29.5.08

The world according to Baby O

"Apple" - Any round fruit including apples, oranges, satsumas

"Nana" - Banana, was the first word she learnt to say, not mummy or daddy, nope, "nana" !!

"How are you?" and "Hello" - She says this all the time !!

"Bye Bye" - Can mean bye bye or "go away", depending on who she wants to walk away, you or her

"Eat" - She's hungry !

"Nice" - She says this if she's enjoying her food

"Biit" - A combination of "biscuit" and "eat". Used to be her favourite food, but that title now belongs to "Apple" see above

"More" - She wants more !! Usually with regards to food.

"Phone" - Your phone's ringing, pick it up !!

"Again" - She wants you to sing a song again, or she's saying it to the TV hoping to hear something again.

"Wash your hands" - She picked this up from day care, and now, she's come up with a song for it !!

"Flower" - Flower, tree, or even drawings of flowers on the curtains

"Water" - Water, juice, anything in liquid form

"Sorry" - She says this to herself !! When she falls over or drops something usually.

"Shoe" - Any shoes beware. Baby O has been known to try on any shoes she finds, size is not a detterent !!

"Sleep" and "Tired" - She wants to go to bed !!

"Bath" - She can see you're getting her ready for a bath. Prepare for the constant battle of trying to stop her drinking the bath water.

"Beebies" - CeeBeebies is her favourite TV station, and she says this when she wants you to turn on the TV.

She can also make animal noises !! If you say the name of any of the following animals :

Horse (Neigh)
Cow (Moooooooo)
Sheep (Baaaaaa)
Snake (SSSSSSSS)
Dog or Puppy (Woof Woof!)
Cat (Miaow)
Moneky (OOOhh AAAAAAhhh)
Bird (Tweet Tweet)
Duck or Geese (Quack Quack)

Her speech is coming along nicely, and anything you say, she will repeat, be warned !!

28.5.08

American Sports 101 : Baseball

This is a game played by two teams, one out the other in. The one that's in, sends players out one at a time, to see if they can get in before they get out. If they get out before they get in, they come in, but it doesn't count. If they get in before they get out it does count.

When the ones out get three outs from the ones in before they get in without being out, the team that's out comes in and the team in goes out to get those going in out before they get in without being out.

When both teams have been in and out nine times the game is over. The team with the most in without being out before coming in wins unless the ones in are equal. In which case, the last ones in go out to get the ones in out before they get in without being out.

The game will end when each team has the same number of ins out but one team has more in without being out before coming in.

27.5.08

AAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH !!

On Friday, I got home to find out my Internet had been disconnected.

I then called BT, and for the next three hours, spoke to several people, and have come to the conclusion that I spoke to some of the least intelligent people on this planet that night.

The long and short is this:

1. A cease order was placed on my line. When I called BT with regards to another matter on Thursday, the lady did mention that it would seem that there was a cease on my line, to which I told her it was not possible, as I'd had the connection for less than a week.

2. BT tried to blame me for ordering a cease. The thing is, it takes 5 days for them to cease broadband. Since the connection only lasted for seven days, that means that a day or two after the broadband was connected, someone decided to cancel it.

3. BT refused to take responsibility for the 'mistake' to cancel my broadband, after screaming down the phone that I never asked for a cease, they changed their tone, saying that the broadband had been cancelled due to 'technical problems.' Of course, when I asked for further information on what these problems were, no one could give me any.

Anyway, I've decided not to continue with BT if only one week after using them as an ISP for the first time, they can decide to terminate my account and not tell me. I was offered a 'dial-up connection' while I wait another 5 days for them to turn the broadband back on, which I turned down.

The good thing about not having the internet for a while is that sadly, you get used to it.

I'm going to find a cheaper provider with hopefully, a better level of service.

And at the same time, I need to find out how to complain either directly to BT, or to the regulator for what I think is pretty rotten treatment to their customer, and blatant dishonesty for trying to blame me for the problem.

23.5.08

So near, and yet, so far............

Right now, I'm feeling a bit 'deflated'. Yeah, that's the best word, I'm not 'depressed' or 'sad', but just deflated. Let me explain.

On the 28th of April, right in the middle of our hectic house move, I got a voicemail from a recruiter. Now, I get these almost everyday, but this one was different. The recruiter was from Microsoft. I felt my hands shaking as I called her back, sadly, I had to leave a voicemail.

The job was a Premier Field Engineer role, specialising in Exchange Server. This was my dream job no matter what angle you looked at it from. I've had a long term interest in messaging/email, and this would put me right in the frontline of the most popular messaging software in the world. My commute would be cut by half. They had an on site day care, so my little girl would have a place to go. And best of all, this is Microsoft !!

Anyway, I eventually spoke to the recruiter a few days later, had a telephone interview, which went pretty well, and eventually had the 'assessment day' scheduled for last Friday (the 16th).

Now, remember that our internet was only connected last Friday (after the interview), so doing my research on the role, the company and studying for the interview was HARD WORK. I had to sneak a few minutes at a time at work. I used my mobile phone at night to look up stuff (painfully slow on a tiny screen). If those were the only troubles I'd faced last week, that might have been ok.

