Thursday, September 21, 2006

Strange news on Thursday

You know what it's like. You've had a few drinks, the pub has closed, and you feel you need to do something interesting before you get a kebab. Why not go hug a panda? It's a shame the guy's memory is so hazy.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Office Niggles Three

And what is it today? Vending machines? Office parties? Nope. Dress Down Friday.

Now, I have to confess, I'm generally in favour of DDF. You get to wear what you like. Not a bad thing. I just want to point out a few anomalies which become glaringly obvious on this particular occasion, a few character traits which become more obvious. In fact, I quite enjoy this aspect of the whole phenomenon. Yes, yes, I know it's supposed to be about things in the office I don't like, but do you want a post or not??!

Case One: The Uneasy Convert.
A rather formal guy, normally dapper in pinstripe suit and striped shirt. Nobody can quite imagine Ralph off-duty without summoning up Jerry from the Good Life. A nice Pringle sweater maybe...

You turn up in Chinos and a shirt with a button-down collar, ironed to within an inch of its life. Strangely, you seem oddly liberated by the fact that you're not actually wearing a tie. In fact, if we entice you for a Friday night drink in the pub, you might even tap your toe if a Simply Red song is played. There is help available, Ralph...

Case Two: Mr Inappropriate Image.
The shorts are colourful, the T-shirt is just as bright, with a message displayed across his ample chest.

Colin, you are seventeen stone, you work as a senior administrator in the accounts department, your main passion is your PlayStation, and you live in Hounslow. No matter what yout T-shirt says, you are not, and will never be, a "Surf Dude". Sorry. Unless a considerable number of whales start getting washed up in Cornwall.

Case Three: It doesn't make any difference.
You work in IT, or something creative. You get to wear what you want anyway. It's a strange feature of office life that people who work in sales; or accounts; or marketing; or management; or any other bloody dull category of work with which you can't impress people at dinner parties, get to wear boring stuff. That's because they need to impress clients.

Of course, once the contract is in the bag, your colleagues invite the clients in, your colleagues will dress formally, but when they introduce them to you, the person who will make sure that their data is secure, that their website will be hosted efficiently, that their data will be exported daily over a secure connection, because you're "IT" and wacky and nerdy, they will happily deal with somebody in a Homer Simpson T-Shirt and Jeans with more holes than David Icke's philosophy. It's allowed, you see. Everybody seems really happy to be participating in DDF, but it's a bit meaningless to you...

Case Four: The Confused Woman.
A woman who has perfected a wardrobe of light floaty clothes for Summer.

You see, it's a very hot day. What you really want to wear is that lovely, light, pink linen skirt, and a black silk T-shirt. The thing is, though, because women are allowed more options during the Summer months, you've worn a version of this throughout the week. You now need to acknowledge DDF by wearing something more casual, otherwise it means that you are not participating in DDF. That makes you look a) thick or b)sad. Nothing involving a skirt then. You wear all your floaty skirts on normal work days. Shorts are just wrong. That leaves a T-shirt with jeans. So less freedom than during the week then...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Site referrals

To the person who came here looking for "strange dogs getting run over", is this an investigation into actual events, or did you just fancy seeing a picture of this?

Sorry, proper blogging will resume tomorrow. Real life intrudes, etc...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Strange news on Thursday

There was really only one contender this week: Fun Run Voyeur Nabbed By Banana. Now that is one seriously strange guy. However, I'm a bit confused about the legal aspects of this case. I don't for one second think that this person was acting in an ethical manner, and I wouldn't particularly want to sit next to him on public transport, even, but I think the decision to prosecute is a bit harsh.

The guy filmed women peeing in public. Now, I know that allowances need to be made for people competing in something as challenging as a half marathon. Your body does strange things to you. But isn't it illegal to pee in a public place? And if you decide to pee in a place where a chap with a carrier bag concealing a camera might wander up to you without you being terribly surprised, do you really have the right to expect privacy in that situation?

These women went for a pee in a public place, during a major sporting event with significant crowds. It's a bit pointless getting all offended about it, and wasting the time of the police and courts. When Paula Radcliffe did it on camera, I don't remember her trying to block people from reporting on it.

If somebody sneaks a webcam into a changing room without people knowing, or drills a hole in a wall to watch people naked, then charge them with voyeurism. But don't pull your knickers down in public and then moan when somebody gets turned on. Er...I meant moan as in complain...

Monday, September 04, 2006

RIP Steve Irwin

I know a lot of bloggers have already said their piece on this, but I was very sad to hear the news of his death while filming stingrays. He was a great character and a committed conservationist. I love wildlife documentaries; OK, so his approach wasn't exactly David Attenborough, and I prefer a more Attenborough-esque, academic approach ("and if we look carefully at the leg markings on the lesser-spotted Suffolk wood ant, we can see what Darwin meant by...") but then I have a natural interest in the natural world, and I am quite happy poring over a detailed discussion of ecology in my RSPB magazine.

For kids, or people who might not naturally settle down to watch wildlife documentaries, his whole approach of "Wahey, look at the size of that f*cking huge, dangerous snake/croc/shark/spider, why don't I go up really close and see what happens if I poke it?" must have got a lot of people enthusiastic about the subject. They started watching to see what the crazy Australian guy would get up to next, and came away learning things. And besides, his programmes were brilliant fun.

We'll miss Steve.