Monday, 31 July 2006


Last night, I got BARRED from THIS pub!

How rock 'n roll am I?...and I only pulled a gun in the middle of a cocaine deal too! Pfff

Kidding... It was actually a lot less rock 'n roll than that and it wasn't even my fault.
I was a 'barred' virgin, so this is a first for me, but I guess it's another check mark on the list of things to do before you die!

The story:
Sunday night, a friend and I decided to bicycle off to a local public house, The Queen's Head in Wolverley, and enjoy a fermented alcoholic beverage or two.

There is a small stream and bridge by the pub, and upon leaving the establishment for the evening, the sound of running water was far too testing for my inebriated friend Butter* to resist or should I say 'oh he who has bladder the size of a small mammal'.
So, he darts under the bridge and goes for a wee while I un-padlocked the bikes from the bridge railings.

Then, I'm suddenly startled by a rather loud, hearty and unfriendly "oi" and look up to see the pub's generically beer bellied landlord stood outside scowling at my urinating mate. The proprietor then instructs him to use the toilet inside.

A perfectly reasonable request I thought, so Butter stops wee'ing and walks past me, looking a little sheepish and murmurs "oops" to me on his way past back to the pub.
I carry on unlocking the bikes and wait for Butter to re-emerge while the landlord paces up and down the front of his pub, arms folded, like a WWII Russian commissar with attitude.

Butter then emerges from the pub a minute later, walks up to the landlord and apologises, but the Landylordy sternly replies, "I don't care - your not welcome in here anymore, and that goes for your mate too!" and saunters back off into the pub!

I just stand there, mouth open, completely speechless at how unreasonable this guy has just been towards two of his paying customers and what the hell did I do to deserve being barred as well??? Grrr

I was going to take it up with him, but given how unreasonable he was, I thought I'm not going to get anywhere with a heathen like this, so left it be!

Some people eh, especially as we are not loud or obnoxious or anything like that, quite the opposite in fact and my mate did go and apologise to him.
Butter was very much in the wrong and definitely should not of wee'd in the stream, but it wasn't like he was pissing up his front door or like we hurled abuse at him or something.

Totally out of order, over the top and down right unfriendly. Grrr

Oh well, the search for a new local is now on!

Anyone else been banned from anywhere?

[* His last name is Butterfield; the nickname has stuck from school and he hates it, LOL]

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Putting half a bag of gone-off cement into my wheelie bin and it landed on a bin bag containing last weekend's curry scraps, which ruptures and covers me in a fine spray of Lamb Rogan Josh! Grrr.. Oh boy did it ming. :[
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 3/10

Sunday, 30 July 2006

My Next Career...

...Is doubtful to be a tree surgeon!

Sister#1 has had a couple of tree surgeons round to prune the rather large walnut tree in her drive as it desperately needed attention and had reached a massive height.

It was INCREDIBLE to watch this little Welsh guy shin up a tree with just one rope and hang from it's tops, several stories up with chainsaw in hand, and then lop bits off, putting his life in the hands of a dodgy looking branch at the top.

The extremities to which he would walk out onto were fascinating and then bend in the branches, even more so, but it's his job and he obviously knows what he's doing.

So, except from slight vertigo and a fear of falling to my death, the chances of me becoming a tree surgeon* is highly unlikely. (Although I would like to wear all the belts, carabineers and ropes etc. There's something about climbing gadgetry that does it for me, in more ways than one) ;]

This thought was then reinforced later, when I started pruning a conifer at the top of my sister#1's drive and managed to skilfully cut through the cable of the hedge trimmer... Grrr, nowt a bit of gaffa tape doesn't solve, although I'm sure it's no longer safe or CE compliant! Ooops, rewiring or good connector is needed.

[* I guess you would get used it very quickly after doing it for a few weeks]

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Putting food in the oven, and then half an hour later, excitedly opening the oven, only to realise the gas had gone out and everything was still cold! Grrr...
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 3/10

Thursday, 27 July 2006

What A Rockin' Weekend...

Well, last weekend was an absolute 'one for the history books' of a birthday weekend!!!

Friday morning, saw Andy, Rich, Lewis and myself loading PA gear into the back of two hire-vans and driving off to a field in New Radnor in the middle Wales.
Upon arrival, a lot of familiar faces became apparent from gigs I've done in the past, which was nice and then, in the sweltering heat, the PA slowly went up.

