Wednesday, 31 August 2011

All change... and growing up!

... in the management tree at work! Our whole department has been moved from being under one person to someone completely different and I really don't see this as a positive thing. The boss seems to be happy with this now although he wasn't so positive when the idea was floated to him this morning (namby pamby wishy washy). Time will tell I guess but initial reactions from a few people have not been a big thumbs up! Sadly this means that the weekly puppet show is likely to be continuing for the foreseeable future :o( Ho hum, I'll give it all the benefit of the doubt but it might be time to start fluffing up the old CV just in case!

I had a shocking revelation today. I received an email about advance tickets for Def Leppard. Motley Crue & Steel Panther and realised that the very thought of this gig made me cringe and shudder! Thank goodness my soul has now been fully possessed by the darkness of goth!

Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Asthma and Krispy Kremes

Well today was a little eventful I have to say. I pootled off to work leaving Toni about to drag Sam up to her mum's to have a blast on her nebuliser as he was very wheezy. With very little improvement she then packed him off to her GP much to his disgust. What he thought would be a quick visit turned out to be around 1.5 which included two additional salbutamol shots on the nebuliser. He was then prescribed stronger puffers and told to make an appointment at our GP for a check up, so it was far more serious than he was letting on!

I met Sam after work and we headed out to Liverpool Street where I treated him to a box of Krispy Kreme donuts as he had never had one before. Once we got home he savoured the wonders of the incredibly bad donut shop and has now conceded that they are indeed the best donuts in the world ever!

We then spent the rest of the evening having a WWE catch up, a curry and watching Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (which wasn't actually anywhere near as bad as a lot of people have made out)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Destroy The Silence @ Camden Underworld

Toni and I hit Camden Underworld tonight for the fantastic Destroy The Silence festival. Some great bands were on offer today.

Trad goth guitar style band. Well crafted songs with a Sisters/Mission feel and Mick Jagger leading the charge. Guest appearance was made by Stephen Carey of The Eden House/Adoration. Very good band and a great way to open the night!

See all the DEAD EYES OPENED pics here: 280811DeadEyesOpenedDestroyTheSilence

These guys were not strangers having seen them at Whitby Goth Weekend in the past. If the spirit of Morrisey meshed with Damon Albarn had then possessed the body of Billy Bragg and then got drunk you'd end up with The Stripper Project. They were excellent for all the wrong reasons, chaotic and shambolic but somehow it works! Underneath the chaos were some great tunes.

See all THE STRIPPER PROJECT pics here:

Despite being fraught with technical issues they still managed to pull off a great set with a couple of new songs to boot (albeit a shortened set). Is it just me or do they really sound like a great mix of the Dead Kennedys and Dirk era Adam & The Ants?

See all the DUTCH ORDER pics here: 280811DutchOrderDestrotTheSilence

Wonderfully passionate and dramatic performance. No holds barred, no banter, just got on stage and did their stuff! Crowd were really getting into it. Best I've seen them so far.

See all THE LAST CRY pics here: 280811TheLastCryDestroyTheSilence

Typical Rhombus fare, all great songs and enthusiasm and slightly tongue in cheek.
New Temperance was dedicated to the sadly absent Robert Maisey, "he may be a twat, but he's our twat", said Mr Grassby

See all the RHOMBUS pics here: 280811RhombusDestroyTheSilence

Sadly this set was ruined by bad sound and the plethora of inflatable animals and objects flying around just couldn't save them. Mark's amp was way too loud on stage so his guitar drowned everything out. When he was just singing things sounded really good. One of my favourite bands who were a bit less than impressive tonight due to one overly loud amp :o(

See all the VENDEMMIAN pics here: 280811VendemmianDestroyTheSilence

Absolutely brilliant. Bouncy, fun, danceable. Tim looked like he was having a real ball up there, and Mr Maisey got another shout out!

See all thr PRETENTIOUS, MOI? pics here:

Having seen them twice before we decided to skip out on The Eden House and .went for vegetarian Chinese instead! Destroy The Silence was a fantastic festival and I really hope they do something like this again as the line up was really strong. Was great to have a quick catch up with Carina (Cryogenica), Richard (Ghost Of Lemora) and Louis (Nosferatu) as an added bonus to the night!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Red Sun, Doctor Who and Aaron's shearing!

Today we visited Chelmsford to a new shop called Red Sun, a sci-fi comic/toy shop. It was a bit like Forbidden Planet lite! So great to see a shop like this appear and we spent ages mooching around. I could have spent an absolute fortune but did manage to show some restrain and just bought myself a cosplay book.

We then enjoyed the fist of the new Doctor Who episodes. I have to say that despite the tongue in cheek style I enjoyed it very much.

