Saturday, December 30, 2006

Party Season

Happy New Year!! Thanks for reading this post and here are my new year duties/resolutions.

  1. Not to get blind drunk on a night out anymore. A few beers will see me being social and at the same sort of wave length as my drinking buddies... but not stop me from maintaining a conversation before swaying about, falling over or generally acting like an idiot.
  2. Make sure my savings include for a new car too... I am tiring of the white monster. She is making me sad now.
  3. Keep up the training ;-D
  4. Look for a new pad to live - somewhere on my own for a little while. Try a new area of the city.
  5. Do something creative with my spare time. Films/Poetry/Photography/Art.
  6. Properly learn a new language - and not half heartedly buy another language dictionary.

That'll do for now.

Cuba

Monday, December 18, 2006

Glum

It's the Christmas run up week people!! One more week of feverishly working to clear my desk in readiness for the holiday break and then I can relax a little. SO the idea is to complete my Xmas shopping (Complete? How about start?) during this week... half day off Friday should do the trick I think. BAM! One hit. No worries.

...just wish I could get into the spirit of it. Time again to off load some recent bad feelings.

Idiot unhelpful help desks - especially city council ones... here is a snippet of a an earlier conversation:

Hi, I would like to know where my account stands please as I seem to be have kept out of the loop of communication. I have just recieved a letter from some bailiffs!!

Yes Mr Cuba, you owe £198. It was not paid, so we had a magistrates court obtain the right enter your premises so we can collect what you owe.

... WHAT? Last time I spoke to you - I dropped a letter off at your offices and the summons, which has been a mistake, was going to be dropped. I am awaiting a new bill! Not a BAILIFF!

You do have the bill Mr Cuba?

Yes.

The bill stands and nothing short of paying it will prevent us from entering your property.

This is NOT what I had discussed with one of your colleagues just 3 weeks ago! There was a mix up with the dates of my previous house mates leaving and I rectified that in a letter... do you have the letter?

Yes we do, its in front of me now.

Well read it.

The bill needs to be paid sir.

WHAT! I was asked to get this letter over to you and then we can try and work out how this mistake all happened!

You do have the bill sir?

Right. I last spoken to a colleague-

-Sorry sir we have no record of this conversation.

Do you record telephone conversations?

Yes we do sir.

Can you obtain the recording for the last one I made to you - is it on file?

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't... we don't record them all.

.....I need to talk to your manager if that is ok. I wish to make a complaint.

I will send out a comments form to you sir.

NO, no. Since this whole issue has been exasperated by a break down in communications... I will send YOU a letter, can I have an address and name to make this complaint out to please?

I'm affraid that this letter may be dealt with any one of around 30 offices sir. I cannot give you an address.

Eh? I need an address.

Send it to the one on your bill please sir.

A name?

I'm sorry, since this can be dealt with-

-WAIT, who is your supervisor?

Mrs %%%%%%, you can mark the letter for the attention of Mrs %%%%%%%.

Can you explain to me why I have been given a rebate for a month which you are now charging me the full rate PLUS...PLUS another £98 magistrate courts costs? Can you just think for a second, why this should be?

I couldn't possibly answer...

You have all the correspondance in front of you... if you take all of this - create a time line of events... this is what your colleague did by the way, and hey presto... none of it adds up.

Silence

I hang up...

Just a quick word to all those telephonists and helpdesk operators out there... I know it must be hard - especially since your are front line to probably the rudest conversations ever... but please, use your noodle and atleast try to help. FACT is - some of you CAN do your job, some of the time.

You have just made my hate list... can't believe how fast that list is growing.

  1. Helpdesk operators (some)
  2. Bullies (all)
  3. Idiot hacking chav footballers (all)
  4. Jacks
  5. Brizzle drizzle

Cuba

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Lords Prayer

So here it is... again; Friday. Let us pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy constitution.
Thy shots of sambuka round,
thy will be downed,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this weekend our premium beer.
And forgive us our alco-pops,
as we forgive those who puke upon us.
And lead us not into Wetherspoons,
but deliver us from beers glasses.
For thine is the hangover, the sickness and the late mornings. for ever and ever.
Amen

Monday, December 11, 2006

Tis the season to PAR-TAY!

Working as a consultant (rather than a company employee), I had already removed the idea that I may enjoy a Christmas party with my work colleagues this year. BUT... surprise surprise... I have an invite! It's a Friday evening do - dinner jackets etc. It doesn't sound too exciting... but you never know. I have been proven wrong many times before. The party has all the hallmarks of a sleeping giant - really! A nights stay at a nice hotel with a bar tab and a swimming pool in the basement....what more can I ask? Rock on!! Well apart from a thick sprinkling of the fairer sex... then the mix may be completed.


