Thursday, 27 May 2010

Pain


Sitting in the park
Watching the world go past
Don't roll the ball my way
Cos I don't want to play today

I usually feel OK
But today there's too much pain
There's nothing you can do

So let me wallow in my pain

Walking down the street
Just following my feet
I don't want to stop and talk
Just follow my feet and walk

It's usually a sunny day
But today I'll just let it rain
There's nothing more to do

So let me wallow in my pain

I'm sitting in the dark
Just sitting in the dark
Got nothing to do today
Cos today there's too much pain

I usually feel OK
But today there's too much pain
There' s nothing I can do

Except wallow in my pain

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Brain ache

Trying to work something out on my computer - each time I run it I get something different - sometimes it looks like I am getting there and then a couple of minutes later WHAM! Back to square 1!

Like playing Snakes and Ladders with the ladders removed!

Anyway, other than that things are great. Not going to rant about stuff today, although the weather has turned rubbish on us again.

Number One Son has probably got worse brain ache than I have right now - he had 3 exams today, poor kid! Still, his reward is in the post. He has been messing around trying to design computer games and I have ordered him a book that will help him with this. He is hoping to make some good progress this summer once his exams are done and dusted.

My youngest son is having fun at the moment. His year group are doing a song about their school (they are about to leave and move up to High School). They wrote the song - my son claims to have written most of what was kept in the final version. They are now recording the song - my son and his best friend have been relieved of singing duties so that they can be in charge of the recording equipment! How cool is that? They have got more or less free reign with the exception that they aren't allowed to make everyone sound like the Chipmunks. Can't have everything I guess!

And my daughter? Wishes that the school year was now over. She is getting fed up with teachers who can't find her work or make her burn things in cookery class. Still, they are off school next week so hopefully she will have a good break and the teachers will find her work again!

Mrs RC? Is rebuilding the garden - extending the rabbit run, extending the sunken part and raising up another part. All this in a very small garden - but she is enjoying herself and it helps to take her mind off our recent loss so it can't be bad when it comes down to it.

Me? After enjoying Geekfest 2010 so much, I am working on Geekfest 2011 and contemplating 2012 too! Next year it will be the Battle of Barnet - a medieval battle that took place in fog with lots of confusion and mistaken identity going on.. 2012 might be a battle between Romans and Picts on Hadrian's Wall, with the possibility of an Australian joining us! Love it. I am still playing guitar, of course, and wrote a song in one of my lunch breaks. It is really morbid and depressing but it caught my mood at the time. I think it has a lot of potential and will try to find some time to record it. Please feel free to nag me on this!

Right better go! Hope you are having a great Wednesday! Hope I win the lottery tonight - there is a little house in Michigan I want to buy.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Inventions that shouldn't be...

Thought I would air my views on a couple of things...


Using cellphones to play music. Kids playing music that was designed to be played though BIG sound systems being played through a speaker with the frequency range of a tin can. No! It is WRONG!!! Please plug you earphones back in!!!!! Whatever happened to Ghetto-blasters?



Urinals....



There is something just wrong about this whole thing, IMO. "Hey, did you watch the game last night? Yeah, damn ref, he should be shot!"



Smoking...



Now the story goes that James II (back in the 1600s) hated smoking and thought it highly unhealthy. He wanted to ban it but someone persuaded him to tax it instead. Money talks, I guess...


Fireworks...



Oooooh, ahhhhhhh!!!!


But assume that fireworks hadn't yet been invented. Then I come along with a great idea - "Hey I want to sell small explosives to everyone - OK, we'll pretend that only adults can buy them but all the shops will happily sell them to 11 year olds." Would they be legal?





Nah, I don't think so either!



So, what invention/trend would you like to see uninvented?

Monday, 24 May 2010

The weekend...

Was great!

The weather was perfect, so I was in shorts and t-shirt the whole time.

Saturday saw us shopping in Canterbury, with the girls going off to the girly shops while the boys and I went to game shops (the boys bought a sci-fi game for the xBox all about aliens and huge monsters - great fun) and then went on to have lunch at my usual watering hole. Cheesy nachos, burritos etc all round.

Sunday was a busy one. Out with the dogs, then a bit of food shopping, then up to visit Hunphrey the pony to stack his hay and install a new seat for my mom to sit on and admire the view.

After that I went back home and we had a barbeque which was perfect - sun, beer, great food, etc. The only bad moment was when I dropped my steak through the grill into the coals but I fished it out and it was OK - I do like my steak well done, afterall!

After that settled it was bathtime for the dogs! Started off doing Spot, my dad's dog who started off hating it but ended up loving it. The it was Custard's turn. He just went nuts, running up and down the garden in between each stage - water - run - shampoo - run - rinse - run - rinse again - run.... He wore himself out and wasn't keen on his evening walk, so we took it slowly and only did a short circuit of a field nearby. Poor Custard, he snored away the rest of the evening.

I guess the weekend finished at 7am this morning! The last episode of Lost was screened here this morning, starting at 5am - Mrs RC switched it on and watched it in bed....

Hope you had a great weekend - and if not I hope this week makes up for it!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Friday Ramblings

So, Friday is upon us once more!