The night was a bit more shocking though. While we were in Chelmsford Aaron had said that he wanted all of his hair lopped off. I figured that he wasn't really serious (especially after just having it bleeched and blue put in) but with hours to think about it he was still adamant that this is what he wanted.

He went from this:

To this:

Ending like this:

Full set of progress pics can be found here:

Friday, 26 August 2011

Sam Butland bumped up again

Big well done to Sam!
He had applied to do a Level 2 IT Diploma and went to Southend College today to enrol. He was asked about his GCSE grades and when he told them what he had they said he was mad doing the Level 2 course and have now bumped him up to the Level 3. Way to go! I am more than a little chuffed I must admit.

The only slight downer on this is that it is now a two year course rather than one and so we will have to look at logistics as the plan is still to move to London by next summer. Sam could be about to be introduced to the wonderful world of commuting!

There's no I in team.....

.....but there is a U in cunt!
Have to get this one off my chest today as I was so annoyed by some more corporate knob polishing!
Big thanks went to Blah, Blah & Blah for going the extra mile to get a difficult project back on track. Sadly my team weren't even given a nod in this email despite us also being integral to the success of said project! Annoyed much! Almost didn't go in when I read the email at stupid o'clock this morning.

To make matters worse my manager grumbled about it but, as far as I was aware, didn't actually do anything, ie add a complimentary email or contact to the original sender to put him straight. Someone else did this instead.

Later in the day an additional email came out admitting the "oversight" and thanking us as well. We even got a personal follow up email apologising personally to us. The only dilemma I had after that was deciding whether or not to have cream or custard with the slice of humble pie that the sender had received. I couldn't help but feel a little smug LMFAO

Thursday, 25 August 2011

New Edinburgh Capitals website is go!

After lots of angst trying to get things set up and fighting the back-end I am pleased to announce the the new Edinburgh Capitals website is now live. It looks sweet although the back-end is a pig and it's certainly not how I would have done it but at the end of the day what it looks like is the only thing people care about rather than how easy it is to maintain! That's just my problem!

For those that have a passing interest in ice hockey you can check it out here:

Boy I am I glad that is over and done and dusted!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Return to form and Clueless

Well despite a good run of (in)sanity, certain people returned to form today. Ho hum, I knew it was too good to be true! I love my job *grin*

The only saving grace is that I am still working on my main knowledge base at the moment so I don't have to worry about the product that can't be mentioned!

It was a relief to get the flock out of there and head back to Toni's. Gorgeous food, snuggles and Clueless made the end of the day most pleasant. Clueless? Mmmm, reminds me of the first paragraph! Great film though, very funny and there were so many bits I had forgotten about.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Goth Blocked!

This cheered me up after a hard day at work!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

True Blood and Warehouse 13

It was a TV catch up day today.
True Blood Season 4 is starting to get much better now!

Warehouse 13 Season 3 was started today and continues to be as fun and zany as it was previously and the new character adds more depth to the team, am really liking it!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Happy Birthday Dad

Happy Birthday Dad!
Hope you have a great day!

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Friday, 19 August 2011

Orpheum workshop/rehearsal

Had a really good Orpheum workshop/rehearsal tonight.

Not only did Mars come with an awesome middle section for stranger but I've also started to nail the awkward proggy parts that I've been struggling with of late. Extra practice at home is starting to pay off!

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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Grrr, Raw, Insidious and damn those proggy bits!

Grrr day at work. Testing of the unstable flaky product continues. Nuff sad!

The evening was much better thankfully. Started off watching WWE Raw and had spag bol. I'm actually getting excited about WWE programming again as they have the potential to weave some TV magic over the next weeks/months. Let's hope they don't cock it up!

Next up was horror film Insidious. This gets a WOW from me. It's been a while since I've seen a really well made horror film that manages to feel original and also gets a little bit scary. I won't spoil it with any hints but if you like horror movies then this is definitely one to check out!

Finished off the evening doing some more Orpheum song practice. Those blasted proggy bits are still proving to be a challenge but I am getting there slowly! We have a workshop rehearsal tomorrow so hopefully I'll get them nailed!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Home recording is.....

.....making music! >_<

I dragged the old five string out tonight and did a load of brushing up on Orpheum stuff. I then decided that it was time to update some of the demo recordings with me playing. A couple of passed with Ableton Live later and I had a rough track done to prove the process. Taking things forward I will now be able to get really productive!

Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Monday, 15 August 2011

The Clockwork Vampire Chronicles

Today I finished reading the third instalment of The Clockwork Vampire Chronicles by Andy Remic.

