30 Oct

For the past week I have found myself with out access to the internet once again since my dealer has cut off my supply thanks to an unknown error. I’ve started to get the shakes of withdrawal and it won’t be long until I start to go completely crazy.

Since our shady internet dealer also provides us with other technological based services the strange errors are not restricted to our ability to surf the web, we have also lost our phone line. This is simply adding insult to injure. We can’t even phone for pizza which everyone knows is the traditional diet of any one who takes part in the tradition of internet browsing. It is our birthright to play online games and snack on extra spicy pizza while the dishes remain unwashed in the sink but now they are forcing us to actually clean up and then cook our own food. This is a grave injustice.

I know what you are thinking. Why not use this opportunity to take a break from the computer and browse TV channels instead of web pages? I wish I could but I can not because even that technological luxury is slowly being stripped away from us and I do mean slowly. Television channels have been mysteriously disappearing daily with out a trace like mafia snitches. We even witnessed one channel desperately hanging on for dear life as it flickered out of existence and finally vanished. Another channel had an identity crisis when it suddenly started to display the images from a film channel (that we did not have a subscription for) while still playing the audio for the discovery channel. There is something very strange and confusing about watching a gritty prison thriller while hearing about the life and times of Egyptian pharaohs.

If the engineer does not arrive soon we will have no channels left. In fact, I would not be surprised if the rest of the technology in the house starts to degrade and I eventually revert back to living like a cave man as I attempt to make fire with two peaces of flint, eventually clubbing the engineer unconscious when he finally arrives and dragging him by his hair to the modem that needs fixing while grunting the problem.

For legal reasons I will not name my internet provider but I will say that it ends with a C and begins with a U with another letter in the middle. Hopefully the problem will be fixed soon and normal services on this blog can be resumed. I apologise for the slowness in posting caused by this.

21 Oct
Categories: The Blog

“I’ve spotted an error on your blog.”

“A spelling error? In my latest post?”

“No, not really.”

“In the previous post?”

“No, it’s not actually in any of your posts.”

“What do you mean? I don’t see any… oh… bugger. That’s been there for a while.”

And that is how I discovered that a mistake in my blog’s banner has gone unnoticed for the past year.

How many of you just looked up at the banner? I thought so. You won’t see it any more because it’s already been fixed. However, this blog was described as, “The story an accident prone Englishman,” while showing a secret and unjust bias towards the normal use of the common word ‘of’. In other words, I made a typo and left out a word.

A few spelling mistakes and typos have made it into my posts from time to time so by now a few of you may have worked out that I am dyslexic. I enjoy writing and I have never let being dyslexic take anything away from that enjoyment.

However, as a dyslexic person I have often wondered; what sort of evil twisted sadomasochistic wordsmith decided to make dyslexia such a hard word to spell? It seems ironic that it is a word that is difficult to spell with out the aid of a spell checker. Isn’t this the equivalent of pulling faces at a blind person or talking in a silly voice to a deaf person?

The word has Ys and Xs and other letters in it which are arranged in the sort of combination usually reserved for dinosaur names and really complicated mathematical equations that only Steven Hawkins can comprehend. Couldn’t they have just made it a simple three letter word, maybe using letters that are all close to each other in the alphabet?

Being dyslexic has lead to me making a few comical mistakes with the written language in the past, such as the time I applied for a job at the Jim Henson Creature Shop. I had just finished college and fancied a job working for the creators of the Muppets. I wrote a very professional letter explaining why I desired the job and why I thought I would be good at it. If it had not been for a friend of mine asking to have a quick read before I sealed the letter in an envelope I would have sent it with a very strange spelling mistake.

Since then I have never confused the spelling for ‘sincerely’ with ‘sensually’ ever again. I might have been offered the job if I had left the mistake in but it would have been for the wrong reasons and I don’t want to be the man who has to bring sexual harassment charges against Kermit the Frog because of a misunderstanding caused by a spelling error.

15 Oct

So far in my life I have super glued my fingers together on more then ten separate occasions.

I have also super glued my fingers to other random objects no less then three times. One was the tube of superglue itself.

I’ve fallen into two canals on two separate occasions but neither of them where in Holland.

I found out the hard way that the sugar supplement in sugar free wine gums can acts as a laxative if eaten in large quantities.

I once decided that the best way to demonstrate to my parents what I wanted to be when I grew up was to climb onto the sofa and jump as high and as far as I could while shouting, “Look at me. I’m a stuntman.” This might have been the start of a successful career if it had not been for the glass of water that I had left on the floor while watching cartoons a few moments earlier. My parents had the fun job of pulling the bits of glass out of my leg.

I once spent four hours trapped in a lift in a deserted building with no contact to the outside world under the impression that I would be there for the whole weekend (Full story).

I have only broken one bone in my body. However, I did spend eight hours lost and drunk in Holland walking around on it with out a clue that my ankle was broken (Full story).

