Archive for the 'Pat’s Thoughts' Category

by Pat
on Sep 29th, 2011

Waiting…

Hello!

Today, I write from a pub down the street from where I live. Why? Because 0kbps does not a blog upload, Orange Telecommunications.

Anyways, whilst sitting here with a pint, catching up on those things I’ve just got used to having around me at the click of a button (want to check the progress of an order without the net? Good luck with that nowadays), I figured I’d write a quick blog.

Yesterday morning I had the proper course introduction for my next year. It seems really interesting, pretty involved and potentially damned hard – but that’s better than it being easy! The group on the course are of various ages, and although everyone was pretty quiet at first they seem like a good bunch. Should be a fun year, I think.

But you know what?

I’ve no idea what the next two years are gonna be like. Right now is a strange kinda limbo.

I still don’t know what it’s going to feel like when it actually gets going. I don’t know how much free time I’ll have, how much studying outside the college hours I’ll need to do, whether I’ll integrate with the other folks, how much I’ll enjoy it or get out of it… it’s all a huge amount of unknowns.

Of course, it’s likely it’ll be very positive (and when I stop to think about it in detail I realise that), but I’m wired to be a negative bugger (Wow, I’d never noticed… – Squage) so I’m a little apprehensive: if you know me well, you’ll be aware that I don’t particularly like unknowns.

After 6 months of waiting, I’m now ready to start.

Bring on Monday.

Toodles,

Pat

by Pat
on Sep 26th, 2011

Orange Customer Services Survey

Well, following my “I need some more bandwidth while I wait for Broadband” fiasco with Orange earlier, I was “invited to provide feedback”.

I did, and their thank you rather amused me:

Orange Customer Services Feedback

In related and awful news, I spotted 3 pubs on the way back from town that had free Wi-fi, which means I’m going to be spending much of the next month in pubs.

What a nightmare!

Pat

P.S. I enrolled today. I’m now an official student. Boom!

by Pat
on Sep 6th, 2011

20 Days: Brighton Vs Chelmsford

So, I’m moving to Brighton on Sunday the 18th. I was down there this weekend and had a chance to properly wander around the place. It… it’s a little bit more interesting than Chelmsford in Essex (WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? – Squage).

Whereas Chelmsford has the usual run of soulless chain shops and restaurants and a couple of shopping arcades, Brighton offers not only these amazing features but also a huge array of quirky locally owned shops, sweet shops, veggie restaurants, outdoor stalls.

(Ok, that’s not a surprise – Squage)

Chelmsford graffiti consist of hastily-scrawled spray paint featuring the call-sign of a local “yoof kru”, Brighton’s equivalent is two-storey tall complex works of art depicting manga characters, Star Wars scenes, life-like paintings of Aung San Suu Kyi and loads more.

(Cool, but not a surprise – Squage)

Ok, Brighton’s bars are a fair bit more expensive than Chelmsford’s, plus it’s full of stag and hen parties. But the former’s fine given I’ve a student union to go to and the latter’s fine as it rather adds to the fun atmosphere of the place (although I’ve not been wandering around at 2am on a Saturday yet). There’s a really cool feel to the place, just an underlying feeling that people like living there.

(Hang on, hang on, stop a second. So what you’re really saying is “Brighton’s a city, and it’s bohemian, and it’s a party town, and you like it”? – Squage)

Yes.

(I think everyone knew that. What are you bothering mentioning it? – Squage)

BECAUSE I WANT TO EXPRESS HOW FRICKIN’ AWESOME IT IS THAT I’LL BE LIVING THERE.

(So, basically, you want to rub it in people’s faces? – Squage)

Of course not. :-)

(You’re happy to make people think you’re a gloating tool? – Squage)

That don’t! :-)

(You are literally too stupid to insult – Squage)

Stop quoting from The Hangover.

(Would you please put some pants on? I feel weird having to ask you twice – Squage)

Ok, that’s enough.

BYE!

Pat

“What? In his thirties? With this economic outlook? Quitting a career and going into education? He’s a fool.”

It’s something I’m sure people have thought when I’ve told them my intentions. In fact, I’ve had people say similar directly to me.

Often, it’s hard for me to articulate a response clearly on the spot.

Fortunately, with a blog post, I have a little more time to explain things. I’m not really sure it’ll make much difference. Here goes anyway!

What’s the Reason for Uni?

My current situation:

  • I’m not happy where I am
  • I want a creative career, but not entirely sure what
  • I have a talent and passion for art
  • I don’t have experience in it

Therefore right now, I don’t feel confident to go for a creative role, and frankly I don’t have the experience or knowledge of exactly what floats my boat.

Uni should give:

  • Opportunity to explore many creative roles
  • Plenty of experience (it’s a vocational course with work for real-life clients)
  • Inspiration (like-minded people, freedom to explore ideas, interesting part of the world)
  • Vast improvement on my skills
  • A big boost to my confidence

By the end of Uni, I should be in a much better place in terms of skills, experience, confidence and (one hopes) employability!

