Wonderful …..


   This afternoon, I had to get something out of the garage. For some reason, I happened to glance upward. What a wonderful surprise. There, circling about 100 foot above me was a Red Kite. Absolutely amazing sight. When I first saw the bird, it was into the sun, and I thought it was a Buzzard, but as soon as it turned, and I saw it’s tail feathers, I knew it was a Kite. I have seen a pair of Kites before, flying over the A64, near to the A1/A64 junction, so I assume they must be nesting in the woods at Bramham Park. It was a rare treat.

   Youngest has had a day without medication, which is unusual for a Saturday. We have had a couple of Saturdays, when he has only had two doses, but have never gone a full Saturday without any at all. We will now see if he can go though Sunday without meds too. That will be a great success. Of course, there have been a couple of moments during the day, when it has been difficult. It tended to be around the times when fireworks were going off, but even then, he has been remarkably calm.

   Talking of fireworks, it has been very quiet this year. Mrs H thought tonight would be the busiest night, but it has been no noisier than any other night this week.

   Eldest is not coming home this weekend. He is going to see Eddie Izzard at the MEN Arena tomorrow. He has been looking forward to it for months. To be honest, I did not think their tickets would arrive. But all credit to his flat mate, he had booked it okay. Enjoy son.

   Now, the big question is …… do I go for a run in the morning ????  Mrs H seems to think, that I should go every morning !! I don’t think that is a good idea, but a short run tomorrow might be a good thing. We shall see how I feel, as I would need to get out at about 7:30am, if I’m to have a go. Watch this space !!!!

First run


   As the title implies, I did my first run this morning. Nothing major at first. The route I took is about a mile and a half, and I reckon I managed to run about 2 thirds of that. I don’t suppose that is bad for a first time, especially at my fitness level. I tended to run about 400 yards, then walk for a minute, then run another 400 or so. It will improve though, although I don’t think I will be running every morning. I think I may try three nights a week, after work, and then again on a Saturday morning.

   The new running shoes seem to be okay. They did not rub at all, and seemed to cushion my heel, which is what hoped for. I think the knee supports worked, I did not feel any discomfort while running.

Another week bites the dust


   Not a lot to say really. Work’s been a pain. I’m getting more and more fed up with the fools who think they are something.

   IT got it wrong again !! The software house was going to do the configuration this afternoon, but out lot had not done the work that was needed. Now it could well be, that the software house had not fully explained what was required. There should be a project plan, but I never saw one, so maybe I’m being a little harsh on our crew. Saying that though, the project leader at our end went home early today !!!! Makes you think !!

More of a damp squib


   Very few fireworks going off tonight. I suspect that it will all kick off tomorrow and Saturday. That will cause us problems !!! Youngest has a problem with fireworks. It really upsets him. The few that we have had tonight have caused problems, and still are. Here we are at 11:00pm and he is still extremely agitated and violent.

   Work !!! You know, it never fails to amaze me how stupid some people can be. The intelligence level of some of the staff, is at times well below that of pre-primary school kids. How and why, they were ever given a job with us astounds me.

   The IT work that should have been completed on Tuesday, still has not been done. This means that the testing I need to do has been put back again until Monday. I’m quite pleased that I built a little leeway into my end of the project. IT wanted the testing on 3rd with ‘go-live’ on the 9th. It would have been quite tight, even if all had gone to plan.

   Twenty past 11 now, and the youngest seems to have settled. Hopefully

Happy anniversary


   A very good day all told. We had a trip out to the McArthur Glen outlet at York. I bought Mrs H the handbag and purse she wanted, White Swan Innand I got a pair of trainers. I’m thinking of doing a bit of running. I need to do some more exercise. We then had lunch at the White Swan Inn at Deighton.  Mrs H had her now usual, Seared Scallops, and I had Pan Fried Lambs Liver. It is a nice pub, but the meals are a little too substantial. The scallops were only a starter, but were sufficient. My liver was cooked very well, but there was a little too much. Another thing I like about the place, is that it is one of the few places around here, that serves Jennings Cumberland Ale. I tried it by accident when we were in Appleby, a couple of years ago, and it is now one of my favourite draught ales.