Are we talking about a celebration of 80's curtain designs? OR

PAR-TAY!!
Something in between would really be quite attractive.
Cuba

Thursday, December 07, 2006

St Christopher... you dawg!

I had another near miss again this morning on my scoo-tay, this time with a car. As I have clocked up a few of these encounters - I think it is about time I shared the wealth of my knowledge to date.

Bristol City - Scooter/Motorcyclist Survival Guide

  1. Give yourself plenty of space/time to brake. This is especially important in the wet. I had my bike for only a few hours before I had to brake really hard - behind a police van. I did have enough distance to stop. 4/5 safety points to me.
  2. Using the cycle lanes. Only do this at a cycle speed! I was caught out going up hill undertaking stationary traffic in a cycle lane, when a car travelling towards me turned right (thats across the cycle lane) between 2 traffic jammed cars. I get 1/5 safety points there because I was travelling way to fast. I ended up glancing the kerb to avoid becoming a bonnet ornament. Having said that, if I was a quick moving cyclist... the same accident would have happened. So thats a black mark on the car driver too.
  3. When travelling down the centre of traffic which has stopped - take extreme care. I have been almost taken down by a pedestrian crossing between a van and a bus... emerging to find me bearing down on them. Also I have been hit by a car who was pulling out of a junction between a bus and a car... 3/5 safety to me. Both occasions I saw the danger and could not avoid it - so I slowed. Had I been faster.. then it would have been another story. This is a classic mistake by motorists and pedestrians - they are being allowed passage by someone else... and therefore are blinded to your position.
  4. Travelling on Bus lanes/cycle lanes. Again this is a dicey one. Take every precaution to see what is ahead. This morning I came closest to flying because a big van allowed a car on the opposite side of a road to cross over his lane and the bus lane to access a junction. The driver did not see me until I was right on top of him... and he was accelerating FAST! 3/5 for my safety there. This was one of those times where I had no chance... but I still knew it was wet and there was a big van at a junction - blinding me and the car driver to traffic. The car driver has a BIG black mark here. If I was a cyclist... travelling at the same speed - then I would have been broken badly. The lane he was crossing is used by bikes and scooters... he has no excuse, car drivers must take care whilst crossing these lanes blind.

In conclusion

When it is wet, take it easy and be extra vigilant. When you approach a bus or van which blinds you and also any other potential road users to your position - SLOW DOWN IMMEDIATELY! Buses and vans are THE biggest risk you have as a biker. Buses and vans remove all control you have over the situation. When you approach these vehicles at speed... you are throwing the dice of death.

Cuba

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Cards/Cards/Cards

It's that time of year again... Christmas and Happy New Year cards to be chosen. I knida gave up on that a few years ago - deciding that there was way too much pressure to be original, or witty, or thoughful or tasteful.... BAH! So I abstain. Life would be great if I were part of a religion which prevented me from sending out seasons greetings cards... but life is never that simple.

Ok, I'm a coward.

Also; there are sooo many designs to choose from. What if someone else picked the same ones as you? Does this mean you forever have a card twin? 'shrugs' Meah... I 've been called worse.

It's same with birthday cards too. Just when you have picked one that you think is perfect.. you spot another which has an even more perfect message to deliver - and £1.50 less to boot! Wow... I need help. Infact... thats exactly what I need! Help! No - not that kind of help, but card choice assistance. I mean, some people (some rich people) have personal shoppers, yeah? Why can't shop assistants stalk the card shop aisles like REAL sales persons? Rather than cast odd looks at you, when you finally dump the card, novelty mug and cuddly toy onto the cash register, why can't they offer frank and much needed advice to us - on the floor?

After pawing over the 'happy birthday' selection for 15minutes... and finally forgetting who you are buying for - then enter THE ASSISTANT.

