Saturday, December 31, 2005

Looking down the barrel of a gun....

... Son of a gun, son of a bitch!

I am in pensive mode. New Year's Eve, and I am already on the Guinness scooter.

What will next year have in store for us? In all honesty, it really does feel a bit like staring down the barrel of a fully loaded twelve gauge, wondering whether some crazy horse might actually pull the trigger.

The world is a crazy place my friends, it really is.

Take any year out of its context and examine the events, and you can only agree.

Of course the small optimistic voice in my head is struggling to be heard above the cacophony of pessimism bellowing out. I'd love to think we will create Utopia or reach Nirvana this year, but what are the chances??

I need to go and cook dinner... She who must be obeyed has ordered sausage, beans, eggs, and chips.... I told you the world is mad, and Michelle is a fascinating example of this.

I'll keep this brief....

Normally I get two goldfinches eating Niger seed in my garden... Today there were fifteen all at the same time... They were queueing up!! I hope this is a positive omen for the next twelve months. I have never seen anything like it.

I listened to some pretty good radio shows today, and would like to share them with you.

Check out my huge organ!! Philadelphians must feel so lucky to be able to witness this.

British radio comedy is like this.... Count Arthur.

Ok my little brussel sprouts, I have to run or me chips'll be burnt. I bid each of you a happy New Year, and hope that my optimistic voice is right, and we'll all be drinking ambrosia within the next few months.

Peace and goodwill to all.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Pole to Pole...

... With Michael Palin.

I have watched (over the last few days) a LOT of Mr. Palin's travel adventures. I think the guy's totally cool. He is like Alan Whicker but with a conscience.

I particularly like the way that Mr. Palin has used his fame to basically pay his way around the entire world on some absolutely fascinating journeys. Is there a country this guy DIDN'T visit?

He would definitely be one of the select few I would invite to the mythical fantasy dinner party scenario.

Wanna know something I hate? I hate web pages that have media embedded in them, but don't display any control elements. If you wanna piss me off, then just make sure you put some music, or a midi file embedded in your web page without the ability to turn it off. It pisses me off so much, because (for a while) I will visit your page more often than you change the tune.

Wanna know something else that pisses me off?? I effing hate web pages that contain "layers". You've all seen 'em, I am sure (except perhaps those of you who use a fancy schmancy browser as an alternative to internet exploder) on various web pages. You are trying to read some information, and for no reason at all this bloody advert slides across your screen and sits squarely atop the piece of text you reached. Bollocks to that!!

Ah, there's nothing quite like a good rant to clear your head.

If anyone can come up with a layer that slides on AND plays some effing music without controls, then please, be my guest, and don't be offended when I start sticking pins in your wax doll!!

I am TOTALLY Pogo'ed out.... I will be almost glad to go back to work next week. Perhaps at that point I might actually get dressed again. I can't even remember where I keep my clothes any more!!

I leave you with that thought!!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Motel Hell.

## Warning contains graphic humour, and spoilers ##

I was surfing the channels late last night. Normally at the point where I am tired, I would stick something lighthearted on, and retire to bed to fall asleep to it.

I happened upon a very strange little horror movie. It wasn't what you would call a good movie, but for several reasons I really enjoyed it.

The premise: A farmer and his sister (famed for their smoked meat products) lay traps on the road to catch passing motorists. Once the strangers are caught, they have their vocal chords severed and are buried neck deep in the farmers "field". They keep them there with bags over their heads until they are mature enough to be harvested.

Harvesting involves subjecting the voiceless captives to a hypnotic light show, wrapping a noose around their neck, and snapping their spine by tying the other end of the noose to their "spaceship" (tractor).

The bodies are then harvested and smoked and mixed with pork to make the finest quality smoked meats ever.

The climax: It's obvious from the word "go", that the farmer and his sister are not going to live happily ever after. The film climaxes with a chainsaw duel between a police officer and the farmer. An actual chainsaw duel, how cool is that, but these guys turn it all the way up to number eleven. The farmer (throughout the final fight) wears the actual head of a pig over his own head. Fantastic television.

The punchline: Mortally wounded and sans porcine cranium, the farmer gives his dying words to the police officer. The guy's dying, the police officer leans in close expecting a final confession.

Farmer: "I've been a complete hypocrite"
Police officer: "What is it Vincent?"
Farmer: "My meat.... My meat.... I used preservatives!!"

Well, I'd stayed up extra late, captivated by this low budget soylent greenesque tale, and the punchline had me rolling about on the floor laughing... I rewound and watched it three more times.

It's so long since I've seen such a quality horror film. Tongue in cheek, low budget, late night trash.

There's too many people in the world and not enough food. Now this takes care of both problems at the same time.

Here's some more info about this film!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Almost.....

.... But not quite!!

I nearly made a clean sweep of Christmas blogging. I thought I might actually maintain a steady stream of ranting, but alas, fell at last night's hurdle. I don't even know what I was doing that was so important to make me forget to blog.

Perhaps I was watching the marvellous Laurel and Hardy in Laughing Gravy (another of my lovely presents) or overindulging in chocolate dog treats??

I've had a most lazy day - just the way I like it.

Michelle went back to work, so I had the house to myself.

Lounged round in my pyjamas all day. Had a walk to the papershop (the only part of the day where I got dressed). Filled the bird feeders up - remember this time of year they are proper hungry). Broke the ice on the birdbath and topped it off with a kettle. Played pogo - Completed all badges for 2005. Watched some Samurai Jack.

Currently searching for an interesting option for New Year's Eve - I noticed the local pub is charging, wait for it, thirty seven pounds a ticket!! I am open to suggestions.....

... Time passes as Fox gets sucked into a blogshares black hole.....

Lordy, it's past midnight now, and that technically means I missed two days.

Right, I am off to play some of my Christmas games.... See y'all on the other side!!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Worst episode ever!!

Forgive me if I am wrong, but the quality of television this Christmas, has plumbed new dismal depths.

I didn't actually watch any TV until today, and would be interested to hear from anyone who has watched more than I have, and who can tell me I am wrong.

Everyone who knows me, knows I hate Monday nights, because they are soap nights. Usually, there are one and a half hours of Coronation Street and Eastenders to squirm through. Tonight was no exception, but added to the miserable mix, was an hour of Coronation Street pantomime.

Note to TV bosses: People watch soaps, and become entwined in the fictional lives of your characters. People don't actually give a "monkey's" about the actors and actresses in real life. Please, don't ever try to pull another hour long stunt like this again.

Worst TV ever!!

I think I could quite happily kill someone/myself at this point, and there's another episode of Corrie to come yet.

Have you seen my moon phase indicator yet? I added it today, it's over there on the right hand side somewhere, and to be fair, it provides much more entertainment than watching telly.

Boxing Day - Went to the pub, after a lovely "leftovers" lunch. Four pints of lovely Guinness. My mum's two local pubs are always good for a few laughs. The first one we went to, was full of rural hunting types, who had returned, it would appear from rolling about in cowmuck. It stank!! The second pub was full of old folks eating traditional pub grub.

The second pub we visited, has, for as long as I can remember, been run by a chap who looks a bit porcine. The first joke, was that my brother-in-law was wearing his Porky Pig shirt that I bought for him. The second gag, was when he went to the bar and got short shrift indeed from said porcine proprietor. The third gag, was to take a photo (which I will post later - when I can move) of my brother-in-law, sitting under Piggsy's menu board, where you can order up such delights as the "Porky Platter".

My how we laughed.

Hope the festive season has washed around you all quite nicely, and you feel as basted as a free range turkey!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Pifting??

Apparently, and I am loathed to share this little gem with you, but here goes anyways....

The art of sniffing a recently vacated seat, be it traditional or bicycle, is known as pifting. Thanks to Greig for this little nugget. My brother-in-law laughed himself silly at this revelation tonight.

Ok, so it's proper Christmas day. No bugger is reading my blog, and absolutely nobody is writing a blog... So just to be a bit different, as is my wont, here you go...

Woke up, made (not) bacon and egg sandwiches, and had a cup of coffee.

Went up to my mum's to spend the day with the family.

Had a right nice day with lots of great presents and lovely food. The only downfall was that I didn't buy enough Guinness.... I should have surely seen this one coming.

I actually took the time to tell Michelle of a few items that I really wanted for Christmas this year, and she diligently had passed on the information to the relevant family members. I had completely forgotten what I'd asked for, so it was a great surprise from the word "go", that everything I opened was fantastic, and a surprise.

Amongst my forgotten highlights were:

Age of empires III - Total collectors edition from my sister's family.
SSX on tour and Need for speed most wanted for the gamecube from my mum and Fred.
Samurai Jack seasons 1 & 2 DVD from Miche

I am over the effing moon.

Fred excelled in the Christmas luncheon stakes again, and we had a lovely (not) chicken roast dinner with all the trimmings.

We even managed to play a game to conclusion without argument, not once but twice... A family album moment indeed.

Well, I'm back home now, and the festive buzz is subsiding. I will go back to my mum's tomorrow to collect all the loot, and the gaming can begin in earnest.

Merry effing Christmas one and all.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

I could have been someone.....

