Archives for the month of: June, 2011

Thursday and what needs to get done?  

The car is still at Mickey’s (he’s not a mouse for those of you wondering) awaiting a brake calliper. Experience tells me it may be there for the weekend as this particular type of calliper is manufactured by the same people that make hen’s teeth and rocking horse sh!t, but as we’ve recently learned – whatever (or ‘It is what it is’ if you’re not into the whole brevity thing) As much as it’s in theory a hindrance not to have the car at my beck and call, it’s also very enlightening. The weather is warm so Mrs G doesn’t object to cycling to work and of course it is good for her. 

On the work front, Pooh and I are nearing the end of the heavy phase of our adventure with the baseball player (see: This book, not that it will clarify anything for most of you). This means we have time to reflect you would think, but not a bit of it. There’s another piece of work involving tennis that urgently needs attention and I’m allegedly the man to attend to it. 


It’s a piece that has to be priced, approved and with the customer in 5 working days, and that is the first problem. Ironically it’s being led not by anyone in the UK or US but by a bunch of cowboys for whom the word ‘communication’ doesn’t have a passport, so there’s our second problem. The third problem is that everything that is known about the story so far is held in the head of a person who is off sick and a database that I don’t currently have access to. 

That’s about the size of it. I’m squarely in the frame for the unachievable. To quote Detective Inspector Derek Grim of Gasforth Police station “My arse is on the line and I don’t want a cock up!”

I may exaggerate slightly. After all, we’re all aware that “You can only do what you can with information available” and “Whatever” (see above re: brevity). Ultimately I know I’ll have support from the other members of my team should it be required – if only the cowboys would stop with the re-fried beans and get on with the cattle rustling. 

An early morning call with our antipodean cousins confirms all this frustration. All is not well, but “we are where we are” 🙂

Next job is a haircut, so with no car that means 10 minutes on the bike to get it sorted. Normally this would be 20 minutes in and trim and out, but I hadn’t taken into account the lazy, slovenly, over-holidaying teachers who are up in arms because their loosing some of their pensions. I’m sympathetic to most cases of the little guy being screwed over by “the man” but not this time. Public sector: Welcome to my world. I had this pain last year and no-one in public service gave a flying-fig. I think there was a question in parliament that got generally ignored so why should I care now you’re suffering the same fate?  In fact I celebrate the fact that we’re all on a more even keel (apart from the stinking rich who are far to busy not paying taxes to be interested).


To return to my point. I’m now sat in the barbers waiting room with half a dozen screaming kids who aren’t getting the education this country so badly needs them to get so that we can increase our lead in innovation and invention which will fix our economic issues such that we wont need to cut pensions in the future. As it is, the teachers are helping us breed a bunch of kids who’s lack of qualifications will make them perfect to work in manufacturing, just not in this country – more likely here:


In summary, I suspect the future of teaching in this country is heading in a similar direction to the miners and the steelworkers, so at some point we’ll have outsourced edu-macation to foreign climes as well. In the mean time, you might like to encourage your uneducated kids to learn chinese while you still can.
Back home post hair cut and cycling (chinese manufactured bike, by the way) and I see from the email on my (chinese manufactured) laptop that chief sh!tting bull is no nearer answering any question of import and that I am basically faced with a crock of cack to try and fix.  My predecessor to this job, as it transpires, has done a sterling job up to now, but the current demands are unreasonable.  God knows what CSB has been smoking in that peace pipe.
This is a scary moment for me, being the first deal of any size that I’m sort-of running on my own….   It’s OK.  This year has taught me to embrace fear, laugh in the face of adversity and tweak the nose of death. In short, I have new balls thankyou. Might need new trousers (preferably not from China) at the moment though. 😉

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

This post originally appeared here: Posterous
They’re remarkable.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

BTW: It seems the dropped call thing happens to iPhones in the US. (Must be an AT&T thing)

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Finally, Pooh and I have turned a corner (there may of been a house on it) and from here on in, setting aside the constant drip of workload that will still exist, it should be bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun.

