Lying down on the job|
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|Monday, September 10th, 2007|
|Ah! NerdTests.com Test Score...
Overall, you scored as follows:
12% scored higher (more nerdy),
0% scored the same, and
88% scored lower (less nerdy).
What does this mean? Your nerdiness is:
High-Level Nerd. You are definitely MIT material, apply now!!!.
Not bad after years of neglecting my youthful nerdiness!
|Tuesday, August 21st, 2007|
|Fish in Brighton, Not Pants
Took Adam to the Brighton SeaLife Centre early this morning. As an early-doors, organised groups of tiddlers, we got in for two quid instead of the grockly twelve (c/w free plastic seahorse). My third visit, his third visit. Still wonderful. Absolutely the best thing was
the big green turtle, viewed from the shark tunnel, but where was she? Some of the lively carp tanks made up for it, anyway. Then Adam timely fell asleep while eating baked beans in the Olde Harbour area. Bliss. It's the only part of the Centre that actually smells of fish; everywhere else is just a bit damp. Well, we were
Highly recommended. Some Londoners told us it was better than the London Aquarium, which sounds unlikely, but maybe they meant for kids? Very cool and cloudy here today, so the place was packed and queueing when we came out about 1pm. Still people on the beach, of course.
|Monday, August 20th, 2007|
|VHS of Life, the Universe and Douglas Adams
This is the first in a very short series of slightly repostings, partly due to just having doubled the size of my friends list. [I'm hoping to be here slightly more often.]
The last known VHS of Life, the Universe and Douglas Adams was thrown into the bag o' shite that I donated to the zz9 AGM auction behind the German Embassy in 2005. Red very nearly tempted me to buy it all back for peanuts, but it went in the end to Mr Notcardboard who now claims never to have seen a copy. I think I may have distracted him with the kids' toys and the Fonzie book or whatever it was...
I hear that there is one remaining copy in zz9 merchandise stock, but the basic problem here is that twenty-five quid is still way too effing steep for one VHS, no matter how scarce it seems to be.
|Sunday, August 19th, 2007|
|Invite-a-Somebody and Help-a-Writer
Friends, I'm more than ever on the lookout for amenable celebs, media people, even fannish writers, anybody interesting or influential or at least vaguely sentient, to whom I might send an invite for my Book Launch party in October. If you can think of anyone who fits the bill, or anyone who might like to come who I probably haven't already listed for an invite, just tell them about it and/or email me about it. See the events page on zz9.org or the news page on Sproutlore.com for any details. Seriously. Today. Please. Thank you.
I'll be inviting along a couple of published authors, and a couple of professional magazine editors, but since they all know me already, the more, the merrier!
Given an address, I can post an official invite, either directly or through you. They won't necessarily be hassled to buy books or to write anything. Just turn up and have a drink and a chat. I might even rustle up a free review copy for a special guest, if pressed.
By the way, if any of you don't happen to get a direct invite from me in the next few weeks, consider yourself invited anyway, by virtue of bothering to read this far.
Cheers! Reg x aka. El Doctore Gris Ricardo et al. (2007) and such gibber.
|Tuesday, July 31st, 2007|
|Saturday, May 19th, 2007|
I have the proof cover for my book! It's rather lovely. I took the photo myself, but the designer has done a nice job. I wonder how to post it up here, or whether that's naughty? Just need to do a bit of work on the blurb, and try to get a celebrity endorsement to go with it, in time for the first print run. Know any celebs that I don't? Can he/she read? Launch is currently scheduled for Sat 6th October, so print me big in your diaries now. Birthday 42 + pub-based novel + real pub venue = party at London Bridge.
|Friday, February 9th, 2007|
Can anyone lend me two hundred and fifty thousand pounds? I say "lend", but obviously... You see, we need something bigger than a one-bed flat, what with the kid(s) and the working from/at home, and frankly the rent on anything bigger around east Brighton is terrifying. Double the payment for 20% more space? Go on, lend us, you know you want to. I'll let you have it back as soon as I can, honest. Go on, go on... just a teensy-weensy quarter-million sterlings. Please.
