It’s not often I get that riled, but coming home from work today I arrived at my home open mouthed.
Rewind a few months and my neighbour told me about his extension he was building. He gave me all the paperwork as part of the planning process and he told me that it there would no windows directly overviewing my garden. Fair enough I thought. He then asked if he could use the back of my garage to place some scaffolding poles – being a friendly sort of person I told him there would be no problem. Then he asked if he could use my drive for a day to get the bulldozer in – again I said this was fine and even gave him the keys to my car so he could move it as I was on vacation.
Imagine my surprise this evening to come home (the neighbours are on vacation at the moment) to find that the builders had decided to erect scaffolding in my driveway – not just in the driveway but in a position that stops me opening my garage door. Even more shocking was the fact that they had moved my car in order to place this scaffolding! Now my old Celica is off the road at the moment, so they must have ‘bumped’ it in order to place their scaffolding on my drive.
I have just taken this photo to show how thoughtful they have been – how do I open my damn garage now? Bear in mind that nobody thought it worth asking my permission whether they could put their scaffolding on my drive, blocking my garage and moving my car in the process.
To say I am a little pissed is an understatement. What has made it worse is that the original promise of no window overlooking my garden has also been ignored and now there is a big window in the side of their house which gives a view over our entire garden (and beyond into other neighbours gardens) leaving us with absolutely no privacy whatsoever.
Now they are away at the moment so there is pretty much nothing I can do unless I see the builders as I head out to work one morning. Even then, I am still so shocked that they did it, that I am struggling to determine what I would say to them apart from informing them to get there f****** scaffolding off my drive and moving their vans and lorries when they are not looking.
Now some will say I am over reacting here, but have a look at the second photo which shows how far they moved my car. The dirty oil patch on the floor obviously used to be where the engine bay of the Celica was so it was moved no small amount. Swines. I am so damn pissed at the moment.
Any suggestions for what to do appreciated! I’ll keep you infomed…
I feel quite strange. Something just doesn’t seem right. Last night, I opened a bottle of wine and actually enjoyed the taste of it bringing 20 years of wine-hatred to a bottle shattering halt. I could taste and smell the flavours and aroma’s I was apparently meant to and it really did complement the turkey I was eating.
Not a great monumental occasion for sure, but yet another milestone in the removal of nicotine from my life. In fact, my reliance on nicotine goes back further than my hatred of wine (and coincided with a hatred for whisky following 750ml in one night as a 17 year old heading to the Quadrant Park which has only just gone away, and a total phobia of Pernod following a 1/2 price promotion in the local pub – a phobia that is still with me) and has had far more effects on my life.
It is strange seeing myself now as a non-smoker after all these years. My feet still get twitchy every hour in the office and I find myself scurrying for the kettle rather than the stairs to get outside. I don’t actually feel like smoking, but I do want to go outside with everyone and enjoy the banter. Given that it is now five weeks since my last cigarette (thankyou Champix for the opportunity to write those last 11 words – you may well be making others commit suicide, but you have done wonders for me), I decided to enjoy another of my vices last night – my first cigar since quitting. Even though it was a fine Dominican, the combination of the sub zero temperatures permeating through my Mr Tickle slippers and the shock of putting something burning into my mouth removed a lot of the enjoyment — maybe I will never enjoy a cigar again??? I don’t really care that much to be honest but I will try again this forthcoming weekend.
Life without cigarettes doesn’t scare me one bit, life without the appreciation of a good cigar whilst drinking a fresh Chardonnay does however …
Typical, just as I was waiting for the next installment of my wierd dreams, a projectile vomit epidemic hits the kids on the street leading to my daughter spending most of the night with her head over the toilet. I suppose it gives her some training for when she starts drinking, but I really couldn’t have done with it last night.
The young lass next door is the same, as is the girl of a family friend. Projectile Vomit hits Arbroath – wonder if the local rag will run that as a headline in this weeks fun packed issue?
I have now been a non-smoker for a week and neither want nor need a cigarette. I’m actually very proud of myself.
However I have discovered yet another Champix side effect – really, seriously vivid dreams! Not normal dreams mind, but seriously deranged bizarre dreams that you would expect from some serious hallucinogenic substances!
