Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blog Sulk...

I discovered earlier this year that the file host I've been using to store pictures for the blog is closing in October, but since they announced this they have been assuring me that they would soon be posting simple instructions to transfer my files.

Last night I finally remembered to check back in again and these "simple" instructions involve signing up to a $4 a month subscription. OK, it's not exactly a huge sum of money but I'm not going to start paying it out of principle. The only real free alternative it seems is to check each post on the blog over the last 5 years and save the pictures individually. That ain't gonna happen either.

As well as the pending disappearance of many of the pictures, the YouTube copyright police have been removing videos here, there and everywhere leaving even more holes in my blog posts.

I still believe there is a place for the blog, Twitter, and I hate to admit, even Facebook, so I will be keeping it going. Chances are that nobody would have even noticed if I didn't mention it...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sporting Life...

Like thousands of others, I looked on in disgust this morning at the footage on the news of the violence at the Millwall vs West Ham match last night. You can't really call them football fans as it appears that the actual sport is merely an aside to the taunting and fighting that many of them seem to have paid their entrance at the gate for.

Now it is widely accepted that I know absolutely nothing whatsoever about sport, maybe not even that much, but I think I have a solution; a bit off the wall maybe but then you should expect that by now.

If I understand correctly, half of the football grounds across the country are empty on a Saturday afternoon as their teams are playing away that weekend. In addition, most of the clubs could use an extra few quid to top up the coffers.

So I propose that every Saturday the teams go and play each other as scheduled and the fans who want to enjoy a couple of hours with their friends and families cheering their sides on, go along and do so.

We can also assume that there are a proportion of "fans" for both teams who are largely indifferent to the sport but just want to go and kick the shit out of each other for a couple of hours. So why not charge them the same price to be allowed onto the pitch of the other ground (i.e. of the team playing away) where they can merrily beat the living daylights out of each other to their hearts' content?

No police presence, no St Johns ambulance or other medical assistance, just someone to clear up the remains and usher the last few stragglers out at the end of it all. If a few of them get hurt along the way, well surely that's what they were expecting wasn't it? If they want to fight, let them do it, locked in a ground where they are no bother to anyone but each other...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Holiday Fun...

I've just enjoyed great long weekend with the family here and we've surprised ourselves at how much of a good time you can have without necessarily spending a fortune.

Thursday we didn't stray too far from home but we enjoyed the sunshine in the garden while the kids were happily out there playing.

Friday we ventured out to Cleethorpes beach which some would consider brave for a Friday afternoon in the middle of the school summer holidays. A couple of spits of rain en route but I think we were all surprised to find the beach looking like this

What more could you ask for?

Saturday afternoon we took a walk down to the village green to satisfy our curiosity as to what the village show had in store. As it turned out, everything you would have expected: cake stalls, hook-a-duck, face painting, bouncy castles, emergency services displays and a mountain climbing rig that my 5-year old nephew couldn't wait to get his harnessed little arms and legs at.

Intersperse this with plenty of food and drink throughout the weekend and of course, the chance to catch up with everyone, it was unfortunately over all too soon.

All that remains now is some lively exercise to burn off some of the excesses...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Life and Music...

Another lazy blog post tonight I'm afraid.

It's just that every now and then you're directed towards something that really makes you sit up and think and this would seem as good a place to share it as any.

Although I've also posted links to it on Facebook and Twitter...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Something for nothing...

I'd completely forgotten that before my last blood donation, I'd received a letter from them telling me that for donating three times within a year, I could collect a slate coaster as a thank you gift the next time I went.

Unfortunately, at the time they had none left but assured me that one would be posted on when they got some more. Not only did it arrive this week, which was a nice surprise, but they sent me a second one by means of an apology - as if it was necessary.

So if it's not sufficient incentive that you may be saving someones life, or that you or a loved one may need a transfusion yourselves one day, then go along because every now and then they send you free stuff. Click on Billy below to find details of your next available session...

Friday, August 07, 2009

50 bands...

The internet has been infuriatingly slow these last few days and appears to have brought Facebook to a grinding halt. One little gem I did find though (but haven't been able to reply on there yet) was a tag to list 50 bands you have seen live.

Cue a trawl through the memory banks after which I was surprised that I managed to count 50, but I did impose a few rules to get there. I included solo artists aswell as bands, but only counted most of them once. Personally I think Marillion with Fish were a different band than when I saw them with Steve Hogarth, likewise, the remaining Queen members at the Freddie Tribute were significantly different to the Queen & Paul Rodgers show. Having seen Quo a dozen times with several line-ups but with Rossi & Parfitt to the fore, I've only counted them the once.

Oh and I've seen so many pub bands over the years, some excellent, some shall we say less so, I've left them all off the list too. So for anyone who's interested, here they are in approx. chronological order starting from about 26 years ago (gulp) and rather like the pub bands, most were excellent although some were significantly less so...

Spider (my first gig)
Status Quo
Air Race
Meat Loaf
Chas & Dave (Quo's Farewell London Concert)
Little Steven (Quo's Farewell London Concert)
Phil Lynot & Grand Slam (Quo's Farewell London Concert)
Dave Edmunds (Quo's Farewell London Concert)
Jason & The Scorchers (Quo's End of the Road Concert)
Gary Glitter (Quo's End of the Road Concert)
Marillion (with Fish) (Quo's End of the Road Concert)
Nazareth (Quo's End of the Road Concert)
King of the Hill
Deacon Blue
Elkie Brooks
Tears for Fears (Silver Clef Award Winners Concert)
Cliff Richard & The Shadows (Silver Clef Award Winners Concert)
Genesis (Silver Clef Award Winners Concert)
Oleta Adams (Silver Clef Award Winners Concert)
Phil Collins (Silver Clef Award Winners Concert)
Eric Clapton (Silver Clef Award Winners Concert)
Elton John (Silver Clef Award Winners Concert)
Paul McCartney (Silver Clef Award Winners Concert)
Pink Floyd (Silver Clef Award Winners Concert)
Dire Straits (Silver Clef Award Winners Concert)
Paige & Plant (Silver Clef Award Winners Concert)
Metallica (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
Def Leppard (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
Bob Geldof (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
Spinal Tap (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
Guns N Roses (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
Roger Daltrey (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
Zucchero (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
Paul Young (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
Seal (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
Lisa Stansfield (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
David Bowie (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
Mott the Hoople (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
Annie Lennox (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
George Michael (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
Liza Minelli (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
Queen (Freddie Mercury Tribute)
Crown of Thorns
Van Halen (with Sammy Hagar)
Bon Jovi
Queen & Paul Rodgers

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Consider me consulted...

It was my first one-to-one consultation today, although actually it was a two-to-one as both my manager and our HR Manager were there.

Do you understand why the closure has been proposed?
Yes, although I obviously don't agree with it

If we close on 31st December, here's how much you can expect to receive. Do you understand how that has been calculated?
Yes, it's pretty much what I had worked out

Any other questions?
Not really - nobody can answer the most important ones yet...