29 September 2005

Oh what a brave Womble!

Well, I've just been and had the crown put on my tooth. I asked the dentist if he could use less anaesthetic this time round, because last time my gob was numb for about 7 hours. He offered to do it without anaesthetic, so I thought I'd give it a go. No problem at all. It felt a bit cold when he was cleaning the cement off from the temporary crown, but apart from that, it was OK.

At least now I can have a cup of tea without dribbling it down my chin :o)

The final Straw?

Now we have final proof that freedom of speech really doesn't exist. The manhandling of 82 year-old Walter Wolfgang, and his subsequent arrest under anti-terrorism laws at the Labour Party conference yesterday was utterly disgraceful and indicative of the control-freakery that has now taken over that once-proud organisation. To arrest a man, simply for accusing of Jack Straw a liar, is outrageous and, despite the fact that the PM has apologised, the behaviour of the stewards should never have been allowed to occur. I know they're 'only volunteers' but that's no excuse for bad behaviour.

I attended the Labour Party's Centenary Conference in Bournemouth in 1999 and was dismayed at the way in which the party officials controlled who could speak and what they were allowed to say. OK, I can understand that they don't want 10 people all asking the same question, but to refuse to allow people to speak simply because they don't like the question is just cowardly. It's almost as bad as those people supplying lists of questions they wanted to ask, to give the Minister a feed line for the things they really wanted say.

In the years I've been a party member, they've stopped allowing the plebs on the ground (i.e. the branches and constituency parties) to put forward resolutions to conference, thus removing that method of allowing people to express their opinions. Instead, they've introduced policy fora which, ostensibly, allow groups of members (and non-members too) to discuss particular issues and put forward their views. However, in practice, most of these views are ignored. The debate is stifled and members aren't allowed to put forward any new ideas not in 'the list' - it's more of a ratification of the things that have already been decided. The worst part came when the subject of Identity Cards was to be discussed, yet the Party brought forward (and made public) the proposals before the consultation had closed. A lot of members were very angry about that.

I, for one, will no longer have anything to do with the Party until this ridiculous top-down manipulation is halted.

Comrades, the Peoples' Flag has indeed turned pink.

The peoples flag is palest pink.
It's not as red as you may think.
White collar workers wave and cheer.
A labour government is here.
We'll change the country bit by bit.
So nobody will notice it.
And just to prove we're still sincere.
We'll sing the red flag once a year.

27 September 2005

Soggy Womble

What a lovely evening - the sky was clear and bright as I set off for the gym. It's only 15 mins away, so no need to take the waterproofs. WRONG! On the way home, the heavens opened, strong sidewinds tried to blow me off the bike, and I got drenched. Just as I got home, the rain stopped, the wind dropped and left me cold and wet. Typical.

My gym kit is soaked, my boxing gloves are all soggy and stinky, and my boots are wet through :o(

So, I'm sat here in front of the PC with a ham sandwich and a cup of hot chocolate. What a combination!

25 September 2005

What a weekend!

I have to say that the Mabon Rally is the best rally I've been on for years. No bands, no disco, no crap, just an excellent bunch of folk meeting up and having fun.

I had a great time, singing round the bonfire, doing the quiz, watching the viking football and just chatting with friends, old and new. I didn't have such a great time shivering in my tent at 4am on Saturday though. Still, it soon warmed up once the sun came up.

W@nkel didn't believe Chris when he said he had a good cure for hiccups, but it worked, didn't it?

Hi to all the folks there - Otter & Carrie, W@nkel, Chris, Mr. & Mrs Critch, Fez, Matt, Sophie, Roger, Vince, Biggles & Lynn and all the others whose names I have forgotten. Big thanks to Cookie for helping me get my tent up - I owe you one, bud.


One thing I'd really like to know... how did my sleeping bag end up full of peanuts? And what was Chris doing with this streamer? Do we really want to know?

Chris, you're a good mate. Hope to see you at the Hex-Rated. W@nkel, I know you're going anyway, so see you there.

23 September 2005

The weekend starts here!

Right, I'm off to load the bike for the Mabon Rally. If you're there, it'll be easy to find me. I'll be the one with 'Womble' on the back of me jacket :o)

20 September 2005

getting yer dongle in a twist

What a day! Got to work at 07:55, dealt with a punter from 08:20 to 09:20. The bloke who came to install my new-fangled networked copier thingy arrived at 08:55, and the pair of us finally left the office at 20:25.

