Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Walking wounded.

Seems like the nearest and dearest are all falling foul of the dreaded winter lurgy. Strange flu like symptoms, coupled with bronchial madness, and phlegm, are flooring those around me with some ferocity.

I have picked up my stethoscope, and gladstone bag, and begun to administer all manner of treatments, ranging from champagne, right through to Nintendo. I think I was born to heal. Suffice to say, nobody is getting better, but they don't mind being ill so much when I have prescribed.

Frosty mornings and fog are the daily occurences now. I snapped this pretty sunrise during my inaugural cig break the other morning. Please enjoy this sunrise over Huddersfield.... Spice, don't get TOO homesick now, and don't be too mad that I only had my phone/camera to hand.



Christmas shopping is almost complete, and everything's neatly wrapped and under my lovely tree. I am almost set to enjoy christmas on my own (as everyone is going to be tucked up in bed drinking flu remedies). There is still the matter of a couple of birthdays inbetween now and the big day..... it never rains.... It damn well gets wet though!

I have even updated my seemingly unpopular "random shopping" blog, with a couple more choice items.... You REALLY should head on over and take a look.

I think I might go "all-out" and fully update my blog to a fancy blogger template, so you never know, I might lose everything.... if not, see you on the other side.... good luck!

On the other hand.... now that I've just snipped my finger with a pair of scissors, and I have an unhealthy addiction to Age of Empires III, perhaps I'll just sit here and cry for a while!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Chapter and verse....

I have been trying for the last eighteen months to finish, restart, and finish again, a Harry Potter book. I was excited when it came out, all that time ago. Tonight I finally finished it, and in doing so, I've probably learned a little more about myself.

I always feel that reading is a solitary occupation. I am not one that finds it easy to flip briskly through a book, when surrounded by distraction. I hate reading a few pages, only to find that my mind's been elsewhere, and that I haven't actually registered the printed words that literally went in one eye and out the other.

So, I've finished the book. It's late. A little too late for normal people. A sense of loss, emptiness, and loneliness has encompassed me. I usually feel like this at the end of a book, and realise that this is why I so often leave the final few chapters of books unread for prolonged periods of time.

I should be in bed. My mind is elsewhere. This is one night where I should not be alone, but then how would I have finished the book?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rest....

Had a good lie-in this morning..... and within 2 hours of getting out of bed, I was fast asleep on the sofa again.

The "unemployed" mode is kicking in!!

Spent all day avoiding the things I should be doing... AGAIN!

Tomorrow I will try harder... I promise.

Babysitting my nephew for an hour or so tomorrow.... first time... so wish me luck.

Did you check out my "random shopping" blog yet? No?? Why the hell not?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Shopping....

To take three ladies to a shopping centre is not the wisest thing a man can do.

Admittedly, I also had shopping to do, and am renowned as quite a good shopper myself. Unfortunately after a mere seven hours in said shopping centre, I must admit, the time has come to hang my shopping boots up in shame.

Let me just say that I thought the word "renowned" should be spelled "reknowned" - Can anyone clarify whether this is right or wrong?

In other news, something I have been threatening to do for a while, has actually come into being today. I have started a completely new blog to highlight my random shopping theme. Go have a look and leave some comments and stuff - Random Shopping!
Life's lessons.

In life, there are a few valuable lessons you learn.

Never walk under ladders.

Don't cut your toenails with your socks on.

Always say "please" and "thank you".

Always photograph items of random shopping.

And of course, having spent a lifetime working on an outward appearance that is designed to conceal the "true" me, you should NEVER judge a book by its cover...... sometimes it is hard not to:

Monday, December 11, 2006

Trying to get in the mood...

This week, I will be mostly trying to get in the christmas mood.

The vast majority of my christmas shopping is done.... only a final foray into the world of shopper's heaven, tomorrow, can lay this beast to rest.

I've watched Polar Express (pass the puke bucket), and It's a Wonderful Life (to which I sobbed loudly). It would appear that my trusty copy of "The Muppets' Christmas Carol" has long since vanished, and I am sad about this.

I've downloaded Nat King Cole's christmas numbers, and listened to some of them.

The presents I HAVE bought, are all wrapped and labelled, neath the festive tree that I have assembled.

The bits to "make and do" are mostly made and done, and I've completely bust my back assembling a specific item today, which I obviously cannot name.

I've eaten christmas cake, and mince pies with brandy butter.

Rather than feeling like St. Nick himself, I am still not getting the joy of christmas. It's just not working. My bank balance is dwindling, and the back spasms are really not helping. I am still feeling like Uncle Ebeneezer.

This year, I have coins in the oven, ready for unsuspecting carol singers.... Oh the joy!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

It's official....

I drank more than I intended, or indeed wanted to.

Last vivid memory was standing at the bar, ordering the demon drink "After Shock" - For those that don't know about this unpleasant drink.... you're missing nothing.

I always end up in a tangle after drinking it.

Consequently, ten minutes later, and I felt myself swaying. I made an early exit.

Woke up this morning with the mother of all hangovers, and in fact still reeling drunk. Not a good start to the day. A full 6 hours after getting out of bed, and I am just starting to come round. I have looked at two glasses of water, a cup of coffee, and the kitchen sink. I've finally managed to drink a cup of tea and ate some nice brown toast.

I am on the mend. Mostly attributed to the use of my lovely retro ice pack for my terminally swolen brain!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Herman's hermit...

One week into my term of unemployment, and I already have a beard that reaches my knees, and my toenails are three feet long.

I haven't been out of the house, and only get out of bed in the morning to impersonate a large dog when the postman sticks his hand through the letterbox.

I have doubled sealed all the doors and windows with electrical tape to stop the germs from getting in, and have developed a new flying boat, aptly named the "Murky Turkey". I envisage a day when we will all fly on the water.

Some of the above may be more true than other bits.... I leave it to your imagination to decide.

I AM actually going out tonight.... it's a free bar, and it's through my former employer. I am really not in the mood for it, but I really want to see the guys I have been working with for so long. Note to self: Because it is free.... does not mean I need to drink it all!

I'd rather be staying in an watching TV, but as that's all I do all day anyway, it would seem kind of churlish of me.

I need coffee and food to prepare for the onslaught.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bark at the moon....

With the winter solstice looming over the dark horizon of Foxley Towers, December's full moon brings a wash of colour and light into the night sky. Not all the colours are ones I immediately recognise, but the overall palette is definitely singing in the tone of madness.

I sometimes consult my biorhrythms. It's not something I have ever been proud to admit. I regard it to be a science not dissimilar to that of horror-scopes and fortune telling, although I have to accede that it seems to have a more scientific basis than Justin Toper, his wild hairstyle, and his £20 per question mumbo jumbo.

Strangley, I find that my biorhythms make sense when I feel a strange mood. I think I need to consult them today. I am supposed to be doing some consolidation and paperwork today. I have no excuse to put it off any longer..... Procrastination kicks me in the balls, and I am updating my blog, wincing at the mountain of papers around me.

I promise myself that after I've finished the blog, and done the paperwork, I will try and work out why this cloak of madness is descending upon me.

In other news....

Pray, two minutes silence for the passing of Greig's bunny rabbit.........

.... ok that's long enough.

I bought more jigsaws... not sure this was my best ever move, but the strange compulsive nature of them soothes my soul. Also bought a special jigsaw cloth thing that rolls up, so you can put the thing away... This means I might be able to actually use my dining table during the next month!!

I am smoking too much.

I am going to do my paperwork..... see y'all later.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Even when....

.... I've got nothing to do, I STILL manage to miss a day's blog entry.

Spent Sunday in recovery mode, trying to re-establish my body's chemical balance. Not drinking so much on Saturday night really made things a whole lot easier.

Was great to see Chris, Chris, and Emma, and to hear their fantastic news. You can ask Emma yourself!!

Trying to stay warm at the moment, as the weather's taken a decidedly grizzly turn. Galeforce winds, and rain. It gets dark at about 3:30pm and that's never a good thing. The seasonally adjusted disorder doesn't take long to grab hold.

I guess it could be worse.... On a normal Monday morning, by this time, I'd have already done an hour and a half's work.

Recovery yesterday.... Ikea today.... I don't know which is worse! Well, at least both days have preoccupied me so much, that I have conveniently forgotten about the mountain of paperwork that I need to get through.... This is going to be the age of consolidation for me.

Still need to try to assemble something decent out of my phone camera, from the amazing DJ Yoda night on Saturday. The phone doesn't like low light conditions, and they take a whole lot of processing to make something half good. If I manage it, I'll post a few, but for now, they'll have to languish on my hard drive, as shaky blurred images.

Breakfast beckons.... and then the dreaded M62, followed by a hearty side order of Ikea.... The indigestion is setting in just thinking about it!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Every day.....

...... in every way, I am getting better and better.

Managed a sleep-in this morning. Got up at about 8:30ish.

