kneeshooter: (Default)
This excites me. Not because I'm on GNER (which I don't do a lot) but because it has Free WiFi. And even better than that, it seems to be working.

To be honest I've had enough of trains already though. The first of the day was the 0610 to London; this is the 1100 from London and I'll get to Hartlepool about 1530 this afternoon after seeing parts of the country I only ever heard about as rumours. Then tomorrow I sped about 4 hours getting back to Nottingham.

This is, I fear, the highlight of my day.
kneeshooter: (work)
Friday should be "Go to Newbury" day. Instead it was "Sit at New Street" day. Total travel time should have been about 2:20 to my 9:45 meeting.

Instead of:

4:45 Get up; 5:30 Bus to New Street; 6:03 Train; 8:16 Newbury

It was:

4:45 Get up; 5:30 Bus to New Street; 6:03 Train Cancelled; 6:33 Train Cancelled; 7:03 Train delayed; 7:50 Give up on Train; 8:00 Bus home.

Bah. Pah. etc.
kneeshooter: (Default)
... it feels like a very long time since my last confession.

Today I have governors meetings so have the excuse of working from home. Actually I'm having to work pretty hard, but this is a moment of diversion. One of my new colleagues said to me the other day "You've fitted in very well. It feels like you've been here forever." - I think it was a compliment. Needless to say my performance review started with "You're doing very well" and then went on to "Like me, you might find you have to be more politic and less direct at times". I smiled, which was probably the best thing to do in the circumstances.

I'm not sure when I last updated, but since then work has been mostly fun and in my spare time I've been mostly exhausted. Of course I missed Whitby, but then I went skiing in Tignes IN MAY. A long weekend (out Thurs, back Monday, Ski 3.5 days) was just what I needed. We even had snow. There are some pictures here. For the first time I dragged an SLR up the mountains and despite falling on it a couple of times the results were good. I was with a guide off piste for a couple of days (though one was cut short with a hospitalisation) and actually felt my skiing was good enough to make it worth it.

Read more... )

Other than that, weekends have been spent quietly contemplating taking over the world. But more of that in 2009/10.

Last night, because I can remember it, I'll talk about Ian McKellen. Everything [livejournal.com profile] oxfordgirl said is true. He did seem to be very well endowed. Sylvester McCoy also looked alarmingly like a hobbit which added to the confusing buzz in my head. Oh, it was King Lear in Stratford if you weren't sure what I was on about.

This weekend is secret plans, next weekend is WGT. Hi-ho hi-ho it's off again to the Eurozone I go. Though I'm not sure I should after the travesty of the 2007 ill-fitting trouser competition in Helsinki. Go Moldova!!

Now, to work. Still love you all, etc. Even if I don't reply to your emails in a timely fashion and so on...

I...

Apr. 27th, 2007 03:14 pm
kneeshooter: (Default)
... am not at Whitby. Despite having a ticket in front of me, I've decided that I need "rest" more than I need "seaside". On the plus side there is a light at the end of the tunnel of early mornings and long commute.

I might even manage a proper update later.
kneeshooter: (Default)
Dear Lazyweb,

I have to write business cases as to why I can have decent, modern browsers on my work PC. Any good ideas how I can justify wanting IE7 and FF2?

It's terrible to say it, but an element of ICT freedom is very important to me in a job. Where's a good place to find a new one?

Love Simon
kneeshooter: (Default)
This week has been one of endings – though not of life, pets, hobbies, computers or even phones; but of television. The end of Rome (forever) and BSG (series 3) leave a hole in my viewing schedule that is unlikely to be filled by Lost (getting a bit rubbish) but may be by Heroes (which has taken 6 weeks off while they celebrate having a whole series and desperately try and write some more story).

Rome seemed to go out with a little bit of a whimper – mainly due to my knowledge that it is not going to get another series. That’s a shame because although it’s a bit odd in places and Series 2 has not been as exciting as Series 1 (we’d seen it all before tbh, and even the abundance of orgies didn’t excite) – it was worth watching.. If for not other reason than it reminded me about Odyssey.

BSG was an odd beast. Old friends returned as expected and the missing Cylons appeared to (maybe but lets not get carried away) be uncovered. The court scenes were tremendous though – brilliantly done and worth watching for the “let’s catalogue the plot holes in the series to date and use them rather than do like every other TV show would and ignore them” speech. I wasn’t sure about the end of the last series and that turned into something very powerful, so I suppose I should have faith.

