Thursday, August 30, 2007

And the holidays come to an end...

Yes, another moderatley alcohol influenced post. I seem to be producing more of those these days.

Over the past week, my parents have been away in dorset, nearly 300 miles from me, on holiday.
While I appreciate that to you American people, 300 miles is not a lot, if you look on the map, here, it's well over 3/5 of the journey across England. In short, to me, and everyone else in England, it's a looooooong way!

So what have I spent most of my time doing?

Well, sitting about mostly. I've been keeping control of the house, taking the opportunity to work on some old fan fiction of mine, and generally enjoying the peace and quiet. At least for the first few days. I spose for a lad used to seeing his family every day, five days alone at home does begin to affect my mood.

I've also made a musical discovery, in the form of a new artist;

"Era", the brainchild of a certain French guy by the name of Eric Levi, has jumped out at me over the past few days, and the more of his stuff I listen to, the more it takes me.

How to describe it... A cross between techno music, perhaps a cross between electronica, and classical/hymn music. In its time, Era has incorporated everything from techno music to gregorian chant into itself, lending its music a dramatic, modern, but yet, almost religious aspect.

I spose the only way I can really do justice to the music is with some demonstrations. First, we have the video for the first Era tune I came across, "The Mass". Based on Carmina Burana's "O Fortuna", this music starts with an ominous classical/vocal introduction, before a techno beat comes in, transforming the tune into something different. Once that's done, a surprisingly tender and gentle chorus presents itself, something that seems almost out of place in a tune like this...
It's not there long, but it's back a couple of times before the video ends, resulting in a rather dramatic combination of New and Old (don't I sound pretentious :( - just check the video out!)

I suppose, it's only fitting that I present the next in line, "Divano" . This is an extremely touching video, much mellower and softer, much less dramatic, but much warmer. You'll notice, that the chorus for this video, almost matches the chorus for "The Mass". I wonder what's going on there... A very touching video regardless...

And then you have "Ameno". This video is perhaps the most dramatic so far, There's nothing I can really say, the video is very powerful and very dramatic, the techno intro to the music comes almost as a surprise - watch it, is all I can say... [edit - the drums on this one sound a bit like M people :p - the album version is a lot better, much more dramatic :)]

Finally, I want to introduce you to the fourth Era tune song that jumped out at me.
The video, in this one, is not actually related to the song at all. Both come from seperate artists.
Nevertheless, this is an opportunity for you to listen to "Impera", a song that in Era's own fashion, is incredibly dramatic and emotional.

I suppose the thing with dramatic and emotional music is that every person takes away something different from them. Something that someone might not even notice, might bring a tear or two to someone else's eye.

Anyway, I thought it best that I give you all the opportunity to experience this music, perhaps you will decide that you like it. Perhaps not, but at least the opportunity is there.

I spose finally, I'd like to introduce you to the video that brought Era to my attention in the first place. A depiction of various imperial titans, by various artists. The backing track was the thing that jumped out at me, but I figured that if it were placed in context, at least someone might be able to get an idea of why it caught my attention.

Laters all :).

Talk soon :).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Teeth almost done!

WARNING: The following entry concerns a surgical procedure carried out upon myself by a dentist, and goes into graphic detail to describe my experiences during said procedure. If you have a weak stomach, or are averse to long posts, please do not read on, as you will not like what follows. If you don't mind long posts, and find pain and suffering amusing, or if you're just plain curious, read on! This is the second post in a saga of suffering at the hands of trained torturers - for reference, I suggest you refer to the second part of the first post, which describes the instruments used herein - you can find it here.

Yes I woke up at 10am today.
Then again at 11.
Then 12, 12:30, 1:30 and finally I got out of bed at 2pm. I had to dig out the dentist's number because I suspected I had an appointment today, though between you and me, I halfheartedly hoped I'd missed it. I spoke to my family about it though and apparently the dentists had in fact already phoned up yesterday to remind me that I did in fact have a 3:30 appointment.

So off we went, leaving my sister and nephew in the park for a bit, I ran along to the dentists, and proceeded to pace the waiting room for 15 minutes, nervously waiting to be called - I hate going to the dentists, always have...

