Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I was directed to this on Winston's Blog by a mutual blogger. It was so very opportune as I was writing a response to an email request that I just know is going to upset some people, because in my inimitable fashion it is very forthright. I needed to be like that because I was writing my honest opinion of what was asked and felt that it wouldn't have the strength of belief if I attempted to tone it down to a diplomatic level.

I then read Winston's blog and the quote that he attributes to Dr Seuss

and sent the email!

Monday, January 29, 2007

What a weekend?

Where does the time go?

The weather is improving so I managed to get my trusty Honda VFR800 back out on the road this weekend and also to work this morning – I now realise just how much I have missed it.

Mrs DJ and I went out to dinner on Friday at a fabulous Moroccan restaurant. We will definitely have to re-visit as I really struggled to make a choice from the menu as it all looked so good.

My Spinning class at the gym on Sunday morning was a brilliant workout probably made better by the fact that the instructor had put together a new set of music tracks. I discovered a new track that I must find for my collection – ‘Bad to the Bone’ – a fantastic blues track with a good bass line and some great steel guitar on it.

Far too much of yesterday was spent unhooking my sick DVD recorder from the satellite receiver and TV in order to take it for repair. I then spent just as long trying to re-make the connections to my old VHS recorder so that we are able to record stuff over the anticipated 3 weeks that it will take to repair the DVD recorder. I didn't think they were going to rebuild it! Why is it that we need wires like a plate full of spaghetti for technology today? Even worse is the mess of cables under my study desk for my PC and its peripherals even though several of them are wireless enabled.

Despite the impending upheaval here at work with some significant planned layoffs, I am feeling good this morning and ready for the week ahead. It must be the onset of the Spring-like weather.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Xenophobic or what?

You may have heard of the recent pillaging, pilfering, beachcombing, call it whatever you will, from a recently beached cargo ship on the south coast of the England (the UK version that is). Whilst that in itself is something that takes quite a bit of understanding (see 23 Jan. post at ), I really couldn't believe what I heard on a radio news broadcast last night.
The announcer told us that "work was continuing to try and contain the leakage of fuel oil from the stricken vessel," now here comes the good bit, "but that it was not now seen as so urgent as the wind and weather was taking the oil slick south." Excuse me, what is only about 30-50 miles of the south coast of England? Only the poor buggers on the north coast of France!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The alternative Badge of Honour

Or is that Badge of Dishonour?

Oh dear, for about only the 3rd time since I have worked here I am forced to wear this ‘unclean’ symbol! It's like I am walking around with a bell around my neck.

Where I work is a highly secured area demanding that everywhere you go you need to have a security pass to get there; to operate doors, turnstiles etc. Well this morning as I walked across the car park to the first of these automated policemen, I realised that I had left my pass at home – 45 miles away. No problem, in these instances you can get a temporary pass form the central security site. But today is probably the coldest morning we have had this winter and the security desk is about a quarter of a mile away from the optimum car space that I use to gain access to my office.

After a cold and windy walk there and a grilling as to who I am, why I need a temporary pass, where do I work etc I now have this delicate little badge to wear around my neck for the rest of the day and I as walk around the corridors I just know that everyone is saying to themselves, "tee hee, just look at that jerk who had to trek to the security desk this morning".

It is however worse than that. When they issue a temporary pass their darling little security computer system also temporarily de-activates my permanent pass (just in case I have given it to an undesirable for the day). Which in turn of course means that I will have to do the same again tomorrow morning in order to get my own pass back as this one is only valid for 24 hours. Let’s hope the forecast snow doesn’t actually arrive and that I actually remember to go there in the morning!

One other thing – our passes also serve as purses or wallets as all the retail outlets (coffee, restaurant, sandwich shop etc) operate a cashless system, taking pre-deposited money off of your pass. Yep you got there already didn’t you? The temporary pass doesn’t have that facility. Now who can I beg a coffee (and maybe lunch) from?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The latest silly personality test doing the rounds is whether you are more like a dog than a cat.
BUT it is fun and I must admit is pretty truthful about my character!

You Are: 40% Dog, 60% Cat

You and cats have a lot in common.
You're both smart and in charge - with a good amount of attitude.
However, you do have a very playful side that occasionally comes out!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Badge of Honour

As you go through life there are certain points (mostly in the earlier years) where certain entitlements are treated as badges of honour.

Take the first time you are entitled to legally take a drink in licensed premises, to purchase tobacco products, to hold a driving licence, to be eligible for taking early retirement (that’s all you public service workers with index linked pensions – sorry for the dig, as you can see I am not one).

Well, below is my newest badge of honour – my concessionary bus pass and even though I will probably never use it I am proud to be eligible for it!


Remember the daft words search (3 musketeers)?