The books are:
Kell's Legend
Soul Stealers
Vampire Warlords

"They came from the north, and the city fell.
It is a time for warriors, a time for heroes.
Kell’s axe howls out for blood.

Ferocious fantasy from a real-life hardman come to claim the post-Gemmell world.

The land of Falanor is invaded by an albino army, the Army of Iron. A small group set off to warn the king: Kell, ancient hero; his granddaughter, Nienna and her friend, Katrina; and the ex-Sword Champion of King Leanoric, Saark, disgraced after his affair with the Queen.

Fighting their way south, betrayal follows battle follows deviation, and they are attacked from all quarters by deadly albino soldiers, monstrous harvesters who drain blood from their victims to feed their masters, and the twisted offspring of deviant vachine, the cankers. As Falanor comes under heavy attack and crushing invasion, only then does Nienna learn the truth about grandfather Kell – that he is anything but a noble hero, anything but a Legend."

WOW is all I have to say. It's been a while since an author that was unknown to me has grabbed my attention to the point of not being able to put a book down. The Clockwork Vampire Chronicles are set in a fantasy world tainted with vampire mythology and cleverly intertwined (literally) with clockwork steampunk elements. These books are fast paced action with more blood and guts than you can shake a stick at. If Tarantino wrote fantasy it would read something like this!

The main characters are well defined and totally believable and I found myself immersed in the stark world that Remic has created as a backdrop to Kell's adventures.

If you choose to embark on this path then you would be best to order all three together as I can guarantee that you will be frustrated if you end Kell's Legend and are unable to progress straight into Soul Stealers and then into Vampire Warlords.

The final book reaches a natural conclusion for the Chronicles but is also left open enough for there to be plenty of scope for further novels, something that Mr Remic has assured me are in his head but not yet contracted so I sincerely hope that we will see more!

If you are a fan of Andy Gemmell then you will love this series.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

All steaked out.... lovely weekend

...went into overkill today! Had steak for the third time in four days!
Thursday - steak
Friday - steak
Sunday - steak!

RESULT is all I can say as I love steak! Might be time for a change though!

Had a lovely weekend in Bexhill-on-Sea with Toni's nan. It was a chance to unwind, relax, eat well, sleep, read and generally forget the world for a couple of days. Just what I needed!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Toni and I left a cold and wet London headed out to see her nan in Bexhill-on-Sea. When we arrived the weather was beautiful, a far cry from what we'd left behind in London.

We enjoyed a nice cuppa out in the sun with a nice cool breeze blowing in from the sea (which was just the other side of the road). There is something about fresh sea air that makes me feel very relaxed and I could quite easily have fallen asleep!

Home made chicken soup for lunch and then we sat and chatted and read in the living room (again with the cool fresh breeze washing over us). I did crash out at this point as I was well and truly relaxed!

We went out for dinner to a restaurant for some gorgeous fish and chips. My cod was like a small whale and I struggles to get through it but it was delicious!

Afterwards we monged out watching bits of TV including a fascinating debate on the recent rioting and looting.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Hula Tubes and Jade's birthday

Every now and again you get something and it doesn't turn out quite as expected! Surprise of the day was brought to me through the medium of Hula Hoops courtesy of the crisps supplied by work:

There must have been something wrong with the cutter!

Later in the afternoon I went back for another packet and was amazed to find something similar although not quite as extreme

What are the chances of that eh? LMFAO

After work it was back to Eltham to celebrate Jade's birthday. Good wine, conversation and steak and wedges made a perfect evening.

Toni and I were left with the house to ourselves at the end of the night so we took the opportunity to make things fun *grin

Thursday, 11 August 2011

The despicable practice of knob polishing!

Certain areas of the company seem to be big on the self congratulatory, slap yourself on the back, aren't we wonderful type emails that they send out and copy in just about everyone in the universe. This is a practice that has now become known as knob polishing. There seems to have been a great big increase in the practice of knob polishing over the last couple of months.

It is a practice that, if I am totally honest, is getting right on my tits. Thanks for the email telling me that you have done something that is merely part of your job and expected of you anyway. Well done, you make me so proud. Imagine how much network traffic and server clogging we could build up if we all felt the need to indulge in a little knob polishing! We aren't impressed, we don't give a shit and, quite frankly, feel that it makes you come across as arrogant, needy, egotistical twats (nay, knobs!)

So, if you feel the need to go and polish your knob please do so in the privacy of your own office with other consenting adults and leave the rest of us alone to get on with our jobs please! We really don't want to see it!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Kill Team

No this isn't a commentary on the riot situation.... Tonight was spent trying out the new PS3 game Warhammer 40K: Kill Team. Have to say that for a cheap download game it is very good. The incentive for playing this is to unlock an item that will then be available in the much awaited Space Marine game (due to be released in the Autumn).

