Y’know, I don’t listen to enough music any more. I mean, I play plenty of music – I have 16gigabytes of music on a USB drive in my car’s stereo, 7gigabytes on my phone, and whenever I’m in my office and I can , I have my headphones in – but I don’t feel like I don’t really listen to enough music any more. Y’know, where you sit there, usually alone and either through headphones or out loud, and really listen to the songs. No distractions (y’know, like driving or working).

To be fair, I did most of my listening when drunk, high, or a combination of both when I was single, usually when I got home after a night out and was too wired to sleep. I’ve lost count of the days I would be reminded to turn off the music and seek sleep by the sun peaking through the blinds of my old bedroom at my parents house, or woken the morning after with my headphones beside me blaring whatever CD they’d reached in my multi-changer (or later, my mp3 playlist), whilst the cable attempted to strangle me.

Something about being single, male, alone, and inebriated in the wee hours of the morning just seems to draw you towards that sort of situation (at least if you were as unsuccessful at scoring one night stands as I was when I was single – there’s a fine line between drunk-sexy and drunk-repulsive apparently).

But I’ve also done it since settling down and moving in with the missus. But this evening I realised (probably prompted by beer consumption and Onion Girl putting on High Fidelity [the book was better than the film]) that I don’t do it enough any more. This week I’m going to find time to do it.

Also, I’m going to have the most awesome funeral songs ever.

That is all.


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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

So, I finally got around to listening to the first of Noel Gallaghers solo albums. I have to say that whilst I was excited to see what he’d do outside of the Oasis framework, I was also a little bit scared. Scared because the man has been an idol of mine for over a decade, scared because it was his music that drew me into the world of music that I love so much today and influenced me in a lot of ways. And scared because it’d be terribly easy for him to slip into the rut of just pumping out Oasis songs without Oasis.

As it turns out, I need not have worried. I really like the album! OK, I’ll admit that it’s not exactly ground-breaking – it’s still heavily influenced by the later years of the Beatles, and let’s face it, Noel Gallagher was never going to release a grind-core album, but it’s different enough that you don’t think you’re listening to a new Oasis album.

In fact it’s interesting, listening to the last Oasis album, High Flying Birds, and the Beady Eye album (Beady Eye is the band formed by Liam Gallagher and the rest of Oasis after the split). You can tell exactly who was responsible for what songs on the last album after listening to the two independent ones. You can spot the Noel tracks because of similarities between them, and you can spot the Liam/rest of the band tracks because the Beady Eye album could have been lifted straight from a later Oasis record!

In short, if you’re a fan of Noel’s Oasis B-sides and the Noel-sung tracks on the later albums, you won’t be dissapointed here. It’s a good first effort by the Master of Britpop, and I hope he continues to diversify on the following records.


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If you’re around…

… the Harlow area on 14th August, than you should definitely stop by The Square. And bring money. And a camera. But mostly money.

The reason for this rather arbitrary demand? Glad you asked! The Square are playing host to the Collectors Fair: Take 2, which is organised by my good friend Wes. Basically, he tales over the Square for the day and people set out stalls selling collectibles, music, clothes, whatever! It’s like the cool bits of eBay right there, in my local venue.

Collectors fair 2 poster

In addition to the ability to purchase cool stuff without paying P&P, and without the risk of it turning up in the post broken/nothing like it looked in the pictures/missing, you can also gawk at, pose with, take photos of, and generally schmooze with the heroic men and women of the Essex Ghostbusters (now including myself and Onion Girl)!

I’m also (not so) secretly attempting to get some other local cosplayers/costumers to turn up, so you never know who will be browsing Smithy’s record stall next to you…

If this goes half as well as the first one did then a great time will be had by all, and we’ll all go away with some masterful photos and some awesome purchases.

So come down. And bring money!


PS: Anyone local that wants a stall should contact Wes:, or call Adam on (01279) 305000

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Wrong colour bags.

As we’ve established previously, I’m an IT technician. My job is repairing people’s computers and related peripherals when they go wrong. So imagine I’m called up to visit a centre because someone’s PC has stopped working. I arrive, take one look at it and say “Sorry, can’t touch that”. When they ask why not, I casually reply “It’s in the wrong place” whereupon I turn around and leave them with a broken PC they can’t do anything with.

You can imagine the sort of response I’d get if I tried to pull that. There’d be feeble laughter, turning to annoyance and anger as they realised I wasn’t joking. Then there’d be complaints, disciplinarys, and if I kept it up I’d lose my job.
So why is it that when I left my house this morning after our rubbish should have been collected (only the recycling, mind! Our regular refuse has to fester for another seven days before they’ll deign to collect it), I was greeted by the pile of extra recycling we’d left out for collection, with an “advisory” notice attached to our bin. Apparently they couldn’t take the extra recycling because it was in black bin bags. The bags were untied (as per the guidelines) and placed safely next to the recycling bin (as per the guidelines) but they were black so they can’t empty them. So the people paid to collect our recycling wouldn’t collect our recycling (or as I prefer to say “Do their jobs”) because the bags that they had to empty were the wrong bloody colour!

Ridiculous barely covers this situation. Laughable, pathetic, stupid beyond belief – they help to describe it. Yet more blind adherence to short-sighted regulations enforced by local government.

What makes this worse is that now – unless I want to wait another two week for the next recycling collection – I have to put this recycling into my own car (which, unlike the vehicle given to the refuse collectors, is no designed to transport refuse), and drive it to the local dump where it will be deposited in with the general waste, completely defeating the whole point of the recycling exercise.

I really hope that a UK refuse collector reads this, or even better, one of their superiors, because I would love to discuss their idiotic collection policies (but nowhere near as much as I’d like to ram one of the uncollected wine bottles into their eye).