Now - time for a dull little bit of background. One day at swimming, I noticed something didn't feel right, so I had a close look in the mirror to discover that the second molar on my lower left side had suddenly lost a chunk. A lump of tooth about 3mmx3mm had suddenly and randomly broken off that tooth. Well that was a few months ago and over the months, that tooth has been eroded more by drinks, had more tiny bits breaking off, and had been scraped away by brushing - the end result is a second molar, with a quarter of the crown broken off, and a full third of the center of the tooth missing - you could stick your finger in there, it was that bad.

I spoke to my dentist who said that she might be able to fill it, or that it might have to come out. Of course, after the last time I went to the dentists (see below somewhere), I really wasn't keen to have another tooth smashed into little bitsies and dragged out sideways, so it was with profound relief on my part, when I sat down in the chair, that she explained that "we're going to do a couple of fillings today".

Anyway, out come the plastic protectors of the witnesses of suffering again (Yes folks, they're back!!!), and onto my head they go. Of course, they'd steamed up to the point that they went opaque within a couple of seconds (I am hot - literally!), but not before I'd had the blood collecting bib of pain tied around my neck!
Out come the spiky needle of death, carrying its deadly cargo of befuddling poison of sleepyness!
Bang bang, two shots, one lower, one upper, and not a very happy me in sight.
I sit up, rinse the extra out, taking special care not to spit everywhere this time, and then BEFORE the stuff has taken effect, she lowers the seat again!
"What?!" I think, "she's not going to start before the anasthetic is she!?"

Of course, she wanders off and does a couple of things, before returning with everyone's favourite tool, The Buzzing Mechanical Hornet's Sting of Death! By this time, the anasthetic's taken hold, as she happily drills into my upper teeth, I think "hey this's not too bad, I can hardly feel anything. This's not bad at all". I sit there daydreaming, as I realise with a shock that I'm almost HAPPY to be at the dentists! But then out from nowhere, back from the deepest darkest recesses of my nightmares, she comes out with another tool. One that I've known about for years, one that gave me nightmares, I spose, one that got me into this mess...

Yes folks, see the long handle, the tiny pointed tip on the end, you could almost be forgiven for thinking this is only another dentist's drill. But oh no, it's not - see the rounded spherical tip, see the hardened burrs corkscrewing around it, this is the Corkscrewing Burr of Grindy Death!

She sticks it in my mouth, I feel it disappear into one of my teeth, and next thing, my entire skull starts vibrating, as this bloody horrible tungsten carbide thing grinds and grinds inside my tooth with a horrible GRAWAWAWAWAWAWAW noise that I more feel than hear. Damn I hate that thing, it really is the most hated dentists tool imaginable. I reflect on how much I hate it as my mouth fills with the horrible taste of powdered tooth...

Anyway, this goes on for about 20 minutes, she's alternatley drilling my teeth and then taking the CBoGD to them, and I'm really not enjoying myself. Meanwhile, her colleague is helpfully standing by with the Life Sucking Cleanser of Fragments, and the dentist comes out with another device, something that looks like a blunt hypo, sticks it in my mouth and does something, I don't know what, maybe blasts cold water at my tooth, or maybe cold air? not sure.
In any case, the Springy Punch of Nothing Much, as it is now known, is okay with me as it doesn't actually seem to do anything much...

Dentist then gets a strange square thing with a screw on one end, as she takes her hands out of my mouth I manage to mumble "that looks scary" - "it isn't", she says, "it's just a collar to cover the hole I've made in your tooth" - oh okay, let's call it er, the Non Scary Collar of Covering.
She eventually manages to get it round my tooth and tightens it up, to the point where I'm worried my tooth is going to implode.

Anyway, eventually the instruments of torture are downed, and I hear this horrific grating noise from my left - fortunatley, it turns out to be some kind of filling-making machine, as the helper helpfully helps by helping with passing another instrument, much like the Springy Punch of Nothing Much, but presumably filled with amalgam filling. She squirts a load of filling in, using the Squirty Springy Filling Squirter, scrapes off the excess, gets me to bite down on it to compact it in the hole, and that's us pretty much done...

So, now at 5:53 PM, almost 2 hours after the befuddling poison of sleepyness went in, I've still got a numb left-side of my mouth, but, I found to my amazement that the tooth I was worried she was going to have to extract, is in fact one of the teeth that she filled! Way to go, she saved my tooth!!

So now I'm in a good mood, eating the most bloody atrocious chips from "Les'Al's Plaice", reflecting on the fact that my so called doomed tooth is saved, and trying to get the god awful taste of amalgam filling out of my mouth...

