Friday, 12 December 2008

Congestion Charge Update. Gutted..

The votes are in on the "Going To Work Tax" have been counted and the answer is NO!
Firstbus shareholders must be gutted that they can't take £1200 per year off people who are not as well off as they are.
53.2% of the people voted so a good turn out. It just goes to show that people could see through the lies we were fed and the fact that this was not thought through properly.
Incidentally Edinburgh voted against the congestion charge as well but they still got their tram system and the most you pay for a bus ticket is £1.10 whereas the minimum you can pay around here is £1.20 and that will get you approx 3 stops.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Feeling Congested pt3 It's going to get you.....

I recently heard that there was a meeting on Tuesday night where it was said that if the 'going to work tax' does not raise enough money to pay back the loan then the congestion charge would be introduced to other towns in the area. So if you are one of the people who doesn't work in Manchester and think that the charge would not affect you then think again.
If this is intorduced to my town then we would have to pay six times each day. Once to get to the motorway, then again when we leave the motorway and then to enter the city, then the same on the way home. Where we live it is impossible to get to the motorway without crossing the town centre. We would all like a cheap, efficient public transport system but to be honest the system doesn't work at the level it is at now. Expand the system, expand the problems. two breakdowns on the tram system this week alone that I know of.

Feeling Congested pt2 "Just say NO!"

It's nearly time to vote on the 'going to work tax' and I am far from convinced that a Yes vote is right. They tell us that trams will run with two extra carraiges to make travel more comfortable for commuters. I recently caught a tram from inside 'the zone' and it was like squeezing into a sardine tin. I just got inside the doors and had to get off the tram at a number of stops in order to let other passengers off. It occured to me that there were a lot more people standing than sitting, so if you put on an extra two carraiges most people would get a seat but there would still be people standing. Not much of a problem you may think but TIF works with the idea that people would be put off driving their cars to and from work and get public transport instead. So when all these extra passenger get on the tram to stand with the others already on what do you get? A sardine tin.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

In The Pink....

It's cancer awareness day in the college so students are using this as an escuse to dress in pink. I didn't because I don't have anything pink so I told them my T shirt was khaki pink. Later when asked why I wasn't wearing pink I said "I am wearing my girlfriends underwear". Then after the initial response I added "No I'm not, that was last week"!!.
Student: "I look damn good in a TuTu".

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

It's been a while....

Nothing much happening at the moment, the students are being boringly well behaved.
The only problems we have had so far this term are all IT based, so nothing new there and the strangest thing I've heard on the bus was a cat meowing all the journey in.
main topic of conversation is the vote on the Manchester congestion charge which I refer to as the "going to work tax". The referendum is happening soon on the largest (100 Sq miles) congestion charge area in Britian and it will cost some people £1200 a year just to go to work. The thing is I quite often travel inside the "zone" and all the congestion I see is outside the "zone". The people who work in Albert Square who make the decisions do not travel by public transport and will be exempt from the charge and if they were charged they would just claim it back on 'expenses'. when it comes to the vote go all Grange Hill and "Just say NO!".
Funniest student related thing lately was a lad who came in with his wrist strapped up. "What happened to you?" I ask. "9 hours of Xbox" was his reply. I think I will stick to Mob Wars on Facebook.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

It really is a funny old world

I was checking out the BBC news website this morning and the world really has gone mad. Margaret Thatcher (milk snatcher) has been voted greatest Tory ever. I remember her as the person who was kicked out (some countries call it a coupe) while she was on holiday. She also managed to find a war just when her popularity was waining. She put thousands out of work in the coalfields and don't mention the Poll Tax.
At Manchester University things are just as bad. The SU has de-gendered the toilets. This means that people with a gender crisis problem won't have the conundrum of choosing whether to go the the male or female toilets, they can just choose between "toilets" and "toilets with urinals". I believe in the past these were known as Female and Male toilets. Waste of time, printing and money when we have so much more going on in the world so carry on wasting the Earths resources as long as people are told where they can pee.
The Tories want to give more help to "have a go heroes". Tell this to the family of Frank McGarahan who died on the streets of Norwich when he went to help two people being attacked. More police on the streets and not sat in front of monitors watching streetcams is what we need, and judging by the couple of coppers I saw in my home town at the weekend they could do with the exercise.
And to finish off todays stupid student comment:

Student: Have you got that stapler?
Me: You didn't ask for one.
Student: I did yesterday.
See ya later.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Big Bang in Theory

People have been scared to death concerning the LHC turn on today. I actually am feeling a little disapointed because all they did was turn it on. No particle collisions, no crossed beams, a bit of a damp squib. The reason is that all they have done is turn the beam on in one direction. That's it. All the rest was media hysteria. The beams will not be colliding for a while yet, possibly weeks and it may happen without anyone knowing. I will be watching.
I know I've been out of touch for a month but I have been a little busy, I will try to make up for it. The students are back and there are lot of new faces in the department both staff and student. Stuart has gone over to the dark side, working in our other building and he has a replacement by the name of Andy.
The first stupid saying of the accademic year came from a student who asked me, "Do you know where the bottom of the stairs is?".
Great start hope there will be plenty more to come.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

back to the grind..

I'm back from my tour of Ireland's west coast and already wishing I wasn't. The weather was warm and sunny, the climb (more of a slog) up Croagh Patrick was a bit heavy going and why some people do it barefoot I will never understand.
On the way out I was rather embarrassed to be picked out by an Irish sniffer dog as a potential drug smuggler due to something being wrong with my camera bag. After being taken somewhere private and the gloves going on I started to get a little worried. Luckily they only decided to search the bag and after I explained that I had owned the bag for over 15 years and it had been to many rock festivals, gigs, parties etc and I could have picked up traces at any of these they let me off with a warning and a suggestion to get the bag cleaned.
After that it was a matter of planning a route around Galway, Clew Bay and Coonamara.
One last thing, if you are going to go camping in Ireland check out the prices of the campsites before you get there we found the charge to range from 15 to 42 euros per night for two people in one tent and a car.
Enjoy the rest of your summer as I am now back at work. People keep saying to me "you'll be off for the summer now, won't you." I have to put them straight that I am paid as a technician not a teacher and we have plenty to do during the holidays sorting out new equipment, fixing broken and doing audits.
Oh well, back to work.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Schools Out...

Today is the first day of a well earned break and will not be back at work for two weeks.
A recent joke has been;

Me: I'm going Thailand.
Other person: Which part?
Me: Galway

If you don't get the joke say it in a northern accent.
Yes I will be spending a few days over in Ireland touring the West and North visiting places like Galway, Westport, Mohar, Croagh Patrick and Father Ted's house. I hope to bring back some bril pics and stories.
In the meantime check out this hilarious video:

Simon's Cat vid 1 of 3

Friday, 18 July 2008

Should not be allowed to breed...

This is not a new story but one I have just remembered that adds to what I have to put up with going to and from work.
I was sitting on a front seat upstairs on a double decker bus reading a book. Across from me also at the front is a guy talking on his mobile. There is no one else on the bus except the bus driver.
This guy was obviously talking to his girlfriend and the call was getting very personal so I was listening in.
She had just told him that she was going for a bath and he started going on at great length and detail as to how he could help her take the bath if he was there. It was getting really graphic when the girl stopped him because she realised that others could hear this conversation. His reply to that was " It's OK, there is only one other person on the bus and he is reading a book, so he can't hear us".
What a genius.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

I'm back..

Sorry with neglecting the blog recently but with one thing and another.....
Anyway, I am back and as I am now all on my own in the department what with Stuart going to pastures new (or gone over to the dark side as I prefer) and everyone else being off on holiday it's lonely in the basement. How Sadaam H. spent all that time in that hole I'll never know.
So what am I going to do for material now?
I will be checking out the best of the web for stuff I think is funny enough to pass on to yaaall.
keep checking back.
Oh, BTW Simon. Those comments about my niece? Can I just remind you that my brother (her father) was trained at great expense by HM goverment to kill people, (ask him about his time spent with 2 Para in a war zone) so it's not me you have to worry about.
On with the blog..