Apologies if all this vitriol and suburban rage is a bit much to take this early in the morning. Normal service will resume shortly.


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Countdown to launch!

After all the fun and games of trying to move a month back, and the ethereal, never-confirmed moving-in date being constantly moved just out of reach, we decided that nice as the house was, they could stick it where the sun shineth not, and we would look elsewhere. And as soon as we did, it confirmed some of our suspicions about our less-then-useful estate agent – every other estate agent could have us moved in within a week.

So we now have a new place, which we are picking up the keys for tomorrow afternoon! This will mean we won’t have to crash at my parents any longer, and that we can finally access all our stuff which is currently squirrelled away in boxes at various peoples houses.

Now, all I have to do is make it through today, and a day of hefting boxes and furniture around tomorrow, and I may finally be able to relax….


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New blog!

Hello again faithful readers! Just a quick post tonight to direct your attention to a new blog launched by myself and Onion Girl – The Cantina Crowd!

It’s a geek lifestyle blog, which basically means its us and our friends writing about stuff which we think is cool, and will eventually cover almost every geeky facet of our world (at least, that’s the plan). So if you have a few minutes, may I be so bold as to suggest you take a quick look and let us know what you think. There’s not too much over there at the moment since we’re just starting out, but it will grow with time (especially when I start pestering more people to write for us – I’m looking at you NerdGirls!).


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Failure to launch

So, last week I hinted at the issues that had prevented Onion Girl and I from moving house, and I promised a more in-depth explanation when I had sufficiently extricated myself from the situation to review it sensibly (that is without flying into fits of rage or descending into defeated sobs!), and since I’ve had to explain the situation to people around numerous times, I think I can do so now!

Brace yourselves, this may be quite long…

So, we arranged with the Estate Agent a moving date of Saturday 11th June. He contacted the current tenant of the property (who also happens to be the landlady) and this date was agreed by all, and so we all organised removal vans, time off work, the cancellation of services and utilities to our existing homes, etc. and prepared for the big day. However, two days before we were due to move – Thursday – Larter (who we’re moving in with) calls me to say there may be a problem with moving on the Saturday, but it hadn’t been confirmed yet. He was waiting on a call back from the estate agent. Anyway, after a few hours of waiting, I called the agent myself, and he was still waiting to hear back from the landlady. Thursday drew to a close with still no word, so the three of us (Larter, Onion Girl, and myself) agreed to go to the office of the agent the following morning since we’d all booked the time off work to spend the day packing the final boxes and making last-minute preparations.

When we arrived he explained that the the current tenant wasn’t just a tenant, she was the property owner, and would be our landlady when we moved in – this neatly did away with our demand that she be moved out and we be moved in, since she’d reached the end of her tenancy and Onion Girl and I were about to be made homeless (our tenancy was due to end the following Tuesday). Apparently the landlady was waiting for final paperwork (some council survey or something) to be wrapped-up by her solicitors, and had assumed it would only take them a few days. This meant that there was a possibility of us still being moved in that weekend, or Monday at the latest. This wasn’t too bad, as we’d all booked the following week off to unpack and settle in to the new place.

However, ten minutes after we left the office, we received a call from the agent with some rather grim news – the landlady had contacted her solicitors and they had informed her that this paperwork could take up to two weeks to complete. This meant no moving that weekend. In attempt to explain how this made us feel, imagine on Christmas Eve you discover that Christmas no longer exists, and then someone runs up and kicks you in the stomach. Yeah, it was a bit like that.

So, we hurried back to the agents office to discuss possible ways out of this – Onion Girl and I were due to be leaving our flat permanently in less than four days, and the house wouldn’t be available for at least a week after that… The agent (to his credit) did try very hard to find alternatives. He offered us temporary accommodation in a shared house, and even spent time with us searching on line for other properties offered through other agencies. Fortunately for us, when we spoke to our current estate agent, they were willing (and able since the new tenant isn’t moving in ’til the 1st July) to let us extend our tenancy at the Rooncave by two weeks.

This meant that our week off was utterly wasted, which was annoying, and it meant we’d now need to book yet more time off for when we actually moved. But we couldn’t do that yet since we didn’t know exactly when that would be! So, the following Saturday (one week after we should originally have moved house) we returned to the agents office, and he finally gave us something approaching good news – the survey/paperwork had been completed, and the final exchange of contracts was going ahead early the following week, meaning that we should be good to move in the 28th June (the day our extended tenancy ends at the Rooncave), if not before.

And that’s where we stand at the moment. We’re still chasing the agent to get confirmation of the exact date we’ll be moving, be it this weekend or early next week (which, now that I come to think of it, is bloody ridiculous! We’re moving at some point in the next seven days, but we have no idea when!), Onion Girl is still stressing herself mad about the whole thing, and I’m starting to wish we hadn’t bothered at all. What exacerbates the whole situation is that the estate agent has only once in the last two and a half months returned my calls. Or any of our calls. Or e-mails. Even on the Thursday morning when we first discovered there was an issue, it was Larter calling him. The agent has been utterly useless, and we will not be using the agency again (I shan’t post their name here, but those on my FaceBook will know which agency I’m talking about) because they’ve proven themselves utterly unreliable and totally unprofessional – before they even advertised the property they should have gotten confirmed, precise dates from the landlady/tenant and stuck to them. We’re their newest customers, and they’ve already nearly made us homeless (any further delays and we will actually be homeless, sleeping on my parents floor!)!

Anywho, I’m about to call the estate agent yet again and try to get an exact moving date so that I can book the time off… wish me luck.



Filed under Life, Rant