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.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

That's why I'm easy.....

Easy like Sunday morning, and afternoon, and evening too.

Today's been one of those lovely Sundays, where I've had no distractions.

Spent a very sunny frost edged morning catching up on some blogwork... catching up on everyone's spaces. Played a bit of Need For Speed.... Have actually advanced quite some distance in it today, and managed to actually switch the cube off for a couple of hours.

Had a nice bit of breakfast.... lovely wholemeal toast with added multigrain, smothered in delicious Marmite... food of the gods!!

Spent an hour or so in the garden, taking down and cleaning and restocking all the bird feeders. Our winter birds are returning in numbers now, and they are looking for a free feast.... The first bird to come back to feed as I admired the sparkly replensihed feeders, was a delightful little robin. Lovely.

This afternoon, I played some Pogo. I was playing QWERTY and came across someone who was undoubtedly using some anagram software or something..... well they didn't bargain on meeting the fox. Never try to cheat a cheater!! 3-0 to the fox!!

Made some tea, watched a bit of telly.... cleaned the telly, so I can actually see what's on the screen again.... how novel!!

Now it's just about time for me to collect my bits and pieces ready for the morning... I'm gonna take a shower and head for bed. Perfect Sunday!!

Hope y'all have had a really good weekend.

Cool thing for today:

Tex Avery.... a cartoon genius!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Dem a loot, dem a shoot, dem a wail, A Shanty Town.

One of my favourite songs is Desmond Decker's 007. Seems like a prophecy which is actually becoming more and more true by the minute.

We all know, and have known for some time that the world's a crazy place.

We also know that whatever happens in America eventually happens in England, usually ten or fifteen years later.

Huddersfield's a small town. Physically, it's a post industrial sprawl, set amongst a range of valleys, through which flow rivers and canals, and provided both power and transport for the early Yorkshire industrialists. Since the demise of manufacturing and and engineering, Huddersfield doesn't really have the same identity and/or community it once did. It's disjointed to say the least. Small pocket communities still exist, but fully in isolation. It's becoming a dog eat dog town.

Physically it's quite a big town. Mentally, it's always had small town mentality. Crooks are generally petty. Just lately, there's been a massive upsurgence in violent crime. It worries me. Gun culture has arrived.

I don't really move in the dubious circles I used to move in anymore.... there were seedy characters there... the odd chap who might have poured petrol on someone and set them alight, the ubiquitous ex hell's angel that got hounded out and sought refuge in my kitchen.... but never any gun trade.

This week my local indian takeaway was robbed at knifepoint, and subsequently down the road, just minutes later the same guy did another indian takeaway as well. Two police officers were shot at on the edge of a housing estate, and the gunman managed to simply run away.

Huddersfield's small enough that people will know the perpetrators of these acts. The police force is woefully unprepared to deal with it. The regularity and ferocity is on the increase, but everything else stands still. It's becoming a dangerous old shanty town. There's no simple solution.

We can only live in hope that the full Desmond Decker prophecy does not come true, which results in the shanty town being blown up!! Watch this space!!

In other news.... Huddersfield Town football club have reached the top of their league table again.... second on goal difference... happy times.

And.... I managed to clear a bit of Need For Speed that I've been stuck on!! Hoorah!!

Be careful on them streets pilgrims.

Cool thing for today:

Take a butcher's at our local (laughable) rag!!

Friday, November 11, 2005

As if by magic....

Ping!

The shopkeeper appeared!

Well, no, not actually the shopkeeper, but the untrustworthy arctic fox of Huddersfield infamy and notoriety.

I've had a weird sort of flu bug thing going on this week... I've been tired, irritable, demotivated, aching.... and on top of those usual complaints, I've been quite snotty as well. The snotty bit was the flu... everything else was work, and too much Gamecube, and horrendous Pogo badges this week.

I wish the shopkeeper of Mr. Benn fame WOULD appear... I'd choose the astronaut suit I think.

Who suggested today that a quick fix of whizz would sort me out?? I haven't laughed so much in a long time... come on anonymous, step out of the shadows and show yourself.