  I do have a gripe from today though. I picked up three pairs of trousers in the M&S shop. All were the same waist size (don’t ask), and all were the same leg size. Pair number 1, fitted on the waist, but the leg was about 4 inches too long. Pair number 2, were perfect in the leg area, but would not fasten around the waist. Pair number three were, again 4 inches too long, and this time would not meet at the waist. Where do they get their sizing from ???? Three pairs of trousers from the same shop, and all three different.

   Then, at around 4:30pm, we got a knock on the door. It was a guy who said he was from British Gas. He launched into questions, ticking boxes on his tablet computer. The first questions were ones that a British Gas person would know. But then he asked who we got are gas from (tick in the box), followed by ‘how much is your bill’. I told him I did not know, and that Mrs H looked after the bills. ‘Can I speak to her?’ he asked. ‘Not in’ I replied. ‘When will she be in’ he asked. I was now getting a little pissed off with the guy. ‘What is this about?’ I queried. He claimed it was about getting me cheaper bills. I explained that I was not interested. I had to repeat this three times before he gave up. He told me that British Gas was cheaper, than the company we get our gas from, but would not tell me where he got the information from. I cannot be doing with that type of cold calling, and eventually closed the door on him, when he asked me if I was happy paying ‘the German firm’ !!!!! I am sorely tempted to complain the British Gas about the incident. When I say I am not interested, that is it !!!! I am not interested. End of story !!!!

Another day off ….


   Yes, another day off on Wednesday. well it is my wedding anniversary, so i think I’m entitled. A reasonable day at work today. S**** appeared to be in a better mood than yesterday (I’m still flavour of the month) although still managing to be a pain. The migration from Lotus Notes to Outlook continues, with very few hitches that I can see. A couple of people have had a few problems, but no one seems to have anything major. The photocopier/printer packed up today. It was unbelievable. The status message said ‘Faulty Printer Board  – call service engineer’. Now you would think that would indicate that a serious problem existed. However, it took one of the staff nearly 20 minutes off trying to remove imaginary jammed paper, before they told me of the problem !!!!

   Mrs H ordered the new car today. She’s not picked the colour yet, as there are new models coming out in December. Apparently, because of the popularity of the Volvo C30, she was advised to order now. It will seem very different for her, from the Scenic.

   The car seemed fine after it’s service, although it was a nightmare driving to work. Dark, foggy, lots of rain with plenty of spray on the motorway, made for a scary experience. Most of the drivers seemed to take note of the conditions and drive appropriately, but there are always the odd lunatic, like the guy that left it too late at A1/M1 junction. The half-wit came flying across from the 3rd lane and joined the A1 by crossing the hatchings. Another few seconds, and he would have hit the banking.

   The quote came through for my car insurance renewal today. I have not had a claim in 4 years, and LV have increased the premium by 10.5%. Outrageous !!!!

A good deal ..


   I got the car service and MOT done today. No major problems, except one with the rear suspension. Apparently ‘one of the bushes on one of the suspension arms had too much movement’ which partly failed the MOT. All gibberish to me, but it was a similar thing with the front suspension last year. It appears that this is one of the things with the Ford KA, but speed humps accentuate the problem even more. Still, they ( K & M Motors, Nowell Lane, Leeds) did a good job, and I’m satisfied. At £190.00 for a full service and MOT seems like a good deal to me. Looks like I’ll get a better deal with the insurance, if I go with ESure too. That means that the tax will be the only thing I paying through the nose for.

   I was supposed to be doing a User Acceptance Test (UAT) on the upgrade to our system tomorrow. However, due to a slight communication breakdown (don’t you just love that phrase), our IT department were blissfully unaware, that the software house needs to do some configuration work first. The UAT has been put back until the 6th. It is crazy really. No-one else has to go through this fuss with an upgrade.

   Most people are beginning to get to grips with the change to our email system. Saying that, quite a few did not migrate last week as expected. They all claim, that they did not get the ‘upgrade email’ from IT, but I have my doubts about that. IT knows which office everyone works from, and the migration was office based. I have a very strong suspicion, that the ones who did not migrate, did either failed to do the online training (which was compulsory) or failed to action the upgrade email. Of course, everyone denies this !!!!

