Archives for category: Specials

Tinchy Stryder is in town. Anyone over the age of 40 fear not. It’s perfectly acceptable to say “Who?” at this point. Apparently he’s some sort of rap artist who clearly has been poorly educated judging by his spelling.

Where do you get a name like that anyway? I suspect (although I’ve not seen him) that he’s quite a short little fella. No doubt at some point in his mis-spent youth someone pointed out what titchy strides he took to get around (or if his friends were Australian – what small trousers he wears). From here it’s simply bad spelling to get to Tinchy Stryder. Perhaps from now on I’ll be known as Gulfee Brawl…. What do you reckon Breadman?

With all this commotion going on, daughter had elected to work the ‘safer streets’ patrol rather than provide onsite support at the gig itself. Turns out there was a bit of a scuffle around five am and she made her first bonafide arrest. I can’t go into detail obviously, but I understand she handled herself very professionally.

Bit of a Spaghetti Bol for dinner this evening I think, followed up with last nights Big Brother and the gorgeous Davina McCall. I can’t help it. I’m a man of a certain age and she is a woman with certain curves and bends, and I have no brakes. She’s no Mrs G mind you, but she’s a close second.

I haven’t mentioned Big Brother since it started but I must admit that I have been watching. Not as avidly as I have done in the past, but keeping a polite passing interest so that I can be socially acceptable in any given circumstance. You may mock. Plenty of people claim the BB is not worth the time of day and that it is cheap television for the masses looking for a quick shot at fame. Possibly. But I happen to know that large numbers of people who are publicly disparaging of this twoddle, are completely glued to it behind closed doors. An interesting phenomena.

I’m not glued to it but I do find it entertaining. I may even give you my series summary in a few weeks when it’s all over. For now, I’ll just enjoy being in the virtual company of Miss McCall.

Some people have no conscious of what goes on in the rest of the world. I’m not bemoaning these “individuals” but I do worry for the rest of us when such uniqueness invades the day-to-day drudgery of those that have important topical issues to wrestle with. Let me enlighten you by way of an example.

I am engaged on a fairly simple project (one of a plethora) on board the enterprise. The project manager is clearly an “individual” having planned a lengthy conference call requiring much concentration at… wait for it….. 3pm on Wednesday!!. I may have over reacted somewhat when the PM asked if that would be acceptable. “You are joking aren’t you!?” was the response I gave. “Do you not know what is happening at 3pm on Wednesday!!?” A tad harsh on my part to be fair. I back peddled and made light of it as much as I dared without sounding like a complete buffoon. (A challenge as you can imagine). Regardless, it would appear that the call will go on and as a direct result of this individualistic behaviour, England will once again be knocked out of the World Cup and we will have to endure another 4 years of harping on about 1966. Sorry lads – I can’t be there to cheer you on – I have to be on the phone. I mean, really…. is that acceptable?

In other news, daughter is onto her third shift as a proper copper. Now, every time I hear a siren in the distance, I wonder if that’s her whizzing off to something exciting. It would be a worry, but I know she can handle herself since she’s had the correct training and has plenty of support. To be honest, I really wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of her when she’s all kitted up now and she’s over the moon with the whole thing. If she’s happy, we’re all happy. This morning she was up at the crack of dawn to go on an operation. She could tell me, but then she’d have to kill me, so no doubt we’ll find out in the fullness of time. I think it’s the rush hour traffic and ANPR cameras, so I’m walking if I have to go out.

Yesterdays iOS4 upgrade went without a hitch for me. Just past 6pm UK Time iTunes downloaded the package and off it went. The whole process took about 25 minutes, although after I disconnected and then later reconnected to iTunes, it had to rebuild my photo library on the phone to support the new faces & places features. These features already existed for me via iPhoto on my desktop, but it’s great that they’ve gone mobile too.

Without doubt the best features are task switching and folders. My apps were getting out of control, but all much neater now. There are loads of other little tweaks as well which all add up to a very useful and beautifully executed piece of kit. Hopefully I’ll find out how fast it is on the new A4 processor on Thursday – but that will all depend on stock.

Today brings us the joys of an emergency budget.  What could be finer on a nice warm summers day that to have your finances ripped to shreds by what appears to be an 25 year old snob in a suit ?  OK I may be exaggerating slightly, and perhaps he’s only 20 – who cares?

