Taken at Apple Store
This post originally appeared here: Posterous
Getting there nicely...
The bits that are left over, can be pushed out to tomorrow.... oh... except for the birthday present wrapping. D'oh. That has to be done today!!!
Another strange case of an invisible weekend. It beggars belief. One minute they're here and within seconds they're gone and Sunday night/Monday morning is upon us again. I'm not going to harp on about it though for this particular Monday is a days holiday. Sadly it won't feel much like one. I have a list of jobs as long as your arm so my so-called day of rest will involve some or all of the following...
As a realist, I'm pretty sure that's not all going to happen, but I'll give it a go. Starting with prepping for painting and then cleaning windows. Shopping from about 9.45 through to about 11.45 probably. Then painting, mowing, wrapping and cake making through until 4.15. In amongst this stuff, I want to get a lookin at work too. It's going to be close - and far to busy for a day off. But then, there's no rest for the wicked.
Hope your day is how you'd like it to be.
Today is going to involve a trip into Cheltenham with daughter while Mrs G has a visit to the hairdressers. If the weather holds out it should be a great way to spend a little time with the young 'un during her run up to the 'big day'. She has some items to exchange and of course I need to pick up a refill line for the strimmer.
One thing I haven't done for a little while is have a good rant. Those that have been regular visitors here will know that on occasion I can get on my soap box and start getting all verbose about a subject. Part of the reason for having toned down of late is change. What with having had my cheese moved and attempting to teach pachyderms to dance I've been having a lot to take in and it's tough to find time to put a stake in the ground and make time to carve up the elephant in the room. If you don't know what that's all about (and I pray that you don't for your own sanity) then your levels of management bullsh!t understanding leave something to be desired. I can only look on in awe at Scobi's abilities in this field. Just thought I'd run that up the flag pole to see who salutes. :-) There's also a good one about rats in Rhododendron bushes, but I never really understood that at all.
Generally I'm actually quite quiet. I tend to be the person at the back of the room observing the noisy table bangers and getting my head around the scope of their ideas. I'm a thinker preferring to fit as many views as possible into the bigger picture to get an overall understanding of whatever the subject is rather than leaping in and sounding like a "bit of a d!ck". That doesn't mean it doesn't happen - it does, and more often than I'd care to admit to, but as they say in the places where these things don't worry them... "Meh" and "Whatever"
With that, let's take a little trip to rantville. Having left it a while there are a multitude of subjects to choose from, including "Evaluating the value of evaluation", "The cost of the Costa's... And everything else", "Why Fixing potholes on a Sunday means you can't drive anywhere on a Monday" and the exceptionally explosive "How to behave when someone tells out and out lies about you in a document and then presents that amongst a wide group of colleagues as fact"- I'm sure you can hear the soft undertone of seething and bubbling blood.
RESIDENTS in Gloucester will be charged to have their garden waste collected, council chiefs decided.
Households will be charged £36 a year for a green bin for the first time ever.
The city's opposition Labour group claimed the move would see residents returning to "burning and flytipping rubbish".
But that claim was rejected by the leader of the authority, Councillor Paul James (Con, Longlevens), who said: "The people of Gloucester are better than that."
The decision was voted through at a meeting of full council yesterday despite angry opposition. Before now the service was free to all homes.
Leader of the Labour group Councillor Mark Hobbs (Moreland, Lab) said: "The uptake of green waste recycling is going to drop through the floor.
"People will go back to burning their rubbish, flytipping it and going back to put it in black bins."
He added: "This is an absolute sham, and to ask people to start paying for this service is a disgrace."
But his criticism was rejected by leaders of the Tory-led authority, which claimed one of five households will pay for the bins.
Councillor Steve Morgan, (Grange, Con) cabinet member for the environment, said: "It's patently obvious this is going to be a difficult and unpopular decision to make, we are working on cautious estimates.
"The proposed take up, we imagine will be in the region of 20 per cent."
Councillor Jermemy Hilton (Kingsholm, Lib Dem), said: "The other way we could fund this scheme is to increase council tax by 10 per cent.
"We need to cover a £4 million black hole in the council's budget." People signing up early will get an extra six months free, and will pay for one year but get 18 months worth of collections.
Anyone who gets council tax or housing benefits will be entitled a 50 per cent reduction.
