Friday, August 31, 2007

Why can't the past stay in the past

Well I should have seen this coming a mile off. I had, had a great weekend, things were going fine, I was tired but it was a good kind of tired. Everything was good. I should have really seen that I wasn't going to be allowed to get away with that and something was going to come along and slam me down hard. Well what came along was something I had hoped I would never had to deal with again.

Long term readers might remember me having mentioned Jinx before and what happened there. It was a very painful time and I was more then happy to leave it in the past but what I wanted didn't matter.

I speak to a girl sometimes on instant messenger sometimes who I knew from school. Back then we had one of those love hate relationships without any of the love. But that was there and this is now and we get on okay and talk from time to time. Well I was online on Wednesday when she popped up and mentioned she had seen Jinx and they had talked about things including what had happened with our friendship. I was a little unsure to be honest at first if she had really met up with her or if she was joking. But she said Jinx had told her she had see me at the cinema a few weeks ago at the cinema so she was telling the truth as she knew that.

She then proceeded to drop a nasty bombshell. Apparently Jinx had told her the last time she had seen me was when she had come to visit me at uni and that she had decided she didn't want anything more to do with me because of something she claimed happened. However I wouldn't go into details here of what she said was the reason suffice to say it did not happen.

Apparently she has also told another person from school the same story. Failing to mention that I had seen her twice more after the visit, we had been in contact and about the money and all the sorry mess that happened then nearly a full year later after the point she supposedly said she stopped talking to me. So there you have it she is now innocent of everything and I am the bad guy.

Why, why, why, WHY! Is she doing this? I mean what is the point of making up a story, a nasty one as it happens to make me look like the bad guy. Has she just decided she didn't stick the boot in good and proper last time. Or maybe she knows I can't fight back against the emotional stuff ( which she used to great effect last time) it always hurts me really badly. I mean what did I do to deserve this? I tried to be a good friend, I trusted her again, I leant her the money when she needed it when I wouldn't have given it to anyone else, I went against advice sure that as my friend nothing bad would happen. I kept hanging in their for a longtime hoping against hope that she would prove everyone wrong. I was trying to be a friend.... I don't know, maybe I should have listened maybe I just bought this on myself.

I just hope this is the last of it. I don't wanted this dragged up again. It hurts too much. The past should stay in the past. We were friends then but not now. Now I have a group of friends who are are better then she ever was, their brillent and more then I could ever want for in friends and sometimes it feels like more then I coul ever deserve. I hope they know how great they are. .

Well I did do something else this week asides from write!

Well after all of the excitement of the weekend it was back to work on Tuesday. Straight into the office move. Arggghhhhhh!!!!!!! Seriously if I go to conference next year ( hey the way things are it's more then likely I will be, as the chances of me being married by then, not so big at the moment) I will take a extra day off. Spending a long weekend away followed by a day of moving very heavy furniture and desks around, plus refilling bookshelves and rewiring computers really tires you out. I was dead on my feet by Tuesday evening and I still feel shattered. Seriously I'm going to need the weekend so I can recover from last weekend!

Mind you on the plus side, Grumpys away right now so the weekend so I can the whole house to myself. Downside, once again I'm going to have to do the shopping myself!

Engineseer is off in Luxemburg ( I think) so I'm looking after his house for him. We've also got the YSA FHE on Monday which I've got to think of a activity for. Arrgghhhh!!!! I'm seriously beginning to doubt I'm going to have a quiet life but hey. Maybe if I'm busy that means I'll get something constructive done.


YSA Convention final thoughts or " Hasn't he shut up yet" 2007

So that's it folks. Thanks for staying with me, we cramed a lot of stuff in over the weekend didn't we. If I could keep your attention for just a minute longer however. I'll just list some of my final thoughts on this years event. I'll start with what I said last year I would try to do this year:

Get a new digital camera. our current one is rubbish Well I think you all know I managed this one ages ago.

Take some cordinal and more munchies. Will help with the social aspect of things. I managed this one too. and we all now know Fraggles weakness Mwah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

be more tolerent. I think/hope I managed this one. be more open and talk to new people. The worst they can do is to tell me to sod off.

Get footwear that doesn't collapse on me No sign of damage to my shoes what so ever.

Learn to ceroc. Oops didn't manage to to that one.

beg, borrow, steal or just plain bribe someone to come with me as a passenger. That journey is long and boring by yourself I managed this quite successfully by getting both Engineseer and Fraggle to come with me on the way up. That trip sure seemed much shorter with people to talk to.

Good Things :
A still healthy appreciation for just how unbelievably cool the Leicester YSA are and I would not change them for anything in the world.

I fulfilled my goal and talked to someone outside of the stakeI took part in all of the activities I could.

weekend away from everything

a good oppotunity to recharge the spirtual batteries.

bad things :
again I didn't make friends enough with a new person to exchange email or mobile numbers but at least I am making some steps in the right direction.

Again I let my shyness over ride some urges to speak to people but it wasn't as bad as last year.

lets work on these for next year!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

YSA Conference Epilogue: Going down, down, back to geektown

After handing my key in it was back to the geekmobile to await my passengers. Well of course at this point I had no clue of who was going to be turning up as passengers as there had been some reorganization courtesy of Engineseer to help solve some transportantion problems. The way he put it was " all you need to do is turn up and drive, I'll handle the logistics". Soon enough after a bit of chasing round, Engineseer, Fraggle and Non splitter all turned up with their gear ready to go home. After a few goes I was able to fit all of stuff in the boot with only a small amount of stuff stuck inside the car. Including plenty of Pringles and Starbursts from Fraggle. Of course it couldn't be as geeky a car on the way back as there as we had a girl in the car!

