Thursday, 24 December 2009

The last Blog of 2009- My thoughts on this year

Merry Christmas Everyone!

As the last snow clears on the roads outside I find myself thinking on the past 12 months and wondering about 2010. This year has been a very mixed bag for me and my Family, there has been a fair share of disappointments and set backs as well as near disasters!

I wanted to write a blog that was a little more happy given the time of year, however that would not be true to life so Sod It!
2009 has been a very poor show for me, what with me being close to a disaster when I was diagnosed with DVT's(Blood Clot's) and then the operation which turned out to be TWO operations...
There has also been some personal struggles that have affected us quite badly, to put it another way 2009 has not been a year that I can say we have enjoyed. That said, we have learned a great deal from the stresses and strains and with that new found knowledge we will advance through 2010 with a confidence that this will be our year!

Listen!

As for those of you who have played any part in this past year of our life - A Thank you, you know who you are - those of you who have sent messages of support, cards, telephone calls and emails. They are the words and advice I will treasure from 2009 without which the journey would of been more difficult.
I have ended this year on an absolute high - I am a very lucky man to have the friends and family around me that support and encourage me.

Merry Christmas to you all - Whoever you are...
I genuinely hope that you find whatever it is you search or wish for in 2010...

Best Wishes

Lee

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Open Source - The future

As someone who works with OSS on a near daily basis with my company, it is no surprise that I have a passion for promoting it whenever I can. Whilst i am sure that there is always an OS way around problems, I do not doubt that it is not always the chosen route for whatever reason.
The one place I have absolutely no question about its effectiveness is within educational institutions. It has been proven time and again by ICT managers within these establishments.

One of the main bottlenecks that I have found when talking with educational institutes is trying to 'educate' the ICT Manager/Co-coordinator who can be too focused on proprietary software. They may be qualified or certified in this area and find it difficult to be responsive to the needs of the school and its pupils. Making decisions to the best interest of the school could mean taking these people out of their comfort zone which instantly puts up barriers. The whole idea of how IT is procured needs to be looked at to enable the objective to be: systems in place that meet the needs of the staff and pupils and not to fit comfortably with the ICT Manager/Co-coordinator.

OSS in schools works, just take a look at the Case Studies that have been published. I am not naive enough to think that the OSS route is an easy one, it is not! But like everything in life change is necessary and inevitable. Its just a matter of time...


Richard Stallman wrote an excellent article on "Why schools should use open source software", the full article can be found here but for now I have taken a couple of paragraphs which are quite powerful.


There are general reasons why all computer users should insist on free software. It gives users the freedom to control their own computers—with proprietary software, the computer does what the software owner wants it to do, not what the software user wants it to do. Free software also gives users the freedom to cooperate with each other, to lead an upright life. These reasons apply to schools as they do to everyone.

First, free software can save the schools money. Even in the richest countries, schools are short of money. Free software gives schools, like other users, the freedom to copy and redistribute the software, so the school system can make copies for all the computers they have. In poor countries, this can help close the digital divide.

School should teach students ways of life that will benefit society as a whole. They should promote the use of free software just as they promote recycling. If schools teach students free software, then the students will use free software after they graduate. This will help society as a whole escape from being dominated (and gouged) by megacorporations.

My hope for the future is that more ICT manager within educational facilities open up to open source, allowing the school or college to have the system that they can confidently grow with and help their students become the best at what they do. There is an immense amount of support out there for those willing to ask for it.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Bugs, moans, headaches and swine flu..

Well, this week has been a complete wash out- I have been so ill and I do not just mean a bout of "man flu"! I have managed to stay the course at work although this morning I have felt the worst of the whole week, so the thought of working from home seemed so appealing. That said, we have so much going on at work that a day out from me would put us behind a little so that option has been ruled out.

There is so so much going round at the minute - the one thing as a parent that concerns me is the swine flu talk. It was a main story on the news last night about a little girl who had contracted swine flue and had died as a result of complications resulting from the bug. She was five years old! Along with another child who had been apparently misdiagnosed and had died as a result of Swine flu. As a parent it frightens the life out of me, but we have to try and keep things in perspective. This bug if contracted is likely to make a person or child feel rough, but it is only in extreme cases that it can become serious.

If you suspect that a member of your household may have swine flu then visit Direct.gov.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Friday, 23 October 2009

Untitled

Check out this post on GigaOM

For all you Technically minded out there this is an interesting post.


8 Flexible, Open-Source (or Just Open) Telephony�Resources

http://gigaom.com/2009/10/22/8-flexible-open-source-or-just-open-telephony-resources/

Enjoy.