Last night it was spiders. If fact, spiders have been pretty much constant within these dreams, but last night was spiders. I kept finding them in my socks! Seriously! Big Daddy-Long-Legs were in my socks (I think they are actually called Crane Fly’s) and I kept having to pick them off my feet whenever I took my socks off. Fortunately I have no fear of spiders, but I am wondering how my brain will make them appear when I drop off tonight!
Being a Brit, I have been fascinated over the past 12 months with the election fever happening in the US. It just seems so much more interesting than the staid and incredibly dull (apart from the Swing-o-meter of course) elections that we have here in the UK.
Popbitch today ran a small note about an Esquire piece stating that three out of four white supremacists prefer Obama over McCain! Some of the quotes ore legendary;
“He’s a scary, scary person — more dangerous than Bush. Obama, according to his book, Dreams Of My Father, is a racist and I have no problem with black racists.”, Tom Metzger, Director, White Aryan Resistance.
“Perhaps the best thing for the white race is to have a black president. My only problem with Obama is perhaps he’s not black enough.”, Erich Gliebe, Chairman, National Alliance
“White people are faced with either a negro or a total nutter who happens to have a pale face. Personally I’d prefer the negro.”, Rocky Suhayda, Chairman, American Nazi Party
You can see the full article here.
I can’t remember the last time I saw snow in October, but it was there today in Portleven as I drove through. Anyway, who cares about that, I just wanted to post that it is now 72 hours without a cigarette for me
So when do you become an ex-smoker statistically? I’m now considering myself an ex-smoker having not had one for over 40 hours (yes, I’m still counting the hours rather than the days!).
Have to say that the Champix are working from me. I’m still feeling slightly nauseous after taking them every so often, but I can cope with that if it continues to stop me smoking!
Hmmm, I’m an ex-smoker – that actually sounds good. Apparently my body is nearly clear of carbon monoxide and nicotine – wonder if I will get my sense of smell and taste back?
so, I have now been on the Champix for close to three week – I was meant to give up during week two …. but I didn’t.
However, I am smoking only 5 a day and I don’t have that previous feeling of failure I used to get when I failed to pack them in. Even though I haven’t stopped completely, I still feel some satisfaction at going from 15-20 a day down to 5 which I feel is great even if others don’t.
I did get some strange side-effects when I moved onto the full dose of 2mg per day. I spent 3/4 nights of total sleeplessness. Even when I did get asleep I woke within an hour. That was pretty annoying!! Another side-effect which I still suffer sporadically is horrible nausea about 10 minutes after taking the morning pill. However the sleeplessness has stopped now, and the nausea is quite rare so I continuing with the meds.
Strangely enough, I don’t actually want to smoke at the moment. I find myself smoking when I am bored or looking for something to do. I have no cravings and it seems to be the psychological associations that are keeping me smoking now, so these are the issues I am trying to address. I have already broken the ‘first cig of the day whilst driving to work’ association and not by smoking when I get up from my bed Today, I didn’t have my first cig until around 11:15 and I haven’t had a cig on the drive to the office for well over a week now.
I still have some associations to break, but I really do feel that I will be a non-smoker in the immediate future, and this is why I feel no depression or guilt about having not stopped during the second week.
I will need another vice to replace my smoking though – any suggestions always appreciated!
I’m just back from a week away up north not far from Dornoch. Those that know me will know I keep harping on about how beautifully relaxing the countryside is up there – wonderful beaches and amazing landscapes. Anyway, a week of doing nothing seems to have recharged the batteries, however I did make a decision (followed by an action) whilst away that will hopefully change the future direction of my life.
Now lets run the clock back to 1986. I’m not sure about yourselves, but I was a young and stupid teenager looking for every opportunity to look cool and be noticed by the fairer sex. To help me in this endeavour, I started smoking. It never got me anywhere with those that we don’t understand, but it did put me on the path of over 20 years of being a smoker.
