Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The end is nigh!

Ok so actually I mean the end of June is nigh and might be a good thing. That means it is closer to my holidays - I have a lovely getaway to Hayling Island and then a fabulous break to Turkey. The Turkey holiday is all-inclusive which also includes 24 hour ice-cream. I am dubious over this offer so I will ensure that I test it out at random times of night and I will have my pen poised to complain and ask for a discount if they misled me! Actually I am not much of a moaner, I will take the questionable meal put in front of me and test it. Obviously if it was really bad then I would make a point, but not make a scene. Anyway the downsize for an all-inclusive holiday is the inevitable expansion of my waist line ("It cannot take anymore Jim" - said in his best Scottish accent), but I try to justify the eating of all inclusive food by my plans to do the majority of activities organised! So I will be obviously in and out of the pool, and if I don't use the steps out of the pool then I end up rolling out on the side and looking like a beached whale! When I was a kid I used to be able to spring out of the pool with the propulsion of my hands without my knees touching down. So whilst I am in the pool I shall plan to partake in some water polo (no horses involved) and hopefully some volleyball either in or out of the pool. But my biggest exercise this year will be chasing around after the boys. I am hoping that enough exercise will wear them down (and me) and we can all cope with sleeping in one room! This is not a pleasurable experience for a week. Whilst we were away in Eastbourne, we had little one in with us and at 2.30 in the morning, he was up in his cot - with excited squeals of "Daddy, Daddy", once he realised that I was visible in the room with him. Of course I tried to ignore his pleas of wanting to play this early in the morning, but that was to no avail when Mrs Stretch jabbed me in the ribs (why are they able to hit the correct spot everytime?) and said "He is asking for you!". In exchange for her rib-jab and stating the obvious I brought him into bed with us - however I got the head end, whilst she got the feet (the wriggling feet at that). Note: Children always lie at right angles! So anyway my plan is wear out the kids, hopefully they will sleep through and therefore so will I.

I got to have my first play with an iPhone last night, my mate Matt left his out whilst he went in another room - FOOL! It didn't take me long to work out how to open it up and find messages, so I carried my trial on a bit further and started sending texts. It is quite a fast phone (although it is not a iPhone4 which is even faster), but it was fast enough for me to do my texting on his behalf and return it to its resting place without him noticing. It was only the message responses from concerned people that made him question what had been going on. And for all the people that were there, it didn't seem to take him long to work out that it was me. I must have one of those guilty faces, or I think I am just the prankster. A healthy prank is always good, and he knows now not to leave his mobile lying around. And he expressed his love for another man... okay that is not so good!! But it is funny!

My other news is that I brought a BT Broadband Accelerator . The plan being that I plug this in and I get a faster broadband. For the minimal cost I thought this is would be a good return on investment and the potential increase of anything above what I have now would be good. Now I am lucky man as I currently have 16mbps broadband link and my colleague who recommended it to me only had 1mbps but with this he got an extra 50%. However I have installed this today and my speed has gone down!! HUH!?? It has only marginal drop, but my upload speed has increased and I have less noise on my line. So it shall stay and I will assess it.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Another day, another dollar

So another day sees another stint in Starfleet HQ. I am trying with my new lessons learnt of a healthy work-life balance and my morning blog will also consist of my reflection and actions for the day. There are some things in life that are great when you learn that it is supposedly good to just pick the things that you want to do but there are also things that you have to do. Unfortunately I think I have one of those days when I just need to chase people, and it won't be as eventful or as enjoyable as a Benny Hill scene.

