Welcome to another set of entries from my journal. This month isn’t as eventful as the previous one, but there are still various bits and pieces to mention, including a training course at work, the World Cup, music downloads and DVD purchases, and other bits and bobs. So I hope you enjoy!
Friday June 9, 2006
I haven’t written in here for over a week because there hasn’t been much to talk about, things are pretty much back to normal.
Work’s been fairly quiet. We have had 2 lots of cream cakes this week though, as 2 colleagues both had their birthdays. And there is also a World Cup sweepstake in the office, but I missed out as I was away on the Friday that they sorted it out (16 people got 2 teams each). Never mind.
And yes, the World Cup has started today. As I write, Germany are playing Costa Rica in the very first match. It was 2-1 to Germany after just 17 minutes! England’s first game, against Paraguay, is tomorrow. And Rooney has been the only subject of discussion on the news about it, which has got rather boring. He’s been trying to get his foot fixed in time to be able to play, and he has been given the go-ahead to be there. He might play in the group stages, but it’s more likely (and would make more sense) to wait until the quarter-finals onwards. Whether he is fully fit, we don’t know, and surely he’ll be a target for some of the more devious players, who may only have to trip him up to bring the injury back.
Anyway, I don’t know if we’ll win, but we should be able to give it a pretty good shot. It’ll be interesting to see how the young Theo Walcott gets on as well. I’m not a very big fan of football, but it’s not hard to pay some attention with a big tournament like this. It is only once every 4 years after all.
The single for My Sharona by The Knack was next, as I like the song, and the compilation edits I own don’t have the full guitar solo in the middle. Their next single, Good Girls Don’t, is pretty good too.
I also got the non-album B-sides from Status Quo’s most recent singles. And I got the full version of The Best by Tina Turner. It’s very easy to buy and download stuff, which is cool. And at 79p per song, pretty good value – you don’t have to buy full CDs, which is brilliant. If I’ve already got songs from a compilation, I can just get the ones I don’t have.
Mum and Dad have met the new guy next door, and I’ve said a quick hello as I was coming in from work. They like him, and he’s not got any young, noisy kids. He’s got 2 daughters (12 and 17) and a son (19). I think he’s split or divorced, as Mum said he wanted to live there instead of with his wife. He’s also said he’ll soon talk to the kids outside here if they start kicking balls at the garage or are generally too noisy. They haven’t actually moved in yet, that’s happening either next weekend or the weekend after. He’s been getting the house up to scratch as much as possible, as it wasn’t in very good condition at all.
And that’s it. So all that’s left to say really is Come On England!
Friday June 16, 2006
It’s been another quiet week. No urgent tasks at work, and various colleagues are having time off to make the most of the nice weather in one way or another. It’ll just be me and one other person in our section of the department on Monday and Tuesday, and there probably won’t be tons of work coming in. Still, I’m not bothered. There are still bits to do, and it’s been a good opportunity to update some bits of documentation now that I’ve finished going through that Mac manual I mentioned last month.
At home, I’ve been downloading more music from iTunes, while getting to know the music store better. In particular, I’ve bought more Queen stuff:
- Another World [Single] by Brian May – I got all 3 songs, even though the title track is on the album. But the album version has a hidden track tagged on the end, so if I’m listening to it in a shuffle mix, I get a huge gap of silence. Getting just the track is better for that. The other 2 songs are great, including Hot Patootie – a Rocky Horror song! I never realised he’d covered that.
- Bohemian Rhapsody [Live At Hyde Park 2005] by Queen & Paul Rodgers – Not too different from the Return Of The Champions DVD, but it’s still fun.
- It’s A Beautiful Day [2005 Ross Robertson/DJ Korma Techno Remix] by Queen – As used on the tour with Paul Rodgers, I think this is actually a good remix.
I also got both versions of Three Lions, because of the World Cup of course. I also notice that the Crazy Frog has done We Are The Champions for the football too – can’t someone strangle that bloody creature, please?!
The music store also has an iTunes Essentials section, which suggests songs for artists, genres, years, etc, and I think I’ll be looking through those for ideas. I’ve already got a few songs I’ve spotted during that:
- We Are Family by Sister Sledge – The 8 minute version, as opposed to the 3½ minute edit on compilations.
- I’ve also got 3 songs from the Grease soundtrack – Grease, Summer Nights and You’re The One That I Want. I’ve already got Greased Lightnin’ and The Grease Megamix from my compilation CDs, so I’ve got all the decent songs now. I’d never have thought to get those if the Essentials list hadn’t flagged them.
I’m still listening to a chapter of Harry Potter each night, and it’s still good. Podcasts do take priority at weekends though – I don’t listen to Radio 1, but the podcasts they do can be pretty funny, so I get the Chris Moyles and Scott Mills ones. Plus I get the Chris Evans weekly podcast, and the BBC’s Digital Planet technology show, which is cool.
As for our new neighbour, he’s been working hard all week, getting various people in. The electricity people had to cut us off briefly while they sorted out the wires. It seems the original job was a bit cheap, and we had one cable which split to serve both houses. That’s now been fixed to 2 separate wires, for free. We weren’t charged extra for our electricity because of it, but it’s probably safer this way anyway. They should be moving in properly tomorrow I think.
