Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Cheap video time again!

walking down the main Sydenham high street I saw one of the charidee shops with videos at a bargain 50p each, and an even bigger bargain of four for a quid. How could I resist?

So four more old fashioned VHS videos, which I probably won't watch for years, but stored away for that proverbial rainy day. Which, with the amount of videos I've bought over the last few years, would be enough for a long, wet spell on Noahs Ark.

for an outlay of only one pound I picked up the following:

'Falling Down'. Some sort of vigilante type film, according to the blurb. Released in 1982, & starring Michael Douglas. I've heard of him ,not the film.

'Hard Eight'. About a veteran gambler, who is on run from the old bill, but has lots of other enemies. Four stars are named on the box. Gwyneth Paltrow & Samuel L. Jackson I've heard of. Philip Baker Hall & John C. Reilly I haven't.

'Back to Bataan'. an old war film, I've not heard of. Or maybe I have, but can't recall. An old black & white film, released in 1945, starring John Wayne. Such is my lack of history I've not heard of Bataan, so I'm now looking forward to this film.

Lastly 'Flying Leathernecks'. Another wartime John Wayne number, about a flying squadron. This one is in colour, released in 1951. There is actually an aviation museum of the same name in America.

Pepsi Max-imise your money!

I was indoors all day today, updating one of my other blogs. I popped out a ten to four, as I had a routine appointment at the quacks, after another blood & urine test. All to do with my diabetes. This was a sort of follow on, after I was diagnosed with diabetes 2 back in January. And these tests were actually related to cholesterol. I knew this was coming, & wasn't looking forward to it. I eats lots of meat, & fried food. Though I also have pasta & rice as well. But I don't do vegetables. Apart from peas & potatoes. Mushrooms sometimes too. But in the main vegetables are what my dinner eats, which is one of my stock catchphrases.

I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. My cholesterol levels were high, but not excessively so. I was told they were only slightly higher that they should be, and something that can be lowered if I lose some weight & sin't that much of a concern. He has decided not to write out a prescription for tablets to manage it. Result!

On the walk back down the road I popped into Somerfield to pick up one or two things & saw that 12 cans of Pepsi Max were still on special offer, reduced to £2.99, from £4.80. Ignoring the reduction if you'd have told me this time last year I'd be drinking Pepsi Max & found it ok to my palate I'd have said you were crazy! At it happens it's actually slightly better than Diet Coke. Which is weird, as I always preferred regular Coca Cola to Pepsi! Explain that one, because I can't.

Anyway, I was at the counter, & as I handed over a tenner for my purchases I was charged £9.29. more than I expected, but rather than query it on the spot i stepped away & studied the receipt, as I didn't want to hold up the queue.

Instead of £2.99 I was charged £5.09! my first instinct was to think I'd picked up a larger back than was on offer, so I counted the tins & there were only twelve. I walked towards the exit, 'muttering' thoughts in my head- 'Fucking bastards! Trying to rip me off!' In fact they were not trying to rip me off. If I walked out of the door they WERE ripping me off.

So I turned round & walked over to where I'd picked the cans up from. Sure enough the large A4 poster with the price clearly said £2.99. Rather than queue again I walked up to another member of staff, by some other tills, & told her I was overcharged, showing her my receipt, and telling her what I thought it should have been. She told me to just queue up again & they would sort it out at the tills. I told her. politely enough, that I wasn't going to queue up again as it wasn't my error. She called the manager over & he spoke to me. I told him what had happened and we went to the Pepsi display.

He looked at the price poster, and read the very small print at the bottom & said that special offer had expired yesterday. He told me I could return the Pepsi if I wanted my money back. Or keep it. I had another idea. I suggested he refund me the change from £5.09 on my receipt to the £2.99 clearly displaced price, as that's what he was advertising it for sale as. Hee, hee! He had no choice but to agree, and took the poster down at the same time!

One nil to the shopper!

