Oh How I Love The Weather

So today has been a really warm day. Averaging 27 C here in Yorkshire… But that was to*day*…

Now to to*night* where it is HAMMERING it down with near constant flashes of lightning. No heavy crashing of thunderous might… Just a constant rolling thunder. I can feel the hairs on my arm tingle…

This wasn’t forecast, although with the amount of energy held up I’m not at all surprised there have been thunderstorms.

I wish I could take a photo of the sky, I really do… But my phone just can’t produce anything worthwhile. I did, however grab a REALLY crappy video after the rain had stopped but the thunder and lightning carried on.


Mini Marimo Me’s!

About 4 years ago I bought a Marino moss ball for my fish tank. It did really well and, well… By accident I managed to break it and turn one ball into two! *rolls eyes*


Fast forward to today and I seem to have found that my two Marimo balls have now had kids… I’m not sure this is how it’s supposed to happen in moss ball procreation, but I’m not going to argue… B-)


Everyone, say hello to Kael’Thas. That’s my daughters Red-tailed Shark that managed to photo bombed me on just about all the shots that came out roughly in focus. B-)

I’m considering taking the two smaller ones out of the tank and putting them in special bowls just for them and treat them like house plants, which is closer to what they actually are, rather than tank ornaments and filters.

Marimo make great pets too. Kinda. You move them around, talk to them… You can even take them outside and teach them to play catch! Or maybe you can play catch with them? Either way fun can be had with them.

Imagine a softer, wetter pet rock… except these grow over time while pet rocks don’t. B-)

And It Goes On… And On

I swear I should rename this account to ‘Shit that goes down at work’…

So… Today’s fiasco? Well…. Go grab a cup of tea, kids. Sit yourselves down and let Uncle Kal tell you the grand story of the latest shit-show. >.>

This Friday evening, and I go to my first shift of the week, check my email and find out that our department head, who we oh-so-rarely see, has forwarded us all an email from HR telling us that we need to take our holiday entitlement or we will lose them.

You see, we are currently on short, fixed term contracts as this is only a pilot scheme. Ok… Fair enough. But nobody mentioned that we need to have taken our holidays before each fixed term was done. So now we all have to take our holidays, although we can carry over a small amount at our managers discretion, which he has allowed. >.>

So now, for the next 3 weeks till the end of September, which is when this contract finishes, ALL the staff have to use up their holidays. So I am off next weekend… Whether I like it or not. *sigh*
So we have to fit in all those holidays, even though we are short staffed and can’t really afford to have people off…

The worse part? Yes, there is a worse part…

There is overtime available to cover the holidays.
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻




Set Up To Fail?

Warning… Wall of text.

At work me and the team I work with are getting strong vibes that the pilot scheme we are working on has been set up to fail.

Yeah, yeah… I know… Strong language. But hear me out.

When we were hired the advertisement was for a job only slightly resembling the job we are doing now. Now that isn’t such a shock to anyone that has ever done a pilot scheme. These things change as new things come to light. Fair enough.

The biggest problem is that the person who set this all up has, from what we were told, done this in a couple of other areas. So why the farcical start up? If he has done this before he should have known the most basic set up issues already and ironed those out in the planning phase. BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG! O.O

From the get go we had problems.

  • The person who set up the whole scheme was let go immediately after our initial training/setup. More on this one later…
  • The garage we were going to be using was not suitable for us.
  • We were allocated more vehicles than we had spaces for in the garage.
  • We had no logistics trained people to oversee the stores/ordering system. Or even any ordering system in place!
  • No shift rota system was put together until AFTER we had started.
  • We had to change the rota because we were doing too many hours.
  • We are now STILL doing too many hours over the week but because we are doing a 5 out of 7 system it’s all good. (bollocks)
  • There was(lol, is) no official communication between us and the other departments.
  • Our original manager quit within the first month.

Fuck. >.>

From there it has not really gotten any better by the management making changes. WE have been doing that… Literally. And I don’t mean that our acting manager (ex part time weekend supervisor no less!) has been doing it either. It’s us lot on the bottom rung that has been spotting problems, fixing them and TELLING the management what we will be doing from now on…. And they have been ok with that! Holy shit!… I swear there is no oversight in this place.

The other important bit of information that you should probably know is that we are competing against another scheme. Oh yes. Also, that one was started long before ours, uses only temp agency staff and they were set up by professionals, from what we have been told. Rota, logistics, a well set up garage, the whole enchilada.
Not only that but the guy that set up our scheme left ours and then was immediately taken on by, and now highly praises, the other scheme. WTF???!!!

Not only that but we were taken on with a short, fixed term contract. Nothing strange with a pilot scheme. We then got an extension to that scheme… Now things are in the air. We have been given Chinese whispers that we have a 3rd extension, nothing official… But here is the problem. The place I work for, apparently, has a rule that you can’t give someone 3 short term contracts without taking them on full time. Oppsie?

I swear I couldn’t make this up.

