Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Dearest Monster by Sister Goth

So the other day I had the lovely surprise of having Martine Martin, ex-Orpheum band mate, get in touch and share her new single with me. She has reinvented herself as Sister Goth. Dearest Monster  delivers an almighty gothic punch big on sweeping keyboards and atmosphere! Colour me impressed. It is dark and brooding and features some great instrumentation. It was a delight to hear the familiar voice of Erin Johnson (from Orpheum) providing additional vocals.

Halloween was the perfect day to unleash this on the world!

I really enjoyed this single and can't wait to hear more from Sister Goth,

Here's the video:

Check out Sister Goth on Facecbook here: https://www.facebook.com/sistergoth/

Samhain Blessings

Samhain blessings to all my friends and family

Monday, 30 October 2017

Star Wars Rebels and The Last Jedi international trailer

Caught up with the last two episodes of Star Wars Rebels, In the Name of the Rebellion Parts 1 and 2. I'm loving the way we are now riding the approach to Rogue One timeline with Saw Gerrera playing a big part, large kyber crystals and mentions of Jeddah.

This season has started off brilliantly and I can only hope that they'll finish with a bang as this is the final season. Will they go for Rogue One style deaths to explain the absence of some the main characters in the rest of the saga? Only time will tell on that front!

In other Star Wars news we've just had the first international trailer dropped on us. The excitement builds some more as we get a couple of short new things thrown in.... I won't add any spoilers :) It isn't as big on new things as The Force Awakens international trailer but that's fine. It all teases very nicely!

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Dolmen Grove Essex & Kent Moot Samhain ceremony

Today we made a welcome return to Fobbing where we held the Dolmen Grove Free Spirits Camp. This time it was for the Dolmen Grove Essex & Kent Moot Samhain ceremony. It was so lovely to be back there and feel the lovely energy of the area. We started putting up the gazebo and it almost felt like construction the camp again. Once everything was set up we lit our fire pit and then we were good to go.

It was a lovely ceremony conducted by Toni and all five of us really had a good time participating. After the ceremony we shared food, chatted and chilled around the fire pit.

Once of the things we've always believed in the Dolmen Grove is that it's not about how many people you have at an event but whether or not you have the right people. We most certainly did today and one of them was a first timer. Hopefully we'll be seeing her again.

I couldn't leave the site without taking a few pictures of the area, it is so beautiful.

I am sure this won't be the last time we are back here......

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Working a Saturday (again), Cafe Delicio and no problems

It was like a normal working day today. I was up at 07:30 and started work straight away (I decided to WFH rather than travel in to the office). Everything was smooth, I'd planned things well and with good support from my colleagues in Delhi I had everything done by lunchtime so we could hand over to clients to test.

This meant that Toni and I had a chance to go out for some breakfast/lunch together and chill out. We went to Cafe Delicio in Eltham for some lovely noms. They had gone to great efforts to get the place in the mood for Halloween which was really sweet.

I kept an eye on emails but there were no issues reported by the clients that did sign in and do some testing which was a relief for me :)

Once client said that they needed access to some additional environments ahead of time. I was in a benevolent mood so said that it could be done overnight so that they would have access to them on the Sunday. The plan had been to have Delhi to do part one over night and me finish things off in the morning. Delhi were so on the ball with things though that we managed to get everything done between us in the evening which meant that no additional Sunday work for me! I was very happy about that!

Feeling all happy from a some great work I decided to watch the New York Rangers game. It was a bit painful at times and not the result I wanted but it was good to watch some hockey again.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Everything is under control

Today was busy but under control. Some people were panicking about the second wave of migrations this weekend but I was not letting them pull the plug on it.

I had a very busy day getting everything prepped for the weekend and also had to try and get some people to calm down and realise that the first wave overall had been very successful and that we only really had one problem outstanding for two clients which weren't showstoppers. Thankfully everyone did calm down and agreed that the plan for the weekend would go ahead and all seemed prepared for Monday.

