Friday, November 28, 2008

I want a ladder.

At any given moment, with absolutely no warning whatsoever, anything in my house has the capacity to amuse me. Tonight it was my step ladder. I was passing through to the back of the house in which I live and, sitting by the back door, there was MY stepladder. Mine. I own it. I went to a shop and I paid money and bought it for me to use on those occasions when something is marginally too high to reach by precariously balancing on a chair of dubious stability. Adults own things like that. Not children, they use their parent's stepladder. Ergo, I am an adult for owning a stepladder. Hoorah.

Among the plethora of things that I own, a proper grown up ladder, of more than 4 steps that you can reach the ceiling with, is not among them. I shouldn't own one because there are rules about such things and the rules say so.

I rent. That's it in a nutshell. Further among the things I do not own is a house. I was never inclined towards, or financially capable of, such a feat. The fact is that people who rent have no business owning proper grown up high ladders. If something needs doing in a house that is rented that requires the use of a grown up high ladder then it is the landlord's job. That's the rule, the line that needs to be crossed to get from "tenant's job" to "landlord's responsibility." The ladder is that line. I don't know if that's how it's worded in the tenancies agreement but in practice, that's how it works.

But I want one. I covet them. Years this has been going on. Honestly. I'm that crazy, really. I'm mad me. I don't own a house but by God I shall have my ladder. A ladder with a gimmick, obviously, because if a person who isn't strictly qualified to own something insists on having one anyway, there must be some other, less practical aspect to it's operation that opens its usability options up into hitherto unexplored vistas. Something a practical, house owning grown up with a need to maintain his or her ceiling wouldn't absolutely find essential to perform normal grown up ladder type tasks, in this particular case.

A bendy ladder, perhaps. Hmmmmm,...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On the Subject of Myself and Other Creative Persons Wot I Know

I just worked out a thing about myself which may go some way to also understanding several of my friends, acquaintances and business associates. This revelation can be compressed into a simple sentence which, obviously, me being me, I shall then expand upon at length in the form of a rant. It's what I do and this, I guess, is the point.

Creative people are difficult.

There, I said it. We're difficult. Let me explain (I warned you!).

For the last few weeks I have been required to work extended hours to achieve certain goals that have been thrust upon me by my employers. Usually I only have to work 20 hours per week under relatively stress free conditions for an (almost) exorbitant rate which nets me more income than a lot of people have to work 40 hours to match. It's a doddle. However, as the hours have grown, so has my temper. This afternoon I had my boss promising to buy me a bottle of Scotch as a reward for just doing my job. I had become so scary that he thought the promise of free alcohol was the only thing that would calm me down.

Now, I like the idea that I can scare people because I genuinely think that I'm among the least threatening beings on the planet. But then I finished work, came home and found myself thinking about it, over a good deal of the very substance offered to me earlier, and I realised what I like to call... "A Thing".

This must be the very reason why I have worked alone in my own home or rented private office since the age of about 28. I'm actually not fit to work and play with others. It's the way I function: pressure + stress = anger + shouting. What I realised today is that this is what I need to do in order to be creative under pressure. It has nothing to do with the task in hand, it has nothing to do with the people who are dumping this annoying shit in my in-tray all day. It's not personal. There is simply a direct correlation between what is required to be done and the amount of shouting that is necessary for me to be able do it.

I'm sure there's a link between creativity and anger. Another day, when it's not after midnight and I don't need to be back at work in less than 8 hours, I might do some research and add some statistics and/or facts to my postulation but, alas, it's time for bed.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Do I LOOK like a spy?

I always enjoy a day when my synaptic functions operate well and I manage to formulate intelligent and amusing thoughts and express them clearly in the form of coherent sentences. Some days I'm doing well to grunt.

Today I did well. At lunch everyone laughed at all the right times, my opinions were sought on a wide range of topics and my responses treated with respect. Much wine was consumed, the sun went down and I was later left alone to contemplate dinner which, I decided, had to involve a stroll up to the supermarket for onions. I like a night stroll.

Standing in the queue, basket in hand. The man before me, who I didn't recognise, looked back at me, sheepishly said "Dirk Gently" and expectantly smiled.

"Hello, yes" I replied, assuming he must be remembering that my name is something like Derek, well, exactly like as it happens, and Dirk was as close as he could get. I'm crap at remembering people so perhaps he wasn't a stranger after all I reasoned.

"Do you know what I'm saying?"

"Yes, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency"

More smiling, "Ah! Someone who understands what I'm talking about!"

"Not really. Knowing what you're saying and understanding what you're talking about are two completely different things and I'm only managing one of them at the moment."

He turned and walked forward to be served and I was left wondering if I'd just failed to respond with the appropriate reply in some clandestine meeting of spies. "The pigeons fly at midnight". "Yes, it is very unexpected at this time of year"... but at least I'd sounded intellingent while doing so.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Use of flashing lights by Police vehicle

I sent the following, last Saturday afternoon, to the Police Complaints email address I found on the website of my local Police force. It's self expananatory:

"Earlier this afternoon, at about 1.30pm, Saturday 17/5/08, I was waiting to walk across X Parade., a few hundred metres west of the intersection with XXX Terrace. There was quite a lot of traffic queued facing east at a red light and, at a break in the centre island on X Parade. A police vehicle facing the opposite direction was waiting to do a U-turn, but this was obviously not being facilitated with as much ease as the driver wished as there was no break in traffic to allow this manoeuvre.