It seems that work is going to become comparable to the Mary Celeste with most of my colleagues finding new adventures to enjoy. I am hoping that blogging will still keep us connected and networked as I need these guys for when the opportunity comes in many years time when I need a new role and they are VP :-)

I realised yesterday that I had actually become bored of the worldcup. I had started off very keen, with organising sweepstakes, printing out my wall chart and doing my predictions. However yesterday I watched about 10 minutes of the Brazil game and then turned over. I also didn't watch the England game - that might be a very good thing from the reports that I have heard. It is not as bad as it sounds and I am still a loyal England fan, I listened to it on the radio whilst driving. It was a clever plan to avoid traffic and it worked. On Friday it took me nearly 3 hours to drive to Eastbourne and the return was only an hour. I definitely preferred the hour version. I also did see some England highlights and they were clever highlights as England did not look so bad. The radio commentators made it sound really bad. I think if the 2nd England goal was allowed, things could have been very different. England would not have had to been pushing for another goal and left themselves open at the back for conceding the 3rd and 4th goal. I am not saying they should have won or even deserved to have won, especially after the way they played through the qualifiers and I hope they don't use the "goal that never was" as an excuse for their exit. The question remains, "should Capello go?" No I don't think he should, but he should have a pay cut. Actually I don't think any part-time England manager should be paid £6 million. Surely would we would be better off with someone who would want the title of England Manager rather then wanting the big pay cheque. I can understand getting paid for the role, but as a leader that is what you are instilling into your players. I think Harry Rednapp would be a good England manager and I think his track record can prove his style. He managed Portsmouth very successfully and really did turn Tottenham around. I know he as history when it comes to finances, but as England manager he would not be involved in that side of things. The part that sickens me is that if FIFA get rid of Capello he would get some outrageous payout, Come On FIFA wake up and do a contract based on success and put lots of get out clauses in there!

Maybe I am whittling on and that might be the problem when you are trying to type 750 words, but then I need a target and I need a driver. You can probably tell from my reflective style of writing at the moment that I am seeking something, and I am hoping that work will provide that something. I love that a footballer can give a "come and get me" plea, and I need to do the same. But I just need to ascertain where it is I need to go. I think a conversation with my manager will definitely be happening upon his return. It is not helpful when a big project (supposedly the biggest for this quarter) gets scrapped at the 11th hour and it is all due to Mr Cameron. Actually maybe I can't blame Mr C, it should actually be the fault of Gordon Brown (the man that never should have been Prime Minister). I do feel that he got us into this predicament and another term of Labour would have consisted of lots of double sided sticky tape to try and fix the problem. I don't know if it is good that the cut backs are coming now and I think we will all feel the pinch in the end. So I am off to sip my water and find my dried dog biscuit for my lunch!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Learning progresses

In my learning today was the following top tips, which I thought were useful enough to share with others (so I have mostly cut'n'paste them out)
# Avoid instant messaging interruptions - use privacy options to tailor those who can see you
# Avoid instant messaging unless real-time interaction will truly add value to the communication. A one-minute interruption of your colleagues will cost them ten minutes of productivity as they reestablish their mental context and get back into "flow".
# Work with your team/manager to ensure back-up plans are in place for coverage should emergencies arise.
# Set boundaries:

* Establish your work hours
* Discuss your needs with household members
* Manage interruptions
* Stay out of the kitchen
* Minimize household multi-tasking
* End your workday
* Resist the temptation to just "check in" after hours

# Don't check you email all the time.

* Set aside special breaks between bigger projects to handle email.
* Don't let email interrupt your projects and don't let the computer dictate your priorities.
* Turn off you emails programs "Biff" feature (this is the annoying bell or screen flash that notifies you every time an email message arrives).

# Spend 5 minutes of quality "think" time at the beginning and the ending of each day.

* At the beginning prioritize what you must do and then what you want to do.
* Evaluate what you did an carry over what are the first priorities for the next day.
# Make the most of your 'discretionary time'. Allow uninterrupted 'THINK' time.
# Set a goal to control at least 2 hours of your day - block out realistic time to handle e-mail, answer calls, and complete tasks.
# If often helps to map out how much time you actually have for 'real work' - only take on tasks that map to business and team priorities.
# Do things once than automate
* Consider an FAQ, a wiki, teamroom, etc.
* Set up Quick Responses in IM
* Use programmable buttons to type information that is typed repetitively.

