Archive for April, 2005


Sunday, April 10th, 2005

You’re not getting much of a blog today I’m afraid.

I’ve already spent far too much of today in front of the darned computer, so much so that I haven’t done a job on the caravan, and another on the car, which were both scheduled for today. On the other hand, I have written the web page for my new geocache, so all I have to do now is go and physically place it, do a final check on the co-ordinates, and it’ll be ready to go. The “proper” Groundspeak page can only be seen by me until it’s approved and has gone live, but people who are setting Blog Standard caches (and anyone else I choose to give the password to!) can see what I’ve done by taking the link over on the right to “My Caches”, then to “Blogger’s Bog”. If I’ve got your email address you’ll already have the password, if not I’ll tell you it when I see you in the chatroom.

And that password-protectiveness has taken me most of the afternoon! I should probably have started from scratch, but I don’t know much .php, so I tried copying and pasting some code supplied ages ago by the author of the web’s rubbishest chatroom. It kept returning error codes that I didn’t understand, and of course anyone I could have asked for advice is off at Forbidden Corner, but with the help of my friend Google and a few .php tutorial pages I got there in the end.

And now I’m going to finish my glass of whisky mead liqueur, and go for a shower.

Not As Planned

Saturday, April 9th, 2005

Today didn’t go exactly as originally planned.

My Mum wanted to go to the garden centre, and since at her age, she’s a bit too old for walking home with a dozen trays of bedding plants under each arm, I’d agreed to drive her. I’d also suggested, depending on how she felt, going for a pub lunch at the Mucky Duck afterwards. When we spoke this morning, however, she’d changed her mind on the bedding plants because of the cold weather returning, and didn’t really want to go out to eat. “You may as well spend the day geocaching”, she said.
“Are you sure?” I asked, juggling the phone with one hand and trying to programme my GPS with the other. “Yes,” she said.
“Do you need me to do anything before I go?” I asked as I laced up my walking boots. There wasn’t, so off I headed, and first on the list was Kingfisher’s Paradise, a lovely walk alongside a river up through some woods before tripping over an old wire fence (ow!) and finding the cache.

Then on to Sky Above, Sea Below: I’d tried for this one a couple of times before, but hadn’t got out of the car park on either occasion – the first time I didn’t have the right change for the parking meter, the second time I wouldn’t have had enough daylight, but no problems this time, and I was even able to grab a trig point on the way, and collect the TB AZ to PA from the cache. That’s me near the cache in the picture at the top.

Then on to True Grit, a cache that’s only a week old, and it was a bit busy there today: I had to wait for Bertrand and His Tribunal, and Donkey 16, to finish at the cache before I could approach, and they’d had to wait for T. A. Folks!

The rest of the day was spent researching my Mighty Multicache which I’m going to be placing soon as part of the “Blog Standard” series. This is a huge series, being co-ordinated by Sarah of “Stu and Sarah” fame, and will have 17 stages, each containing a clue to the location of an 18th cache, as well as each being a loggable cache in its own right. The research is done and I’ve chosen where the cache is to go – all I’ve got to do now is go and place it :-)

Yawn…g’night folks!

Thank God it’s Friday

Friday, April 8th, 2005

Today I went to work, blah blah blah…

And then I went geocaching! I nearly didn’t – the weather was rubbish when I left work, but I decided to chance it, and in the end I had a lovely 3¼ mile walk around the Hampshire Downs, and found two caches. First on the evening’s list was Not my Stile, the further of the two from where I’d parked the car, then I made a circular walk of it, returning via Hoards of the Things (you may not be able to see the cache page if you’re not a subscriber). Actually, I say it was a circular walk – the last little bit got dangerously close to being a run as a field full of coobeasties decided to get a closer look at me: I know they only want to play, but if you get caught between two of them, your ribs are just as broken as if they’d meant it.

And I’ll leave you with todays second-least successful self-portrait – you should have seen the least successful. I MUST invest in one of them mini-tripods like Omally’s got.

In Defence

Thursday, April 7th, 2005

In yesterday’s post, I may have given a couple of my readers the idea that I don’t like Tony Blair.

Rest assured that I’m not about to take back anything I said – in fact in a future post I may well amplify some of my points, or list some as-yet untouched-upon reasons why this idiot isn’t fit to run the Village Green Committee, far less the country. But first, there is something far more important to clear up.

In response to my post – and particularly, I suspect, in response to the last paragraph – Mark the Buddhist commented “I’ve no affection for the man either, but if that’s Christianity, continue to count me out. Firstly, for those who don’t know, let me say that Mark and I have been mates since the dawn of time1, and in fact I’m lined up to be Best Man at his wedding in three months, so however much we may disagree with each other, we’re never going to come to physical blows over this, so don’t worry2! But I have to defend Christianity, which doesn’t deserve to be judged on the opinions of a Short Fat Bald Bloke with a dodgy temper.