Well how about “wireless” as used to describe a radio receiver – how do you do that without any wires?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Supermarket Customer Service

A friend recently told me about her experience at a supermarket checkout.
She only had a few items to purchase and had also separated a handful of other items to pay and receive a separate receipt for her neighbour. When the assistant asked whether she required any assistanace to pack her items she replied "no thank you" and packed them herself. She paid for the items and was then ready to pack the items she was purchasing for her neighbour. The assistant asked her again if she wanted any help to pack the items. When she asked why the assistant had aksed that a second time after having help refused for an even greater number of items she was told "we are trained to always ask that before starting to scan the goods" - Great service but crazy or what?

Today I experienced a different angle on the "do you want any help" situation.
I was doing the weekly DeeJay household shop (how domesticated is that?).
I approached the checkout with a trolley full of goods and as I placed them on the conveyor, the assistant sat there alternating between analysing the state of her nails and crossing her arms in a pose of utter boredom. When I had finished loading the contents of my trolley on to the conveyor and moved towards the other end of the checkout she looked sweetly at me and asked "do you want any help with packing?" How did I stop myself from telling her that if I did, perhaps it would have been better if she had asked me at the beginning of my conveyor loading!
Being a regular shopper at that time of the morning, I know that one of the other regular checkout assistants (unfortunately busy with another customer today) always, without even asking , starts to scan and bag the items as I load the trolley contents on to the conveyor and usually keeps pace with me so that I only need to pack the last few items before paying. Perhaps I should introduce her to the other assistant?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The 3 Musketeers

Why were they called that?
Did you ever see them armed with anything other than swords?

Damn, I am now going to be looking for other instances of daft names

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What to blog?

I've been having some trouble over the past few days with consideration of whether the mundane happenings over that time have been worth blogging.
I don't think too many of my activities and thoughts merit sharing with the world (or that small portion of it that is aware of my ramblings).

Last weekend was of little note as I hid myself away for most of the time as my mother-in-law was visiting. It is not that I don't get on with her but she doesn't see too much of Mrs DJ and I tend to just let them get on with the girlie things like shopping, sewing and cooking up their newly discovered recipes. All the while of course talking about everything and nothing :-)

So I got all geeky and installed an external disk drive to my PC, partitioned and formatted it and set in place a backup regime. This is something that I know I should have done for years and I think I have been lucky to get away with it for so long. I have had two very near miss total data losses, but #2 son who is far more geeky than me has saved the day twice.

Taking inspiration from one of my favourite blogs People under the Stairmasters, I thought I would share a minor rant about a regular at my gym.
I usually arrive just before 6:30 (when they open) for a workout before I go to work. There are the usual regulars arriving at the same time including a woman that seems to need to bring 2 bags the size of suitcases to carry her change of clothes and whatever else women deem necessary after working out. She is already wearing her tracksuit and I assume her gym gear underneath it. Arghh don't go there I couldn't contemplate that!!
I don't know what it is about her that makes me consider her a pretty obnoxious person as I really have not spoken to her other than perhaps saying 'good morning'. Perhaps it is the fact that she never has a good word to say about the gym staff or the organisation of the gym. (She has had a field day recently as the gym has just changed hands and there have been quite a few changes).
However I suspect that the one thing that really turns me against her is her arrogant pushing to the head of the queue for the grand door opening ceremony at 6:30 and the rush to be "the first in the locker room". She appears to be completely oblivious to anyone else that is stood there even if they have their nose up against the door and somehow still seems to manage to get in front of them when the door is unlocked. ---- WELL SHE FAILED this morning as I was at the door first and call me un-chivalrous I was determined that she was not getting in front of me even though she still was able to get in front of the two others who were already behind me.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

BLOG Publicity & Sharing

I read a post yesterday where the writer was so pleased that she overheard a really nice comment about her from her husband to his friend. She was so pleased because she said "he doesn't even know that I know" yet she was telling all of her blog readers about it.

So, I was thinking to myself as I drove into work this morning, how many of us have told our partners that we have a blog? I know I haven't.
Its not that I wouldn't want her to know about it or to read it, but it feels like just an additional little outlet for my feelings and somewhere where I get some good advice from time to time that I like to keep a little secret.
Isn't that odd when it’s available to the whole world to read and comment on?

To take that thought to the next stage, how many of us tell anyone at all about our blogs? Do we just wait to be discovered?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Year’s NON-Resolution

So having said that I was not making any New Year’s Resolutions but made some sort of half-hearted commitment to making my gym regime a little more of a ‘must do’ rather than something that is always the first thing to be sacrificed in favour of other tasks.

Well my start on this was to change my attendance at Spinning classes from Monday evening with the occasional Sunday morning thrown in, to Tuesday & Thursday morning before work and again on Sunday morning. I intended to add two additional weight resistance sessions on Monday and Friday mornings before work.

I don’t know what has made this work for the past two weeks (OK I know its still early days) but I not only still feel totally committed to this regime but I think I am getting almost obsessional about it!

I am getting such a buzz from the Spinning classes that I feel much more alive when I get to the office and I am getting fiercely competitive with myself over the progression of weight/repetitions during my resistance workouts.