# Put information you are routinely asked for in your closing (i.e., admin info, URL's, phone, timezone, etc).
# Use stationary for groups whom you regularly communicate the same information.
# Only have your laptop open and visible when you are engaging in it - checking email every 5 minutes is inefficient (sit down during designated times and clear the Inbox). It will distract from your attention to meetings, for think time and during discussions with others.
# When you're busy or you need to really concentrate on a particular task, let your voice mail pick up messages.
# If your e-mail program is set to ring a bell or other noise to signal new messages, turn this off.
# Avoid multitasking. It might seem that you're getting more work done if you do two or three things at once, but you will be more productive and produce higher quality work if you give your undivided attention to one task at a time.
# Set priorities and deadlines. Figure out which tasks are most important and do these first. Make to-do lists each day or week and re-prioritize as circumstances change.
# Set a time limit on tasks you dislike doing. The task will seem less overwhelming if you know you will stop at a certain time.
# Do quick tasks right away. If you notice that something needs to be picked up or dropped off or you need to make a five-minute call, do it right away.
# Get organized.

I am a culprit of so many bad habits, and when I think of getting a good work-life balance is more about trying to get in more work and not effecting my life! However that is slightly skewed and I just need to get my work done more in the time it is allocated. For most occasions it doesn't need more hours it just needs more focus. Somehow life manages to eat up all the time it needs and if it doesn't fit it doesn't get done and somehow it can queue up. Although Mrs Stretch doesn't necessarily agree with that approach!

The weekend was a success and I think that can be quantified by the fact that Nan enjoyed her birthday party. Nan is can have a grumble like any lady of her generation can and having endured 90 years of life, I think she can find plenty to grumble about. However she doesn't moan that much that I am aware of, I think her kids probably disagree with that. I think as a grandchild, I can have rose-tinted glasses on when it comes to my Nan - and no-one can deny me that.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Short but sweet

This will be unfortunately one of those days when I foresee not being able to get my 750 words done. Oh well, I won't beat myself up about it, life happens!

I am currently sat in a converted convent now used for Starfleet, actually I am sat in the loft conversion which is all quite nice and civilised and luckily the aircon is whirring away but badly for the environment it was already going when I arrived and that was about an hour before my workshop was scheduled to start - bad boy whoever left it on! But it did help with making the room nice and cool, which this meeting will benefit from!

It seems that not everyone agrees with starting the meeting the time, or even turning up on time. Do they not realise that I have driven in and had to get up with an hour starting with 6 and boy had a bad night which meant not getting much sleep at all. Also not helped by Mrs Stretch being out last night and me waiting up for her to get home, all in all Stretch is a tired boy this morning! And then not impressed that the person who has organised this meeting has not turned up.

So I have a day of this workshop and then a drive home, take the youngest swimming and pick up the eldest, load up the car and then off to Eastbourne to see the family. All busy and tiring day, but this weekend is the party for my Nan's birthday party.
In fact it is my Nan's 90th birthday so it is quite rightly going to be a huge family gathering. I say huge as I believe most of Nan's family will be there and she can reel off how many children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren she has, but I have no idea! It will be nice to see most people, of course there are there the family members that you never want to be stuck in a lift with. There are always the eccentrics, the drunks, the mentally challenged and that is just my parents - LOL! It will be an interesting time, my Mum has organised it all and we have a church hall to use, we will then be dressing the room and having tea and cakes/scones which will be a vain attempt to be a high tea. So it will be nice, busy, fun and I have the bonus of seeing my brother, and his family which is rare treat. He is only based in Leicester but that is 3 hour drive and not quite feasible for a day trip.

Top tips: this is one you might be interested in Teux Deux

Thursday, 24 June 2010


I am not so pleased to announce that my starfleet nemesis has indeed brought soup and is ready to slurp! My headphones are on, my iTunes is set to ease me through for the next 10 minutes! I think he might have noticed the headphones making an appearance at the sametime has his slurping!! GOOD! :-) In a conscious effort to check that I have spelt nemesis correctly, I actually googled it. It is sad to say that I have to do this a few times throughout blogging in a conscious effort to try and stop some spelling mistakes - 750words doesn't seem to have a spell check facility and I think the process is to type your thoughts rather than worry about spelling. Anyway my google search revealed that there is a "Nemesis Appreciation Day". This has to be something I explore further another day!

But for now I go back to listening to Barenaked Ladies (of whom I am a big fan) and avoid slurping noise!

What Football?

