The Year 2002 of the Common Era

14 October 2002
Left Croydon and 05:55 hrs to make the weekly pilgrimage to Harrogate and work. This was the first time in the dark, it was raining and just escaped to the relative safety of the M11 before the M25 came to a complete standstill.

Spent 45 mins in Huntingdon (A14) behind a lorry that had blown its front outside wheel and buried itself into the tarmac and for the first time ever had to pull over in a layby and kip. 10 minutes tho, turned into 50 and I got to work late, but alive I suppose.

15 October 2002
Interestingly after driving up from Croydon in the morning, I forgot to take my cheap grey Samsonite-alike suitcase out of the car when I got to the B&B last night. Running short of time this morning I jumped into a clean pair of grundies and socks from my sports bag and wore yesterdays shirt to work, where I dragged the suitcase out of the car and changed into a clean shirt.

I got a call this afternoon from my landlord. Apparently there had been a pipe burst in the floor above mine and my room was now wetter than the rain soaked streets of Harrogate. Everything was dripping and he wanted me to go back and dig out the clothes I needed for work the next day. He would wash them. Cursing my bad luck I stepped back and walked into my suitcase!

I paid a visit to my solicitor today and signed away any objection I might of had to my wife divorcing me, not that I had any say in the matter.

17 October 2002
There's a 20yr old University student working in the same office as me. He's on his year out, and on this afternoon, happened to find himself working opposite me. Roughly halfway through the afternoon he looked up puzzled by something he was working on. He asked the office in general whether anyone knew how to use DOS. I suddenly felt very old!

16 October 2002
England drew 2-2 against Macedonia but it felt like a loss. Seaman probably played one of his last games for England.
Good skillz to Wales, 1-2 in Italy, cant think of much else to say, I'd probably just mumbles.

19-20 October 2002
Had some bad news, did ma washin, watched some football, thought a lot about the bad news, watched 'Mike Bassett, England Manager' on DVD. Review coming sooon.

21 October 2002
Working in Bramshill, Hants this week. Drove down from Suffolk at 8am, about 2 hrs after I should have left and endured a rain lashed journey during which I passed 5 burnt out cars in a 5 mile stretch post Newmarket to the A11 turnoff on the westbound A14 and saw my driving side wiper wrap itself around my outside wing mirror, while doing '70' on the outdside. After some 15 miles of peering through the passenger side of my windscreen I managed to find a garage with a rover sized spanner to tighten a loose wiper nut!

During the journey I heard about some poor bird that turned up for her VIRGIN flight from Heathrow to LAX, only to find that the fat bird sitting in the next seat was also taking up half her seat. An un-sympathetic cabin staff couldnt find her another seat and 11 hours, one blood clot in the chest and a number of torn ligaments later she arrived in LA to be rushed into hospital. Virgin just paid 13,000BP in compensation. Doesnt sound like much to me, considering. Interesting to find that in the PC America, the home of the obese that they have no qualms about chargin the big and rotund for two seats, yet in the UK, you get to sweat it out, no way amigo, you only get half a seat, DEMAND BUSINESS!, be strong!!

23 October 2002
As I was in the area thought I would go and pay the wrinklies a visit and enjoy the wounders of home cooked food. Food was excellent and sitting around the table talking to ma and pa after the grub found myself pondering the fact that 'my dad' had liverspots on his hand, while simultaneously woundering how they seemed to have so much energy, almost frisky perish the thought. These two older versions of me and my sister wanted to know whether the AOL CD they had received in the post played music and questioned on how much of a risk they would be from poaching if they had a computer. I was reminded of the kids in the 'for grown up advice' advertisement. I wonder how long they had held onto the CD waiting to find out. You gotta love'em.

25 October 2002
Left Bramshill Hook about 16:00hrs Friday afternoon, headed north up the M3, clockwise round the M25 and once more north on the M11 to the A14. Sounds simple but I averaged 28mph (44kmh) for the first 3 hours on motorways! Finally completing the 156 mile journey in 4hrs 20mins after which I spent the rest of the evening recovering with my friend Kronenberg.

27 October 2002
I started and finished Roy Keane's autobiography this week, watch out for the review in a new section for book reviews; 'The Word'..

