Monthly Archives: September 2006

Arghhhhh!

Today is proving to be fun filled. My company laptop is still playing silly beggars and refusing to leave VGA mode. I finally got hold of our IT Helpdesk in the US and, after being asked to change the start-up sequence, which failed, they agreed that I could send it to our Heathrow office for reconfiguration. All afternoon I have had approx. 10 minutes of internet access as the customer’s connection keeps dying on me.

I’m waiting to take part in a meeting with my customer’s MD to answer queries regarding a shipment to China that they need to do. I need to get away ASAP so I can collect FW from a friend’s house as I have both her car and house keys.

Therefore today is rapidly descending to "hell in a bucket" (copyright Grateful Dead). Hopefully tomorrow will be easier with Sky coming to install our new satellite dish, our broadband being available for connection and various things being delivered that were missed earlier in the week.

Three Stories In The Paper

Firstly, a man has been banned from his home town for the next 10 years. The 40 y/o man from Lydney in Gloucestershire has been "terrorising" the town for almost 30 years. He has had an average of 2 convictions per year since 1977. The move by the judge has left him homeloss and separated from his wife and 7 children. Currently he is residing in Gloucester Prison for breaching a previous Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO).

Secondly, a postman from Barry has been removed from his post round for providing members of the public with leaflets advising them on how to prevent "junk" mail from being delivered with their post. The Post Office took offense to this as they make a great deal of money from offering this service to companies. He can keep his job but is now working inside the office. He is taking legal advice on his position.

Finally, after behaving very badly during a parade for the Queen a Lance Corporal was demoted in rank as a punishment. However over the last few months his behaviour has improved and, following his exemplary performance at a parade commenorating his regiment’s victory in the Crimean War, has now been reinstated to his former rank.

The soldier in question is Lance Corporal Billy Windsor, the regimental mascot of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh – a goat.

One man is punished for terrorising his neighbours but forced to live away from his family. One man is reinstated for doing something to help his customers but removed from his previous job. A goat is given his rank back for behaving well.

Surely there’s a lesson here for all of us?

Rant #300

Isn’t it fun watching politicians argue amongst themselves?

They want us to believe that they are capable of making decisions that effect every area of our daily lives. They believe that they know better than the general public what is in our best interests. When they make decisions we disagree with they tell us that it’s their right as they were elected to make them. If we don’t like it then all we can do is elect someone else every 4-5 years.

Why is it that people don’t vote in the numbers they used too? Could it be that the politicians are no longer engaging with the public? Could it be that the public are fed up with a democratic process that does not deliver what is wanted? How can people with no experience of many of the areas in which they deal know more than the experts in those fields?

They waste billions of pounds/dollars/yen/peanuts on IT schemes that don’t work; they declare war on countries using faulty intelligence, if not deliberate lies; they make rules that interfere with the minutae of our lives and aren’t needed; they mortgage our future on Private Finance Initiative schemes that deliver less for way more money and use Enron style accounting practices to hide the true cost from us.

Yet we let them…..

If you are unhappy about the way in which your country is governed, in your name, then make your voice heard. If you want to ease poverty in Africa, save the environment or stop an unjust war then you need to say something. Don’t just join organisations and do nothing. Don’t just march in protest. The most effective thing you can do is write or e-mail. No just your local representative but the department concerned.

The trouble with elected officials is that they mix with people divorced from real life. They don’t really talk to the public, they rely on opinion polls and "special advisers". The more they hear from members of the public the better, especially from Christians.

We’ve Moved

Well we moved all our furniture on Saturday afternoon but have another vanload of belongings to shift at the end of the week. We’ve also decided to move our bedroom upstairs. This frees up the large back room for use as the dining room and the small room as the office/computer area.

At present it all looks very uncluttered but that will change when we get the rest of our stuff in and unpacked. We’ll also have a few alterations to do in order to get everything the way we want but we have plenty of time to get that organised.

Hammond The Hamster Is In Hospital

I’m still trying to shrug off this damn cold. It seems to get worse as the day goes on. I feel better in the morning but the head slowly fills with cattarh and I feel exhausted by about 9 in the evening.

I’m behind on the packing because of this. However it shouldn’t be too bad as I think I could get most of it packed in a couple of hours. Its hard trying to squeeze everything in and do my work as well. It would be a busy week when I need to work. In addition I don’t get broadband at our new house till next Thursday. Good job we’ll still have the flat for another week or so.

As a great fan of Top Gear, the BBC 2 motoring show, I was shocked to hear that Richard "Hamster" Hammond had been seriously injured while trying to set the UK land speed record yesterday. I know that many people may not watch the programme but may know of him from the 5 o’Clock Show or Brainiac: Science Abuse.

Its good to hear that he has improved overnight. Prayers for his family at this time. Why? Well he has helped to bring happiness into our house and that’s never a bad thing. The antics of Clarkson, May & Hammond always brighten up those dark days when I feel miserable.

ANNOUNCEMENT

WE HAVE THE HOUSE.

We have moved our first items in. We went up tonight and moved about a third of our kitchen contents in. The view looks even better at night. You can’t see Oldrum at all, only the lights.

One thing I forgot to say is that the graveyard in the nearby Church of Wales contains several of my ancestors, as does the graveyard of the nearby Baptist chapel. Its a real homecoming!

The Sky Card’s Not Plugged In

Sunday went very well. I was a little surprised to get through the sermon in the morning. Part way throuogh I went light headed and could have saids anything but know I stuck to the script, as it were. Thanks go out to FW who did the kids talk. When you’re light headed seeing a Tigger, a Penguin, Mr Strong and a Weeble on the table beside you can be very confusing!!