Perhaps one of the reasons I don’t is last weekend. A visit to Preston coincided with Matt crewing Vikings so I packed a shirt, some woollen trousers and a couple of stabbing implements and went with him. On paper it sounded reasonably fun – a chance for some relatively relaxed roleplaying (try saying that when you’re drunk). However despite some highlights it suffered for reasons both in and out of the organisers control and basically overall didn't impress me. I like to think it wasn’t just because my shoulders aren’t used to chain mail for extended periods. Mind you, elsewhere people are raving about it, so perhaps my “good” and other people’s “good” is a completely different thing and I should stop moaning.

Of course it’s likely I’ll never get invited back there now, after having committed the cardinal sin of criticism.

One surprising discovery, visible from the motorway, was the 52nd Mormon Temple near Chorley. It’s a very impressive building – a classical cathedral style, simplified, that looks like it’s made of concrete. I’d love to get a closer look but you need a letter from your bishop to do so and I’m not sure I know any who are the “right kind”.

Today I’m in London, enjoying the benefits of a little laptop with decent battery life. Except I can only see out of one eye due to a dodgy contact lens so focussing is especially tough. To add insult to injury I didn’t get any Brown Sauce with my veggie sausage sandwich earlier and this evening’s train is “old-style” so might not even have any catering. I was down for a sustainability conference. My organisation now has an active policy in this area which should allow me to claim carbon footprint reasons for working from home… in my dreams at least.

This evening I will post this journal entry and share some pictures, before doing a bit of freelance work. What a life eh!

Next financial year I hope to spend £5k on a new laptop and camera. It will both make me a better photographer and allow me to carry two phones and two laptops around with me. I will then write long epic livejournal entries on the train and maintain a pretty reasonable policy of not abusing work’s laptop too much. Now all I have to do is find the £5k before claiming some of it back from the taxman.

Which reminds me, I’ve just been playing with Adobe Lightroom and I like it. I possibly even like it enough to buy it. It runs, does what I want and while it isn’t as good a UI as Potatoshop it is pretty much there.

And I’ve booked some more skiing. Dark City be damned.
kneeshooter: (rhona)
... dealing with reasonable people. The "picture crime" I mentioned the other week has been resolved - the site, for a large UK electronic music festival had taken a photo from a band MySpace site without considering that they didn't have permission to do so.

In the end - they said sorry - it was a mistake; I said ok. We get on with our lives.

It did look really good though :-)

In other news, my laptop has finally arrived at work. It's very shiny, quite small and I have the administrator password. Finally I can get the train without feeling that the time is being wasted away.

The weekend gone was interesting. I found I've lost a 4GB memory card (somewhere - it might turn up), so bought another 18GB to make up for it. On Friday I was in Lodnod for work, then assisted on an art film; Saturday I did very little; Sunday I talked about LRP a lot.

Then I found out my dad has cancer.

I'm not sure how bad it is yet - will find out more tomorrow. He's handling it rather well. I hope that is on the advice of the doctor rather than because his head is in the sand. It might be an interesting couple of months.

Life is...

Mar. 6th, 2007 11:00 pm
kneeshooter: (pooh)
... interesting.

I'm still shattered. I'm still under the thumb of a massive to do list and I miss the snow. It's never really gotten to me before but this time I'm feeling it a little. Maybe it's the commute.

Today I braved the train for the first time. It wasn't too bad and I could even have gotten my bike on it - once I've sorted out the changing/shower arrangements for the other end. This is the only light at the end of the tunnel.

Yesterday I sat in a room for most of the day with headteachers. It was all rather predictable. The women had too much make-up on and smelled of middle-aged lady; while the men looked around and wondered what the hell they ever saw in this profession - and were obviously dreaming of retirement.

That's not to say the job isn't all bad - I know more about underachievement in minorities than I did yesterday and can recommend the publications of the National Audit Office to insomniacs the world over.

It'd be all too easy to get dragged down by it all, so instead I'm going to take a couple of minutes, look at the new photo-book I've bought and dream of creativity.

And try to forget the credit card bill - brought this month by North America ski passes; the Hilton Bradford and Easyjet flights to Berlin.

I did get some free champagne from British Airways after they cocked up our online check-in. Anyone want to help or watch me drink it?
kneeshooter: (grass)
Anyone interested in a Knowledge Management job in Nottingham? £33,354 - £41,820

Email me if you are. And don't worry, it's not working for me :-)
kneeshooter: (Default)
Cripes, I'm exhausted. This working for a living is doing for me. It seems like ages since I updated - which is mostly because it is ages since I updated.