We set off following Engineseers satnav and all seemed well. Well at least for the first few minutes, I started to get concerned when it started to direct us down a load of side streets and across a estate. Engineseer confirmed that he had programmed in the right destination for geektown. He then found he was taking us via the M1 which was not the way we wanted to go! After a quick turn around and quick reprogram we were off again. Alas I can reveal nought of what we spoke as the same rules applied in the car on the way back as on the way up. What is said in the car, stays in the car!

I suggested and the others agreed that we stop at a KFC on the way back as there had been no lunch for us. Fraggle fell asleep in the back though ( maybe too many Pringles ) and Non splitter soon followed him. Although she claimed she was just resting her eyes and checked out the back of her eyelids :-) We got to the KFC to discover there was no free cash machine. I usually avoid the cash machines where your charged like the plague as I don't see why you should pay to get your own money!! Unfortunately this time I didn't have any choice if I wanted to eat. We headed upstairs and ran into some other YSA who were on their way home. It was at this point I realized I was still wearing that stupid band. I had gotten so used to it wearing it all weekend I had forgotten it was there.

We soon got on the road again and made good time, asides from getting a bit lost around stoke ( that always happens to me round that town), it was the one time we hadn't got satnav going as we thought we wouldn't need it anymore. D'oohhh!!!

We had to make a small detour to drop non splitter off so she could get her car. Then it was back to being the geekmobile along with several rousing renditions of the tune to fraggle rock ( which I still can't get out of my head), genesis ( I can't dance which is probably more true for me then the other two) and some other songs that I can't remember right now.

But again all too soon we were home. We offloaded the car, Engineseer and Fraggle( fraggles complete with the last of the starbursts) loaded theirs ( they had left them on my drive all weekend) and they were off. I pulled into the drive and went into the house to discover Engineseer wasn't the only one in consistently repeating her performance from last year. Grumpy had left me all the washing up from over the whole weekend to do.

Oh well, C'est la vie.

YSA Conference Day 4: The best laid plans of Saxons and Engineseers

If I thought being woken up by slamming of doors on Sunday morning that was nothing compared to what woke me up on Monday Morning. Yes fans a fire alarm But not a standard fire alarm oh no. This sounded more like they had decided to upgrade the hall with the kind of alarm that would announce the launch of a nuclear missile by accident. After turning in a frantic circle on the spot for a couple of moments trying frantically to clear my head I realized I had to get out quick. I hurriedly grabbed a pair of trouser and t-shirt and raced outside. As we gathered in the courtyard I realized I had managed to jam my t-shirt on backwards somehow! We waited what seemed like a age for the campus police to turn up. Apparently someone had got into a hall and though it would be funny to set the alarm off. While the police did a sweep of the hall one of the leaders almost had a heart attack when he realized that there were two girls standing outside in the group in dressing gowns. Fortunately we quickly established then the two girls were foreign students from the uni who had been living in the bottom flat in the hall anyway. When they started to let us back in the hall one bright spark suddenely announced " Hey as it's 5.45am and we're all up why don't we have a big group scripture study group now?" There was no reply accept general laughter.

I decided to finish the last breakfast the way I began, in the same dining room I had used all weekend. Engineseer also appeared to have decided to end the weekend the same way he began by failing to appear for breakfast ( I was starting to get very familiar with the lady on his voicemail). Oh well at least he maintained the same record from last year. The few YSA who were around seemed to be moving very sluggishly. I guess the busy weekend was catching up with all of us!

I joined the YSA heading in the direction of the Armitage centre. The devotional was by John Cary. It was okay, it seemed to to loose track for a little bit or that could have just been me, who knows. He did try and make a joke at one point which unlike his other jokes barely anyone got it at all. I only made the connection after afew minutes when I remembered the Osacar wilde story which had inspired his joke. Oscar Wilde not exactly regular YSA reading is it?

I recieved a txt just at the start of the devotional from Engineseer saying he thought he overslept and was going to pop down to McD's to get breakfast. Allright for some. maybe he knows some secret handshake or something that means he gets extra.

We were supposed to be having a service project that morning but unfortuantely it fell through due to reasons outside of the organisers control. So it ended up we basically for all intents and purporses did a 'giant litter pick' all across the campus, which made a very good impression on the staff. All too soon however it was over and it was time to go back to the armitage centre for the closing cermony. Which again was wonderful. and I did come to a important realisation while sitting there. I had, had a wonderful time. I was tired but again it was a good kind of tired. My intial thoughts on Friday had been too harsh. But it was more spiritual and a
had been more strict in some was then the year before. But it had been fun, it had worked and the organisers had been honest enough to admit that there were some thngs that could have been improved. He also explained that phrase he kept coming out with " To some obedience is still an irritant", it wasn't a pointed comment in a negative sense at us at all! So oops, got the wrong end of the stick there didn't we.

The cermony drew to a close with a montage of photos dispalyed on the big screen included one of me during it's a knockout crawling under a net! The words Beached, Wale, in, net all sprang to mind. Engineseer mind you thought it was extremely funny.

and as the saying goes

that was that.

YSA Conference Day 3: Is ITV in the building?

Well after dinner it was time to yomp back to my room again for a tie change. As a tie with a huge gravy stain down the middle of it is not a good look at all! I resisted the temptation to lie down on my bed as by that point I was almost sure I wouldn't get up again!