Monday, 30 June 2008

Lawrence Richard Giles 1929 to 2008

Last Friday (June 27th) at 7:50 pm my father Lawrence (Lol) Giles passed away.
Dad had been ill for quite some time spending much of it in hospital but his passing on took place at home where he wanted to be. He went quietly with dignity and the minimum of fuss as was typical of his nature.
He will be immensely missed by his family and the many people who knew him.
In a way he will carry on through this blog as the style and humour I employ here I inheritted from him.
Goodbye 'Big Ug' You will not be forgotten.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Giz a job, I can do that..

Two of my mates are having interviews today so good luck to Simon who is going for an IT support job and Rob who is going for a Science Technicans job in the same college I work in, are you insane?
Ste and Kel Are going for some sort of MTV links presenters job, more on that when I find out the full details.
So basically it's Good Luck to all and I hope to be out celebrating with Simon and Rob later.
I applied for a job at MANCAT but no feedback as yet. Come on people, get your finger out, I want a new job too.
The exam season is nearly over and even though the students went off on study leave weeks ago they still come in and use the facilities. So for those on their last exams today good luck and I will see you all on results day.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

All choked up...

I'm not having much luck recently in the health department, having chipped a bone in my elbow the other week, and nearly dying yesterday.

I was on the bus on my way home from work when I felt a little peckish and after a root around in my bag I found a small chocolate bar. After taking a bite from said bar I decided to breathe in and swallow at the same time, not a good move. The piece of chocolate got stuck in my windpipe and I started to choke. Suddenly I am doubled up in pain unable to breathe hoping there was someone on the bus that would recognise my symptons and come to my aid. all I got was a bloke on the next seat turning round and looking at me as if to say "will you stop making those noises".

Panic time, I'm on my own.

Luckily I have St Johns first aid training and looked at my options.
Number 1; five hard slaps to the back. Try doing this to yourself, it's not easy.
Number 2; The Heimlich Manoeuvre. Again impossible on your own.
By this time I had actually stopped breathing.
Last option, punch myself in the chest.
People on the bus are looking at me as if I was some wierdo having a fit and beating myself up. It must have looked like the toilet scene in Liar, Liar.
I had no intetion of dying on a bus and after three or four punches I managed to get the blockage out and I staggered off the bus. I propped myself up against a tree tears pouring down my face and covered in sweat with what felt like a hot coal in my throat but at least I was breathing again.
Today I think I have fractured my chest bone so it still hurts to breathe but that was a close one.
There should be more people out there with First Aid training as I once came across a person in the same state and managed to get the blockage out with a couple of hard slaps to the back.
You don't get rid of me that easy.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Birthday Shock....

In case I hadn't mentioned it earlier it was my birthday on Saturday. I got three birthday cards, one from a couple I know, one from my mother and one from the Guinness brewery (Thanks for the free pint).
But I also got a really good prezzie......Remote control shocking tanks!!
Imagine a tank fighting game where each time you get a direct hit on your opponents tank they get an electric shock through their handset. Hilarious, especially when you froget to tell new comers about the electric shock bit. Want to get your own back on a pub doorman? get a set of these and put in some practice then challenge him to a contest. It's funny watching those big guys squeal in pain.
As for the rest of the day,,,,, well, it gets a bit blurry towards the end and I was taken home in a taxi. I live less than a third of a mile from the last pub but they reckon it was safer than me trying to walk it.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Feeling Congested..

