Archive for October, 2009

Nazi apologists!

I posted this on my blogger blog, (http://thegoodbuck.blogspot.com/) but I’ll post it here as well, as I’m not sure which one will win out.

There has been something of kerfuffle in these sceptred isles of late. A minority party of holocaust deniers, non-white deporters, and gay haters has been saying they are being unfairly portrayed as neo-nazis. In the interests of balance the BBC let their Fuhrer, sorry, leader, on to a political programme. Some thought this was implying a legitimacy to his views and granting a perceived equivalence to the mainstream political parties with whom he shared the panel.

Others laughed up their sleeves at the thought of him trying to rationalise the indefensible and relished the prospect of him exposing his views.

In fairness I have to say I didn’t watch it. I have pretty firm views when it comes to politics. Not necessarily on policies, but on principles. The point being; New Labour is too right wing for me, so I have no interest in anything the British National Party have to say.

That having been said, I did follow the story. Jon Snow (of Channel 4 news) said in his blog that the fuhrer was no match for the women on the panel. The impression I received was of a rout. Wendy’s brother and sister-in-law saw it and said he was reduced to incoherence.

All good and well. Job done, back to the normal run of politics, where the torturing, murdering, and war crimes are at least denied. And are done without thought to gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity. Equal opportunities fascism. Admittedly some are more equal than others, but if they will go around living where there are oil reserves or being vaguely brown coloured on the underground they are asking for it, really.

Back to the plot. All was well re the openly fascist party.

Then I went into work this morning. I work in a warehouse. This means I am paid for how fast I work and how much I sweat, not for having an above room temperature I.Q., sadly it means all the people I work with are the same.

There was only one topic of conversation, the bloody B.N.P.!

These Sun reading, Sky watching, never questioning sorts were all saying what a good job the fuhrer had done! One chap was quoting him as saying " You’re saying I’m a nazi, but my grandad was in the R.A.F. in the war, Jack Straw’s grandad was in jail for refusing to fight."

As though that was a point scored. If we were voting for their grandads that might have been relevant. It also sidesteps the issue of his grandad being willing to die to fight a country that was espousing the views he now professes.

Later in the canteen they were still banging on about it, saying that foreigners have more rights than the English and somehow linking the BNP to a P.C. backlash. Quoting all those dubious stories the sensationalist right wing press like to ‘report’. Taking it as read that all Johhny foreigners come over here and are immediately given dole and council houses while native (the unspoken implication being: ‘white’)English are refused everything.

Telling them that the Home Office stamps on the economic migrant’s passport ‘no access to public funds’ cuts no ice with these people.

All the stupid things that the P.C. crew have done in their overzealous attempts to indoctrinate the young; blackboards having to be called chalkboards, some councils not putting up Christmas decorations because it might offend people of non-Christian faiths, etc, etc. All of these are demonstrations that the (again, ‘white’) native Englishman is not free in his own country. All of these things will go away if one votes for the BNP.

To say I was miffed is an understatement. While I’m as irritated by P.C. as the next MAN (tee hee)electing the BNP is using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. For a start you have to question the provenance of these stories, then you have to ask was that an isolated incident of a well-meaning tree-hugger losing the plot, then you have to explain that all the Eastern Europeans at our works are talking their own lingo amongst themselves as it’s easier for them, not as an insult to the native mono-glot Britain. Finally you have to teach tolerance and understanding of other peoples points of view, then shoot all the BNP.

So, that was my day at work.

Bloody depressing.

There is your answer BBC. Anyone with two brain-cells to rub together saw the fuhrer get ripped to bits and prove his views indefensible. The people who are his target audience, lacking the luxury of that second cell, thought he did a sterling job and see him as the great white hope. (You see what I did there?) The Sun is the best selling ‘newspaper’ in Britain, so the great unwashed are the majority.

Crap.

Buck.

OMG!

