After discovering that out of the 8 people invited to the teleconference, only 1 had anything of substance to say and he is off on Friday, they are rescheduling.
Begs the question, what the fuck are the other people for?
I've decided to play a new game called 'Postponement'. Essentially it involves moving this teleconference forwards without it ever actually occurring. I've tried my hand at saying the information won't be available until some as yet undefined date in 'late February'. This should coincide nicely with a major delivery date, which opens up other avenues for the next round of the game.
I'm not being unduly cruel, I'm weening these poor addled addicts off their daily teleconference fix.
Seriously, if evolution were left to these people we'd all be sat in caves trying to work out if rocks are edible.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
After discovering that out of the 8 people invited to the teleconference, only 1 had anything of substance to say and he is off on Friday, they are rescheduling.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
That last post was meant to be a few sentences leading into how my mood had improved as the day wore on, but ended up finishing my original rant.
Go on. Act surprised.
Anyway, I am in a not bad mood which is surprising given the week I've been having. America has produced yet another cool show called Supernatural which I've been watching on DVD this week. As with many US shows, there are no ugly people in it - except for bad guys and comedy relief, but it's still pretty awesome.
I'm waiting on The Wire to come down in price, even the ascerbic Charlie Brooker has called it the best TV show ever made. HBO in general seems to make awesome TV, comes from being subscription only I guess? I don't think they have to bow to the power of the advertisers in quite the same way as other stations which allows them a certain creative freedom. That and some awesome writing talent.
Anyway, I digress. Great TV from HBO.
I would suggest you stay away from comedies though. If you want some comedy from that side of the world I suggest you check out the Trailer Park Boys from Canada. Genius on an epic scale.
Having said that I've heard good things about The Office, despite Steve Carell going on to make some of the most painful, awful and just plain bad movies it's ever been my misfortune to become aware of. I did watch one of them, 'Generic Wacky Comedy XXVII' I think it wa called.
I have no idea where all this came from, I am pretty sure I wanted to talk about other things....
Posted by MattJ at 6:34 pm
So I started writing a post earlier today about this story. In particular the cowardly and reprehensible way that euphamism and couched language is used to describe a shameful period in history that was smeared in the most brutal, bloody and indiscriminate violence fuelled by hatred and greed. I'm not picking sides, other than the fact that I'm on the side that's against blowing up school busses in order to prove a point.
I also find it interesting how similar tactics are employed by the slick Israeli PR machine, who's entire argument for blowing up schools and hospitals appears to be 'Well, some people who look kind of the same did it first'. Again, not picking sides really - Hamas are a bunch of blood thirsty animals too, just like the Israeli government.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a realist. Humans like to kill eachother for a variety of reasons, it would just be refreshing to have situations like this labelled as they are - a fairly indiscriminate form of murder born of a frustration at an inability to get at the enemy you actually want to kill. It's proving a point at the expense of people and property deemed expendable. And if someone tells you there is anything discriminating about explosives, they are talking out of their arse.
Posted by MattJ at 6:22 pm
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
But if you do, for God's sake don't make yourself useful. There is a 4:1 WhatTheFuckDoYouEvenDo:PeopleWithRealJobs ratio in most large organisations, the more you fall into the PeopleWithRealJobs category, the more the WhatTheFuckDoYouEvenDo category will rope you into meetings and teleconferences to do one of 3 things:
1) Pretend to know what they are talking about, ask banal questions aitr 'concerns'. All of these things will be preceded by the phrase 'What concerns me...'
2) Repeat what was said at the last productivity black-hole
3) Arrange the next productivity blackhole
Seriously, there are a bunch of people here who's sole purpose seems to be to arrange and attend teleconferences. I've been working on some things here for about 6-8 months and now I am talking to these people who are clearly completely out of their depth.
I've arranged the next raft of teleconferences for Friday.
In other news, I have the day off on Friday.
Posted by MattJ at 11:07 am
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
So I was watching 'This Week' on BBC 1 last night, for reasons best know to myself. They started off with the usual 'we're all going to be eating our own knee caps' economy stories. This always amuses me - Michael Portaloo, Dianne Abbott and Andrew Neil - all privately educated and people of great personal wealth trying to convince us all about how worried they are at our approaching doom. Desparately trying to act like they wouldn't be riding down peasants for sport given the opportunity.
