Ok, can I eat the rest of my footlong Veggie Delight in the 6 minutes left of my lunch hour?!
You bet I can.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I have a new myspace that eventually will have some of my own acoustic music on it.
For now, because I'm struggling to find the time to use my sister's mac, and because I haven't quite got to recording everything yet, I've put two tracks from my old band, one sung by me after our lead vocalist baz left (2000 years) and one sung by Baz, our original vocalist. (Blurred)
Both songs were written by me and you may mock... er I mean listen to your heart's content!"
I plan to do acoustic versions of them soon to put on, but for now, it's the old stuff!!
My new myspace is here, please bear in mind a couple of things as you listen:
1. This was at least ten years ago!
2. We were a rock band
3. Although we used very good equipment to record, it was all done in our church hall!
4. I have been training my voice since then, so now ten years later can sing better than it sounds there lol
5. The other track Baz sings may not have loaded yet, as it was big! (and he did have a better voice than me then, though ten years on I think I could give him a run for his money!)
6. Both songs take a while to load as they're big files!
Ok. That's all the disclaimers I can think of at the moment!!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Well today is officially known as my day off, but I plan on it being quiet productive.
I have already been successful in that I managed to get up at 9:10 am, and get showered and dressed in time to get the train in to town for my Optician's Appointment at 11. I had the weird experience of entering a world of blurry fuzzy shapes since I woke up this morning, because of a mistake my Optician made on an earlier visit. *sigh* I'll explain...
About a week ago, one of those tiny little screw that holds your glasses together, and both lenses in place at each end fell out, thus causing on e of the lenses in the frame to subsequently fall out. This would normally not be a major problem, as I can normally find the screw and borrow one of those tiny screwdrivers specially made for glasses and suchlike off my parents.
Unfortunately in this case I could not find where the darned screw had fallen, and after much searching I gave up, and resigned myself to the fact I wasn't going to find it and a trip to the Optician's was in order. I put my contact lenses in and went to work...
That day in work (Tuesday this week) I went to the Optician's and explained what had happenned to the frame, holding out the source of my problem, the offending lens that had fallen out. The optician said "wait her one minute, that's no problem". Unfortunately for her, as she was walking over to another counter to re-affix the lens, she dropped it.
(N.B, one thing you should know about me. I have VERY bad eyesight, and have to have specially made prescription lenses; because of this, they have to be made out of glass, not plastic.)
This being the case, when she dropped the lens, it immediately hit the tiled floor, and.... you guessed it.
It shattered into a thousand tiny pieces.
She lokoed at me with the kind of expression I can only think would be the same expression a deer would maybe have when it was illuminated in the headlights of an oncoming car, just before it was dealt a fatal blow.
She profusely apologised and said she would get a replacement lens straightaway. I smiled, knowing they would have to send off for it, because it what's known as a "complex" prescription. Good to know I have "complex" eyes eh? ;) Anyway I digress....
She confirmed they'd have to send off for a new one to be made, and said they would pay for it, which was good of them considered I'd come in with glasses that needed repairing and ended leaving with no glasses at all!!
Anyway, that brings me right back to my world of fuzziness today. I had an eye examination today, and for those, you can't wear contact lenses beforehand, and obviously not during, otherwise it would be absolutely useless for working out what prescription you need!! So I had to wake up this morning and wander around in a blurred state, get the train in and back from town all in this crazy world of vaguely defined shapes and colours!!
Thankfully, my test results were positive! My stigmatism in my left eye has decreased, partially thanks to the Gas Permeable lenses I wear apparently! My eyesight is better than it was a year and a half ago, which someone with MS is always pleased to hear; and my eye general health is excellent :p
So I returned from town to find an empty house as my sister has gone out and my mum and dad are away in Belfast till monday morning! As soon as I returned I put my lenses in, and was delighted with the power of being able to see again!! I read blogs for a while, and then carried on reading which I've not done much lately and am really enjoying getting back into. (actually "diving back into headfirst" is probably a better description!)
I started a book yesterday, and have read 160 pages and am halfway through already!! I'm really enjoying it!
Anyway, back on to the subject of my day off!!
