being able to take a bucketful at a time and then swim in it.... so logic dictated that if we can't use it then there isn't any point in paying for it....

It doesn't work that easily though because what they give you with one hand they take off you with another... we got our BT bill through the other day and I nearly dropped through the floor.... mainly because we had gone over our 10GB limit by a whopping 25GB (allegedly) .... which didn't seem right because for 10 days our BRAS profile dropped down to 135Kb/sec (just above the speed of an average voice modem...remember those?) which meant for the rest of the month we had to be downloading 24 hours a day 7 days a week at full tilt and even then it would have taken 39 days to download that amount.....at our connection speed.. and they charged us £1 for every Gigabyte they claimed we were over !!! Needless to say the maths didn't add up....

So...... I fired off a well aimed ballistic email missile .... which was countered by an automated response from BT saying they had received my complaint... followed by the next day a call from a lovely woman with a soft Irish accent who offered us BT option 2 for £12.99 a month for a year... I umm'd and ahhhh'd and eventually I said I would have to think about it .... so I did all of the calculations and believe me they don't make it easy with their billing system it would be easier decoding the Da Vinci Code than a standard BT bill....eventually I decided to go with the Post Office Broadband for £25 a month all in including line rental and home phone..... which is a long way from BT's complicated billing system of

£37.something.... for line rental and something else even more obscured by numbers
£16.something.... for Talk Any time
£15.something.else .... for ... never mind it's beyond planet boredom
£1.50 processing fee... whatever that was... by the looks charging us for paying our bill these days

I'm surprised they haven't charged us for depreciation of copper wire over a 20 year period and the coffee and pie expenses of their engineers....basically with BT it came to a LOT a month.... and lets face it even if the Post Office Broadband is utter rubbish... it will be a huge step up for us, we haven't had rubbish broadband for well over 2 years here, I mean I've dreamt of rubbish broadband for longer than I care to remember.... oh the luxury of having rubbish broadband again.....


There are "some" people in BT who are genuinely helpful I won't name names because anybody reading this blog might jump on the bandwagon of desperation and deluge the poor woman with help requests.... lets just say hats off to Ann P... through all of this she has been a genuinely helpful person and a lovely personality to boot... If I'm sorry for anything it will be because I will no longer be able to deal with Ann .... The North East's answer to the Claire Rayner of broadband woes.... I'll miss her and her wicked laugh.....Adieu !!!


That said ....... I've told the kids to lay off the you tube because that will jack up our GB limit very quickly and until May 4th we are on a ticking meter, after which they can drown in youtube.com for all I care.... but "just" to be on the safe side I've blocked all video sharing on our network.... not that I don't trust the little bar stewards...In fact I've blocked all high bandwidth sources.....Muahahahahahaha.......

Oh some of you may remember me removing Xbox boys wifi connection to his Xbox because he went behind my back and re-enabled his Xbox connection on a "looking for jobs" day? ...... Well he perked up today when I told them we were swapping broadband provider and said it was unlimited broadband... so he immediately chipped in "So does that mean I can have my Xbox connection back now ?" ...I paused ....... "no.... it doesn't..... I took it off you because you breached my trust, and I said at the time you weren't getting it back.... guess what ?....."

That's me off his Christmas card list ..... (again.....sigh....gutted) if he wants his xbox connection back he'll have to buy his own wifi adapter .....

Prior to all of this broadband jiggery pokery we went down to Llanelli Coastal path to watch the first Welsh Marathon,.... Andrea had a few of her club members running it so we went along for the ride.... a good day was had by all, even Freya but that wind got us again, well Freya at least she kept coming up to me saying "Daddy I'm TOLD (cold)" so I had to take her and her friend Hannah back into the car park to warm them up.... but I only lasted about 20 minutes .... having two little girls in the same car when they aren't strapped into car seats DOES YOUR FREAKING HEAD IN !!!! .... I think every seat belt was pulled out to it's full extent then let go to major giggles about twenty times each... until eventually I said "Right ... That's it..... lets go back and see what Mummy is doing"

Apparently some of the club runners did very well .... actually they all did well, to knock a marathon out like that.... Oh well it's Andrea's turn next weekend .... she's off to the big smoke to do the London Marathon.... she'll be fine.... she'll love it... I'm really proud of the work she has put in, even if that has meant I haven't seen as much of her as I would have liked and the almost constant injuries she's had.....then so be it..... but she's a bloody trooper that woman.....I'll give her that :)

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Today has been.....

