Monday, April 30, 2007

Another busy week

I currently have one client who is certainly pushing my 'gentleman's agreement' style quotes quite far. Another existing client who I've come to think doesn't know what they're doing, has changed their logo again. And written a cheque to me, spelling my name incorrectly (it's only a 3 letter name, but they managed).

I must admit I am sick of doing websites at the moment. As readers may be aware, I suffer from RSI in the back of my hands which becomes painful when I use the computer for long periods. In my daily life, this isn't an issue. But when I am 'forced' to be at the computer to design or update a client's website, this is when I become frustrated that I am in pain but must still use the machine that causes me this pain. It's a real shitter because the PC is my source of income.

I wonder when Smooth Radio north east starts? (97.5FM). I think Smooth Radio in London is excellent. I'm actually surprised at how much I listen to it. It has actually usurped LBC now in my listening hours. I love the way Tony Myatt plays smooth jazz after midnight in among other more mainstream songs as if they were adverts to be 'got out of the way' to fulfill Ofcom obligations!

I spent 7 hours on Thursday building flat-pack furniture from Argos - 2 shelve units and an entertainment centre (TV stand). Look really good. Today I built a garden table, again from Argos. Then de-constructed a 1.8 metre satellite dish which never did get used for its specific purpose! I have also ordered the sideboard in the same style as the shelves. All this with the new carpet which was fitted on Tuesday has made the lounge the nicest room in the house.

After another April of zero sales, just like last year, Friday was a corker though. I ordered carpet for my stairs, kitchen work tops, sink, tap, shower cubicle, downlighters, garden screening, etc.

Today I fitted 'soft closers' on the kitchen doors. All these kitchen showrooms have this big thing about soft closing doors. The tiny mechanism that does this are available from Screwfix for £8 for 5. They just screw in, making my 13 year old kitchen have a new lease of life. The carpet for the stairs was fitted. I need to call the electrician to fit the 18 downlighters around the house. But I, myself fitted the 3 x 780mm triphospor under-cabinet lights and am very pleased with the result. An exceptionally crisp, while light - whiter than fluorescents even.

One of my clients has a clapped out old Windows 98 PC with dial-up internet access. I got them a new one with XP, and he's moving his old files over. He sits downloading spam messages for ages and I think his old PC has spyware, adware, etc. on it because it runs so slowly. But rather than pay £13 a month for broadband on his new PC, he wanted me to move the dial-up modem from the old PC to the new one! This guy has just bought a Jag for £16k. Crazy.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Swirling mind streams

I don't understand Flickr. It seems an odd name. There's a vowel missing. Shouldn't it be Flicker?

I wonder what the legal situation is with writing about my past employment experiences on this blog? If I am just saying things that happened, and naming names, surely it's not liabel because it actually happened?

These people crying because they can't have babies - there is more to life than reproduction. The number of kids without parents, orphans, etc. in the world - why don't they be less selfish and adopt. Give a kid a chance. It's just bloody rude if you ask me. It's like being in a pottery shop and crying because you can't make a pot yourself - but look around, there are thousands of fucking pots you can have to take home.

When automatic updates are downloaded on Windows XP, a box periodically appears saying "Restart now" or "Restart later". There is a 5 minute countdown on this box, which automatically assumes you want to restart now if nothing is pressed. However, if you've left the room to answer the phone, etc. - let's face it, if you are out of the room for less than a few hours, you leave the PC going, don't you? Well, when the 5 minutes is up, it restarts - but it doesn't ask if you want to save anything - it just closes everything down, UNSAVED. So any programs you had open with hours of work in progress, no being autosaved (e.g. Fireworks, Dreamweaver, etc.) the work VANISHES because of Windows XP.

What have I been listening to recently I hear you cry? I downloaded the QVC theme music from 1993 - it's cool. And the 1989 Sky Movies music. Sky sent me yet another thing in the post today wanting me to sign up with them. I think the TV license people must give them my address, because I'm on the mail preference service. I scribbled out my address and sent it back to them. Tossers. I used to like Sky back in the early to mid 90s. Now I'm glad I don't have it, and instead a huge wad of money in my pocket which isn't Rupert's.


My 11 frogs have laid bucket fulls of spawn in my pond and now all look about 1/4 the size they used to. They still dive for cover when I open the door, but if I sneak out, I can be a foot away from them looking into their eyes and seeing them breathe without them disappearing under the surface.

I now have two water features - an animated one which has a pre-programmed sequence ('Serendipity' from B&Q if you're interested) and another wall/floor mounted one which dribbles and makes lots of noise. That's the thing you see - when all of your neighbours have water noises coming from their garden, you feel you've lost control. So you have to get one yourself to compete, audially. There was something in the Guardian about noise from neighbours and the first thing was wind chimes. Those fucking things should be banned. And fireworks. And basket balls - all you fucking hear is thud thud thud thud thud thud.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Things It Takes Most Of Us 50 years to learn

1. The badness of a movie is directly proportional to the number of helicopters in it.

2. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight-saving time.

3. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

4. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers.

5. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is: age 11.

6. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

7. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

8. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."

9. The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.

10. If there really is a God who created the entire universe with all of its glories, and he decides to deliver a message to humanity, he will NOT use as his messenger a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle or in some cases, really bad make-up too.

