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]


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?


Doctors 2.0

Yesterday I gave in to the masses, who had been giving me a hard time for not going to the doctor with my “Vampire Eye“.

So I woke up yesterday, got dressed up in my Ninja Gi, loaded up with all the weapons and tools of the Ninja, and prepared for the dangerous, and arduous task that is trying to book an appointment at my medical centre. And was I in for a surprise.

I get ready with the house phone, my mobile, & a scripted PBX to attempt the impossible first step, actually getting hold of someone. I dial and……. I get an automated welcome message, welcoming me to the medical centre, informing me my call may be recorded for training purposes and telling me i shall have options to pick from.  WOW. My Doctors place has got themselves a decent phone system that’s not some old woman sat at a desk moving wires about.

I then get to the menu system of the phone call. “Press one for…..” there then followed a huge list of all the possible reasons you may press option one. Then SILENCE, I waited, and waited, but still there was silence. “OK? so the first part of the menu is press 1 or press 1” I pressed 1, and the phone started ringing and I got a real person.  Yes their automated phone messaging system goes. Press 1 and get person. They have managed to add a pointless step in the process of PHONE-RINGS->ANSWER-PHONE.

I get my appointment and dutifully turn up at the surgery on time. Only its all different, its bigger, better, and different. In fact its like they had built a huge new building next to the original, then knocked down the original to make additional car parking spaces. Well the old place had been there for dozens of years, and was a bit small and dingy.

I enter the posh new building to be greeted by a large wall mounted flat screen TV with the word “Welcome” on it in a button like box. I then touched the button on the screen like you do, it changed to two buttons [Male] & [Female] “Wow, they really gone to town on making the patients feel comfortable while waiting, they even supply company for you“. I quickly pressed the [Female] button, it now asked for a D.O.B. “wow. I wonder if they ask for my preferred hair colour and such?”  I hit a few random options for a birth date, and waited for my order to arrive.

The screen in front of me said “Welcome Mrs ***** ****** ******, please take a seat in the waiting area.” *SHIT* its a login system, not a online ordering thing. I hit reset, and put my details in, and made my way to sit innocently in the waiting room. Where there was an even bigger flat screen TV informing me that “smoking is bad” “unsafe sex is bad” “yada yada yada” and occasional beeping and telling someone they should go to room **.  Modern technology is great, instead of the old yellowing posters telling me everything fun is bad for me, they now get to do it in wide screen, high definition.

After all that, the Doc told me nothing I didn’t already know, and I was in with him for about 3 minutes. This is why I never bother going to see the Doctor.