Oh, yes... I've just remembered why I started with the "As if by magic" bit..... it's one minute to midnight, and I have just... JUST saved myself from the shame of missing two blogs in a row... close call.

I've been researching high definition audio visual equipment quite heavily over the last few days, and that four grand TV that I mentioned some time back has now come down to about three and a half..... it is getting more and more attractive by the minute.

Well, I suppose I oughta shuffle off to bed. I just popped in to let everyone know I am still alive, and kicking...

I do solemly swear that one day soon I will read and comment on all the blogs in the world....

See you all soon...

Cool thing for today:

Slurp slurp slurp. Go ahead punk, make my day and stick one of these in my christmas stocking please!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Shhhh!!

Tread quietly.... don't wake the fox!!

Hell hath no fury like a fox that's been woken!!

Cool thing for today:

Guess where I will be when you are reading this?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Down....

But not out!!

Aches, pains, and a general sensation of flu is sweeping over me.... I've snorted more Beechams powders than I would care to mention, ok four of them!!

Woke up feeling lousy. Don't think to be honest, that I actually slept all that well, certainly didn't feel like it.

Reached for the cigarettes... they taste awful, something's not right.

Cast my vote.... "shoot me" - not the best start to the day.

Made coffee, contemplated work.... decided not. I am trying to ensure that the flu doesn't catch a hold of me. Rest and relaxation.... black and white movies and lemsip. Played some Pogo... and some more.... and some more.

Fully wrapped myself up warm and snug, went out for some fresh air and raked the last few leaves from the bedraggled lawn. Everything is mossy and green. There's a slimy coating over the whole garden like the cloak of autumnal decay setting in.

Worked up a sweat.... nothing finer to beat the flu.

Came in, drank more coffee, took some vitamins.

Steady day... very self centred and indulgent. Everyone needs days like this, it's a treat for the soul. The flu hasn't gotten any better, but it's got no worse, and that's a good thing. Might have one more day off to make sure it's not coming back.

Cool thing for today:

Mixed reviews, but I am still looking forward to seeing it.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Burnout!

No, for once, I'm NOT talking about the legendary PS2 game of the same name.

Emotionally, mentally, physically I am at meltdown!! Note to self... Check biorhythms!!

Sometimes I need to blow a gasket. Sometimes I need to wallow in my own self pity. I've turned a corner, and am on the way back up.

Thanks ladies for your messages of love and support, you truly are a fantastic breed.

I am now looking forward to my 30 minute cleaning session this evening, I've played a few games, done a day at work, and now I am blogging.

I wanted to write some poetry today for some reason.... I don't know why... I feel a bit of inspiration and creativity coming back to me. Compared to the seasons, I feel positively spring like... New beginnings, cleansed, rejuvenated. I will spare you the pain of my attempts at writing anything structured for now, but mebbe I will stick an autumnal haiku in my blog soon!

spice: I've been thinking about the two of you over the last few days... Hope you are having a great time, and that married life is treating you both well.

The weather's been atrocious this weekend. It's been dark, wet, windy and thoroughly grim. Typical northern November stuff. I took a photograph as a bit of an experiment in bokeh, of some raindrops on the kitchen window. It's a shame the inverted images in the droplets are not of the standard I would have liked, but what the heck. I am quite pleased with the photo, and here's a section of said picture for your enjoyment.

I HAVE been photographing quite a few things lately, in various experimental states, and with varying degrees of success. I think the digital photography challenge website has sort of inspired me... I can never hope to be as good a photographer as some of those guys, and I can never hope to know enough about associated image editing software either, but the pleasure comes from having a go I guess!! Here's a picture of a paperweight I have... Admittedly it's quite abstract, and there are imperfections in it, but the lighting was quite interesting. Critically the white light levels are all washed out, but that's my rubbish camera for you... hahahah

Ok, well, I just popped by to say I feel a bit more optimistic, a bit less pissed off, a bit more inspired, and a whole lot better.... Yes tomorrow truly is another day!

Oh, yeah, thanks to everyone who continues to use my polling booths, I always enjoy seeing how the swingometer is going.... I have added a new poll today, so fill your boots!! Don't forget to check out the previous polls too!!

