Archive for February, 2015

Schrödinger’s job.

Things are weird at the minute. I’m on the new shift pattern, three core days, flex up (optional working if there’s any work going) on two other days, with two days off. Which is my shift pattern if they have taken me on to the books. But I’ve not had an interview (formality), signed a contract, or been given uniform. Also the agency texted me this week. The amount of involvement the agency have they probably don’t know either.

I’ve started doing store deliveries now. The first day they gave me the keys, new paperwork, and basically left me to it. And it was a rigid. Straight away you know it’s going to be tricky, if the store had half decent access they would send a proper artic. Then, as I’d never driven these rigids before, I had to work out how to use the tail lift. It’s the same as on the artics, but instead of a separate power lead they are obviously already wired up. The bastard things have an isolator switch in the cab that I couldn’t find. And you have to remove the keys before it will operate. And I was having issues with the scanner/ terminal thing.

So that was a great start. The store loading area was inside a multi storey car park which I drove straight past looking for the store. It was a a bit of a nightmare as they are timed deliveries, if you miss the window it sets of a chain reaction of arse kicking up and down the chain of command.

I scraped into my two time slots.

Today was my second go at stores, in an artic. Loads less stress.

Last week, my first on my new hours, I only got my three core days. This week, now they know what my hours are, they’ve already asked me to work today (flex up) and tomorrow (day off) on top of my 3 core days. It seems the work is there for the taking.

 

My stretching, after my initial, wildly optimistic pulled–from-the-hat guess of a month to attain side splits, is now progressing slowly, with massive pain, but surely.  After my first go I didn’t really get any further for a week or so. I’ve now come up with an improved system. I’ve rigged up a restraining stirrup for my less stretchy leg then just force the other one down to a level. I’ve been trying to get Wendy to help but due the amount of pain it puts me through she’s not much use. I’ve made pretty good gains the last two days. And held the stretch for full minute holds (as opposed to the recommended 30 seconds.) I’m not sure if the pain is getting any more bearable or if I’m getting better at accepting it. Either way I’ve been able to reach maximum stretch then increase it the last two days. I’m thinking of improvising a pulley system to drag my feet down. That way I could accurately force them further apart and keep them in position. And easily increase the stretch.

It’s taking over an hour, often more like two, to do my stretches. I’ve balled up a tea towel on a piece of string in the kitchen. It lives in the cupboard, but after I’ve done lots of reps of front, back and side swings to warm my legs up, I tie the string to another cupboard with the tea towel at head height as a target for side and turning kicks. I put it a few inches above head height to practise front kicks. That’s the second part of the warm up. Then I do 8 x 12 legs splits, on my back, legs (with weights on ankles) against the wall. *Then*, I can do the proper stretches. All the rest is steadily increasing pain and effort, once I put the restraining stirrup on things get serious.

I will bloody well get there.

Missed my second Karate lesson last week. We’ve got a new pressure cooker, the last was knackered for ages, never had any pressure. I changed into my gi (karate suit) then, just before I went out, I was worried my stew would boil dry. I let out a load of steam then opened the lid.

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The clue was in the word ‘pressure’ cooker.

All over my gi, burnt my hand and foot, clarted the kitchen.

Super.

So I missed that lesson.

Also my running has taken a big hit. Stretching is taking so much time, and *has* to be done every day, they say, to be effective.

………………………………………………………………………….

I didn’t get around to posting the above as I was going to slap on a roundup of the Twitter highlights, but I never got around to it.

Now everything has changed again.

I was sent out to do a store delivery, but the map was for a different store, same area. I got there, finally found it, (they put tiny signs on the back door of the stores) and was told I was at the wrong store. No problem, ignore the map and trust my satnav.  My satnav took me out on to the main road then wanted me to go back into the same place. Bugger. So I pulled off the main road into a big side street, pulled up in the bus stop and ‘phoned work. Seems they have two stores in the same shopping centre. OK then. Then I realised there was too much traffic down the side street for me to spin it around. Satnav said I was OK to carry on so I did, looking for a roundabout of big enough place to swing. The road got narrower, not wider. Cars parked up, not good. At the end of the road was a mini island, with a lamppost tight to my right, bollards to the front and a dividing island in the road to the right into which I had to drive.

