Sunday, October 29, 2006

What a weekend

Well it's been a few days but I have been really busy, and getting over the trip to Scotland, oh how I love that place. Anyway Friday was good especially as I found out that I had 9 days holiday to take, I thought that I only had 3 days so to get an extra week is well lets just say brilliant. Also I managed to book this week off as it's MSM's half term, last week for those in England!!

So I'm officially on holiday, nothing planed just going to do what ever we fancy, 'J' has to work so it's father and daughter team.

Saturday was wet and miserable so I popped over to my friends house to sort out his laptop and connect him up to BT wireless broadband, well lets just say that his new laptop is not very good so I had to bring it home so that I could up date the drivers etc. Went back later in the day and finished the job also gave each family member their own log in area and email systems so they were chuffed.

Today was in contrast a very nice and sunny day so we had to take a walk with the dog, and yes we hit the beach again and this time I took some pics so here they are MSM, 'J' and Toby down the beach this morning. At last you get to see places that are just a 10 min walk from the house!!

MSM and Toby getting their feet wet.

And the action shot!

Due to the nature of these images please note that it's a crime to steal images and these are under copyright. Thanks.

This one is my favourite, the sun was just in the right position. I think I should do photography more often. I have a B/W version now on my PC's and MSM has a printed version on her wall she liked it so much.

And here's the view of Barry Island from Nells point.

Not sure what I'll be doing tomorrow but I will take the camera out again, so where ever we go I'll have a pic for you. As they say a picture paints a thousand words, hopefully we'll be blessed with more sunshine like today. Here's hoping anyway ;0)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I'm still here ....

I could have sworn I put a blog here oer the weekend, or maybe not! anyway The weekend was really good, Saturday we took 'J' car for an MOT and popped in to Ikea for breakfast and it was really nice at only 95p each a real bargain, then dropped MSM off at the baths as Brownies were doing their swimming badge, 'J' and I took the dog down down the beach and had an hour just walking in the warm sunshine hand in hand which was really good best day I have had in a long time.

Sunday well it was raining really hard so not much in the way of outdoor activities today so apart from usual Tesco shopping. But before I put the items in the fridge I decided to clean and defrost, well after 10 mins and not much ice melting I decided to try and knock more off by using a hammer, oops big mistake next thing I Know a lot of hissing and the cloud of gas, yup I had made a hole in the fridge element, next thing I new we were in Currys spending over £200 on a new one.

Let me point out though that the fridge was over 13 years old and we have been talking about replacing it for ages so in a way I did it a favour. New one arrived Tuesday but it's going back as it's damaged.

So it's Wednesday now and I have just come back from a seminar in Scotland what a blast left sunny Wales on Monday morning arrived in Glasgow 30 mins later pouring with rain no bother, headed over to Glasgow Hilton and settled in, went to see a good fFriendof mine in the evening they live on the other side of Glasgow so the taxi fare was well over £50 round trip but well worth it, it's always a pleasure meeting up with them and the hospitality is always top notch.

There were comments made by my colleagues that I had left behind but hey if I'm in a place where frFriendsive I will ALWAYS make time to visit stuff what people think. Anyway I love Scotland and the people I find really frfriendlylways up for a drink or two or three, well lets just say we started drinking Tuesday night after the seminar at 4.30pm and finished at 3am this morning. My alarm went off at 5am as we have to be at the airport 2hrs before the flight, well as you can imagine 2 hours sleep was not a wise move, I felt like shit and I thought I was going to be ill in the airport and on the plane, but I arrived home at 10am no work so basically chilled out for the day, it's now 10pm and I think it's time for bed as it's back to the office tomorrow.

Thanks guys for a fantastic few days in lovely Glasgow can't wait to get back in a few months.

Friday, October 20, 2006

It's crunchie Friday!!

Well Friday already, what ever happened to this week, saying that this year? is it me or as you get older the days go quicker? umm food for thought.

