Tuesday, April 30, 2002
I had a bit of a run in this morning with a motorist who decided that I wasn't being helpful in a traffic jam. She wanted me to pull over the junction I was holding back from so that she could turn left even though it would cause me to block the junction for cars entering or coming out of the side road. I suggested she could do what others had done and pull down the inside of me although this would mean partially mounting the kerb. She didn't want to do that as she shouldn't drive on the pavement but would have liked me to cause an obstruction.
Well I'm sorry madam. As I wasn't aware of any police outriders escorting you on your journey I can only assume that your travels carried the same importance as everyone else caught up in the jam so I didn't deem it neccesary to cause a few dozen other people some frustration to alleviate yours. I also know you will be highly disappointed to discover that repeatedly sounding your horn doesn't make the traffic move aside like the parting of the Red Sea!
Some people obviously have a highly exaggerated sense of their own importance.
Monday, April 29, 2002
I had to go down to Crowborough today to pick up a couple of work related gadgets. (1 & 2). I drove down on the A22 which I've used quite a few times and had to head over to the A26 which I've used many times. The bit I hadn't driven through before was the connecting road taking me through Ashworth Forest across the South Downs. The sun was really bright and it looked absolutely brilliant. I love Switzerland and Austria for their mountains and lakes but I have to admit, there aren't many countries that can compete with the British Countryside on a good day.
We're having problems with Tescos. I know we've tended to use them more than any other supermarket but once again we have a product that we're pretty certain has other ingredients to those listed on the box. This time it's a quiche which supposedly only contains mozzarella cheese but both Linda and I think there is also cheddar in there as well, if not others. I have an intolerance to cheese, eat very little of it and tend to notice easily if cheese is contained and Linda has to avoid cheddar because it's a major trigger of her migraines. I'm getting fed up with them, so I might take it up with Trading Standards as their Head Office has a standard of customer service that leaves you feeling worse than when you started.
Previous infringements have mainly been items marked as suitable for vegetarians that contained animal products, which if Linda ate wouldn't be the end of the world but with the latest thing it affects both our health. We're lucky though, at worst we feel bad for a few hours but if we had a real problem with a foodstuff and it turned up unmarked in the ingredients i.e. peanuts, then it could be a severe problem. We're at a point where we already don't buy anything without reading all the ingredients, regardless of any symbols, but we're at the point with them that we can't trust the ingredient list so it's going to be akward, particularly for Linda, to keep buying stuff from them.
Will they bother about losing another customer? No, I shouldn't think so, their attitude is always that they are right and the customer is wrong. Eventually that attitude is going to cost them big time. I don't care if it causes them major problems but I hope it isn't going to take a food induced death to get them to tidy up their act.
Sunday, April 28, 2002
As regular readers will know Kev and I are trying to keep the new company quiet whilst we're both still working for the other lot. Admittedly we're not exactly being as secretive as we could be, I guess posting details on the web is a fairly conspicuous way of announcing it to the world, but by and large we're trying.
Things aren't quite going to plan on that front although I think we're still o.k. In the last week I've nearly knocked one of my senior managers off his bike whilst in Richmond Park, luckily I don't think he recognised me, and then on Friday when we went to Warrington, we arrive at our suppliers to discover EDG have a business centre 50 yards away. Of all the industrial parks in all the country we end up visiting that one. Luckily we're not known up country so no-one should have spotted us.
Oh, and the meeting went well but I won't bother you with the details.
Saturday, April 27, 2002
What is going on with Blogger?!?! I make a post and nothing happens.
Friday, April 26, 2002
Well, thanks to Blogger for managing to delay the previous post for 24 hours rendering it nonsensical. O.K. then, more nonsensical than normal.
Day out in the North for Kev and I tomorrow, or today as it now is. We're off to see a supplier up in Warrington. It's an early start so I was going to have an early night but just before we retired Linda switched the kitchen light on and blew the lighting fuse. Not for us the convenience of push-button circuit breakers, it was out with the 5amp wire and ceramic fuse holder. Anyway, we are now illuminated once again.
The company we are seeing started about 15 years ago in the way that we are now. They are a major success, and apart from trying to get them as a supplier we are also interested in the way they started and in pumping them for advice. One of the big things we've noticed with our company is how helpful everyone is and the free advice that people give. The only downside is that the weather looks awful for tomorrow, still what do you expect when you get that close to Manchester!