Bit of a Baileys induced hangover.

Am going out dancing tonight.... The weather is a bit cruel, and there are only buses back from Manchester, so I might have to take the option of driving it. Never something I enjoy on a night out, but it's probably the best option, and I am sure my head will thank me in the morning.

I bought a christmas tree yesterday. An artificial one, and it was a bit of a bargain. I am usually a total humbug at christmas, but thought I would make the effort.

Tried putting the tree together today, and lo and behold, it comes in forty.... yes four zero.... parts. Bloody hell. I wrestled it for an hour or more, and called in the reinforcements. My mum came round and helped me finish off. It looks quite good, but now there's artificial snow and fake pine needles all over the house. Makes me realise I need to go out and buy a few more decorations.... looks a bit isolated as the only festive item in the house.


My sebaceous cyst is flaring up again. This is a long running story, and it's about two years since I had it cut out of my face, by what can only be described as the "butcher of Huddersfield". I knew he had made a mess of it.... and now.... bloody hell it is well sore!!

I am (predictably) on a Pogo bender!! I am badging like crazy this week.

I finished a 1000 piece jigsaw this week.... Snow White and the seven dwarves.... Not sure what to make of jigsaws, there's something unholy about them, but I can honestly say it's been a comulsive mix of pleasure and pain.... as my back can testify.


Spice - How are you fixed in January for me to come and see you? Would it be ok? Let me know if it would be alright please.

Have you looked in my guestbook lately? Who the heck is "aaa" - They leave a lot of comments in there, but I can't decipher them.... there's a prize for anyone that can.

Post update update: New polling booth - New music - Updated my "This season I will be mostly" section - Updated polling archive.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The first day of....

Well, to be honest, I am not sure I know what this is the first day of.

I guess it could just be the first day of December?

It could even be the first day of advent, when all the kids get to open the first door of that calendar that's been beckoning from the kitchen sideboard for a week or more. They get to eat a chocolate robin or christmas tree.

On a deeper note, this could very well be the first day of a new chapter in the book of Fox. Today I am officially unemployed. My contract has ended and I don't really have the desire to go looking for another one. I don't even have an up-to-date CV!!

It's no surprise that my contract ended, it's been coming for a while. I have made no plans, no provision, no road to follow. This is a deliberate measure, like Luke Reinhart, let us see how the dice fall, and fall they did.

7:45am - Day 1 of unemployment, and the first morning where nothing would phase me. I turn over in bed, pull the covers a little tighter around my shoulders, and drift back into deep sleep.

7:46am - Bang.... Crash.... Smash

7:47am - I am standing outside the bathroom, surrounded by blood, broken glass, hair products, skin products, candles, and shock.

The bathroom cabinet has detached itself from the wall, and spilled its overladen stomach full of cosmetics, asunder.

If this is an omen for the new chapter of my life, then I am starting to be a little afraid.
New Beginnings.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Bugger.

I've got such a headache today.

Went out with the folks from work last evening for a few sherbets.

Think I managed some bacardi, some beer, some mojitos, some long island iced tea, and some Baileys and Amaretto. Is it any wonder my head hurts?

Spent most of today in "sorry" mode.

Picked my mum up at about 11am and we went to the local Christmas Craft fair at the parish church. Was quite a mellow experience, and it's always nice to feel like part of a community. I heard somewhere this week, that being a part of a group actually prolongs life expectancy... There ya go!!

Spent this aft, with my mum, tidying up my house. I am planning a chilled evening watching telly, and a duvet morning tomorrow. There's absolutely no rush to get up. Thanks mum, you're great.

URGENT APPEAL: I am searching for a toy for my nephew's christmas present. The toy seems, to all intent and purpose, to have vanished from the face of the earth. I appeal to all bloggers, and readers, for their assistance in trying to locate: From the "Take Along Thomas" range of die-cast metal trains, the train known as Oliver. If you can find me one to buy, then I will award you a special Foxy prize. Deal?

In other news.... my "brokeback mountain" cowboy hat arrived today.... I love it.... but don't know if it's too big or not.... Having never owned a stetson before, how would I tell? My cowboy boots arrived too and I have been stomping round in them all day. The downside, is that my royal flush cowboy shirt is too small, and has to be returned from whence it came. YeeHaw!

Have a go at this.... A friend sent me this website... It's a search engine, but this is slightly different... Try "search with guide"!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I've got a cunning plan....

... and I want you to be the first person to hear it.

I am blooming sure that I am not the first person to consider this, and I am 100% certain that I won't be the last.

I have a dream... and the dream is to become a million dollar grifter, through no other power than the interweb and my own perverse sense of procrastination.

As you may, or may not know.... My current job is due to run out in December. Having spent the last 4 or 5 years working with this team, in various places around the country, it would appear that the gravy train is finally running dry.

I don't really want to look for another job. In fact, I don't actually want to work ever again. So, the idea came to me.

There are enough internet ideas out there that should be able to make money for me. One such idea, I signed up for last week. The concept is such that you get paid for reading emails!! Hmmm - yes, I know what you're all thinking. Well, who knows??

And so, perhaps soon, I will be creating a new blog. The purpose of the new blog will be to chart and to exploit for the purpose of making money.

Remember the "million dollar pixel" guy?

Remember the "paper clip swapper"?

It can be done! I swear, it CAN be done... and I want in!

Watch this space!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Destroy all monsters.

Some of you may remember my Blu-Tac animals that I made to keep me company at my desk. In case you missed them the first time around, and can be bothered this time around, the links to those particular days are here:

Blu-Tac entry 1
Blu-Tac entry 2

And in case you can't even be bothered to do it this time, then here are the pictures of the animals at least.

Well, it is my sad duty to inform you, that on the 6th of November 2006, the aforementioned creatures were taken from my desk (unceremoniously whilst I was having a cig) and used to actually stick some bits of paper onto a wall!!

I am gutted.

Rest in peace Arctic Fox and Penguin.... You will be sorely missed. Now, all I have left are my Dr. Who dolls of Rose and K9. I effing love the Billie Piper!!





In other news, my good friend Emma is finishing work here on the contract with us today... it's a sign that the project is winding down, and that frienships forged in the fires of work will soon be tested. It's a shame, and she'll be missed... Sudoku will never be the same again.

So many things are happening lately that are worth mentioning.... Every time I see something that warrants mention, I know I should write it down. I just can't keep up.....

Worth noting:

Enemies of the internet.

Fish and chips.

Second life - Big Brother.

Positively smoking.
Smoke and sparks....

Well, the weekend, like so many cheap fireworks, has long since been, and is now almost forgotten. Just like the foreworks, the thrill of setting up, and lighting a weekend, is often much more interesting than the ensuing face full of smoke and inevitable empty pocket.

I sound bitter and twisted... and it's true... I am!!

Didn't get much time to update the old blog (as predicted) so I will try to give you a 5 minute round-up on the events.

Friday... Work.... Went out for a couple of beers, and stumbled into a (usually quiet) bar which featured karaoke, and some sort of private party. It was overfilled, and difficult to get served. I had a bad back for some reason.

Saturday... Played a little Pogo. Went to a garden centre for a giant scone and a coffee. Bought fireworks. Met up with an old pal for some food and a beer. God bless Mr. Clegg. Played some Perudo. Played some Pogo.

Sunday... Got up. Bought a newspaper. Had some breakfast. Went for a walk in the woods. Made some bonfire toffee. Cooked some tea. Went to a bonfire (which was massive and the pub where it was happening had cars parked for about half a mile in every direction). Went to my mum's house and set all the fireworks off. Had a bath. Watched half of Pulp Fiction (AGAIN) and went to bed.

Makes for boring blogging, I know. Perhaps when I get a little more time to actually think, then I might get back to some more creative blogging?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Lazy....

... but that's how it goes.

Another day, another blog missed. I really must try harder. You know I won't.

Not much to report.

Winter is coming. The first frosts have arrived this week. Each morning I have been treated to clouds like milky white flaked fish covering the sky. Beautiful washed out sunrises. Crisp, crunchy leaves underfoot. Shadows of trees cast in white across the fields, where the watery sun has yet to reach. The frost brings with it, a palette of colours that make the leaves burn.

I love autumn, but the two seasons (autumn and winter) really DO seem to be merging into one.

I am looking forward to a good walk this weekend.

Work's hacking me off at the minute, and I am taking a few moments out to write my blog. It's nice to be thinking about the sights, sounds, and smells of outside while I am sitting in the sterile fluorescent lighted office.

Pogo badges this week are thankfully wrapped up, and in bed. Very easy.

Work's still hacking me off.

Anyone know a good shop for cowboy hats?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

V

Finally got around to watching V for Vendetta. Ever since the comics came out in 1988, this story has troubled my tiny, fragile mind. I couldn't imagine it being a very good movie.

