Wales Comic Con 2011 – The Review

Sunday 5th June 2011, I arrived at the campus of NEWI*1 GlynDwr University for Wales Comic Con. This was my first visit to this event since I missed out last year due to Vampiric Eye Disease causing me to be unable to leave the house during the daylight hours.

Upon arriving at the campus I immediately encountered a slight Problem. In an attempt to prevent others for making the same mistake, I tweeted “Note to self: when going to a con, check location before leaving house. #walescomiccon.” Yes, I knew it was on the Campus, but there were dozens of buildings/complexes that could be housing it. Luckily as I was pulling my car into a car-park, I spotted a couple of StormTroopers*2 standing guard at the door to the sports centre. And when a marine walked out of the building followed by an Alien with a dog collar, I KNEW where it was. (more…)

MEME: The Jung Explorer Test (Re)-Revisited

Well it’s been well over a year since I re-sat the Jung Explorer Personality Type Test. And I had some free time in the Insane Asylum, So figured I’d resit it to see if I’d switched types again.

In the original Test I sat in 2006 I was an INTJ “Mastermind” Who wanted to be a INTP – “Architect”.  – Then in the Jan 2010 ReVisit I was an INTP – “Architect” who wanted to be a INTJ “Mastermind”. So I was curious If I had switched again.

Jung Explorer Test – The Results
Actualized type: INTJ
(who you are)

INTJ – “Mastermind”. Introverted intellectual with a preference for finding certainty. A builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models. 2.1% of total population.

Preferred type:INTJ
(who you prefer to be)

INTJ – “Mastermind”. Introverted intellectual with a preference for finding certainty. A builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models. 2.1% of total population.

Attraction type: ENTP
(who you are attracted to)

ENTP – “Inventor”. Enthusiastic interest in everything and always sensitive to possibilities. Non-conformist and innovative. 3.2% of the total population.

So it looks like I am still attracted to the same type, only now for the first Time what I want to be, and what I am match. Interesting


Vampiric Eye Update

Well its that time again when I have to pop into the local hospital for a check-up on my Vampiric eye syndrome. Only today’s appointment was not at my usual first thing in the morning time, but at the unhelpful time of 11am. Now this is both a bonus (I can work from home for a while before having to go for appointment, which means less time spent in the office) and a hindrance (If you’re not there early enough in the day, then parking is next to impossible.).

I arrive at the hospital in plenty of time and try and park in the car-park near the eye outpatients, No Room, So I try the several staff car parks close to that end of the hospital (I may, or may not have acquired a staff parking permit for my car) No Room. OK, so there is a car-park half way along the hospital complex, No Room. The staff car-park near the middle of the complex? No Room. The huge main car-park at the other end of the hospital to where I need to be? No Room. The overflow massive car-park that’s been built on the far end of the main car-park? No Room.  At this point I would have happily parked on a manger in a stable!. Right there is a bit of wasteland at the end of the overflow car-park where people park if there is no where else left? No Room!! At this point I remember I’m driving a 4×4 and park it “off road

Its Raining, and I have approximately a 3/4 mile walk through the various car-parks to get to the hospital, and then a 1/2 mile walk to get to the opposite side of the hospital where my appointment is in  18 minutes! Did I mention its raining?

So I get into the eye outpatients slightly bedraggled from the rain, and out of breath from the speed walking. I report to the receptionist who disappointedly is not the cute friendly one who always remembers my name, but some other one. I explain I have an appointment, confirm my address to prove who I am and get asked :-

Receptionist: Have you moved house since you were last here?

GN:err no! I just confirmed my address to you?

Receptionist: Have you changed surgery or doctors since you were last here?

GN:err no! I would have informed you, I just want my appointment! please can I sit down

Receptionist: “Its sometimes like you live here isnt it?

GN:err yes*smiles disarmingly as I back slowly away without making any sudden movements to a seat*

The waiting game begins, So I start writing a blog post about an update to my Vampiric eye syndrome, not this blog post, oh no. I wrote a post of several hundred words, using the wordpress iPhone App, and saved it to “local drafts” only for it to vanish into the void. I then get called for an eye test before moving to another waiting area to wait to see the actual doctor.

I should point out stupidity of the eye test station. You go in and read the letters off the board for them to measure your eye sight level. Only you are there due to some eye problem, Myself I’m on eye drops that tend to dilute eye and make everything fuzzy, so have yet to go into eye test room when I could see the board with the drop affected eye. I also have them confused as there are two identical test rooms, with identical eye charts, Yet if I am in the right hand room I can see several lines further down the chart than I can in the left hand room.

