Month: December 2015

5 things I am smug about

Smugness overload. I am currently feeling smug about:

  • I have finished my Christmas shopping.
  • I have wrapped all the Christmas shopping.
  • I have plenty of homemade chutney to supplement all the gifts.
  • I even finished off the Christmas cards.
  • No more Christmas rush for me until next year! Hoorah!

The Great Pottery Throw Down

It’s not my usual television show choice. However, me and the Bloke have ended up following this.

It started when we stumbled across the show in the TV guide, when looking for something to brainlessly watch after dinner. I just wanted to see how my home town would be portrayed. The bloke, on the other hand, has a total man crush on Sara Cox.

We first watched it expecting to turn it off part way through out of boredom. This was not the case.

This show is hilarious – especially if you have a somewhat juvenile sense of humour, as the Bloke and I do. We giggled our way through the first full episode which was dripping unintentional innuendo. This is helped by the Blokes observation that anything Sara Cox says sounds dirty. The main stars of this are the contestants, though.

Some choice quotes from this so far:

‘The shrinkage of this clay is 17%. That’s almost as bad as VAT!’

‘It’s only a little crack!’

‘It is, and I’m filling that baby up!’

‘Who mastered pulling, and whose touch has let them down?’

The judges almost feel surplus to requirements. Keith Brymer Jones is a strange looking man. His gelled up comb over makes it look like he has horns from a distance, and he’s prone to bursting into tears. Which is uncomfortable, to say the least. I’m also convinced that the other judge, Kate Malone, is constantly stoned, she’s so airy and arty. Little innuendo comes from these guys, and really – the filth is the draw of this show. I think I’d quite happily watch this show with just the contestants and Sara Cox every week, just to see the banter.

Next week is the final, and I’m going to miss it. The bloke and I are hoping that Jim wins, as his Elvis hair totally steals the show. The man is a legend!

Brussels Sprouts

I came across an article in the local news this week – ‘Brussels sprout ‘smuggler’ mystifies staff at primary school‘.

In a nut shell, some enterprising child is smuggling their uneaten brussels sprouts into the bags of their classmates, in what is assumed to be a ploy to fool his/her parents that he/she has eaten the sprouts.

This is brilliant, on so many levels. I’ve never been a fan of sprouts myself. In fact, I remember the year when my Dad declared that we don’t like them anyway, so he was no longer going to add them to the Christmas dinner. It was awesome. As such, I’ve never been in a position of needing to hide my sprouts. But what this kid is doing is just genius.

I hope he becomes a secret agent when he grows up.

What makes me sad about this article is the reaction of the school. If the report is to be believed, break time has been cancelled for some until the culprit confesses. The school has apparently denied this, but then goes on to say that they are worried about food allergies. For sprouts. While experts say that as little as 1 in 50,000 may have a brussels sprout allergy.

Now, food allergies can be a real concern – especially for things like peanuts. Here’s the thing though – I’m pretty sure that most institutions these days (especially where children are involved) keep records of any severe allergies just in case. Unless they actually have a child there with an allergy to sprouts, then a letter home like this seems like a complete over-reaction. Then again, in a world where people will sue for compensation at the drop of a hat, I guess I can understand why the school has had to take this position.

It’s a bit sad. The sooner we get out of the whole compensation culture, the better, in my mind. I feel that it has gone a long way to stop people taking responsibility for themselves in many cases, resulting in an ‘elf and safety culture gone mad.

The place where everybody knows your name

First world problem ahoy.

I’ve been at my current place of employment for almost 6 months now. It employs somewhere in the region of 500 people, so although I remember the names of most of the people I work with on a daily basis, I don’t quite know everyones name yet.

Thing is, they seem to know mine. I’m not quite sure how, as I’m very sure I’ve never been introduced/introduced myself/had conversations with some of these people. Yet they greet me by name in the corridor when I say good morning!

This brings a dilemma. I’ve been here 6 months now, so I should know their names by now, right? I feel I’ve been here too long to get away with asking. Also, what if my memory has actually failed me, and I have been introduced to these people at some point in the past?

This problem is neatly illustrated by the below graph:

WhatsInANameIf I am remembering rightly, and I never have actually been introduced to these people – what on earth have I done to make my name stick in their heads?

So I now have no choice but to hide at my desk forever. Or work from home forever. I just know this is going to end in me wanting the ground to open up and swallow me at some point in the future. Gah!

The Ghost in the Machine

Nope, this isn’t about the rather awesome anime.

A colleague who sits close to me at work has a piece of hardware on his desk that is used for testing different print channels. It;s a big plastic box, with a clear plastic covering, allowing you to see all the fun stuff inside. All is quiet when my colleague is there.

However, when he leaves his desk, the machine makes a knocking noise. Two taps on the plastic in quick succession, approximately every half a minute. It sounds like someone is in there knocking on the plastic.

I’m creeped out. I’ve wandered over a few times to investigate, but I can’t see what’s making the noise.

It defies all logic. If ever there was a case for a ghost in the machine, this would be it. Since I don’t believe in ghosts, though, my bet is that the cutlery gremlin is branching out from stealing teaspoons from the office kitchen.

Just to make this even more silly – I’m actually not going to ask my colleague what the noise actually is, because that would ruin all the fun of the mystery.

Book review: Gone by Michael Grant

I picked up the first three books in the ‘Gone‘ series by Michael Grant recently. I’m almost through the third book, ‘Lies‘, and I’ll have to pick up the next three as soon as I can.

So, a brief synopsis – every human age 15 and older vanishes. The town and surrounding areas become encased within an impenetrable energy barrier, and the children start to develop supernatural powers.

On one hand, that synopsis alone almost screams that this is a mixture of Under the Dome, X-Men and Lord of the Flies. Which is probably exactly why this series appealed to me in the first place, since I thoroughly enjoy all those. It’s aimed at a young adult audience, and I can’t put this series down. I *love* when that happens!

I won’t add any spoilers here, as I’d hate to ruin any of the major plot points. As mentioned above, this series – while somewhat derivative and predictable in places – does manage to capture you in a way that few books can. I’d highly recommend it. Although if violence creeps you out, you should probably avoid it.