Showing posts from May, 2010

New song available

I've a new song, Daydreams, uploaded to my reverbnation page ... either go there or look at the player in the right side bar on this page. Enjoy!

Ashes to Ashes...

So anyone follow all this? I was a casual watcher - it was often on a night I was out but I did watch the latter half of the last series to try and get it. Which I did ... clever ending I quite liked the idea. So here is a question though - my friends and I were talking about it and I said so was Jim the nasty guy actually the devil. One said - it was good vs evil saying he is the devil is a bit far isn't it? If you say that then Gene Hunt was God. I laughed and said "we could take this like those that have set up Jedi as a puka (in their eyes) religion. Let's call ourselves the Disciples of Gene and have 10 commandments according to Gene". We all laughed then one friend said... "hey D isciples O f G ene... is GOD backwards"... spooky!

Long weekend

Bank holiday only seems like 4 weeks ago we were having one of these :-) Depending on the weather I think I might go over to Brands Hatch on Monday to watch some big of F1 and Sportscars zoom around there :-) My son has his last exam of this year today so he'll be celebrating his finishing of another year at uni. I'm off to pick him up next Thursday - giving him a couple of days to start packing... knowing him no chance it'll all be last minute. My daughter who has at various times this year come through the door in her usual calm and quiet manner... (NOT!) screaming that she'll never gets Statistics, hates it and the teacher and her teacher clearly hates her etc. managed to get 96% in a test this week and the teacher used her as an example to the class of what they should be aiming for. Hopefully she'll approach her impending GCSE with some confidence now. It does seem wrong that she is taking a full GCSE this early, she is year 9 and only 14 for crying out loud

Another one...

It's not been a great week. Sadly I learnt today of the passing of the wife of the owner of the rehab I was in exactly 6 years ago. Another one of the good ones taken from us and another good guy in pain trying to recover from that. Sad

Working at gratitude...

or... trying to slay the beast of self pity. The news of my colleague yesterday did really hit me. Poor bloke lost a young child some years back as well - as seems to be the way of the world the bad luck sometimes doesn't seem so generously spread around. So I'm trying to work on my gratitude. I'll update my list in a moment, but the obvious ones are,sobriety, health, family, where I live (i.e. England compare it to much of Africa, or say North Korea... yep not so bad is it?), wealth, warmth, somewhere to live... etc. See I have simply so much to be grateful for. I might be being made redundant but as a friend of mine says "this company doesn't throw people on the scrapheap; it lays them on it gently". I love his humour, but in that it means my compensation payment is very generous, I've a load of shares that I can also cash in without Tax and NI liability and I'm getting all this help from the outplacement company. I'm off on a course about sett

Life isn't fair

Over the last few days I've heard of a blogger that died suddenly who was a couple of years younger than me, the sad death of Paul Gray (bassist with Slipknot) he was only in his thirties, and now a friend at work has found out that he has an agressive tumour in his mouth. Life just isn't fair is it at times.


It no doubt is too much to ask that the heatwave continue isn't it? We sat outside in the garden most of yesterday afternoon - and both my daugther and Mrs F got more sun than they should probably have done. To be honest it has been too nice a day to be cooped up in the office but there is little choice really. I'm off to London tomorrow for another meeting with the outplacement consultant which should be useful. I am actually somewhat glad that it looks like the temperature will be down a bit tomorrow as being in London in the sweltering heat probably not too brilliant.

Finally in America

I say finally as I was originally scheduled to travel the week after all the Ash Cloud mess in April so I aborted that and rebooked for this week which had some added benefits in some other connections over here I was hoping to make. Also finally because this is the final trip I'll make over here in this job - so probably the last time I'll ever visit this area and see the rest of my team and many other old colleagues. I've been coming here since I started in the company in 1991 - well I think my first trip was 1992 but anyway there have been periods where I've spent one week in every 4 over here in some jobs etc. in the days when money was never really an issue. I've not added up the number of trips but it must be somewhere around 80 or so over the years. Time to say goodbye - the office block my team is in is almost empty as they are going to refurbish it. I remember this thing being built! I was talking to an old friend and mentioned the "old restauran


My tribute to the great and now very sadly late Ronnie James Dio. Sadly one of the greatest vocalists has passed away from stomach cancer. Somewhat ironic as well - you'd have thought Ozzy would be the first of the great Sabbath singers to go given his abuse of his body wouldn't you. I saw him twice live - first on the original tour in support of the Heaven & Hell album when Bill Ward was still in the band. Secondly only last year at Sonisphere and ironically having to choose between H&H or Coheed & Cambria my son and I decided to stay in the pouring rain and honour H&H as we thought we were bound to get other opportunities to see C&C but wondered how much longer H&H would tour. How prophetic those thoughts were. Originally when he "joined" the Sabbath line up they considered a name change to avoid the Ozzy comparison - which is totally unfair as Dio is a completely different kind of vocalist. But the record company of the time insisted t

What it is like now

After the row that the last post ended with I opened up to someone I knew where I work in our occupational health department. She was brilliant and she helped me get into a rehab. I didn't really research it or think about it I just knew I needed to go somewhere and get someone to help me. I still think I wanted to drink normally really. When I got to the rehab I was totally lost and confused. We shared dorms, we had to do "chores" we were expected to have a group meeting before breakfast then in group therapy sessions and other sessions throughout the day and in the evening do "step work" ready for group etc. You were locked out of the dorm for 14 hours or so a day forcing you to interact with the others so that you could never isolate. I was cut off pretty much from my family apart from a call home in the evening and them visiting once a week on a Sunday for lunch. My wife decided to never bring my daughter who was 8 at the time. All that was very heartbre

What happened?