Most of my fingers have been slammed in a door at some point in my life apart from my left thumb. That was just nearly bitten off by a donkey when I was a toddler.

I once set fire to a table in a fondue café in Amsterdam by spilling the oil burner used to melt the cheese over it. I had to get the waiters help to put it out before I was officially labelled as either the arsonist or the idiot who burnt the whole place down.

I lost part of a tooth during a game of tag at school by turning a corner too quickly, running straight into another student and smashing my mouth into the top of their head. The missing part of my tooth might still be stuck in his scalp. It seemed rude to ask for it back.

As a child I managed to give myself concussion while chasing my great grandmother’s dog around the house. The K9 obviously had a better sense of spatial awareness then me because he was able to successfully run through the door into the living room. I on the other hand ran directly into the door frame and knocked myself out.

Amazingly I am still alive and in possession of all my original body parts.

8 Oct

I have spent every evening of the last week sat in different bars around Amsterdam consuming various alcoholic beverages with random friends. For some strange reason almost every possible type of social excuse for getting intoxicated has occurred with in this one week.

The only explanation for this that I can think of is a very strange alignment of stars which has had a profound effect on my destiny. A destiny (it seems) that was to be mainly spent in various stages of drunkenness. If I had read my horoscope for the last week I am sure it would have read a little something like this:

– Monday –
An invitation to participate in the celebration of a friend’s birthday gives you the opportunity to try something new when you visit a local cocktail bar.

Unfamiliarity with cocktails will lead you to select drinks at random by using the close your eyes and point system of selection until you find the one you like. However, the taste will become less of a deciding factor in the selection process as you haphazardly drink your way through the list of available brightly coloured and strangely named beverages.

Your lucky drink today is: Singapore Sling (other wise known as ‘that red looking one’)

– Tuesday –
You might feel a little hung over today but the return of a familiar face to Amsterdam is cause for more alcohol fuelled celebration at your local bar as you listen to exotic stories of travels around far away countries. Each new story brings with it another round of drinks.

Beware friends baring vodka limes, especially those who do not have to go to work the following morning when you do.

Your lucky phrase today is: Happy Hour

– Wednesday –
You might be woken up by a hang over that makes it feel like there are dwarfs mining for resources in your skull but there are more stories to be heard and more alcohol to be consumed before your visitor returns to his travels.

Your lucky word today is: Nurofen

– Thursday –
Saying goodbye to a co-worker as he leaves the company might be sad but it also provides the motivation for more alcohol consumption today as you reminisce about old times and try to ignore your ever growing hang over.

Arriving late at the bar might save you from early drunkenness but an empty stomach and attempts to synchronise your drinking with the rest of the group counter acts this preventative measure. You soon catch up with and then over take your friends in levels of intoxication. Later you try to find something to eat as you stumble home.

Your lucky food today is: Febo

– Friday –
You are hung over but it is Friday. Do you really need an excuse?

Your lucky number today is: The phone number of the local AA group

1 Oct
Categories: Random

I work for a very professional company. We do very grown-up things like have meetings to discuss the schedule of other meetings. We have water coolers in each room which we often stand around to talk with each other and on more then one occasion at least one person has been known to wear a suit.

Like most other companies we also have a H.R (human resources) department. I’ve always been suspicious of the term ‘human resources’ because it implies that I am viewed as simply a resource. It sounds like the phrase a bond villain might utilise when talking about some recently deceased henchmen or that doctor Frankenstein might use when listing where he got the various body parts he used to make his monster. It often makes me want to run through the rooms of the office shouting, “I am not a number. I am a free man,” until someone asks me to be quiet, put my shirt back on and go back to my desk.

However, my opinion has recently changed.

A few days ago the phone in our department started to ring as it often does. One of the resources answered the phone and was promptly asked by the H.R department (who was on the other end of the phone) to summon one of the other resources in the room.

When the resource in question took the phone he proceeded to have what looked like either a very worrying or confusing phone conversation. The human resources department always calls about official business. Maybe it was bad news. Maybe he was being let go or maybe he was being ‘reassigned’ because doctor Frankenstein required more ‘resources’ for his latest project.

It turned out neither of these were true. A member of the H.R department had just asked him if he would like to go on holiday with one of her female friends who had just recently become single again and for that reason was in need of a new travel companion.

This seems like a different kind of ‘resource’ management then the one I am familiar with. It suddenly makes the term ‘human resources’ sound like the playful introduction an up market madam might use when introducing potential suitors.

I never knew that relationship resource management was taught at business school as part of the human resource management curriculum. It seems that my sinister impressions of the H.R department were wrong. My only complaint is that I have not yet received such an offer myself. Maybe there is a special company form I am supposed to fill out to request a relationship resource (otherwise known as a girlfriend to those outside the human resources business).

I will have to check if there are any details about it in my contract.