Oh, the machine installed fine, as did the router, but we had to wait for an hour and a half for the download of w2k sp4 to download from the Internet. When that was done, the bloody laptop wouldn't connect to the network. Then we got that fixed (no thanks to the unhelpful bloke at BT who didn't want to give us the DNS settings) but every time we tried to secure the network, the bloody router changed the IP address.

Anyway, the nice blokey from DocumentXpress managed to sort it in the end and everything was sweet as a nut.

I wonder if it'll work in the morning ???

Oh no! I've just remembered that the boss will need to be taught how to use it. Aaaarrrggghhh! Where's the valium?

Lancashire County Council is crap

On 3 July 2005, I told Lancs CC that there was a speed limit sign missing, at the entrance/exit to an housing estate. Despite 2 phone calls and 2 e-mails (all of which were acknowledged), the sign is still missing. So 2 weeks ago, I filled in a council complaint form. Guess what? The sign is still missing, and the Council hasn't responded to my complaint at all.

If there is an accident caused by a speeding driver, I suggest that all parties sue the pants of the council. They can't say they weren't told.

today's song is ...

Well first thing this morning, I thought it was going to be Pink Floyd's 'One of My Turns', because that was the mood I was in. However, I started listening to 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond' and it cheered me up a bit, so that's the one I'll be annoying the boss with today :o)

19 September 2005

poetry corner

I found an old poetry book, which I appear not to have returned to my school back in 1985. I don't think they've missed it. Anyway, I found this poem and thought it was great:

'Progress'

I am a sundial, and I make a botch
Of what is done far better by a watch.

Hilaire Belloc (1870 - 1953)


There's another poem in there about a motorcyclist dying after a crash cos no-one bothered to help him, thinking it was already too late. I don't like that one very much. It's a bit too close to home. DD - 15 years gone, but not forgotten, mate.

just shove a broom up my arse, why don't you?

I am so busy and so stressed, that if one more person says "where have you got to with my case?" I'm gonna run round to them, rip off their head and piss down the hole.

Arrrrrgggggghhhh! Irate Womble. Everyone take cover, cos it ain't gonna be pretty.

a painful extraction ...

No, not the tooth, but the £401.45 that has been extracted from my credit card, to pay for me to have the tooth fixed.

It's about time the Government sorts something out about NHS dentistry, and PDQ!

Christmas is now cancelled until further notice.

a brainbox in the family

Congrats to my cousin Peter for getting his PhD. It seems that the Antipodean branch of the family got all the brains, so there's not much hope for me!

pain

I'm in a right grouchy mood this morning. I think I've got a crack in my tooth, cos every time I try to eat, it's agony. It hurts so much I feel like pulling it out myself. Anyway, I just rang the dentist and he'll see me at dinnertime. Thank God for that.

17 September 2005

going nowhere

I'm pleased to say that I spend the day screwing the balls off my bike. It redlines at 10k, but still pulls. Spent £15 in fuel today, going round Lancashire and Cheshire and thoroughly enjoying myself. I'll be doing more of the same tomorrow.

I think my bike is the only thing that keeps me sane.

Ah well, time for bed. G'night all.

Congratulations ...

to Medicine Man, for passing his IAM test today. I knew you'd do it mate, so when are you starting observer training?

16 September 2005

Bloody kids!

My 8 year-old nephew doesn't miss a bloody trick. "ooh, you've got a new crash helmet, what are you doing with the old one?" Well tough, cos it's too small for him - yep, my 8 year-old nephew has got a huge head. So he couldn't have the lid, but it didn't stop him nicking my old gloves.

However, the lid fits his little brother, so there's now a 6 year-old riding around on a mini-moto with a £300 Arai on his bonce. That should raise a few eyebrows.

what do people think I do here?

I just got a call from someone asking for the phone number for the General Medical Council. What??? Try ringing directory enquiries!

I wish that I could block withheld numbers to this phone, so that I can avoid the nutters.

s'not fair

It's a beautiful day, and I'm sat in work when I should be out on my bike. Sometimes, life is just not fair.