I got home and had a nice Indian and some chill time before getting a confirmation that the first part of the migration work had been completed by my colleagues in Delhi. I then decided to log on and start some of my work that was planned for tomorrow which would then make tomorrow a shorter day. Everything went very smoothly and I was then in a position where I had much less to do in the morning which was a relief.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Getting things under control and a return to Ragnarok

Well the shit storm fallout is slowly getting put under control. It's been a somewhat interesting couple of days but I was like a tugboat with a fire hose!

I've worked bloody hard fighting fires and sorting stuff out but it is all starting to pay off as people are happy that I've managed to keep plates spinning for them and as a result make happy clients. There's still a horrible blot on the horizon that has to be dealt with next week but for now we appear to be heading into calmer waters.

We headed back to Cineworld Bexleyheath tonight for a second showing of Thor: Ragnarok as Zoe had been working on Tuesday so missed out. It's still a brilliant movie and is highly recommended.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Star Wars Battlefront II

Oh my gosh, there is a new trailer out for the single plater mode in the Star Wars Battle Front II game.

This just make me so excited. Can't wait to get my hands on this and to enjoy a mode that was sadly missing from the first game.

The shit storm is here.....

Well I was right yesterday, the shit storm did come and I had lots of stuff to do, WAY too much but I just had to knuckle down and get on with things.

I'm not actually sure how I got through the day but by the end of it I did start to have something resembling control coming back which was a relief.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Thor: Ragnarok

The day today was saved by a trip to Cineworld Bexleyheath to go and see Thor: Ragnarok.

Oh wow is all I have to say. This is best of the Thor movies so far. They've injected some Guardians style humour and visuals into it that make to work so well. Hulk's appearance is sublime and Loki as ever is the perfect opposite of Thor and yet the come closer together. No spoilers here but the plot was great. As with all Marvel films, don't leave until the end of the credits or you'll miss out

If you were less fond of the Thor movie then this will be the one for you to enjoy.

This was a much needed piece of light relief from chaos at work!

Problem solved and total shit storm looming!

Today was part good and part disaster work wise. Although I think I finally managed to get to the bottom of my outstanding problem everything else fell apart and a total shit storm looms on the horizon. I can't say anything at the moment but just as I thought my stress had gone it was all back and much worse!

Monday, 23 October 2017

Beautiful sunrise, problem remains and a double dose of Thor

Today I was greeted by a beautiful sunrise. It was so lovely to see before I headed off to work.

I messed about with one of the photos to create this little beauty:

Work was less beautiful but then that was what I expected LOL. My one remaining problem started to come back my way again just as I predicted last week but thankfully I managed to pass it back on to another team for further investigation. We have some rough thoughts on what is happening now at least but it's taking a long time to get to the bottom of things. Hopefully tomorrow will bring good news for us.

After the working day was done the evening was spent watching Thor and Thor: The Dark World in preparation for us going to see Thor: Ragnarok tomorrow night. I have a real soft spot for the Thor films. They are quite silly but fit perfectly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Sleep, Crash, Amnesia, Black Flag and Skin Wars: Fresh Paint

Well today was another day of unexpected extra sleep due to an essential change of plans. It was very much needed.

Toni went out to spend some time with Jade and do various things so I took the opportunity to get in some PS4 time. I started off proceedings with Crash Bandicoot. It was so much fun but sadly I was dealing with a controller with strange behaviours that made it very difficult to play properly so I decided to move on to something else.

Free on PSN Plus this month is a game called Amnesia which I decided to give a go. Oh my, that was unexpected. It's a survival horror game setup in such a way that you don't get to fight, you have to hide or run away. They recommend you play it in a darkened room with headphones on. I opted for the darkened room as Zoe was watching me play. It is a VERY subversive game, with eerie graphics and a soundtrack that just drags you in. It's hard to really describe how it makes you feel. I wasn't scared but my heart was definitely racing at certain points. It does get quite intense, that's for sure.

After a while I had to come up for air as it was all getting too much being lost in the Amnesia world so I took to the high seas once again for some Assassins Creed Black Flag action. That did the job and my BPM was back at a more reasonable rate in no time LOL.