Okay been thinking more about replacing my car but not sure what to get, I quite fancy the Seat range either a Ibiza or Leon but I would have to have a 1.9 TDI version I feel a quick visit to the Seat garage sometime this weekend just to get an idea on the costs and range, I promise that I will not buy one honest!!

Hey guess what, I have finally got that bloody application to work, yes your reading this correct the bloody thing is working. I need to fine tune stuff but it's working and does what it suppose to do, yea me.

Anyway I have to follow 'J' to the garage tomorrow as her car is having the first MOT test, booked in for 8.30am that means breakfast at Ikea, I have been told that their breakfasts are really tasty.

MSM is then going swimming with Brownies to do her first badge so tomorrow looks like a busy day, also MSM has a birthday party my god I will have to get her a diary for Christmas and show her how to use outlook!

All good. ;o) oh and is only 11 weeks to Christmas???

Thursday, October 19, 2006

So what happend to Mon-Weds

Okay so this week has been a bit of a blur, loosing my temper in a meeting, not clever but hey ho! car going on the blink well it stalled at the car park barrier and it took 10mins to get it running again, although over the past few months it's been happening a lot and I think it's time to trade in.

I'm still trying to get the application working and it's not well it is but not as I would want it but to be honest I have had enough of this stuff and it's time to let go and move on, I fancy picking up on the family tree I started earlier in the year, I managed to go back to the 1700's on my Grand mothers side. I want to travel to Devon where they lived and find out more about them. I know they lived in a small village which is still there and the location means that there is no development.

I watched Jeremy Irons last night and seeing what he uncovered I think I can do the same and like him I may find out why I love Devon so much and the country, I have found out the my family were all farmers and also servants to a large house in the village. As I type this I can just see myself travelling there on weekends and staying in the local B&B. Oh how cool would that be. But I must get rid of these contracts first, then work out how to subsidise my income when I walk away from the contracts as I don't want to go back full time .

Anyway, it's wet and windy outside and I'm struggling to put stuff down at the mo as Toby is biting my hands as I type so it's getting more painful by the minute. get off dog,

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Quiet day

Well it's Sunday evening and after the past two days adventures today was relatively quiet and without Major events, MSM had a lay in and didn't get up until 10.30am and we had to get out and do shopping so she was under pressure to get washed & dressed, the usual Sunday trip to Tesco and weekly shopping complete without much fuss.

Late this afternoon we decided to take Toby down the lakes and also let him meet his cousin Bailey, well as with all Lhasa's they have a great temperament and no issues they were best of Friends from the start walking together and enjoying each other company, although Toby does like children and will stop if a small child walks past and he'll wait for a fuss from them so a 15-20 min walk took well over an hour.

So that's it for now see ya ;o)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Friday 13th .5

Episode 2.

Got up nice and early and took some garden waste to the local dump, this being a different story that I may tag on to the end of the flat tyre saga.

Anyway all of us piled in to my car and we headed down to Evans Halshaw in sloper road Cardiff (Just check out their customer service page). who are now the main dealers. We enter the show room and and head for the parts and service department, young girl at the desk I start talking telling her all about last nights flat tyre and that the car is stuck in a multi storey and we need the correct fitment to undo the locking nuts.

She looked blank at me, I showed her the little box with only one fitment present and explained that this is what was given to us 18mths ago when we bought the car, again she looked at me with dull eyes and a blank expression. My patience now near it's end I look at her right in the eyes and said "I NEED THREE MORE OF THESE TO UNDO MY LOCKING NUTS" she then proceeded to ring the parts department and talk to a chap about the problem, she looked at me and said sorry we don't have them and cannot get them either. But if you bring the car in we will drill them out for you.

Wrong answer, I stood in the showroom which now had a fair few customers looking at cars and said okay, how do you propose to get my car out of the multi storey car park with a flat tyre and bring it over to you. Her reply, I notice from our records your car is due for a service, shall I book it in now while your here.