After reading 100 pages in about an hour and a half, I've decided to take a break and once and for all tidy my bookshelf and room!! I'm also planning to cook, as the house is empty and no-one can laugh at me... (hehe!) I'm going out shortly to buy the ingredients and hopefully later will have cooked three completely different and unrelated dishes: Basil and Tomato Soup, Mushroom Pie, and Chilli Potato Burritos!!
I am off to tidy now... wish me luck!! :p
Scribbled by Jm at 2:39 pm
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Today I am extremely STRESSED.
Why? you may ask.
Well, this has been a very busy week in work, and I have had lots to do with very little staff.
In a week and a half's time I have our July Stocktake, in which we have to count everything in the shop, and we also have a massive recall to do, which I am in the middle of, and to top it all, last night I didn't get in till 10:45pm as we had a booksigning/lecture of Jonathan Aitken's new book on John Newton.
Today I have come in, and there's only a member of staff and myself in all day.
I have tons and tons of things to do.
I have been drinking this, and eating this (all butter shortbread rounds) to aid me in battling my stress levels.
It's unfortunately not worked so far.
I've just ploughed through serving a massive queue while Linda went to the bank, and am now sitting down to vegetate for 45 mins in a quiet dark room.
Scribbled by Jm at 11:29 am
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Sorry I know it's a bit irreverant considering the subject of the song, but I am very happy today!!
- The Bank Charges I won have just been paid into my bank and I'm approx £3800 richer than I was yesterday!!
- When I rang up to pay off my debts, I had paid off more than I thought over the last couple of months, and one company had written off half of my debt already!!
- I have just paid my best friends who loaned me a large amount of money a few years ago, and who I'll never forget for what they did :-)
- I've just opened a savings account and put £800 quid in!!
- I've just booked my flights to visit margo at the end of Aug for two weeks!!!!!
- It's my day off today, and I've just decided to go to the Cinema
I'm just so happy and relieved!!
It's great to be out of debt, God is so good!
Scribbled by Jm at 4:44 pm
Ok I know I'm hugely generalizing here, but most of us will know about this book.
Well although I don't agree with all of it, here are two examples that made me giggle this week in work. Both give the best of the opposite sex, and show the inferiority / weaknesses / ridiculousness of the other!!
- A couple comes in to the shop, gets some books and goes to the till to purchase them. After purchasing them, the woman asks us for some directions to a part of the coast near here, about 7 miles away. Then ensues an argument between Val & Linda (both drivers) about the best way to get there from the city centre. The argument is about to turn nasty, as they both live opposite ends of Liverpool, when Jm (the non-driver) hands the lady a planned route printed out from the internet off of the AA route planner website that he loaded up while they were both arguing... Woman accepts the printout of directions gratefully and laughs noting that while the two ladies were arguing, i went and researched and printed them out and makes a comment about the difference between men and women lol! Her husband adds "I'm not gonna comment on that statement she made, and I reccomend for your general wellbeing the rest of the day, you shouldn't either" rofl!!
- Jm has a customer on the phone whos rung up asking for presentation labels for a prizegiving, and has to get out and describe all 12 different designs we have in the drawer . Jm is struggling at this point and says something like "Right... well er... one has like flowers around it and theyre all different colors on the side and the top, but not in the middle bit of the label... er.... um..." (Val sees Jm struggling and says quite loudly so the lady can hear at the other end of the phone) "what he means is, it's a floral border". Lady on the other end of the phone says "oh yes! I'll have some of them please!" Jm sighs with relief!
haha both of these situations made me laugh a lot yesterday!
Scribbled by Jm at 12:02 pm
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Today completely out of character, I asked for an application form for a job I saw advertised. It's a post for a full time youth/schools worker with a well known national Christian organisation, and even the wage is higher than what I'm on as a Deputy Manager of a shop!! The starting date would be in September, and it's very close to where I live, so it's ideal really.
The closing date is Friday, but the lady I spoke to said they will extend the date because they'd have to post the application form out today!!
I'll receive it tommorrow, so will have to fill in the form straightaway tommorrow night and post it off the next day!! It'll be a bit of a quick turnaround but never mind!!
