Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spot the problem

We have recently changed ISP.

This means as well as having cable we also have a new voicemail system for the phone.

Which we eventually worked out how to access.

The first message on the voicemail was a welcome message telling us how to access and use the system.

Anybody else spot the obvious flaw?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Can he dig it? yes he can!

Owen does love the snow

It's all a matter of context

It's been a couple of days and facebook is still rumbling a little bit with the program from Monday ( see previous post for those of you not paying attention :-) ) Although it is slowly starting to die down, asides from a little flare up caused by some American SA who felt the need to defend themselves.

Now one comment caught my eye from someone who said words to the effect that it was only looking bad as it was a matter of context, and that the behaviour was perfectly normal beach party antics in the USA.

This lead me think to the latest Mid Singles event held here in the uk, which I suppose when you tried to explain the concept behind a " inflatable chapel chill out day" members from another country might think we seemed a bit strange as well.

Grumpys response when I told him the name of the event was to say " Inflatable chapel? What's wrong with a brick one?"

Plus the way we socialise over here did seem a bit different as I couldn't really imagine a situation over there where you would get a really long hug from a ex-model who you have never met before and doesn't even know your name and then be called her angel simply because in a random co-incidence you happened to be carrying sudafeed on you.

But I'm sure no one wants to hear that story :-)

There was also a comment claiming the film did not show a very good side to church members because there were more non member producers then member producers.

But where did it all go so wrong and seems to have upset the majority of people?

Firstly I think it crossed the line from documentary to reality show. And no matter how good your intentions it's always terrifying easy to come across really, really badly.

Secondly it was on BBC 3 which has a very good history of documentaries. Okay so we weren't exactly expecting panorama, but then again we weren't expecting a repeat of the last documentary about the church on the BBC where the genius reporter asking a group of the trainees at the MTC what their criticisms of the church were! When we were told it would be about four single mormons looking for love and what it was like being a single member that's what we thought we would get.

We didn't. In only one of the cases did the man come across as what you would consider a "average" church single. He was doing the right things, acting and dressing in the right way but it hadn't happened for him yet as it were and even by the end of the film even though everyone on facebook was routing for him, he didn't get the happy ending we were routing for.

The others well they came across to me as superficial. Now this could be down to bad editing, but some of the lines they were coming out with, like saying they didn't have a requirement of looks for people to be their friends or that they would ask the lord for help finding a car parking space didn't exactly scream out well rounded and deep individuals.

Now this wasn't helped by the second issue, now I know you should not base judgements on peoples looks but the appearance of being superficial was not helped by at least 90% of them looking like they had just come off the set of the outset and the girls were affected by a ad version to wearing shirts and the girls were suffering from a critical shortage of material for bathing suits.

Although this did lead to a sequence which one of my non member loved in that one of the guys was trying to stop a girl toppling over and had a obvious moment of panic when he couldn't think where to put his hands to grab her without it looking a little dodgy.

Now a couple of Americans did turn up on the facebook group and offered a defence for the documentary and in particular the swimsuit issue.

Firstly that there were more non mormons in the producers and they had chosen the direction of the film.

Secondly,  beach activities are like that.

And lastly it was not a event organised or endorsed by the church but organised by church members.

Which was a interesting defence to say the least.

Now someone raised the opinion that it would have been better if it had been produced by the church. But firstly lets be honest, A it would never have been produced by the church for a non official activity and B the intended slant of the documentary is something I doubt the would have been wanted.

So where does that leave my opinion of the documentary at the end of the day?

It was a good attempt but missed it's intended mission statement and regardless of whether or not you thought people were superficial or it did or did not actually show the activity in it's "true form" missed that mission statement means you have to chalk it up as a fail

Monday, January 14, 2013

Young, mormon and single and no I'm not talking about me

Now the program description read as Documentary which follows four single Mormons looking for their eternal partner at a weekend-long, non-stop but sex-and-alcohol-free party in Duck Beach, North Carolina.

The last time the church appeared on BBC the end results were more then a little mixed. However BBC three has shown some good documentaries in the past.

But then again we had heard nothing about this through regular channels.

So I was already starting to wonder.

But I couldn't help but have a look.

