A Case Of “I Told You So”

Well, the World Cup is fast approaching the knock-out stage, and England, maybe predictably, have come home with their tails between their collective legs. Their plane landed in Manchester to drop off the players whose clubs and homes are up norf, and went to Luton to drop off the rest of them daaan saaaf. And quite rightly, there was absolutely no fanfare whatsoever.

I had a post planned to go through everything, but I’ve just changed my mind. This picture sums it up correctly:

Yup, Correct

Yup, Correct

That is all.

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World Cup? Meh.

It really makes a change that I am viewing the coming World Cup with a feeling of not caring what happens at all. Because I’d lived in South Africa, a place where World Cups were not shown, it was all a bit new when the TV schedules in 1990 had the World Cup. I have been following them ever since, especially when the tournament went to South Africa, and even to my home city.

But now?

I suppose it may be because the same players that under-performed when picked – indeed, the same players were always picked, or the fact that playing for their club is more inportant playing for their country, that there is a certain section of “fans” (me included), who see England as an under-achieving team, and not worthy of any sor of lordly status whenever they play.

I know that as a result of changes made to the England setup that the pressure is off the players, but I just feel, well, meh.

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“Is This All Wrong? Yes. It. Is!”

Now there’s one thing I’m sure of: that I like reading about history. It’s quite a sad fact that I chose Accountancy at school over History. A long story, that goes all the way back to writing an essay in a History exam, where our class had not been even shown how to ride an essay, let alone one arguing historical fact. I don’t know why accountancy: I couldn’t ever balance the balance sheets for the exercises and tests we were given…

Anyways, I also like watching history programmes, especially the ones churned out by the BBC (BBC4, mostly). I tend to go to the documentary channels that are on. They even had a channel called “The History Channel”, which should loads of interesting series and programmes, and even repeated classics like the seminal “World At War”. They’d organised a “History +1″ channel, which eventually morphed into “The Military Channel”, as about 40% of the output was about warfare.

About 18 months ago (maybe more, maybe less), this all changed. They started showing “Ice Road Truckers”, a reality series, on History Channel. It was quite a hit at the time. And then more and more reality-based programmes came on. Now the History Channel is full of them – “Storage Wars” (about buying other peoples possesions which have been left in storage companies), “Car Wars” (renovating and fixing cars) , “Ax Men” (what lumberjacks do all day) etc etc.

I absolutely hate reality programmes, loath them with a passion. I honestly do not see the point of them. I’d read somewhere that there are fewer American sitcoms now than what there ever has been because the cost of producing them is expensive, whereas reality programs are cheap to make. I understand this because of the economic situation, but still.

The Military channel changed itself into “H2″, no doubt meaning “History 2″. This channel shows the occasional history programme, and war programme like the Military Channel and the original History Channel did. But then you have “Ancient Aliens”, “UFO Files”, “Conspiracies: Unsealed” and “Alien Files: Unsealed” – or something like that. They are all a load of crap. You have to assume that aliens exist, and also that conspiracies exisit at every turn, and that the Ancient Egyptians were really worshipping aliens, and that just about every other ancient civilisation worshipped aliens too.

One of the main people they interview is George Gsoukalos, a guy who, quite frankly, is a bit of a phoney. I suppose he’s trying to do his best with very little proof, but everything he sees, oh, it’s aliens. aliensHis favourite phrase is “Is such a thing possible. Yes, it is.” Everything has to do with aliens, and worshipping things from the sky. But where he thinks it’s all aliens, the rest of us are thinking, well, maybe we need proof, which we are unlikely to get, so you dismiss it from your thinking.

I wish it would stop. You find the documentaries you want to watch, but these, where they are nothing but fantasy, I can do without.

So, why then is the History Channel called The History Channel, if there is no history on it.

But, I’ll have to admit. H2 is trying it’s best, when it does do History. “Americal Presidents.” and also a series about how recent movies were made. I suppose it’s how far back you want your history to start – recent or further back.

And I wonder why I don’t watch that much TV…

 

 

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When’s The Next Holiday?!

Even though I’ve been back from my holidays for about 2 weeks now, it’s only today that I’ve felt the need to visit my blog, and write something.

I had the holiday I wanted: one where I could completely unwind and relax. It had the desired effect. Added to that, even though the weather was gloriously warm for about 99% of the time (rained once for about 5 minutes, and even then, just spitting), I’ve now perfected a way of staying out in the sun and not burning, but coming back looking a lot healthier and tanned than when I left (2 weeks and the tan is still there! Excellent!).

I took my Kindle with me, and managed to read two books (“Invictus” – the one they based the movie about – a review about it will undoubtedly follow soon, and “Plagueis”, a Star Wars Expanded Universe novel, which I wish they would film, as it explains what happens in the first Star Wars movie, “The Phantom Menace”. It explains things a lot more, and what caused the events of that irst movie to happen. A review on that might be up soon).

And then, it’s back to the grind, serving the Great British Public (GBP), working quite weird hours. Luckily, the day’s haven’t been that busy, so it’s a bonus. I still get shouted at and sworn at by the GBP, but that’s par for the course).

Anyway, got two days off. So, I’m happy about that, but just feeling that I need another holiday!

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Holidays

Well, on Monday coming, I’m off to Spain for 12 days. I’m really looking forward to relaxing, and just chilling out (I refuse to use the stupid word chillaxing).

