Meaning Of Loaf

       Taking the easy road through life

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Throwing on the dust covers...

Greetings all!

First of all, rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated! And also contrary to speculation from last last post, no, I've not been spending every waking hour in Second Life either :)

However, I have been busy, very busy, too busy in fact, which is why this blog has sadly fell silent for far too long now, and since I can't seem to find the time just at the moment to do it justice, I think I need to throw the dust covers over, hopefully only temporarily, until I can get back to the blogging with full force.

So what is taking up all my time? Well, I'm glad to say it's all good things! I have passed my motorbike test, and have been spending a lot of time running the new bike in, and related to this, I am also planning out the trip this summer, which is going to be a charity ride circling Ireland.

On top of that, I've taken on some extra work, which means a lot of free time is disappearing, which may not be fun, but the money sure is! And last of all, the remaining free time is being taken up with a potential new woman in my life on the horizon! So it's all good.

Of course, I won't forget all the wonderful friends I've made through the blogs, and I'll still do my best to keep up with all my blogroll and keep in contact. I hope this is only a temporary thing anyhow, and perhaps in a month or two, it'll be time to kick start this blog once again.

So until then, farewell to all and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Saturday Night At The Movies

First of all, I wanted to quickly explain the titles for posts this year; in case they seem a little odd, I'm trying to find a suitable song title for each post. This is because; a) It takes less thought to just put a few words in the iTunes search box to find something imaginative and b) I've been watching too much Grey's Anatomy. Anyway, onto the post...

It's that time of year again when the main flood of movie trailers come out and I start whittling down the wish list of which ones I must go to the cinema for, which ones I may way watch, and those to avoid at all costs.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (trailer)
Yes, I'm a sucker action, special effects and great one liners, and the first film delivered all three by the truckload. Looking at the trailer for the second one coming out this year, they're stepping it up a notch, because this just looks awesome. Currently sitting at the top of my list with very little to challenge it!

Hancock (trailer)
I was first introduced to Will Smith as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and although he's done some very impressive straight acting, I still like to see him in a comedy. I think this one appeals to me because if the trailer is anything to go by, it's certainly different to anything I've seen in a while, and it looks like he does a good job of playing the reluctant super hero. So far, this would be my comedy choice for the summer.

Cloverfield (trailer)
Ok, so this one is still a little shrouded in mystery, and they're really not giving too much away (although I've not looked too hard because I like surprises), so to be honest, I want to see this purely on the fact that it has J.J. Abrams attached to it, who for those who don't know, is an executive producer for Lost, another favorite of mine. Not quite sure where to rate this one, but curiosity is compelling me to see it.

Sweeney Todd (trailer)
This has just come out recently over here, and if I can convince a few others into coming along, I'd like to see this while it's still at the cinema, as I think this is one of those films that really works on the big screen with a full on sound system. Johnny Depp looks like he pulls off the roll effortlessly, and no-one plays crazy like Helena Bonham Carter, so really hope I see this one before it disappears!

What I won't be seeing

Alvin And The Chipmunks
I found the TV series annoying enough the first time round, there's no way I'm going to sit through movie length version of it! But please, this time round, spare us from their music on the radio as well!

Sex And The City
On behalf of husbands and boyfriends everywhere, I plead with the female population to realise that we don't want to sit through this. We sat through it while you watched it on TV, and then again when you bought it on the box set. We really thought it was over, don't put us through it again!

So, thoughts & opinions? What's everyone else's big movie choices for 2008?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Looking back, Looking forward

A Happy New Year to all!

Originally I was going to make the first post of this year looking back over last year, and then looking ahead for this year, then decided it's much better to leave the past in the past and just look forward to what's to come! I also planned to have this post ready by the 1st January. Oh well, start as I mean to go on...

So far, this has been a good year. Yes, all 5 days of it have been excellent, today topping the list for sure!

This morning, I went for my motorbike theory test, and passed. To be honest, if I'd not passed, I'd have never lived it down. I mean after 15 or so years of driving, I'd like to think I've pretty much got the theory of roads down, and to be fair, the questions were a mixture of stuff I knew and common sense (which is always a bit of a push at 9.15 in the morning).

In celebration of passing this, I decided to take a wander down to the local Suzuki dealership, just to have a look around and drool over some bikes. As I walked in the door, there it was: the very bike I was after, in the colour I wanted, and £600 off. I immediately summoned the salesman.

After a few technical questions that I'd learnt from bike magazines to make it look like I knew what I was talking about, I decided to ask a little more about this bike in particular:

Me: So what's the mileage on it?

Salesman: Mileage? Well it's new, there's not really any mileage.

Me: So you're selling it for this price new?

Salesman: Yes.

Me: .....Name your deposit, I shall pay it!

So after the exchange of cash and paperwork, I'm now the pseudo-owner of a Suzuki GSX-R600 K7. I say pseudo, as until I pass the practical test, I can't actually pick it up, but what an incentive to pass! As for now, I'll just have to lust after the picture:

Oh yes, it shall be mine!

So, to round up, it wouldn't be a new year post without some resolutions, so here's mine for this year:

Have more adventures - I think this is pretty much underway with buying the bike.

Find a woman - It's time to kick start the dating again. The bike may also help here; chicks dig bikes right?

I could also make the same resolution to eat healthy and get in shape, but we all know where that ends up each year.

So, I have a feeling that 2008 is going to be a great year, and hope it is for all of you as well!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bad Luck Magnet

After the fiasco of British Airways and the iPods, which incidentally is still ongoing, I've now given up on BA, and on Katie's advice, am now pursuing the TSA. But if that wasn't enough bad luck, I've now had further bad luck...

