Monthly Archives: March 2006

Great Day Off

Today is my first official day off this year. I have spent most of it working or looking for that new car.

As I write this I’ve just completed my work on my day off. I knew that it was main customer’s end of quarter and that they’d have an urgent shipment to go to the US this afternoon. I promised that i’d get this done for them. In addition my other customer has asked if I could look into moving an aircraft engine from the US to somewhere in Europe, their words! Well, they are Irish.

I think I’ve found my new car but am giving it some thought before making a final decision. I saw 2 today and they were both excellent but there was a 2k cost difference between the 2. Is a difference of 20,000 miles worth a 2k difference in price?

To mark the occasion the sun has come out. For the first time this year I’ve driven with no heater, no coat on and the sunroof open. Maybe spring has arrived in S. Wales.

You Dig 15 Tonnes What Do You Get?

I’m taking this opportunity to blog while waiting for an urgent reply to an e-mail I sent. Today has been another hectic day but partially of my making.

I had to visit my company office at Birmingham Airport this morning to collect and drop off paperwork and to say hi to the people I work with but hardly ever see. I took the opportunity to nip into Birmingham to look at some cars that I saw advertised.

I’ve never seen a bigger bunch of pups in my life. The advert said that they had 10 MX-5 1.8i’s in stock. I phoned yesterday and this was confirmed. I arrived to find that they had 5 MX-5’s, four 1.6i’s and one 1.8i. All of which looked like they’d seen better days. Even the 1.8 looked like it had done way more than the 45K on the clock.

No way would I pay 4k for something in that state. At least I have other ones I can consider instead.

I’m now at work at my customer’s site, my normal abode, trying to finish off 2 urgent shipments that need to be despatched yesterday. Its there end of quarter and need the parts delivered to the customer’s in order to claim them as sales. Things are looking iffy on that front as they need to get through customs tomorrow or Friday a.m. at the latest.

As one is going to Turkey and not arriving until 05:00hrs on Friday that is a definite no-no.

Well better get back to it.

Noah Is Dutch

Great story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4853890.stm about a Dutch guy who has built a 1 5th sized replica of Noah’s ark as a testament to his faith. He aims to travel around the inland waterways of the Netherlands with a compliment of farm animals.

I initially laughed out loud but then was amazed that there is someone who is willing to face the same ridicule as Noah did. Maybe he knows something the rest of us don’t?

Now, where did I put that unicorn suit?

Let’s Go Postal

Today is one of those days where you just wish that firearms were legal. Having to deal with sub-human managers is starting to wear my patience thin.

Being close to the bottom of the managerial food chain is a wonderful thing. Especially when you have managers who not only know better than you but have forgotten more than you’ll ever know. Apart from the fact that many have never worked on the operational side since they first got into the industry.

They have this idea that just by telling a customer that they MUST do something, because your bosses say so, is a great way to build a relationship. They fail to comprehend that the priority for other people is not the same as that shown by your company. They also have customer to satisfy.

The fact that our company are at fault in not doing their job properly is besides the point.

Its days like this that I long to be back in the RAF Reserves. Being able to take your frustration out on paper targets with a rifle, pistol or machine gun, is a wonderful thing.

Oh well, at least I can go car hunting tomorrow. I feel the need to drive fast, with the wind slipping through my thining hair, before I get much older….

In the words of that great vehicular master, Toad:

“Poop! Poop!”

Take It Easy

What a very odd weekend I had! First Wife left me to fend for myself while she visited her folks.

I managed to keep myself busy though.

Collected the Troublesome Trucks from school and took them back to the flat so I could finish my urgent work. Then took them home and had tea with my sis and her family. The evening was spent organising Pastor Chugabug’s husband in his part of the next week’s Away Day for the church.

Going to Oldrum Saturday morning with my sister for a visit to Starbucks and a little retail therapy for her. Saturday afternoon was spent in a pub with my best mate discussing life, music, politics and catching up on old memories of peole now lost in the mists oif memory.

Saturday night was spent in front of the TV trying to watch films but only succeeding in not being able to keep my mind from wandering. Settled on watching Match of the Day and then going to bed. An hour later I got up. Channel surfed for an hour and then went back to bed.

Sunday morning was spent cleaning the bathroom, as instructed by FW. Then taking the laundry to the laundrette before chapel. Taking my Sunday School class, all 1 of her, and finalising numbers for next week. If we get all attending then we’ll have 17 adults and 4 kids, a very good turnout for us.

Sunday lunch was provided by the folks, who had an ulterior motive for the free food. I had to find out why they couldn’t work their Freeview box, they were pressing the wrong button on the remote, and then resetting my dad’s car radio as the mechanics had cleared his favourites list, again.

Then home to do the vacuuming, my last instructed task, before FW came home. Then an evening spent with the Wife.

I must admit that I did miss her. How I survived single life without her I’ll never know.

Cash Under The Mattress

One of the things that I cannot understand about the “cash for peerages” controversy is the way in whuich senior members of the Labour party are so oblivious to what is going on.

