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I climbed on the back of a giant albatross... and ended up somewhere in Scotland

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May 2006

What was going on in my life in May 2006?

Living in Glasgow during the week, Dumfries on weekends.  Working at BAE Systems in Scotstoun...

 - During a spell of nice weather, I walk three times around Bishop's Loch near the gym in Stepps that I go to after work.  Linda is controlling my diet and encouraging exercise.

 - I go to Manchester for a 3-day course on Process Capability for work.  We a forced to eat cookies and have huge amounts of food at dinner, along with pint after pint of beer.  Fitness regime turns to fatness regime for a few days.

 - Whisper the rabbit died...  put down at the vet after a presumed stroke.  We get a new rabbit, Clara, to join Sam, Serena, Tabitha and Gizmo.

 - Jenny goes to Ibiza with some girlfriends.

September 2005

About 5 years and a few months ago in my journal....

September 2005

 - New Orleans is flooded after Hurricane Katrina

 - Linda's Aunt Irene is in hospital, gets an operation

 - I get a tatanus shot, at Linda's insistance, after being bitten on the finger by a dog which had a little fight with Tess

 -  I helped round up a cow in the road

 - I'm going to the gym regularly

 - I visit Selkirk with Tess

 - I visit St. Ninian's cave with Tess and we have a religious experience.  More info here.

Aug. 21st, 2007

It was a nice sunny morning, and the streets were busier than usual as I walked the dog around the neighborhood at around 8:30.  There are two primary schools (aka elementary schools) near where I live, and all the kids go back to school today, so they were all out being escorted by mummy or daddy.  So very busy neighborhood streets today.  A great day for it, with the sunshine... altho it's gotten cloudy since.

Linda is back into teaching mode, so that means I'm in charge of the horse (and dog) every morning from now on.  After walking Tess, I hop into the car for the short journey across town to the farm where Meggie stays.  I lead her down to her field where she spends the day until about 5 or 6.  Because of the laminitis, Meggie can't be left out to graze all the time like she used to do... and she uses a muzzle which inhibits the amount she eats.  

After mucking out the stable, it's off to the best part of the day... breakfast at McDonald's (but don't tell Linda).  This won't be a daily occurrence but it's nice to have a healthy egg mcmuffin and a coffee while reading the paper once in a while.

I quit the gym, by the way.  I'm much too busy lately being unemployed to go to the gym.  I'll try to get enough exercise with the dog and horse instead... and save the gym fees.

On the job front, I have no interviews scheduled.  Things have slowed down in the past couple weeks, altho i got two calls today from recruiters... so I'm expecting to probably get a couple interviews soon.  One of the prospective companies is right in Dumfries and the job pretty much closely matches my experience and qualifications, so I'm hopeful with that one.  The other job was further away but since I don't have many other leads lately, I feigned interest.

And now it's back to the job search websites for me. 

jobs and ends

Got another interview tomorrow for a job I am spectacularly over qualified for.  I'd take the job, tho, probably...  I'm getting tired of this unemployed life.  Not so much the not working but the uncertainty that goes with it.

Still need to hear either way from three interviews I had in the past week or so.  Waiting... waiting... waiting for that magic letter to come through the door with the offer.  I'm particularly hopeful about one of them.  Seems like a good company and nice bunch of folks...  and I've been asked to go in twice to talk to different people.  They buy used manufacturing equipment and sell it mostly via the internet.  I'd be a technical sales engineer...

The two others would be nice jobs too, but I just didn't get the same positive vibes I got from this other one.

I'm not counting my chickens, tho, as a couple weeks ago the good vibes didn't come to fruition as they ultimately decided to go with a more clerical role for the job, than managerial, so gave it to someone else.  They sent me a nice letter the other day tho, after phoning me up to apologise about how it ended up the way it did... and for the delay... and they wished me luck in my quest for a job in Dumfries and Galloway. 


Aside from the job search, my attentions have been starting to migrate towards fantasy football.  It's nearly that time of year again and I am, as ever, determined to have the best fantasy football team in my old company's charity league.  I came in at 2nd place at the end of last season, so nothing short of first place will be acceptable this time around.


I haven't been geographing lately as I've been lazy, I guess.  not been going to the gym either... for the same reason.  Maybe next week I'll kick myself into gear on those fronts.