Quite a good day …


  On the whole a good day. No lie in of course, youngest awake at 5am (as expected). I got one of the light switches fixed, which leaves one more that should be done. Also got my desk lamp fixed, which was almost as tricky as the light switch.

  I managed to get my car booked in for it’s MOT and service. The garage did not look as if it was busy at all. I only went on the off chance at 4pm today, and it is booked in for 9am on Monday. They did a good job last twice, and the price was what I expected.

That’s Friday over


   It may seem silly going back to work for one day before the weekend, but I did manage to get quite a bit done. Our ‘corporate email’ is in the process of migrating from Lotus Notes to Outlook 2003, and it was our offices turn this week. Of course, all the Numpties found it a struggle, which was only to be expected. From what I hear, the so called ‘super-user’, who was supposed to be able to show everyone where they were going wrong, was nowhere to be seen. I suppose, he/she/it spent most of the time up with senior management. Not out of necessity, you understand, but out of ambition. The problem most of the staff have, and it has long been a bit of a bug bear for me, is that they do not have the wherewithal to find things out. They do not have the skill set, to be able to utilise the ‘help’ pages. They can only function, if someone tells them what to say/do etc. For example, one of the fools has spent all day, trying to send emails, whilst working offline !!!! A quick type of ‘unable to send emails’ into the help box revealed the answer !!!

Back to work ….


   It’s back to work tomorrow !! It’s been a good few days off. We dropped the eldest at Uni this morning, and then went to look at a new car. We get to change our family car in March, under the Motorbility scheme, so we need to start looking now. We’ve had a Renault Scenic for the past 9 years, but we will not need such a big car now, with S**** not living at home. Mrs H likes the look of the Volvo C3.

  Roundhay Park LakeThen we went for a walk around the lake at Roundhay Park,  which was nice . I have to say though, that lakeside walk is somewhat spoiled, by all the warning signs, telling people ‘Do Not Enter the Water’ They are there, because a few years ago. Someone died after they decided to swim across the lake, in spring-time, before the water had had time to warm up from the winter. So now we have signs warning everyone of the danger !!!!! We never had signs up when I used to go fishing there, thirty years ago. You just knew that it was a dangerous place, so you took care !!!

Birthday …


   Its the eldest lads birthday today. He was supposed to be at drama tonight, but there was some problem with the village hall. Apparently the new paint job had not been completed, so they could not rehearse. Two of his friends, B*** and C******* came home with him at around half 8, and we all went off to the pub about 10 o’clock. A very pleasant evening.

   I need to do a bit of maintenance on my car at the moment. I gave it a vacuum out this morning, and thought I had better top up my washers. It was then that I spotted, that the coolant needed topping up. Well I had some of that from last year, but I then checked the oil, and it was a bit below the ‘min’ mark on the dipstick. So I need to get some of that tomorrow. If they have it, it seems to be cheapest in ASDA. However knowing my luck, they won’t have any, and I’ll have to pay a bit more and get some from Halfords. I think it is a good to have some on hand.

One down … two to go


   It has been a good day. We went out for a meal with K***’s Mum, Dad, Aunt and Uncle. It is here Aunties 70th birthday next week, so we went to the George at Piercebridge, near Darlington. It is a nice place, but the meal was not as good as it promised to be. K*** told me later, that hers was awful, and that if it had been just me and her, then she would have sent it back. I had a medium rump steak. It was not quite medium, and was no where near the 10oz it should have been. The puddings were, at best average, and all in all was a little disappointing. Still the company was good.

   It is the eldest’s birthday tomorrow. It must seem a little strange for him, as this will be the first time he has not been here for his birthday. We are going to meet him, and go for a pizza, but I’m not sure how his mum is going to be in the morning.

   Someone is coming to look at the leaking hot water tank tomorrow. I hope it is first thing, but I bet it is about midday when they turn up. I have my fingers crossed that it is only a leaking pipe joint. Anything else would be a major job I think.

The weekend is all gone ….


   Another successful Sunday with the youngest, and yet again, no medication. That is three Sundays in a row. Just wish that it could happen on Saturday too. Now that would be something.

