A Slow Meander Through Life

Monday, November 28, 2005

A True Hero Who Will Be Missed

Totally over shadowed by the passing of George Best, we missed the fact that Pat Morita, the actor who played Mr Miyagi in the Karate Kid, passed away on Thursday.
As someone who was called 'Daniel Son' by basically everyone throughout my entire childhood, I feel touched by the loss of Mr Miyagi.

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Survival of the Fittest

Here's a thought.
I used to be a teacher, and have friends who are teachers (I live with two). As a consequence the conversation regularly turns to teaching and the multitude of topics that accompany it.
Recently I filled out an online survery to try and find out what sort of career I should be doing. The results were somewhat poor due to the fact that I hadn't paid them any money. However, I received an email from this website which talked about you and your career and your aspirations and all that sort of thing. It made a very interesting point: many work related reviews spend time talking about your weak points, and how you can make them better. The conclusion was basically that this was a waste of time, and you should carry on being weak at the weak stuff, and concentrate on the strong stuff. I haven't stopped thinking about this since I read it.
There is a boy in my friend's year 11 tutor group. He is usually stoned, doesn't attend school 100% of the time, doesn't want to be in most of his lessons, and other things too. My friend is going to spend from now until April/May time dedicating hours of his week to ensuring that things are happening with this child. Is this a complete waste of time? His tutor group has about 26 students in, some of whom are in the category where they are achieving a mixture of As and Bs, but could achieve straight As. Who do we concentrate on?
The infamous A* to C percentage is killing schools. Maybe we should forget who is achieving that and concentrate on the high fliers. Pull as many As from the students as possible by concentrating on the top students. Who succeeds in the work place - the people who are mediocre? No! Is it time that we moved our focus and helped the people who can be helped?
Forget the weaknesses - I say it's time for the survival of the fittest.

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Happy 24 Hour Drinking!

We are ten minutes into a very exciting day. The relaxation of our country's licencing laws has commenced. In some bars you may be served all the way up to 11.30pm, or even later! Will it bring the anarchy and chaos the MPs describe? Will our society become full of binge drinking alcoholics? Or will people just go out later, chill out more and enjoy their drinks because they don't have to squeeze loads in before 11pm? I am hoping that my favourite pub, the Queen in the West, has extended the times there. All I ask for is an extra hour so that on a Friday, after a hard days work, I can relax in the company of my friends and enjoy a pint or two. Sounds wonderful.

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Monday, November 21, 2005


A week today I will be quite simply 'pooing my pants' as I'll be 15 minutes away from an interiew at IBM UK. Fantastic!

The opportunity looks amazing, and all I can hope is that I do my best and secure the job. Here's hoping!

Man of the Match

I played squash for one of the teams last night. It was my first truly competitive game in a long time. I won 3-2 and was voted the man of the match for our team! Awesome!

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Harry Potter

Flickr Photo

I've just returned (rather late) from seeing Harry Potter, so I figured it deserved some comment.

It was alright.

It would have been better if my friend hadn't farted 4 times during the performance.

I felt sorry for the guy two seats from me (and glad that I don't have a girlfriend) as his girlfriend spent the entire film cuddling up to him. He should tell her to sit up straight and watch the film.

When Harry and Voldermort are doing the wand thing, the film 'crosses the line' in the sense that at one point Voldermort is on the left and Harry is on the right, and then it is filmed from the opposite side. This is generally a filming no-no, so it seemed odd that it happened.

I loved the stadium for the Quiditch World Cup.

The girls in blue from the other school were great.

Why didn't he mention that Malfoy's dad was at the graveyard (and Crabb and the other one too)?

Harry reminds me of a lad that I went to school with called Ryan Hurst, and it's really doing my head in.

I wish he would hurry up and kill Voldermort.

I shan't be reading the book, so I'm not bothered about any inconsistencies.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Fur v Hair

Which animals have fur, and which have hair, and what is the difference?

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A Weekend with the 'Olds' and the News

It's only Sunday but the weekend has been pretty good already. Friday night I was up in Leeds to see my friend Poonam. I met her when I was teaching in Coventry - she was a sixth former at the school - and we've been friends ever since. She's Indian (well, born here but of Indian decent), and as a consequence isn't supposed to have things like male friends who stay over and things like that. It's never really bothered me before, but the point of going up to see her is that we were both going down to Coventry (well, I was off to Leamington), so I said that we could meet up and I'd give her a lift. The plan was to drop her off at her parent's shop in Hillfields. No problem there, but we had to drive past the shop, round the corner, and say goodbye there. We aren't boyfriend and girlfriend, we never have been and we never will be, but her parents wouldn't be happy. I think for the first time yesterday this annoyed me. I didn't say anything to her (and should), but I think I'd quite like to say hello to her mum and dad, and say how nice the shop is, and chat about the weather and things. It's a cultural thing that I just don't understand entirely.