Hi, just a quick note; I was wandering about today, getting myself a bowl of cereal. Wendy had just turned the telly on and was flicking through the channels. I heard the news so wandered into the front room but it was about that boy-band lad’s funeral, and it was saying that the crowd had cheered when they saw some other pop people, so I quickly exited in disgust. I heard the reporter starting to ask inane questions to inappropriate people as I sat down in the back kitchen to eat my cereal. The next thing I heard was "…so, it is heaven or hell?"

DO WHAT?

Wendy had switched channels to some cookery programme where the guest has to eat something prepared for them, as voted for by…, someone (viewers?), either a dish they would really like or something they think they would hate. The spot is called something like ‘ cookery heaven or hell’.

Not really funny, but extraordinary. I nearly choked on my cereal. I couldn’t believe my ears. That would have been the worst piece of reporting in the history of the medium.

In other news, I have replaced that really crap plank on my flooring, and have bought some of the skirting board type stuff. When I lend the device to cut the damn stuff at a proper forty five degrees it will look quite presentable. Covers all the sins of my crapness. Huzzah. (I’ll pop a photo’ up when I get it done.)

Another huzzah goes out to the fact that I’ve not had a headache for a whole three days!

And my sax-ing is improving and I can knock out a couple of tunes now. Yay.

Another lovely day off tomorrow and then I hope to have my wagon waiting for me when I go back. Fingers crossed.

Later,

Buck.

How hard can it be?

So very, very hard. I thought I’d surprise Wendy by doing the hall in the wooden plank effect flooring she wanted. I started a bit before ten o’clock, it’s only about nine foot square, so I thought I could have it well cracked before she returned from work. The first two planks went down relatively easily, and looked quite good.

I made a few mistakes, but learnt from them and was beginning to feel quite confident.

Then I tried to put down the third. Straight planks, cut one to length and that was it. No corners to cut out or anything, easy life. Would it join up? Would it buggery. I must have spent over an hour trying to get the third plank down. In the end I convinced myself that it was because the first two widths had come from a part pack we had left over from moving in, the third was from the new pack I’d just bought. So I took it up and cut out some more fiddly corners from new planks. The first two went down a treat, then guess what? Bet your arse. The third wouldn’t fit.

Out of options I just banged them together as best as I was able and carried on. Half past two and I was still struggling with the last plank. In my haste to get out (I had a sax lesson at three) I made a further balls of the final piece.

From the stairs it looks reasonable…

then you look a bit closer…

and regret it. Oh dear, oh deary me.

To rub salt into the wounds the front room (done by Peter, Wendy’s brother, and his father-in-law Terry) looks great, three years after it was laid.

Bottoms.

Tomorrow I’ll have a ponder. There’s only that third plank and the last one that are irredeemably dire. To replace them I’d have to buy another pack from Ikea. £17 and a trip around Ikea.

*shudders*

But I don’t know if I could get the third plank to join up even on a third attempt. Which means £17 to improve one plank. Either way I’ll have to commence operation ‘Turd Polish’ (fitting the skirting board things to hold down the floor, and more importantly to  hide the gaps) ASAP.

There is a reason why people employ tradesmen. It ain’t just laziness.

I’m pretty miffed now. I’ve spent the most of today sweating, sawing, and swearing, and the end result is a bag of tits. I don’t mind grafting all day if I get a good (hell, adequate) result, but I feel like I wasted my time and money today, and made a mess of Wendy’s dream home.

Rough and ready is fine by me, if it works it’s good enough. Wendy likes things to be aesthetic as well. Or, to put it another way not a total balls-up.

Ho hum. Low of mood am I. Still, my headache today has been manageable, small mercies and all.

Back to the sax practise, that was lamentable at my lesson today as well. Not a great day, all in all.

Later,

Buck.

Like, so down with the kids, me.

Hi there, I’ve not been posting because nothing much has been happening.

I’m getting better at the sax (but as I had never knowingly played a note or read one before a month ago, up was the only way I could go).

I’m still not sacked or driving, so work remains a status quo. There are movements in the right direction, they have the new tugs at work now (the units used solely for moving trailers around the yard) so the rest of the fleet shouldn’t be too far behind. As soon as they get the new rigid trucks I’ll be in the office asking for the keys to one of the old ones.