That evening the activity was the 'evening with Julian Jones', the trouble was I kept thinking of all those really bad ITV shows like a evening with the Spice girls, a evening with Jimmy tarbuck, a evening with that women who won big brother three series back and who we all adored until the next series started, etc, etc, etc. It was a good talk even if it seemed to mainly consist of a rallying call to attend institute. We finished a little early so they decided to start the testimony meetings early. Fraggle and I headed upstairs to meet with the blue group whereas Engineseer stayed with the greens as he was now neutral ( he had turned his band inside out. He stayed with the greens a lot over the weekend for some reason :-)

The testimony was very good. No scratch that it was amazing. There was such a powerful spirit up in that room. In fact our testimony meeting ended up running over by half an hour and there were still four people standing up queuing to give their testimony' when they closed the meeting. I wondered back to my room to get changed out of my suit although I stayed in trousers and shoes rather then jeans. I wondered back out as there were lots of YSA still around outside talking. The main hall was shut so there wasn't anywhere for us to congregate inside. But that didn't matter. In fact it was probably a good thing as it allowed us to spread out and things remained fairly calm in keeping with Sabbath.

At least until midnight anyway when a lot of YSA took the view that if they consider midnight the previous night the start of the Sabbath it ended bang on midnight on Sunday. At which point we joined the flood of YSA leaving the campus, crossing the road to the fast food places in search of something to eat. Don't think the fast food places knew what hit them. One of the pizza places were so busy they stayed open till 1am despite the fact they usually shut at midnight! We ran into one of the guys from our stake and asked him which workshops he went to that afternoon. " None I was watching some football" " Where did you watch that?" "old Trafford" came the response. There wasn't much you could say in response to that.

After dodging the traffic we made our way back over the road to the campus, only slightly slowed by the impromptu limbo contest that the girls started at the railings near the gate. We moved back into the main courtyard to find a lot of YSA around many wrapped up by this point in their duvets. As people started to drift away I realized that as I was going to be driving a full car load home the next day I should really go and get some sleep. So I stumbled back to my room and more or less fell on it. I was tired but it was a good kind of tired. By this point I had realized that maybe I had been judging things too harshly on Friday. It has been a wonderful day and Saturday had been great too.

So only half a day left before it was time to face the Bank Holiday traffic. Time for a good nights sleep or rather what was left of the nights sleep as it was nearly half one in the morning!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

YSA conference day 3 afternoon: YSAing on a semi sunny afternoon

Well after the conference session was over it was time for Lunch. Someone realised if somewhat belatedly that trying to fit 600 odd ysa into the small foyer was a disaster waiting to happen so the lunch trays were quickly hustled outside. The inevitable scrum started and the ripping of bags but I decided to head for the far end where the fewest amount of people were. The gamble paid off, I got Chicken!! No Crayfish and rocket whatever the heck that was for me!

However it took quite a while for the others to appear as you can imagine the size of the queue. But appear they did. Engineseer quite happy because there were lots of corned beef and he likes that.

Next up after lunch was a musical about the history of the church in the British Isles. It was awesome!! The only problem as it was in the main hall to say it was a little packed would be a understatement! There were people perched on the window Sills!

there were a couple of workshops in the afternoon I resisted the temptation to sneak away for a nap, unlike some people :-)

For dinner that evening we got to the dining hall as early as we could, but we were still stuck in a queue for 10 minutes. And what did we discover we had for dinner. Why the two best possible foods you could hope for with lots of people in white shirts, ties and Sunday dresses. Spaghetti or Roast beef with gravy. I didn’t have a bib but fortunately my tie worked just as well as a large dollop of gravy landed right on it. Which did save my shirt!

YSA Conference day 3 morning: My powers of telepathy continue to grow

There are some nice ways to be woken up from a sound sleep such as by birds singing, sunlight streaming in through the window, breakfast in bed. Then there are some ways that are not so nice to be woken up, like having cold water thrown on you, a cold breeze or some cretin slamming a door very, very hard! Guess which one happened to me Sunday morning. Yes of course, the last one and this guy didn't slam his door once, oh no no no. He slammed it several times obviousily subscribing to the idea that if you can't get the door to lock slamming it as hard as possible will help. The conversation I heard through my door between this guy and his mate was as follows

" Do you have to slam it so hard ?"
" Yes" SLAM
" I don't think it's working"
" Still not working and your going to start waking people up"
SLAM SLAM " So what, they should be good and up for scripture study anyway"

at which point I was all set to jump up, open the door and get into a real shouting match with this guy. However after the final slam there was silence. So I don't know what happened. It could have been that he figured out how to close the door, he got inspiration that continuing to slam that door would be detrimental to his health or my powers of telepathy continue to grow. You decide!

I met up with Engineseer for Breakfast. He got up, yayyyy!!!!! The girls however failed to appear and after waiting for 15 minutes we decided to make our own way there and hope they'd catch up. I had put my trousers on a nice t-shirt as I didn't want to risk wearing my suit and trying to eat a fried breakfast with toast and Marmite. It would just be asking for trouble! I did start to get a little worried that I was underdressed at the amount of people about in their sunday best for breakfast. I soon felt more at ease though when several girls turned up in sweatshirts and pyjamas bottoms!

After a quick breakie I rushed back to my room to get changed into my suit. Heading back across campus to the main hall I ran into Fraggle who was on his way to breakfast. I was a touch concerned that he would be late as there was only ten minutes until the start of priesthood. but he assured me there would be no problem. He was right too. Maybe thats one of his strength to balance out his weakness for starbursts. Eat breakfast quickly power!

