Thursday, 10 December 2009

The Thought Police

This lad was hitch-hiking so we offered him a ride. Now you sort of expect that after a mile or so he would ask you to pull over and pick up his six mates, but not this one. This one had the Thought Police after him.

The first signs of paranoia became clear when he asked us where we were going, and he told us we shouldnt go there it was dangerous. He then continually changed his mind about where he wanted to go, and started to make it pretty clear that he wasnt getting out unless it was "safe". The Thought Police would of course be anywhere he could think of so no-where was really safe unless he could stop thinking.

We devised several ways of stopping him thinking but most involved his death or overdoses of harmful substances and he wasn't having any of them. People were always out to harm him or confuse him or hurt him in some way. Boy this guy was wierd.

So I drove to the most deserted spot I could think of. It was at least ten miles to the nearest civilisation. On a dark deserted bend I pulled over and said look!

Pointing at a really distant light, I said thats the M4, you'll be able to get a fast car west, and there is no-one nearby! He lept out and headed off into a field, we fled as fast as my poor vehicle could carry us.

Reflecting we realised that we were the reality in his maze, no wonder people treated him that way, you had to, to get rid of him!

Everything he said had probably been true!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Storm and other damage

There had been a storm, the worst on record and so I was summoned to make repairs to my villa in Spain.

Underneath had been flooded and the locals had mopped up and then put up the shutters and left the damp to do its worst. I guess its easy with hindsight to learn that we should have dried it out and then shut it up, but the result was mold and stripped paintwork on most walls. Its still damp now, penetrating, rising, falling, dripping, you name it, its very wet! They dont do damp proof courses in Spain, it never rains!

More damp upstairs, but this time I could paint over it with a degree of impunity, with more permanent repairs then postponed until January's painting party.

So what else went wrong, well, the shower rails fell off the wall, rusty screws. The toilet roll holder likewise. The toilet flush started leaking, and then once repaired started overflowing, and then when repaired started leaking again but in a different place.

The washing machine had taken a terminal hit during the storm from a lightning strike spike, so that had to be replaced.

Its amazing to think that one can get an engineer to diagnose the fault, chuck the machine and get a new one installed in 24 hours in a country where manyana normally prevails above all...

So what else, well the garden had taken a hit, but it was mostly leaves and branches to be taken to the recycler.

The DVD player had taken some abuse from a guest and was making a loud and seemingly terminal rattling noise when it should have been seeking the outer track list... After that it did work though...

And, someone had decided to take a light fitting apart downstairs. Dont ask,I havn't a clue why they would want to, but clearly putting it back together had defeated them.

Anyway the weather was cheerfully warm at 25 degrees apart from the day i tried out the new washing machine and had washing to dry, then it rained...

I tried fishing but that didnt really work either, I didn't catch anything worthy whilst others on the bank were hauling out tens of kilos of carp.

Oh and then I came back to England and guess what, there had been storms here and I have more storm damage!

Anyone want to swap luck?

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Dead Fish

I had a dead Koi in my pond today.

There didnt seem much wrong with it apart from it wasnt breathing, oh and not moving, well except for when I shook it....

It didnt talk much either for that matter, but then Koi don't... especially dead ones. I asked it what was wrong with it but it didnt answer.

There was no sign of any of the other fish so I couldnt very well ask them either.

I took a guess and assumed the lack of water might be a problem so I've filled up the pond again. I've even added some random medication, you know the sort that says it cures all but never does.

So my conscience is now clear and I can depart for a weeks chill out in the sun safe and in the certain knowledge that......There was a dead fish in the pond...


Thursday, 5 November 2009

Transdimensional Portals et al

Have you ever come across this sceanario, I'm sure everyone has.

Imagine you are doing something, doesnt matter what, jigsaw puzzle, sewing, making a model and you suddenly drop one of the pieces. That's it then you search everywhere but it cannot be found.

Or, the car keys are not where you left them, and nor are they anywhere in the house..

Its the transdimensional portal that snatches them.

The occupants of the parallel universe teleport items they do not have there, then they clone them, and then return them.

The trouble is that the teleporter system often gets its coordinates wrong and things land in the wrong place.

This explains why you can search for your car keys and eventually find them in a place where you definitely didn't leave them. Or never ever find the missing jigsaw puzzle piece.

