24 September 2021 (Friday) - Rostered Day Off

I slept like a log last night, When the dogs don’t try to crowd me out, things are just peachy. After nearly nine hours I got up, made toast and had a look at the Internet to see if I’d missed much. I hadn’t really. I saw that a friend was having a birthday today; I sent my usual birthday video and found myself rather thoughtful. I first met the chap (who was having a birthday) over twenty-five years ago. He came along to the Tuesday night Trekkie-club that I used to organise; we had so much fun together over the years including two week-long caravan holidays in Dorset. But apart from two chance meetings in the street I’ve only seen him twice in the last five years. Over the years I met so many people through Trekkie-ing and we had such good fun. But looking back there were two or three of us who would organise, and two or three dozen who would enjoy the efforts of that two or three. As the few stopped organising things (for one reason or another) so the whole Tuesday Trekkie-ing thing died.

This is the story of my life, isn’t it? The snake club, kite club, Trekkie-ing, works football club (yes I ran a five-a-side club once!), summer camping holidays, mid-week weekly geocaching events, the social side of the Astro club (which only last week I was told is now moribund)… I’m tired. Can’t someone else organise something?

I had an email from the Credit Karma. My credit rating has gone up five points but is still nine less than what it was in June. I wonder why? Nothing had really changed in that time.

 

I loaded the dogs into the car and drove out to… I won’t say where. I was hiding some geocaches, and there is great kudos in being the first one to find them. There are a few people who lives locally who have what I can only describe as an addiction to being First to Find. In the past people really have been out and found two entire series of the things “er indoors TM” hid before they were officially published by following my blog posts and Facebook photos. I’ve had this on caches I’ve hidden before, as have friends and acquaintances who have also been stalked. It’s all caused no end of bad feeling over something which is supposed to be a bit of fun.

Unbelievable, isn’t it…

But we got to wherever it was that we went and had a very good walk. As we approached the corner of a field so Treacle ran forward and adopted a “hunting dog pose” and started snarling. I looked round the corner to see a herd of a dozen deer scampering off.

Part of our route went through someone’s garden. The footpath really does go through a garden. A bit of a pain but there it is.

After an hour (or so) and two and a half miles we were back at the start. As we’d walked I’d found hides for fourteen geocaches. The Wherigo I’d got ready to go had six stages so will need a little re-writing *if* the geo-feds are happy with the locations.

I took a few photos as we walked; the terrain is flat; the views are lovely. Ideal for dog walks.

 

We came home and I left the dogs with “er indoors TM” whilst I popped to the vets for Treacle’s flea and worming treatments, and then went on to the local bakery for cakes for lunch.

We scoffed the cakes; they made an excellent bit of lunch. As I scoffed I did the monthly accounts. The app via which I get an e-copy of my payslip seems to have failed. Probably just as well. This month featured our pay rise which seems to have been more than taken by all sorts of other expenses. I would ask (in all seriousness) that the next time there is one of these (frankly embarrassing) stand-on-the-doorstep-and-clap-like-a-thing-possessed things organised, rather than joining in, people go to their local hospitals and throw money.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not (entirely) pot-less. But surely the idea of a pay rise for a health service which has bust a gut for over a year during an international pandemic (from a nation which won’t shut up about how grateful it is) isn’t just to keep up with inflation?

 

I then cracked on with the geo-admin that goes with the project I’m working on. The bit I needed to show to the geo-feds only took two hours, then I started working on the Wherigo cartridge. Creating eight new zones only took two more hours.

 

“er indoors TM” boiled up fish and chips, and as we scoffed it we watched a film. “Yesterday” features a struggling musician who wakes up in a world in which no one had ever heard of the Beatles… and so makes himself a fortune. It was quite a good twist on a very old idea.

Today has been rather busy…

23 September 2021 (Thursday) - Early Shift

I had a better night last night, despite a rather vivid dream in which I caused consternation on the set of “Upstairs Downstairs” when I told them that they weren’t real but just characters in a TV show that had been cancelled forty years ago. That revelation was rather upsetting; I suppose it would come as a shock if you didn’t realise that.

As I scoffed toast I realised that my stomach was far more settled than it had been recently, which was a major result. I watched an episode of “Drifters” then peered into the Internet. The photo of my Advent Calendar had received over forty clicks of the Facebook “like” button.

I had a message from “Duran Hancock” who said “hello I'm a woman”, followed this with a little photo of a union jack, and then said that she was “thirsty for sex” and had followed this with a web link about which she said “look I'm not wearing panties here”. I decided not to look.

My piss boiled somewhat when I tuned into the Munzee clan chat. Playing Munzee isn't just about scanning bar codes stuck to lamp posts, you know. For me a large part of it is the monthly "Clan War" in which we team up in groups of up to ten players and together have to achieve certain goals and targets (both as individuals and as a team) for which we get in-game rewards and credits. Whilst it gives me something to do on the way to and from work, more and more I'm feeling that the "team" aspect is somewhat missing. More and more it is me and “er indoors TM (and one or two others) doing the lion's share of work for the team targets, with some others very noticeably doing bare minimum effort. One of them posted in the clan chat late last night. It was rather obvious that she was struggling to meet her individual requirements and had been asked if she needed any help. In her reply she mentioned that she was happy to use the in-game credit she'd built up but didn't want to spend real money.

