Thursday, May 31, 2007

She Makes Me Smile

A smile is a valuable thing. The ability to produce one, be it for either yourself or for another, is a remarkable gift.

And you who is reading this, if I have ever read any of your blog, or you have left a comment here, or I've spoken to you online, or e-mailed you, then you have made me smile :)

I did think about trying to name some of my readers, some of my friends, some of the people I know, who make me smile, and their reasons for having done so, but I realised there were so many I would be afraid to miss someone :)

There are times when it is easy to produce a smile in someone. Ten seconds after they've just been giggling about something is a good one ;)

And there are different types of smiles. Happy smiles, tired smiles, smiles when someone does something silly, smiles because you feel like smiling, smiles because for no real reason you suddenly feel better about something, smiles when all someone does is listen and you feel better... All sorts of smiles.

And sometimes, to produce a smile, people don't even have to do anything. They simply have to be themselves.

Like, if an exciting new bit of computer chippery came out, I'd be like, "Oh wow! It's made on a 65 nanometer process with silicon-on-insulator technology and it's got four cores! And a whole megabyte of on-chip level 2 cache per core! Do you know how many million transistors that is? Millions and millions! How do they fit millions of somethings into a thing that small!?!?"
So, basically, pretty geeky and enthusiastic about something terribly, terribly dull ;) And yet, yawn-inducing though that may be, I guess it is probably one of the very things my wife will miss, as it was very simply me being me, and it would probably have made her smile.

This last year has certainly had its ups and its downs, and I have been so lucky to have my friends, both real and virtual, around to make me smile through both those occasions.

But, y'know, when I think about this everything that's happened in this last year, I have to admit that when I think of people who made me smile, there is one who sticks out above the crowd. She made me smile when I was sad, and she helped me to smile more when I was glad, and she made me smile most simply by being herself. Even when she was being a complete and total pain in the arse ;) Even when? Or especially when? I'm not sure, you best get back to me on that ;)

And today, it's a year since she first commented on my blog. Oh man, was I ever sunk from that point on ;)

Too bad she's hardly been around for six months of that year ;)

Thank you, Hanni, thank you for being yourself and for making me smile :) Even when you're a pain in the arse and leave me banging my head on my desk ;)

Well... Probably thanks for that, I'm not so sure, come to think of it... ;)

I hope you've been kicking some serious butt in your exams, and in life in general :)


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

There's Progress!

I must be making some serious progress now. Things are really moving :)

Of course, the irony is, that I just lost half this post by accident. Well, I say half, but knowing me it'll probably turn out to be about a tenth ;) But anyway... :)

Saturday I spent thinking about bedroom furniture. Again. I visited the shop on the corner, only to bump into an assistant who said "Well our other shop has loads more like this..." So I hopped up to their other shop... And you know what? I was sure when I'd looked around there a couple of times, they didn't have much... Didn't have much!? Why, they've got bedroom furniture coming out of their ears! :) (Now there's a bizarre image... :) )

They'd also got some of the things (and then some!) from a range I'd spotted online too, which was pretty cool as it meant I could really get a good look at 'em :) Plus it would be nicer to order from a local place :)
I pondered for a bit having one in the corner (surprisingly few places seem to do storage designed to go in the corner), but after lulling it all over for quite some time, I eventually decided against it. Had I seen more of the corner-y ones earlier, I might have been swayed then, but, of course, something else had piqued my interest by now ;)
"I have seen it," I said to the sales lad (who really did seem to know what he was talking about), "I have seen it online, you know..."
"Well," said he, "so long as it's not a stupid price, we could match that."
"Oh right," I said, surprised. (Actually, I think I said "So, not for a tenner then? ;)")

Lulled it over a little for the rest of Saturday, but decided I needed a break so put Lord of the Rings on (Just half the first one - man, those extended editions go on a bit ;) )

Sunday... Measuring... re-measuring... humming... ha'ing... More measuring... Layout out boxes and paper to suit layout of furniture...