How exactly do you receive loans amounting to £13.9m and not realise it? Is it a case of their Treasurer never seeing the bank statements or accounts? Does Tony Blair get up early every morning, nip down to the Party’s offices in Millbank, and steal the post before anyone else sees it? Do they believe that God is with them and performing financial miracles?

“We had debts of £14m yesterday but today they’re gone!”

“Maybe the bank got the figures wrong?”

“Maybe its because Gordon took a look at the accounts. You know how he gets fifures to show what they want”

I am a firm believer in the freedom to support whatever political party you and in the way that you want too. However, all contributions, even interst free loans, should be publically declared. Its not the fact that they hoped to get rewarded with peerages that annoys me. The fact that the loans were kept secret leaves the government, and contributers, open to criticism.

We know that peerages are awarded as more for political patronage than for charitible work and donations. All parties have been guilty of doing this. What causes a problem is that most of the people denied them this time have very questionable reputations. Even the one who avoided being disbarred on a technicality and took the GMC to court to prevent them using evidence from internal enquiries that he instigated.

Where are the morals and Christian values that some of our politicians declare to hold to?

Walking In Memphis

While surfing the BBC website, listening to Gordon Brown tell us how wonderful he is, I came across a news story about a guy who is walking across the USA. Nothing unusual there you may say, considering the high number of looney tunes that are said to inhabit our former colony.

He is doing it in order to save his life.

He started walking from San Diego in April last year and is heading for NYC. When he started he weighed 30 stone and couldn’t walk the length of a supermarket aisle without having to stop for breath. He’s currently reached Ohio and is approximately 6 weeks from his target. In this time he’s lost 8 stone.

However if you read his blog at www.fatmanwalking.com you will see that things have changed. He’s now become a media star and has appeared on Oprah, on various news chammels and in various papers. He’s also won a book deal and there is a guy called Documentary Dave following him to record his exploits.

As you read his blog you see that his outlook on life and the USA has changed. He’s found that its a nation dedicated to the car and fast food. After passing 21 fast food outlets in a 4.6 mile stretch in San Diego he was looking forward to seeing “hometown USA” in the mid-West and expecting to see the old America.

Unfortunately he found that this was just as bad as San Diego. There was no where to buy fresh fruit and veg, his last apple had was from South America.

He’s also found that wherever he goes someone always recognises him and talks to him. Until he reached Ohio. He was ignored right through Springfield – maybe Homer was drunk and Bart vausing uproar, not one person spoke to him until he reached the outskirts.

I recommend his blog as it is both uplifting and a judgement on some of our modern societies ills.

Trouble in Paradise

Following last night’s victory by the Claret & Blue army in the cup my personal life has hit a very big wall.

Last year saw me miss the Welsh Grand Slam match due to a prior commitment to attend the wedding of First Wife’s friends on the same day. This was not something that she understood the importance of but, having agreed to go before realising that the rugby was on – and the fact that Wales could win the Grand Slam, I honoured my commitment.

This year we see the mighty Hammers proceeding towards a possible FA Cup final appearance at the Millenium Stadium. Having been to young to attend the previous 3 FA cup finals (aged 5 months, 11 & 15) this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. Yes, I know that this would be their 4th appearance in an FA Cup final since my birth but I’m sure you understand really.

My reason for panic?

I agreed that we’d go to Devon for a week in May. The plan was to leave on the Saturday, forgetting that this was the day of the Cup Final. Now I have to choose…. Do we rearrange totally, do we leave a day later?

One definite conclusion is that, if I can get a ticket, I do not miss the match. At present this is slightly academic as we have to beat whoever we draw in the semi-final.

However, I know from experience that God does answer prayer. How else do you explain Wales’ performances last season?

Green and Unpleasent

I have been given permission to register our church as a Fairtrade Church.

The church leaders have agreed that we can begin to exclusively serve Fairtrade tea and coffee at all church functions and begin to move over to Fairtrade sugar and other items. All we need now is for McVities Rice Tea and Digestives to become Fairtrade recognised and I’ll be in heaven – a a diabetic I shouldn’t eat other types of biscuits (but I do occasionally).

In slightly related news:

I’m trying to find away to take advantage of car pool lanes when they come into force. I’ve registered my details on a car sharing site but, after 3 months, have had no takers. Maybe they’ve been warned…

I don’t think Wife would be to happy to accompany me on journies, especially if she has to go to work. I’ve thought about buying a mannequin but they reckon that this won’t work. Maybe I’ll have to hire people to accompany me or begin picking up hitchhikers and forcing them to come with me.

Unfortunately public transport is not a viable option. The villages I live and work in don’t have a connecting bus service. They are only 10 miles apart but it would entail travelling twice that distance each way to get to work. in addition the buses don’t run that often and the timetables aren’t integrated.

To make matters worse it would take about 4 hours by train from Wales to Warwickshire on a Monday and the same back on a Thursday. Plus a bus ride from the station to the office.

Sometimes, no matter how much we’d like to try, public transport just isn’t good enough to meet our needs. With the government now dictating to train operators what services they can, or cannot offer, things are just getting worse.

Life was so much easier in the 40’s and 50’s before they killed the rail services off.