I had no choice but to go for it. The lamppost and the light on the dividing island were battered and covered in paint, so lots of people had run foul of it. I got quite close to pulling it off but just couldn’t quite make it. Which left me stuck like this

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The bit with my unit right up on the pavement is accurate.

This meant I had to reverse out. As you can see I had to keep it really tight to avoid hitting the lamppost, in doing so I lost sight of the bollards.

Reversed into one.

All I did was break the lense (about £15 to replace).

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I eventually managed to wriggle it back and forwards and get out through the oncoming lane side of the island. I was sweating buckets, I thought I was stuck there. In the end all the cars that were waiting gave me a round of applause, in an encouraging way, not taking the piss, which was nice.

Work sacked me.

*sigh*

At least it cleared up the above questions. I was still agency, I’m now not.

So there goes my chance at a cushy ‘real’ job.

There are jobs going, I’m not worried, but that would have been a real job, not agency, and their idea of a long shift was 10 hours.  That suited me, you can fit in a life around it. When you are working 12+  hours all you do is sleep and work.

Now I’m looking at trying to get in at Asda, through the agency. They are opening their new Distribution Centre (DC) on the M62/ Burtonwood (about 2 miles from our house) but I expect that to be long shifts and comparatively hard work.  There’s always Hermes, they are constantly recruiting. But there’s a reason for that.

Anyway, that’s as may be.

 

On the plus side I’m getting on with my Karate. The main sensei guy was at the last two training sessions I could make. He took me aside and showed me the katas I need for the next three grades. That’s splendid, loads of time to practice.  I went to a lesson last night at Culcheth, virtually everyone was a black belt there. I asked if it was a senior grade only session but sensei said it wasn’t. Later though, as we were putting this sequence of kicks, punches, blocks, a choke and a take-down together (which I was really enjoying) he came over to me and said “normally I wouldn’t recommend a white belt come to this lesson, they just wouldn’t fit in. You fit straight in, though.”

Which was nice to hear. Though it made me think that perhaps it wasn’t an accident after-all that everyone there was a senior grade.

Anyway, if they’ll have me, training with the big boys (and girls) is the best way to learn. 

I laid off the stretching for a few days as my knee was paining me and keeping me awake at night. Back to it with a vengeance today, knee immediately sore. I think it’s because I have the ankle weights on and am pulling that leg down by my Kung Fu trouser bottoms. It’s maximum leverage but I think it must be straining my knee joint to the side.  May have to look into some form of splint device to keep my leg straight and take the pressure off my knee. Bugger. Nothing is ever easy. Not to mention the hideous amounts of pain you have to endure.

 

I’m taking this weekend off, well, I’ve applied for two new agency jobs but I’m not really getting the ball rolling until Monday.

I might pop down in person to the Asda DC tomorrow, see if I can find out their agency of choice. What I really don’t want is the Hermes model of 5 days/ 6 days, all evenings. I need to carry on with my Karate.

Right, bedtime. Had enough of today.

Later,

Buck.

Eventful.

We were happily watching The Matrix on Sunday night, Neo was in mid tussle with Agent Smith in the subway, when Wendy went into the kitchen. She heard a running water sound. I looked outside, no rain, I went upstairs nothing running, nothing leaking. Went back down. Suddenly water started pissing down the kitchen windows, from the inside, then pouring out of the overhead light socket. Not good. I ran around in a flap, finding and turning off stopcocks. Two under the sink, four in the airing cupboard.

By this time Wendy was on the ‘phone to our landlords and screeching hysterically “IT’S COMING OUT OF THE LIGHT!”

We don’t have a mop and bucket so I set to with the improvise, adapt and overcome. I put a bunch of towels on the floor to stop the water from flooding into the front room. Wendy’s brother, Peter and his father in law, Terry laid that wooden floor, I’d be screwed trying to do it, so that was my first concern. Then it was a case of soaking a towel and wringing it out outside the back door.

So much hassle. Eventually it stopped draining out and I thought we’d won.

The plumber came around about 01.00, and looked at the ceiling. He noticed it was bulging in a bit so started stabbing it with his screwdriver. This is what plumbers do, apparently.

