March 30, 2005
I’ve seen the film ‘Saw’, you know the one. People find themselves in bad situations. They have to escape or they die a slow death. Well let me tell you. That’s nothing.
March 28, 2005
How to confuse the easily confused
Twice a year, I get really confused. Ok, maybe I’m easily confused a lot of the time, but I mean really confused.
My state of confusion got a double hit this year, a four day Easter weekend and daylight saving at the same time. So all day Friday I’m thinking it Saturday, such is my five day on, two day off routine. On Saturday I thought it was Sunday, and on Monday, well I was just confused.
Now normally this confusion is manageable. I didn’t go into work on the Sunday, although I thought I should have. It was the smaller things that got me. Trying to buy my Sunday papers on Saturday, feeling slightly aggrieved that they didn’t have any Sunday papers, only old Saturday ones, but then kicking my arse into action before I complained about the fact.
At the height of my illness induced boredom, apart from succeeding in breaking Blogger, I was looking at the tv guide, you guessed it, for the wrong day. This time last year, well into my six month holiday (I mean travelling experience) I could not tell which day it was, and to be honest, didn’t really care, yet now my five working day a week life can’t take a step outside of it’s routine without blowing up.
Then, on Sunday morning, without any notice at all, some bastard nicked a hour from all my clocks. You see in the good old days I wouldn’t have noticed, but now all my clocks automatically reduce themselves when the clocks go back. That is, apart from my mobile, which was telling me one thing, whilst the other six clocks were saying another thing. It’s been an emotionally tough week. First they take away my electricity for nine hours, then they start fiddling with my week and clock.
Which leads me onto my final point. If everyone out there was like me (which thankfully they are not), all the terrorists would have to do, to cause mayhem, would be to give me an extra day off, activate daylight time saving, without telling me, and the world would collapse.
Or maybe not/.
March 26, 2005
The New Office
I noticed today that 'The Office', the American version, hit the screens for the first time in the States this week. It will be interesting to see how a show, based on a British format, will fare with mixed recent success.
If you take 'Pop Idol', 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' and 'Big Brother', there have been signs of transatlantic success for some British made television formats. Of course there have been some failures, most notably 'Coupling' and 'Men Behaving Badly', but the early signs have been encouraging. The original British made version, based in the depressing outskirt London town of Slough, with politically incorrect paper boss David Brent, has been a success on BBC America, winning a Golden Globe last year.
There have been 'lost in translation' problems previously when British comedies have been exported before. 'The Office', relies on generating 'wincing laughs'. By combining office characters that say and do all the wrong things, it hopes you will laugh at the sad, pathetic boss, who comes out with statements like these:-
"My proudest moment here was'nt when I increased profits by 17%, or cut expenditure without losing a single member of staff. No. It was a young Greek guy, first job in the country, hardly spoke a word of English, but he came to me and he went "Mr Brent, will you be the Godfather to my child?". Didn't happen in the end. We had to let him go, he was rubbish. He was rubbish!?"
Or the times the whole office looks on in dismay, as he cracks jokes that only he laughs at:-
"My parents had a paper shop, until it blew away."
But the funniest element of the office is portraying a manager who seemingly has not regard for anyone else, but himself. Combine this disregard for others with his shallow attempts at humour, and you get the following situations.
“I have got some good news and some bad news. The bad news, well, I have got to make you all redundant, the good news? I'm getting a promotion"
The office is a spoof documentary, made to look like it is set in a real office. And maybe, this is where some of the humour has been lost. When you have people complaining that David Brent is a ‘cruel man’ and a 'bad manager' its seems some of irony has been lost. Of course he is a bad manager, it's just this is spoof comedy documentary, poking fun at the office culture and the politically correct views enforced on us within society.
Which reminds me. I need to take a photo of the David Brent look a like in my office. Dead Ringer.
The new show...
March 24, 2005
Good excuse for being late?
"Errrrm, yeah I was running a bit late. You see there was a power cut for eight hours last night. I went to bed at eleven thirty in darkness. Then at two am, I was awoken by the phone. It was the Electricity Company, saying the electricity had been restored. Which was fine, well sort of, you just don't expect electricity companies phoning you up at two am, when, quite reasonably, you have gone to bed earlier than normal becasue their was no power.
You see I would have got a bit of sleep up to two am, it's just I was woken up at one am by all the lights coming on in the flat, the television turning on full pelt and the microwave starting to cook, well, nothing. So by the time they so politely phoned at two am, I already knew the electricity had come back.
