Today is national chip shop day, or fish and chip day – something like that. Celebrating the Italian chip shop tradition in Ireland. So today enjoy a 1-and-1 and a bottle of TK, if you can find it.
Since I started watching Lost back in 2004 so much has changed. I spent six months in San Diego, left my job at IBM, lost my father, spent 15 months in a job that turned out to be everything I didn’t hope for, bought a house, got married, got a job that turned out to be more than I hoped for and became a father.
And all the while I watched every season of Lost. I don’t mean to say that this has been a big thing on my life but because I don’t have cable or Tv service I download and watch the stuff that I want commercial free. I got into this show when I had an opportunity to watch a few episodes in succession. Since then I have watched all of it. What started out as character acting became caricature acting towards the end with to much melodrama, but at the end of the day it was a fun show that raised more questions than it answered and that was part of the fun of it.
Can the level of top quality tv entertainment continue? Well if shows made from Twitter sites like S**t my dads says is anything to go by, I don’t think it will.
Dr Craig Venter said that he’s not playing God. He said he IS God (I assume), while creating a synthetic living cell. Speaking from the top of a hill he held aloft two flash drives with his ten point guidelines for other people to follow when living a synthetic life.
What’s the big deal? I mean at the end of the day it’s only a lump of something in a jar. It is not as if it is going to become self-aware and then take control of missile defences and then decide that mankind is too much of a threat and then decide to take corrective action against mankind and then embark on a war against man kind that lasts through at least four feature length real-time documentaries is it now. No I don’t think so. Be calm people.
After all it’s only a game.
Some time ago I had a really fun time accompanying two colleagues to London to take part in a storytelling ‘workshop’. We went to find out more about storytelling in business and the author of a book called ‘Diary of a naked salesman’, Espen Holm. The book uses the idea of storytelling as a method of improving sales techniques.
It was nice to meet Espen, however I do remember the rest of the people at the workshop being odd, very odd indeed. For instance, I met a gentleman who told me that he was not in IT. He was adamant that he was in marketing, not IT. I nodded politely, hoping to move the conversation on ‘what company are you with?’ He responded, ‘Lexmark’. I asked, regretting the words as they fell from my mouth, ‘would they consider themselves an IT company? ‘To my surprise, the gentleman took a quite astonished look and answered ‘yes, I suppose they would’ and walked off. Some of the other odd types included:
• A person who told a story in a whisper
• A person who reminded us that when we, or anyone we know, dies that there is someone at the back of the room waving a cheque. This gentleman deserved a prize for having a business card that was designed to look like a mass card!
• A racist
I remember thinking at one stage of the day that there had to be hidden cameras, because to be so many odd people in one location had to be a set up. Someone somewhere was watching and laughing at the pained look on my colleagues and my faces.
It’s too bizarre to go into the characters we met in this post; however I have resolved to post the carry on that day, as a form of therapy for myself.
Experiences like this are a great way to get to know colleagues better and to just have fun. I have fond memories of that day.
Anyway, the art of storytelling has not gone away, its important. I’ve been listening to a podcast called ‘the moth’. Its storytelling and it’s really good. Check it out, http://www.themoth.org . You’ll hear stories from famous people and people like you and me. You’ll be glad you did.
I come to work and pass through the M50 Toll Bridge. I got an easy pass gadget for my car to allow me to pass through without having to look for change. There is a dedicated lane for cars that have the easy pass gadget and my understanding is that any car that use this gadget should be able to pass through without having to stop and should, in theory, be able to ‘beat the queue’
I’ve noticed that the queues in the easy pass lane are now usually as long, if not longer, than the queues on the other lanes and the barrier on the easy pass lane is always down, when most of the other lanes the barriers are usually up.
I know that the easy pass gadget works in any lane, I just don’t know why the lane that is dedicated moves at a slower pace.
Another thing that bothers me about this are cars that use the lane that don’t have the gadget and the attitude of the people who run the bridge to those cars.
If a car arrives to the barrier and doesn’t have a gadget the barrier won’t rise. A queue will form and it would appear that the attitude of the people inside the toll booth is to let the car sit there and take a horn beating from other cars. Why do the booth operators do this? Why not just open the window, take the cash and tell the driver not to do it again or get a gadget. Why slow everyone down just to make a driver feel uncomfortable?
Why would someone pull into a lane without a gadget? Well its not as clear cut as that. They may have a gadget but it may not work properly. They might be a tourist, they might have taken the gadget out of the car etc. etc.
