EDitorial ± 26-Apr-2004

A Time Of Waste

Where better, dear reader, to fritter away some quality time on a super sunny Sunday afternoon, jostling for space with a crowd of like-minded individuals, than Sir Alf Ramsey Way? Not at some ultimately disappointing and costly footy game 400m down the road, being let down by a team that Roy over the road calls "the rubbish", ironically enough — no sirree, Bobby Robson — 'cos Alf's alley is home to the dump. Oops, I meant one of the town's "household waste and recycling centres".
Just trash, me and you
It's in everything we do
— Suede, Trash (1996)

There's a scene in LA Story, one of those earlier funnier Steve Martin films, where Sarah Jessica Parker (before she was SJP from SATC) invites Steve's weatherman character out, suggesting that it might be fun to undergo colonic irrigation. The weatherman goes in nervously and emerges shakily as if he'd been riding a bronco. Compare and contrast a trip to the tip: you summon the willpower, cram the car's crannies with accumulated detritus, and come away feeling cleaner, more airy and less bloated.

Kitchen mini bins: (1) plastics, packaging, tins + cans (2) glass

Smallest to largest from yesterday's outing:

  1. three bags of glass bottles
  2. six bags of plastic containers, tins and cans
  3. one dismantled toy plastic kitchen
  4. one wooden chest, painted pink, handles missing

Always good to cycle and recycle, as with the glass and plastic into their specially designated skips. On less sure ground with the toy kitchen; how much oil went into manufacturing that? At least the chest joined a forest of items in the WOOD container. Would have been better to reuse, though its last legs went AWOL some time back.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

A welcome return for this once popular closing section:

  1. Tony Soprano's profession: "waste management consultant"
  2. Ian Dury's lyric: "I could be the ticket man at Fulham Broadway Station, What a waste!"
  3. Viridor Waste Management's advice: "slim your bin!"

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 21-Apr-2004

Which Slide Are You On?

Ever since turning to the dark side of the IT industry, ie becoming (whisper it) a contractor, a trip out of the office has been as infrequent as a government U-turn or the Canaries winning promotion — hats off, BTW.

0645: view from Princes St bridge
Some houses

So yesterday's awayday in London was a welcome diversion from the norm in spite of needing to be on the Great Eastern before 7am. Two thoughts:

  1. I'm always surprised that any other people are, well, even out of bed at that sort of time,
  2. and can I easily be picked out as someone who doesn't do this every day? Consulting an A-to-Z and gazing anxiously at the tube signs are dead giveaways.

0715: rails at Manningtree station
Some rails

Posh destination: Institute of Directors on Pall Mall, a short stroll from the Ritz and St James Palace. All very la-di-da, from the cloakroom to the chandeliers to the sheer number of suits walking around. Introductory coffee, mingle mingle, chicken or salmon with new pots for lunch, afternoon tea, network network, plus a few talks thrown in.

Two slides to every story
Somebody had to stop me
— P.I.L., Public Image (1978)

0820: heading shakily towards the tube
Some lettering

In the above paragraph, the deliberately understated phrase "a few talks" should more accurately be expressed as "six hours of Powerpoint presentations". Not including lunch. Six, whole, hours. Enough time to:

  • play both semi-finals, 3rd place play-off and the final of a football tournament
  • watch every episode of Fawlty Towers back to back
  • feel your very lifeforce ebbing slowly away

My Good Housekeeping approved method of staying alert and alive in such a situation is to take notes, jotting down the odd choice phrase or indulging in buzzword bingo. Herewith my heavily edited highlights:

...live the values ...next generation portfolio ...M&A due diligence ...addressable market by customer segment ...channel partners ...visible workpacks ...control tower ...minimise cashburn ...best in class ...360 feedback reviews
...dreamteam pushback ...cloud scenario ...experience in productisation ...hotlist integration ...maturity staircase (must have mis-heard this one) ...grow value

1705: leaving the IoD on Pall Mall
Some building!

See, that's why they pay us the big bucks, to sit through a day's worth of that. Heck, at least I didn't pass out.

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 13-Apr-2004

Way To Play

Have a good Easter break? My batteries were fully recharged after a most relaxing long weekend at the Hotel d'Inlaw, highly recommended for top nosh and comfy beds. And I subsequently plopped a handful of dead Cs, AAs and AAAs into the proper receptacle in the foyer at work today. Let's stay positive, re-establish contact and explore the vaults.
Many a tear has to fall
But it's all in the game
— Tommy Edwards, It's All In The Game (1958)

A partnership game of the rummy family, it says here

Entertainments between arriving on Friday and departing on Sunday included:

Originated in Uruguay, or so says my big book of games, The Way To Play (Bantam, 1977). Me, wifey and the in-laws have been playing canasta on and off for some years, and I can count on one hand the number of times I've won; I should be a good card player, I think, but that's rarely the case. I was narrowly ahead on Saturday night when we agreed to stop, it being late and all. Next step Vegas to see James Caan and Sharon Stone before making a killing, then to be investigated by Grissom and co.
Lovely weather on the Sunday, prompting Grandad Geoffrey to dig out his genuine French set of shiny metal boules. Before long three of us were touring the garden, doing our darnedest to land our heavy big ball bearings close to "le but" and sending mole-scaring sonic waves into the ground. Ceased playing when the sun cinq.
A-ha, more my game. Season ended last week for the BT Defiants, and we could get promoted, gulp. Weekend rallies were fought out on the plywood cover over the pool table using a recently acquired £5 TT set from Ikea: two sponge bats, a net, and three balls included. Kids had fun despite some zealous training and pointers from their father, who then demonstrated his formidable skills by losing to great aunty Linda through marriage. Though the net wasn't quite in the centre of the table, ahem.

Be seeing you!