So apparently there was a football match yesterday. The pivotal, crucial match between England and Slovenia that England really had to win or alternatively draw with lots of other factors going in there favour. it's a good thing we didn't need to rely on favour as that didn't go our way and a late goal from USA would have resulted in lots of tears and sulks (not that the British ever sulk). It was a good performance it was good to have Rooney finding the ball and having some fun with it, unfortunately that is now 8 games in a row he hasn't scored for England and a goal is definitely needed. Gerard was very good, Lampard was ok but as normal went missing through the match, and then Barry was great, Milner played really well but was dead on his feet and could have done with coming off with 20 mins to go. Joe Cole was not his usual good self and I wonder if his transfer at home is putting pressure on him to perform. Upson was hmmm... debatable with the exception of one good tackle. Ashley Cole was ok, Glenn Johnson was great in defence and up and down the wing and should definitely never have been booked. David James made us put our heads in our hands, more than Rob Green can do without the fear of dropping that. And John Terry was phenomenal! Give the man the captaincy! I never thought at the time that JT should have lost the captains armband. Ok, he cocked up and it meant we lost a player out of the England squad, but that was due to their British sulking and they shot themselves in the foot. But surely no player on that pitch can be captain if we are judging them on past mistakes!? Even Lampard is dating Christine Bleakley and that must be wrong! To see JT throw his head at a shot, surely that must be putting your head on the line! That is leadership, that is what we want from Starfleet management! And then there was Defoe, whom I nearly forgot. I am sure he forgot he was on the pitch at some point, but others he was great. He was chasing no hopes (not Slovenians), shutting down options, and of course scoring a goal.

So now our route (thanks to the Americans) is a tough one. We have Germany on Sunday, with the possible route being against Argentina, followed by Spain, then onto the Final. We never do make it easy for ourselves! But at least we might play well or at least go out against a decent opposition. I was wondering yesterday if we play better against better opposition. When a Premiership team plays against a Division 2 or 3 side they often struggle, get kicked on and finally off the pitch, and either there is a giant killing or the top-dog stumble through. Slovenians yesterday were a Div 2 team, most of their players actually play in countries' division 2 teams so I am not meaning to be derogatory. So maybe we get a premiership performance when we play against a premier opponent. At least we might be the under dog and we can play the counter football, or have more space to play football.

But anyway somehow this was dwarfed by Tennis. Mrs Stretch is an avid fan of Wimbledon and goes every year. However she is unlikely to be going this year as she is struggling with the baking that she is doing internally and the journey, plus heat, plus crowds, plus numb bum on a plastic seat is not her idea of fun at the moment. She just wants cola icepoles and exotic fruit. You would like to think that Starfleet would have some perk with Wimbledon, but alas our force is not that strong. Unfortunately I missed the Germany football match yesterday as there was the longest game of tennis EVER yesterday, and it has still not finished! The final set in fact is longer than any other tennis match. The number sets played so far is more than Serena Williams played to win the tournament last year. And did I mention it is still not finished?! I hope they can both walk and they are able to continue the match today and I disagree with McEnroe, no I don't think it should be continued on Centre court.

It was worth noting that the scoreboard could not cope with score yesterday, either that or the guy working it had given up - I wonder if that was a Starfleet problem. Also of note the umpire did not take a "courtesy break" throughout the whole game!! It was the commentators first gig, and Court 18 match was supposed to ease him in!!

As an aside, why do I always sit in the same seat in a hotdesk office?? Why does the guy that slurps soup at lunchtime always sit opposite me so I have to put my headphones on to block out the noise.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