It's Christmas eve... The presents are delivered, I've spent time with both sides of the family (Michelle's side this afternoon, and my side this evening) and I've finally made it home.

Well so could anyone....

I took some random shopping photos today, and will endeavour over the festive period to upload them into my infamous catalogue.

You took my dreams from me.....

I've eaten porkless pork pie, parsnip soup, carrot and chilli soup, and lots and lots of nuts... It REALLY is Christmas.

When I first found you...

I've managed a fair bit og blogshares trading today, and am happy to report that Mr. Spice's meddling with my shares has finally turned to naught, and I am flying high once again. Roll on tomorrow morning when I am due some more stock transactions.

I kept them with me babe....

I drank sublimely beautiful pints of Guinness in my local with Len today. Guinness is good, but it's better when shared with a pal you ain't seen in a while.

I put them with my own....

I am now relaxing, looking forward to one of Miche's trademark spliffs, and I am tucking into some cherry brandy... Yummy... It's like drinking liquid marzipan.

Can't make it all alone....

I've put my back out. Perhaps it was something I did whilst out driving today, I don't know... Typical, if I don't have flu or bronchitis for Christmas, then how about I can't walk as a trade off??

I've built my dreams around you.

Wishing all my blog friends a very merry Christmas. Have a drink for me. May all your days be merry and bright, and god please let me wake up feeling alright!!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Bludgeoned into Christmas.

Despite my attempts to cancel Christmas this year, I have to hold up my arms in despair, and admit defeat.

I haven't overspent on Christmas presents. It's the giving that's important, right?

For the first time that I can remember, I have supplied a list of Christmas "wants", and as a result, I am fairly optimistic that I shan't receive a single ornament!! This is very important to me. Inanimate objects that collect dust hold no interest for me.

We appear, or at least Michelle appears to have, completed all our Christmas preparations. All that's left for me to do is to sit back and enjoy the festivities. It would be awfully rude of me not to.

And so, against my better judgement, I am cajoled into the whole string of shenanigans and medium jinx.

Oh blimey, it's Christmas, it's Christmas time again,
It goes all around this great big world, on the twenty-fifth of Decem.....ber.

I finished work now until the New Year. I have, as yet received no contract extension. This may have more to do with my haranguing the boss than I'd care to imagine.

This has truly been a long week.

So, it's mince pies, and Christmas cake, and minty Oreos (thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Spice), all the way.

Rudolph, the red nosed reindeer, had a very, very, shiny nose.
He works for Father Christmas, who's very fat and wears red clothes.

I can't believe I went to the supermarket last night and forgot all about my random shopping feature!!

Here's a lovely cheery thought for you all.....

When the original scene in Bambi was done, where Bambi's mum gets shot, the original intention was to show the whole shooting and have Bambi discover his mum in a pool of blood. The reason this wasn't shown, wasn't because of the instant trauma this could bring to any sensitive types that care to view (like insensitive types would watch Bambi or something??) but was in fact a move to not alienate the hunting fraternity, as a political move.

Venison, anyone? NRA membership for Christmas??

Thursday, December 22, 2005

But now I am jaded......

You're out of luck
I'm rolling down the stairs
Too tired to blog.

I am slowly trying to enter into the spirit of christmas, although I still refuse to capitalise the "c".

I've been out shopping, and wrapping gifts, and buying booze. It's a start.

I've had my tea, and in all honesty, I am off to bed.

See you all tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Love it or leave it.....

....I'll get beat up if I criticise it!!

Take a dash of christmas, add a pinch of fox. Stir together, and douse liberally with free Guinness. Pour into a great big christmas party, and invite the top boss!!

I'm not sure I have a job anymore!! Oh, well, it was nice while it lasted.

Seriously, I don't think I am gonna get fired or anything, but I wish I could keep my big effing mouth shut sometimes. I asked the big cheese a question, and he was impressed, he even said as much. In a state of drunken bravado, I moved on to the next topic, and began my usual trick of saying far too much, unnecessarily. I believe the conversation ended with me ordering him to kick one of my work colleagues up the arse!! I think it will be my turn next!!

I've had a rough ride over the last few days. Too much unrest at home. Too much Guinness, not that this is really a problem. Too many cocktails. Too many christmas parties. I am NOT a good drunk.

Hopefully, all this is behind me now... Oh, wait.... It isn't even christmas yet.

Come dance with me on the eve of the winter solstice. How magical, how utterly pagan.

In 1652 parliament tried to outlaw christmas in England.

Mistletoe was, for centuries, forbidden in the world of christianity. The victorians revived the acceptance of mistletoe, which was obviously a sacred pagan plant.

Holly was placed around homes during winter months as a pagan ritual to provide shelter for forest fairies. It is nothing to do with baby jesus, the berries aren't representative of his blood, in fact they were originally representative of sacred menstrual blood from the druids' goddess.

I could go on indefinitely about the hijacking of pagan rituals and celebrations. I won't, and I DO realise that this may well offend. It isn't my intention to offend, as much as to provide an eye opener. Take a good look at your christmas cards, you'll find a range of images on them that have absolutely no real christian foundation.

So, come dance with me. Let us think about the true meaning of winter celebration. Let's gather holly and mistletoe. Invite the fairies in, and cast out malevolence.

Christmas is (in my humble opinion) merely a celebration, invented to convert pagans to christianity. I'm not buying it!

Humbug!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ping!!!!!!

As if by magic the shopkeeper appeared!

No time to give you all the gory details, these will come soon.

For now you must be content with:

A new section is revitalised - Random Shopping - And look, over there on the right hand side (underneath the polls), there's a convenient permalink to this ever evolving section.

A new polling booth.

Updated my "This season I will be mostly..." section. It's way down there on the right under the "fave blogs".

Updated the "Previous Polls" to show the results of all my polls so far.

Hello to everyone... I am still alive.... Just. Stay tuned for more tales of how I got my job back and possibly lost it again!!

Cool thing for today:

All my readers!! XXX
Random Shopping.

Ok, this isn't so much an update, as a catalogue. I am revitalising (as promised) the art of random shopping.

The phenomena that is "random shopping"

It's not a revolutionary new form of artistic expressionism, unlike the concept of reverse shoplifting, known as "shop dropping" whereby prankster artists buy supermarket products, replace the labels with their own artwork and sneak them back onto the shelves. One shop dropper said the idea was to subvert commercial space for artistic use. I heartily condone this kind of action. Thanks to Mr. Rajah for bringing this to my attention.

Suffice to say, my own invention, is quite different. Whilst browsing the supermarkets during my regular "Friday big-shop", I notice that several items have been placed in strange context within the otherwise orderly shelves. As an example, let's say I find a huge joint of beef nestled amongst the brussel sprouts. Someone has obviously picked something up, and then realised that they don't want the item and has ditched it at the point of realisation.

Now the interesting thing about this is that some items get misappropriated at completely unsuitable stations. I like to find frozen items amongst bottles of wine, or a bag of onions hanging on a CD rack… it's a personal fascination. It's not just the item that intrigues me, or its context, but the thought process that must have gone through someone's head in order to perpetrate said act.

I am bound to create a photo album of such items – I always have my mobile phone with me, so I am going to start cataloguing said events, and in the spirit of forteana, perhaps we can by the ridiculous nature of these actions predict the apocalypse?

I should create some sort of score for each item, and could enlist the help of an equally fascinated colleague to do this.

Scores could be for:
Proximity to item's original location.
Damage potential from surrounding products.
Damage potential from surrounding environment.
Points would be deducted of course for prolonging a product's life-cycle – example: a bag of apples is casually discarded in the refrigerated section.

My mouth is already watering at the concept of cooking up an adequate formula to score said items. I wonder if Object Matrix could help me out here??

Ok... So you don't think this is very interesting, I can tell... just wait until you see my photo album – or wait until you next visit a supermarket to buy something and there amongst the loaves of bread you find a jar of marmite... You will know instinctively that the Fox speaks the truth. Random shopping is alive and well in your local supermarket. Feel free to contribute to this phenomena by dropping everything and anything into the shelves as you go.


1. Cucumber amongst the crackers.


2. Gingerbread on ham.


3. Lightbulbs in gravy.


4. Marmite and Jaffa cakes.


5. Tuna crunch on the corner.


6. Classic baked potatoes on bedding.


7. Playstation 2 and frozen goods??

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bitter sweet symphony...

Doctor, doctor.... I keep thinking I am London bridge!!

What's come over you man?

Two cars a lorry and a bus!!

Life is apparently a rich tapestry of ever changing moods, colours, patterns, and flavours. My tapestry, unfortunately has turned into an effing great big black blanket, and it's made of that really horrible itchy wool stuff, that slowly erodes your skin.

What happened?

I don't actually know.

How do I go about changing it?

Answers on a postcard please!!

I haven't got the appetite to even construct a decent blog around the current state of my head. It's a shame, a right royal shame I tells ya!! I am hoping the wind picks up, and blows these black clouds far away from me.

Perhaps this is where I take your valuable career advice, turn into a dolphin and swim off into the North Sea, never to be seen again! It sure would be an easy option.