So I make it to the final waiting room, and boy does this room live up to its name, and then some! I was here for over an hour. It’s not their fault really, the eye outpatient department is the busiest department in the hospital (Well maybe apart from A&E on a Saturday night) So the place is always packed to capacity. Then you have the fact they have a special infectious eye clinic on the second Wednesday of the month (to add even more people to the overcrowdedness) And to top it all off today, they were a Doctor down, and then a second Doctor was called out to an emergency, meaning the remaining Doctors had to see their patients as well as the missing Doctors patients.  So this meant I had an hours wait, and there was no WiFi available for me to use, and no phone signal.

So, to recap, I had a stupidly long walk through the rain to get here, I’ve been waiting bored out my head for about an hour and a half in total. And how long am I in with the Doc for? FIVE MINUTES! Long enough to say Hi, her to check my eye, declare its looking good, and lower my drops, and say she will see me in two months.

I hate Hospitals!!!!!!!

Public Service Announcement – What does NeeNaw NeeNaw + Flashing Blue Lights Mean?

Public Service Announcement

I feel that some assistance may be needed among my fellow drivers in identifying the strange flashing blue lights, often accompanied by a strange siren like noise that you occasionally spot while driving. And more importantly the correct way to react in these situations.

When you see the lights or hear the siren do not panic, you are not about to be attacked by aliens or some mythical creature. All that is happening is an emergency vehicle (Ambulance, Fire-engine, Police Car, etc.) has been called to an emergency and is passing close to you in its route. There is nothing to fear.

The correct response is to “Safely” pull over to the side of the road if needed to allow the vehicle past you. Remember time is of the essence, so they need to get to the emergency A.S.A.P. to possibly save lives. So as long as it is safe do what you can to allow the speedy process of the vehicle. Its as simple as that.

Here ends the Public Service Announcement.

And I will recount the instance that has prompted this post. It happened today on my way home from work. I was traveling along the road and had come to a crossroads. The lights were on for cars joining the road from a side road, only those turning right had come to a stop due to lights further down the road. It was at this point I heard the sirens of an Ambulance travelling towards me. As it got nearer and was about to pass the junction a large Van decided it was not waiting for space and pulled out to turn right even though there was no space, so it was on the “Yellow Box” which in UK road laws you are not allowed to enter unless your exit is clear. Worse than that, as it was a large van, and at an angle it completely blocked the junction forcing the Ambulance to come to a stop, and wait for all the other cars to move and mount pavements so the van could go on its way freeing up the junction for the Ambulance. Hopefully the delayed arrival time did not make the difference between life&death. It did make me wish a little maliciously that it was heading to the home of the van driver.

Vampiric Eye – Revisited

This Christmas I was afflicted with “Vampiric Eye” again (Or iritis for those of you who like medical terms). Now there is nothing special about this, other than I am getting slowly fed up of the repeated outbreaks, and there will be vengeance on whatever is the cause (And there may be a new clue).

I only mention this outbreak now as I am reminded of the great “Bedside Manner” of the Doctors who treated me in A&E, and the great way they put my mind at rest, and alleviated worry.

I turned up at A&E since the eye outpatients was closed over the Christmas holidays. I signed myself in and waited upon Triage, I should have been tipped off it was not going to be a good day when I got Triaged twice by two different nurses. Eventually I made it into the examining rooms and was seen by a young Doctor, who was confused by the state of my eye, and just kept muttering to himself (Possibly a curse to ward off the evil eye?). After a while, he asks me to wait while he goes to find a senior Doctor since he admits to being clueless.

The Senior Doctor working in the A&E comes to see me, He looks at my eye and starts muttering to himself. He then calls the junior one over and they start talking to themselves.. “Have you seen the shape of the eye? why is it that shape?“, “Have you ever seen one bulging like that? its all swollen“, “Wow, its like the inside is all full of gray puss“. All the while I am sat there, in earshot, in pain, and getting worried.

The senior Doc returns to me and says with full confidence. “Could you go back and wait in the waiting room please, we don’t know whats going on so we are calling an eye specialist to come in to the hospital to look at you!“.   Great, its Xmas time, and a Doctor is being phoned up at home, to travel through the snow to the local hospital to look at me, I sense painful eye prodding & drops in my future.

My eye is 90% fine as of Wednesday, So I feel I can poke fun at the events involved.

From the Archive: Last Ever Rock Night at The Tiv Pt:1

Recently it was National Nostalgia Week, and to keep the nostalgia going here’s a photo review of an event that marked the end of an era in North Wales, the closing of the Tiv as a rock venue and leaving north east Wales with no rock clubs at all.

The Last Ever Rock Night at The Tiv!!!!
[Saturday 29th May 1999]


Piss-up in a Brewery

Yesterday due to Health & Safety bureaucrats, the Inmates at the Insane Asylum all got a day pass out into the wild. Basically the overhead power cables in the Village where the Asylum is located were two inches lower than the regulations. I believe a circus stilt-walker standing on the back of an elephant could possibly electrocute themselves, so health & safety said the lines needed raising which meant a village wide power outage from 8am till 5pm.