Freya struggling with a remarkably short spoon
Lovely, We took Freya down to Pendine for a rather chilly day out at the beach and we forced her to eat ice cream ... it was bizarre because at our house it had been blisteringly hot but we got down to the beach and it felt like an we had walked into a freezer.... and of course we were dressed completely inadequately in t-shirts and shorts..... the picture doesn't show you how cold it was ....

We had to escape Xbox boy and his girlfriend it seems we have had a stream of teenagers staying at this house since the holidays started and although once or twice is ok it does get a bit wearing you feel as if the house is being dumbed down with inane conversations and irrelevant and remarkable unfunny humour.......


Pendine Beach
It's not made any easier that Xbox boy seems to think he is on holiday along with everybody else (no he is in the same boat as me... I haven't stopped looking for a job once!!!) and has done very little towards finding a job, he seems content to kick back on his unemployment benefit....Well he's in for a shock once the Easter holidays are over.... I really can't be bothered with him or his attitude at the moment but StalagLuft 17 once again opens it's gates Monday of next week and abandon hope all ye who want board and lodging....

We gave him Duran Duran a few weeks back he hasn't even opened the door on it yet... although he did perk interest the other day and asked if I was going to transfer the car to his name which I said I would.... even though I was just a tad suspicious about his motives....(there is ALWAYS an angle with Xbox boy).....seeing as he hasn't even looked it over since we said he could have it..... Well it turns out his sister said a few of her friends had expressed an interest in it for a few hundred quid.... bingo that's the reason he wants it in his name.....

He needn't concern himself over the V5 though.....because that isn't going to happen..not on my shift....... he can have it transferred into his name once he passes his driving test and not before, that way he won't be so keen to get rid of his only method of transport for a swift few hundred.....it has no value to him at the moment (except what it's worth cash wise) because he doesn't have a licence, that will all change once he gets one......I know what's best for him even if he doesn't.....

I have no desire to line his pocket with a few hundred quid I'd rather it rot where it stands to be honest than do that..... We gave him the car thinking it would spur him onto a little independence but no..... he's upstairs now as I speak twitching his thumbs to some mind rotting shoot em up on his Xbox.....

Make no mistake......


Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Politics....(sigh)

Well the general election is looming on the 6th May.... and the political parties are all jostling for the best sound bite or tax break giveaway.... I had to laugh at Nick Griffin doing a walkabout he had a small army encircling him including a soldier... I'm sure his commanding officer will be having a word with him about wearing uniform for a political event... As Queens Regulations states and I quote (you can even get into trouble for quoting Queens Regulations...)

"Carnival processions and other occasions when the reputation or political impartiality of the Armed Forces might be brought into question (e.g. political meetings). "

It is strictly forbidden to show support for any party whilst in uniform.... sure you can have your hand shaken by a politician but you don't walk around as his minder.... I've a feeling he will on a charge when he gets back to his unit....Unless of course it's the Queens Own Racist and Blanket Stacking Brigade in which case he'll be hailed as a hero and probably promoted....

It makes me sick to the stomach all this political posturing and bad mouthing of each others policies ..... it doesn't matter who gets in they will all make a complete pigs ear of the UK's economy anyway......Politicians over the past few years have shown themselves to be even less trustworthy than estate agents and about as pleasant as a skunks bum hole... They all use carrot on a stick statements it's like voting for a line of crack addicts while you have 1/2 lb of crack in your hand.... They'll say ANYTHING to get your vote, then completely go back on their promises once you've handed it over..

They are all clowns.....

Monday, 12 April 2010

Kin .........Hell

See the clever play on words there.... no ? well you will.... Microsoft have released their new phone called "Kin" or "Kin One" basically it's a phone designed for people who don't have a life and seem to live their lives in social networking sites... So instead of having their heads buried in a laptop or a PC tied to a desk or Argos computer workstation ......they can walk around and change their status on Farcebook 24/7...

