Sunday, January 31, 2010

A song from a songwriter I love

Final Day of January 2010

I can't quite believe its the end of January. It doesn't seem that long ago since I was returning to work after Christmas. The weather is very cold, we had a few flakes of snow for a few minutes but nothing prolonged or longlasting.
I was thinking about what this year might bring. And thinking about the usual things I look forward to. Things like Easter, the Eurovision Song Contest (Pete Waterman is apparently composing the UK entry), booking a holiday and looking forward to summer in general. I'd quite like the weather to get lighter in the evenings and mornings: not to mention it getting warmer.
Moving house is something I look forward to, although that's an adventure that's not really begun yet. One step at a time. I am optimistic about this year though. This weekend was good overall.

Week of travelling

Had to do a lot of travelling for work this week. On Thursday I got a new cell phone. A Samsung Tocco Lite, a kind of iPhone without the expense! The touch screen is pretty cool on it. It's got a 3 megapixel camera so I hope to be posting a few shots to Twitpic with it, see my photo from Knightsbridge on Friday looking towards Harrods lit by afternoon sunlight.
My boy and I got our hair cut yesterday, my hair is quite fine and I don't know what the best style is for me. My wife prefers it short, so I had it shaved close to my head. The minus temperatures outside are going to be felt a little closer!
On the tube in London this week, I saw my first commuter holding an e-book and reading it. I don't know how I feel about e-books really. I'm not filled with a new sense of enthusiasm. I sort of feel the same way about music downloads, there is something precious about handling books and albums that you don't get from a purely digital format.
Apple launched their iPad this week. It looks great of course. I'm sticking with my Netbook, it's light and portable and has a proper keyboard, which has to be quicker than a touchscreen. The jury is out with me whether the iPad size is correct; size, feel, screen contrast and battery life are the most important factors when selecting a portable device.
I'm starting to think about booking summer holidays.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Presenting the work of ... A.A. Twanklebagg

You might be interested to notice that I've started doodling again and you might like to check up occasionally on the progress over at Doodles and Dinkums. (or even Dinkums and Doodles! - ed) For your pleasure this week I would like to present the latest book by that great geologist Aaron A. Twanklebagg - or rather it's book jacket, designed by yours truly.
I've always been easily amused by making up silly names and AAT is not real of course (disclaimer) but in a small way I've been amused by Aaron being one of The King's middle names. The idea of having a middle name exactly the same as a first name also appeals to my funny bone.
Holmes never actually said "It's elementary my dear Watson" in the books, only the films, but I felt I could extend that license. Please forgive me and tell me if you like this sort of thing. And have a nice, fun, weekend!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

State of Mind

My boss commented “You look brow beaten” to me today. I worry about work a lot. I worry about work more in my current job than I have in any other job I’ve had. I worry about doing something wrong and getting humiliated. I have a co-worker who confides in me about everything and everyone. She is handful at times and while I might be a good listener to vent off to, some of her paranoia rubs off on me. As if I didn’t have enough already. It’s like I’ve been loaded down with her baggage as well as my own.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Enter title here

Couldn’t think of a title for this post. It’s been a bit of a funny week really. Work has been a mixture of very busy and then pretty quiet periods. I don’t really mind being busy, I prefer it, but if it’s quiet I do stuff that isn’t so pressing. One of the things I don’t like about my work is that some of my co-workers feel they work harder than everyone else and if something is forgotten about they are quick to point fingers at others. As if it’s ultra-important and they have to defend themselves and be seen by everyone to be really busy. As I said, I’ve nothing against busy but I don’t broadcast it to everyone and be really crotchety with others. I just get on with it. My other pet hate about work is when their is a bit of vagueness in determining what needs to be done. I like to be clear what I have to do and how to go about it. I don’t like wishy-washy and hesitation until its too late to do a good job. I don’t like being micro-managed, if there’s a task or project to do, I just like to get on with it and do it to the best ability I know I can. Not having enough leeway to make decisions and quick progress gets me down sometimes.

Anyway, that’s quite enough about work, it takes up enough of my life as it is. The weather here was shocking on Wednesday. Icy roads and more snow hit me when I got to my car, I luckily had a shovel in my boot and helped someone get their car moving after they got stuck trying to reverse out of a lay-by. Lots of schools closed, including my children’s. We really aren’t prepared for this continued cold period with snow. The road gritters are conserving stocks, meaning not all routes are gritted. I got so far and realised I might not make it up a steep hill on the way to the train station, so I decided to turn back. Good thing I did because my train was cancelled anyway. Better working at home instead of being stuck out in the middle of the country miles from anything.

2010’s first disaster has happened with the Earthquake in Haiti. I feel sorry for the thousands of families affected. Events like that always remind me how fragile life is.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Snowed and blue

The cold weather got colder on Tuesday evening this week when the snow started. I parked up and was out for a couple of hours and when I got back to my car I had to shift about two inches of snow off my car. We’ve probably had 7 or 8 inches of snow altogether so far and more is forecast. We haven’t had this much snow since 1981 apparently. I see that the US, Western Europe, China and Japan have had it bad too. The weather map even showed parts of Florida in blue.

Here’s a photo I took at lunchtime of some icicles hanging off my shed in the backyard. Wherever you are, I hope you stay warm and comfortable.


Monday, January 04, 2010


I watched the Inglorious Basterds DVD last night. It was a very watchable film.
I have one more day of holiday tomorrow before work begins and if it goes as quickly as today did then I'm out of luck! Oh why oh why do we have to go to work? It's totally not fair!
There is some pork belly, sausages, onions and potatoes roasting in the oven: a treat for my wife who had to work today while I looked after the children, so I hope she enjoys it all when she gets in. Certainly smells good. I took the children to a town about half an hour away where there is this large play structure. All of the trees looked beautiful today because of the frost giving every branch a crystal white appearance. I noticed that the trees looked exactly the same on our return journey, so I guess that means the air temperature has stayed in the minus numbers all day. The forecast talks of a chance of snow for later this week. If it's bad it might affect my journey to work. I can still work at home though, so there is no chance of escape for me really.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Welcome to 2010

New Year greetings to you!

I was pondering what the attributes of a good horror film are after a discussion between a couple of family members after Christmas lunch. They had both seen Paranormal Activity (I have not) and were saying how frightening it was and how it sucked them in. Here are a few things I can think of:

(a) a good horror will include scenes that make you jump or cover your face the first time you see it
(b) it will include scenes that scare you even after seeing them again
(c) it will come back to you when you are alone or when you are in darkness and scare you again
(d) the concepts of the supernatural it explores will stay with you forever
(e) you should eventually be able to laugh at how it still scares you

I'm interested if you agree or if you think some of these aren't just applicable to the horror genre.