I met up with Engineseer and we grabbed some seats. Fraggle headed off to the fron to wave his arms about :-) No he hadn't gone mad or started conducting, he was doing sign language for some people, signing the lessons and talks etc. The person who was conducting the meeting stood up and announced elder Johnson was taking the lesson. I immediately looked at Engineseer and asked if the guy meant the same Eldar Johnson as last year. Engineseer nodded. to quote Doctor Sam Beckett " Oh boy”( and before anybody asks I was making a big effort all weekend to turn the geekyness down all the way and was remarkably successful most of the time)

However and this is a really big however. He was complete different from last year, he seemed really happy and joking and it was a really good lesson. Also Engineseer and I can go to the EQ President and Bishop if needs be and insist on a hometeaching list right now. When they ask who says we can say “ Eldar Johnson” , he, he. The lesson wasn’t even delayed that much by Cordeilas and Engineseers favourite person from leeds (ask them) making attempts to hijack the lesson the whole time.

So after the lesson finished we trotted over to the armitage centre where Elder Johnson was taking the main conference session. Unlike last year it was treated like a proper conference session, i.e no sacrament I guess they decided it was going to be a logistical nightmare. Again the session was very good, Elder Johnson seemed very happy and in a good mood. A distinct change to last years talk.

But the first two talks seemed to run a little short so Elder Johnson bought the YSA conducting to the stand and asked him about what a section in D&C referring to that mornings priesthood lesson. Que laughs from the boys and blank looks from the girls. He then called President Mcreynolds up and I started to wonder where this was going. He then asked if he had any YSA from his stake there at which point I started to get really nervous when he next mentioned the word testimony! He then asked if he had a YSA sister who he thought could bear their testimony, at which point me and Engineseer let out a huge breath of relief. He then said he thought sister P could bear her testimony, at which point MA and Non-splitter let out a sigh of relief at the same time all the P sisters tensed. President McReynolds find came out and said Sister C P ( apparently that was the first name that popped into his head as he knew at least some of the P sisters were there then remembered seeing CP on his way in. Lesson for you there folks, avoid your stake president before going into a conference session. CP Then went up to the stand and proceeded to deeply, deeply thank President McReynolds for the opportunity to bear her testimony ( if she said that bit through clenched teeth I wouldn’t have been surprised in the slightest.

After that it was time for lunch. All in all it had been a very good morning

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

YSA Conference Day 2 Evening, emergency, code red, This is a matter of life or death! (apparently)

Well the next classes up were some dancing classes. But as neither were ceroc neither Engineseer or I were that interested, so we decided that was a good a point as any to slip off site and go to the shops to get some goodies. Despite having got some supplies for the way up there’s only so many starbursts you can eat without feeling ill ( asides from Fraggle who seems able to eat them till the cows come home!). We met up in the carpark to discover that one of the girls from Leicester and her friend were heading out to the shops so engineseer had bagged a lift with them. We were planning to go to Tesco, then that was scrubbed and we decided to go to Asda, then that was changed and we ended up in Sainsburys! So as you can imagine we kept turning around quite a bit, partly due to their satnav which was nowhere near as good as Engineseers. Anyway apparently their trip to the shops was of a more urgent nature then us simply going to get something to eat. Apparently they needed stand alone mirrors as the ones in the bathrooms weren't good enough and the light in their meant they came out with far too much make up on(which didn't make much sense to us). I made a joke that Engineseer and I had the same problem which went down like a lead balloon. Which made me realise that there are some things guys shouldn't joke about and just take girls words for.

So after trying sainsburys, a lloyds pharmacy, and several other shops we ended up at Asda which we were aiming for to begin with! They did have mirrors ( fortunately for them as the girls seemed to be ready to hurt someone! that would have been an interesting report for the conference organisers to make, he, he). We made it back to the campus in what we thought was plenty of time for dinner. However the girls said they would probably have to skip dinner so they could get ready for the ball. The ball started at 8pm and dinner was 7pm. I was confused at how it would take them two hours to get ready but again there are some things that are destined to remain a mystery to guys until your married. However the dance classes had finished at the same time we arrived back so by the time we arrived in the courtyard ( next to the tower) we were at the back of the queue . ( this year they only had one queue instead of two!) Engineseer and I, waited and waited, after 5 minutes of not really moving at all, Engineseer asked if I really wanted a BBQ and there was a mcdonalds down the road. After a further 10 minutes I agreed I wasn't really that desperate to have BBQ food so off we went to McD's which was a 10 minute walk.

We discovered a problem in McD's. The checkout girl asked Engineseer something about our wristbands and his reply was " No, nooo, that's certainly not us" After we sat down I asked him what she had asked. Apparently she had asked if we were from the 'pride parade' in town as all the participants were wearing the same style of wristbands. Oops. Lets hope the leaders didn't see any of the people from the parade and get very, very worried! I guess that would have made a even more interesting report.

After we had eaten and walked back we discovered that the girls who had been in the queue behind us for the BBQ had still not been served and were at lest 10 minutes away from being served. The look on their face was priceless. They couldn't believe it.

We returned to our rooms and got ready for the ball. Which to be honest probably only took about a tenth of the time it took the girls to get ready. I was having problems with my bowtie again but fortunately fraggle was on hand to help me out. I had it totally screwed up! Engineseer appeared and we waited for the girls and waited and waited. We finally decided it would probably be a better idea to go to the ball and meet them there as it was 9.30pm at this point and we had a sneaking suspicision that they would be shutting the ball at 11pm.

Anyway here's the three of us all dressed up;
See I can look good occasionally :-)

and Engineseer and Fraggle again. Anyway, no YSA ball would be complete without a choclate fountain and there was one. Literally one. Here it is!

We did wonder if one choclate fountain between 600 YSA was going to be enough. There was a proper swing band this year, so it was a very different atmosphere to last years ball. The guy on the mike really knew how to work the crowd though. I'm not sure if the lights were any brighter though. He, he, he.