Anyway, I digress. After the disingenuous fear mongering came the Obama section..... actually as a side point..... have you noticed how there is only ever 2 pieces of news at any given time? It's nice of the national media to tell us what's important, all of that thinking for myself after objective reporting was making my brain sweat.
Sorry, that's the enws, this is a politics show called 'This Week' so I think we can fairly say that the Obama inauguration should rank fairly highly. So what do they do to talk about this point? They do what every news/opinion/ 2 bit broadcaster int he world did. They got a black guy to tell us how he feels.
The said guy in question is Kwame Kwei-Armah, a particularly talented playwright and half decent actor. I confess, I wasn't expecting much and he did talk utter gibberish for much of the time. I think perhaps he had soemthing when he was discussing role models, but I don't actually know. Unfortunately he focussed most of his attention on how we could follow America's example and elect a Priminister from a similar background to Barack (as he started referring to the leader of the free world). This of course is utter garbage.
Don't get me wrong, it's entirely feasible, one would hope entirely likely that we will one day soon elect a not white person into the office of Priminister. What will not happen is someone of Barack Obama's background getting to that, or any other illustrious position (such as London Mayor which was Kwame's 'first step' suggestion). Why? Because this is Britain and the game we play is Party Politics.
In order to get elected as Priminister, you have to rise in the Party, and this is not done on merit. This is based on who you are, who you know and where you went to school. There are any number of difficulties and vagaries of traversing these ridiculous ropes, and ultimately the guy that comes out the end of the process is a subtle variation on the last one.
So, a privately educated, well spoken, privately wealthy and well connected non-white person could get assimilated into the laservative party and get elected Priminister, but he'll be the same as the white guy he just replaced. It's a crying shame but it's true.
That, non-rant tomorrow I promise!
Posted by MattJ at 6:27 pm
Thursday, January 22, 2009
So I've been asked to do a non-ranty post about some stand-ups that I like. 'Livvy threw down the gauntlet, or in her case some lacey glove or other.
In order for us to have the best shot at getting a post that is enjoyable to read, I think we should wait for that one until Saturday - after I've eaten sufficent levels of piggy and have caught up on the sleep I've been missing this week.
So let's do that shall we?
I'm staying at a hotel in Russell Square tonight, I wish I was goingt o get there in time for dinner, I need to make these people pay for what is happening to my poor fragile and incresingly squooshy brains!
Posted by MattJ at 6:16 pm
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I'[m not allowed to blog about the NFL any more. This seems a wise objection to me, I have clearly been struggling for material.
I've only had one entry for the Gallery people, come on draw me something in MsPaint you lazy sacks! I'll be uploading at the end of the week and it would be nice to have a Tony Hart tribute.
I raised the question of juice combinations last week. You know how you mix paint and get different shades of different coulours? But the more colours you add, the more it just starts to turn brown?
That's like fruit juice, 2 or 3 you can get myriad flavours. Once you hit 5, you are essentially getting 'Juice flavour', no matter which 5 you've chosen. Seriously, try it.
Posted by MattJ at 6:48 pm
Monday, January 19, 2009
So as it happens, the mighty mighty Steelers put the evil, baby-eating Baltimore Ravens back in their box and are on their way to Tampa for the Superbowl.
This creates a problem. They play the Arizona Tardinals a team that hasn't won since 1947, in fact I think this may be their first appearance in the playoffs since then. Anyway. They suck. A bizarre run of form coupled with opponents who apparently forgot that they were required to play has put this bunch of arsebiscuit in the Superbowl. This means it could be a massively humiliating defeat for my mighty Steelers.
I really don't like the Tards. I dislike their coach, and I really don't like their QB. I don't object to people believing in God, I don't object too much to Christians, the proper ones are generally quite nice. Even people who accept awards who thank God only make me vomit in my mouth a little bit these days. People I really can't stand are the people who ram it down your throat at every available opportunity.