There's been a lot in the papers and on TV regarding the congestion charge being brought to Manchester. This charge (or 'going to work tax' as I prefer to call it) is just one big con. Set rubber inside of the M60 and you will have to pay up to £50 per week. The inside of the M60 covers 100 Square miles, so I am to believe, that's a lot of payments.
So where is all this extra cash going to? Well, the council say it will go towards better public transport so lets look at said public transport.
The tram system had a makeover last year to put in new rails, trams are meant to run 6 mins apart during peak times and 12 mins apart off peak, so why have I had to wait 30 and 45 mins for a tram on my last two visits to Manchester.
How can they improve on this? Well, stop breaking down for one. If the system is to be improved during peak times how will they do this? Putting on extra trams? making it a tram every 3 minutes is asking for trouble and will lead to tram congestion. Putting on extra carraiges won't work either as some of the platforms will not be long enough and there would be problems negotiating Manchester city centre.
Will someone also point out that a monthly Bus/tram ticket should go from date to date and not run for just 4 weeks. If you get paid monthly and pay for it on pay day you suddenly find yourself needing another one just a couple of days before the next payday, fix this now.
Now for the buses. I travel mainly in north Manchester mostly with a company who's name rhymes with 'worstbus'. They have highly skilled drivers, one I saw recently could drive the bus while eating an apple, talking on her hands free kit with a newspaper propped on the stearing wheel.
Why do people not want to travel by bus? Well, my biggest hate and one I have fell foul of is chewing gum on the seat, need I say more.
The next is school kids at full noise level. I don't want to know who's 19 year old brother got his sisters 12 year old friend pregnant, though I am sure there are people in office who would like to know. There is no need for all the swearing and throwing of free newspapers at each other. They should make members of staff from the schools police these routes just to see what goes on.
Next, moble phone MP3 players. They sound rubbish and these people got ripped off when they bought the phone because mine came with headphones.
Next, food on buses. It's not just the smell, well, sometimes it is when the person behind you is eating a burger and chips on a packed bus, its the mess as well. I hate people who drop litter just anywhere and sometime actually at the side of a bin instead of in it. Though some people think a bus is just one big litter bin.
As for the service itself, well it's just rubbish. I have been know to spend over two hours travelling a 12 mile journey on a supposedly high frequency route, most of this time used up waiting at bus stops. Buses get cancelled but the public are not allowed to know this so they can't plan alternative routes. Last year Worstbus brought in the best service ever with the introduction of the X35, a high speed motorway using service into the centre of Manchester. This service was so good they cancelled it after a few short months. I was not going back to 2 hour journeys so we bought a car. thanks for the incentive Worstbus. Let's not forget the record breaking inflation busting ticket price rises every few months.
I believe that in Edinburgh bus ticket prices are capped at £1 per journey. Now that is an incentive to leave to car at home and take the bus, affordable publc transport.
So, what is the £3 billion of tax payers money that is meant to be used on improving the transport system going to be spent on, bus lanes? I can't think of anything else, but if you don't have a bus lane that goes all the way into the city centre instead of just the odd couple of hundred yards this is not going to help.
London introduced the going to work tax a while ago, has anyone got any feedback on how the money from this has improved services and got people to work on time?
What else could the money be spent on? I know. Give me the money and I will travel to far off exotic places for weeks at a time, staying in top hotels all in the name of research to see how other countries cope with this problem.
Or has someone on the council already thought of this. I bet they have.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Be Afraid....Be Very Afraid..

In my last posting I mentioned that some "friends" had been taking the mick due to my arm being in a sling, well I would like to update this.
Robsey has also damaged his elbow by banging it into a door.
Simon has damaged the tendon is his knee.
Pete has torn a tendon in his thumb turning on a tap! This will need surgery.
Anybody else want to have a giggle at my accident?
I myself am doing fine but that may be because of the pain killers I am taking.

Saturday, 31 May 2008


This is hard to type. The other day I was turning a corner when I collided with a guy walking in opposite direction. He bounced off a car parked on the pavement I bounced off a brick wall. We both made a quick apology to each other an carried on our way. That's when I noticed that my arm hurt but thought it was just bruised.
The next day I woke up unable to move my arm so a trip to the hospital A+E department. After a couple of x-rays it turns out that I have broken a piece of bone off my elbow.
X-rays have gone all high tech now. The doctor asked me back into the room for a chat and I noticed these two very large computer screens. I looked quickly at one screen and said to the doctor, "I see the problem" and pointed at the screen, "I am not an expert like you but that looks like a foot".
The doctor looked at me witheringly and said, "That's not yours". After a couple of mouse clicks he replaced the foot with my elbow.
Later in the day I was out with friends (by friends I mean people taking the mick out of my sling) when Robsey asked me if I was right or left handed.
"Right" I replied.
He says "Well, you are going to have a problem when you go to the toilet".
"Actually" Says I. "I wanted to have a word with you about that".
"No way am I holding your willy when you go to the toilet". Says he.
"You don't have to". Says I, "Coz, I'm going for a crap".
So there you go. Get well soon messages can be sent the usual way.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

No rest for the techs.

