Tuesday, 26 July 2011

From Parents & The Lockout, To A Pure Festival

Hello one and all, time once again for some varied ramblings from yours truly!

To start with, I'll almost follow on from my last blog. Anyone who read that knows that i spoke about my dad a fair bit, well sticking with the whole parent thing its the turn of my mum this time. Now i won't go too soppy as i know she reads these blogs from time to time and i don't want to embarrass her!

Anyway, this past Sunday was her birthday, and to celebrate the family treated her (and ourselves) to a buffet lunch at the local Indian restaurant. Needless to say everyone got their moneys worth, and it was a struggle walking home for the lot of us! My brother Stephen put in some extra effort as well by buying a cake and having it at the restaurant ready for our visit. Credit where its due on that one, it was a great surprise that mum clearly enjoyed! I've got her a present, but due to release dates she's not got it yet, and thanks to that she's pretty much figured out what it is!

Now similar to my dad, I've got a lot of respect for my mum. Parents are often taken for granted by kids but we need to make sure that doesn't happen. She's been through a lot over the years, putting up with us mainly, but also with (excuse the language) the cunt who shall not be named, and various other little things, yet she's still going strong after it all. And of course she has the knack of knowing if somethings up, but knowing not to pressure you into talking about something you'd rather keep in! I respect both my parents in quite different ways, but wouldn't trade either of them for the world, and i know my siblings would say the same.

Ok, enough of that now, time to move on to something quite unique and special that will be going on in September. As everyone knows i love whisky, and probably mention it more than is healthy! Well the guys that run Connosr.com who I've got to know fairly well have been working on what is now known as Pure Festival, Whisky Not Wellies. This is a 2 day event at the Relentless Garage in London which combines live bands and an introduction to whisky. All the details can be found on the website PureFestival.com, and i would ask you to check it out. It's a unique take on a festival and will surely be a lot of fun. I'll be helping out in one way or another, so i will see you there!

To finish I'll just mention the topic i was tweeting about a fair bit on Monday! The NFL lockout is finally over, an agreement has been reached and a full season will now take place! What's better is that its a ten year agreement with no opt out, so plenty of trouble free seasons are ahead! Free Agency now begins and teams start releasing and signing new players, and the excitement really begins to build up. I know i am looking forward to it, as are many others i speak to on Facebook and Twitter. There should be another London game in October as well, but details are still sketchy at the moment.

And that's it from me, thank you for reading another of these self-indulgent entries!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Fatherly Times

Hello one and all, time again for another blog from yours truly!

I don't say much about my old man on here, but thought that i would change that today. You see today is the old boys birthday, and myself and my brothers have just spent the weekend with him celebrating it. Saturday saw me, Ben and dad head to the local Bingo hall for some games, not the most extravagant of nights but it was good fun for all. It helped that both my dad and me walked away winners of course! Sunday we went to Southend to see my other brother Stephen and we spent the rainy day along the seafront playing prize bingo and sticking money in the 2p slider machines! Oh and we treated dad to a birthday dinner as well! Simple pleasures but we all had a good day and it helped clear a few heads after recent weeks.

I don't say it much, but i have a lot of respect for my dad, he is very technically minded and i would love to be able to do some of the things he does. My ability to make, build or fix things is shockingly poor, but dad finds it very easy to take something apart and put it back together again. I remember telling him once about that, and he got a little choked up! But i think both my brothers would say the same about his talents. He won't read this, but he knows we love him for who and what he is to us.

So moving on to another topic i say very little about, Golf. Now i don't play the game, I've tried and failed many a time, so the extent of my golfing prowess is limited to mini golf! But i do enjoy watching it, and the past two Majors have been particularly good fun to see. First the US Open as Rory McIlroy powered to an emphatic victory, and this past weekend as Darren Clarke finally, and deservedly, won his first Major in The Open. The passion shown by some of the sportsmen is excellent to see, and you can tell that they do it because they love what they do! Of course the money helps, but the guys get genuine enjoyment out of it, which as viewers you want to see. No matter how much i watch it i wouldn't take the game up, but i won't stop watching it that's for sure!