Okay I think your getting the gist of this, in a nut shell they wanted me to bring the car to them and the cost would be as follows:

£65 per hour labour. (x2 hours)
£30 + VAT for a new set of locking nuts
£55+ VAT for each tyre (We need 2)

Well lets just say I'll be having words with a friend of mine that is quite high up in the Pendragon group who own Evans Halshaw, and guess what I didn't even use that to get better service.

Evans Hal
shaw you have by far the worst customer service I have ever seen and beating Renault Cardiff by a long way, and if you ever ask to be on my national approved garage network I'll give you service that you deserve, oh and your application on my desk well Monday it will be in the shredder.

Anyway what next, well I rang my good freind Wayne to ask his advice but no answer umm then looked in front of me and who should be in the car in front but Wayne (How spooky is that), anyway we have a chat and he suggests getting a chisle and giving it a few taps to see if that loosens it but go to Halfords and pick up the self healing and inflation stuff and bring it round later and I'll have a look, cheers mate that sounds good.

Get to halfords buy the stuff to do a temporary repair and pick up a new set of wheel locking nuts. Cost so far £40 Get to the multi storey and apply this stuff, 10 mins later I'm off driving 'J' car no more than 30mph heading for home. As I get in the house Wayne's on the phone ready to come over mate? oh yeah lets go.

Arrive at his house and he looks at me and says can you take a look at my new laptop in a bit I can't get it to work properly, "My pleasure" so he brings out the chisle and a hammer and hits the nut TWICE and wey hey it comes off. He then looks at me and says shall I do the rest? knock yourself out mate, so off he goes around the car knocking off all the nuts and replacing them with my new set.

I then grab his laptop and say see you in a bit, I drive down the local tyre company and get two new tyres and tracking done at a cost of £75 INC VAT. Umm I thinks I have just made a huge saving by trading talents Wayne knows all there is to know about cars and I know very little about computers.... Oh and I fix his laptop problem and bung on a few programmes that he would love, saying no more but you need these to do Spreadsheets and typing letters get my drift. Then jump in the 'J's' now spiffing car and deliver his pride and joy.

Both parties extremley happy just by trading knowledge. Now that's more fun than parting with lots of cash. So £115 Inc VAT to get a flat tyre sorted out or go to Evans Halshaw and spend in excess of £210+VAT what a bargain.

Oh and the garden rubbish well that's for another day...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday 13th

Normally I'm all good with Friday 13th but this evening was hell, Pick MSM up from grandparents with Toby in car great with them living in a caravan park well until next month when they emigrate, anyway all good MSM and Toby went for their walk and we departed in good time to start cooking tea, then the mobile rings in the car (Hands free) it's 'J' "where are you" oh I'm just on my way home to start tea why? "Oh I have a flat tyre" okay where are you? "In multi storey" okay I'm on my way (dum dum dummm (Super hero voice)). So speed through traffic like and emergency vehicle damsel in distress!! (30mph and no traffic as I was going against the flow). Arrive in 15mins (Not bad as it's 10 miles away) now that's quicker than the AA.

Anyway pull up along side her car with a screech of brakes just for the effect, I shouted to her "Switch off the engine and leave the car quietly" (In my police officer voice) people everywhere looking over and the now red faced 'J' exited the car.

Got the tools out of the boot and the crappy thin wheel they now call 'Space savers' yeah right just to cut costs! started taking the nuts off and remembered she has alloys which needs special adaptors, grabbed the adaptor box out of the glove box popped the lid only to see 1 adaptor and 3 empty spaces, hmm it can't be this is a new car and never had a wheel changed it must be one fits all so I try and free this bugger but no joy I then decide to check out the rear wheel to see if this little sucker fits that bolt and low and behold it does.

Okay flat tyre with a big stud sticking out so no chance of pumping back up just to get home, tools missing only thing we can do is lock car up for the night and head for the garage in the morning to get the missing adaptors! yeah and do you think that's going to be easy after two years..... we'll see.

To be continued.............