Mind you, if my novel is a huge commercial success with film rights and all that, we could be sorted. Trouble is, the book has no sex, no violence, no death, no politics and (above all) no celebrity author. Just lots of drunkenness, travel and swearing. And it's really ******g funny. I mean, even the title, "The Importance of Being Drunk". A Christmas must-buy-for-someone-else, or what, isn't it?
|Publishing "The Importance of Being Drunk"
You know, I've had an alarmingly positive reader's report back for my novel "The Importance of Being Drunk". The ms has been sitting around in a cyberdustheap for simply ages, because the biggest publishers and agents wouldn't bargepole an unknown quantity like me. Fannish profile butters no parboiled. I was disillusioned. Nothing happened, because I made nothing happen.
Until shortly before Christmas, when Jacquie offered to make a Christmas present to me of sending the ms to a reader for a smaller publisher. And they liked it, so here we go, time to wangle a deal of some sort. No, I'll probably never make money out of it in real terms, but I'm going to try...
Don't watch this space. I post so infrequently that you'll go rancid waiting.
|Tuesday, December 5th, 2006|
Clearly no problems with my stress levels. Lying down on the job, as usual. Spending whole days rubbing me belly and going wibble-wubble. Apart from the days when J&a are in the flat, and I'm trying to get stuff done of course. And when Sainsbury's don't turn up and I'm late for work. And when Egg bank ignore my complaints again. And the Royal Mail take a month to their first response to a report of PO counter staff nicking valuables. Or when software I've supplied doesn't work and the 'client' is in a state. A state of the USA that I've never heard of, usually. Approximately. And don't get me started on these Christmas cards, I mean, I love Christmas, but...
|Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006|
|Car Hire: DON'T DEAL WITH 1CAR1 !
A little update on my post-Christmas experience with a certain UK car hire company is due. LCH Local Contract Hire & Leasing Ltd trades as 1car1 and provides good rates, good vehicles, good service, right up to the point of free vehicle delivery. However, when it comes to collection, they have no commercial reason to waste staff time collecting the vehicle when you've finished with it. So they leave it awhile. Ok so far. The problem is that YOU REMAIN LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VEHICLE UNTIL THEY COLLECT IT. Loss or damage costs you your deposit of several hundred pounds, regardless of circumstances. Parking tickets are down to you too. And they even have the nerve to charge administration fees for these! So, more than a month after my lovely weekend away, I get two parking tickets (currently 60 quid each, soon 90 quid each) and a bill for 47 quid admin. This is despite the fact that the tickets were incurred several days after the end of my hire period. They kept promising to collect, but it took them from Tuesday morning to late Friday afternoon to actually come. You see, they'd rather wait until someone else needs the car. Bear in mind that they don't tell you any of this when you hire from them. It's all in the small print. So, don't think twice before hiring from them, just PLEASE DON'T HIRE FROM 1CAR1 it'll cost more than you think. Pass it on. I'm more than happy to back up everything I've said with documentation. I've reported them to my credit card company. The best bit is, because they falsely identified me as the keeper of the vehicle to my local authority, they can be prosecuted and fined five thousand pounds. Watch this space...
|Friday, January 13th, 2006|
|Uk vehicle rental
For that last weekend away, I hired for the first time a car from 1car1 (or variants with dots in) on the basis that they were offering new cars at least as good as the ones offered by the big names and significantly cheaper, plus they would deliver and collect free of charge! And then they upgraded me. Sweet. Four days in a big red Vectra 1.8 for just under a ton. The most uncomfortable car seat since that east european 4x4 (I happen to prefer sitting up in a vehicle over (a) lying down or (b) having planks of wood in my spine) but otherwise a marvel.
The bad news has been that we finished with it on Monday afternoon, ready for collection Tuesday morning, and had they collected it then it would never have been illegally parked. You see, our area is all residents parking, and usually quite strict once you've outstayed your official leeway. Midday is the limit. They said maybe they'd come in the afternoon, maybe Wednesday. By Thursday, the car was still out there, covered in birdxxxx. I called them. Again, they said "this afternoon".
Sometime before 5.59pm Thursday, the wardens got serious. Friday morning, I called the hire company again, and they mentioned in passing that the fines were all mine (along with all other shades of legal responsibility) until the motor is actually collected, no matter how long they take over it, or how much warning you give them.
