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Friday, May 30, 2008

Ear hair 

One of the bad things about getting older is that hair starts growing out of your ears. I'm normally a great fan of body and facial hair but ear hair is like weeds in a garden and isn't wanted.

I have this horrible habit of plucking it out almost absent-mindedly but, alas, it grows back.

I may have mentioned this before but I hate it so much that it is worth repeating.

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Sapphire and Steel 

I'm currently listening to all of the Sapphire and Steel audio adventures from Big Finish and I'm enjoying them immensely.

Like the Tomorrow People audio adventures, the new Sapphire and Steel stories take the feel of the classic television series and take it further and in a new direction.

I have listened to them before but on the car CD. It's easy to miss bits that way so I have transferred them to my iPod and I'm listening to them to and from work.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lost wallet? 

Further to the (non-)incident with the cash machine distracter, I noticed this morning that my second wallet was missing.

I noticed this just before I left for work. I assumed that I'd put it somewhere safe when I was on my way back from Wales but I couldn't think where it was and would find it later.

On the way to work, however, it began to prey on my mind and I started to wonder if I had dropped it somewhere or, horrors, the man with the bogus tenner on the floor had been a very sly pickpocket.

It took a real effort of will not to panic at work or jump on the next train home so that I could look for it, however, I managed it and remained calm until I could get home and have a good look.

Good looks are the opposite of bad looks. These are the ones where you have several frantic searches in unlikely places in the hope that you missed whatever you were looking for but will find it that one last time.

I was most relieved to find it when I got home tucked away in my camera bag. Not a place I would normally put it but somewhere just the right size for a wallet and that rang the faintest of faint bells in the back of my mind.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

ATM scam foiled? 

Last night, I stopped at an ATM to collect some money. I had to pay someone so I was taking rather a large sum out.

While I was there some shifty-looking bloke kept trying to get my attention but, in the way of most Brits, I ignored him.

Eventually, he pointed out a folded up ten pound note on the pavement and implied that he wondered if it was mine. I didn't get his drift entirely as I didn't want to leave the machine and his English wasn't too good.

I knew it wasn't mine as I don't carry folded-up tenners in my pocket although just in case I was wrong about that, I put my foot on it to stop it blowing away and carried on with my ATM transaction but that proved to be too much of a distraction and so I removed my foot at which point the shifty man grabbed the folded up tenner and ran off.

I can only assume this was some form of scam, a way intended to distract me from the machine so that an accomplice could either grab my cash or my card (assuming Mr Shifty also caught sight of my number). Luckily it didn't work.

To be certain, I also checked the ATM itself in case there was a bogus card reader.

Of course, I could have been wrong and the man could genuinely have been trying to find out if I had dropped the tenner but it didn't feel "safe" to me.

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Kind Regards 

We're having a revamp of our email and other communication style throughout the company. I was worried for a moment that we were to use the dreaded words "kind regards" to end emails.

I really hate using those words as I feel them to be rather condescending. They put me in mind of Glinda the Good in the Wizard of Oz when she is gazing benevolently on the Munchkins.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Eurovision 2008 

The Eurovision Song Contest is one of those gay stereotypes that we are all supposed to enjoy along with musical theatre, sex, shopping and more sex. Of course, there are others but this one is one that I have no problem enjoying.

This year I wasn't as enthusiastic as I normally am. I have already commented on our selection process for our entry and that may have reduced my enthusiasm for the competition itself although I think the other events in my life may have contributed to that.

However, with a long drive to Wales for our holiday approaching, last weekend, I bought the CD so that we could listen to it in the car. Unfortunately, we only liked one of the songs out of the 43 on offer and it was the entry from Belgium.

Had we been anywhere near a TV that showed the semi-final and somewhere I could get a decent mobile phone signal, I would have voted. I don't think my one vote would have made a difference however.

I didn't think our song stood out from the rest very well. That's not to say I thought it was the worst or even the joint worst with Germany and Poland. There were other songs that were awful that did better in the final than the final three.

I did manage to see the final on Saturday in the company of David and a German couple. When it came to the scoring, it was amazing how someone in the room was able to predict where the 12 points were to go before they were announced and not because they were going toward a song that was head and shoulders above all the others. No, as usual, votes went to neighbours.

Voting for this sort of thing should not be down to the public. Generally they vote for a nice face or someone they recognise from another show or someone from their home country or a song in a language they all understand.

They certainly do not vote for songs or singers or whatever on merit.

How can the ESC be changed? Goodness knows. The public vote is still needed - the TV companies want the money from the premium rate lines.

Professional jury?

Regional heats?

Two competitions?

Dump it altogether?

I don't know. I would be the the first to admit that there are more important things to worry about but it would be good to sort this out.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Why blog? 

In the last week or so my blog has had a lot of traffic because I made an insulting comment and invoked the wrath of the combined readership of another blog.

My usual hit rate is minimal; it's unusual if I have more than 10 hits per day. One day last week I had over 150. Maybe I should insult people more often.

Incidentally, I have deleted both the insulting post and another where I refused to apologise for it. In hindsight, I was realised I was wrong and, if anyone cares, I apologise. The term "illiterate" was way too strong and incorrect.

My change of heart had less to do the comments left here and more to do with me overhearing some rather bitchy comments from someone sitting near me at a concert. I suddenly realised that was something I do too much of myself and that the "illiterate" comment was just one example.

There are better uses for a blog than to use it to throw insults around the Internet. It's not clever.

That brings me to the subject of this post. Why do I bother to blog at all?

I've given this some thought and I think I do this for myself. This is an open diary effectively where I can write about stuff that's on my mind and move on.

Sometimes it's useful to someone else. I can see that through the visit logs. Sometimes it amuses people. Sometimes I use it just to show friends something that would take too long to explain in words.

However, whether this blog is of any use or interest to anyone else is something I would consider a bonus. Most of the time, it's just for me.

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