Cool thing for today:

Consult your own biorhythms!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Fairness!

In order that you all get to feel the immense pain and disappointment of my weekend.... I'm NOT going to elaborate.

How does that feel??

On a scale of one to ten, I am at defcon 11!

Rarely is it possible to experience a weekend, where you would have been happier had you actually been working instead. I've just had one, and to be honest, I am proper looking forward to getting back to work for some decent company/conversation.

I channeled my frustration today into something very important, and got my two month's accounts done, so it hasn't been a COMPLETE waste of two days.

I've managed to incur some serious damage to my demonstratorius from the silly shoulder button (accelerate of course) playing need for speed.... I've lost all feeling in it, and it feels weird even typing... So I'll keep it short... Albeit not as short as yesterday!!

I am gonna get me a shower, finish my coffee and hit the sack.... Hope y'all had a much better weekend than mine.

Kev: Yes, I completely agree.... I know some people don't like the "anonymous" comments, personally I think they're great.

Absolutely bobbins thing for today:

Pissed off!!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Pissed off.

I am totally pissed off and sulking.... leave me alone!!

It's been a shit weekend so far.... can't get any worse... I hope!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Classic collection.

Just to apease Kev, and the myriad of like minded gamers... I am going to type up the equivalent of gamer's porn... here's the list of retro classics I recently bagged for my Gamecube:

Spy Hunter
Defender
Defender II
Gauntlet
Joust
Joust 2
Paperboy
Rampage
Robotron 2084
Smash TV
Bubbles
RoadBlasters
Blaster
Rampart
Sinistar
Super Sprint
Marble Madness
720
Toobin'
Klax
Splat!
Satan's Hollow
Vindicators
Root Beer Tapper
Pac-Man
Galaga
Dig Dug
Pole Position
Pole Position II
Ms. Pac-Man
Galaxian
Pac-Attack
Pac-Mania

Apologies to all those, for whom the preceding list might as well have been written in French. Unfortunately, confronted with a list such as this, I succumb to a very Pavlovian reaction, and start salivating.

Day two in the Big Foxy house, and the fox is tidying the shelf in the bathroom.... another succesful half hour session. Today, I sort of ran out of time, and as a result there's a bigger mess than when I started.... should be easy to make some good headway tomorrow though.

I'd just like to say.... Happy weekend everyone!!

I'd also like to say... as it is now slightly past midnight, happy Guy Fawkes day to one and all.... this is the 400th anniversary of Guy Fawkes trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament. What would have happened if he had succeeded... one can't help but wonder. I also think it's very cool that we still celebrate and commemorate this act of defiancy. Light some fireworks in an irresponsible manner in honour of this fine fellow!!

I shall be attending a bonfire this evening and celebrating in my own fashion. Perhaps I will take my tripod and camera and try to get some bonfire shots..... even an odd firework or two.

Right, I am flipping out and off to bed. Fox yawns and rubs his bleary eyes, glances at the TV and nearly wretches at the image of a naked woman with melting skin in the craziest of films: The Shining!!

Hodgey: With reference to Spectrum games, my faves were obviously:

Manic Miner; Jet Pac; Arcadia; Jonah Barrington's Squash; Hard Cheese; Wheelie; Alien8; Knightlore; School Daze; Splat; Hobbit; Travel with Trashman; Trashman; Ah Diddums; Trader; The Orb; Penetrator; 3d Ant Attack; Pssst; Cookie; Trans Am; Lunar Jetman; Tobor;

Cool thing for today:

Mr. Hodge has bettered me with his fantastic Spectrum link... here it is... go play... knock yourself out.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Resolution.....

1024 X 768

No, not that kind of resolution, but an autumnal one.... let's say I've turned over a new leaf!!

I resolve, before the readers of my blog as witnesses, to spend 30 minutes every night tidying up.

My house is a rapidly degenerating pigsty. I would be ashamed to allow anyone who doesn't already know me, to try to find a path through all the mess and debris, and bloody dusty junk everywhere.

