Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Satellites Lost

Today was not a good day, I pulled out of my drive only for my car to cut out 5 meters down the road, it is still sat there now. Work was really difficult, every day I see a little bit more of my hard work go to waste as we are edged out by the competition. I really wish there was something I could do about it, unfortunately no amount of my hard work helps. I feel pretty sad about it all tonight really, like my hard work is unappreciated and I don't have very much to show for my efforts. I know that isn't strictly true, I have a nice house it just needs some work, and I still have a job at a time when lot of people have lost theirs, so I should be thankful, when lots of things go wrong it isn't always easy to see that though.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bruces stag do

Yesterday was Bruces' stag do, in two months he will be married. In the morning we went to Upper Tean for paint balling action. There was myself, Bruce, Phil, Steven, Jo Berger, and Bruces' cousins Benjamin and Nicholas.

The painball was a fun outdoor thing, getting shot hurt a bit, though not too badly unless you get hit in softer areas, like my neck and thighs. There were a number of games, attack and defend, team deathmatch, capture the flag. A bit like quake really only with less gore and more pain. The worse game for Bruce Phil and I was hunt the stag which involved the three of us running and being shot at but everyone, while we were unarmed.

After paintball we went for a meal at the March Hair, I had the swordfish steak it was very tasty. Then caught a taxi into Manchester to the Frog and Bucket for some more drinks and comedy. They levied a £10 behaviour bond on us as we were a groud opf guys. Phil did his best to lose it for us by talking during the act. We managed to collect it at the end though. Really enjoyed the comedy some good acts and a much friendlier place than the comedy store. Nick joined us for the comedy and drinks afterwards.

Benjamin turned out to be somewhat the wheeler dealer, he got on very well with Nick. Apparently he is not only buying a bakery but has managed to secure grants to renovate and offer subsidised Welsh produce (he lives in Anglesey).

After the comedy we went for drinks, for some reason opting to walk across Manchester to Deansgate Locks. It was raining and I was soaked and lost my contacts on the way so once their proceeded to drink myself into a stupor while Bruce was force fed cocktails. Everything was a blur, not just because of the alcohol minus contacts I could barely see more then a few feet in clarity.

The only weird thing I remember was on leaving some unknown girl got into one of the Taxies, apparently Phil was trying to chat her up, he didn't get very far though according to Benj.

I really felt in pain the next day. Waking up to a very terrible hangover, I spent the morning in pain. Even more pain when I found out one of my servers had failed. It took me hours to rectify the problem that should have taken minutes had I been a little more compus mentus.

In the evening Phil and I watched Adulthood, which proved to be a pretty good English film about a guy getting out of Jail of 6 years and finding himself dragged directly back into the shadowy world he had vowed to get away from.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

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Phil just sent me a very scary link I remember seeing lots of these spiders all over Northern Eastern Australia, in Noosa and on Fraser Island. I did also read recently that the UK is being invaded by foreign spiders, due to the milder winters. I am a terrible arachnophobe so this is al bad news for me.

I just got back from the pub too, after pulling a late one trying to get something's set up for a demo I thought I deserved a drink, so I was glad when Bruce called and we headed to the unicorn. It was amazingly quiet considering it was a quizz night in there. We chatted, bitched about work then came home. I got a reply in my continuing boiler saga, which actually made me laugh out loud. The guy in question sent me some photos to highlight where he thinks I should connect to and I can actually see the part I need in the corner of the photograph :D

Sunday, October 19, 2008


It is Sunday evening, tomorrow I am back at work. The weekend has disappeared in a flash, it started straight after work on Friday. Some people from work and I went to try out the new bar in Wilmslow. Revolution have opened up where the old Samuel Finny was. The new bar is ultra modern, mirrors everywhere. It looks great, though it seems very high maintenance not sure how long they will keep it looking good, they will need to work to keep it looking tiptop. Given the prices though I think can do it.

I left for home after a drink, caught up with Phil and Nick headed to the John Millington. It wasn't the right vibe though so we moved to the Governors house. It was more our age though still he wrong side on the male to female ratio.