Work is just work, that is all. It’s a place where I do my bit, then come back home. That is all. It’s a job where I have to put up with all sorts of crap, from the Great British Public and beyond. I’ve learned through bitter experience that I just let it wash over me.

Another analogy I use is that I don’t let problems become bigger, and pass problems to someone else wherever I can. It’s in the work I do. The department I’m in gets blamed every time something goes wrong for work we have no control over and did not initiatiate. In other words, I don’t let the monkey become a gorilla, and when it looks as though it’s turning into a gorilla, pass it on to someone else who has the knowledge in front of them. It’s worked for me, and it works for me all the time.

Anyways, I’m off. I’m unlikely to post before I go, so, see ya later!!

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Sir, if you’ll not be needing me I’l shut down for a while”

I genuinely have nothing to say.

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Winter Is…No, There It Goes

I realy tried getting into reading the first book of Game of Thrones. I got to about page 160, and I just could not go any further. I find it dull. This family doesn’t like that family because of this, and this person does not like that person, because of reasons. I just found the writing tedious, and put the book down.

I have the DVD box set, so at least I can watch that. From watching the first episode of the first season, I’m sure it’ll do.

I really wanted to enjoy the book, I really did.

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Work, work, work

My work life is going through a disturbing trend. The whole department is run in the same way most of its ilk are run: by statistics, and with every single minute of your shift there logged.

I’d be the first to admit that sometimes I digress from the ideal shift quite frequently, mainly because some of my work involves some catching up after a call I have made or taken. This forces my stats to go a bit higher than what they should be. Also, they have a doctors note saying that I would have to make frequent trips to the toilet because of my Diabetes.

The stats have to be within certain guidelines, and then that triggers a bonus payment. (You understand this, so far?). Last month I didn’t reach that threshold, so therefore I didn’t get the bonus. I don’t give two hoots whether I get this payment or not.

I went up to my manager, who is normally an amicable sort of fellow, and asked him about the threshold and the fact that I have my doctors note. Next thing I know he’s telling me I can’t talk about it there, but if I have a meeting with him to go through the stats to see where I’m going wrong, and also, if I’d like, to get the Union rep in!

Well, the first thing is that the union at my employer are weak, and the employees have good relations with the employers. And also, it was an innocent question, it really was.

But I’m not happy about the way the doctors note was brushed aside. I wasn’t using it as an excuse, but the fact that it doesn’t mean anything now is making me wonder why it’s suddenly of no consequence.

What I am doing now is logging the times I go to the toilet myself. It seems an odd thing to do, but I’d need proof if they want to take it further.

Sometimes I wonder why I don’t have a “normal” job, but that’s life.

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Find The Book

image

Int T’Internet wonderful?!

When I was about 9 years old, my mum and dad got me a book for Christmas, mainly because I was showing an interest in the game. It was a book for grown-ups.

A side story here: my parents were not fussy about whether me or my brother read books above our own reading age, as long as we understood what we were reading. That got me into trouble 3 times in my younger years: one at my local library, where  the librarian wanted me to read for my age, rather than venturing in to the older kids range; then a teacher in primary school who just wanted and forced me to read for my age, and a high school teacher who was just plain awkward, saying I’m not ready for books that are meant for adults, rather than the young teen section. Ah yes, she was the one who ridiculed my writing in front of the whole class.

It was the book above. I remember it being quite a good read, when I got round to reading it many years later. I got the book for Christmas, and on New Years Eve night, our dog decided to give birth to 6 puppies whilst we were away celebrating. She gave birth on my bed, and my book was relatively nearby. We had to trim the book down a bit and cut the bits off where there was birth fluid. We kept the book for a couple of years afterwards, and then decided to throw it away.

Well, I managed to find it on Amazon, for the princely sum of £5.91. My old book was the paperback version, this one is the hardback one, with the picture you see above. Admittedly, it only goes up to 1976, but it’s the same book. It’s written by Martin Tyler, the geezer from the Sky Sports commentaries even…

As I said, the interweb’s wonderful.

 

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“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

At the weekend, before my shift, I got in and found out that my rota for the next 364 days from 22 March was available, and with absolutely no fanfare compared to previous years, everybody is now able to plan their year.

That is the bad thing about working rota’d hours rather than a straightforward 9-5 Monday to Friday working week. Unless we are the only company on this earth that has a rota system. You have to wait until the rota comes out before you can do any planning. The only planning that I have done beforehand is to organise a hoiday for a couple of weeks in Spain in mid-April. I do this regardless of what anybody may see to me otherwise, because I refuse to pay high plane fares when I can organise the holiday a few months earlier. If I cannot get the time off (which is unlikely as the holiday is pre-booked) then I would have to take them unpaid (hasn’t happened. Yet.). And another option: shift swaps, which is sometimes possible. Failing all of that, it may be a case of them re-imbursing me the plane fare (very highly unlikely. They won’t even part with £1, never mind my plane fiar).

It feels good to be able to plan things out now, such things as going to friends in Sheffield to watch the FA Cup Final and down a few drinks. Also to arrange weekends away. For the record. we have a rota system where you are working 2 weekends in 3. So you aren’t able to enjoy weekends like most people.

Oh joy. And I was told when I embarked on these rota’d hours, you’l not want to go back to 9-5 ever again. HAH!

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