I am taking a few days off and it has started already. A student who left last Friday has been in touch with a technical problem and she needs my help. All my fault for saying "If you need me, you know how to find me.
Nothing much happening at this end at the moment with it being half term. I accidentally got volunteered to move some decking (heavy work), I am cleaning the house (boring work) and I am fixing things (just work).
My mate Simon has the day off today. I wonder if he wants to go for a stroll to the Tiger later.
While I was walking into town the other day I was nearly run down by a bunch of kids on bikes, then I realised it wasn't their fault. It was those muppets at the council who can't do a simpl
e job right. study this photo for stupid mistakes.

Coming soon....... The shortest cycle path in the world.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Well, that was fun.

The piccies are ready for viewing, just go to;

Or there is a slideshow here;

Tell one, tell all.

Well done to Stuart for getting the new Job.
On the subject of Stuart I've been asked to show what happens when a student cons him into using an electric shock pen.

Keep in touch
See ya'll on results day.

Friday, 23 May 2008

"And now, the end is near............." & Fotie time

So it has finally arrived. Today the year 13 students are going off on study leave. It should be a day of noisy students (nothing new) last minute leaver books writing, signing and white school shirt (from Primark) writing. Big shouts to Leoni as it is her birthday today. To Hayley for the chocolate. To Stuart who has a job interview today, good luck, mate.
Let the mayhem commence.

The pics I put here yesterday have been moved to;

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

It's alive!... It's alive!.....

Here it is, the last week before study leave and the students have started fighting back, blogwise. Bring it on, I say.
Firtsly a message for Kelly. As long as Nick does not read this he will not know that you were finishing off your Film Studies work 5 minutes before the class started. To be honest no one would believe you were doing any work in the first place, you little table dancer.
I am drastically trying to get good material for the last week blog but the students seem to be;

A: Happy to be leaving.
B: Sad to be leaving.
C: Stressing over the upcoming exams.
D: Trying to get last minute work in.
E: Writing in each others leavers books.
F: Not giving a damn.

Last weekend was the the local brass band festival and beer walk and all I got was Dobcross Brass Band got pelted by peanuts. No funny photos, no one arrested (well, one, nearly arrested) and no juicy gossip. Come on people, you are letting me down. I would have thought at least one of you would have given me something worth writing about. Don't make me follow you all with a camera on Friday.
Actually that last sentence sounds a little wrong.
I hope to be back later today with an update.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Dumbing down...

As we near the time of year that the students go off on study leave I found myself thinking of the most memorable comments made by both the students and myself over the months. Do you recognise yourself in this list?

Me: It's not my A level

Student: my headphones won't work.
Me: Are they plugged in?
Student: Ahh

Me: Bad planning on your behalf does not constitute an emergency on mine.

Student about to go on stage for a performance exam: Here are my lighting cues.

Me: No, I will not stay late because you are under rehearsed.

Me: No, I will not come in early in the morning because you are under rehearsed.

Student: I have a 4:15 deadline for my coursework. What is the latest time I can hand it in?

Student: I have lost my phone somewhere in the department.
Me: Have you tried ringing it?
Student: I can't, I've lost my phone.

Student: Why can't I open my video on edit PC 4?
Me: Which PC did you capture it on?
Student: Edit 3.
Me: Work it out.

Student: I can't get any sound out of my microphone.
Me: You don't get sound out of a microphone.

Student: Why does my clarinet sound like a piano in Sibileus?

Me: No eating in the study area.
Student: Crisps aren't eating.

Student: I've lost my phone.
Me: Is it anything like this one I have here?
Student: Yes. If you find one will you let me know.

Me: (singing): What's that coming over the hill, is it a deadline? Is it a deadline?

Student: This printer isn't working.
Me: That's because when you send to print you have to press 'OK'.

Me: I don't want to be me anymore.

