Month: November 2006

Out of whack

Ouchy
My back isn’t mega-sore if I keep it moving. That makes sitting down at a computer to do work a little annoying… hence the reason I’m still awake at 1am doing some work. Thankfully it’s improving every day.

Happy Birthday!
Visited my Gran tonight on the occasion of her 87th birthday. She’s finally out of hospital and in a local sheltered housing unit. She has a room to herself, and seems to be adapting well to all the changes. She’s still sharp as a tack, just slowly going deaf, blind and is unable to walk without her zimmer. But hey, she’s 87.

Ohh and she’s now got a mobile phone. Today she sent a text message. My Gran. 87. My head is still spinning.

THANKS
A quick thank you to everyone who has sponsored me for the upcoming 5k, I’m pretty sure my back will be better by then (week on Sunday). Our numbers came in the other day. I’ll be wearing number 13. Seriously.

And finally…

Two questions

1. Why does my screensaver (Flurry) seem to log me out of Yahoo and MSN Messenger? Is it killing the internet connection? The screensaver doesn’t connect to the internet but I don’t know how to run any tests because doing so will stop the screensaver!

2. Know anyone that wants a website designed? I’ve just finished my last ‘job’ for the year and whilst I’ll be taking December off, I will be free in January. My rates are very reasonable you know…

Update: I’ve left a few comments on various sites this morning. None of which, I think, have come out right. Just can’t get the words to flow properly and end up fudging things and … meh. Please do not take a fence.

Vido

Preface: Nothing personal is meant in this, it’s purely and solely my issue. Please do not take a fence.

There seems to be a growing trend amongst some of the better known bloggers, better known than I that is, to feature video clips of themselves in lieu of text.

I can’t say I’m in favour of it.

Problem is, I’m finding it hard to pinpoint WHY they irk me so.

It’s not the people that are doing them (4 of which you’ll all probably know), nor the fact that they are doing something that I’m not as, frankly, I just can’t be arsed with that amount of effort at the moment. It’s not the content, it’s not the way they work, in fact the only reason I can offer isn’t even a reason.

It’s just because they seem ‘wrong’.

Now I’ll happily admit, and at this point I’ll reserve the right to change my mind at a later date, that it may be more to do with my dislike of band-wagons (unless I’M on them of course) and I do think that video-blogging (vlogging? ugh) is a perfectly valid use of the medium.

But.. ach, I dunno, is it just me? They just feel ‘not right’.

(this post was brought to you by one heatpad, and a handful of voltarol as my back is playing up again)

Sponsor me

I have no idea how this will work but as I’ve just dumped the form in the office kitchen, and sent round an “encouraging” email at work, I figured I’d give you beautiful, generous people a shot too.

And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

On Sunday the 10th December I’m running a 5k (5 kilometres). It’s easily the furthest I’ve ever run (did 4K yesterday) and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll be running to raise funds for the Parkinson’s Appeal, which will further the research into finding a cure for this horrible, debilitating disease.

A close friend of my parents was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a few years back, he’s been through all the possible treatments, including some trial drugs, and is approaching the point where the drugs will no longer be able to help him. If you met him today, you might not know he suffers, you might not know that his body will spasm, painfully and uncontrollably, at night. He laughs about his illness, jokes about it in an attempt to meet it head-on.

So, if you want to sponsor me you can either:

1. Paypal me some money (see below).
2. Send me a cheque (or cash), email me for details – gordon @ [domain name].
3. Donate yourself.





I’m sure most of you can spare £5 or so? £1 per km? Or maybe you want to pledge money on condition that I finish it? (ye of little faith!)

And don’t worry, I won’t be asking again*, it’s only because it’s my first time!

* I reserve the right to change my mind and try and fleece you again in the future, but hey, it’s for chariddee mate!

Questions Answered #8

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.

Question 8: Jane asks, quite simply, for “The ideal jogging route”.

The ideal jogging route
This is pretty straightforward really. The ideal jogging route:

  1. is flat.
  2. is somewhere of temperate climate, not too hot, not too cold, a little drizzle on an early autumn day for example.
  3. has a gaggle of gorgeous cheerleaders lining the route.

There you go. Simple.

But. Well… The thing is…

  1. If it’s flat you don’t get the sense of achievement that comes when you reach the top of a big steep hill. Yes your legs burn, yes it’s bloody hard, but yes, you DO feel like Rocky and have to stop yourself from shadow boxing when you reach the top (ok, that might just be me).
  2. A nice day is all well and good but it’s the days when the wind is smashing the rain into your face, you’re soaked to the bone, and yet you still turn up to go for a run. THOSE are the days that really count. Honest.
  3. Ummm yeah that whole sexist.. degrading wummin… adolescent fantasies are sick.. thing… so ummm… yeah, cheerleaders would be ba… well.. ok, let’s just say they’d put me off my stride.

