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Author Topic: The good morning, good night thread  (Read 589644 times)
delboy
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« Reply #825 on: February 21, 2009, 01:04:05 AM »

I'm off at the moment - a well deserved fortnight's leave. Lucky thing, too. Last week the dog spent two crazy nights howling and barking and growling at nothing and kept us all awake until 3.30am twice. Them's the days you don't want to have to get up and go to work in the morning!

And last night my house alarm suddenly started to go off (the internal warning alarm - still plenty loud enough to keep everyone awake, but luckily not disturbing the neighbours) every hour. Looks like the battery has had it so the alarm is letting us know. Thanks alarm, once would've have been fine... but every hour! There doesn't appear to be anyway to turn it off other than tapping in the code... and then an hour later it goes off again. So I've been up since 3.00 am on alarm code tapping duty. Just me and my cup of coffee. Tomorrow I shall either need to source a battery and have a go at swapping it out or I shall call out the professionals... probably the latter.

On the bright side, I've already spent two hours writing, and it's only six am.

Them's also the days when you don't want to have to go to work in the morning!

Derek
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« Reply #826 on: February 21, 2009, 02:23:03 AM »

Sounds like you might have mice, Del. We had the same thing happening, and that's what it turned out to be - they were getting in through a broken airbrick. All this cold weather will have sent them scurrying into different territories in search of food, I expect.

Dogs hear them scratching around in the ceilings and behind the skirting boards, and when they can't hear them they can smell them. That will keep them barking and whining indefinitely. If the mice get out into the rooms they set off the PIR sensors, so your house alarm will keep going off, too. Really annoying.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #827 on: February 21, 2009, 01:42:13 PM »

I heard back from Hadley Rille books today. I'd submitted a story for their Footprint anthology, it made the final list  cheers but not the final selection  Sad
It is a bit of a downer to get close but not make it, it's happened a fair few times now, but a least they didn't laugh themselves silly when they saw it, which is a bonus.
I like this writing stuff, not sure if I've got the knack of it yet, or if I ever will, but when a story starts flowing, which is less often than I would like it to be, it can even be fun.
Ho hum, back to the drawing board.   
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« Reply #828 on: February 23, 2009, 05:39:49 PM »

That's a bummer alright, but still an achievement to make the shortlist. I've just received yet another rejection for my critically acclaimed Black Pearl story - I think it's probably time to give up on that one rolleyes

Still, on the upside, I've had a couple of job offers over the past couple of days, but the guy I'm working for at the moment says he's confident he's got enough work to keep me going, so I'll probably stick where I am for a while at least. I said to my wife when the new build work went tits-up that my ambition for this recession is to just keep working, with the aim of keeping our savings intact so we can take advantage of the opportunities it's likely to throw up later down the line. Last time we had a biggish recession we had to spend all our savings in order to stay on an even keel.

On an unrelated 'note', here's Seasick Steve. A man who truly understands music, I think:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Px8R2a7ZLpA&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/Px8R2a7ZLpA&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1</a>

BTW, Del - you would know this - is that guitar he's using tuned to one chord?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 05:47:21 PM by Ed » Logged

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« Reply #829 on: February 25, 2009, 03:46:08 PM »

Keep submitting, Caz. Have faith in  your work and one day an editor will have a slot begging  for it.

My legs are like jelly. Why?
Yesterday I set off to cycle the 38 miles from Chester to Urmston in Trafford, west Manchester to see them. I don't like getting shouted at on the motorway so I used the Cheshire Cycleway through bylanes and Delemere Forest. I got a bit lost so the journey took nearer 50 miles and just over 3 hours! Today I returned but I got lost in a different place and a gale tried to prevent me reaching home. My face is red from getting lost and from windburn but it is worth it to have played with and cuddled little Oliver - and my daughter!

Geoff
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« Reply #830 on: February 26, 2009, 03:20:17 AM »

Quote
TW, Del - you would know this - is that guitar he's using tuned to one chord?

Yep. You can do some very nice sounding stuff when tuned to an open chord. The thumb playing the bass notes and the slide playing a melody on top. Classic stuff!

Saw an interesting documentary on Seasick Steve a few weeks ago when he drove round a few of his old haunts in Mississippi. An interesting and engaging guy who - when he chooses to - can play and sing exceptionally well!

Quote
I got a bit lost so the journey took nearer 50 miles and just over 3 hours!

Good going Geoff. Yesterday I set off on a route to tackle a hill that beat me last year... and it beat me again. It was a 30 mile round trip and that took me two and a half hours. I can't figure out why this particular hill is getting to me. It's 14-16% at it's worst, and I've cycled up steeper (though admittedly, that was last summer, and I'm currently out of practice). Some of these hills  just seem to be steeper 14%s than others. Might have to get some lower gears. I run a compact chainset - so smallest front cog is 34 - and I have a 25 on the back. I'm wondering if a triple on the front would make all the difference, although the cost of change would be exorbitant and really it's simple a excuse to stop considering a new bike...

Derek
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« Reply #831 on: February 26, 2009, 03:04:45 PM »

That's a bummer alright, but still an achievement to make the shortlist.

Keep submitting, Caz. Have faith in  your work and one day an editor will have a slot begging  for it.

Thanks for the encouraging words Ed and Geoff, it means a lot.  smiley
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« Reply #832 on: February 28, 2009, 06:48:27 PM »

Del, I have a triple and it  helps a lot. I still have to dismount & push my pushbike especially with full panniers. Losing a few kg from my belly helps too!

Geoff
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« Reply #833 on: March 01, 2009, 05:29:20 AM »

I was supposed to be working today, but escaped at the eleventh hour, much to my relief - I felt exhausted by the end of Friday, and the thought of having to work today made me very unhappy. Annoyingly, I awoke at five to seven this morning thinking it was Monday morning. In my confused state, I cursed at how short the weekend had been and tried to work out exactly what I had done with it. Confronted by the prospect of a missing day, I finally gave up trying to figure out what I'd done on Sunday and checked my watch to confirm what day it was.

Although it was a relief to find out the truth I was too awake to go back to sleep, so ended up getting up early anyway rolleyes

Quote
TW, Del - you would know this - is that guitar he's using tuned to one chord?

Yep. You can do some very nice sounding stuff when tuned to an open chord. The thumb playing the bass notes and the slide playing a melody on top. Classic stuff!

Saw an interesting documentary on Seasick Steve a few weeks ago when he drove round a few of his old haunts in Mississippi. An interesting and engaging guy who - when he chooses to - can play and sing exceptionally well!



I would love to be able to play like that. I watched a few of his vids on youtube, and he can still kick up a storm on a one string diddley bow - amazing. There's something to be said for the hobo lifestyle. You'd surely get all the time in the world to practise, wouldn't you? Sometimes I wonder how many more skills, how many more books I would have read, how much more I would have written, if it weren't for the combined distractions of work, TV and computer grin
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 05:44:29 AM by Ed » Logged

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« Reply #834 on: March 01, 2009, 03:06:44 PM »


Quote
I would love to be able to play like that. I watched a few of his vids on youtube, and he can still kick up a storm on a one string diddley bow - amazing. There's something to be said for the hobo lifestyle. You'd surely get all the time in the world to practise, wouldn't you? Sometimes I wonder how many more skills, how many more books I would have read, how much more I would have written, if it weren't for the combined distractions of work, TV and computer

The great connundrum! How to fund a lifestyle that will allow one to become good enough to make a living at something whilst practicing that very thing, rather than working...