Student: It was like that when I booked it out.

Me: Kelly, get out from under that table.

Me: What part of 'NO' don't you understand.

Student: I've got a dance showback in 30 minutes and I've left my music cd at home and I need another copy, with a few changes making, and another piece adding in and I don't have any blank cds to burn it on.

Me: There's nothing like a well designed website, and this is nothing like a well designed website.

Me: No, I will not do it for you.

Student: How long has that TV been hanging from the ceiling?
Me: About 12 years.
Student: No way.

Student: have you seen my exam CD?
Me: What's written on it?
Student: Nothing, but it's blue on one side and silver on the other.

Student: Do you have any Tippex?
Me: We've moved one from there, it's called the 'delete key'

Student: These headphones aren't working.
Me: That's because you are plugged into the microphone socket.

Student: You know how you are a technical genius, what can you do with a USB stick that is broken into 4 pieces?
Me: Drop it in the bin.

PEBKAC: Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair

Student: I need a tape.
Me: What type?
Student: What types are there?
Me: Audio cassette, VHS, DAT, mini DV, Gaffer, celo, reel to reel, parcel, measuring and tapeworm. We have all the above except the last one because it was over qualified to be a media student.

Student: It made a popping sound and then stopped working, is that bad?

Me: Are there any students here with DJ experience?
(Student puts up hand grinning cockily)
Me: OK. So as you know nothing about sound levels we will start with the basics.

Student: Don't tell Lee or he will go mad.
Me: I heard that.

Me: There is a camera case in shot.
Student: No one will notice it.
Me: I noticed it, re shoot.

Dance students looking at an online atlas: Oh look, there really is a Madagascar.

Student: What is that programme you do Powerpoints in?

Me: If you want to keep something secret around heare type it up in Ariel Bold 200 point and print it out on A3 neon green paper and put it up on all 4 walls and no one will read it.

Student: I'm going to fail

Feel free to use the comments link below to add to these.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Bouncy, bouncy

One of the students was wlking down the street when she heard someone shouting her name. She looked around and could not see anyone around. Then it happenned again and she still could not see anyone. this went on for a few more shouts and she was getting more and more confused as everytime she looked around there was no one to be seen. Eventually she found out that a friend of hers had installed a trampoline in her garden. Well, it made me smile.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Robot Chicken Soup

I read in the newspaper this morning that some scientists have been given £1m to find out if a robot can stir soup. I remember many years ago at junior school I was taken into the school kitchen for some reason or other and in the corner was a huge vat of custard being stirred by a machine. Just to help the scientists on their way I suggest as an add on the robot will get nowhere without a tin opener, so fit one.
To be honest the £1m could have been better spent on aid for Burma and China.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Silence is golden....

Music exams today so the study area is out of bounds to anything louder than a mouse click.
With the weather still being all summery I spent part of Saturday cycling around a local country park. Two boxer dogs decided to show a little friendly interest in the bikes but the owner shouted them away, their names? Pepsi and Max.
Well the Football season has come to an end, United won the league, Bolton survived the drop zone and City got battered 8 - 1 by Middlesborough, so everybody happy there then.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Students a go go.....going

Well the Talent show went ok and a good time was had by all although I found the semi naked male students stage invaders a bit disturbing. Well done to all in the choir with the Les Mis stuff, sounded good and manged to walk into positions without tripping eachother up.
I noticed that the students are getting a little noisier than usual in the Study Area (you know who you are), it could be the good weather we are having at last or the fact they are all going on study leave in two weeks. I'll miss the noise, the mess, the hung over students sleeping it off, the blatant use of Facebook, the bikini top flashing (I bet you don't do that on Youtube Kelly).
The biggest problem is, what am I going to do for material for this blog with without them? This could be a problem, I may have to broaden my search for people talking stupid.
To the staff room.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Day One 10:30 AM

What goes "ping ping ping PING PING PING PING ping ping ping ping PING?
Answer: The piano tuner in the next room. He's been at it for about an hour now.
Later today We are doing an afternoon college talent contest. I'll be doing the lighting for it but some form of rehearsal would be nice. Never mind it's break time and I am going out