The time in Leamington was very nice. I saw my uncle, aunty and cousins, and then went into the town centre with my mum and dad to have a look around. They're doing quite a lot of work on the place at the moment (it's always been great anyway) and the new road round past the Regent Hotel is lovely. It was cold and foggy though, and everything looks great then!

We ate in the Angel hotel in the evening. My Grandparents had gone down too to meet old friends, and the meal was one of these meetings. I knew the people there and had a lovely time talking and catching up, and having to explain things like mp3s! Not an easy task, I'll tell you... The food was as fantastic as the company, and we were very well looked after by the staff there. All in all a pretty perfect night.

I drove back up to Lincoln after the meal and hit some very heavy fog. It was about -2 degrees all the way, which kept it interesting. When I returned home I promptly walked into town to meet Neil and Dalts who were in a new bar in Lincoln. It was my first time in there and it was very nice. It's an over 25s jazz bar which sounds a bit odd, but there aren't any kids in there, the live music was good, and there's table service. Yes - table service. Fantastic. We shall be going there again.

So it's all been good, and there's still a squash match and Harry Potter to come this evening. I think a stroll into town through the frost this morning could be in order too. If you live in warmer climes and aren't aware of the idea of frost, here it is...

Flickr Photo

One frozen car for the morning. What fun!

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Flickr mad!

Formby High
Originally uploaded by Ms Jackson.

And I saw this - it's my old high school!

A Fantastic Picture of Nerja

Nerja playa west
Originally uploaded by iDip.

I was looking through flickr for pictures of Nerja and found this one looking west from the Balcon. It looks like paradise!

A Foolish Change

I clicked on the 'Use' button just seconds before my brain started working. Now I have a new template but forgot that I would lose my content down the right hand side. Well, there's something to keep me busy for the day!

Thursday, November 17, 2005


I've decided to give flikr a go, as Flock, Blogger.com and Flikr are meant to work together reasonably well. So here's a picture of me dragged from the Flikr toolbar in Flock. Quite a sentence!

Flickr Photo

Random Thoughts...

Well I've been tagged by Jehan to offer 20 random thoughts about myself. Hmm. Tragically, I don't know who I can tag next! Here goes...

  1. I love country music (sorry Dad).
  2. I own a B'Witched CD (sorry everybody).
  3. I can't chew baked beans - I have to swallow them. This leads to an entire 'which bean is best entry', as they need to be very juicy.
  4. I've lost every fight I've ever been in (which was only three).
  5. I'm very happy when there is 12 metres of water above me.
  6. I haven't used the radiator in my bedroom since I've been in the house.
  7. There's something about being on a motorbike that I think is just amazing.
  8. I've been engaged.
  9. I'm 28 and live with three other lads. We're all single. :-)
  10. I don't think that drinking a pint of lager is a good idea, but I do it anyway.
  11. I have an amazing desire to go to the USA, and I'm not sure why.
  12. Our old neighbour once told my mum that I walked around as if I was in another world - he was right.
  13. I have no idea that people around me are becoming older.
  14. I don't understand how people can hate each other so much that they would kill each other.
  15. If Billy Joel went on tour again, I would sell parts of my body to see him (and take my aunty Judith too if I had a spare arm or leg).
  16. I think I'm a little bit deaf, more so in my right ear.
  17. My vision, however is awesome.
  18. I would love to have the money to spend a year travelling around the world on my bike.
  19. I love the smell of fresh coriander.
  20. I prefer to look at a map than read a book.
I'm off to find some other bloggers whom I can tag, and have a bit of tea.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Blow Out!

Well the latest interest has stopped very quickly indeed. The girl from Birmingham sent me a text to say that circumstances have changed and that she doesn't want to see me again. Full stop. It's a shame - there was a spark there. We sent a few texts back and forth, and she feels that I have 'everything going for me' and that basically she's not good enough for me. I didn't think that sort of thing mattered. It doesn't to me anyway. But if that's what she wants then I'm not one to turn into a mad stalker and continually try and convince her to change her mind.

