Year: 2006

STOP THE BUS!

It simply cannot be almost 2007. I refuse! Turn back the clocks, rewind the days, reset the weeks and recall the months. I DEMAND A RECOUNT!

What a year it’s been. Good and bad. Mainly good.

I WAS gonna do a list of lists type post but, frankly m’dears I cannae be arsed. I’ve been fighting a cold since Christmas Eve eve and have little enough energy as it is.

And it’s much better to look forward at times like these.

Forward to the new job, forward to the continuation of learned habits and regimes, forward to some resolutions I’ve already made but not as “New Year” resolutions (we don’t do those). Forward is where we are headed and where we are focussed.

And that’s probably why time flies so fast!

Whatever 2007 brings, I hope it treats you well. Thank you to all for visiting this past year, and as I don’t see any let up in the nonsense that floats around in my head I’ll expect you all back for more of the same in the coming year.

Ohh, that and a new design (which I’d hoped to get posted today but.. meh… no chance).

Have a wonderful Hogmanay, see you next year!

I was a good boy

Blimey, the days just flash past at this time of year, don’t they. So, a quick recap before I head off to… er… lie on the couch or something…

Christmas Eve was fairly relaxed. We finished packing bags, double-checked we had all the gifts we should, and settled down to watch the Muppets Christmas Carol. It’s a tradition that still manages to bring a warming tear to my cynical eye. Oh yes.

Christmas Day was pretty damn good. Despite the fact my sore throat was blossoming into some rather disgustingly coloured phlegm, we ate like kings at my sister-in-laws house, even pausing between starter (prawn cocktail of course) and main course to chew on some Wild Hibiscus. Quite tasty. We is posh us. As usual we ended up eating too much, and as it was a while before we managed some pudding, so it was a while before Louise and I realised that we’d forgotten to bring the roulade with us!

Still, Louise had made creme caramel, using her Mum’s recipe and the same bowl that was always used. A nice touch on a family day. We spoke to my father-in-law who seemed quite ‘merry’, and had a call from our nephew, somewhere in the mid-Atlantic. After that we cleared the tables, and got the games out. Specifically the Nintendo Wii the kids had been given from Santa!

I have to admit that my brother-in-law and I had a hard time giving up the controller, it’s so much fun! In fact I’m seriously considering just selling my Xbox 360 the minute it arrives (first week in January) and getting hold of one myself.

After that we headed to my parents, some pills for me, a few drinks for everyone else and a never-ending game of Trivial Pursuit (the boys won). All of a sudden it’s midnight and the day is over.

Boxing Day was a bit of a washout as I really wasn’t up to much. So we came home in the morning, and vegged out for the rest of the day.

Present wise I got a tripod and a new lens for my camera, an electric shaver, some books, aftershave, a magazine subscription, t-shirt, books, headphones, and … some other things that I can’t recall but it was ALL good! Yes it seems that I was definitely a good boy this year.

Questions Answered – Wrapup

Early in October of this year, I stole an idea and asked my readers to ask me a question. 14 questions and almost 12 weeks later I’m finished. In case you missed any of them, here are those answers in full:

  1. 4.56 AM or other similar times that should not exist, what to do when you find yourself there
  2. Mackerel: an intimate portrait
  3. Redesigns I have hated, and why
  4. The 15th Guinness, table top dancing, questionable headwear and other fun things to do at a blogmeet
  5. Time travel for bloggers
  6. Five Things The Scottish Could Learn From The English, and Five Things The English Could Learn From The Scottish
  7. If one life is all you get, then
  8. The ideal jogging route
  9. Why I will never be cool enough to own a Mac
  10. Why are bin bags so flimsy?
  11. Why I’m glad I’m not single
  12. Why beard?
  13. Daddy or Chips?
  14. “Chips” or “The Dukes of Hazzard”?

It’s been fun coming up with answers, some of which were more challenging than others, some of which were complete nonsense, most of which took me longer than I thought they would.

Mind you, I could just have done something like this:

  1. 4.56 AM or other similar times that should not exist, what to do when you find yourself there – go back to sleep
  2. Mackerel: an intimate portrait – [insert painting of mackerel]
  3. Redesigns I have hated, and why – Renault Megane, hit with ugly stick
  4. The 15th Guinness, table top dancing, questionable headwear and other fun things to do at a blogmeet – yes, yes, sometimes, and “strip blog name guessing”.
  5. Time travel for bloggers – also known as ‘scheduled posting’.
  6. Five Things The Scottish Could Learn From The English, and Five Things The English Could Learn From The Scottish – nothing and lots, in that order.
  7. If one life is all you get, then – why the hell are you reading this rubbish?
  8. The ideal jogging route – is flat.
  9. Why I will never be cool enough to own a Mac – I’m SO cool that I’m above such issues
  10. Why are bin bags so flimsy? – Because they are made that way
  11. Why I’m glad I’m not single – I hate ironing
  12. Why beard? – Because I can.
  13. Daddy or Chips? – CHIPS! (joking… ish)
  14. “Chips” or “The Dukes of Hazzard”? – Daisy and the General Lee, natch

But where’s the fun in that?