I’m hoping that when I go back off this holiday they will be there.

As for this holiday, I booked the weekend off months ago, when I was still in dekit, not knowing if I would be off for it or not as I would be changing rota’s when I moved into the warehouse as a picker again. Turns out I was off this weekend anyway, so I cancelled the holiday. Then they said ‘what are you doing taking those days off? You should be on a different rota.’ So I had to fight to keep on the rota they had initially given me, saying that I’d booked holidays around the days off on that rota, and had cancelled the holiday for the weekend I needed for my grading. They let me stay on my first rota.

I realised a few weeks ago that I would not be getting a day off on any of the days my classes were on this week (the last week before my grading on Sunday) so I booked from Monday off. That would have given me four lessons in which to cram. First lesson yesterday, at a place with which I am not familiar. I went on to the website, or rather tried, and it said something about an error with the server. Balls. Then my headache kicked in again, so I spent most of yesterday afternoon on the bed with a sleep mask on to keep the light out of my eyes. Then a good portion of yesterday evening as well for good measure. Finally started to clear about nine or so.

Today woke full of beans. Website still down. Remembered I had one of the chaps mobile number from way back. I sent him a text asking if there was a class tonight (not been to this one) if so what time and where. Eventually got a reply, joy!

So to cut a long story to a smidge less than interminable, I went and by some miracle actually found it (!) but when sah bum nim Caroline arrived she said that Grandmaster Loh was off abroad coaching one of the Scottish lads who was in contention for a medal in the world championships so the grading was off until the twenty first of November!

Marvellous!

Still, it made me go. I have been letting it slip as my current obsession with all things sax has been side-lining it.

Today, whilst I was off, I went to Ikea, that Swedish vision of hell on Earth. I had to walk around two miles of displays to find the section I wanted (hard flooring) only to be redirected to their warehouse/ dungeon. The item I wanted was right by the doors into the building/ exit. I had to wait ten minutes for them to open, then it took me another thirty to find this one bleeding item.

I only wanted a pack of that slot together wooden flooring. A single solitary sodding pack. The entrance hall carpet is getting old and dirty so Wendy wants it doing in the same wooden floor effect as the front room. I’ll give it a go tomorrow. First time, but how hard can it be? It’ll be a nice surprise for Wendy when she gets home from work. Either that or it will be roaring merrily in the chimnea, smashed to bits.

So, to summarise, I’ve not been blogging because I’ve been too busy saxing, suffering, or waiting for something to happen one way or the other. And, for the last two days, I’ve been Twittering! Yeah, down with the kids and the standards! @TheGoodBuck if anyone’s interested.

Well time to go, Wendy needs to get to bed.

Live long and prosper,

Buck.

Day off.

It was my day off today. Huzzah! I’m on my 6-2 week, so it was rather lovely to have a lie in. I get knackered getting up at five in the morning so was going to have a lengthy lie-in. This was not to be. My nan had taken a funny turn and was in hospital so I visited her on Tuesday. She looked all frail and done-in and confused. I felt sad for her. Then it transpired that my mam and dad were going away on holiday (yesterday) and my sister and her husband were away until this weekend. So my nan would be shipped back to her flat and not have them to attend her as they usually do.

Usually I avoid all unnecessary contact with people. I find people to be like salt; pleasant in moderation, unpalatable in excess. It’s a selfish, anti-social, and in all honesty fairly loathsome trait. Yet one that affords me a quiet life. Buddha would be quick to point out the ‘me’ in that sentence.

To cut to somewhere near the chase, I said I’d pop round yesterday to make sure she wasn’t short of anything. It turns out she lives in old codger paradise. It’s a series of flats built around an enclosed complex. Shops, hairdressers, library, internet cafe, all under one roof. All carpeted, with wheel-chair and scooter access, carers all about, wheelchair friendly lifts, and bedecked with doddering denizens.

