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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 12:24am on 07/08/2012 under , , , , ,
I'm now officially on-call with the new job. At the moment 1 week in 2 but call-outs should be "relatively" rare. They are actively trying to hire more of us though, so give it 4-5 months or so and I expect it to be 1 in 3, much more palatable. Think of the money, think of the money, think of the money...

I'm enjoying the work still, it's proving a challenge and I think largely I'm rising to it. There's a few bits here and there that I don't feel too comfortable with (e.g. - managing a relationship with outsourced DBAs) but overall I'm learning loads, and I think everything I'm learning here is really useful. Gaining lots of basic Oracle experience - it's taken me days but I can now at least log in to Oracle Database RAC using the service name or SID! Learning about FastStats, Unica, eMessage, Odystar, Capscan, managing PAF data, lots of data analytics stuff that's proving really interesting at the moment.

I got a reply from my MP on the letter I wrote to them about tenant's rights. I would tell you exactly what it said but the letter's not where I left it... It essentially said that they understand the point I was making (a lack of information available to tenants on their rights), that someone was doing a review of residential lettings within government, and they would forward my letter on to them.

Last weekend we spent at some friends' house in deepest darkest North Wales. We went for dinner in Mold on Friday for Tapas, and left on Sunday afternoon. There wasn't anywhere near as much debauchery as I was prepared for given some of the states I've seen him in, but it was a fun weekend. Nice to see him "growing up" :)

I've been sneakily buying a surround sound system for the past few weeks. That sounds like a weird thing to say, but I "accidentally" bought an Onkyo TX-SR508 from ebay a few weeks ago (I bid to a value that I thought was below it's real value and nobody else bid it up any further!) and have had my old stereo's speakers connected to it for a while, since then I've bought a set of 5 speakers and a kick-ass sub-woofer, so now the house shakes if we have the TV turned up too loud :-) I'm still not used to hearing sounds coming from behind me occasionally, especially when it's loud and unexpected.

We've got a busy few weeks coming up later in the year. Both pipsytip and myself are off work for 2 weeks in September. We haven't arranged anything yet but a holiday away somewhere would be nice. We're talking about Cornwall, I've not spent much time in that part of the world so it'd be nice to get down there and my parents are near Bristol/Bath so it could be convenient. September 21st we've also got tickets to Starlight Express in Llandudno, and Comic Con Wales is in wrexham on the 23rd. In October we've 2 gigs - Amanda Palmer at Manchester Cathedral and Idina Menzel at the Palace Theatre. Further on, at Christmas, because of the nature of the company we can't close down like AD/DM used to, so the company is open and I'm not sure whether Joe (the other guy on my team) wants any time off yet. Personally I'm not too bothered, Jane might be though so we'll see.

I'm coming to the end of my mobile phone commitment period in September. I am yet to decide what to do. I have been using an iPhone 4 now for the past 2yrs and to be honest with myself, I love it as a phone. My first adventure into proper smartphone land (excluding a Sony Ericsson T68i - which by today's standards is retarded) was an Android G1, and that did me well for about 6 months, but flakiness and Android version fragmentation really screwed the Android OS, leading me down the CyanogenMod route. I got jaded with it and gave up. So whether to wait to see what price my current provider will offer me on a new iPhone (rumoured for release in September), whether to upgrade to a 4S (not sure I see the point) or switch hardware completely, I don't know. I need to investigate the market again.

One "problem" I have is that I get half-price line-rental from my current provider on any price-plan, as I used to work for them. So I'm on the top-price package they offer (£60/mo) and pay £30, almost everything is included (3000mins, 3000 SMS, a bunch of MMS and fair-use policy (I think it's still 1GB) data a month), of which I use virtually none! So moving to another provider? Unlikely to happen.