Watched two stand-out movies this weekend on Sky. The first; Roadtrip which I had seen about 5 times before. A real funny movie that hits all the right buttons (mine at least). The other was 'Judgement Night' which I had never heard of before, and at 2am had little in the way of expectations. Four friends mistakenly end up in gangland, witness a murder and get hunted down. Similar in concept to 'Warriors' this was an atmospheric movie backed by good acting and excellent drama. Made in 1993 and headed by some well known names; Emilio Estevez, Cuba Gooding jr, Stephen Dorff and Dennis Leary. Highly recommended.

31 October 2002
Like little bug eyed, greedy children the premiership owners have decided they need more of the FA’s candy, and apparently, having started throwing toys out of their insular little cot’s, the venerable Crozier screwed the cap tightly back on the sweetie jar.

These spoilt little children, who have already squandered the goodies they had accumulated by their own endeavor’s then complained to the headmaster, who in an extraordinary turn of events forced Crozier to resign and gave the children the key to the candy cupboard.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out what happens next.

5 November 2002
This is the week that an over the hill bird touting 19 year old hearsay caused a man called Leslie to lose his job, a man called Angus lost his job for sleeping with two prostitutes (apparently the unacceptable part being that it was at the same time) and failed to deny that he had taken cocaine, Albanian gangsters attempting to kidnap Posh and were foiled by an undercover News of the World reporter, I wounder where the Albanians came up with the idea for that one! the FA pressed the self destruct button on the premiership and Peterborough FC and Mrs Beckham have just locked swords over who has the right to patent the phrase 'Posh'. Funny old world.

8 November 2002
Forgive me for being a little naive but didn't Paul Burrell say he would take his secrets to the grave?

10 November 2002
How fast a week passes. One minute your exultantly uploading your first Flash samples and before you know it a week has passed and you have nothing more to show for your digital toils. This is mostly down to the fact that I didn't toil to any great extent in the digital domain. Instead I spent the weekend ripping out my kitchen, the shell of which now throws my voice back at me whenever I swear at it. The plan this weekend is to clean it down and plug up the holes (of which there are many).

Watched the DVD 'The Fast and the Furious' on sunday night on my up for it audio system using DTS. Dodgy story but groovy characters, stunning audio and a car doing a wheely more than make up for it. Superb.

17 November 2002
Had a really nice relaxing weekend doing stuff I wanted to and nothing I should have been doing. Noteably after watching xXx Thursday I spent saturday daytime writing the review. I then sat down Saturday night at 8PM and inserted the first of four discs that came with 'Lord of the Rings' special addition. Some 10 hours later my eyes started failing me, in particular the eyelids which most dissapointingly kept dropping.

Am not sure whether I will write a review (but I probably will) because I doubt I could do this DVD presentation or movie justice.

If you own a DVD buy Lord of the Rings now. Its one of the best movies ever made, certainly the best DVD I own and suspect I will rush out and watch any movie that has any member of the Rings crew listed in the credits. How they managed to find so many Kiwi's that were just so outstandingly talented and driven beggers belief. Incredible stuff!

20 November 2002
Went out and brought the Lord of the Rings trilogy today (book), which I have never read but have been inspired to read by Mr. Jackson and co. I also brought the Hobbit which is supposed to be essential reading before embarking on the Lord of the Rings. I couldnt find the Hobbit and first until it was explained to me that the Hobbit is classed as a childrens book and therefore in the kids section. Subconsciously tried to look like I was buying it for someone else a lot junior than me but then thought what the hell, adults are reading Harry all the time. I plan on starting the Hobbit tonight

22 November 2002
Spent the day working at home which was very nice and with Kylie shaking my little speakers the keys of my keyboard fairly danced, only stopping occassionally as I would drift into a reverie that involved Ms. Minogue, lots of oil and little old me.

24 November 2002
Mmmnnn! I seem to be addicted to the Lord of the Rings, spent an awfull lot of time over the weekend watching everything there was to watch and listen to on the 4xDVD box set (which is a lot) again. Didnt do much in the kitchen (apart from make coffee and toast!) and didnt even watch any football!! (apart from the ManU game).

25 November 2002
Went to London today (Monday) on the train for a meeting. Of course the train I wanted to catch (Ipswich) was delayed. Eventually got to Liverpool St. and from here I jumped on the district line tube; westbound, as I was going to Victoria. Ended up going east the wrong way round London. Had to jump off and on the tube going the other way, heading back for Liverpool St. When I finally got to the first station past Liv. St. I had been on the tube for 20 minutes. Finally got to Pimlico and the meeting, stressed and not for the first time cursing the English establishment.

