Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Just delete half of it..."

Where have I been? Well, improvements to Facebook and the existence of Twitter continues to kill off my blogging - which can only be a good thing for you masochists who continue to read it.

Anyway, to the subject at hand. Work, as always, is variable in terms of how much its enjoyable. Recently I was in annoyed, dumb struck and amused in equal parts but as time passes I find it funnier and funnier.

One of the side effects of being on the same project for 4 years is that, despite any efforts to the contrary, you learn things. Some of you more naive people may consider this a good thing, but you're clearly idiots. When you know things, people ask you things and people asking you things leads to people asking you to do things. This can never end well.

I'm cursed with a brain that insists on learning things without my knowledge, at points where I am very clearly not paying attention it can't stop fidgeting and picking useful things up. It's incredibly distressing. When I think that I am focussing on cakes or wombles, I am in fact learning about the finer points of something work related.

As a result of this unfortunate situation and some people leaving the project, I've been asked to deliver some training relating to the project to various people. I was given the material to update and change as necessary, there's quite a lot of it as it's an all-day session. Or at least it was.

I was told a couple of days ago that it is now '4 hours including a morning break and a lunch break'. Now, at this point I had already removed some sections that were out of date or unnecessary but also that we had to add a section to cope with some new developments. This is a new presentation for me, with new materials.

After being told of the time frame, I approached my manager so that he could impart some pearls of managerial wisdom. I explained how the material currently runs at between 5 and 8 hours, depending on how many questions get asked along the way (usually a lot). If we remove the lunch hour, and the break that leaves me between 2.5 and 3 hours to deliver this training. Even conservatively speaking, that cuts the time in half. It was at this point that I was given the best advice I have ever heard, delivered completely seriously.

"just delete half of it"

And that was it.

I'm not going to go into the difficulties presented, the complexities of what it is I am explaining or how 'Just deleting half of it' is going to be challenging to say the least. All of that is irrelevant.

I'm going to become a motivational speaker, I'm going to have t-shirts printed up with the phrase "Just delete half of it..." on the front. I'm going to run seminars. I'll come on stage with the Britney mic, to the tune of 'Don't Stop Believin'' by Journey.

"In a bad relationship?! - Just Delete half of it!"
"Don't like your job?! - Just Delete Half of it!"

An auditorium full of desperate fuckwits chanting 'just delete half of it!"

The day will be scheduled to run between 9am and 5:30pm but I'll fuck off with the money at lunchtime.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Go here, now. Buy something

Artist & Comedian - Okse.

Check out his artwork here

Also check out Okse on youtube, watch some of his speed painting. Then check out his stand up. Local to Leamington Spa if you're in the area ;).

That is all.

Let's start with something light...

So I've not been on here for a while, I can't even claim it's because I've been that busy! Luckily, it's only Paddy who reads regularly so it's not too bad!

I should probably start with something important like the reduction in quality of Rocket lollies, but instead I have to look at 2 subjects - the NHS and Lockerbie man. Lets start with the NHS debate shall we?

There's a cultural difference and one which I will never grasp. From the outside looking in - and I will admit I don't know the intricacies pf the American system - it seems that nothing embodies the phrase 'All men are created equal, but some are more equal than others' like the American healthcare system. If you're poor, have a pre-existing condition, are unemployed or have one of the many other reasons the 40 million who don't have insurance, then essentially you die.

I know people who would be dead if they lived in America, we all probably do. As I say, it's a cultural thing and one which I will never grasp. Here, the Police are just there, the Fire Brigade are just there and if you get serioulsy ill you go to hospital and they (hopefully) fix you. I don't understand how providing a system that protects your populace from disease and injury is any different to providing protection from crime, from fire or from a foreign invader. I'm no doubt missing some of the intricacies of the system, just like the American right missed that Stephen Hawking is in fact British and our doctors don't kill disabled babies and people over the age of 60.

And on to Lockerbie.

As part of the ceremonies of Yom Kippur a goat was sent into the dessert to die. The idea being that the goat carried with it all of the sins of the participants. Everyone focusses their energy on the goat, a perfectly innocent creature who's only crime was being a goat and going about it's goaty business, eating things that it shouldn't and whatnot.