What an idyllic backdrop to a main stage at a festival. It almost looks out of place... The stage that is, not the hills, duh!

We were joined by more friends, in the form of Hal, Joe, Bee, and The Silver Fox who came baring cakes and birthday pressies! Yay...

Hal, Bee, Big Rich and Joe slightly inebriated with the use of our rather fetching 'floor bar'! Doesn't it look classy?

The Silver Fox, our FOH engineer for the weekend! Nice shirt mate.

Andy enjoying a rather decadent self made liqour coffee. Nowt but the best for our crew!

After a late, but needed public house visit for a most spectacular curry, we all gathered on stage for beers and I subjected all to a stunning selection of MP3s off my phone that I routed through the monitors. Hey, it was my birthday, so I listened to what I like! :]

Bee, Dogga and Joe chatting on stage on a warm summer Friday night while the lighting guys set-up their lights.

Saturday morning consisted of eating a Big Rich Breakfast Special and shaking off a hangover before the first band arrived, who comprised of rather a lot of members for the first band of the day, so not ideal, but after a few technical hitches, we got through it all OK!
Dogga on monitors, with some nice smaller bands to ease him into the afternoon!
Don't I look fine wearing Bee's sunglasses and using my special clipboard that was made for me, by piss taking engineers, last Glastonbury on the John Peel Stage? How rude.

Nephew and Niece... Absolute angels or what? NOT!!!Lewis: not a chav... honest guv, honest! :]I caught Big Rich in the loos with a roll of soft Andrex toilet paper he had brought himself and I just had to take the picture! I had no problem with the rough 'Military Issue' toilet paper provided, but then I guess some of us are tougher than others. TeeHeeA certain member of the crew *cough* Hal, drove a quad bike and trailer over the generator mains cable, severing it in two, meaning the power was off at main stage for a while! Ooops... Sparkies to the rescue though!The band that was on-stage at the time simply got off stage and did an acoustic set regardless of no power, so all was fine and the crowd loved it.
Ian Marchant in the crowd, if anyone knows who he is!

After the power cable was fixed, we experienced an hours rain which doesn't do much for the electrics and electronics on stage. After raising all the high voltage stuff above water level, tarpaulins were brought in to create make shift shelters for the gear.

However, water had gotten into the lighting system and everything went horribly wrong, taking the power out left, right and centre and we lost all power to the main speaker system, meaning I had to improvise with speakers on stage which I pointed out towards the crowd before they could patch my desk in to control the main speakers as well! Phew, what a nightmare and I felt so sorry for the bands who experienced the power failures.
We got it all fixed for the headlining band anyhow!

People dancing at twilight! A great sight at a summer festival!

The finale band 'Babyhead' where a bit of challenge, due to the amount of channels used, band members on-stage and they are very energetic, and they also like it real LOUD!!!

A bit of a challenge, but good to let rip on the headline band. I felt rather exhausted after the day's work and knew the dreaded packing-up was imminent, but a fun night was had first! :[

I made a new friend called Rhee...

Hal pushing Willlow off the stage' in a Jack Ass style' on a child's toy! Talk about funny...
Signing 'Dogga' across some random girls stomach! How could I say no eh? :] It doesn't look like I'm enjoying it much by the expression on my face anyhow...
Cutting my Birthday cake at some ungodly hour. Cake courtesy of my sis and '29' shaped candles courtesy of Stu 'n Kees! Sorry about the knife Rich... Whoops... I lost it!

Much laughing and drunken behaviour continued, including plenty of body signing in various places, some of which will not be revealed on this blog, and then I saw the sun rise. O oh!

Lewis was lying in the sun Sunday morning, nursing a bit of a hangover, so me sitting on him probably didn't help his predicament, but it made me feel better!

Today, I'm Most Angry About: A rather disappointing prawn mayo sarnie at lunchtime.
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 0.5/10

Tuesday, 25 July 2006

Frontline Fixtures...

A friend at work showed me this snippet from Electronics Weekly magazine...