Despite what they would have you believe its quicker for me to drive 210 miles from Suffolk to Harrogate (North Yorkshire) than it is to catch a train 75 miles into London. To think I used to do this every day!

Got through a lot of the Hobbit while sitting on the train though, I'm upto the bit where Bilbo finds the ring and Gollum goes looking for him in the Goblin mountain.

30 November 2002
So another month bites the dust. White Rabbits. I watched Star Wars - Attack of the Clones last night (first time) as the DVD finally arrived from Amazon. Definately an improvement over no.1 in that Binks is on screen for just a few moments but really took a nose dive in creating a movie that has its design firmly rooted in 'MTV' culture.

I know that I was a nipper when I saw Star Wars and that he is catering for modern nippers but in doing so he is creating ordinary movies. I'm going to watch it again tonight just in case I'm being prejudice

Tuesday 3 December 2002
Having slept for about 2 hours Monday night (tuesday morning), all I wanted to do was crash in front of the box tonight and put the brain in neutral.

Unfortunately there were three birds staying in the B&B as well (not the sort you'd trip over each other to talk to either)!

They managed to infiltrate and take over the living room before either me or Brian, as a result the remote had been taken hostage, the witches!

So not really wanting to spend the night prowling the crisply chill Yorkshire streets for a bar with the footy on, tucked myself away in my room, and tried to get to grips with the Star Wars Attack of the Clones review. Turned on the T.V. and what should come on, but Star Wars Phantom Menace, which has to be one of my most despised movies of all time, and thats in a long line of most despised movies.

I dont know whether it was because I wasnt concentrating on it or because it was edited for TV, but I actually enjoyed it, even finding myself laughing at one of Jar Jar's capers before getting a grip and coming to my senses. Didn't finish the AOTC review, sadly.

Wednesday 4 December 2002
Ummn ... well, I havent had much of a life these past few days outside of the digital realm. Since Saturday night its been full on web-design in one form or another, outside of work. Which all sounds really sad but once I started on the calender, everything that had frustrated me over the last few weeks with hotspots, rollover images, buttons and sizeable pop-up browsers has just clicked into place (with a little help).

Saturday 7 December 2002
Hired out 'Scorpion King' and 'D-Tox' on DVD. Got home and found that 'Scorpion' actually contained 'The Count of Monte Cristo', which could possibly be the movie I have always needed to watch, but it wasnt what I wanted to watch, 'D-Tox' it was.

It is sad that Stallone's movie's now seem to pass by with hardly a ripple of the cinematic pond, but I still keep faith, mostly. I was surprised to find 'D-Tox' a well crafted thriller come who dunnit' that managed to include elements of 'The Thing', 'Seven' and a whole host of Agatha Christie story-lines but just fell short of being a must have DVD, although the clever casting did have you second guessing the baddie. Worth a watch.

Wendesday 11 December 2002
Mnnn, got back from Bramshill last night and went out for a meal and few jar's knowing that there would be no work the next day as I was expecting the delivery of my shiny new Dell Inspiron 8200 Notebook.

Was up at 7(am) the morning, in-case they arrived early and in the back of my mind was hoping to get the computer delivered, copy some files, chuck some CD's in the bag and head off to Harrogate in time for the first in a number of Christmas bashes.

Of course I toiled about the house during the day and by 17:00hrs there was still no sign and was resigned to not getting my fill of free drinks from my agency in Harrogate.

18:00hrs passed and still NO computer despite having confirmed with the couriers that I would be in and waiting on wednesday. 18:00hrs! I went to the couriers web-site to check whether it was actually out for delivery. To my astonishment my order was marked as closed and delivery status was DELIVERED!

A potential realisation dawned on me and I trotted next door. Sure enough my notebook and been delivered the day before, a day early and had been sitting all day about 10 yards away.

Saturday 14 December 2002
Isnt the new Budweiser advert which see's a bird spending hours looking through hundreds of cards to find the right one while the bloke picks up the first one he see's with 'love' written on the front while buying a six-pack ... just so Trrruuue!!