Currently, the authority's garden waste service serves 47,000 households in Gloucester.
It is at full capacity with four dedicated vehicles.
But when ongoing housing developments at Kingsway, Hempsted and other sites are fully occupied, it will be necessary to buy an extra vehicle.
That would cost taxpayers an extra £120,000 if the service remained free.
The council had made no budgetary provision for this, according to a report circulated before the meeting.
Councillors also agreed to charge for bulky waste, items such as fridges and sofas.
It will cost £24 for up to three items, and £8 for every additional item from then on.
The decision took place during a budget meeting, during which £3.9 million worth of cuts were being debated.
Just if you were wondering, a quick poke about on the councils website reveals the following facts of note.
Kingsway: Approval for 2300 Dwellings
Hempstead: potential for 100 dwellings
Other: There's a long list, but the most significant is Gloucester Quays with the potential for a further 1000 dwellings
This gives us a short term total of 4,400 homes. There is a much longer term plan which puts the numbers up significantly but most of it doesn't have approval at present so it's all pie in the sky and irrelevant for the time being.
For the mathematically challenged among you (and I'm including e council in that) this gives us these numbers:
4,400 multiplied by £1,439 equals £6,331,600. Minus your poxy £120,000 to keep the service free and you're left with a net increase of £6,211,600. You could use this to provide the other services your supposed to be providing for the new residents that you've moved in which thanks to your dodgy planning processes will all be living in tiny wall cupboards that you and the greedy developers like to think of as band D homes so that you can maximise your returns on them.
I mean really. Is it me? IS IT ME!?.
And while we're about it, a black hole is an astronomy term and as such has nothing to do with financial accounting. I think you need to get your story straight here girls. How did you manage to make 'no budgetary provision' for 4,400 dwellings that you approved ?
I do understand that running a council is a complex and expensive task. you have to get the right biscuits for a start! but come on! This is just maths! You do know about maths don't you?
I also note that a polling card for the forthcoming council elections has just fallen through my letterbox.
Some interesting language going on there. "irregular activity" strikes me as an interesting turn of phrase and the fact that they've mentioned their third party by name on more than one occasion is also "of note" to my over paranoid eye.
As a follow up to the email we sent you last night, I would like to give you some further details. On Sunday the 20th of March some customers reported receiving a spam email to email addresses they only use for Play.com. We reacted immediately by informing all our customers of this potential security breach in order for them to take the necessary precautionary steps.
We believe this issue may be related to some irregular activity that was identified in December 2010 at our email service provider, Silverpop. Investigations at the time showed no evidence that any of our customer email addresses had been downloaded. We would like to assure all our customers that the only information communicated to our email service provider was email addresses. Play.com have taken all the necessary steps with Silverpop to ensure a security breach of this nature does not happen again.
We would also like to reassure our customers that all other personal information (i.e. credit cards, addresses, passwords, etc.) are kept in the very secure Play.com environment. Play.com has one of the most stringent internal standards of e-commerce security in the industry. This is audited and tested several times a year by leading internet security companies to ensure this high level of security is maintained. On behalf of Play.com, I would like to once again apologise to our customers for any inconvenience due to a potential increase in spam that may be caused by this issue .
Confidentiality: This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this e-mail in error please notify the sender immediately and delete this message from your computer without further action. Any dissemination, distribution or copying of this message or any files transmitted with it by an unauthorised recipient is strictly prohibited.
Viruses: This message has been swept for viruses but we cannot guarantee that this e-mail or its attachments are virus free nor accept responsibility for any virus inadvertently transmitted herewith.
2 From Russia with Love: A heavily guarded yacht with Siamese fighting fish (especially if you have an evil kitty)
3 Goldfinger: A schmelting verks in the swiss alps near Geneva equipped with an industrial laser.
4 Thunderball: A beach front villa in the Bahamas, complete with shark infested swimming pool.
5 You Only Live Twice: A hollowed out volcano somewhere near Japan
6 On Her Majesty's Secret Service: An allergy research center On top of a mountain in the Swiss Alps only accessible by helicopter
7 Diamonds are Forever: The penthouse of a Las Vegas hotel and beneath the Nevada desert
8 Live and Let Die: The back room of 'The Fillet of Soul' in New York, accessed via a rotating booth by the wall and an underground lair beneath a voodoo protected graveyard near New Orleans