I hear this morning though that there’s actually going to be an increase in income tax threshold of £1000. What’s been leaked so far are the following:

  • An increase in airport departure levies from November, increasing the tax for a family of four on a long-haul flight to £300.
  • Cuts and freezes to welfare benefits to save £4bn-£5bn a year.
  • A rise in capital gains tax from the present 18%, but with exemptions for savers and entrepreneurs.
  • Cuts in corporation tax to boost the private sector.
  • A small VAT increase from the present 17.5%, which could be delayed until next year.
  • An increase in the income tax threshold, a key Lib Dem policy, saving lower and middle earners around £200 a year and encouraging benefit claimants into work.
  • Big cuts to Labour’s child tax credits, costing some families as much as £545 a year.

All in all this may not be as painful for me as I’d first thought, but I won’t know for sure until after the Noon to 2.30pm announcement. No doubt the BBC will have a budget tool on their website that can help you analyse the pain. They’ve already got one to help decide what you would cut if you were in the chancellor’s shoes. What would You Cut

Finally – didn’t North Korea do well? I think we should all be concerned for the welfare of that team knowing the regime that they come from. To be fair they are a team with a great sense of decency which can clearly be seen by looking at theirs stats so far.  They may only have scored one goal and let in nine, but they’ve only committed 11 fouls, the lowest of the entire tournament. The next closest being Spain and Serbia both with 15.

Spain seem to have redeemed themselves somewhat with a 2-0 victory over Honduras, but they’ve still got some football to play – as have the rest of us. Two thirds of the way through the group stages now and it is beginning to get interesting.  Come on Engerlund!!!  Even if I can’t support you tomorrow, at least I can rant and rave about it on here 😦

My dad was a member of her majesty’s constabulary, so it’s with a strange sense of pride that last night witnessed Daughters passing out (not physically passing out, although I have witnessed that before as well) as a member of the latest intake of Special constables. The surrounding city streets and ‘burbs have now never been such a dangerous place to get caught messing about. She’ll rip your leg off as soon as look at you.

Me and Mrs G got all dolled up and with Son and a couple of her mates we drove off to Police HQ to watch the ceremony. Regrettably the chief constable wasn’t in attendance, but we had the next best in command who did a good job of inspecting the ranks, thanking everyone and passing out warrant cards and certificates. The official photographer took literally thousands of pictures which apparently we’ll be recieving shortly. In the meantime here’s a crowd shot of the assembled throng.


Everything went smoothly despite one of their number actually passing out, poor girl. They had been stood to attention for the best part of an hour, it was very warm in the room (the gymnasium in point of fact) and no doubt the nervous tension of the whole event combined to prove a little to much for her, and she gently slumped to the floor just at the end of the presentations. For her it was no doubt the relief of it all being over. Her new colleagues rushed to her assistance and within a few minutes she was as right as rain again. Such are the pressures on the youth of a modern police force. Let us hope she fares better during her forthcoming operations in the field.

For our part, we’re excessivly proud of Daughter’s achievement and hope that she progresses the way she would like. What a beautiful star!!

So then to the celebrations. Our especially special special had made arrangements to meet up with a few of her other friends in the pub for a glass of sherry (or whatever it is that the kids drink today) and we had not intended to cramp her style by joining her. Clearly we are blessed with such a wonderful daughter though as she insisted we came along too. The cynic in me would expect this would be to assist in paying the bill, but the father in me knows that doesn’t matter and in fact was not the case – mostly.

Turns out that a couple of lads from the WTC had played a post work game of golf and were also in the pub. So what started as a quiet drink to celebrate passing out became a Tuesday version of WTC with Mrs G (who luckily also managed not to pass out). Ale was quaffed, stories were told, socialising was partaken of. All had a good time and daughter was heartily patted on the proverbial back.

Her next mission is the rest of the week with her biological dad. I’ve no doubt this will be tough on her (long story) but she’s fully equipped to cope with anything now. Roll on Saturday when she returns from deepest darkest Wales.

I just re-read yesterday’s post and realised it was almost empty!! I’ll fix that here probably. I suspect, that was lacking in text due to my hectic schedule yesterday though that was nothing compared to what awaits me today.