Trawling through the mountains of rubbish on the internet today, I stumbled upon a site that had managed to publish the entire Spike Milligan book - Badjelly the Witch. It's a childhood favourite of mine, and is a lovely insight into the workings of the great Spike's mind. For this reason, my.....

Cool thing for today:

Is, Badjelly the Witch. Go read, enjoy, and worship at the shrine of Spike. I always appreciate it when people take the time and trouble to contravene copyright laws in order to provide such a good service as this.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Stop that train....

..... I wanna get off.

What on earth is the world coming to when the music industry starts to crack down on people who put song lyrics or guitar tabs on their web pages?

Case in question... Scotty - Draw your brakes... If you can find the lyrics to this fantastic tune anywhere online, then you're doing a better job than I. By all means, if you find it, come back and tell me where!! Challenge on!!

It's been a fairly s l o w day today. Believe me when I say, this is definitely the calm before the storm. I'm booked solid from six this evening until next Tuesday!!

I'm gonna take the opportunity to respond to a few comments and such....

Jay: Your karma jet lag is a fantastic work of art!! Totally made me smile. Thanks mister!! As for a giant ornithological feast on a bean bag.... You're more than welcome to come and partake!!

Spice: See you tomorrow!!

Jen: Thanks for some lovely advice, yes I realise that I completely missed the point, it wasn't actually about me buying anything per se, it was more about me lavishing my attentions on another young lady. In my head it was simply a little act of kindness to a co-worker, and in truth, I guess I wouldn't have done the same for a male co-worker. I promise bean bag pics will come soon... I haven't posted pics for ages.

Katt: You couldn't have been much farther from the truth with your observation. I appreciate your input though, it really made me laugh. Thanks for stopping by. It's always great to entice someone new into the fox's lair, and even more exciting when they comment!!

Kristiine: Although we won't necessarily be both unemployed this new year's eve, I shall certainly raise my glass to you, in the hope that it will bring all your hopes and dreams to fruition. Who knows, maybe this could be my first ever upside down new year's eve??

Everyone: Glad you all had a bit of fun playing vector park... Wasn't it strange? I really appreciate all your comments, and continued support in my quest for the perfect blog!

Right, much as I would like to sit around here blogging and generally putting the world to rights, I have a lot to do before Martin turns up tonight for some Gamecube and fixing of his computer.. There truly is no rest for the wicked.

Bonsoir bloggers!!

Cool thing for today:

Ok, who made Spice's blogshare price go through the roof...?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bite my....

.... Shiny metal ass!!

This is the first part of my retro blog. I am set to resurrect a couple of previous ideas. You will also learn how following the fox's laws can land you in a whole heap of trouble.

Random acts of kindness....

Ok, I have this theory, and I've blogged it before, in my previous incarnation as a juvenile fox of msn spaces notoriety. The theory isn't so much mine, as probably that of Buddhism, whereby, if you do good things, then you will surely reap the rewards. Practicing random acts of kindness are one of my favourite nose-thumbs to society.

Kindness doesn't have to be a big gesture. Sometimes, in a supermarket, my height enables me to pick items off the top shelves (and we're not talking porn mags here, before anyone makes the implication) for poor old ladies that can't reach. Sometimes, if I see someone drop litter, I will pick it up and put it in a bin. Sometimes I just hold a door open for someone to go through before me. It doesn't take much.

Today, I carried out a couple of acts of kindness.

1) Emma, a girl I work with, spent her hard earned money on christmas decoration for our office, and spent time and effort putting various tinselly artifacts and objects around the place. She was a bit upset that she didn't have a tree for her desk.

1a) On the way home tonight, the traffic was absolute mayhem (my seven mile journey took over an hour) and I thought, as I was passing a garden centre (places notorious for their christmas decorations) that I would stop off, and buy a little tree and a few baubles to cheer Emma up. Job done... Karma in the bank... She'll be happy as Larry tomorrow.

2) Emma, a fellow(ess) blogger, completely and wholly unrelated to the Emma that I work with, was looking for a particular piece of software. I have the piece of software (which is very expensive, and I will not name for legal reasons) and was given it. I have arranged for Emma to come over at the weekend, and collect said software, and I will take her to my local pub for a meal and a few drinks. It's not much, but it surely counts as a random act of kindness?? Karma points racking up.

Ok, so I am flushed with my sense of kindness and humanity.... Until Michelle walked through the door.

Straight away she saw the little christmas tree in the bag and asked what it was.... I explained the story, and apparently my explanation has been seen as some sort of threat. She insists that I would not have bought the same items for her even if she had asked for them, which of course she never has, and of course we all know Michelle can have anything she wants, whenever she wants. She is now sulking!! I haven't even mentioned about the other Emma coming over on Saturday, I think now might not be quite the right time.... Hahahaha.

So, random acts of kindness don't necessarily mean you will have an easy ride!! Be warned.

I am still livid at the premise, in Michelle's mind, that I would refuse to buy her something.... It defies all logic, reason, and belief.... That's women for you I guess.

Cool thing for today:

Mebbe I need to read up a bit. Not that I have done anything wrong, you understand!!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Do, do, do......

... Come on and do the conga!!

Choo, choo, choo,

Make a train across the floor.

Breaking job news.....

I have been loathed to elaborate on my recent job news until today. But, now I am happy and confident, that I can tell you all.....

I have moved back to my old office (near to home) with my old team, and am back at my old desk.... I have actually ended up exactly where I was three weeks ago, and have transferred onto my old project.

I'm chuffed to little mint balls!!

Renewed motivation, vigour, vitality, and youth are all following suit, and will be joining me by the end of the week.

My boss is such a good chap. I really needed this break, and he has obliged, and delivered.

The escape plan is complete!!

I am also, doubly heartened, by some of the VERY positive feedback I have been receiving lately. A lot of people comment on the blog, and as everyone knows, this is lovely to read, especially when your day's post has struck a chord. Personally, people have been very grateful of efforts that I have made recently, and this too is immensely appreciated.

Karma.

It's all effing karma. I try to do good things... I don't always succeed. I try to be a good person, but there are so many external influences that affect my emotions and behaviour, that it's sometimes hard to shut them out.

Today, I am invincible.

I have lots of comments, and requests that have been posted over the last few days, and will try to catch up with them all tomorrow. For today, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the fox's golden moment.

Cool thing for today:

If anyone can work out what's going on here, I would like to hear from them.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Giant beanbag!!

I have spent all weekend wrestling with Michelle's christmas present.

I bought her a giant (faux) leather beanbag. It was too big to hide anywhere, and so she got her present early. I wasn't quite prepared for the size of it.

The new beanbag is billed as a two seater beanbag sofa.... But in fact, it is actually the same size as my existing three seater proper sofa.

The lounge is now full. You can't even walk round the beanbag, you just sort of have to crawl across it to get in and out of the room.

I think I might have slipped up!!

Fair enough, the beanbag came in handy today for some two player Gamecube action. Riv came round and we managed a few games of Japanese football, and some good old fashioned Sonic the Hedgehog. The beanbag provides back and neck support and makes for excellent gameplay. Just not sure I can stomach the concept of rolling round on the floor to get out of the room.

Michelle's baking my christmas cake today, and I've been making drop scones (or scotch pancakes if you prefer).

The birds are happy in the garden, they're really tucking into their ornithological feast. The sun's been shining. My cold (I mean flu) has just about gone, and all is right in the world of the fox. If only I could get my sleep pattern back in check. I think I managed three hours in bed and probably another four hours on the sofa. Shocking!!

What a strange week it's been... Can't remember the last time I had nearly a whole week off sick. Still, although all days have merged into one, good old Antiques Roadshow has dragged me back down to earth with the realisation that it is definitely Sunday. Hope y'all had a good weekend.

Cool thing for today:

What's your mood... Something for everyone!!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Don't you just hate it...

... When you can't get to the laptop to make your daily post because SOMEONE is too busy playing on Pogo!!

I make no apologies for my enforced absence.

I am feeling a bit better today, my lungs and nose have started to work again, and although my nose is red raw and falling apart through years of systematic abuse, I am inclined to think it may actually remain in one piece for the foreseeable future. I am filling my nose with a nice mix of Happinose ointment, and savlon to try to stop the rot!!

Enough about my scabby septum already.

I posted a little piece of poetry in the comments of Jen's blog in response to a George Bush "subliminal" poem. How surprised I was to find someone copying and posting it as part of their blog... It made me laugh. The way things perpetuate through blogs is a constant source of amusement to me. Take your average questionnaire (fox growls at the miserable thought) and see how quickly they spread.

It's a proper shame I have nothing real or interesting to write about. News, current affairs, topical debate and other worthy things are all done through blogs. Countries that would punish bloggers by death, still manage to have their renegade "anonymous" bloggers. We can learn about first hand life under dictators, with far more realism than a "journalist" could ever hope to achieve in their three or four day stay.

Blogs are good. They range from mindless drivel (like mine) through to Baghdad Burning, or the excellent and revealing Police blogs that Spice found. I find it hard to imagine, just what it would be like, to be in danger of speaking my tiny mind. Some people risk a LOT for their blog.

