November 2004 Archives

Another Washout

After yesterday's failures with the car (3 hours to take a bracket off?!?), today was to be the day to sort it. And it started off well, the sun was out, and it looked like I might have a full day's work ahead of me.

I went to church, as it's the month of remembrance, to see Jules entry in the book of memorial. Now, I shouldn't have gone, which is going to sound bad. Not because it was quite emotional. No. You see, when we left it was pouring with rain. So, if I hadn't have gone I'd have been well on the way to finishing things. Instead, we had some lunch, did shopping, popped to the cemetry, and home. I've spent the day doing indoor stuff.

Given how hard it seems to be getting the car fixed, I'm wondering if someone upstairs is just getting their own back for those weekends when I was stuck under the car whilst they sat indoors, washing and cleaning. Mmmmmmmm...

It's 10:27am & I'm Alive

.... or, at least, I think I am...... My phone's just buzzed with a text message (txt msg 4 thse txt typs ;-)), a good mate from work asking if I feel as rough as they do. What happened last night, well, let me begin...

Went out for a few drinks with some guys n gals from work, sort of a starter-for-ten Xmas party. Well, it really started at lunchtime, after we finished our checks on the Primavera 4.1 rollout we've been working on (which looks like it's gone without a glitch). A quick pop home to change into something a little more party-like, then back to Chicago's for more beers, laughs, long discussions with people I've not seen for ages, and also filling a few people in on the gaps, Jules, etc...

So, today's feeling is really all my fault. I'd like to think those of you buying me drinks last night can shoulder some of the blame, but then I suppose, after all, I'm a grown-up, and should know better ;-)

You know, no matter how often it happens, you never seem to learn, do you?

The worse part, today I'm supposedly fixing the car. First things first, I need grease and sugar. So I'm off to the shops :-D

Going Positive!

We have a system of flexible working hours at work, which enables you to build time up, and eventually have a day off. Well, as this year and last have been a little outside of the norm, my balance has been negative for quite a while. The last time I had a positive balance was back in July, and even then it was only for a couple of days.

Today I went positive again. And looking at the time I posted this, (Yes, I AM in work!), it'll be a day off very soon. Which might come in useful ;-)

Goods News Is Always Followed By Bad

BBC News Online's Ivan Noble develops headaches just days after being told he is in remission.
Some good news this morning for a friend at work, sounds like he's got what he's after, so a drink at lunchtime to celebrate. And then, back at work, read this on the BBC site:

Tumour Diary - Headaches return

So much comparison with how things went last year. One minute celebrating the news that things had been sorted, success. And then no sooner it's dashed with the bad news that it's back, with a venegance. I only hope that Ivan's luck hasn't run out yet, and the news he gets Friday will be good. Keep those fingers crossed!

Some News!

6 December!!! Won't say much more, but I'd better start dusting things off, eh!

Oh, and in other developments we got the nod to go live with the next release of Primavera, so as of Friday we'll be on release 4.1. Next week's going to be fun :-)


Just got home, had tea, and realised I've missed the appointment for Spitfire at the vets :-O. Of course, he's not bothered, in fact he's currently lying on the floor, smuggly looking at me as if to say, "Ha, knew you'd forget!"

Better sort out a new appointment in the morning, before it costs another £60 to get his jabs.


Another day wasted trying to sort the car. Rain stopped play, as it where. And the temperature hasn't helped either. But I've managed to get some painting done, so at least it should just be a case of bolting things back together (yeah, right!).

So a day in the house. Cooking, cleaning, ironing, lots of boring things that need doing got done.

Bath and then bed. Early start tomorrow!

Back To The Cemetry

Stayed at the Page's house last night, having had probably the best night out in ages (thanks guys :-D), and Chris, Jules bruv, came along too. The only thing that spoilt it was loosing my jacket.

So, this morning, as a payment for bringing the drunken louts home, we went to Sainsburys for breakfast. A quick shopping dash, and then up to the cemetry.

I've not been up there for nearly 4 weeks, for various reasons, and it was quite shocking how it's filled up, empty plots now dug over and lots of flowers lying around. The plant trough is looking decidely sad, the recent rain and snow knocking the plants for six. I think I'll take it home for the winter and sort it out for the Spring.

Big Night Out

Had a good day at work, successful presentation of ideas this morning, followed by an afternoon of sorting problems out for the users.

Off out tonight with a load of guys from work. Been ages since I've been out for a night on the town, so really looking forward. It'll quite nicely lead into the party season, which starts next Friday with the, hopeful, completion of the rollout of Primavera 4.1.

Off home to sort out what to wear, as I've been told off for not taking these nights out seriously enough. Hopefully won't have to get a new wardrobe tho' ;-)

Presenting Tomorrow

First presentation in ages tomorrow morning. And off for a few beers tonight, if all goes to plan.

Me and Gareth are working on a new way of reporting, using Excel as a means of collating data for the business. Uses Visual Basic, something I've touched on briefly. In the longterm it'll be used to capture the requirements needed for the complete reporting capabilities in Project Management. Primavera fits into it, along with other tools. So it's quite an interesting and exciting development. The presentation is to put forward the idea and, hopefully, get some feedback and agreement on the way forward.