Now the Asylum is an ISP & Telecommunications Provider & etc. So making allowances for the inmates to work from home should be no problem, especially as we had a weeks notice.  The night before the planed outage we redirect our emails to a backup server, and take our phones home to connect to our Virtual PBX (which is a product we sell, so know works). So we should all have been sorted.

The best laid plans of mice and IT professionals

Now the Governor and our Phone Tec both have already got phones set up on the virtual PBX for testing purposes, so it was just the rest of the Inmates who needed to get online with it.  Now Demonpengu tried setting his phone up the afternoon before the outage, and it took several hours to get it to actually connect. The rest of us waited until the day of the outage, where only I got my phone to connect. “Great so far right?

After a hour or so a call locked up my phone, preventing incoming or outgoing calls. When the problem was spotted and fixed we discovered internal calls would result in only one phone being heard the other was just silence. And as for actual call quality, I could not hear the customer over hearing myself saying what I had just said. (And this is a product we sell)

For the last part of the day it was just me manning all the lines & support box, Pure madness & poor planning. I think next time I shall go the way of the others and just pretend my phone would not connect.

Parents, Who’d have them?

Last week at a festive board there was a discussion on “kids, and the annoying requests they ask of you” The general opinion of the parents present was that in their days if you had a problem, like you broke down, or ran out of petrol you sorted it out yourself, and did not phone your parents expecting them to help.  My father was one of the strong voices against annoying kids expecting you to go out of your way to help. This conversation was brought back into my mind yesterday. And as a none-parent I want to point out its not just Children/Grandchildren  that are guilty of this.

Yesterday about 7pm I get a call from my mother. Turns out there was family up in the area on a canal boat holiday, and my parents had gone to visit them for a pub lunch. Only after the lunch they decided to travel along the canal for a while to enjoy the day, and my father had always fancied having a go on a canal boat. So at 7 when they decided to call it a day and come home after a day on the canal they realise they are now several miles or more away from where they parked their car.

So pour coffee down sink, take a moment to morn its loss, and jump in car to drive to the middle of nowhere to pick up parents.  I arrive at a small car-park near the canal, its miles from the nearest street light so its dark, cold, and abandoned. I am the only person about, so I phone my father to say I am here, and where are they?. “Oh, we had to move on. We’re a couple miles down the canal. We are just mooring up which should take twenty minutes or so, then we’ll walk the mile or so back to where you are. so just wait there

Right, so I am to wait in a cold, dark, abandoned car park. And I can’t leave the engine running as I’m a bit low on diesel and probably shouldn’t waste it. Now the smarter amongst you are probably thinking . o (err. they were only guests on the boat, and they knew you were on route to collect them, so why did they not leave the boat at the location you were driving to, and wait for you to arrive?) The answer would be, they did not think of it.

About a half hour later I get a call from my father asking was I still there (like where else would I be?) and informing me they stopped off at a pub, so I should drive to pub to meet them. So it was a case of relocate to pub, (OK I did get a pint for my troubles. Not off my parents but of some random friend of the family who I do not know). Then a quick ten minute trip to go drop them off at their car, before I was able to go home.


When is a simple task not a simple task….

Last Friday it was pointed out to me that the sidelight on the drivers side was not working on my car. Now changing the bulbs on a car is a simple task so I pencilled in doing some maintenance at the weekend.

So Saturday afternoon I pop the hood and look at the back of the light fitting to see what kind of bulb I need. Imagine my surprise when I realised the lamp I wanted was behind a bit of metal chassis. OK. Not to worry, I have the owners manual so I’ll check what they say about bulb replacement.

The entry for side lights & indicators was simply “For this task we suggest taking the vehicle to your supplier for them to deal with” WTF?? Since when has replacing a simple sidelight bulb needed the vehicle dealers to do? Pah at them.

So I take a look to see how big a job it is to gain access to the bulb. Right. to gain access to the back of the lighting unit you have to remove the lighting unit. So far so simple. Only the lighting unit is behind the front grill & bodywork. So you have to remove the front of the car to get at the lighting unit, to remove the lighting unit to gain access to the lamp to simply unplug it, and plug a new one in.

How fraking stupid is that design ?

Several hours of major mechanical work just to get access to a 30 second maintenance job.

Needless to say, my side light is still not working.

RE: Doctors

My case of “Vampire Eye” was not getting any better, in fact it seemed to be getting actually worse, so yesterday I decided to get myself a check-up appointment at the Doctors. I was in luck and managed to get myself a 9am appointment.  So not long to wait to get some answers…..right?