Archive for Chains Blog

And so 2022

I have, I think it’s fair to say, has a terrible 2021.

I retook the exam I failed and now can say I’m a qualified Project Manager (PFQ PMQ) not that it means much in the long term, or short for that matter. I took a couple of other courses 18th Edition, IOSH and some random stuff, started my OU Engineering course and generally tried to pick up some more skills.

I was set for a long term role on the large Wind farm that failed to materialise and in August found myself back with the same old company working on another remedial campaign, which was cancelled a month after I joined (ho hum).

Looking back at my last post and 2021 in general it shows in my post clearly I was hurting and not in a good place, I used to joke about depression but feeling the icy clutches of it in reality is not nice… I can only hope I can get myself out of this downwards trend I seem set on.

So what about 2022 I hear you ask?

Well the OU course is hard going I’m struggling with mental issues I have never faced before so that’s not got any better, however I have started to walk again on the treadmill and look forwards rather than back. Honestly still having a role is amazing and a big surprise, however that may be ending soon so I shouldn’t shout too loudly from the hill tops.

I’ll try and update this a little more as a way of tracking myself and how I am mentally, but no promises.

I hope everyone who passes this way is doing well and has a great year.

Stay safe folks!

The year is 2021, …the place Earth

So the year started well enough, I looked to be moving to a couple of R&D type supporting roles (of a sort anyway) I had training rebooked. The Pandemic was slowly coming under some sort of control, mainly because of the vaccines and a stupid number of people around the world were not hearing about injecting bleach and stuffing light bulbs up a rectal passage but one of the most powerful (and as it turns out dumb) people in the world.

Come to the end of February and things are not so great, my chances of a plumb role have gone and because I wanted to be honest and helpful I have begun to see my role side-lined and dismantled as those above looked to find ways of staying attached to projects (and earning money).

It came to a head in March when I was expected to sit on front of my computer in case I was required, so I took a week off in March no on missed me so I decided to do a couple more days and then finish up.

During the last 3 years I have had many ups although these have been at the expense of my health and mental well being, even now I find myself struggling and don’t honestly know when I will be *ok*.

To add to the list I failed my first attempt at an exam and got the results back on the worst possible day (although I was not expecting to pass, if I’m totally honest with myself), then sadly Tia had to be put to sleep as she was just struggling so much and it has broken our hearts.

So 2021.. Not so great so far, looking second vaccine dose in the coming week(s), and slowly starting to see some improvements with places opening up again.

I honestly wonder if I will be ok before 2022 arrives, I have filled most of my time between the last contract and not with training and doing stuff to take my mind of things.. But it’s harder than it should be damn it.

Will be looking for another contract come July, along with getting fitter.. 

Welcome to 2021

Who would have thought something I started for a bit of fun would still be updated (even if less frequently) nearly 16 years later?

I thought I would cover come of the things that have changed in all that time, both good and bad.

The Internet – Back in 2005 it was still a new place and was also very basic in places, emails were still new and it would be a few more years before video calling was actually realistic (in 2005 Three UK offered the first trials but it was terrible back then ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Music was just starting to find mainstream streaming options online and Winamp still ruled for streaming your daily dose of Chiptunes. In fact, I’d say 2005 was when it really started to become mainstream, although it would be a fair few years before the main platforms evolved enough and technology offered phones able properly stream MP3’s.

Work – In 2005 I started employed by a company and then broke free and setup on my own, the next few years were very tough but I still think it was the right thing to do. These days I deal with frankly frighteningly large projects, albeit in a very limited way, which would have had me frozen in fear and indecision even a few years ago. I’ve worked on the back deck of Construction vessels in the North Sea in both Oil & Gas and renewables. Slowly I worked my way up from the bottom and then moved sideways again to concentrate on something I felt was a niche area. I guess it was when I was there at the beginning now 16 years later it’s not so much. Recently I have started to transition to another role, but thatโ€™s something I really can’t talk about.

Home – I started 2005 living in Eastbourne, East Sussex.. But as I was working away most of the time I slowly came to the realisation that I was extremely unhappy when I was home because it brought home the changes I had been going through and that people were starting to drift away on their own journeys. The Death of an extremely close friend really had a profound impact on my life and slowly it became clear we needed to move away. Our first stop was Lincolnshire, firstly in Sutton Bridge renting again, then just outside Boston, where we started to find time to reflect on the changes. During this time, I became focused on improving myself and slowly worked through on some plans which we put into motion in 2015 when we moved to Scotland, Aberdeenshire. So now I sit in a lovely house on a hill (it wasn’t when we bought it though poor old Angel was crying most of the first week, the house was that bad). Slowly we have improved the place. Still no swimming pool though ๐Ÿ˜›

Friends – Here I have sadly been terrible, after the events of 2004 I slowly broke away from everyone and hid away. I was just too scared of any more pain. I was and still am not sure how to make new friends or even if I could bare the loss of anyone. So I hide away. To all those who knew me before, sorry but please know it was not anything you did but rather my own personal cowardice that made me run away.