Step up Kurt Warner, the Tardinals QB. Now all the commentary teams tell you what a great guy Kurt is and how he's been through a lot and is still a really good guy. I can only assume that 'Good Guy' in this context means 'Believes in a Christian God'. Every single game he has to thank Jesus in a variety of different and ever more verbose ways. Like Jesus watches Fox. But even as he is vomitting forth his homoerotic plattitudes to this illusory father figure, he is basically calling everyone else int he world a wanker. Seriously, look at it with me here. Remove the sentences that look like this from every winning post match interview:
"I know I say it all the time but I gotta thank my Lord Jesus Christ, he got me through this"
"Jesus helped me win today"
"Did I mention I believe in Jesus?@
Now look at the content:
"No one believed in me, I'm gonna prove them wrong"
"People always overlook me but with Jesus' help I'll keep going"
Balls like that.
OK. Firstly, if Jesus is helping you that's fucking cheating. At best it's an illegal formation, at worst a performance enhancing deity.
Secondly, quit whining. You got voted league MVP twice and also got a Superbowl MVP award, who exactly is overlooking you you fucking nutjob?
Kurt is very keen to tell anyone who will listen what a fervent Christian he is.
Don't get me wrong, I don't care that he's a Christian so much that....... No wait... that was the end of the sentence. I don't care that he is a Christian - so STOP FUCKING BANGING ON ABOUT IT!
But while you do go on about it, at length, whether anyone one wants you to or not - Answer me this Kurt, what's the deal with the whole working on a Sunday thing? You strike me as the kind of chap who is dumb enough to take the Bible literally, you do know that wearing clothes of two different weaves is a stoning offence right?
OK, maybe I should leave the guy alone and so long as he has the good grace to lose, I will :)
Posted by MattJ at 3:49 pm
Sunday, January 18, 2009
In honour of the legendary Tony Hart who sadly died today, please send in your artwork (Mspaint only please) for feature in this post. I will start you off tomorrow night when I get access to my Windows pc and the only art package that matters :D
I'm serious here people, I need your pictures - mail them to me at the usual address and I will feature you here :D
In the meantime:
And lets not forget the mighty Morph!
Posted by MattJ at 10:24 pm
Saturday, January 17, 2009
A science writer who knows something about science, who'd have thunk it?
If you read nothing else that I recommend, check out Bad Science. I've just ordered his book of the same name. This shouldn't be confused with Dawkins clones and the like, its not about debunking religion or any deities. This is all about the misrepresentation of science in the media. Its also about tackling things like detox diets and..... well you get the idea. I'll give a full review once I'm done with it ;)
Posted by MattJ at 11:41 pm
I know I keep banging on about work, I'm really very sorry - as the year moves on I'll have more things to talk about I promise! This year I'm coming out from the wilderness.
In the mean time. I've been responsible for a fairly lengthy piece of work that's been going on for the best part of 6 months and Monday sees the last, most visible bit of it go live. I have paranoia, it could all go horribly wrong.
I hate it when you can't tinker anymore.
So obviously I will be in work ridiculously early to ensure everything is going well, that nothing is going wrong and that should anything occur I will be there to save the day......well.......not as such. Fact is its the AFC championship tomorrow and the Steelers is the late game which means I'll be up until the wee hours shouting at the TV.
Or homeworking as it's otherwise known.
Posted by MattJ at 11:24 pm
Thursday, January 15, 2009
OK, so after my inebriation of last Friday I have pieced together why I seemed to have agreed to go to Dallas. It's all very simple.
Stu announced he would be spending upwards of 6 weeks there this year as a result of work. It was at this point I think mentioned I wasn't going abroad this year.
He then chose to reveal that when he travels to Dallas for work, he gets given a suite and if I wanted I could go out and occupy the spare room for the duration of my visit. Not much of a mystery I'm afraid, I was kind of hoping I'd bumped into a rich heiress and we were having some kind of assignation.
Apparently there is a bar that has a gazillion beers on tap and if you have one of each in a single sitting, you win some kind of prize....
Posted by MattJ at 6:23 pm
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I've been quite busy lately at work, and I receive lots and lots of email on a daily basis. Obviously this requires some kind of system, so I thought I would share my keys to effiency with you.