--
http://gigaom.com

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Postal Strike

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/blog/2009/oct/21/satellite-tracking-postal-strike-mail


So with a postal strike about to make a misery of the UK the Guardian has taken it upon themselves to post out satellite tracking devices across the UK to monitor what happens to your mail during a postal strike. Brilliant!
You can check the whereabouts of the trackers on the link above..
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

True Blood - Episode 1

I sat and watched episode one tonight with my Wife. Now bare in mind Ruth(my wife) is a self proclaimed Robert Pattenson fan the True Blood series has a lot to live up to.

I found it a little slow to start, but once the story started to gain pace it was totally watchable. I loved the way the edge of your seat
suspense was almost eased somewhat by the comedy like actions and
comments of Anna's character.

Overall, I enjoyed it and look forward to a continuation of the story.

Lee Martin
Sent from iPhone 3G

Monday, 5 October 2009

An upsetting end to a good day...

A landmark day for me, I managed to walk a little way whilst enjoying
some Father-Son time.

Ruth and I picked Kerecsen up from school and I mentioned to Ruth that
I felt like trying a few steps. We decided on a visit to Coombe Abbey
country park
, great for parking and taking pictures of the numerous bird life in and around the grounds. I managed a little way into the grounds and had to turn back, much to the delight of Kerecsen who realised that the play area was on the way out of the grounds!

After about 15 minutes watching him race around from one swing to a slide hundreds of times he settled into a castle like slide construction with robe ladders and beams etc... I was just within ear shot of him taking some pictures of the grounds when i overheard a group of kids speaking. The oldest of the group said " No lets wait a minute" another lad about 13 years old said " Why though", on this the older boy replied " Lets just wait for the Ginger kid to finish!"...

Now I am an open minded man, and often say what is on my mind in any given circumstance - this was to prove no different. What made this situation worse for me was that the group of kids were of Asian origin, which angered me because (rightly or wrongly)i would of expected more sensitivity from them. I immediately confronted the group and said " He is not THE GINGER KID, he has a name!, and i would of expected a little more than prejudice from you.) They all slipped away without a word.

I would of confronted anyone who had said that to my Son, regardless of colour or origin. I really did not expect it from that particular group, why it shocked me so much i do not know. I just know in my heart that if the shoe was on the other foot it would of been completely inappropriate...

Even writing this blog, i find myself worried in case it offends, or is taking in the wrong way. So much for freedom of speech!


Lee Martin
Sent from iPhone 3G

Thursday, 1 October 2009

The Consultants Appointment.

Today was the follow up at the hospital.

I managed to get a snap of my xray while the Consultant was out of the
room. As you can see, the left side of the area where they broke my
leg is healing nicely, the right however is a different story.
The Consultant is not too concerned as he said he can see some faint
signs of healing occuring.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

A news reporter, or a news re-reporter?


Looking through the mountain of posts on Facebook and Twitter i find it difficult to see a story or post that is not a re-post or a cut and paste from someone else's website. There are quotes, poems, pasted news items and so much content coming my way but how much of it is relevant and actually worth my time?

Do we make content for the sake of it?
If you can honestly look at your content and say this is me, my words, my content then well done you and keep it up. For a lot of people they can not say that, for the content you sweat over is there's for the copying. Its all good for exposure i suppose as long as its done correctly, but it makes me wonder how much of what i do on a daily basis is making any difference at all. I do not want to be a content spreader, i want to be a content maker!
Take a look at what you do, if you add up the amount of time you spend doing the rounds on social media sites, is it worthwhile? Was that investment in time going to bring you a return?

Some wise man once said to me, invest your time wisely, make every minute count. So with that in mind I have to be wise in choosing where to invest my time in the future, I have too much at stake to ignore it. I am not saying i will be stopping my social media exploits, far from it in fact. Just focusing my efforts somewhat...

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Should the age of sexual consent be 13 years old?

Source

In today's news was the above story of Professor John Spencer, appearing on a BBC Radio Four programme to be broadcast tomorrow night, who says ALL teenagers should be free to have sex

The BBC has been blasted by the public for allowing him to have air time on this subject.
I believe he should have air time to give his opinion, after all i believe he has a good argument. I am not saying that it is OK for teenagers to have sex, but the current law does not hold any one young person back from engaging in sex. If you are still one of the naive minority that believe it is only the few "rowdy" or "feral" kids that are doing "that sort of thing" then its time you woke up and get educated!. More so if you actually have kids who are approaching that age.
Sex, or rather access to it is more available to kids these days, the Internet, magazines, TV and films are all selling sex in some shape or form. That is the world in which we live, get used to it or be ready for disappointment.