Future – So the future is really open right now, we have been through a terrible year in 2020 with the pandemic and all it has done to countless families and people around the world. I have been lucky with work continuing to be there, even if it has been intense and full on since mid-2019. Going forward I plan on continuing to improve myself and slowly transition to another role, either within the same market or something new. We have 5 years left on our mortgage and once paid up I plan on switching to either a part time consultancy role or starting another business and running it from a higher level leaving the day to day to someone else.

To all those who know me, call or once called me a friend I wish you all the best for 2021. Feel free to reach out and say hi via email chain @ this domain or use the contact form.



Changing mental attitude

Over the years I have swung backwards and forwards between a positive and negative attitude to life and things in general. The last 10 years have been hard with the loss of important people affecting me much more deeply that I could have ever expected.

My attempts and filling the voids left with gadgets and toys has left me feeling even more lost but slowly I have started to clear a path and work on improving myself.

However, the last 3 years have seen my work life balance has hit a road block with a distinct loss of time and a dread when I take time off that things are going wrong. I have delayed my Degree for the last 2 years due to work and feeling unable to commit the require time and resources, which at times has started to frustrate me.

On the plus side I can see our mortgage coming to an end in 4-5 years and the freedom that brings. My hope is to now aim to reduce my work load and shift to a 3-4 months a year role in support of projects, I just need to get the buy in from those looking for my expertise, for what its worth.

When I left the IT sector in 2004 I had a feeling I wasn’t actually contributing or making a difference, I’m getting to that point now with this role although I know thatโ€™s not right on a daily basis I have started to feel my knowledge is not being utilised in the way I would have expected, finding myself in commercial settings more than I would like. I guess thatโ€™s what happens when you grow up.

Me I’d be happy with a low wage and time to play games and do those silly projects I have planned for years, but never had the time to do. Even if I just waste the time at least it is mine to waste then and I will be the one choosing to waste it ๐Ÿ˜‰

In other news I have a CO2 Laser and have been playing with it, it’s only (ha!) a 40w version and I don’t have any air assist for cutting but I’m finding it interesting to play with and have some plans to upgrade certain aspects of it like adding a Raspberry Pi to it releasing my PC from having to be tethered to it for operations.

Covid19 – Yes still having a huge impact I’m still working from home and starting to feel the strain of not being able to meet people and get an idea for what they’re really playing at.. Subterfuge and all that it brings is harder to discern remotely.

I am starting to lose a lot of respect for more and more people as they fall for the stories (and they are stories) on YouTube happy to ignore the facts. I fully expect to go into meetings soon with flat earthers in charge and being told to be ware when we send out vessels they should stay away from the edge of the world. I really wish that was a joke.. ๐Ÿ™

Anyway stay safe out there and please don’t just believe crap om the internet do your own research (and please make sure its a proper research not just some crack pot saying what you want to hear).

How the Internet has changed

So I consider myself to be very lucky in that I have seen some of the rise in digital communications, once they reached a point that was accessible for many anyway.

My adventures started with the Commodore 64 computer and Compunet in the UK, not to be confused with the CompuServe that came sometime after the collapse of Compunet.

So at first we were stuck with 1200/300 speeds that bits per second folks so 1200bps download and 300bps upload and yes I suspect some of you in the middle of nowhere are still stuck that on ADSL ๐Ÿ˜›

My first dealings gave me a feeling of power at my finger tips and the ability to download software was quite frankly amazing for 1986-1989 when I was mainly active.

It would be at least 8-9 more years before the early dial-up companies started to offer these services to a wider audience though AOL and who can forget who kicked it all off in 1999 with their free dial-up access in the evenings and weekends.

Anyway I digress somewhat my main point was at the beginning everything was for the greater good, as with the advent of the Personal Computer in the 70’s and 80’s though the big businesses started to take notice and slowly our freedoms were eroded and replaced by consumer demand. Some even hailed it a great thing as surely more choice is always a good thing.

And yes to a certain extent they were right but slowly the big businesses started to see the opportunities, along with the threats, building their models on human nature and harnessing maybe our weakest point.. Human nature has us looking for more, more of everything and those of use coming from the 70’s and 80’s were struck by the shiny stuff and flashing lights this digital age were offering and signed up with glee to free or limited time offers for gadgets and access to cool sites..

..Step forward 10 years and things have started to show how the internet is now not about freedom but control. No longer can a person look up details on a subject and be sure they are reading fact and not some amazing video put out by a large business to shape our values, fears and ultimately decisions removing our conceived control one tiny step at a time.

So here we all stand with people clearly controlling the narrative and yet they have worked the magic so well people feel it’s ok to check for the facts on something of arsebook or titter. We have as a society slowly, through our own hubris, allowed ourselves to become a slave to the technology that was about to set us free in the 80’s and 90’s.

I weep for the day the printing presses stop and we all use a Kindle with it’s auto update so those with the keys to power can rewrite history in real-time with updates.

How long before this blog is considered illegal for not following the herd and/or political lies.

So.. in closing.. Buy a book look into things before agreeing with your favourite person and have a good hard look at yourself in the mirror.. It’s “ok” to disagree with people, that’s how we as a society have evolved.

I just hope we can break these chains that now bind us to technology and turn it around before it’s too late.