Archive for October 2011

Acts of Sod

We have a thing in Britain called Sod’s Law; it’s a simple axiom that states, “anything that can go wrong, will”, and is often exemplified by the frustrating way that dropped toast always lands butter side down. Some people know it as Murphy’s Law, particularly outside the UK where the word “sod” is not as commonly used; regardless of how you refer to it, it’s still a good way of describing those situations where you can’t for the life of you shake the feeling that the universe is royally taking the piss out of you. I got a little taste of that this week when I was rudely awoken on Monday morning as the torrential rain we were enjoying stubbornly refused to stay out of my bedroom. Sadly, while I was out, first at work then at a friend’s funeral, the situation worsened, and I returned home to find a small paddling pool with a headboard where I normally keep my bed. On the plus side, I am at least able to claim for the damage on my insurance by taking advantage of a clause which points the finger of blame squarely at a non-existent sky pixie. Read more “Acts of Sod”

The Dad Confusion

Before you get the wrong idea I should probably point out that the title of this post in no way refers to doubts that anyone may have in regards to my parentage (since there aren’t any); neither does it refer to anyone else’s, so there is no need to go calling “The Jeremy Kyle Show” asking for a DNA test, lie detector results, or a quick go on their “loud obnoxious dickhead” manufacturing plant. The title is, in fact, nothing more than yet another in a continuing series of weak puns, this time conjured up to reference Richard Dawkins’ book, “The God Delusion”, and the relationship my father, who this week celebrates his 65th birthday, has with it. Given that, this post is therefore mostly aimed at, and dedicated to, my dad, a man who is probably far from alone in wishing that Dawkins’ most controversial work had, like his latest book, featured a larger number of illustrations and a smaller number of large words. Read more “The Dad Confusion”

Goodbye, Mr. Fish

A while ago, purely for the purposes of my own private amusement, I wrote a song about the company I work for, and some of the eclectic folk I share an office with. I say “song”, it was more a selection of English words, arranged badly into sentences, and desperately in need of a better author who could put them to good use. The song itself was pretty lame, and the idea as a whole was even lamer, so for that reason alone it will probably never see the light of day. That said, however, there are a few lines from it that I would like to share (albeit reluctantly) with you, along with some far more appropriate and better arranged words, in memory of Mr. Nicholas Fish; a colleague we were shocked to learn on Monday morning had passed away over the weekend at the terribly young age of 45. Read more “Goodbye, Mr. Fish”

404 Mage Not Found

My first thought upon hearing the news this week that Apple CEO, and co-founder, Steve Jobs had died was not that the world had lost an inspirational thinker and visionary who fundamentally changed our relationship with technology (that thought was in there – it just wasn’t my first); I didn’t even leap, as I ordinarily would, straight to the cynical and anti-corporate, “Oh no, who’s going to come up with ideas for what Chinese children should build next?” (although that was in there too). No, my first thought was, given Jobs’ extraordinarily high-profile as CEO of the biggest tech company on earth, how long would it be before the Westboro Baptist Church crawled out of the festering gutter they lurk in to announce that they were going to protest his funeral? As it turned out “less than a day” was the correct answer and, when their infamous tweet came rather ironically via an iPhone (prompting a torrent of amused derision), I started to wonder why on earth theists ever bother to go anywhere near the internet when they so regularly, and completely, get their arses handed to them every time they do. Read more “404 Mage Not Found”

Baby, I was bored this way

Ah, there’s no better way to enjoy the beauty and essential poetry of the English countryside than by indulging in the old-school romance of a journey by train. Unless you go by car, of course, because then you can not only set off whenever you like, stop for a rest whenever you like, or purchase food from vendors that don’t have a loan-shark’s attitude towards pricing, but you can go right up to the countryside and touch it in its green and pleasant, cow-poo scented face. And, obviously, when I say “old-school romance” what I actually mean is “21st century exercise in psychological torture”, most train services these days tending to deliver an experience that fits somewhere nicely in between vacation and suicide. Yes, as you can probably guess, I’ve written this from one of First Great Western’s finest examples of an extortionately priced mobile cattle shed with windows … and it depresses the living shit out of me. Read more “Baby, I was bored this way”