Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am really grateful for all the lovely birthday messages, really nice to hear from people.

I had a great day mostly spent at my house frantically trying to get everything ready for the carpet fitters (due today). I managed to get spotlights installed on the Landing. Bought some replacement UPVC from the excellent (and Cheap) Scott Plas and cleared some of the crap out of the garage. So a pretty successful day all in all.

In the evening I went out for a meal and a few drinks with Phil, Caroline and Bruce. We went to the Kantipur in Stockport where I enjoyed the spicy ginger and a few pints of cobra. Then off into Cheadle for a nightcap.

I had a bit of a hangover this morning which was a pain as I had to head to the house at 6.30am in order to get a coat of paint on the spare room before work (and the carpet fitter).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Howl

It has been a while since I last written. I now have a huge amount of half written blogs I am not sure if they will ever be finished. The last few months have been a blur however the end of the house project is in sight, barring acts of god next weekend I will move in.

First off I wanted to thank a few people who have really helped me a lot in various ways without which the whole job would have taken a lot longer.

First and foremost my Dad. He has worked tirelessly and done an amazing job decorating and helping me with my house. I couldn't have done anywhere near as good a job without him; even though we have driven each other crazy at times.

Secondly Bruce, who has been a huge help with my wiring, and other jobs.

Nick has been a constant help. He helped me find the place originally, helped me deal with the estate agents, did a marvellous job on the floors and kitchen and other building jobs. He has done loads of work well above and beyond what he charged me for and has been great.

Danny came and helped me today doing a sterling effort laying the tiles in my bathroom, its really a top notch job which I am extremely pleased with.

In recent weeks Kath has been a constant support for me when I have been feeling down and worried about the way the project has been going she has helped me to put things into perspective and basically helped me get through it.

Finally a host of others came and helped out, including Jo, Holly, Andy Gilmore, Phil, and Martina. I really appreciate everyone's efforts I hope I can repay the favours someday..

The last few days have been typically hectic. Starting on Thursday I took a couple of days off as I needed to prepare and I knew Nick and Danny would be arriving Sunday. Before they came I needed to finish a number of jobs.

I had decided I was unhappy with the lighting in the hall and landing so I decided to replace them with halogen spotlights. In one of the DIY paradoxes it seems Haolgen spotlights require a 65mm hole, but the only holesaws available are 64mm. Sometimes 1mm doesn't make too big a difference, when cutting a hole for spots it does! So in practise I cut a nice neat 64mm hole then enlarge with a file.

I also realised I had made a slight mistake with the shaver socket in the bathroom, I had to rewire it on a spur fused at 3amps. It required more floorboards up, and some undoing of the plastering.

Friday I took a break from decorating to go get a new TV for my grandma. She hasnt found the digital switchover very easily the idea of have a digi box and a tv is a bit beyond her. Plus failing eyesight and little buttons on the digibox remote have led to constant trouble. So I took her to comet having found that they had a Panasonic on offer. Panasonic remote controls have nice big chunky buttons ideal for her. So she now has a 42inch LCD tv with built in Digibox. My dad and I lugged it back to her house.

Saturday we had booked in a LAN party so I spent Friday night getting servers ready with Bruce. We have turned an old PC into a fileserver using Freenas. It took all night to copy all the data off the old fileshare onto the new server but it meant in future the games would not be compromised by people moving data around.

Before the Lan I needed to do a few jobs at my house including getting the sensor for the hall lights working. I decided to switch them on via a movement sensor. Unfortunately the instructions were impossible for me to follow, Bruce however put his engineering training to good use and managed to get it wired in.

The LAN went really well, there were less people than last time and that meant I actually got to play a few games this time! Jo had a sale of a load of surplus PC equipment from Dawsons. I think it turned out well for everyone he got rid of the gear and we got some good bargains.

Today was a crazy day, I had Danny tiling the bathroom floor. Nick putting in new skirting board in the spare bedroom. While I tried to get a few bits and pieces done. Later Bruce arrived and we got the Ariel lead sorted out, he even somehow managed to poke some cables under the floor to neaten it up. I don'lt know how he managed it but I was very impressed!

So I am nearly ready, one room to decorate, some spotlights to put in on the landing. Carpets coming on Thursday, Blinds on Friday and move in / Party on Saturday, another hectic week ahead.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Funny how music can invoke strong memories. I was just taking a break and listening to music on Spotify. I saw the Depeche Mode singles collection 86-89.

Immediately I was transported back to my youth, going to the dodgy disco as the community centre with my neighbours and cousin, so long ago now. I had not thought about these moments for many years, I am not even in contact with my neighbours Jenny and Matt or my cousin anymore. People can have such a strong impact on us, and yet its all transitory, they come and go so better enjoy their presence in the now. I look back and somehow I don't feel that was the same person. I guess my impending birthday is making me reminisce about the past.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

This is it

I went to see the Michael Jackson film This is it with Ian, Nick Faye Charlotte and Faye's sister Leah. I caught up with them at the Cinema bar at Parrs Wood. As I saw them all sitting together I really missed Kath would have been nice to have her there.

The film started a little bit too cheesy for me. With the dancers introductions and I thought I was in for a typically rose tinted history. Fortunately the rest of the film was nothing like that at all. Rather we were treated to footage of the warm ups for all the songs, run thorough of art direction and Jackson and the various performers onstage.

To be fair later in the film you realise how closely and how hard these people worked with Jackson, the admiration felt real.

Mostly Jackson was walking through the actions and resting his voice but occasionally like on "Billy Jean" and "I Just Can't Stop Loving You"
The setups for the show look simply amazing he stage props and video productions were lavish. The video for Smooth Criminal looked awesome Jackson the smooth criminal being chased by Humphrey Bogart.
The update Thriller in 3D had some awesome effects, it would have been really something viewed in 3D.

Jackson came across as being obsessed in producing an incredible show, despite his age and any physical ailments he was able to dance and sing.
As I was walking out of the cinema I got this overriding feeling, a sense of missing out on something. A sense of loss which had such potential to be a great show, a sceptical was snatched away.

Afterwards Nick and Charlotte went for some food, Ian Faye and Leah had to wait for a lift (in hindsight I should have offered them one oops) so we went for a quick drink and a chat in Frankie and Bennies. I was telling them the fun I had trying to explain to Faye's dad how to get his cable connection working, on the phone without being able to see the screen :D