I used to marvel at the developments in the IT industry, you know the really useful things its produced like enormous memory capacities of hard disks and memory modules which allow you to carry around your entire music collection or every single photograph you've ever taken.... Or the development in automotive and engine management computers, squeezing the very last rotation of wheel from the very smallest amount of war juice (petrol/oil)....but where is it all leading ?

It's bad enough that most of this generation thinks they should have everything laid out on a plate for them, and that they only need to work the bare minimum to reap massive rewards.....They are living in cloud cuckoo land because the world hasn't changed that much since I was a teenager, work still needs to be done and "usually" the better or more skilled you are at something means you'll be paid a higher wage....

I really pity this younger generation what with instantaneous communication, and how some people make friends online and break up online without ever meeting !!! what is all that about ? It amazes me how much of a teenagers life seems to revolve around social networking sites... it's almost the POS 51 of puberty.

I fully understand technology more so than most I've been immersed in it since its very early days of bulletin boards and CIX and green screens and when mice were kept in cages not on desks...... I have to admit I'm not particularly happy with where it's going at the moment....

I'll freely admit I have a facebook account... but I can take it or leave it, my life wouldn't be over if facebook ceased trading or any of the other social networking sites.. I think it would leave quite a few strung out social networking junkies though....

I think we've lost something along the way, I can't put my finger on it, it's almost intangible but I'm sure we will be reaping the whirlwind at some point in the future, probably socially inept techno geeks who can't stir their own coffee without looking up an iPhone app to see how it's done.... Where will it all end up.... I wonder..... and will we be better off because of it ?

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Well the 16 year old's party is over

It went without a hitch.... actually I'm lying through my teeth there..... Xbox boys stereo got beer poured in it .... which killed it spectacularly and the computer speakers (no great loss there on the speakers front as it stops FOMO boy playing his gangsta rap rubbish too loud) ....

and Lauren has promised to replace Xbox boys CD player and although a few things got smashed ...... nothing of value I might add....... Moron of the night award goes to the bright spark who thought it would be a wheeze to put all of our recycling bags out into the middle of the road so a car would hit them....

low and behold one did ...

Top marks to the single brain celled individual who thought that would be a fantastic laugh... thankfully nobody was hurt but that was my cue for me to go ballistic and start an ad-hoc re-education program for neuron deficient moronic teenagers........ it didn't end up in blood(theirs) or violence (mine) but it came very close to it....

After the enormous bang as four rubbish bags exploded on the road after being hit at over 45mph...... I confronted the group of lads and demanded to know which half wit idiot thought it was a really funny to put all of our recycling bags into the middle of the road and how when that car hit them when it came over the brow of the hill, did it not cross their infantile minds that if the person in the car swerved to avoid the bags and ploughed into people instead who were standing on the driveway .. what exactly would they be doing right now ??? ....

Stunned silence......it hadn't even occurred to them .....Like I said Morons the lot of them

After I had finished my tirade at them and walked away to get some more bags to clean the mess up.... if you can imagine four full recycling bags exploded all over the road when hit at over 45mph ??? ..... There is always one smart arse who thinks he's funny..... and as I was just about to start picking up the rubbish.....one of the jokers couldn't resist and made a crack (aimed at me) and laughed..... So I walked back right into the centre of the group and got nose to nose with him and asked the said moron to repeat himself to my face and not behind my back and not under his breath... he didn't ...... probably the wisest decision he made that night......besides leaving of course in his car......all mouth and no trousers as is usually the case these days......he did do a mini protest though he dared to run over a recently refilled rubbish bag. in his Halfords chav mobile.... ohhhh that really upset me... (I don't think sooooo... bloody child)... his ego was pretty dented after I finished with him in front of his mates... so I guess he couldn't resist stamping his foot in the safety of his car. I'm safe in the knowledge that he'll end up upside down on a bend in a field some day.

There was other general wreckage laying strewn around, nothing that couldn't be fixed or replaced.... it's just the utter senseless idiotic behaviour of wanting to smash and break things... all of this happened within half an hour... the rest of the evening was lovely.