I thank the stars that my thoughts and words are not quite as limited as some people.

I personally thank you, one and all, for taking the time to write, and the time to read. Blogging is one of THE most important things that have happened in my life time. I'm happy to be a part of it.

Cool thing for today:

See what people risk. Download the bloggers and cyber-dissident's handbook for free. It's a proper eye opener.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sniff sniff....

My eyes and nose just won't stop streaming!!

With regards to my job, watch this space... Hot news coming soon.

Had ANOTHER day off work. I've done absolutely nothing today. It's an expensive hobby being off work.

I raided the SKY+ box, and waded through a mass of recorded TV that I had either forgotten about, or hadn't had time to watch.

I watched Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai. Although the film had a few shortcomings, on the whole it's actually quite good. I wasn't expecting much from it to be honest, but overall I'd have to say it's a good watch.

Also, managed to catch up on the Little Britain episodes and the River Cottage stuff. God, I love my SKY+ and I love the series link! One touch recording for a whole series, how wonderful.

Finished my Pogo badges in record time this week. What else is there to do all day? I'm either sat at the laptop, or lounging on the settee. If I didn't feel so bad, it'd be great.

There's some interesting stirring in the blogshares market... I suspect Spice has finally claimed his blog, and Brunhilda is ditching his shares faster than anyone can buy them. They've gone through the roof. I made a killing.

Cool thing for today:

Interesting concept... It's like watching Capricorn One all over again!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Watch out for that Cliff....

Another day on the sick. Boredom taking its toll.

The thought of a day at home sounds great in principle, but when you're not feeling too cracky, then it's more like a day of incarceration, albeit self imposed.

My mum called in on me today. She can't bear the prospect of driving past my house, and seeing my car outside. She drove past yesterday, and noticed it was there, and no doubt wanted to call, but I have laid down the law before. I DO NOT expect a phone call or visit to ask why my car is parked outside my house when I should be at work. It was nice to see her, and coupled with the meter reader, was the only human interaction I've had today.

Didn't really do much today. Took a whole heap of cough cold and cure all medicines.

Watched the classic Jamaican film The Harder They Come, starring the great man Jimmy Cliff. I've read a lot about this film in the past. A lot of people don't like it, a lot of people don't get it, and no doubt a whole heap of folks would never want to watch it even if they got chance.

I stuck in the DVD and relaxed on the sofa.

Now, I've seen Easy Rider, and I've seen City of God, and both are fantastic movies. The Harder They Come, was like an amalgamation of the two films with an absolutely sublime soundtrack of sweet sweet music. Think 1970's Jamaica, and you're nearly there. Think of all the songs UB40 have covered and take the original versions and you've got it.

I loved it... Moving, tense, rough and ready, and ultimately shattering conclusion.

If you like a bit of reggae, and don't mind having to read subtitles, 'cos the patwa is too strong for the likes of a fox from Huddersfield, then check out this movie. Jimmy Cliff rocks!!

Well, that's about all the excitement I can handle for one day. I need to try and get my core body temperature, and my body clock back into some form of semblance.

Cool thing for today:

Bone up on your patwa for the watching of movies!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Coughs and sneezes....

... Spread diseases, catch them in your handkerchiefses.

I've got man-flu.... Sinuses jammed chock full, head full of winter goo. Lungs collapsing, nose refusing to function. The ladies amongst us would call this a cold. I call it avian flu.

Took a sick day from work... I hate doing that, but the perpetuation of one mans flu in an air conditioned environment is always my primary thought. I stayed home.

Tucked myself in, on the settee, and watched films...

Started with the Ealing classic - The Lavender Hill Mob - What a great British movie it is. I remember seeing it as a kid, and the bit where they run down the spiral stairs of the Eiffel Tower, still gives me giddy fits.

Then I watched a couple of episodes of Eerie Indiana, another favourite from my misspent youth. I watched the first two episodes, and must say, unlike most other nostalgic viewing, it really was as good as I remember it.

Closely followed by Rambo - First Blood. I really DO like this movie, it classic Stallone, where his speech is so unintelligible, that the dialogue is hard to follow. Plot unnecessary, action vital, and brutal. I fell asleep for part of it.

I played a bit of Gamecube, but found it hard to muster any concentration or enthusiasm.

Why do cigs taste so awful when you are ill?

Now I am watching Open Water, I've never seen it before, and can only describe it as Jaws meets Blair Witch... Very spooky and psychologically challenging.

Beechams powders have my name written on them, and I am off to bed.... No doubt to dream about bloody sharks and jellyfish!!

Cool thing for today:

You never know when this might come in handy!!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Rant, spit, snarl, growl.

I started my monthly accounting preparations this afternoon, having left work early to ensure I would be able to complete the task.

This is not a procedure I enjoy, and ever since my internet business banking went all broken on me, it's not financially rewarding either. The incentive to do this work used to be the prospect of paying myself at least SOME amount of money. These days, because I am a 94% procrastinator, the form for renewal of internet banking services lies buried under some other papers, somewhere else.

I used a little incentive, to spur me on through the process of scanning, filing, addressing, posting, emailing, and bagging up all manner of rubbish. The incentive I had in mind, was the prospect of some Gamecube fishing.......

I had a major breakthrough in the old fishing world yesterday, and I am keen to exploit my new-found skill. I shan't bore you with the details, but let's just say, on a level where I may previously have accrued 35Lbs of fish, I am now reaching a grand total of 60Lbs+ of piscatorial product.

... So, incentive in mind, I cracked on, and sorted a few little "bonus" bits of personal administrative chores.

Then, gosh-darn-it (in case any minors may be reading this - I could use stronger), it's only bloody soap night.... Coronation Street, Eastenders, Coronation Street, and the not-so-grand-final of I'm a celebrity, get me out of here!!

Fishing's scuppered and I am spitting mad!!

Another thing that pissed me off today, which may seem trivial, is as follows - apologies for the boring subject matter in advance.

I have an extractor fan in the bathroom. It's on its last legs. It has been on its last legs for a while. For about a week, it has refused to shut off after the customary five minute (or so) delay, and has been on constantly.

I've looked at it once or twice, and realised I just need to take one of the live wires out of it and insulate the wire, so it doesn't work, until my Unc comes back down and fits me a new one.

I decided to tackle it today, so turned off the power to the entire house. Computers, video, cooker, every electrical item needs resetting.

Scrabbling round in the dark, I managed to find a candle, screwdriver, insulating tape, and a lighter. Why didn't I get this all organised BEFORE I turned off the power?? Anyways, armed with the necessary I approached the bathroom.

I am always very nervous around electric!!

I spent about 10 minutes buggering about, looking for which wire to disconnect, and relighting the worst candle in the world. I reached up to take hold of the wire, and lo and behold if it didn't just unplug on its own adapter!!

I didn't even need to switch the power off.... I could've done it days ago and reduced my carbon footprint immediately.

I am such an idiot!

Cool thing for today:

I am now chasing a £500 coffee machine.... I must be bored!! Apologies for the ultra-cheesy muzak!!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Soccer Sunday.

Today was the Huddersfield Town VS Worcester FA cup game.

Went shopping this morning for more bird feeders and more bird food. Them birds is proper hungry at this time of year. Stocked them up with a total banquet. Gotta love those goldfinches man!!

Came home and watched the soccer with Riv. It was a typical televised Huddersfield game, notable by its crazy referee, yellow cards galore, lots of panicky kicking of a football, and a result that could just as easily have gone either way. I love it when Huddersfield win, I just struggle watching the games because it's always so damn tense.

The result: Huddersfield, down to ten men won 1-0

Foir a Worcester fan's view of the match, go here!!

We have drawn Chelsea in the next round of the cup, and fully expect to lose, but for the club to earn a whole heap of wonga!! What a great draw for the club.

Other than that, I haven't really done much. I took a bath, played a bit of Pogo (helping Michelle finish her weekly challenges) and managed to fit in a bit of Gamecube fishing fun.

I was wishing I had gone to the Academy last night, but am feeling like I can actually face work tomorrow, for the first time in a good few days. The flipside of NOT going out last night, I guess, is that I am able to sit back and cruise through this week, waiting for my contract to end. Small consolation, but I am not getting any younger!!

Glad that Emma and Chris enjoyed the night out though!!

Right, it's Sunday night, and I am steering myself toward an early night, early start, early finish.

I have a mountain of paperwork to tackle this week.... Must focus and stay motivated.

Good night all.

Cool thing for today:

Kerching, it's the third round draw.... Go Huddersfield!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Shazzle frazzle razzle....

That was my Mutley impersonation, in case you couldn't tell. I was gonna just call this entry "frazzled" but I thought Mutley was better.

Just so we can all be sure... Welcome to my questionnaire-free zone!!

The theme is really about the current state of my head... It's a little bit fried, from a strenuous week of stress, and politicking at work.

Generally, I see work, I do work, I move data and people about.

Lately it's all been about trying to find a suitable outcome. I've been torn between trying to imagine a way to make the product succeed, or imagining a way to get out of it without ruining whatever reputation I may have etched there in the last three years. Whichever way you look at it, it's been teetering on the edge of professional suicide for far too long.