Eventually made a decision, to arrive at the shop 4:10pm - they closed, of course, at 4pm ;)

So set off to my parents instead - I wanted to take my Nan my air conditioning unit. Oh man, was it WET out there! M25? Not fun. Got there about 8ish, (Hmm, I must be lifting a lot these days... A 30kg air conditioning unit doesn't feel as heavy as I'd have thought :D ) chatted for a bit, played on my sister's Wii (all four of us) for a bit. Mum is terrible at, well, everything really ;) (Actually, I think she beat my Dad at the boxing one - Hmmmmmmmmm? Pent-up frustration? ;) )

Headed back home again at around midnight. Fortunately, it was pretty quiet out. Fortunately because it was still bloody wet out there :)

Monday... Went out, spoke to a different bloke at furniture place. "Who said we'd match Internet prices!?" "Youngish lad, said he was working at your other store yesterday, said his cousin also worked at the other store."
"That was probably my son then"

Hope I didn't get him into trouble ;)

He didn't seem very happy, but he matched them though! I mean the online place was even doing an extra 10% off this weekend and he matched that too. He didn't seem super-pleased about it, and I was like, "Well, I'd rather get it from a local company than online, so I don't mind paying a bit more potentially..."
"No no, I'll match that."
"I don't suppose that includes delivery does it? We charge £15 for delivery."
"It says delivery is free to the ground floor, but I'm on the first, so I don't know what they'd have done."
"We'll do that for free too then."

lol... crazy ;)

So, I saved a hundred quid, which I might later spend on getting them to assemble it for me now ;) The guy said his son and friend do that of an evening. Bit of extra cash, I guess :)

Oh and then I went to pay and the credit card company then decided to play awkward and it needed authorisation. He had to wait on hold a bunch of times, then they were asking for like the signature digits off the back of the card... Then my mother's maiden name! Blimey, honestly :) So, now the whole shop (a small queue had formed ;) ) knows all my credit card details and my mother's maiden name ;)

Still. I'm happy :)

I also did a good amount of boring old cleaning and stuff over the weekend too. I did have some huge piles formed :) Why, I could barely sit down ;) lol :) )

kk... Think I'm done :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Hmmm. I'm devoting most of my time trying to figure out something here at the moment.

I quite the 'art' of logistics at times, but this is a pain in the arse ;)

I realised when I got up this morning that the double-double idea may not work... not if I want to reach the lightswitch, at any rate ;)

I have turned my bed around this evening to get a feel for that a different way around.

This was something I thought soon after moving in... The room feels biggish... But when you consider that there is no built-in storage, that space quickly disappears.

More news:
- Phonecall from Mrs M yesterday while I was at work, "Oh... by the way... I just thought, you don't want the house do you?" I said "no" - I'm spending enough time settling here, I'd probably find it wouldn't fit there ;)
I quite like it here. I'll try to figure out whether I can afford a place of my own at some point, but until then, I'm happy enough here :) (Although it would be great if I had the opportunity to buy this place ;) - well, if I could afford it, at any rate ;) )
- Following on from my dithering last year, my air conditioning unit arrived today. £150 from It seems to... condition... air... erm... :) It's supposed to heat as well (Which makes it not a waste of space in the winter), but it doesn't seem to want to do that so I may need to drop them a note or something. Still, hopefully that'll be good when/if it gets tooooo hot :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Can you tell what it is yet?

Working things out...

I give up looking for any furniture to match my bed - I'll go for something that contrasts instead.

I had been thinking that I'd go for a triple wardrobe, but I may go for two smaller doubles instead. Not sure though... Any opinions there? (I don't need that much space myself; I'm catering for the future :-P )

I'm thinking: Two bedside cabinets, one large chest of drawers and [some wardrobe space].

Picture on the left is with my bed in its current position, which I strongly suspected wasn't the optimal layout for the room, and wouldn't be suitable for the furniture I was thinking (if you actually want to be able to get to the heater or the window ;) ) - plotting it out here seems to confirm that ;)
I had assumed I'd need to turn the bed around - but it's interesting that looking at it, I'll probably want my head on the left side of the room, whilst I'd presumed the right side. Hmmm :)

Still, it's progress :)

Although, by the way, Photoshop does my bloody nut in :) I mean good grief, do the people at Adobe actually sit around TRYING to work out how to make things awkward and different to everything else? I found like three ways of selecting objects, but could I just say "Select all these things, now copy and paste them over there" ? Could I bollocks.