Let's wait and see!!
Scribbled by Jm at 7:07 pm
You know one of those mornings when you haven't put your contact lenses in yet, but you can't wear your glasses cos a screw fell out yesterday and now one lens has completely fallen out, and you're running late and you strain your eyes peering into the murky blurredness that is your room looking for where you put your deoderant yesterday?!
Yeh well, I'm having that kinda day!!
Scribbled by Jm at 8:04 am
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Well, it's been an interesting day so far in work.
It's been deadly quiet, and I've been getting on with a list of jobs I usually dread this time of year. To explain, we have a stocktake twice a year, in which we count ALL the stock in the shop, and then Andrew (my boss) and I balance the figures against what our stock levels are supposed to be, and see whether we're on budget, etc.
It's a lot of work, and we have to stay open during the stocktake, so it usually takes us most of the day, even with all 8 staff members in at the same time!! Andrew is very organised about it all, and has stock sheets for each section of the shop, and we work in teams of two, one staff memeber calling out prices as they go along each shelf, and the other person typing them in to an add-machine. (electronic prinnting calculator thingy for the technical people out there!! :p)
We do some pre-counting before the actual stocktake day, just to dave us some time. One of the jobs that needs to be done each year is to go through every shelf in the shop, pulling off stock that is 18 months older or more, and add-listing it and marking it down for the Summer Sale. I've been doing that this morning, and it's a very boring job, but lot's of concentration is required, as you're going through each shelf, looking at the dates on the price labels, and taking off anything 18 months or older.
So, to make a long story short, I put on a CD that we've recently got in, it's completely instrumental, and is an orchestra doing instrumental arrangements of well known hymns and worship songs. I thought I would need what I call "civilised music" to help me concentrate you see. Well, it worked!! By the time I started my lunch I had gone through the whole of one wall of the shop taking off older stock and putting it on the back counter to add-list later!!
I really like the CD, it's very relaxing, and because the shop was quiet, i sat cross-legged on the floor when I was checking the lower shelves, and it was very peaceful.
It's sometimes nice to give yourself a job like that, because it makes you concentrate and takes your mind off all your other thoughts and other people, and just lets it go blank and into "work mode" for a while!! It's sometimes nice to do that, especially if you're a person like me who thinks all the time, and finds it hard to just stop thinking and pondering things.
Who'dve thought that by working i find some rest for a few hours?! that's surely a paradox!!
Scribbled by Jm at 12:32 pm
Monday, June 11, 2007
Ok this is a quick blog under duress, enforced by the Blog Police...
It is Monday at 7:22p.m, and it has been 75 degrees all day. I have spent all day sweating in the shop, and would really like a cold shower about right now. I have finnaly stopped sweating and am changed into nice fresh clean clothes. I am currently wearing shorts and a t-shirt, but am seriously considering stripping down to my boxies as it would be a lot cooler.
Probably not though, I don't want to give my neighbours on the other side of the Railway Embankment a fright through my window.
I'm sending a letter off to a solicitors tommorrow. It has come to my attention that various people may have mis-interpreted my previous post, so I would like to clarify the situation...
The good news I had yesterday was that my bank is willing to settle out of court for my bank charges claim, but I can't go into details at all otherwise it would make the settlement null and void. I can't even say which bank it is, or the amount or anything. It is I can tell you a fairly significant amount, which will get me out of debt, and let me afford to fly to the states and meet margo and stay with her family on the first proper holiday I've had in about 3 or 4 years!!
It also means from next month, for the first time in about 5 years, I'll be getting 3/4's of my full wage each month, so I can start saving now!! :-) £500 better off a month is nothing to sniff at!!
That was my good news.
So I'm sending the letter back tommorrow with my signature on it to the banks solicitors, and they are gonna credit my account with the money by the end of the month.
I'm unbelievably shocked that I've won and am very very pleased at the moment, not just because I've won, but for various other reasons as well...
That's all for now folks...
Scribbled by Jm at 7:22 pm
Saturday, June 09, 2007
I've just has an incredible answer to prayer!!!
I'm so excited, and I am so happy I don't know quite what to type!!!