I'm happy to say that my memory of the comic - which basically amounts to a great deal of psychological torture, in a concentration camp setting - was not translated into the film. The film skipped around the torture quite cleanly.

I DO have a gripe with Natalie Portman's acting abilities though. She really is very poor. In fact she hasn't done anything good since the film Leon! She should never have been let out of the pizza parlour where she was "discovered".

Grumble over!

Trick or treat?

We had one sole visitor last night. A small girl, alone, wandered up to my door and knocked. I swung open the door, and she uttered the words "trick or treat?". This was her first mistake.

"Trick" I promptly replied.....

The girl looked shocked....

"Trick or treat?" she mumbled, visibly shaken.

"Look, by asking the question, we are entering into a verbal contract. I either give you a treat or you give me a trick. I'm giving you nothing, and you're not leaving until I see your trick".

She started to sob, and turned from the door.

I grabbed her arm before she could make good her escape.

"Show me the trick!!" I screamed.

She didn't know what to do..... "Look, you either have a trick for me, or you had no business in offering me the deal in the first place. Now you either show me the trick, or I'm taking all those sweets off you" I growled.

She handed me the sweets, and ran away crying.

"Bloody kids" I muttered, emptying the stolen bag onto my kitchen table.

At least it's just once a year....

Humbug!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Oops!!

I've been a bad blogger. Missed a whole weekend of blogging fun and frolics.

On the flipside of this equation, I've been a busy old fox. Have had a house most overflowing, and a weekend to match.

Have managed to rake the leaves from the lawn - that bloody ash tree really needs some attention. It's bloody big, and it drops a bloody lot of leaves, for a bloody long time. The current windy clime of Huddersfield is most inconsiderate to this end.

Did some baking, with mixed results. Raspberry buns good, chocolate brownies bad. The buns were golden and of a nice texture. The brownies kinda went flat and overcooked, and stuck to the greaseproof paper, and although flavour was good, it will be a chore to eat them.

Finally plugged my Nintendo Gamecube into my lovely spanky new telly. The result, I am pleased to say, was good, good, good. Played a bit of Need For Speed (Most Wanted), some SSX On Tour, a bit of Tony Hawks, and for old time's sake, some XIII.

Went walking on sunday, and took a huge kitchen knife (with hastily crafted carboard cover), and a saw with me. Why? You may well ask!! The walk in question, took us through some prime woodland, and I fancied a stick to accompany me on the journey. I had read somewhere, that walking with a stick can reduce the impact on the knees by (up to) 25%.

I found a suitable stick and hacked and chopped it a bit. Most suitable and gentlemanly it was, until the dog bit it in half. The hastily crafted cardboard cover, of course, played its part, as I promptly sliced my hand in the process. Another hacking and slashing later, and I had my sturdy walking stick. A good walk was had by all, but note to self.... Next time I go walking, remember to put socks on before hiking boots. I only realised at the point of receiving my first blister that I had forgotten to wear socks. What an idiot.

In the vein of idiocy - Over the course of this weekend, I made the ultimate blunder. I went upstairs to my bedroom, tried the door, it wouldn't budge. I knew the window was open in the bedroom and figured that it must have blown shut, or perhaps something had fallen over and wedged itself behind the door. I summoned all my strength, and barged the door with my shoulder.... I think my shoulder gave more than the door... I rattled it, banged it, and generally tried to free it..... To no avail.

I went downstairs and assembled a pair of screwdrivers (because of course all my tools were actually IN the bedroom as a result of my addiction to assembling Ikea furniture) and went back to the door to prise it off the hinges or something. Fox + tools = Rambo on pcp! Of course, someone had beaten me to the door, and had promptly turned the handle and opened it.... I never knew the handle in my bedroom door even turned.... how about that?

I even got round to watching the great film - March of the Penguins - Which, incidentally, is about some penguins that go on a march... I can honestly say, it's a great film.

As previously mentioned, I have been assembling more Ikea furniture. I now have a bedside cabinet, to keep my bedside manner in!!

Within half an hour of blogging my disappointment with Yorkshire Water, they rang me back and made the required appointment. The power of blogging!!

In other news, I helped carve a pumpkin. In my days, when I was but a whipper-snapper, just knee high to the proverbial grasshopper, we used to carve turnips to make lanterns. I don't understand pumpkins. I don't like them, and I certainly don't want to eat them. The design achieved was satisfactory, but in comparison with these, I think we should revert back to our British turnip carving.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Funny old game....

Funny old game in't it?

What is?

Chess!

No, really, the world of blogging... Something I take very much for granted and with my usual flippant attitude. For others it's not just a means of splashing some random words across a page, but a matter of life, and more importantly, death too.

Amnesty are highlighting some cases of bloggers who are risking their very liberty, by expressing their views. You can read a bit more about it here.

I am not one to bang on, and preach about such political issues. I can't believe, in this day and age, that there are still regimes who believe they can suppress the views and opinions of their subjects.... We have the internet to thank for making such information freely available to us. If enough people keep trying, then eventually it will be unstoppable.

Keep the faith.

A few sites to bear in mind, in keeping with this theme:

Baghdad Burning

Reporters Sans Frontiers

Global Voices

Enough of that......

I haven't been doing much lately....

I am a busy fox, with my nose to the grindstone. I rarely get chance to lift my scabby septum from the spinning sandpaper. When I do come up for air, it is only to erect some shabby Ikea furniture, or to pay some bills.

My latest "foxism" - a trademarked word for the kind of disasters that follow me around - is that when I left Playboy Mansions on the 14th September, I forgot to cancel the phone line. Result: I now have to pay for someone else's phone calls!! I am a foxing idiot!

Note to self - Transfer the TV licence to my new address.

Ok, apologies for neglecting the blog a bit recently. I will endeavour to do better. I have a stack of films to watch this weekend, so hopefully I can settle down to a bit of television love!

Oh, and one last thing - Bloody Yorkshire Water company are REALLY pissing me off. I have phoned them every day this week to arrange a visit from one of their "field technicians". I have spent at least 7 hours in their effing phone queueing system this week. I wish them slow, painful death, whilst they listen to their on-hold muzak collection... all of 'em. Set of bastards!!

Ooops... rant over!!

Goodbye gringos!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Premature declaration.

Further to yesterday's statement, that my pyramid of Maslow's hierarchy of needs was now satisfied.... My house has now sprung a leak in the torrential downpour that continues, as I type!

The kitchen floor is wet, and further more, my desk is wet at work as the roof is also leaking there. It seems that God is crying on my head wherever I shall wander.

Oh goosey goosey gander!!

Pol: I don't know if you got my text or my emails, but the photo album you so desperately seek, is now available for you to view online. You can even buy bloody prints of them!!! How professional is that??

Pogo schmogo... new badge day today, and guess what... I completed the two badges on offer, in a record twenty five minutes!! Touch me, I am hot!!

I can hardly contain my excitement (can you detect the note of sarcasm in my writing?) that I am tonight visiting Ikealand AGAIN!! This time, with my mother, for some serious "rooting"! (Before y'all get the wrong impression, that's "rooting" as defined: v. intr. - To rummage for something: rooted around for a pencil in his cluttered office).

Ho hum, even my PC is turning against me now, and doing the most strange series of things you can imagine. It's cream-crackered I fear.

I better go get ready to hit the Swedish mecca!!

Au revoir!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Maslow's hierarchy of needs...

Now that my boiler is fixed... yippee.... my pyramid is complete!!

I am happy again... a little lighter in the pocket, but most definitely happy.

Pogo badges this week have been less than demanding, and I am now well in front again. I needed an easy Pogo week.

I am even going back to Ikea again... I think I am becoming domesticated!! Bugger!!

Not much to blog today really.... I am experiencing good (the boiler repair man) service... and bloody bad service (Sky Television and Yorkshire Water, who promptly kept me sat in a queue on the phone for an hour and then gave me a different number to ring). If it wouldn't bore you to tears, I might feel inclined to write about it.... I won't.

I am alive, I am warm, and bloody hell I am hungry...

Gonna go get me some scrambled eggs on toast... yum yum yum.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bleak house.....

It was a dark and stormy night......

The house is cold, the water is cold, and I am loathed to even turn on the lights. I am experiencing some sort of sensory deprivation.

The boiler isn't gonna be fixed until tomorrow (if the part turns up, which of course I can't imagine for a foxing minute).

I am sitting in the cold and dark, feeling very isolated.

When you lose a service to your house, whether it be internet, electricity, gas, or indeed in this case, your boiler, things just don't feel right. I feel obliged to punish myself further, by shivering in the dark.

I hope this flaming part arrives tomorrow.

I have so much work to do, it's untrue.

See y'all soon.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

It never rains...

.... but it effing well rains a monsoon on my clean-shaven bonce!!

I HAD planned a very quiet, relaxed weekend.