As we had suspected the dance did finish early. The lights came up at around 11.15ish. What we didn't expect was to be asked to take a seat on the floor as someone got up and read a spirtual thought/ gave a talk ( it was short so it's hard to say what it was). The organiser of the conference then stood up and gave a brief talk and used scripture, thats right actually quoted scripture to make a point that as soon as it was midnight it would be the sabbath then called upon us using " religious terms" say we say to make sure we went straight to bed. There was a brief moment of stunned silence in our little group at least as we were a mite surprised that he had done that! Asking us to go to bed by quoting scripture! He also came out with his buzz phrase of the weekend " To some obdience is still an irritant, but I'll get to that later!

So out we headed, some YSA I suspect were being deliberately awkward and staying out on the paths talking for as long as possible. But a large percentage did disappear almost straight away. But anyhow I gave it another hour or so before shortly heading for my room a little while after midnight.

YSA Conference day 2 afternoon : Sneaky, sneaky, naughty, naughty!

After a quick(ish change) and stuffing lunch down, I left my room again to head out to the next blue activity. Of course it was at the other end of the site (again) so back to the armitage centre. I found engineseer in the main hall along with the P sisters and their friends. We were treated to a importune dance display from one YSA, teaching some girls dance moves from Usher. I actually got some video of it. I'm having trouble posting it but I'll work on it.

Anyway we waited for the next workshop and it finally started 20 minutes late, just as some people were starting to give up and leave. The workshop? Well as it was the blue 'physical workshop' timeslot, it was the 'food Olympics Come on, you really think I was going to pass up a workshop with a name like that. Well we got organised into teams and got started. The first event was passing oranges 'down the team', sounds easy right? Wrong! you had to pass it under you chin from person to person without using your hands. Which meant as our team had a high number of guys we were getting far closer to each other then we wanted to.

Second game was fluffy bunny. It was basically one member from each team putting a marshmallow in their mouth then saying fluffy bunny. Then they had to put a second one in their mouth without chewing or swallowing that or the first one. Then a third one and so on. Our team one again. the guy who I was giving the marshmallows to managed to stuff fifteen into his mouth!

After that they announced the next game would be pass the polo. Cue a lot of nervous giggles and worried glances between people. The organizer then produced straws and explained you had to pass them using the straws sticking out from your mouth. This lead to a round of very unconvincing attempts from the YSA to convince all of the other YSA that was the only version of the game we were aware of.

There were three more games following this one. One where people had to throw 'flying saucers' to the other members of their team who had to try and catch them in their mouths. The second was a relay with team members eating two crackers as fast as possible!

in the last game involved four team members trying to build a 'tower of flour' and eating a chocolate off the top. One unfortunate girl from our team got the chocolate along with a mouthful of flour! Much coughing and spitting ensured. One YSA decided to offer her a bottle of water apparently unaware of what might happen if she drank water with a mouthful of flour. At least I hope he was unaware of what might happen! BTW this is my team and we won!

The last workshop of the afternoon for the blue was " Social", I had wanted to go to fifty first dates but the sheet had been ridiculously over subscribed. So I was heading in the direction of the photography session when I ran into Fraggle. Who it seemed by the way was getting hugged by some girl every other time I turned round. He seemed to know so many people it might be quicker to list who didn't know him! Anyway the first thing I noticed was the whopping red line halfway across his forehead. It seems during his physical workshop he had decided to go and down Ultimate Frisbee and had had a accident caused by a Frisbee ( happy with that description fraggle?).

Anyway we were going in the same direction and looked into the 50 first dates room. There seemed to be a lot of girls and not many guys. Well we were unable to resist the temptation of that many single ladies in one room so we snuck in ( shush, don't tell anyone, lets just keep it between you, me, Fraggle and the rest of the internet!) It was a really fun session and at the end you had to write down who your favourite date was and your phone number and put it in a box. If the other person put you down as well then the organizers would send you the other persons number. Well I haven't received anything so I guess I didn't make that big an impression on her. but oh well at least I gave it a try :-)

Monday, August 27, 2007

YSA Conference 2007 Day 2 Morning. I was wet, wet, wet, he was dry, dry, dry,

The room I had in poplar court was very nice and it was also very handy to be able to more or less roll out of bed and into the shower. The question I hear you all ask is, did I get up for the scripture study group? The short answer is no. But they again neither did the majoirty of people either.

So I headed out to get breakfast with Engineseer. Fortunately we knew where the dinner rooms were from last year, otherwise we might have been stuck ( becasue they didn't mention to people where they were. So I waited at the meeting point for Engineseer, and waited and waited and waited. I then gave him a ring and got.... no answer. Hmmm I started to get a real sense of deja vu!

Well as it was just me I decided to try out one of the other dinning rooms this year and as a was a 'veteran' I decided I thought I would try the more classy one. So I went here.

It was the usual fried breakfast. Only one of each thing, but you could get two pieces of toast and ceral and fruit so that seemed more then we got last year.

After heading back to my room for a little while it was time for the first official activity for the day.

It was the devotional in the armitage centre (which opened with a prayer and hymn), it was by Craig marshall and went on for a hour! Engineseer came in right near the end and as he put it " Didn't think he had seen a group of YSA looking so sleepy". It was a fairly good devotional even if the matching on the display screen of a picture of a baby and the atom bomb cloud over hiroshima seemed a little creepy.

There were a few bits of 'housekeeping' after the devotional. They had changed some events to new locations. First item was
" The grafiti art has changed to the pavillion opposite it's a knockout"
The almost symiltaneous reply from the whole congregation
" Where's it's a knockout?"
" It's next to that skanky brick building" Such a ladylike phrase.

he, he, he.

