Almost there…

To quote Billy Connolly….. Jesussufferingfuck

Everytime I look around the apartment and think.. “Just another hour or so”, I discover something else that has been bloody forgotten.

Still, it would appear that I have been blessed by <INSERT DIETY OF PREFERENCE HERE>, as my friends are pretty bloody amazing.     Let’s recap my last few days:

Friday:

  • Work as normal – Finish at 12:30 to visit Docs and then on to packing
  • 16:00 – Collect van (Eat ham roll)
  • 19:00 – Alan, Darryl and Michael appear – Load van with *almost* everything that is going to the UK
  • 21:00 – Van packed, we have a quick beer.
  • 22:00 – I get back into it
  • 00:00 – Go to bed

Saturday:

  • 06:30 – Wake up, more packing
  • 09:30 – Paul, Scott, Tim and Alan appear to move stuff to new apartment
  • 11:00 – Paul + Alan sort out dismantling of various furnitures that I didn’t have time to do
  • 15:00 – Me, Scott and Tim head to Angelas where we unload the van (for 2 days!!)
  • 17:00 – Drop off Van, I continue working
  • 18:00 – Simon lends me his car
  • 18:30 – More work, moving bits and bobs to new apartment
  • 23:00 – Make final trip of the night (including cats now) to new apartment (Eat crisps)
  • 00:00 – Bed

Sunday:

  • 08:00 – Wake up
  • 08:30 – Realise clocks have gone forward – It is actually 09:30
  • 08:35 09:35 –   Make coffee, phone Mel and Jamie (Eat Pringles)
  • 10:00 11:00 – Mel and Jamie arrive, we head to apartment
  • 10:20 11:20 – Begin working
  • 15:30 16:30 – Break for first half of Liverpool v Everton (Eat Pizza)
  • 16:45 17:45 – Head back and carry on – Alan arrives
  • 20:30 21:30 – Mel leaves, give Jamie lift home
  • 21:30 22:30 – Get to new apartment
  • 22:30 23:30 – Bed

And then I got up to be at work this morning Frown   – DAMN YOU DAYLIGHT SAVINGS

If you look back at that, thanks have to go to (in no particular order):

Alan, Scott, Tim, Mel, Jamie, Darryl, Michael, Paul and Simon

Without you guys….well, I am probably still trying to lift the first box.   I owe more beers than I can reasonably buy right now…

Things that happened :

  • I got fed up and started throwing stuff away that could have been sold (Sorry Sarah/Lesley)
  • Darry and Michael broke the lift on Friday night, fortunately it was repaired just before the washing machine move on the Saturday
  • I made a deliberate detour to bauhaus to get a new toilet seat, bought 3 other things and forgot the toilet seat
  • I arrived at Angelas to discover way more stuff of hers to be transported than I thought – I panic and start thinking about what else can be thrown away.   I then stop panicking and decide to rent another van at the end of April or May.
  • Paul, when asked to unplug my computer and keep all the cables together with their devices, puts cables and devices in separate bags.
  • External HDD2 and Scanner blow up when I inevitably plug the wrong power into each of them Cry
  • This morning I couldn’t figure out how to get hot water out of my new apartment shower
  • Oh, and I just had a phonecall from Simon, I didn’t drop his car keys off, IDIOT

I am currently out on my feet and have more to do tonight.   Once again Jamie is coming to the rescue.

Best. Friends. Ever

Pick and choose…apparently

Had a great one yesterday at work. As I have said before, I run a Service Desk and this means that we are responsible for logging all user issues into a ticketing system.

Sometimes we fix them straight away, other times we have to pass them on to other teams. Yesterday, we transferred a ticket to the 3rd level team as there was a serious issue with a users account.

Following investigation, the ticket arrived back in our queue with this comment:

“There was a huge mistake in the creation of this account. Find out who created it and have them fix it!”

Genius…”Ooh, that looks bad, I ain’t doing it”. I wasn’t aware that was an option when you are assigned the task of fixing something. That is of course ignoring the fact that the account was created months ago…

It goes without saying that I gave the ticket back with the message “I don’t care who caused it, just get it fixed…please”, but it strikes me as interesting that this particular support member decided that he wouldn’t work on complicated things today….

I love my job sometimes.

CrashThis will probably be my last post for a while, I move apartments tomorrow and will lose my net connection for a couple of weeks. I am also taking the furniture back to Sarah (and a friend) in the UK next week*, so won’t be posting from work.

