D4D

Raising Rants to the Level of the Professional

Archive for the category “Cynicism”

Brexit – A Prediction

Today the UK has changed Prime Minister, with Dodgy Dave stepping down, to be replaced by Theresa May.  It’s going to be an interesting time, to say the least.

My own prediction now for the Brexit process will be this :

  • Brussels won’t allow any negotiations to happen until the UK has stated it’s intent to leave the EU, by signing Article 50
  • UK Government won’t sign Article 50 until the basic negotiations have happened, or at least are happening

And so, we’ll have a deadlock – where the UK Government can portray Brussels as “The Bad Guys” who won’t allow us to leave, because they’re being too harsh.

And that, I suspect, is where it’ll all stall, a total impasse that means the entire Brexit thing will gradually fade from the public mind.

Sporting Chronoclasm

Every year it boggles my mind that this weekend seems to be All The Sport – due to some epic scheduling, we always end up having the finals of Wimbledon on the same day as the British Grand Prix.

This year, we’ve also got the finals of Euro 2016, just in case we didn’t have enough bloody sport to contend with already.

Not that I care (in case you hadn’t guessed) as I won’t be watching any of it.

But seriously, how much organisation and planning does it take, to get three major sporting events to all climax/happen on the same damn day?

Unchecked

Last week, I was in London for three full days, travelling down each day. On both the Thursday and Friday (while attending the excellent Lead Developer conference) I was using the trains at peak times. Onn Saturday it was a busy time when I went down, and busy-but-late on the way back.

At no point in those six journeys did my tickets get checked. Not at platform gates, not on the train, nothing.  I could’ve gone through the entire thing without paying a penny to Virgin Trains.

Of course, Sod’s Law being what it is, if I had braved it and gone without a ticket, there’d have been about six checks per journey. I know that – and it’s why I always buy a ticket. But it does annoy me, how rarely these things are checked, and it makes me wonder how many people do take the chance, and go without paying for the ticket.

Illness and Self-sufficiency

While I was ill last week, it occurred to me – I had a fair amount of time to contemplate things, after all – that really it’s one of the few times where I’m less good at being self-reliant.

Being unwell and alone is, frankly, No Fun at all. I think the only times in the last four-or-more years that I’ve wished I weren’t single, when I’ve thought “It would be nice to have someone” have been when I’ve been ill. Not even to be nursed, or anything pathetic like that, but just someone to be there and vaguely sympathetic.

Hell, I’m not even good at being ill, or being cared for when I am ill. It’s just a shitty time for being on one’s own.

And really, that’s no good reason for a relationship, or for stopping being single, is it?

Non-Stereotypical

This time of year, the run-up to Father’s Day, is an odd one for me. (The same applies for Mother’s Day, but in different ways)

Basically, every time it comes around, I find myself looking for a card or a gift, and realising that my family don’t fall into any of the standard stereotypes that manufacturers and retails think they should.

It’s odd – although I don’t mind it in general – and it explains a lot about my mindset in general, but it’s just interesting to see how little any of my family fit into these themes and typical behaviours.

Slack Data

In the car I hired last weekend, it had a load of built-in tech – Ford’s Sync system – that was quite interesting, not least for the fact that it worked really nicely and easily. Connecting my phone to the car was a doddle, the satnav worked well (and better than my usual stand-alone device in several ways) and it all just seemed pretty easy.

However. It’s obvious that it was designed for a standard “family car” scenario, rather than a vehicle that would be hired to many different users. Which makes sense, but leads to an interesting longer-term problem…

Basically, people are lazy – and don’t think about their data. So the convenience of connecting one’s phone to the car system for hands-free calls etc is great, as is the simple download of the phone’s address book to the system. But if you then don’t delete it when you take the car back to the hire place, it’s all available to the next user. The same applies to the satnav system – ‘recent destinations’ is a goldmine of activity, right down to house number and location. (And I suspect, with a bit of work, one could connect the destination to a phone number in that downloaded phonebook)

It just interests me, how little people care (or understand) about their information. I cleared down the whole car system before I returned it, which took less than five minutes all told. So it’s not much work, but it’s still work, which most people don’t seem willing to undertake.

I’ve suggested to the hire company that it should perhaps be part of the car sanitising process when it’s returned (or before it’s hired back out, whichever) although I realise that makes it more hassle for them, and there’s a lot of different setups in the various cars.

Of course, it’d be better if people cleaned up after themselves – or the car tech had a “forget everything” button/process (although that would still be too much effort for most people) that did the job. But that won’t happen until people realise how important this shit can be, and sadly that tends to only happen by negative paths/occurrences/events, and will always be learned too late.

Wipers

As regular readers know, I have a few guidelines when it comes to spotting drivers who are likely to be idiots – I know it’s a lot of horrible generalising and stereotyping, but at the same time, stereotypes exist for a reason.

The current list is

  • BMW drivers
  • Citroen Picasso drivers (I’m sure that if BMW made a people-carrier, Xsara/Picasso sales would drop to zero immediately)
  • Drivers wearing hats in the car
  • Cars with a Christian Fish emblem/badge/sticker

With the rotten weather of the last couple of months, I’ve added a new one

  • Drivers who, at the first sign of rain, whack their windscreen wipers straight to double-speed

I don’t know what goes through people’s minds in these situations – surely when it’s just spray/drizzle and they’re at double speed, the whining/scraping noise must drive them crackers.

Still, none of it is my problem – as long as I notice these things, and pay more attention to these people on the roads, then it’s OK and handled.

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