The graphics are very good and represent the 40K universe very well. It is very clear that Games Workshop had a strong controlling hand in the development. The gameplay is also pretty good with simple controls and smooth play and transitions.

I live in some vain hope that they might expand the game at some point to allow the playing of other armies as at the moment you can only be Space Marines. I'd love to see this engine used to create an Eldar or Dark Eldar option. Enemies so far have been Orks and Tyrannids and I'm wondering if there might be some more guest appearances from other races.

Sam and I both give Kill Team a big thumbs up so if you are into Warhammer 40K and have an Xbox or PS3 then you should definitely get this game!

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Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

First day back.....

....and it felt MEH! LOL

Despite having a wonderful week off to relax the stress of being back at work returned almost immediately. Sadly madness continues to run riot and so instead of coming back to a slight improvement I have returned the same shite and more! The only real positive was finally getting my Season Ticket cheque through so I can at least now go and purchase my shiny new Gold Card. This was in the nick of time though as my current season ticket runs out tomorrow but at least it's sorted!

Despite rumours of trouble brewing in Stratford it was a clear run home without incident as it appears that the trouble has moved out of London on the whole (for now anyway)

Got home, relaxed with mum and ate chinese while watching the news prior to an early night.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Panic on the streets of London....'s all got quite "interesting" since I returned to the UK.

Am in Mottingham tonight. Lewisham and Lee are not far away and subject to looting and rioting, burned out vehicles etc.

Had a brief scare as I was alone in the car with Gemima asleep in the back when 6 hoodie youths started walking up the road towards the car (Toni had popped into her mum's house). They looked very shifty as they entered the road but turned down an alley just before they reached me. Obviously having heard a lot of the news my heart was beating a little fast! I didn't feel much better when they were out of sight but at least there were no reported incidents in Eltham at the time. They did re-appear again 5 minutes later and walked back down the street in the direction they had appeared from. Probably completely innocent but the atmosphere in parts of London is somewhat tense as you can imagine!

A great little venue that Hollywood Doll played at, Dirty South, was targeted and has been trashed. It's been jaw dropping watching things unfold throughout the evening. So many places that I know and love have been attacked and/or destroyed.

The social commentary on all of this should be fun to read.

Can the world be as sad as it seems?

Standing room only: a lovely send off for Paul

It's not often that you can say a funeral was good or lovely but today was one of those exceptions. Toni and I had the pleasure of attending the funeral of Paul Fawcett today and it was standing room only and not a dry eye in the house. The service was really good and Toni commented that as someone who didn't really know him she really got a feel for what he was like thanks to the wonderful way things were presented.

RIP Paul, you will be missed!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Venice Day 6: the return

Ugh, awake at 06:00, no fun! Sam was even less lively as he didn't get in til 01:30!

All packed and dressed ready for our final breakfast on board. Breakfast today was brought to you through the medium of show tunes, much to the annoyance of Toni and mum as Sam and I drive them insane!

We then had to sit around twiddling our thumbs for 30 minutes waiting for our coach to arrive to take us to the airport.

A quick coach ride later and then we were in a long queue to check in. Luckily they opened the desk early. I am tired of airport security though. I swear to god I could walk through naked and still set the alarms off! At least I got to keep my shoes on this time LOL

Once we were through security we picked up a few goodies in the shops and then headed for coffee. Toni got stupidly excited as the coffee shop had a large range of gluten free snacks which we bought a nice selection of:

Next stop was passport control and a little duty free shopping. If anyone is wondering what to buy me for Xmas.....

Boarding was quick and painless although we did have to eject a man from one of our seats. We took off a little later than planned as we had quite a long wait on the runway.

The view not long after take off:

Ironically it was true.....

The overall view was less interesting on the way back but pretty nonetheless:

It was a very smooth flight and we landed safely at 12:44 and then had a long old wait at baggage reclaim. All bags present and correct we then got the bus to the car park to collect our car.

This warranted photography while we were there, SO funny!

...... and so we drove back to Mottingham from Gatwick and our holiday was officially over. It has been a totally amazing week and was great to get away and completely forget about everything for once and just focus on relaxing and having fun! En route the hunger came upon us so we deviated to the O2 and enjoyed a huge Garfunkels feast!

Once back at Toni's I had the unexpected joy of having to do some under the sink plumbing! Still, I'm sure it will be worth it :o)

Needless to say everyone wishes it wasn't over but we did all had an amazing time and are now completely knackered.

Next job, sorting out 1000+ photos to share with you all (over the next couple of days)!

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