It is just as Blur described

and more precisely it is Blur Parklife - yes, I get up when I want, except on Wednesdays when I get rudely awakened... unfortunately it was not by the binmen, but instead by my current youngest. So I am up at an hour beginning with a 4 and I soon realise that it would be futile to try and get more sleep out of boy and therefore me. So here I am downstairs watching TV, actually I am struggling to watch to TV. When it is 5 in the morning there is a limited selection of programmes, especially ones that are ideal for a child to watch, let alone me. But Sky Anytime has come to my rescue and I ended up watching Mark Knopfler live and intimate who was particularly good, and did you know he did the score for The Princess Bride and was once in a band called Brewers Droop, maybe that explains why Scobi didn't use that name for his band? and then a documentary of animals which went on to showing Ligers and Tigons (no, that is not a typo). It seems that the cross breeding of Lions and Tigers which can only happen in captivity results in one or the other. If it is a Male Lion and Female Tiger then you get a Liger, and this is where things get incredible. The Liger becomes larger than both of its parents, with bigger bones and stretch and actually never seems to stop growing and it has a bigger appetite - it eats about 3 times more than the Lion. Can they not see the monster they are creating?? I have to go with the thoughts of scientist that say if it doesn't exist in nature then it exist at all.

Squirrel - Do you know I have never noticed that my neighbour has their milk delivered. I didn't actually think people did that anymore. At least being up this early means I am not woken at 6.30 by the neighbour who goes to work on their noisy hairdryer aka moped.

So there are some benefits for being up this early, and that is so I can take some time off later to watch England - come on England!! Unfortunately I have got the predictions right so far, and I am looking forward to my prediction of 3-0 coming true later. Yesterday was unlucky for RSA and they did themselves proud in the end, but just missed out. You have to give them credit, but certainly you have to question what the feelings are in France this morning. I wonder how much the country shot themselves in the foot with the arrangement of Laurent Blanc taking over being announced before the World Cup. It would be interesting to see what would happen if both USA and England draw today and England score 2 goals as it would then result in the drawing of lots for who goes through. Group G would be interesting if Ivory Coast try and score the 9 goals they need to proceed through the qualifying stage.

I am pleased to report that I can now drink Bravaria beer conscious free. Didn't they do well for ambush marketing, they couldn't have dreamed of getting so much coverage. But I do love that the article leads onto this one.

Here is the old ad
and here is the new one - which is ingenious

I think someone got their marketing bonus for this year!!

So although I have linked to 750 words, I have actually never bothered to register and start trying. But today is a new day and it is a start of an adventure. I certainly don't want to get into the mentality of back at University and HAVING to write essays but I don't want to start kick starting my brain and hopefully my life. Talking of University, I really am not sure how I managed to get through that. Don't get me wrong I loved it and I wasn't a bad boy, party animal; but the sessions were tedious and mostly straightforward - I guess that was eased by choosing a Mickey-mouse degree as it is commonly known also known as Sociology. Somehow it has done me proud and got me this far in life. I think once you have your foot in the door it doesn't matter what your degree is, it is just a tick box exercise. It is not a proof of what you know but maybe that you can know something.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

A week flys by

...or rather it can drag.
It seems my ability to update my blog regularly is in question, and I am sure my reader subscription list proves that fact! If it was the new year then I would probably be doing my resolutions on how I will better at blogging, however it is not and even if it was it probably won't last more than a week as a resolution. I am sure last year I was going to learn piano, and before that I was going to get fit, and you will know that that has still not happened!!

Today sees me connecting up to skype. There were a couple of drivers for me doing this;
Firstly, I was updating my add-ons in facebook. My browser was dragging and I wanted to make sure all plugins and updates were up-to-date and also see what the latest add-on was. This presented me with wisestamp and a seemingly very useful tool that it is and of course skype, which is probably an essential for most people. Or at least one of those tools that most people have downloaded and got installed but are now no longer using.

Secondly, my best mate "Knobby" is off to Oz next week as a recon. This is received with mixed feelings... I am gutted that he might be going, even if it will take him 6 months for him and the family to go. I am pleased for him for making the move, I am jealous that he is doing it, and I am upset that I didn't know sooner as I would have joined him on the recon. On Radio 2 yesterday in advance of the budget today, a listener said "The debt is only my problem, if I still live here!". It seems the consensus on the call for most public sector employees was to leave the country. Of course that only works for policemen and nurses, the tax collectors are quite rightly stuffed and stuck on the mantelpiece. I tried to work out whether I can line up interviews both with starfleet and others to join Knobby on the recon, but alas I couldn't line up enough to justify the trip. I could justify it to myself but Mrs Stretch thought it was too much of a jolly without having activities lined up. Although she is up for the option of emigrating she would prefer Canada rather than Oz, and the conversations have now moved around to moving to Norfolk - not quite the land of surf, fosters and BBQ!