So off I yomped to my first workshop ( Fraggle, engineseer and I were all in the same group, the blues). and when I say yomped, I mean yomped. I don't know how but it seemed that every workshop I choose was at a opposite end of the campus from the last one. As it was skills first for the blues I had signed up to the massage class again as it was quite fun last year and theres few better ways of breaking the ice chatting to a girl then having her putting her hands over you, he, he ,he ,he. Well that was the plan anyway, unfortuantely I chose the wrong seat to sit in and the teacher chose me to be her 'demonstration model'. Probably the only time you will ever hear me say the phrase " I was a model" . The plus side to be picked was that I got a head massage in exactly the correct way, the downside was that everyone was looking at me! and I really had to fight the urge to go to sleep! I liked the class and unsurprisingly did most of the guys. What can I say male YSA are easy to please. However a lot of girls didn't like it that much. This might be something to do with the fact that the girls gave the guys head massages, where as the guys gave the girls hand massages which did onvolve the use of oil!

Then it was time for it's a knockout! After a quick stop by my room to get changed I headed down to the sports fields. To find engineseer watching the proceedings with a huge grin on his face. I think the first thing he said was
" Your going to get wet"
Hmm okay not the best of starts. But hey I was there and I was going to give it a go. Unlike some people. I gave my camera to engineseer and he did took some of the photos here.

Which as you may notice contain some very good 'action shots' in fact if you look at the one where the guy has just thrown a bucket of water. The dim figure you can see in the path of the water is me! Engineseer was not wrong about me getting wet! The people doing the " It's a knockout" were a professional company so they had all sorts of interesting inflatables things. Especially this 'bungie run"

After recovering my gear from engineseer I started to head back to my room to change. I was htroughly soaked and I was probably the last person anyone wanted to see in a wet t-shirt! Lunch was being served at the armitage so I thought I would stop and pick a bag up on my way through. As the it's a knockout had run over a lot of the other ysa had got there first which lead to a problem becoming apparent.

Last year there were three choices for lunch in three different sets of trays which made finding your lunch very easy. This time there wasn't. Although there were a lot more choice, Crayfish and rocket to name one! All of the bags were mixed up and sealed with a large sticker. So the first YSA through the queue had basically demolished the bags in a effort to find sandwiches they liked. I was lucky however and managed to find a fairly intact bag with a chicken sandwich in. However realising I was still dripping water everywhere I departed to my room post haste to change!

YSA Conference 2007 Day 1: Road trip, Road Trip!!

Well as your aware the plan was Engineseer and I were going to be taking grumpys car up to manchester. But as so often with YSA plans not everything went according to plan.Whilst leaving work my phone started to ring with a number I didn't recognise. It turned out to be the one and only Fraggle!! Yes Fraggle was going to the conference as well and he was travelling past geektown in his car all on his lonesome, and wanted to know if we had room in our car for him. Well if there was room for me there certainly was room for him. So we said yes, secure in the knowledge that there couldn't be a more geeky car heading up to the conference!

The only small downside was that I had wanted to leave early to miss the traffic but we now had to wait for Fraggle to arrive. Which he did by 4.30. I was already in the car waiting so after a quick parking of their cars on our drive and a load up of the 'geekmobile' we were off.

One immediate problem was the location of the lighter socket in the car for the powering of Engineseer's satnav. After a bit of awkward jiggery pokery we were able to sort it. We made good time initially. Until we heard Engineseer utter the fateful words " It's late in the afternoon, the traffic looks like it's easing up now" D'oohh!! I think it was shortly after that we saw a bad accident happen just in front of us. We couldn't stop to help though as there was nowhere safe to stop and we would have just added to the confusion. It was about ten minutes after this we ran into a traffic jam which kept us to a slow walking pace for the best of a hour!

As we closed in on Manchester Engineseers satnav came into it's own and we were able to avoid a repeat of the magical mystery tour of last year. We pulled into the carpark after seven. So it had been a very long trip. Before you ask we can not speak of what was spoken. There was one set rule, what was said in the car, stays in the car!

We wandered off to find where we had to register and immediately some differences came apparent. Firstly there were no 'goody bags this year'. I.e no CD, no pen, no keyring, no colour map/leaflet of the campus and no id cards with our name on with coloured ribbon to go round our necks. There was a black and white photocopied sheet with a map on one side and schedule on the other and instead of a card we got one of those coloured bands that you get at events which go round your wrist and you have to cut off! As we had to keep them on, you can imagine how fun the weekend got when trying to wash and shower etc!

A initial look at the schedule produced some laughs. Peer group scripture study every day at 7am! We found that idea highly amusing as some YSA the previous year had trouble getting up in time for breakfast which ran till 9am! So probably not going to happen for a lot of people! One thing that we did notice was that there were a lot fewer YSA around. ( engineseer estimated in the region of around 250 less then last year) The area we were in to register in last year was standing room only. This year, well see for yourself;

Half of it was boarded off, and there was floor space for things such as twister and jenga! Some other differences were also noticable. The schedule was definitely more spirtually orientated. There was no dance but there was a 'fair' which included bouncy castles outside and inside computer games, face painting and dressing up like a clown and throwing cocanuts at tins ( can't remember what that was called).

However later on they did clear the 'fair' away and started what I believe was line dancing?.

After registering we went off to find our rooms. Engineseer was in the same block of halls that I was in last year. Fraggle and I were in Richmond park which meant we didn't have to walk far to carry our gear from the geekmobile. Also they were all ensuite rooms as well, so double yah! We soon realised that the tower was being used by us this year. Which meant it look very dark and foreboding every night as it was empty. It seemed to be going for a 'tower of mordor' look. All that seemed to be missing was the eye at the top :-)

Apparently pizza was arriving but in small quantities. So as you can imagine with YSA round, you blinked and it was gone! So engineseer lead the expedition to go and aquire food from one of the numerous fast food outlets across from the campus. As the below photos prove we did find food. In a nice little kebab shop as it turns out. Which for a kebab shop seemed to serve a dizzying aray of other foods.