There must be transdimensional conduit between someone else's office and mine. Its the only explanation why a number of items I've dropped recently have vanished completely.

Oh and there is also a temporal rift into which contact lenses, springs and other small parts disappear into for their entire lifetime, only to reappear the exact moment that you source a new one.

What a strange world...

Monday, 12 October 2009

The law according to EBD LTD Line Management


"Ah Stuart, how are you today, I see you have a deadline coming up in ten days time, well, as we speak that is being moved up and will now be close of play tomorrow.

Oh and that guy you have doing all of the design work, weve just made him redundant as he had no real work to do.

Oh and you cant sign this work off because you are not a designer anymore.

Oh and all of the remaining designers are busy for the next two weeks, and we are getting rid of them as they become freed up anyway...

Oh and we cant accept escalations as this instruction has come down from shit hit the fan level already....

Oh and we are marking you down on your performance report for missing a deadline. Sorry but we have to send them in in advance nowadays and we cant wait to see if you pull off your normal miracle............

EBD management only reads Gartner reports telling them how marvellous we 'were' for customer service and so think they have the correct operating model....

EBD shareholders think we are marvelous for shedding overheads.

Gartner says our customers adore us so it must be so..

Does anyone recognise a trend here. ???

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Fishing and the vaguaries of weather

Saturday, fishing trip, long overdue.

So you do all the proper safety stuff, look up the tides, look up the weather. BBC weather says showers, winds <10 knots. Should have known better, of course they missed the hurricane didnt they!

So travel 75 miles to Bradwell.

Amazingly Rodolfo starts on the button, and using the on board battery, pretty good since she's been sat idle since August. Piles of smoke though, till she warms up....

Right off we go, no sign of showers, in fact the sky is clear blue and no sign of wind.

Out into the estuary, so its a bit choppy but nothing alarming. zoom about a bit looking for fish with the fish finder. Find a likely spot in the middle of nowhere and drop anchor.

Right so this is fun, nearest boat is about 1 mile away.

Put out lines and sit on side of boat to have a drink. Notice that nearest boat is now < 1 mile away, but we are not going anywhere we are anchored....

Now, the thing about wind is that Wind = Waves. Waves = "A rated" theme park ride in boat.

By now the wind is getting up and the nearest boat is a few hundred yards away. Its got a bit topsy turvy so we put on the life jackets in case we fall in....

Although the fishfinder shows loads of fish, they dont seem very interested in being caught today! Nesarest boat is about 100 feet away.

How is it that in an area of water appromimating 10 sq miles the only two boats in plain sight are drifting towards each other? You'd think that the tide and winds would affect both boats the same, but clearly they dont. We are still anchored, so I guess we had better pull anchor and move.

Well while trying to do that, the other boat drifts past us at about 3 knotts, pretty slow and we have to push it away to avoid a collision. Because they were all fishing off the back they were not looking out forwards, their captain was in the cabin with a cuppa!

So one near miss above water and several hundred below water.

By now the winds have got up and its about a F5, thats white horses on the waves and quite unpleasant. Kevin has gone green so we head for cover behind the power station cooling intakes, a sort of super tanker sized structure in the middle of the estuary....

A little shelter here but after another 30 mins and still no fish we've both had enough and head in. Amazingly as we enter the harbour the wind drops to almost zero.....

Well even with the wind it could have been a summers day, not bad for mid October....

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Kevins Scooter and other mundane pastimes

Kevins scooter, well it's Roberts scooter but Kevin rides it, is now end of life in a sort of worn out crankshaft sort of way.

Noise and smoke is all you can get out of it instead of something useful like a ride up the road....

It will cost more than a 16yr old ever sees in their lives to fix. So yesterday it dawns on Kevin that he will need money to get a bus, so he's volunteering for paid housework. It's great the lawns are mowed and the house has been hoovered!

Mind you I still had to do an hours washing up and there are still no forks to be seen.

Anyway then he wants a lift to college anyway, so much for buses, obviously they are cold and dirty things to be avoided..

So I have been ferrying Kevin around all week and to and from college, my poor car is starting to wonder if I've got it in for it, all these strange new journeys, and in the middle of the night.....

I have done 200 odd miles and spent all this months petrol allowance and its still only thursday.

Well more later...