Dec 08

I should have posted this up before now, but after having had it for years and not making any good use of it, I have started my own blog on my own domain: go check it out. I won’t be updating this blog any more, and will probably delete it at one point.

Sep 04

It might not sound like it, but one of the great things about moving house is unpacking. As Mrs Doo and I pass the six month mark in our new home, I have come to really enjoy the process of opening up boxes and reacquainting myself with items put away several months ago. Even better is seeing the effect it has on the house, incrementally turning it into a home and imbuing it with our character. Now that I think about it there is more than a touch of Christmas about the process – pick a box, open it up, and enjoy the contents. Minus the wrapping paper and plus a lot more boxes full of stuff like plates, spoons and cups, but you get the idea.

Towards the end of July I found an old, battered hardback writing pad that I used to write story ideas in, back when I harboured genuine ambitions of being a writer one day. Scribbled into the front of the book was the following:

This book, first written in on Wednesday 14th January 1998 at 00:41, is to be used for planning and writing my stories. Here’s to the hope that one hits the target.

Christ, but I was pretentious back then. Anyway, I flicked through my ideas (some of which, adorably, even had diagrams and illustrations) and after some time found myself at a blank page. A blank page that I decided could use – nay, demanded – an update:

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“I first started writing in this book on Wednesday 14th January 1998 at 00:41. 19 minutes to 1 in the morning. It’s been quite some time since then, if I am honest. It is Sunday 27th July 2008, and it is 15:11 – 11 minutes past 3 in the afternoon. That means it has been 10 years, 6 months, 1 week, 6 days, 14 hours and 30 minutes since I started writing in this book. What have I done with those precious, invaluable, lucky-to-have-them-at-all 10 years, 6 months, 1 week, 6 days 14 hours and 30 minutes?

Well, quite a bit. Not all of it good by any means, but quite a bit. I’ll be honest up front and say that I haven’t exactly set the world on fire and revolutionised the human experience but I have managed to do a few things in that time.

For one thing, I went to university, worked through and finished my degree (just an ordinary, mind you!), got a job, got a promotion, rented a room for two years, bought my own flat, got married, sold my flat, helped my wife sell her flat, was in a car crash, got a new car, bought a house, unpacked boxes, found this book, grabbed a blue pen and started to write.

Like I said there were bad things I did in those 10 years too. To be frank I’ve lied, been hurtful, been occasionally spiteful, angry and objectionable. I’ve been a bad person to people who deserve better from me. In short, and not wanting to be too blunt, I’ve been a complete bastard at times. This has not been a decade that I can be entirely proud of.

One thing I should point out is that I didn’t get anything published. When I started writing in this book I had only just turned 19. Now I am about to turn 30 and recently I have been thinking more and more about what I have accomplished with my life so far. My main ambition when I was 19 was to be a writer and get published. A plan that was somewhat hampered, I think, by a distinct lack of talent and an inability to tell an interesting story on paper. The sort of impediment that would, I am sure you will understand, put off even the most talented writer and to be honest I’m not all that talented to begin with.

That said, I am nothing if not single minded so as I fast approach my 30s I’m going to give this thing a try again – writing in my book. I’m still hopeful that one story, one day, will hit the target but nowadays it’s hope more along the lines of “That car could be a Transformer.” than it is “I could make a career out of this.” In any event, it will be fun to get back into the habit of writing in this book again. I had some fun with the stories in here, if nothing else, and if they only ever inhabit the shelves of the library in my head then that’s not a total loss. Here we go…”

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One thing I did learn about myself is that my handwriting hasn’t improved any in over 10 years. It still looks, as my mum was always fond of saying when I was younger, like a spider “…fell in an inkwell and crawled over a page.” I did think about scanning in the page and presenting it in the original scrawl but trust me, typed is better.

Feb 22

Today on my mobile phone I got a call from someone who said they were from “the mobile phone company” (which, to digress for a second, is a bit insulting – call me up with unsolicited calls and waste my time if you must, but at least find out what mobile phone company I am with and use the name! To do otherwise is subjecting me to the phone call equivalent of a mailmerge letter!). I usually just hang up but today I tried a different tack.

“Hello there,” my callcentre buddy started with. “I’m calling up from the mobile phone company, and I’d like to talk to you about offering an upgrade for your handset.”

With as pleasant a tone as I could muster I replied, “I don’t want to talk about that, thanks.”

His response? “Well hang up then!” followed shortly by the line going dead.

Yes, that’s right, I managed to make the guy in the callcentre angry! I wonder if that’s something they will work into their customer service flowcharts in callcentres from now on. “After close of sale read paragraph 45 (extended warranty) to customer. If sale not completed, read paragraph 46 (long diatribe about customer’s fat-assed, lazy, promiscuous momma) to customer, say “Fuck you” and hang up.”

And while we’re on the subject of upgrades, the boiled egg has gone blogger beta and now features fancy things like…er…slightly different buttons and a “label your post” feature which gives you a few suggestions: “e.g. scooters, vacation, fall”. Though I have to say that the day I find myself writing at length about a scooter is the day I have an appointment with a nice warm bath, some sleeping pills and a razor blade.

Dec 25

To one and all, my very best wishes for a merry christmas and a happy new year. And so, to celebrate the season, a musical effort from my own fair hand. Yes, that is me playing the tune. Admittedly on a crap electronic keyboard with numbered keys and a kid’s book helping me along, but as they always say it’s the thought that counts. Have a laugh on me and enjoy your holiday.

Dec 24

Honest, I’m not. Just married…and if anyone wants to make any jokes about there not being much to choose between the two states, then keep them to yourself! The pic above is our wedding rings. (hint: mine is the one that looks like a section of pipe off HMS Victorious, that would fit on Shrek’s hand. The other, more elegant one, belongs to the missus. Click on the pic to see a bigger version).