At within two minutes I had already grabbed my phone to check what was happening with facebook as I knew it was going to go into meltdown because my first sight of some of these LDS on a beach actually lead me to ask the quite honest question if the UK has a different strength of youth booklet to the uk plus the sight of a party being broken up police, a girl seemingly having a bikini top ripped off and a guy talking about sexually frustrated mormons who may well break the rules.

This opening immediately clued me into the fact that this could be nowhere official and as a media representative  I'm sure somewhere in the depths of Loughborough Bro H suddenly put down a book declaring he sensed a disturbance in the force.

Mormon doctrine was then explained in a two minute animation which attempted to explain the importance we place on marriage but probably confused people more then anything.

Now it may be that it was down to bad editing but most of the people weren't come across as very in depth shall we say. And that's not just my opinion, the uk mid single facebook group was going into meltdown, especially as it showed several girls who were 21, 22, 23, etc worrying about being old and not married.

One of the people they were following came across very well mind you, Brian who if he ever comes to the uk will be beating them off with a stick. He seemed to be the only one who really seemed to show what it is like to be a mid single and how it's not easy sometimes to be a church member

Well the others, well to my eyes most of them looked like they had just stepped off the set of the OC, and the fact that the guys spent a lot of time wondering round with their shirts off and the girls were in bikini's it didn't help that some of them were coming across as dangerously shallow.

For example one girl who mentioned that she spoke to God as it were on a regular basis asking for help with things like finding car park spots and always thanking him when she got one, but she then didn't go to church as she saw a lad she liked but  she then also mentioned she would never ask the lord if she should marry someone. 

Another group was mentioning that they didn't have a requirement for people to hang with them but they had a lot of friends who were attractive who they invited and wanted to come so they were lucky.

And there was a lad who was only interested in girls about five or six years younger then him, not that he had anything against women older then him but he just knew that had problems in dating and getting married.

The trouble was it went on and on and by the time it reached the hot tubbing on a Sunday night where the girls in their bikini's were discussed the lads I just wanted it to end.

After it had, I went onto facebook and realised the reaction the program was gaining was immense. One girls status update regarding the program had a whoping 158 comments!

The general reaction seemed to be one of disappointment and that they thought people were very superficial.

Asides from Brian. Everybody loved brian.

However I then saw a comment which made me stop and think. One church member said words to the effect of lets all snoop at the lives of other members of our faith like total voyeurs via a tacky tv reality show and discuss how much more awesome we are.

Yes we were being judgemental a little bit. But then again it was all a matter of context, we were going off what we could see on the screen and lets face it there's always the possibility they were playing up for the camera's.

And hey I think anyone who watches any reality show will end up a bit judgemental as that is after all the nature of the beast. 

But it could have also have been editing, because the whole section where they went to church was maybe less then five minutes, if I'm being generous. And lets face it, as much as we are different to other churches and organisations we are very much the same in the sense that we have a wide cross section of people from the very good to the need a bit of work.

After all we are not a rest home for saints.

But regardless of what side you fall on, whether they were or were not superficial, I think the program didn't succeed in it's stated goal. 

You only became invested in one of the people and his journey. It was sad that it didn't have a happy ending but it gave it that touch of reality which is why I think it resonated so much with the mid singles on this side of the pond.

So I would say it was brave attempt but a missed goal. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

why it's not good to be a manager on children in need day

Sunset at sea

Duuun dun duuun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun BOM BOM

It's a stressful life

Alas Poor jessops

Well jessops has gone to that great high street in the sky to join woolworths, ottakers, Virgin, Borders and Somerfields.

Now I'll admit I have been buying my last few major additions to my kit from online, but it was nice to have a shop on the high street where you could pop into, to get any little odd's and ends like filters or a new cleaning cloth.

Then of course there's always that "play before you buy factor" which you just can't get online. Now with the big stuff like lenses it doesn't really matter that much as lets face it, if you want a macro lense you'll buy a macro lense.

I was more thinking about the stuff like camera bags. However can you know before hand if you're going to like a camera bag? It mike look great on the website but feel the most uncomfortable thing ever where you put it on.

Plus no more jessops academy either.