PART TWO - ADVANCED PRACTICAL DENTISTRY!!!

As with the first instalment of this fascinating compendium, we cover the various instruments of dental torture used by our highly experienced medical professionals. In this section, we detail the newer instruments that have not previously been described - so let's start!:



2:1 - INSTRUMENTS OF SUFFERING
  • The Corkscrewing Burr of Grindy Death! - This is probably the most evil instrument of torture. Much like a dentist's drill, this is actually used to file lumps off patient's teeth. As a bonus, it causes extreme discomfort by filling the patient's mouth with tooth-dust.
  • Springy Punch of Nothing Much! - I don't know what this does. It might squirt air or maybe water into a tooth cavity, then again, it might not.
  • Non Scary Collar of Covering. - This collar goes round a patient's tooth. Presumably to cover holes made in the tooth by other torture methods. It is also useful for tightening around someone's tooth until they fear the tooth will implode, much like thumbscrews, but with teeth instead.
  • Filling Making Machine - This is a machine that makes filling. It doesn't come into contact with the patient. Harmless and therefore uninteresting.
  • Squirty Springy Filling Squirter! - This squirts liquid filling into tooth cavities. It doesn't even cause any pain at all, unless the dentist jabs the patient in the eye with it.
Anyway, it's been emotional.
See you soon!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Storms, Protests, and Burgers...

Hokey then... First of all, Sorry! I've been neglecting this place a bit and a few things of note have happened - I don't doubt that I won't be able to do justice to all of them, because while I'm not on a time limit, My memories are a week or two old...

So first, let me start about what's going on in the wider world first. Hurricane Dean has hit Jamaica. Now we tend to hear of a few hurricanes in "those parts" (I couldn't say where Jamaica is without looking on a map - is it off the south coast of the US? [Checks map] Ah yes it is, broadly speaking), but this one looks like it's gonna be another biggie. People are hightailing it out of there as fast as possible, the ones that can't or won't are buying up all the supplies, food, water, condoms, etc that they can and hunkering down. Let's hope that they come out of the hurricane without too many problems, and for hell's sake, let's hope the hurricane dissipates before it reaches the US. Last thing Louisiana needs is another hurricane on their doorstep.

What else has been going on in the news? Oh yes. the latest round of these lunatic anti-climate-change protests is taking place as we speak at Heathrow Airport in London. Yep folks, this decade's political cash cow is climate change, and this year's hot potato is the so-called climate change protests. So now we have hundreds, perhaps thousands - I don't know, and don't care - of so called anti climate change protesters, anti aviation protesters and anti airport expansion protesters, driving, catching the train, and yes, FLYING, into Heathrow with the intention of causing as much havoc and drawing as much attention to their own blinkered causes as possible.
Now with me, protesters lack credibility in general. Why? Because I have only ever seen two informed, organised and objective protests in my life. Both of these were organised by members of the Armed Forces, who knew what they were talking about.
Not for the public, is the type of informed protest that can actually make a difference, no. I cite as one example, a strange woman who said that instead of flying to Greece to adopt two dogs, she would Drive instead, to save the environment.

Let me quote some facts and figures for you [references given]...
For this woman to drive to greece, she would produce 1254 Kilograms of Carbon Dioxide.
If she flew there, during the course of her journey, she would produce 902 Kilos.
This does not take into account the CO2 produced by either a ferry or the Channel Tunnel Train.

That is why I don't do protests. Because the people who want to protest about the construction of a third runway at Heathrow, are the people that were damned stupid enough to buy houses next to the busiest airport in Europe in the first place! Despite massively high house prices, despite high congestion, [road generated] pollution and high crime, these people buy houses next to the biggest airport hub in Western Europe, and are then stupid, absolutely bloody STUPID enough to complain about the noise! It makes me bloody angry!

And finally, on this note, you have the "anti aviation protesters", which I think is a politically correct way of saying "F***ing idiots!"
Okay, fine. We'll stop air travel, air freight, we'll stop it. Just like that.
Now what? You've no overseas transport, no foreign goods, no holidays, no long distance emigration, no military deployments/reinforcements, no scientific/space exploration missions - that's right, the Shuttle's an aircraft too... WHAT do you possibly hope to accomplish, other than making yourselves look absolute bloody total idiots?