It seems there was a faction in the party that were keen on spoiling it for Lauren... but I think my psychotic in your face "I'm going to kill you all horribly and painfully and very probably slowly...." coupled with my continued presence in the shadows like the Eye of Sauron calmed down the atmosphere which was quickly spiralling out of control up until that point...... it wasn't long after that that they mostly left...... I have to admit I was relieved ....I was not a happy bunny .....Which is probably why I would never have made a good policeman, I would have been more suited being in Gene Hunt's police force.....

We won't be hosting any more parties here ..... full stop......well not for 16,17,18,19 or 20 year olds......anyway

But Lauren enjoyed it and other than the blip caused by infantile idiots it went well and that's the important bit :)

Friday, 9 April 2010

Google Street View

Is nothing short of amazing... for those of you not in the know if you download Google Earth and enable the street view option it allows you to drop into a picture bubble for pretty much any location that has been mapped by the Google van.... For instance

I decided to look at my old house in Kippax mainly because I could remember the post code ...... and within seconds was amazed to find that they still have up the front gate I made all those years ago....see quality craftsmanship always lasts !!! ;¬) (that gate must have been made pre 1994 ...)




And here is the tree I used to swing my daughter Emma off when we'd come back from the park (or waste ground as it was then..... near the disused railway track) that tree was practically a sapling when we lived there ... it's grown..... much like my daughter......probably.....



but then the devil got the better of me (as he usually does.....) and I looked at my former marital home in Tumble to find that the 2nd floor window which lay between my daughter Rhiannon's bedroom and what used to be the former marital bedroom STILL hasn't got a proper curtain up...

tut tut ...... I guess the ex STILL hasn't got around to it yet...but fair do's it's only been 7 years or so....

I am also one of those lucky individuals who has been immortalised outside my house on Google street view... the odds of being outside whilst the Google van takes a picture of the outside of your house must be pretty slim... but I'm definitely there albeit with my face smudged out... no mistaking me though :)

The things you can do on the Internet these days are mind boggling .... and to think I only came on to configure Andrea's Garmin Forerunner GPS via Google Earth.... easily distracted it seems......

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh a job too far !!!

Location: Kingston Upon Thames
Phone: 08456 XXXX
Salary: 50.0 - 80.0 HOURLY
Industry sector: IT and Telecoms
Advert ID: XXXXXX
Position type: Temporary

Job description
My client, a prestigious local authority is currently undergoing a re-organisation whereby teams will be restructuring and data files will be required to be moved to new locations. The existing (Novell) files server drive and folder structures need to be restructured in light of the team re-organisations so that the correct access is given to the correct teams both for personal area data, team area data and location (i.e. site) area data.

Main Duties
 Create groups and members with correct rights (using LDAP tool)
 Create/edit Novell groups and directory security
 PHP scripting
 Move data and applications between sites
 Discussing requirements with end users
 Advanced spreadsheet manipulation

Candidate profile
The ideal candidate must be highly proficient in Novell

Candidate skills
Key Technical Skills
 Novell Utility trustee.nlm
 Novell groups and directory security
 PHP
 Console One/Manager


With my eyes closed and both hands tied behind my back whilst asleep.......kerchinggggggggggg alas too far

Runners Porn

This is it here on the left, its a wristwatch which is GPS enabled and you basically set it to the pace you want to run at and it beeps at you annoyingly when you either fall behind your virtual partner or get ahead of your virtual partner.... I'm sure it does other things as well.... Anyway Andrea has been lusting after this filthy piece of hardware for ages now ever since she borrowed Niki's off her....So I passed the word around the family to donate hard currency so we could splash out on it for her..... well she's gone and done it, it's on it's way via Mr Postie and she can hardly contain herself.... this is all completely back to front because I'm supposed to be the geek not her ... All I wanted for my birthday was two tins of .22 pellets ..... Chris my best mate supplied me with a new spring for my rifle after I bitterly complained to him about not getting one for my birthday (although fair do's to my dear lady wife who did try to get hold of one for me, but it's a funny diameter so hard to source)...... but that's why he's my best mate I guess ;¬)

Xbox boy has lost his job albeit not his fault, the firm just packed up and left Carmarthen without so much as a goodbye.... we thought it was a bit dodgy to be honest they had him on "job trial" ??? which basically means he gets his dole money and nothing else besides any "reasonable" expenses and works for the company for a few weeks for nothing !!! He's not having much luck finding a job mind you I think he is getting the message that he's simply not cut out for sales in any shape or form.... He's a bit of a ship without a rudder at the moment and that's putting it politely .......

