A Good Samaritan

In which I believe that kindness is in everyone of use as it’s out nature.

I think to dispel the myth that I’m an anti-social grump who hates the public I should add that I am capable of my own acts of kindness. I’m a bit like Scrooge or The Grinch, with the exception that I can be kind all year round and I don’t need to be scared into being nice.

Santa with boy
You best be good…or else!

I very much believe that kindness is not hard wired into humans because of some religious text or threat of eternal damnation, but is actually an intrinsic part of our nature. Helping others helps us and being kind is actually an evolution benefit. I came to this realisation thanks to a man from the Salvation Army.
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Turning American I really think so

In which I drop my u’s and take up soccer.

George Bernard Shaw once said: ‘England and America are two countries divided by a common language’, and it’s not hard to see why. As soon as you talk to anyone in England about America they will generally snort and say “yeah, they call football soccer” with a heavy emphasis on the ‘o’. This ignores the fact they picked up the name from the right hand side of the Atlantic in the first place. (It comes from the Association part of Association Football).

For us in Britain dealing with Americanisms is very easy as we have a constant stream of programmes and movies that are in Lingua America, so we can readily link sidewalks, fall and the always humourous fanny pack, with their English cousins. It’s not the words that form the major difference however, it’s how those words are used that forms the major part of our language confusions.

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I can see clearer now

In which the worst thing to happen to me becomes the best.

I’m currently sorting through my old paperwork and in amongst the details of my mortgage and tax statements I have invoices for old cars and instructions for TVs that I no longer have. Yet I also rediscovered one of the most important letters I have ever received, my termination of employment from a certain opticians*.

It would seem odd to be happy to find a letter that says you are no longer wanted, and at the time there was some bitterness about it, but like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park life found a way and I now realise it was one of the best things ever to happen to me. This isn’t one of those thoughts I have while crying into a glass of scotch trying to convince myself it was good, but a genuine belief that being discarded by them gave me a helping hand to have  a better life. I owe them a certain amount of thanks for how my life has turned out since then.

They have also given me a benchmark for how bad life can be, and it allows me to see the same in others. No job is worth your mental health and as the opposite of the saying goes, what goes down must come up. Even when I start to feel a low in life coming on I remember that the important thing is to bounce.
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Bigger is not better

In which I tackle society’s attitude towards the petite man.

Short men make better husbands, and make up in wisdom what they lack in stature – BBC News Article

Not that this is news to me, I could have told them with all my 5’2″ frame that being on the left of the height curve means I’m at the top of the bell for being awesome. The only problem with being an amazing short spouse is getting there in the first place.

Height is the most lied about attribute on dating profiles. I can tell you in one word why the individuals who use matchmaking sites tell fibs.

Vanity.

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Being a geek

In which I am comfortable with my nerdom.

I accept that I am a geek, heck my blog name declares it to be so. What I don’t understand is why many others can’t. My family and most of my friends make it sound like I should be ashamed of my social grouping. But I am not. Thankfully I have some awesome friends who do accept me for what I am.

I know fellow geeks (and nerds) who are made to feel that the fact they have obsessions that are not reported in the gossip columns or on trashy TV they are somehow lesser. I know the sons of Feanor, how is this different from knowing the names of the children of a z-list celebrity? I read fantasy novels, they read about their fantasy Mr Right.

Being a geek is only a matter of taste. There are computer, sci fi, gaming, movie, music, and sports geeks. Geeks tend to only spend time with others of a similar mindset. Just because they don’t ‘go out’ doesn’t mean they aren’t as social.

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Keep a tidy desktop

In which a tidy desktop is a tidy mind.

Empty, not an icon to be seen. My desktop is as vacant as Windows will allow with only a solitary Recycle Bin sitting empty and unused. Nothing gets kept on the desktop; not a shortcut, rogue text file or gif. My physical desk is as empty as possible so the electronic version reflects reality. It all comes down to organisation.

Basic organisation of anything is not hard, when you name your files properly you can quickly find what you are looking for saving you more time to do fun things like drink tea and eat biscuits. Unfortunately when it is easier to make a mess most people will resort to a lackadaisical system of bad labeling and filing. Which is why most people’s desktops are a mess of badly named files.

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Cats are fickle and stubborn

In which I attempt to understand what a cat really feels other than contempt.

There is a great video from the UK Cat Protection league on stroking your pet’s belly. Apparently they don’t like it up ’em.

The result is that even if your (apologies for the upcoming sentence, I am British so have a in depth education in entendre) pussy looks like it needs a stoke you should try to resist the urge to give it a little tickle lest something untoward happen.

The reality is that unless the cat is explicitly asking you for something then they don’t want you to do anything. Unless of course it’s the opposite, because cat’s are the most contrary animals in existence.

The danger of this video being released on YouTube is that all the cats on the internet will now want to have their tummies tickled because it’s the opposite of what you will now think. Cat’s are waging a long psychological battle against their human minions which isn’t about supremacy but the complete breakdown of human logic.
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Just doing my job

In which I thank myself with some flowers.

I have a thankless job and I’m happy with that, I feel awkward when I’m congratulated and just want to reply with “just doing my job, maam”. Ignoring the problem with referring to my manager as “maam” it also causes me problems in getting ahead in business.

The main issue is I belive my job (kind of like a
executive specializing in statistical analysis and data reconfiguration or a transponster) is a service job. It my my role to help others do their roles better. I’m a caddy or a buttress, I should only be noticed if I’m not doing my job properly.

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Wanting to be the villain

In which I want to play the bad boy.

Being a somewhat occasional amatuer thespian (not to the point where I am out every night as once a week rehearsals are my limit, I like to see my family from time to time) there are a number of juicy roles to be trod on the boards.

All the roles I covet have something similar about them, the first being their musical roles. For all the will in the world I am never going to be a singer, I am more deaftone than baritone, so why would I want to play I role I can never do justice to?

It may be due to wanting to play the crazy, mad, and bad guy.

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The joy of Marmite

In which I very much love it.

The Menu.

Ingredients: Pure savoury heaven (or hell)

Preparation: Knife into jar and spread

Cost: £2.00 for a big jar

Amuse-bouche

I’m going to put my position out there straight away. I love it. I understand that how you feel towards Marmite clouds many people’s judgement. For some just being able to smell it without retching is a sign that you are in league with the anti-Christ.

So when Marmite released their new advert I thought it was hilarious, I’ve know plenty who have semi-abandoned jars in their cupboards, I recently rediscovered the one I had just this weekend, but the ad seems to have created a tiny bit of controversy and I’m not sure who is to blame.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHjssdNNzP0]
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