Friday, September 28, 2007

Tip for Dictators and Military Juntas

When violently quashing dissident uprisings, try not to shoot any foreign journalists. It'll make life a lot easier in the long run.

Do Not Shoot This Notice

In a response to my last post, Danny reminded me of this sign we saw in New Zealand. If you click on it to make it full size you should be able to see the bullet holes in the no shooting sign.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pointless Information

I just saw on my profile onFacebook the phrase: "You are online now."

Thank you Facebook. I wasn't sure. It's in the space that normally says "Dave is now online" or whatever the person's name is but still, completely pointless. If I could look at my profile when I wasn't online, would it say "You are not online"?

It's like the classic "Do not throw stones at this notice" and other signs. One of my personal favourites, which isn't really pointless information but just a stupid sign, is at the ticket barriers at the station. It reads "Small children and animals must be carried". I have been through many times carrying neither a small child or some animals and have never been caught (luckily). I did consider starting up an animal and small children renting shop at the station where people could rent animals and small children to carry and thus legally cross the barriers but the child labour laws are quite tough and the law seems to be very poorly enforced.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More Haste Less Speed - Crossing Roads

I'm sure most of you reading this are familiar with road crossings that feature red and green lights for cars with associated red and green lights for people trying to cross the road. As a pedestrian you push a button to tell the road crossing computer you want to cross, the lights for the cars turn to red, the cars stop (well except some taxis who drive through anyway) and then a green man shows to pedestrians who are then allowed to cross.

I remember one time being with some Germans walking through town and seeing their shock at us Englanders just crossing roads when the red man was showing. In their eyes the red man was an order to HALT! and we were brazenly breaking the rules. Truly shocking. It is normal in the UK though, and people often try and anticipate when the light will turn red for the cars, so they can start to cross then, rather than waiting the extra few seconds for the green man to come. Of course, the extra seconds are designed to help you avoid the psycho taxi driver jumping the lights. If you know a junction well, you can save yourself quite a lot of time every day with this kind of technique.

The phenomenon I've seen a lot recently, especially in Edinburgh but back home too, is people ignoring the red and green man and looking so intently at the cars to see when they are going to stop, that they totally fail to notice that the green man has popped on so they can cross. It tends to happen on wide roads, so you need to take notice of cars a long way away, where you can't directly see whether the light for the cars is red or green. So many times this week I've walked past people, staring intently at the slowing cars, towards the green man. And they always look annoyed as I go past.

Friday, September 21, 2007

sort of great moment in laziness #4

In addition to the previous post on the elevator, I want to talk about the next best thing behind the mighty elevator, and that is the ALSO RATHER PLEASANT ESCALATOR!!! Or rolly shtairsch as it's known to some twats.

Except for the London Underground, escalators usually only cover one floor. But still it's far superior to walking the steps. At most airports you even have escalators that just transport you horizontally!! Brilliant. Just standing still gazing into nothingness and yet moving faster than a walking person. And the ever so pleasant female voice that reminds you to 'mind your step' makes it easy for lazy folk to wake up in time to safely step from the escalator.

But the laziest of escalators is still this one. Fifteen small steps to the entrance of the fitness (!), but no use waisting valuable energy on those if you can use the escalator!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Great Moments in Laziness #3

Today's great moment in laziness will not apply to country bumpkins, hillbillies, or rednecks. No, this great moment applies only to those sophisticated city folks and big time travellers who have actually been in a city that has tall buildings. I think even the retards of the Internet might know where I'm going with this one.....
That's right, I give you THE MIGHTY ELEVATOR! Or lift as it's known to some twats.

Whether it's an Otis or a Schindler, the elevator is a magical device that has saved millions of people, millions of units of laziness (we should probably invent a unit of measure for laziness. Like the anti-erg or something.). Who invented them? How do they work? I don't care. You can Google it if you care that much. All I know is modern life would be impossible without the elevator. People would be fighting to the death for the rooms on the first floor of a hotel. Skyscrapers would be constrained to the world of fantasy and imagination. And fat people would be even sweatier than they are now.

Fuck some stairs. Elevators for ever! Although I have been in an elevator that fell 3 floors before the emergency brakes kicked in. Maybe they're not so awesome, what with the chances of getting stuck and/or death. Nah, they're awesome. Way better than trudging up 80 gajillion stairs to the top of some tower or office building. We'd have mass hysteria without the elevator. I, for one, wouldn't have made it up to my office on the second floor this morning.

Special shout out to handicapped people and disability laws. Thanks to them, every building in America over two stories has to have an elevator, or they're gonna have a big ass lawsuit. Except for apartment buildings. For some reason they almost never have elevators. Especially when you're helping that hot chick move into her third floor apartment. And you're hoping she'll finally realize just how awesome you are as you lug a 200 lbs couch up 90 individual stairs with a bad back and your leg muscles burn like the fires of hell. But no. All she does is say thanks and tosses a "Talk to you later!" your way as she closes the door in your face.

As Seinfeld would say, "What is the deal with that?"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The real downside to traveling

Traveling is a difficult and nasty thing. Especially for lazy people. There's nothing lazy about traveling. Unless you're talking about traveling in basketball. Then that's pretty lazy, but in my mind, much preferable to dribbling.

But the travel itself is not the worst part. Beyond the the jet lag, the 15 hour flights, the screaming kids, the sick Asians with bird flu coughing up lungs, and the old lady punching the touch the screen monitor in the back of my seat lies a far greater terror. The dark, evil specter of WORK! The worst of all the four letter words. It's hard enough dragging your ass out of bed on that first day back. The real horror is when you get to work and fire up the ol' e-mail program. Christ almighty I was receiving e-mail for 30 minutes this morning!