So on came the flashing lights atop the vehicle, causing other vehicles to stop as they approached to let the police car turn and then, with lights still flashing, vehicles were persuaded to either pull aside or close up to others in front of them to create a big enough gap for the police vehicle to cross 2 lanes and enter a car park to their left. I watched, assuming they were going to cut through the car park to avoid the lights and carry on down XXX Terrace about some business, but no. The vehicle was then parked and a uniformed officer got out and went into the Subway takeaway to order himself some lunch!

I was left wondering about the legality of this sequence of events. Surely the flashing lights are meant to be used in emergency situations and the power to make other vehicles get out of the way is something that should be reserved for some sort of police business, not to speed up entry to a takeaway to buy a sandwich. Consequently I took note of the registration of the police vehicle, which is XXX-XXX, and decided to bring this matter to the attention of some appropriate authority.

To be honest, I'm getting a bit sick of this sort of thing. It feels like bullying, throwing weight and authority around unnecessarily. As a resident of XXX Terrace I quite often witness police vehicles travelling up the road in the wrong direction (ie. on the wrong side of the traffic island opposite the X Hotel) for something like 20 to 30 metres in order to perform nothing more important than, again, access the Subway store across the road there, but this usually just causes me to laugh, being fully aware that should they see anyone else do exactly the same thing then the driver would be pulled over and fined. The use of the flashing lights to facilitate the same objective, however, seemed one step too far for me to be amused by it.

Justified Ancient of Mu Mu"

I got an official letter in the post today, informing me that my complaint had been referred to the "Internal Investigations Branch" and that I would soon be receiving a phone call from an officer to initiate a "conciliation process".

I'm scared!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What moron invented money?

Every day there are dozens of things that annoy me. They start first thing with the alarm clock which just shits me on principal, reminding me every morning that we as a species are completely fucked. What other animal sets up their civilisation in such a way that nearly all freedoms of the individual are voluntarily given up? I’m not talking about ants or bees, they don’t really function as individuals in the first place and besides, they have the simple, basic, shared purpose of survival to take care of. We humans are perfectly able to look after ourselves as a hunter/gatherer species and yet we have chosen to delegate those tasks to others in favour of each pursuing a single, self chosen task for the purpose of acquiring small rectangles of a paper-like substance that we exchange for the goods and services we can no longer acquire or do for ourselves because we’re too busy doing the crap thing we decided to do for the rest of our lives. Whose bright idea was that? What fucking idiot thought that life would be better if we shared tasks and exchanged money to balance out everyone’s efforts? That person was wrong. Yes, civilisation as a whole benefits, we progressed, and we get a bigger, brighter, more complicated choice of stuff we can have, and I love stuff more than most, but it’s a pretty rubbish system from a personal satisfaction, enjoyment of living perspective. Take me for instance. I work on a computer and will happily admit that, as a task, this is a hell of a lot easier than building my own shelter, growing my own vegetables, hunting the occasional wild animal and trying not to to get myself killed in the process, but I can’t help feeling that life would be a lot more interesting and fun that way. The biggest challenge I face each day is heaving myself unwillingly out of bed each morning, cursing the moron who invented the concept of money and who is responsible for each of us having to be up and dressed and off out to our daily job at a set time every day. Cunt.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour

Bah Humbug. I've been shopping for spotlights and power boards this afternoon and at 8pm my intention is to light my house up like an airfield. Landing lights, that's what I need and lots of 'em.

Fucking hippies.

Nano Silver Technology????

They're making this shit up. What the fuck is Nano Silver Technology? No idea. It was just on an ad I saw on tv, for something... no idea, again. I was too distracted by the magical sounding words, Nano Silver Technology. It might have been a washing machine although, having now searched for the term (yes I "Googled" it but I prefer the more generic term "searched") I've discovered that this alleged "technology" is being applied to everything from wet wipes and cosmetics to food storage and, as mentioned, washing machines. It does things to bacteria they say.

Hmmmmmmm. Sounds like crap.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Things that don't work #1

Adding Whisky to a Coke Slushy

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I am NOT an ineffectual idiot!

OK, things go wrong. I know that. The interweb is a complicated thing full of plugs and sockets and wires and chips and hardware and software and general manifestations of the latest advances in technology that I have no understanding of, or interest in. I know that too.


I'm not happy. I go through the hassle of getting our Web Host to change the whole server thingumy to one that allows a forum to function (apparently it's complicated and requires database whatsists), spend most of a weekend, until 2am on Sunday, making it work and look pretty. I tested it all day Monday and on Tuesday I send out a launch email to almost everyone I ever received an email from, asking them to go forth and play with it, and several do immediately. They join as members, plug their businesses and generally do exactly what I hoped they would... then Internode crashes out our server for three hours and, when it starts working again, the database ends up reset to where it was the day before. New members gone, their posts deleted as if they never existed.

One step forward, two steps back. Grrrrrr...