In fact I will go as far as to say, I hadn't planned it, I hadn't planned anything... not a damn thing. I wanted to spend a little time getting acquainted with my (as yet) unloved television set that sits smiling quietly in the corner.

So... Friday night.... finished work.... went to Ikea (GRRRRR) and bought a bed for the spare room. Put the bed together (having finally worked out the Swedish instructions) and guess what.... 12:30am.

A nice start to my weekend, I am sure you will agree.

Saturday morning, I went to my mum's, bright and early, to collect my new remote control for my DVD player. Finally I was close to romancing the box. Or was I?

Stayed and chatted with the folks for a while.... mum decided it would be a good chance for her to come round to my house with me and tackle some of the junk in the back room.... Before you know it, it's 3pm and I am settling down to finally enjoy the TV.

I fell asleep.

Woke up at 4pm and felt cold. Went to switch the heating on, and the boiler is broken. All attempts to revive it have failed miserably.

And so, it's 5pm. I haven't watched a minute of TV yet.... and the heating engineer won't arrive until 10am tomorrow....

Boy, am I pissed off??

(I am doubly pissed off that nobody has commented on my blog for a couple of days too!! But lets not get into all that writer/reader/lurker name calling again!!)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Randomize this!

1) I have to turn the cold tap on in the bathroom to make the shower work.

2) When I go out tonight, I need to take a pineapple slicer along with me.

3) When I go out tonight, I need to take my cheque book with me.

4) The moment I turned off the cold tap, after I showered, I forgot all the amusing, interesting, random facts I was going to write.

5) I am trying to buy a bed.

6) For my lunch, I went to an American/Italian diner, and ordered the Indian American - Which in layman's terms, is an onion bhaji sandwich!!

7) I am late going out because I am wracking my brains for things to write!

8) My ashtray is overflowing.

9) I've eaten too many sweets.... I feel sick.... oh, go on then, it'd be rude not to eat that last Reeses Cup!

10) Peanut butter is nice, but hazlenut butter contains far less saturated fat.

11) My teeth ache (still).

12) My backache has gone.

13) I need to get dressed. Blogging, wrapped in a towel, dripping on my keyboard, surrounded by smouldering paperwork, caused by the fire from my overflowing ashtray, is not a good look in anyone's book.

Unlucky for some!!

14) I listen to techno at work.

15) I play Nintendo DS whenever the opportunity arises.

16) This weekend I need to rake the leaves off my lawn.

Goodnight all.... now, where's that bloody pineapple slicer??

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Argh!!

Ok, I've got issues.... bloody loads of them.

Firstly, someone left the tap running in the bathroom/toilet/restroom (call it what you like) here at work AGAIN. It makes my blood boil.

Secondly, this is my week on the late shift.... Start at 10am every morning, and finish at 6pm, with an added bonus of one very late shift, where we finish at 9pm. Today is MY late, late shift.

Thirdly, I have toothache, which no doubt has been brought on by a weekend of excess!! Normally, after a BIG night out like last Friday, one of my front teeth where I previously had an abscess, will start to ache.... This time it's every tooth in my head!

Fourthly, the engineers who work out in the field (here at work), have (thanks to Si) discovered that we actually provide cover EVERY night until 9pm. This is an old arrangement, and I am sure most of the engineers had forgotten about it. Today is different. Last night the "on call" guy let slip that we are here until 9pm. I am standing by my phone eagerly awaiting the 8:55pm rush!!

Fifthly, due to my absence from work on Monday last, I now have a shorter week, into which I need to cram a greater amount of work. It's gonna be a close call, and I am stressed to the max - I guess this is why I have toothache.

Sixthly, a copy of Playboy, from the exact month of my birth, has mysteriously gone missing in the post from Germany!! I am effing gutted, even though the seller has agreed to halve the cost of the missing item. I feel robbed somehow.

Seventhly, see "things that went well....." item four. Oh no, it's an internal loop.... you are destined to spend all time in the moebius loop of my blog.

Ok, so gripes over......

Things that went well......

Erm.....

Bugger.... this is gonna be a really short list.

Firstly, my house is sparklingly clean. First time in a long time it's looked so damn good. I am loving being there.

Secondly, my Pogo badges for the week are all complete (which is fortunate, as the new ones come out today). Included in my total for last week, was the, by now, legendary Quick Quack badge. The first time Pogo has ever bowed to public pressure and actually extended the period allowed to achieve a badge - Instead of the usual week, they gave us three weeks - that's a reflection of how hard it was. I used ALL three weeks!!

Thirdly, my backache seems to have almost completely gone (the FoX raps his knuckles on his head and announces "touch wood"). I can honestly say, I am glad to see the back of it.... Geddit?? Eh?? Eh??

Fourthly, bollocks.... there isn't even four good things I can write about!!

End;

Phew, a crafty "End;" statement seems to have provided some sort of getout clause from that horrible loop I was in. It was like Groundhog Day for a minute there.... wait a minute, what year is this?? No. No. Oh God I slept too Long!! Hahahahahahah (Evil Dead 3 reference, in case you didn't geddit!!).

Happy hunting!!

Oh, and if you get chance.... Please nip over to see my mate "501" in his blog, which aims to chart his rise to the top, in the world of darts!!

I give to you a picture of the four kilogram bucket of sweet sugary crud that I took in to work today to share with my colleagues!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cheap blog entry....

Ok, so I am blogging about blogging.... Could you get any lower than that? In answer to my own rhetorical question, yes, you could!

Rather than type two blog entries today, I am only going to type one, and you will find it here.

Go ahead, be a part of history!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Ouch!

Firstly, happy birthday to my sister!!

Secondly, unhappy backday to me!!

Woke up this morning, and couldn't even move. Not good. Day off work sick as a result. As the day's gone on, the back has of course eased up. Let's see if it still feels ok in the morning. Baths help a lot, but only while I am in them. I hardly got ANY sleep at all last night, because every time I turned over, the pain woke me up.

I need to tackle my mountain of paperwork, and my mountain of outstanding Pogo badges!!

Why is there never enough time to do the mundane things that need doing, which would free up some quality leisure time?? I guess this is why they call it the rat-race!!

Oh, and in other news, I finally lost my ring for good - you may remember I lost it temporarily last week, but it turned up again. This time it ain't coming back. I lost it in the end of a giant water chute, in seven feet of murky sticking plaster infested chlorine.

Bugger!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The loneliness....

... of the long distance blogger!!

Some days you have to wonder why you blog. The stats show, that everyone is having an exciting weekend, and they are all too (note the double "o") busy to (note the single "o") read blogs. Either that or my blog is so boring, that nobody wants to read it at all....

Undeterred, in the nature of Sid James and Charles Hawtry, I'll "carry on blogging".

Busy, busy, busy, Sunday.

Normally, Sunday for me is just a day of complete vegetation - That is to say, I vegetate as opposed to doing anything else with vegetatables!! Don't even go there.

Today, I've been swimming, including fooling around on water slides, I've been golfing (at the driving range at least), and I have been for a walk. I've been to the bowling club for a couple of pints, I've played Jenga, and dominoes, and now I am settling down, getting ready to have a shower.

All the above, have been done with the worst case of back ache imaginable. Each activity seemed like it might actually help my back somehow, by freeing it up. Alas, I am still suffering from crazy back spasms, and a stiff neck, which means that every time I need to look over my shoulder, my whole body has to turn, while my head stays still.... I look a fool! It hurts too!!

I think I might have a bath and try to relax the spasming (is that even a word?) muscles a bit!

And so, the day draws to a close, as I type the blog. I can see the floodlights on the bowling green from my window, and hear the sounds of people laughing and joking, and having a merry old time. My bath is calling..... and I bid you all adieu!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Few things...

Few things can compare to the feeling of introducing two sets of friends to each other, and finding they all really get along well.

It's a feeling similar to that of cooking a really nice meal, when the courses are all on time, and the flavours are fantastic.

Rewarding.

The venue, Boddingtons Brewery, Manchester. The event - Radio Soulwax and 2 many DJs dance extravaganza - capacity, 3000 sold out!!

I was stressed trying to coordinate and find people, but eventually everything came together, and it was a lovely night, in a pair of adjacent warehouses. I LOVE my mates!!

I'm looking forward to going to some more of these events - The Warehouse Project - before it all ends in January. Who knows, maybe I'll get some tickets for the Jeff Mills night?

The only downside was having to leave a bit early because of the trains back to Huddersfield. You can't have everything tho, and it's much better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.

Taxi back to train station, and a cup of tea in the cafe. Two old blokes (both of them in their sixties and seventies) started kicking off and spitting in each others faces. Now normally, it wouldn't really bother me too much, and I let people get on with whatever, whenever, but I had to step in. Calmed them both down and sent them on their way. Felt good. A random deed of kindness.... I had forgotten about that. Anyone remember the acts of kindness??