Saturday, I met Nick to go on a shopping spree of bits for the house. We went to three places to buy cable, plaster board a door frame. Nick was brilliant, one place we went to asked for £26 for a door carcass, he questioned it straight away, they guy swore blind that was the normal price. After a bit of back and forth it transpired that his normal branch sold the same item cheaper, sigh Cheshire taxes I suppose.

While we were out shopping Martina texted me that she fancied coming over. By the time we finished for lunch she waiting at my parents. My dad made use all sandwiches after which we headed to my house. She was really great and stripped upstairs while Nick and I worked, thought I did have to do the clear up afterwards.

I fitted a new timer I bought from ebay to my boiler, it has an external sensor which measures the external temperature and it suppose to moderate the boiler thus making it more energy efficient. I have spent a lot of time making the place energy efficient both in an attempt to save money in the long run and to help reduce the dreaded carbon footprint. Unfortunately it all went a bit pear shaped as there was a connector missing so I put everything in place but I couldn't actually connect it to the boiler, slightly useless.

Saturday evening Nick, Phil Gilly and I went for a few drinks in Bramhall. Starting in what used to be Gray's. It seems very much more an eatery than a place to drink these days. Next we thought we would try out the New Bubble Room. We were all dressed reasonably smartly, shoes not trainers, shirts not T-Shirts, so were slightly surprised to be told we needed a reservation to use the Bar. The place did not exactly look full, so we were incensed at their attitude. We went to Beluga, which has a strikingly better male female ratio. A few gin and tonics and some good conversation later, Nick invited over some girls and the night ebbed out into a drunken but pleasant haze.

I felt rather less than pleasant this morning though, I did managed to get back to the house for yet more rewiring. I have now lifted floorboards in all the bedrooms, I had to demolish the old airing cupboard to get under the floor as helpfully someone in the pas put a floor on top of the floor. Fortunately I still had Bruce's circular saw and Nick lent me his wreaking bar, it is my new favourite toy :)

We finished late and I felt so tired this evening I read a chapter of two of my book and now its time for bed.

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry

I spent last weekend lagging my pipes and doing more wiring. I think I have reached the point where I am a little overwhelmed with the task I just have to battle on to try and get it finished.
I also caused a gas leak, at least both I and Bruce thought I had, however when the plumber arrived on Thursday he proved everything was ok by first doing a leak test then using a blow torch to heat up the joints and ignite any leaking gas, there wasn't anything to ignite though. I felt rather stupid indeed, in my defence Bruce and I were both convinced we could smell something.
I have had some pretty dark moments this week in many ways I feel that I am stagnating despite the positive step of finally getting onto the property ladder, the amount of work I worry that my career isn't going anywhere. I suppose in the current climate I should be grateful that I have a career at all.
It has been a strange week for old contacts, firstly there was the incredibly sad news from M&Al. There text messages have left me scarily numb and unable even to form a reply, I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like for them. I also got a message from an old school mate and a text phone call from Paul's ex Lisa. Lisa made me jealous talking abut Melbourne, I wondered out loud what I am doing sill in the UK?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Not much to believe in

It seems like weeks whiz past in the blink of an eye. This week certainly disappeared quickly before I realised Friday was upon me.
I was invited to an team meal with the customer which was nice. We ate at a restaurant in Manchester called Bacchanalia. I had at calamaris starter followed by Chicken wrapped in parma ham. It was really enjoyable food, thought watching Gordon tuck into his stake must say I felt a bit envious.
After the meal we went to Norwegian Blue, and underground bar. I drank a couple of beers and started to feel quiet tipsy. Next stop was the Bar and grill, then onto Mojo. A few more drinks and I was feeling very drunk. They went off to the casino, I didn't fancy it so I caught the bus to Parrs Wood and in an effort to save some money decided to walk from there. An hour later I sobered up, my feet hurt and I had only reached Cheadle Hulme, all in it took the best part of two hours to get home.