Thursday, April 25, 2002
I happened across something to do with Great Ormond Street Hospital today. It's a hospital I know well as I spent quite a few weeks there over a number of years when I was very young. Their slogan is "The Child, first and always". I'm sure it has always been that, but it is interpreted in a totally different way nowadays than 40 years ago when I was there.
My mum used to travel up to Central London every morning for visiting time, which I think was half an hour but may have been a whole hour! She would then go and sit in the park for 5 hours before coming back for afternoon visiting. And that was it. The nurses I'm sure were as caring as they could be but it was very much a case of being in hospital to get better and that was best left to the medical profession to achieve. Nowadays of course, she would have been able to stay overnight in special rooms provided for that purpose and spend every waking minute with me.
I am incredibly grateful, and always will be, to Great Ormond Street but I wish it had been now and not then.
Actually I still have a "hang-up" from my time there. I used to get very thirsty and have always drunk large amounts of water each day but they would restrict the amount I could have. My mum says she'd often come in to the ward and find me crying because they wouldn't let me have any more for a time and she also says I was bad at night because the nurses weren't allowed to let me drink anything near bed time. To this day I cannot go to bed unless I take a glass of water with me. On the very rare occasions I have had to, I don't sleep properly and usually wake up every few minutes until I can get some.
Do you have any bedtime rituals which stop you going to sleep if not performed? Don't drag me into your private sex hell though!
Wednesday, April 24, 2002
O.K. guys. Not getting your fair share of the lovely laydees? Then head over to Lothario Magazine and pick up all the tips you could ever want.
Is it just me or does there seem to be an air of disappointment in the media that the body in the Thames has not turned out to be the story they were after. I'm sure whichever paper it was wouldn't have bothered sending a photographer to take pictures of a body bag if they'd have known the outcome.
Then again, my dislike of the press is well known so I'm hardly likely to think they'll act responsibly.
Question for you knowledgeable lot out there. Since I upgraded to IE5 I can't access the pages in my history file when I'm offline. Even saving something as "availabe offline" in the favourites menu only keeps it accessable until the next time the computer's switched off. I'm sure I could do this with IE4. Have I got to change a setting or is this one of Microsofts fabled "improvements"
Tuesday, April 23, 2002
The Monday Mission, rather late and just plain pinched off of Nicks site.
1. Ever had a love that you still think of as "the one that got away?" What's the story there?
Sort of. I used to play squash in a work league and there was a girl who was in my league and the wife of someone in another department. I fancied her like mad but never had the guts to ask her out. I've also never had the neccesary "radar" to tell when I'm getting signals. I've often wondered whether I was missing something obvious.
2. What was the last book that you finished reading cover-to-cover?
It was a Dick Francis novel whose name escapes me.
3. Did you ever get up and walk out of a movie? Which one and why?
Yes, the second time I saw The Exorcist. I'd watched it the first time with no problem but the second time I couldn't watch more than about half an hour.
4.If we were to go out dancing, what song would you want me to ask the DJ to play as I slipped him a $20?
Castles In The Sky - Ian van Dahl, but I want to be in Heaven & Hell in Blackpool to listen to it.
5. What was the coolest toy you had when you were a kid?
Hmmm. Possibly a Johnny Seven. It was a giant machine gun that fired plastic bullets and grenades. I also had "The Batmobile" and The Saints" cars, both of which are now worth a fortune boxed and in mint condition.
6. When was the last time you felt lonely?
A few years back when I went through a period of depression.
7. Do you have any minor anal-retentive character traits?
Possibly, although I am more of the "anoraky" persuasion than the analy-retentive.
BONUS: Can't you see what I mean ?
Only when I look through the round window.
Two things that never fail to amaze me, and I'm sorry, but the majority of times it women that do it, although not exclusively.
1) In supermarkets, people queue up to load their goods on the belt, then look around at the views/magazine covers/what others have bought etc., your shopping goes through and then, when it's all been put through and you're told how much it will cost, then and only then do you start to look for some way to pay for it. Why? Apart from the first time you ever go shopping it shouldn't be coming as a shock that you have to pay for it.
2) In car parks there is a space and you decide to park in forwards. What's the point of that? It normally ends up being the equivalent of a 23 point turn. All the tight manouverability of the vehicle is at the back end in reversing whilst the front of the car has the wider sweep. "Oh", I hear you cry, "but I don't like reversing". Well here comes the shock, if you go in forwards you will have to reverse to get out, you can't avoid reversing, and it's harder to reverse out of a space than to go out forwards because of the manouverability again.