I can't go into details yet, as I don't want to prejudice the outcome, but suffice it to say I am absolutely thrilled at the moment!!
Oh, and the date in the title of the blog?!
That's the date I'm flying out to meet Margo.
*grins and nearly splits his face in half and does cartwheels*
Scribbled by Jm at 7:56 pm
Friday, June 08, 2007
Ok A LOT to cover here!!
There are A LOT of issues I've been thinking about lately... I blogged previously on one occasion today about my parents being an example... (both negative and positive), and Here are some more issues I've been dwelling on and chewing over in my mind today...
- Freindship With Women - If you're a guy like me, you believed it couldn't exist because you know most of the close freindships you have with the female of the species involve flirting at some point. While this may be fun, it certainly is uneccesary really, although generally harmless, flirting with a girl who's a freind, can be a man's way of avoiding intimacy on a certain level. As guys we are notorious at being terrified of intimacy, even among our own gender, so it's even more difficult to be open and honest with someone of the opposite gender. I have come to the conclusion that a lot of the flirting and stuff with freinds who are girls is just wasting time and can be a symptom of cowardice on the part of a man to be the freind that they need. It's like we flirt so that that can be the only superficial level at which we relate, and it doesn't cost us anything. It involves an abstinence of responsibility towards our sisters in christ, and actually is robbing them of true christlike male freindship, which can be rewarding to both genders, not just fellow males. This fear of being vulnerable needs to be overcome by men ironically if we are ever going to be a source of strength for others!! No, I'm not being prudish, yes we can have a laugh and a joke as part of the freindship, but if that's all it is, it's wasting the other person's time.
- Childlikeness - I've decided that as a man I am mostly Child-ish rather than Child-like. A childish man tends to put his own needs first, is insensitve to others, and is concerned with control in his life, through domination, which ironically is the opposite of women who seek control in their lives through manipulation. Part of being a man in christ I guess is letting go of that need to dominate everything, and instead to do what Jesus did and serve instead. Leadership happens when we serve, that's how Christ leads the Church. It's not through control that Jesus bought us back from sin, it was through giving up his power and control and dying for us. the same should be true of us as men. we should be men who are childlike, who can have an appreciation for the moment, who can see without prejudice, who can love by serving others.
- Affairs don't just happen in a marriage, and aren't just sexual. All of us, everyday can be engaged in an affair whether single or married. We can let something (anything!) get in the way of our Primary Focus of Our Beloved. If we're students, we can let things get in the way of our studies, as employees we can let distractions shift us away from our primary task of serving our employer, as married people we can get distracted from our primary goal - our partner. As children, we can forget our primary relationship with our parents. All of it is technically an affair of our heart. That's why God tells us to guard our hearts, because they're open to an affair at all times!!
- Headship - the husband is head of his wife. This is something I've re-thought lately as I used to be of the opinion that Headship didn't matter because society has changed and both sexes are equal now. While I still believe both sexes are equal, I do believe that both husband and wife have different roles, and each particular role God gives is designed to create submission in that particular gender. Yes, the woman is asked specifically to submit to her husband, but the husband is asked to give his life for his wife, which is another type of submission. The husband is asked to give up control and take on the mantle of self-sacrifice, the wife is asked to give up trying to regain control through manipulation, and to submit. Both are asked to submit, and both are asked to model a part of the gospel story in their marriage: the wife models the Church, the husband models Christ. Headship isn't about who controls finally, it's about who encourages growth in the other, and who sacrifices for the other. If a man lived out the Headship that Jesus demonstrated/demonstrates of the Church today, a woman would have no problem submitting to a man who truly wanted to put them first. The man is the Head, but his headship is meant to relect Jesus' Headship of the Church, which wasn't about domination and control.
- Being A Man - ultimately, it's about taking responsibility. Responsibility for yourself, your wife, your children and others. It's about including others in your decision-making, not being afraid to ask for advice on subjects you know nothing about, living in a way that is open and encourages discussion and input from others. Being a true man is about enabling power in others, not grasping it selfishly for yourself.