Now, I was checking my e-mail on my trip in between hits of opium and I still had a couple hundred new ones to catch up on. And I'm a worthless peon. I can only imagine what it must be like for someone important. There must be trillions of e-mails waiting for them. Luckily for me I suck at working so I'll never be important, but just the thought sends such a chill down my spine that my nuts are forced to beat a hasty retreat into my considerable abdominal cavity.

What's the lesson here? Don't travel. Or, if you do travel, don't come back. Or if you do come back, start a new job. The old one will have too much work waiting for you. Too much work is like kryptonite to a lazy person. Like crack to a crack whore. Like whores to a guy who has a serious weakness for whores. You get what I'm saying.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I'm back

You know who's really lazy? Airline employees. I want to work for an airline. You get to be the best of both worlds. Stupid and lazy. Perfect combination for me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Europeans are Lazy Bastards: Russian Sex Day

Of all the public holidays I've ever heard of, this has to be the best. The Governor of Ulyanovsk, Lenin's birthplace, has declared today a Day of Conception. Workers have been given the day off work to go and shag themselves silly in order to make little Russian babies. Aaaaaah. The idea is that couples that give birth on Lenin's birthday, 9 months from now on June 12th, will win a locally built 4x4 car! Brilliant.

I'm afraid we can't offer you a prize, but feel free to take the day off and have loads of sex in the name of Lenin.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

You Facebook slackers

Apparently UK employees are wasting 233 million hours a week poking each other on Facebook. Unfortunately, their Facebook friends aren't real friends.

I don't know whether this is good or bad. Employees have been using the internet at work for as long as it's been available to them. My job involves web development and the internet is invaluable for learning about the latest technology or techniques, or even as a reference. It's quicker to google search for something than it is to look through a book I've got sitting on my desk, and the information is more up to date.

Facebook might be the current demon in the eyes of employers but if they cut one head off and they'll find 3 others to take it's place. My view is that part of the time at least this 'time wasting' is people socializing. Rather than the old 'water cooler' moment, where co-workers stand around chatting during work hours you get people chatting on e-mail or facebook or internet forums to blow off steam. It's just less obvious if people are slacking off online. As long as you get your work done on time, to a high standard, who cares?

Just remember, your Facebook friends aren't really your friends, and even if they are they will still just upload and tag you in highly embarassing drunken photos that they took on your mobile phone one night. Then everyone will be able to see, what a drunken mess you are. Especially your workmates if you are stupid enough to add them.

Download BBC content to your X-Box

Only days after we talked about the future of TV the BBC announce that you'll soon be able to download BBC content for free on X-Box Live. People in the US have been able to do this for a year or so by buying content to download, but we've already paid for the BBC stuff so it'll be free. Good news!

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Christ that sucked. I can't go into much detail because I can't summon the strength. Suffice it to say not being able to sleep on an airplane and being up for 31 straight hours makes me feel very ungood.

I will have many stories to share though I think. I've been in the country for only 10 hours.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Strip Generator

Click to read!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Time to go bye-bye

Well, not right now. But soon enough. Too soon for my liking.

Tomorrow I'm off on a great journey. One that will test all my faculties. I leave all of our faithful readers in the hands of Mike. Normally I'd make a dirty joke here, but I'm too lazy to do that today. I hope to have many funny stories and possibly some tips on the lazy way to travel.

Assuming I return that is. I have to spend 24 hours traveling with my boss and then sharing a hotel room with him for 7 days. Murder is a distinct possibility. So if the travel doesn't get me, regular ol' anti-murder laws might.

DVD Boxed Sets

My copy of the Battlestar Galactica Season 3 DVD boxed set just arrived. WOO! Having the whole series on DVD is great. You can watch episodes whenever you want, you don't have to wait a week to find out what happens next. You can spend even spend an entire day in bed, incredibly hungover, watching a particularly crap season of 24 when your girlfriend is away for the weekend if you want.

Obviously this is nothing new, but I read something recently that said that some networks in the US were even starting to put shows on twice a week as people were getting so used to having a series on DVD and being able to watch episodes whenever they want.

That said, the DVD boxed set is nearly dead. Soon we'll pick up any episode of a show online or download it through our digital TV boxes at the touch of a button and watch them whenever we want. There are plenty of services doing this kind of thing at the moment, some better than others, and it won't be long until it hits the mainstream.

I hope it'll mean we get more quality TV as if we can get any show at any time, we'd be able to always pick something good, and never watch the crap but people really love the crap. Never mind.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Four Day Weeks

I just spotted an article about four day weeks linked from Kevin Harrington's blog. It is well worth a read. The premise is that your work expands to fill the available time. The consequence being that limiting your time doesn't necessarily limit the amount of work you can do, it just forces you to be more efficient. I particularly like Kevin's point in his response to the article that suggests "I also have a theory that says: most office based people only work 3 hours a day. That usually stirs up reactions as well!". I'm sure it does. It depends what you define as 'working' of course, but I think for genuine productive work, 3 hours out of an 8 hour day is a realistic estimate.

I also think, as the original article suggests, that if you were free from interruptions in the form of instant messages, e-mails, face to face 'quick questions' or meetings, you'd easily be able to accomplish in 3 hours what currently takes an 8 hour working day. Unfortunately most of the time your colleagues interruptions are because they need help with something that is holding them back from doing their jobs effectively. It can be quite hard to put up an effective "Please don't bother me I'm concentrating!" barrier.

I once suggested to my boss that a 4 day week would be a good idea. He said he was quite happy with that idea, for a 20% pay cut. Hmm. Not quite what I had in mind!