I'm pleased with the way things have worked out, but believe me, it took a lot of soul searching and determination to reach an end game.

As a result, there is loads of stuff I could be doing now, but all I want to do is sit down, and relax. My brain just refuses to function.

Spice: Sorry I didn't get back to you about the long island iced teas... I will be in touch soon though...

Emma: Very nice to meet you, hope you had a wonderful night out. In case anyone wondered, Emma called round and picked up some tickets I had bought, but was too frazzled to use. I could've been at Manchester Academy now watching 808 State... Even the thought of that was too much for my tiny fragile mind.

I am still playing Blogshares a bit... It's very confusing, and I would love to hear from anyone out there who also plays it. I would especially like to hear from the person who bought ALL the shares in my blog!!!

Pogo have been running a "personal challenge marathon" this week, meaning I have had the opportunity to complete five badges compared with the standard weekly allowance of three. It's been absolute torture, but I finally managed it.

Funny thing is, I am actually looking forward to work on Monday morning now... How strange!

Cool thing for today:

The literature page - They have a whole raft of books that you can read online. All the classics are there. I never found such a good freebie before!!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Sunshine on a rainy day.

Damn, it's been a wet, grey, dull day. But the sun is truly shining in my heart.

After a fraught few days at work, I feel I am now in a position to elaborate on what's been going on. It's been a little TOO sensitive to mention in the blog, but things have finally come to fruition.

Firstly, as you may or may not know, we had a major meeting on Tuesday, and it became patently apparent, that, although we are the team that will be doing all the work, they were wholly unprepared to hear us out.

We were being asked to do ridiculous amounts of work, which would mean doing probably eighteen hours a day for six or seven days a week for the next eighteen months, and believe me it would have been the most manic experience in the world.

We came away from the meeting, and our whole team of five decided we werer unprepared to unleash such a chaotic project on the business and formulated our plan, projecting what the errors with the current plan were, and the fact that we were not prepared to execute the project.

Management asked us to leave our suggestion with them and they would come back to us. We circumvented the project managers with our scheme and went to the top.

Today, the big cheese came back, and with a move straight out of Sun Tzu's Art Of War, began some sort of negotiation process, whereby, they left it with us, asking what we would require to execute the plan.

We retired to the canteen, to discuss the option of negotiation. By its very nature, entering into the process of negotiation, would of course mean that we could be bargained with, and of course we were being divided and conquered.

Eventually (two hours later) we decided we would make no demands, other than to say we were all leaving.

Ha ha, if we didn't kick Sun Tzu's ass right out of the ball park!!

I am now on my four weeks notice period.

They requested that we serve our notice in order that they might now draw upon our knowledge to formulate a new plan.

If only they hadn't ignored us in the first place, they could have saved a lot of grief. There comes a point in every day, when you realise, it doesn't matter how much they pay you, or what carrots they may offer, you do not HAVE to say ok!!

Result: We stuck together as a tight unit. Nobody backed down. Management for Dummies, and Sun Tzu could not beat us. Had we made any step towards negotiation, I am convinced we would have all lost. The battle may be lost, but the war is won!!

Officially I part company on the 30th December, but I have booked 23rd to the 30th as holiday!!

I have a sneaky suspicion that I already have another job!!

Dream your dreams, aim high, keep reaching.

Oh, one last thing.... I am totally disappointed that anyone felt there really was a shred of truth in yesterday's posting. Come on, this is the Fox you are talking about. Even after I displayed a disclaimer, some people really were fooled. Pinch and a punch only hurts your pride, but the pain is far greater than the physical, and you have to wait a whole month for a chance to regain the crown.

Welcome back Mr. And Mrs. Spice!!

Cool thing for today:

Would you have fallen foul?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Pinch and a punch.

If you know anything about me, you will know that I observe the ritual, of "pinch and a punch" for the first of the month to the point of obsession. It's a running battle with Michelle to make the first contact in the morning of the first of each month. Last month I gave her a black eye with a well placed punch. I knew she was angling for revenge.

Today, as I got ready for work, I knew I had to perpetuate my lucky streak. I didn't have the heart to climb the two flights of stairs to whack her one. I planned to wait until we were both at home later. I knew full well she would also be thinking along these lines.

During the day.... I received a test punching from Michelle, but this is just horseplay. The real thing comes in the shape of real pain.

During the day, I received an email punch from Emma.... I will not let this one slip by me.... One day Emma, when you least expect it......

I got home, played a bit of Gamecube, had a power snooze, and played a little Pogo.

I heard the door and prepared for first contact.

Fortunately for me, my mobile phone was downstairs, and it was ringing. Michelle, preoccupied, picked up the mobile phone, and brought it to me. Like a lamb to the slaughter.... Whack.

I was on the phone for about half an hour, and Michelle still hadn't come round. She did hit the floor quite hard, I must admit. Still, that's the luck of the draw.

I'd like to thank Stu, for his well timed phone call.

Cool thing for today:

Lord, I love this game.... Try it!!

Disclaimer: All incidents of violence in this blog are purely fictional. Michelle didn't actually hit the floor THAT hard when I decked her, it's just a little cut.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

For Fox sake.

I am definitely not worthy.

A few comments recently have most most praising of the Fox's efforts and words. I am humbled by such lovely comments.

Two people I know of (and you know who you are) have actually read my blog out loud to someone this week. I LOVE this concept, it's something I had never considered before. It fools all internet page counters and statistics.

Today, I witnessed, first hand, a colleague reading my blog, and positively laughing out loud. His shoulders were shaking, and he was struggling to read on. This is never a great advert for my blog in the middle of a large open plan serious office context. It does, however, encourage more from the pen of the fox.

The concept of writing professionally was mentioned, and it made me choke on my baked potato with mushroom curry. Unfortunately for me, I have a brain that would not allow me to do it. A blog is about the length of my attention span, and the fact that the adjacent days in no way join up is what keeps me going. If I had to go back and edit the things I wrote before, I think it would end up as the most boring and short blog in the world. I am rarely happy with my efforts, other than it pleases me to write it.

I am pretty sure that Sandi would be the first to tell you that writing for profit, is a whole different ball game to the inane ramblings that pour out of my fingers. Let's be honest, for every one good blog entry here, there are ten terrible ones. Not sure I could write many books on that basis.

I have finally reached a perfect escape plan for work. This morning, as I began my new escape tunnel, two prongs sheared away from the body of my KFC spork. Heartbroken? I was mortified. I have decided that there is only one option, and have decided, for the first time in my life, to simply walk away from it. I'm sad to have failed. There's a first time for everything I guess, but I really think my health and happiness must come first.

I'm sad, but relieved at the concept of this inevitable step.

I'll get over it, and I really could do with a little bit of time off to get my head in order.

RIP Fox's career (1985 - 2005)

Cool thing for today:

This is the coolest thing I have seen in a long time. I sometimes spend a little bit of time looking where all my visitors come from, and how they reached my blog. This by far is the coolest search I have ever had the privelege of sitting in pole position.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Stupid like a fox.

I am beginning to wonder just how I have been suckered into the current position.

We had this major meeting at work, I knew what it would be like, but I still couldn't stop it happening. A meeting to decide the process, whereby everyone sits back, plans a bit, moves some pieces of paper about, and then throws all the actual work at us poor five who have been seconded from our usual location to a new office and where we have effectively been excommunicated from the voices and brains that provide our daily dose of reality.

Even at the point where we illustrated that it was physically impossible to copy the required amount of data during the hours of darkness, it still wasn't enough to do more than raise an accusing eyebrow. They scheduled six servers in for the first week in January. Hello project managers, if you want a skilled technical team, you have it. Conversely, if you want an infinite number of monkeys sitting at an infinite number of desks moving an infinite amount of data, then you ought to do it yourselves!!

I am abso-fekking-lutely livid, that I have somehow allowed the path of fate to lead me to the point where I must admit defeat. It is so disappointing to contemplate all possible escape routes. Today, armed with a plastic spork, I lifted the false floor tile beneath my desk, and started the tunnel.

It was a great plan I had concocted. The perimeter fence lies about two hundred and fifty yards to the east of our block. The soft earth yielded swiftly under the pressure of my frantic sporking. By lunchtime, I was in the tunnel, up to my knees. I slipped back the floor tile, and went for lunch.

I returned for afternoon appel. Collected the rope, wire cutters, and obligatory tin of corned beef. Resumed digging. It was about two o' clock this afternoon that the fatal flaw in my plan became apparent. The digging suddenly became easier. The ground positively caved beneath me. I was staring down the shaft at some rather puzzled telephone operators who work on the first floor of the block.

I replaced the floor tile hurriedly and made a corned beef sculpture of a man eating penguin. Tomorrow, I shall try to dig upwards!!

Despair. What's a fox to do?

Cool thing for today:

Spork! How do I love thee, let me count the prongs!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Idiosyncrasy and vicissitude......

...... Had combined to stamp Arctic Fox as an exceptional being.

I am in a particularly verbose mood today. I cannot ascertain the exact reason why, but I think it stemmed from me wanted to embroider the word "lassitude" into my blog somewhere. I guess I just did. Mission accomplished.