Well,well, well!

At last! I'm connected properly at home again!

I've been busy for most of the day doing two large posts on my football grounds photo blog, so haven't had much chance to catch up here, but I do plan to...honest! ;-)

This evening I popped out to a pre-season match at a local sportsground, an easy 15 minute stroll away from home, between Croydon, of the Combined Counties League & Redhill, from the Sussex County League.
It was entertaining enough, & I was in pleasant company, chatting to a couple of Croydon fans I know.

The whole evening got me thinking, & I've now got an idea in my head for yet another wordy blog, from my 'real' blogging stable, that is blogs in my own name. I'm not entirely sure if I can keep it up, as I struggle to maintain all of the blogs I'm juggling with at the moment!

I won't go into detail here, except to say it will be a sort of diary to my season. If it works then I will put a public link to it on my main grounds blog, but at the moment it will stay firmly hidden until I see if I can devote time to it or not.

I'm trying not to raise my hopes about it, as although I'm actually quite positive & even a little excited by it, I tend to let myself down by starting projects I can't finish. And that's without life in general knocking me back when I get silly ambitious ideas in my head, way aove my station.

Time will tell...

Monday, 13 July 2009

At my wits end...

Not quite, but not far off it!

My internet is playing up again, hence my lack of posts. Both here, and elsewhere. You may recall it was fucked up a month or so ago. But service was restored. Last Tuesday it took me twenty minutes to get a connection. Since Wednesday morning-nothing!

I phoned up to complain yet again. It's funny how they call you back if you say you will cancel your direct debit if they don't, once they say they can't!

Anyway, after some more smarmy Indian call centre bullshit they asked me to check the laptop in another area, to see if it was the modem or not. Well I had no choice did I? They said it probably wasn't as I had been getting connections previously. So I said call me back in a couple of hours, and I would go out and check. This was about two o'clock in the afternoon, I hadn't been out yet, having got up late as it was my day off work, at about eleven. So I popped into the bathroom to have a wash before I left. I pick up my phone as I was about to leave & noticed two missed calls, caller withheld.

I had a feeling the dongle thingy wouldn't work, I know it's fucked as they made me do the same thing a few weeks before. Surprise, surprise no connection at either London Bridge, or Trafalgar Square. When I got home they rang back...surprisingly-surprising because it was when they said they would-& apologised, saying they tried to call me back, but I hadn't answered earlier. The local towers were bering upgraded. Hmm...I said that's what they said last month. Yes, that was to check if they needed upgrading, now they were doing the work. Bullshit! He suggested sending a new modem, but said it would be the upgrade work, which was being completed tomorrow (Thursday). He would call me back on Friday evening to see that everything was ok, which he assured me it should be. Fair enough, though I didn't think it would.

Come Friday, & no connection! I told him this when he called. He said he would order me a new modem & it would be at no extra cost...I butted in & said what do you mean no extra cost? I should hope not! As I hadn't broken anything! You're not supplying the service!

Anyway I'm due to have one arrive, sent to me at work, tomorrow, Tuesday. I'm bringing my laptop in to work to test it there & then, & he will call me. If they try to fob me off I will ask come, late on Friday evening, I actually got a connection? But then nothing for the rest of the weekend? It's a shocking, shoddy service from Three. Which is a shame,. as until these recent problems the service has been fine. But when something goes wrong...

So it's only a computer! Am I addicted to the internet? A sort of surrogate alcohol? Maybe? I don't know.

But what I do know is that I don't want to be sat in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous every night to keep sane. blogging calms me, & it's something I enjoy. I love taking photos, & my grounds photos blog has been well received all over the country, and,beleive it or not, across Europe! It's something that gives me a sense of worth & achievement far beyond what I ever thought I was capable of.