Now seeing as I have updated you with a couple of new toys/gadgets, I also need to mention to you another one. As one of my readers was made aware today of VieraCast. There are already some good reasons to buy Panasonic (mostly because they are good quality and a reknowned make), but if you get a choice get a device with vieracast. My bluray player has this and it is good! Not VERY good, just good for now as it still needs more options (video on demand is coming) but it is still handy to watch my youtube movies and photo albums.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Shall I take the red pill….

..or the blue pill?

Sometimes life is filled with big choices and sometimes in life you just have no choice.

This week has been a low week, I think we all get them. And women who say men don’t have PMT are just liars! I think it doesn’t help that Starfleet has been kicking the pilots around and that has taken it’s toll, and now things at Starfleet are quiet and I am still not in the correct squadron. So I feel like I am in limbo. Anyway today sees me in a Starfleet office and I am actually sat in a box that can only just sit 3 people and I have an all day workshop with 8 people in here today... mmm I think the organiser got that one wrong and we will now spend an hour trying to find a better room!

Mrs Stretch has been baking and now has an “ickle” growing inside her. We thought she had starting baking 7 weeks ago, and the other day we had a scare whereby we had to make emergency appointments. Yesterday we found out that she had started baking “ickle” me, about 11 weeks ago, and scans show everything is ok! It is still a bit of a shock, and now my house hunting involves finding one more room or a re-jiggle of accommodation somehow.

On the positive side of things the stag do in Liverpool was great. I managed to see Robin (another stag) handcuffed to a midget (little person) Batman. There were also quite a few other views to behold. But the main thing was how surprised I was with Liverpool. I was expecting to see some fights amongst locals and some serious binge drinking girls, but it was all well behaved. There was an incredible amount of people out, I guess this was due to the football (not to be discussed again). Managed to somehow get up in the morning after a “few” beers and have a walk to the Albert Dock. Once again I was impressed with Liverpool and I was able to briefly reminisce of “This Morning” . That was until we were summoned back to the minibus and commence on 5 hour return journey in a rickety, cramped, bumpy, no air-con’d, distorted speaker, minibus – still good fun though.

Friday, 11 June 2010

A Definition Higher

So this week has involved the Stretch household unveiling HD on a new Plasma. (my address won't be posted for all those techie burglars! Plus my TV has got a clever tracking data stored within it). The timing of this has been impressive with the start of WorldCup just being now hours away! Mrs Stretch had a huge input into this and I was surprised that only a few mentions of wanting a new TV and leaving the odd Stuff magazine cutout lying around resulted in her saying "yes, lets go shopping". I have wanted a new TV for a while, but I unfortunately brought a very good TV years ago. It was a Sony trinitron 32" and when I brought it, it was brilliant. However, it never died! And all the time it was working fine, I couldn't justify replacing it. And it wasn't the kind of TV that you could stick in a bedroom as it was as deep as it was wide. I got excited about a year ago when the colours were flicking and I thought the tubes were going to blow, however it just turned out to be the scart cable not plugged in properly. And so it lived on. I had to resign myself to selling it for £20 in the end, a bargain for a friend and I suppose a bonus for me that I didn't have to take it to the tip.

Of course the timing of the TV would have been even better if I was actually at home to watch the England game tomorrow night. Although I can't complain as I am instead out on a Stag weekend, gone are the days when a simple couple of pints down the local nagshead would suffice. It is now about how far you can get and what extravangent challenge you can put in the mix. It is more like University challenges of seeing who can get as far as possible by spending no money - the name escapes me now of what it was called. So this stag do consists of travelling to Liverpool, playing football (yes playing!) against a Liverpool team and then checking in the hotel and going to a private function room to watch the football with a buffet! In a way this is civilised event and journey back from Liverpool will be the funniest as there will be 16 of us in a minibus with a mixture of aching limbs, dodgy knees, sore backs, and minging hangovers and probably some bad guts caused by too much Guinness. None of us are spring chickens anymore! The cherry on the cake will be England winning against the US, which will probably be compared in the papers to the BP catastrophe somehow the following day.