So… What now? Well. It appears that whoever set us up to fail has failed… Or we overcame the odds… I’m not sure. Whatever… Moving on. The fact is that on paper we are scoring FAR better than the other scheme is. We have a lot higher vehicle to staff ratio, our vehicles are FAR cleaner, better prepared and we even go fetch vehicles from other stations when they are loaned out to get them cleaned. We even do our own Deep Cleans (imagine stripping your car down to the chassis and cleaning it and then putting it all back in, takes 5 hours) And that seems to have come as a surprise to someone.

So this week I haven’t been posting to my gardening channel, or even here, because I have been working extra hours at work. Mainly because since the scheme started 3 people have quit and not been replaced. We started with 10, we now have 7… And Management decided to send 2 of those, plus our one and only line of official communication, our supervisor, on a course for 2 weeks… YAY! So from 7 we now have 4… And one just went on sick. So 3.

3 people to do the job of 10, and one of those is a fucking wanker, and management see no problems here. *Sigh*
Oh… And a certain someone has pre-booked holidays next week so they are down to 2.


And people wonder why I, and others, think this scheme was set up to fail. >.>

It’s enough to drive a man to drink.

Ok…. This is weird

I was googling for an image to link into for one of my blogs. If you pay any attention to the text you will notice that I often link words to silly images.

Shame on you if you didn’t… Go back and read them again!


This pic makes no sense. I found it after Googling ‘Man with trolley’ for a reply to a comment on another vid…
I think the interwebs are trying to tell me something? O.o

How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Tea

If you are a tea drinker you may have noticed that there is quite a talking point about how you take your tea and how to make the ‘Perfect’ cup of tea. I am here to put it all to rest.

How do you make your perfect cup?

There… That was nice and easy… Good blog post, me… Well done. You deserve a rest.




Oh… Hey, me. Don’t you think you may want to put a qualifier in there? *Sigh*… Ok then.

If you read the internet you will see that there are many sites that will give you quite a snobby explanation as to why your Cup o’ Cha is piss poor. It’s bad and you should feel bad!

Personally I like my tea thusly… Black tea (Tetley bags for preference), hot water in an unwashed, used cup with two sugars after a 2 minute stirred (agitated!) stew and then a little milk stirred in at the end.

The wife likes her tea in a clean mug, milk poured in first with the bag. Boiling water, stewed for a couple of minutes with no sugar.

The difference between the two is amazing but that’s OK. We all like our own way of doing things. As long as you enjoy your drink then THAT is the perfect way of doing it. Over time you may change how you do it.

At work all but one of us are tea drinkers. We have one coffee drinker but he is mocked and ridiculed for drinking the wrong thing and not being British enough…. Pip pip! But the other odd thing is that none of us drinks our teas the same.

A few of the guys insist we drink Yorkshire Tea… (Here on known as pure cats piss) but I said ‘no’ and started taking in my own bags. Now we have PG Tips as a compromise. Some have milk and sugar, one has lemon… And there are quirks in how to make it too. one all but waves the bag over the top it’s that weak!

Ah… Such is life.

TL;DR… Stuff them… Just drink your tea!

The Psychology of £99.99

In modern commercial history there has been an idea that £99.99 is, psychologically speaking, cheaper that £100. Ok, in reality is too, but not simply by a penny. It’s as if it’s a world apart from the number it actually is… And I think this phenomena is both overused and ultimately no longer effective. When I see £99.99 I honestly just replace it with £100 and then wonder why it has been given that “99”… Are they trying to give it a charm price? In many smaller stores here in the UK there was the phenomena of the ‘Keep the penny’ that many shop owners rather liked. Not sure if it happens in other countries… I guess it does but having never lived there… *shrug*

I need to make a point of transparency here… My parents used to own a shop and I personally saw this first hand. Many times people would say ‘keep the penny’ thinking it was a rare occurrence.. No. It happened quite a lot! Some people saw this and it led to the counter top charity box, or mite box, and the almost disposal of odd pennies people couldn’t be bothered to carry around. Not so much out of charity but out of laziness and not wanting a pocket full of pennies after visiting a number of shops. The modern supermarkets have all but done away with smaller shops so this is now a moot point.

Now, Wikipedia gives a few possibilities on why this practice started. All seem reasonable but thus far we have no real idea. But here is where we see modern psychology changing in front of our eyes. People have, with no better term to hand, woken up to it all.

But now we see a new use of random pricing for items. I saw a TV the other day for £123.23… WTF? Was it literally that someone had to come up with a price over a certain threshold and just tapped a line on the keyboard? O.o

There are other times where you will see almost random pricing… It’s probably a bit more honest that you may think. An item costs me £31.26 to buy it from the manufacturer because I buy it in bulk. I then put on my 25% mark up and I get £39.08 (Ok 39.075, But you never round down!). Now that is a legitimate number, it just looks weird… BUT IT SHOULDN’T!

BTW… Sometimes you get seemingly random pricing on items when an item is on sale at  “33% off!!!”(Note extra exclamation points). This isn’t what I am talking about.

I’m not an idiot. Stop treating me like I am one. Can we have round numbers for pricing please. Or at least a return to honest pricing?

For a bit of fun… Did you know that the Monster Raving Looney Party in the UK wanted to bring in a 99p coin to save on change? Rather genius in my view. B-)