I'd like to thank our police for keeping these idiots under control. Just as surely as any religious fanatic threatens our way of life with their radical proposals, these environmental idiots threaten industry, commerce, transport and trade with their bleeding heart crap. Perhaps these idiots should go to China - the major source of industrial pollution, and see how long the Government tolerates their protests there...

Anyway, now that I've got that out of my system...

My grenades arrived in the end, as did the rest of my ammo collection, as did, in fact, my copy of Silent Hunter 4. Seems the seller had enough of arsing about with the payment, which I'm certain I have now made twice, and has sent me the game regardless of payment. So what do I think to it after all this time? It's great. Silent Hunter 4 is a fantastic game, with great graphics, and is both incredibly addictive and incredibly involved. It's hard to give a more in depth review at 4:45 in the morning...

Things are mediocre at work, nothing out of the ordinary there, definitley nothing worth mentioning. The Army continues to drag its heels, which is fine, as I continue to drag mine. Don't get me wrong, I'm still getting fit and still preparing. On the home side of things, I was taken along recently for a nice meal at a place I've only ever set foot in once before - TGI Friday's.

I've gotta say I had a fantastic meal, first time I've eaten properly in ages. Managed to crab some nice nachos, totally covered in cheese, with plenty of soured cream, guacamole etc...

Then I had a huge burger complete with bacon and extra cheese - fantastic.
To accompany both, were two drinks, one, a massive huge milkshake - a real one, made with ice cream, and a second drink, a weird thing called a "Gremlin". This apparently had raspberry liquor in the bottom, melon liquor above that, citrus juice above that, and black vodka, whatever that is, above that. The drink was pretty cool, and pretty strong as well.

I then went and bought myself a new computer mouse (see my 3D blog), and have spent the rest of the week doing pretty much not much. Oh yeah, apart from fixing "Razor". Razor is my pet name for a 1/30 AD-64D Apache, that has been sitting on my desk since I decided to join the Army. It's kinda served as a symbol of what I wanna do with my life, serves as a reminder that there's more to life than working a call center job all day. I broke it by accident ages ago, and it's great to see it on my desk in once piece again, sure it's just a model but on a symbolic level, I'm sure she represents more than that.

I've sorted out all my ammo collection, there's a lot of it, some 4.6Kg. But hey, it brightens up a corner of my room, and reminds me of what I'm sposed to be doing with my life :).

See you all soon - check out the pics...


Monday, August 13, 2007

Another beautiful sunrise...

Yes. I am drunk. Not the best state of mind in which to write a blog, but one to which I am fast becoming accustomed. No - it doesn't happen that often, don't worry.
So what have I spent tonight doing? Is that a sensible question?

I've spent today doing nothing. I slept and I slept I won the grenades on Ebay like I said I did, and I spectacularly managed to achieve sod all from that point onwards...

I woke up later and started drinking.
I made peace with a couple of people on ARRSE. Perhaps, at least, I can reflect on the fact that my so called internet "enemies" are not enemies any more. So I've laid a couple of cyber-grudges to rest...

which makes me feel good. I've had a few chats with other internet mates, and the fundamental fact is that while I INITIALLY appear as an annoying big gobber internet charver boy, I soon *violins play* reveal myself to be more emotionally sensitive and considerate than ever before...

...A friend panicked me yesterday. He showed me an article that showed that our new unelected prime minister, Gordon Brown planned to remove all British forces from Iraq. I have seen no other news to support this but this article scared me enough

Let me go on record as saying that a sudden and unequivocal withdrawal of soldiers will destroy not only the trust we fought so hard to gain with the Iraqis, but it will destroy our relationship with America, also.

How many soldiers die in Iraq? How many soldiers die in Afghanistan? Would we be defeated, divided by such enemies? Will our soldiers have died in vain? The American and British armed forces are the best in the world. If these feral so-called insurgents divide the two strongest allies in the world then they will have not only won, but won in a spectacularly strong fashion, the likes of which they would have previously thought impossible.

If they divide -no - if Brown - if Labour - divides the two proudest peoples on earth, they will create amniosities that will split the west - in two. I naively thought that our government could only damage our country, when in reality, this one scotsman, Herr breun, could upset the entire european relationship with the United States

The United States cannot fight without us without committing more soldiers to Iraq, and We can not exist in our current political position of power, without the support of America.
We risk, in 2007, becoming what france (small f) became at the start of the war. We risk becoming fairweather friends.

