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Tuesday, May 2

An Almost Total Downer

Down in the day
Today has been a washout. I've very little good to say about all the events prior to 7pm. I'll give you a run down of all the minor things which have caused my blood to bubble and my stress levels and general levels of misery to wobble.

The Unexplained Traffic Jam
It's a general risk of being a 40 minute commute from the office, I suppose. However, I still despise traffic jams and need to keep myself under control. I particularly dislike the unexplained jam or the jam in a place which shouldn't have a jam, never has had a jam and seems to have suddenly jammed for no jamming reason. Well, it's probably volume of traffic or an accident, but you know what I mean.

I left slightly on the late side this morning, but managed to get to within 5 miles of the office in reasonable time. Then there was a huge traffic jam ahead. Huge. In a place I've never seen a jam. So, I went another way. This way was also congested. I arrived in the office a little later than I wanted to, which is a shame, since I'd been up and out of bed for long enough to have been there earlier, if you see what I mean.

I realise, reading this back, that this is not even a slightly interesting story. There's no explanation of why there was so much traffic, or exactly where the jam had started. There's no information here at all. Just reading this is tedious and pointless... which is exactly how I feel about traffic. It's tedious and pointless. I don't get in my car with the objective of spending as long as I can in there. It's a nice enough car, but I just want to get to my destination and get out.

You can continue reading now, the topic changes in a moment.

The Demo That Lit The Fuse

A few days ago I downloaded #develop, the free programming environment, and started a mini project of my own. It related to something that had been on my mind a bit, after an idea, discussed with a colleague at work. It was a simple idea, and the code to do it is also, pretty simple. As you can see from the code segment at the righthand side.

So, what I wanted to do was show the idea to some people who might pick it up and run with it. I'd already gotten a few people interested, but the demo today was for some of the sorts of people who could really argue the idea down. Essentially, the idea can complement an existing mechanism or replace it. People don't like things to replace other things. We hate change. We especially hate looking at a tried and tested solution and wondering if there could be another way. As a result there was much thunderous resistance to this idea. I tried hard to pitch it correctly, but it didn't help that one of the main people I wanted to buy into the idea hadn't even received the meeting request that invited them along, so in some ways they were wrong-footed and ill-prepared before we even started.

I don't think the idea is dead in the water, but it was a bit depressing to have to see something I care about knocked so readily. I managed to keep a reasonable sense of proportion about it. I think.

More Trouble
I also heard the news about my ex-colleagues from my previous employer. Things aren't going so well for them at the moment. I couldn't help but wonder whether things mightn't be going better for them if my final year at the company had been full of successes, rather than full of petty battles and irritations. I truly hope things go well for them all. I miss the guys (and gals). And I'm not just rooting for them because two of them are also my tenants.

Going Postal
I went home at lunchtime for lunch (obviously) and found a card from the Post Office. They'd tried to deliver a package for me that morning. I went round to the collection office (which closes at 1pm) to see if it was waiting for me. It wasn't. Another downer. I even went back, after I'd had lunch, to see if it had arrived in the interim. Still nothing. What a pointless waste of time (for more pointless timewasting, see the rest of this entire blog!).

Running out of steam
Back in the office, I never really managed to get my teeth into anything. A new debate raged about a meeting, called a stand-up meeting, which I'd originally pioneered in our team, apparently now everyone thinks they're a waste of time. It felt a bit like "hate Ashley's ideas day".

I did some tidying up of the work I'd hurriedly completed on Friday. I wish I'd managed to demonstrate it, since it's working pretty well and would have given me a sense of having achieved something. However, things got in the way of that. Perhaps tomorrow.

Running out of oil
My car drinks oil. I'd forgotten about that, what with the various other distractions in my life at the moment. I'd also rather hoped that the recent repairs to the slightly backfiring engine might also have stopped the leak, which I hoped might be exacerbated by each backfire (sort of opening up the seals a bit or something). No. I have an oil light periodically. This is not good. I must put a few litres of oil in the car. I also must insure it. And get my excess back from the last insurance claim. And protect my no-claims discount, just in case.

Running out of patience
Another traffic jam on the way home. This wasn't my day at all. My mood dropped into my boots and I really didn't think I'd be able to smile for the rest of the week, let alone be pleasant to my girlfriend and her family.

Some Enchanted Evening
Well, I'm not sure that this evening is in anyway related to seeing a stranger across a crowded room (see the libretto for the exceedingly dated South Pacific) but it was, at least, a good break from the day which preceded it. We went into town, had food, went to Tesco, tried on clothes, got weighed and bought a CD. A perfectly pleasant evening spoiled only by the actual weight reported by Tesco. Let's just say that I spent a while losing weight in 2002 and now I get to start all over again. Whoopie doo!


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