Ok, I got some sleep. But I overslept. Why did I oversleep? Well my mobile phone stroke alarm clock was dead when I got in that evening. I went to charge it up and.......... No worries I thought. My Ipod is my second alarm clock. Well, that was ok, but unless I went to bed with the earphone taped to my ears, I was hardly going to hear that at six am. Of course I normally plug it into the stereo, by that sort of needs electricity.
Alright, I did wakeup, somehow. But the night before, when it was all dark, I knocked over a cup of tea (boiled just before the power cut) that I had been looking for everywhere. The tea spilled over my newly pressed shirt for the next day. So, in the cold light of day, I put my shirt on only to realise it was now a blue and brown shirt, not the blue one I normally wore. Which was fine, I got another shirt out, and ironed that. It just delayed me by thirty minutes.
Now, even though it was so painfully true, I wouldn't have believed myself, let alone anyone else.
To make my day worse, I sat in a new staff conference, listening to all the blurb. I know you normally have to pair up in these things, so I was thinking it might be a bit like airplane lottery, you could pick a good ball, or a really bad ball. I got there early, and let people fill in around me.
I didn't make eye contact with the person who chose to sat next to me. Anyway, no bother, no nice young ladies, just a bloke this time. I did notice hoewever, whilst avoiding the eye line that they had particularly hairy arms, which made me remember about John 'gorilla arms' Stevens when I was younger. This guy could have been a gorilla in London Zoo. He even loved bananas. Well, he could have been, but when I turned to look at him, they, were in fact, female. I declined to think about the after thoughts, and just looked straight ahead for the next two hours. Such as sweet voice as well.
Oh well, nice four day Easter weekend will make it all seem better.
March 23, 2005
2 hours, 20 minutes left
The only thing that works is my laptop, I have two hour and twenty minutes left on that. Then complete darkness. The candle is on it’s last piece of wick. My torch is emitting as much light as the false optimism when someone says “Well there’s light at the end of the tunnel”. My newly purchased food shopping is well, sitting there on the bench, with a warminfg freezer to go into. My cup is sitting there with milk and a teabag, just no hot water to go in it. I cant turn the light on to find my other candles or torches. And yet I just sit and watch the houses opposite, why the fuck have they not got a power cut?
Well you have to think of the cup being half full of water (cold water mind you, not a nice freshly made cup of tea) and not half empty. You have to see the light at the end of the tunnel (well the lights from the houses opposite) in these situations. I guess you just have to look on the bright side of life (even if the candle is on its last legs).
my candle on it's last legs
A quick look at the odd stories of the day, make you think, that a powercut, maybe isn’t that bad after all. Anyway, I know I can touch type in the dark now.
Maybe this could sort my tea fix……… despite being a really stupid idea
No time for a cuppa? Pop a "tea pill"
Wed Mar 23, 2005 08:29 AM GMT
GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - Feel like a cup of tea, but don't have the time to brew one up? Pop a "tea pill" instead.
Indian tea scientists have produced a tea-flavoured pill that can be chewed or quickly dissolved in hot or cold water.
The brownish tablet weighs 0.3 grams and consists of 80 percent tea and 20 percent other flavours -- a combination the inventors at the Tocklai tea research centre in India's northeastern Assam state say peps you up just like a traditional cuppa.
"You can suck it, chew it or dissolve it in water the way you like to have it and still feel the taste of a real cup of tea," said the centre's director, Mridul Hazarika.
"As the liquid tea refreshes, this tea pill will also refresh the people because it contains pure tea ingredients."
Hazarika said the centre had applied for a patent and the pill, with a bit more fine tuning, should hit the market in six months.
Indians drink a lot of tea but in recent years its tea business, the world's largest, has faced growing competition from soft drinks.
Well, at the moment, I’ve got no electricity to power my alarm clock, so maybe worth a look……..
Alarm clock set to wake doziest of sleepers
LONDON (Reuters) - Can't get out of bed in the morning?
Scientists at MIT's Media Lab in the United States have invented an alarm clock called Clocky to make even the doziest sleepers, who repeatedly hit the snooze button, leap out of bed.
After the snooze button is pressed, the clock, which is equipped with a set of wheels, rolls off the table to another part of the room.
"When the alarm sounds again, simply finding Clocky ought to be strenuous enough to prevent even the doziest owner from going back to sleep," New Scientist said on Tuesday
Makes my temporary power cut induced blindness seem very trivial………..
Woman kills herself so blind sons can see
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian woman committed suicide so her two blind sons could receive her eyes and see, a newspaper has reporte.
But doctors say the chances of success are bleak, The Indian Express reported on Monday.