Read the text then study the picture:
[Click for bigger]

When I was shown, he withheld the picture by folding the page and got me to read the text first. It wasn't until the picture was revealed, did I A) Nearly wet myself and B) then realise this must be a spoof article! ...I hope so anyhow :]

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Being awake since 4:30am 'cos of the heat, reagrdless of all the windows in my house being fully open! :[
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 3/10

Friday, 21 July 2006

29 Today...

Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday dear Dogga,
Happy birthday to me!

"Can I smell birthday cake?"

Today sees me into my 10592nd day on planet Earth, since leaving my mummy's tummy.

I'm off for the weekend to the New Radnor One-Day Music Festival in Wales, as a few friends and myself are providing the sound and engineering the main stage.
I'm mainly going to be the Monitor engineer for the event and if you are wondering what that is and you have a little time on your hands, then read this previous entry*.

[*Caution: Possible level 9 boredom risk]

See you folks next week and don't do anything I wouldn't do! Have great weekends...

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Having a dream last night, that Kylie Minogue moved in down the road and I was getting 'VERY friendly' with her one evening! She asked if I would pop out to get some milk for coffee in the morning, which I did, but when I got back a friend of mine was in bed with her! Grrrr... I then woke up... Grrr... Grrr :[]
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 1/10

Wednesday, 19 July 2006


OK, this is getting ridiculous...
I'm sat at my computer, writing this blog entry in my underpants, because it's 30 degrees centigrade in my house, despite all the windows and doors being open and fans on full pelt. Even my PC is reporting unwonted internal temperatures of 41!

In Stourport-on-Severn, on this record breaking midst heat wave Wednesday, both my car and the digital thermometer in my office saw 40 degrees centigrade / 104 Fahrenheit being exceeded!
(And yes, the external probe was in the shade)

The officials didn't report it quite that high; more like 36.3 in London, but how can you argue with a Maplin £14.99 digital thermometer compared to the Met Office's high tech gadgetry eh? Pfff, I ask you!

Either way, it's certainly very different to the nipple hardening -30 degrees C I experienced in the Artic Circle, northern Finland, earlier this year!

It's actually getting quite oppressive now, and I've started using some hints from this useful guide here!

A One Off Summer Sight:
On the way home from work, I spied many a broken down vehicle, presumably because of the heat, but the best thing I saw was a minor smash between two cars at an island, close to my home. Not too out the ordinary eh, but the car worse off and obviously at fault was full of women in bikinis!!!
Honestly, there were five scantily clad girlies (not that I looked that closely of course :]) all stood around inspecting the damage of the car infront. I almost inadvertently left the road myself, while thinking, 'if I'm going to be involved in an accident myself, please let it be like that!'
"Now if Carlsberg made car accidents, they would probably be the best car accidents in the world!"

Today, I'm Most Angry About:
A fellow circuit trainer jokingly (but truthfully) pointing out that I had only done 10 repetitions of a particular exercise instead of 12 specified by the instructor. The instructor overheard her say this to me and made the entire class do the whole 12 again and announce to everyone what happened and that it was all my fault! Grrr and I pay him for this too - LOL - You can tell he's ex army!
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 3/10

Monday, 17 July 2006

There's Something Fishy on Them There Moors...

Due to this unprecedented run of scorchio English weather, the weekend comprised of many summery activities, including an afternoon walk up Ashes Hollow upon the Long Mynd:

I've mentioned this before, but these pictures were taken close to the Geocache 'A Bridge Too Far', but it was far too hot to take the detour and visit the cache.

The last time I trotted up here, it was in the depths of winter with snow and ice all around, so the valleys look very different in the light of a summer afternoon. This waterfall is mere shadow of its former self and pretty much dried up. A very different waterfall to the one seen in the above 'last time' post!