Those are some of the thoughts I have been having over the last few weeks, and they are mine!! You have permission to disagree and tear them apart bit by bit, but they are mine!! lol
Scribbled by Jm at 6:18 pm
It's funny how God works in your life at times.
Over the past week, He's has slowly but surely been taking me apart bit by bit. I've realised a lot of things about myself that I feel like I should have had, alot of examples of life I should have witnessed that I didn't. I feel this overwhelming sense of what it means to be a man and a Christian, and what God expects of me as a husband and a father (I'm nowhere near being close to either yet) and I realise I haven't always had the example I should have.
I've been listening to a series of sermons from different preachers lately, and all of them without me realising it have been on the same theme of being a man of God, and what that means in living out your life, the responsibility and challenge of it in marriage, in fatherhood and in manhood. It's strange that it's taken till 32 for me to realise all this, but maybe it's time for me.
It struck me today as I was lisetning to what the preacher said, that I've never heard my dad say sorry to mum. He may have said it in private, but I've never seen that publicly. I've never heard him give her a compliment publicly, or admit he got something wrong.
Don't get me wrong, my dad is a good man, and I look up to him. He's been a Pastor since I can remember, and has pastored people and counselled them, and brought people to God through the example of his life for more than thirty years. He's proclaimed God's Word to 100's of people and I know that he prays every morning for God to change him and use his life for God's Glory.
Yet as I listen to the words that are being spoken to me, I'm wondering why I've never heard him exalt my mum in front of me. Yes, my parents are very private people, and I'm sure there's sides of their relationship that I have never seen and never will, and that's right and proper. But maybe if they'd included us as kids in their relationship more, maybe I would have been a different person now.
I've been on the receiving end of conversations with my mum, where she tells me about decisions shes not happy with that my dad's made in the past, and have had some really touching times with her talking about some of her regrets in life, but I can't help but think afterwards, "shouldn't be telling dad this?"...
And maybe she does, but I wonder.
Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful and happy for the parents I have, and they're good people, but I've reached the stage where I want to strive for something more, a relationship with a woman that will change not only the both of us involved in it, but those around us as well as they see our love for each other.
I have lot's more to write but I will leave it their for now, I have to finish my lunch.
I'm not one of these people who endlessly pshycoanalyzes things, and I know that I have personal reponsibility for my own actions and the person I am, but I wonder whether I would be different if I had seen more positive examples.
Anyway, there will be more to ponder later...
Scribbled by Jm at 12:28 pm
Thursday, June 07, 2007
One of the daily frustrations/joys of working in a Christian retail Environment, is working with the public.
Our customers come in different shapes, sizes, and ages, but they all either make you mad or make you laugh!! Here are two situations involving customers this week that either made me laugh or made me mad:
SITUATION A: a male, single, late forties youth/childrens full time worker that I know quite well...
(phone rings and Jm answers) "Good morning, (company name) John-Mark speaking?" (Customer) "Hi can I order _________ please?"
(Jm) "Certainly, we actually have a copy in, can I put it aside for you?"
(Customer) "yeh, ok brilliant thanks!"
(Jm) "Ok, could I take your name and address please?"
(Customer) "yes, it's blah blah blah blah" (gives address details etc)
(Jm) "Ok, could I take a contact number please?"
(Customer) "yeh it's blah blah blah, and if you know any attractive young unmarried ladies, feel free to pass it on thanks!!"
(Jm) (laughing) "Ok, no problem!!"
SITUATION B: an early to mid fifties lady approaches the counter with two identical CD's...
(Customer) (smiling) "we have a mystery here I'd like you to sort out!"
(Jm) "Ok, I'll try!" (also smiling)
(Customer) "well, both these cd's have different prices, what's going on? Could you explain?"
(Jm) "Ok, no probs, let me check for you" (turns around to stock database on computer and does a price check on said CD)
(Jm) "right ok... apparently the price should be £7.99 but we've made a mistake on one of them and priced it at £3.99! I'm willing to honour the one priced at £3.99 but I'll have to charge you the normal price for the correctly priced one..."
(Customer) (smile fades instantly) "But I want them both at £3.99!!"
(Jm) (still trying to smile politely) "I understand, but the £3.99 prices is a mistake, but as I said I'm willing to honour that..."
