Tag Archives: fear

One born every minute

Multiblade electric razor sharpeners… and now this…

Dettol have come up with an automatic hand soap dispenser!

Selling to idiots I feel….

The advert shows people getting dirty hands & then TRANSFERING THOSE GERMS (dust mite debris, pet dander, pollen particals etc) TO THE TOP OF THE OLD MANUAL HAND PUMPED DISPENSER!!!!!


Erm…. So what?

Once you’ve pumped soap you don’t touch the top again…do you?

Pump, wash, dry?


Am I missing something?

Do people pump soap & wash their hands… then rub their hands over the pump again before performing surgery on babies brains or before preparing blowfish sushi on a Dettol clean kitchen floor for people with gastric problems?

I understand having taps that you don’t touch, after all you have to turn those off after washing – but an automatic hands free soap pump?

Suckers will buy this for sure.


Spider, man!

As you may well know, spiders have never been my strong point.

Only 2 years ago I’d torch the buggers with a hairspray can and lighter, rather than go near it.

A year ago I managed to catch one in a glass and let it loose outside… It got to a point where I could catch it and let it go AS LONG as it didn’t move during the process… if it moved, the pint glass was turned rapidly upside down and the spider became bigger, flatter….deader.

I had to overcome this fear though – or else little Alex would fear spiders too… and that wouldn’t be a fair thing for me to pass on.

A year ago at my last job I encountered a weird spider outside of my office window… I observed, contacted the Natural History Museum and found out it was a very rare sight for a human to see. It was some kind of woodland night time spider. Big thing – bit like a garden spider, but in a leather jacket with a skull on the back. In fact this thing did have a skull like pattern on the back!

Anyway, this rare spider had young un’s…. One got into the office. It was tiny only 1mm across… and each day I decided to pick it up to try and out grow my fear. It got bigger (only about 1cm across) before it vanished… but it was a start for me.

Then a few weeks ago a reasonable sized house spider caught me off guard in the bathroom. The only thing I could do was scoop it up by hand… EEEP!

That was it though – Once I held it I realised the fear was on the way out. It was just a spider! It was a bit like getting into a cold swimming pool! The initial touch was chilling… but within moments it was walking over my hand and I was not too freaked!

Then a few weeks later I caught a slightly bigger one in a glass… took it outside… then tipped the glass onto my hand and let it run around a bit. Once more gaining confidence!

Then tonight…. I heard thumping on the kitchen ceiling as this brute walked across it. Too big for even me! I took a pint glass and card and caught it… took it outside… and just figured I’d do it… no time to think….

I figure I’m pretty well on my way to beating the fear! This thing was huge and had weight to it!!!

I even managed to keep it entertained whilst I called Chris on my mobile…. She answered from safe in the house… I asked her to bring my camera out and leave it on the doorstep so I could get some pictures!





More pictures HERE

Assume nothing ~ Change it up

There are not many people who have had a great influence on me (besides teachers and instructors of course!), on how I am and the way I view things – as a person in myself and my career. The few that have had a fundamental influence are worth mentioning (especially in these troubled times).

Firstly, my Dad. He was a Scientist, Engineer and before retiring to run a private consultancy, he was Head of the Royal Aircraft Establishments Accident Section. Not only did I look up to him as my father, but as a role model and engineer. I was lucky enough that he was my Dad and Hero all in one.

He had a motto that has stuck with me:


Although he used this in his wreckage analysis role, it is also worth thinking about in other situations – e.g: World financial crisis/radiation leaks from Japan’s tsunami aftermath/continued wars – people are getting worried (as am I), but mostly they are worried about “What ifs“.

Yes, things might get better or worse BUT there is no point worrying about these things, or pinning hopes on things that haven’t materialised yet – that would be irrational, as no-one knows the future. You can’t assume the worse or best case, you can only be as prepared as you can be.

Why fret over things that have not happened? You are suffering fear of nothing!



There is a litany to fear written by Frank Herbert (Dune 1965):

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Fear feeds on itself and starts to play with your mind and perception, which is why you should ASSUME NOTHING – JUST BE CERTAIN. Although I like this litany, I would change the last two lines. I believe that if you are going through difficulties – or just strolling through life, then you should leave gained knowledge and wisdom in your path. You need to learn from your actions, not just blindly go through life. As such, Herbert’s litany would be changed to the following for me:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be wisdom.
And I will be stronger.

Okay – so that tells me “Why worry?” – Find out the facts first, get tangible information, then you have something to deal with – but what should you do to get the facts? How do you find out where you are?

rollinsHenry Rollins holds the answer. I had an email conversation with him several years back, and then a brief chat in the flesh after a gig. I had just lost a friend – a guy who was more like a brother to me than just a friend (I am still very close to his family – I see them as an extension of my family in a way). My friend passed away in his early 20’s – just days after saying he’s be my best man. I was beside myself and had no idea what to do. I knew Rollins had lost a best friend when he was young, so I sent him an email – I didn’t think he’d reply, but I had written done some of my thoughts and questions, and that was a therapy in itself.

Rollins did reply – and his response was both one of compassion and in true Rollins spirit, a big dose of “Suck it up”.

His response was very similar to the Billy Connolly statement:

The cemetery is full of people who would love your problems

Rollins basically said that I still have my life, so I should live it, as I was still able to – sure I should remember my friend, but don’t get sucked down and dwell on the bad stuff.

Wise words indeed -and later whilst listening to his song “Change It Up” I picked out another fine view to live by…

You say your job is a pain
It’s pulling you down the drain
I think you’d rather complain
Than quit it

Now the words in this verse are about a job, but they work in all situations. People would rather complain about things dragging them down, or how unlucky they are and how shitty life is… but what are they doing about it? I say you only have a right to complain IF you are bothering to do something about your situation.

Don’t whine about your job, and then go in day after day and do nothing about it. If you are looking to get a new job, if you are really trying to better your situation, then sure, you have the right vent now and then. It’s the same with anything in life – If you aren’t trying to progress the situation, then don’t moan about it.

This old phrase comes to mind:

If you aren’t part of the solution, then you are part of the problem

Got a problem, then shut up or sort it out.

Okay… that’s the main ingredients building up for a way to approach these tricky times, Hell, in any times…

Assume nothing, just be certain: Don’t get wound up if you don’t know all the facts.

If you know all the facts, still don’t get wound up – there are many people who would love to swap their problems with yours.

Don’t moan and complain once you have the facts – just get out there and do something about the situation. Get reactive – get proactive – just get active.

If you find yourself neither going backwards or forwards, then you fall into another category all together. The phrase my late, great friend Ryan Brown used to use was this:

“If you ain’t making waves ~ you ain’t kicking hard enough…”

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