Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Fag kiosk bingo and Wonga.com

Before I start my usual nonsense on the usual whinging about how I have to eat value mince and scrape up road-kill cats for the kids breakfast I will relate a shining light of rare genius. Also, I do realise that the title is better placed for a 0930 weekday advert for an ITV show but, let's see where it leads us.

After spending the allocated £20 at Asda, smugly coming in well under budget (56 pence), I joined the queue at the kiosk on the route back to the car. As I viewed those standing before me, a flash of snobbery and superiority overwhelmed me for more than a few seconds. This was when the idea of fag kiosk bingo was born.

A full house is when the Jez Kezesque loser in front on the queue buys: fags, a lottery ticket (or scratch card) and pays a utility bill with a plastic stick. The bonus ball, thunder ball, whatever, is if they are eating something, preferably a pasty, bought in the store. I was somewhat unfortunate as I saw all of the  above but in different customers which meant no full house. The fat little girl stuffing her face with a steak slice while she stood beside her nan, probably, as she bought fags and a lottery ticket, was the closest to a full house but no cigar

Yesterday was the lowest day we have had as a family for some time; the cupboards were bare, honestly, and we returned to the days of Portland; tinned food and toast. Then, this morning, it turned around; I am getting paid this week, Will received his inheritance, Sam sold the remaining Cub and Emma has another editing assignment. We may get through this...whinge over ;-)

We had considered the position as desperate and all of us, adults that is, applied for a Wonga loan. Ironically, I was the only one who was refused. Emma, Sam and Will were all accepted but turned it down as a matter of smugness and principle.

Todays photo, a masked Mexican wrestler;

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The final five days...probably

Who would have thought that things would have been so close, that we are, literally, calculating everything down to the final pound and and to the final hour. At the moment I may just have enough money to ensure that I can get to work and back every day next week, fingers crossed.

Many, many balls in the air and it looks as though the next five days will be the time to not only attempt to catch most of them but also a few more will be launched also. If nothing else the past couple or three months have forced me to focus on getting all of my affairs in order, this includes sorting out my old company, and sadly the car. As mentioned on Friday I was to take the car to market to swap for some magic beans. After the usual appraisal nonsense the ridiculously emotionless sales-person confidently informed me that they were prepared to take the car off my hands provided I settle the negative equity on the vehicle, over £3000. When I queried the wisdom of this, I was asked in a thoroughly condescending fashion, whether I understood the offer or not. To which I replied that if I had that sort of money then I could easily afford the finance and would not need to sell the vehicle, she seemed very confused and soon left, OK I may have said something else but can't remember. Not happy, but they have since come up with an alternative approach, this is however, to be confirmed so I am no more enlightened nor hopeful.

Todays photo, a leprechaun elephant:

Friday, 16 August 2013

Once upon a time...

a boy named Jacked lived with his mother in a small shack. One day Jack's mother told Jack to take their cow, the only thing they owned in the world, to sell at market because they were so poor and needed money for food.

OK, not an exact match, but for Jack read John and for market read Snow's Toyota in Southampton, OK it's still a cow but I do hope I get some magic beans tomorrow. In this story though the beans won't yield a life altering beanstalk and through that a metaphorical opportunity to change my life through hard work, courage and determination merely a bag of gold to give the finance company to make them go away for a little while which in turn will give me, hang on, a real opportunity to change my life through hard work, courage has emerged.

It's been two days back at work and I'm knackered, 0500 start through to 2030 when I finally arrived back, at the caravan for the time being. If I've jumped through the correct hoops I may just get paid next Friday. Work as a Project Manager is exactly as I remember, the only stress is that you bring yourself, if you can take the whole PM world seriously that is. The guys (and girls) in the office are all great and the working environment is brilliant, just a bit far away for my liking.

IBC looms close with many launches for Cerberus, the webcasting world is beginning to wake up to our services, we're nearly there folks.

Today's photo, of course it is:

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Packed lunch

I almost forgot that one of the most important elements of a working day is lunch. OK, a full English, tea-break, elevenses, THEN lunch, followed by afternoon tea break, four o' clockers and pre-home-time coffee are also important, but in my current situation lunch is paramount.

I've just finished a marathon two day stint chasing those I owe money to, rearranging direct debits and generally convincing all of the authors of letters received recently not to initiate court proceedings and bring in the bailiffs (Oh God, I'd forgotten the bailiffs). Most of that has now been done and a rather frugal way forward is now evident. The downside of this is that my packed lunch ingredients for the next month at least consist of the fruits of dumpster diving, cupboard rummaging or the leavings at my favourite 'Whoops!' shelf at Chavsda. Tomorrow, something resembling ham and cheese from a tube on budget, on the turn, bread, Nice! Oh and two bananas.

I can't complain, at least I am at work tomorrow, I have transport, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Saying that, it looks as though my prediction of all of our best prospects coming together at the same time appears to be wholly accurate, will say more as this bears fruit.