Thirty-seven-year-old Tamizhselvi's sons, Kumaran, 17, and Kumar, 15, have been blind since birth.
Doctors in the southern city of Chennai say Kumar's condition cannot be helped with a cornea transplant and also suspect his elder brother does not have a cornea defect.
"We had told the family earlier itself that a corneal transplant was not needed for the younger son," the Express quoted hospital official G. Seethalakshmi saying.
The family is insisting Tamizhselvi's corneas can only be used for her sons and no one else.
But then again…… it could be like this…….
March 21, 2005
Smoking. Maybe it's good for you after all
No. Not any new medical research breakthrough here. You really have come here by mistake if you were looking for intelligent, life changing news. No, it's just my research reseults. Unproven, untrialled and probably, a load of pickled eggs. Here goes....
I’m not going to claim it makes you feel better, even when your p.c has just crashed and lost all your work (of course that’s what you say to your boss) or even if you have just received some bad news (the boss knows you are lying, he can tell by your look, you can tell by theirs)
No. I mean socially.
Now, this certainly isn’t a new thing. I was a social smoker for a while (without being particularly sociable I must add), but my definition of ‘social smoking’ was just to smoke when I was out, I saw it more as sharing my smoke, I am after all, a ‘giver’, rather than a ‘receiver’. Now less digression. There is a reason for this, honest. So the story goes today……..
Them : “I’m just popping out for a cigarette, should give up really, I mean I don’t even like it”
Me: “Really? Why the hell do you smoke then?”
Them : “Well, I started this new job at my previous company and I noticed the big boss was a smoker. So I pretended to smoke so I could get chatting to him. After a while, it seemed to work. We stated to get to know each other quite well, before I knew it I was getting promotions, but then it all went wrong……
Me: “What, You did what I did when I was sixteen and put the wrong end of the cigarette in your mouth? (more of a hope to gain a little sympathy for that stupid act)”
Them: “No, no. I’m not that stupid. (Well, I guess it was quite dumb at the time) No, it’s much simpler than that. They gave up smoking, we stopped going for cigarette breaks, and before you know it, I stopped getting promotions. To make matter worse he went on holiday, bought me 600 ‘cheap’ cigarettes, which I don’t even want to smoke. It cost me a fortune. Anyway, that’s why I left, and that’s why I'm here now. But I can’t seem to give up, its just habit now, three times a day in the smoking shelter.
Now, I didn’t know whether to appreciate this degree of honesty, laugh or just cry, so true to form, I just stared and thought about it. And thought about it. This person, to advance in their career, had taken up smoking, which they hated, and now they were still smoking. It was also quite comforting to know they must have instantly thought that I couldn’t have been big managerial cheese material, otherwise they would not have risked giving their game away. Maybe it was the shirt, maybe it was the slightly creased trousers, or maybe, just maybe, it was face pulling and sly piss taking. No, got to have been the shirt.
So look around you. Question smokers. Are they just being sociable, or is it just another motive? Well, here comes the ironic hypocritical thing. Well I haven’t smoked to further my career, of course not! That would be so immoral. Well, none of them have ever smoked, so I just tend to stalk them instead (same bars, shops, always lead with “Fancy seeing you here!!!”). But I have smoked for social gain.
When I was travelling on my own, I met more people through having a cigarette than not. Okay, social deficiency maybe, but it broke the ice a whole lot better on both sides. Standing outside hostels, smoking a cigarette, asking for lighters, let the conversation flow. Here are a few examples……
1) Fiji Airport, 4 am. On my own, first port of call on my travels. Get a lighter off Fred and James at the airport. Travelled with them for four months, count them as two of my closer friends now
2) Lying on Bondi Beach. A girl called Trudi asks for a lighter. Yes, amazing,
I actually got chatted up by a member of the opposite sex without the aid of beer. She later admitted she didn’t really want a cigarette, she just saw I was smoking and thought it would break the ice (or melt it)
3) Laura and Alison. Two great friends from Canada, I would have never met
Them if I hadn’t been part of the coach smoking crew in N.Z.
Of course I met plenty of fantastic people after I gave up, for which I haven’t mentioned (A.J etc) , in fact by providing such a biased entry towards this argument I’m going to stop this entry before I disappoint myself any further with my unbalanced argument skills.
Latest news :
My new boss smokes. I’m sure a couple a day won’t do any harm….. as long as I can remember to put the right end in my mouth
March 19, 2005
A normal post for once.....