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Which was fun. But it just kept on pouring. In the end he was worried if he left it the ceiling was going to collapse so he cut an exploratory hole.

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That grey thing in the hole is plastic pipes. Unlike copper pipes the bastards shake loose, it would appear.

He identified the culprit pipe, isolated the water to the heating (of which it was a part) and buggered off.

We had no heating. Again.

The heating guy turned up the next day by a minor miracle (and Wendy badgering everyone on the ‘phone). We thought it was going to be  “Common fault. Not got that part, I’ll order it, see you in a week.” Again.

Turns out it wasn’t even broke, just the pipe had shaken completely free. He tightened it up, job’s a good ‘un. Bastard.

The plumber could have done that. “We do the plumbing, heating is someone else” or told me it wasn’t broken, I’d have tightened it. Anyway, that aside, it’s been dealt with promptly and quite efficiently this time. Now we have to wait for a plasterer to come and fix the ceiling. No biggie.

 

I’ve been beasting myself on the stretching exercises. The real downer is you have to do them every day or you are back to square one, they say. So even on meh days you have to stretch off with warm up exercises then torture yourself. If I ever get there, to side and front splits, I am never letting it go. I’ve pencilled my current maximum stretch on the wall. It is depressingly high up. Long, long way to flat. I’m liking the Karate, even if it does incorporate a MMA culture. I’m not mollycoddled, it’s “Right, you’re with this black belt. Everyone practice head kicks”

Which is good.

The Tae Kwon Do class I used to go to on a Sunday, where there were only about four or five people, all senior grades, was where I was most challenged and therefore improved the most.

 

Work is proving hit and miss. I was only down for one shift last week, ended up doing four. This week I’m down for two, see how it goes.

I’ve had my store training, so I should be getting more work doing store deliveries.

The guy who started the same time as me, who I didn’t mind except for the fact he was one of those who gets all laddy and mates with the bosses straight away, has been binned off site. Apparently he had loads of bumps, they sacked him off when he had three in a week. Get chummy with the bosses. He was store trained weeks ago, has been doing store deliveries, they’ve made exceptions for him crashing (policy is three strikes and you’re out) and on the week I was down for one shift he was supposed to be doing six!

How’s that for fairness?

I couldn’t do it if I wanted to. I don’t speak the same language. I have no interest in football, I’m not a sexist or a racist, and I’m not entirely stupid. I just go in, make the minimum of small talk, do my job and go home. One of the reasons lorry driving suits me, I don’t have to deal with people.

 

Running is the other thing. I did a killer session at Karate on Sunday, then decided I’d best cram the maximum into my one sure day off (working Saturday and Monday) so went to go for a long run. All runs are pack runs now as training for the big race. I set out and it was cold. I was in my shorts, a compression vest (very thin) and a long sleeved breathable top. Basically the wind cut straight through it as if I was naked. And it was windy. And fecking freezing. Snow and ice on the ground, biting wind. Within a few miles I had to stop and put on my waterproof (windproof) jacket. Then the trouble was my legs. They felt like lead. I was going to do the 12 mile lap, then the 10 mile one. By the end of the first 6 miles I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I’d have happily stopped then if it wasn’t for the fact I still had 6 miles to get back home. I couldn’t understand it, but it felt familiar. Then I realised, triathlon! That was the sensation. When you finish one discipline and start to run and your legs just won’t play. You have to grit your teeth and woodenly stomp around in misery. Apparently really intense Karate sessions work the same way. I did the 12 miles of misery and hung my head in shame. Then as soon as I stopped I was dying of cold. I was soaked with cold sweat inside my jacket.

I went out today after a relatively light hour and a half of warming up stretches, kicks, proper stretches, and warm down stretches. I was going for the full marathon, 26.2 miles. This time I got the right top, it’s denser material so warmer and wind resistant.

The first three miles were grim but then my legs loosened up and I found a slow but steady pace. I thought I was on for it, but by 14 miles I was suffering. It was turning bitterly cold as the sun was setting, my legs were giving up, and I was having to mince over big sheets of ice on the path. I had another 6 miles to go to get home so I settled for a 20 miler. Slow and painful, but 20 miles is 20 miles.