Ok, now you have stopped cheering about my inability to tarnish the name of blogging for a while….see you in a couple of weeks Smile

* Frankfurt to Calais – 7 hours, Calais to Folkestone – 40 mins, Folkestone to Chichester – 2 hours (unload some stuff), Chichester to Bournemouth – 1 hour. Spend the night in Bournemouth. Bournemouth to Nottingham – 4 hours (unload the rest). Just call me “White Van Man”

Procrastination…sounds more active than it is

So, as you may recall from my Don’t Panic post, I don’t have a lot of time to get quite a lot done. However, I am sorely lacking the kick up the arse required. Let me give you last night as an example, my planning was thus:

  1. Get home
  2. Have a bite to eat
  3. Finish main bedroom (Packing and Cleaning)
  4. Pack kitchen
  5. Go to bed around 23:00

Seems like a reasonable plan. Not massively complicated, certainly achievable…so far so good. However, what actually happened:

  1. Got home
  2. Had a bite to eat
  3. Surfed the net for a bit, checked mail, finished yesterdays blog post
  4. Installed new component onto webserver
  5. Checked and configured new component onto webserver
  6. Half packed main bedroom (No cleaning done)
  7. Added another module to new component on webserver
  8. Spent 30 minutes on the phone
  9. Went to bed around 23:00

Time has now become elastic to me and I in turn have turned into Superman.

Tonight I now need to:

  1. Pickup keys to new apartment
  2. Get home
  3. Have a bite to eat
  4. Finish main bedroom (packing and cleaning)
  5. Pack kitchen
  6. Pack cellar
  7. Pack study
  8. Go to bed sometime before I have to leave for work in the morning

Admittedly, I can get away with packing either the cellar or the study tomorrow night, but seriously, wtf brain….why are you torturing me and allowing me to become distracted. It’s revenge for various levels of destruction levelledMy Name Is Not Clark Kent! at you over the years drinking, isn’t it?

Is it too much to ask for my own brain to back me up? Apparently it is, which is why Lesley is coming over to help me pack, kick me up the arse and bail me out again.

I say again…Lesley and Angela both put me to shame last week by basically painting my apartment for me, with little or no assistance from me in the end. I blame Angela for that though, she told me I was crap at painting. The truth hurts, so I smoked, made drinks and refilled paint tubs…….. I became the wall checker (for missed a bits).

Ah well, know your limits I guess..hence the reason for Lesley coming over to help me finish packing

Grin

The list

018 // 365 (old)When I separated from Lorrin, I moved back to Ollerton and moved in with my Grandparents for a while. I was a bit of a mess after the breakup if I am honest and was glad of the support from my family.I got back in contact with old friends and slowly started building up a circle of friends and began enjoying life. I adjusted to not seeing the kids on a daily basis. I found a new job and things were looking up.

It was around this time that I discovered that wonderul “New guy in town” status. It is this amazing thing, where women are instantly interested in you as you are new and different to everyone else that they know and see every day. It is wondrous, but you have to act fast. You only have a window of a few months to take advantage of this new found celebrity.

It is possible to increase this window though, something I managed by taking a job that kept me in a different city through the week, meaning my mystery increased as I was only available on weekends….good eh?

Every Friday night, about 15-20 of us would head to the clubs, we never arrived before midnight and a great night was almost certainly had by all.

Now, say what you like about blokes, but we are not all a stupid as you ladies would believe. The guys in the group, realising my “celebrity” status, took it upon themselves to let me in on the group sexual dynamic. It went a little like this :

OK Dave, so…you can’t go with Amanda as Brian has been after her for ages

Oh, and Sarah, Col and her are almost together, so don’t fuck that up please

Tina is a no go, her and Marc were a thing until recently, and they may get back together

Tracey and Darren may be getting together, so avoid her aswell

and so on….

And so “The List” was born. I ended up looking like I swung the other way at one point, as I would move away from any of the women on “The List” for fear of breaking the code as delivered by the blokes.

Lists and codes – blokes lead a complicated life you know…

It’s quite funny looking back, as at some point I ended up going with Amanda, Tina and Sarah (not at once though). Noone believes that I didn’t get with Tracey, but I didn’t. I didn’t set out to break the code, but it was getting too complicated to bloody remember and the guys were clearly way off base when they thought that the girls were interested in them. The only exception was Marc/Tina – It was Marc that wasn’t bothered, which was good.

During this time I forged an amazing friendship with Sarah, rented a house with her and Bongo (Ali – A chef) and generally lived life to the full. We eventually became lovers, but not until after “Craig” was on (and then rapidly off) the scene.

We had recently watched Lee Evans on video, where he refers to guys called Craig that can just wander up to women and pull them without effort. So it had to happen that Sarah was outside the club, waiting for a taxi (I think we were at Salmonella Sids – The local burger van….never eat the mystery meat people!) when a chivalrous gentlemen gave his jacket to a shivery Sarah. His name….Craig.