We have been busy lately, unfortunately with my current style of journalling (once every couple of months), writing about anything in more detail than "Oh yeah, we did that, didn't we?" is tricky :)
location: LL11
Music:: Family Guy on FX
Mood:: 'tired' tired
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 06:43am on 31/10/2010 under , , ,
This month has involved a week away in Scotland, spent around Loch Ness and up in Dufftown, including 5 distillery visits (Glen Grant, Glenfiddich, Glen Ord, Dalwhinnie & Cragganmore), 1 brewery (Black Isle), 1 chocolate factory (The Olive Tree), 10 bottles of beer, 3 bottles of whisky and a chocolate bar of my own design, mwahaha.

Was a good week, though driving ~1,000 miles in a week isn't much fun, especially when some of those are along the joyous A82 that follows the banks of Loch Lomond VERY closely, and where at points if you come across a bus/HGV coming the other way, you pull over and stop until it's passed - and this is a main route?!

Rehearsals for the panto are coming along OK, we're running the show every rehearsal at the moment which is quite hard work but considering we have all of 10 rehearsals left before tech/dress I think it's about right. Just need to get the damn words sorted. Bloody words, can I not just make up my own?

My baby, my HP DV7-2110SA has now gone away again to "The Tech Guys" for a problemmatic battery. It went away while we were in Scotland, and came back with exactly the same fault. Unimpressed was I. So now it's gone away again and hopefully will come back with a new battery, and no need to reinstall everything - again.

And yesterday, me and several other people from Oswestry Musical Theatre Company eventually got round to tackling the hell that is St David's. St David's is our storage, we didn't pay anything to the Diocese for a number of years because we didn't have a lease. We do now, but in the last few years they've got planning permission for the site which means we could be turfed out with little notice if they decide to sell up.

This place has essentially been a dumping ground for scenery, props, costumes, stuff. It was a state. I didn't manage to get a decent "before" shot because I couldn't actually see enough to get the impression I wanted! After 6hrs or so of shifting, breaking, sawing and destroying, almost all the old flats had been taken to the dump, leaving only things that are hard to remake, easy to re-use or being used in the current show.

It's now largely empty. We had 4 pick up truck loads, and several more car loads of mainly wood. Then there's the scripts - I didn't pay too much attention to them but we've what feels like hundreds of old scores and scripts, mainly Gilbert & Sullivan stuff that you could probably buy new for not much money.

I also obtained an iPhone 4. I felt dirty for a while, but then I used it for a while and got to like the way that things just worked (mostly). There's still plenty of minor annoyances but overall, I quite like the fact that I haven't had to reset it, put new software on, experiment with this that or the other (yet). I have also realised that I have gotten a very good deal. The phone was free, I pay £30/mo! You just don't get an iPhone 4 for that price.
Mood:: 'awake' awake
location: LL11
Music:: BBC News 24
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:04pm on 09/08/2009 under , , , ,
There's not been a huge amount happening, except for the wedding of one of Jane's friends we attended in York last weekend. That was fun, set off at 10am and got back to the hotel at just gone 1am, having had a generally good day albeit with a fair whack of hanging around. I would have liked to have had some more time to potter around York, it's a lovely city, but we arrived at midday, had a taxi booked for half 12, and then were doing wedding things until 1am. The next day we spent AGES getting into town because of a marathony thing happening, then had lunch with the bride's mother. It was busy busy busy.

Work is still being crap with the potential redundancy thing. We still don't know what the outcome is, or what it's likely to be. We were given an extension of 30 days for our consultancy period, based on the fact that there's going to be a review of customer services and support being done by the VP of Customer Services from the US branch of our company, but that's not happening until the end of August. Our extension comes to an end in a week or so.

Not impressed, are we. We just don't know what's going on any more. There's no jobs in the area that I can afford to take, actually want to take, or who are offering interviews to me.

This weekend coming, Jane and I have a trip down to Bristol, staying in the Cadbury House Hotel for the weekend, with a wedding party on Saturday afternoon for one of my cousins in the middle of nowhere. I'm looking forward to it, as we haven't been away anywhere with any time to relax for ages. We're both off Friday and will be seeing the parents' new house in Chippenham in the evening, and have nothing else planned except Saturday afternoon in Somerton. Hopefully it will be good fun.