The news has been mainly dominated by the World Cup of course. England won their game against Trinidad & Tobago last night, 2-0. It was a rubbish game, mind you, until we scored those 2 in the last 10 minutes and in stoppage time. Wayne Rooney was brought on after all the hype, but didn’t make much of an impact. Aaron Lennon, who came on at the same as Rooney, was better.
And in TV news, Billie Piper is leaving Doctor Who at the end of this series, although they won’t confirm if she’s being killed off. There had been rumours of her leaving quite early on in this new run, but they’d quietened the stories down initially. But we’re up to episode 10 of 13 this weekend, so they couldn’t keep it quiet much longer. And it’ll make people watch the last few episodes I’m sure. It’s been another great series.
Friday June 23, 2006
Today I joined one of my work colleagues to do the Health & Safety course at South Devon College. It was pretty good for getting the basics, and the guy who taught it was good, getting us involved with ideas and things. There was a 30-question multiple choice test at the end, from which we need to get 20 right. It seemed pretty easy, but we’ll have to wait and see when I get the results. I’m going to ask my manager if I can do the 4-day First Aid course next, as my colleague’s done it and says it was good. She’s got a refresher course on it in November, which you have to do every few years. And it’s useful in general life, not just work.
The day also gave me a chance to get to know this particular colleague a bit better, as we don’t get to chat much as we work in separate rooms (she’s in the admin office). She’s getting married in September (that much I did already know), and their honeymoon is in Hong Kong and Singapore and other places nearby. Her husband’s a gas worker who’s got to be ‘on call’ every so often, in order to deal with emergencies, not just at people’s houses but also places like residential homes – which is a bit frustrating if he had planned to go out in the evenings!
She’s been at the Council for 6 years, which is actually more than another colleague who I thought had been there much longer. She got an NVQ and started working at 17, working with a couple of window companies and another council, before ending up where she is now.
And as for music, she likes older stuff, a bit like me. She likes 60s stuff, Burt Bacharach and that sort of thing, which is cool. She’s not a lot into modern stuff, which surprised me. She doesn’t like it when people re-use or sample music, like with rap songs. She’s like me – her parents played old stuff, so she got into it like that.
And talking of music, I have bought more music from iTunes. That’ll be a regular occurrence now I expect, so I won’t keep listing what I buy. I also got an Amazon order this week though – the next series each of You Rang, M’Lord? and Are You Being Served? on DVD, and I also got some blank DVDs and CDs. I’ve backed up all my music onto DVD now – it took 7 discs, which is pretty impressive. The CDs might come in handy, but not as I’d hoped – it turns out you can’t make MP3 CDs of music and audiobooks from the iTunes Store, as it’s copy-protected. So I couldn’t burn the Harry Potter audiobook on to a disc for my parents, which is a bit annoying. But it’s not important, just a frustration.
As for the news this week, there have been a few little bits here and there:
- England play Ecuador in the last 16 on Sunday after drawing 2-2 with Sweden. The match wasn’t great, but a bit better than the first couple I guess. Michael Owen’s out of the championship though – he did his ankle in within the first minute of the match! Rooney’s still around though, and was in that match from the start. Theo Walcott hasn’t been used yet.
- Children who were disappointed after falling victim to World Cup ticket fraud have now been given free tickets to quarter final matches after Tony Blair stepped in and the government made a deal with the FA.
- Complete face transplants for serious burns victims are being considered, following the success of a partial transplant on a woman earlier this year. There are ethical and practical considerations to discuss first, though.
- Top Of The Pops ends next month after over 40 years. The competition from music channels and the internet has proved too much. TOTP doesn’t fit in.
- Craig Charles is suspended from Coronation Street over allegations of taking drugs, which is a shame if it’s true. I wish they’d sort out the Red Dwarf movie though.
- The Who performed in Leeds again last weekend to launch their new tour, and a plaque was unveiled. The gig got rave reviews, some saying it was better than the original Leeds show. Live At Leeds has often been voted the best live album of all time.
- A town-centre scrum erupted in Aberystwyth in Wales when a mystery man hurled what is thought to be thousands of pounds in the air. People on the road crossing where he threw the money stuffed their pockets and wallets with the cash, and it was also caught on CCTV.
- Cadbury have withdrawn 1 million chocolate bars from shop shelves over salmonella fears.
- A 175-year-old giant tortoise, believed to have been studied by famed English naturalist Charles Darwin, has died in Australia after a short illness.
And that’s about all I can think of. Next week is pretty much back to normal at work with everyone back. But there is the World Cup and Wimbledon for the sports fans. It’ll be interesting to see how far Tim Henman gets before he loses…
Friday June 30, 2006
It’s been a very quiet, uneventful week to be honest. At work, we’ve got a new preview tool up and running (a couple of glitches, but nothing too bad). And at home, nothing important has happened, other than me being booked in for a dental check-up at the end of next month.
As for the news, that’s been fairly quiet as well, apart from various things in the Middle East, and Labour doing badly in the UK by-elections. In the World Cup, England are playing Portugal tomorrow in the quarter final. And in Wimbledon, Tim’s already out – he was drawn against Federer, one of the top world players, in the second round, so he never had much of a chance.
And that really is about it. Not all weeks can be jam-packed of stuff. At least the sun’s out, so it’s nice and warm summer weather!