9 The Man With The Golden Gun: An island off the coast of Phuket, Thailand with a sun ray laser thing in the top.
10 The Spy who Loved Me: An underwater base that can float and sink at the touch of a button.
11 Moonraker: A low earth orbit space station. Perfect for those of an off-earth arian persuasion.
12 For Your Eyes Only: A cliff top monastery
13 Octopussy: An island in a lake only reachable by boat powered by oarswomen.
14 A View To A Kill: An airship, complete with staircase that becomes a slide to a trapdoor for disposing of enemies
15 The Living Daylights: A museum to war in Tangiers
16 Licence to kill: The Olympatec Meditation Institute. Makes a great cover for drug smugglers.
17 Goldeneye: The Arecibo radio telescope
18 Tomorrow Never Dies: A stealth catamaran which is perfect for an evil newspaper owner.
19 The World is not Enough: A tiny island retreat in the bay of Istanbul, Turkey
20 Die Another Day: A Clinic in Los Organos, Cuba
21 Casino Royale: A retreat on the shores of Lake Garda
22 Quantum of Solace: A hotel deep in the desert... Never can remember where this one is though.
I'm sure there's a residence in there to suit everyone. Happy shopping.
This year has been no exception. Due to circumstances beyond my control Mrs G and I didn't visit the course this year, but we did enjoy the people watching, an excellent lunch and had a couple of flutters on the races. No massive wins, but no massive losses either. All in all, a grand day out with BBB and Mrs BBB as well. Fun times.
The day didn't pass without a little guilt on my part though. The Badman has been working like a demon with some assistance from me on his current mission and sadly, things went slightly pear shaped on Thursday afternoon. I felt bad about leaving him to deal with it, but having checked in on my return this afternoon I see to my surprise and no doubt his surprise and delight that all has come good and we're back on the road to success.I fear there is still very much to do, but nothing that can't wait until Monday when I'm sure we'll both be feeling at least a little refreshed and it'll be 'Once more into the breach' and all that. In the mean time I believe he has an appointment with a Mr Blofeld and a Mr Scaramanga, both of whom have been looking for property that he has on his books... In fact, somewhere around here I have a fully comprehensive list of potential customers that I must dig out for him. I think it's filed under "World Domination, Plans for"....
Great start to Mrs G's day off in the form of a round of "Badman Bacon" sandwiches.
Look closely. They are some THICK rashers of bacon. This means they are almost steaks and really a whole meal can be derived from one rasher. Not one to be perturbed by such a challenge and having eyes that are bigger than my stomach, two rashers seemed perfectly viable as you can see. One did the job nicely, and the extra had to be halved. A filling meal that left me feeling more than setup for the day.
Thanks Mr B - awesomeness.... I saved two for the next available hangover cure. By the way, for those of a more curious nature, this work of culinary art started life off over here: http://badmansjournal.blogspot.com/2011/01/bbbb.html
If only our european cousins made this the standard Bacon, but then that would require a certain amount of joint common sense across the EU, and that's something that's not always very forthcoming. They'll understand it better once it's been explained to them :-) and I shall leave it there.
I have it on good authority that we just had a weekend and now it's Monday morning again. Now as much as I tend to believe my calendar, the date on my phone and my laptop, the announcers on the radio and even the date printed at the top of the newspapers, today I'm really struggling with the con pet that we had a Saturday and a Sunday. It just feels like we went to sleep on Friday night - last night - and woke up this morning on Monday.
I mean ... How in the fun-times-at-Richmond-high did that happen? In fact, if it wasn't for Mrs G insisting that it's Monday and that daughter has her first day in her new job, I wouldn't be having any of it. But there it is.
I imagine 24 hour rolling news plays a part in this time warping that I've experienced. As you're no doubt aware there have been a tragic set of circumstances in Japan this weekend, starting on Friday with the largest ever recorded earthquake in that region. This led to a Tsunami of incredible proportions which has caused a huge loss of life. The Northern half of the country appears to be in total disarray and my thoughts are with all of those suffering that they may make it through an incredibly torrid time.
The News channels live for this sort of thing and being a bit of a newshound (I get that from my mother) I am glued to each nuance of a story. The trouble is, that rolling news repeats itself with countless iterations upon iterations of any given story, so when it's on in the background you pretty much lose any real sense of time. This must be the reason for my loss of a weekend. It's not that we didn't do anything else mind you, it's just that five minutes of watching the news seems to have sucked all the other time away.