Thus feeling refreshed we decided to head back to the main site and wandered around catching up with a few people here and there signing up for classes etc. Fairly soon Engineseer and I both decided to call it a night. I was tied from all the driving and had a feeling that I was going to be needing all of the sleep I could get pretty soon.

I wasn't wrong!

Well we survived

Well the blog title says it all. we managed to survive another YSA Convention and as promised for the few of you who might be interested here is a step by step breakdown of what happened with the weekend. Sit down, get comfy and get a nice drink. This is going to take a while!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Roadtrip time!

Well in, lets see in around 3 to four hours Engineseer and I will be leaving the leafy green surburbs of geektown and heading out to convention. Or to paraphrase rena wolfcastle from the simpsons " We will be spending the weekend with many beautiful ladies". So there will probably be no posts overs the weekend ( although there might be as engineseer is going to be bringing his computer) , but there will be a full in depth series of blog posts next week detailing all the stuff which went on this weekend.

One thing it wouldn't mention is why we had fun this morning, had to do a lot of ringing round and say a lot of things under a breath! If you want to know about that you'll have to ask us in person.

" Ave Caeser, we who are about to go to convetion salute you"


Monday, August 20, 2007

Arggghhhhhhhhh!!! I'm getting old!

Well as you may have guessed it's that time of the year again. Yes folks it's my Birthday and I'm now a whole 26 years old. Well at least on the plus side I can now spend the rest of the year freaking out about how I am closer to 30 then I am 20. And there is a precedent for this. That's what Speed demon did, although Multi-task seemed to be a lot more calmer about it.

I got some money from the Driver clan. Although that's only because I opened my cards this morning. The rest of " the loot" is waiting till I get home(well at least I hope there is some waiting). Downside of having to work on your birthday :-( Someone recently started a trend at work for bringing cakes in on your birthday so I though I was going to have to spend a load of money buying cakes for everyone. Fortunately Tap-dance agreed to cook some cakes for me which made it a lot cheaper. You should have seen the office managers eyes light up when I put the chocolate one down on the spare desk ( you have to put it on the spare desk otherwise you'd never get any work done) I was worried that it might disappear there and then. Mind you when she left a large percentage of the left over cake seemed to disappear as well. Coincidence maybe??

For any of you who didn't release, the last post was indeed written by Engineseer and more importantly if you look to your right, under the list of "other blogs I read" you will notice a new link to Engineseers brand new blog. So go, visit, comment! If he gets his skates on as well I might have another guess blog post this week from Blackwidow ( and no I still don't no why he choose that nickname).

There is also a link to D.Lids (brother of Merchanicus) new blog as well. All techie types should go and read. Although after a talk in Elders quorum yesterday ( before the lesson started before anyone tries to slap our wrists) D.Lid asked for a better codename. Engineseer and I tried to think of a few that were graphically based. My first suggestion was "Eraser", as we could just imagine him tried to teach a lesson in a arnie style voice. " I was elected to lead not to read". My second suggestion was De-man, as his official blogger ID is Digital arena after all. That way at church if
someone asked who he is was we could reply " He's De-man". Alright I know, I know terrible joke. So we finally decided that we would go with a third option and D.Lid shall henceforth be know as "Photoshop" He liked the idea so that's what we're going with. So that means Mechanicus has two brothers now with codenames, Technik and Photoshop. I can't think of a codename for their brother N, so all suggestions welcome.

Well I spent a large chunk of last week cleaning my room out. Yes you read that correctly I actually cleaned my room out. I was also a lot stricter with myself then usual, chucking out magazine that I would otherwise have kept "just in case". This lead to a total of 9 black bin bags of rubbish and 5 pink bin bags ( the pink bin bags are for recycling). So after all that I can confirm that I do indeed still have a carpet and I can now actually 'walk' to my window. Shocking I know, but true!

I had quite a amusing call from the ward clerk last week. He was ringing around to get home teaching numbers and wanted to know my numbers for June. Despite the overwhelming temptation to say 100% I was good and explained that I did have a list and hadn't had one in sometime. He was a bit shocked but did confirm what the EQ President told Engineseer that a list was awaiting final confirmation from the Bishop. This did raise my hopes that I might actually get a list on Sunday. It raised them to such a extent I decided to make a bet with Engineseer that if I was right and we did get new lists he would get me one of those free glasses his restaurant was giving away and if he wasn't wrong he would get me one of those glasses his restaurant was giving away. Despite him being extremely shattered it took him about 3 seconds to see through that one. Unfortunately my hopes were in vain as we got no lists. Although the EQ President did ask us again to make sure we did our home teaching this month. Oh well, I guess that's another month where engineseer and I will be claiming 100% :-)

Well It's the YSA convention this weekend. Engineseer and I will be traveling up together. I'm borrowing Grumpys car, which lets face it will enable us to create a much better initial impression when we arrive in a new Peugeot 307 as opposed to my battered KA. If we do get a a nice photo done at the ball this year as a 'stake' there shouldn't be any problem fitting as all on the background unlike last year. The last time we were able to check their are 5 that's right only 5 people confirmed so far as going from this side of the stake. I hope this is indicative of the rest of stakes. On the plus side however it might be better with fewer people as it will allow people to 'mix more' with people from outside there stakes. Whatever happens never fear, You'll get a full in-depth series of blog posts from me. And maybe if I can persuade him, Engineseer will post some on his blog too.