   We think we have a small leak in the hot water cylinder. There seems to be water escaping around the thermostat. However the people we pay to fix things like this do not see it as an emergency, and are not coming out until Wednesday. Fingers crossed that it does not get worse then !!

   I have a few days off work next week. I’m in on Monday and Friday, but mid week, I’m on leave. Youngest goes away on respite for a few days tomorrow, so it is a good time to take off. The eldest is 20 on Wednesday. He is coming up for his drama, but he has to be back at Uni on Thursday morning. Mrs H is not taking it too well I think. She was hoping he would come straight home after his lecture on Wednesday, but he wants to have a drink with his pals first. That may not go down too well if he is not home for tea.

   It is quite a big week for the IT at work. Our building is moving from Lotus Notes to Outlook 2003 on Thursday. I know what your saying, with Office 2010 due out soon, why are we still running 2003 versions. Apparently it is all down to licensing, suitability, time factors, or deployment issues, depending on who you speak to. What they don’t explain, is that it is all down to staffing issues !!! Still it will be good to get away from the limitations of Notes.

End of BST


   It’s been quite a good day. Out with the youngest this morning for a haircut. He was really good. We had about a 20 minute wait, and he was no problem at all. It is a lot different from the first few times we used to go, when he just would not let them do anything. Mind you, they know him now, and know exactly what he is like, and are really good with him.

   Just been changing all the clocks. Well I think I’ve changed them all. Here’s hoping that R*** does not wake up at 5am again, like this morning. It has been between 7am and 7:30am when he has woken up all week. Then it’s my day off and the little devil is awake at 5am. Give him his due though, he did not want anything until about 7:30am.

   Leeds Utd got beat at Millwall, so that did not go down too well. Their unbeaten record has gone now. It was good while it lasted. I just hope it does not knock their confidence.

   X factor was strange tonight. I only saw the first half, but it had Louis and Simon debating whether U2’s ‘With or Without You’ was a ‘Big Band’ song. But one singer sang ‘Proud Mary’, by Creedence Clearwater Revival which is not a ‘Big Band’ sound either. Get your house in order I say !!

TGIF….


   Quite a reasonable day today, except for the start. Today was the day we have our “regular” team meeting. I use the word regular in it’s most broad sense. We are supposed to have one every month, but thankfully, it is a lot less often. The problem is, that it last for 75 minutes, and 90% of the meeting could take 20 minutes only. Someone like the sound of his own voice too much. The agenda is always the same, and for the most times, the content is the same too.

   The rest of the work day went okay. I think I have managed to sort out the problems with the handheld repairs. It would appear that the repair company were unable to create an RMA for 4 cases, so they left them !!! It was only when I contacted them, that someone realised the problem and tried again. I would put money on the fact, that I won’t get a customer satisfaction survey for these cases.

   Youngest has been okay tonight. He got a bit upset when someone was letting fireworks off. They really seem to bother him now. It was strange, because when the first couple went off, he seemed to be quite excited, but that soon changed. To his credit, when I told him to put his head phones on, he did so straight away, and kept them on for a good 2 hours. They are noise cancelling full ear phones, and when they switched on really deaden all external noise.

   He tried the IPod at school today. It looks like they have been showing him what to do, and he seems to have some understanding. I still think that it will not be of much use for him. School thinks it is marvellous !!! Mrs H spoke with the Principal today, who is determined to find the money to buy some IPods and the software to use in school. Maybe they can see more different uses than I can.

Re: No post on 21/10/2009….


   It was a little late when I got back last night, and I was more than a little worse for wear. Not drunk I may add, just rather tired. It was about 00:45 when we finally got in, where the time went to is anybodies guess, and I was just not up to writing even one line.

   I realised this afternoon, that I never said how Sundays dinner turned out. The lamb was cooked to perfection. It was in the oven for just over 4 hours, and it just fell off the bone. Really tender and surprisingly moist, in spite of the length of cooking time. It is a dish we may do again.

   The meeting with R***’s consultant went better than expected. He did seem to have some clue after all, although I got the impression, that whilst he knew all about the condition, he knew very little about R***. We shall see what happens from here. The parents evening went well also. His teacher appeared to be very keen on what we had to say. So again it is a wait and see time.