For my 30 minutes tonight, I cleared the kitchen table. It's not a small table, but christ, it should not take 30 minutes to get back to the woodwork. Mountains of post, magazines, papers, rotting fruit, bags of sweets.... suffice to say, you could now eat your dinner off it, which is kind of ironic!!

I wish I was in New York with the spice party.... I bet they're having a blast.

Spent a good hour or two catching up with blogworld today. I've been and commented wherever appropriate... hope y'all enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy the wealth of diversity contained within all of yours.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend... along with my new resolution of housework, I am bound to get my paperwork done!! That will be a massive weight off my mind.

Dave (Bootjockey): Although Asteroids was good, the legendary but much less well known Space Duel was far superior.... 2 player simultaneous action with the two asteroid style ships joined together on a stick. The "rocks" from asteroids were replaced with geometric coloured vector shapes.... I am drooling just thinking about it. See the details here.

Kev: Welcome green elf!! Actually, yes I always was green elf (the archer), but last night when I was playing (because I didn't see a selection option) I think I was red warrior (the dude with the axes). Mebbe when I have a bit more practice and have cleaned the house some more, I could get you to come round for a proper old school gaming night??

Right, time to shuffle off, and prime the Gamecube... Michelle will be watching BBC's Bleak House.... mebbe I'll be nice and watch it with her, or maybe, just maybe, the lure of Need For Speed Underground 2 will be far too strong?

Cool thing for today:

Play ZX Spectrum classics online.... NOW!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Can't blog...

... won't blog!!

I am hot.

I am tired.

I am square eyed from playing all my Nintendo games.... 24 retro arcade games on one disc is too much for a fox to bear.

I now remember how much your fingers ache when you are constantly and rapidly tapping away at a big green fire button, as wave after wave of ghosts hunt you down in Gauntlet!! Classic.

My good news for today, is that I managed to bag a relatively cheap copy of Winning Eleven 6 for my Gamecube on eBay - in fact about half the price I imagined and a third cheaper than I was prepared to pay... woohoo there ARE still eBay bargains to be had!!

I am going to bed.

Congrats to the family spice on this their special day!!

I promise to read all your blogs tomorrow morning at work.

Cool thing for today:

No Burger King are not cool, but Darth Vader is!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"I am just going outside and may be some time."

What a bonus day.

I received a series of long anticipated parcels today.

1) Netgear wireless ADSL router/hub thing.
2) pcmcia wireless card for laptop.
3) Last of the mohicans - USA version - DTS Director's edit.
4) Bass fishing game for Gamecube.
5) 10 Namco classics for Gamecube
6) 24 Midway classics for Gamecube
7) Need for speed underground 2 for Gamecube
8)Freeloader for Gamecube (lets me play all the American games I just bought)

Marvellous.... it's gonna take me weeks to enjoy this little stash. It's like my own trick or treat bounty.

This is my first ever wireless blog!! Welcome!!

Glad to see spice and mrs. spice have arrived safely in New York... hope they're having a good time and manage to keep us posted.

One thing astonished me today, and it won't really interest many people, but I feel fully obliged to share the knowledge. On eBay, the old Nintendo64 games if they are still sealed with the Nintendo red seal, they are fetching about £300.... that's about $530 of your American money!! I am amazed, and a bit sad that, not only did I open all my games, I even threw all the packaging away!! Hahahaha I am a player, not a collector. Play, destroy, renew, move on!!

I am totally itching to get on my Gamecube now, but Michelle is watching TV.

I think I have to print a public apology for my treatment of Michelle in her halloween costume that I wrote about yesterday.... obviously this is not the behaviour of a good role model. I think it's fairly indicative of most couples who are gamers!! One of the guys I work with isn't allowed to even talk while his fiance plays Nintendogs.... my how I laughed!!

Michelle got me with this month's "pinch and punch" at the stroke of bloody midnight..... I am fuming!

Cool thing for today:

Nintendo.... no I am jesting....

Here's something I was shown today..... if you go to google, and search for "failure", but click the "I'm feeling lucky" button instead of the search.... see where you end up??

I can explain the above phenomenon, but it would spoil it for those that want a laugh... mebbe another time.