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Still loafing [Apr. 3rd, 2015|09:23 pm]
[Feeling: | full]

Yesterday I went back to the Wellington for lunch, to scout the place out. Verdict - lovely place to sit and have a pot of tea of an afternoon, but very pricey food-wise for what is largely pub grub, albeit very nice pub grub. I had whitebait to start and posh ham, egg and chips for main, both of which were good, but with coffee and a diet coke, the bill came to just under £20, which isn't cheap for a pub. Still, as I said, nice place to loaf and have afternoon tea :)

Today I went to the football where Stevenage managed to claw back for a 2-2 draw with Tranmere. We looked a bit ragged but our injury list meant that we didn't have any strikers available so there was an air of make-shift about the team. We didn't play particularly well so I was actually relieved we got out with a draw. The playoffs are still within reach but we need to start winning, not drawing.

Went to the kitchen earlier to cook pasta for tea, got the water on, it was nearly boiling and....I realised I was out of pasta. *facepalms* This is such an unusual event in my house that it never occurred to me to check if I had any! So there was an emergency store run where I discovered that apparently a Good Friday 2 hours before the store closes is a pretty good time to shop. The "OMG WE MUST SELL THIS NOW LEST YE DIIIEEE!" counter was stuffed to overflowing and I scored a tuna steak for 19p, some fresh mozzarella for the same, and several snack packs of apple slices and grapes for 25p each :D And I scored at the Hot Deli counter too, where I got 5 stout coated chicken thighs for 50p and 4 large pork sausages for 80p :) The mozzarella and a couple of the chicken thighs were lovely with the pasta I was eventually able to cook. *grins*


[Apr. 2nd, 2015|12:00 pm]
That was well planned. In a fit of serendipity, I booked two days leave (yesterday and today) so as to have a long Easter weekend. And actually forgot that my last working day was also pay day! So not only am I off work, but I can afford to enjoy it :D

Going to the cinema tonight to see "The Gunman", and again on Saturday morning to see "Fast & Furious 7" (where I will doubtless blub over Paul Walker. *sniff*). Tomorrow afternoon will be spent at Stevenage for the football - really MUST remember that's tomorrow and not Saturday!

Yesterday I took a stroll around Welwyn (the village, not WGC), reminding myself what a beautiful place it is. Today I'm going back to investigate The Wellington pub, which I haven't been into for about 20 years, but which looks reeeeally good. I shall investigate the lunch menu and see what the breakfast menu is like - might be a good place to take visiting jenni411's in May :D

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AAAARRRRGH! [Mar. 27th, 2015|04:40 pm]
That database that was going to be turned off on 31st March? Turned off 3pm today. We got 4 hours warning that only certain users would have access after today. I'm not one of them.

This lot couldn't hit water if they fell out of a fucking boat.

It is fortunate for humanity that I should be able to get access next week by devious means. Also that I have cider waiting for me at home. By such tiny margins is humanity spared.
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*facepalms* [Mar. 26th, 2015|09:35 pm]
[Feeling: | cynical]

Remember I ranted a while ago about the new database system we were supposed to get that hadn't even been finished and was supposed to go live next week?

Still isn't finished, doesn't appear to have an ETA yet. BUT all is not lost! No! For verily, they (who, I'm not sure) are going to create a spreadsheet template that we can download and use to log all our jobs. And once a month we will upload aforementioned spreadsheet to HQ who will compile it all into some mystic format that will be uploaded flawlessly onto the new system when it's ready.

I'll pause for you all to finish laughing hysterically.



No mention of WHEN we're getting this spreadsheet. No mention or confirmation of when, exactly, the old database is being shut down. No mention of how we set it up so that the fitters can access the sheet and add the data they need to add (visit date, equipment supplied etc) or if they'll have to notify me of everything and I'll do it. No mention of, if they can't access the spreadsheet, HOW they're supposed to keep adequate records of their jobs. (This last bit terrifies me. They have to be herded at gunpoint to get them to do any kind of paperwork as it is.) Or anything else really. But we're not to worry about it, it'll all be sorted.