Despite getting a nice tan, the sun caused me some serious body fluid loss via the bodily function of sweating on the trudge up. Sweat started running off my forehead and onto my eyes, which wasn't too bad, but I had just applied some factor 15 to my face, so the sweat now contained diluted sun cream and when it inevitably ran into my eyes, it stung like a baaahhhstard making me put my hands over my eyes like a pepper spray victim. :[

This poor sheep's diet is going better than mine, by the looks of it! I wonder what its secret is and Monday morning weight in was? I couldn't get much information out of it:

So, "Why fishy?" I hear you ask!
Well, there were two fishy things in both senses of the word and this was one of them:

The Bedlam Wild Border Morris Dancers were performing outside a cafe and yelping to there hearts content - one guy in particular (see below) kept on grimacing and shouting, in a Brian Blessed kinda way, at the on looking children making them jump and giggle:

Now I know Morris dancing is a very old British tradition, but really now, come on, what is it all about? :)

The second fishy thing was the very rockin' very large freshly made granary bread 'Manwich' I ate, stuffed with prawn
and taramasalata! Mmm…

... And no, this isn't a prawn sandwich; it's definitely typical English views from the side of Titterstone Clee Hill. An amazingly clear day due to the summer breeze!

Today, I'm Most Angry About: My teeth being particularly sensitive, for no good reason and it making me pull a face like the generic impression of an old person without any teeth! :[]
Today's Grrr-O-Meter Reading: 1/10

Wednesday, 12 July 2006

Argh, Shiver Me Timbers...

The weekend's sailing trip went down a storm... Literally!

We sailed from Brixham to Dartmouth and back again the next day. A great time was had, much beer was drank, many laughs where shared and a real life experience was sampled.

Working the sails and ropes is quite a skill and remarkably complex, but the skipper did most things / told us what to do for him, so we got taught some basic stuff to get a taste for it.
It's quite easy to pick up really, but practice would definitely be needed to get the hang of it all, especially when knot tying, although I mastered the bowline, figure of eight and clove hitch

Loxwood Lass, our lovely french yacht for the weekend

The kitchen and one of the two bedrooms aboard the yacht

View of the mast from the cabin skylight

Our skipper Bob. 59 years old and he looks about 40 and has the energy and sense of humour of a 21 year old! What a star; a very entertaining person, but could he talk for England or what?

Andy taking us out of Dartmouth harbour and onward to sea

On the second night, the coast guard / Met Office released a force 8 storm warning!
They where right too and it battered our moored 'Loxwood Lass' boat overnight making sleeping a bit tricky, but with the sound of wind whipping through the ropes and mast, it made catching a taxi to Brixam, when thinking about sailing in it the next morning, a very sensible idea! The storm dropped to a force 6 by morning... Phew!

An ugly man on a boat!

A force 6 is obviously too much excitement for The Silver Fox (AKA Stu)

Dogga on the high seas

Tatering across the ocean, with the boat touching on 45 degrees at times, which is slightly alarming until you're told about the physics of sailing and realise that this is perfectly normal and safe... Honest guv!

Dogga thinking it would be a good idea to moon the others from the front of the boat while out at sea.

Not such a good idea, as pulling your shorts up that inadvertently fell all the way to the deck is very tricky! Luckily I had strapped myself on to the yacht!

Standing on the pointy side of the boat... oops, erm, sorry, I mean bow of the yacht when at sea is incredibly exhilarating, particularly in the moments of weightlessness when dropping off the end of a wave into the next!

I spotted two dolphins or porpoises in front of the boat on the first day and it was great to see the their dorsal fins arching through the waves ahead. A first for me!

Dogga, Big Rich and The Silver Fox in Dartmouth. Now that's an album inlay shot! :]

This is where Stu proclamined he can't wait to be old, so he doesn't have to walk anywhere again and someone can wheel him out in his chair with a blanket, position him somewhere with a nice view and leave him to watch the world go by! How odd...

The Silver Fox, Big Rich and Andy taking on a force 6... at their leisure of course!

Now a certain member of the crew *cough* Big Rich needs reminding that this is a what a smoke alarm looks like and it makes a very loud bleeping noise when it goes off!

The boat's smoke alarm went off in the middle of the night, for no good reason, but Big Rich couldn't figure out what was going on, so he goes for the Navtex shipping information gadget instead thinking it's that making the noise, despite the smoke alarm being directly next to his right ear, dealing him a mere 110dB of siren! :]
In the middle of this, I think I heard him say "Cup of tea anyone?"

I highly recommended sailing if you have not tried it before as it's so different to powered boating, but beware, land-sway seriously hits you, especially if sleeping on the boat.
I've been swaying at my desk for the past two days, but it's stopped now. It must be my brains counter action to the swaying at sea. :)

Today, I'm Most Angry About: Confusions / life / confusions in life!
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 7/10