1000 Shades of Grey
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Power to the workers
Apparently, the Tube is on strike today.

So what? I don't live in London, I don't care. So why does the London based media insist on calling this national news? If the Newcastle Metro went on strike, it'd get top billing on Look North, the front page of the Evening Chronicle, but no mention on the national news. So why is that not the same for the Tube?

By all means clog up the Evening Standard with articles about how evil the Tube drivers are for wanting better working conditions and pay (out of curiosity, who wouldn't like better working conditions and pay?), but don't fill national papers with this stuff. The majority of the UK population does not live in London, and therefore is not affected by this. So why is it national news?

Because it affects the journalists who write the news, that's why.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Shock: Gifted footballer does something stupid!
According to today's Sun, Jonathan Woodgate has managed to cut his head open, by smashing a glass on it.


To read the Sun report, go to NUFC.com. (I can't bring myself to link to the Sun directly.)

Monday, June 28, 2004
Spot of bother
Rather than add my thoughts to the whole England losing on penalties again thing, I'd like to refer you to Del, who beautifully sums up not just this tournament, but also every major football tournament since Italia '90 in a wonderfully succinct manner.

Thursday, June 24, 2004
Goodnight Frasier, I'll miss you
Off in to the sunset heads my favourite radio shrink, and it is with a great deal of sadness that I bid farewell to Dr Frasier Crane. Frasier was a programme I started watching ten years ago, which for me was always consistently funny and yet always seemed so underrated by Channel 4.

Why else would they keep moving it around the schedules, showing the last series at the frankly rubbish time of 10.50pm on a Wednesday, if they didn't appreciate it? More to the point, why did they make such a song and dance about the departure of Friends, yet let the always superior Frasier slip out the door with barely a whimper?

It's a sad state of affairs that Friends got all the press, yet Frasier was cleverer and funnier. Perhaps it simply boils down to the fact that Frasier was a clever comedy, and some viewers were put off by that. It's still sad that people seem to favour the stupid and unthreatening comedies over those with a bit of wit. (Why else would Joey be the spin-off from Friends?)

So good bye to Frasier Crane, and I wish you good mental health.

December looks a bit dicey
The new football fixtures are out, and I'm reasonably pleased with how the draw has fallen for Newcastle. We get to end the season at home, and our first few fixtures all look eminently winnable, so hopefully we can start well for once. December looks like it could be a bleak month, but if we can go into it with a bit of momentum, well, who knows...

P.S. Thanks to NUFC.com for the link.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Soundbites all round
Reading David Aaronovitch in today's Guardian, he makes several interesting points about Bill Clinton. To my mind, Clinton's the best President that the USA has during my 25 years on the planet. However, this is probably because he wasn't a rubbish actor turned President, a war-mongering moron (or the father of one) and I don't remember anything about Carter to comment on him.

The fact that Clinton is the only Democrat President in the list is also in his favour, given my own left-of-centre views.

Aaronovitch makes the point that all Presidents are now reduced to a soundbite to stand as their legacy, Reagan's is: "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall"; Bush snr will be remembered for: "Read my lips, no new taxes" and Bill Clinton for: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

What the present incumbent will be remembered for saying, only time will tell - but his "we've smoked him out, we've got him running... (oh shit we've lost him)" comments on Osama bin Laden will take some topping.

Hopefully, he's only got until November to say something worthwhile. (Hands up all those who want it to be "Congratulations John, welcome to the White House").

Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Wayne's World
I couldn't let last night's England football result against the Croatian's pass without comment. But rather than praise England, I'd just like to ask regarding the seemingly inevitable departure of Rooney from Everton, will it be the making of the man, or will it leave him alone and attracting the wrong sort of "friends" away from his family and mates? I hope it's the former, and not the latter for all our sakes, but particularly his.

Monday, June 21, 2004
The temp who I am currently working with has just gone out for a cigarette break. No harm in that as such (and I'd certainly rather he did that than smoke next to me), but I doubt he will record the break on his time sheet. As such I presume he is getting more time away from his workplace, and therefore doing less work, than a non-smoker (e.g. me).

This strikes me as massively unfair. Why should I miss out, whilst he gets extra breaks just because I don't smoke and he does?

I know it's quite easy to sit and talk about this as a non-smoke and to feel aggrieved, but I can't imagine too many work places being happy at a similar situation with nay other addiction. How many offices employ alcoholics, and allow them to have a cheeky drink every so often throughout the day? So why should smokers be given preferential treatment in this way?

Is this the same everywhere, or do other smokers have to clock out/record their breaks on their timesheets (and if so, how many actually do?).

Phoenix from the Flames
Hey hey. I'm back, the exams are gone (they were ok-ish I think, thanks for asking) and now temping for the summer. Joy. Still, it pays the rent etc. so can't complain.

Hopefully I should be able to post more frequently than I have in recent times, so be warned...

Monday, June 07, 2004
One down, two to go.
Well that's my first exam out of the way. Not really certain about the outcome, but hopefully I've done enough.

On a different note, and partly because I'm too lazy to make a seperate blog entry, fans of northern monkeys will be pleased to hear that a new blog has arisen under the name Northern Lites, and can of course be linked to from here.

Sunday, June 06, 2004
O Brother where art thou?
I don't know what it is, but I'm disturbingly addicted to reality TV. I really don't know why I get obsessed by this stuff, but I do, particularly Big Brother. What is it about a bunch of people who, in some cases I wouldn't cross the street to piss on them if they were burning, that makes me desperate to know the latest news.

That said, I'm already loving "Evil Big Brother" and thing that Shell might jst edge it at the moment, given that she seems the most rounded person in there. Now that I've said that, she'll probably be evicted in week 4.

Oh, and please can someone gag Marco.

Like a caged beast
Right, I've spent the last week cooped up in a secret location, tucked away from technology or the outside world. The only difference from me and the Big Brother contestants is the fact that whilst they have spent their days flirting/swearing/rule breaking/arguing/etc. I've been revising.

bizarrely I've come to the conclusion that you can have too much time to revise for an exam, and I've spent the last week trying my damnedest to find alternative things to do rather than revise. The reason for this is that I haven't felt the Fear. Consequently I've been happy to muddle along, not feeling in any way time pressured, which has if anything negatively impacted upon my work. I've found I thrive on the pressure, and can only hope that when it comes to tomorrow's exam, I've still managed to learn everything I need to know.

Less than 24 hours until I find out...

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