Please send flames to the normal comments section!
Monday, April 22, 2002
I have an 0800 number which I use for work. Actually that's not quite true. I'm supposed to be using it for work but I've never really promoted it so it's mainly used for my Mum to ring me so it doesn't cost her anything. However, in the last few days I've been getting a lot of strange travel related calls, one for a holiday brochure, three for booking taxis, and one who was looking for someone to house sit whilst they were away.
I'll need to ring the supply company because either they've issued the number twice or it might just be a similar number that people are misdialling. Whichever it is, I think I'll look at it as the telephonic equivalent of strange google searches that lead to your site.
I compile and distribute a newsletter to my old schoolfriends who have come together through Friends Reunited. It went out 48 hours ago and so far I have one reply mentioning that I had forgotten to actually attach the newsletter to the e-mail. Now that I've sent it out I've had another mail from a friend to tell me he lives in a totally different continent to where I have listed him.
I think the stress of the last few weeks is getting to me! :)
Sunday, April 21, 2002
I'd say they got off lightly. At my school the favourite punishment essay was 500 words on "the inside of a ping pong ball"!
Saturday, April 20, 2002
One of the great pleasures of my life is driving. There's not many people in London who would probably say that with the amount of traffic we have to put up with, but it is probably the most relaxing thing I ever do. I've just scared myself by realising I've been driving for over a quarter of a century but there are somedays when it is still as much a thrill as the day I passed my test.
I used to drive for a living. I had my own courier business for a few years, although that's rather overselling it as it was really me and a car, sometimes a van, and very occasionally a seven and a half ton lorry, the largest thing you can drive on a private licence. At it's height I was driving just over 100,000 miles a year. The longest I drove in one day was 736 miles. It was a long day! From the time I passed my test until now I've covered enough mileage to drive to and from the moon about twice, around 900,000 miles.
When I think about what I've achieved in my life I think the driving is one of the things I'm most proud of, although I doubt anyone else would count it as an achievement.. People tell me I'm a good driver, and I certainly try to be, but I'm not as good as I was when I was driving a great deal. The car would become a part of me and everything would happen seamlessly, as though the car and myself were one entity. It's hard to describe, making me seem like some sort of cyborg. It's not that it has been without incidents. On three consecutive days I locked wing mirrors with someone coming in the opposite direction, had a tyre burst on the motorway pushing me into the central reservation, (luckily I was only doing about 50 at the time!), and then finally turned a trailer over on the M4 writing off 60 limited edition ceramics of Nipper, the HMV dog.
Today was just one of those days when it was at it's most pleasurable, it was sunny, I had an open road in front of me and some dance music on the stereo and it was just brilliant. I haven't felt as calm as that for what seems like months.
Friday, April 19, 2002
Why is it impossible for t.v. channels to start their programmes on time? I bet they used to. Not even the news seems to hit the button these days. The BBC manage to aways have time to advertise the next few programmes coming up. They're always telling us about Eastenders and the fact that "everyones talking about it". Well if they'd stop bloody talking and concentrate, then they might start the next programme at the published time.
Ooh, I'm in that sort of a mood today.
This weeks F5
1. What's your favorite TV show and why?
My all time favourite is M.A.S.H. The mixture of humour and reality in the situation was well balanced. Also selected episodes of Frasier, particularly Moondance. My favourite of recent times is Coupling on the BBC. There's very few comedies that Linda and I both find hilarious, but this is one of them and if you liked the Moondance episode of Frasier then try to watch Couplings The Girl With Two Breasts.
2. Who is your favorite television star?
I'm sorry, it's still Lowri Turner. [ Note to self :Seek psychiatric help at earliest possibility! ]
3. What was your favorite TV show as a child?
The Woodentops. Who could resist the biggest spotty dog you ever did see!
4. What show do you think should have been cancelled by now?
All the daytime talk shows, yes, even Lowri, and probably the "realistic" soaps as well. With lives as stressful as we have now why does anyone need more death, violence, and marital strife in Eastenders and Brookside.
5. What new show do you hope escapes the axe this season?
I've watched so little new television for the last few months that I'm not sure what's been on but I did enjoy the recent programme with Sally Phillips in, whose title I can't remember, but will edit when I do.
Thursday, April 18, 2002
Luxury! I've just spent the last hour catching up on other peoples blogs for the first time in days. I now have the chance to make a post of my own and find I have absolutely nothing to say that will be of interest to anyone. Oh well, tomorrow's another day and perhaps inspiration will come-a-visiting overnight. That and The Friday 5.
