Monthly Archives: December 2008

Christmas and that

Our little Humph used to really relax herself whenever we played Air. It would appear that “wor Leo” reacts in the same way. I wish he and Humph could have met – they would have loved each other.

We’ve had a week or so of Christmassyness and it’s feeling good! And that doesn’t even include the excitement we both feel about going back to London in two days time! How did that happen ?

Last Friday was our staff “do” [Americans: “do” means a party sort of thing] and it was most amusing. We went to a huge bowling place at 11am, that had a working bar. Nuff said. A couple of hours later we went to a bonkers Italian Family Theme Restaurant and got arseholed whilst talking bollocks and eating some vaguely Italian food. That’s a good day, especially when the company picked up the tab. So much better than my experience last year when I worked for Shiti.

We’re both really excited about coming back to London, but Michele may be even more excited than I: she hasn’t been back for over a year.

Arses – there were loads of things of axis-shifting proportions that I wanted to rant about. Be thankful for my crap memory.


people kicking a printerFor many, many years I have harboured a deep grudge against printers. Apart from the old text-only models, that were astonishingly expensive and astonishingly reliable, all printers are shit and exist solely to make the world a worse place. Evidence as follows:

  1. They are scabs. Printing is a very skilled job and very esoteric. Some of the greatest minds of human existence have been printers (e.g. Ben Franklin, Gutenberg, the Wright Brothers etc). When you need something put to paper for anything other than a few quick notes, go to a proper printer! It’ll be far cheaper in the long run than buying some $30 nightmare from Best Buy.
  2. They don’t work. No-one, to my knowledge, has calculated the total cost printers create to the economy, but I suspect that the current economic “crisis” could well be down to wasted hours in every office in the world caused daily by printers not doing the only job they were created to do: printing shit out.
  3. They’re almost never needed. 99.9% of the world’s printers aren’t needed. If you want to print photos, go to a printer’s shop. If you want to print out your emails, you should be arrested.
  4. They’re way too cheap. Everyone buys one and then calls me when the fucking thing breaks.
  5. They are a rip off. Oh, they’re so cheap to buy – what a bargain. When you run out of ink next time, work out how much it would cost to get a new printer compared to replacing the cartridge; bearing in mind the printer comes with a cartridge. The mechanics are so cheap and crap that they will break within a year.
  6. They are so annoying! You ask them to do their job and they sit there beeping at you to press their buttons for no reason and then they jam up.

Alright, enough. But it was a life affirming experience when I watched Office Space for the first time and realised I wasn’t alone in my hatred of these ridiculous devices.


If Bernard Madoff had been British, and had prospered in the UK, don’t you think the papers over there would have made far more use of puns ? I mean the guy’s name is pronounced “Made Off” – it’s a headline writer’s dream. But so far I haven’t seen a single paper taking advantage of it. Maybe they all think it’s too obvious. Well that never stopped The Sun. Perhaps they all think it’s too serious to joke about. Well that never stopped The Sun.
Regardless, I’m in awe of this guy. He made an absolute fortune by ripping off not just the ultra-rich, but the most grasping, greedy, odious, ultra-rich, snobs he could find. He even had selective entrance requirements to weed out the people with too little public-image or [I’d love to believe] not enough to lose. Either way, the guy was very clever and could easily have ducked out earlier, taking all of the money and disappearing…but he chose not to. You can’t put this down to plain greed, because we’re talking about billions of dollars. It can only have been boredom or guilt. Perhaps the guilt he felt actually turned him on all of these years, in some sort of S and M way. Perhaps when he confessed, he finally managed to come.
Either way Bernard, I salute you.
Nicola Horlick sounded almost rabid when she criticised the American Government for failing to regulate his egregious liberties. Communist bitch.