Back in her natural environment my nan was fairly compos mentis, still not to hot on her feet mind, but not the pitiful, confused patient from the hospital. She thought she had been diddled with her bank account and was saying that when my mam came back off holiday she would get a lift to Birchwood (about five miles away) to her local branch. It being my day off today I said I’d take her, but that I had a sax lesson at two in the afternoon so it would have to be in the morning. I suggested eleven o’clock she said ten thirty, then we could go to Asda and get some lunch!

Bloody hell. No good deed goes unpunished (Oscar Wilde).

So I had to get up at half eight, get the washing out, straight to Asda to do our big shop for the week, charge back, unpack, round to my nan’s (late) where she was waiting for me in the foyer (!) back up to her flat so she could change wheelchairs and dither about, then bank, (where she tried to give me loads of money and I refused) charity shop, (where she had a moan at the woman she knows there about me not taking the money she wanted to give me)  Asda and cafe. I said I didn’t want anything to eat, just a coffee. She pointed to a big roast of meat and asked what it was (turns out it was turkey) and said it looked nice, what was I having? I said just a coffee. She said I had to get something. I said just a coffee. By now there was a queue forming as it was dinner time. She said she’d have turkey butty, make it two so I could have one. I said I wasn’t hungry, didn’t want anything and was a veggie. About four times I said I was a veggie! It must have been five minutes to get her that bloody turkey butty. Five minutes of telling her I was a veggie, with an impatient queue behind us, and her getting rattier and rattier.

After that it was just a quick trip to Aldi (running late, tick tock, tick tock) then back to her flat, through the complex, up in the lift, then go and get the paintings she had in the storage area and bring them into the flat (aaarrrrrggghhh!) pick up the bag with the ice-cream she’s bought me from Asda and she’d put an envelope of cash in it! Had another quick exchange of views, and gracelessly accepted the cash. Bit pissed off about that to be honest. Kind of turns a selfless and (for me) commendable act into a mercenary deed.  Again it’s turned around to how it relates to me. Perhaps it did, as the woman in the charity shop maintained, make her happy to treat her family with her cash, but we’ve got enough, and I don’t want hers. Yeah, it’s all about me.

I forgot to mention, last week when I went for my (hour long) sax lesson there were no spaces left in the hour parking bit, and after three laps of the one-way system around town realised there were no others to be had. I decided to park in a half hour space, thinking no-one would notice such a minor transgression. I got back to the car and they had put a parking ticket on my car after thirty five minutes! That will be twenty five pounds, please! Bastards!

This week, being a day off and therefore not being in a rush I was going to go on the bus, it gets you there twenty minutes early, but right outside the shop and no parking worries. No chance. Came charging out of my nan’s, rushed home, picked up sax, straight out, no parking spots again, had to go to the multi-storey across town, late again, ran through town carrying a bloody great sax case and arrived ten minutes late.

Spiffing.

Pete, my sax instructor, had my funky new mouthpiece for me though, supposed to be a hell of an improvement on the standard one, and had no pupil after me so said we could run the hour from my arrival.

He said I had a good sound. Better than some of his pupils who’d been going for a year! The internet said that this sax was a good one, fit for learning on or gigging with, that’s why I went for it. So either it’s the natural sound the sax makes, or he was bulling me up. Apparently some people start unable to blow more than one note without taking a breath. Sounds iffy to me. I don’t even know enough to know what he means by a good sound, or conversely a bad one. I’d have thought that if you hit the note it was job done. Who knows?

I have a good sound. For some reason I went to pieces when trying to read the sheet music. The stuff I’ve been doing all week went totally to crap. Possibly because you don’t like making a fool of yourself in front of someone who knows what he’s on about.

So it’s been a full day. Again I didn’t go to Taekwondo, though. Just wanted a bit of my day off when I wasn’t rushing around doing stuff. I would have loved it if I’d have gone.

I’ll have to go every available day next week (I’ve booked the week off so I can) as it’s my grading  a week on Sunday.

Anywho, time for Bucky beddy-bo’s.

Later.

Buck.