Wednesday, two hours of stretching, some sax (particularly bad as I decided to change the warped reed for a new one. The first was apparently a retasked oak door, would not blow in, the second was better but still bad.) I was, mercifully the neighbours would argue, interrupted by work calling. They want me to go in tomorrow and drive the rigids I picked up back to Doncaster. Get a lift back with any passing driver, then take another. 

It was the main manager who called me. Then he said he was drawing up some paperwork for a part time job “it’s yours.”

Woo-hoo!

Finally, 5½ years after getting my licenses, I’m getting a real job!

He said I’d have to go through the interview and that it might be a few weeks yet, but the job’s mine. Yay!

 

Anywho, enough of my waffle, Twitter!

 

The DMreporter had:

POLITICS: “Well that’s exactly the sort of thing his kind say” – UKIP respond to accusations of racism from defecting Asian MEP.

INTERNATIONAL: Obama confronts India on women’s rights record as he travels to pay respects to deceased Saudi King Abdullah.

AMERICA: Alabama court lifts ban on same-sex marriage “as long as it’s within the same family.”

 

 

In Politics/ Tory scum we had:

A post mortem has been ordered for LEON BRITTAN. This is NOT routine for cancer"

LEON BRITTAN: "It’s unknown why Ambulance staff called POLICE to deceased’s home"

Grrrr….this just sums up our feckin government eh

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We are not just a party of Bigots, we have many Xenophobes, Racists and Ranting Nationalists too! #BroadChurch #ukip

Tories threatening us with Labour tax increase. You mean they are going to reverse the millionaire’s tax cut? #smallest #violin

#ukip would like you to avoid getting expensive diseases! Please buck your ideas up everyone and don’t get ill.

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Tory philosophy in a nutshell: Ken Clarke calls paying people a decent wage a "populist" policy. #newsnight

It’s fucking popular with me, Ken. You’re spot on there, you Tory scrote.

"Please Sir can i ha…." "DRIVE ON"

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Oooop…Sinn Fein’s Pat Doherty says he was approached by Tory MP asking if the party would take its seats. Look forward to new Con poster

I wonder how many public sector workers would like to discuss this with Tory MP Andrew Bridgen?

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And favest, General:

(I put) Male menopause (manopause) update: Still hot and fat. But at least I’ve stopped ovulating.

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Worst superhero name ever.

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Jackie Stewart followed by Graham Hill at the Nürburgring, 1966

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Best argument for the British monarchy I ever heard.

 

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(Only argument. But nevertherless, go Queenie!)

Apparently Sarah Palin has "a servant’s heart". I wonder what she did with the rest of the poor blighter?

Read "papyrus script" as platypus. Though someone had made a font of stylised platypi/platypuses.

Steady on!…

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Blizzard, 1966, North Dakota:

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(Now *that* is snow!)

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So, apparently, “meninism” is a thing. On behalf of all men, I apologise.

I used to think I was good at anticipating all the ways something might be misunderstood. Then I met Twitter.

Day two of diet. Threat level: cannibalism imminent.

Highlights From The Guardian’s Soulmates Dating Site

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Gas prices fell 43% in a year, but your bill will only drop by 4%. Discuss.

Watched American Sniper. Sort of Star Wars from the point of view of the Stormtroopers.

My cat is sad because my other cat has taken some speed and is pogoing violently to antisocial punk rock music.

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Attention GOP presidential candidates: Winter does not disprove global warming http://bit.

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(Fox news with the *facts* as ever.)

SCIENCE REMINDER: A blizzard doesn’t disprove climate change anymore than you being an idiot disproves evolution.

So far this blizzard is a total bust in Manhattan. Gonna eat my five weeks supply of food now.

camouflage level 9999 ^

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WomanAgainstFeminism had:

I don’t need femimsim because only men like video games & sport! Women like staring off into the abyss, thinking about mortality and regret

Femisem Is Misandrist Every Subscriber Inhales Men’s Souls Nomnomnom

 

RECREATE the experience of listening to Radio 1 by putting saucepans in a tumble dryer while a stranger laughs at his own jokes.

Chocolate Labradors are a con. They actually taste of dirty hair.

Amazon trolling.