I won't venture towards the other sports i follow at the moment, as everything seems to be pretty quiet! It's the calm before the storm though as football season is just a couple of weeks away, and the NFL cba will reportedly be signed this week, so anticipation is building!

Mentioned last time about the quite expensive whisky show i was hoping to attend in October, well i will be getting a ticket as an early birthday present, and it looks like a relative will be coming with me! Its an uncle who isn't online so there's no fear of him seeing this! He enjoys a good whisky, but hasn't been able to try some of the really good quality stuff over the years, so i know that the opportunity to do so this October will be great for him!

And that's pretty much it for now, so thank you for reading!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A Catch Up!

I’ve become quite slack lately with these blogs, so I will make an effort to get them back on track and fill of useful ramblings and thoughts! Well I say useful, but that all depends on what you find useful!

There’s a lot of stuff going on in my head right now, and has been for a little while, but some things should stay there, and won’t be broadcast to the world (or at least the few people that read this). Got a few sport-related bits as usual, work as well, and some other bits.

To start with the most important thing, West Ham! It’s summer, which means the transfer rumour mill is in full flow, and you can never tell what’s right and what isn’t! With us being relegated there were bound to be players leaving, but I didn’t expect to be bringing in a player of the calibre of Kevin Nolan! That was a great bit of business by the Davids and of course Big Sam! I am optimistic for next season, but of course there is a long way to go and plenty of football to be played until I can relax again! The NFL is still on lockout, but things are looking better as the Owners and Player reps have been in solid talks since last week. Hopefully things will be sorted soon, as it’s nearly time for training camps etc to begin, and any delays to that will really impact on the length of the season! No only is the NFL having labour issues, but the NBA is now on lockout as well. Discussions have been taking place, however no progress seemed to be made and so everything has come to a grinding halt. Will there be a season this year? Well that’s the $64,000 question, nobody really knows yet. I hope both the NFL and NBA get their seasons going, as both my teams (New York Jets & Chicago Bulls) are in prime positions to go all the way to the respective championships this year.

Work-wise things are getting busy but everything is also settling down. I’ve officially been a CSDM for nearly 6 weeks now, and we’ve already made good progress with the running of the Customer Services part of the control centre. For me there are less staff to manage, everything is in a closer, smaller environment and it’s so much easier to handle than a bunch of stations with 40 odd staff! I’m also gaining a lot of knowledge from the operations side of things as well; I mean I’ve been on the customer services/retail side of the railway for over 10 years now, and it’s good to get some knowledge on how the whole thing runs from an operational perspective. The railways are operational businesses, so getting the knowledge in that department would be great for me with regards to the further years of my career. But at the moment it is just picking up knowledge, whether I use it in the near future or not is another matter I guess!

Whisky is a love of mine, maybe even an addiction, but I have limited the amount of bottles I’ve been adding to my collection as of late, due to money management and also the fact that I have around 10 bottles at present! 3 of my bottles though are quite special, and won’t be opened until I get a chance to share the contents with one of my uncles, who does love a whisky or two! The first is a bottle I paid £200 for a while back, the 30 year old Tomatin single malt which was bottled in 2006 and is one of only 1500 bottles produced. Next up is the replica of Shackleton’s Whisky, which is a recreation of the whisky found under the ice after being left behind by Ernest Shackleton over 100 years ago! It’s £100 a bottle, and is a special bottling that I’m looking forward to enjoying! Finally there is my Spirit Of Unity bottle, which is a unique blend created by 7 different independent distilleries in Scotland, and all the profits have gone to charities involved with the recent earthquake in Japan. Around 2000 bottles were made from what I understand, and this creation will never be repeated again, so to have a bottle is a great privilege!

Speaking of whisky, there is another whisky tasting show this coming October, similar to the one I attended last year (after paying £95 for a ticket). I reckon I’ll ask for the ticket to that as my birthday present from someone, as I know I will enjoy it! But anyway, that’s me for now, thank you for reading, if you’ve managed to get this far!

To Talk, Or To Write? A Bloggers Return!

You've got to be in the mood to record a podcast, that's one thing I've noticed over the last couple of years doing both the S...