Showing posts from June, 2008


As of Sunday, I can now say that I am a bona fide Emergency Responder ... I have a card and everything! So now, if there is someone who needs help, I can respond by energetically throwing my arms in the air and screaming, "Oh my god, they're going to die!", whilst whipping out my little blue gloves and face mask. Basically, in support of the diving and some of our future planned specialisations, Pygmie and I went on an Emergency First Response course at Vobster Quay * so that we could at least provide some basic first aid and CPR if things went wrong for one of us. As the course meets HSE requirements, it also means that we can provide emergency assistance in everyday life, too ... something Pygmie thought he might have to do yesterday as he witnessed a near miss between two motorcyclists. Nothing like keeping the skills fresh!!! The course was taken by the energetic and bubbly freediver, Emma Farrell , and it wasn't until afterwards that I realised exactly wh

Where to go diving...

To date, diving in the Red Sea with Emperor Divers has been by far the best diving experience I have had yet. Okay, I only have ten dives under my weight belt, three of which were UK-based adventure dives in order to get the Advanced Open Water certification, so my breadth of experience isn't exactly vast.  However, that doesn't stop me from yearning for far-flung places with good weather and clear waters ... the Maldives would be an excellent place to do a little underwater photography! Then there is the place that, in my previous employment, one of my colleagues used to joke about opening a diving shop.  A little place in Northern Ireland near my mate's home town.  A place that probably grew tired of the same old joke over a decade ago! That place, is Muff . I kid ye not, there really is a place called Muff, which opens up a whole ream of other possible jokes ... I'll leave you to explore Urban Dictionary for yourself as some of the phrases are rather on the cru


I seem to be finding it harder and harder to write anything nowadays, partly because of having so much on my plate, but mostly because tiredness has brought me to the brink of narcolepsy: I'm like a nodding dog in front of my 'puter. Thankfully, I have yet to reach the point where I'm drifting off whilst writing ... that's when the really weird stuff starts coming out. What usually starts off as a sensible sentence quickly descends into some kind of surreal reference before morphing into something akin to a declining ECG chart. Perhaps I should just go with the flow and scan these little wanderings in for all to be perplexed by :-) One of the more entertaining activities to wake myself up is to chase the flies hanging around by the window, the intention being to bat them across the office Wii Sports style, but usually with as much skill and grace as a hippo on caffeine. I don't know where they come from or where they disappear to, but they appear from around mi

OddThomas DipStick

All these years I thought I had no official qualifications whatsoever and it turns out that I've had a Diploma in Taking Stick all along ... well, blow me! For the sharp ones amongst you, yes, I am alluding to the recent change in employment that seems to have brought with it everything I expected and more, hence the expectant expletive in the previous post. Most of you will probably be unaware that I have been resisting promotion within the company for coming up to two years now. I can hear you all screaming now: "Why?! Are you crazy?!?!" Maybe. However, let me put it to you this way: would you take on a job that had no spec or outline of duties, with no idea if there is a pay increase and with a boss who has blatantly lied to you in the past, put your name on official company documents without either asking or telling you and hasn't paid your expenses for the past six months? Hmmm, I guess the control freaks amongst you would see this as an opportunity, but th

Step Up

Yesterday, I officially became the Director of Software Development. Oh f*ck.

Weekend Off

This weekend, I mostly did ... nothing! Actually, I did have plans for the weekend, but they went somewhat askew when I found out last Friday that the diving kit I had ordered on express delivery last Tuesday had not been despatched: I was supposed to be going to Chepstow quarry with Pygmie on Sunday. Okay, it was just the BCD and some weights, all of which I could have hired, but nobody told me my order was being held up and I was really looking forward to going diving with the first bit of my own major kit. Needless to say, I was hopping around like a very unhappy bunny. Image from Somehow, I managed to keep a reasonably clear head whilst talking to the nice girl in customer services and requested that the express delivery be refunded in full, as I am not getting a service that I paid for. As seems to be the case with a lot of customer services, all the girl could do was escalate the issue to her manager, so we ended the phone call and I waited. Quite surpr