Train station, Huddersfield, I carried a woman's suitcase up the steps for her. Random act of kindness part two.... spread some random joy.

Tired, showered, bed.

Headache!!

Good night and well worth a visit for the experience if you can make it. Mebbe, if I can get my head together, I might post a few pics!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday 13th.....

.... part snore!!

It's actually Friday 13th, and I am called Jason.... I am also very tired, but I don't own a hockey mask.

I am already getting the feeling that I should have stayed in bed... My bleary, runny eyes concurr.

I am going out in Manchester tonight with Pol and Chris.... Dancing and romancing!! I am SO looking forward to letting my hair down... Oh wait a minute, I've cut it all off... Let's just say, I will be freeing the follicles!

Last night's disappointment came in the shape of a computer that a friend wanted fixing. I am a man of much hoarding... I generally keep everything... I have just about every spare bit of kit required to fix every kind of imaginable problem. Until last night!! The computer and my friend arrived, and I'll be blowed, if the computer doesn't have a keyboard OR a mouse port on the motherboard... The whole thing is USB!

Now, I could rant on and on about the reasons why you should NEVER buy a computer from Dell, but this serves purely as a dirty great big nail in their dirty great big coffin. I have my reasons.... They're a bunch of charlatans, and I know for one, that the mighty Joe Peacock would agree, in his "blook" - Mentally incontinent!! Thanks to Google Books for the free reading material!!

I have never seen a computer that doesn't have a standard keyboard and mouse port!! Why would you do that?? To save a few pence on the motherboard?? Criminal!!

It's "knuckle down" day 'cos I've still got shed-loads of work to do... It's been a tough week!

As part of my ongoing "housekeeping" - I have added a new poll (look it's over there on the right!!) and archived the old poll. You can see my old polls here.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

D-Day...

Today I have an appointment with the bank manager!!

These meetings are rarely enjoyable, nor are they fair.

The bank manager generally holds all the aces, and when I ask him if he has any aces, he tells me to Go Fish!

Fingers crossed for a positive outcome, otherwise I might be looking for a new house, and THAT is something I just don't need at the moment.

I am still kicking myself about losing my ring and then finding it where I left it - The tricks your mind can play on you, eh? I would have sworn on my own life that I was wearing it, both yesterday morning AND the previous night!! It was also interesting that, having noticed it gone, I became preoccupied with the fact that my hand felt strange without it, and I was missing the worry bead aspect of it. Little did I know, it hadn't been there for 15 hours or so previously.

Minds are mad... I don't try to understand them anymore!!

New Pogo badges are out, and I have started them... Started being the operative word... There's still a long way to go. This week sees Jungle Gin, Penguin Blocks, and of course the ongoing killer badge Quick Quack Quick Shot Quack or whatever the hell it's called.

Busy, busy, busy at work and at home lately.... Things are piling up around me, and everyone who knows me will testify... When the going gets tough, I generally bury my head in the sands of procrastination.

Now you can't see the wood for the trees.... Now like anybody on their knees.... Far away enough to catch our breath.... Looking to click.... Picking up sticks!

Ok, it's official, my bank loves me, and I get to keep my house without any hassle at all - the paperwork is done and everythings smelling of Fox!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Thy quest hath ended!!

My search for a TV is finally over.

Ordered at lunch time on Monday... Delivered, installed, up and running, and watching House of Flying Daggers by 11am the following day.

It's a great TV... If anyone's looking for a relative bargain, then look no further... Due to the introduction of Philips' Pixel Plus 3 technology, their older Pixel Plus 2 stuff is going a little bit cheaper now, and believe me, there's nothing wrong with 2!!

Here's my TV.

I will say at this point, because I berate and moan about so many services and suppliers that I deal with, it's only fair to congratulate, when things go right. On that basis, I'd like to extend a Foxy four paw salute to the people at Empire Direct - Faultless, speedy, painless service!!

The TV even has an MP3 player built in, so when I plugged my memory stick in (that I was given last Friday at work) - Hey presto, within seconds, I was enjoying the soothing sounds of Jeff Mills with the Montpellier Philharmonic Orchestra - Superb!!

Lord, my blog's turning into an advert!!

I have an appointment with my bank manager tomorrow.... These things are never very good, but let's hope we can cut a deal.... More details to follow, watch this space.

My mum and Fred are in Scarborough for Fred's birthday - His 70th in fact!! I DO hope (after I booked the hotel and stuff for them) that everything's going ok... I DO know my mum will be suffering 'cos I booked a "no smoking" hotel - cruel, but I personally find the rooms are so much nicer when they're not dripping with tar!!

At least, now my preoccupation with getting a television has ended, I can knuckle down and concentrate on getting my life back into shape.....

Paperwork beckons (as always!!)

The nights are drawing in, and the mornings are dark now.... It's foggy, and drizzly, and distinctly October(ish).... Damp leaves and acorns soften footsteps. The birds are filling their bellies to make it through the coming cold spell.... Storing and consolidating.

Effing fecking - I have lost my ring... it was only a crappy sterling silver thing, but it was nice, and it had a lovely spinning section in the middle which was a bit like having your own worry beads with you all the time. It's gone, and now I am proper annoyed at myself!! Spoiled my good mood completely.

Post update, update: I found my ring, it was on the back of the sink in my bathroom... must have taken it off last night while I was having a shave - Funny, because I could have SWORN that I had it on when I got to work this morning. Ain't that surreal!?!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Television.....

.... Rules the nation!

Would you Adam and Eve it?

I am ONCE AGAIN waiting for that man.... you know the one.... the one with the bloody van, that has my fourth attempt at buying a television on it.

I have gone vastly over the budget that I had set myself, and this had better be the best goddamn TV I have ever clapped my bloodshot eyes upon. I bet you can guess what's going to happen if it isn't!!

I've finally opted for a Philips LCD (with ambilight) - The anticipation of unwrapping it and plugging it in to find out how great it is, is underwhelming to say the least!!

I am doing the first part of the waiting game today because I can't afford to take another day off work to sit in the house AGAIN. I will post more later, but just wanted to prepare you for the possible explosion in a blog factory later.

If you don't hear from me for a week, then you know the TV is good!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Chuff a duck!!

At the risk of alienating my fellow bloggers and friends, I simply MUST get something off my chest....

I live in the Arctic... That's

a ... r .... C ... t .... i .... c .....

There's a C before the T in Arctic..... The most popular search that brings people to my blog is for "artic" and "artic fox".... I don't think Google even suggests "Did you mean: ARCTIC fox"?

And another one that bugs the hell out of me:

I've said this before, and I will say it again.... there are two distinct words:

1) To
2) Too

Example: I am going TO the zoo, you can come TOO!!!!

DO NOT MAKE ME SPIT BLOOD!!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Easy like what?

One mission, one goal, one objective.

That's all I had to do today, was to buy the advertised TV from the shop that is promoting it, at the price they have advertised it.

If you don't like bad language then you can skip the rest.... I still don't have a television to watch.

Woolworths are advertising a 32" Technosonic LCD television for £400. It's a cracking price, and the TV is just a Thompson TV rebadged, and the Thompson sells for nearly twice as much.

I made the special Sunday journey into town to the shop, and of course spent a fair old bit on the way to the shop, only to find that when I get there.... There is sure enough, the TV on display... Any in stock.... no way!!

Ok, I am bitterly disappointed, but there are a host of other Woolworths dotted around the vicinity. I go home and make a few calls.

Not only are the TVs not in stock, but none of the shops are ordering any more!!

Scandalous!!

So much for the big promotion.... Show me the television.... display it in the shop.... let me see it, touch it, wiggle the wires about, but of course don't carry any stock. This is one of my pet hates, and my bile has run over!

I cooked an early afternoon meal and went for a walk instead.

I have to say, all things considered, a coupe of hours walking is far more rewarding than watching TV.

I've trecked across muddy fields, country lanes, football fields, and a moonscape quarry, to watch an irridescent orange moonrise.

Priceless.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The unanswerable....

Woke up this morning, not knowing what day it was, or what planet I was on for that matter!! I got a bit drunk last night.

The eternal unanswerable question entered my mind: "What must I have been thinking to get so silly drunk?".

Well, to my surprise, the answer was in my back pocket.

And I quote:

"3 Pints of Guinness, 1 double gin and tonic, and a Baileys and amaretto. Three slices of toast with Marmite, 1 Marmite sandwich, and a chocolate mouse, I mean moose.... no definitely a mousse."

I effing well hope it wasn't a moose or a mouse, although it could defnitely explain the furry sensation in my mouth this morning.

Now, and I am not bragging about my drinking capabilities, this amount of alcohol wouldn't leave me feeling so bad, save for the fact that I managed it all in about a single hour!!

I am once again, waiting for the man.... with the van.... this time he is taking my TV away!!

Spice - I wish you were here too for that L.I.I.T. in Vox!!

