Friday, June 30, 2006

Day off

I had a day off today so decided to take advantage of our unseasonably good weather, and plonked myself in the grounds of Ally Pally, just next door to me. And very pleasant it was too, being totally empty until after 5. I pride myself on being careful in the sun after too many sunburn incidents as a youngster, suffering merely burnt ankles in Australia, but I may have underestimated our own sunshine. Rubbish as it may be, I still managed to get a neat line across my back dividing where I could reach with sun cream, and where I couldn't.

I'm think of getting a Creative mp3 player like Jamie - the addition of a radio is too good to miss, and according to the luddite's luddite (Jamie) it works fine with iTunes. If he can make it work, anyone can. It won't work with anything purchased through iTunes though, but since I've bought a grand total of 5 songs, I can't say I'm that fussed. I don't get why people buy music this way - it's actually cheaper to get it from somewhere like Amazon, then rip it to mp3 - and play it on whatever you want with no restrictions. And you actually own the physical album, rather than an easily destroyed music file. People baffle me sometimes. It can't all be down to teenage girls downloading single album tracks because they heard them on the OC can it?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

See, blogs can be useful

This from Matt's.

Hours of retro fun.

Sorry

about all the formatting going skewif. I'm not sure what's happened but it's all gone a bit myspace.

This one came out better than expected



Nice isn't it? Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I told you the photos from Prague would be shit

But if you look carefully Charles Bridge is sort of visible in this picture taken from the tower of St Vitus' Cathedral in Prague castle. 293 steps or something - I thought I was going to have a heart attack climbing up.

 Posted by Picasa

Mobile phone picture madness

I just found this, taken on the tube.



Hilarious. Posted by Picasa

Ipod sucks

Can someone please recommend me a new MP3 player? My iPod mini has come to the end of it's useful life after a mere year and a half, as I get about an hours play out of it before the battery dies.

Fucking Apple. All style over substance.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Melonheads

How come no one told me the Lemonheads were playing Somerset House? Anyway, I managed to get a couple of tickets. I just hope it doesn't rain.

And excluding the top acts on the bill doesn't this festival completely trash anything that's happening in the UK this summer? The Flaming Lips! The Shins! The Raconteurs! Iron & Wine! Explosions in the Sky! Wolf Parade!! The Stills!! The South Austin Jug Band!?...

It's unlikely I'll be able to go, but I am sadly looking at how much it would cost to get there.

What the fuck is KT Tunstall doing in the line up? British music makes me sick. How many whiny female singer-'songwriters' with stupid names must the music industry thrust upon us? Melua, Furtado, Thom, Bailey Rae, Topley-Bird. Jesus wept. This is what happens when you give them the vote, they get into areas that they know nothing about. That's why women only ever have 5 CDs, all 'New Woman' compilations. And they don't get jokes.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Did you see that Tango advert?

Absolutely hilarious.

Some people aren't too happy though.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What day is it again?

I'm starting to lose track of the days, but I understand that tomorrow I get to sleep in my own bed again, so I'm pretty happy about that.

Madrid's hot. The air conditioning is not functioning quite as well as you would expect. I've just got back to the hotel after a very pleasant meal out with all our workshop guests, organised by the Madrid branch. It was a pretty sweet restaurant, classic Spanish fare, ie. serrano ham and small fish fried, or should that be small fried fish? Plus a few drinks and amiable chit chat without too much of a heavy focus on discussing work. That's always the hard part of these trips - it's so easy to just talk work work work when you're out because if this is the first time you've met it's all you know you have in common - but I implore you to resist. You never get to know people if you just talk about work.

Though we did talk quite a bit about upcoming projects because it's just unavoidable. It's the first time I've been to Madrid and it did remind me a little of why (sometimes) I really do like what I'm doing. I know I've been having serious doubts about whether I'm doing the right thing workwise (and I still haven't made my mind up) but it's genuinely rewarding to have someone you've never met before come up to you and thank you for all the work you've put in on their behalf, and how you've been an invaluable help to them. And then to say to their boss (the head of IT) 'oh, this is Will, he's been helping us a great deal over the last few months' as to draw their attention to the fact that I am actually on their side. And I am. As I am with all the other countries we look after, some people just do not see that side of what I do, and the countless hours of justifying and negotiating that goes on in the UK, out of their sight.

And for them to say they're really thankful that we've come over to visit them, and gain a better understanding of their setup. They've felt quite isolated from the rest of the organisation over the last few years, but the project I'm working on has already made them feel less neglected and they seem genuinely enthusiastic for what is to come, even though I've had the unenviable task of telling them exactly what is to come, and how difficult it's going to be.

So yeah, days like today do make it seem worthwhile.

Even if it was too hot to be giving a presentation and I was sweating all over the place.

Buenos Noches

Well after 3 days in Prague for an Orange conference (that's a conference held by Orange, rather than a conference about oranges) I'm now in Madrid for a workshop with a few of our IT people from Europe. Prague was dead nice, as always. The conference was a little tedious, and was mostly an overlong sales pitch, but you've got to take the rough with the smooth in this business sunshine. You don't get free trips for nothing.

My camera is unfortunately knackered (I guess it couldn't take the Aussie heat) and since I bought a PSP rather than a new one, all I had was my trusty camera phone. I shall post some of the blurry photos when I get back home.

I just thought I'd write a quick update as the hotel in Prague didn't have any internet access (5 star + no internet, you what?!) but this one's got high speed in the room. I'm in one of the 'business' rooms, which basically means free minibar (although it's not exactly brimming with alcoholic delights, I did swipe all the gummi bears already) loads of poncy looking toiletries (although I brought my own) a box of chocs on arrival (all gone) and the choice of 10 smells for the room including 'siesta under the orange trees' and 'spring in blossom'. No 'english boozer' unfortunately, so I might skip that particular treat.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Rodent abuse

"Abbey has come under fire for using performing squirrels in TV ads promoting its Family ISA. Campaign group Animal Defenders International has criticised the bank for subjecting the squirrels to 'harsh' training and working conditions. It has also called on consumers to lodge complaints with the ASA."

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Uber

"Uber middle class"....

95% of this country are middle class, with about 2.5% working class and 2.5% upper class. Having a university degree would certainly put an individual into the middle class category. Ranting about pillow cases will mean you definitely qualify. In fact, unless you have a dog on a string you won't have much chance of falling into the working class category. Some people feel guilty that they're better off than 2.5% of the population. Maybe they should just start feeling jealous of the other 2.5%.

Veering off at a tangent, much like sine over cosine, I have not been my usual chipper self lately what with one thing or the other, so in an effort to expurgate these feelings of negativity I've done what I've always known to cure one's deflated condition - splashed the cash on unnecessary consumer electronics. Tomorrow (courier willing) I take delivery of a shiny new white PSP, courtesy of Amazon.

Now I had been after a PSP for ages, but just never got round to getting one as I couldn't justify the expense. I still can't justify it now, I just don't care. Plus I'm getting the remake of Outrun, how cool is that?!

I'm going to be doing a fair amount of travelling in the coming months; Prague and Madrid next week and Dubai next month. So I believe that an investment in a distraction from aeroplane-creaking should be worth it.

Plus my Ipod seems to be on it's last legs battery wise, spluttering to a disappointing halt after a lousy 90 mins. Just like England will be on Saturday.

I nearly got through the whole post without a mention of the World Cup. Oh well.