I mentioned that I'd rather keep hiring from them than pay the fine and never do business with them again, but their management structure meant that the person talking to me was sympathetic but useless. The guy who finally collected the car this afternoon was much the same. I was kind of happy about all that birdxxxx.
Ever hear of "chargeback" on a credit card?
They will have, soon enough.
|Tuesday, January 10th, 2006|
"Please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me. It can only be one word. No more."
Awfully brave, I'd say. Thanks, Doug. And I don't mean the colour.
No need to add this entry to your LJ (again) as I'm not here that often...!
|Thursday, January 5th, 2006|
For some reason(s), this year's Gray family gathering is happening on the first weekend in January. Not only not at Christmas, and not before Christmas, but actually after twelfth night. We'll still have have gifts and sherry, and there will be at least ten guests on Saturday. Pershore as a venue is further north than usual, but since the family house north of Bristol has finally been sold (because none of us was living there any more) and the family members live as far afield as Sussex, Scotland and Northern Ireland, that will be the way of things from now on.
It's turning into a bit of a vacation for me and Jacquie. Friday night in tiny Trellech in Gwent (slogan: "Handy for Tintern"), Saturday night in downtown Pershore in Worcestershire (between the pub, the chippy and the petrol station), and Sunday lunch and night in Dursley in Gloucestershire (Dursley? Sort of a cowshed Manhattan, but with more chav kids). A hundred quid for the hire car, but what with Jacquie thirtysome-odd weeks pregnant, we sha'n't be doing Ibiza anytime soon. Or Goa, come to that.
How do you get four elephants into a mini? Come and look at our one-bed basement flat with a cot, two large buggies, three computers, three printers, three scanners, two copiers, three CD players, a widescreen TV... crikey, this is turning into a burglar's shopping list... we also have a grand's-worth of impregnable front door, no accessible windows, and there's always someone in.
|Monday, December 26th, 2005|
Yes, it's boxing day, for what it's worth these days. I am going into work at 2 pm. There will be no box, just some choccies and cheap fruit juice. I'm on duty until midnight so Jacquie is off to her parents for the night, catching relatives on fleeting visits from parts most foreign. If I wasn't on more than treble-time for today I might whinge... Have to tape the telly for another time. Have you noticed how the seasonal telly has become more compacted on Christmas day, while the rest of the time is pretty sparse, apart from the off Christmas special that was on last week already? The best thing about today will be having Christmas dinner all over again at 1pm! Yum, turkey++ and a seasons greets to all you non-turkeys out there.
|Wednesday, August 31st, 2005|
|"I work hard for the money..."
Didn't have to work at all today, but still had to go in to be spit-roasted over hot coals for allegedly being crap. Maybe the photo gave them ideas. Management shouldn't listen to gossip, no matter how many reliable sources it comes from. If I'm seen faffing about it's because I'm convinced that people find it entertaining. As for abusing NHS.net, well, fuck it, I get bored sometimes and Freecell is way more tiring than Loquax.
|Friday, August 12th, 2005|
|Lotsa Flying Aboot
I've nearly recovered from recent travels. Thanks to Virgin Atlantic and British Airways for being briefly almost fully-operational on the right dates for me. One small hangover from it all is that I seem to be nearly smoking again. Travel does that to me; paradoxically so, since one can never smoke while in the act of travelling, these days. I shall have to deal with that shortly, i.e. dispose of the remnants and start (stop) again. Another problem is lack of exercise. Having to catch on up on regular morning runs. Not easy in San Francisco, but better on the north coast (foggy) and around the vineyards (hot), and then surpisingly easy on the banks of the Kelvin in one of the leafier bits of Glasgow latterly. Back to the cliffs of east Brighton now. Shiny.
I wouldn't mind shedding a few pounds, as everyone says, incessantly. Not in cash, you understand. I have the receipts (or most of them) to prove that I spent more cash in Glasgow than anywhere else on earth, ever. This, despite the fact that all of my accomodation and most of my partying were gratis. So, I bought a few T-shirts and the odd beeblebear (gift), so I did, but where the flappingnurgle-gurgle did the other two hundred quid go?
We seem to have finished unpacking, but we need a larger flat. This isn't going to happen.