In looking up the word, I came across a quotation, which tickled me.

"She felt aged, in deep lassitude and numb despair, and regretted not marrying Mai Dong before he left for the front."

Mai Dong??? Is this some kind of joke??

I started at the new office today, and it's doubled my travelling time. I no longer get to spend a precious twenty minutes at the kitchen table with Michelle before starting our respective journeys. I don't see the daylight. I don't get to see the first birds arriving to avail themselves of the tasty snacks we have provided.

I do get to sit in traffic jams. I do get to share a desk with someone. I do get to go to meetings where nobody will hear me out. I do miss all my friends I have left behind in Halifax.

Life's grand. Sarcasm intended!!

Today, we had our first snows of a winter which is predicted to be the coldest for between ten and twenty five years. I love snow, but love it better when I am tucked up at home with the heating on, and nowhere to go.

My enthusiasm for life is waning fast, and rapidly being displaced by dull, regretful lassitude!!

Strike 2!!

I have a five hour meeting to look forward to tomorrow.... Joy of joys 2pm to 7pm!! The project manager suggests we go for drinks afterwards too.... Well she can shove it where monkeys shove bad nuts!! I can't choose who I work with, I can't choose how this project is completed, I CAN choose who I socialise with. Pikachu, I choose you!!

I wore a pair of hunting/shooting pants to work today, and who knows, at this rate they may come in very handy by the end of the week when I go postal on all their asses!

Cool thing for today:

The monarchy in England are often considered superfluous. Think of the value to tourism they provide, is the usual retort. Well, all things considered, I have to wonder what value there really is.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Vacuum.

Sundays can be good. Oftentimes, I get to completely indulge myself uninterrupted, in any pleasure I might fancy.

I haven't even had the motivation today to try to enjoy anything. The burden of work is proving extremely heavy for me. I am really NOT looking forward to this coming week.

Thought I might try my hand at a little haiku...

Darkness comes early:
Short days, cold nights, and bare trees.
My cats stay indoors.

There you go.... It's not a masterpiece, but it sums up the current time and place quite well. Feel free to respond with your own haikus... I am 100% sure they will be better than mine. For anyone wishing to investigate the art of haiku, here are a couple of links:

What the frik is a haiku, you weirdo?!?

I can't be bothered to think about it, just let me steal one.

lord, I've just realised how hungry I am... Gonna have to dial a curry I think.

Phoning for curry:
Prawn dansak with pilau rice,
Chapattis or naan?

Crumbs, I can't stop myself...

Bad Fox...

Right I am shuffling off to prepare my mind for a harsh Monday morning. Be good, and if you can't be good, be careful!

Cool thing for today:

Gameshows really DO provide quality entertainment. Interestingly enough, my spell checker wanted to replace gameshows with gamecock!!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Every action force.....

Has an equal and opposite reaction force.

This is a fine lesson in life. It's a scientific equation that actually also translates quite nicely into my favourite subject of karma.

Suffice to say, my body knows all about this equation. Today it is reaping the whirlwind of a Friday night on the tiles. I feel rougher than a badger's bare bottom!!

A friend passed me a link this week, and I have to share it with you.

National Buy Nothing Day!

Ok, so at first, it just seems like a bit of a prank. It obviously receives bugger all in the way of publicity. How could anyone in their right mind advertise such an event?? Read a bit deeper into the website, and you see it is complete rebellion, anarchy, passive resistance, and civil disobedience, all bundled up in a neat little package. The best thing about it, by far, is that in order to actually participate, you don't have to do a thing. I obeyed to the letter, and spent nothing!!

My ONLY regret is that I didn't share this beautiful concept with you ahead of the day itself.

Spent most of the day bathing, snoozing, and generally lounging.

I am totally pleased to see so many lovely birds in my garden lately. Unprecedented numbers of birds are coming to feast on the veritable ornithological smorgasbord (sp?). The happy sight of the gorgeous goldfinch is one that I particularly relish.

Cool thing for today:

Magnetic poetry, but with the added advantage of being even more pointless. The 94% procrastinator in me loves it. The other advantage is that you don't need to own a fridge either!!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Sex, and drugs, and rock and roll.

Well, it was quite an eventful Friday, if truth be told.

The day started with crossing a permafrosted lawn to get to my car. I kinda like frozen lawns, the way the lumps and bumps no longer sag or shirk beneath your feet. It truly makes you realise that winter is finally here. A new shape, a new feel, same lawn!

Work was quite depressing, didn't have much to do, and by two thirty (as the Chinese dentist might say) my "moving" crate was packed with my personal belongings, my pictures and drawings were all taken down, and I had written a short piece by way of a lasting memorial to the Arctic Fox on my old desk label. Last time I will be sitting there, as I start at the new desk in a new town, with the same old shite, on Monday morning. Can I wait??

Writing this is giving me a bit of stress.... I am severely dehydrated!! Give me a second, must obtain fluid replenishment!!

.... Time passes ......

Ok, now where was I before I started shaking??

Oh, yes, At about three o' clock, I began the redecoration of Halifax, and by seven o' clock the town was painted, not necessarily red, as much as a mucky sort of crimson. Caught a train to Huddersfield.

Huddersfield really CAN be a strange place at times, and although last night was no exception there were a couple of moments that stand out quite nicely in my mushy semblance of a mind.

1) Head of Steam, was its usual lackluster self... Played a trivia machine badly.

2) Verve bar, with its strange mix of clientele, and overpriced drinks, my round was of course seven mojitos.

3) Vox bar with its laid back tunes and mellow long island iced tea.

4) It all goes a little bit vague after taking ecstasy in Verve....

5) Camel club's heavy metal and indie club night, which did not suit the drugs but was warm and cozy, and quite comfortable.

6) Gary and myself trying to (religiously, as this seems to be a weekly pilgrimage) convince a doorman earning six pounds an hour that my trainers, albeit not excusing the fact that they were indeed trainers, could, for the same price, have actually fed him and the entire staff of their crummy Cotton Factory for a week. Suffice to say, I am pleased I did not mutter my usual "off my face" line, "do you know who you are dealing with here?". We obviously didn't get in!!

7) The creation of one of the strangest situations I've been involved in for quite some time at the Revolution. Which, in my fekked up state of mind, have just remembered we had visited earlier at some point. The situation was like a classic sting, whereby fruity young lady was forward towards Gary and myself. I think she was called Melissa, for the records!! She kept speaking to my friends on my phone and stuff, and trying to text them.Then she requested that I take a drink over to her friend, who was sat opposite us, with two very bemused looking, monosyllabic gentlemen. I am 100% confident this woman had no real interest in us, other than the fact that we were to be promptly "rolled over" at some point. The funniest part of this situation was when I disappeared to make a phone call, I came back to find Melissa and Gary arguing full on at the bar. She apparently had a son, and Gary thought her behaviour was unbecoming of a thirty something single mother and was promptly trying to explain why he was repeatedly insisting she satisfied the criteria of being a whore!! She was about to glass him....We ran!!

8) Bored some nineteen year old flyer distribution engineer from London, who had come to study media in Huddersfield. I was insistent upon imposing my views of media, and how blogs ARE the new media. Don't think he was very impressed, but to his credit, I DO think he took some of the ideas on board!!

I'm amazed I remembered so much of the night out...Started at 3pm and finished at 3am, it's a big session!!

Ok, I now have chronic indigestion, my eyeballs are falling out of my head, I have grazed my knuckles, and somehow, I've managed to obtain a rather large blister (burn) on the back of my hand, an ulcer on the back of my tongue (symptom of chewing ecstasy, which is never very nice) and a deficit in my bank account to the tune of two hundred quid!!

Well, there wasn't really any sex, I lied in the title, but drugs and rock and roll is not half as catchy.

small adendum

Based on JasonH's comment, I agree I didn't really do justice to the situation in my writing.... here's the skinny....

We were stood at the bar (Myself and Gary) when this sassy lady effectively started chatting us up. Admittedly we were both effed out of our faces. We engaged in some playful banter. After five or six minutes, she simply asked me to take a drink to her friend.... she had already bought the drink, so it wasn't like we were being suckered into this. I took across the drink, and her friend (I hadn't even realised she wasn't alone until this point) was sitting with these two dodgy looking geezers, kinda watching us. I put the drink onto the table for the girl and in my usual manner said a few words, perhaps made a gag or something.... the three of them simply looked at me and didn't even speak. Sorta like we'd been checked out really.

Next thing, I am texting a mate to come to the revolution and she grabs the phone and finishes off the text which didn't really make much sense. Then when my mate rang she spoke to him on the phone.... I don't even know what was said, and she handed me back the phone.... in fairness, if it was the phone she wanted, I wouldn't even have noticed if she didn't give it me back.

I'm pretty sure it was an exercise in something that's been mentioned before about the predatory types that hang around the town centre during weekends, looking for an easy ride.... whether it be a mugging, or worse!!

The argument between Melissa and Gary was pretty confrontational, and to be honest, it was probably a good thing that it forced us to leave.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I can't believe it's not.....

Friday!!