In wishing eternal damnation upon the Prime Munster, I have most assuredly transgressed against the fundamentals of the Christianity I profess. As an aside I would say that I don’t really wish that damnation upon him – I’d be much happier were he to repent of all the evil he’s wrought upon the country and the world, accept the forgiveness of Christ, and dedicate the rest of his life to serving those less fortunate than himself – i.e. most of the rest of us. Given that that’s not likely, however, I’d still prefer almost anything to seeing him win another term in number 10.

If I were a perfect Christian, I wouldn’t wish him, or anyone else, ill. But I’m not perfect and never claimed to be. I try each day to step an inch closer to what God wants me to be, but there’s a million miles to go, so in the meantime don’t take me as an example of Christian good living.

1 Well, 1976, which feels like much the same thing.
2 For one thing, he’s about three feet taller than me, and did karate at university3
3 Not as his degree subject, obviously


Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

Mr Tony Blair, Prime Munster of this fair land, published an open letter in this morning’s Daily Mirror. To repeat his lies here would make me ill, so if you really want to know what he’s saying, there’s a link here.

Mr Blair, if you are the Prime Minister on May 6th, it will be because I, and millions like me, didn’t do enough to stop you. On the day you entered 10 Downing Street, you announced “A new day has dawned, has it not?”. It certainly had. Your premiership has brought us the Home Secretary’s love child, the foot and mouth disaster, electoral practices “that would disgrace a banana republic”1, and a deputy Prime Minister who can’t keep his temper under control2. When you’ve not been busy throwing British sovereignty away to Brussels, you’ve been kowtowing to the most right-wing president America has seen in years. Mr Blair, you’re supposed to be a socialist.

I don’t particularly agree with many socialist policies, but I do expect a Labour Prime Minister to be true to the history and principles of his party.

There will be those who say “There is no credible alternative”, but you, Mr Blair, have proved that you and your party have no credibility either. It may be true that the Conservatives and the LibDems can’t be trusted to run the country, but that’s only a maybe – you’ve spent the last eight years proving your untrustworthiness. The NHS groans under the weight of poorly-judged targets, our school system is falling apart, and while yobbos rule the streets, aided and abetted by the Police3, innocent people go in fear of their lives.

Mr Blair, I like to think of myself as a Christian, ruled by Christian values, and I try hard to wish ill to no-one: But I would rather see you burning for eternity in the fires of Hell, than on the steps of Number Ten on May 6th.

1 According to Deputy High Court Judge, Richard Mawrey QC in this news story.
2 This story
3 Such as Detective Sergeant Frank Hayley of Greater Manchester Police in this story.


Tuesday, April 5th, 2005

So, the Patronising Prat has called the election.

The main reason that the early stages of an election are of interest chez TLG is that once an election is called, until the polls close, all broadcasters – yes, even us ‘umble ones on Hospital Radio – come under the restrictions of the Representation of the People Act. The bit which applies to us says that we have to treat all candidates fairly so if we mention one candidate in a constituency, we have to give an equal mention to all the candidates in that constituency. Similarly if we mention one party, all parties have to have equal coverage. That’s why, on TV, everyone down to the Monster Raving Loony Party, or the Friends of Jeff Beck Appreciation Party, gets a party political broadcast. At the last General Election, the local Megabowl sponsored a candidate for the Go Bowling Party and reckoned it was the most cost-effective advertising they’d ever done.

Of course, we’re a bit simpler than the BBC, and the way we give equal mention to everyone is to mention none of them (our news service is sourced externally, and the provider ensures equality within the bulletins). The bad news is that not being able to rubbish Blair and his idiot followers has deprived me of most of my normal material, so I guess for the next few weeks I’ll be playing more music than normal.


Monday, April 4th, 2005

I’ve spent the day sorting out the photos I took at the weekend and posting them in the gallery: You can see them by going over there to the right and clicking on the link for “My Gallery”, then clicking on “Hospital Radio Conference”.

And in conclusion, here’s the best of the jokes I heard over the weekend:

Snow White, Tom Thumb and Quasimodo are having a few drinks and a conversation. Snow White says :
“I’m the most beautiful person in the world”.

Quasimodo says
“You’re lucky, I’m the ugliest person in the world”

Tom Thumb says
“I can do better than both of you – beauty and ugliness are in the eye of the beholder, but I’m measurably the smallest person in the world”.