I believe that if the age of consent were to be lowered you would not be bombarded with a massive influx of teen pregnancies or stories of STD's on the increase in teens. They do not have sex because they do not want to have sex, and not because the law says they can't! They will have sex when it suits them and as long as they are advised of the correct and safe ways then that is the best we as parents can do.
I would rather be educated enough to be able to a source of help and support for my child when he reaches that age so I can advise him correctly.

So, no matter what your belief in the correct age of consent it really is as irrelevant as mine because youngsters have their own minds and therefore will use them as they see fit. All we can do is try to be the voice of reason and support and hope that our words of wisdom are adhered to.....

Car vandalised and crashed

A vehicle parked in valley sports ground was yesterday broken into and
vandalised whilst the owner was playing football in the VS ground.
The vehicle was then rolled down the hill smashing through the fence
ending up in the small brook.

Overnight the vehicle was ransacked and completely trashed by local
youths.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Church in Winter

This one is from an older batch re-edited and framed. This particular
image will be used as the village Christmas card this year.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Cornish Pasties

My Aunty Margaret is up visiting my mum from Cornwall.
She has been making real original Cornish pasties for over 40 years
now and you have not tasted nothing like them. They are superb and
morish.

Nice parking!

On the way back from dropping my son off at nursery my wife and I
spotted this classic parking effort on the canal!

Monday, 14 September 2009

New Moon Trailer

For all the Vampire fans out there, the newest New Moon trailer was premiered at the VMA's last night and here it is...




What did you think?

As someone who has a wife whom is besotted with the books and films I have to say i really like this trailer. I look forward to being at the premiere in London with my wife....

Please feel free to comment..

First day at school / Purpose

Today is my Son's first day at his new school. Well you can not really call it a day as he start at 12 and is finished by around 3pm. That said, it's a nice easy in for kids who can be a little nervous.
Just typical then that Kerecsen is poorly with a cough and a snotty cold on his first day. So we enter our first dilemma, take him into school so he does not miss out on his first day. Or leave him at home to recover. My first instinct is to take him in as it's only a cold and I am sure he would rather be with his new friends on their first day at school.

It's such a strange thing to be talking about school for my son, it only seems like yesterday that he was born. Yet so much has happened in those (nearly) five years, funerals, weddings, special birthdays & anniversary's not to mention my rise and fall from health.
A good friend of mine said to me recently that they can not plan for anything in their life because of everything that is happening to them. I disagreed with this, as I believe no matter your circumstances life is short and while it can be ok to live without direction in the short term we as human beings are wired to need and require a purpose and direction in our lives. Without this purpose and direction things become empty and eventually meaningless.



To have purpose in life allows you-

1. To give your life some direction.
2. To make sure that YOU are the one choosing the direction in your life and not others.
3. To motivate. (very important)
4. To give us the opportunity to get what we want from life.
5. To reduce stress.
6. To give ourselves a sense of accomplishment and pride.
7. To give you a sense of direction and more importantly a purpose in life.

Whilst i agree that life can not be planned, it is important to have a purpose. See what life throws at you and grab it with both hands...

So all in all, the past five years have just flown past me in a blur. I am sure the next five will be the same. My point here is this, i have had aims over the past five years some i have achieved and others i have not. If I had not had those ambitions and purpose then nothing would of changed for me or my family!
Make sure you have your purpose in place, otherwise we as humans remain the same and that is unatural and can not be sustainable.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Local couple celebrate 40th Wedding Anniversary

Geoff & Annette Lewis of Hillmorton in Rugby celebrate their Ruby wedding anniversary today. The couple (pictured with their two daughters Julie, on the right and Joanne)were whisked off to London on Saturday morning for a surprise visit to see Phantom of the Opera. They return tomorrow after a fun packed day of surprises in store today.

Geoff, who until the Peugeot plant shutdown in 2007 worked as a Manager in the Ryton building has lived and worked locally for most of his life. Annettte has recently retired from her position at the Abbotsbury care home in Hillmorton after many years.

LM

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Sperm test.

Today I am at reproductive centre in the midlands and I am about to give a "sample" of Sperm.

These places are so strange, they make me feel nervous and embarrassed and I am not sure why.
Could be the fact that within 10 minutes I am going to be playing with my "old man"! Events which are normally enjoyed in the comfort of my own home.