At some point there will be a session of “Lessons Learned” where we’ll have the opportunity to record for posterity some of the interesting things that have happened to us along our journey. Our adventures have been many and varied with all sorts of twists and turns and ditches and hedgerows and brooks and briers and even the odd coppice on the edge of the 100 acre wood. Pooh got to see the O-shun from a very great hight. I’m told the O-shun is like the widest part of the stream but much much wider. Pooh’s great adventure above it meant he was far higher than he ever reached while dangling from a balloon. I counted a lot of beans… Not just some, but a lot. It’s been eventful.


With all this in mind I’ve decided to note down a few of our more enigmatic learnings whilst on our big adventure for Ee-ore to read, once Owl has taught him how. Here they are in no particular order….

“What Pooh Said” “Tigger told me to say that”
“If you turn the telescope around, the Nelifunt looks like a small squirrel”
“It is what it is” “We are where we are”
“Apart from the chocolates, the bier, the mannequin de pis, the Atomium and the homeland of Hercule Poirot, what have the Belgians ever done for us?”
“I must just go out to the garage to collect some ‘equipment’ ”
“Are we on a hiding to nothing up a blind alley chasing wild geese?”
“Give us a stroke of your lucky po-tay-toe”
Special thanks should go to the wheel brothers, Alloys and Wooden, for turning around so quickly.

…enough… those lessons are really only any good for a very small minority audience. And when I say small, I mean under 5’5″ 😉

In other news… The weekend came and went in a long, sultry, hot and sweaty sort of way, and very nice it was to. Let’s just rewind to Thursday, which was the last day anything appeared here.

Thursday night was a game of twilight golf – 15quid for 18 holes, but that does mean you have to get a shift on to get all 18 in before you loose the daylight. Four of us tried (Sniffer, Stan, Bampy & me), and we failed, due mostly to the fact that we couldn’t start until gone 5.30 because we all have jobs that require attention, but we did manage a good 12, or near enough and then a quick bite to eat and a couple of beers to wash it down in a local hostelry. All of which meant it was a Thursday that felt like a Saturday.


Friday was as Friday does – but I did spend part of the wet and damp evening deliberately not watching U2 at Glastonbury on the telly, because as much as I have enjoyed their music in the past, I’m a bit fed of them to tell the truth. That said, Coldplay, on Saturday, which I did see, were awesome. Satur-DAY involved cycling to the city, helping Son locate he best Pound to Euro exchange rate, ordering a new window blind and giggling and pointing at daughter in her “Where’s Wally” outfit for her fancy dress night out. Fun times.

Then finally on Sunday it was wall-to-wall summertime with heat and sunshine like we haven’t had since April. (I know!! April… What was all that about?). Sunday’s heat was far more intense than April’s though. So much so, that Mrs G managed to pop the heat detection system on her iPhone. Not sure it’s made a full recovery yet, so be warned. Don’t leave them sitting in direct sunlight for more than 10 minutes…


And what do you need on the hottest day of the year? A slap up roast beef dinner. It was well worth the sweating and toiling, although my gravy making skills need practice, and my usually perfect roasters, weren’t quite right. Ah well… next time.

So here we are again at a Monday. And what does the week have in store?? It appears that the car has to have an MOT and as part of that job I usually get it serviced to, so the first job once 9am rolls around will be to call Mickey to see when he can do it. No, stupidly, I looked at the paperwork proper on Saturday, and have discovered it needs to be completed by Wednesday, This might present me with a problem or two, but let’s see what happens.

I pray for the day that manufactures make vehicles so reliable that the MOT becomes obsolete. It does my nut in. Not least because it’s a legal requirement that doesn’t have auto-reminding documentation unlike insurance and road tax, both of which badger you plenty of time in advance of their deadlines. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve gone.. “hmmm, I’m sure the car MOT must be due soon?? Oh tomorrow??? really??? Oh bugger!”. I realise that I should just be more organised and write it in a diary or an automatic email notification, but there it is. For some mental-block reason, I don’t….

Tuesday should be a trip to the Starfleet offices (MOT dependant). I dare not try and look any further into the future than that. I might see something I like.
Have fun.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Statistics is a mean subject.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

You might recall that in an earlier post I described the layout of Golfy’s Office and how it’s cunningly disgused as a roundabout when it is in point of fact a hollowed out volcano.