We took the piss out of her for quite a while, especially when she had a date with him a week or so later, but couldn’t remember what he looked like. So smitten was Craig, he took to practically stalking her, until that fateful day.

I am not sure exactly why he ended up calling my mobile, I know he knew that Sarah and I were good friends…and maybe she was avoiding him. Anyway, call me he did and asked me if we were all going to the club. I said that we were and he started talking to me about Sarah and how much he liked her etc. It was cute, but a little weird that he would tell me all this, and then he ended the call by asking me to tell her that he loved her.

Eek! I mean, what the fuck???

I promised him I would and then hung up. I all but sprinted into the pub where everyone was sat and decided that news this big needed an audience. So I announced his undying love to Sarah in front of the whole pub. She may have been a little embarrassed, I can’t be sure though, the bruises only faded a couple weeks ago.

I think it may have been at that moment that their (3-4 week) relationship was over. Such a shame, clearly he had marriage on the cards.

A few weeks later, Sarah and I got together and we stayed together for the last 10 years. Even though I ended the relationship, I am still sad that it is over. I don’t regret a second of the time we spent together and I hope we can manage to stay friends as we have been since the break-up. I know that is asking a lot, and given time she is bound to resent me for a while at least. I just hope that any resentment doesn’t turn into hate.

I think I would regret losing that friendship more than anything else in the world. Like I say, a lot to ask, but people always tell me, if you don’t ask you don’t get.

I. Am. A. Bastard

Maybe

It's official – I hate packing

i hate brickDagnabit packing sucks.

I mean, just when you think you have cleared a room, you find more stuff somewhere else that should be in the box you JUST FUCKING SEALED.

AAAAAAAAARGH

Still…I think I am getting there. Just need to figure out how to get 2 apartments full of gear into a Mercedes Sprinter van…seeing as the Eurotunnel won’t allow more than 3.5 tonnes.

Eurotunnel. Are. Bastards

Still, I always enjoyed tetris. Plus, I get to be “White Van Man” for a few days Grin

So…honesty is the best policy eh?

Lifetime LadderAhem – So it transpires that I may have occasionally slipped from the moral high ground when it comes to honesty….as was pointed out to me recently.

We were invited to Sam and Micks wedding in sunny Sunderland at an amazing hotel. The only problem was that the hotel was bloody massive. So massive, that when we went to the bar for the evening party…and I left the room card behind…they weren’t going to allow me to purchase alcohol unless I traipsed the 10 minutes (no lie) back to the room.

After much persuading (read: begging), the head barman agreed to run a manual tab, I would have to show the room key each time to prove who I was etc.

No problem says I. It’s not like I could lose the bloody room key, the thing was huge. So began a marathon session. Too many shots were consumed. At one point we were lining them up based on their colour and nothing else. Seems a little strange when I think back to it.. “Hi barman, what have you got that’s purple?”(cue Sid James laughter).room key

I recall dancing, badly. Seriously, I don’t think I would swing if you hung me. There may or may not have been an inappropriate approach to the Bride….groom. That Mick is a damnably attractive man, even to a raving hetero like me Wink

The night ended late, as these things tend to do, and we staggered back the 25 minute trek to the room.

I would like to lay the blame squarely at the door of the alcohol and lack of sleep at this point. I don’t believe I can be held accountable for my actions as a result.

After staggering down to breakfast the next morning, we headed off to check out and pay the bill ( ?175 + the bar bill). I handed in my key and prepared for the small explosion somewhere on the edge of hearing…the sound of my bank managers head going supernova. Then something amazing happened, the woman behind the counter showed me my bill and asked if that looked OK. The bill showed ?175 only…no bar bill. Genius.

As she hadn’t asked if it was correct, only if it was ok, I took a quick pause before replying that it was indeed OK. I think I even said that it was better than I expected…. bad Dave, bad.

We had previously planned to head back to everyone for a bite to eat after checking out, but this became the worlds quickest goodbye and a sprint to the car before anyone noticed. I did take Mick to one side to make sure that he let me know if they stitched him up with the bill. They never did.

I felt bad about the barman, but as none of my drinks went through the cashdesk, I figured it would be written off under losses, and if the lad had any sense, he would have thrown the notepad in the bin.

Cheapest. Night. Ever

I recommend Sunderland for your wedding, oh…don’t forget to invite me Grin

Lee Evans tried to kill me!!