Chip shop chips for the win (and dinner) and we watched some of the first season of Skin Wars: Fresh Paint. This is a RuPaul hosted show where artists move from their usual medium and take on the challenge of body painting.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Rest, family, Rangers and RuPaul

Today was wonderful. I didn't get up until 11:30. The sleep was glorious, so wonderful and I woke up actually feeling like I had had some rest.

Breakfast and Hell's Kitchen was a great way to start the day. Toni and I then popped out to do a little shopping before popping over to Leanne's and had a fun time with Irving, Jamie, Indie, Shiv and Bodhi. The only downside was having to watch Ghostbusters 2.

I haven't watched much of the New York Rangers so far this season (and thankfully given some of the recent results) but today was an early game so I decided to tune in. I'm so glad I did as they seemed to have pulled their stuff together. It wasn't the most elegant game and I was shouting at the TV for the last five minutes but thankfully they kept their heads and beat the Nashville Predators 4 - 2.  Fingers crossed this is a return to winning ways.

Toni made the most amazing carrot soup for dinner, it was delicious. I ate all mine and then finished off Zoe's afterwards, nom nom nom.

We finished the remainder of the day with the final three episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 2.

Friday, 20 October 2017

SEP (blue skies), no more stress and a TV catch up

Woke up this morning feeling far from refreshed and inspired. Headed into work not wanting to go to work as my little problem loomed nearer and nearer once again. The morning was spent trying to get some form of grasp on things. Just after lunch, and three rounds of debugging later there was at least a clue. A small one, but a clue nonetheless. This made me feel far less stressed. Even better was that I now got to hand the problem over to someone else to look at. This might be a temporary thing and it could all be back on me again come Monday but at least I have the weekend to enjoy and NOT worry about this issue.  SEP! Someone Else's Problem LMFAO. Blue skies ahead for a while :)

The remainder of the afternoon was then much more fun with me able to get on with some other post migration tasks and feel like I was achieving things once again. This was such a lovely feeling!

I left for home just feeling tired and drained with the stressed and depressed thankfully being left at the office. What a difference that made!

Rannah provided our sustenance for the night and we did a catchup on The Good Place, Star Wars Rebels and RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars.

A much needed sleep was in order.....

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Clusterf***, Mike's leaving drinks and stress

Well it's been a bit of a cluster*** of a week. One niggly problem from the migration remained and now matter how hard I tried I could just not get to the bottom of it. This has been causing me to get more and more stressed as the week progressed and fatigue was also kicking in which just didn't help matters. Personal pride kept me attacking the problem rather than giving up.

There was a brief reprise at lunchtime when some of us went to the Old Tea Warehouse for Mike's leaving drinks. It was a bit of a chuckle and some welcome relief.

Sadly I couldn't escape the problem and went through many hours of banging my head against the wall. Even with the aid of a colleague we were still unable to sort things out and so I had to end another day disappointed that I could not get rid of the last outstanding issue.

I got home and was feeling really down and completely stressed. I sat in the living room lit only by two salt lamps and listened to some soothing music to try and relax but sadly that didn't cut it. Toni came back and we went out for a meal at Ziyafet with Jade and Aaron which was nice but I wasn't feeling very conversational and was lost in my work problem. We weren't home for long before I went to bed in the hope I could sleep out my slump and feel more inspired in the morning.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Star Wars updates

Time for a brief Star Wars update as it's been a little while since the last one. We'll start with the countdown to The Last Jedi!

Laura Dern has just shared this fun image of her sporting purple hair in The Last Jedi whilst appearing on the Ellen Show:

She also talked about her role and working with Carrie Fisher. See more here:

I am not usually one to criticise Lucasfilm or anything Star Wars but I was quite upset to see the real lack of imagination in the name of the No Longer Unnamed Han Solo movie!

Here's how Ron Howard made the 'big reveal' on Twitter.

Really? Is that the best you could come up with? I'd have preferred Han Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Still, grumble aside, it is good to now that production has been wrapped up and we now have another Star Wars movie heading to our screens next year.