ass.1 "Buying for anyone in particular sir?" identifying that you are infact hovering between mother/daughter.
me "Yes please, I am looking to buy a card for my mums birthday."
ass.1 "Excellent! Are you close?"
me "errrr... what?"
ass.1 "Are you close to your mother sir? Do you wish to let her know that she is 1 in a million?"
me "Yes we are, and yes I do - BUT..." pointing at the red glittery card with 'MUM YOU ARE ONE IN A MILLION!' written in bold on the front "... not sure that I want send that one. Infact I probably don't have the money to be able to pay the postage - it is pretty big wouldn't you say?"
ass.1 "Yes, I see what you mean - I did choose that card for the collection to be bought by the more audacious customers" eyes up my grey trousers. "perhaps this one?" Handing over a small white card with a present embossed on it. The message reads 'To a mother who deserves everything she has worked hard for in life Happy Birthday... I love you'.
me "I like the design... but I don't want to say to my mum that she has worked hard for my love." I chuckle.
ass.1 "Hmm" giving me a stern look "since you seem so fond of a joke, may I take this opportunity to point you towards our humourous collection?" Now we are talking! Everybody loves a good joke at their own expense... now wheres that rude one?
ass.1 "Sir! I was merely joking. Have you no shame?"
me "Look ass.1, I'm not sure how you came to be quite so up tight whilst working in a card shop, full of jokes, toys and seasons greetings... but if you continue to be so depressing - then I'm sure hanging around the collection of sympathy cards would better suit your skills"...swipes any card from display "and good day to you!" Damn... how did a 'congratulations on your retirement' get mixed in with the birthday cards?


Ok, perhaps choosing cards should remain a personal thing, good luck to you all.


Gary

Monday, December 04, 2006

Baaaad Beats - OW!

I decided to dedicate this post to the bad beat. This is a term coined by the poker fraternity in order to describe a particular nasty rub of bad luck due to community cards being dealt which defy all odds and cause the recipient to the said 'bad beat' to feel like cow manure... by loosing a hand which they - by rights, should have won.
My kryptonite

Firstly, as a bonified connoisseur of these unfortunate happenings, I feel it neccessary to inform you of how to deal with them.. in an effective manner.

  1. You are at a friends. You have just suffered a bad beat from a case card (ie the only card in the pack which could have caused you this much pain....). Start laughing, but stare off a point just above the bad beaters head. Keep widening those eyes and just let all the laughter out. Stick out your hand to shake theirs in a gentlemanly fashion. Make sure that your laughter gets more and more high pitched as you stare off into the distance. This could make you feel better, but walking off whislt still laughing may infact damage your soul. At the next opportunity shit in his/her bath.
  2. You are at a friends. You have just suffered a bad beat. Congratulate the beater on an immensly well played hand. Describe how you could not possibly have seen that card coming on the river/turn (delete as appropiate) and it was surely a genius play by your friend to forsee such a circumstance. Start slapping yourself with surprise and shock at their genius. Stop when the bleeding starts. Ask to use their toilet to clean up the blood soaked forehead and cheeks, then shit in their bath.
  3. You are at a friends. You have just suffered a bad beat of enormous magnitude. Scream OWWW! Like Michael Jackson would and then start popping to Billie Jean (music in your head). Finishing it off with a triumphant moon walk into their rest room - still busting the odd OWWW! I'm BAD! Shit in their bath. You may want to take a white glove for affect... but take it off once the shitting starts.
  4. You have just suffered a bad beat. Don't say a word, not even when some askes if you want a drink of something to clam yourself down. Just accept defeat and every now and then wimper between hands. Because everyone loves a cry baby. You go girl!
  5. Bad beat comes. Accept defeat with a gracious 'doh' look etched across your face and maybe shake your head in disbelief. Extend a hand for the hand shake then explain that you thought that you saw a poo in his/her bath earlier. Remember it always pays to get your pay back in first... covers the tracks nicely.
You may be forgiven for saying that "Hey Cubes, thats an awful amount of shitting - wouldn't someone begin to notice a pattern forming?" My clever answer would be this. I didn't understand how ingrained in to society all this defocating on someone elses property was until the topic came up in general conversation. Let me tell you - if you poker-it with a group of lads where the majority of them have stories to regale everyone with, which involves the pissing or pooing ontop of another friends property... then surely you are not inconviencing them. Infact you are enriching their lives.

My real answer would be of course... I was joking. Honest.

Happy pokering pokerinos.


Cuba

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Roof tops


I share a house with a roof terrace and even when it is dark... it is an amazing place to be. This photo taken, I think testifies to that.

Now, do I invest in a peeping toms telescope or not.. that is the question.

Great for BBQ's, sunbathing, parties, peeping, chilling and watching fireworks.

Bristol at night blog blaggers... enjoy

I have just realised how serious the last few posts have been, I will try my best to cheer a few of them up very soon.

Cuba calling

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I'm no dictator

I have been living this particular life for 32 years now... 33 years in 4 days (yipeee!!), and ....wait a minute - I said 'this life'. That doesn't actually mean that I believe in reincarnation or life after death, but it doesn't mean that I don't believe... AND it definitely does not mean I want to cash out! I digress. I'll get back to that one later.