Thanks for the comments to my last post, I am glad to see that I seem to have captured at least a bit of my FIL's character.


So, a bit of catching up now!

I spent a bit of time last year working on some maps for a book about a nearby town:

http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/News/newsRelease.asp?newsPk=1659

This is the first time I have been asked for a quote for a press release...


The photos of the road works that made me late for work: I got a reply from the local newspaper! They have chased up the story and will include it next week. If I track it down I might post a scan if it is worth the effort.


Summer is really here now - outside it is blazing sunshine with just a small breeze. The last couple of days I have spent my lunch breaks sitting in the Cathedral gardens with a guitar and headphones soaking up the sun. Yesterday I wrote a song and today I worked on a guitar solo to go with it. I seem to have hit a really creative patch right now and hope to get a few more songs nailed down before it ends.


The guy that I met in Hastings has posted his own photos of the day on Facebook - they are public so you should be able to see them:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=56575&id=1021085589&l=087893402c

As you can see, he had just as much fun as I did, and we are now planning to do it again at another battlefield - Barnet where there was a battle in 1471 during the Wars of the Roses. The nurdiness continues!


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

My FIL

My father in law died yesterday.

He had prostate cancer and finally gave up the fight a few days ago. It is amazing how fast things go once you stop fighting.

I really liked him, he was a great guy, a real man of his generation. As a child during the Second World War, he collected unexploded bombs, causing a huge panic in his village when he and a few friends dragged one by its tail fin along the main street. After this the collection of bombs in his bedroom was found and taken away...

He was in the Airforce after the Second World War, serving in Germany for a time as batman (like a butler) to a high ranking officer. We have a photo of him looking very dashing in his boss's uniform . After leaving the Airforce, he became a teddyboy, and had a scar on his face from a knife fight he had outside a dance.

In later life he took to painting strange pictures, often comical, and often featuring sheep for some reason.

He enjoyed a drink, and right up to the last couple of months he regularly went out with a gang of friends to the village social club and would somehow get home again. I don't think he had any more knife fights, though. Thinking about it, his life was just one big party!

He will be missed, but leaves behind a lot of people who loved him and have great memories of time spent with him.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

20 minutes late for work

Because of this!





As you can see, someone blocked off half of this already narrow road so that no-one would crash into the box that controls the traffic lights!
No wonder the country is in such a mess! How many thousands of work-hours did this waste?
Sending these photos to the local newspaper.

Monday, 17 May 2010

A conspiracy theory

My youngest came up with this idea while we were shopping on Saturday.

When we are shopping, we inevitably split up for part of the trip. The girls go one way and the boys go another. The plan is that when one lot finishes they phone the others to find out where they are and then go and find them.

But there is one problem. The buildings that hold all of the "girly" shops are built in a way that blocks mobile phone signals.

I had always thought that this was coinsidence.

Young son thinks otherwise.

A phone call at the wrong moment totally ruins a sale, doesn't it?

And what if the girls think "Ooh, maybe we should check with dad before buying these lovely things"? No signal - no call - ah well, let's just buy them then!

It all makes terrible sense to me!

What do you think?

Is this a widespread phenomenon? Are "Victoria's Secret" and "Target" cellphone proof? Are some gadget and tool shops built in a similar way?

Is it the buildings or do the stores have jamming equipment installed?

Let me know, this could be big!

Things in the garden...

Custard is a little suspicious about the new guests in the garden.



Bubbles and Buttercup are getting a lot of attention, not to mention yummy food!








The bird table is also seeing a lot of activity too - the persistent chilly weather is bring us more visitors than usual at this time of year.











Today is my daughter's birthday - she is 14 today! We had a great day out on Saturday, and tonight we are having a bit of a party with food of her choosing. Should be good!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Well...

It is Friday...

The sun is shining...

The sky is blue...

It is Spring outside!

The weekend promises to be a good one, relatively stress free and relaxing - I can't wait! I really, really need some good down-time.

Not much more to say right now!

Wow, this is a really dull post! Must think of something to make it worthwhile!

Um.....

Nope.

Nothing.

My mind is blank.

Yep, looks like my brain is starting the weekend early.

Going to pass the rest of the afternoon d0ing a bit of photocopying that I need to get out of the way.

I can do that.

I think.

What does this button do?

What does "Error 436" mean?

Didn't want to do photocopying anyway...


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Assorted Rubbish...

The exam on Tuesday was horrible. Started off great, but my brain went on holiday half way through. Argh. I console myself with the knowledge that we get to ignore our worst module each year...

My younger daughter is 14 next week! How did that happen?

The rabbits are doing great. Buttercup, the female, has noticably gained weight. She is the one that Number One Son said was fat when we first got them... But don't worry, she is still able to jump from the floor into the upper floor of the hutch, so she can't be TOO fat.