I would of loved to of had the nerve and asked a couple of the other blokes around me in the waiting room how they were "feeling" but it feels like it's the unspoken rule to ignore why we are all here. It's like starting a conversation with a bloke whilst standing at the urinal- it's just not done!

I think every other bloke in this room is playing with his mobile phone. Including me!


I have never made a secret of the fact that my son took ten years of trying before we finally concieved. It's down to me and my trusty reproductive material. So I am hopeful that maybe my "mix" has improved somewhat since the last test. You see we are desperate for another child for my son to grow up with. Yet it's all down to us as there is no financial help for a couple who already have a child. I think the longing for a second child is far greater than it was for the first, there is more at stake now. No longer is it just our feelings to take into account, we have to think about the affect on our son of being an only child.

A lot of people take baby making for granted, for some it's as easy to get pregnant as it is to drive a car. For many others it's never that simple.
People with infertility problems experience many different emotions and problems on the road to having a baby. The female has it the worse, us men just need to do our bit in a dingy little room and make sure it all goes in the pot!
( how they ever expect me to fit the end in there has always baffled me! )

As someone who has experienced the infertility road for many years I feel a great deal of pride and admiration for my wife, she has conquered many fears and experienced heartache that even I can not comprehend.

So why the hell am I winging about a stupid little pot.
Grow some balls man!!




Lee Martin
Sent from iPhone 3G

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Remembering the 11th of September...


On Friday it will be the anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the USA which happened on September 11th, 2001.

I watched a program recently about the audio legacy of that day, the personal telephone calls that were made from victims who had become trapped in the towers. They were highly emotional and for me gave the whole event a more personal feel. I had never before sat and thought about how i felt about the attacks.

I remember the day when it all happened, my wife and I were on our way home from work when the first plane hit the tower, we managed to get into the house and turn the TV on to see the second plane hit the tower live on air. It was the most surreal moment in my life. This could not be happening surely?
Unfortunately, it was real and it was happening to those thousands of people across the water at that very moment....

Since that day I, like most of us have got on with life and moved forward with life and thoughts have drifted towards that day when TV footage or news stories have emerged. After watching the program the other night, i feel different, moved, angry and guilty that i never fully understood how that moment changed our whole existence more than i ever truly understood. I have found myself awake at night thinking about what i would of done or said should i have been caught in that terrible and frightening situation.
I love my family, and although i have been given more than my fair share of hurdles in life i can honestly say that i am happy with who i am and what i have achieved. These achievements are not possession or financially based, they are emotional and moral achievements.

I hope that some day the people who have survived this atrocity will find some peace and meaning once again, until that day my thoughts and love will be with them.

These situations raise a question in me that i can not answer.What hatred or passion drives a person to commit these acts?
Is it time we as a world tried to understand those people who have this hatred? Or should it be like the opinion of one of the people in the program i watched, "Go in there and blow the hell out of all of them!"

I am not in favor of that, but events like this breed hatred and can only lead to more death and heartache...

What is the answer?

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Physiotherapy time.

Today was the first day of my Physiotherapy appointments.
I have experienced Physiotherapy on and off for many years due to my
disability so was prepared for the "hurt" that can sometimes occur.
Obviously not prepared enough!!

I came out of there and dived straight for the pain killers.

Apparently my knee movement is now restricted to 60% of what it should
be. So I am in for the long haul with physiotherapy to try and return
movement back to what it should be.

Lee Martin
Sent from iPhone 3G

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Recovery Update

Good Morning...

So just to update you as to my recovery.
I have had a Consultants appointment last week and the result of which was to be signed off work for a further 4 weeks due to the bone not healing!

Bit annoyed with the situation to be honest as i was expecting to return to work sooner than this. I will have to turn the disappointment into positive action to recompense somewhat...

Listen!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

What you can come out with when on serious pain killers!

There is a certain calmness, a certain state of mind that is opened up at the witching hour. Laying on fresh pillows in a comfy bed, listening to Sarah by Fleetwood Mac. I start to dream my dreams, live my fantasies and plan my rise into the world that I have pictured these many years.
Once enwrapped into this dream, no lights nor interuption can reduce my concentration. I am the determined bird on it's migratory flight, the salmon on the upstream journey, the Family man with great pride.

Alas, tramadol had it's place in this flightless bird's journey, but that said I believe this passenger just needs the wheels to be able to travel. You may need to be in this place to be able to comprehend my words and wisdom, i am not fatigued by shouts of "wisdom, you mean insanity!"
Opinions are great conversations.

Great things can come from these moments. ......