I spend about a tenner each month on that silly game, as does “er indoors TM”... Perhaps we won't next month...

 

Making a point of pretending not to see not-so-nice-next-door starting her strange fast walk (which she does every morning at half past six) I set off to work.

As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how half a dozen power companies have gone bust this month. Millions of people have been left wondering who they are now having to pay for their gas and electricity. And all the remaining power companies are desperately hoping it won't be them. Why don't they want more customers? The power companies are having to pay rapidly increasing prices for the power they get, but there is a limit (enforced by law) on how much they can charge the customers.

The whole point of the government's selling off the nation's power providers (all those years ago) was so that someone (the people in the government and all their chums) could make a profit. But if you are buying something for a quid and being told you can't sell it for more than fifty pence then there's not a lot of profit to be had, is there?

Did no one else see this one coming?

And  the Prime Minister has upset the French even more. With them already up in arms about the ongoing Australian nuclear submarine row,  he's said: “I just think it’s time for some of our dearest friends around the world to ‘prenez un grip’ about this and ‘donnez moi un break’.

On the one hand it is a firm and deliberate kick in the goolies to UK/EU relations. On the other hand it is a sure-fire vote winner for  the Prime Minister. Whilst I wish he hadn't said it, I can't help but chuckle. This is typical of  the Prime Minister, isn't it? He knows just what to say to impress the masses who will lap this up.

 

I got to work for the early shift and got on with that out of which I couldn't skive. I had my annual appraisal today. It seemed to go well; the boss seemed impressed with me. But I couldn't really take it seriously. I can remember another appraisal ten and a bit years ago which also gave me a glowing report only to then get sacked for (supposed) gross incompetence only a few short weeks later. Looking back from this remove in time I'm pretty sure that the (admittedly serious) mistake I made at the time was used as an excuse for a rather incompetent manager to get rid of someone who she didn't like. Again looking back I could probably made a case for constructive dismissal. But ten years on I am in a far better place than I was. As Wallace once said to Gromit "all's well that ends well".

 

With work done I came home and took the dogs down to Orlestone Woods. We had a little explore and went down a little path I’ve not followed before. In the depths of the woods we heard voices, and then saw a couple of lads on OneWheel Pints. I’d never seen one before. A OneWheel Pint is an off-road electric toy – a sort of a cross between a skateboard and a Segway. The lads were over a mile from the closest tarmac path so the things must work well off-road. I had an idea of getting one for myself; with a top speed of sixteen miles per hour I could zoom about after the dogs on it rather faster than I do at the moment. With a range of twelve miles it wouldn’t let me down half-way round the woods. I then came home and looked them up… They only cost a shade over a thousand quid…

Maybe I could buy one from the money I stop spending on Munzee?

22 September 2021 (Wednesday) - Stomach Ache

I had perhaps the worst night ever last night. With feet like blocks of ice, my head was sweating and the dogs were taking up ninety per cent of the bed space. Though I have to wonder if it was my own fault that I was feeling grim. In the past I’ve been rather unwell after scoffing Sainsbury’s granola slices, and so on Monday night I got some before the night shift as a bit of an experiment. I think I’ve conclusively proved that Sainsbury’s granola slices don’t agree with my insides.

 

I made some toast in the naïve hope that it might settle my stomach (it didn’t) and watched an episode of “Drifters” in which our heroes were attempting to “do the dirty deed” with varying degrees of success, then sparked up my lap-top. As I peered into Facebook I was immediately presented with an advert for “Fairies and Fairy Magic Diploma Course”. For a mere thirty quid I could learn all about “the world of folklore and theories surrounding fairies and their activities in the British Isles. You’ll learn about their history and origins, varying types, magic, homes and lives, and even how to meet and communicate with them”. People pay good money for this, you know; I’m just miffed that I didn’t think of it first.

I had an email from Geocaching HQ saying that they’d improved the search feature on the geo-map. I tested it out by typing my home postcode into the search bar and the thing immediately centred the map on the middle of the North Sea. That’s working well, then.

 

I drove up a rather foggy motorway this morning (farting like a thing possessed). As I drove the pundits on the radio were interviewing one of the leading lights of "Insulate Britain"; the bunch responsible for all the delays and closures on the M25 over the last week or so. Apparently their protests are rather dangerous and may well cause injury or death (by having protesters sitting in the motorway). The woman being interviewed made a rather poor show of presenting her case. Flatly refusing to answer any question put to her, she had a pre-written statement and just read it out (time and again) in response to everything she was asked. Given a prime slot on national radio to discuss one of the most serious issues of our time, this woman just came over as a bit of a twit. Such a shame.

Apparently another of these protesters stormed off of the set of Breakfast TV this morning. Banging on about sensible energy use it transpired that this chap's London home is single-glazed, has no cavity wall insulation and uses gas central heating.

These eco-warriors have such a good and worthy cause, and do their level best to make themselves a laughing stock.

 

I got to work where I did my bit with varying degrees of stomach ache. Last night I had wondered if I would be taking today off work as sick leave, in retrospect maybe I should have done.

 

I came home to find the postman had been. With a little over two months to go until the start of Advent, my Advent Calendar has arrived. I really should open it up and see what is in there, but I won’t. I shall open each window on the correct morning and stare at whatever is inside wondering just what I am supposed to do with it.

I can’t wait…

I also can’t wait to stop farting…