You know, I even bought a mouse for my old Spectrum (in all its 7 available colours glory ;) ) to use paint packages, so I've been using them for a while. I've just never found a nice, pleasant, easy-to-use, doesn't make me want to strangle myself with a sock, package on Windows though.

Adobe seem to be getting slightly better at designing software, but they've still got a whole lot to learn about making it actually friendly to use. I hate PDFs mostly because of Adobe Reader (which, again, always just feels... kludgey... to use... And everything Adobe is so SLOW! A sloth on tranquilisers that's been tied to a glue-covered tree works faster! Erm... sorry... ranty rant rant... am I still in a pair of brackets? :) )

Anyway. Bedroom. Wardrobes. Double doubles or single triple? Photoshop. Pain. In. The. Arse.

Oh... The doubles seem a little less deep, but do come pre-assembled, unlike the triple I was looking at which is flat-packed.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Her Point of No Return

Mrs M says (19:29):
just thought i'd let you know that as of 21st June i'll be unemployed

Ok, in fairness, that's not an exact quote, as I don't actually have her labelled as "Mrs M" on Messenger, but still, other than that ;)

It's certainly all... interesting ;)
Now, her parents live around 2.5 hours drive away from here.  They moved back "home" a few years ago, but she has lived here since she was a wee nipper at the age of two.

Allow me to try to summarise the plans we've been through here. Starting with:

Plan 1 (One week ago)
  • Having looked at jobs both in this area and around her parents area, she has decided that she cannot see a job she prefers to her current one (IT Manager), despite the fact that she doesn't really like it (Although I think technically, this job may theoretically roughly match her ideal description of a job from a few years ago).
  • She considered moving to get out of "our" house but eventually decided against it.
  • She has just redecorated the bathroom.
  • Last week (literally!) she had double-glazing installed.
  • She is/was planning a new kitchen.
  • She has half-stripped the wallpaper in the living room.
  • She has just switched to a better deal on broadband supplier (the new modem arrived *today*)

Plan 2 (Friday / Saturday)
  • Buy a 'mobile' home in a holiday resort near her parents  (Obviously substantially cheaper than buying a 'real' house).  She will do this immediately, by using her savings and borrowing money from her parents and [theoretically as per The Plan] me.
  • Sell the house here (I don't know why this couldn't be done first - I assume that with the holiday season coming, she was conerned a 'mobile' home there would not be available), and repay people.
  • Quit her job here
  • Overall she described this as taking a "gap year".  She'd get a job in Tesco or similar to tide her over.

Plan 3 (Today)
  • Quit job (Done)
  • Sell house (The estate agent is booked to come 'round on Thursday) (When I spoke to her this evening, she was trying to get more wallpaper stripped)
  • Initially move in with her parents for a bit
  • Look to rent somewhere
  • She is still calling it a "gap year" and I assume is still thinking of the Tesco-level of job.
Right then, phew :)

I can actually understand her "gap year" idea, although I'm a bit surprised by the complete 180 that went from literally getting double-glazing installed last week to selling the house this week.

I loosely pondered myself late last year the idea of taking a leave of absence from my current job to do something simpler - although my reasoning was to give myself more time (I have 101 projects I'd love to do one day), and potentially to find something more "people-facing".  I figured I can think about it when the pressure's off at work... ;) Hmmm ;)
(Which, incidentally, I am still overall holding my concentration at recently.  Yay! :) )

So... That there is 'er plan then :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Questions or Answers? (Updated)


I honestly have no idea. It seems to be an impluse that actually carried itself through from start to finish.

I could give 100 explanations and 100 excuses... But for now, I think I'll just leave before I enter a state of shock ;)

Expect this to disappear within a few days ;)

So, I basically said, "I'm not against the idea, but I think you should look at other options first."

We do own the house - it is in her name, but will be split on account of us being married. In November-time when we split the savings, I took around 2/3s and she took around 1/3. I also took the car. I felt that, as the one moving out, I would likely be the one in more 'need' for the cash, whilst she could be sitting on a greater percentage of the money tied up in the house.

So, partly for that, I certainly do think that her request is reasonable. I also don't want her to think that "Here he is, only been moved out six months, and already he doesn't trust me", or something. And I do mean what I said though - if she looks at other options and doesn't seem them as viable for whatever reason, I'll reconsider her request.