A big THANK YOU to everyone who asked a question — Keith, Alex, Lyle, Neil, Peter, mike, Hans, Jane, Lesley, Andy, Adrian, my Mum, and Ally (yes, someone asked more than one question!) — I hope the answers were sufficient, and if not… well… tough!

Have you been good?

Regardless of whether this is a religious or commercial day for you, I sincerely hope you spend it well. Whether you are in the company of family, friends or loved ones, I hope you are well. I the Christmas spirit is with you. Do take care of you and yours.

 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

 

Almost there…

The last items have been bought – why do we always end up with stuff to buy on Christmas Eve? – bags are packed and ready to be loaded into the car, and in a few minutes we will begin our traditional Christmas Eve evening. Dinner, a bottle of wine or two and the Muppet’s Christmas Carol movie.

The last few days have been … well… emotional. My final day at McLaren was kinda sad, the Christmas night out was that funny mixture of almost delirious happiness with a huge undercurrent of melancholy. For a variety of reasons. Yesterday we visited my Gran, and it’s sad to think that, whilst she’ll be having Christmas dinner with her son and his family, she’ll spend Christmas night at the nursing home. I KNOW it’s the best place for her to be but.. well.. it’s just sad.

Still, the next couple of days will be the usual mixture of fun, family and frustrations. I’ll eat too much, drink too much and lose my temper (quietly of course) at least twice. I can’t wait! After all, isn’t that what Christmas is about? Being with your family, and everything that entails? Of course it is!

Well, regardless of how you are spending tomorrow, it’s worth while remembering that, in the grand scheme of things, it’s just another day. So, no matter how you choose to spend it, I hope it is a merry one.

P.S. Even if you DO get another hideous jumper, remember, somewhere there is a very cold sheep who wants her wool back!

Questions Answered #14

In a desperate effort to gain some weird form of validation, I stole an idea for a blog post and begged my readers to ask me a question. And they did. The buggers. Now I have to answer them.

Ally asks “‘Chips’ or ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’?” and, unbeknownest to her, doesn’t give me much to work with (what a great word “unbeknownest” is… must use it more often). Having seen less than one episode of CHiPs in my life (did I get the caps right there?) and several of Daisy Duke… er.. the Dukes of Hazzard there isn’t really any competition.

I’m guessing this was down to scheduling times or something, with CHiPs possibly on at the same time as Bonanza or some such but, regardless of the reason, I never really watched it. At least if I did, it’s been largely wiped from my memory. Aside from some fairly stock ‘morning briefings’ and rather rubbish chases out onto country lanes it was just kinda lame.

Unlike those wild boys from Hazzard Country, driving round at break neck speed, getting up to all kinds of shenanigans, and terrorising Sheriff ROOSKOOOPEEEKOOTRAIN and the wee round white dude in the white suit, all of which remain imprinted on my brain to this day.

Despite the fact they seemed to drive around in circles a lot, the Dukes (Bo and Luke) had a lot going for them. Firstly they seemed to have a way of slowing down time when the car was leaping over a gorge, they seemed to spend more time than is healthy firing flaming arrows from crossbows (and everyone knows that fire is cool, crossbows are cool so together they are, like, uber-cool… or something), and, of course there was the General Lee. A big bright orange muscle car, that looked fantastic as it whirled round and round fields and dirt roads, with the odd minor detour to circle a large oak tree several times (something which used to flummox the Sheriff for some reason). While I’ve yet to slide across the bonnet of a car, one day I will, you mark my words! Or, more likely, I’ll mark the bonnet..

And as if all that wasn’t enough, appearing as a vision in.. well.. slutiness I guess.. there was Daisy. As a young, and fairly impressionable boy, this woman who wiggled around in teeny tiny shorts (which were probably a lot longer than my memory suggests) was .. well it was completely new to me anyway. You certainly didn’t see many pairs of denim cutoff shorts like THAT in Dumbarton. Probably because it would’ve lead to a lot of pasty white flesh jiggling around and, let’s be honest, they only really suit ladies with a tan, great legs and killer gluteus maximi a cute tushy. She is probably the first woman to make me realise, or at least begin to consider, that woman could be exciting. Even if I wasn’t sure why I thought she was exciting, because frankly I didn’t care. I was young and in lust!

So, adding it all up, the good ole boys of Hazzard County easily whup the ass of those uniform clad softies from California.

And no, I’m not gonna start on anything that even hints of ‘homosexual sub-plots’… but, come on… CHiPs. They were, weren’t they?

Questions Answered #13

In a desperate effort to gain some weird form of validation, I stole an idea for a blog post and begged my readers to ask me a question. And they did. The buggers. Now I have to answer them.