Perhaps I will update later, but for now, coffee and Pogo are singing my name, very, VERY loudly!!

Evening update (in verse of some sort?!?):

i am, waiting for the man.
staying at home,
the man with a van.
wait by the phone.

he'll call me to say
but you know that he won't
that he's on his way
he could, but he don't

the AM arival goes past
and you know you'll be last
on the list
makes me pissed

eventually he's there
without worry or care
pick up or drop
my day's been a flop

finally the hangover's gone
and the telly's off to amazon!

would have saved lots of worries,
had I bought it from Currys!

Friday, October 06, 2006

That's why I've got....

.... Friday on my mind!

I'm sure that's a song.... Possibly by Gary Moore??? I am usually quite good at these things, but the week has taken such a toll on my mental capacity, that I am unable to even process it.

I'm looking forward to the weekend..... But I don't even know why.

I have loads of stuff to do at my house. The lawn needs cutting, and I have even bought a new lawnmower to take care of this arduous task. My bedroom is a pigsty. A courier is coming tomorrow to take away my shoddy televisual equipment. I have Pogo badges galore, to distract me from the real world issues that need tackling.

And so, you can see, there's nothing slightly interesting or exciting planned... Just a bit of ME time.

Ok, ok, I have had my first sip of coffee at work now, and before you all start commenting and starting a massive debate about the song.... I guess it's a Gary Moore song that I had mixed up with a Cure song in my tiny fragile mind - There's a line of shovels against the wall.... Take your pick!! Confused?? You will be.... Right after this!! Ah, the memories of Soap!!

A big, hearty, pat on the back to my good friend spice-the-cat for correctly identifying Mory Kante as my new blog tune - I effing love this song, and although Ahm doesn't like it (which is a shame), I am going to leave it here for a little while longer at least.

I just got given a half gigabyte memory stick at work for a ridiculous sketch that occured, involving a discussion with someone at the end of the office (about timesheets), which was conducted by us shouting to each other.... What a strange place to work!! I'm well chuffed, and am frantically stuffing loads of my mp3s on it to take home with me. I have just surprised myself with the fact that I currently have 11Gb of mp3s on the computer at work!!

Amongst my 11Gb of mp3s are: The Wurzels - Top of the Crops; Chas & Dave - The Very Best of; Daft Punk; New Order; Roger Sanchez; Jeff Mills (playing techno beats to a live philharmonic orchestra!!!!); Voivod; LFO (thanks Hodgy); KLF; and a zillion other generic dance compilations.

And so, maybe I'll get a pint of Guinness to ease me into the weekend.... who knows.

Let's hope it's a good one for everyone!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Stats all folks....

Cue Woody Woodpecker's infectious laugh, which I wouldn't know how to spell even if I thought about it.

Especially for my cousin, Jo - here's a Woody woodpecker link - If you go to the site - Go into Woody's Arcade and select MATCH. Play the game and you'll see an old favourite character!!

Ok, Woody Woodpecker aside, the title of the blog was what I really meant to write about.

I am obsessed with my stats. I guess that having had a break from blogging for a while, and having let my reading figures trail off into obscurity, the prospect of turning round the reading trend is taking over.

I can't imagine how long it will be before I get back in touch with the audience I had before my little hiatus. I seem to remember I had about 1100 visitors a month.

I'll keep you posted.

I had forgotten all about the "Bloggies" and randomly stumbled back into their site through one of the 2005 winners. Here's the list of this year's winners, and there's some bloody good blog reading to be had here.

The power of blogging - I have managed to find my cousin Sophia, who lives in Canada. I must admit, I am particularly lazy when it comes to staying in touch with people, and I guess that's the reason I have been blogging for so long.... Go and say "hi" to a cousin I haven't seen in three decades!!

In other news:

My search for the Ajuga Arctic Fox plant is over - It turns out, that my mum already has the plant in her garden, and she's gonna split it for me - Result!!

My search for the Estonian translation of the word Ajuga is NOT over!! Very frustrating indeed - Thanks Kris!! X

My quest for my "quick quack" badge continues!! Relentless, ain't it??

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

All things bright and beautiful....

.... all foxes great and small.

There is a company in England that makes hats - Unfortunately for me, I can't find a website for them, and I am not about to start phoning them up to offer my services, either as website designer, or consultant.



It seems I am now a registered trademark, and about time too!!

I have also been trying to buy the following plant:

Ajuga Arctic Fox

But nobody has them in stock, I guess it's just not my season.

I'm now on Beta Blogger, which I always thought was something to do with your thyroid gland or something (perhaps not!). There's some snazzy new features, and I have to say that my first impressions are favourable. The fact that I can now categorise my blog postings should prove quite useful - Something that Blogger has been missing for too long.

At this point, I feel it is necessary to add a bit of yang to all this bloody ying stuff, and get a couple of gripes off me chest.

Firstly.... What the eff is wrong with people?? I know this seems like a bit of an open ended and large topic for debate, but if you will bear with me for a second longer, then I will elaborate.

What the eff is wrong with people, that they have to leave taps running? In visiting the bathroom / toilet / restroom / cloakroom / little boys room / call it what you want, it has become apparent to me that, on finding the "room" completely empty, someone has left either the cold tap / faucet or the hot one, in a state of open / on.

How can this be?

You turn on the tap, you wash your hands, you turn off the tap, you dry your hands - It's not bloody difficult is it?? Do these same people manage to come to work without their shoes on, or wearing teacosies on their heads by mistake??

Grrrr

Secondly, what the eff is wrong with people.... and so on.... humour me, ok?

I get plenty of visitors to my little blog, and although I know I've neglected you recently, I am promising to return to form and to amuse and regale you with tales of adventures on the high seas... ok, low seas, alright.... from the bath.

I spend time adding new music for you to listen to, bring you new polling booths, and a guestbook, and in return, what happens?? Bloody lurkers, that's what!! They came, they saw, they effed off without even leaving a paw print.... Are you all ninjas or something??

Ok, gripe over.... the Beta Bloggers are kicking in.

Played more Gulo Gulo last night..... I am loving it!!

For those of you that know about it - Quick Quack badge is killing me!!
Gulo Gulo....

My new board game has arrived, and I have had, not one, but two opportunities to play it. I played last night with both my mum and my uncle - both have been known to immerse themselves in board games with me before - and I was pleasantly surprised at the fun level of this simple egg stealing game. So much fun was had that I managed to sneak another game during a late night soiree.

I thank an old and departed friend Banjo Bob, possibly the most mysterious mentor a child could ever have - allegedly he was an alien brought to this planet to study human behaviour - more often than not, to be found studying behaviour in the Prospect inn at Longwood (Banjo Bob even taught me to swim) for introducing the word soiree into my vocabulary at an early age - It's a lovely evocative word, and truth be known, I spent my childhood looking forward to the time when I might be able to partake in such activities.

Banjo Bob taught me to play cribbage too, and for such a great gift, I will be eternally thankful.

I never really got a chance to thank ole Banjo for his friendship when I was an "ankle biting rugrat" - So now I am doing it.

So, the Gulo Gulo, is good, and attains a FoXy fun rating of 8.5 out of 10 - Sometimes the simplest things really ARE the best. A good lesson in life.

In other news....

I bought a new monitor for my computer in my new bloodstained office space. It's lovely, and I take time out every evening to give it a little kiss. I know it's wrong to enjoy possessions to this extent, but who cares?? Have a looksee here.

I am sending my new television back to Amazon - The picture quality has been troubling me somewhat, and I thank the lord for distance selling policy that allows me to send the item back, purely on the basis that it does not meet my expectations. I just need to make a phone call to the courier to arrange pick-up. Oh, yes, of course I still have to box the bloody huge thing back up, and my back still hasn't recovered from unpacking it yet!!

Play some board games with your folks, share a bit of proper fun-time with them - When the cash register of life finally adds up the bill, I am sure you'll all be glad you shared the experience together.

This post is dedicated to my memories of Banjo Bob - A true player of games: Mud in your eye, blue!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Bleeding hands....

A weekend of pain, and no pleasure - A rare experience for me.

I assembled the new Ikea (hack, cough, spit, and other tourettes sounds) desk, and drawer unit (which incidentally was of the lowest possible quality, was cracked, split and generally poor - but I would not dare to venture back there to have another day stolen from me whilst trying to get a replacement panel).

I got out my new (from Staples - whose failure to carry any decent desks in the first place, which resulted in my miserable trip to Ikea on Saturday) office chair, and began the assembly. It was a tricky job with silly "allen key" bolts. Approximately four bolts from completion, one of them refused to go in. I tugged a little bit too hard, and "ping" - the thermometer reached the top like you've seen in so many Tom and Jerry cartoons before, and the glass shattered, pouring molten lava everywhere, as the bolt sheered clean in two.

A nice shiny silver peg was left laughing at me, embedded in the base of the chair, with no way in and no way out. Of course, it had taken me so long to assemble all this two-bit furniture, that the shop was closed and there was nothing I could do.