For Great Britain to abandon a century of friendship, a half century of military co-operation, for us to turn our back on our allies, would be totally unforgivable, totally traitorous to the West in general, totally indefensable...
...and totally New Labour...

I fear for our future...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Short day!

Okay, well I woke up at 1pm. And again at 2. And at 4, 5 and then 6:30.
Surprisingly I had no hangover, though looking at my blog entry from earlier (see previous entry) I must have been extremely drunk.

So what have I done today? Not much. Sat about, bought loads of soft drinks from the local store, oh yeah, and I won two 40mm grenades from ebay!

Which will be fun, though I strongly suspect my bank account, though once healthy, is beginning to suffer.

Oh well, I get paid soon :).

The Glorious Twelfth

Okaaaay folks It's the glorious twelfth- the twelfth of August, which apparently, is the day in this country where it's traditional for those select few with country houses and firearms licences to go round massacreing game birds. Kinda like foxhunting except the birds the toffs shoot are semi domesticated - er, semi trusting of humans - unlike the foxes that they used to shoot...

Now I'm not anti foxhunting, not am I anti grouse/pheasant shooting. If a fox came at me with its jaws wide, I'd shove a stick of dynamite in its throat and pepper spray it in the face. If an animal dares to be aggressive, I feel an uncontrollable urge to spray the damn thing in Zippo fluid (gasoline) and set it alight. Perhaps somewhere during the animalistic squeals of agony, the animal will realise its mistake, in ever challenging the dominance of humans over animals...

Provided that is, that the animals have a chance to fight back. I am not a cruel person. In an ideal world, animals and I wouldn't interact. At all. If some animal is stupid enough to bare its teeth at me, I'll leave it be, comfortable and safe in the knowledge that my peers will turn them into handbags...

Now don't get me wrong - or perhaps, do get me wrong.
I hate the upper class in this country. I hate these antisocial elitist self insufficient aristocratic anachronistic do-nothing-know-nothing toff fuckwits that do nothing IN THEIR LIVES other than live in big houses, get paid to live in big houses, and generally treat the countryside as their own private back yard. Game deer? Game rabbits? Game pheasants? Grouse? Oh yes, they can shoot them and kill them...

For anyone else, this crap is called "Butchery" and is subject to English law. For these rich sponging government peers, the "law" is something that happens to other people. Typical bloody aristocracy. And yet, today, we have the so called Glorious Twelfth, the day when a hundred, perhaps a thousand trigger happy toffs, get to take their short range inaccurate weapons to the skies, relying on lowly servants to beat the birds into the air, so their masters can shoot them...

...yes this does happen - I once had the misfortune of speaking to a butler - a genuine English upper class upper crust Parker/Lady Penelope style Butler of the most refined type. This butler who spotted an injured animal, who phoned [unnamed animal rights organisation that begins in R and ends in A] who when asked, could he take the cellphone and keep an eye on the animal, was duty bound to ask in a perfect cut glass English accent "Hmm. May I take the phone, sir?"...

at the age of twenty one, my distain for the so called English upper class turned into complete and total revulsion. I would fight in a war against any society that turns men into slaves, whether that society be islamic or christian.

Still, I digress... Today is the day when thousands of so called "gentlefolk" blast the birds from the skies, watching them flailing and screeching towards the ground before the impact snaps their necks and crushes their chests...

Graphic - yes? I'm not anti-hunting. I'm anti-dressing-it-up-as-noble-sport. Hunting and shooting can be fun, I admit. But not for the sake of it. Granted, pheasants etc are incredibly stupid animals - REALLY they are! - but the only reason these poor things are victimised, is because they're the only birds that the fat idle do-nothing so called gentry can hit.

***pause*** Okay, in today's lesson, we learn not to knock a 50 caliber rifle round onto a beer glass, from 4 ft. They have a habit of shattering them. *picks glass up*

Anyway, I didn't really have any point to make, other than pointing out the differences in the way that the law is applied to rich people, and the way that it is applied to poor people. I dare say I'm missing out some of the specifics, but hey, the upper crust lot will come up with any excuse to preserve their lot in life - you only have to look at the scum in ashtead, as an example.

Anyway, I doubt the law will change. The serfs will continue serving the country, while the so called rich will continue living off it...

God Bless America...

Good Morning...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dust off the cobwebs...

Okay,it's been a bloody weird day.

Well it hasn't, but... Oh sod it, I'm not making witty comments for the sake of it, it's time for a fresh approach.