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Hey it's Thursday

The most idiotic thing I have ever seen happened to me yesterday on my way to the Cardiff Seminar that I was holding, I was following a Que of traffic through the outskirts of Cardiff not far from the issue I covered last week, when I glanced to the left and watched in amazement a car under taking me on the pavement. That's right folks this chap had come off the road crossed a wide grass verge and drove full lengh of the road on the bloody pavement!! and as ever no police/traffic wardens in sight. The chap crossed back over the grass verge and waited, and waited and I passed him looked in my rear view mirror with a smile as no one would let him in.

The seminar went well, I had the big boss sat in and he came up to me at the end and congratulated me on a great presentation and he wants to know more about what I was discussing, I have agreed to meet him for coffee in Madison's to discuss the project in more detail, this is nice as normally I go through department mangers not normally direct to directors. Oh and the share price of the company rose by 44p today that has to be to do with my presentation yesterday!! go me, now they need to pay me more.

Thursday, well back in the office and trying to catch up on my email, I have sub folders which I try to use as I get so many emails a day that I have to prioritise them, well my MUST do folder has now topped out at 230 unread emails and the total in my in box stands at 1,320 all unread and the oldest is three weeks old. umm I thinks I need to address this by switching of my email.

I must say the biggest regret I have was introducing Microsoft version of email, it was a big mistake even though it was over 10 years ago now, who would have thought that email would be the biggest problem in our working days, I must find a new solution to the problem, and I have tried a blackberry but could not get on with it.

Tonight I was meant to be working on the dreaded project although I have finally worked through the problems and I can now move forward and complete it although I'm still many hours away from completing just the basic operating system, then comes the best bit moulding it to the way the company I'm building it for want it.

A friend of mine who I have not discussed here in a few months came over to me today and told me that her husband had slept with another woman last weekend and that she is now going to be a single parent, for those not sure where I am going with this you will need to go back to Jan/Feb 2006 to say I was shocked is an understatement, this poor girl has been through the mill this year and I would say the 2006 has not been good to her, however she looks great and although a difficult time for her I think she will be very happy with her new life she is about to embark on. I'm sure I'll have more on my special friend in the coming weeks and months.

Anyway that's enough for tonight but probably more for tomorrow. bye for now ;o)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Hey it's Monday

Well what a weekend, great great great, nothing major happened but having a dog that is now allowed out of the house has made us get out of the house and hit the country. Saturday and Sunday spent a few hours walking down country paths watching horses, birds (Feather kind) and walking hand in hand with 'J' it was great and I'm up for it again next weekend.

And MSM has asked for a mountain bike for Christmas, yippee I can get out on mine now fresh air mud, rain bring it on.

Today well I have another seminar tomorrow but it's in Cardiff which makes it a little easier with no travelling. Although being on home territory all the BIG bosses are going to sit in, hmmm.

Today was the usual hectic day at the office, school run un eventful apart from MSM being last out of school at 3.35pm (School finishes at 3.20pm) home some food and getting ready for Brownies. Oh is our family becoming like one of those you see on TV, out and about on weekends, clubs and societies after school.

Bought Norton Antivirus tonight at a cost of £50 but I think I have managed to break the agreement by using it on this laptop and my power house up in the office, lets see how that works out.

An old business friend rang tonight this is the chap I was working with doing librautomotive, I have not spoken to him since August, I had an email from him telling me that he has had a stroke and his heart condition has taken a turn for the worse, seems he went against his word and took on a project that I had brief contact with (web design) it seems he went from being a consultant to working full time 9-5 travelling all over the place and within 6 weeks he was in hospital fighting for his life. Well I had a few words to say to him but all good and he is on the mend and now looking to kick start a project together, our projects are always stress free and easy work from home stuff, he has the dosh and I have the ideas so thinking cap back on and see what project I can dream up this time.

I wish I thought up the juice bar thing that Chris Evans blog was talking about I saw one on Saturday whilst in Cardiff a simple idea but a Q a mile long, this chap has a turnover of over £70 Million in 12 months. As they say the simplest ideas are normally the best. Go check it out.

Anyway it's time to stop and close up shop for the night. Se ya ;0)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Shop till you drop!