For now, just the lyrics of my tune echo into the abyss of my mind. Raising questions, doubts, feelings. These are the moments, to question, doubt and to feel- is to be alive. Grab those moments, challenge them, remember them.



Lee Martin
Sent from iPhone 3G

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Wedding Anniversary

Listen!
Today would of been the 53rd Wedding Anniversary of my Mum and Dad...

My father died on April 01st(yes April fools day!) 2007.

Since my operation over 10 weeks ago i have not visited his grave, i hope to go today...


Miss you Dad.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Payback...

So after feeling so great yesterday it was a bitter disappointment to wake up and not be able to move for 30 minutes!

Ok so maybe i had overdone it yesterday and felt like I was a young and healthy man of 20 again! My lower back has given up the fight this morning which in itself is an inconvenience for anyone, but when your nearly 20 stone and on crutches with a broken leg its a bloody nightmare!

I have taken my maximum dose of meds this morning in the hope that i may be able to ease the pain and have some quality to the day. I am annoyed with it more than disappointed, its frustrating to have such a good day only to be knocked backwards.

Do i feel sorry for myself?
I know i shouldn't, what with all the disabled people out there who just get on with it without a complaint. But i do, I have been registered disabled now for a long time and I had managed to get myself back to full time work and establish some form medium where work/home life is concerned. Just when things are looking like they could be changing in our favour another spanner comes along to chew up my plans!
That is probably life you may say.... Your probably right.
I will stop the self pity now(for today anyway!).
Listen!

I managed to upload a couple of images last night, the first time in a long while I have edited anything... I enjoyed it...

See what you think...
This one is from a set I did for a birthday celebration. Julie(right) and Gail(left).

This one was taken on the way home one evening before my disability took control again.
Now normally i would of cloned out the distractions in the picture, but thought as i was having so many in my life why not leave them in!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Rugby man appeals for video return

Local mechanic Mr Cory Smith from Cory's Car repairs in Rugby has sent out an appeal via his Facebook page for the thief who took his video camera to return the footage to him. He has posted a reward of £250 for the safe return of the footage.
The camera was taken on the day of his wedding and therefore contained the prized footage of the happy couples day. Cory, pictured above with his then fiancé Amy are said to be devastated at the prospect of not having their memories of the day to look back on in the future.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of the camera or the footage please call Cory on 07970 771 540.

Lee Martin
Sent by iPhone 3G

Enjoy the good days, forget the bad..

Listen!

I have woken up today with very little pain(compared to normal) in my leg and its amazing the difference it can make to your attitude when you have a good day.
I feel so good today, I have even decided to take my camera out with me if we decide to go anywhere.
I am almost too frightened to believe that this could be the start of the road to recovery i have been looking for, worried what may lay around the corner for me...
That said, today i am positive.
That is all that matters...

Have a great day.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Hospital

Ok, so I have had my next operation.
I am sat in my hospital bed and feeling rough.

Update soon.

Lee Martin
Sent from iPhone 3G

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Red Arrows

On a recent day out to Weymouth I managed a few images of the amazing
Red Arrows. Here is one of those images.

Lee Martin
Sent from iPhone 3G

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Regret- what's the point?


image.png

What is that word all about?

In my opinion, there are different stages to regret. On the one hand it can be a little thought in the back of your mind that surfaces occasionaly to be dismissed as easily as it arrived. 
The other side of regret can eat into your life, taking over your very existence. This kind of regret needs to be dealt with. If you have these kind of regrets it can make you question your life over and over again. 
I am lucky, I suffer only the first example of regrets. That said there has been occasions when I have dwelled on a "what if" for too long and it has begun to take over my life. 

So what is the point?
So many people have regrets, what good can possibly come out of regrets? None. What a waste of brainpower and emotions.

Regret can describe not only the dislike for an action that has been committed, but also, importantly, regret of inaction. Many people find themselves wishing that they had done something in a past situation."



P
Lee Martin
Sent from iPhone 3G

Friday, 21 August 2009

More bad news!

So, the leg pain has been getting steadily worse over the past 2 weeks
as have the shape of my knee.
My wife insisted I head down to the hospital today as it was looking
likely that one of the metal screws in the knee was poking out the
side of my leg!

To cut a long and painful story short. I have to have another
operation to repair the loose screw in my leg!

Bloody sick of it now.

Lee Martin
Sent from iPhone 3G

Friday, 14 August 2009

Its about that time ...

If you have ever been unfortunate enough to be struck down with the dreaded affliction called obesity then this post may be of interest to you. If not then those of you who eat like trotters and do nothing to prevent obesity also could benefit from sticking around for a few minutes.