Those of you that read the details will also be aware it’s policed by a crack team of rabbits (sometimes flabbits) known as Section B (Bunnies). Those that have visited the base will also have encountered Helga and the team of Section J.

Now, this is a tip top secret undercover lair-cum-base that no-one but no-one is aware of.  It’s existence is consistently denied by all in a position to do so, and it appears as a completely non-descript roundabout even on Google maps!

See here:'s+Office,+Gloucester,+England&aq=&sll=51.814558,-2.169113&sspn=0.173192,0.274658&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=51.86415,-2.212951&spn=0.001159,0.00228&z=18&output=embed
View Larger Map

The volcano is long extinct and as it’s so small (on the surface) attracts little or no attention from geologists. We did have a couple try to have a nose around a few years ago.  The make fine statues in the throne room since they’ve been frozen in carbonite. Most fitting for geology students I thought.

To all intents and purposes and to the outsider looking in – it is nothing more than a bland roundabout with a couple of rabbits on it.  Nothing to see here. move along please….

So, you can imagine my disappointment when I hear from Number 3 that Helga has a new sideline going.  It turns out that she and the other members of Section J (Juicy) have started making and selling orange juice using my old schmelting verks!! Such treachory is unknown……  but I might let it pass….

I mean really!? What’s an evil egotist to do with his plans for world domination way faced which such tasty beverages.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

It never fails to disturb me at just how accurate Dilbert can be…

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

It seems I’ve done a great job of failing to write anything at all on here since Wednesday. As tomorrow is Monday (again) that’s pretty damn poor on my part and I can only but appologise to you dear reader.
The reason is simple.  Haven’t had spare brain cycles to even think about it – let alone do it.  Even with the weekend here, it’s just been non-stop and itisstill quite a shock to me that monday is literally 30 minutes away.
So Badman and I have been really hard at it. In point of fact, I’m not sure I can rememebr the last time I worked as hard as I have this year. But it’s been strangely satisfying and while it’s not over, it’s changing tack and I find myself still looking forward to whatever the next challenge we have will be.  We’ve sent a package to our cousins in the New World which they seem to be broadly pleased with. We have some more europeans to satisfy in a final round of “Is this alright then, or what?” which will be taking place on Tuesday and then it’s all down to the New World and no doubt yet more european agreement – which seems to be the thing that we have to collect most often.
While all that’s been going on, back in the real world Mrs G and I took a trip down to sunny Wiltshire to visit with Mr Ball senior and wish him a happy father’s day.  No sign of sister ball, so I’ll be trying to track her down this week, but granny ball – “Oh I’m fine!  I have to be.  I don’t have much choice!” was in fine form, as was auntie M ball.


We journeyed with the in-laws, both of whom were also in high spirits which was most enjoyable after the last 6 months. W’s treatment has finished and he seems to be recovering well and of course with next week being Wimbledon, Mrs G senior is in her element. Such a major fan, that Mrs G swears that she and her sister used to go unfed in their youth for two weeks every summer.
The Senior ball’s were also looking after “Mutley” (a close friends dog) who really is a lovely hound. Sadly Mrs G isn’t a doggy person – we are a cat houshold – and to be fair dogs are far more of a tie than cats are, but when you spend time with a dog like Mutley, it’s hard not to think it would be nice to have a fella like that around.


I had a Bassett Hound in my younger days, and I still miss him. But then Barney and Boo keep us busy enough, and if I can’t get my schedule organised well enough to write in my blog, I could hardly be trusted with a dog.
Having said that, daughter is house and dog sitting for Auntie S – and I think she’s angling for a hound to join the cats….
It’ll never happen.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

…coffee and brain function, not enough switching off and relaxing results in screwed up sleep pattern. Screwed up sleep pattern will in theory result in poor performance just when high performance is needed most….

Something may be wrong with this business model.


Having said that, I’m an unusual individual in that I often perform well when you wouldn’t necessarily expect it. On this occasion I am pretty knackered though – so let’s see what happens. Wish me luck. Once more into the breach dear friends, once more…. Oh, and stay away from the caffeine today I think.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous