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Down in One .. August 28, 2006

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This weekend saw the good; a romantic evening out at a posh resturant, the bad; an airport dash, fine in itself, but included six hours on the M25, the chav; a guilty pleasure of stock car racing, including a caravan destruction derby that rocked – youngest Son still hasn’t stopped laughing, and the ugly; my dancing skills whilst out clubbing ..

It’s been a great weekend all told, with a perfect mix of friends, family and lover .. aside from the above I also managed a quick Ikea trip, a family BBQ and taking my Mum out for upmarket Sunday lunch by the Waterfront .. get me!

I still find it hard to believe I went clubbing whilst being relatively sober, but it was a very good evening and the preparation for future hangovers worked perfectly. The only bad moment of the night was when four blokes used a fellow clubbers head as a football, but he was still conscious after wards, thankfully, despite the levels of blood all over the toilet walls .. nice.

Me and the kids are off on a road trip this week so no posts for a while .. have a happy holiday week folks ..

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Hello Dave .. August 24, 2006

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Ikea have dissapointed me. I have long been an avid visitor, much like the rest of the nation, to purchase flat packs and kitchen products that I don’t need but feel compelled to buy because they are so cheap. This time though, it’s not product choice nor quality that they hit me with, it’s naming conventions.

I am happy with the lure of Scandanavian names with ‘designers’ pictures beside them that make them look all conquering and cutting edge .. ‘Henskiv’ and ‘Avsikt’ are Sweedish and nothing but, they mean mystery and fine lines to me .. in Sweedish they might read ‘Sucker’ and ‘Gullable’ but I’m not that educated to tell so I’m buying the lifestyle.

With the arrival of the new 2007 catalogue through the door and me thinking I need a new side table for my sofa, I started browsing. Having bought half the contents of the previous 5 years catalogues there wasn’t much else I needed, but I found the exact table for me. It was height adjustable, curvy and stylish .. only one problem .. they have obviously run out of names in Stockholm .. my table is called .. wait for it … ‘Dave’ !!

Bollocks. It was probably designed by a bloke working in the neighbouring Essex Industrial Estate in his lunch hour .. I can wait for another table.

Be Prepared .. August 21, 2006

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It’s a boy scout motto that I have long tried to fulfil..

A few months back after one beer too many I tempered my mild hangover with the usual Alka Seltzer XS to good effect, but thought the heavy crawl from upsatirs bedroom to downstairs kitchen was a bit too taxing on the brain ache. I therefore thought about future occasions and in full ‘planning ahead’ mode placed aforementioned pain relief in bathroom cabinet ..

Brilliiant then when after Saturday’s rather smart night out at Morgans where we sung, danced and chatted to everyone and drank rarity that is Peroni on draft, and then flick of switch effect turned me into blubbering moron on Route 66 .. sorry to all the Mum’s that I see at school who happened to be on the same bus home .. can’t remember much what I said, but I’m sure you didn’t want me to persuade the whole bus to come round your house for a party .. my intentions were true though, I hope the revellers left at a sensible time ..

So to plan when I woke up Sunday morning with the biggest, baddest hangover from some place nasty, that I should stagger, doubled up in pain from stomach cramps to the bathroom to pleasantly throw up the over priced, but pleasing on the taste buds (going down) beer from the night before .. in truth if I had a measuring jug I could have learnt how much I had drunk, but I’m not sure the equation is that accurate when you bring it back up the morning after .. I then reached for the Alka Seltza with a partial grin thinking how clever I was to save me the journey to the kitchen, only to find that although I had the pills, I hadn’t got anything resembling a cup to put them in ..

Now most sensible people would take the pain and make the trip, but I really couldn’t face it .. why do I live alone, why can’t someone call round at this moment and say ‘would you like me to get you a glass?’ .. damn and blast .. so .. I washed out the lid to my Brylcream Styling Gel and mixed chemicals that way .. It all felt very swiss army knife, ready for anything, but the effect wasn’t as instant as I would have liked.

I have since placed glass and replacement pills in the cabinet for next time .. even though there will never be a next time cos I have been through the ‘never again’ mantra many times over the past 24 hours.

It worked .. eventually .. I managed to crawl out of bed about 3.30 ..

My drinking partner in crime called round about 5 and looked like a happy tooth fairy skipping into the sunset .. no after effects for him and he had even been sociable on outings since early morning. Michaela had been away on a full on sleaze hen party in Soho had 3 hours sleep and even her hangover was less kicking than mine .. 

So never again, ever .. and if never does happen, I know where the glass and the pills are, ready and waiting ..

Strike Twice .. August 17, 2006

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The laws of probability are with me on this one. It is highly unlikely to the power of a number of millions that lightning will strike the same person more than one in his/her lifetime ..

Last night we had the storm of all storms. I usually sleep through such things and even when I do wake up I listen attentively to the patter of rain and then drift back off. Last night was different though.

The rain was so hard last night that both Michaela and me were woken way before any thunder claps. It was amazing, nearly denting car roofs and sweeping away the dirt and grime of the day in a torrent like fashion. The drains were buckling under the pressure and visibility was down to a few yards. Quite exciting to watch.

When the Thunder and Lightning started the whole sky was in full illuminated glory. The first major strike impressed & seemed to last for ages, the second was a direct hit .. I have never witnessed my house shaking as if being lifted from below, the venetian blinds to my bedroom were smoking and our bodies leapt nearly 3ft above the bed by the shock .. a natural high indeed .. I scraped my pounding heart off the ceiling and comforted a petrified girlfriend .. it was quite something.

We giggled our way back to sleep and I resisted getting too close to the window.

It was only when I went to turn the PC on this morning that I confirmed we had been hit for sure – lots of flashing lights on the routers that aren’t usually there, no broadband at all and my very nice looking soundcard looking somewhat frazzled .. <sob>

Thirst for knowledge .. August 16, 2006

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In my ageing copy of the Economist Guide to World in 2005 .. (can you guess how old it is?) .. I found a statistic that alarmed me .. In 2004 Defence spending by the US was Circa $421bn a year .. a very high figure when looked at in isolation, I think I could think of few better things to spend it on, but when shown in a sexy pie chart it’s even more dramatic – the figure is near on 50% of the total world spend on defence .. i.e. The US spends as much as the rest of us put together on defence???!!!

So by my reckoning, even if the whole world outside of the US ganged up all of its defence budgets and used them in attack on the US, it would still be a fairly even battle .. that’s amazing .. I am not anti-American, or anti anything for that matter (well ok anti homophobic, racist, sexist etc), but is it any wonder that your countries citizens are paranoid when they see that much of their tax dollar going into defending something that could crush any countries, or any combination of countries, attempts to attack it..

Spend less, do some good in the world like stop using so much cheap oil and cut some third world debt and then smaller extremist countries might like the sentiment and lay off .. 

Oh I should have been a smart thinking politician right?

Cars Geeks n’ Snipers .. August 15, 2006

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts, Kids.
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My weekend was packed full of kids stuff. I had my Mum over for Tea on Friday night and we collectively attempted to watch Matador on DVD. It is a fantastic film, Mic and I watched it in full last night, great acting by Pierce Brosnan with a clever storyline of sleazy assassin made good in a black comedic kind of way. Not at all suitable for the kids though, so after the 10th or 11th super sleazy comment and a lead in sketch into a bi-sexual Brothel, I decided it was time to divert to an alternative movie .. I had previously allowed Cert 15 films on the basis that most TV these days is approaching that level and they seem to get to see stuff round friends houses anyway .. but this one was a bit wide of the liberal parenting mark ..

Saturday the kids and I went for a bike ride & then went to ‘Geeks Club’ in the afternoon .. an affectionate term for a Yu-Gi-Oh challenge in a Scout Hut on the other-side of town – it is full of geeks, in the nicest possible sense of the word, imagine the Comic Book Storeowner in the Simpsons and take 20 years off them and there you have the clientele .. but the kids love it & always come out with a grin. It’s great to see your kids happily run into a room and have banter with teenagers that they have acquainted over the past few months & then barter on level terms .. heart-warming.