Mrs RC has been on a diet for the last couple of weeks, getting back into things after recent disruption. Do you know what I like about Mrs RC being on a diet? Part of her approach is to cook especially nice things for the rest of us! Don't ask how that works, I have no idea, but I am certainly not going to complain. For example, last night we had chicken in chili sauce with sweet potatoes that had been mashed, mixed with cabbage, onion, bacon, cheese and probably a few more things. It was amazing. The remaining gaps in the stomach were then filled with home made white chocolate and cranberry cookies. Yum. I have heard that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach - works for me!

I am now just letting my poor brain recover from the stress and strain of the exams, painting a few toy soldiers in the evenings and re-starting my lunchtime guitar playing sessions out in the Cathedral grounds, although my fingers were a bit cold yesterday. I am sure it is colder than it should be right now - there was snow in Scotland the other day, surely far too late in the year for that!

Well I think that is about it for now - don't forget to check the previous post about my trip to Hastings!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Going to the Battle of Hastings


Hi! As you may know, last Saturday I went to the site of the Battle of Hastings (where the town of Battle now stands) to meet up with an old Canadian friend of mine.



Here is a short vblog that I made of my journey (the contrast is really out of whack on a lot of this - it was one of those very bright grey days...):


video


I didn't record any video while there - too busy chatting to my friend and his wife.

This is the view up the hill from the Norman's side of the field. At the top is Battle Abbey which is where the Saxons stood awaiting the Norman attack.

We played our game on a picnic table under a huge tree.

The armies are about to clash:



King Harold checking to see if his escape route is clear:

William encouraging his troops:


A promising start for the Saxons, as some cowardly French are driven off:


The start of the end, as the Saxon left starts to crumble:


We managed to get the same result as history, with the help of my utterly terrible dice throwing and the fact that my opponent was clearly a "cheating foreigner"! (A running joke between the 2 of us).

A great day, hope to do it again some time - with bigger armies and better dice I might win next time!

Monday, 10 May 2010

One down, one to go!

Today's exam is over - seemed to go OK, if a little shakey at first.

Not sure what to do tonight - revise for tomorrow's exam or just relax. I have got tomorrow morning set aside for last minute cramming, so relaxing a bit to avoid burning out my brain sounds very good...

The Saturday wargame event at Hastings was great fun - more on that later in the week.

Until then, be good! And if you can't be good, be careful! ;-)

Yes, I know it is an old one...

Friday, 7 May 2010

Friday!

So, the election is over. Looks like the Conservatives have the most seats but not a majority. This means that anything that the new government tries to do will have to be discussed, argued and amended as it goes rather than the ruling party just being able to force through whatever it wants. This is probably the best we could hope for, IMO. But we will see in time.

Tomorrow is the day I meet my Canadian friend at Hastings to refight the battle with toy soldiers. Look out for lots of photos some time next week!

I have got exams on Monday and Tuesday - I hate it, nothing seems to be sticking in my head. I am intending to take a book or 2 with me tomorrow so I can put the 6 hours of travelling to good use...

General note - if I turn into a real asshole when I am old I hope someone shoots me or something...

Back to reading I guess!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Election Day!


Today is the day that Britain gets to decide who will get to take the reins for the next 5 years.
If you are British, make sure you vote! There is nothing worse than having an all-powerful government that only a small fraction of the population actually voted for!
People have died for your right to vote, so damn well use it!
*****
In other news, the rabbits have settled in really well, and tend to rush to the gate of their run every time anyone goes near - and why not? Most of the time it is someone arriving with a tasty little something for them! I think Bubbles might be over-eating a bit, though, as sometimes he just lays on his back, looking a bit like a haggis with legs... I will have to get a photo of that!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

At the Movies

Finally got to see a couple of movies that I have really wanted to see for some time.

The first one was 2012, a story about the end of the world which sadly comes after the 2012 Olympic Games. If it came before it would certainly save us wasting a ton of money on this stupid event! The movie was very entertaining, a good action movie, but didn't have the depth that I had expected - I think I heard the words Mayan Calendar once, but that was about it. I still enjoyed watching it, and it was certainly better than the cheaper version which we saw a couple of weeks ago...

The second movie was Avatar. I sat down to watch this one with massive preconceptions. The director was the guy who gave us Titanic, one of my pet hate movies. Add to this the ground-breaking 3D stuff at the cinema and I had the distinct feeling that this movie is really going to suck.

But it didn't. I really enjoyed it, a great mix of action, shifting emotions, a bit of humour, some good morals, a not very well hidden history lesson, even a moment that brought a lump to my throat! I liked it so much that I think I have actually forgiven him for Titanic! Hey, most people have something dodgey in their past...


Finally, I had a great find at a boot sale/fair. Found a copy of this classic movie on DVD. Tom Hanks and Shelley Long together - what more could you ask?

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Introducing...


Bubbles and Buttercup!
We got these two yesterday, and they now live on our patio, with a run that takes up probably a third of it! My daughter loves them and has been spoiling them already, for example feeding them some of these stupidly expensive strawberries!
My younger son also loves them and was out in the garden this morning looking at them, still in his PJs.
Number One Son is not so impressed - according to him "one is fat and the other looks retarded". Can't argue there, I guess...
Custard the dog is not quite sure what to think about these invaders, half curious half frightened - they don't run away from him like cats do even if he barks at them!


Better not show him this!