A very very short time after recovering from Meningitis, we got the opportunity of two tickets to see Lee Evans, live at the Manchester Evening News Arena.   We snapped them up obviously and the day duly arrived.   I think this was around 2 weeks after getting home from the hospital, so I was still recovering, but Lee Evans is Lee Evans and I had to go Smile

Sarah drove us there, we eventually find the place and get settled.   The seats are off to the side a bit, but close enough to the stage for that not to be a problem.

Mr Evans starts his act and the laughter begins.   So hard that my headache (pre-diagnosis) comes back, along with horrendous back pain and stomach pain.   Sarah does a double take and then starts to panic, some of the people around me try to edge away as far as the cheap plastic seating will allow.   I swear at least one person started to panic dial  an ambulance.

Fortunately the interval saves me and I am able to recover.

It’s normally at this point that I refer to the subject matter as bastards…but I can’t do that.   Lee Evans is a small bundle of sweaty comic genius and it’s not his fault I couldn’t stop laughing.

Still….he did almost kill me.   Bastard.

Neighbours from hell (Hospital Ward Edition)

Steve – Steve, is that you Steve?

Turn that bloody tele down Margaret

Steve, it sounds like you

I said turn that tele down

“Soils self”

The above is a transcript of my ward neighbours when I was first admitted with “Gallstones“.

After being admitted, I was pushed past a number of wards by the orderly. Some of them had empty beds and younger people in them, some had older people and empty beds…they were all peaceful and for the most part silent. So it was with no small amount of surprise that I get placed on the ward with the nutters. I say nutters, which is probably not altogether fair….there were 6 beds, 3 of which were occupied by older gentlemen, and 3 were empty.

I was allocated the 6th bed, closest to the Nurses station, but opposite a man who I came to refer as “The TV Guy”. All seemed well, the morphine drip started it’s wondrous journey though my body on minimal doseage and I drifted off to sleep.

About an hour later, Sarah was back. She had brought me some comforts..you know, the usual assortment of drinks, sweets and biscuits that the hospital shop can provide. It was during this time that “The TV Guy” sprang into action. He looks straight at me, who was talking to Sarah at the time, and shouts…not says, shouts…”Turn that bloody tele down Margaret”.

Both myself and Sarah look around for anyone near, see noone and make the mistake of actually mentioning that the TV is not on and that we don’t know who Margaret is. That just makes him worse, repeating the same sentence over and over, interspersed with occasional bouts of “How many bloody times do I have to tell you” and “You never listen to me”.

Oh joy thinks I, and begin staring at the morphine in the vain hope that I can somehow control the flow speed with my mind.

It is at this point that the commotion from TV Guy, causes guy number 3 to join in. Clearly confused, he is asking for Steve and is in fact convinced that Steve is somewhere nearby. As he is struggling to be heard, he raises his voice a few decibels to counter the effect of TV Guys shouting. So I now have 2 guys shouting about people that are nowhere to be seen, both within 3 meters of me and my bed for the next god knows how many days.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, the thus far quiet guy number 3, decides he should get involved in this little soiree. Clearly TV Guy and Steve Guy are having way too much airtime on the “Welcome Dave to the ward” party special. He realises, however, that the others have really cornered the market on random shouting and noise level, so he tries a somewhat unique angle. He soils himself. A lot. For quite a while. I won’t try and describe the olfactory attack that followed, god forbid anyone reading this is eating… Suffice to say that I now had nausea to add to my, not inconsiderable, pain and growing headache.

Like a boxer saved by the bell, visiting hours are announced as being over, and Sarah bolts for home. I think she remembers to say goodbye, but it was hard to hear, what with her rapidly accelerating down the corridor and out into fresh air. I don’t blame her.

Fortunately, the morphine kicks in shortly after and I drift off to sleep. I wake up in the middle of the night to the now familiar choir of the ward going through the motions. Sensing that more sleep is some time away, I indulge in a little light TV watching. I pay the bargain basement price of ?10 from the machine at the end of the ward for a days worth of viewing, strap on the headphones and crank up the volume.

Hah – Nice try Dave, you think Doctors are bastards? Not as much as hospital administrators apparently. The wonderful hospital administration, that had chosen to install these little TFT TVs with built in phone and internet, had also had the remarkable idea that would avoid headphone bleed.

I don’t know if headphone bleed is the correct way to describe it…let me try another way. You know when you are on a train journey, and you end up sat next to somebody with an iPod that is just a bit too loud? You hear little snippets of what they are listening to, but incredibly tinny and annoying. I am sure you have experienced this, and probably been pissed off with it like me.

Ok so, whilst I recognise that it can be annoying to hear these tinny noises emanating from the side of someones head, they chose to set the volume on all of the TVs to have a maximum volume level of something akin to a silkworms fart. Oh, and they chose to make this change…..around a week before I was admitted.