Boy, I'm glad I didn't wait to go on that course.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Jump to it

What ever evil genius needs

Bandits... 12 o clock

Okay so working at the airport has certainly proven to be a interesting experience.

In the past couple of years it has been closed due to a Volcano in Iceland, a bomb threat ( okay well technically the bomb threat didn't close the whole airport only our section of it, and technically it wasn't a threat but a actual bomb but c'est la vie, you get my point etc, etc) and yesterday it was closed yet again.

The reason? Well we heard that a aircraft's undercarriage had collapsed on landing. Being such a major airport we were wondering what kind of plane it was. Was it a cargo carrier? A large passenger plan? Or a small one?


It was a spitfire.

I'll say that again one of the major airports here in the uk was closed due to a crashed spitfire on the runway.

And even then the airport continues to insist it didn't crash, it landed safely before the undercarriage went.

Now I'm not sure why they are getting so defensive about it as let's face it people are going to be more focussed on the fact it was a spitfire as opposed to what it actually did.

Although Grumpy later pointed out that the more ironic thing is that it will have to be send to the USA for repairs as we don't have the facilities to repair it in this country.

Yep, we can no longer repair one of the iconic British aircraft.


Monday, January 07, 2013

out of the mouths of babes

We were up at speed demons this weekend as it was her Birthday. One thing you do have to be careful of there is that her toilet doesn't have a lock on it and it being full of useful energy sometimes her kids don't remember to knock.

So you have to remember to brace the door.

The following was a conversation with her youngest that occurred when she attempted to come through the door and wanted to know why.

Niece: Whose in there?
Saxon: Me
Niece: Ohhh...... I want to go to the toilet
Saxon: I'll just be a minute.
Niece: Okay I'll wait
Niece: Because wait is my middle name.
another pause
Niece: It isn't really.
Niece:  but I'll still wait

weep for the future

There are two things which are pretty inevitable every Friday when I finish work.

The first is the to resist that urge which near enough everyone gets to run from the building doing your best Mel gibson Scottish/Australian accent  screaming "freedommmmmmmm"

The second is that events will always conspire to make sure you just miss the bus you hope to get and have to wait for the next one.

If the fates are feeling cruel you can sometimes get to the pick up point just in time to see the bus disappear round the corner. If their feeling especially cruel the bus can still be there but someone has just grabbed the last seat.


Anyhow I waiting for the bus and a couple ( and by couple I mean actual couple, who got together sometime ago but to the relief of many have got over the lovely dovey stage which they were expressing by meowing at  each other and by meowing I mean as in cat) were also there, when the girl noticed a planet in the sky. The following conversation was to by regret totally serious

Girl : Ohh that star is bright
Boy: That's not a star
Girl: Is it a planet?
Boy: no planets are too far away to see without a telescope.
Girl: Then was is it?
A pause from the guy and that he said with great conviction
Boy: It's a plane
Girl: Really?
Boy: Yes, we are a airport aren't we?
Girl: It doesn't seem to be moving very fast for a plane
Boy: Well that's because it's so high up, so far away and the light is so bright. It's really making great big circles up there
Girl (giggling): you are so clever. I didn't know that

I meanwhile tried not to weep for the future of mankind

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Try to keep a straight face

Okay, so the very nature of my job means I get to interact shall we say with a wide variety of people with a rather varied selection of personalties and temperaments on a daily basis.

And saying varied is a bit of understatement. Kind of like saying water is wet :-)

It's always important to keep your cool and a straight face, or straight voice technically but even I was struggling today when I had a rather upset customer declare

" You are threatening to unleash forces beyond your understanding"

And before you ask I'm fairly certain his name wasn't Ming, Cruella, Dr Evil or Dok Ock.

I was also watching TV tonight and I was vaguely amused to see a advert on one channel advertising a new series of a program with the last line of the voice over stating " Drama that inspires you" .

The program? Well somewhat surprisingly, the Walking dead.

Yes apparently a program about zombies taking over the world is supposed to "inspire" you.

Quite how, it doesn't state.

But I'm sure if you ever face your own zombie outbreak it will certainly inspire you as to what to do.

Or if you not you'll probably just end up as lunch.

Later folks

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

It's that time of year

Yes, the working year has started again and so far 2013 seems to be pretty much matching 2012.