The work front has generated an interesting opportunity - a big one with potentially working for IBM. It would require a few sacrifices, but in the long run they would be 100% worth it. I will keep you informed!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Red Wine and Taxing Questions

It has certainly been a weekend for the finer things in life, mainly red wine. I absolutely love the stuff, but rarely am able to enjoy it - the focus on our nights out tends to be that of beer beer and more beer. As a consequence I found myself in wonderful company on Friday evening when I joined a wine tasting. Whilst the selection that was bought wasn't the most amazing in the world, the ability to sit back and slurp was, and as a consequence my cheque book now has one less entry, and I'm looking forward to half a case of bordeaux arriving reasonably soon, plus two bottles of a fantastic port. I'm no port expert, but this was very smooth and I hope a nice drink for the christmas period.

Saturday evening found me at a quiz night in aid of one child's World Challenge expedition fund raising. Two of my friends are taking a group of students to India next year, and each student has to raise £3000 in order to go. This lad held a quiz night at Tealby tennis club, and whilst the evening was pleasant (we completely lost) I would rather offer my money to another child's fund raising efforts next time. His mother did everything, and whilst parental help is a great thing and required to organise an event like this, the lad in question did very little all night and simply reaped the reward at the end of the night. In total each person only forwarded £5.50, but there are children going on this trip that will work their arses off for that.

I did a little teaching at my old school last week, and am doing so this week too. It was quite entertaining, but the school has really gone down hill since I left (no, it wasn't me...). Uniform is appalling and discipline in the corridors and at break is non-existent. I've had plenty of conversations with my friends who work there and we agree that a concerted effort of deploying staff all over the school every break, instead of the pathetic number of staff that are on duty would make a huge difference. I believe that there is an inherent idleness in teachers (I had this when I was there) whereby you always feel that it is someone elses problem. The children rule at my old school at the moment, and it's a sad thing to see.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Variety is the Spice of Life

So far this week it's been very interesting. I've taught some maths, sold an invoice system to a company and written some Excel VBA code for a chain of service stations to automatically email spreadsheets and check that they work correctly. Busy busy! The teaching was good - a little unprepared the first time, but well prepared today. What a difference it makes to a lesson. The last thing you want are surprises in a lesson.
I went out with the girl from the hotel last night and had a fantastic time. I shan't say any more than that, but needless to say there will be a second date!
I finally saw Lichfield without the rain last night, and it is a very nice place. All I need is a visit in daylight to really see what it's like. I ate with my dad in Don Paco's which was very nice. It's a good Spanish restaurant which doesn't really do tapas - this for me is a good thing, as tapas should be free and never is. Unfortunately I had to dash as I was meeting Clare, but it was a good meal. If I hadn't been driving/meeting Clare I would have happily spent the entire evening working through the San Miguel.

Monday, November 07, 2005


I decided last minute to go to the parent's house for the weekend. It came from a sudden urge not to go on an all day session on Friday. It was Gav's birthday, and the plan to celebrate it was drinking from 2pm to 2am. The simple truth is that I woke up on Friday morning and decided that I couldn't be bothered. If it had been in Lincoln it would have been a different matter - I could have joined later or gone out knowing I could come home early, but it was up in Grimsby and that just wasn't possible. I felt bad - I wanted to celebrate Gav's birthday - but I felt that drinking all day just wasn't going to work for me.
Anyway, Formby for the weekend turned out to be a good choice - the fireworks on Saturday evening (as done by my father) were great - especially the rockets and then the massive roman candle at the end. My nieces were a little overawed by the noise, but it's not really for the kids, is it???
For those not familiar with November 5th, in England it's Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night (depending on your preference). The night is a celebration of the failed attempt of Guy Fawkes to blow up the houses of parliament hundreds of years ago. At times, I'm not sure why we celebrate such a thing! However, we have bonfires (and put life size dummies (Guys) on them), and have firework displays. There are big ones organised by clubs, or you can have them in your own back garden. It's all a bit of fun. Typical food - toffee apples and treacle toffee. Anything that destroys your teeth.
I was able to test out the new luggage for the bike - the tailpack. It was perfect, and the run back this morning was great. I normally stop during the 150 miles back over, but I did it in one run this morning. The cold was the only thing that made it difficult, but I'm determined to ride further in one sitting so I can practice for next year when I plan to do some good touring on the bike.
Well, I'd best crack on and follow up some leads for this week. First though some food for the house.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Stay of Execution

The decision has been made that current bike will remain my current bike for a good while. This was helped by the fact that I purchased a tail pack for it at the show so I can now travel with a little bit of luggage - ideal for a weekend, and it doesn't add any extra width to the bike.
Next year will be entirely bike orientated - if there is a bike event that I can go to, I will go to it. The main one will be the National Rally in the first weekend of July. I've wanted to do it for the last couple of years, so I'm rather excited about it.
I've managed to miss the last three weeks of Spanish, and this week it turns out it's half term. Bugger.