This weekend I have cooked lots, doing a barbecue last night in the glorious evening. Nothing too exciting but the pork steaks were lovely. Today I did a batch of Boston baked beans (essentially beans baked with bacon in molasses, sugar, Worcester sauce and other stuff for a long time), a curry and last night after several beers, we both got the munchies, and I made flapjacks. A little overdone, but nummy, sweet, gooey and incredibly unhealthy :)
Mood:: 'accomplished' accomplished
location: CH3
Music:: Babylon 5 - Chrysalis
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 08:47pm on 02/01/2009 under ,
We set off on Boxing Day, and had a non-event of a journey up to Livingston, except for the SatNav telling us to take the back-roads near the end, which confused us to heck. The hotel was virtually invisible from the direction we arrived by, only after driving around the shopping centre for about 20 minutes did Jane yell "There it is!" to me, and I still couldn't see it ;)

There's loads more )

We'd go back any time. Nothing in the world's quite like a Ruthy, and the more John we have in our lives, the better.
Mood:: 'drained' drained
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:55pm on 01/01/2009 under , ,
We've been up in Scotland since Boxing Day, travelled up to Dufftown with a layover in Edinburgh overnight in a dirt cheap hotel room. I have decreed that when we go up again this shall be the only way to do it. Driving all the way back is not so bad, as it's motorway all the way at the end. Driving up is hard work at the end.

We've had a good time. We didn't do a huge amount admittedly, apart from spend time with Ruth & John (and Steven and Dave) but it was a good time. We went to a local village do for New Years Eve where we were pipe-banded into submission, drank plenty of whisky and danced some. There was more food than I think I've ever seen before all week long, Ruth (and John) is very good at catering for the masses :)

I'll try my hardest to post something more substantial soon, but my brain is on the M6 somewhere. Between the intermitently freezing-up of my windscreen washer nozzles (how confusing and infuriating is it when they don't work, you stop to wash your windscreen manually and then they start working again?) and the densest fog I've ever driven through it's been a really tough drive.
Mood:: 'drained' drained
location: CH3
Music:: The IT Crowd on More4
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 11:23pm on 19/09/2008 under , ,
PicSpam! )
Mood:: 'thirsty' thirsty
location: Home
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 09:15pm on 19/09/2008 under ,
location: Home
Music:: Harry & Paul
Mood:: 'sick' sick
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 11:09pm on 17/09/2008 under ,
Hundreds of photos and quite a few cool vids. I can inflict them ALL upon you :)

Though I really wouldn't do that to you. I'm not yet recovered from the flight back and think both Jane and I got travel-flu :( 17hrs on a plane will do things to you...
Mood:: tired, ill
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 11:21pm on 17/08/2008 under , ,
Was up before 9 today making croissants and tea for me and Jane. She spent a good portion of the afternoon in bed with a migraine and I tried to watch Dune but failed.

Been making lists of things to do for holiday... it's quite a long list!
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 09:42pm on 28/07/2008 under , ,
Ahhhhahh! A little experimenting shows that actually, a USB wireless keyboard works perfectly on the Wii, so now I can update properly again! YAY!

This has been a good day again. I enjoy this new (albeit temporary) position at work - it gives me the time I want, the freedom I want and more to think about - more to actually do than regurgitate the same old thing over and over. OK there is some repetition but it's nowhere near the same level as before. I am once again happy at work!

Jane has been suffering from migraines, headaches, sore head things for a while now and we're in the process of investigating why and what may cause them. She desperately wants it to NOT be red wine - I suspect it may be a contributory factor myself. Other options are simpler - but harder to rule out. Stress, tiredness, eye problems, bad lighting, random pressure fluctuations, the phase of the moon! We'll see what comes.

We're off on holiday in just over a month's time. It's coming very quickly and I really don't think either of us know what we're in for. I truly don't. We've been buying what we hope are clothes suitable for a tropical environment and trying to find out what things there are to do in Brunei, but it's quite hard to find much info around! Personally, I think we'll just wing most of it.
Music:: The passing storm
location: CH3
Mood:: 'happy' happy

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