My mate Keith sneaks in with a second question, “Daddy or Chips?” and because I specifically said ONE QUESTION each I refuse to answer it. Now if someone would just pass the vinegar…

Ohh alright then.

Daddy or Chips?
What this really comes down to is my love of potato-based products versus the love I have for my father.

So let’s break this down a little, one the one hand you have my Dad. He’s been my Dad for as long as I can remember and, yeah, he’s a pretty damn good Dad. He’s better than yours…

On the other hand, I LOVE potatoes. I mean I really REALLY LOVE potatoes. Apparently, this is due to the Irish in me, and whether that’s a direct influence or not I have to confess that sometimes, not often, I have a big plate potatoes for dinner. Take one large plate, one large pot of gloriously firm, waxy potatoes boiled to perfection (soft but solid), a large pat of butter and some salt (ohh shush, it’s not right if there isn’t any butter or salt!) and a large ice-cold glass of milk. Delish!

Double trouble if I get MacKie’s ice cream for dessert.

Of course that’s just one way to cook a potato, they are equally delicious roasted, fried, oven-baked, mashed, grilled, sauted, or stewed. And that’s before we get started on all the potato-based food items: chips, fries, crisps, rosti, croquettes, hash browns, to name but a few.

Yes, it’s fair to say I like potatoes no matter what form they come in, no matter what shape or size, and whether they are served as an accompaniment or as the main course all by themselves. I love potatoes. LOVE ‘EM.

But do I love them more than I love my Dad? Don’t be so bloody stupid.

In saying that, I AM looking forward to February 12th 2007

And so, the end is near…

Today is my last day with my current employers. I’ve worked with this company for over 7 years and it’s gonna be sad to say goodbye to the rather wonderful people I work with (well, most of them…).

By happy coincidence tonight we are having the company Christmas party. It’s in a nearby hotel, a room is booked for ‘after hours’, and if previous years are anything to go by it’ll be 5am at the earliest before I get home. I am determined to get drunk. But not THAT drunk, don’t want to go out on a low note now, do I. Do I?

Mind you I think there is a rebellious side in all of us, a side which is just BEGGING to be allowed out to play and which already has a plan for dealing with THAT person, ohh and that one too. But no, they aren’t invited to the party, they will NOT be making an appearance!

All of this pre-amble is really just to say that I’ll be ‘absent’ tomorrow. YOU still get a post here but I sincerely doubt I’ll manage to even turn the computer on, let alone visit any blogs…

But don’t worry, I will see you all before Christmas, I promise.

Slip slidin' away

Blimey, where HAS this year gone? More specifically, what the hell happened to December? And more specifically still, why am I so busy over the next couple of weeks considering I finish work tomorrow!

A brief pause then whilst I consider what I need to get done… and what I should’ve done already.

First up the obvious stuff, Xmas wise, cards have been posted, presents are all bought and wrapped, cupboards are reasonably stocked with alcohol (to take to places and drink), biscuits and ‘stuff’ to have when people come to visit, and the Sky+ is programmed with.. well not much. It’s usually all dross at this time of year and I’d happily spend most of the coming weeks with the TV OFF. Or at the very least, watching nothing but old movies. And yes, It’s a Wonderful Life still makes me cry..

Once we get the festivities of the season out of the way I’ve got an old site to finish off, a new site to start, and this place is due for a spruce up as well. I’ve still got some questions to answer but they’re written up and ready to post and will be done by the end of the year, I promise. And, of course, there will be books and gadgets and stuff to play with as well.

Ohh and I’m trying to keep the running going too, with rumours of an early evening run on Christmas Eve and quite probably a few extra ones jammed into my days off. I doubt I’ll get much chance during the first couple of weeks in January though, but we’ll see how it goes.

Did you know that George (Asda clothing department) is selling suits for £50? I’m sorely tempted as my current suit, which wasn’t a cheap one, is now kinda hanging off me. A stop gap suit to get me through the next couple of months is all I need, and as it’ll not get more than a couple of outings I’m loathed to spend too much. I’d better get my finger out though, I need it for tomorrow night… more on that tomorrow.

I’m still considering posting my “Best of 2006” lists but, frankly, I’m not sure I can be bothered. We’ll see, it might end up being a “highlights of 2006” list instead… or it might not happen at all.

Right, stuff to do, people to see, etc etc.

Five Things You Don't Know About Me meme

podz tagged me with this, trickier than it sounds:

  1. I don’t like it when plans change.
  2. I have snogged a man.
  3. I once lost a pair of boxers on a night out.
  4. I spend far too much time imagining how certain situations MIGHT pan out.
  5. I have an alter ego.

Right, who’s next? Lemme see.. how about.. ohh you know what? Feel free to grab this one, I just don’t have the energy to try and pick people who might do it, as opposed to those who won’t. Too many of the latter, too few of the former!

Remember people, blogging is supposed to be fun. Irreverent, silly, fun! Meme on!