Linda is reading the last Harry Potter book.  I got into a little trouble (again) the other day when I made a comment about something I saw in the book when I glanced at one of the pages in the middle.  They were seemingly discussing Dumbledore or talking to Dumbledore, which confused me because he died in the last book.  Anyway, I mentioned it and apparently EVEN THE MENTION of a little tidbit of information like that is enough to potentially spoil the book for her.... so I got a strict telling off.  Last year, I made a major faux pas when I mentioned that I saw all over the internet that Snape killed Dumbledore.  

Apparently, the idea is, that you're supposed to not know these things until you get to that part in the book.  I never think those things are that important.... but then I'm not really into reading... and especially not fiction.  If I read a book, say about World War II, I already know that the Nazis lose.  Big deal.


Hello dear readers. A little update...
Well, I've had one full week of blissful unemployment. It was a pretty good week of geographing, walking the dog, sneaking out to MacDonald's, not going to the gym, playing loud music, drinking cider, going to the horse every day...
Meggie the wonder horse got laminitis a few weeks ago, so she's been stabled these past few weeks which means that we have to go every day and shovel out the poop and replenish the hay and stuff. Linda hasn't been able to ride her because of the laminitis. Meg's on a diet of Happy Hoof and hay... altho she's been let out to graze in a field a bit lately also. She's been losing weight, which is good, and she should be fine and back in her normal field soon.
On the job front, I was supposed to hear back from this place I had the 2nd interview with, but haven't yet. They were delaying because of some unexpected travel, so perhaps the delay was longer than anticipated. Don't they know how important it is to give me a job ? It's as if this travel was more important. Pah.
But meanwhile I'm enjoying the time off. Linda's last day teaching was on Friday so now we're both off for the summer. Today the weather's really nice, but it's unfortunately been a bit rainy over the past several days. God hates us. Hopefully we'll get some good summery weather to enjoy...
Next weekend, we're going down to Blackpool to go to a Blondie concert and stay two nights. Then I have an interview back up near Dumfries on Monday. This interview is a bit of a hassle because I need to prepare a 10 minute presentation for it. I'm hoping I'll just get this other job and be done with it...
I neglected to go and sign on at the job centre as a newly unemployed person. I'll need to do that soon as I think I might have done myself out of some dole money. I'll try to get organised and do it first thing tomorrow.


The key to good photography is knowing where to point and when to click.  Aside from that, a decent camera would help.
Unfortunately, my digital camera is not the greatest.  I'm not really into photography that much anyway but my little hobby of taking pictures sort of requires it.

Yesterday, after work, I didn't feel well enough to go to the gym, so I went out and bagged a couple more photos of canals and swans and whatever for the geograph website thing I do.  It's good to get out and about to visit places you've never been.

I like the map of my teritory they provide most of all, I think

Arggh !

So I overcome my usual laziness and tell myself I'm going to the gym after work today. And I go and battle the construction-laden traffic-infested Clydeside expressway. I get to the gym, go into the locker room, take off, put on... everything is on except my sneakers. Reach into my bag for them.... and.... you guessed it. Arggh. My sneakers are at home sitting happily, idly on the bedroom floor. And I am left here, dejected, in the cafe of the gym writing about it.

Traffic Gym

Argh !  The traffic is always pretty bad at this one particular spot in Glasgow (Clydeside Expressway eastbound at the junction with the M8) and unfortunately that's the way I usually go to get to the gym.  Yesterday after work was particularly bad... I think it had something to do with Celtic playing a big game last night...   The traffic was so bad, in fact, that I decided to turn off early and not go to the gym at all.  Damn you Celtic ! 
I'll probably think up some other excuse for not going this afternoon.  (I DID go on Monday, tho!)

Ack !!

Crud.  I missed the deadline for the bench sumo basho that just started... meaning I have Kyujo status and will register a 0-0-15 record for the basho.  CCCCCRRRUUUDDDDDD !!!!

Also crud.  I have been eating very festively over the past two weeks, have not set foot in the gym, and I have consequently gained poundage.

And Ack !  I'm back at work today.  Woe is me.


Tuesday Brain Dumpling

I took a look at today to see what people said about my wife. Mostly good comments... but I'll be hunting down the little rugrat who said she yells too much and she didnae let 'im sit wit his m8. Oh boo hoo. This was the first time I had looked at that website... I took a look at my old high school on the U.S. version of the website and found one of my English teachers in there... Mrs. Simms, still there after all those years. I wrote a rock opera about her back then, believe it or not. Based on Jesus Christ Superstar music.

