Wednesday 31 December 2008

Episode VI - Return of the chocolate muffin

Princess Leia in gold bikiniSo I sent a couple of droids to talk it over with Jabba at his castle, where entertainment included a musical interlude by a blue elephant playing in the style of Stevie Wonder (you had to be there). I turned up, killed his favourite pet and we flew off into the sunset to meet up with the rest of the fleet, but not before I met with Ben who told me that the girl I'd fancied was in fact my sister. I'm kind of glad now that Dad cut off my right hand… I met up with the rest of the fleet, a woman we'd never seen before passed on information from some Bothan spies and Admiral Ackbar, a talking squid from the planet Mon Calamari, showed off his new 3D computer screen. The emperor saw us coming (Bothan spies are rubbish – it's no wonder so many of them died) but despite this we managed to defeat a crack legion of the emperor's best troops with the help from some cuddly teddy bears.

That's the problem with any final act. The outline may look good but putting it into practice…

So perhaps I shouldn't have set myself the target of two blogs in as many days. I'll not be doing that again. Nor shall I make any resolutions for the New Year; except perhaps not to quote the film quite as often as I do (if at all). God only knows what people must think of me – though as it happens I am sat at work wearing a T-shirt with the small green character printed on it. Some days I feel obliged to live up (or should that be down?) to the stereotype.

Instead I'll promote a new sophisticated Phil; the kind that orders something at Starbucks with 'skinny' in the title - or is it just tall skinny women who order tall skinny lattes? Either way I'll not be having any more of their chocolate muffins; they're just like 'Episode VI'… rubbish.

Tuesday 30 December 2008

Episode I - The phantom tea cup

The Phantom Menace
I saw very few films over the Christmas period and I saw no films during Christmas week, which seems a real waste. I had a yearning to watch 'Fight Club' again though Mrs R wasn't very keen, preferring instead to watch 'Mamma Mia' with Little Miss R - I slept through it all. My stack of unwatched DVDs grows whilst the time in which to watch them shrinks. At work there are six of 16 desks occupied. On this floor we number three support people (100% attendance for the support team), one database person, one business analyst and one developer (that'd be me).

The Christmas decorations are beginning to fall down and no-one has the will to maintain them. The tinsel remains on the floor or dangling from the ceiling; we sidestep the end of Christmas as if hoping to delay the arrival of the New Year. Office etiquette is proving tricky. With five people on one side of the office and 'Lone Developer' Phil (they should make a TV series) on the other, there was one burning question of the morning; should I offer to make the tea? This problem was resolved when one of 'The Others' drifted my way to ask if I'd like a drink. "No thanks" I replied, because by that time I'd already sneaked a couple in. Bear in mind I've been a developer for a long time. Put it this way. Imagine I'm in a bar with a fellow developer, discussing where George Lucas went wrong with 'The Phantom Menace', and a beautiful woman (who somehow hasn't heard our conversation) sits next to me and strikes up a conversation. I might be thinking 'Serendipity', but I'll mainly be thinking 'Help!'. Let's face it, there's only one thing I know about women - and there's only so many ways I can compliment her on her hair. It's safer in 'Phil's World'. I suppose I could always wing it and ask where she stands on the hot topic of the afternoon; "Who is more annoying – Jar Jar Binks or Anakin Skywalker?" I'm only kidding... Everyone knows the answer to that.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Losing it

My brain then and now
Forgetfulness and poor eyesight have combined to ensure my Christmas present this year will be a new pair of glasses to replace the pair I lost yesterday. I can't really afford them as I have a particularly expensive, and oft delayed, service and MOT due on the car - but I've reached the point where I can't read a thing without them. And I am determined to read something soon, something nourishing, something good for the soul. It's a bit early for New Year resolutions perhaps but I could do with an overhaul myself.

This year's acts of stupidity (I also lost my car keys... or that may have been last year – I can't recall) only confirmed my suspicions. I can't take it any more... or rather my brain can't take any more. I have reached the point where I no longer remember whole conversations, seemingly choosing only to remember edited highlights. There are two ways to look at this; either my intellect has reached a higher plane that automatically excludes extraneous information at an advanced level... or I have stuffed my mind with so much junk it's beginning to overflow. Yes, I know I only have myself to blame but try to remember my New Year resolution – and if you can could you remind me?

Yes I'm a fool, but if I may quote Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars trilogy:
Who's more foolish, the fool or the fool who reads him?
At least it was something along those lines...

Thursday 18 December 2008

Guitar hero

Last week the future musical credibility of Little Miss R was placed in serious doubt thanks to her discovery of a Cliff Richard tape, dating back to the time when people knew what was meant by the word "tape". I'm rational enough to realise this isn't the fault of Sir Cliff, besides which it's quite obvious that the blame lies elsewhere and I told her as much, whilst ducking the stress balls she threw in my direction. I can assure you, as I assured her, there are no such embarrassing revelations from my past...

However it was just one tape from a box full of possible indiscretions or relief. Mercifully it wasn't long before the tunes of Summer Holiday and Wired for Sound (there were more and I'm a little worried I can remember so many) were soon drowned out with the more wholesome sounds of Oasis. It's such a relief when your seven-year old discards "Mistletoe and Wine" for "Cigarettes and Alcohol"…

Inspired, and as if to confirm her new found street cred (should that be with a hyphen or without?), she's taken up the guitar. Move aside Noel, your days are numbered…

Saturday 6 December 2008

Smells like Christmas spirit

It's been a fractured week, I'm tired and it's beyond me to tie it all together. So instead I've broken it down into sections and even added in a joke – see if you can spot it.

Home life:
Mrs R has been given a medical drug reference book. This along with access to Wikipedia is proving to be detrimental to our health. What her GP was thinking of is anyone's guess.

Work life:
Two weeks ago we had a company re-structure; our new boss will visit us next week to explain the changes. I'm going to do my bit for the team and heed one of the six e-mails of the week reminding us to keep our desks tidy. I'll even wear my best t-shirt and, who knows, I may even iron it.

Current Affairs:
More enjoyable was the Jeremy Paxman interview with the Leader of the House of Commons, Harriet Harman. Given that it's now apparently a criminal offence to embarrass the government, perhaps the police should consider locking her up as well?

Two software developers are standing in the park.
One developer has a shiny new bike.
The other developer asks him, "Nice bike - how much?"
The first one says, "It was free."
The other asks, "Really, how did you get it for free?"
The one with the bike says," Yesterday a beautiful woman rode up on this bike, took off all her clothes and told me I could have anything I wanted."
The other software developer says, "Good move - her clothes wouldn't have fit you anyway."