Monday, July 13, 2009

(Nearly) Free Stuff

What a great title, this should attract a few visitors...

So I'm given a gift voucher at Amazon by a generous friend, and it lead me to looking around the Amazon website at their bargains and offers.

From one of Amazon's partners I found a memory upgrade for my Eee PC; I'd looked hard for this, and it seemed to be just what I wanted. Whilst there I also spied an HP inkjet all-in-one printer. These seemed reasonable in cost; just under 11 quid for the printer and 8 quid each for the two sticks of 2Gigs PC DDR6400 memory.

The problem was the RRP for the printer is 200 quid and the memory was available from ebuyer for 17 quid a stick. I knew there was something not wholly right with the printer pricing, but I never thought that the other price could be wrong too (I didn't check ebuyer until lunchtime today).

I had an email this morning telling me there had been a pricing mistake and they'd had to cancel the order. Such a shame they noticed it before shipping, eh? Now I've ordered the memory from ebuyer, and I've spent 50p per stick more for the OCZ rather than the Kingston. So that'll be here friday - I hope it has quite an impact on the computer speed.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


So I get this job out in the wilds of Leicestershire... It's quite a hike from Nottingham, forty odd miles each way. But it's a job, and it's challenging, and it could almost be described as a 'career'.

And on top of that I get to spend an hour every morning and an hour every evening listening to some uplifting and inspirational audio. When we car share, it's normally Sir Terrence Wogan in the morning and Chris Evans in the evening. But when I make the journey by myself, I've discovered Audio Books. I started out listening to some of the Star Wars series, and A History of Britain by Simon Schama, but I've moved up in the world now.

I've reached the loft heights of Terry Pratchett's Discworld.

I've been listening to them in order, now reaching Moving Pictures. Pyramids was good - I seem to have lost my paper copy of that book and hence I'd not read it for many years. As ever, of course, Guards Guards! is my favourite Discworld novel. This may change when I reach Making Money, however, which was the last Pratchett paperback I bought, and I've only had chance to read half of it.

I think a thank-you is due to Mr Pratchett, and of course to Nigel Planer, who really does the books justice.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Quiet Surprise

I really try not to talk on here about activities of my ex-wife over our children. I do need to give a short synopsis though, as it will bring a little light on what I've got planned for Tracey, my current wife, over the weekend. There have been all kinds of ups and downs in my dealings with my ex-wife over the last few years. I've been with my current wife for over five years, we got married last year, and my ex-wife has been nothing but trouble to us and to the kids all the way through.

Briefly then, my ex walked out of our home and moved in with the bloke she was having an affair with; at the time she told the kids that she couldn't stay with them because she couldn't cope with them and it was their fault she was leaving. That came from her own mouth. What she told me was something else, entirely different, but I'd wager you can guess that it wasn't the kids fault or her fault she was going. I wont repeat it here. She has dodged maintenance payments for over a year, and even threats from my very generous solicitor have had very little effect. My kids have deep rooted psychological problems, and I believe this to be as a result of her behaviour. They behave like they want the lives of my new wife and me as difficult as possible, just as my ex-wife does. It stared off bad, and they've cranked it up and up over the last couple of years. Oh, and top of that we may well lose our home, our debt level has risen significantly as a result of the loss of maintenance payments, and this just tightens the huge stress on top of an already stressful home life.

So the effect of all this on my new wife is that she needs a break, a chance to relax and switch off. I'm trying to organise this. I've managed to organise a weekend away, and it's a complete surprise for my wife. I've booked the retreat with our holiday club. I've cleared myself for two days holiday at work. And as my wife's boss is also my solicitor for the case against my ex-wife, I've been able to talk to her and clear time off for Tracey for the weekend too, without her knowledge.

So we're off to enjoy some 'us' time. This is something we've not had since our honeymoon. Tracey needs it far more than me, and I'll be going out of my way to make this weekend as special for her as I can. I'm not sure what leisure facilities they have at this country retreat, but I'm looking forward to finding out. I'll probably be glad to get back to work on Tuesday and recover...

If you have any suggestions for things I can do to make her life extra comfy and cosy over the weekend, then shout up now.

Friday, November 23, 2007

It's been a bit of a while

Well the wedding went smoothly enough. Idiot proletarians spoiled it, of course. Two of our (former) friends, who were neighbours where we used to live, were invited. Unfortunately they turned up drunk, started abusing my guests at the reception, and quaffed about half the wine we'd provided for out guests to enjoy between them.

Then the male of the couple (no names... it wouldn't be fair to expose him publicly on here as a Total Twat) thought it would be good to attack me physically. I need to admit it now, I kicked him in the chest. But he had hold of my ankle, and he was trying to bite my foot; I was only trying to free my foot. The idiot.

