Thursday, 29 April 2010

And the clock keeps ticking

I am still sat in the training session which I have discovered has too many "pricers" which means we discuss points that I initially find irrelevant/boring, however by the end of the conversation about some finance number crunching exercise we get to a somewhat useful revelation. Okay, it is less useful but still a revelation.

When you do so much of this training you start to realise how little you know!

I have now managed to get enrolled on the Starfleet development programme, which might lead me to get my wings on my sleeve. Of course that all takes time which I need to find.

Betty is getting towed away today and then in a couple of days time I should find out how much damage and how long to be repaired! Until then I have to cope with driving a Kia Ceed... okay it has got lots of gadgets but it is "plastic-fantastic"! Worst case scenario is Betty is a right off and I have to wait for a few months for a new car again!! aaagghhh

The training continues and I am start to identify a theme to the ties - african animals???

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Eventful day

Well I am currently in training for the latest abacus to be used at Starfleet. The instructures tie is still a delight to behold!

However getting here was a bit more of a challenge, I walked to my car this morning only to discover that someone had hit her last night, and hit her quite hard! They then drove off, however luckily enough a taxi driver recorded their details left me a note on windscreen and called the police - so for that I will take back all the bad things I have ever said about Taxi drivers and the slate is clean (Tabula Rasa). The car appears to be undriveable and I took that from advisement from my local mechanic. Although the damage initially appears to be just a dent to the bodywork above the wheel arch, the other driver managed to hit the car up the kerb and that has bent the wheel axel - and it does look like a bad buckled wheel! So now my car that was not even a month old is being towed away tomorrow... and I now have a Ford Focus until I get a summary of the damage! Surely Starfleet won't be taking away my wings for long???

back to the ties and training!!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Crackle on the line

I think I am currently sat on the worst conference calls that I have ever been on. No-one could dial in early as there was another meeting running late. It has started over 15 minutes late as they managed to initially have an echo on the line, then they got the speaker to logoff and then dial back in. Unfortunately the line was then full so the speaker couldn't get back in. They decided that everyone needed to logoff so that the speaker could then get in. Eventually we all got in and then they just cut off everyone off (well at least me). Now the presenter it talking about where his mouse is pointing to. Now after 25 minutes they have cancelled the call as there is a "crackle on the line". This is seriously one of those times you want a TIM to actually see how much money has been lost by Starfleet.

So to bring you all up to speed the weekend involved the first bike outing of the year. But more importantly it involved the first bike outing for the family. I sacrificed my mountain bike and offered it up to the powers that be so it can be used as a family carrier. I know this doesn't compare to having to sacrifice your small 2 seater sports car which is probably convertible for an over-sized family van which is probably now diesel but it has every safety feature your wife ever wanted to protect the family... but for me this is close. My trusty steed that has seen a few off road adventures was now being broken in with a child seat. However I do believe I chose well with the child seat as it comes off really easily. Don't worry it doesn't come whilst you are cycling and have a child in the seat, that would be ludicrous. The boys did well on the bikes, Mrs A however was a bit more wary. I often heard shouts behind me of "don't stop!" as it seemed balancing was harder when going slower. This was a consideration I made before I put the child seat on Mrs A's bike.

I have to say the worst thing about cycling is getting there. No I don't mean the whole cycle as that would be pointless, but just manoeuvring the family through traffic and past idiots who can't drive and certainly don't have any considerations for bikes. But once you are off road that is when the freedom begins except for the avoidance of some dips and the odd unruly dog which can't be controlled by it's walker. But they add to the excitement. So now the roof rack has been ordered for "Betty" and once I have confirmed it is the right size for her (I didn't realise that ordering a roof rack was more difficult than ordering a bra for the wife), then I will get the bike carriers and I can then follow Scobi down the M27 causing delays behind me ;-)

Friday, 23 April 2010

And I leave you with

India has more cell phones than toilets. Some 545 million Indians have cell phones, but only 366 million have access to toilets.

and finally I think Starfleet needs one of these... TIM. Surely this should be part of LEAN!

The Time Is...

The Time is...
...Gone. Well at least you would think so. I was lying in a half comatosed state last night thinking I must update my blog, and I am pleased to announce that my avid followers are actually prompting me for more. I feel like I have stepped into the shoes of JK Rowling! I kept coming up with thoughts whilst trying to get some "zzz's", however I have woken with a tabula rasa - wow that brings back memories of my University days discussing the works of John Locke and the nature versus nurture debates, we really did have too much time on our hands.