Wednesday, August 15, 2007

And now time for a public service announcement from Engineseer

So this is the first blogpost from Enginseer. These things are actually a little difficult to write(not as easy as it looks is it? -saxon) . I was going to mention my excellent plan to make an entrance in to a party in UT however Saxon seems to have beat me to the punch. ( Mwah, ha, ha, ha -saxon)

I suppose I could mention the events today. I work at a generic high street quick service restaurant currently giving away coke glasses,(where's my free one then?-saxon) today my first order of the day was interesting.

A lady came in and asked for 6 double bacon sandwiches so I say to her certainly, 7 double bacon sandwiches that’s however much it was. I then give her the food . A few minutes later she came back a little irritated and said she actually wanted 6 sausage sandwiches. I then went to the kitchen to tell them to cook the new ones and at the same time muttered a few words about how customers should listen.

Let this be a lesson to all. Please ensure you listed to those serving you. Also please ensure that you at least pause your conversation on the phone before trying to order. We have a kitchen filled with sharp blade type things. If you ignore us we may be tempted to use them. We also reserve the right to discuss amongst ourselves what an idiot you look and how ignorant and deaf you are after you leave or as soon as we move out of earshot of you. Thank you for your attention during this important public service announcement.

Monday, August 13, 2007

This is why we shouldn't be let out with adult supervision

Well I haven't done a proper post in a while so I figured now was the best time to rectify that. Right where to begin. ( this might be even more rambling then usual so bear with me. please :-)

I have the whole of this week off. Yaaahhh!!!! There are only two bad things about having sometime off. The first is when I go back there is usually a HUGE amount of work to do. The second is I always have a HUGE amount of work to do the day before I go on Holiday as I have to clear as much as work as possible. But as they say c'est la vie. it's the cost of taking time off I guess.

There's a good chance I'm getting two guest bloggers this week (if they send the posts to me) , so stay tuned!

Well it's my birthday in a week. Arrrggghhhhhh!!!!!!! I'll be 26. I've got no idea what I'm going to do for it! but hey on the plus side I guess it will be a surprise.

Non-spilter is back from the USA and is staying around for the foreseeable future.

Engineseer and I did go to see the Simpsons movie last Wednesday. It's a lot better then I was expecting with what some people were saying after seeing it. It is a good movie as long as you don't go expecting a movie, just a 90 minute episode of the simpsons.

The other thing we discovered from going to the simpsons movie is that in future it might be a good idea to have somebody else around to prevent the talk from turning too geeky! or crazy. Don't believe me? Well let me explain. Somehow and I don't remember the exact course of the conversation we got onto dating and again bemoaning the fact that there seems to be lots of nice YSA females in the states that the USA YSA guy guys seem to be failing to notice. I again pointed out that if it wasn't for the "ever so small" obstacle of the atlantic ocean we could sweep in there and dazzle or the american girls with our english accents and general english gentleman like personnas hopefully before they cottoned onto the fact that we were a couple of uber geeks and that they should have run away (well from me at least) .

Engineseers suggestion was that we could always nick a jet. Which after some discussion then somehow turned into us going to nick a fighter jet from the nearest american airforce base, then after even more discussion turned into us stealing two plus a air to air refueling tanker ( to be flown by technik and Black Widow apparently, don't ask me why) which we would then fly across to utah to one of these pool parties, eject from the aircraft and float down landing in the pool. At the very least no other male YSA would ever be able to beat that for a entrance ever! However Engineseer then suggested later then maybe a B1 would be better, although we would have to land it on a highway. My response was that we were just as likely to suceed in taking a B1 as we were trying taking a couple of jets and a tanker!

After jokingly explaining the plan to D.Lid ( brother of mechanicus) at the ward BBQ at the weekend a slightly concerned look did pass over his face and I'm sure that he wondered for a moment if it really was just water we had been putting in our drinks. Of course this probably wasn't helped by Engineseers brillentily dead pan delivery which if I hadn't known better, I would have sworn he was serious. At least I hope he's not serious...............

Of course I would be remiss if I didn't mention the "spiderpig plan as well" if you've seen the trailer for the simpsons film you can't have missed the spiderpig song. Well in the movie there is a choir version of the song. The plan we then came with is to swap the choirs music at YSA conference with the choir version of spiderpig and to see what chaos will result. I would cleverly distract everyone by shouting " Look it's the good year blimp" Engineseer would then run in and swap the music before disappearing in a blur of speed and leaving a homer simpson style laugh lingering in the air " He, he, he, he, he, he, he, he,".

So there you have it, proof that engineseer and I do need adult supervision and that the plans we come up with together makes my individual to find a car that is actually a transformer sound postively sane.

Of course this does raise the postiviely worrying thought of what would happen if myself, Engineseer, Fraggle, Mechanicus, D-Lid and Technik were every together with out adult supervision! of course the fact that three of us are single and the other three are excommunicas marrieditus from the YSA might balance things out. But who knows, who knows,

Mwah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha (deep megalomanic laugh)

All right thats enough,


Ward BBQ

Well it was that time of year at the weekend. Yes the annual Ward BBQ was upon us and as ever ( it can't be a surprise to anyone by now) I took my camera with me. So here is a brief selection of some of the photos I took. Sorry about the images sizes I'm having problems with my photo editing software.

If only we all had this problem, having to literally fight the girls off. ( she didn't leave him alone the entire time. )
Hmmm, it it me or is he trying to look too innocent here?

action shot 1
action shot 2 !

Make your own caption

You all know how this works by now. Leave your ideas for captions in the comments and I'll repost the photos again with the captions
Dan.Lid and Son 1
Black Widow and Friends
Mechanicus brother N
Dan.Lid and son 2
castle 1