My office would not be complete on Saturday.

For light relief (I can look back and laugh now) I decided it might be a better to idea to tackle the shelves that needed attention. All I needed to do, was to take some old warped wooden shelving off its original angle brackets, and apply the new wood to the brackets. Simple??

Well, the brackets wouldn't come out of the slots in the rails. There was three years worth of dust and cat hair on the shelves. The screws which held the brackets and wood together had all been inserted with a seemingly diamond tipped screwdriver that had ripped the heads of the screws into perfect circles, thus rendering them impossible to remove. The brackets were bent and twisted.

It took effing ages, but I finally got it all done.

I've been putting screws in and out, and twisting allen key bolts, and bending metal and wood into unnatural shapes with my bare hands for the best part of a day, and the fingertips are transformed into pieces of tenderised veal.

My hands are the tools of my trade - blisters DO NOT make for good typing!!

Short blog!!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Humbug.


I imagine you all wanted it, and now you've got it. The grumpy FoX is back in town.


Today I was forced at gunpoint to actually visit IKEA - You can only imagine how much I hate this shop, and everything about.


From the minute you hit the traffic on the way there, to the minute you can't find a parking space and far, far, beyond, it's a complete and utter ordeal.


The rambling aisles, that force you round stacks of jars with silver plastic lids. The disorienting nature of the store is so bewildering, that only a monkey on acid could possibly have conceived such torture.


I find the desk I so desperately need, and we have to queue up to get someone to print out a ticket for us.


We make the half hour treck to the till (cash register).


I pay. We are then directed to a pick up point, where the excrutiating wait, in what can only be likened to a dentist's waiting room is a mere half an hour.


Traffic coming out - gridlock.


I want to kill someone.


I will allow my customer feedback form to speak for itself. (Click image to read in full)


Friday, September 29, 2006

Board games.

One of life's guilty pleasures for me, is to play games.

I'm not particularly fussy about the type of game.... Computer games, board games, and I've even been known to play the odd mind game or two (although these DO tend to bore me more than other games).

Lately, I've been playing loads and loads of Guitar Hero on the PS2 - It comes complete with a George Formby sized plastic guitar that you have to strum while you rock out to the likes of Boston, Queen, and Franz Ferdinand. It is good!

I've probably reached saturation point with Guitar Hero for the time being, and I've developed a serious craving for some board game action.

I'm surprised, that in searching, there doesn't appear to be many board game clubs or societies anywhere. Surely there are people out there who would like to get together (informally, of course) and play games like Mousetrap and Risk mebbe once or twice a month.

If there's anyone in Huddersfield who would like to embark on such a mission, then feel free to get in touch with me. I think it'd be nice for a group of board game fanatics to get together and to bring their favourite games to share with other people who might never get the chance to play the games otherwise.

My latest purchase (in this vein) is a strange game called Gulo Gulo, which I've never played, but am eagerly anticipating.

If you've got a favourite board game, or feel like hooking up sometime to play some games, then give me a punch and we will see what we can arrange.... Who knows, this could turn out to be the worlds first international board game society?? (Yeah, right!!)

Here's a few of my fave board games, past and present:

Escape from Colditz
Chartbuster
Battling Tops
The merry game of floundering
Yahtzee
Backgammon
Scrabble
Cribbage

Wanna play a game, neighbour?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Does it get much better?

Lately, I have a lot of stress in my life. It's difficult sometimes to keep juggling all the balls, all the time. Sometimes you feel like you need a rest from it. In my case, taking a rest from it, generally means there's twice as much to do when I get back to it.

So, the dark mood descends, and I get into a spiral. I think everyone that knows me, knows I have very high highs, and very low lows. It's just something you have to deal with.

Yesterday, I was dragged out of my spiral by a series of sweet events.

The first great thing that happened, was that my new phone arrived. The old phone has been a weight around my neck for some time, to the extent that I don't even bother switching it on, or even using it any more. I love new toys!! (for reference - I have switched from an absolutely awful "O2 xda mini S" to a lovely Nokia 6280).

The second thing, was a birthday present, which was delivered to my mum's house. A present so unique and insightful. Thanks to Pol, and the two Chrisses, I am now the very very proud owner of an extremely fine pair of bongos. I drove everyone and everything mad with my ensuing drumming frenzy.

The third piece of smiling fortune that graced my door, was a big fat cheque from the local council, by way of a rebate for overpaid council tax - no less than £800 (that's about $1500 to my American chums).

I went out for a meal, and the good things kept coming. Amazingly, when I asked for a box of matches at the bar, they refused to accept payment. The Guinness was superb, and came complete with shamrock on the top and delivered to the table. The meal was great, and they undercharged me for it. I pointed out their error, and they insisted that we "forget" this minor issue. Bargain.

And so, mood elevated, ready to start juggling again....

THE FOX IS BACK!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Obviously....

I am doing anything except the things that I SHOULD be doing.



Posting in Blogger is becoming a royal pain in the backside - It's taking forever!!

On the plus side, I managed to get my Pogo bowling badge with a few hours to spare!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

I am, waiting for the man....

The man with a van... and on that van is my brand spanking new HD ready CRT widescreen telly.

8:00am - I am waiting......

9:30am - and waiting........

10:00am - resorted to cleaning and sorting out junk.....

10:20am - Pogo procrastination.....

10:41am - Pogo frustration boils over - more cleaning......

11:30am - Cleaned all the bird feeders and refilled as necessary.....

12:46pm - Drunk too much coffee - made more mess than I've tidied - Playing Pogo and sulking.....

12:59pm - Cryptic phone call from the man with the van - "I'm giving you a call about an hour before I arrive" - I explain that I am eagerly awaiting his arrival, and he says "I'll be there in half an hour" - Go figure!!

2:02pm - I am watching Karate Kid on my new telly - I've got a bad back - 58Kg TV is NO joke on your own. The picture has too much colour and it seems a bit ghosty,so I guess I'll have to spend a few hours reading the manual and tweaking it. Seems ok for the money.

4:37pm - Karate Kid 2 - Waiting for the final piece of my televisual extravaganza to arrive. At least the wait isn't too painful now I have a TV to watch - The associated cables should be here soon. Couriers - Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

The wisdom of Fox states that: By its very definition, Bed and Breakfast comprises of two equally important parts. No matter how good the breakfast may be, if you are situated in a room which is directly below, and separated by thin floors, to which are kept a pair of insomniac, incontinent elephants, then at least half of the equation is sadly out of balance. I shan't name names, because I am sure that St John's Lodge in Windermere are already painfully aware of their flimsy walls!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Hey Charlie....

... it's my birthday..... it's my birthday.....

I'm gonna be partying like it's 1999!! Or perhaps I'm not.

I don't have any plans, and it doesn't even look like I am going to manage a special birthday pint.

I've just got home from a very sunny Lake Windermere - Have had a good old time of it, and returned to copious amounts of birthday cards and texts and chillies!! (the chillies were grown by Riv, and I am sure he can tell you what they are, much better than my feeble attempts would convey).

I've eaten too much, and on the odd occasion drunk a little too much, but why the hell not?

Tomorrow is TV day - For those of you on the wrong track, this DOES NOT mean I will be taking the day off and dressing up in women's clothes. In fact I am taking delivery of my new televisual equipment. As tony the Tiger would have us believe, it's gonna be greeeat!

Many thanks to everyone who has made it back to my blog since its reincarnation - it sure is fantastic to see you all again, and I am looking forward to catching up with all your blogs soon, but then you've all heard THIS duck farting in long grass before!!

Thanks to all for cards and texts today - greatly, greatly appreciated you all are!! It's super nice to think that, no matter how remiss or lackadaisical I have been as both a friend and a human being, some people just won't quit - true friends!! I'm humbly blessed.

Well done to the people who beat my "monkey football" score - you're more degenerate than I.

Alas, and alack, I ramble too much.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

To do.....

I've recently been advised to start a "to do" list. I have been accused of being disorganised. So, much to my own annoyance, and general loathing of such lists, it has begun.

I started yesterday, and so far there are twenty nine outstanding items on my list.

Obviously, now, instead of actually tackling any of the items, my sense of playful procrastination has kicked in, and I am obsessed with searching deep within my soul to extract every single last outstanding action I can imagine.

Where does it all end..... are the following items acceptable on my "to do" list or are they not?

1) Make list.
2) Cross out number 1).
3) Cross out number 2).
4) Have a moment of realisation that this is going nowhere.
5) Order more notepaper.
6) Climb Mount Everest.
7) Get out of bed (repeat daily - presumably never to be crossed off the list).
8) Brush teeth (repeat daily, unless half way up Mount Everest and the water is frozen).
9) Have yet ANOTHER moment of realisation that regular events should not be added to the list.
10) Prepare separate "regular events to do" list.
11) Cross out 7) 8) and 9) as all complete.
12) Be incredibly smug that I am managing to cross off more items than I am actually adding to the list.
13) Cross 12) out.