...this week!
This week has really shot past. I have managed to keep my head down and beaver away at Starfleet, none of my efforts have made me feel any better about the plight of Trooper reductions which is still looming.
I managed to watch District 9 last night, which I have to say was brilliant! And I went and played football only for the second time this year and we ended up playing for 2 hours! Surprisingly I felt okay on Tuesday and went for a nice long walk. However on Wednesday I woke to be reminded of my age. I managed to get another walk in even if it was for just 30 minutes. At this rate I will be all set for the Marathon on Sunday.

I have a Starfleet gathering by intergalatic communication for a selected fleet. I don't know if it will be needed but it should hopefully be enlightening. Also Mrs A has a job interview. It is not a job she needs, I would rather she is at home looking after the family, but she will be great at aything she puts her hand too.

I heard on TV yesterday actually on CSI (which normally states some drone and always finds that fingerprint from 300 years ago that was missed before). "Parents only allow their children to go a tenth of what Parents allowed 9 years ago". Paraphrased. As a Parent I know how that feels and it disappoints me that we live in a time when my kids can't have the same freedom as I had as a kid.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Sun is shining

Well the world keeps on turning and the sun is shining! Today is a good day and every attempt is being made not to a miserable old man! :-) I have both my boys here today at home and Mrs A is going to take them out for the day and although you could think I would be miserable about being stuck at home whilst the family is out playing, I am actually ok with it all. If the temperature rises by a couple of degrees I will actually be out in the garden working.

I am randomly exploring new music on Spotify (great tool) and have currently got Rascal Flatts playing and it sounds like an original that would have been revamped for an American Idol contestant at some point. I have to admit my music tastes are a bit random. I always feel that I stepped in the world of music a bit late in life...I led a sheltered upbringing... being raised with Cliff Richard and Enya!! Which meant there was more reason to not have music on then than to. That was until my brother purchased a Queen album - it was A Kind of Magic Live That really changed things for me and suddenly my Rolf Harris album didn't have the same appeal. Although about 15 years later at University I got to see Rolf Harris live and he didn't disappoint. Other albums in my life that I have to mention are

And of course everyone has to mention there first single and this is something I have to instill into my eldest son, as I think that point in life has come when he needs to chose. He has already brought his first album. And I think this (the first single) has to be a wise choice. The "first single" question is a common subject and one that defines you amongst friends. You rarely get asked who your first comic, bike, ice lolly was (although all very good questions that tell you a lot about a person). But music status can build you up or knock you down. So the question goes out to you my readers, what was your first single? Mine was Danny Wilson's, Second Summer of Love. It is a something or nothing choice in terms of influencing music status. I am tempted to encourage my eldest son in choosing wisely, but there is a point where he has to follow his own path, at which point I hope my face is not too contorted when he walks out with some Dizzee song probably featuring some other numpty.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Mentored and Motivated

Well I have delayed my posting today for a good reason.  Today I have been mentored by very own Jedi Master at Starfleet.  What I thought would be either a possible tick box exercise by both of us to achieve a better ranking or a waste of time felt by all as we discussed some nomical subject, actually turned out to be neither.  We through the rule book out and actually worked what I could adventure into in the future.  Of course it is all good to talk about these things, but we still need to get the "powers that be" to agree to them.

Unfortunately I recieved bad news yesterday, one of my Starfleet comrades is leaving our delta flight force to join another obviously not so good squadron.  Mr Wan Kenobi will be missed, as the force is strong with this one, but I have to say it will be good for all (you can tell I have been mentored!).  As my "buddy" when I joined Starfleet he perhaps did try to reduced my confusion levels, but the "squirrel" within still emerged! :-)

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Where has all the time gone

I seem to struggle with finding time.  My work day can fluctuate and Starfleet I think assume that you will be either busy or REALLY busy.  There are quiter times in the year whereby most of the Officers in Starfleet swan off, and the minions end up "vannin" so you are left ticking everything over and still do more than the required quota of work.  And then there are times when we are battle stations i.e. end of year and you seem to do the work of 2 people for 2 weeks in 1 day.  But I love it all, actually I prefer the busier for short bursts.

Mrs A has decided that we should move house.  What a strange saying "move house", if it was a caravan this could be an option but we have not succumb to that yet.  Actually I think Mrs A would lift and shift this house if she could.  In the years we have lived here we have changed from being young nippers who wanted the ease of nipping into town as city dwellers, to wanting to nip for a walk or bike ride and keep the kids out of the hustle and bustle.  And of course we want to come home and be able to park in our road - not fussy about parking outside the house, I realised I had to sacrifice that luxury a few months after moving here.  I should have knocked on the neighbours doors before buying and asked them how many cars they had. i.e. next door have 3 cars and a van.... grrrr, grumble, grumble.

