Teachers and Education

Last week I finished off a lesson I'd started a couple of weeks before with a Y5/6 class from one of our local primary schools. This was to design a web page using MS FrontPage. Now everything went well (even though I do say so myself!) and the kids did some good work.
Now I'm no teacher and this was my first experience teaching a class of kids. However the teacher thought it was time for her to do other work, so I was left, on occasions, on my own with the class! Ho hum!

Trouble is that I'm doing this lesson as a favour to the school and getting paid a damn site less than a teacher. Unfortunatley, if your not a teacher in education, you're considered not as good, as worthy or not worth as much money as a teacher. Of course, without support and technical staff, schools would grind to a halt.
Also why is it non teaching staff cannot become management?

Excuse me?????

Carol came into the kitchen this morning to tell me that there were workmen in our back yard! So I went out and asked if I could help them. They were there to do work on an adjoining wall between us and next door. Seems they have some damp.

The bloke I spoke to asked if Mr. Next Door had told us the work needed doing. Nope, not heard a peep.
Mind you that's typical of them. When we bought our house we went round to introduce ourselves and say hello. They couldn't be less interested. Their kids are little gits as well. They don't seem to think there is a problem when their football hits our windows, will wander into our yard without even thinking to ask and they smoke by our back gate and leave all their debris by our gate.

Basically they only care about themselves. Yell

Now I appreciate that they have to have work done to sort out damp, and have no problems with them getting it sorted. BUT, they should ask first. I should have told the workmen to go away! 


Oh we had fun last week. We decided that our fridge was on too much, so it was time to buy a much more energy efficient one. So off we went, found one we liked, bought it and got it home. We waited for 4 hours for it to settle down, turned it on, on came the light and motor and then off they went went! We'd got a lemon. So it got sent back and after a lot of faffing around, we got another! It worked!

All that for a fridge……. 

Cooler weather and a happier techie!

Phew, it's much better at work today with the weather being a bit cooler, it's only 26°C in my office today! That's compared to 31°C on Monday! That's only 5° difference but that's a lot. 
Even with the window open and the fan on it was stifling on Monday. Must have been something to do with the hot weather, the 2 servers, the 24 port hub, printer and my PC being on! Trouble is the chances of getting air con in here are approximately nil. It took over a year to get air con in our other server room and that's with the servers falling over all through the summer! Such are the joys of working in education and not being a teacher! 
Oh well, I've just put up my Paraguay, Trinidad & Sweden flags to go with my German one! Let's see how long it takes people to see them!


Due to the nature and quality of driving in England, the DOT has devised a new scheme in order that good drivers may identify poor drivers.

For this reason, from the 01 June 2006, drivers who are found to be driving badly, inconsiderately or both, will be issued with flags (white with a red cross).

These flags must be clipped to the door of the car and be visible to all other drivers and pedestrians.

Those drivers who have shown particularly poor driving skills will have to display a flag on either side of the car to indicate their inadequacy and general lower intelligence mindset, for one and all to see.

Please circulate this information to as many other motorists as possible, so that everyone is aware of the meaning of these flags.CoolLaughing

Great Day Out, But………………….

Yesterday we had a rather nice day out at the West Midlands Safari Park and the Severn Valley Railway. The safari park was great as we got there early to avoid the crowds. You can really get close to the animals, including lions, tigers, elephants and giraffes. We even had a horned cow put it's head through the window to say hello!
After the safari park we went to the railway. We only went to Bewdley, but it was a nice trip. It was interesting to see that the safari park was packed when we went past on the train! We were hauled by the 8F and the Stanier Mogul. All in all a jolly day, and we completely missed getting drowned in the showers 😉
Trouble is that yesterday's Bank Holiday, was traditionally Newcastle's carnival day. However, the political geniuses who ran our Borough Council cancelled it as they said it cost too much. This is after they spent nearly £1000 last year on Posh 'n' Becks impersonators! 
It was replaced by a Jazz and Blues festival. OK, not too bad, but all the gigs were in local pubs and not in town or at the Brampton. They still had charity stalls in town, but forgot to tell most of the charities that they could still have a stall. Well done local politicians! 

