Archive for September, 2004

Nick II

Friday, September 10th, 2004

A couple of months back, Jenny, in a comment on my blog, referred to me as a “Pompey Scummer???.

Apart from being not very nice, it’s also totally untrue: A Scummer is a Southampton supporter, so a Pompey Scummer would be a Southampton supporter who lives in Portsmouth – the exact opposite of what I am. If anything, I’d be a Southampton Skate. A propos of not much, when I was looking for a second claim team to follow I decided on Derby, because of the amount of time I spend in Nottingham: Supporting Derby in Nottingham is about as risky as supporting Portsmouth in Southampton, so it made me feel at home.

Anyway, the origin of these nicknames goes back to the thirties when there was a huge docks strike. Both Portsmouth and Southampton docks were on strike, and there was much hardship and deprivation all round. Eventually, without waiting for the official end of the strike, Southampton docks went back to work. From this, Portsmouth dockers started to call Southampton dockers “the Scummers???, and so the nickname spread to encompass the whole of the city, then shrinking again to just cover the football team and its supporters.

The nickname was enshrined in song in the seventies when Portsmouth supporter and folk musician Shep Woolley (not to be confused with american singer Sheb Wooley, of “One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater??? fame) recorded a song called “Pompey Rock???, currently available on this album, which included the lines
You can keep your Scummers, you can keep your Aldershot
‘cos what we’ve got is Pompey, and Pompey’s got the lot.

It created quite a furore locally at the time, with Southampton supporters claiming that the song encouraged football violence – thereby proving that not only do they support a rubbish football team, but they’ve got no sense of humour either.

The nickname “Skate??? for Portsmouth supporters allegedly comes from the belief held by Southampton supporters that we have sex with fish. It isn’t true.

And in other news: Tonight after work I took Rob (TV) – who’s never geocached before – to two caches. He’s currently at home trying to buy a GPS online. The ones we did were K.I.S.S. – although we had to phone Omally for some help with the maths – and Holly Hill and Beyond, where, if we’d taken any longer, we’d have needed the torch!

Subject Matter

Thursday, September 9th, 2004

Like most bloggers, I have a list of emergency blog subjects, timeless items that I can witter about whenever nothing particularly exciting happens. My list lives on my PDA, and is partly a list of subjects, partly phrases that I’ve jotted down because I liked the sound of them.

Lottery Numbers” is one of the subjects I’ve got noted down, and I think I can remember what I meant to write about when I made the note – although to be honest, El10t could do the subject far better, being a statistician and all. Another is the Alpha Course, and you’ll probably get that one soon. Oh, and of course I’ve been promising you all a blog about why I don’t eat wholemeal bread for ages.

I’ve also written down “There is space under your seat for small soft bags“, which I spotted on a moving message display on a Virgin Train a few weeks back: My first thought was that we’d found a new nickname for Jenny, but I’m sure I can do better than that. But what’s really puzzling me is why I chose to note the phrase “He took the precaution of groining himself with an iron bar before going any further“. Where was I? What was I doing? Why did I think it would be good bloggage?

Anyway, I was going to use one of my emergency subjects tonight, but I seem to have managed without.

…As Others See Us

Wednesday, September 8th, 2004

Have you noticed how many on-line personality tests there are these days? Recently I’ve found out what flavour I am (coffee), what movie superhero I am (Frodo Baggins* – huh!), what food item I am (half a pound of lard**) and from this website that I’m an idealist. Idealists are apparently made up of:

  • Spontaneous, not a planner
  • Ideas not facts
  • Heart not head
  • Introvert not extrovert

and apparently we:

  • Make sense of the world using inner values
  • Focus on personal growth and the growth of others
  • Think of ourselves as bright, forgiving and curious
  • May sometimes appear stubborn

I’d be interested to see what those who know me think of this little lot – of the eight items listed I only really agree with two of them, or three if you include the “inner values??? one. Not sure if that’s right or not, as my values aren’t inner ones, they come from the Bible – although I’d be first to admit I often don’t live up to them. Come to that, what are inner values anyway? Surely even the ones we think up for ourselves are influenced by something outside?