Fucking bloody arse biscuits

Recipe for a shit day

  1. Live in a country full of people who think that redistribution of wealth is an evil idea at the same time that they avoid doctors visits because they don’t have healthcare.
  2. Make sure the sky is “England Grey” and that there’s a perpetual drizzle all day.
  3. Get out of your comfy bed, unsnuggle your comfy wife and deal with going to work.
  4. Ensure you have to drive along I76, because then you can watch some of the most appalling drivers try to understand why they have just crashed and are having to stand in the rain.
  5. Listen to the radio on the drive. It doesn’t matter whether you listen to the pathetic, sponsor ridden, parochial NPR, or a “breakfast” programme with pedestrian crap music and a couple of jocular cunts trying to break boundaries in the most humourless, unimaginative way possible; either way it will help you get depressed.
  6. Ensure you have a career in software development, are working in a cube, and have written some code that seemingly does nothing but crash in creative ways.
  7. Get your wife to convince you the house is full of CO. You can then spend most of the morning attributing your tiredness and general feelings of malaise to the CO poisoning…until your wife calls back to tell you the fire department have been and found that everything’s ok.
  8. Work in a business park district that has no street lights, no pavements, and no drainage, so that walking to the bus stop in the rain involves getting soaked, covered in mud, and nearly killed three or four times.
  9. Ensure the bus also travels on I76 so that you can enjoy the rocky facade of the hillside as you nudge past it at 4mph.
  10. Get home at 7:30pm, eat, watch a bit of “The Da Vinci Code”, realise it’s shit and then realise it’s bed time.

Actually, now that I’m sitting in our warm house, laptop on my lap, parrot on my shoulder, glass of red wine in my hand, and crab spag-bol in my belly…it all seems pretty good again.

Big Baillocks

Weird shit is afoot.

The Democrats are trying to bail-out the rich whilst closing libraries, swimming pools, and fire stations. At the same time the Republicans are trying to stop them. Someone has swapped their manuals.

Meanwhile, at the top level, the “new hope” is being accused of not being eligible for presidency by a bunch of die-hard wingnuts with loads of money instead of brains.

And on the ground, Citi have started to fire the wrong people; rather than go for the outrageously expensive decision avoiders that got them into this balls-up in the first place, they’ve started picking off the people on the low rungs who actually do some work.

I can only hope that all who were involved in the decision to cover Citigroup’s arse with $300bn will die in a fire.

Anyone who works for a company that has gone out of business recently would be well advised to tool-up, break back in, and turn on the machines. Make the shit you were making before, but keep the money. It’s patriotic.

[P.S. The only station we can find over here reporting the Greek riots is the BBC.]

Friday, food, drink and good stuff.

One of the things about Britain that I frequently miss is “The Quick Pint After Work ™.” So when an opportunity arises to go to the pub after work for a few, with some sound people, I attend enthusiastically. This last Friday celebrated the departure from my old job of someone I really liked and so was an excuse for a bunch of excellent people to go to T.Hogans (by Wissahickon Station). Going to the pub after work was as enjoyable as I remember it from the good old days, albeit lacking the excellent New Cross company. Nonetheless, it was just right, and the beer wasn’t to expensive either. When I say “beer”, I mean “beerated water” of course.

As the night went on I realized that I could either go home, or regret the rest of the evening, so I left while the rest of the posse planned their trip to “The Ballet” [ which was actually an excursion to some strip club in Conshohocken.]

It was a 25 minute walk home in the cold so I managed to refuel the beer scooter with a traditional Philly Cheesesteak. Brits need to realise that the traditional kebab compares poorly to the Cheesesteak.

Although obviously nothing compares to a proper after-pub curry.

The weekend involved watching some excellent films [Quantum of Solace, Pineapple Express, and Burn After Reading]. They were all superb – go and watch them!

Louis Theroux in Philadelphia

Thanks to all of the nice people who sent us links to Louis Theroux’s Law And Disorder in Philadelphia. What the Brits need to know is that the scenes depicted there are as alien to us (10 miles from the action) as they are to you. It unintentionally painted a miserable picture of Philadelphia and enabled people like this tosser to talk bollocks.
This film could have been shot in London or Manchester. OK, perhaps the guy with the cow was unusual for those cities, but the rest is just run of the mill.
Personally, I was glad that Police were accurately portrayed:

  • They were [initially at least] well meaning.
  • They were utterly useless at attacking the root cause of the problem.
  • Instead they attacked the easily attackable such as a bunch of kids smoking weed in a car, and a few loonies/tweakers on the street.
  • In doing so, they alienated just about everyone in the neighbourhoods that need the most help.
  • When they did nick the real culprit, he was out of jail in 5 hours. I know people who’ve been stuck in nick for longer than that for drunk and disorderly…

As I said, just like London and Manchester.
The most annoying aspect to all of this is that the whole problem could be solved with a few million quid and advice from people who actually understand the problem. Instead, we give billions to a wunch of bankers because they can’t even do their own jobs without fucking it up for the rest of us.