The afternoon was a little bit of a struggle for me. I was got more and more exhausted as the time went on. Somehow I managed to get to the end of the Youth group meeting in one piece.

Still no news on the house. We’re waiting for the local council to provide a letter to the vendor saying that the charge for the disabled grant work would be removed. This is the only thing slowing us down. I’ve arranmged for a new phone line and broadband; the electricity us switched; as is the Gas; arranged to transfer our Sky service; I’ve applied for a water meter; now we just need to move.

Yesterday proved that illness and stress shouldn’t go together. By the time I collected FW from the train station I was ready to pass out. I made it through tea and then was in bed by 19:00. I didn’t even wake up when FW arrived home after visiting a friend.

Well, better do some more work. Have lots of packing to do at some point too.

Rumours of my death are greatly overblown

Most of today has been spent sleeping and trying to shrug off this cold. Its almost gone, I reckon it’ll be finished by Monday/Tuesday.

Tonight has been spent writing my sermon ready for tomorrow morning. Then we have the start of the youth group in the afternoon. What about rest, you ask? There’ll be plenty of time for that when I’m dead.

If I didn’t have the sermon and youth to look forward to then I’d probably just be feeling sorry for myself. I find that I need some sort of work to keep me going. If I’ve got nothing to do then I feel bereft and I hate that.

In other news:

Best Mate has an interview in London on Monday. In a way I hope he gets it, for his own sanity, but I’ll miss him if he moves back to London. You get used to people being around.

I missed going to the rugby with dad this afternoon. I’ve just seen the result so maybe that was a good thing.

I’m now officially excited about the pending move. I’m now looking forward to packing and moving next week.

Sad news has also arrived. The grandmother of a good school friend died last week. Its her funeral on Monday. My thoughts go out to Big and Little Morph and their families.

Happy WibBirthday – And Chairman Tired&Emotional Decrees:

Today I’m 1 wibyear old. I threw a party but only Wibwife turned up. What am I going to do with all this cybercake and alcohol? Anyway… Happy wibbirthday to me, happy wibbirthday to me, happy wibbirthday dear T&E, happy wibbithday to me.

In other news:

The house did not go through today. On the final leg we found that there was a charge on the property from a disabled grant that had been given to the previous owner. However everything is set to go through on Monday instead.

Did you see the story about the Pope managing to annoy the Muslim world?

All he said was: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

This is a direct quote from Emperor Manuel II Paleologos of the Byzantine Empire and the Pope made this clear during his speech. He then went on to say that people saying things like this are what caused problems in relationships between Christians and Muslims. As Christians we should approach the issue from a more forgiving and Christlike attitude.

Why is it that they missed this part and only led on the quote from Manuel II? Are the media not to blame for this rather than the Pope? Can’t people manage to connect a quote to the rest of the message? Maybe people just want to cause problems between the 2 faiths.

You look around the world at the treatment of religious faiths in Muslim and Christian countries. Which faith is the more tolerant of others? Yet which one screams the loudest at even imagined slurs on their beliefs?

I’m not saying that all Muslims are at fault here. We have as many intemperate Christians, just remember the Rev Pat Buchanan and his call for the assassination of Fidel Castro. Normal Christians have the duty to call for greater understanding but there has to be a limit where we say enough.

Our Christians brothers and sisters are persecuted throughout the Muslim world. Our politicians do very little about this. When did you last see a news story or a documentary crying out against this persecution?

Yes, we should accept that others hold different beliefs. No, we should not call for Holy Wars or pogroms against non-believers. However we should have the pride and duty to stand up and be counted.

Why are our voices never heard as loudly as those of the Muslim world? Why are we supposed to giveway on every occasion to appease others, without highlighting the wrongs done to our fellow believers?

I’m Ill, honest!

Today has been spent mainly lying down watching TV or in bed. This is purely due me having caught a cold. I’m not DYING, as most men are said too, but dying (in very small letters, even smaller than these).

We started the day with me feeling very UGGGHHHH!!! However we had to go to town as we had to transfer our deposit to the solicitor in preparation our impending decent into penuary for the next 20 years. We managed to keep the bank people entertained with comments on obtaining our money through drug dealing and bank robbery.

FW also laughed as we emerged from a major high street pharmacy with me being lightheaded and swirving around as we walked. However she wasn’t so impressed after I’d visited our local Ottakers (a chain of bookshops). Having selected 2 books I then saw one (Merde Actually) I’d wanted too read since reading the first. It was on a 3 for 2 offer. Therefore I had to buy 2 others on offer as well.

Standing at the checkout I was commenting on how evil the store was. How it loured you in and then "made" you purchase more than you intended. The clerk was smiling and trying not to laugh. Then, as we finished the transaction, he kept checking the receipt and said something that sounded like "you’ve got 2 free there but what the heck!" Upon checking my receipt I had indeed got 2 books free. So I got 5 for 3 but only 3 were part of the actual offer. COOL!!!!!

FW had said how she’d look after me as I was ill. I could therefore go home to bed and she’d make sure I was ok. Well, until we got home. Then she declared that she’d run out of Nrgggg and was unwell. "I’ll just go and have a lie down," she said. So I lay on the settee and watched the Hudsucker Proxy. Yet I’m the one who’s ill…..

Fair play she did make me chicken soup and brought me a generic Lemsip later. Mind you she’s got the energy to go riding tonight….

Hopefully my next post will tell you that we’ve got the house signed, sealed and delivered.