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Young people whine about how their interests aren’t being served in favour of older people who actually bother  to vote.

Yeah cos that’s how trains work.

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ANNOY staff at a Tesco Express by asking if it stops at Birmingham New Street.

Apparently Apple just don’t know what to do with their £17bn cash pile. Suggestion: PAY SOME F*****G TAX #taxjustice

Greece walks into a bar. Orders an Ouzo. And has the bill sent to Germany. Germany receives it. Pays. And requests a receipt. For one bar.

To the tune of ‘Tragedy’ Kedgeree! It’s a rice-based dish and it’s made with fish It’s Kedgeree!

To stop Bert’s long ears collecting snow, we’ve popped an oven glove over them. As you can see, he’s thrilled.

 

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David Cameron to refuse to take part in TV debates unless Dippy the Diplodocus is invited

Happiest dog ever ‘

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On this day 1945 the Red Army liberated Auschwitz. A Communist Party reflection on Holocaust:

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By the way, if you believe in austerity, please give up your mortgage and start living within your means. #bbcqt

If you’re having wifi problems I feel bad for you son, I got *googles lyric* 99 problems but *googles goats standing on other goats* What?

Optimist would say half a cheesecake left, pessimist; half gone. Pragmatist would say you’ve eaten half a cheesecake you greedy, fat twat.

Stephen Fry on God, should he exist. http://youtu.be/-suvkwNYSQo 

(that is 2 minutes of off-the-scale brilliance. Go Stevey!)

Mitt’s not running. Boy, I sure hope the GOP can find another stiff rich white guy who loves war and hates gay people in time for 2016

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YES! Germany still owes Greece more in wartime reparations than the entire cost of the bailout.

A gentle reminder from our European friends that Nihilism is not a philosophy. It’s an economic policy.

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(Just WOW!)

 

NADIR They scraped the barrel, They scraped under the barrel, They tunnelled under the barrel’s basement And there they found #TakeMeOut .

You should not vaccinate your children unless you are absolutely sure you love them.

The inventor of predictive text has died. His funfair will be hello on Sundial.

This guy built a USS Enterprise out of 18,000 Lego bricks and it looks amazing:

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I saw a man collapse in the street so I said "Stand back everyone, I’m a social media strategist" & updated all his profiles before he died.

If a bear attacks you, pretend to be dead. That way, the bear will feel less guilty when it actually kills you.

Gabi really took it up a notch

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rt 2 spred awarenes

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BREAKING: Scientists discover vaccine for anti-vaxxers, tentatively called "Science".

Why don’t they have a WHITE history month?? Why don’t they have NON-handicapped parking spaces? Why’s there no cemetery for ALIVE people??

MI5 knew about the pedo ring and actively engaged in activities to cover it up. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/westminster-child-abuse-scandal-kgb-5080120 …

KGB source says Leon Brittan ran Special Branch as an "Establishment Militia"

New bestest 404 page http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-15/abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz …

ISIS hold Jordanian pilot in a cage.Barbaric.Oh,wait.That’s Guantanamo Bay prisoners.Carry on.

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This is why white folks should never complain about immigration. Ever.

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When opening a door for a lady always let out a terrifying roar to create the illusion that the door was locked, but you are very strong.

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Whatever you do, please do not share this childish image. It is especially offensive to women:

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RiposteOfTheDay. Evangelical Tory MP in No lobby: "I’m voting for Jesus." 2nd Tory MP in Aye lobby: "But didn’t He have three parents?"

Fatal plane crash was likely caused by pilot taking selfies, say investigators

Don’t cha wish your boyfriend was clocking broadband speeds of 16.56Mbps download & 7.49Mbps upload, during peak internet hours. Don’t cha.

this should stop those bastards sleeping on the job!

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Pope to GOP: Karl Marx wasn’t the one who said: "sell what you own, and give the money to the poor" (Matthew 19:21)

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Chewbacca: *drops a wrench* Han: Don’t worry, you’re new here. It was a Wookiee mistake. Chewbacca: *mauls him to death*

"The nation of Greece has said sorry to the European Union with a present of an enormous wooden horse."

#CheapFilmKnockoff Catanic

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And on that note,

Later.

Buck.