Yes, 32 years. My memory is not great regarding my early years - but I know that I could be terrible, this still happens. Not sure why - but these feelings arise every now and then. Do I wish to apologise to anyone or everyone who I have ever upset during my 'terrible' moments? Why should I? This would be my question. Why would any of this actually matter? I see (as you all must too) idiot boy/girl actions all the time - with no guilt attached, not one iota of understanding of how we really affect each other. No harm no foul. I see what on the surface would be considered an extremely morally sound decision - towards a complete stranger, only to have this 'good' work undone by upsetting a close friend or family member by being ignorant.

I have been confided in. Friends of mine have admitted how upset that they have been regarding the ignorance of others... 'do they not know how this upsets me?'.... To put it simply- no. No one does really. We all have our social limits and we all keep treading on each others toes, intentionally and accidently. Forgiveness is this the key? Passiveness, is this the cure? If we turn a blind eye - how long before you feel used, abused and blatantly trodden on? I guess this all depends on how much you fear the repercussions of your actions.

Take this example. A man only just last year was attacked and permenantly disfigured by a group of youths on a bus. The fight broke out when the random nondescript guy stuck up for himself against a group of children, hell bent on making his journey a misery. Taunting and threatening him, was he right to make a stand? Were the other travellers in the immediate vicinity - right not to intervene and leave a heavily out numbered man to be brutally kicked, punched and stabbed to within an inch of his life? When is enough, enough? In this case the repercussions for the man were serious. Should we all avoid this kind of situation - knowing how quickly the stakes can be increased? There is definitely an argument for walking away there.

Who backs down? Who has the most to loose? What are the odds that you will be the one in physical or emotional debt? These are indeed, all factors to consider.

I guess it all comes back to life experiences. If you have been bullied, then what makes you want to do the same to another person? Filling that void of low self esteem, by flexing your muscles and controlling someone else? I say that we can prevent this awful cycle of abuse from repeating itself, once we have understood what drives us to do what we fear the most... and that is hurt the people we love and care for.

If I were that gentleman on the bus, would I have fought back. Damn right I would. If all other reasonable actions failed and calming the situation down was not working... then yes, I would be fighting back at injustice. The reason? Because I am selfish. In the heat of the moment when everything that I own is on the line... my thoughts would not be of anyone who knows me, loves me or cares for me. My thoughts would be - how can I get myself into and out of this situation, teach the evil doers a lesson and still walk away intact. Not one thought spared for anyone I know. This makes me feel pretty sick.

I'm not sure whether this nature or nurture speaking to me - all I can surmise is that I had better change my nature pretty quickly. Especially since I have found myself in similar situations just recently where I decided to back down and save it for another day... ticking time bomb.

We all do things a little crazy every now and again, I'm sure of that. We can however make a difference by reflecting upon our actions and atleast attempting to make good on our word, and look upon each other as fellow human beings rather than the next shmuck who is going to be trodden on... because someone has done that to you in the past... or simply, you do it because you can.

I hope in my heart that we all do not have to learn these life lessons the hard way, but if this is the only way - then bring on the abuse people. I choose to break that cycle, and it ends with me. No more hazardous social waste by-products will be spewed into other peoples lives through me. Tolerance for idiots is now at zero, forgiveness for people who deserve it at a maximum.

Amen

Friday, December 01, 2006

Celebrity twins

I wouldn't exactly call Nicholas Hammond a celebrity (well not in the last 3 decades)... but still, check out the pics below.

Ollie and Nick, separated at birth? You decide.

Incase you didn't know who Nick Hammond is, I can inform you that he played Peter Parker aka Spiderman in the hit 70's shows and film.
I think the likeness is spooky... you go web head!
Cuba

Cracking up

Hey! Well it's still not official, but the pain and discomfort is enough to tell me that cracked ribs are what I have. You will be pleased to know that I am no longer swearing quite so much, as I have found quite an upbeat article on training with cracked ribs! Wow!

http://www.davedraper.com/cracked-ribs.html

This is cool. I have a gym in my bedroom, so light training to keep my body pumping and in good working order should be possible. I will be out of football or any other vigorous exercise for 6 weeks now.... infact a week before I head off on my first snowboarding holiday next year. Perfect, so things are looking a little more cheery now :-) The down side is not being able to skate during this time.... hmmmmm... I will have an awful amount of time to myself over the next month or so. Lucky it's christmas soon.

I may even finally buy that camcorder I have always pined after and edit together some video clips of the guys playing footie. This would make for great practice in readiness for the snowboarding.... BO!

edit; my ribs are feeling much better today - even without pain reflief. Over the moon....only 5 weeks and 6 days to go... fingers crossed.



Cuuuuu
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