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Love these pictures

Couldn't resist this rainbow, on this picture you can see the double rainbow if you look carefully
Zoomed a little closer and I changed the colour temperature a little to bring out the rainbow
And closer still

Friday, 2 April 2010

Temporomandibular joint disorder

That's a mouthful isn't it... well actually it is and it bloody hurts... I went to the doctor a few days ago to see what was hurting me so much, I couldn't pin it down to any particular place except my head.... some days it felt like a really bad toothache, other days it felt like a really bad ear infection... it turns out I did have an ear infection and I thought the antibiotic spray would deal with it... it did but I was left with this really bad and acute pain that was nearly an ear infection pain and nearly a toothache type pain.... I remember the doctor sprouting this term Temporomandibular joint disorder when I went to the surgery but I didn't think anything much past taking the magic pills to stop it from hurting.... Well it's looking like I'm stuck with it for a while yet..... I've always had a problem with grinding my teeth whilst sleeping and it seems that this is one of the major contributors to the condition.... maybe my jaw has simply had enough of my nocturnal jaw grinding and wants a well earned rest....

It's almost like when you've been chewing gum for far too long and your jaw aches.... but it's way past simple jaw ache, it's up there with the worst toothache you could imagine but just in front of your ear and deep inside your jaw.... at its worst it's hard to think straight and I've also noticed that my temper is on a very short fuse (nanoseconds) when it flares up like that....

I've not quite kicked the dog into orbit or beaten the crap out of any white goods yet, but my fuse is much shorter than it usually is, my sufferance of fools is pretty low lets just put it like that ...... consequently it's probably not the best time for any Jehovah's Witnesses to call around and stick their foot over my doorstep.....they might meet their maker sooner than they were anticipating .....

apparently it's to do with either the cartilage and/or the smooth muscles responsible for chewing and the smooth transit of the mandible into the skull (see picture above it's the greyed out area) ....

I'm in quite a bit of pain now as I type this but I've taken some kick ass painkillers and they should be kicking in about now.... On top of all this misery Andrea isn't very well either she's got a really bad toothache and she's been robbing my kick ass painkillers... she's on a course of antibiotics as well and has to go back to the dentist in a few days .... overall neither of us are doing very well at the moment.... she is supposed to be doing a 22 mile run tomorrow for her London Marathon training but I don't honestly think she's going to feel up to it....

She still has a little way to go to hit her target for Asthma UK .... so if any of you have a few quid to throw in her direction for her chosen charity it will be thankfully received....and by a few quid I don't mean massive donations although they are VERY nice and VERY welcome... no I mean ....even a couple of pounds will make a difference :)


Don't make me go all Bob Geldof on you and demand that you "give us your f*****g money" I don't have the hair for it and neither the Northern Ireland accent of Robert Frederick Zenon Geldof, (Yeah I'd have changed my name to Bob as well) I can however do a passable Rev Ian Paisley when under the influence of beer or wine.....well when my jaw isn't hurting like it is now anyway ..... :)

So come on the tin is rattling .........It gives her just that little bit more encouragement because it's a pretty thankless task pounding the roads to be fit enough to do a marathon in a respectable time.... and she has gone out in all weathers, some of the weather she's run in I wouldn't send the dog out in .....she's even run with a head torch on to keep to the training regime ......I'm really proud of the effort she's put into this... it wasn't that long ago when she came back from her first 5km run and was really pleased with herself... 5km now is practically a warm up for her....

Anyway other than that everybody is ok I guess..... Freya has the expanding vocabulary of a thesaurus, in fact I think she's eaten one ... she eats practically everything else and has become a silent ninja toddler able to remove large sections of ham from the fridge without anybody knowing ......it's like watching one of those stop animation films, you go to the fridge and the ham has dropped by another 3 or 4 pieces .... I'd usually blame one of the other kids.... but they don't need her baby chair to reach it....ahhhh unless it's a double bluff.... hmmmmm