I guess the ideal jogging route would be somewhere that’s busy enough for things to be happening, but not too busy that you are running into people. Our club meets at Strathclyde Park, which has a large watersports centre at one end. The park is well used but big enough that you aren’t constantly avoiding people, or dogs or geese, but busy enough that there is always something going on, be it boats sailing on the water, people canoeing or fishing, or just other joggers or walkers zipping past.

Although I have to admit that some grand scenery would be nice, something like the scene in Forrest Gump where he jogs across the USA. In the middle of that montage there is a crystal clear lake, reflecting the snow-tipped mountains that lie beyond. That looks like a pretty damn nice place to run to me, and I’m sure Scotland can offer the same, I just need to find it.

Life update

Still here. Busy. Quick post. Feel guilty if I don’t (what’s THAT all about!).

Everyone now knows I’m changing jobs. That’s a bigger relief than I realised.

New TV arrives tomorrow. New TV stand was purchased on Monday night, collected on Tuesday and was probably a factor in the excruciating back pains that kept me off work yesterday and at home today.

You see, I sit at a computer for most of the day, and whilst I’m careful with my posture, I’m sure this was a contributing factor (I’ve been doing extra stuff on the computer at home too). My back was a little sore but not too bad until I tried to lie down. I tossed and turned.. well… squirmed and moaned more like, for an hour or so before the pain got too bad and I woke Louise up.

Now, that’s not something I do. Ever. I tip-toe around if she goes to bed before me, and generally try and make sure I don’t disturb her, which is pretty easy as she sleeps heavily. If I don’t feel well I usually haul myself downstairs and doze on the couch. The last thing I do is wake her up, and no, not because she’s an ogre, because I care!

But this was just too sore, and I had some ibuprofen gel (it was definitely a muscular pain) which I needed her to rub into my back. As she said herself “I knew it was bad as you don’t ever wake me up..”.

It’s a little better today but still a wee bit sore, so I’m limiting my time on the computer.

In other news
My Gran is getting moved out of hospital into a, temporary, home. This is a good thing and the first step in getting her a place in a home nearer my Mum. She’s on the waiting list for one, about 4th from top but needs to wait until.. well.. some of the current residents “depart”.

Louise’s Granda is back in hospital – he’s been in a few times this year with ‘flutters’, as he calls them – but he’s fine. He’ll be out in a few days, right as rain. I need to go up and have a look at his computer, make sure he’s doing this properly. There is only so much you can do over the phone or via email. But hey, he’s not doing so bad for 86.

We are getting new front and back doors in a couple of weeks. It’ll be nice to stand at our front door and not see daylight past the frame.

We are almost finished our Xmas shopping! Well, the stuff for other people that is, I’ve still to get some things for Louise (I know what though, so that’s a start).

And now my back is sore again…

Dear Bloggers

For the most part, us “people who blog” are a friendly bunch and get on pretty well, don’t we? We are polite, even when we disagree, enjoy leaving comments for others (even just to say “well said!” as that’s just as important as any other kind of comment) and occasionally some of us swap emails and do each other favours. Yes, we are “good sorts” by and large (apart from HIM, ohh, and HER… but we won’t talk about THEM).

Of course we are only human and this hobby is so transitory that you occasionally lose touch with people (blogs) that you used to read regularly. Sometimes it’s a deliberate decision, other times it’s a sneaking change that you don’t notice until it’s pointed out to you. I’m guilty of this, as you no doubt are, but we all have our own habits and preferences and, as with most things, interests change. Over the years my reading habits have veered here and there, and still remain fairly eclectic. I enjoy many types of writing, many forms of reading, and for that I thank each and everyone one of you lovely bloggers whom I’ve had the privilege of reading.

And to those who I used to read and no longer visit, don’t feel bad. It’s not your fault, it’s just the way things are, tastes change.

Part of my thinking behind the comments discussion last week was driven by the fact that, often, I won’t know that someone has linked to me unless they leave a comment. I guess I’m similar to most in that I will always visit the website of someone who is ‘new’ to my site (even if they’ve been reading for a while). The added exposure, generated by leaving a comment, is usually enough to tip me in your direction for a week or so. Sometimes my visits will continue, sometimes they won’t, but regardless I’m usually pretty chuffed to find a new site that is linking to mine even if I still don’t really understand why people link here, there are plenty better blogs around (a lot of them linked down on the left!).

But you know what would REALLY make a difference, to me at least? What would/may tip me in your direction more often?

Spell my bloody name right!!

It is NOT GORDON MCCLEAN (one “c” only!), nor Gordon MacLean (no “a”!). It’s pronounced “mck lane” if that helps.

M C L E A N

It’s really not that hard you know.

And for those who still have me as ‘snowgoon’ you are forgiven for a while but come on, I’ve not used that name here for a couple of years at least. Get with the program!

Yours somewhat in jest (but you know what they say about ‘never a truer word said’)

Colin McClain

Coming Down

Dunno about you, but our Friday night was spent avoiding Children in Need. It’s just awful. But then I feel the same way about can-shakers on street corners… same thing, different exposure.