I spent a lot of time and effort trying to help her dreams come true over the years. If I can still help now, with little or no real cost to myself, I have no reason not to help.

I'll try to explain what I understand of her plan, and why I decided to say "Ah fuck it!" and post the video tomorrow or something :)

Thank you all for your comments :D

PS. I think if there's a next time, I need to do my hair differently or something. I mean, damn, I thought it looked like it was receding in the video! ;)

Saturday, May 19, 2007


It's a difficult one alright.

It certainly would not occur to me to loan her more money than I could afford to - she just didn't know how much I had.
She is awaiting on my response on what is still a lot of money, but an amount that I could afford to lend her if I chose to.

I have had two songs flipping through my head today.

1: Maximo Park - Apply Some Pressure.
For probably fairly obvious reasons ;)

2: Final Fantasy X - Hymn of the Fayth.
This was a good Playstation 2 game. Not sure why I have this tune in my head :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

I was playing with my tripod...

I noticed the shape of the crescent moon, and then my mysterious likely non-star, and remembered Manda's post to my comments about how Venus would pass just north of the crescent moon tomorrow night.
So, I was just playing with the camcorder (which has a basic digital camera - but a 22x optical zoom) and my camera (and in the process of switching one from my mini tripod to the other) when the phone rang.

I had the lights off, so I didn't know who it was in advance.

"Hi, it's me," said Mrs M.

"Have you got [insert fairly large, certainly not insubstantial amount of money here] I can borrow?"

It seems she's serious about this fixed/mobile home thing.

"Well... Short answer, no." (Given we didn't have that much in savings for me to take to begin with when we split that back in November, that's perhaps being a bit optimistic)

"I thought you might have put more in since then."

"Erm, I think every month since then I've spent more than I've earned."

"How much might I be able to borrow?"

"Erm... I'll get back to you."

It just got complicated.

I've Been Rushed Off My Feet...

Hah! My Mum used to say that after her once-in-a-month four-hour stint at work ;)

Strangely enough, when my sister began working at the same place, she said, "Well, it's not really all that busy..." :)