As some may know, I recently became the proud owner of an Alfa Romeo 147, taken over from a friend who was leaving the country, and despite the extra running costs, has been a pleasure to drive.

Here in the UK, we've been getting a lot of frost at night, and is joined on occasion by frost's best drinking buddy; black ice, which I had the pleasure of meeting last night. On route back from a friends house just before midnight I was happily driving some of the scenic back routes until I started to go round one particular corner and noticed the back of my car attempting to overtake the front. Sensing something was not quite right, I started what seemed like a pretty elegant bit of figure skating across the road until a tree was kind enough to come to my aid and help me come to a complete stop.

Thankfully, no damage to me, and most of the damage to the car seems to have been taken by the bumper, but my little Alfa is not looking as pretty as she once did:

Clearly it's the time of year for such activities, as the garage won't be able to get my car in until the end of the week or Christmas Eve, and work won't be finished until the new year because of holidays, but fingers crossed I'll be getting a courtesy car, so I won't be stranded over Christmas. I'm also glad that it's the first time I've bothered with no claims protection, which makes me not feel so bad about handing a £1,500 bill to my insurance company.

So, here's hoping that this run of bad luck ends with 2007!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Cautionary Tales

Most readers of this blog will know that I try to avoid the rants too much, and nearly always avoid the cursing, but today I'm making an exception because I feel it justifies it.

As many will know, I made a short trip over to Chicago a few weeks ago, and had a great time. While over there, I was also asked to buy a couple of iPod nanos from the Apple stores for friends as gifts, making the most of the favorable exchange rate we've got at the moment.

The problem started at the airport on the return flight; when checking in my luggage I was told by the staff that I had to remove the lock from my suitcase when leaving it with them for the security inspection, which seemed reasonable enough, as it should be safe, being with security.

When I got home, I found that the two iPod nanos had been removed from my suitcase, and so contacted British Airways who suggested I write to them and they'd look into the matter for me. That seemed reasonable, and I was optimistic that they'd be reimbursing my for the stolen items.

Today, I received a letter from BA, informing me with the usual grating "we're sorry for your inconvenience" and "we appreciate how you feel", that they are not responsible for the loss and will not reimburse me. Now I have to ask, what the fuck?! They were in BA's possession from the moment I dropped them off to the moment I picked them up, so how the hell is it not their responsibility??

So I thought fine, I've got travel insurance, I'll just reclaim it with them. After a call to the claims line, they were only too happy to help until I said that it was two iPod nanos that were stolen. Apparently electronic equipment is not covered. So what damn use is that?! Reading the small print on my 24 page terms and conditions, I also found the following section of exclusions:

antiques, any property held or used for any business or professional purposes, bicycles, binoculars, bonds, coupons, documents of any kind, money, securities, stamps, or travellers cheques, camcorders, cassettes and cassette players, cellular or mobile phones, compact discs and compact disc players, computer and telecommunication equipment of any kind, computer games, contact or corneal lenses, diving equipment, furs, musical instruments, radios, spectacles, sunglasses, tape recorders, television sets, video equipment, video games.

So after that, what's left that's really worth covering?? So thank you Go Travel, for providing me with a travel insurance that is effectively useless for loss or theft.

In a last ditch attempt, I remembered that anything bought on my credit card is covered by an insurance against loss or theft, and so quickly called up Tesco Finance. After navigating the maze of phone options, many of which resulted in me being cut off, I finally reached the assistant who said yes, all items over £25 purchased on the card are covered and can be compensated. Oh, but I bought them outside the UK. That's not covered. Assholes.

So here I am, £200 out of pocket, and thoroughly pissed off with British Airways, Go Travel and Tesco Finance. There is another letter on it's way to BA in one last attempt to get them to change their mind, but I'm not holding my breath. Still, you never know, it's almost Christmas, the season of miracles, so perhaps there will be a happy ending yet...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wicked Weekend

In an attempt to bring a bit of culture to our office, I decided to organise a theatre trip at the weekend, as a bit of a change of pace from the usual night of destroying our livers in some darkened little bar, and since it was a show that I know and thought others would enjoy, we went to see Wicked.

I must say, second time round, I still enjoyed it, although the stand-ins they have for the lead roles of Glinda and Elphaba were a little lacking on the singing, with Glinda in particular being a little too squeaky. Still, it's a great show, and I couldn't help but enjoy it.

I've also learnt that it's not the best show for those who are colour blind, otherwise you have to keep pointing out which one is the green one.

Aside from the theatre, I also headed up to the motorcycle show at the NEC Birmingham, and have now got myself fully kitted out with bike gear, ready for my lessons which will be starting next Saturday, and despite going for fabric jacket and trousers rather than leathers (on the advice of those who've ridden in cold and wet conditions), I still think I looked pretty badass! The helmet in particular I'm proud of:

So now with December starting this weekend, it kicks off a busy social month, with something planned for every weekend through until Christmas, and between the 10 hour work days I'm doing at the moment and packed weekend, December is going to be a busy month!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Crisp Conundrum

A big question has been raised this afternoon, one worthy of a blog post and also in the hope that someone out there can answer our question!

On one of my many trips to the vending machines this afternoon, the question was raised about crisp flavours; you have the single flavor crisps, such as smokey bacon, salted, prawn, and then also the two flavour crisps, such as cheese & onion and salt & vinegar, but then we started to wonder, have we ever seen crisps with more than two flavours? The combined knowledge of two programmers and one business analyst came up blank!

Surely the triple flavour crisp is something that has been thought of, so I ask you readers, do you know of any crisp of more than two flavours, and more importantly, where can I buy some?!

More worthy posts to follow soon. I promise.