Rather than addressing the sins, everyone thinks only of the scapegoat and how it carries all of the sins away into the dessert, they want the goat to die because then the sins die with it and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that all of our righteous fury has poured onto the sinful goat and it has got its just rewards.

And that's Kenny MacAskill. The rightness or wrongness of the decision is being discussed by cleverer people than me and theories abound. One thing is for certain, as usual we are all shouting at the goat instead of the guys sending it into the dessert.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Open letter to gym-dwellers


How are you doing? Yeah, that's it - you guys in the corner. Yeah the ones who camp out, seemingly permanently, at the free-weights bit of the gym. Seriously, tear your eyes away from the mirror for a moment, I have a little request.

I totally get that you're all ripped and whatnot, and the only way for you to maintain that 'bee sting allergy' look you've got going on is to live in the gym. That's fine. I don't even mind that the 20 minutes that I spend in that particular part of the gym seems to be an affront to you. Honestly, it's fine - I'm looking in the mirror whilst I do exercises, and watching an unfit man trying to get fit is not a pretty sight.

The only thing I have a problem with, and it's only a few of you, is that hoarding thing you do with the dumbells. Seriously, I'm flexible - I'm quite happy to go a bit heavier or a bit lighter if what I need is unavailable but surrounding yourself with every weight from 4KG to 18KG..... Only Vishnu and Ganesha need that many weights!

Even this would be no trouble for me if, when I come over and ask if you are done with a particular weight thats been sat at your feet for 10 minutes, you didn't look at me as if I was forcing you to eat your first born. I'll be 5 mintues, I promise I won't run away with it.

No of course I won't say this to your face! I'll politely go about my business. I lack humility and I lack shame, I do not lack the desire to keep my insides on the inside.

More on less sleep..

With the sleep patterns come odd dreams. Please spare me any amateur psychology here. So my dreams are generally pretty crappy anyway, this one was just weird. It went on for a while, but I'll give you the punchlines without the bizarre lead up. I was, apparently, working for the Pope. Along with a guy I worked with over 10 years ago called Mark - he seemed to be some kind of chief fixer/Popey Henchperson. Clive, a guy I know from home was there - more on his role shortly, finally there was a guy called Evan - a guy I know from more recent work stuff. His job appeared to be to sneer and look smug, something he did to great effect.

Anyway, basically I was framed by my colleagues and fired by the pope - oh, in case you didn't know - there are apparently sub-popes - I saw 3 different stand-ins during the course of the dream, in this regard (I was patiently told) he is much like Santa. So anyay, Clive nicked the only evidence that would save my bacon - an FM transmitter for an iPod (I have NO idea). It turns out the whole thing was orchestrated by Mark in some devious plan without apparent purpose. A result of this whole episode was a cackling pope and me inexplicably having to hand my car over. It was all very strange, then I woke up.

It's going to be even more fun when I hit the nicotine patches, they give you proper Salvadore Dhali dreams.

Bodyclocks, 4 for a fiver

You remember those Casio digital watches? They were the height of sophistication when I was little*, and if you had one with a calculator on it - you were basically a moon child from beyond the stars who would shoot lasers from the eyes.

This was the case for about 2-3 weeks, until other companies realised that they could make cheap knock-offs and sell them at a fraction of the price. Then people like Casio reduced the price of theirs and so on and so on. Eventually what you could buy was the cheapest time piece known to man. 19 hours in a day, 8 days in a week and a year that makes Pluto say 'Really?!'.

That's what my body clock is made from. It's like it's heard what a body clock is from a Peruvian friend, but it doesn't speak Peruvian so the entire concept was communicated in a rudimentary sign language and a series of clicks and whistles. It thinks it gets it - be awake at some point and be asleep at others. How hard can it be right?

Very, apparently.

The issue isn't so much the quantity of sleep I get, that's fine I don't think I've ever slept that well - the basic process is to get between 4-6 hours a night then collapse in a heap every 3 weeks or so and sleep until Monday.

That's not the problem, it's more the random series of changes that becomes problematic. Just recently I've not been sleeping too badly, rowing myself into oblivion at the gym appeared to be knocking me out, often before midnight. I was even sleeping more than usual, with the usual interruptions of course.

Over the last few weeks, however, I've started waking up before 6am - this is insane. That time only exists when I am going somewhere cool or exciting, otherwise it's merely a theory or a myth - much like quantum computing or God. Work is neither cool nor exciting. Especially right now, things are a bit slumped and I'm twitchy for something new and difficult and massively time consuming.