Yesterday morning: Beavering away on the specification and development of an interface between an invoicing program and the main system.
Yesterday, 1pm: Given someone's CV to review. My boss has ended up in another meeting at the same time as he had scheduled someone to come in for an interview, so first thing Friday (today), I'll need to do the interview instead.
Yesterday, 2pm, before I had read much of the CV or finished eating my lunch: I end up on an urgent "Customer Down" sort of problem. My boss needs to leave at 4pm today, so he can't go to the client's to help (or at least to show face). The person who was previously dealing with the problem was off this afternoon to take his partner to go with his partner to a neurological specialist (fair enough).
Yesterday, 3pm: We decide it makes sense for me to go to the client's. Oh, by the way, the IT Manager at the client? My wife.
Yesterday, 4pm-ish: I have arrived on-site. The "detailed instructions" that Hewlett-Packard have provided us do not help. I e-mail back and ask for the advanced "Level 2 Engineer" to call me back urgently on my mobile.
Yesterday, 4:30-7pm: Much waiting for the Indian HP engineers. Whilst I do believe that at least one of them dedicated his time to us, it's still frustrating just waiting. Some of the waiting was on the phone listening to silence, some on hold, and some waiting for a call back.
Yesterday, 7pm: HP engineer goes home, recommending reinstalling the server operating system from the recovery CD, and the data from the last tape backup (which is a day out of date and it would be preferable to recover the more recent data) (In fairness, it would have been around 10pm in India).
The HP engineer told me twice that this situation "cannot happen". Thanks for that. One small, possibly teeny tiny point... It has happened ;)
Yesterday, 8pm: I have successfully regained access to all 650gigabytes of data.
Yesterday, 8:50pm: Confirmed that everything is working correctly and that all data is available. Initiate backup to tape to ensure the last day of data is also backed up immediately (Despite the fact this should happen overnight anyway, I wanted to SEE it start ASAP).
Yesterday, 9pm: Wife and I leave. I have invited her back to mine to grab some food. She had been planning on having today off to go up to her parents, but due to these problems hasn't been allowed Friday off, "just in case".
Wife tells me she is thinking of moving away from here, buying a 'mobile' (albeit fixed) home, and taking a "gap year". I say I understand - whilst I'm happy in my job and with my location, I have at times over the last few months contemplated the idea of taking an extended leave of absence and doing a simple, every-day sort of job.
Yesterday, 10:20pm: Wife heads home.
Yesterday, 11:45pm: I'm knackered, but decide to go for a shower now, rather than have to worry about it in the morning.
Today, 00:10am: I look at the clock on my phone from upside down and think, "Oh bugger, is it 1am?... No wait, it's 12:10am. Ooh, that was pretty fast for me!"
Today, 00:40am: I head to bed.
Today, 08:20am: I have made it out of bed and am dressed. It took me a little while to figure out what shirt to wear - none of the ones I had really wanted were clean (I'd been planning on doing a wash last night, but it was a bit late by the time I got in). I wanted to look smart for the interview and as we'd have a prospect in.
Today, 08:20am: I decide to have some *gasp* breakfast (a Pop Tart and a glass of milk), and bump into Roses on Messenger (I am mildly surprised that, following her Britney moment she is alive at this time of morning).
Today, 09:02: Arrive at work. Talk to people regarding events of yesterday. Check status of the server (it's good). Write up notes.
Today, 09:40am: Pick up CV to look at. Hear, "Oh look, that must be the person you're interviewing looking for a space in the carpark, Monkfish".
Today, 09:50am: Have glanced through his CV and am talking to him in my boss' office (My bosses are in the Conference Room with a prospect). Confirm that he doesn't really have any actual programming experience, as we suspected from his CV (fair enough, it's a trainee position, but we'd like evidence of *something*)
I tell him he doesn't really have enough experience of doing any actual programming (e.g. roughly none). Advise that, if it is something he wants to do (he sounds like he means it, but I see no evidence of an interest beyond what he has happened to do at college), he should stay on at college longer and move on to the next course (he is coming to the end of a BTEC First Diploma thingy), or spend a little of his own time learning how to program. Mention that VB.NET Express Edition, for example, is available for free from Microsoft, and there will be plenty of free online tutorials and guides. Mention that evidence of ability to program would be good (e.g. I brought a disk filled with sample programs that I had written alone with me to my interview when I came here). Suggest he is welcome to re-submit his CV to us in, say, a year's time if he wishes to do so.
Today, 10:20am: Resume writing up notes from yesterday. Assist someone regarding development for another client. A meeting is deemed necessary. Attend meeting, attempt to mediate between two people who speak a slightly different language ;)
Make tea (Prospect and one boss do not want any, but the decorator does. Ponder whether we have enough mugs left for the rest of day, ponder whether we have enough milk for the rest of the day - put on dish washer early. Discover prospect is just leaving, so dishwasher probably didn't need to be on - one boss is popping out anyway to get more paint for decorator - warn him of milk situation)
Today, 12:30pm: Can't really be bothered to get back to this interface development. Investigate (and fix) a relatively minor bug, at the same time as chatting to someone on Messenger to find out why he's "SO PISSED OFF" (it started when he only got 30% in a Maths exam...)
Today, 1pm: Piss off to pub. Have sausage, mash and beans (£7.45! £7.45!!! but only other realistic option is a "a burger" at £6.50). It's my round too (six beers), so pay on credit card.
Today, 1:40pm: Have another half as it seems a little slow today.
Today, 2:20pm: Back at office. Not feeling worky really.
Today, 3:00pmish: Eventually decide to write a blog post... ;)
Today, 16:09pm: I write this line! :)

Right. Back on with some development :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Dark Room

The "paperwork" aspects hadn't really concerned me too much - the actual getting of a divorce or something.

It's more just the knowledge that mentally, emotionally, that I don't "feel" married that was most significant to me.

But, I had been thinking recently that perhaps I should indeed consider these "paperwork" issues more, to ensure at least that Mrs M was aware that yes, things really definitely are over.

Speaking to her about it recently, she said she acknowledges that they are.