If you’re reading this and thinking I’d never do such a thing, you might be suffering fundamental attribution error syndrome.
As I drove work this morning in my 1.9 Turbo Diesel German engineered car I listened with interest to Morning Ireland on RTE radio one as I do each morning to catch the news headlines. The section ‘it says in the papers’ was on and Caroline Murphy was talking about the usual things in the broadsheets and the rags. She mentioned that Easons may include a section called ‘Painful Lives’ for books by people, z-lists celebrities mostly, who are writing books about their shitty lives. Waterstone’s have already created this section.
What is wrong with these people? Is there nothing they won’t do for cash and attention? They think they have it hard? Let me tell you something about MY painful life.
1. I have only four bedrooms in my detached house. How do you think that makes me feel when five friends / couples might want to stay over? Terrible, that’s how.
2. 8Mb. That’s how fast my broadband connection to my four bed-roomed house is. How painful is that. Knowing that I have to wait one or two seconds for a page to load. Oh sure its contention free, but I’m sure it could be MORE contention free. When will I be free of this pain?
3. My Apple MacBook Pro is one year old. And as far as anyone is concerned that too old. How can I be seen with something so outdated. Its like a computer from the last century or something. its probably not even year Y2K compliant. I’m sure that my laptop will be hit by the Y2K bug. How can I show my face outside?
4. My German Turbo Diesel engine is only 1.9. The shame I feel every day knowing that its not 2.5 or 3.0 or even a hummer. Why must I be forsaken? Why can’t I have a hummer? You tell me? Why is life so hard?
5. I only get to work from home up to two days a week. Enough said about that.
6. Only one room in my house is en suite. Tears are rolling down my face, as I’m sure they are yours as you read about my painful life.
So I’m sure that my life is far more painful than Kerry, Posh, Brian, Jordon etc. They’ll never understand the pain that I feel when I have to listen their stories mentioned on the radio or Sky news. That’s a pain that just won’t go away.
TV bounty hunter Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman has been axed from TV due to a Race Rant in a private conversation.
Fishbowl NY runs a partial transcript from the tape, where Chapman asks the film crew to not record the girlfriend:
“I don’t care if she’s a Mexican, a whore, whatever. It’s not because she’s black, it’s because we use the word n- – – – – sometimes here […] “I’m not going to take a chance ever in life of losing everything I’ve worked for, for 30 years, because some f- – -ing n- – – – – heard us saying n- – – – -. […] It’s that we use the word n- – – -. We don’t mean, ‘You f- – -ing scum n- – – – – without a soul… We don’t mean that s- – -, but America would think we mean that.”
Radiohead have offered their new album ‘INRAINBOWS’ at a ‘pay-what-you-want’ price on their website. They are not officially signed to any company so they can do this. You can purchase the album from 0-100 GBP. I chatted with a colleague about this sort of thing some time ago. The colleague mentioned that if the music industry or film industry offered materials for people to download that a price that didn’t leave the consumer feeling ripped off then they wouldn’t rip off the music and they would indeed pay for it. I’ve paraphrased, my colleague said it far more eloquently than I have written here, but it was some time ago and my memory isn’t what it was.
So when it came time to decide whether to ‘purchase’ the music from Radiohead or just take it gratis I decided that it is only right and proper to pay something towards their efforts.
The whole process is so simple. Log in to their site, register pay your money and there’s a link in your inbox to download a 48MB zip file. The music is DRM free, so that means it will work on any device that’s capable of playing MP3 music.
I wonder if any other major artists will follow their lead?
Here’s a video of Paranoid Android from OK Computer, a beautifully constructed album.
German ambassador to Ireland doesn’t hold back and tells it like he sees it and delivers funny anecdote.
- Ireland is a coarse place with a sad history where the natives are obsessed by money
- Junior ministers earn more than the German Chancellor
- 20 per cent of the population are public servants
- Health service chaotic
- Hospital consultants turn down ‘Micky Mouse’ money (200,000 euro) to work in public sector
- Irish history “even sadder than Poland’s”
He said that he was at the National Concert Hall when an announcer appealed for the owner of a 1993-registered car to move the vehicle because it was blocking an entrance. “Of course no one moved,” said Mr Pauls. “All the Irish are driving 2006 and 2007 cars. For all I know the car is still there.” He also said that tourists from the United States had stopped visiting Ireland because they were sick of the incessant traffic jams.
Is this true? Perhaps, perhaps not, but its better than being called a ‘bunch of ditch-digging drunks who like nothing better than to sing and fight and fight and sing’