I must admit folks, I’ve been off enjoying my first month of the married life (verdict so far: it rocks!) which has been split into two parts – the first a calm, collected and chilled out two weeks on honeymoon, and the second a chaotic and mad two week rush picking up presents and getting everything ready for christmas day. Foolishly we put off thinking about christmas in any way at all until after the wedding, which left us with what can only be described as a tight holiday timescale!

So all of that, coupled with the usual rush at work to get things battened down for the holidays, has kept me away from blogging recently and it’s only now that I get a chance to sit down and compose a quick entry for the boiled egg. Right now, in the tiny calm spot between finishing the preparations for christmas and the big day landing on us, I get the chance to sit down and type something out.

Of course being the organised husband I am I now have to go wrap my wife’s presents so I shall stop typing and sign off for now. Gotta say though, I am still getting a kick out of typing “my wife”. Fantastic stuff.

Nov 02

Okay let me just state for the record that the following is one of my pet hates and I’m just getting it out of my system. What’s a blog for, after all, if not a means to allow unregulated, petty ranting about any topic under the sun?

The sequence of events I’m referring to, the sequence of events that so stokes the blazing fires of my wrath, runs as follows:

1) I go to use the toilets, either at work or when I’m in a shop.
2) Afterwards, I wash my hands.
3) After washing my hands, I dry my hands.
4) I grab the door handle to leave the bathroom, and my hands are wet again.
5) My mind fills with all sorts of possibilities as to what my hands are wet with.

This is usually followed by an additional few steps:

6) Go back to sink and rewash hands.
7) Redry hands.
8) Grab a bit of toilet paper and use it to grab the doorhandle with.
9) Find a bin to get rid of the now wet toilet paper.

And I should point out that there is an intermediate phase between steps 8 and 9 – let’s call it step 8a – which runs as follows:

8a) Walk around work/shop/other public area looking like a weirdo with a bit of toilet paper in his hand.

I’d like to think that I’m not being unnecessarily picky here, that I’m not approaching this like someone with a major problem. Seriously though, what the fuck, people? Is it too much to ask that when you leave the toilet you wash your hands? (and believe me, for a surprising number of people the answer seems to be yes!) And even if you do wash your hands, is it too much to ask that you make sure you dry them before you open the door and leave the door handle dripping with who knows what?

Okay. Venting complete. Hands dried. I’m done. For now.

Oct 30

For a long time now I have been feeling about as creative as the average tree stump. I know that’s rather a bald way of putting it, but given the low level of my creative and expressive urges right now I think I’m lucky that I’m able to get even that out.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to present myself as some kind of creative genius at all other times…I’m just used to feeling a little more switched on than I do right now. I sit down to write something, and it just comes out flat. I try to work on a new site design, or a new image, or any kind of project and my heart just isn’t in it.

The worrying thing is, I don’t know how to get back what little creative mojo I might ever have possessed. I still have ideas, I just seem to fall down all the time when it comes to the execution, and it’s way past irritating now. It’s really getting tired…and I hate even more that this has turned into a blog post in which I whine about not being able to write for my blog.

There’s a Heinlein quote that just leapt into my mind, one from (if my memory serves me) Starship Troopers – “Soldier, shut up and soldier!”. Maybe I should adapt it for my own uses. Blogger, shut up and blog!

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Oct 18

On the way to work today I got stuck behind a guy driving a fancy sports car and after ten minutes of the slowest, most frustrating driving I have ever had the misfortune to have inflicted upon me, I had to wonder: why invest so much money in a sports car that looks as if it’s designed to achieve escape velocity if you’re going to be so scared driving it, you act as if it’s made of porcelain?

Yeah yeah, I know, guy gets frustrated on drive to work, film at eleven. I just don’t get it, that’ s all I’m saying. I mean, this thing looked like a fucking starfighter from Star Wars and there it was, pootling around town in danger of being overtaken by pensioners on zimmer frames. I don’t think people should drive like maniacs by any means, but anywhere near the speed limit would be just fine, thank you…

Aug 25

I opened a tab in Firefox at about 9.20am, logged in to the boiled egg and intended to write something. It’s now 4.51pm, the building is about to get locked up and this bloody window is still open and empty. Who stole my day? Ah egg, how patient you are.

Aug 17

Bloody hell, June 21st eh?

I had no idea that when I clicked on the “Publish Post” button that day it would be the last time I would do so for such a long time. To be honest I’m trying to think why that day was the start of such a prolonged time away from the egg on my part, but I can’t pin down a single reason and every time I try I feel like I’m making excuses. Bad enough that anyone passing by here has to read my half-witted ramblings without my adding on the blogger equivalent of “the dog ate my homework”.

So let’s bring the egg up to speed, shall we? (Just imagine Majel Barrett’s voice saying “Last time, on the Boiled Egg of Infinity” as a montage of past entries flashes up on screen). Still getting married, more to tell on that one. Got a new car, old car written off by my insurance company after the crash at the end of May, more on that one too. Relieved that the recent heatwave has finally taken the hint and fucked all the way off (I don’t believe the Scots are designed to handle the heat all that well!). Slowly but surely being driven mad by Tokobots on the PSP. Shocked by a book detailing the moral vacuum at the centre of the arms trade. Busy at work. Found out that two of my friends are pregnant. Realised that I’ve missed doing this: taking a moment to reflect, cogitate and ramble on here.

The egg is not dead, and despite the best efforts of arseholes in blue Ford fiestas, nor am I. If you get bored reading some of those cool and exciting sites that are out there, feel free to pop by. I guarantee, my writing bores bits that other fat, unfunny Scottish bloggers just can’t reach.