I think of it as having been in a dark room holding a torch. You can shine the torch around, but you never really take in the whole room in one go, you're just sort of aware of the shape of the room and have a vague knowledge of the things in it.
Then, when the lights come on, you all of a sudden see the whole room, and everything in it.

You can turn the lights off again, but you still know what the room looked like with the lights on. You can't forget what it looked like in the light.

That's kind of how it feels. I have that... awareness... of all the things I saw before.

She has now completed her run of therapy. She said she feels much more positive in herself in general, and will be cutting back on her anti-depressants.
I think she felt that had she been through this years ago, things would be different now.

I think... sort of yes, and sort of no.

Would things be here? Perhaps not. But would I still be in a similar dark room with similar objects?

I think so.

I think I'd still have that awareness of what so much looked like... But that I might not put it all together to see it all in the light. But I still just think it would feel... Like something was missing.

I've been thinking about it a bit recently. "Opposites attract" and a requirement of similar interests too. I think it's not so much shared interests, or even attitudes... But something about who people are and how they view the world.

I am pleased, really, that she is able to see herself in a different light now.

But I think there's too much else that we would look at differently.

> north
You are in a dark room.

> north
You cannot go that way.
You trip and break your neck!

You are in Limbo...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wii Mii

This is my "Wii Mii" :

In case you didn't guess, on t' Nintendo Wii you can create an avatar to represent yourself. This avatar is known as a "Wii Mii", so, there you go :)

Just to clear up any confusion, that's me on the left ;) The other one is my sister that she created when she was over for a couple of days last week.

Whilst creating her Mii, she did encounter one brief moment of terrifying panic as she suddenly exclaimed "ARGH! IT LOOKS LIKE MUM!"

When I created mine, I did try to create one that I felt looked a bit like me. Interesting, then, that when Mrs M saw it the week before my sister was over, she said, "He looks like you, but the eyebrows are too bushy."

However, as soon as my sister saw it, she said, "Hey, is that you? He's got your eyebrows!"

Funny how it goes ;)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

And Up, And Down

After I'd finished writing last night's post, hung the washing out, brushed me teesh, got nekkid, etc. it was gone 1:30am by the time I got to bed. I think it was around 2am by the time I really started trying to get to sleep.

So I was pretty surprised that I woke up fairly well this morning and actually felt in a great mood, and even made it to work a little early :)

This mood continued throughout the morning and everything just seemed great :)

Until I read an e-mail from a client. E-mails were getting CC'd to someone in their office and they shouldn't have been. As I'd been delivered a few li'l updates to the client yesterday, I'd also delivered some other changes that had been made (not by me).
It appeared to be a silly little problem... Someone had probably just put in a hard-coded e-mail address to use to test with, and forgotten to take it out, or something.

Oh I wish it was that ;)

No, it turned out, once a CC address was used, all the subsequent e-mails that went out were CC'd to the same address.

Brown. Trousers. Time.

Can you imagine that in a business situation where you're sending around confidential information having a whole bunch of e-mails get CC'd to someone in a different company?

On the scale of embarassingly huge cockups, this sort of thing is pretty major. Honestly, I'd rather deliver an enhancement to find the thing just plain didn't run (which is very embarassing) than something like this.

"Fortunately", due to the way the program was set up, this "only" applied to e-mails that went out over the next 15 minutes or so.

Speaking of 15 minutes, that was roughly how long it took me to read the original report, find the problem and deliver a fix. It took about a bit more than another hour after that though for me to deliver a list of all the e-mails that had incorrectly gone out when they should not have done (In total, only eight e-mails had been sent that shouldn't have been - but it would only take one to potentially start Who Knows What Sort Of Crisis).

As I was on the phone to our client who was reading my e-mail explanation at the time, "Are you serious?" he asked. "Oh shit," he said.

I am glad that I work for a company where this sort of problem very rarely occurs, and I am glad that when it does happen, the entire company takes it very seriously.

I don't understand how this sort of thing seems to happen "all the time" with some IT companies. More than that, I don't understand how it is that they don't actually appear to care that it does.

Oh well. At least it got caught early on and with a little luck it won't cause any seriously sticky shit to go hitting the fan :)

Feeling Nosey?

I hope you are. Because if you're not, I'm just being incredibly random.