For a couple of hours tonight, I have been convinced that it is Friday night. The fact has just dawned on me, that it is in fact Thursday. What a crushing blow!!

Work is so all-consuming at the moment, I can't possibly empty it from my mind. We have a big meeting on Tuesday next week, to plan the move forward. I did some quick figures today, to plan out how much work each of us will have to handle between January and July next year. I can conclusively say, there is not a person alive, nor that has ever lived, that could possibly get through the work we have to do.

It's blatantly impossible. Project managers, for some reason, do not understand this concept. Bless their cotton socks.

I am still hoping that someone, somewhere, is going to see sense over this project, and stop and replan it all.

On the flipside, I enjoy Fridays, and tomorrow will be no exception. As a farewell salute to the rest of the team that I (and the rest of the team that are moving with me next week) have been working with for between one and three years, we are going out for a pub lunch, and then out after work for some Halifax style knees-up action. I imagine it will be quite a silly evening.

I need to immerse myself in some serious video game action to numb my mind a bit. I am losing sleep, have lost my appetite, and am rapidly losing the will to live. I know work isn't the only thing in life, and that it shouldn't bother me as it is doing, but if I can just hang in there a bit longer, then I am sure everything will be ok.

Snow is coming..... Northern Scotland have had some today, and the rest of England is promised at least a "taste" over the next day or so.

George Best is on the brink of death... Bless him and his precocious talents. He isn't expected to last another day, and it's a shame.

Today I managed to complete the remainder of my 2004 Pogo badges. I have now completed all the badges that were issued in 2003 and 2004, and there are only 5 left from this year.... Only a few more weeks, and I can start helping Michelle get hers... She has hundreds left to go!!

Right, am gonna have a quick fish, and am off to bed.

Cool thing for today:

I need a holiday, and I love the look of this place.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Krypton Egg!!

A fantastic game for the Atari ST along the lines of Arkanoid, it's the classic bat and ball, knocking bricks out of a wall, and some of the bricks turn into bonuses. Sounds great eh?

Well, let me tell YOU... It was great. I put it in my top ten games of all time. In fact, I haven't done a list in a while, so here's a treat for you.

(in no particular order, other than the fact that they are my ten most favourite games of all time)

a) Burnin' Rubber - Arcade driving.
b) Krypton Egg - Atari ST blockbuster.
c) Llamatron - Atari ST (probably my all time fave).
d) Super Black Bass - SNES probably the first fishing game I ever played, and guess what, I've been hooked ever since.... Pun intended!!
e) Parappa the Rapper - PS2 rapping game with sumptuous 2d characters animated in a 3d style, like they're made from bendy paper or something. Artwork by genius Rodney Alan Greenblatt, and the most fantastic cool rap songs.
f) Space Duel - Arcade 2 player asteroids game but MUCH better.
g) Super Mario Kart - SNES barnstorming racing game - The best Mario Kart incarnation of all time.
h) Point blank - Arcade shoot-em-up with some cool plastic guns with built in recoil. I used to play it until my eyes watered and my arms fell off.
I) Manic Miner - ZX Spectrum, the finest platform ever to cross Eugene's Lair!! Followed up by the much harder but infinitely more bobbins Jet Set Willy.
j) Command and Conquer Generals - PC. A real time war strategy game where you move little men and little tanks around, and if you get good, you can play as the Iraqis with dirty bombs and nukes.... Not very politically correct, and they don't call them Iraqis, but you don't have to be a genius to work it out.

Ok, so there's my top ten.

The reason I started banging on about Krypton Egg, is that I had a few emails today with the co-creator of said game. I bought a version for Michelle, for her mobile phone, and had to email support.... whaddya know, if it isn't the man himself.

Very very cool!

I am rubbish around my heroes. I always try to say too much in too short a space of time, and end up looking like some dumb obsessive maniac.... I am destined never to be cool around the people who I think are cool!! Like the time I emailed Gaz Topp.... He hates being called that by the way.... I insisted on calling him it, of course, in several emails, until he refused to respond.

I've had some cool emails in my time.... I wish I'd kept them. I had an email from the girls who present Bitz, a computer game show... They're foxy and they play games, what more could you want. I had an email from Tony Hart of Vision On and Take Hart fame allowing me to use his Vision On logo to print on my own Tshirt, he even sent me a better version of the image. Gaz Topp (sorry Gareth Jones) I already mentioned. Rodney Alan Greenblatt, whom I nearly ended up doing a website for. Now, I have emails from the creator of my all time fave game. I daresay there were others, but they are all unfortunately consigned to the great recycle bin in the sky.

In other news, my friend Al, bought a Mame cabinet today. I am very excited to check it out, it will be like owning all the original arcade games in your very own home... woohoo.

Ok, enough emails and games, I'm away to my pit.

Cool thing for today:

Rodney Alan Greenblatt is one of the modern day great artists.... I have a permanent link to his site, but you should go see him today!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Arse Biscuits!

Seems the gods are conspiring against the house of Fox. The meeting went less well than anticipated, and I now have to move office to a place where I have to begin work every day by about 7am just to get an effing parking place. I also have to leave there by about 3pm or leave it until after 6pm just to avoid the most horrendous traffic in Britain, courtesy of the M62 coming out of Leeds and Bradford.

I have to move offices a week today....

To cap this little delight off, later the same day, we have a meeting request for next Tuesday between 2pm and 7pm with the invitation of drinks afterwards... Talk about salty wounds!! It's apparently a team bonding, but in all honesty, I expect nothing more than a spirit crushing.

I am looking for work....

I now have to spend a whole week putting together a bunch of hypothetical scenarios in order to justify our approach to the project... Marvelous!! I'm not the only one in this boat. Our small sub-team consists of five, and I don't see any of them jumping for joy. We have to be careful not to drag each other into a downward spiral of depression over the next few days. It's difficult, there isn't a positive angle to this.

Bollocks!!

Just to make sure the salt is rubbed in good and hard, tonight is soap night. I go one further in saying it's mega-soap night. Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Eastenders, Coronation Street, Coronation Street, in that order. Yes, you did hear me right.... That's three whole cheerful episodes of Corrie in one night.

I could be fishing!!

Cool thing for today:

I've already bookmarked this site... It will come in useful.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Brain power.

I've watched a couple of programmes about Egypt tonight. I went there earlier this year on a bit of a luxurious break. It was a very interesting place... Very hot and mystical.

I'm amazed that in the sweltering heat, I actually learned quite a lot, and in the space of two weeks, managed to see nearly everything worthy of note (with the exception of Abu Simbel).

I actually know about the pharoahs, and the construction methods, about the battle of Qadesh, and a whole host of other stuff.

The tour was pretty much whistle-stop style. I am absolutely amazed at the brain's innate ability to soak up information like this. I wasn't even THAT aware that I was learning anything.

Hooray for brains.... I'm sure any good zombie would agree!!

Well, it's bloody Sunday night again, and I am ready for bed. I've fished like a maniac, smoked a few reefers, drunk a bit of beer and eaten curry. Standard weekend. Just how I likes it!!

There's some sort of "crisis" meeting happening tomorrow, and while I am not optimistic, I am anxious to know the outcome, either way. I just need to know what's happening so I can start to make plans. This time next week I might be retired... hahahahah.... I WISH!!

I tell you what, I've caught some bloody big bass today... Not enough of them, but I am mastering the range of lures on offer. I love fishing games, and Mark Davis Pro Bass Challenge is no exception... Quality.

Right, that's about enough of a footprint in the sand to say that I was here at least. Bed beckons.

Cool thing for today:

A great Egyptian lesson.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Jack frost in the area.

Beautiful frost layer this morning. Hard thick white frost covering everything. I actually thought at first sight, that it had snowed during the night.

The sun was bright, and the sparkling iridescent frost was delightful.

I took particular enjoyment in viewing the bowling green out of the back windows of my house. As the sun rose and melted the frost, there was a great line straight across the middle, giving a brilliant white side and a glorious green side, straight line.

Puts me in mind of some of Andy Goldsworthy's frost and rain silhouettes. Marvelous stuff.

The birds were reaping the rewards of our labour. Winter brings all manner of trouble for our feathered friends. It's imperative that they get enough to eat and drink at this time of year, and the fat contents are very important. Feast they did.

More fishing fun, Namco classics, and a bit of my new Japanese football game.... Brilliant!

In other news.... Two policepersons shot in Bradford last night, one dead, one seriously injured. Huddersfield's shootings seem to have turned into a craze for throwing breeze blocks through bus windows.... Terrifying. Seventeen and a half thousand people turned up to a 0-0 derby between Bradford and Huddersfield today.

That's about it for a cold and frosty Saturday.... Hope all your weekends are shaping up nicely.

Cool thing for today:

Very cool indeed!!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Backdated with interest.

Ok, so it's past midnight on Friday, and that means I've officially missed two days blogs. I am such a shirker sometimes it's untrue. I am going to post-date this entry to make it look like it happened on Friday at one minute to midnight.... Because unlike you poor MSN schmucks, we superior Bloggers can do that!!