I cant believe I started writing this post so long ago, I really finding it hard to balance my life at the moment.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Nerver miss a beat

I just have to say I really like the Kaiser Chiefs song, the title of which I've lifted for today's blog. It reminds me so much of high school, the apathy trying to fit in and thinking people were really cool, to cool for school even.
Today was a bit of a blur at work, I felt tired to start with and after being harassed I felt rather frazzled. My mood wasn't improved when I got to the gym to find I left my shorts at home, oops.
I went home had dinner and headed to my house, spent an while stripping some wall paper. I find stripping so dull and frustrating I can only managed to do small chunks at a time. To be honest I felt pretty frustrated the last few times I have gone to do work, everything take so long and there is still so much to do. I have to keep reminding myself of all the work that has been done on the floor, the heating and wiring. Eventually it will be a home rather than just a drain on my time/money/sanity.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Web cafe

I just got back from Birmingham where I was assisting Phil setting up an internet cafe at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham. It was the third time I have helped out, and it went a log better than last time. There were a few mix ups to start with, for some reason rather than get the laptops together beforehand they were delivered to the site. That meant we had to rely on a windows installation Phil made before hand.
The cafe is funded by one of the stallholders at the event National cancer research. The stalls are all drug companies cancer charities and Universities. This year GlaxosmithKline sponsored so all the laptops had GSK screen savers and backgrounds.

There was also another smaller room of PC for previewing slides unfortunately we couldn't get in until Sunday morning, which meant an early morning call to finish all of the bits off.

We did get treated to a meal and a few drinks at Pizza express Saturday night and I got some cash for helping out which comes in very handy at the moment.

I left around mid day, I then had to drive Jim's Sprinter Van back to Manchester. Its was only the second time I have driven a van of any size the first being on the way down with Phil. It was good on the motorway, not so much fun when I nearly ran out of fuel because I had neglected to pay attention to the fuel gague until the light came on. I don't think trunk driving is for me, I was glad to get in my car and sputter home.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The state I am in

Sometimes everything is wrong. Lately a heck of a lot of things have been getting the better of me, my job and renovating my house have eaten away all my time and energy. I have put on a few kilo because I haven't had (or made) enough time to get to the gym or sleep. I got the Saab back from the garage but its still not right the only thing I can think to do is trade it in. This causes something of cashflow crisis though. Tomorrow I have to pay the plumbers as they have practically finished installing the central heating system tomorrow they just have a few small bits to finish off. That and the money I owe Nick is practically all of my savings exhausted and I still have a kitchen, flooring and decorating to do. Oh might need some furniture as well :S

I got to the house tonight to find two letters from utility companies. First one from Scottish Power, a final bill using estimated gas usage. They estimate I have used a heck of a lot more Gas than the 1 unit I have so I phoned to report that and to pay. After going through 3 levels of automated services I got a message telling me all of the operators were busy after which it hung up. Sigh, the other letter was from British gas telling me they were now suppling me gas only could I confirm the property they were suppling to was a flat in Milton Keynes, sigh. I spent 20 minutes on hold at the end of which the operator told me their computer system was down so could I call back another time. I was pretty enraged by this point, a phone call from Phil basically telling me he couldn't be bothered to get things organised for Saturday did little to improve my mood.

I went round to Martinas for some food and to watch Nip Tuck, my god its depraved and twisted. A murderous teddy bear making agent, cannibalistic newlyweds and self destruction seem to be the main themes. Her brother arrives tomorrow, he doesn't speak English and is apparently wary of meeting too many people so I may or may not get to meet him.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Banks still suck

I needed to pay the plumbers tomorrow and after last times fiasco I thought I better ring up first.
I explained the situation to the call centre worker who dutifully informed me that Alliance and Leicester branches do not hold large cash deposites but that he could arrange me to make a withdrawal from a local post office. This dosnt exactly lend me confidence in the bank in fact I pretty much feel that when I sort out my house I will be moving banks.
If anyone actually has a bank they can reccommend please comment or send me an email.