Here's a somewhat less successful musician messing about on an open chord:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/1FeKGZyALNI&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/1FeKGZyALNI&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1</a>

Regards,

Del

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« Reply #835 on: March 01, 2009, 06:12:11 PM »

Nice one, Del - thanks for that smiley
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« Reply #836 on: March 02, 2009, 03:27:21 PM »

Urgh - first time I've been able to get online today. I woke up to a power cut this morning, so had to forgo my usual first cup of tea until I had trudged up to the top shed in my dressing gown and crocks to retrieve our camping stove. From there I lit the woodburner to get some heat into the house, treated myself to a lukewarm shower, and then struggled to get my van out of the garage, because it has an electric door opener fitted, which I had to disengage and then haul open without the aid of counterweights.

Great start to the day.

Turns out, though, most of our neighbours still had power. I guess just the one phase was out, and it just happened to be the one we're on rolleyes
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« Reply #837 on: March 03, 2009, 02:53:11 PM »

Not sure what to do for the best about placing our eldest son in the right secondary school in September, so any input is appreciated. We had a tour of three schools in our area. One (my old school) looked very run down, the kids looked rough, the teachers seemed bedraggled, and the whole place left me cold, so we didn't apply for that one.

The second was my wife's old school, and it seemed a fair bit better in comparison, but some pieces of equipment, for instance this mixing desk, were still around from when my wife went there twenty-five years ago, FFS, and their gfx department was on Photoshop version four, whereas I've got version nine on my comp. It all looked a bit worn and shabby, and I didn't much like the teachers that I spoke to. This is the school my nipper wants to go to, because most of his friends are going to go there and he seems to think he's going to get an easy ride there.

The last school we looked around was immaculate. The place was built in the mid nineties, whereas the other two were built in the sixties, so the architecture was far more pleasant from an aesthetic point of view, plus the classrooms had tons of natural light, as well as being well heated and spacious. Each of the classrooms were well equipped with new and well maintained machinery, every room had interactive white boards and the computer suites looked fantastic. It's also a C of E school, run by a board of governors independent of the local education authority. The only problem is this school is outside of our catchment area - the first school is the one my nipper is meant to go on to from his present school.

We applied for him to got to the third school and the second school was our second choice. He's been granted a place at the second school, but refused a place at the third.

Now, here's the dilemma - if we appeal, there's a reasonable chance that we can get him into the third school, but he really doesn't want to go there, because all his current friends will be going to one of the other two schools, and because he thinks it looks like hard work there, and the others looked easier rolleyes There's also the issue of transport. All three schools would require him to take a bus journey to reach them, but the closest place the third school picks up to us is about a mile and a half away, so we would have to give him a lift to catch the bus, which isn't ideal. Then of course his brother will follow on behind him in two years time, so we're potentially looking at another nine years of having to drop off and pick up every day and work it around a workday.

So here's the question - which school do we send him to - the one that's clearly the best, but harder work all round, with no friends to start with, or do we take the easy option?
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« Reply #838 on: March 03, 2009, 04:29:14 PM »

I would go for the one you feel would set him up best for the future.
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« Reply #839 on: March 03, 2009, 06:52:24 PM »

Disclaimer: I don't have kids of my own... but if I did, I'd want them to go to the best schools with the best equipment and nicest surroundings. Even though I'm leery of religion itself, it seems probable that the third school would do a far better job of educating your kid(s) than the "local education authority."

That being said, you have the issue of your nipper hating you (at least for a while) if you force him to be separated from all his friends. Are his current friends ones that are worth keeping, or would he be better off separated from them? Does he even care about ancient versions of Photoshop? If not, you're going to have trouble selling him on the strong points of the better school. But if he likes his speedy Internet connection and latest versions of software, and nice warm classrooms in the winter, then you stand a chance of persuading him on the merits.

I don't know if any parent can be objective about his own offspring, but the final consideration should probably be based on his aptitude. If he's bright but lazy, he probably needs the push (third school). If he's average and very sociable, maybe leaving him in the second school would produce the best outcome. Not everyone is destined to be a scholar. What does he want to be when he grows up? That, too, should play a part in the decision.
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