In any case, deep breath, and here goes.

A couple of weekends ago I went to Oxford, and took some photos of lovely people doing silly things; and some twigs; and some flowers. The results I will bore you with later, when I get a chance to upload them properly. It might take some time though. Company was good, camera-pr0n was good, though I was mostly shattered.

Last week was my first full week then The New Job (TNJ). It involved a two day staff conference, a trip to Colchester (via London), a snowy drive to Nottingham and a day cowering at home from the white stuff falling from the sky. The staff conference was actually good fun. The novelty teambuilding exercise involved making a video, which I enjoyed more than I thought I might. Methinks there might be something to explore there in the future. Colchester was bloody miles away. I was also not impressed by the Holiday Inn. Snowy Thursday I made the trip because of another planning day. This is where my life started to unravel.

Well, not my life as such, but the stoic, professional face I'd been wearing for days. This is the face of a person who is quiet, considered, positive, professional, reasoned, respectable and well turned out. Unfortunately it slipped off and the real me poked through. Still, they haven't terminated my employment yet...

This last weekend I did very little. I stayed up too late doing a bit of work, playing The Lord of Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II, The Rise of the Witch-King, which has probably the longest title of any game I own. I also watched some Oz (gritty!), some Battlestar Galactica (ok-good), some Heroes (wonderful fan heaven) and Lost (too predictable). I did find time to DJ at Malediction on Saturday and spent most of Sunday being slightly dead.

Apparently I need a silly DJ name - answers on a postcard...

My setlists were:

Read more... )

The big surprises were the number of people dancing to Modulate and someone saying to me it's the first time he'd heard Here Comes The War played out. I was shellshocked.

This week I have mostly been trying to convince myself that listening to the Today programme counts as work; enjoying the Archers and watching my Cthulhu investigator be murdered by a nasty piece of work with a .45. Poor Dr Kersh. He died a noble death during what was perhaps his most stupid and suicidal plan to date.

Finally I am nearly up to date, before jetting off again at the weekend. But there is time enough for one final story.

A couple of weeks ago, while I was in Austria there were some storms. During these storms a number of roof tiles detached themselves from my roof and decided it would be warmer inside. Ignoring the glass in their way, they fell to the earth. Alas they did not carry the words of $deity, but rather they just left devastation in their wake.

Upon my return I phoned my insurance company, got their glaziers out (or rather had a survey and the work is being done tomorrow) and had a budget to sort out the roof. So, I phoned a handful of roofers. One actually picked up the phone, came out and spoke to me. £480 inc VAT he said to me, perhaps unsurprising when I said the insurance company had authorised £500. "Written quote please!" I say and off we go. No quote ever appeared, so on Monday I phoned some more roofers and arranged for them to visit tomorrow to quote (when there will be someone in to open for the glaziers - with me so far?!).

But then this evening I get a phone call - without sending a quote or arranging to do the work, the original roofers turned up first thing this morning, did the job, and presented an invoice for £480 + VAT. So tomorrow I get to call them and explain that I'm not going to pay for that work and really it would have been better if they had arranged something with me rather than turn up in the van.

Trading Standards - here I come!!!
kneeshooter: (work)
One of my new colleagues said to me earlier on the train "I can't tell whether you're being serious or sarcastic".

And so it begins...
kneeshooter: (whistler)
One day down.

The commute is long, but Radio 4 keeps me company.
The AUP is horrendous, but it kept me off LJ all day.

I have no phone, no laptop, no idea.
But I am determined to make something of it.

My colleagues talked about their children.
But I didn't rant.

The AUP particularly singles out blogging as something only to do if you want to be bodily ejected into the lake outside. I think this is a little bit unfair. I'm even contemplating buying a personal laptop rather than settling into a pattern of abuse.

---

In other news I've been skiing. It was in many ways the oddest holiday I've been on. The first week there was very little in the way of snow. Indeed at one point I hit a muddy puddle, left a ski behind and ended up covering my entire right hand side in mud. Not what you expect.

This was the week we chose to do an off-piste skiing course. Actually it was amazing amounts of fun. Even the day where it was raining up to about 1800m and we were skiing the same moguls over and over again in the pouring rain.