Rumour has it that we are due some more details for Star Wars Battlefront II!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Another mad day, the dentist and TV catch up

Well I had hoped that things would quieten down a bit at work but sadly that dream is for another day. There were still a few things to get sort and I had hoped to have closed off all open issues by the end of the day. This was not to be though and it was a real uphill struggle in the afternoon.

Just to make my life complete I then had to leave work quite stressed to go to the dentist which then caused me more stress. I haven't been to a dentist in five years so I was fearing the worst. I have a real fear of dentists so that didn't help either. I explained how I felt and jumped in the chair and she did a couple of x-rays. Then it was time for the dreaded examination. Thankfully I didn't need any dental work and my x-rays showed no signs of problems so I just have to do some hygienist sessions. This was such a relief, a very very BIG relief as I had been fearing the worst. I booked the hygienist appointment straight away while was in the right frame of mind LOL.

Got home and watched the final two episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars. I'm just loving these shows and the All Stars ones are extra fun. We also managed to get in some Big Bang Theory and the first episode of the final season of Star Wars Rebels.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Crazy day, Scorpion, Dynasty and Ice Guardians

Wow, that was one hell of a crazy day. It started badly with cancelled and diverted trains all over the place meaning that I got to the office later than planned.

It was all go from the off with a number of issues arising from the migration at the weekend. There was nothing serious but a steady stream of things that needed to be resolved, even if it was just telling users to read the documentation that had been provided to them before the weekend LOL. Despite the constant barrage of work everything got cleared up quickly with only a couple of issues carrying over into tomorrow. I even managed to leave work on time. Thankfully the journey home was easier than the one in.

Toni and Zoe were out for the night so it was just Sam and I. He was knackered so retired early. I made myself a nice salad for dinner followed by some gluten free crumpets and then did a TV catch up.

I started with the latest episode of Scorpion which was it's usual cheesy self. After that I watched the first episode of the rebooted Dynasty! This was my guilty pleasure as a teenager with mum and I watching it (usually with a Chinese) every Friday night. It's not bad for a reboot but lacks a lot of the style and panache that the original series had. Close but no cigar although I might keep watching anyway LOL.

From this:

...to this:

My evening ended with the quite excellent Ice Guardians documentary about enforcers in professional ice hockey.

Whether you love or hate fighting in hockey it's still part if the game today and this documentary is a very interesting documentary on the role of the enforcer focussing on the NHL/AHL.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Last Jedi TV spot

We've just had our first The Last Jedi TV spot dropped on us!

There is a little bit of new footage in there and is slightly less misleading that the last trailer (maybe):)

Disaster with disaster recovery

With our migration yesterday going well it was supposed to be a quiet day today. David and I started work (remotely this time) around 08:00 as we wanted to knock off the remaining tasks quickly so that we had the rest of the day to ourselves. Silly us, it was never going to be that easy!

Turned out we had a whole world of pain waiting for us when we logged in. Something had changed overnight that was locking out a critical component which was then breaking everything else. Marvellous, bloody marvellous. Nobody owned up to changing anything but it was clear that something was now VERY broken.

We resolved our initial problem by fixing something that should have been set up correctly in the first place which made us pretty grumpy. On the plus side at least the last of the installation tasks was now completed. This just left this lockout problem that dragged on throughout the day. at 15:00 we had more people helping investigate but we were still far from a fix! In fact it was looking like we might also be facing a US disaster as well as a partial EU one.

By 18:00 we had a rough handle on what had happened and so we started to take remedial action  but it was sloow! Come 19:30 and it looked like we had our fingers on the culprit.It was a really painful process getting everything up and running but slowly but surely there was light at the end of the tunnel! So we've now rolled past 20:30 so I've been running support for a period of over twelve hours! Thankfully by 20:50 we were all done and everything seemed to be stable again! That was an experience I don't want to have again!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Blade Runner 2049

After the noms we went to Cineworld to see Blade Runner 2049.