With daughter and Mrs G all set to go - and daughter looking spiffing for her first day at the new place, I too am off out the door. Not down to London this week, but up in the other direction to a Starfleet office. There I shall be spending time with the badman and a selection of the members of the crew who are busily involved in locating dilithium crystals to maintain starfleet's future course. These crystals have to meet very exacting standards before they can gain approval for use, and that in itself is a whole other mission. Right... time for me to boldly go.
Hope you have a great Monday.
Here's a number.... 10,643
That's the number of unique visitors I've had since the begining of last year, across the 4 sites that host my ramblings. That's 433 Days. Which means on average 24.57 people have read this page.
WoW!!! An audience!!
My gift to all 24 of you:
"Oh really? Good God no! I mean I'd never dream of such a thing"
"We have a new project manager who just makes spreadsheets and does as little as possible. He's just an idiot"
Nice use of Aerial font there. Much better that the Comic Sans it started of as. Comic Sans!? I ask you.
"is she?" rustle rustle of newspapers and food wrappers "But I only saw her leg"
"I can't bear the word spreadsheet anymore. Why should we do it? Can you hear me? Hello?"
The nerd from last week is standing and reading his kindle. And then there's the bloke with the insane headphones. They are massive! To the untrained eye he looks like a Dom Jolly sketch! Any minute now he's going to shout at the bloke next to him "CAN YOU TURN YOUR IPOD DOWN A BIT PLEASE MATE! I'M TRYING TO LISTEN TO WHALE MUSIC HERE!!!!" He seems to have lost his decks.
A chinaman (sorry Asian-American is the correct nomenclature. Thanks Walter) is reading a Chinese book. I'd like to have been able to do that, but culturally it is so different from our scribbling that I doubt I have enough years left in me to be able to master it. I'd have a go and i would have had a chance if I'd started from birth, but that was a while ago.
This table is coming along nicely if a bit slowly. I don't think her heart is in it to be honest.
Angry Birds.... Apparently that can entertain a bankers mind for hours at a time. He can't seem to look away.
"Hello how you doing? How's sainsburys? What isle? Are you gonna be done by the time I get there?"
"Hello it's me. I've got to get some diesel on the way home. Do you need anything else?"
"Prawns or Steak?"
This table is all about LNB and PC.... I'm loosing all interest and the will to live, much like it's creator I suspect.
This is probably the last time I'll be doing this for a while. I have no reason to be back in the city at the moment and next week will see me heading north to help out the Badman with his notty problem.
I've actually quite enjoyed it. A change from the norm. Out in the big wide world again. It makes you realise how up to the job (or otherwise) you really are. There's no room for self analysis when people are analysing you all day long already. Apparently, I'm up to it. Just in case you were wondering.
The wider world of Starfleet is in much better condition than the walled off garden that I've been pottering about in for so long. In fact, having escaped from the vegetable patch, the potting shed is a fascinating place to be for a potato. God alone knows what it must be like in the big house!? A veritable palace full of oranges, apples and bananas and no mistake.
Today's other activities meant I had to help out a seed that arrived. He's been fed and watered and should be ready for harvest in a few months. The problem with that is he's only here temporarily and so is unlikely to ever win "best in show". Between us girls (as scobi - another potato - likes to say) I think there might be quite a few more seeds before to long. Would be nice if they bore fruit. Peas at best for now.
I caught up with Stretch today as well. I'm sure he'll be fine, as long as they don't mold him. He's a top bloke really and seems to be happy in the patch for a while yet. But then he's in with tomatoes. Canes and glass doncha know. It's the cabbages, carrots and sprouts that suffer, without whom we'd all starve. .... Well, maybe not the sprouts. Although they're very good when they're fried.
The table has got to item 14 now. She's fed up with it. Huffing and puffing but soldiering on. I think it's banking sector related but I'm not bothered with it anymore.
With that it's time to wish the big bad city good bye and good night. It's been a blast and I'll be back again. But for now I need the fresh air and open spaces again.
Next time I'll be making more 'me' time and catching up with some of the old gang if they're still around. When Carlisle place was hip and happening.