For reference, the two I agree with are “Introvert not extrovert??? – although psychologists tell us those terms are wildly overused and don’t actually mean what most of us think they do – and “May sometimes appear stubborn???. As for the rest…what do you think?

Anyway, that’s enough bloggage for today – I’m about to go and do a quiz to see which “Great public building of the Victorian age??? I am. Knowing my luck it’ll be the public loos on Southsea sea front.

*I still say I’d be better as John McClane (the Bruce Willis character in the Die Hard films)
**I made that one up

To See Ourselves…

Tuesday, September 7th, 2004

I mentioned the other day about SimonG dressing up as me in the dressing up game. Here’s the proof:
As you can see, he’s given himself a bald head and glasses, and is wearing a Geocaching T-shirt. He’s holding a GPS in one hand and a Bible in the other…at least, he tells us that’s what it is. He also mentioned that he was acting being short and fat as well…

It’s a funny thing, but SimonG’s impressions notwithstanding, it’s happening more and more often that I look in the mirror and my Dad looks back at me. I saw a photo of me taken last weekend, and there’s absolutely no doubt whose son I am. If I’m not careful, I can even hear his voice when I talk, and see his mannerisms in the way I act.

And in other news…Graham-the-Boss came back from his holiday today and had half an hour’s rant about all the things that had happened while he was away – but he did acknowledge that none of them were my fault and he was only letting off steam. I’ve got a feeling that tomorrow he’s going to find the things that were my fault.

Miscellaneous Happenings

Monday, September 6th, 2004

Sorry about yesterday’s rather rubbish entry, but I really was pretty tired y’know! Anyway, yesterday I planned to meet up with a few caching chums at Snelsmore Common near Newbury for a barbie, some Penguin Bashing, and a Supersoaker fight. Oh, and hitting some caches, needless to say. Sadly the first one on my list didn’t get done, because the church wot it’s close to was having some work done and the car park was full of builders’ vans. I was going to have a look on the way home, but I was too tired by then!

Anyway, during the day I did the caches Donnington Castle, (that’s the castle in the headline pic),
A Common Adder?, and a brand new cache of which I was the first finder, Warden’s Rest.

Much fun was had at the Barbie itself: As you can see, His Drunkeness the King of Sweden* graced us with his royal presence (he was even wearing his “King of Sweden??? T-shirt!) and all told there must have been about fifty of us there**, including some cachers we’d never met before and some we hadn’t seen for ages. Much food was eaten, penguins bashed, spacehoppers raced, and everyone (well, me and Bob anyway) got soaked in the Supersoaker fight, and then we all went home.

And in other weekend news…BBC’s “Test The Nation…The Great Music Quiz??? on Saturday night revealed me to be a music genius. And in the Dressing Up Game on Friday night, SimonG dressed as me, which was quite…um…interesting. Pics of that are here

*aka “Omally???***
**No responsibility accepted for accuracy of guess
***Omally isn’t really the King of Sweden, but we like to humour him****
****And besides, he’s made me an Honourary Knight of Sweden

No blog today…

Sunday, September 5th, 2004

I’m hot, sweaty, and knackered. All I really want to do is have a shower and go to bed, but I still have a lot to do before work tomorrow.

So let’s just say I’ve had a great day with some brilliant chums, and I found three geocaches: I’ll tell you all about it in tomorrow’s blog.

Repeat Performance

Saturday, September 4th, 2004

There was a programme on the radio this morning which I particularly wanted to listen to. However, I knew that if I just sat down with the radio on my knee, something would happen to distract me, and I’d end up missing half of it. The obvious solution – record it, and listen as many times as necessary.

I’m sure that if you wanted to record a radio programme, you’d press a few buttons on your stereo, and come back in half an hour and switch it off. Nothing so simple for me…I have access to a three hundred thousand pound* Hospital Radio studio centre to play with, conveniently close to Tesco. The master plan was hatched – go to the studio, set the machine recording, go to Tesco and do my shopping for tomorrow’s barbecue, come back and collect the minidisc and go home.

Amazingly, for any enterprise involving me doing things, it went flawlessly. I’m now going to sit and listen to the MD and try to imagine what it must be like to be in that situation. And for those of you who have such access, can I recommend you go to The Radio 4 Listen Again Page and have a listen to today’s Unsung Heroes. Especially Scotters J, who I know will feel a real connection to it.