Tuesday, April 16, 2002
No, no, no, no, no, no!
Whilst I was out with Kev today we parked in Weybridge and came back to find someone had managed to take the front number plate and casing away from the bumper with part of their bodywork. Luckily it only needs the new casing, and we were going to put the new plates on anyway, but it costs £71.00. The financial perils of owning a gorgeous car!
Monday, April 15, 2002
Sorry, I'm being noticeable by my absence yet again. Everything is just too manic at the moment. We've been on a bit of a high obviously with setting up the new company but had a serious five minutes today when we realised we had taken on our first employee and now we were responsible for that persons livelihood. Eeeeeekkk!
Sunday, April 14, 2002
You know when you're busy because not only do you not get a chance to do the Friday Five you don't even realise it exists!
Here's this weeks somewhat belatedly.
1. What is your favorite restaurant and why
I guess I don't have one now. It used to be one called Noughts & Crosses in Ealing. It was exceptionally good value for the standard of food it served, catered for both carnivores and vegetarians with a sort of French/Far Eastern fusion. I guess my favourite of the moment is the one at a casino I belong to because the standard of food is excellent. If only I could win enough on the tables to finance eating there more often.
2. What fast food restaurant are you partial to?
Pizza Hut and good Northern Fish & Chips, cooked in solid fat, boned and skinned, not the slimy oil cooked stuff with the odd bone and a layer of scales still attached that you get down here in the south.
3. What are your standards and rules for tipping?
A good job gets 12.5%-15%, average/competent gets 10%, bloody useless gets bloody nothing.
4. Do you usually order an appetizer and/or dessert?
Both if it's a posh meal, dessert if it's a normal restaurant.
5. What do you usually order to drink at a restaurant?
Wine in a restaurant, lager with pub food, diet coke with fast food.
Friday, April 12, 2002
It's a day at the seaside for me today.
Kev & I are off to Eastbourne as the people we want to use for our printing are there, as is his sister who is going to be doing all our admin. I'm sure however we'll find time for a paddle and a ice cream.
Wednesday, April 10, 2002
I was reading a bit in this weeks Radio Times about the Queen Mother and her effect on broadcasting through her life. One of the interesting bits was that the B.B.C. wanted to broadcast her wedding in 1923 on the radio. They had no objections and neither did The Archbishop of Canterbury, but the Chapter of Westminster Abbey did object. They felt that disrespectful men listening to the broadcast, some of them in public houses, might listen to the sacred event without removing their hats!!!!! Shock, horror.
Times have changed and I don't think anyone wants to go back to the social restrictions of those days, but perhaps a bit more respect than there seems to be around now wouldn't go amiss. The idea of personal freedom is a good one, but what doesn't seem to have been pointed out, is that with that freedom comes personal responsibility. Personal freedom seems to have been interpreted as "do whatever you want and sod the consequences, particularly if the consequences don't effect you".
So now we have;
plenty of litter - why shouldn't you just drop stuff in the street, it's no good to anyone when it's finished.
road rage - how dare anyone pull out in front of me and take my space on the road.
unruly kids - I'm bored, buy me something, I want it, bored with that now.
I could go on, but then I'm probably just showing my age again.
Tuesday, April 09, 2002
How do you eat your cereal?
Linda likes hers wet. What she actually does is pour a bowl of milk and then sprinkles a few cornflakes in and that does her. My brother was the same when we were growing up. We used to have porridge and his was so milky that gruel started to look substantial.
I am of course, of the other persuasion. My idea of a wet cereal is to pour it into the bowl and open the fridge door to show it the milk carton. I really do have the minimum I can get away with. When I'm on the diet there is actually too little milk to register.
So, are you wet or dry?
I was driving about in Kevs car today which has a foot operated handbrake which you can always hear running over the ratchets when you apply it. It reminded me of a friend from ages ago. He used to go spare if anyone applied a handbrake without pressing the button on the end of the arm as he considered it the height of laziness to just pull the arm. I think he was also convinced that if you did it enough the cogs would all wear out. Then again, for all I know about cars he was probably right.
At last, a personality test that I can fit into, but I was hoping to be Fozzie Bear or Dr Bob. (Via Bingobowden).
Sunday, April 07, 2002
That was a bit of a different weekend. Worked quickly yesterday morning and then went to a school reunion which turned into a 7 hour drinking session! Remarkably hangover free today, which I have no right to be, but I've been getting paperwork ready for the big presentation on Tuesday evening until just now.