Come to think of it, I'm being incredibly random anyway ;)

So, here's some random things for you :) Just the "every day" sort of nosey rather than the "juicy gossip" sort of nosey, I'm afraid, but still, potentially interesting none-the-less :)

Now, the first (left) receipt is from the 2nd December 2006 at 17:45. Why is that interesting? Well, that was my very first shop following renting this place! :) So, there's all sorts of random stuff in there :) I decided I wanted to keep this receipt because... erm, because I'm weird ;)
The second receipt is just my receipt from today. LOL, which just made me laugh as I read "KIDS 600G PACK" - WTF!?!? :) Ok, seriously, I have no idea what that is :) I don't remember buying a pack of kids, let alone 600g of kids :) I mean, what are they? The Borrowers? :) [Wanders afk at this point to look around his kitchen to figure out what on Earth it is]
Well, ok, I have genuinely no idea what that is. I've just checked my cupboards, my bag ready to take on to work, the fridge, and the freezer, and I've no idea what a "KIDS 600G PACK" is. Hmmmm :)
It's in with my cool stuff, but I can't think what it would be. (As I unload stuff from the trolley, I try to arrange it onto the conveyor belt by frozen stuff, cool stuff, and the rest - that way you keep the cold things cold)
It was just gone 8pm by the time I left work, so I only fancied a quick shop. I also didn't need to buy too much. One thing I did think was interesting though was that here I am, almost six months on, still buying random homey things from the supermarket (More tea towels [I have several, but I was disappointed with some given that they just push the water around and leave everything fluffy], some coasters - to go on my new coffee table! They're quite nice coasters - black, granite :) )
The Ginster's pastys I shall probably take to work and sell for £1 each ;)
The lamb thingy was a ready meal. When I buy them (uh, I say that like it's not often, but I guess I have 5 microwavable "meals" [I use the term loosely] on this receipt - but the Lasagnes and the Rustler's Pork Ribs were both on BOGOFF, and they'll get eaten at SOME point :) )... when I buy them, I try to keep the cost down - £2.50 is extravagent for me ;) But, as it was late, I wanted something nice and something easy to just sort out when I got home :)

Oh those computers for schools vouchers... Last week when I was in Tesco, the checkout lady asked, "Are you collecting computers for schools vouchers?"
"Yes," I said, "Well, no, not really, but I'll probably find someone who is."
"Well," she said, "I can keep these and pass them on to someone who is."
"Ok then"

I figured that probably meant that she went home with the stack at the end of the day ;) However, as I walked away, I heard her asking the next lady to arrive at the checkout, "Do you collect computers for schools vouchers?"
"Ah, here you go then" (handed over the couple I didn't just take)

I was still hanging around at this point (as once I'm done at the checkout, I get out of the way as soon as possible to let someone else get on with their checking out, which means I then faff around for a moment putting receipts and credit cards back in my wallet [on the end of the isle, NOT in the way of people walking past :-P]), so I then handed the lady behind me the (relatively speaking) huge pile I had amassed over the last few weeks but had no home for ;)

Right, that's Ramble Part One done with ;) Now on to... Ramble Part Two ;)

My living room is in a complete mess at the moment. I assembled my coffee table yesterday, and another media cabinet the day before. So, I have the packaging for that, and I'm rearranging where things are, and getting things out of boxes to fill my cabinets up.
Here are the piles I assembled this evening (i.e. the ones I should probably be disassembling, but appear to have managed to accidentally become distracted ;) ), for your noseyness/interest/disinterest/amusement...

Anything interesting there? Probably not ;)
From left to right:
Pile 1: Some random bits I shall give back to Mrs M that she probably doesn't care about anyway.
Pile 2: Most of the books that I currently have with me. I haven't read the purple one yet ("Use of Weapons") which someone at work lent me. Most of the others I have probably read several times over, but not, I must admit, in the last eight years or so, where my reading of actual books appears to extend to perhaps reading an instruction manual every few months ;)
Pile 3: "Big box" PC games (and the little one in front - Some CDs from inside the boxes)
Pile 4: PC games and stuff (my free copies of Vista and Office perching on top - not installed yet - I'm thinking I'll buy a new hard drive first)
Pile 5: PC games (CD cases)
Pile 6: Playstation games
Pile 6.5: Oh, some random DVDs I got for free. I don't read the Sun (or, indeed, any newspaper), but it was from some thing related to that that and Sun were giving away DVDs, so I applied for them. They just didn't happen to fit in any other pile there ;)
Pile 7: Playstation 2 games
Pile 8: My music "collection" ;) (What? What!? Four is a collection! ;) ) Ok, so, I just wasn't all that much into music. I have a lot of MP3s these days though :)
Back right: Media cabinet, just assembled Monday night. This one, double the size of my previous one, also came from Homebase. This one, which, as I say, was double the size, was on the shelf next to the single size one. This one cost roughly half the price. What's up with that!? Crazy. £25 for the double, £40 for the single.