I am supposed to be taking next Wednesday and Thursday off, when this all kicks off. I am seriously contemplating asking if I can change the dates because I'm not sure I want to be out of the office when this hell is breaking loose. At least if I'm there, I can put out fires.

Roll on Easter. There is going to be chocolate. Oh yes.


How to soothe a savage Mitchy* [Mar. 25th, 2015|07:41 pm]
[Feeling: | calm]

Make tea and curl up on a warm, comfy sofa
Cook food (lamb chops with jacket spud will soon be miiiiine!)
Have good TV to watch (SHIELD and NCIS:New Orleans!)

I'm loving NCIS:NO, really like the characters. Some of the early eps were a bit ropey but have developed nicely as time has gone on. It's already been renewed for Season 2, so huzzah :D

I do have one confession though. I adore Lucas Black but I cannot take the accent seriously. I KNOW it's his real accent and is as genuine as it can be but there's something about it that just makes it sound fake to me. I suspect I've been too badly influenced by comic Southern characters in the past *hangs head*

* nothing serious, I suspect PMS :D

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*sighs* [Mar. 23rd, 2015|10:01 pm]
[Feeling: | cheerful]

You really think I'd learn not to start reading a good book on a Sunday evening. Seriously. I think I fooled myself by thinking "Ah, it's a couple of short stories, won't take long!" HAH! Couple of novellas, more like. 1.30am I finally put the book down (a J D Robb Eve Dallas book, for the curious.)

There may have been increased caffeine consumption today. :D

But other than that, it was a pretty good Monday, I actually got Stuff done and was Productive and shit. Dunno what came over me. We also got a much needed delivery of Fire retardant materials in today which filled the empty shelves in the stock cage splendidly. Although I'm going to feel it in the morning - there was about 30 boxes that needed shifting and I did it myself. Ow :P (I could have asked for help, the lads would have pitched in gladly, but I was there and it was peaceful and I could organise the cage the way I wanted it organised etc, so it was all good :))

And walking home, I noticed the tree below, which I was in too much of a fog to see this morning but caught going home. In fairnss, going TO work, this tree is to my left and mostly behind me as I cross the road, so I'm concentrating more on the traffic than the scenery. Coming back though, it's slap bang in front of me. :D


Spring is hovering..! [Mar. 22nd, 2015|04:16 pm]
Spotted while I was out and about this afternoon. And I was happy to see, further down the road, that the council has planted many new cherry tree saplings. At least I think they're cherry trees, I'll go have a closer look next time I'm out :) When they're full grown, that whole stretch of road is going to be jaw droppingly gorgeous in Spring.

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Who'd be a sports fan? [Mar. 21st, 2015|11:18 pm]
[Feeling: | aggravated]

Today was the final day of the Six Nations Championship. It was all going to come down to which team won their final match by the most clear points. England had an advantage in points but a disadvantage in their opponents, France, who weren't going to roll over. Wales had to beat Italy by an absurb score to stand a chance and Ireland had to beat Scotland which no-one thought would be a problem.

Italy 20 Wales 61

I was making my US friends laugh because I was being inventive with the swear words. "Useless pasta munching cock wombles" got a good response. As a result of that game, England had to beat France by 16 clear points and Ireland had to beat Scotland by 20 clear points.

(At this point I dashed off to the football at Stevenage but kept track of the score via my phone.)

Scotland 10 Ireland 40

FFS. That put Ireland in first place in the Championship, which was something. (Not a fan of Wales :D) Now England had to beat France by 26 clear points. Gnng. Meanwhile Stevenage contrived to lose 1-0. I left early to scamper back in time for England's match. I got in just in time to see England score a try! Woo hoo!

And then France scored two tries in quick succession. There was epic cursing.

And that was the pattern for the match. England kept clawing themselves into touching distance of the title and then helpfully letting France score to keep our nerves jangling. I wouldn't have wanted to be an Irish fan watching that match, it was nerve wracking enough as it was.

Final score....(wait for it)

England 55 France 35. We lost out by six! frickin'! points! Fuck me sideways.