Today has been a mixed success - my shift at work progressed EXTREMELY quickly, probably because we were so busy. I came back home and instead of my normal early eve siesta, I set to work on my bike to "fix the oil mixer pump". A couple of hours later, after fixing the brakes - the bike had been sat for so long that the brakes had seized completely solid (I had to disassemble the brakes so the bike would move, they work fine now), I finally took off the front sprocket to get to the oil pump cover. I all but lacerated my hands trying to get these four screws holding the cover on, out. In the end, having thrown my tools across the drive in a temper tantrum, I went upstairs to check the workshop guide...
Coming back down, I realised that of course the screws were hard to undo - that's what you get with GEARBOX CASING screws. I meant to fix the oil mixer and nearly disassembled the gearbox!!!
I sorted the oil mixer, and the damn thing still won't start....
...BUT...
...I spoke to a mechanic who conveniently happened to be standing next to me (no, really! He'd returned my dad's car from its MOT), and after a couple of minutes, he has decided that it's the fuel flow. So the problem isn't the clutch or the choke or the battery or the weather or the alignment of the planets, as I've so vigorously maintained, it's the fact that no damn petrol is getting to the engine... Simple really...

So now I'm gonna sort out the choke, gonna get that installed, gonna get the carbs set up, and I'm gonna try to get all the new engine parts fitted as well.
The thing about my bike is that it's an absolute sod to get working properly, and it has frequently made me frustrated enough to hit, shout, and kick at various things - usually things that I have to pay to repair...

But, when she's working, when she's mobile, it's worth all the trouble, she's worth all the frustration...

...I spose that's why I love her. Look at her - she's as beautiful as any vehicle on the road. You can keep your corvettes and ferraris - I love my bike :).

On a different note, related to my 3D Blog, I've decided to order another 2 gig of ram, taking my computer's total RAM up to 3 gig. now I just have to win it on ebay because NOWHERE else sells it! Let's hope I get it!!

Have fun, sorry for the disjointed crap post, it's 3:38AM and I've got a mostly empty massive bottle of beer next to me.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Holy ammo!

Well, today, some more of my ammo turned up. The 20mm shell I won turned up along with some 7.62 and some 5.56 link. my iPod armband also turned up too, and that's pretty cool as well (Yes, the more alert of you will probably have noticed that in the photo it is actually around my lower leg, not my arm. Have you ever tried taking a decent photo of your own shoulder?)

So I was feeling artistic and decide to take some pictures of my growing collection of ordnance. Out comes the pasting table, and with a bedsheet as a tablecloth, I'm all set to work my magic and set out an incredible display.

And yes, it did fall over, mid construction. Three times.
Oh well, the collection's getting bigger and I've still got some to come, so hey, that's looking pretty cool at the minute...

...Still no word from the Army though, I'm kinda in limbo, though because of the pain in my shins I've had to stop running AGAIN. I've responded by getting some new insoles for my running shoes, and I've been cycling 20Km a week to work out. Let's hope all goes well, eh?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

New Blog!!!

Okay, if you look in the links box to the right of the aircraft, you will see a link to my 3D art blog! this is a new blog that showcases and talks about my 3D artwork.
Content is a bit scarce there at the minute, because the blog is still under construction, but if you look, it's there!
See you on the other side!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Wow, it's like christmas here...

Okay, friday, a mediocre day at work. Boredom reigns supreme...

...Or rather, it doesn't. Chaos and confusion reign. Again. Apparently, yesterday on my day off, the entire computer network went down, as it is wont to do, and will be wont to do until they stop trying to network 100 computers over two buildings in two seperate counties, via a 14.4 router and a couple of dymo labelers. In response, every poor sod was doing their job talking to the loonies we get on the phone, while trying to scribble everything down on paper. Today, with the systems back up, one of the more useless two-stars assigned five of my colleagues - about half of the people that were in that early in the morning, to copying out these ferking forms onto the network, instead of taking calls. Fair enough, I understand that some of them are urgent and need to be dealt with, but the manager was told to keep these people on data entry only as long as calls didn't start queueing in the system. Which they did.