Once I've tidied up and got some things filed, I shall take an updated shot of my living room :)

Any questions? ;)

(Note: "What have you been smoking?" / "What are you drinking because I'd quite like some" questions shall be ignored. Well. Ok, I'll answer them in advance. Smoking: Nothing. Drinking: My last drink consisted of a a mixture of fruit juice, squash, lemonade and water ;) )

'Eee, it's been a while since I had a good proper random ramble, hasn't it ;)

PS. Oh, I remembered something else that I felt it vitally important to add... I think most of this crap with the added Omega 7 bollocks isn't worth the money. For the sake of a few pence on me loaf of Kingsmill though, I find that it seems to last longer than average :) So, if I don't have to throw it away so soon, it's all good :)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Packed Afternoon

Had the afternoon off today. I'd been hoping for a rather lovely warm day, lunch outside at the pub, then piss off for the rest of the afternoon... But I decided the weather wasn't lovely enough, so I just pissed off instead ;)

Was off to a local furniture place that I didn't catch open last Saturday. Biiiig factory and showroom they have. Although not a whole lot on show, and not a whole lot of factory outlet stuff. Which is what I was really looking at as it was a bit pricey ;)

Anyway, I'd also Googled for other furniturey places in the area beforehand and found another one another 15mins on (roughly 30-40mins drive from here). Stuck the rough location into GPS but had trouble spotting it.

Did find a retail park though, so I ended up buying a coat from TK Max (£70, alledgedly RRP £200) which I can PERHAPS wear sometimes instead of my almost inseparable 10year old leather jacket :)
Had a look in Next too, and bought a belt, a casual shirt, and a pair of shoes there :) Brown leather casual shoes, but I haven't had a pair like that before. And I buy shoes only slightly more often than I buy coats, so, that's something ;)

Back on the road, and I found the furniture place.

I've not found ANYWHERE that does furniture that matches my bed! Humph.

But, I did order a coffee table that I can pick up on Tuesday! :) (I'm off Tuesday too :) )

Hmm, today got expensive ;) 'Twas a good afternoon though :)

Oh! Also... Bombing around the li'l quiet roads with beautiful blue skies, and sunlight filtering through the green trees... Radio up loud... Yup, I had a great afternoon :D


This li'l guy fascinates me every time I see him.

He's so much brighter than the rest.

Whilst I love the stars and the sky, I know very little about them in general.

At first I wondered whether he wasn't actually a star, and was perhaps a planet. I pondered that because of how bright he was and how far across the sky he moves each night. But I dunno, I think he is a star. Obviously the camera struggles a bit ;) I included the li'l boxouts in the pic above to show my best efforts though :)

I remember that the North Star / Pole Star is the brightest (obviously I mean other than the sun ;) ), which I think was also the closest. What is that, Tau Ceti? But I wouldn't have thought it would "move around" so much ;) Well... I guess it makes sense... Look how much the sun and the moon "move around" so much :) (Obviously, perspective is everything :) )

Speaking of poles... M'learned colleages laughed at me today after I referred to a "polling station" as a "polling station" (to rhyme with "Poly") rather than a "polling station" (to rhyme with "Pole").

Humph. Oh well, live and learn :)

PS. As it just started playing... Nelly Furtado, All Good Things - I love this song at the moment :) The lyrics suck ;) But I love the song :) Can't help but sing along at the moment when I hear it :)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

One thing I've noticed

My eyes feel like they shine a lot more than they used to :)

I don't really recall having felt specifically like they shone enough before to have noticed :)