So I reacted like the mature adult I am and sulked and watched old episodes of NCIS while eating chocolate :P


Latest work fuckwittery [Mar. 16th, 2015|11:34 pm]
[Feeling: | indescribable]

Still no sign of a replacement system for the one that is supposed to be switched off at the end of this month. There are mutterings that money might have to be found to extend the licence for a month. Our opinion is we're talking longer than that to get something up and running - our cynicism in our IT departments is well founded on bitter experience :P

As every resident in Hertfordshire is entitled to a Home Fire Safety Check and free smoke alarms, we get 1000's of requests. I say "we", but in fact I never see the regular requests as they get filtered to the third party company responsible for carrying them out, Medequip. However, we no longer have the funds to pay them so the contract ends 1st April. The current wizard scheme is to bring the operation in house. Supposedly, 3 or 4 people, including an admin person, are transferring from Medequip to HCC. The admin person will become part of support, and will continue to sort out all the referrals my guys don't do. There'll be 2 or 3 fitters that'll be managed by the same line manager who managers my guys and in the short term, they'll carry on doing what they did at Medequip except working for HCC and we'll carry on doing what we do.

Of course, it's not going to be that easy. Management weren't told about this until 27th February, so there's been less than a month to try and get something in place for 1st April. Even more hysterically, we don't have anywhere to store all of Medequip's equipment, so lord knows where that's going to go. And there's no guarantee the people will want to transfer - I have no idea where Medequip is based (I think it's North London) so I have no idea if schlepping up to WGC is even feasible. And this will coincide with when the database gets turned off (maybe) so it's entirely possible an incomplete team will turn up on April 1st and be totally unable to do anything.

Forward planning, people, forward frickin' planning. It shouldn't be rocket science :P

Apparently there is pressure to merge the two halves of the system together but that's going to have to wait until everyone gets a handle on how much work is actually involved for the ex-Medequip side of things. It could mean my job changing to encompass a wider role but that's a ways down the line, fortunately. What is clear is it's going to be a interesting few months until we get things sorted out and settled down. In the Chinese curse sense of the word :P

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Fascinating Aida [Mar. 15th, 2015|05:21 pm]
[Feeling: | cheerful]

I have seen their show before - this particular iteration debuted in 2013, but Fascinating Aida are always watchable an always awesome. There were a couple of news songs, they've tweaked a few things and, of course, the Bulgarian Song Cycle was wickedly up to date (they're not fans of Jeremy Clarkson :D).

It was also fun to see them cope with a couple of major technical issues, as normally their shows go really smoothly. First of all, when Adele did her Health and Safety trawl through the front rows of the audience, she asked for the house lights to be brought up. Nothing happened. She asked twice more, while gingerly heading down the steps from the stage and gamely attempting to see where she was going. Finally she bellowed "HOUSE LIGHTS!!!"...and still nothing happened. At last, just when she was going to abandon the sketch, the lights came up to a huge roar of applause.

Then a little later, when Liza was about to start her Health and Safety number, Adele stopped her before she'd got past the first line and we realised her microphone had stopped working (they wear those forehead microphones with battery packs hidden at their waists). "Oh, has someone flipped my switch!" she cried, plaintively, before dashing backstage to let the technicians do frantic assessment and sorting out. This left Adele and Dillie on stage to amuse the audience which they did by noting they'd seen something wrong because the light had gone out on Liza's battery pack. "You can see the light through the flimsy material of that large yellow onsie she wears," Adele snarked. "Yes," says Dillie, "some people think she's an alien." They riffed on this for the five minutes it took to sort out the problem (flat battery, apparently), before Liza came back and was reduced to giggles by the pair, who made her turn round so we could admire the now glowing light on her battery pack. Took her a couple of minutes to compose herself so she could sing the song :)

And I got the latest DVD signed by all three of them after the show. Yay! :D

I went with Kev, a colleague from work, and his friend Douglas. Douglas very kindly cooked us a yummy chicken and vegetable stir fry before the show. He doesn't eat tomatoes either, so I must pick his brains about what he used for the sauce for the stir fry because it was very tasty :D

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