Sunday, August 27, 2006

 

I don't feel like dancin'

My dancing is a source of wonder and horror.

Descriptions have included
"admittedly pretty funky for a straight guy"
"surprisingly... a good dancer"
" a talent"

Worryingly however my sister today described it as being "like Jake Shears" [warning link is more camp than a holidy under canvas]

I now just can't figure out whether this is something I should develop or repress.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

 

That's not a knife!

THIS is a knife!And it's not even a b3ta 'shop - It's for real
[via Gizmodo]

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

 

Harsh


Last night I lost my bag in the street. (Long story, which I won't detail here). Pretty annoying, I lost my cheap MP3 player & headphones, a book I've been using to guide me through the miefield of searching for a relatively nice area of the capital to live in, my umbrella, and some other odds & sods including my USB flash drive.
Anyway, I toddled into a police station this afternoon and asked to report it. I was handed a pad thus:


"Personal Details of Loser" As if it wasn't bad enough having lost your posessions, the form insults you.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

 

Annoyances

I work in fundraising.
I know fundraising costs money.
I know sometimes charities have to employ the services of private companies to do fundraising.
I know these companies really do bring in results for many of the charities who utilise them

I still dislike 'face-to-face fundraising.'
Partcularly when their spiel is causing my lunch to go hold in my hand, and I've told them several times that I don't like their fundraising technique and will not donate to the charity they are promoting. I've actually sent a complaint to the PFRA, I was so annoyed (Lesson to be learnt: Never come between me and my lunch.)

Some people are very silly

[via BoingBoing]
Please observe the above video, and then note my advice.
  1. If you are going to break the law, don't create videotape evidence
  2. If you are going to videotape your crimes, don't put them on the internet
  3. If you feel the need to share your criminal activities with the world, at least make some attempt to obscure your face and the number plate of the vehicle you committed the crime in.

Monday, August 21, 2006

 

Anticlimax

Ater all that anticipation with Janmashtami and the Under 18's, I actually had quite a dull week of duties.
Wednesday at the festival was a steady trickle of minors, mostly straightforward insect stings.
Brief shift at the festival on sunday, then onto the under 18's. Quiet for ages and then we had a veritable swarm of inappropriately scantily-clad kids. Most depressing. But nobody vomited on my shoes, which is always nice. In fact not a single person vomited in my presence, which is highly unusual for an under 18's nightclub duty (or any nightclub duty.)
Turned out that after I left the festival on Sunday it all got a bit more 'interesting' with a couple of ambulance runs. I meanwhile was surrounded by girlies needing to be taken home... and a rather attractive lady nightclub manager. Sadly the black and white St. John uniform is not only antiquated, ill-fitting and unsuitable for dealing with bodily fluids, but deeply unsexy. Nevermind.


On a completely separate note, The Mighty Boosh is ace. I don't know why stores charge £19.99 for one series when others can sell the 2-disc boxset for £17.99. But then UK DVD & CD pricing is a mystery at the best of times...
What's your biggest shiny-disc price-discrepancy? Comments are open...

Monday, August 14, 2006

 

Statistics

The sharp-eyed amongst you may have noticed a little colourful box appearing on the left of this blog last week. The curious amongst you would have discovered that it's a pagecounter from the folks at Site Meter
I've put it there to spy on all your online activities and ultimately steal your identity get some idea of how many people, if any, are actually looking at my little corner of the interweb.
Not surprisingly, there's not many of you. I opted not to have a number counter, because a) it's tacky and b) it would make this site seem a bit pointless, with the site visits per day peaking at around three.

If you're wondering, I've had 12 visits this week, and it'll probably be less next week, now that I've set cookies on my home & work PCs so that they don't get included in the totals.
What is interesting is how much information your PC gives away when you visit a website. 57 % of you are using Firefox, and 43% Mozilla - we'll have no Microsoft monopolies here! You're all browsing in English, and are UK-based, no surprises there. The average visit time (or if you prefer, the amount of time people can bear to look at the blog is a distinctly underwhelming 13 seconds. I should probably work on that.

In other news, my RSS reader seems to have forgotten all my subscriptions. Although this issomewhat annoying, if I'm being perfectly honest i wasn't reading that many of them, so this is an excellent opportunity to have a spring clean - I'd recommend it to all you feedreaders out there [I think I just conined a new word there] - have a clearout and strip your subscribed feeds down to the two news feeds you actually read and the six blogs you actually care about.... and then start collecting new and exciting feeds to fill up the space

Sunday, August 13, 2006

 

My Transport for London

On Friday I rather hurriedly organised a flat-viewing, and headed south to meet a potential flatmate.
The bus was fairly empty when I got on, having only started its journey about 400 metres up the road, and I took a seat near the front on the top deck. As the bus carrried on, it gradually filled up, taking people home from WC1 to SE1.

A young man sat down next to me, African in appearance but with a fairly light skin. His fingers were rough, his nails were worn down as if he habitually bit his nails and there were a few cuts on his thumbs where the skin had split. A patch of skin on hs neck loked as if it had been splashed by some liquid, maybe something with cement in, and had left a dry-looking greyish patch.