In April 2003 I knew I had to do something about my drinking, since coming back from NYC after Sept 11th 2001 I'd been on a mission of self-destruction hanging around with others who helped enable my drinking and helped at times cover for it at work. However I was a manager of a group and redundancies were looming and I knew I had to help make the decisions over who stayed and who went. I knew I had to try and do that dry (I would have thought sober to myself at the time but that was way beyond my true comprehension then). Also I'd confided in a friend at work about how I was feeling at times he was the first person I chose to have a conversation like that with who didn't drink like me. He looked me in the eye and said "You've got to stop drinking". BANG! That was like a hammer hitting me, most "friends" said "In moderation", "You need to slow down" etc. but this guy was straight in; like a kick in the nuts. So I signed up to a w

How it was

Over the next few days I'm going to post some sobriety related posts ... you'll understand why on Friday if you stick with them. How it was... Awful! I drank and it was crap - simple. Well if it was that simple how come I drank for 25 years. That's a fair point. Because I'm an alcoholic that's why - it is that simple as well. :-) I started drinking in my teens, so do many others but from the word go my relationship with alcohol wasn't right. I was always trying to get others to come for a beer with me, I was always "getting another in", throwing up in the car park or on the roadside etc. At 17 I remember going to the pub on a lunchtime during a school holiday on my own and thinking then "This isn't right you shouldn't drink on your own just for the sake of it". Once at college and work I spied out those that liked to go to the pub and befriended them the main qualification for being a mate of mine was that you liked going for

Book Review - Child 44 and The Secret Speech

I read these two books together but in the wrong order! This was a happenstance as simply I bought The Secret Speech as part of Buy One get One Half Price or something like that but that was the sequel to Child 44 which I then wanted to read and bought whilst just finishing The Secret Speech. Enough of that what are they like? Brilliant. Very well written books that have interesting plots, engaging characters and are set in a very interesting period of history. Tom Rob Smith is an excellent writer. Child 44 starts off in the last months of Stalin's rule in USSR. This is a stark portrayal of the way that totalitarianism lives by creating utter fear within those it wants to regulate. I was there living in the fear that existed during that time. Also the mechanisms that maintain the facade of the great state - for example there can be no murder as murder is a Western crime that is due to greed etc. really bring home to you about freedom. During the book Stalin dies and the confusi

Celebrating the humdrum

I read some blogs which are by alcoholics working through recovery. One such one recent post over at One Alcoholic's Journey was spot on for me. It reminded me of the old me, for years I used to expect that at some point I'd be instantly recognised as the genius I clearly was and I'd be swiftly famous, rich, accepted, etc. I was a bizarre notion but one that was a regular recurrence. Every time I entered a bar and started drinking I was expecting at that moment for someone to burst through the doors look at me and say something like "Hey you, there is a hung parliament we need you as PM now", or "Hey Eric Clapton has pulled out of the Cream reunion and we need you". Nuts I know. However deep seated underneath this was a simple issue, I simply wasn't content with who I was and what I had. Why? Because I wasn't taking time to look and be grateful all I was was ungrateful, discontent. Now a days I try to practice the discipline of stopping and l


According to the staff shop where I work it is supposedly "Nation Doughnut Week" - the offer is 70p of which 10p goes to "Stop Hunger" So I can stuff in as many doughnuts this week and still feel that I'm doing my bit for the starving in the world... :-)

We need electoral reform

So a hung parliament. Who'll be Prime Minister come Monday? As I understand it the rules are Gordon stays in place until he resigns. However he could call up Nick Clegg and offer him a deal and remain as PM. Presumably if that is what happens they will be attempts early in the parliament, no doubt the vote to pass the Queen's Speech, to muster a vote against such a coalition. As I type this there are still 35 seats to come in so it still isn't clear whether Labour and Lib Dem combined will be enough or will Gordon have to turn to SNP or Plaid and offer them something? Will the Conservatives get a chance? They'll need to rely on others support - but the Ulster Unionists their normal allies didn't do at all well. Queues at the polling stations. People turned away at 10 o'clock. It was gratifying to see so much interest this time around and a high turnout but a shame the system seemed lacking in some areas. But overall the bottom line is that even if the Tory

Much as I hate to see this happen...

Hartlepool have been docked 3 points over fielding a player who should have been on suspension. Terrific!!! Sorry Hartlepool fans but we need all the help we can get - that now means that we have another team beneath us going into the crucial last day of the season. Of course you know what'll happen now don't you... Gillingham will scrape through and Hartlepool will be relegated. Half of the Gillingham team are out of contract so they will be encouraged to stay on League One style deals etc. and then Hartlepool will appeal the decision and win so Gilligham will be relegate but with a League One salary bill... we'll go into administration and plummet down League Two... I generally find with Gillingham it is better to look on the dark side, everything above that is a bonus!

Welcome everybody to the Medway Towns

Social commentary on my home towns...

Mountain Time

Dinners asked what Mountain Time was... This is Mountain Time...

Comparing factories

Go here to see a load of videos about PRS manufacturing Fender Gisbon Interesting... note the volume at Fender and the speed of stuff, much in the traditional that Leo wanted - remember much of the Fender design like bolt on neck, scratchplate mounted electrics, flat body/neck angle etc. was all to speed manufacturing. You have to say at first look PRS do seem to take more individual care over the instruments, probably reflected in their prices.