Knives & Planes

Why have there been so many stabbings recently? I think there have been three school kids and a chap on a train at Oxenhome stabbed in the last couple of weeks. I suppose a lot of it is down to gang culture and that these fools think they need to carry knives as they are 'hard', 'kewl' or need them as they need 'protection' or that they need 'respect'. Well none of that is true, especially the respect bit. These fools think that carrying a knife or being hard makes them deserve respect from others. WRONG!!! Being a person who does work for the community without banging on about it, being a great leader or being a great engineer or scientist, as examples, are people who deserve respect, not some jumped up little thugs. Trouble is, they are far too stupid to realise this!
As I was in the garden this afternoon, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight came overhead. The Hurricane, Lancaster and Spitfire made an enormous sound as they flew quite low overhead. I can't imaging what a squadron of fighters or a bomber formation would have looked and sounded like. Quite impressive and scary really. It's good to see them still flying as my Grandpa (Ken Wood) worked on Hurricanes and Lancasters during the War (he was a mechanic). The chap who designed the Spitfire , Reginald Mitchell, was also born round here!


Well, after complaining about how slow things go yesterday, things took a turn for the better today. The info I needed was sent to me, I sent it off, got the quotes, the boss said yes without batting an eyelid and the order's been placed. So we now get two new spangly backup servers in August! What can I say?

Buying Stuff

I don't believe some people. I rang up someone yesterday to get a quote for some back up servers as the boss has found some money. The chap I spoke to said that I needed to speak to someone else, so he'd get him to ring me. Over 24 hours and two follow up phone calls from me later – nothing. It's not that I want a favour from them I want to buy something from them for goodness sake.  And, of course, no one else can possibly get in touch………… 😎
Oh well, I take it back, just had a phone call 🙂


Oh dear. Silverscreen, who Carol works for, finally closed on Sunday. They had been in administration since the end of March, but decided to call it a day at the weekend. So after Friday, she has no job Cry.
She went for an interview yesterday, only to be told that she would have got the job had the company not screwed up and given it to an existing manager! Not impressed.
 Oh well, she has another tomorrow, just hope it goes well. 

Old Friends

My old Scout Leader popped round tonight to catch up with me. Now this may not sound very noteworthy, but as he was headhunted by Caltech nearly 20 years ago (ouch- that long???) and now works for the University of Chicago, he doesn't pop by too often. Apparently it's something to do with the commuting :-D.
Anyway, it was good to see him again and have a good chat. It was a shame we didn't get longer as the last time I saw him was at my wedding and I was a bit busy that day! 

Charity & Footballers

I'm very proud of my Mum as she managed to raise over £1000 for the Children's Society yesterday by holding a coffee day. She's spent ages organising it, my Dad too for that matter!

Now compare this with the footballer who signed for Chelsea yesterday. It was reported in the news that he is to be paid £135000 a week! That's over £7 million a year for kicking a football around. Now no matter how skilled at football he may (and I guess he must be), he is not worth THAT much. His wages for just over an hour would cover the amount that my Mum, a retired person, took weeks to raise. I must admit, I'd quite happily accept 1% of his salary ;-).

Perhaps these overpaid, vacant footballers should look to someone like David Gilmour, the Pink Floyd guitarist, who having decided to sell his house in London, gave all the proceeds (approx £4 million) to a housing charity as he said he didn't need the money!

Green Photos!

After Claire and Tez's wedding, I wanted my photos back ASAP. Thinking Jessops in town would be open, we went down the day after to get them printed. They weren't open so we had to go to Morrisons. 

I had two films and a load of digital photos to be printed. Apparently, they couldn't cope with doing so many prints in one hour, so I had to wait for two.

Two hours later, we picked them up and went off to Carol's parents to show them. Trouble was the all had a really bad green colour cast Yell.

So I went back the next day. The sales assistant was not exaclty going out of her way to be helpful and took some persuading there was a green colour cast. She said that she could reprint the films but the digital pictures were right. That was until I showed her a print out from my PC on a laser printer which showed the correct colours! Two hours later, I came to pick them up. Before I had checked them, the assistant vanished round the back. When I checked all the prints, they still had a green colour cast!

I called the assistant back, told her the colour cast was still there and she took my print out and photos and stomped off to find her supervisor. When I'd explained everthing to the supervisor, she told me there was nothing wrong! After some discussion (!), where she told me there was nothing wrong with the prints, that I'd edited the pictures on the PC, as the background was grass on some of the pictures there was no colour cast etc. etc., she agreed that there was a problem! I finally got a full refund. This took over half an hour.

So I took them to Jessops and unsuprisingly they printed them correctly.

The moral? Only take films to be developed and printed to a company that knows what they are doing and not to places who try to make out that you are wrong and not them!