Why Now?

There’s no time like the present. It’s a cliché, but it’s true.

Of course, you could argue that it’s too late in life to be doing something like this. That by now I should be:

  • Married
  • Soon to be a parent
  • Working my way up the career ladder

Well, that’s all lovely. But I’m not. Oh and it’s not too late, dufus.

You don’t just suddenly decide to settle down. You need to be ready, and guess what? I’m not. I never have been. Why? Because I want to be happy in my work first, doing something creative and ace.

Until then, “settling down” is a pseudonym for “just settling”.

Previously I’ve let The Fear Of Risk™ stop me from taking a leap of faith towards what I really want. You could argue I wasted much of my 20s due to this *.

Well, enough is enough. Yes, I’m not a yoof anymore, but I’m also never going to be as young as I am right now (which both rad and skill).

  • Have I got ties? Nope.
  • Can I afford to do this? Yep.
  • When the hell will I get a better chance than now? Good point. You knows it.

But Quitting Your Job in this Economy?

Yes, I’m afraid so. To be honest, my reasoning here is similar to that above.

I can’t predict the future, but I can make a positive change to my life.

Sure, it’s risky, but then I consider the following things:

  • You’ve already worked out this is the best change you can make right now.
  • The worst case scenario is: you try to get back into IT, with 9 years’ experience under your belt, various references and both an IT degree and digital creative FdA to accompany them.
  • When you’re 50, even if it all goes to pot, you’ll be happy that you at least tried.
  • If it all goes well, who knows what you’ll be doing in your mid 30s!

My conclusion is always this: bring on the return to education at 31. :-)

Pat

* Aside from the trip to Nz/Oz. That… that was frickin’ amazing.

P.S. Special kudos to my mate Jimbo who rightly suggested the best response to anyone questioning my motives is this: “I’m doing it because it’ll make me happy. So f**k off.” :-)

I’ve just been listening to some of Hanz Zimmer’s superb soundtrack to Christopher Nolan’s equally superb film Inception, whilst sitting at my desk in work.

My God.

Writing emails about system migrations and launch confirmations has never felt the same.

Normally my feelings around these sorts of things would be best described either as a colour: grey, or as a sound: ppft.

However, with particular tracks from the Inception soundtrack blasting in my ears:

  • UK WAR File Deployment Change Request completion:
    • Normally: shrug
    • When listening to The Dream Is Collapsing: a panicked, frantic mashing of keys desperately trying to explain that “everything is OK!” before the Change Request team lose all patience, fork out tens of thousands of pounds on flights and head here from America with rage in their eyes.
  • PVCS to AccuRev content migration:
    • Normally: meh
    • When listening to Time: an email of such world-changing importance that every keystroke composing it has more impact than any corporate-changing strategy ever written by a top excutive. On sending, a sense of immense pride and excitement fills one’s soul, purely to have been a part of such a historic event. Tears are almost wept at the sheer gravity of the situation.
  • Dev systems account password update confirmation:
    • Normally: tum-tee-tum…
    • When listening to Dream Within A Dream: utter terror; they might be development system passwords only, but oh god – what if someone uses the old one before the email gets out? The impact… THE IMPACT. Hurry, Pat, HURRY! Oh god, oh god, is everyone on this list of recipients? What if I forget someone and… oh man, check it again, Scullion, CHECK! If even one of those accounts get locked… tens… no… THOUSANDS may die! SOMEONE GET THE PRESIDENT, NOW! THE PASSWORDS HAVE CHANGED!!

So, basically, the Inception soundtrack inspires ludicrous hyperbole. :-)

If you’ve got a fave soundtrack for work spice-upping, what is it and what’s its effect?

Pat

by Pat
on Apr 11th, 2008

My Brother’s Running The Marathon!

Yo,

Just a quick one to say two things:

  1. My brother David is running the London Marathon this weekend
  2. MY BROTHER DAVID RUNNING THE LONDON MARATHON THIS WEEKEND

Fecking awesome, I’m so impressed with how well he’s done in training for this (not least the lack of alcohol since the start of the year and, oh yeah, the occasional MASSIVE RUN (most recent was about 18 miles!!))… go David!

He’s running for Down Syndrome Extra 21, a charity which helps to promote equal opportunities for people with Down syndrome and offer support to them and their families. It promotes public awareness of Down syndrome and encourages and helps local support groups.

If you want to help this great charity through sponsoring my brother to do this amazing feat then please head over to his JustGiving page and donate:

http://www.justgiving.com/davidscullion

Anything would be appreciated. Thanks in advance from myself, David and those with Down Syndrome across the UK.

Toodles :-)

Pat

by Pat
on Feb 19th, 2008

All Change, Please!

Yo peeps!

Well, something that’s not happened since I went to Oz in 2006… that’s right, I’m leaving my department at work! Goodbye Technical Services!