On a completely different note, I attempted to generate some interest in the football international tonight. A friendly match between England and Scotland. What does that term mean? There's not real outcome nor reason to play the bloody match other than to annoy, irritate and injure. As a result, 90 minutes of anything but friendly play. This coupled with decades of ignorance, arrogance and violence means that the resultant event is nothing more than a concentrated, distilled version of a Jeremy Kyle omnibus. I managed to endure the first half but decided that my time would be better placed cleaning the rim of the toilet bowl with Beth's toothbrush, just finished actually.

Going to try and force a decent night's sleep before a half-five start tomorrow morning. I must admit I do feel quite excited, it'll be the first real day's work in nearly seven years, Skynet of course does not count.

Todays photo, predictably, Wayne Rooney:

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Another day without work...arse!

Today has been a rather desperate day, both from a personal view and a corporate one. The focus is still very much on financial disaster recovery and from that averting disaster on both fronts.

After our meeting with the marvellous Angela at the bank the way was clear, Emma and I hit it with fervour. All is proceeding to plan with the exception of the new Nawest ‘One View’ approach to accounts. To explain; my business accounts are now linked to my personal accounts, which means that anybody else linked to me will suffer as I have to recover my personal situation. Another cunch of bunts, spreading their misery to justify a reduction of services.

I was supposed to start a new contract tomorrow but a hiccup with a laptop has pushed me back to Thursday, arse. In fact, whinge, whinge, whinge. I am such a twat sometimes.

On another note, the type 22 reunion taking place next year has left me feeling a bit annoyed and cold. Working with the likes of Paradigm and Astrium on Skynet 5, I see the plethora of ex-servicemen unable to change or release their lifestyle. As certain individuals develop beyond their forces persona they want to prove the improvement, I will say no more. The upshot is, although the idea and organisation is excellent, that of thousands of potential ex serving type 22 ratings and officers, there are only 250 tickets available. I would love to offer a field with marquees etc. Never mind.

Todays photo, Dave Hill from Slade:

Monday, 12 August 2013

The bank is onside...unfortunately I'm not!

Boring stuff first. After weeks of avoiding the bank and their letters, demands and threats, Emma and I finally sat in front of our customer adviser and spilled our guts. OK, there was no offer of financial assistance or actual funds, but the advice was sound and, if we can keep a small amount of income until such time as the contract money surfaces, we will win. Fingers crossed etc.

On a separate note another transient phase of my life is about to commence. Don't get me wrong, I love, travel, uncertainty and chaos but it would be nice to do so in an exotic country riding a camel or driving a massive 4 x 4. I'm nearly there though, High Wycombe in a Nissan Micra, sweet. Only joking, needs must, and they do right now. I have been so lucky over the past six or seven years, every night at home or somewhere of my choice, I have been lucky. Consider the years in the Navy, on night shifts and working abroad, a few years at home, sleeping in my own bed with my family close at hand couldn't have been more welcome.

IBC looms closer and will be a massive launch-pad for Cerberus. Plans are contingent and the route forward critical but nothing good comes from an easy path.

Today, a picture of Willy Wonka:

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

I finally know about the job and, I...

will tell you later. In the meantime, and I apologise in advance, you'll have to endure some nonsense and ranting.

Today I have mostly been waiting by the phone and following up some enquiries. The best of these was a discussion with a fantastic character who is involved with presenting our solution to some huge film production companies (seriously think of the biggest and you're there). We are hurtling towards the final obstacle, the demo, successful and we're in. The same can be said for our offering to the news corps, we have the endorsement of the preferred encoder manufacturer and just need to prove ourselves. It was always my firm suspicion that with all of the belief and drive inherent in the company we would not only succeed, but it would all happen at the same time, which it is. Very soon we will be in the position, the polar opposite of recent times, where we have more business than we can deal with. Which would be nice.

And now the announcement:

I heard from the agency today and I... Have you noticed that ITV early morning TV is shite, probably, but the manner with which they trivialise urgent and salient global issues is sickening. For example Lorraine, what a great steaming pile of putrid rhino poo, (imagine a mild Scottish accent please).

'The political situation in Egypt has reached crisis point, violent protests, unrest and military oppression are rife. But what are they wearing? I didn't see a fez anywhere and where have all the camels gone.'

OR (imagine the same accent please)

'The fire at Nairobi airport has stranded thousands and caused a real security nightmare. Do suitcases need to be smoke resistant, will they tarnish and look awful? We'll talk to some overweight woman who owns an orange bag later but nex,t a gay bloke talking about films.'

For the past ten weeks I have been trying my utmost to fill my days with Cerberus and putting in a full working day. More to avoid daytime TV rather than maintaining my dignity and giving us the highest chance of success, Lorraine, Jeremy Kyle and This Morning should be forcible napalmed live on-air. Today, while I was waiting for that phone call I spent some time seeking a motivating factor. Emma doesn't understand this in me, but, I like to aim for a point in the future where I will be doing something I really want to do, plan it and use that to motivate me to do the daily shit I may not like. So, this morning I planned two things; first a family holiday to Barbados and second taking Chris and I (in a non-gay way) off to see Jimmy Buffett on his latest tour. Those planned I had a focus and successfully did the stuff I had been putting off. I like this approach but Emma does not, she prefers for me to focus on paying bills, feeding and clothing the children, that level of trivia. My approach is more realistic I think.