Oh boy, they did. 9:30, two hours after I started my shift, an hour after call queues started lighting the board up red (we actually have software that displays how many calls are queueing and how long they've been holding on, so next time you're in a queue to someone in customer service or whatever, they DO know you're there...) queues are hitting the roof, 3 or 4 on emergency calls, 7 or 8 queueing to report urgent situations, and about TWENTY FIVE queueing to ask stupid questions like "can peacocks fly?" or to make stupid statements like "It's bleeding from its head - I think it's got a broken leg" - I swear, I took both calls where the caller came out with that...

The day wore on, it was clear that we - because my 5 colleagues were STILL on data entry instead of call taking (except they weren't, because they were ferking busy chatting instead) - wouldn't have a cat in hell's chance - no pun intended - of meeting our targets to answer xyz number of calls in the first 60 seconds... So I go down on my lunch break, and in walks my friend. Let's call him employee X;

Employee X is one of the more senior guys on the floor, not actually above me but a hell of a lot more experienced, both in the job and in life in general. Nearly some 40 years my senior, he has my respect both as a colleague and as a person. Anyway, I digress. He hates the job. Almost as much as I do, because of his maturing years, he knows better than to show it, but when having private chats among friends, he makes it clear he hates the job.

Anyway - [my company] have actually had the damn cheek to haul Employee X up in front of two two-stars so they can grill him because he's not adhering to his contract - which in any other job, would be fine. But in MY job, for [my company], the company apparently has the right to change the terms and conditions of your contract, as well as your job role and duties, with very little notice and without your approval, like it or lump it. This is as far as I'm aware, damned illegal. Except knowing [my company], it will probably be illegal in such a way that only a £50,000 solicitor/lawyer could sue them for.

Anyway, he's decided after talking to his wife to push the issue as far as he can take it. In his own words, he's being interviewed by the two worst managers on the unit. One who thinks that Dublin is in Northern Ireland, and another one who's so wet that he's been nicknamed "Jellyfish - because he has no spine". So it'll be interesting to see how that turns out.

And then I got a call from a prick of a solicitor who wanted to defend some animal-beating shit, asking for the email address of a particular inspector/enforcement officer/welfare guy type person. The following is paraphrased a little, but this's basically how it turned out:

Lawyer: I need to send an email to one of your officers. What's Officer X's email address?
Me: They don't have email addresses.
Lawyer: What?! Okay, what's his fax number, I need to fax him a letter.
Me: They don't have fax numbers, all communication is done via radio.
Lawyer: Well I've left a message which was sent by radio and he hasn't got back to me.
Me: All I can really do is send him another message. I can see if I can fast track it if it would help?
Lawyer: No, I need an email address or something, or I could send a letter, [organisation] is a big organisation, how do people send the inspectors letters?
Me: They don't. All communication is done via 2-way radio.
Lawyer: So where do people send letters that they want to go to [organisation]? How do they contact specific officers?
Me: To send letters to [organisation], they send them to our head office. To contact specific officers, they phone the main control office, and we relay the messages to the inspectors via 2 WAY RADIO.
Lawyer: You know, you can't transmit letters via radio, there has to be a way I can get this letter to [officer]. I will send this to your head office. What will happen then?
Me: The head office will phone us, and relay the message to us. We then relay it VIA TWO WAY RADIO to our Officer. Why are you sending a letter? Wouldn't it just be quicker for me to send this message right now, for you?
Lawyer: Oh yes, of course. I require you to send this message immediatley, but I will also send the letter...

Anyway, I politely but as unpleasantly as I could get away with, ended the call, treating the prick to one of my "goodbye *click*" endings, that only the real bad idiot callers get... God that guy must be a good lawyer, almost had me believing that white is black and left is white. You don't "require" me to do anything, you civilian pen-pushing sellout prick. (not all solicitors are bad, it's just the majority that spoil it for everyone else. I've never spoken to one who wasn't a ferking arsehole).

Anyway, that was friday morning/afternoon. Anyone want it? It's going cheap!

FRIDAY AFTERNOON

I got home, erm, like I usually do, on the bus, which erm, isn't really worth talking about so let's skip to the interesting bit...

SOME OF MY PARCELS CAME!!!

About five of the bloody things waiting for me when I got back! Half of my ammo, including my rarden shell! That thing is bloody massive! Then we went swimming as a family, which was pretty nice.
Was bored when I got back, so I went online, ordered some more stuff, including four Black Talon cartridges which are at least as impressive as the colt long.45's that I've got sitting next to me. (For the latest pictures of my inert ammo collection, see the more recent posts...)