Waking up before 6am and then trying to go back to sleep, which takes a good while, only to then have to wake up again messes me up for the whole day. I'm too tired for the gym and too tired to do anything post work - it blows. So, in an effort to defeat my evil brain/shoddy piece of crap body clock, I am getting up when I wake up at stupdi o'clock and I'm going to start with the gym at lunchtimes where possible, I'm not sure this will help with the sleeping but it will help with the going to the gym. I'm also hoping that the ludicrous quantity of awake time will make my body rethink it's strategy.

Hah! Take that nature!

*Note to Hannah : Old jokes - for the sake of the narrative, let's not and say we did OK? :p

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Oh yeah, I forgot the point of the last post....

So yeah, I am behind on a lot of things. I haven't read a lot of blogs recently, I am well behind on podcasts and all sorts of other things I usually spend my time at work doing.

So, I am catching up on all of that stuff - so I'll totally be getting to the blogs I usually read and whatnot...... but probably not until after next weekend as I'm off again on Thursday and interweb access via the phone at these places is bloody appalling.

Anyway, so as I mentioned podcasts I'm going to give you some pointers to go get some podly goodness squirted into your ears I'm gonna pick one from each genre, this way the next time I can't think of anything to write I can pick other stuff from my collection. That's right, I'm planning not only for the next time I have nothing better to do than write this garbage but also for the next time I have so little to do that I can't even be bothered thinking of original garbage to write. I'm lackadaisically dedicated.

Anyway, podcasts - go subscribe to these:

1) Comedy - The Bugle - Audio Newspaper for Visual World. Hosted by Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver (yanks might recognise him off the Daily Show). One of the funniest things I've heard, Zaltzman's line in BS is truly something to behold.

2)Sport - Alternate Ashes - Now I have no time for cricket at all. Any game that can go on for 5 days and still end up a draw, where you stop for lunch and leave the field cleaner than when you went on it can frankly go suck on a Werthers Original. However, Andy Zaltzman (again) presents this podcast, and although he's a cricket nut, there's plenty enough there for the non-cricket fan as he is very funny.

3)Science - Skeptic's Guide to the Universe - This is my favourite critical thinking podcast. Basically they talk about scientific discovery aswell as debunking the increasingly nonsensical claims of the 'Complimentary and Alternative Medicine' camp. They are particularly scathing of people like Jenny McCarthy which is no bad thing. Some good blogs out there too, including The Bad Atronomer and Skeptchicks.

OK, that'll do for now. Happy now Paddy?!

Playing catch-up....

OK, so I've not posted in a while but this isn't like last year's 'I haven't posted in a while because I've been working down the salt mines'. I've actually been doing things, but don't worry - even though I have returned to actually doing stuff, the rank incompetence you've grown to know and love persists.

SO what's happened in the intervening period?

Errm - Download 2009, Glastonnbury.... err I went to Falconry festival - to meet up with some old friends but also to take photos. Sadly I managed to leave my Nikon at home - I rock.

So whilst I think of what to complain about, here's a photo from Download - it's my newly launched 'Spot the Goth' competition.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

That's it, I'm done!

On a day when large percentages of people in this country voted fascists into the European parliament, on a day that yet another part of the affection I feel for this country died a little more, on a day that saw a party of open racists come second in a nationally held election - I have this to say:

Muesli sucks.

Seriously, I've tried - I have REALLY tried with that stuff! Different brands, combinations - I've tried it with fruit, I've tried it with milk, I've tried it with yoghurt, I've tried with with milk and yoghurt - it's crap!

People who tell you they like muesli - those people don't like muesli - they're living a lie. How can you like something that is like eating crushed plasterboard?! Muesli has no redeeming features whatsoever - I try it every now and then, thinking 'If I'm to start eating breakfast, I'll eat something filling and good for me'. Which muesli would be, if it was in any way edible!

I was hoping to vary my breakfast a bit - the gym man seemed very certain I should be eating breakfast and if someone is telling me to eat more food, I am going to listen. Muesli, however, is not food. In the building trade it can be substituted for aggregate, but food it is not.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Place your bets...

How many hours before the NRA organise one of their sensitive rallies? clicky

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