Saturday night we had planned to go to the Destruction Derbywhich I was very excited about. The kids had been building up to it as well. It’s a fantastic mix of the social and un-social spectrum of life .. plus cars get smashed up too! However, the weather had different ideas and I didn’t fancy getting my hair wet. Plan B wasn’t bad though .. we went to see Cars the movie instead – plus as it was the kids first time at a late showing, it was all very exciting .. I’m not sure I considered fighting through crowds of pissed teenagers on the way back to the car amusing, but I did laugh nonetheless.

Sunday we went for a long bike ride, visited the local Library (for the 1st time) .. Dylan pointed out that he hadn’t ever been to Library which hit the guilt strings as we passed. It is a difficult age for Libraries .. obviously I support their aims and purpose and if you cannot afford to buy books then they are a great resource, but .. books are so cheap these days, largely to the detriment of small independent book stores, but cheap all the same .. so I would never think to visit a Library myself & I tend to read a fair few books too. As a kid I always felt under pressure to read books quickly to avoid the penalties at the Library desk, so living without that fear and buying the cheap books that I need has resulted in my kids never having visited a Library – I should feel ashamed, I know, but I do use public transport, so have some moral house points in my bag to ease the guilt..

We then packed bags and headed to the park and met Michaela to play Frisbee and football – hard work and most amusing on a slippery hill 🙂

So ends another weekend .. I love weekends ..

Cut your hair .. August 14, 2006

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If someone was about to pay £2m for my services the least I would do is get myself a decent haircut!! I thought footballers were supposed to be role models for todays youth – please don’t tell me there is going to be a copycat Scarecrow epidemic..

Good goalkeeper, terrible haircut..

Punishment on a prayer .. August 14, 2006

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts, Kids, Music.
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No, not a religious call to arms, just a question as to whether it is right and just to severely punish your children when they sing Bon Jovi songs. What are they thinking?? Surely they know that short of supporting Norwich and growing a mullet, there are very few things higher on the list of juvenile crimes.

The punishment when the offence is repeated at volume, out of tune and in the early hours of the morning is also, I assume, allowed to be more severe .. I wonder what Childline would have to say, I’m sure it’s in their rule book exceptions somewhere. 

I thought I brought them up to be good honest citizens too <sigh> ..

Vespa Speed King .. August 11, 2006

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vgp-vespagts_3z.jpgI got my 1st glimpse of the new Vespa 250 yesterday. Looks really good & my friend is very pleased after his first week on the road with it. I wasn’t convinced by the new styling for a while, it had/has the feel of something new and functional, rather than something of iconic design. I am a lover/owner of the PX rangedue to their vintage – that may seem pretty odd given the ‘vintage’ only stretches back to the 70s, but how many 70’s designs can you think of that are still selling today? The can opener and the barcelona chair pre date both, but neither will have had much of an effect on youth culture. It reminds me of my youth <sigh> and yet still looks damn fine ..

I am growing to like the new one though. As with anything that creates change, it can take a while to sink in. A 250cc 4 stroke engine with a Vespa badge on it … Mmmm ..

Vespa have marked the 60th anniversary of the brand with a so called Vintage model .. the GT60.. it looks nice, but it’s not Vintage .. its a GT with a light on the front .. If only Vespa would take the plunge though and put a reliable four strike engine in a replica GS frame – they would sell like Big Macs. The frame is wide too, so I’m sure the engine would fit. I would put my name down for one now, even at the £3.5k premium of the new Vespa range.

Do it for me .. Please …

Other Half .. August 9, 2006

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There’s not many things that turn me into a rant, but the term ‘my other half’ is one of them. In a conversation abut holiday choices yesterday, 3 co-workers all used the term, one of them used it four times.

There is no such thing as an ‘other half’, unless you cannot function without that part of your body – and your partner is not and will not be part of your body. In the case of the match.com advert where the couple are inseparable, you could perhaps make a case, but the vast majority of people that use the term are the same people that complain about couple-dom and married life and crave some form of isolation. So in effect, your ‘other half’ is only a critical part of your anatomy because you are too indecisive or lazy to do the basics of life yourself.

 .. and relax ..