Saturday and, after a quick stop off at Costco, we headed through to Dumbarton to help prepare the rest of the buffet for the leaving party that night. My brother-in-law, who really enjoys cooking and is a very good chef, had already prepared enough food to feed about 150 people so we didn’t have that much to do. Especially as we were only expecting somewhere between 50-70 on the night… Needless to say there was a LOT of food leftover, there are only so many chicken and sweet chilli blini a man can eat (37, in case you were wondering).

That aside it was a good night. My nieces both looked gorgeous, our youngest nephew was dragged up to dance and even managed to LOOK like he enjoyed it. and our oldest nephew, the guest of honour, had a great time. Allegedly there are even photos of me dancing with my wife! (shock horror!). It was an emotional night, obviously, as our nephew flies to Amsterdam on Wednesday from where he will sail down the coast of South Africa and then on to South America. Of course in this age of modern communication, we’ll be keeping in touch via email as the ship is equipped with a wireless network (man, there must be some range on THAT!).

We got home at around 2 am (I was driving), and I struggled out of bed on Sunday morning for a long, and very muddy, run. Sunday mornings are always harder than most, probably because I’ve not been up and about for most of the day, but yesterday was even harder. I spent the rest of the day, quite literally, sprawled out on the sofa, dozing in fits and starts. Still a little tired today although Louise is off her work so I hope we both haven’t caught the same bug (or if so, it’s only a 24 hr thing).

Still, I’m glad I struggled out for the run as I’ve signed up to run a 5K in December. My number? 13. Seriously.

It’s a small affair, Louise has entered (she’s number 14) and so have my Mum and Dad. Mum will walk it with Louise, and Dad will be jogging it with me. He used to do a lot of running (several half-marathons, 10Ks and one Scottish marathon under his belt) and has been back in the gym, pounding the treadmill, since his heart attack. He reckons he’s on for a 40 minute time, and I’m aiming for 35 (just under hopefully). Sponsorship still to be sorted out but don’t worry, I’ll be chinning you lot too! (go on, a couple of pound won’t hurt your wallet half as much as my legs are gonna ache after the run!).

I am becoming a little too reliant on parenthesis.

And yes, my hosting company, who also hosts several other blogs you may read, had a few “issues” today. Just in case you were wondering where I’ve been.

Fruity Films

Something for the weekend then, and in no small part was this influenced by a Friday afternoon discussion in the office, honest.

Starting with the more obvious fruit related film titles (Clockwork Orange, Herbie goes Bananas, and so on), we progressed onto more “pun-ific” suggestions, the best of which was:

   Last mango in Paris

Can you better it?

New beginnings

I know it’s still November, I know we’ve yet to pass Christmas and Hogmanay, but January is already looming large, heralding not only the beginning of a new year but a new beginning for me for, on 8th January 2007, I’ll be joining a new company.

I’m hugely excited, a little nervous/scared, but very eager to start and, despite the fact it’s a couple of months away, I’m already looking ahead.

It’s going to be a huge wrench to leave my current employer; I’ve had many opportunities here that I doubt I would have had elsewhere (an advantage of working for a smallish company), I work with some very smart people and have enjoyed some epic nights out, and as the office is situated in the heart of Glasgow the commute and shopping opportunities have me spoiled.

But.

I’ve been here for seven years, through three changes to the company name, a merger with a sister company, a round of redundancies and several changes of boss and team members. All that’s in the past now, but the environment of change is one I thrive on and as things have been stable over the past couple of years I guess that’s been a factor in my growing desire to seek pastures new.

I’ve learned a lot, more so than on any other job (mind you it’s the longest I’ve been in a job so that says something too), but my enthusiasm has been on the wane for the past year or so, I’ve turned down one job and was short-listed for another (losing out to an internal candidate, why do they do that? I know they must but… meh..) and when this job came along I still wasn’t that sure, until I met with them and chatted about the role.

So, it’s bye bye McLaren Software, hello Graham Technology.

And, whilst I will be sticking to my “don’t blog about work” rule, it would be remiss of me not to mention the new office in which I will be working. Nice, huh.

Ahoy shipmates

Tonight we are boiling eggs.

Lots of eggs.

We will then turn the mountain of boiled eggs into a feast of epic proportions… or maybe just slather them with mayonnaise and add a dash of paprika. Slather. Now THERE’S a good word!

No we are not starting some new fancy schmancy diet, we are helping prepare some dishes for a cold buffet to be served tomorrow evening at our nephew’s going away party. Why? Because he’s going away.

To see.

On the sea.

In a boat.. umm.. ship… tanker?

He leaves later this month and will spend three months at sea, learning his craft as a deck officer (I think) in the Merchant Navy. He’s off to South America – I’ve still to find out if he’s “caping” (and yes I may have made up that term, but I don’t think so) – and will miss both Xmas and his birthday, so tomorrow he gets both rolled into one.

I’ve not yet mentioned the reputation that the seas around Cape Horn hold, and I certainly won’t be pointing them out to his Mum!