So... What else to add... I seem to have become completely obsessed with CoF now, having Thornography and Nymphetamine on almost constant replay. Still, it's all good, I just can't get enough of the stuff. Loving it!

Well time marches on, and I'll be asleep in another couple of hours, but hey, It's been a crap day with a good ending!

Oh. Hey. I learned to add pictures. That's cool, I'll do more of that in future!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What fun!

Okay, so following my last entry, I went and got stuck into the beer, and started drinking...
...and drinking...
...at 1am I was pretty tipsy and in a pretty good mood...
...at 3am I was drunk and having a lighthearted but full-blown online argument with another recruit-to-be about which one of us deserved the attention of the various girls in the chatroom (like geek fighting I spose - whoa)
...at 4am I was very drunk and watching the best (gruesome, but farking brilliant) music videos from CoF's back catalogue, and I finally managed to stick them in some kind of order, as to how cool they were :

DISCLAIMER: For those not familiar with Cradle of Filth, they are a band from Suffolk in the UK, and have variously been described as death metal, black metal, and satanic metal. While most of the members are reasonably normal and sociable people, the videos and songs themselves rely heavily on satanic/blasphemous/gruesome/pornographic or othwise explicit imagery or concepts that might shock/distress people not used to them - If you can't get away with watching 18+ videos in your house, you probably shouldn't watch the at least the first of the three videos. I don't want to be scaring away/offending my readers!

1. From The Cradle To Enslave - Very graphic! If you freak out easily, skip this one.
2. Her Ghost in The Fog - Much more melodic, video is much much tamer.
3. Byronic Man - Tamer still, I think, still some (small amount of) pornographic imagery - This one's interesting because it's not actually a CoF video, it is instead, a fan-made video made of clips from previous music videos and what I think is some fresh footage from elsewhere - possibly H.I.M. videos, as this song actually features guest vocals from Ville Valo.

...At 5am I got talking to one of my mates from the US, about my exciting life etc, and I went on at him for about the next 4 hours, until I fell asleep at my keyboard!

Anway, I've become something of a CoF nutter over the past few weeks, I mean I've always been a fan since I was about 13, but I've recently got most of their newer back catalogue and the stuff justs get better and better, so if you like the tunes, then go and get the albums, there's plenty more where that came from. Thornography and Nymphetamine are amazing!

On a slightly related note, when looking for the links to each video, I came across this fantastic video of a singing tesla coil - I don't pretend to know the science behind it, but it's a pretty damn cool video to see so I thought I'd see what you lot thought! It kinda puts me in mind of some of Animusic's stuff, particularly "Harmonic Voltage" which was one of their better videos...

Anyway, back to finding those CoF video links - they should be up ^^there in a couple of seconds... Yep, there they go...

Moving on, the first load of my inert ammunition arrived yesterday - 50 5.56 rounds. They don't do anything except sit there and look shiny, but like a magpie, I like shiny things. So I keep them around. I've ordered (in descending order of calibre):

1x 30mm round (from the British Army's Warrior AFV)
1x 20mm round (probably from an AAA gun or a Vulcan Cannon)
1x .50 BMG round (probably from an anti-materiel rifle)
6x .45 Long Colt rounds, a popular caliber for many revolvers.
10x 9mm rounds (from the H&K MP5)
15x 7.62x51 rounds (used by many weapons, including the GPMG and M60)
5x 7.62x39 rounds (used by the AK47)
80x 5.56 rounds (used by most NATO weapons including the M16 and SA80)

Note for FBI/MI5/Interpol/South Yorkshire Police etc, anyone who takes a strong official interest in firearms, or the civilian acquisition thereof: These rounds are INERT - they have been deliberatley and permenantly modified in such a manner as to PERMANENTLY render them safe. None of my rounds could or would ever be converted for use in a real firearm - and I don't own any of those either - so there.

Anyway moving on...

I had an investigation at work today to determine whether or not I've been naughty enough to have to sit through the second discipliniary in two weeks. The long and short of it is that no, I'm not.
Two managers (well, call center managers, which makes them the REAL equivalent of McDonalds two-stars (an extremely junior and mostly useless manager)) and I had a little chat, and I basically got a slap on the wrist, which is fair enough, I suppose it could have gone worse...

Anyway, I don't have anything more useful to say, though I admit I don't know how much of the above is useful, but I'll no doubt keep you posted as I think of things randomly...
Take care!