A friend of mine lost his wife the Saturday before. (10th). We were trying to help him out, and I was spearheading the fundraising for the funeral (the funeral cost £5000). So I spent a lot of my nights on the phone, asking people to donate money. On Wednesday, I came down with a cold, a really bad one, I had to take Thursday off sick just to make sure I could make it on Friday. I had fever, a blocked nose, a sore throat and a bad cough.

And on Friday the day of the interview, I swallowed a dose of 'Day Nurse' just before going in, and for 3 hours or so, I was healthy enough to interview, once I got home, I collapsed on my bed, relieved it was over and hoping for the best.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not making excuses. While my preparation was not ideal, I don't think I would have done any better had everything gone smoothly.

Anyway, I finally got the call on Wednesday that I wasn't being offered the job. While I had excelled in some parts of the interview, I could not answer one particular question in the 'HR' bit to their satisfaction, and the technical guys felt that they had to probe me to get answers to the 'technical depth' that they were looking for.

Now, it's not because I didn't get the job that I'm feeling deflated. Oh no. Even before the whole process began, I was aware that this job was 'a step up' from what I was doing at the moment, and I was honoured even to be considered for it.

No, the problem is, I've been investigating the possibility of changing jobs since we moved house, things have become a little stagnant where I am, and there's nothing like a one hour commute in a car everyday to make you look for the next step in your career. But after going through the Microsoft 'experience' all the stuff I'm looking at looks so.....well, ordinary. Dull. There's nothing out there that excites me like that role, that makes me feel like I'm on the way up, like my career is going someplace.

So right now, I'm at work, stuck doing a job I don't feel challenged by, wondering what might have been. And judging by the vacancies I get in my email every morning, I'm going to be here for a while............

Not even watching John Terry cry on Wednesday night could cheer me up.

I'm sure I'll feel better in a few weeks, but right now, well, I have to sit down, and look at all the positives, and MOVE ON.

21.5.08

Is my blog a little slower than normal?

It might just be me, but it looks like my blog is taking longer to load, and even when I'm 'behind the scenes' in the admin pages, it is taking significantly longer to load up pages. The home page seems to take a long time to load up the sidebars as well.

I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm toying with the idea of backing everything up, reinstalling it, and then restoring all the data, and hope that this time, I get it all right and not lose any data.

20.5.08

You're talking pants !!

No, really........

This morning, I came across on this item, and it made me chuckle.



Phillips has recently submitted a patent application for a underwear that monitors your blood pressure continually.

Nice. Let's hope they go the whole hog and come up with a thong version, who knows, this might be a fashion item in years to come !!

19.5.08

Back online !!

Finally, on Friday, we were reconnected to the Internet.

One of the things I've realised in the last few weeks is how much I depend on the web for a lot of things. Most importantly, a lot of my friends are 'online only', so without access to their blogs, or proper access to email or IM, I haven't heard from a lot of people in weeks.

It's scary.

I've spent the entire weekend 'catching up'. I'll start reading all your blogs this week.

It looks like a month is all it takes to lose my readers and online friends (sadly), but hey, I'm back now, and will start blogging regularly again.

8.5.08

Dear Internet,

It's been a while since we were forced apart. 10th of April was the exact date. As I was getting ready for work, I sat down to have a quick 'chat' with you, to find out what was going on in the world, and to check on a few things.  I got back from work to find that, due to someone else's mistake, you were gone. I hoped to get you back soon, but so far, all attempts to get you back have been met with frustration.

I never realised how much I depended on you. When I needed directions to get somewhere, you were there. When I wanted to find out how the football was going, you were there. When I needed to find out some obscure fact about some silly celebrity, you always knew the answer. When I wanted to chat with my 'real-life' and online friends, you hooked us up. When I wanted to take out my frustration on other people, you allowed me to play FIFA 08 with people from all over the world. When I had a job interview, and needed to do research on the company, or needed to brush up on my knowledge, you had all the answers after a few clicks. You were everything to me. As the saying goes, you never appreciate something/someone till they are gone. I've had you in my life for so long, I never realised how important you had become.

The last few weeks without you have been crazy. We moved house, and we didn't have you to tell us where to find stuff in our new neighbourhood. I had no way of getting the latest podcasts to pass away the time. And I had to use my phone to talk to people, I mean, I had to actually speak to them !! With so much of my life online, I've found it hard to blog, study, keep up with internet gossip. My Playstation 3 is begging to be updated to the latest software. My PC reminds me everything I turn it on that it needs to update the security software. Windows XP Service Pack 3 is out, and I haven't tried it out yet. Grand Theft Auto 4 is gathering dust on the shelf, and I haven't played it online yet.

Mind you, we've managed to steal a few moments together. Before we moved, I went to a friend's house to sit down with you for a few hours a week. And my mobile phone allows me to find out what is happening in the world of facebook. But it's not the same.

Yesterday, I got a call from BT, telling me that they should have sorted out all the problems they were having, and that by next week Friday, we should be together again. 8 more days !! I have to warn you, Friday night, my wife and I will both be fighting for you, as we have both missed you very much. I suspect you won't have a moment to rest till Sunday night when we go to bed.

Take care old friend. Till we meet again.