My laptop is my emotional crutch. It is the use of the internet that keeps me from drinking & occupied. I am at a loss without it. It is no coincidence that I have been thinking more & more of 'just having a few drinks'. Not a huge bender, I don't suppose it would take much to get me drunk at the moment anyway, as I'm over seven years sober. But just enough to have 'one taste' again, & to 'escape' from the 'madness' that is going through my head, because I am so stressed out over a lump of metal that's not working, which is my laptop.

And that's not a good frame of mind to be in, trust me! Which is why I went to an AA meeting last night, the first one I've been to in over a month. Maybe I don't go to enough of them, who knows? But I know where they are, I need them now & again, & this is one of them times.

I don't know what I'll do if my computer doesn't work. I feel like I'm heading back to square one, & oblivion.

Last Thursday the Supporters' Team had their annual cricket match with the Bromley fans. We won last year, but it's a bit like England & The Ashes. You only win once in a generation. And, sure enough, we lost again, so they lead 3-1 in the one off anuual 20/20 series against us. I was working til seven. But I dashed there & caught the end. I was after the usual team snap, & a chat to our lot, so I could knock up a small write up for the team blog. But a couple of mates started taking the piss, and refused when I wanted a team photo, so I never got one. I went off home, without staying afterwards. I was really pissed off. Stupid over such a little thing, but that's how fucked up I am at the moment, and being without internet doesn't help. Waiting that night at Mottingham station I had thoughts through my head that I haven't had for a long time, & the track did look inviting.

I don't want to top myself, & hope I don't, but I do know that is how I will finish my life. I am very fragile emotionally at the moment, & just hope I can get my internet back, so I get in a stronger frame of mind mentally.

My lunch break is over now, but I've said what I want to say really, and just by posting here a bit of a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Which is the whole point of blogging. I do enjoy it..but more importantly it keeps me sane. And if it does that job, others are welcome to joke that I'm addicted to the internet.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Shouldn't charity help others?

I had the chance to sponsor someone at work today. I turned them down. well not so much turned them down, I just ignored them.

I was at a different workplace to my usual one, as they were short staffed. But I know everyone who works there. Not as friends, but as colleagues. And the difference? To use a drinking analogy, even tough I'm a sober, recovering alcoholic-a friend is someone who would happily buy a drink in the pub after finishing work. A colleague is someone you work with, & once you finish at the end of the day you don't want to see until you get back to work the next day. Simple!

Anyway, one person came into work for the afternoon & she dumped down a sponsor sheet onto the main desk & stated that everyone was going to sign it before she went home! Hmm... I've no problem with giving money to 'charidee' if I'm asked personally & nicely. You know: " I'm doing this walk to raise money for blahdeblah, would you be interested in sponsoring me.." But some people might just have different standards of communication skills to me, so I could let that go, if it's a charity I support, or just like the sound of.

None of that was explained to me though. There were three of us on, other than her. Our line manager put herself down for a couple of quid, myself & the other bloke ignored it. She wandered past at one stage and said that we hadn't signed it yet! She picked it up not long after, then brought it back later, saying aloud again that we hadn't signed it! Fucking sharp or what! Can't you take a hint love? I'm not bloody well interested!

And why not? A number of reasons actually. From where I'm sitting a sponsored event should be for a deserving cause, usually helping people in need, or supporting a community group. This was actually by her local church, and the proceeds were for improvements to the church steps! that's like you or me having some tiles fall off of our roof then doing a sponsored event asking YOU to pay for something that only BENEFITS me! You really are taking the piss! If you were asking for some money to help, say, a soup run to benefit the local homeless, then maybe I could support that. I say maybe because I don't tend to support religious based charidees just so they can show how caring they are on the one hand, while totally denying equal rights & acceptance of gay people on the other. So no, if it is for a cause like the homeless, then I would support someone fundraising for an non-denominational organisation like Shelter.