First priority is to deal with anything that has been picked up from my gmail account. A cynic would say that having my email at work also pick up my personal mail is just a way of making dealing with personal mail look like work. Not so, I am doing important things for the world economy. For example, this allows me to respond to important emails from friends who may want to know vital information like what time I intend going to the pub. We can then coordinate our economic impetus contributions so that the cash injections we provide aren't spread ineffectually over long periods of time, rather they are delivered in one concentrated hit.
This email redirection also means that I can be kept apprised of the latest special offers from various retailers. Once again this could prompt towards when best to aid either the local, national or global economies with my important purchases.
In between my vital work in international finance comes my day job, which has a much higher volume of email associated with it. This means I have to be ruthless in my efficiency when dealin with work emails. Here a re a few hints and tips:
1) When Part of a group email - Often I am involved in emails between multiple recipients. The unwary can be caught out here. Here's what you do, you keep half an eye on the emails flying about the place that someone has seen fit to cc you on. There is no need to read anything at this stage. Even if it looks like something that is directly related to what you are doing, its usually a good idea to let them run out of steam a bit before you join in. Once these reponses stop, it usually means that the latest one contains a question for you or someone else playing the same game. Read as much of the string of garbage as you need to in order to get the salient details and the basics of the wild misjudgements, bad decisions and outright bollox. Respond with your pearls of wisdom and move away from your desk to make coffee. Repeat.
2) The email uzi- Some people are very odd. They may have 40 questions for you and choose to send them in 40 spearate emails. each response to each email will likely result in 40 more questions sent immediately by the email uzi. Respond to one email every morning until they learn how to use a telephone or write multiple sentences.
3) The Repeater - AKA The Belch. This is the guy who emails you the same question rephrased every 45 minutes. I use copy 'n' paste, you may have another method.
4) Questions from the Client - See 3), sign off with Kind Regards instead of Regards.
There are more but there is opportunity for me to leave on time today and you're probably getting bored by now. w00t!
Posted by MattJ at 5:10 pm
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Yeah, I am still going to keep up the posting every day but this next week or so might see one or two placeholders like this one, sorry!
Still to come:
Sainsbury's contains the death knell of the human race
The Dallas mystery unfolds
Is there such a thing as a nasty tasting combination of fruit juices?
Posted by MattJ at 11:38 pm
Monday, January 12, 2009
My awesome plan of staying late at work on Friday in order to avoid going in at the weekend hit something of a hiccup.
The hiccup in question was my old flatmate Stu, he returned to town yesterday so I elected to leave work before 7 and meet for a quiet pint and a catch up and to do a few hours on Sunday instead.
So I arranged to meet Stu for a quiet pint. We had a quiet pint. Then we were hungry so we adjourned to the best of the strangely numerous Italian restaurants in Leatherhead. We thenproceeded to polish of 2 bottles of particularly palatable Chianti (yeah like I know wine!). There was also food involved at some stage (meat balls if memory serves). After which we went for a few less quiet drinks - considerable quantities of gin.
Usually after such an evening I would be eating a farmyard for breakfast but I had arrangements to meet some people for lunch and wanted to have room for the plate fulls of goodness available at Caesar's. This time I was meeting Dave, my last flatmate and his girlfriend Gemma, along with Nick and Kara. I had a rib-eye if anyone is interested
Lunch done with I went shopping for food to supply me for the evening's playoffs. Usually I shop when I am starving (in case you hadn't noticed yet, I'm an idiot) but this time, full of steak and chips I found I was quite light on junk food when I left which, as you can imagine, was quit disappointing.
Nevermind, pappa john's supplied me with a crack-laced pizza for the evening's work ahead and I watched both hiome teams get knocked out of the running. A successful evening.
I did, however, fail to clean my flat.
Oh. And I think sometime during the gin course I agreed to go to Dallas. I remember the conversation starting with 'I'm not going abroad this year' and ending with checking flight prices, other than that it's a complete mystery to me.
