Monthly archives: May 2002

There are flags everywhere. If it isn’t a Union Jack it’s a cross of St. George. The foyer looks like the Tory party conference.
‘Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel’ I don’t know who said it, but I do like the sound of it.
I’m not Republican enough to begrudge Queenie the celebration of her fifty years. It’s the football frenzy that bugs me. I wish we got this sort of coverage every time Brits were competing at an international level. I could take the sudden appearance of four day eventing in the schedules if it meant I got to see mountain biking (downhill, XC BSX and trials), snowboarding and the like.

I just had a really shit weekend. It started out promisingly enough with a new (well, to me, it was actually from an office clearance) PC. More powerful than my old one, though with no modem and video off the motherboard. I plugged it in and tested it, then plugged my old one in to get on the internet and do some updates. At which point it shorted out. There was smoke and everything. This is obviously something that’s been waiting to happen, it just chose this ironic moment. This was bad enough, but the new PC won’t accept any of the hardware from the old one, I think it’s all been fried by the short. So, until someone can pull the data from my motorless hard drive, I’ve lost months worth of work, and until I can sort out a modem on the new one, I’ll have to do updates from the office. So POtD is going on hiatus for a little while, Thursday’s was the last one to be uploaded to the site, but I will collect a picture for every day it’s down and put them all back up when I can.

Now, where’s my insurance company’s phone number?

A big day for content, here’s a wee bit of The Eliza Effect-

Owen still had his arm in one sleeve of his shirt. His belt was undone, but his trousers were still at full mast, and his shoes were still laced. He was on top of the sheets.
He looked around the hotel room, which still swam in and out of vision. The hangover would strike around midday he estimated, not a pleasant prospect. There was someone under the sheets. They moved and made little lip smacking noises. Owen prodded the shape.
Kate rolled over and looked up, scrunching up her face as she tried to make out details in the gloom. �Oh.�
�What time is it?� Owen had discovered that his watch was the only thing he had taken off.
Kate brought her watch right up close to her face, then moved it away until it focussed. �Something after two.�
�Whose room we in?�
Kate sat up. She had been no more successful at undressing. They both looked around. It was a hotel room. A cuboid with en-suite bathroom, cheap television and nearly double bed. �Mine. I think.� She frowned.
�Well, I should get back to my room.� Owen delved into his pocket for his key, then had a thought, �We are in the same hotel aren�t we?� He slid absently off the side of the bed.
When he didn�t rise again, Kate struggled over to look over the edge. He held up the huge plastic tag attached to his key. She caught the wavering hand and read. �Yeah. We�re in the same hotel.�
�Great. Let me get up and I�ll�..� He could stand, but only just. �Which floor is this?�
�And I�m on.� He tried to read the key tag. �Fifth.�
�Just take your trousers off and get into bed.�
�Thought you�d never ask.�

Comic collections for your must have list-
Castle Waiting, by Linda Medley. A wonderful take on fairy tales. The castle is home to a bunch of waifs and strays looking for redemption. All ages stories with strong moral, in the best possible way, undertones.

The Tale of One Bad Rat, by Brian Talbot. I’ll never stop boosting this story, one of the best things I’ve ever read. It’s about abuse, recovery and finding a family.

Akira (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) A complete change of place from the previous two. The big daddy of manga, and the first really successful anime in the West. It’s far more complex than the genre’s speed lines and violence stereotype, and more destructive than anything this side of Dragonball Z.

I only went out for one beer after work on Friday, but you know how it goes, and I ended up rolling in at something to eleven. So no posting on Friday night.

Then yesterday, I was all hung over and the weather was miserable and I wasn’t motivated at all.

At least today I managed to post.
There weren’t that many useable shots in my latest batch of photos, so I’m going to have to go running off this week and try to get some more before I spoil the advantage of having a buffer.

It’s been a while since any Eliza Effect went up, so here’s a little bit for you-


Mike and Paul were bouncing links back and forth by e-mail. There was nothing else to do, and sooner or later someone would destroy this tranquillity, so they made the most of it. Paul was specialising in odd news items and Mike had just discovered weblogs.
The door handle turned. Something in it was jamming and it made a warning click every time someone came in. They had their cover- tables of customer information- on screen before the door had even started opening. They looked round, busy innocence interrupted.
�I came for some catalogues.� Their visitor announced. He knew full well there were none, but the office had been a makeshift store until Mike discovered LAN connections in it and requisitioned it as an office. James Allison had signed the Tech Support paperwork to make it happen as his last action before moving to Customer Support.
�We shipped our last one just last week.� Mike assured him.
�I just thought I�d come down and see you boys before you move.�
�We�re losing our office?� Paul was aghast.
�You haven�t heard? You�re moving down to Slough.�
�Why would we do that?�
�It seems Bill Walsh was really impressed by your stocktaking system and wants you to put it into all of the new offices. You really didn�t know?�
�We�re always the last to be told.�
�Which one�s Bill Walsh?� Paul asked, �I�m not very good with names.�
�He�s the national head of Sales.� James informed him.
�Oh right, right.�
�I guess I shouldn�t tell you any more, if you haven�t been informed. There could be permanent jobs in it for you, though. And when it�s finished, there might be a job or two in Customer Support, if you want them.�
�Thanks. Yeah, we�ll keep that in mind.�
�Well, gotta go.�
The door clicked behind him. Paul stared at it for a moment. �Didn�t I tell the national head of Sales to fuck off at the big Christmas review?�
�No, that was the head of Marketing. And he deserved it.�

21st century etiquette- What do you say when a seventeen year old girl tells you she wants to be a porn star? I pointed out that she had to be a year older for it to be legal. I could have said that I had a camera if she had the time, but there are some things you can’t get away with at work.
So Raleigh bikes is closing its British factory. It’s a shame, I had a Chopper when I was younger, and a Chipper (or maybe a Tomahawk) and a Grifter, and probably one of their racing bikes as well. Something went horribly wrong for a while in the eighties, but then they started making quality mountain bikes. Though I guess there’s just not the volume in that to justify a big factory in Nottingham any more.

I’m job hunting. There’s just no joy in my job at the moment. I finally finished what I started three years ago, which was to build a system which was stable (relatively), scaleable and easily upgraded. There are no challenges, beyond getting through the day without going postal, left at The Gas.

When I started out, before stupid management turned me into a bitter man, I was into it for the challenge. It was all about doing things better than the lame lifers I worked for. I was reading Wired and Microserfs and wanted to do cool stuff like that. Now I’ve been there, done it and got several cool T shirts from all over the country. My reading habits have changed, now it’s history books, particularly war ones. Changing the business doesn’t interest me any more, but if they want to plan a commando raid on Powergen’s headquarters, I’m the man!