I took the plunge today and booked my flights to Canada. I’ll be flying into Toronto on the 8th July, making my way across to Vancouver over twenty two days via the Stampede and lots of other random places, by random forms of transport, and leaving on the 30th of July.
Although the flights have been booked, I’ve got loads more things to sort out……..
1) Book flights (done)
2) Learn how to ride a horse, apply to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association before I go
3) Spend some time sitting in my passenger seat to acclimatize to driving on the right
4) Learn not to get embarrassed when I hear the term ‘Sweat Pants’
5) Learn not to be scared when I see people in hockey gear, it does not necessarily mean they are going to rob a bank or start a fight with me
6) Get some ‘Roots’ clothing, whatever that maybe
7) Stop drinking Stella, get onto Labatt,
8) Stop writing ….”ise” at the end of words, will have to realise, I mean realize that.
....Of course the list is longer, I prioritized it and cut it down.
March 17, 2005
My life enhanced, thanks Internet!
Whilst trying to find some flights today, I realised just how much the internet has both enhanced my life,and more significantly, just made things easier.
To demonstrate, I will share with you some of my most useful websites, but remember, it was me that told you about them first!
This has been a lifesaver. A lot of people book their flights depending on silly little fussy things, like “Will it cost half as much if I go with another airline” or “Will it fly from an airport near me” or even the ridiculous like “Will the plane actually get there” (no offence Areoflot, I’m sure your planes are safe now). I mean, what is it with some people? Next they will be wanting to know what time their flight arrives!
Now, maybe I’m different. But I’m really not fussed about those sort of things. No, for me its all about the onboard meal. It’s a deal breaker. Give me an airline which costs £520 more than normal, I don’t really care. Its all about the type of chicken they serve and texture of the ‘juicy bits’ in orange juice.
This is why before I do anything, I check out airline meals.com. It should be the first port of call for everyone in my opinion. I bet you are all thinking “Come on Coops, show me an example of this fantastic venture, after all, you cant book your flights until I have told you! Your right!
Well here is just a snippet. But remember, don’t tell all your friends, they might take all the flights with good meals on it!!!!
Photo taken by: Steve Tompkins
Route: KUL/DPS, 25 Oct 2004
Ticket price: rm605
Flight duration: 3hours
Aircraft type & class: b737-400 economy
Business or leisure trip: leisure
Meal type: light meal
Contents of meal: wholemeal roll, salmon salad, choice of steak or stir
Fried chicken with fried rice and some kind of jelly dessert.
Drink:mineral water, white wine and coffee
Comments: no menu card given and fa didn't even know the names of the main Meal, when asked all she knew that it was chicken or beef! I decided on the Chicken but was given the steak. So i took a photo of it before returning it To the fa for chicken.the meal was edible but the dessert some kind of bland Green jelly, was tasteless.
Rating 1 - 10 (worst- best): service 4 / meal 6
Camera brand and type:fujifilm finepix s3000
I can’t wait till I fly to Canada, I’ll update you with my photos and tell you all if my meal was pipping hot or a little stone cold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The infinite cat project
Last month whilst I was talking to the local stray cat ‘dirty paws' she said there was no place for cats to look at each other on the internet. Cats tend to be creatures of leisure, they spend a lot of time laying around, licking their paws, clawing their owners, pissing in plant pots, hissing at dogs, turning their nose up at cheap cat food and being sick all over the place with fur balls. Which is why this website has been revolutionary in amusing bored cats minds.
We have all been sitting at home, reading our mail, doing our online banking, when our feline attention seeking friends with bushy tails have got a bit jealous. So this site is genius at solving that problem. Show a picture of cat on your computer screen, and just watch your cats reaction! You know what? They might even think the cat on the screen is real and try and poke it! Hey, why not capture your amazement at looking at your cats amazement when it looks at other amazed looking cats on screen, buy taking a picture of it!
In all seriousness, its not just human beings that wonder why they ever survived without the internet. It’s also cats like my friend 'dirty paws' the stray.
I discovered this site the other day, it’s really weird! I cannot believe people actually write an online diary type thing in which the whole world can read! I remember the good old days of starting to write entries for the 1st and 2nd of January in a paper diary, getting bored and never touching it again. Then there were those that used to write their darkest secrets, of course they would hide it in a place that nobody would ever find it, like under the bed!
But this site is so strange. It’s like finding a bunch of diaries on the floor, leaving a few comments in red and then putting them back again. Its also really strange that people tend to spend so much time keeping their diaries up to date, I mean its not like anyone is reading it. Some people!
No, I think I’ll leave that one and stick to the airline meals and infinite cats.