Mentioning religious fundraising reminded me of the other week when I was out & about in the Croydon area on a Sunday. On my way from the centre of Croydon to the old airport visitor centre, four teenagers got on my bus. They had labels pinned onto their front & back, similar to numbers in an athletics race meeting, which clearly stated they were doing a sponsored walk for a local mosque. Well walking, apart from the mile or so they were on my bus. they jumped off right in front of a checkpoint & the chap there happily signed their sheets, with no mention of their cheating by taking public transport, just a cheery word, and a wave as they walked down the road, probably only as far as the next bus stop!

The 'doorstep' appeal also failed my 'sponsorship checklist' by the actual event. Now call me old fashioned, but a sponsored event should be something that challenges you, exerts you, makes you earn the money you raise for a good cause. This one was a sponsored walk from the church itself, in Camberwell, to the River Thames! Which is a distance of, wait for it, three miles! And over flat ground! And you have the cheek to call that a sponsored walk? A stroll up the road more like!

She eventually took the form away from the main desk after around two hours or os after she'd originally thrust it in our faces. At least she had the humilty not to ask us why we weren't sponsoring her, I think a bit of an argument with me might have ensued!

Monday, 29 June 2009

I don't want to jinx things

But I've managed to log on ok this evening. And yesterday too. Two days on the spin. Which on current form is a fucking miracle! My internet connection has been playing up for a few weeks now, part of the reason for my lack of posts on here.

I use mobile broadband with Three, & i've been with them for about eighteen months now, since I bought my laptop through the gift vouchers I got a work in 'recognition' for my twenty years service to the local authority I work for.

I'd not really had any problems. Sure it cut out sometimes, or didn't always log on immediately, but for just over fifteen quid a month I wasn't too fussed with these blips.

But then I couldn't get any connections at all. So I rang the customer number. The first call I made from work, as they were free to Three phone customers, but my mobile is with 02. Fat lot of good that was, as I needed my laptop in front of me apparently. So I ended up, over a number of calls spending just under a score on my mobile. All to speak to some smarmy git in an Indian call centre! It was clear, through their transparent politeness they they didn't give a shit.

I'm loathe to change over to another company, I'm old fashioned like that, if i buy something & like it i stick with it. But I came very close to stopping my monthly payment from my bank & signing up with someone else.

The stupidness, some might say madness, going through my mind is that it's all my fault. That my life is so shit it serves me right for doing something that I enjoy, & gives me confidence and self worth. Which blogging does, none more so than my photoblog of football grounds, which is actually looked at by people from all over Europe!

I'm just glad it's up and running at the moment, there's plenty I want to say on this blog, but it's been a long, hot day. So I'll chat again tomorrow, hopefully, if I can get online ok.

At the weekend my mate Cookie got hold of a pair of the free tickets for the all ticketed 30,000 limit Armed Services Day at the old Chatham Dockyard. I'll tell you about that, probably. In the meantime I'm going to publish a load of photos of him below. For no other reason than he asked me to, and he has friends in America, & this is the only way they can see them. He did me the favour by sorting the tickets, so this is my way of paying him back.

Cookie snaps!

So here we go....

On the way to the Armed Forces Day, huge Union Jack on show as we go past.

Just inside the entrance to rhe old Naval Dockyard.

Not the best of shots, into the sun, here he is as happy a little boy with new toys on Christmas Day!

Dads Army! With the Home Guard from WWII.

In front of one of the warships, this is HMS Cavalier. This is one of my favourite snaps.

Here he sits in the Captains chair.

And gets his most hated town of Colchester in his sights.

One Medway Queen standing in front of another... ;-)

He begged me to take this one!

Talking about the history of this WWII American jeep, with it's owner.

And standing next to it.

He doesn't like this one. "It shows my gaps!"

Flying the flag for his friends over the pond!

With members of an Essex Battalion from WWI.

Keep the bloody pin in!

Guess what he wanted to be when he grew up? ;-)

Lovely double chin! ;-)

One for the album before he gets nicked!

Told you! Sitting in the cells...