My fellow passenger got out a book, and started reading. On his lap was a small black rucksack with apparently very little in it, a rolled up copy of Metro, and the small hardback book with a green cover that he was now reading. I glanced over and saw that the book was written in Arabic. Nothing particularly unusual in a man reading the Qur'an, but for some reason I stiffened slightly, and began watching this man's demeanour very closely, and couldn't take my eyes off his hands.

Did he seem edgy? Distracted? Nervous? I couldn't read his emotions and for some reason this made me more on edge. I work near several of the stations which were attacked on July 7th 2005, and often walk past the small plaque outside the BMA which has been placed as a memorial to those killed on the London bus blown up in Tavistock square.
Due to three out of the four explosions on July 7th being below ground, most of the pictures from the tube bombs were of blackened survivors. The front page image for that day though was the later bus explosion, red London double-decker with its roof blown off exploding rows of seats identical to the one I was now sat on.

As we went over Waterloo bridge heading towards Waterloo station, the image of the blown-apart bus ran through my mind, followed by images of explosions, imagined scenes of the aftermath of a terrorist attack... and then the man sat next to me started reaching into his bag.

It was too much. my pulse rate must have quadrupled. I stood up, "sorry, this is my stop", lunged for the bell at the top of the stairs, dived down them, pushed my way through the crowds on the lower deck and out of the exit doors.

The bus carried on over Waterloo bridge and on its way to SE1. I wandered down to Waterloo station and found another service to take me to my destination. The news reported no atrocities in London that evening. My fellow passenger was probably just another person heading home after work, using public transport and following their religion as millions in the city do every day.

I did wonder what this little incident said about me though.
Am I racist?
Paranoid?
Stereotyping?
Failing in my duties as a citizen by not reporting what might have been 'suspicious activity'
Being whipped into a state of fear by a government trying to hold onto power?

I do know it took a couple of minutes before I got my breath back and stopped feeling unwell though.

And after all that, the flat was unsuitable.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

 

Slow?

When I took over this job I was given access to the emails of the previous holder of the role Let's call her 'A'. This was so that any enquirers with the old person's address could have their queries answered by me and be informed that in future I should be the one they contact. Simple? I thought so.

Email received by A's email address yesterday from one of our out-of-town projects: [paraphrased]:
Hi A, I wonder if you can help. Do we have any collecting tins, or do you know where I might get some?

Reply sent by me:
A left in May, please contact me about fundraising queries, and ciculate this info to other members of your team.
On the subject of collecting tins, yes I have plenty, how many do you need, when do you need them, and would you like any other materials?

Email received by me 10 minutes later:
Hi David, I wonder if you can help. Do we have any collecting tins, or do you know where I might get some?

I'm hoping this was just a five-to-four moment on a Thursday afternoon, or otherwise someone is really slow...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

 

Churn

Apparently it's a quiet time of year for us, which is a bit worrying as I seem to be quite busy thankyouverymuch. I think part of the reason is that out of a department of 5 including myself, 3 are on leave or holiday at present, and the other remaining member of staff, my manager, is coming to the end of their contract, and focusing their energies more towards finding their next position. With other staff movements, or 'churn' to use the HR term, this leaves me with a bit of a middle management void opening up above me, and means I'm going to have to deal extensively with the chief exec to get things done. I wouldn't say there's an excessive number of people moving on/resigning, but if many more people seek pastures new, I woudn't be surprised if HR have to take on some extra staff...

In other news, I've been whoring myself as a potential flatmate to complete strangers via the excellent and free MoveFlat I say whoring, maybe selling myself would be more accurate, but it's definitely not an easy email to write: "I saw your advert, I'm great, please can I come and live with you?"
I asked people for some useful adjectives to describe myself. An ex-housemate suggested "friendly" and "tolerant" [thanks Steph!] to which I added "hygienic" Surely I'm on to a winner? I will of course keep you all posted.

Friday, August 04, 2006

 

SOAP

For those of you not already aware, Snakes On a Plane, aka SOAP is a film with a bit of a cult internet following. It's been generally acknowledged to be pretty dire, but for some reason that's part of its appeal. Wikipedia explains all.
To summarise, the plot as I understand it is as follows:

There are some snakes
On a plane
Samuel L Jackson is also on the plane
With some snakes
Who are on the plane
With Samuel L Jackson
etc

So why have I brought this to your attention, gentle reader. I'm glad you asked.
I recently spotted SOAP being promoted on the side of a London bus, building anticipation for the August 18th release. The tagline, I felt, leaves somethign to be desired.
The official line is:

Sit back. Relax. Enjoy the fright.

Hmm, not bad, I suppose. There is a light pun on the flight/fright thing, and good subversion of what sounds like an air travel phrase. But It's not got as much impact as I woudl hope for a film with such a following.
It is thus that I have decided to form my own movie taglines. To wit:

This summer, Fear is flying business class
Or how about
Check in for a scare
Maybe
Legroom is the last thing you'll be worrying about
Or do we prefer
Meat, fish, vegetarian or snake?

Comments are open...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

 

'Tis the season

Today I received my christmas card catalogue, which has of course put me in an appropriately festive mood... oh who am I kidding, it's August and very warm, I don't even have a passing interest in the three kings and snowball fights.
What did bring a little joy to my day was the fact that the sales coordinator is a Mr Chris Card. I kid you not. My boss though it might be the least subtle tracking device ever, but I've uncovered a business card tucked into the envelope, and he also signed the letter. I guess I won't know whether he's real until I speak to him.

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