So, as you can see, my list is going quite well.... NOT!

I hate lists, in all their superfluous glory.

On October the 13th, if you would like to come and meet me, I will be in Manchester, at the Boddingtons Brewery, attending an evening of dancing and puking. Come and join the fun.

As for this weekend, it's my birthday.... my 38th to be precise, and I am going to the Lake District for a couple of days. Remember this time last year?? I went to Scotland and rode my mountain bike over a couple of silly mountains - now THAT was a laugh.

So much has happened in the last year, I can't even begin to tell you... so I won't!!

I guess there'll be an update after the weekend, unless I get some web time at the B&B.

Adios amigos.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Well, what do we have here?

Rather than bore you all to death with the reasons for my prolonged period of absence, I merely wish to state that:

This Fox is back!

I could moan on for hours about why I haven't visited your blogs, or why I haven't updated mine, but that would just be rude.

I hereby proclaim that the Fox is back in blog world.

In order to mark the occasion of my return, I bring to you a challenge. This is by no means an ordinary challenge mind you.... oh no.....

Beat the Fox if you can!!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Lazy Sunday.

Hugh Hefner A.K.A. The Arctic Fox's alter-alter-ego, steps out of the shower.

He dries himself down with a lovely cotton bathtowel.

He pulls on his favourite smoking jacket and ties the rope at the waist. Slips feet into cozy slippers that fit where they touch, and clasps his trusty bubble pipe between his teeth.

Sitting on the sofa, surrounded by the ladies of Playboy Mansions, watching endless re-runs of neighbours, Hef starts to ruminate on the events of last evening.

The evening began with a post dinner cocktail with showbiz celebrity Bez. They had chatted about old times, and smoked fine Cuban cigars.

On to a dance hall, where Hef tripped the light fantastic like a "celebrity come dancing" finalist.

Bright lights, big sounds, and a journey down memory lane to some lovely old tunes. Hef is gently reminded that they don't actually write songs like this any more.

A couple more drinks and into the early hours. Full moon looks longingly on at the revellers below.

At the end of the evening Hef rides home in a chauffeur driven bus, and arrives back in time to catch the dawn chorus.

A splendid night, and one which they all agree, must happen again soon.

In case you wondered, these events are fairly real, except I went out to an old school factory records evening at the Manchester Academy. Everything else you have read is probably a by product of cheap chemicals still washing around in my brain. I accept no responsibility for anything!!

Hello, and goodbye for now!!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

When the rain falls...

Green and pleasant land indeed.

Had a wickedly good and reasonably indulgent night out. Visited a few bars around Huddersfield and got a bit squiffy with the guys. Happy birthday to my brother-in-law indeed.

Today, as always, there is a conversely equal price to be paid for said debauchery. I'm taking things VERY slowly today, and have just (almost) finished a stack of housework. The apartment is almost habitable again.

It's a gloomy, grey, rainy day. The weather is somehow in keeping with my sombre mood. The greyness is shattered by the blooming and blossoming of all things green in the valley of playboy mansions. The world is coming to life, and it's a joyous sight to behold. A range of dark brown and maroons, right through to day-glo fluorescent lime greens are painting a lovely picture through the windows.

I really must get out walking and cycling some more.

I'm very tempted to grab my umbrella and go and take a walk round the lake. The vertical stripes of rain are no match for a sturdy golfing umbrella, I am sure. I can't help sitting here, wondering what all the fish are doing!!

I'm hungry, but don't know what to eat. I'm thirsty but don't know what to drink. Funnily enough, I just remembered as I typed that.... Earlier on I was in the supermarket, and couldn't find any magic cure all soluble vitamin tablets - I made a mental note that I probably had some at home somewhere, and lo and behold if I haven't just found them!! One shot wonder!!

I'm half tempted to plug in the gamecube and indulge myself in a little video gaming. Should I?

Manana bananas!!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

"Time for bed"

... Said Zebedee!!

Spring has totally and utterly burst the banks of winter boredom.

Every day there's a new surprise in the world outside.

The trees are now coming into leaf. My rhododendron is flowering beautifully. There's a myriad of fish in the lake, and they're all hungry. The swifts swooping and dipping across the water picking off insects. It's all happening so fast.

As you probably gathered, I've returned (albeit reluctantly) from my little venture to Scotland during last weekend.

It was the most fabulous time.

Managed to do some walking, some shopping, a bit of eating and drinking... And unusually for Scotland, the weather did not disappoint.

I have a few photos that I was going to build into my blog, but I can't be bothered just at the minute, so I'll get round to that later.

It's been a mental week at work. So busy, and on restricted hours, I'm really struggling to make the grade. A real shock to the system after the pleasantries of the weekend.

Still, it's a lovely day at the mill. I'm going shopping in a bit for my brother-in-law's birthday present, and I'm off out drinking tonight to help him celebrate. Something to look forward to.

You might even say it's far too nice a day, and I've got far too much to do to be sat here blogging, and of course you'd be a hundred percent correct!!

Those fish won't feed themselves!!

Muesli is pretty nasty if you don't put enough milk on it.

I've been swimming this last week, and riding my bike.... I can't wait do do more of both. I can feel my legs strengthening again already.

Ok, I am gonna go finish my breakfast/lunch/brunchtime bowl of muesli, and get a bit of Pogo action.

Happy days!!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Booked it....

Packed it...

But not quite left the building yet!

At lunchtime, I'm leaving to head north of the border, and onto the coast of the Solway Firth for a couple of days.

I've packed far too many clothes and shoes.

It's a totally lovely morning, and I've been for a stroll around the lake where I live. I took a bread roll and fed some of the fish. Some of my new piscatorial friends are quite large, and I'm ashamed to say that I don't even know what kind of fish they are.

Relaxed - It's an understatement. I am in possibly THE most chilled out mood I've experienced in a long long time. The soothing sound of the waterfall comes drifting through the doors, and barely audible above it, I can hear birds chirping.

I am in two minds as to whether to check the weather for Dumfries - I'm afraid I'll jinx it! Oh, go on then a quick peek won't hurt. Fox scurries across the internet to Wunderground, and returns in high spirits - no rain - and that's all that matters!!

As long as I can get to go walking and shopping and see some of the great outdoors, I'll be more than happy. Didn't much fancy the concept of sitting in my hotel room watching TV for a weekend, although it's a lovely hotel.

Right, well, at least I've got an excuse for not blogging for the next couple of days..... See you all on the other side. Hope you have a lovely weekend!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

These boots were made for walking...

And that's just what they'll do!!

Tomorrow those boots are gonna be walking all over Dumfriesshire.

It's an extended foxy style weekend.

I'll let you know how things go upon my return!

I must apologise for the sporadic nature of my blogging. I used to diligently write chapter and verse, each and every day. Lately, there has been a fair amount of upheaval in my life, and as such it is neither right nor proper for me to moan about this, or to enthuse about that.

Suffice to say, I'm still alive. Life's quite different from how the year started, in so many ways.

I rarely watch television any more, I buy cut-flowers for my apartment, I pride myself on my housework, and I observe a hitherto unexplored ritual of male grooming, I have even been known to wet-shave once or twice!!

One thing, that you'll be glad to know has not changed, is my ongoing fascination with the obscure side of life. As an example of the things I spend my time doing, here are a couple of links:

Remember "Twin Peaks"? Wasn't it bonkers, with the backwards/forwards talking dwarf, and the cherry pie, and coffee?? Well, what about that Audrey Horne?? Wasn't she a total vixen?? Well, when Twin Peaks was being shown, in about 1990, she appeared in a rather interesting publication - I am tracking two copies of this literary masterpiece on ebay!

Concerned about global warming? Want to take part in a flash-mob event of semi-global proportions?? Jump for joy!!

At last.... Fetish clothing fit for an Arctic Fox!

Remember my battling kitten? He isn't winning too much these days, but go and give him a hug anyway. Particularly pertinent, as my apartment is "no pets allowed", and I lost custody of my two favourite meowers!!

Oh, yes, before I forget.... For those of you who had wondered in the past few months.... I have wheeled out my bike again, and ridden it three times this week.... Not for any massive distances, you understand, just to get back into the saddle and to start building up my stamina again. I should really be out riding it right now, while the weather's lovely and the afternoon is young... But I'm here blogging by my waterfall instead!!

Ok, well I guess that's enough for now. It's Thursday afternoon, and I don't go back to work until next Tuesday - You won't hear me complaining.

I'll bring you all a stick of rock back from Scotland..... All you have to do is come round to playboy mansions and collect it!!

*** Post update update ***

The poll, and the previous polls, and the annoying music that's been hanging around for so long have all been changed.... finally...... Thanks for your patience!!