Saturday, March 17, 2007

An Old Fashioned Blog

One of the problems with being inspired to write by reading is once the habit is started, you cant get rid of it.

You change the choice of topics, but it's reading nonetheless. And it's worse when you're interested in EVERYTHING!

For example, I can give you detailed, flow sequenced, training in how auto fuel injection {almost all based on the Bosch Jetronic system, did'ja know!} works... and how to solve engine problems based on that. Of course that's one of the PRACTICAL things I have read.

But mainly I read on politics, which can drive you crazy when you pay too close attention.

So it's great and refreshingly distractive when I ran across a real old fashioned blog - two links away from Tim Worstall, of course.

Free Man in Preston is a GREAT read... the guy has everythingto appeal to a former corporate IT wonk like me. He doesnt go into the tech stuff, though... he just observes from that particular perch in what is essentially a witty diary.
Handle With Care Friday, Jan 19
“Tim, the reason you’re going nowhere,” said Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader, blazing into the conversation like she’d been shot from a cannon, “is that you don’t have clearly defined goals. You don’t know where you want to be.”

What I was actually intending to say, before she’d interrupted, was that I was going nowhere until I’d finished my lunch, in response to an order from Death to fetch some stuff from the data centre. I tried explaining this to Stella but once she starts, she’s not easily stopped.

She was wearing a black trouser suit, expensive looking, finished off with orange trim. It said “I’m a not to be fucked with executive, with a hint of Hare Krishna to show my spiritual side.”
I meanwhile was wearing my new jumper, in black of course, woven from a supernaturally soft fabric, probably wool or something like it, which I was casually splattering with tomato soup. It said “Boyishly cute. Sloppy eater.”
We appeared disconcertingly colour co-ordinated.

“You want to do this and you want to do that, but all your projects end up lost in the fog. You spend your time floundering, blah, blah…”

Oh for goodness’ sake. I looked outside. Today the world through my window - streaked with a thick layer of grime following yesterday’s gales - had a soft focussed, Vaseline on the lens quality about it.
Rex the security guard was clearing up fallen debris - broken slates, the former contents of dustbins, a milk float down by the generators - striding along with slow, deliberate purposefulness. He looked like a character in a bizarre litter themed porn film. Don’t dwell too long on that.

Tabs walked by with an armful of reports and Terry said, “January’s such a miserable bloody month. Some people seem to shutdown through sheer misery.”
“Do you actually have any ambition, Tim? At all?” asked Stella.
“Yes,” I said. “For you to stop bugging me.”
“It’s beyond me,” Terry continued, lost in the dimly lit cubicle of his mind, “how anybody is ever born in September.”

Rex was fishing milk crates out of branches with a long pole. It reminded me of those hooked poles they had at school for opening windows with. Terry said that sometimes he knows how those Jehovah’s Witnesses must feel. They keep knocking on the door but they’ve long since given up hope of ever being invited in. Milk bottles were scattered on the grass like rotting apples.

Later on, after the going home bell had sounded, Stella told me how her friend Becky has been offered the chance to work in China for three months. It would be a great opportunity for her, career-wise and as “an enhancing, you know, life experience”. She’s an ambitious girl, and the bank she works for would look on it favourably if she were to go. Less favourably if she didn’t. I guess this is what today was all about.
“Just three months?” I asked.
“That’s what she said.”
“And when does she have to give her answer?”
“Possibly longer if it goes well. And if she wants to.”

Ivan the Terribly Thorough swept into the room, a one man flash-mob with a vacuum cleaner. He switched off to dust around the window sills and said that ambitions are all well and good, but handle with care.
“They’re like wishes. Allow them a little privacy,” he said, as dust spiralled skywards above the radiator.
“It’s bad luck to say them out loud,” and then he was gone.

Oh, to write like that!

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