Posted by MattJ at 12:16 pm
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 09, 2009
It occurs to me that the culmination of all of my plans this weekend, the overall goal is simply this:
'Be fatter than I was on Friday'
As quests go, I'll grant it lacks some of the heroic lustre of some of the Greek legends but then Hercules spent his time extinctifying mythological beasts and cleaning out stables with rivers whilst annihilating neighbouring towns.
All I'm saying is that with a few Krispy Kreme's he may have not been such an unfathomable shit and we'd have a few Nemean lions and Stymphalian birds about the place.
Posted by MattJ at 6:11 pm
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Ok so my plans aren't grand, essentially they involve not being in work. OK they entirely involve not being in work.
The plan this weekend is to go for lunch with friends on Saturday, buy lots of groceries, clean and watch all 4 NFL playoff games.
Gotta start somewhere.
Tomorrow. Well. That's going to be less relaxing.
Posted by MattJ at 10:20 pm
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
I've blogged before about how I find it difficult to rouse myself to get interested in furniture, instead I have a tendency to buy toys and gadgets - much to the discomfort and chagrin of unfortunate visitors to my flat.
Thanks to a link I saw on theprojectivist's blog, I have finally met my match at www.suck.uk.com:
Called 'The Villain Chair', this is awesomeness in furniture format. I'd have to have a house for it to work properly, and I would need 2 of them. One for my command centre (front room) and one for the hallway right by the front door.
Every morning I would open the door, spin around slowly in the chair and say 'I've been expecting you' to the postman.
So 2 Villain Chairs. A bargain at £9,0000
Posted by MattJ at 11:52 am
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Monday, January 05, 2009
So I've had to come into work this morning at, hmmmm let me see...... oh yes - STUPID O'FUCKING CLOCK!
For reasons I won't go into we have to turn things off sometimes to do things to the system and we have to do that outside working hours. When we do this, part of my job is to come in and do various things when its brought back up*. Fine. It's a necessary evil sometimes. This time made more evil by the fact that I forgot and stayed up watching the NFL playoffs last night. Then listened to some podcasts. Yeah, no one is cleverer than me.
I left the flat at a little before IT'S STILL FUCKING DARK FOR FUCK'S SAKE! and stood outside, looked around. Frowned. Went back into my flat, retrieved my phone, went backoutside. Stood. Frowned. Everything was all white and the snow was still falling, this was very unexpected.
Don't get me wrong, it's January, it's Britain. There's always that chance of snow. But on the other hand, it's January, it's Britain and for the last fortnight I haven't had every single person I've spoken to say 'They've promised snow' or 'They reckon it's going to snow'. No word of the identity of the shadowy and mysterious 'They' who, apparently, have the power to deliver snow on a whim**. There are of course people who are more confident in their own weather divination abilities and choose not to rely on the sage predictions of 'They', these are the people who will offer 'I reckon it's going to snow', 'It could snow this year' (Oh we thankyou for that precise and dire warning Nostra-fucking-damus) and my personal favourite 'It's too cold to snow'. Too fucking cold?! Are you a mentalist?! What the hell is going on at the Poles, baby penguin dandruff?!
So I was unprepared, any change in weather of this nature in this country is preceded by your average Brit becoming uncommonly interested in the weather, devoting large portions of otherwise completely avoidable conversation to the subject. It would be OK if these people sought eachother out but no, they choose to share their arcane weather knowledge with innocent and evidently uninterested people. Seriously, leve me the fuck alone - I have a window and access to the internet, I'm not going to rely on you for my weather predictions. These are the same people who talk in road numbers and take an unhealthy interest in your travel plans.
Cock: You're going back to Wales this weekend then?We live in a country that is the size of a peanut, leave me the fuck alone.
Cock: Which way are you going?
Me: I thought I'd head towards Wales
Cock: haha! I mean are you going via the M40 and taking the A48986 whogivesafuckbypass next to shitsville, or the A64309 whogivesatoss route? Course you could always take the B23617! Hahahaha!
Me: Don't make me hit you.
Anyway I digress. I am now in work and my body is going to think that it's lunchtime at 9am. As you can tell, I am keeping up my usual chipper and optimistic outlook.
*Not nearly as bad as the people who have had to be here since 11pm last night doing actual work as opposed the bullshit I'm here for.