I am soooo unfit :o(

I returned to training last night and the warm-up session nearly finished me off. I really must start doing situps every day, because before I got to the hundred, my abs were screaming for mercy :o( Even my favourite exercise, the back arm-press, started to hurt after a while AND I got a 25 press-up fine for not taking Sandy's advice on sorting out my twisted ankle three weeks ago (and yes, Sandyman, I did the McPressups, even though you weren't looking - see how honest I am!)

Still, on the positive side, I didn't injure myself this time, the kicks didn't hurt as much as I thought they would, I felt great after the session and I lost 4lbs in the space of 2 hours! I have no doubt that the 4lbs will reappear some time today, though. I don't need a crystal ball to foresee me having a pudding at dinner time. I think it's rhubarb crumble day :o)

14 September 2005

No fuel shortages here

It's OK folks, panic over. You can get your fuel delivered direct to your door, and much cheaper than the prices at the pump.

Head on over to Petrol Direct.

ID Cards

Are you uncertain as to the efficacy of ID cards? Perhaps this will help you to decide.

13 September 2005

an unexpected gift

An old friend of mine paid me a visit at work today, and said she'd brought me a present. She was carrying a large, oblong, cardboard box wrapped in a binliner. When I finally managed to unwrap it all - look what I found inside!

Anyway, at lunchtime, I went off to the shop and bought a new set of strings for it, and then as soon as I got home, I put a new bridge and the new strings on it. I've already had a good fiddle with it (pun intended), but the new strings are still stretching, so it goes out of tune pretty quickly, but it should settle down in a few days. It's got a beautiful tone and resonance, and sounds much nicer than my present instrument. Apparently it's over 80 years old and has been in Gill's family all that time. Her brother inherited it from an uncle, and then it was passed to Gill. She's not played it for over thirty years, and it's been stuffed in her loft. She won't accept a penny for it; she says she's just pleased that someone will play it. I am very chuffed, and feel honoured that she chose to pass it on to me.


US date styles

The Americans' silly insistence on using back-to-front date styles, e.g. putting the month first, nearly gave me a dicky fit a moment ago.

I've had a ticket to see my favourite band, Magnum, for months, and I just looked at the agent's website which said the gig was on 12/09/05. Panic! I thought I'd missed it, but no, it's actually on 09/12/05.

Let me explain how dates should be written - they go from left to right in order of size:

Day - Date - Month - Year. e.g. Friday 9 December 2005.

Right, I need a cup of tea to calm me down now.

12 September 2005

Bad Womble!

I got some very dirty looks in the supermarket this afternoon, cos I was laughing my tits off at the extremely fat woman in front of me in the checkout queue.

The conveyor belt was stacked high with ready meals, pot noodles, chocolate, crisps, biscuits, frozen yorkshire puddings (even I can make those!) & pizzas. Best of all, on top of the pile was a copy of 'I can make you thin' by Paul McKenna.

Sorry love, but you don't need a book to tell you to stop eating crap, and start buying fresh food instead. It's not rocket science, you know.

11 September 2005

Autumn NABDness

Had a belting weekend at the Autumn NABDness rally in Oxfordshire. It was great apart from the rain. Met some really nice people (hello to The Reverend, Tich, Bonehead, Bungle, Andy, & Cory!) and had a good laugh. Tich was a complete star and fixed the electrics on my bike, and The Reverend put up with me being a coarse notherner (despite me being stone cold sober all weekend), so they both deserve medals.

Billy cut his head open, so he went home cos it hurt and I ended up doing the van driving for the weekend, and enjoyed it immensely. Sorry Billy, hope you're feeling better.

Smurf did my head in on the journey home, speeding up and slowing down, so eventually I deserted him on the M6.

I'll post up some pics when I can be bothered. Watch this space

07 September 2005

Potholes cut accidents!

Congratulations to Councillor Andrew Furse of Bath and North East Somerset Council for coming out with possibly the most stupid statement of the year.

Apparently he wants to suspend repairs to roads because he believes that people drive more carefully when the road surface is in a dangerous condition, thereby reducing accidents.

Although LibDem Watch reported this ridiculous statement back in July 2005, MCN only picked up on it this week. On the ball as ever, guys, eh?