It has never really bothered me that much being a smoker. I smoked. Simple. I never felt guilty and I never worried about how much it was costing me (I smoke roll-ups costing me about £30 every 6 weeks). I realised that my sense of smell had disappeared and my sense of taste was reduced, but I carried on anyway. I saw my mum stop smoking over 10 years ago and still carried on. However recently my 10 year old daughter has been hassling like crazy for her mum and myself to pack them in.
I have tried a few times before, but with nothing spurring me on, I always failed. I eventually spoke to my GP a few weeks ago who decided to put me on Champix. Now these pills apparently affect the receptors in my brain meaning I neither crave a cig, nor do I enjoy it. I am meant to continued smoking whilst on the starter pack and will stop smoking of my own accord somewhere down the 12 week course.
So the outcome of this ramble is that I am now on Champix and attempting to stop smoking. I haven’t managed it yet but I have managed to cut down from approximately 15 a day to around 5.
A few people ask me how I got into gaming as a career. To be honest, it was pure luck but as a firm believer of making your own luck, I can look at five fortuitous influences that took me in that direction; family, Shakespeare and supermarkets.
Family influenced my early years as they do with everyone else. My dad started his career fixing TV’s in the early seventies before he moved into the Fire Service. Maybe his TV fixing skills transferred to me?
At school I got my ‘O’ Levels (yes, I am that old and was the last year in England to do ‘O’ Levels) and studies English at ‘A’ Level. Our first book was The Tempest and I just couldn’t get my head around it. Even now I have yet to pick up any of Shakespeare’s work and read it – bizarre considering my complete love and adoration for books and the printed word – maybe one day I’ll sort that little issue out. Anyway, I transferred to Maths instead and found myself even more confused with integration and differentiation. I eventually took the easy route of Computer Studies when the subject covered archaic modules such as punched cards – it was that long ago that I did my project on an old Amstrad CPC!
So, I had some computing experience at school during the times when computers were seen as a dark art. As I couldn’t be bothered going to University, I spent time in a supermarket. During a major refit. the manager must have noticed I had done Computing at school and offered me the position of EPOS Manager (barcodes, prices and tills) which I took – the computer side of this continued and I am sure helped me when I saw the advert in the Liverpool Echo for a job at Psygnosis.
I was told later on by my manager and the chap that interviewed me, that the only reason I got an interview was because he was curious about my name, so maybe this whole post on my own thoughts is irrelevant and it is all down to the name given to me by my mum and dad?
Anyway, after all that there was one major influence on my interest in electronics and computers, and that was my Grandad.
Grandad (who has just turned 93) could turn his hand to anything. I remember as a boy he helped my dad change the engine in our old Hillman Imp – later on I recall him making crystal radio sets to sell on with beautifully carpented wooden cases. Anything which required skill in the hands, he could do. Now, like most men of his generation, he had a shed. But his was no ordinary shed – his shed was huge. And unlike any other shed! Considering he lived in the heart of Liverpool and had a small back yard, his shed took up nearly half of the available space (and his homemade garage the other half). My grandad’s shed was where my love of electronics blossomed.
Like I said, it was no ordinary shed – more like a cross between a living room and a workshop. There were drawers and storage containers everywhere – each one carefully labelled in his careful script. Boxes for resistors, screws, transistors, valves, you name it! He had everything and everything had its place. He had oscilloscopes, soldering irons, TV’s, radios, lathes – everything; and I grew to know them all.
I am guessing that his pride of place was his short wave valve radio set. Remembering that he lived in the heart of a major city, he managed to install a large 30ft aerial in his back yard which, when allied to this radio, meant he could receive radio transmissions from around the globe. I recall many a night with him in his shed whilst he listened to a radio channel that I just couldn’t understand!
I spent ages in that shed, learning about currents, voltage, resistance and the new fangled transistors that were taking the world by storm. We used to work on small projects from the likes of Practical Wireless and Electronics magazines but one of my fondest memories was of making a crystal radio with grandad. We did everything from scratch, from winding the wire around an old gravy container using his lathe, to creating a wooden base with a perspex screen to hold the single knob. I still have it to this day.
So, all in all I strongly feel that it was my grandad who guided me down a route of technology. I still talk to him about it and he is constantly eager to learn about the new advances in computing and general technology. Next time I see him, I’ll explain to him about blogs!