The second week was with some new recruits. I got some air (which felt like much "bigger air" than it probably was) and managing to score through the base of my skis in about three places - like they had been attacked by a very annoyed three-clawed bear.

The real tragedy I had was one of poles. Just before Christmas I bought some nice new poles. But they were stolen one lunchtime. So I bought some more not-as-nice-but-still-nice poles. But they broke a couple of days later. So I bought some cheap poles. Then the not-as-nice-but-still-nice poles were replaced - with a pair of an identical model to the original nice poles. Round and round in circles.

Sleep soon.
kneeshooter: (work)
Today for the first time in about 4 years I'm off to a proper office job. This is slightly terrifying as for a long time I've either been "working from home" or in such flexible employment I'd spend much of it not at my nominal desk.

So I'm up early, I'm vaguely clean, the car has petrol, I've got my dinner money, I've got my induction timetable...

Soon I will answer the important question - is LJ blocked at work.
kneeshooter: (whistler)
Of course it's actually many weeks since Christmas but now I've fought my way through the work-slog, the London-slog and the alcohol induced haze from last night I need to take advantage of my last day of work and the associated very little to do to crack on with my rather long list of personal activities.

Christmas passed me by wonderfully. My best of intentions fell at the first hurdle and spending Christmas Day mucking about up a mountain on a pair of planks proved to be a lot more fun that eating too many Quality Street and fumbling through conversations with relatives. Despite the terrible snow warnings where I was (Zermatt) was reasonably adequate. The upper pistes were in pretty good nick and the lower pistes interestingly hard and/or bare. A little off-piste was possible in Cervinia and my only face-plant was without long term injury to anything other than my pride. Christmas in the mountains is lovely - simply because everything still opens, people don't make a fuss and just carry on as usual.

I do like skiing - it really might keep me away from Dark City this year. But I'm not sure.

New Years Eve I spent with an amount of fine company at the Custard Factory in Brum. It was an interesting experience - I nearly got in a fight; I spent a lot of time listening to FC Kahuna and was surprised by the friendliness of people on drugs. I never get indiscriminate smiles normally... I was mildly amused by people coming up to me asking if I was ok when just standing still. Something about K-holes apparently, so the kids in the know say. Home about 5:45am felt very reasonable.

I do miss a good goth club though.

The last couple of weeks have been a little busy at work, which has been nice. The last two days in London have been mostly as waste of time but it's been sensible to update some of my contacts on what I'm doing next, and better still have some of them say "You should do well at that" when I'm frankly a bit terrified of what I'll be expected to do. Turn the blag to 11...

On Wednesday night I saw 586, Bolt Action 5, White Light Parade and David Ryder Prangley and The Witches at the Purple Turtle. Good lord - I feel cheated and it was only £5 to get in. Respectively they were "she can sing, he can't; mediocre idea, mediocre execution" "jumping around doesn't compensate for lack of musical talent, though they had moments" "competent indie guitar" and "whine whine whine; sure you're not a goth?". Still, company and food were pleasant. Last night I had tapas which was frankly rubbish for a vegetarian and I can still feel every glass of the wine. I abandoned my hotel at 6:30 to come back.

Resonance Live was much better.

Media wise I'm finally reading The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever after trying once as an early teen and giving up. He doesn't make his life easy... reminds me of so many people I know and indeed myself in the way that most (fantasy) literary characters don't. I've also watched The 4400 which was good. Reminded me of the investigatory style of our group in [livejournal.com profile] pax_draconis's Call of Cthulhu game. Except the investigators in the series seem much more capable.

Photography is kinda good - in the sense I'm happy with the results - despite the fact this is silly season and I'm not taking much. Anyone want to share the costs of hiring studio space in Brum? £25 per week for the "space" at the Custard Factory. It's a pipedream.

And tomorrow? To the Alps again. For any passing burglars reading this the alarm code is &^**
kneeshooter: (Default)
When out at a meal with colleagues, it's not a good idea to be the only person drinking white wine on your part of the table, especially when the restaurant neglects to bring water.

Ooops. It really is the morning after.
kneeshooter: (Default)
As the title says. More entry soon, once I have picked up the pieces of my limited enthusiasm for work. In fact, I'm not sure I should even be working today but as I have stuff to finish I'd better crack on.

In the meantime, my laptop packed up again yesterday - it really doesn't like flying. Fortunately I can access it remotely as long as no-one walks near it and I have all the data from it. So it's just a matter of hoping it can get back to me before I go on holiday - else what will I do for entertainment?

