Sunday, 10 July 2011


OK, after a number of serious posts here's something more fun (for me anyway...)

A few more of my choice shots from the MotoGP in Assen.  Not always perfectly sharp, and I have played with the saturation and brightness in some cases (maybe for the worse...  I was playing and experimenting!).  Without fail they have been clipped though to make (what I think) is the best of the framing.

I hope they bring the excitement of the day across as much as they bring it back to me!

Dovi after the race (unprocessed)

Close up of the above shot to see his eyes

Jorge during the race, with damage from the crash with Simo, very slightly processed
Rossi going past Hayden, rotated but otherwise untouched
Rossi going past Hayden a second or so later, a little processed - but not much

Rossi going past Edwards (IIRC) I don't think I have to say if this one has been processed!

And end with Simo, complete with flapping bits at the back from his accident.  Again, a little processed but not much

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Well I guess I don’t need to worry about that then…

This week we decided to change our internet provider, we have just had a glass fibre connection installed and so we started to look at options.  Strangely enough at the moment getting a connection via that is not the best option – but as it was free fitting now, or 400 in the future we thought that there was no point in turning it down.

So earlier in the week we put the order in with the cable provider – TV, phone and internet for less than we are paying at the moment, cheaper calls and on top of that supremely quick connection (120mpbs down and 10 up – fibre would have given us a balanced 50mbps connection for the same money).

We never received a confirmation letter saying that we had our installation date and so I decided to call today, and also to our current provider to see what we can do to cancel the current internet provider but not lose the email that we have had for the last 7 years.

I called the current provider first.  Told her who I was and gave her the information to pull me details up – where she can see the ‘m’ marker and my name.  Still got Mrs the whole time…

After that I called the cable provider to see what had happened with our order.  Here I was very happy, but it was also quite bad customer service - only the situation making it acceptable.

This is something a little official, and Stacy is not yet official so when she called me madam I correct her.  ‘Oh, OK sir’. She told me that the order was lost in the system (not a great start to find out that the web order has disappeared into the ether) and that we would have to put the order in a second time.  ‘So Madam, which package did you want?’  I didn’t correct her a second time and she never switched back from Madam.

So…  Happy because even when I corrected her she still insisted on calling me Madam – as Mrs Stace said afterwards ‘Yes, that is going to annoy you isn’t it?’  Dripping in sarcasm obviously… But what did annoy me was that she didn’t listen when I corrected her.  It’s fine that I am over the moon with it; but I know that the rest of my colleagues would be much less than impressed to have been ignored.

But let’s focus on the good side, if the phone is the hardest test for the voice on the phone then I don’t think I need to worry.  I’ll have to take that up with my therapist – should I still go to a voice coach to improve it?  Or if the voice is taken as female on the phone should I live with what I have and not have to change another part of me?  Is it going to be an issue for those who know him to have the voice that they put with him as her? I do know that people who know me in person say that they can’t hear a woman when I speak.

I know that my other therapist (Mrs Stace thinks I’m greedy in having two) was saying in my last session that my voice and my Adams apple were no barrier, and that when I speak it’s not giving me away at all…

Something to think about….

Friday, 8 July 2011

A day later, a slightly different world

(Apologies to Jenny - this is basically an expanded version of the mail I sent to you yesterday...)

As I posted yesterday I met with my boss, my ex-boss and the woman from HR.  It was something that scared me immensely - almost as much as telling family in fact.  I guess that having an income and a job I really enjoy is also really important...

I spent most of the day wanting to be sick and struggling to concentrate on my work (and either the cold is making a comeback or the stress has started to really get into my throat).  The throat is still there, and I am shattered - whether it is as a result of the stress or an actual cold I am not sure...

I got changed after work, something that took more time than normal - as it was hot and I was stressed things did not go quite as they should.  But after spending too long, and using too much hair spray, my hair was something approaching what it should be.  I know I sound really vain, but having good hair and make-up gives such a massive boost to my confidence still. I wonder when I won't need it as much and I can be up and out in a similar time to Mrs Stace in the mornings (she takes less time than me as him, let alone Stacy and still looks amazing!)

Then when I left I found out that there was a vehicle fire on the motorway and I needed to take a back road detour - what can I say thank god for a friend who pointed me in the right direction to start with and the SatNav which took me the rest of the way.

I got there, went inside and got the table that I had reserved and sat to wait - I have to say it was so great to walk into a place and say 'Hi, I have a table reserved for four people, in the name of Stacy'; and to get no strange looks at the same time it was a bit of icing on the cake.  It wasn't long before my ex boss turned up, he is on vacation today (he leaves for Italy tomorrow) but wanted to come to the meeting as well, after all he has been involved in this now for nearly 18 months.

He commented that it was a little strange in that we have known each other for more than 5 years and it was still me, but it was also meeting me for the first time.  We got chatting about various things when the HR woman turned up.  "You look so different than the image I have in my head, and I mean that in the best possible way!"  I'll take that as a compliment.  I know that she was concerned about meeting me, I had kind of assumed that was going to be part of the problem - the other being that there was no agenda or real aim for the meeting besides introducing Stacy to them.  She did say that she knew I had told her that I was not a drag queen, but a more out there image was still making its way into her head.  I won't blame her for that.

My current boss was late, something last minute happened in the office so he was a few mins late leaving.  He got there, and basically said the same as the HR woman.

We discussed plans for the new year (the point that I expect to transition) and where we expected the problems to come from.  We are an open company, and I think that it will not be a problem per say, but you never know.

As my boss said, the company is responsible for my well-being in the office and obviously they will make sure that I do not suffer any crap from anyone (not his wording, but close enough).  His concern is from people within my team - where the same rule applies obviously - should someone not take kindly to it and refuse to be led by me.  They will be told in no uncertain terms should that happen - but it's not good for my standing as team lead for someone to have to step in.  Hopefully it will not come to that.

At this point I got a wonderful compliment from the HR woman.  In the week between the company being told and me returning to work there are likely to be many discussions (obviously) but seeing as how I look she doesn’t expect any the moment I return to work.  That was very nice to hear, from both view points.

We discussed how to let the full management team know, and how we should tackle it.  Whether to tell them a day before it goes public - or whether to tell them before hand.  Or tell them with the rest of the company.  I think that I am going to take this up with my therapist as I really am not sure.  I do not expect any issues from them though.

The HR woman also asked who did my hair and make up now.  I said that I did everything myself (except cutting it obviously) - 'Wow, oh well done - you do a great job!'  I think I may have been smiling at that point.

After that it was more a discussion about this that and the other.  All in all a nice couple of hours spent in what would be the equivalent of an beer garden in England overlooking the Dutch countryside.

On the way home I was stuck in the traffic jam caused by the lorry fire earlier in the day - it had completely burnt out and damaged the asphalt, so they had to close down most of the motorway and it caused a 8km 1 hour traffic jam.  Whilst I was stuck I called my parents and had a quick chat.  My mum was happy with how everything went and asked me an interesting question.  Given what everyone who has met Stacy has said, at what point am I going to believe it and stop stressing before going out???

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Gulp, stress

I am a couple of hours from meeting my boss and the woman from HR as Stace for the first time.

Trying to concentrate on coding is not going well...