Life, the Universe, and Something Else.

Squish (Follow On)

This year, I’ve seen a lot of roadkill – as I’ve commented before – which is at least somewhat related to going back to doing a fair amount of driving on fast roads, dual carriageways, motorways and the like.

I don’t mind that too much – although I think it’s quite sad to see it – but there’s something that bugs me about it, which is this.

No matter where the bodies are on the road – including right over by the edge and (particularly on motorways) right in the middle, near the central reservation and safety barrier, right out of the traffic lanes.  Yet within a couple of days, the bodies are flattened, all bones crushed and so on.

It’s not decomposition – OK, it could be, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t happen that fast.

All I can assume is that there’s a certain breed of driver who feel it’s acceptable (or perhaps even amusing, I don’t know) to run over the bodies, even if it means curving out of the lane, towards the crash barrier in order to do so.

And really that just boggles my little mind…

Failed Survey

I got a survey by email today from Randstad Technology, asking about skills required for management and leaders, as well as about Career Progression etc.

Now, glossing over the fact that my version of “Career” is to use the definition of to move swiftly along; rush in an uncontrolled way” (as in ‘Careering downhill’)  – and thus not really relevant to me, and my opinion not being really relevant to it – there’s a couple of pretty glaring errors on the second page, which amused me somewhat…

OoopsSo I’m assuming that the third top attribute should be ‘numeracy’, and one of the three top skills should be “attention to detail”…

Covering All Options

Is *anyone* really surprised at the news over the weekend that it’s “fairly likely” that allegations of paedophilia by famous people in the 70s and 80s were hidden and denied by politicians? I know I’m not surprised at all.

What did amuse me (or made me despair, I’m not quite certain which) was the quote explaining how documents had gone astray…

The Home Office’s 2013 review found 527 potentially relevant files which it had kept, but a further 114 were missing, destroyed or “not found”.

Well, “Missing, destroyed or ‘not found’” pretty much covers every eventuality, doesn’t it?


Last night, I went to see Chef at the cinema. It’s brilliant – if you get the chance, go and see it.

Lots of films (or their reviews/pimps) bang on about being “the feel-good movie of the season/year/decade” – Chef doesn’t, but bloody well should. It’s ace.

The basic premise is simple – talented chef gets bored by humdrum menu/restaurant, has a meltdown at a restaurant reviewer, loses his job, goes off and launches a food van doing what he loves. But the acting, the script – and the food – all raise it up a level.  I’ve never been in a film where you hear the audience groan with lust/envy at the presentation of food in the film. They did in Chef.  Sure, it’s – kind of – a film for foodies, but it’s not just that. It’s one of those films where you can see that they had fun doing it, that it was an enjoyable thing to work on.

It’s funny, it’s sweet (without being mawkish, cloying, or any of the normal American emotional guff) and it’s just good.

Go and see it. It’s worth it.

Tempting Fate

Of course, having written yesterday about how smooth my commute has been – and comparatively quicker than getting to Milton Keynes – last night’s journey was vile, and this morning’s one not much better.

Last night I saw the aftermath of more accidents than I’ve ever seen on one stretch of road.  On the M1 I saw no less than seven sets of crunched vehicles. Thankfully most of them were pretty minor, but all told they’d resulted in (and/or were the result of) about ten miles of traffic jam.  In the same journey, I saw four different lots of police who’d pulled people over – I assume for speeding.  And finally, on the other side, a rolling-roadblock in place for what appeared to just be an articulated truck travelling slowly on the hard shoulder.  (Why that required a full rolling roadblock I have NO idea!)  And of course everyone on my side had slowed down to have a look at whatever was going on – which also almost caused a couple of accidents just in what I saw around me.

This morning was just a section of the A1 that was screwed. No idea why, and no reports on radio etc., but it was just solid from the M1 into London.  Thankfully I was only on it for a fairly short stretch (about 3 miles, all told) but that short stretch took me half an hour.

I’m heading back late tonight – a small matter of seeing Neil Gaiman at the Barbican in London – so that’ll be fine for the return journey (or had bloody better be!) but I hope that type of journey is the rarity rather than the commonplace.

I’m pretty sure it will be, but fingers crossed all the same.

Time vs Distance

My new job is based in North London – which means that my daily commute is now about 40 miles instead of the 15 or so into Milton Keynes.

However, weirdly my travel time is now usually about 45-50 minutes – which is much the same as it was for the MK role. In fact it’s actually a bit less, mainly because MK at peak times is pretty much gridlocked, particularly around the key roundabouts/interchanges – of which my route went through four or five.

Now it’s a straight shot down the M1, round a tiny section of the A406 (the dreaded North Circular road) and that’s it.

Obviously if I were closer to the centre, or it involved the M25 at all, or were somewhere a bit less “on the route” then it’d be worse. But as it is, it’s working out pretty well for me so far.

I can live with that.

Another Place

Following on from yesterday’s post about my tolerance (or lack thereof) and ability to move on quickly, it will come as no surprise to regular readers that that’s exactly what I’ve done.

The previous place was just Not Good for me. As detailed elsewhere, the final straw was having a colleague who decided to talk about my work-based happiness to a friend of mine, outside of my presence, and in front of a table-full of other colleagues from the same work place.  And frankly that shit just isn’t on.  I truly don’t care what excuses were available – and admittedly I didn’t even hang around to find out what those excuses might’ve been.  I’d handed in my notice, which they refused to accept until I’d spoken to the person in question “to try and build a better working relationship from these issues”. That was when I thought it had just been a conversation with my friend.   But once I knew it had been done in front of other colleagues, well, fuck that.

As it was, I had an offer of a new job in hand – although I didn’t at the start of the week when I handed in my notice. It meant I could leave the old place on Friday, and start a new one this week.

So now I’m working in North London, and so far it seems like it’s going to be fun, with lots of challenges and stuff to do. Not earth-shattering per se, but enough of a challenge to keep me going, and to build bits of skillset for whatever comes next.

It’s a small company – the sort I prefer, truth be told – with no layers of management and bullshit to get in the way. That suits me just fine.

Obviously I’m only a couple of days in, but on first impressions it looks like things may actually work out pretty well. I certainly hope so.

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