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Jim McGrath
08 November 2011 @ 01:59 pm
I need to be more organised. However, every time I've tried to use a system to organise myself, I've never been organised (or disciplined?) enough to use the system for any length of time. Is there any hope for me, or am I just a useless piece of scum floating on the surface of life? And if there isn't any hope, what do I do? Bumble through life being useless to everyone and eventually destroying everything I touch?

Or to put it another way, how do I avoid bumbling through life never knowing what I'm doing? The obvious, easy answer is to develop some mental discipline so I can either remember what I said ten minutes ago,or acknowledge that I won't remember it and write it down (or at least make some kind of record of it). But I've thought that before, said that before, sworn blind that I'd do it before, and it hasn't happened.

Whatever, I have to do something. I'm sick of spending my life remembering important stuff when it's too late, and letting people down because of it. if you have any bright ideas about what I could feel free to let me know. I may even respond... if I remember *sigh*
Jim McGrath
31 October 2011 @ 01:02 pm

I've delved into the world of twitter. I kind of get it. A bit. It strikes me that unless you're famous or incredibly popular, it's really about events and occasions, but that could just be because I'm not that sociable a person anymore.

Anyway, I've started following @muskrat_john, as any right-minded gamer-geek should be, which reminded me that I once inspired him to draw this. I say once - what I mean is over five years ago.

Good lord.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Jim McGrath
07 October 2011 @ 10:10 am
I'm not even going to think about looking at how long it is since I last posted. We must be into years (multiple) rather than months.

This can *only* mean that I'm upset or disturbed by something. So what could be so momentous?

On my way to work this morning, I passed a bus advertising Vitabiotics wellKid vitamins. Vitamin supplements, marketed for children, in a developed, westernised, and relatively wealthy country.

Now, I'm sure these aren't a new phenomenon. But I'd never seen an advert for them at the start of a two mile walk before, so I'd probably never had the chance to turn that over in my head properly. A wealthy western country. Vitamin supplements for children. Marketed at children.

Now, I'm probably over-reacting a little (I do enjoy a good melodrama), but that seems utterly cack-handed to me. If there is a child in this country who isn't getting enough vitamins in their diet, then surely the answer is not to persuade them to eat some fun chewy sweety that happens to have vitamins in it, but to get them to eat more fruit and veg. As far as I'm aware there isn't a shortage, and the big advantage of fruit and veg is that they make a tasty and filling snack as well as being full of vitamins.

So come on parents, and come on supplement companies. Filling the country's children with vitamin-loaded sweets is not the way to make us healthier. Let's promote real food for real health. It's tasy and good for you ;)

Rant Over.
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Jim McGrath
20 May 2009 @ 12:43 pm
Anyone who follows my facebook will know that I had some issues moving house a few weeks ago. Inept letting agents who failed to finish the renovation work on time (read: failed to start the renovation work) and were then pretty beastly about the whole thing left me somewhat (read: incredibly) stressed. We are now in, most of the problems have been sorted, and we're doing our best to settle. Invites to those who want (or are owed!) them will be made shortly.

We (that is, the family and I) are going on holiday next week. Just 4 nights, in a caravan, in Northumberland. It should be good fun, and hopefully give me a chance to relax, but since the monthly upload of data is due the week I'm away and I've not had time to organise doing it programatically it's going to bother me. But hopefully not too much.

One thing moving house taught me is that you often don't know how good your friends are until you really need them. I should start appreciating this more!

It would appear that, contrary to previous indications, Muriel and I will be at Greenbelt this year. Hopefully we'll see some of you there.
Jim McGrath
02 March 2009 @ 01:25 pm
I've been looking through my userpics and they're all a bit old. I feel the need for a new batch, which reflect my new appearance (which is large bald and, since the weekend, kind of blond ;) ). So, can anyone recommend a good place to go and do new userpics (I used friendsReunited's weemee last time, I think). Or, if you're of an artistic bent, would you draw me some? Pretty please?
Current Mood: happy enough
Jim McGrath
27 February 2009 @ 10:45 pm
As thoe of you who are facebook connected to me may have noticed, the week started poorly when my bike was stolen from Manchester Aquatics Centre on Monday evening while I was swimming. The week didn't get an awful lot worse after that, but was definitely rounded off tonight when I locked myself, Muriel and our visiting friend, Peg, out of the house when we went for dinner. After a number of amusing attempts to flick the Yale lock with bent coathangers, I finally went for brute force (rather than £65 + vat for a locksmith) and took a tyre iron to one of the small glass panes in the front door. Which got us into the house, but means I'll now have to pay for either a new pane of glass, or a new front door. So definitely not the best week.
Current Mood: discontentdiscontent
Jim McGrath
23 January 2009 @ 10:00 am

One of my colleagues recently went to watch the filming of the new Krypton Factor, and has mentioned to me that the new assault course is in a wooded area of the Yorkshire Dales. My thoughts (perhaps unsurprisingly) turned to Scargill, and I found myself wondering what happened with the sale.

Well, now I know.

For those who want a summary before clicking through, a group led by the Bishop of Bolton (who was a long-time Scargill Partner) has, with a certain amount of input from Lee Abbey, somehow raised the funds to buy Scargill off the old community, with a view to reopening it in its original form - i.e. a "Lee Abbey of the North".

I can't decide if I'm pleased that the buildings will be put back to their intended use, or saddened that a progressive movement in religious tolerance has been replaced with something that will inevitably be much more conservative. Still, definitely interesting news...

Current Location: work
Current Mood: concerned
Jim McGrath
25 December 2008 @ 09:00 pm
Hope you're all having a great day *raises glass*
Current Mood: happyhappy
Jim McGrath
19 November 2008 @ 10:09 am

To be fair, the journey down yesterday was alright. The seats on Pendalinos are a bit uncomfy, and they curve in odd ways, but all told it was a reasonable journey, with the train running smoothly and on time.

The journey back, on the other hand, was not. We got to just short of Nuneaton before the train stopped, and sat there for a bit. Then an announcement came across that there was a major signal failure, and that the train was going to be reversed to Rugby, then continue forward through Birmingham and Wolverhampton, picking up it's usual route at Stoke. So we reversed all the way through Rugby station, then sat just outside Rugby for about 2 hours, perhaps a bit more. Occasionally the train manager came on to tell us that we were due to move in about 15 minutes, and we all laughed as 15 minutes came, went and was forgotten.

Eventually, of course, we did move, and when we did we went through Nuneaton and on up the Trent Valley: we'd been kept waiting for so long that they'd managed to fix the major signal failure and send us on our normal route. Needless to say, there was a general lack of impressedness in the carriage.

Still, I have my compensation claim forms, and work have confirmed I can claim it on my own behalf, so lets see when Virgin come up with...

Current Location: work
Current Mood: tiredtired
Jim McGrath
18 November 2008 @ 07:42 am

got a ticket for my destination...

Apologies for the blatant S&G fest (just be thankful I haven't got a guitar with me) but that song always goes through my head when I'm waiting for a train, particularly early in the morning. So why am I on a train at 7.45? I'm travelling to London for a 2 hour meeting, followed by a half hour meeting. I've ben up since just after 6, I was out of the house by 6.45, and I don't get a train back until 5.35 (apparently I'm feeling masochistic today, getting two of the main commuter trains up and down...). At least I have a laptop for company - I can entertain myself and (once 9am rolls round) I might even do a bit of programming.

But for now - I'm mostly just distressed that I'm up so damn early.

Current Mood: tiredtired