Spent the day moving computers and equipment around for maximum benefit to the Potters interface with i8200. My notebook(i8200) now sits regally atop its docking station, with my 15" monitor connected serving as the second screen to the amazing 1600x1200 15" ultra LCD screen of the notebook. Once I had plugged in my cordless and totally funky looking keyboard and mouse (and struggled to get them to connect) I was on the verge of falling over with euphoric dizzines.

Watched the Scorpion King the night. Quite enjoyed it. Its written and produced by Stephen Sommers who wrote and directed both Mummy movies, His quality and humour shines through in presenting 100 minutes or so of entertainment that with tongue firmly in cheek manages to mix WWF and The Mummy Returns. Not as good as either Mummy movies but some genuine quality moments.

Wednesday 18 December 2002
Its the christmas party tonight and having judiciously remembered my digital camera for the end of night red eye shots, I quickly tested the camera across the frost laiden dales this morning. Of course up popped the handy little red battery indicator seconds before the realisation that the battery charger was sitting some 210 miles south-east of my present location. Technology!

I made the journey into Harrogate at lunchtime to find a Jessops and a battery charger, during which I decided that the AC charger would be a much better idea, because I could keep the battery in the camera and just take the power pack in my bag. Not a lot different than having to remember the charger I suppose but I had my 'logic' hat on while the 'practical' one was obviously sitting a long way away. So suitably lighter to the tune of 34quid but with the AC adapter in my hot little hands, I plugged it all in at work and as I popped out the old battery the salesmans words echoed in my mind 'and here's the dummy battery'. Hadnt registered at the time of course, but realisation was dawning, as it invariably does after the fact.

I now found myself with a means to take pictures at any time without the need for my battery charger as long as I was happy to trail around an ac adaptor connected to the mains and about 10ft of cable. The battery was of course a dummy and just something to plug the adapter into with no ability to function unless hooked to the mains, I really thought it was another means to charge a battery that stayed permanently in your camera. :( There you go, Potter your a worry.

Christmas Eve 2002
After leaving work on the Friday and spending most of the weekend drinking and watching football in the company of various, I drove down to Pompey on Christmas Eve.

Me being me, I left about 10 hours after I had intended due to a hangover from hell and a tongue that could have smoothed the edges on oak. Of course I only realised the car was literally on empty when I reversed out of the drive and could I find an open garage anywhere in Ipswich 8PM, 24th December, could I 'ell as like!

Was starting to get really worried and contemplate the evening in the car on the A12 with not even any fuel to keep me warm when I decided to go back into the city centre, good old Shell.

Got down to Pompey in record time as everyone else was probably down the pub and met up with old Jim in his local.

Christmas Day 2002
Was spent in Jims local and a few other places. Was the same old same, lots of people out, being nice to other people that they wouldn't have the time of day for 364 times a year. Endured christmas editions of Emmerdale and Corrie which left me feeling pale and disorientated. Felt a little better after a few whiskey's and 'The Mummy returns (DVD)'.

Boxing Day 2002
Was round the wrinklies for some lovely home grub and one of my dads famous slide shows. Has been about 10 years since I last saw them (the slides) so was quite interesting, and always good to hear the old fella talk with considerable fondness for his days in the Navy.

Mum was mum, always got a cuppa and a plate of food to hand just in case the weeks worth of turkey and roast tatties I just ate hadn't been enough!

27 December 2002
I was off to Croydon to meet with a good friend for some interlectual conversation (she does most of the talking), Italian food and DVD come clothes shopping. She was working so had the afternoon to myself. Cool, actually brought some clothes and a bunch of DVD Special Editions.

Conversation was excellent, food was good.

28 December 2002
In the car once more and off to Birmingham to meet up with my best mate, talk nonsense, buy some more DVD's, meet up with another good mate, talk some more nonsense and all go to the cinema for another round of 'Two Towers' followed by a late night currie. Fantastic.

29 December 2002
Back on the road late evening, but this time, its the A14 and heading east to Ipswich. Home Sweet Home.

30 December 2002
Played pool all afternoon and drank to much.

31 December 2002
Woke up sneezing and feeling like the end of the world had been and gone and was on its way back again.

By 8PM I was tucked up in bed with a bottle of red wine watching DVD's feeling very sorry for myself, couldnt be bothered to go out and was asleep by 11PM, although I woke up about 5 times during the night to sneeze and make lots of sniffing and ouugghh noises.

New Years Day 2003
Have given up alcohol for a month and vowed to a healthier diet. Happy New Year.