So now our evenings are spent with searching on every reputable house moving website for what could be our next house.  And like every good relationship, I give a budget of what our limit is, and within 2 weeks Mrs A has added another 20% to search criteria.  Our "after work" times - which are limited by my working day, are often taken up by house viewings.  However we are both rather demoralised by the house options at the moment, our search radius is getting wider by geography, style, options, bedrooms just so we might actually find OUR house.  It seems we can actually increase our mortgage drastically and get a smaller house, just for the sake of allocated parking.

But our evenings are made thinner by the fact that Mrs A has 2 evening jobs, no not stacking shelves!  She has a rather fancy meeting role for school governors and I am very proud of her.  But that tends to take up the rare commodity of time.  Then I have band practice tonight, oh and I should be practing in my SPARE time.  And to fill up the rest of the day we have a 1 year old who seems to require all time as a precursor to everything

P.S. my new blogging tool does not have a spell check, so I think I might have to revert to the less widget'd tool.  Not that it would make any difference to my content

Monday, 12 April 2010

The circle of life

So it unfortunately comes round again.  What was the weekend has come and gone and alas I am back staring at my laptop screen.  It doesn't help that I get a text message on Monday morning saying there is a poker night on Friday night, so now I have in my head a count down on days until my next adventure out of Starfleet.  As it turns out the Mrs A has declared that I can't go.  Instead we are out with "her" friends for a birthday gathering.  This gabbling gathering of girls was formed many years when they are all worked together.  Now life has evolved, and what was formed by depression of female singleton and desperation of needing company formed around ice cream and girlie movies has now changed.  All girls have fellas, and most have kids.  There is often so comment about how they don't stay in touch, and there will have been some event that someone else from the group was not invited too and now they feel left out of the gang, they are probably attending this night out, out of obligation and so they don't get missed out next time.

It is a shame that things change and I wish I was still in contact with many people from my past, but it is only natural that you move on and so do they.  Normally my Mum tells me about how she has bumped into one of my old friends from school and gets me an update to their life, it is always great to hear how they are doing and you can normally tell how much they mean to you by whether you are pleased by their success or feel a bit prouder when you have somehow achieved a "one-up" on them.  Of course you would never wish them harm, but I knew that that time they nicked my pack lunched in year 3 would come back to haunt them!
I have to say that if I had many followers of my website then I would probably resist from the writing any of that, and if by any chance you have googled and found me then no offence is meant.  It is just my normal Monday morning grumble.  How can I try to fool myself - I grumble every morning, today is no different, and now you can feel a bit prouder :-)

On a lighter note before I drag you all down into my myther, I actually had my first BBQ of the year.  So that means it is now time for the man to start cooking again.  There is the prehistoric urge that overcomes a man, with the site of flames and cooking outside and of course it is has to be a meat feast!  At what other time of having dinner guests round would you keep plying them with more meat?  Of course you always try that small experiment or pompous gesture, the seasoned kebab, the herb'd sausage, the jalapeno'd burger specially made or ordered from the butcher and of course the Malin fish you caught last night, wrapped in banana leaves, covered in lemon and salt.  But to tell you the truth I love it all!

I need to go now because personally you know you are flagging in this circle of life, when you start thinking about what new desktop or persona you can load up to vary your life which seeems to be taken up by being sat in the same chair again (which must be getting butt grooves by now) and to stop you getting screen blindness!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

The Science of Urinal Choice

It always amazes me how some people can not follow or understand the law of the Urinal Choice.  Statistics show that you would not chose the Urinal next to someone else unless that was the last choice available.
 Maybe too much thought has gone into this, and for me I find it natural to chose the best urinal.  And the best urinal is not selected by close inspection, however you also don't want to be standing in someone else's pee!  ...especially in flip-flops!  But that is a summers day discussion where we will bring up the pungent smell that comes from a public urinal that would keep a skunk with a blocked nose away!

I think every architect should be taught the science of Urinal Choice and if it is not a mandatory subject at University, then it should be.  I might write to my MP and see if they can raise this in the house of commons.  However as a female MP, I think this will be lost on her.  I know if I had a time machine this would have now become my dissertation subject.  My biggest dilema is when there is a 4 bowl urinal formation and 1 and 4 is taken, do you take 2 or 3?