Right. No more daytime TV for me from next Wednesday, I got the job. I am so buoyed by the support from everyone who reads my nonsense and has called, texted or emailed, you're all instrumental in my not losing heart. Please rest assured that when it is all running well I will throw the biggest and best party ever with dwarfs, strippers, tattooists, clowns and of course karaoke, you're all invited.

Today's photo is Darth Vader taking a shit:

Monday, 5 August 2013

School holidays

It amazes me that during the school summer holidays the roads are so empty in the morning. It's amazing how many under eights must need a lift in the morning, let's face it there are so many SUVs around at infant, junior and primary schools during term time that the poor kids must welcome a few weeks exercising their poor, underused legs. Looking at the catchment areas for these schools, which is at the most, in residential areas such as Gosport, a few hundred metres in radius, where does the perceived need to drive a fucking Mitsubishi Pajero the paltry distance to the traffic choked, single track road that serves the staff car park, escapes me. I even made the point of racing Sam, who was giving Emma a lift to Ed's assembly. I was standing, waiting at the entrance to reception as they drove past searching for that elusive parking space; we're even outside of the catchment area and I had to walk an extra fifty metres or so.

That aside, I have my second interview with Arqiva (which I have heard is Macedonian for 'ladies bits') at their facility near High Wycombe. I have mixed feelings about this opportunity; on the one hand I need an income sometime very,very soon but, on the other, I will most likely need to work away from home in the early days just to keep costs as low as possible. Not the end of the world as it's not at the end of the world just a mere 100 miles or so but without a car I haven't the luxury of the four hour round trip as an option. I reckon, with other factors, I could be back on track within six to eight weeks. I will, however, have the time to write more often, perhaps kick off my stand up career again and forge ahead with Cerberus. Little consolation when I can't share this with Emma and the monkeys but, needs must when Santa vomits in your kettle (cheers Edmund, nearly). This is all still academic as I have yet to secure the post, I hope I do as I feel I can make a mark at Arqiva and really move things along for them.

Off for an early night as I need to be up and doing by 0530 tomorrow.

Today we have a surfing Monk:

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Fracking Hell a new doctor

Just  a swift word on fracking. Fracking is described as:

Hydraulic fracturing is the fracturing of rock by a pressurized liquid. (Wikipedia)

Essentially, pushing pressured liquids deep underground to destabilise shale to release gas to the surface. How can this not cause issues? It is absolute madness and ignorance to assume that this can and will be accepted. Oil and gas companies pay so much to perpetuate an industry doomed to fail, for the resources to diminish and, ultimately, disappear. Rather than embrace new forms of energy, natural, sustainable sources to keep our insatiable need for power satisfied, the established oil and gas companies are squeezing the final drops of energy out of our already battered landscape. The CEO of Quadrilla made the statement, 'Natural gas is a far more benign fossil fuel than coal.' Highly subjective but it is similar to, during the election of a care home manager to support the application of Harold Shipman by comparing hie to other applicants such as Adolf Hitler, Stalin and Caligula.

On the subject of Doctors, Harold was one at least, tonight's ridiculous 'BBC special' revealing the new Doctor Who. Even though the next Doctor was the bookies favourite nobody, other than a few fringe viewers, have no idea who this guy is. I remember feeling the same way when Matt Smith was announced as the 11th doctor, but then I realised I care more about drain rodding or giant polish pedophile foxes invading my recycling bins.

The picture today is a juggling clown mouse:

Friday, 2 August 2013

Next week, it all happens. The culmination of good and bad.

It's been an odd week. Loads of shitty letters from the bank and loads of associated worry, stress and strain for both Emma and me, but also plenty of positive news for Cerberus, Satcom that is as I will be forced now to wind up Cerberus Technical Consultancy as soon as possible. Not to worry it was an education. When I was discussion this with the bank last week the 'business advisor' actually suggested that I talk to my accountant to ensure that I don't experience the same personal issues again. I did point out that we've almost run out of parents and will try to stop being so careless in future. With this in mind next week is as much about damage limitation as anything but the relentless momentum on other fronts is starting to pay off.

I have an interview with Arqiva at Chalfont on Tuesday, a satellite project management role which, although very interesting and involved will entail working away from home. I can't really complain as I have experienced an extended period when I managed to get home almost every night, well, apart from the times I spent with my friends at the local bus station drinking white lightning substitute and begging for change. Up until I started on Skynet 5 my focus was exactly that, to stop working and living away from home. The Navy and the time spent in French Guiana was more than enough time away from home but a few weeks/months in digs during the week ti bring us back onto a financial even keel won't be too bad.

The interview aside we performed a highly successful demo yesterday with Adtec, M & J Communications and us, from which there will be a nice, cosy press release from Adtec singing our praises. News corps from next week, so if we get just one or two we are running.