(Customer) (frowning now and in a strop) "That's not right!! You shouldn't be selling two identical things at a different price, I'm not paying £7.99 for one of them!!"
(Jm) (trying to maintain smile but feeling a bit annoyed that the customer is not listening to a word he's saying) "as I mentioned madam it was a mistake in pricing. But I'm willing to honour the wrongly priced one..." (still trying to maintain a polite smile but inside is fuming)
(Customer) "Well that's not good enough!!" (goes off in a strop)
(Jm) (quietly fuming and wanting to climb the other side of the counter and throttle the life out of said ungrateful lady, but still maintaining a smile) "Ok, I'm sorry we can't do that, thank you bye!"
What can I say!!
Scribbled by Jm at 1:29 pm
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
I found myself debating in my own mind about a dilemma I had this morning.
One of my freinds on facebook invited me to join a group which basically is all about my place of work. I have decided to decline the invitation, because the last thing I want to do when I get home is talk about work again!!
Am I being mean?
Please advise, as I like to be flexible with people, but this idea really put me off!!
Scribbled by Jm at 12:25 pm
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Yes it's hot and warm and all that...
But PLEASE for my sanity and mental health, if you're a lady who is "endowed" shall we say...
PLEASE don't wear a vest top and then drop something on the floor....
I know I'm a man, but even I do not want to see THAT.
Strange as it is for you to realise and hear, contrary to opinion I do not think about sex every five minutes, not when I'm not feeling 100% anyway.
And i catergorically DO NOT want to see so far down your top that I see your nipples.
That will be very distracting, in a kind of ewwwwwwww way, and will increase my phobia of all things melon-like and Song Of Solomon-like, and will make it very difficult to serve you in a normal way.
Thank you for your consideration.
(A very embarrassed and distracted and hot and bothered and disconcerted male.)
Scribbled by Jm at 4:31 pm
Well, I'm back at work, with the whole of the week stretching out before me...
Anyway, to bolster my mood, I will tell you about the weather in Liverpool at the moment!!
IT IS SUNNY AND WARM!!!! YAAAAAAAAY!!
Ahem. Sorry about that, us brits tend to excited when the summer approaches!!
To be precise, it's currently 20 degrees C, that's approx 66 degrees F, and the humidity is at 56%!! The slight breeze is Northeasterly at 11km an hour, and it's clear skies and sunny!!
So that equates to about 30 degrees, 80 degrees F in the shop...
I am roasted, as there is no ventialtion apart from leaving the door open, and a poor excuse for a fan.
The problem with heat for me is, it exxagerates symptoms of my MS, so when it gets hot, I go all weak, and feel like I can hardly stand up, like my legs are gonna give way underneath me. I also get very very tired very quickly and fatigue sets in. I try not to show it in front of the other staff to be honest, but it does bug me quite alot because I struggle when the shop is this hot. With there being only me and another staff member in today, it's gonna be interesting!! I've already carried four very heavy stock parcels up and down stairs from being delivered at the back door to us, and my legs nearly gave way then!!
The problem with the heat is that it brings on fatigue. Fatigue is not just tiredness, the best way I can describe is as if your whole mind is swimming through thick mud, and even the simplest task like working out change at the tillpoint becomes much more difficult.
I've coped before and I'll cope again!
Scribbled by Jm at 12:33 pm
Monday, June 04, 2007
This, readers and viewers is an appropriate title for my blog as I am so tired I don't know what to blog about at all. I have a thousand and one ideas racing through my weary mind, and don't have the energy to jusy pluck one out to write about, therefore making it look as if I have none, which is in fact the exact opposite of the situation...
It's my day off, I've watched dvd's all day and now I'm going to talk to my favourite female blogger...
Scribbled by Jm at 7:45 pm
Saturday, June 02, 2007
All our water is brown.
I can't have a shower, a cup of tea or a drink.
I guess this is what living in a developing country feels like.
I was meant to be getting my hair cut today, but unless the water sorts itself in the next 30 minutes I'm gonna have to cancel my appointment.
Scribbled by Jm at 12:37 pm