A bit of background....
From an early age i was big, i have partly blamed this on my childhood. No, i have no horrible story of neglect and maltreatment which caused me to comfort eat every day!
For me, it was in my opinion love that made me have a big appetite and metabolism. My Mother and Father never had a lot of possessions whilst growing up, in fact they like many others in that era were poor and had to get by on whatever was available.
This was the case with meal times, whatever was available was eaten. If nothing was available then you waited for the next meal.
This rubbed off on my mother, who when married to my father held down three jobs whilst i was growing up with my brothers, my father worked long hours at British Rail. With this new found independence and income we were guaranteed three square meals a day.
By the age of eight I was getting rather chubby and started to experience the negative side of the world - Bullying! I spent many years as the brunt of peoples jokes, and although i have no real memory left of those years (due to my accident)I realise that it affected me beyond comprehension. The loneliness of being bullied is horrible, a feeling that you can not wash off even though you want to.


Present day...
So, my reason for all of this crappy mind digging?
I need to loose weight, i have no choice. If i want to see my son grow up then i have to take a long hard look at myself, my eating habits and my life!
I have a plan, I have an appointment at the doctors later and will ask him about eating plans and any help available. I will also ask him for a repeat prescription of the weight loss tablets that I was taking some time ago. I have to do this, no matter how difficult it is for me to exercise and loose weight it is not impossible... There must be some exercises a disabled person can do safely.

I believe I need to do this in the public eye, I have been ridiculed and bullied for the majority of my young life. I am a grown man now with a family of my own, I am a good man who despite the damming words and looks of people over the years has survived relatively unscathed...

Ideas and suggestions are welcomed.....

**Update**
Ok, so i went to the doctors and got another prescription for Xenical which is not the one i wanted but due to the new Warfarin tablets i now have to take he could not prescribe those.
It all kicks off on Monday....

Sun is out, but clouds are forming!

Good morning.

I am sat here in my front room listening to my doctors surgery IVR (phone system) telling me that my current position in the Que is 21 even though they open at 08-00 and I was on the line for exactly that! I have recently begun to regret agreeing to this operation due to the length of the recovery and the amount of strain it has put on the family. My wife has been caring for me for over 8 weeks now non stop.

It's no small task I can tell you, along with looking after our 4 year old Son, cleaning, cooking, dealing with our 3 dogs, driving me to and from appointments and generally being on hand 24 hours a day! I wish I had the means to treat her when I am better, she deserves it.

Listen!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Social Networking: How far is too far?


I have recently been following some blogs and some AudioBoo's and have noticed how open and honest some people are about their lives, feelings and dreams. All this in full view of the worlds Internet audience!
I find myself questioning if this new social revelation that we seem to be going through is doing us more damage than good. Is this kind of social interaction replacing "the chat over coffee?"

On the one hand, it can be a lifeline to some people who are either not able to get out of the house or for one reason or another are not willing to socialize.
The problem i have found is we are living in a "easy" society, by that i mean we seem to take the easy route to get what we want, this often proves not to be a good thing. This is true with regards socializing , why spend money going out to socialize when you can do it for free?
I have found that it is often difficult to motivate myself to socialize, preferring the comfort of my own space. Many of you may relate to this, its the easiest path and one which does not demand too much energy!
How sad is that?
Thing is, once I do push myself to socialize and get out i absolutely love it and never want it to end, but with all the easier options like the Internet and social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace what does the future hold for the human race?
The one group that does not seem to be affected by this plague of social shyness is the "geeks" of the Internet world, they almost meet socially more than they used to. Maybe they are plotting against the rest of the world to turn us all into sofa sitting net users who eat, sleep and make babies via the Internet!

Mmmmm, Maybe, just maybe.....

:)

Friday, 7 August 2009

Work, family, life.

As I sit in this car for another day unable to do the things I want to do, it occurs to me that I need to get a grip of myself and learn new ways to achieve my goals and ambitions.

This is my intention.

What do I want for myself and my family?

1. Get well.
I need to get to a stable scenario whereby I can physically return to work.


2. Manage my finances.
I need to be able to manage my finances better and start thinking about tomorrow and not be drawn into the latest technology rich gadget!
(although I still want a mac!) :-)


3. Return to the property ladder.
My physical situation has robbed me and my family of a home once before, I aim to be in a position where this does not happen again.


4. Be happy with what I have got.
I have been lucky with my life, I have been at deaths door on more than one occasion and I need to appreciate things a little more.