Is it any wonder that I hate hospitals?

Administrators. Are. Bastards

Users…pah!

I don’t recall the source, but someone is quoted as saying :

There are only two industries that call their customers users…think about that.

It’s a good point, and one that leads me to think that our users are, in fact, on drugs of some description..

Now, I run a Service Desk. It’s a relatively small team, including me there are six of us. We deal with around 200 phonecalls a day, 250 emails per day and 50 requests that need to be scanned. On top of that we look after walk-ins to our area for password resets and “Urgent” requests. As I run the thing, I am rarely taking calls, unless we are swamped. Generally my guys can handle it without issue… Other times the immortal words “I can pass you to the Team Leader if you want” are spoken, and my ears perk up, ready for the inevitable fight Smile

A fairly standard conversation is thus:

Me: Dave speaking, I am the Service Desk Team Leader, what can I help you with?

User: Hi, yes, I called in a while ago and nobody has been down to fix my printer yet.

Me: Ok, let me check the ticket, do you have the number?

U: Wait, I have it here somewhere….Hang on, I may have deleted the email*

2-5 minutes pass

U: Ok, here it is….(provides number)

Me: Yes, I see, you have logged this approximately 10 minutes ago, is that correct?

U: Yes, well, I did say it was urgent

Me: I can see that, you were advised that if it was urgent, to print to another printer…Checking the system I see that there is one across the other side of the room.

U: But that’s inconvenient, and I am printing confidential documents

Me: Documents so confidential that your colleague, in the same team/department and office as you, would have a chance to read and memorise in the 10 seconds it would take you to walk to the printer?

U: Well, no, but they are for <INSERT IMPORTANT PERSON HERE> and it is vital that they are done in the next 10 minutes, and my colleague is using the printer already.

Me: Ok, let me take a look. Right, I see here that the President of the Company has a scheduled fix for 5 minutes from now. The engineer is on his way, but I can probably stop him. Just let me call you back in a minute.

U: What? Umm… the President of the Company?

Me: Yep, he has been waiting since yesterday, so I guess it is ok for him to wait a little longer, especially as this is so urgent for you.

U: Well, no, I mean, I can wait a little bit if necessary.

Me: No no no, it will just take a quick call to the engineer and then to the President of the Company to let them know about the delay as something more important has come up. I am sure he will understand.

U: No, can’t you schedule me in for just after the President?

Me: Hmm, possibly, but I couldn’t guarantee a time.

U: Well, as soon as the engineer finishes with the President will be fine. What time should that be?

Me: Let me check what other appointments there are… It means bumping some others.

U: Other appointments? No, just put me in after the President.

Me: Ok, only…well, we have other important people too with appointments. I tell you what, we have already established that you are not as important as the President of the Company. Let me get thefull list of users, and we can go through them one by one. Obviously I need to understand who else you are less important than for my planning.

U: …..

Me: Or, you could just wait for the engineer to show up a little later?

U: I’ll do that *click*

Me: You are welcome…

Sometimes…I love my job.

* Seriously…you are phoning about an issue you already logged, how hard is it to realise we will need the ticket number people….come on!

I love Germany – Part 2

Seeing as I live in Germany, this could well end up being a continuing theme…

You may recall my first I love Germany post and love of daft product names. Well, there are other reasons to love Germany.

No, not legalised prostitution….ok, that could be considered a reason – but not my reason.

It’s the food. The food is just so fantastic, and in addition to Meat Cheese. they have amazing Schnitzels (traditionally thin veal steaks in breadcrumbs, but regularly pork too) and sausages (the bratwurst is fantabulous). My personal faves are JaegerSchnitzel and Currywurst.

JaegerSchnitzel is covered in what is called a woodland sauce, creamy and mushroomy and fanstic..y. Currywurst is a bratwurst with a tomato based sauce covering it, topped off with curry powder.

Both are best served with pommes (note spelling) in my humble opinion.

There is a restaurant in called “Cafe & Restaurant Waldgeist” in Hofheim, not too far from where I live. They serve giant schnitzel and currywurst, the likes of which you have never seen.

One for the ladies?A light snack?

Check out their gallery for more pics, it is unbelievable.

My personal fave is the menus. Drinks and Food (PDF Downloads).

When I go, I will most certainly be trying their bitesize, 1.2kg Rump Steak and will wash it down with “Bembel des Todes”, an 8 liter Bacardi and Coke.

Just found this on Youtube….

Pay particular attention at the end…you see the little sparkler they put in the Schnitzel on the ladies plate? Kids portion…. Eek!