**Which begs the question why they don't deliver some in September, you'd think they'd get bored delivering around the same time every year and would want to introduce a bit of variety. Would fuck those tossers who walk around shirtless, drinking Kestrel Super Strength up good and proper.
Posted by MattJ at 6:27 am
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Saturday, January 03, 2009
So I just got back from the office and decided that I am going to order take away. I used to order online from my local curry house then just go collect but sadly they have taken their website down and now I have to talk to real people (pah!).
Luckily I have one of their menus, so proceeded to start my traditional curry ordering ceremony. This involves looking at the take away menu/website for 20 minutes before ordering the same thing I always order, or some slight variation thereof. Anyway, I was perusing this menu when under 'Surrey Specials' I noticed this dish:
'Slay The Dragon-Mysore Delicately'.
If only the description lived up to the awesome name but as far as I can determine it's little more than pineapple glazed chicken which sounds more like an accident than a yummy dish.
Posted by MattJ at 8:08 pm
Sitting in the office apparently. Ho-hum!
On the plus side this should become more of a rarity this year and I'm not actually that bothered, I'm getting paid to do even less than usual and I only live a 5 minute drive from the office. Also it means that I got to abandon the cleaning at the 'My flat is no longer a biohazard' stage.
Piss. I just remembered that I forgot to defrost mince for chili makings later! pah!
Hey, what is it with supermarket mince? It lasts about 40 seconds before turning all manky and brown. Seriously, there are no butchers where I live, the closest being about 3 miles away. Unfortunately the town where this magical shop is also has streets about 4" wide and no parking unless you have the royal fucking seal branded on your forehead. I like walking places, but finding the time and the inclination to walk for about an hour to arrive at a shop run by 'Mr Surly & Son, Family Butchers - "Take your mince and fuck off"' doesn't fill me with glee.
Next week I have Saturday off so will have another mooch but those people look at you like you've got a swastika tattooed on your head when you go in their shop.
I know I'm a bad man for buying supermarket meats but it's what I have access to where I live so it's what I have to live with.
I have a cold, so tomorrow I will make a 'Chili of Uber Doom-laden facemeltingness'. I will essentially be foregoing my usual consideration for flavour and going for the 'Oh MY GOD it's so hot I can see through time' approach to culinary perfection. It's what I like to call a 'Number 1 Chili'. This describes the number of dimensions you can ascribe to its flavour, the number of thoughts that remain in your head after eating it ("AIIEEEEEEEE!") and the number of layers of skin remaining on your tongue.
I normally like spicy food but not stupidly spicy, virtually no flavour food but when I have a cold I prefer the discomfort of eating magma to the annoying and unreachable tickles and scrapes such a pathetic illness delivers.
OK, now it’s apparently time for me to do my stuff here at the home of indentured servitude - maybe more later ;)
Posted by MattJ at 5:44 pm
Friday, January 02, 2009
I've promised to blog every day, this of course requires me to have something to blog about. This is day 2 and I'm blogging about how I've promised to blog every day and how difficult it will be to find something to blog about every day.
You see my point? I've been leading a fairly dull and uninteresting existence, particularly recently. I rarely see my friends or family and am something of a slovenly hermit right now. I know what you're thinking: 'How are you still single?!'.
So rather than just writing a blog post entitled 'Tuesday' and writing 'It's Tuesday' as the entry, I will be doing things and writing about them. I did do things last year, some of them awesome, but I didn't really write about them and the whole awesomeness of some of the events was sadly overshadowed by a filthy 4th quarter.
So, in addition to my normal rants I'll promise to write about things that I have done, in a manner which rather arrogantly assumes anyone is at all interested.
Obviosuly, I'll plug the gaps in between these breathtaking adventures with poorly articulated rants.
Posted by MattJ at 11:40 am
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Right that's 2008 out of the way. I think I'll play 2009 differently, I had some great times in 2008 but it was overshadowed by a variety of things that have left me generally regretting taking part.
You know things aren't going well when the only thing you can think to talk about in a social situation is work. Well balls to that.
Roll on 2009, less gadgetry, more doing stuff and more ranting. w00t!
Posted by MattJ at 8:59 pm