   Mrs H has bought R*** an IPod touch, and has paid a fortune for an app that is supposed to be good for kids with Autism. Trouble is, I don’t think he will have anything to do with it. According to ‘the experts’ it can do lost of things. However, the only thing I can see with the app is that it is some kind digital PECS system. He does not use PECS, which to my mind is a communication tool for kids with no speech. If someone has some speech, and you give that person a tool that basically speaks for them, what will be the outcome ????

A virus ??


   I got a facebook email from someone today, and like a fool, I clicked on it to open it. I should know better of course. So it came as no real shock at all when AVG warned me that the page I was about to visit was a threat. I started to run a virus scan and it looks like nothing has happened. I dropped a message to the person who supposedly sent the email, but they know nothing about it. I explained what happened, and they denied all knowledge and said their system was ‘safe’. I rather think not !!! That is one ‘friend’ I can do without, thank you. I have had this before with some people. You tell them they have a problem, and they just ignore it

   You may remember, some time ago, I mentioned about someone trying to rent out their parking permit, illegally, well nothing seems to have come of it. Management, or at least part of management, does not seem to be bothered. The woman emailed me again today, and I fobbed her off with an excuse. I then closed the email account. If the bosses cannot be arsed, then why should I ?

   A bit of a job to do, over the next half an hour. The youngest has made one of his pictures. Basically, what he does is to take a graphic of one of his favourite cartoon characters and edits it. For example, on the one below he has changed the hands and added the hat (from another picture). He pastes it into MSBROTHER GEORGE HAT FRONT OR BACK Paint. Then he takes a copy of the same graphic, reverses it, and places at the side of the first. Dad has to then step in. I have to print it, fold and stick it so that it is double sided, then laminate it and trim it. R*** calls this type of picture his ‘Front or Back’. Considering his condition, this is quite an amazing skill he has got. The other thing he does, is to download, video and DVD covers of his, again favourites from American websites. He then makes these into his own video and DVD covers. We have hundreds of empty video and DVD boxes, that he has designed covers for. Only problem …… ink !!!

   AVG been running over 2 hours now, and nothing has come up, so it looks like I’m safe.

Poor Delia ……


   The above refers, of course, to the Mighty Whites 2 – 1 win over Norwich Copy of w146_a_10241 City this evening. It was a good game, well at least the first half was. Mrs H wanted to Masterchef and House, so I missed of the second half. I managed to get a sneak peek, at around the 70 minute mark, but they were still 1 – 1. In the old days, and by that I mean the past few years, Leeds Utd would be already for going home, and that’s the time they used to lose the game. Not any more it seems. Simon Grayson appears to have convinced the team to play to the final whistle. It is paying off.

   My cold seems to be lingering a bit longer than I hoped it Vicks Vapour Rubwould. The ‘wet’ part Olbas Oilhas dried up, but mow I seems to have got the chesty cough back. It’s been a bit heavy going this evening. I’ll slap a  good dollop of Vick’s Vapour Rub on and a splash of Olbas oil should help me sleep.

   I have taken to putting random statements in the status of my facebook page. For the most part, people have taken them for what they are … random, meaningless statements. However, on a couple of occasions, a certain ‘friend’ appears to believe, that I am having a pop at them. Some people take facebook way too serious.

   Work went quite well. I have a fair bit to get through this week, what with the permit renewals. There are about 9 different zones to renew. Some are only a few properties, but two or three have a couple of hundred properties in each zone. So a lot of work, for quite a few people over the next few weeks.

   As I hoped, I managed to get Wednesday afternoon off as flexi time. That is when R***’s consultant has decided to come and see us. I am not looking forward to it at all, as I feel I know what he is going to say. Still I will listen to what he says, and then we will decide. R*** has been in a strange mood really. One minute laughing and singing, the next holding his ears and ‘droning’. It sounds like he has had a good day at school though.