Now I'm going to spend half an hour reading through other peoples sites to see what everyone else has been up to, then bed.
Friday, April 05, 2002
I was going to do The Friday Five today but I couldn't get enthused by the questions. I must be in that sort of a mood today.
I'm getting fed up with Emode running quizzes/personality tests that, when you get to the end of them, don't really give you a proper result but do offer you the chance to send for a detailed report costing x amount. If they want to charge for this type of service they need to get their quizzes worked out in much more depth. You can't be a "fun" site and expect to be taken seriously.
When I was no' but a lad I'd spend many a happy hour sat with my fellow Scouts engaged in the happy pursuit of whittling. Many's the hour we would sit round the old camp fire with an old lump of wood and our sheath knives beavering away to produce a scale model of the Taj Mahal or a lifesize model of Twiggy, (no pun intended).
Of course, this is absolute rubbish. Not about that fact that whittling was involved, nor perhaps on the skill and artistry of my fellow whittlers, but the fact that I could ever hope to produce anything. It's a well known fact amongst my circle of acquaintances that I have the manual dexterity of a, of a...well, insert whatever thing you'd like as there is surely nothing on earth as clumsy as I when it comes to manual skills. Quite honestly, any attempt I made was an afront to the tree that had borne the piece of wood that was placed in my hands.
It has always been the same. Even now I have been banned from ever attempting D.I.Y. following the infamous "cupboard incident", whereby my proudly placed kitchen cupboard fell from the wall onto Lindas arm reqiring a visit to hospital. She wasn't badly hurt, just the odd bit of bruising, but there was many a look in my direction by the nursing staff who were of the opinion that "cupboard fell off wall" was a euphemism for, "boyfriend has beaten me up". From that point on I have not been allowed to weald any object that could be construed as a tool.
And that in a nutshell is why I'm a salesman and not an installer.
Wednesday, April 03, 2002
The New Company
Name : (Please read this backwards) B kseD. The "B kseD" part being my initials, DES, and Kevs, KB. The "Solutions" bit is because we see ourselves as a problem solving company. Hard to explain at the moment but we'd better work out how to explain it sooner rather than later otherwise our marketing literature is going to be a bit confusing.
What do we do : Initially we are sticking to what we know best which is the supplying and installation of replacement windows/doors, conservatories, etc.... This isn't however where we want to end up and we are quite open to going off in any direction if we have an interest and there's money to be made. Somebody has already asked us to do them a new kitchen but we are not going to retrict ourselves solely to home improvements. There is also an idea we have at the moment which I can't talk about which is allied to the door/window side of things but is a totally new idea and I don't want anyone nicking it just yet.
Website : Well there will be. We now own www.ksedb.co.uk but it has only just registered and the only thing that shows is an advert for our hosting company. Hopefully we'll start to have something there in around a months time but initially the site isn't as important to us as the branded e-mail facilities that we get.
Likely to be a success? : We wouldn't be doing it if we didn't think it would be, but we've been surprised at how much work we've been offered in the last two weeks that we've started to talk to people. The idea is, however, that we'll try to build up the company slowly, making sure we don't overstretch ourselves or end up building debts. If we stick to our plans we should end up with a stable, well run, and profitable company.
Anything else? : Yep. I'm not going to turn this site into another strand of advertising for the company. I'll probably refer to B kseD from time to time but only in the same way as I might mention any other part of my life. I hate the idea of commercial/promotional weblogs and I'm certainly not planning to run one. One last thing, if you ever have any questions you want answered about replacement windows or conservatories drop me an e-mail and I'll answer them for you, and without trying to sell you anything! :)
Tuesday, April 02, 2002
I'd like to say that I've had a relaxing Easter but I'm afraid it's not the case. In the home improvements industry Easter weekend is just the same as any other, busy. It's been worth it because for the first time in ages, whilst I've been looking after the team, we have actually had a really good result. The problem is it doesn't stop here. In a weeks time I have to prepare a quotation and all the backing material for a meeting with a prestigious housing development at Putney Heath. If it comes off it's worth a great deal of money, but it requires a great deal of front end time spent on it. Posts might be a bit sparse, not because I won't be around as I'll try to keep up with reading peoples sites, but my head will be filled with the fine detail of transom and mullion sizes and wood dergredation statistics, and believe me, you really don't want me to share that with you!