As tends to happen when people from stories get together and imbibe alcohol, it all turns into a bit of a bitch-fight, and deciding there’s only one way to settle this thing for good, they head off to the offices of the Guiness Book of Records, and one by one they go in to see the Chief Archivist.

Snow White emerges triumphantly:
“See, I told you – it’s official, I’m the most beautiful person in the world”.

Tom Thumb is similarly chuffed:
“Yes – I’m officially the smallest person in the world”.

Quasimodo goes in to get his claim verified, and comes out looking depressed:
“Who is this Camilla Parker-Bowles anyway?”

More tomorrow, if I’m not locked up in the Tower.

Belfast – part 2

Sunday, April 3rd, 2005

So, I suppose you want to know all about my weekend in sunny Belfast, eh? Well, the webcam cache we did on Friday morning was Picture This! – thanks, by the way, to Sarah for getting the picture. The rest of Friday you already know, except that the hotel were really rubbish at feeding 200 people in short order, and the evening entertainment, due to start at 10:00, didn’t kick off until 10:45, which was all a bit late considering most of us had already been up for about eighteen hours by then. The singist was really fun – sorry I can’t remember his name, but he used to be the singer with “One True Voice”.

Saturday had seminars, meetings and other important Hospital Radio business, so Alistair and I went geocaching. Our target cache for the morning was Kidsfun, which we found fairly easily. We would have been happy to call it a day and head back to the hotel, but Alistair noticed another cache closer than the bus stop, although in the opposite direction needless to say. A short walk alongside the River Lagan, and a hack through some woods, gave us
Belfast no. 1: Belvoir Forest and then after a nice walk round in a huge circle* we caught the bus back to the hotel.

The afternoon passed in a happy haze of – well – happy haze, really, then the evening was the gala dinner, followed by the awards ceremony for the National Hospital Radio Awards: a gallery of top people from the radio industry were there to support the occasion, loads of awards were won – including several friends of ours, which is always nice, and much disco-ing and drinking followed.

Not surprisingly, Sunday started a bit late, and although seminars, the trade show and a ramble to see historic Belfast** were all on offer, most of us just flopped around drinking coffee and popping headache pills. Sunday lunch is always a bit special, with Long Service Awards, other presentations, and the raffle.

And now we’re just snoozing in the bar and waiting for the airport bus.

* Oops – I promised Alistair I wouldn’t mention the “walking in circles”.
** I suppose given Belfast’s recent history I ought to mention the Fascinating Fact that the hotel we’re staying in has the dubious honour of being the “Most Often Bombed Hotel in Europe”, although I’m not sure how much of that was terrorism and how much just an attempt to get the staff moving.

Humour? Yeah But No But…

Saturday, April 2nd, 2005

While I was away on my last course, MMM produced a cracking guest blog for me, all about the chavviness of Gloucester. If you go and read it – or if you remember it – you’ll see that it’s a finely crafted piece of blog fun, which certainly gave me a chuckle.

Not so someone who only signed themselves in the comments as “Anonymous – funny that”, who said:
Gloucester’s actually a really nice place to live. I’d like to see some of the places that you all live if you think Gloucester is so bad. Can’t believe some people are so narrow minded to stereotype a place when they don’t live there and probably don’t have a clue about it.

Well, Anonymous (or may I call you Anon?) can I recommend you drop into the SimonG chatroom sometime? If you saw the way we all rip into each other in there, you’d think MMM’s comments about Gloucester were nothing. And yes, she does know the city – she lives not far away and it’s one of the nearest big shopping places to her.

And as for where the rest of us live, if you’re a regular reader of mine, you’ll know that I’m compiling Southampton’s entry for the “Crap Towns” website. Stu and Sarah hated where they lived so much that they moved, and Elly is in a constant running battle with his local council.

I guess what I’m saying is, “Get a sense of humour for goodness’ sake”.

Belfast and Beyond

Friday, April 1st, 2005

I’m writing this sitting in the foyer of the Europa Hotel in Belfast: My alarm went off at 5 o’clock this morning, my other alarm at ten past – I wanted to make sure I was dressed and ready when the taxi came to take me to the airport, although for what he charged me he should have carried me still slumbering – bed and all – out to his car, carried me into the airport, and done the check-in formalities for me. Anyway, four hours after getting up, I was installed in the hotel and dragging Jenny and Chris to a nearby webcam cache. The cache was quickly logged, then they dragged me around the Titanic exhibition. A quick visit to an Oxfam shop where Jenny bought a plate (picture to follow), then back to the hotel for a merry afternoon catching up with old chums as the other delegates arrived.

And now I’m off for a snooze and a shower to make sure I’m at my best for tonight’s quiz.