5. Be more adventurous.
I don't mean in bed(although Ruth may disagree!) I am talking about taking a hot air balloon ride, or my first plane flight!


6. Be more trusting.
I have been so suspicious of people and their intentions due to my past situations and disappointments, this needs to change if I ever want go grow.

I do not think this wish list is too much to ask for, it's down to me
to make it happen.

Lee Martin
Sent from iPhone 3G

Friday, 31 July 2009

DVT - The diagnosis

So after yesterday's ordeal I was restless most of the night, worrying about the outcome of the tests. Today started much the same, then I got a telephone call from the DVT nurse explaining that the blood results had returned and that she wanted me to attend a scan to detect for the blood clots. I was given a time of 2-30PM to attend Rugby St. Cross hospital.
I was given a scan on my left leg starting from the groin area right down to the bottom of the calf muscle. The kind and professional scanner operative explained to me very concisely the thigh area was looking quite normal, however when she moved the probe behind my knee area the result was quite significantly different. She concluded that i indeed did have DVT, and needed to be seen by the DVT nurse to treat and explain what required action was next.


At this time, it had not really sunk in. However by the time I had spent the next hour with the DVT nurses I was quite clear on how serious this situation was and is!

I am feeling a little strange at the minute, it is very difficult to explain. Its as though i have something inside me that i have no control over whatsoever, it can decide my destiny as it pleases...
Maybe some may say that its an over reaction to feel that way - to them i say have you ever had blood clots?
I am a reasonable and sane individual, who usually has no problem dealing with life's stresses and strains. This however has shook me, every twinge and pain i experience i think about "what if it is a clot broken off"... I never have been so paranoid in my life... and it terrifying to say the least!
I am trying to keep myself sane by telling myself that this is a relatively common thing to happen and that once diagnosed it is just a case of careful monitoring to speed a recovery.


Either way, things are out of my hands. I am now so glad that the Consultant spotted the DVT when he did or this story may of had a much different ending indeed.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

A day to Forget remember


Today was the day of my follow up appointment with my Consultant to establish how the recovery is progressing and to get an idea as to the length of recovery still required.

For those of you who are lost, this earlier post should explain what I have had done.

So my Wife and I arrived at The University Hospital in Coventry and after spending a little time finding a nearby disabled place to park(I still find this infuriating, why spend nearly £400 million on building a new hospital and have disabled bays so far away from the entrance!)we finally managed to get into the hospital for 2PM.
My appointment was at 2-30PM and so we waited to be called in, at around 3PM I was called to the reception area and told that I would need to go for an xray. I swallowed my frustration at waiting for that long to be told that I now needed an xray!
The nurse told me where to go(literally!) and we made our way to the xray department. On arrival we were told that we would have to walk back to the reception to get a "sticker" to enable me to be seen at the xray department. Now usually i am not one to complain but here I was a 20 stone 35 year old man hobbling around on crutches with a broken leg in agony. I was a little bit annoyed at the seemingly lack of process or communication of processes to patients.
I had my xray and returned to the waiting room to wait some more....

The Appointment
So, I sat with the Consultant and he asked all the usual questions, How you been? Hows the pain been?, Why are you wearing a dress? Oh sorry scratch the last...
He asked me to show him the leg, and he identified an absys area on the scar which he said would need to be "nicked" and drained straight away. Great!
He injected the area with local anesthetic (several times!)and then proceeded to attack the area with a scalpel!

With that job done i got my jeans back on and waited for him to discuss the recovery time with me. My wife then noticed that my jeans were turning a nice shade of Rose....
The wound had started gushing blood through the dressings and my jeans.

The Consultant asked me to take off my jeans again and re-dressed the area with a much bigger dressing.

Anyway, after all the dressing and re-dressing and blood on the floor we finally got to discuss the leg..
Whilst he was re-dressing he noticed the lower leg(calf)was very hard and unusually shaped, he concluded that there is a high risk of DVT which is Deep Vein Thrombosis, this is basically blood clots.
This can be very serious indeed, as in some cases the blood clot can start to travel around the body, ending up heading straight for the heart. once this blood clot hits the heart it can cause a blockage which can cause a heart attack or stroke.

I was sent to the DVT nurse in A&E who had just left for the day so we waited in A&E for a further 2 hours until i was treated with clot busting drugs and sent on my merry way. They will call me tomorrow to organise a body scan to find the clots.

The Joys!!