Short and Sweet

I am a big fan of computer animations and would love to have been leaving school now so I could go to Uni and learn how to do it all for myself. However, being someone that has all the creativeness of a stone and who is not keen on being considered a 'mature' student*, that's never going to happen, so instead I enjoy watching other people's creations, especially the Pixar stuff as their quality is amazing. Sometimes, though, it is the simplest things that can be the most entertaining ... such as The Owl , shown on CBBC . Yes, okay, its for kids, but its definitely worth checking out for a little chuckle :-) * I'm not all that mature ... get a few drinks inside me and I can be as childish as the rest of em!

Police Pics

Last night, I finally got around to getting some of Sunday's pics posted to Flickr . Unfortunately, there is nothing really there that I can add to a portfolio but there are a couple of reasonable ones that I thought I'd post here for you to have a butchers at ... its gotta be better than taking your time up with another epic account! At the end of the first display, the mounted police lined up and made sure their rides shared the applause. Rottweilers are gorgeous dogs, but you don't want to be chased by this one! These dogs love their job... you can see by the fact that they launch themselves at their targets! In the Horse and Hound show, four teams consisting of one horse and one hound competed for the fastest time on the circuit. I believe that the guys at Bower Ashton have this open day every two years, so keep your ears open for this in 2010 ... if you remember!

Bicentenial Post!

Somehow, despite not posting very much recently, I have managed to ramp up another 100 posts in the past eight to nine months ... and it took me eighteen months to do the first hundred. Either I'm bored with too much time on my hands or there is a lot more to talk about ... or I'm just talking more crap than ever before. PLEASE don't comment on that! Anyhoo, it seems that Time is once again hurling itself past me like a million lemmings off a cliff as this is now my fifth attempt at writing this post since last Thursday, all previous attempts ditched due to lack of ... well, time ... and at the rate I'm going now, it won't be complete by the end of today, either. So, on with it... Thursday Thursday night had me visiting my friend TrickyFaerie and her hubby for another amazing dinner, topped off with an excellent chocolate birthday cake complete with cream, strawberries and chocolate fudge layers ... excuse me while I just go clean up the dribble! I really do

Gadgets and Widgets

Well, training for the Great North Run hasn't gone quite according to plan, but last night I did succeed in setting up the gadgets and widgets for tracking my training :-) I had refrained from getting sucked into the Nike and iPod combo, but the lure of glossy tech and the trendy adverts sucked me in and spat me out the other side, complete with green iPod Nano , Nike Shox Arraw trainers, a slick black'n'red Nike armband , Nike+ shoe widget thingy and a cool black-and-white shirt designed by a closet sci-fi costume designer*. Admittedly, the shirt is going to remain in the drawer for the time being as it currently emphasises my spare tyre and man boobs which, lets face it, isn't the prettiest site to be running round these parts. Then again, certainly not the ugliest, either! The calibration of the Nike kit was a bit annoying. After having calibrated for a 1.05 mile run I then tried to calibrate a walk for the same distance, only be told halfway around that the


After these past few days of driving around, all I can say is that if The Proclaimers want to walk a thousand miles, then let them: it was tiring enough driving it! I worked out this morning that to travel from NW London to Birmingham and back, followed by a trip to the West Country, to Blackpool, to Lancaster, to Capernwray , back to Blackpool and finally back to NW London all amounts to a staggering 947 miles!!! Shame only the first bit to Birmingham was for work, otherwise I'd have a nice little sum there for buying some diving kit... The reason for heading up to Capernwray was for Pygmie and I to complete our Advanced Open Water Diver course by doing the last three adventure dives: one choice and two mandatory (Dry Suit, Deep Dive and Underwater Navigation). As always with the diving, I was nervous about getting everything right, being somewere new and all that malarkey, but not so much as to suffocate Pygmie with my noxious gasses whilst driving there ... for a change!