Before I start I'm on my laptop and only have 30% battery power so if my blog is slit then you know the battery went and I had to change to main PC. Saturday, well I had a dentist appointment at 9.50am so up and around early, nice drive in to Cardiff not much traffic and the country lanes were really quiet.

Well Hygienist told me off I have 30% plaque which is not good so she gave me a demo on how to use my tooth brush, I know I do it wrong but I hate staring at myself in the mirror late at night, even though I'm really good looking (Yea right). Anyway I now have shiny white teeth for a week or two, oh and a £100 dent in my wallet, going private is not cheap but well worth it for the service, and I do have insurance which will pay back 80% of the charge.

Met up with my little Brother to buy his 18th Birthday present he wanted a watch and I thought cool nice cheap present then he dropped the bomb she I want a fossil watch. it's called a Gothic Tic and here it is but looking at the American site I was connedin the UK it was £75 but in America it's $75 bastards!! but H Samuel where I bought the watch had an offer buy one watch get one half price and I knew 'J' needed a new watch so I got her one as well but I can't find the picture.

MSM spent some of her birthday money although I still managed to blow a fair few pounds as well not sure how she got that out of me. Got back in the house around 3.30pm and time to take Toby out, so we piled in my car and headed for cosmeston lake for a stroll, Toby loved it and it was nice to get some real fresh air.

Now being put through X Factor part 2 the waiting, how cruel is this programme keeping these poor people hanging on like this and crushing their dreams just like that. So cruel or is it!! well it's now down to us to spend £££'s on phone calls, MSM has already asked to phone and we instantly told her you needed to be 18 she's not happy, I am, no nagging to use the phone to dial the numbers.

Anyway times up must watch the remainder of X Factor. oops one of MSM's groups just got sent home she is not happy throwing cushions at the screen and crying her eyes out great here we go. X Factor you got a lot to answer for and I may be switching this off as I cannot have MSM upset over a TV programme.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Road rage

Well I like Dan missed Thursday, although I was in a foul mood after a jerk decided to cut me up on the way to work, what was more frustrating was that he had his mobile glued to his ear. Here's the scene. Driving in left hand lane as right hand lane has chevrons at the end of the chevrons you can go in the right hand lane to turn right. This chap decided that the chevrons mean jack shit and decided to continue anyway, I started to turn in to the right hand lane only to have this idiot nearly take out my wing mirror.

After all this he sat in front of me still with his mobile glued to his ear I drove behind him all the way to my office and as I pulled along side I noticed that he had a baby carrier in the front seat, now that tipped me over the edge, not only would he risk his life by speeding, driving where he should not, driving one handed as his mobile was so important but the baby in the front seat.

That people made my day hell, I was so frustrated that I just got my head down and worked my bollocks off and did not look back. If I saw that chap again I swear I would knock his block off, well take away his car keys and throw them away at least.

Today in contrast has been mellow, got soaking wet walking 20yds to the office this morning and I had jeans on so as you know they take hours to dry and sitting down does not help, had a coffee meeting with a supplier in Madison's which I paid for god knows why I must have been in a generous mood to say the least, done a little work not much by my standards but enough.

At home well Toby had his first taste of the outside world although it took 10 mins to get him to the car so I could collect MSM after that there was no stopping him even though it was wet and windy he loved it. So did I if truth be known.

Anyway watching Star Wars return of the Sith (I think that's the title) oh and now Toby is going mental to get on my lap so it's time I went. Bye for now.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wow what a day I'm in demand!

Okay I walk in the office at 9.45am, walk through the door and...... 'Mark' can you look at this, still with jacket on and pack pack in hand, then as I leave that person another come running, well lets just say I took my jacket off at 10.35am and as with most people I don't operate until I have my first cup of tea for the day, well that didn't happen until 11.30am

Strewth, that was a day at the office, it was nice being in demand but a little stressful. But boy did those four hours go bloody quick, but by the end I had unwound and was ready for the drive to the school. This today was pretty uneventful apart from being able to park right outside the gates that was cool.

Oh happy 18th bro.