There’s one key difference:

Last time, despite actually leaving the company outright and going to the other side of the world, I came back to the very same department (albeit in a different role). This time I’m permanently leaving the department! *

What’s more is the distance involved in my move. I’m not just going to the other side of the world, oh no: I’m going to the other side…. of the corridor!

I KNOW!

Literally 6 metres from my current desk, the change of environment may be too much for me to take but I’m hoping I’ll be ok. Basically, I’m moving to another department to do some cool stuff for a funky and very useful web based system designed to help our customers. The cool stuff involves Oracle, WebLogic, funky web front end stuff and Linux/Unix. I’m looking forward to it!

Two days to go in TS, then I start next week (as I’m off on a long weekend to go to see Jersey… in Jersey! Sam and Spence from Oz, who’re On Tour at the mo are coming over too so it should be an awesome weekend!).

Right, that’s all really. Just an update from my world.

Toodles,

Pat

* Probably.

by Pat
on Feb 5th, 2008

Squage Radio: Back In Action!

Ok, so I’ve got lots of updates to do regarding the awesome snowboarding week with Jimbo in the French Alps (photos here), a new job role, falling over barriers, driving home to Christmas songs, having fun at Lev and Jess’s, a new PC and other stuff!

I’ll get round to it I promise! Got lots of other things on at the mo but I promise it’s on its way…

Anyway, I’m writing this post to say that I’m actually doing Squage Radio live shows again (only occasionally, mind). From now on I’ll be posting a new note about each show – including a link once the recorded version’s online for you to download if you miss it.

I’ve recently done three shows – two party shows and one chillout show.

They can all be found here: http://www.squage.com/liveshows/, which is where all recorded live shows will sit in future.

by Pat
on Jan 13th, 2008

A Good And Bad Weekend

Hey peeps,

Well, it’s been a good weekend and a bad weekend this weekend (wow, there were a lot of “weekend”s in that sentence weren’t there weekend weekend weekend?)… let’s start with the bad:

  • Ate take out pizza, a fried breakfast and lots of popcorn
  • Drank 3 bottles of beer on Friday and 4 on Saturday

And now the good:

  • Ate take out pizza, a fried breakfast and lots of popcorn
  • Drank 3 bottles of beer on Friday and 4 on Saturday

Yep, it seems the “no alcohol” regime fell on its arse this weekend and frankly the diet seems to have popped out of the window for a couple of days. I’m feeling rather guilty and annoyed at myself on one hand but on the other hand, but on the other hand I did go to the gym 5 times last week – plus with boarding in a week’s time I think January 2008 will be an overall “WOOH” as far as losing weight / getting fit’s concerned.

Oh yeah, plus this weekend was great fun! I was at Lev and Jess’s place in Laaandan and had a great laff as ever – Lev and I played an awful lot of Mario Vs Sonic on the Wii and finished many a 4x100m relay or 400m hurdles by falling onto Lev’s sofa and trying to get our breath back for a minute or two. Mental, knackering fun :-)

We also saw the excellent and very harsh Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, which is well worth a watch – superb performances from all involved and a real emotive thriller all the way through. Great stuff, and it also made us think of how funny it would be if the credits had “We Are Family” played over them. Not really sure why, it just seemed so inappropriate to be hilarious at the time. See the film and imagine it playing over them and you’ll see what I mean :-)

Aside from that we did some recording of some bits and pieces for a potential upcoming project (using this amazing professional studio):

2008-11-12 Professional Recording Studio

What with Squage being left at home for the weekend, Lev couldn’t do a SQUAGE FACE so had to find an alternative:

2008-11-13 OPTIMASH PRIME FACE!

Basically, twas a great weekend with lots of catching up and chatting about all sorts – always a pleasure to see you two :)

Ok, off to do some ironing… if that’s not living the dream I don’t know what is (NEWS ALERT: Pat has no idea what living the dream is – Squage). Oh ha ha.

Bye!

Pat

by Pat
on Jan 11th, 2008

WE’RE GOING SNOW BOARDING!

YES! That’s right!

That’s right, following my 3 hour lessons in Milton Keynes snowdome, I’ve decided to up the ante a little for the remaining lessons: Jimbo (from work) and myself (and Squage, natch) are heading off to the south of France in just over a week for a week of Snow Boarding fun amoungst beautiful scenery! In the words of Peter Griffin, it’s going to be freakin’ awesome:

The Chalet.

The Resort.

This is the connected (massive) Les Arcs

Fortunately James and I have been down the gym 5 times this week and planning at least 4 next week too, so we’ll be in some kind of fit state to give it a go! I’m still gonna ache like a bastard but you know what: I don’t care. It’s going to be SO worth it.

Expect a full report on my return :-)

On in the mean time, today is the return of the Daily Photo. Today it’s of two stuffed toys on Reg’s desk at work:

2008-01-11: Ride 'Em IUM Monkey!

Ride ’em, IUM * Monkey!

Toodles,

Pat

* IUM = Image Utility Model. Basically it’s a printer leasing scheme, but as it’s at my place of work it needs to ensure it’s got a TLA **

** Tasty Lumpy Artichoke

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