Anyway I am tired so I am going to bed.....
Here is the Audioboo related to this post
Listen!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Life's little moments

It goes without saying that life has a funny way of kicking you in the arse when your down. whilst I am not going to publicize(at this moment)my reasoning behind that comment I will say this, always trust your instincts.
I have questioned mine for a long time, putting them down to paranoia or over exaggeration, when I should of been listening to them and acting on them.
They are your minds way of telling you something is not right....
Listen!

Oh well, never mind...
Lets see how this one plays out shall we.....

Saturday, 18 July 2009

A positive attitude


I envy those who seem to have such a positive attitude even when things are going wrong in their lives.
How do they manage it?

Any ideas?

Ok, so I suppose I am feeling a tad fed up, have been over the past few days. Just can not seem to shake it.

I am going to make a coffee......

Friday, 17 July 2009

A good feeling


It was Jools Holland's outdoor concert in Rugby tonight and I was due to attend the night but due to my leg operation and the recovery time I have been unable to attend.

That left me with two tickets to the event and a booking for a table and chairs to deal with! I thought about selling them to try and recoup some of the £90 costs, but as it was so short notice i soon ditched that idea.
Instead, i discussed with my wife about who we could possibly give the tickets too, who could do with a great night out no strings attached.
We had several possibilities of friends whom have not had it easy recently and would appreciate a nice night out. In the end we decided on our friends Geoff & Annette, their family have consistently been a rock for us for many years and it was in the end an obvious choice.

It has given us great pleasure to do this for them and we hope they have a fantastic night.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

O2 Update

This is an update to an earlier post located here

Well, I called O2 this morning to be told that the roaming charges had been credited to my account!!

Its over.....

I am so pleased, If that lady had not informed me about the Credit return form I would still be facing a £400 bill!

Please make sure you pass this on to your friends if they find themselves in this situation.



Thank you to that O2 employee who has most definitely saved me so much stress.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Audio is the new Image


Those of you who have used Audioboo will probably agree that it is a useful application which greatly increases the ability to "get your point across" with your Boo being uploaded to the Internet. Your Boo can be updated to Facebook and Twitter also allowing your friends and followers access to your life almost instantly.

Well, there seems to be some competition on the block in the form of ipadio, the distinguishing factors between the two applications is that ipadio allows you to broadcast your "Phlog" as they are calling it directly to the Internet without the need to record and store and publish like Audioboo.
I am not convinced that this new service is in direct competition with Audioboo as they would appeal to different markets, on the one hand the Audioboo massive who love the quality of the recordings and the simple to use Application, and on the other side of the fence the person who wants a quick and useful way to record an event or particular moment in time and publish it immediately.

I have used Audioboo for many months now and I must admit I love the application and the way it has allowed me to get my opinion "out there"! I have a long way to go to utilise the program to its full potential like for example @Documentally does wonderfully, just have a listen to his recent interview with the head of SOCA(Serious Organised Crime Agency).

There is always room for new ideas and technology, and I am sure that ipadio will turn out to be a popular application, just not utilised in the same way as Audioboo.

Original post by Rory Cellan-Jones can be found here

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

O2 Customer service

Those of you who have been following my twitter updates will probably realise that when i returned from France I was landed with a £300 phone bill for roaming charges on my iPhone. This was a great shock to me as I thought I had done my due diligence and purchased a bolt on to avoid such a shock. It turned out that I had been mis-advised by the O2 store employee who either misunderstood my usage or just could not be bothered to advise me correctly.

To cut a very long story short, I ended up heading out to France content in the knowledge that I had "covered my back" from upsetting charges and set about documenting my trip on the many social sites i frequent. On the last day of the trip i received a text from O2 stating that my bill was at present £278! After Ruth(my Wife) had picked me back up from the floor and attended to my head wound, I set about calling O2 to try and get some sense from them.

After numerous calls and visits to the O2 store in question I was informed by the operative that there was nothing they could do about this and as far as they were concerned it was an oversight on my behalf. They informed me I had until September to settle this current bill which with the rental and insurance had increased to £405.

I called customer services today to ask them why I had received a text message informing me that my services would be restricted if I did not pay immediately bearing in mind the last agreement made to pay by September. The lady i spoke with was very accommodating and extremely professional to deal with, she could see by the notes on the account that I had indeed purchased a bolt on to protect from large roaming costs and she proceeded to inform me of a Credit return Form that she was completing on my behalf which should (she hoped) provide me with a credit for the roaming charges I had been billed for. I was astonished at this information as not one other O2 operative had given me any recourse or avenue to appeal the bill in all the previous 5 phone calls disputing this bill!
So, it is with fingers crossed I await the decision that she says should be made by Thursday this week...

I will update you on the outcome.