This evening I think I managed to crack the normalisation of the database I'm working on, if I have then the rest of the build should be pretty easy. Here's hoping anyway.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Still not going well

I have the books open and trying to get the grey matter working but still nothing. What's worse I have built loads of applications over the years but moved over to Internet development about 18mths ago, I can't believe how much you can forget so quickly if you don't keep up the practice.

I have decided to pack in the business I am doing, it's not enjoyable anymore and so I must call it a day, I'll attempt to finish what I have at the mo but I will not be taking on any more. Once the contracts are up I'll have to go back to full time work again although I have been doing that for a while albeit partly from home.

The pictures are a small collection as the others are with friends and I have not asked permission for them to be on the web so I can only show ones with MSM in the main.

Anyway 'J' is going mad at the mo as the dog has had an accident because we have all been up stairs for the past hour or so and he is not a happy bunny.

Here's Toby a few weeks ago. Ewok I think this chap is an Ewok!!


Well lets try and upload some birthday snaps of MSM and friends.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Not a good Monday

Sorry readers but not a good one today really struggling with my project and it looks like I have to scrap this version and start again so no blog tonight. Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

All is quiet

Hey yall, I'm sat in my lounge in total peace and quiet, everyone is either asleep or else where in the house, the T.V is off and I can here only the lapping sounds of Toby drinking water and the creaking of floor boards where 'J' is walking around. This is really nice I feel like I have finally got in to the zone, really chilled and relaxed.

Not seen any news today so not sure what is going on in the world which I think is a good thing, all this doom and gloom it's nice some times just to switch it all off, shut the curtains and block out the outside world, hmmm so quiet.

Well today was a normal catch up on some house work day, Tesco for weekly shop with 'J' and MSM in tow, with the odd "Mark can we have chicken this week?", "Mark are you able to cook this one night?", as you can tell I do all the cooking apart from Sundays I try to give myself at least one day off, but why do I get so possessive over the kitchen. Example 'J' cooks a lovely Lamb dinner with fresh Veg but she is rather messy and I enter kitchen to tidy up only to see dishes everywhere, all work tops full of empty pots and pans, cooker looking rather green with the over spill of cabbage, I can't work like that every surface has to be cleaned as I cook, by the time I'm serving up there are no dishes around apart from the loaded up plates, everything else is in the dish washer ready for the on button. Umm I daren't start discussing kitchen hygiene as my Sunday off may be a thing of the past.

MSM's birthday went without a hitch, great afternoon doing ten pin bowling then walking over for a Pizza at the Hut. All the children enjoyed themselves and we were honored to be joined by my parents, why I say this is because they never come out with us and if they do it's only to moan about everything especially my mother, although don't get me wrong I Love her to bits but she can only pick holes in things or moan about money or lack of it. Mum there is only so much your son can take, your 63 now and it's time to let go and enjoy the rest of your life. In plain English GET OVER IT!!

Oo that was harsh I know but I needed to get that of my chest. Thanks for the birthday wishes you all, I passed them on to MSM, although she did look at me daft and I had to explain what this blog is and why people leave messages, Joansy, MSM is well impressed that you live in America and that you are a lawyer, I hope she follows in your footsteps and not go down Dans suggested route.

Well the weather is certainly changing with thunder storms this morning and loads of heavy rain, it was rather depressing sitting here at 10am with all the house lights on as it was so dark, I would do a Dan special and get my camera to point out the window but alas I live in a cul de sac with only 8 houses and as you can imagine there is not much activity outside, although if you all tuned in around 7.30am Monday to Friday for about 6 mins it's rush hour with all three cars leaving at once for the city! oh and catching me and MSM at 3.30pm walking past the window after school. Now there's something to wait for all of 3 sec for ummm.

I may switch it on in the office while I work, or as it's been recently sat staring at a screen and not really doing much, we'll see.

So that's my Sunday not very eventful but relaxing all the same and I did take some pictures yesterday so I will try and remember to download them tomorrow and put them up for you all to see.

toodle pip and all that ;0)