Still, he was turfed out, and the police called. They interviewed his wife; the report I got from the solicitors that were nearby (and present as guests) was that her version of events differed substantially from the events that actually happened.

I proceeded to get very, very drunk.

The wine, by the way, wasn't paid for by us; it was a gift from my wife's boss. A lady who has earned my respect, not because of this gift (although it was an exceptional gift), but through other matters, which might gain exposure on my blog as time progresses.

Monday, May 14, 2007

More Wedding Plans

It's Monday morning, and it doesn't feel like I've had a weekend off...

As my daughter is currently living with her mum, I had to phone her and check that arrangements for the wedding were acceptable. It's on a Friday, after all, and she'll be missing a day at school. Well to my surprise she was fine with the whole thing; this is unusual. Mind you, when I phoned her on Friday morning for a completely different matter, she sounded pretty rough - she was having a migraine, and did not sound well at all. Perhaps she was in a good mood because the pain was all but over.

Now we've only got the wedding toast and greeting bubbly to organise (17 quid a bottle from the hotel, or use their corkage fee of a tenner a bottle to bring our own - both of these a utterly extortionate). We've still got no cars organised, but Maxine was dong that, so Tracey is getting in touch with her. Plus Tracey was flapping about her shoes and earrings which she has still to purchase. But she's seen her shoes on ebay, and hopes the other buggers who're bidding on them aren't as keen as her to get them. Oh, and she needs tights or stockings, apparently. Special really expensive ones for brides and bridesmaids to wear. They're shiny.

Now we have 'Hair by Ashleen' to organise. She's away this weekend doing hair at her nan's (Tracey's mum's) where she's to do Heather (my sister-in-law) too, as her and Martin have recently moved to Church Gresley, Swadlincote, which is very close to where Tracey's folks live (Newhall, Swadlincode). So we have to fit other haircuts around that; there's Chris (the best man) and myself to do, Daniel (my son) and Glyn (Tracey's son), and my daughter, and Ash herself. Then there's the bride. Ash needs to practice doing Tracey's hair several times, it will have extensions and will be pretty spectacular. But the style is quite difficult to do, so Ash needs to work through it a few times to ensure it's perfect on the day. She has all that hair to prepare and barely enough time to do it all.

Friday, May 11, 2007

It's all go on the wedding front

Well all is now planned. Yesterday I phoned the hotel where we're having our reception, and gave them the final numbers for the meal and the wine order. There will be 27 of us altogether; one in a wheelchair, four diabetics and no (as far as I'm aware) vegetarians. All I have to do now is pay for that... We wont be invoiced until after Tuesday - and we've still to let them know what we want to do about some bubbly for the toast/greeting. So they need that before Tuesday, too. More expense!

This morning I managed to turn in over an hour late for work as I'd popped into the Rushcliffe register office to hand over the blue certificates that we need to prove we're entitled to get married. They seemed quite calm about the whole proceeding; we've yet to discuss the actual ceremony with them and there's just a fortnight to go. I asked about this, and they were happy for us to do it over the phone, which is good, but they only open from 9:30 am and only during the week (not at weekends) so having Tracey and I both together to call them is going to be tricky.

Oh, and the tickets for the Honeymoon arrived yesterday. That's a bit of a relief. I hope Maxine can still do the cars for us.

Friday, April 27, 2007

More work on the Mini

I've been working hard recently, and not just on the wedding. My step daughter pulled the fitted wardrobe from her bedroom a few weeks ago, the back of the wardrobe was damp, and it was starting to rot her clothes. She likes her clothes, so she pulled the lot out.

Now I had a pile of wood stacked in the garage; what to do about it? Well, the damp and damaged stuff has been thrown out and the good stuff stacked neatly. I did a quick search around the Mini websites and forums, and got hold of some plans for various bits and pieces. Next I got my woodworking tools and workbench out, selected a really nice piece of heavy duty plywood from the pile and over the course of about a fornight, working for an hour or two every other evening (and one late evening on a weekend), I pulled together a new dashboard.

Thank heavens for ebay too - I got a 3 clock dashboard instrument set (my Mini came with the ordinary Studio2 2-clock dials) from a mini cooper. These just plug in; all the wiring is there, all these later Minis were given the same wiring loom no matter what equipment was fitted. It plugged straight in, the speedo seems accurate (I was concerned that the final drive may have been a different ratio, putting the speedo out, butt I needn't have worried). I fixed the new instrument cluster to the new dashboard, and brought it all together. It looks pretty good. I cut a glove compartment door, fitted a small chrome handle and a catch to the glove compartment lid and gave the lot a good coat of dark oak coloured varnish. Sweet.

Now all I have to do is fit it in. For that I need some 2-inch expandible tubing (for the extra distance on the vents) and some wing-nuts, which I'm sure I've got somewhere.