So, a few beers and final touches to the present tonight, then it's straight into things tomorrow morning ;-)

6 Months...

I've said before, but where's the time going? It feels like a rollercoaster ride that you're completely out of control of. I've a million things building up at home, loads to get on with at work, and yet it feels I've not really sat down and looked at what's been happening. And then, I blink, and it's 6 months gone.

Christmas is around the corner, the commercial nature of the season ramming itself down your throat.

I'm opening my whiskey now, a drink to remember, reminisce of good times gone. I might not be in work tomorrow, depends on how much of this bottle evaporates in the direction of my mouth...

All Quiet

Been busy sorting many things, work, car, house, settee's. The stories are in place, I'm just finishing off the pics. Bluetooth is seemingly random in nature, some days it works, others it insists on reinstalling itself. Must be the PC, time for a change I guess!

So, be warned, a mass of news will just suddenly appear some time soon.

Late Night

Didn't get back from Liverpool 'til 3am. Freezing cold, and probably the worst coach trip ever. The driver wouldn't allow any drinking, eating or smoking, due to problems with the last trip. So we stopped at practically every services between Hull and Liverpool.

Great band, although heavy rock isn't really my cup of tea. And a Subway next door, so supper/tea wasn't a problem :-D

Pictures of the night in the extended bit

Up North

And the usual busman's holiday, I'm at mum's work fixing the pc. It seems to have taken to disliking Sun's Java Virtual Machine. Something in the latest Windows update has mucked things up, and it don't work no more. And since it's the integral part of the online ordering systems, it's kinda important it starts working again.

Off out tonight to Liverpool to watch Kev's mate's band at The Cavern. Should be a giggle ;-)

To The Scrapyard!

Well, after discovering more and more of the car falling off as I've been struggling to sort it for the MoT, it was about time that I went off to Rush Green and got some bits for it. And with Nige and Ebo down for the day to drag me back home to sort the PC, a team of dismantlers descended on the yard straight after lunch.

I found what I was after, and with a little shove from Ebo and Nige, the car was soon on it's side and the axle and all it's bits off. "A whole axle?????" I hear you cry, well, believe me when I say, it was easier removing the axle than it was removing the 2 brackets I needed. And luck would have it that something else will break on my car when I eventually get round to putting these brackets back on. So taking the lot and replacing the lot makes more sense, in a non-sense making way.

Surprise Visit

Well, all the problems with my mum's PC haven't gone away, so I'm needed back up North. And with the car off the road it would've been difficult getting up there for less than £80 return (ouch :-O). So Ian's coming down in his new Grandad 4.2 Ghia with Nige.

Now, it's Thursday night and I'm off out with Jules bruvs, Chris n Stu, who don't know they're on their way down. So it should be quite a surprise when they walk through the door of the White Lion!

Pics maybe in the extended bit, if I can get the Bluetooth to work...

Sad News & Good News

After finding out last year that Emlyn Hughes and Richard Burns had been diagnosed with brain tumours, I've been tracking their progress, as and when, on the various news sites.

Sadly, today, Emlyn lost the battle:

BBC Online - Football great Emlyn Hughes dies

Also, in better news, it looks like Ivan Noble has had some good news at last:

BBC Online - Tumour diary: Making plans again

In other news, campaigners are pushing to ensure sufferers and their families receive support by asking for reforms in the way benefits are assessed and issued. Good news, as being through the process last year and this, it isn't as quick and helpful as it needs to be. Financial worries are the last thing you need on top of all the other, far more important things that you need to be worrying about. And being told, as I was, that it'd take 6 months to assess one part of the benefit application, when Jules only had a few months left, really doesn't help either. I hope they manage to do something.

BBC Online - Benefits call for cancer patients

Sad Loss

Fred Dibnah
Fred Dibnah passed away today after loosing his battle with cancer. He managed to make something that was otherwise dull interesting, and I think brought character to the engineering history of this country. I'd been catching up on the various series he'd filmed, a number being repeated on cable no doubt in preparation for his latest series, which he'd only finished a few weeks ago.

Interestingly his diet during the last few months has been oranges and guiness, not the most obvious of things whilst fighting back. But then he never seemed to be an orthodox type of person.

The BBC have an obituary here.

The Night of Big Bangs

Been to the Stevenage Fairlands Valley firework display. I missed out on it last year, I had to be elsewhere.

An amazing display, better than the ones we'd seen in previous years. And I was quite happy, until the smell of hot dogs blew over our way.

I promised someone that we'd have hot dogs this year, after forgetting to sort some last year.....

Complete Failure

The car's failed it's MoT today. And I'm sat at home looking at the damage. New rear wheel bearings, exhaust putty, and brackets for the fuel pump.

Should've noticed all these things before I took it down, but after this year I'd thought, stuff it, I've enough on my plate without worrying about the car.

So, waiting for the kettle to boil, and then it's outside with the jacks and ramps to start the dismantling process.

About Alan Bell

Lapsed: electronic engineer, scout leader, project controller.
Now: Oracle Primavera training consultant, business support manager, occasional website designer.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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