Mrs G has decided a mammouth spring cleaning will go into operation today and when Mrs G says clean you can bet your bottom dollar that you could eat your dinner, lunch, breakfast, elevenses and supper off it!! I kid you not. I alluded to it yesterday – there will be the ritual sucking of dust from soft floor coverings with a heavy duty electrical appliance – vacuuming, or hoovering as I referred to it. Interesting how certain tasks become synonomous with brand names presumably because they do such a great job. ‘Selotaping’ springs to mind, along with ‘Xeroxing’ and ‘Taking a Thermos’.

What this really means is that I’ll be doing the dysoning which while litteraly accurate, doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. There will also be some pledging, or Mr Sheening, plenty of bolding, or aerialing with a dash of comforting which enevitabbly leads to phillipsing. I might also get a spot of duluxing in as well if time permits.

The problem with phillipsing, aside from it being a longer word than ironing, is that the TV is also a Phillips. More confusing still is that the crosshead screwdrivers I own are not manufactured by Phillips and yet that’s what we call them. Clearly the Philips brand name can never be used in conversation for any of their multitude of products other than the screwdriver as chaos will ensue and watching ironing is about as thrilling as watching dulux dry.

Daughter survived her CS Gas but it’s apparently not the most pleasant of experiences. Who knew? Today is her last day – which consists mostly of fighting – before her ‘pass out’ on Tuesday. A proper urban achiever, ‘..and proud we are of all of them’

Son returned from his golf full of the joys of spring. Seems he had a pretty good game. Not stunning, but passable. Today he’s off mountain biking with his mate. It’s a Track Day at Bringewood, Near Ludlow in Shropshire so he’s had a nice early start. He won’t be at all tired after that I’m sure. He has been known to break things at such events, so here’s hoping he breaks the habit instead.

Cracking bit of Tent erecting followed by BBQ and the ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ live final rounded the day off nicely. But now on to the boredom that are household chores. Happy Sunday!

{rant ON}
Without doubt, there are certain people that attempt to make life miserable. They automatically believe everything they’re told and for some reason they feel it’s their mission in life to pass this good news (or bad) on to you. Consistently it would seem that their problems aren’t actually their problems, but as far as they’re concerned, they are your problems. These individuals are clearly the desperate type who strive to hold what they believe to be the “high office” that is pencil pushing middle management.

However, what these people seem to forget, is that without us (in their opinion) lesser mortals their role would be (and is) completely pointless. I mention this because I’ve been working with one of them and it’s starting to get on my tits. Most impressively it’s the way that this person fails to understand that when I’m not working on their project I am not sat on my backside, twiddling my thumbs waiting for them to call me with the answer to a particular question. I’m actually working on other projects with people that have a better grasp of reality.
{rant OFF}

It was with this in mind that I trundled off to the WTC last night for a few sherberts to wind down and get over the whole thing. In general that worked well, but at 5am this morning I remembered why mixing Red Wine with Lager really isn’t as good an idea as it seemed at the time. A banging headache ensued which lasted until 8.30 post coffee and toast. I wasn’t heard to utter the immortal phrase “I’m never drinking again”, but I do have a better understanding of why people say it.

Meanwhile, back at the coal face this morning the wannabe ppmm was at it again, only this time with a second piece of work unrelated to the first before having completed the scope of the original one. What is wrong with these people? I fear this will only get worse if (as we’re told) there a fewer hands which will make for heavy work. But “Fear not!” said he for mighty dread had seized their troubled minds…. It’s Friday. I’ve only been back two days and it feels like a whole week already.

A glance at my diary for this weekend shows it is completely and utterly empty – oh thank the omnipresent being which may or may not exist.

I did get the hottub drained last week, but the weather prevented the rest of the tasks I had in mind for it. It’s a situation which I’ll be rectifying this weekend. If things go well we may yet get to spend the entire 48 hours in the garden sipping cold drinks and getting a suntan – now that would be nice. Say what you like about the english weather, but when summer finally breaks through there is nowhere else on earth I’d rather be.

Daughter has nearly finished her run at special school, just two more days left (Saturday and Sunday) and then on Tuesday she will be officially especially special. She’s not particularly looking forward to Saturday though has she’s going to get “CS Gassed” (That’s o-Chlorobenzylidene Malononitrile to me and you). Another great gift from the people of Wiltshire (It was developed at Porton Down in the 50’s). But then it’s all part of the training, and if you’re going to dish it out, you’ve got to be able to take it.

May your Friday be free from ppmm’s and your weekend full of sunshine and special people.