I was going to blog about washing the Gruntmobile: maybe another day.

*Latest insurance value


Friday, September 3rd, 2004

Laydeez and Gentlemen…today I made the year’s first sighting of the lesser-spotted yellow breasted council gritting lorry! OK, I know it’s been a bit autumnal, but really…

Anyway, to start at the beginning…I awoke full of joy this morning and leapt out of bed full of gusto – it’s POETS day*, it’s sunny, there’s a great forecast for the weekend and on Sunday I’m meeting up with some really good chums!

Then I realised that today I had an all-day meeting at Head Office, came over all depressed and went back to bed.

Still, eventually even this meeting was over so I went caching! Someone recently planted a new cache, Portus Adurni, fairly close to me so I headed off to grab that one. It was by the sea so I thought binoculars and a camera would make a good disguise – but before I’d even left the car park I was quizzed about birdwatching. I babbled a bit about being interested in boats (which I know enough about to be able to bluff) and escaped as quickly as I could. There were some nice boats there but I avoided pointing the binoculars out to sea as there were a load of small children swimming: I’d already aroused one person’s suspicions and I didn’t want to come back to the car to find “Peedo Skum” aerosoled on the side. Anyway, I found the cache…

So I went on to another (the picture shows the locale of the second cache, from the car park at the first). This next one, Underground Radio Station -Portsdown Underground 2, is located from the Paulsgrove housing estate, so I knew I’d have no such problems here…if they were slightly suspicious, they’d just burn the car, probably with me inside it**. So I found the cache fairly rapidly and headed on my way.

*Lobster Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday

**For those who don’t know the story: a couple of years back a mob on the Paulsgrove estate tried to burn down a doctor’s house, because they were too stupid to know the difference between a paedophile and a paediatrician.


Thursday, September 2nd, 2004

Apparently, there is a plague of flies everywhere at the moment. Last Summer was so hot that a huge number of Queens were hatched, and as a result we now have a greater than usual number of flies, which are now all moving indoors seeking shelter from the autumnal mornings.

(Disclaimer: The above may be a load of old toffee, I’m just passing on what I was told)

Anyway, for whatever reason there are a load of flies buzzing around my office at the moment, and this morning I decided to do something about them, partly because I’m fed up with the buzzy little scumbags and partly because killing flies is better than working. My first approach was to pick them off individually, thwapping them with a rolled-up copy of the Safety and Health Practitioner – possibly the world’s most boring magazine, but the job ads are good. This was a bit of a slow process, and the noise was in danger of waking up the people in the office next door, so I soon moved on to plan B.

I went along to the Hygiene department (because we’re a food manufactury, we call our cleaners “the Hygiene department???) and borrowed a can of industrial-grade fly spray. This was much more fun, blasting the little hippoptami out of the sky as soon as they appeared – the downside was that the air soon became unbreathable, and I had to don my safety goggles and dustmask.

Then I hit on the master plan: Sitting in the middle of my office, in my swivel chair, I was able to spin round and round, and tilt back and forth, blasting aerosol death at every flying insect within microseconds of its appearance. I suppose making “Dakka dakka dakka??? sound effects was a bit over the top, but it certainly seemed like an efficient process.

Did it work? Don’t know, the air in my office was so polluted I had to spend the rest of the day sitting in the car park.

Turned Out Nice Again

Wednesday, September 1st, 2004

One of those days. One of those monkey days that come round at the end of every month, when figures have to be submittd to Head Office, but departments don’t send in their returns so I end up scrabbling around at the last minute and submitting *ahem* “estimated returns”. And the thrice-damned network kept chucking me out.

And I had to do another job which needed the co-operation of unco-operative people. So that may have fewer percent of fact than perhaps it should.

And the traffic jam meant it took me an hour to get from work to the gym (it normally takes 15 minutes). And when I got there the steam room was out of order.

Then I got home to discover that Postlady Peg had brought me a lovely card from two lovely friends. Suddenly the sky was blue and it was a great day after all. If they happen to be reading this (and I think at least one of them might be), thanks – you never know the full effect a kind word might have!