A surreal week

Last week was surreal for me. I can honestly say its the highest pressure week i have had in my current job. It wasn’t that anyone else applied any pressure on me – i do that myself. I had a hard deadline to achieve of friday – the whole week was spent prepping documentation for that and speaking to teams around the world to make sure that those numbers i provided everyone else agreed with. For friday there were 4 deliverables to the particular customer and i was responsible for three of them.  I managed to get my deliverables out on time, and I’m hoping the client will like them. The fact is i can justify not delivering anything at all given the fact that right until the last minute things were changing.

The 4th deliverable i was let down by – the person responsible for this i had spoken to on several occasions trying to get this dealt with, and it was left until the last minute – the last minute being the point they realized they didn’t have any information at all. I wanted to help, i wanted to get involved but i couldn’t – i just had too many of my own concerns to deal with on the other 3 deliverables.

I will see the customer at some point tomorrow – apparently they had anticipated that i deliver more information on a larger scope than what i did – i know for a fact i mentioned exactly what i would deliver on tuesday, but never mind. The customer is the customer and i will do what i can to make them happy. By the time last week was over i can honestly say i was at breaking point almost. it took me a day just to be able to breathe properly. I can’t let that kind of stress happen again, and I’m kind of angry that i let myself take it so seriously when clearly others did not.

The particular engagement i have been on has mixed blessings – its hard that the customer didn’t know what they wanted but i got to do some coding – i built a proof of concept environment for them. That kind of reminded me how much i actually like programming, and have missed it – it was hard for me to leave the environment alone.

Its even harder that i know i could code the solution of my customer very quickly and effectively – I’m tempted to put myself down as a development resource on that one. Last week wasn’t just one customer keeping me busy – there were lots of distractions. This next week is supposed to be easier – we will see how it goes.

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Evolution

 

Another perspective on time

If you stop to think about it we have a really linear understanding of time, which is something i blogged on before; if your mind is open to the possibility that maybe we could travel forward backwards and even sideways in time then it should change your opinion of every day life. what it means is in a real sense we are immortal. what you do here and now will always be here and now forever, our acts carved into eternity.

Today is 21st April 2012 – and this blog at this moment of time will be here forever.

An observant Boob

 

Do you want to be my gravatar?

Its crazy but at the same time its really annoying. This blog site – word press driven – gets its little images from gravatar – so if someone posts a comment it looks to see if they have a gravatar or not. Now Yessie commented my blog the other day and i was pleased to see a little pic appear by the comment. Glen is the most popular commenter on my site but he just has an anonymous icon. Thats just annoying for me – i like to have little pics by peoples names – i have them in my phone book next to every entry. I wish people would get a damn gravatar or even better – i wish Facebook would not just look up on gravatars but also check for images in Facebook, linked in and other such places. Is it too much to ask? I just want things neat and tidy!

The death star.

When i was growing up i remember seeing a 3 second video clip of the deathstar blowing up on my bbc micro. The bbc only had 8 colors and to make the death star look really cool you had to watch it on a greyscale monitor. Fast forward to this morning – watching an episode of penguins of madigascar on a high def tv. When you stop and look the graphics are stupendous compared to just 10 years back – and theres none of this fuzziness or ghosting we used to see on the old analogue tv – none of that distortion on the bottom of the screen where the video tape is getting old. We are really lucky.

Crime in the UK….

Ok, maybe its my imagination but pretty much every crime program that comes out of the UK seems to be based largely in manchester or around there. I saw yet another one yesterday and it was exactly the same thing – manchester or around there – Bolton also seems quite popular a target for TV crime shows – So i did a little digging on crime in the UK and found upmystreet.com which is actually really interesting as it is compiled from figures provided by the police. If your thinking of moving in the UK take a look.

Foursquare

Foursquare is a bit like Gowalla was. it basically allows you to check in at different places as you visit them, and you get points if you visit them several times. The interesting spin though is that in some places you can get free things for checking in – for example theres a macdonalds near me that will give you a free ice-cream sundae if you check in there and spend a certain amount of cash. Because its giving away freebies, I’m interested! I don’t know how popular it is in other countries but i was surprised to see freebies on offer in Stockholm.

Its not much, and not many places that have adopted this but its worth looking at, i mean after all, a free ice-cream is a free ice-cream!

It also allows you to find places near you – restaurants, cafe’s etc.. and people can post tips, so its actually quite cool.

Unusually and rather surprisingly the windows phone 7 foursquare app is better than the one for the iPhone. I’ve only got two friends on Foursquare and apparently i am the mayor of Stockholm – its not quite overlord of the universe but it will do for starters.

Drink to that!

Heard this Rihanna song on TV today and liked it:

Then i found a really cool cover of it which i liked because it wasn’t a straight rip off – the person had been creative. Theres a lot of creative people out there on youtube, and i am thinking i will try to feature a cover a week on my blog :) Check it out:

Bullying

I can’t help but think that bullying is a way more complex issue than most people think.  I don’t like bullying at all – i am a fairly strong character and have pulled apart some of the people that have tried bullying me in recent years, but it wasn’t always that way.

At school, i didn’t really have people of my own age to hang around with – i think i hard only one or two people in my own year who were friends and a couple of people a year or two ahead of me i would socialize with. Our school had bullies – really nasty ones, and i got into many a scrap. Its easy for people to say ignore bullies but its not so easy to ignore when two of them have your arms pinned and the third is trying to get your attention.

Bullying happens for so many reasons when you stop to think about it:

  • Its an insecurity thing – often bullies need to assert control over other people when they don’t have control over their own life – it can be a way to vent.
  • Its a social thing – focusing on one target is a way of bringing other people together – sad but true, probably because while attention is on someone else your not as vulnerable.
  • Its a dominance thing. Its a way controlling a group of people and the environment around them.

People often tend to bully people that are different or ugly – and you have to admit some people are physically ugly and are not good to look at – this is another fairly complex subject that a lot of research has been done into – but basically boils down to some characteristics we find attractive and some deviations from those fairly repulsive – but it doesn’t end there because in order to preserve humanity uglier people are more likely to be attracted to uglier people. I know that sounds bad but thats a fairly basic explanation of a complex subject- People don’t like to admit theres a physical bias there because we all know that you shouldn’t judge a person by how they look.

And its not right to judge a person by just how they look. What a person wears and how a person conveys themselves is something they can control and to a large extent says more about who they are than if they are fat, or if their eyes are at the side of their head. There are some amazingly awesome people who don’t look so pretty out there.

Fat people also get a really hard time of it. There are lots of reasons a person can end up fat – and yeah you could argue its overindulgence and associate them with having no self control but again there are normally underlying reasons that can be either medical or symptomatic of troubles elsewhere.

I have sometimes had problems with being called a bully at work and really i am not. What i am is direct and honest, and some people confuse that with bullying sometimes especially when you are saying things about them that they don’t want to hear. This is something i do, not because i want to upset anyone but because i actually want to help them to grow – you can’t stop someone from doing something badly unless you point out they are doing it in the first place.

I was bullied at school but it could have been  a lot worse. I can’t help but wonder if it had a positive effect on me. I am a strong person and not much phases me. In general i like who i am, and the negative influences in our lives are just as important as the positive ones.

Bullying is wrong, but not everyone who appears to be a bully is, and its easy to forget some of the biggest bullies you may meet can well be victims themselves. I laugh at them and kind of feel sorry for them at the same time.

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