We bought a little personal DVD player this weekend. Kinda cool. Linda wanted something to be able to watch when she's toiling in the kitchen. It'll be handy to take along in the car, too, when we go on road trips. One eye on the road and one eye on Brian Wilson.

We're getting new windows for the house this week. I had to move a big cabinet thing away from the edge of one of the windows this weekend in preparation. I think I strained a muscle. Not too bad, but a little uncomfortable.

So no gym tonight. Besides, it's raining, so the traffic will be crap. That's my excuse and I'm going to stick by it.

I'm at the mall drinking coffee right now. I was asked by Linda to seek out DVD's of All Creatures Great and Small (a British TV show)... so I've accomplished my mission, and I also got Team America (that puppet movie) for myself. And some coffee as well.

Not much going on but...

Here's an update of what I can think of that's been happening lately.  Should take all of 3 or 4 sentences... 
My beard is growing at an extremely slow rate... and a good percentage of the hairs are coming in white.  Doh !!!  I'm determined to keep going, tho.
I wanted to mention that I now have another gym in Glasgow which is part of the health club chain I'm a member of.  The gym is a bit closer to where I stay as well, so that's good.  Unfortunately, I must say I like the one further away because the facilities are more modern and a lot of the equipment has their own little TV's, which the closer one doesn't have.  So depending on the traffic, I've been alternating between going to the two.
My landlady at the B&B I stay at has gone away down to London this morning so I'll be staying somewhere else for the rest of the week and beginning of next week.  See, this wouldn't happen if I had my own pad in Glasgow...
That's enough excitement for now.

Rain Cancellation

It was too rainy to go to the gym after work today, so I went and got a pizza instead. See, the rain makes everyone drive really slow and block the roadway between myself and my destination, so I decided to turn around.

They can all go to hell.


And I've been thinking that the "Darrin's Recording Artist Hall of Fame" quality control has been a little lacking lately. The last two inductees have been ABBA and Debbie Harry (without Blondie). There are SO MANY others that should be in there before them.

Cat Stevens was nearly inducted this week but I had to put the brakes on that and start thinking about standards. I mean, Cat Stevens is certainly a recording artist I like, but is he WORTHY of being inducted before dozens of others ? I ultimately decided he wasn't.

DRAHOF has an element of randomness built in to the selection process, however, so occasionally you'll get the ABBA's and Debbie Harry's (who I didn't even induct because of her recordings).

There, I got that off my chest.

Bad Boy

I was too lazy to go to the gym yesterday.  Just didn't feel motivated to go, I guess...  which is not good.  I gotta get back in the habit.  Get the muscles going again.

Funnily, after not going to the gym for the past month and a half, my neck feels much better.


Back to Normal

Feelin' better lately. Went to the gym after work today for the first time since before going away. Did well, too, I think. Felt energetic. My mood is pretty good too, after a better day today at work than yesterday. Gettin' things done. Saving the company.

Worked a bit on my hardcopy journal tonight... updating it with some of the pictures and LJ entries from the holiday.

You know, I've been keeping my journal for just over 20 years now. Since July 1986. I'm currently on Volume 67.

Just got news tonight from Linda that Jenny's been offered a last minute (I mean REALLY last minute) slot at Edinburgh University's School of Education... starting Monday. She had previously been turned down due to a reference letter being delayed, but I guess she was on a waiting list. She needs to decide quickly if she'll be going back up there or carry on with her plan of doing assistant teaching work experience down in Dumfries.

And now to eat some peanuts, which are called Monkey Nuts in this country. How odd.


I feel a bit guilty that I haven't been to the gym in over a month and a half.  It's partly because I was away for a month and partly because I've been slightly under the weather lately since I've been back.  I think I'll leave it this week and continue doing other things after work... but I'll start up at the gym again on Monday.

So, what have I been doing instead ?  Well, various things including obsessing over my Fantasy Football teams (I'll have three this year).  Football (soccer) season starts at the weekend.  I have an overwhelming desire to be a champion Fantasy Footballer.  

Also, I've been trying to catch up on a bunch of magazines I have.  By catch up, I don't merely mean "read" them like normal people.  No, I read them and also cut them up and sort the good bits that I want to keep for later insertion in my hardcopy journal.

Lastly, I've been sorting out all the receipts from my trip and crosschecking them against the bills and account statements I have to make sure nobody has stolen my identity and that I was indeed the one who squandered all that money.

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