All about the money

I have to admit that it is a shame that Manchester Utd went out of the Champions League. I am not a fan of Man Utd, in fact they are only slightly higher than Arsenal in my distaste. But to not have an English team in the Champions League is a loss. This is the first time in 7 years that we have not an English team in the final of the Champions League.

Only to say that a team is "English" is a creative licence. I think there might have been 3 English players last night, another Irish and of course a Scottish Manager. Actually that is fairly high for most teams these days. But the sooner we are forced to play the majority of home grown players the better. When it comes to Portsmouth I think most fans are asking for their Portsmouth born and bred players to play. As the fans know they will have passion that you can't get from just being paid a 6 digit salary.

Talking of getting paid lots of money, I have to give a big mention to Rooney last night. I was/am worried that him being played last night was ruining the chances of England in the World Cup. But for a player who wants to play whatever the pain, that is the determination that you want.

Note to all you avid fans - only 63 days to the World Cup! I wish Starfleet was more closely linked sometimes so we could do sweepstakes. You never know we might see each again in 2010.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Radio ga-ga

Well let's start with some good news... I have got a refund for some dodgy smelling perfume. And I get to keep it! So my wife can wear it we go on holiday and send the airport sniffer dogs crazy! I don't know why they don't want it back, maybe the cost of returning it is more than the cost of creating it! I am sure I can crush some rose petals in water and make a profit too! I think I have to put this down to lessons learnt and move on, unfortunately I think Mrs A might remind me of this every year for a while! :-)

Starfleet is creeping back to full operational power, I think most people have used up their quota of leave and made full use of an extra 2 days at the weekend.

I am caught in a horrible limbo - I am too old and grumpy to enjoyably listen to Radio 1 and the hundred and one quote repeats, especially made worst by Scott Mills, who finds that humour can only be achieved by re-repeating over and over and over again a snippet... now lets try that over music! But then I find that I am not ready to submit fully to Radio 2. I like Chris Evans and the gang, at least they are better than Wogan. I never was a TWOG but my folks were and they were dissapointed to see him go and be replaced and I guess that shows how Radio 2 are preparing for the next generation. However the music is just a slog. They are currently playing "Buttercup", and any song that is older than me is not a great sign. But Radio 2 is the lesser of all evils, especially when you start comparing any local radio stations all of which now seem to be part of the same group of "Galaxy". You get some wannabe radio presenter (I think Scott Mills was once one of them and I think that proves my point!), and you get a hundred adverts about conservatories.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A Weekend of events

You will soon get to realise that the chance of me doing a blog at a weekend is really slim! It is a rarity for me to turn on a laptop at the weekend and long may that last. Of course I could do a blog from my fandangled iPhone if I had one, but I don't. And call me tight, but all the time that starfleet provide me with me a comms device for a minimal cost then that is not going to change. I want a phone to... yes, phone people! and of course the obligatory text. Where would we ever be without texting. We would have to make plans and stick to them. When we say we will meet at 10am outside that shop, then we will just have to be there and if we are late then the other person might just have to wait for 10 minutes.
Of course everything these days is about saving time. At starfleet we have TLAs (three letter acronyms) for everything just so we can save that .25 of a second by not having to say the whole word. Of course we normally have to then say what it stands for as someone has not read their Klingon dictionary of TLAs, and even when you do then know the TLA you don't understand what they are technically talking about. To save more time we have pre-washed lettuce, VIP queues where you pay more to queue up in a shorter queue than Joe Public. My Satnav gives me a choice of Shortest route or fastest route, my bike has now got more gears than all of the bikes in our street as a kid put together.
Talking of doing things quickly, I ordered my wife's birthday presents on line. I am great admirer of Amazon. So I saved time, getting dressed, walking to my car, having to drive to town, find a parking space which is not going to cost me £5 and fight through crowds and get served by some useless customer adviser aka shop assistant who has not been shown the basics of how to put your goods in a bag. This is a major bugbear of mine when it comes to a nice new shirt that I have brought and they SHOVE it in a bag. Anyway, my time savings efforts backfired when this weekend my wife opened her present which was some expensive perfume only to spend 10 minutes trying to work out if it actually was a fake. At the moment it really looks and smells like it is. So now rather than having the easy/fast job of taking the urine sample within a perfume bottle back to town I now have to deal with some kid at the end of an email trying to establish if I can have a refund... grrr!!
On another point Betty (the VW Golf - but of course you would know that if you had read the Klingon bible) had her first big drive this weekend and I have to say she made me very proud!