Of course, this laptop is related to my current job. Which also ends in two weeks. So it might be in the shop for the whole remainder of my employment. This amuses me, a little.
kneeshooter: (whistler)
But actually it looks prettier on the trees. It's been a funny week - the closer I get to having to get up in the morning to commute to a place of work other than my spare room the more I seem to need to sleep. This is not a good thing.

Anyway - before all that I need to survive, if that's the right word, a couple of holidays. Terribly stressful I know - but I've forgotten how to pack, what I need, what I'm doing, where my old currency is... Plus I have to write 1000 words of electronic paper before I go.

Still, all that worry can wait until after breakfast. Which can wait until I've spent a bit more time looking out of the window at frost covered trees. Though I have this nagging feeling - what if the freezing fog stays - will my plane be able to get off the ground at all tomorrow morning?

Getting it

Dec. 8th, 2006 11:28 am
kneeshooter: (Default)
I'm not really getting it at the moment. I feel listless and disconnected. I'm sleeping too much and at the same time not at all. I'm in limbo in many ways and all around me I see and hear triggers that bring things back to me that I'd rather not remember.

I'm sure it's a passing phase - and at least it's not a dark cloud. It's just kind of grey. I want passion and enthusiasm - not a sense of overwhelming mediocrity and boredom. And the weekend? Outlook is damp and drizzly. Anyone got any smart ideas?




Last weekend I managed one night out of the two - bailing on the Cruxshadows I made it to Nottingham for Kryogenix which was fun - though I was getting a little tired. Then on Sunday I did some fiddling with photographs and developed the latest in my line of game addictions to Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds after having just finally finished The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth. Fortunately I know my addiction model very well...

The weekend was also the chance to watch the latest BSG. To start with it smacked of "cheap, mid-season filler" but as it went on I warmed to it and found it quite an interesting character driven episode. Still, not quite the pace, energy and utter bleakness I've enjoyed in the majority of the series so far.

I had a terrible day of work on Wednesday in London - despite being well up to do a talk to a reasonable sized conference I got a little flustered and was too fast. Nothing like a stick to beat yourself with (when there's the lack of anyone else to beat) but hopefully LJ-oriented catharsis will help. The day was improved by a pleasant early evening chatting about photography.

Yesterday was, as well as the last night of our first Cthulhu adventure, was the final artw*nk Photography section. Looking back over the past few weeks I get a sense I've become more confident in my work, more open minded and also more able to communicate about what I'm trying to do. As much as I'm energised about anything at the moment I'm energised about doing more, different shoots.

Which is why I am doing "yet another" gig tonight (Levellers) though on my own at present.

I did however succumb to online temptations and order some lights yesterday - "accelerating towards penury" I think is the phrase.

I suppose I'd better do some work now - though I do feel like I'm on gardening leave despite the fact a contract still hasn't turned up.
kneeshooter: (Default)
As a wise man said "Better to make a mistake in Nottingham than in Amsterdam".

So, I'm off to Nottingham. Or at least, I'll be spending four hours a day and money on commuting to a job that pays less than my current one. I'm going to be giving up working my own hours to spend time in an office. I'm going to start wearing a shirt and tie again.

They might even block LiveJournal. Aaaargh!

Nuts? Possibly.

Wish me luck...

WIDATW

Nov. 24th, 2006 09:05 am
kneeshooter: (tweek)
As one more weekend looms - another fades into memory. There's not actually very much to report from last weekend - which in itself was lovely as that was the point. There was much nice food; much relaxing and much reading.

My books of choice were Christopher Priest's The Glamour and The Prestige. I'm told the plot of the movie version of the latter is slightly different to the book - but I'd recommend the books - interesting, thoughtful reads - with a sense of the unknown and psychological that reminds me of playing Cthulhu with [livejournal.com profile] pax_draconis et al.

Erm, that was about it really.

In other news, gallery opening yesterday (a bit flat but I at least got to argue with the printers) after a dash across the Midlands by cycle and train (which I get to do again in a minute). I am back on my bike though - which is good and means I will at least manage 10 minutes of skiing before I run out of fitness at Christmas. Still, the useful lesson I learned was:

If the shortest route looks like a canal path; and it has been raining - you will get to the meeting literally covered in mud.

I've never been so muddy at a meeting before - though I think I wiped most of it off my face. Today I shall stick to the roads.

February 2012

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