This was one of those films where you dread them making a sequel in case they make a real pigs ear of it and mess up the legacy. Thankfully this was NOT the case here.

Here's a quick synopsis: Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard, a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Stylistically Blade Runner 2049 sticks close to Blade Runner and doesn't rely on naff CGI to paint the picture. We also have another superb soundtrack from Vangelis provided the perfect audio backdrop to the story.

It is a fantastic film, well worth going to see and a very worthy sequel to a classic.

I won't post any spoilers but there are questions left unanswered at the end of this (as with the first one) which leaves the whole thing beautifully enigmatic and cryptic.

Here's the trailer

Working on a Saturday....

Well it would have been lovely to enjoy some extra sleep today but sadly it was weekend one of our European server migrations so it was up at the usual time and off to meet David at Cannon Street to get to the office for 9am.

Here we go again was my initial thought but things actually ran fairly smoothly. Thanks to making good notes during our US migrations we managed to avoid many of the traps we fell into first time round which was a relief. We got to leave the office at a reasonable time without a long list of problems which was most welcome.

Toni, Sam and Tristan met me at New Eltham and we headed out to Bexleyheath to have some food together. Bella Italia was our restaurant of choice and it was most enjoyable.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Helloween Pumpkins United

Somehow I missed the announcement yesterday but Helloween have just released their first single ready for their Pumpkins United Tour. This is the current Helloween lineup with previous singers Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske.

It's an impressive showing for the band and I really hope that they also do an album with all three singers as it works really well. The song itself is classic Helloween.

Helloween are one of my favourite bands of all time and I can't wait to see them live in November. Based on this single we should be in for a real treat.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Toxic Avenger The Musical @ Arts Theatre West End (again)

Once, twice, three times a Toxie! After work tonight Sam and I were back to the Arts Theatre for another round of The Toxic Avenger The Musical. This was number three for me and number four for Sam.

The scene where a cat guts punted was emotional for Sam as after the last showing we went to someone stole the cat. There were wanted posters on Twitter and everything.

Sam went back to see the show on Saturday and bought them a new cat and had this picture taken afterwards.

He was so happy to see his replacement get used as part of the show :)

Once again it was another brilliant performance. It's always fun to see a small show where little things change every now and again whether that is on purpose or by accident and it just makes things even more special.

After the show we hung around to get our programmes autographed.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Crazy day and The Good Place

It was a crazy day at work today. It's really busy right now as I am preparing for more weekends of client hardware migration. Lots of things that haven't been done by those that should have sorted them which has made things incredibly frustrating. On the plus side I am way ahead of where I need to be with most of my preparation which makes things far less stressful than it could be.

It was such a relief to escape the office and get home to relax.

The Good Place is an excellent TV series that is currently running on Netflix. The series focuses on Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), a recently deceased young woman who wakes up in the afterlife and is sent by Michael (Ted Danson) to "The Good Place", a Heaven-like utopia he designed, in reward for her righteous life. She realizes that she was sent there by mistake, and must hide her morally imperfect behavior (past and present).

We are on to Season Two now and the show has had some great twists to get this far.

It's well worth a look for some harmless fun :)

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

New The Last Jedi trailer and tickets purchased

Well the moment we have been waiting for has finally come, a new The Last Jedi trailer to bridge the gap between now and it's release in December! A new poster was also unveiled:

Someone pointed out that you can see the mask of Vader in the way the poster has been constructed so here's the proof!

Clues for a character reveal, a bit of fun or a red herring? Only time will tell!

So, that's enough about posters, here's what you want, the final trailer for The Last Jedi. Don't watch it if you are worried about spoilers!

This trailer is great, full of emotional stuff and also some cleverly edited pieces that I believe are done in a way to cause some misdirection. Lucasfilm are definitely toying with us on this one!

Tickets went on sale for The Last Jedi this morning! I was up before 7am to make sure I could get ours. We are now all happily booked up for the midnight showing at the Cineworld in Bexleyheath. December 14th can't come quick enough!

Here's the extended trailer just to keep things going!