Can I maintain this? Time will tell

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Six Wierd Things About Me

I've been tagged by Furtheron. Thanks pal!

(THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the "six weird things about you" blog post. People who get tagged need to write their own six weird things post and state the rules clearly. At the end of the post tag six more people and don’t forget to leave a comment on their blog to tell them they have been tagged and tell them to read your blog.)

1. I have had a squint since I was born. It was operated on when I was 5 but it didn't really correct it so I still have a very lazy left eye that often (when I am drunk or tired) doesn't look at the same place as my right eye.

2. Despite what I think is probably a good cover up, I really don't like change. I think I give off vibes that I can thrive on it, but it is really uncomfortable

3. I am a Status Quo fan! (like that one Further On?)

4. At the age of 41 I learnt to drive a Heavy Goods Vehicle (40 ton truck) and got my licence with only 24 hours tuition - just for fun. I have never driven one since

5. At the age of 60 I learnt to ride a motorcylce for the first time, passed my test and now can't get enough of my Honda VFR 800

6. Although I am outwardly quite a gregarious person, I am really very introverted and often feel insecure. - Enough of this introspection, who started all this stuff!!

I tag:


As I am new to blogging I don't have a community that contains enough folks to tag as they many have been tagged already

Monday, January 8, 2007

In Retrospect a Good weekend …… BUT

Why is it that plans to achieve the most simple things have a habit of escalating out of control?

I had planned this weekend to stake two of my small trees that had suffered at the hands of the recent strong winds (near gale force) here in the south east. This should have taken no more than 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 1 - buy two stakes and tree ties – No problem

Step 2 - drive stake #1 into ground – No problem

Step 3 - attach tree to stake – aha small problem here several other shrubs hampering this as they are entangled with tree

Step 4 - first unplanned move – prune shrubs to release tree

Step 5 - repeat 2-4 for second tree

Step 6 - discover third tree that needs same treatment

Step 7 - repeat steps 1- 4 for third tree

Step 8 - stand back in awe of the ‘mountain’ of pruned shrubbery that now adorns the centre of my lawn

Step 9 - cut the prunings into reasonable sized lengths so that I am able to put into the car for transportation to the municipal dump

Step 10 - hot bath to ease my aching back muscles followed by a large gin & tonic

The whole thing only took 4 hours and I still have got the pleasure of dumping it all at the tip nextweekend!!

The whole thing only took 4 hours and I still have got the pleasure of dumping it all at the tip nextweekend!!

Friday, January 5, 2007

New Glasses

Well one pair of them anyway.
I received a call that both pairs were ready for collection and went in to get them today.
Eyesight - brilliant improvement especially the new long distance prescription, I didn't realise how much I wasn't seeing!
But that is where the problem started. When fitting them I asked for the fit to be tightened. No problem said the assistant, "I just need to bend the end of the arm straight and then curve it again with an extra centimetre." SNAP!!
"Well I have never seen that before" he said. "Before I send them back for a replacement arm, I better fix the other one in case it does the same" IT DID!

So I now have a perfectly good new pair of intermediate and reading bi-focals but need to wait another week for the long distance ones. Keep an eye open for me on the roads guys!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Tolerance Resolution is at risk!

So, driving in to work this morning there was a discussion / phone-in on the radio about what really bugs folks. This got me thinking about my previous New Year resolution comments about tolerance – or should I say intolerance.

It was really worrying how quickly I started to bond with all these strangers complaining about things such as the inane use of mobile phones in public confines like public transport, cafes, restaurants etc, telling other inconsiderates at the other end of the line where there were and exactly what they were doing. Often they are so loud they could have achieved the same objective by simply opening the window and letting their grating voices carry on the wind. There was a list of many other forms of irritation but before I could get into them, I was immediately transported to my own little agenda by the foreign lorry drivers behind me blinding me with headlights adjusted to the right , the imbecile travelling in excess of 100mph with only one headlight and therefore looking just like a motorcycle, several other inconsiderate car drivers sitting in the centre lane with no traffic whatsoever to their left who, when I overtook them and returned to the left lane, still stayed there!

Dammit I should have kept playing the CDs – it looks as though my attempt at tolerance is going to be sorely tried to manage the end of the week

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

1st Post 2007

I was thinking over Christmas that having made the title of this blog so specific, I am not sure I am going to be able to keep this up so I may digress from the age theme as time passes :-)

Back to work today but there still seems to be a good number of folks still on holiday.
Oh well gives me time to get all my 2006 backups sorted out and get set for the 2007 onslaught of emails and attached files to respond to and to file away somewhere!

No really specific resolutions made this year as I never seem to get to keep them anyway.
I have however had some vague thoughts about attempting to be a little more tolerant with people that I disagree with. I am sure that they are really not all idiots just because they think differently to me :-) The other one is to make my gym regime stick a little better this year. I am definitely not going to get hung up about arriving for work at 8:30, feeling guilty that I was not here at my "usual" time of 7:15. Oh and more motorcycle riding this year is a definite