Living dangerously


   Eldest finally got in touch at around 10 past 1. I’d tried texting and ringing him since about 11:30, with no answer. He sent a text to say he was catching the 05:00 bus, so I got him to call. Explained that the bus was 16:50, and only every hour so he had better not miss it, or he would miss his tea. I asked him where he had got to, and to my utter disbelief he said “The Dog & Gun” !!!! For those who are not aware, the “Dog” as it is known is one of Leeds’s bad pubs. It is an estate pub in an area of Leeds, that is not very salubrious. In fact the place was shut down for a long time after a fatal shooting some years ago. I don’t think that much has changed since. It is not the pub, more the people that use the place.

   I am doing a slow roasted shoulder of lamb  for dinner,Shoulder of lamb with roasted root vegetables (no butternut squash in sight). The meat is supposed to take 3 to 4 hours to cook so it is in now. The veg will take about 1 hour 40mins, so I need to get the timing just right. I’ll be putting the veg underneath the joint, so it all cooks together. Potatoes will go in at the same time, and it all should be done by 5:45pm, fingers crossed. A query ! Where does British Lamb come from ? As Britain stretches from the Shetland Iles to The Iles of Scilly, that joint of British lamb could have had to travel a long way, to get to the supermarket. In fact, depending on where you live, lamb imported from France could be more local than the British lamb you have bought ! Makes you think a little. I will report back on the success/failure of the dish later.


   You may notice that I have changed the colour of the text on the header of this blog. I received a message on Twitter, after posting my blog, to the effect that the colour was not very good, I quote “hard to read and uneasy on the eyes”. Fair enough. I don’t write this blog just for me to read. See how this colour goes. In case you were wondering about the connection between my blog and Twitter, I have a plug-in for Windows Live Writer, that notifies Twitter when I post. I have a few bits of traffic that way.

A little bit more for Saturday ….


   Back down to earth now after my little rant. The ‘Cold’ does not seem to want to go away. I thought first thing this morning, that it was beaten. But no, by 10:00 my nose and eyes were streaming. It has improved a great deal, so we’ll move on.

   Eldest is home tonight. Well sort of. He came home for tea, then he’s gone out to the pub, with an old school friend. I say a school friend, as the last time I/we heard about this guy, S**** did not have a pleasant word to say about him. Now, it seems, they have both grown up a bit (his words). He is at a drama rehearsal tomorrow night. The timetable says it is 07:00pm until 09:00pm, so he may go back to his flat afterwards. I think it all depends on exactly what time it all finishes, and whether he feels like going back on the bus. It’s too late for me to take him, and I’m not sure if his friend B** goes into Leeds.

   Youngest has been fine today. A couple of little upsets, but nothing serious at all. He had all his meds today, and I will see how we go tomorrow. His consultant is coming to see us on Wednesday afternoon. I’m taking some flexi time off to be here. I’m not happy with this this doctor and his approach to R***. I hope I can keep focused, and not get too angry. I will try and listen to what the man says, and then discuss it with Mrs H afterwards. It is us that has to live with the consequences, so it will be our decision.

Saturday … rant !


   Let me start with a moan. What is it with celebrity chefs and Pumpkins/Butternut Squash ? I mean, the damn stuff is everywhere. Britain’s Best Dish had it, there were a couple of dishes in Masterchef, Market Kitchen used it and then on Saturday Kitchen, Jason Atherton made a ‘Pumpkin Jam’ with the stuff. We got one of those ‘Dine in For £10.00’ from M&S last week. It was chicken, with feta cheese, a lattice top  and guess what Butternut Squash. You may have surmised from this, that I hate it. I take heart from the fact, that it is a phase that the cheffy types are going through at the moment. A couple of years ago, it was celeriac that everyone raved about. That has now settled down. However, I predict, that the next cheffy veg could be Curly Kale. Watch this space.

   On another tack. X Factor. What is the point of giving so called ‘Diva’ songs to the blokes to sing ? There seemed to be no logic to it at all. There did not seem a lot of logic getting the girls to sing that type of song, and then to tell them all, that the song was ‘too big for them’ !!!!

A quiet day


   Nothing much to report tonight. My cold went the distance, and it is just about gone now. Nothing much happened at work, as I did not really feel up to doing a lot.

   Youngest has been fine again. No problems at all, except getting him to go to bed. And even then he is being quite amenable.

   I’m just going to watch the end of Friday Night Smackdown.