Well asides from it being that special time of year when the canteen staff look a bit nervous and you can buy whatever you want from the trolley which comes round at regular intervals or one of the vending machines as there simply stocked to overflowing.

Yes, I could only be talking about that old chestnut of new years resolutions.

Of course not everyone is firmly melded to the idea of giving things up, as one of the girls from our team cheerfully tucked into a cake and crisps today.

When asked if you was not following any new years resolutions, she cheerfully replied that she usually doesn't make it past mid January anyway so why miss out on the cake and crisps she could be having?

I suppose there's kind of a twisted logic there.

If you look hard enough.

Although I suppose it could be worse as the weather this winter seems to be keeping to the "wet" theme as opposed to "cold", which although somewhat dank and depressing it really rather easier to drive in.

Plus it doesn't get me all wound up at the start of the day because as regular readers will know, driving in ice is not my favourite thing.


Later folks

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Those ole good intentions

Okay, well I think we can agree that last year posting here on grumblings kind of went totally to pot.

For a number of reasons.

But c'est la vie. What's done is done, can't change what's in the past, insert time related cliché here, etc, etc, etc.

But you know, it's the 1st day of a new year, so I need to get things corrected where I've been slacking off a little and this little blog of mine was near the top of the list.

Especially as my online presence as it were is expanding. More on that soon :-)

But first up, if you have a moment please go and visit my Mum's new website at . A christmas present from me to her it is show casing all of her paintings. And there are rather a lot of them.

I now also have a twitter feed which you can see here

I am also writing another blog now at

Which is detailing my various photographic exploits.

The twitter and the other blog are leading up to something, which I will reveal more of soon.

Now I would go on but unfortunately I am back in work tomorrow which should be a rather fascinating experience.

I'm sure some others mind use other words then fascinating to describe it, but That's what I'm gonna stick with for now.

Later folks

Mr Saxon goes to Poole: Sunday morning. " It's what time????"

At most conferences I've been too it's always the last day where it's most difficult to get up and this conference was no exception.

I'll admit that unlike most people I don't get a lie in on a sunday morning but 6.30pm when I had only gotten to bed a few hours before.....

Couldn't you at least get a later start time depending on how far you've come to the conference? Hey you've travelled four hours to get here, so feel free to show up around 11 okay??

Well it might catch on

anyway, it was breakfast in the same place, which was nice although it's always a pain trying to ea a fried breakfast whilst wearing a white shirt.

It's usually the same for sunday evening meals at conferences. They always give you something with gravy, but hey I digress.

I ran into cheery at breakfast, although to be technically accurate she ran into me ( it was in the process of giving me a big bear hug mind you :-)

I ran rather into speed up and roch who had arrived rather late to get breakfast. In fact most of the attendee's were still hanging around giving the restaurant staff fits as we were practically fill up two thirds of the place. Although it did lead to some interesting teaching experiences as it were for some people as some of the other customer s were rather intrigued as to this rather large group ( and rather happy for that time on a Sunday morning) were.

The Sunday conference/testimony meeting was held at the same primary school that we had done the service project at the previous day. Even though it wasn't a chapel the chairs were just as uncomfortable after a long period as any plastic chairs you will find in a chapel. I mean seriously who designs those things??

It was a wonderful session, if a little hard at times to keep focussed, mainly due to all of the bright displays on the walls of the school hall. Well you know what they say about simple things and simple minds :-)

But then with that sudden finality that I knew all too well from YSA conferences, it was all over. Well bar lunch of course, but unfortunately with it being a Sunday I knew traffic would be heavy and with the distance I was going to have to travel I really wasn't going to be able to hang around no matter how much I wanted too.

So it was with a heavy heart that I had to say goodbye to my new friends and a couple of old ones and hit the road. However the trip back wasn't as plain sailing as I hoped due to two issues.

Firstly despite being able to make the trip down without stopping, I fund myself having to take a long break to get some feeling back in my foot as although a clear run can be easy, your foot tends to hurt keeping it in exactly the same position with exactly the same amount of force.

The second problem was the sat nav suddenly decided to roll over and die on me, which when you're the other end of the country is kind of a major problem. Fortunately I was able to get home the old fashioned way.

By following road signs :-)