Of course me being away will cause strain for Mrs Stretch, not because she will have mini-me to look after but as she will now have to work out how to use Sky HD and the new TV! Hopefully she will abstain from the Blu-ray player! I am expecting a text at some point panicking as America's next top Model is starting and she can't find the channel!

Anyway it is with pleasure that I say...

******* COME ON ENGLAND*******

Please don't let me get as frustrated as I normally do with the style of your play or your incompentance! Please don't lose on penalties, and please don't get sent off! Oh, and no more injuries!

Monday, 7 June 2010

all fished out

well what a palaver that was... we were all set to go and then the skippers wife got ill (how inconsiderate), but hooray she got well enough to let us go out a bit later so we did manage to get out and do a good 5 hours fishing! However we did not catch a single fish!! I did win the day by catching a snail and that was the best!!!

It was slightly more reassuring that we didn't see anyone else in other boats catch anything either, and the word on the streets (or harbours) is that there is a problem with too much seaweed from France causing a problem and everyone is struggling! Of course some people are a bit more successful!

Although there was a lack of fish it was still great fun and I got to use my new kit! I just wanted some mackerel for the BBQ!

So now instead it is back to work for a FULL week - moans... But I have a good weekend to look forward to with a Stag trip to Liverpool to play football and then a night out in 'Pool to watch the first England game - cause unlike most of my readers (actually all 2 readers) I do like football! Shouts of "Calm Down" will be heard for miles!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

There might be hope for everyone of us

So whilst scouring the news for something that wasn't about Golfy "Going Postal" in Cumbria - a really bad unforeseeable joke! And having completed my World Cup predictor - which was actually very cooly done! I discovered "a ray of hope". You see there might be a chance that I am not a lost cause and my grumpiness might actually be helpful to my work and life. I need to get Mrs Stretchs views on this matter.

Of course like any good statistician, mathematician or scientist I have found one piece of data that confirms my already guesstimated findings and no further argument or research is needed. of course you have now read this and I believe for most of my readers you will probably be enlightened and relieved that your grey cloud could be a benefit!
This was emphasised by the following statement "The study also found that sad people were better at stating their case through written arguments.."

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Oh Boy, what a fish!

They say with some managers you should sandwich bad news, and I know they (reportedly) used this technique with Gordon Brown. Poor bloke they would have mastered it by the time he finally left #10, no I don't have any sympathy for him.

So I am going to take the sandwich approach for this blog.

First piece of bread:
I am going boat fishing on Friday with some mates. I have to confess I am not a fisherman, I have been once boat fishing and that was 2 years ago and I have been twice before that when I was about 14. When I was 14 I actually managed to break someones reel. However the last time I went boat fishing I did rather well, I didn't catch the biggest fish but I caught the most and the competition was fierce. Even though it was just with some friends, whenever a group of men get together there is always some competition that is formed (have you not seen a group of drunk men in the toilets??). So I managed to persuade my friend with a boat to take me and some other people out fishing and he agreed. So I rounded up the people who have fishing rods (not fishermen, but closer to the status than me - possession is 9/10 of the law) and the date is set for this Friday.

Sandwich filler:
So why is it that people are so ignorant that they will not respond to text message and phone calls when you clearly tell that they are not going to turn up!??! It was arranged for 6 of us to go fishing and one can't make it due to work which is completely understandable, but the other 2 have just disappeared into the mist. To make things worse one of them said he would lend me the rod and paraphernalia that was needed. So with 2 days to go there is still no news from them. It seems one of them might have split up from his girlfriend - surely more reason to go fishing (no youthanism intended). So I have had to get all the kit myself, there is nothing worse than organising an event and not being able to attend.

Final bit of bread:
So the good news is that I have got a fishing rod and EVERYTHING that goes with it and I spent last night trying to learn all I could about fishing! Oh boy, they make it complicated!!

Anyway if you are reading this blog and you fancy a day out fishing on Friday, then let me know and I will see what we can sort out.

Photos of the black marlin that I have caught will be posted here next week! :-)