D4D

A drop of blood in a sea of piss

Just Over The Horizon

ScroogeThe Festering Season is coming.

How can I tell? (Other than the simple method of ‘look at the bloody calendar’) It really is quite simple…

  1. The bloody X-Factor has started
  2. There’s already a load of TV ads for Perfume, new console Games and shitty music compilations
  3. There’s also adverts from Park for “an Affordable christmas” for Christmas 2015, for fuck’s sorry sake.
  4. Supermarkets, not content with having chocolate selection boxes etc. out are now starting to put decorations and cards on the shelves too. (And yes, it’s still only mid-October, I know)

I’m just wondering now how long it’ll be ’til I hear the first bloody carol somewhere

 

Changes (Once Again)

At the end of September, I quit my job with nothing to go to. It’s been an interesting couple of weeks – and it’s hard to believe it’s only been a couple of weeks. Anyway.

I mentioned it earlier this month, but haven’t said a great deal in the meantime.

When I handed in my notice, it was with immediate effect. The company in question – well, it hadn’t been fun. Being underpaid by 20% didn’t enamour them to me – and that’s a situation that’s still outstanding – but despite that, they still assumed I would continue to work all hours in order to bring their badly-timed and shitly-specced projects in on time. Indeed, I say ‘assumed’, but it was actually expectations – with real shock when I would have a life outside of work, and wouldn’t be available to keep their arses out of the flames yet again.  The additional fact of not having a contract provided the seal on things.

I did get a contract in the end – one day before I left, and certainly well after the 8-week limit.  Happily, it was breached and invalid immediately, because they’d written the original offer salary on it, which hasn’t been paid at all in the three-and-a-bit months I was there. Oops.

I left with immediate effect, and with nothing to go to.  Not necessarily my wisest move, and not necessarily one I’d choose to make again. I had a bit of confidence from my previous history with interviews and contracts, but all the same that confidence could’ve been a real kicker if I wasn’t careful.

As it is, that hundred-percent interview success rate is now gone – although not by much.

I had two unsuccessful face-to-face interviews – which didn’t disappoint me. For the first, the commute would’ve been at least 90 minutes each way. Great for the whole “unemployed for two days”, less great for energy, sanity, or having a life.  For the second, it was based in London, and the evidence afterwards is that it wouldn’t have been right – I would’ve been offered it, but the company in question U-turned their plans post-interview, so the role I interviewed for didn’t even exist.

Other than that, I had three phone interviews, including the one I accepted. Of the other two, I’ve since been offered one, and got to face-to-face interview on the other.

I haven’t worked out the actual success ratio, and don’t really need to. All that matters is that it took me two weeks from leaving one place to starting another.  And that’s no bad thing at all.

Statistics

On the news last night, there was a story about how rural roads are more dangerous/deadly than motorways (which just makes sense to me – of which more in a minute) and one of their illustrations of this was this road sign

road_statsThis is supposedly a sign from “one of the more dangerous roads” – but 43 injuries in 3 years equates to 14 (point 3-recurring) deaths a year. That’s just over one a month. Not quite such a scary figure…  The same goes with 4 deaths in three years – just over 1 a year.

I don’t know if my viewpoint is a rarity, but I look at a statistic like that, and tend to think “I’ll go with those odds”.

And now, about those stats in the first place…

The stats in the story are :

  • 3 people a day die on rural roads
  • That’s 11 times more deaths than on motorways

To me, that all makes sense, for a number of reasons – including…

  • On motorways, people drive faster – but (in general) pay more attention when doing so. Sure, there’s still idiots – there’s idiots everywhere – but in general people are paying a bit more attention on motorways.
  • People definitely pay less attention – and drive worse – on non-motorway roads.
  • But also – on motorways, everyone’s going in the same direction. It’s *far* harder to have a head-on collision at speed on a motorway.
  • The speeds are higher, but with everyone going in the same direction, it also reduces the relevant impact speed. A head-on is the sum of the two impact speeds – so two cars hitting head-on at 60mph is an impact speed of 120mph. Even if you’ve got someone at 70 on a motorway hitting a stationary vehicle, that’s an impact speed of 70.
  • It’s not the same factor if you were to crash into someone ahead of you (for example) because they’re still going forward at 60-70mph anyway, so – as I understand it – if you’re going 70mph, and hit someone going at 60mph, the *impact* speed is 10mph – the difference, rather than the sum.

The other key factor is that I’m willing to bet that there’s one hell of a lot more miles of rural road in the UK than Motorway. In 2005, the DfT’s report said that the UK has 2,202 miles (3,523 km) of motorways.  According to this document, the UK’s motorways account for 1% – ONE PERCENT – of the total road space/distance.  So again, 11 times more deaths on roads that account for 99 times the road mileage.

All told, it’s just bad stats and shitty journalism

 

Changing Places

When I moved here, I got a fairly large ‘activity centre’ for the cats, so they’d got their own places. I’d hoped it was going to stop them from sleeping on the other bits of furniture etc. It’s got a range of places for them to sleep etc. – and of course, being cats, they hardly use the sodding thing.

cat_centre

In fairness, every so often they do use it. The Mau used to make use of the sleeping places. FatCat never has, and the Bengal tends to avoid it.

And now the Bengal has changed her mind, and is sleeping in the little cubbyhole/box, for some unknown reason.

The Bengal is definitely weird. I can’t believe I’ve had her nearly four years now – sometimes it amazes me that she’s survived this long, because she can be an absolute cowbag.  She’s deeply change-averse – one would almost say autistic – when situations alter. Yet she changes things herself every few weeks – the sleeping place is a case in point. Sometimes she goes back to places, other times it’s all new. The cubbybox is definitely new – I’ve never seen any of them sleep in there ’til this week.

There’s no real point to this post, it’s just one of those odd things that makes me think.

Cutting Down (Again)

While I’m off and job-hunting, one of my little side-projects is to (yet again) cut down on my intake of Diet Coke. It seems it’s a regular(ish) cycle with me, although I have cut it down significantly anyway from where it all was a few years ago.

As it is, I’m down to one 500ml bottle a day. It’ll vary again over time, but I’m quite happy with where it stands.

Moving On

At the same time as I’m deciding on staying put domestically, it’s definitely time to move on again workwise.

I’ve handed in my notice, so now I’m going to be looking seriously. Who knows where/what I’ll be doing, but it’s for certain that a change is going to come. It can’t come soon enough.

Staying Put

In other news, it’s the time of year again where I renew (or not) the tenancy agreement on my current place. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here two and a half years now, but that’s how long it’s been. Time flies when you’re having fun, and all that.

As always, I do some thinking when this comes round, deciding what I want to do, where I want to be, all that tat.

I know that at some point I will want to be moving on, going somewhere new, doing all that stuff again. But the time for that isn’t now. In some ways I really do want to move on, but the time isn’t right, and I don’t know where I want to be. So this’ll do for the time being.

I’m signing up for another year. By then, I’ll most likely have decided what’s next. Or I might stay another year. I don’t know. There’s lots can change in that time.

By the time of the next renewal, this will have been the longest I’ve been any one place in a very long time. And yet I don’t feel settled – and I don’t quite know why. I’m sure I’ll figure it out at some point.

Post Navigation