Fishing frustration. I have pretty much been playing fishing on my Gamecube all night. It's such a hard game. One minute you go a whole level .... Fox is momentarily distracted by Emmanuelle in Space on the TV.... Now what was I saying....?? Oh yeah, one minute you can't find a single fish, and turn it to the weigh-in with zero. The next minute the fish you find are so damn big that you are permanently losing your lures and getting your line snapped. It's a very fine line between failure and success on that game I tell ya.

What the hell is Emmanuelle doing in space anyway?? I wish I'd seen the beginning now.... Cheesy sci-fi softcore at its finest. Nice norks missus!!

Work is going from bad to worse. I have officially put myself on the agency's "available for work" list. The chance of a way out of there is looking more and more attractive by the minute. I've worked in my current company (on contract) for the last three years, and to be fair, although it's a generally comfortable position. Perhaps it has run its course. There's a meeting on Monday where my future will be decided, unfortunately I'm not party to it, but that's probably a good thing. I'm pretty angry!!

At times like this I am thankful I have this weird virtual reality of gaming to immerse myself into sometimes, it numbs the pain beautifully.

Huddersfield Town are playing soccer at home against Bradford City tomorrow, it's a classic local derby... Come on the Town!! Chance to go top of the league.

It's a shame I've got bugger all to write about really, the blog's been in good form recently, but it's going downhill.... Must get out and do something, just so I can tell you all about it.

Right, I am off to bed to snuggle up with my bespoke electric blanket... Luxury!!

Cool thing for today:

Blogshares - I don't know what it is, how it works, or what I am supposed to do, but it seems quite interesting. I signed up for it, and you may, or may not, have noticed that somewhere down there, on the right hand side of this page is a little banner.... Go check it out and see what your blog's worth. I am going to invest a bit of time and effort into finding out how it works.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Robot monsters and sushi.

Samurai Jack is a cartoon from the Cartoon Network channel..... It features a samurai called Jack of course, who is trapped in the future, and must vanquish the evil wizard Aku, and find the time portal to travel back to his own time.

The cartoon features some of the richest manga inspired animation, and thrilling action which flashes between science fiction future, and feudal Japan, with the same ferocity that only brave Jack can muster.

I love the cartoon. It's an animated revolution in its own right. If you've never seen it, I suggest you try and catch a few episodes.

I liked it so much I bought the game for the Gamecube - what a surprise!! The game is a bit more sparse than the action packed firecracking cartoon, but it still features plenty of undead creatures, squirrel tree spirits, and kick ass kung fu to satisfy a fairly hungry appetite. It's a bit easy for a seasoned gamer such as myself, but I am enjoying it nonetheless.

I'm enjoying far more than I am enjoying work, and that's for sure. Work took a very sinister twist for me today, the likes of which it tends to do approximately once every year. I have an ultimately sour taste in my mouth at the moment, and for reasons of confidentiality (I know I have colleagues who read my blog - even though they are only lurkers!!!!!) I can't really go into to it in any detail at this point in time. Suffice to say, I've been stitched up like a kipper!!

I am seriously considering a change in career, and have recently been drawn to the thought of pursuing a career in plumbing or some other trade. I think plumbers are a dying breed. As far as I can gather, there is a universal shortage of good plumbers, and they seem to have the resulting power to charge unimaginable sums for their services. Trade skills are good skills.

Who knows?? Watch this space.

Spice: My eyes are good... not that I had them tested recently, but I think I know when something's in focus still.

Rubber duck: Your story complies perfectly with my experience and would make a lot of sense, thanks for sharing the info.

Regan: I was just kidding around. Made you think though eh?

Kev: Glad you enjoyed the review, hope you enjoyed some extra visitors from my link... who knows you might make some new friends to tag?

Jen: I do all the cooking, and Michelle does all the baking, so I shall book some tickets directly.

Crystal: What happened to your lovely blog?? Stop by please and let us know how you are doing... I miss you.

Dave: Huddersfield is a town in the North of England. It's where I live, and is not reknowned for it subtlety!!

Right, it is time for me to post this blog, and head on over to Pogo to investigate the new badges and challenges for this week.... I think it's pinochle and poppit, so they shouldn't take too long.

Sayonara samurai!!

Cool thing for today:

Jack attack.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I look like a poorly dog....

I am lying in the middle of the lounge floor with my arms and legs in the air, moaning like poorly dog. I've eaten too much!! Fish and chip supper (in honour of my Uncle's birthday). Superb.

If you fancy fish and chips in Brighouse, I can recommend the Golden Hind cafe.... Their jumbo haddocks are unequalled in size and quality!!

Kev: I used to do a lot of film reviewing on my original blog, but I find it difficult to review a film, and not give loads of spoilers.... For your benefit, let me recount the experience.

After a bit of a panicked (roadwork diverted) journey en route to the cinema, we arrived just in time. Got myself two scoops of chunky monkey ice cream and one scoop of cherry garcia, and a large cappucino. Remember this is (in my experience) a late night showing, starting at 9:15pm. The coffee was very welcome.

We walked into screen 7 of the UCI cinema of Huddersfield, and took our seats...... Middle row, middle of row.... Perfect, but with only ten other people in the cinema, you couldn't really get a bad seat.

Mostly when I walk into a cinema screen, it's pretty dark. Today was an exception and it was quite bright.... It gave me just enough chance to notice just how absolutely filthy the seats in that cinema actually are. The amount of grease and filth was pretty rank to be honest, and had me itching all the way through the movie. So that was a good start. UCI take note, you really wanna get those seats cleaned up!!

Film starts....

Fox is not amused.

Film slightly out of focus.

I presumed it would settle down.

It didn't.... I couldn't quite put my finger on what the focus problem was. Perhaps it's the way the film was shot, or the inferior projection equipment? Occasionally some bit at the bottom of the screen was in focus, sometimes a full screen close up was in focus, but for the majority of the film it was slightly off, and this REALLY pissed me off.

For those that didn't already know, I went to see the Brothers Grimm.

Ok, so it's a twisted fairy tale kind of film.... Brothers Grimm are con artists, conning villages into letting them exercise (hoax) fairytale type demons, and paying handsomely. The brothers end up confronting real fairytale demons.... That's about it plotwise. Hope I haven't spoiled it, but I haven't divulged much.

To be fair, the film's a bit thin. The accents are pretty awful all the way through with some strange dialect which seems to shift between french, yorkshire, and some other weird thing... It was quite off-putting I found.

The brothers' relationship is part of the plot, and it's not really done very well. Some of the editing was very harsh, with weird instant shift from one scene to another without warning that the previous scene was even finished. Very strange.

I'd say, in conclusion... DON'T go to UCI cinemas. Wait for the movie on DVD. Sleepy Hollow is, in my opinion a better movie, in the dark fairytale vein. If you haven't seen Sleepy, then grab yourself a copy and watch it instead. Brothers isn't necessarily a BAD movie, it's just not brilliant. The experience was particularly bad. Michelle enjoyed it, but I don't think she shares my warped view of the world.

Right, I'm gonna drag my sorry ass to bed, and sleep off these fish and chips.

Cool thing for today:

In truth, I didn't have time to find anything, but DO go have a look at Kev's page, and watch his video.... It features breakdancing Yoda from the Star Wars episode 3 DVD easter egg, and that brilliant Catchphrase clip where Mr. Chips is having some hand shandy.... Brilliant. Leave him a comment.

Monday, November 14, 2005

F....F.....F....Freezing!!!

God damn, it has finally started to turn cold.... I mean really cold in England. No matter how much I turn up the central heating the house is still cold.

I am now looking at finding a joiner and beginning negotiations on having my windows replaced. I do realise that I should have done this in the summer, but of course you always forget how cold it can be in the winter. That'll teach me... Maybe!!

The wind is absolutely howling at the moment, howling through the gaps in the windows, down the chimney, through the gaps in the doors, and inevitably whistling round my noggin!! The north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow, and what will poor robin do then?

I need sunshine and warmth. Anyone prepared to offer this arctic fox a place in the sun will be rewarded in heaven.

I am going to the cinema tonight... A fairly late night showing of "The Brothers Grimm" which I mentioned before. I am looking forward to it, but am fairly convinced that I will be fast asleep in the cinema before it's finished, and more importantly, will be fast asleep in the morning when I switch off the alarm clock and pull the duvet over my draughty swede!! It seemed like a good idea when it was conceived, but alas, having had time to think it over, I am beginning to question the logic.

I spent a while this morning answering an online questionnaire about whether or not I am a procrastinator. I think they somewhat missed the very essence of the test, in that, if you have time to take a procrastination test, then you've already passed with flying colours. I am happy to say I scored a respectable 94%. I am in the top 10% of procrastinators!! I subsequently went searching on how to fix this problem, and found an essay that some guy had written, about constructive procrastination. In fact the very reason he had typed the essay was to avoid doing all the other things he needed to do.... And I read it.... It's a vicious circle. At this point my head explodes, and I forget what I was looking for and go back to drool over the Philips ambilight televisions.

I need to make more lists.

I intend to bring back my quotation of the day.... Starting tomorrow!!

Quotation of the day:

Procrastination: A hardening of the oughteries.

Cool thing for today:

Measure your procrastination.