11. You should not confuse your career with your life.

12. A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter/janitor, is not a nice person.

13. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

14. When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.

15. Your true friends love you, anyway.

16. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

Sky at Night : 50 Years

Watch the 50th Anniversary episode of The Sky At Night.

Wasting a Harrier Jump Jet

Friday, April 06, 2007

Torrent of thought nodes

I see the French space agency have put all their UFO files on the internet. Very open I thought. Funny why the UK don't do it. The government are happy to put the taxes up all the time - my council tax bill tells me how the police get 6% more each year - but hey, my wages don't increase by 6% a year, so that can't continue forever or I eventually won't be able to pay! Anyway,

I'm sick of Google wanting you to set up a Google account to use anything. I want separation between all the things I do, so I have about 14 accounts. Then they made it so that blogger needed one. And you have to use your email address rather than a username, so I'm typing in these 34 character log-ins.

I hate doing accounts. I hate it with such a vengance. I look around my office now and I cannot see one surface not covered with a pile of papers. It drives me bloody mad. Sage is shit - it's not intuitive at all and further fuels my hatred. Since I wrote this line, I have now finished my first VAT return. It wasn't too bad.

What is it about the French? Are they captured in a 1980s school text-book state of games of solitaire, yoghurt, bagettes, seaside towns and casual abandon with regard to working hours. I like 'em!

Radio Manche, a cracking little station in the Saint Lo area of north east France has re-named itself to Ten Dance Ouest. A bit mysterious, but they have the same melody in their sung jingles. You can listen online, and I often do. I think they only have presenters in the evening.

A number of eBay auctions have ended this evening, with frustrating results all round. e.g. people living hundreds of miles away with a feedback score of '0' winning something they have to collect in person. and someone living somewhere over in mainland Europe winning something I will only send to the UK. DUUUUUHHHH!!!!! Bloody people.

Not drinking alcohol seems to be quite popular these days. I know a few people who simply don't drink - it's not because they can't, it's just that they don't really see the point. I only drink champagne.

I put my tribute site to a Disney ride back online yesterday. I took it down after some bitch threatened to sue me because I'd mentioned that she'd eBayed all the stuff she'd lifted from the place when she left. Very true, but she didn't want it publicising so started throwing her weight around. She said had heard about it from the people who had actually bought the items on eBay, so they can all fuck off as well. They can all piss off too. Spoiling the fun for everyone, they are.

I hear Smooth FM in London have 'rebranded' as Smooth Radio. Excellent. Sounds very good on the air - nicer VOs than that bloody Mitch Johnson or Emma Clarke between every song, and seemingly a better range of music. Reminds me a lot of Century in the north east in the mid-90s with all the 60s songs it now plays. John Myers may have done it again. And it's good to see Gavin McCoy and Tony Myatt from Primetime Radio, a station whose closure this blog still laments, have daily shows. I've never heard the new VO guy before, but I think it's an excellent choice. They sort of 'merged' with Saga radio, so there's quite a network of stations over the UK. And the north east Century will be re-branded as 'Smooth Radio' soon too.

Allan Lake has been sacked from DAB station Core as they have opted to go automated with no presenters (while theJazz starts broadcasting WITH presenters this weekend). I first listened to Allan a month or two after he started on Capital Disney evenings. He's certainly an unpredictable broadcaster (in a good way). I can't imagine he'll be without employment for very long. The only thing I've heard him do which I thought was in poor taste was call Paul Daniels in the early hours of the morning. I thought it was disrespectful and rude.

I called a supplier today and heard that the MD has just bought a new Porche 4x4. Not bad - but now I know where my money goes! I've heard they rev their arses off by someone who test drove one. Enjoy all that extra road tax!

I think I heard Justin Lee Collins do a voice-over on a trail on BBC Four. Bloody hell - is there really so little voice talent in the UK that they have to resort to that goon to do them?!

Today I painted my new custom made garden gate, my shed, and some wooden stakes that I have attached 6 x Bose 151 waterproof outdoor speakers to. I always wanted the "Alton Towers" look, and now I have it! I also have a Panaray 502A on a nail in some trellis. Total retail value of speakers in my garden is £1660 - I hope the frogs appreciate it when I wire it all up. The neighbours probably won't! Only joking - I'm a very quiet neighbour.

My RSI has returned this last couple of weeks. I think it may either be with doing my accounts, working on a complicated website for a photographer, or being on the tills a lot at work. It could also be that I've been drinking Coca Cola for a few weeks - for whatever reason, whether it's the CO2 or what, but it always seems to make my hands hurt when I drink it.

I just heard this: The rushed speed read at the end of a radio advert for bacon in bacon sandwiches says "purchase necessary, or you'll just be eating two slices of bread".

That's all for now.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Virgin Media vs. Sky -- Sky LOSE

BSkyB's basic channels have suffered a combined 24.5% drop in their multichannel audience share since they came off the Virgin Media platform last month.

All I want to say is ha ha ha to Sky. The bullies have been kicked in the nuts.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

LBC - London's Biggest Conversation

Just heard the new slogan for LBC - "London's Biggest Conversation" (instead of "Real Life, Real London").

You read it here first!!!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Baby sloth