Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Here's a bit wot I wrote last night but never got the chance to stick on:


And now I am home once again. And Joan is out once again (Oh, they came out of the Bingo empty-handed once again too). Am just waiting for a bunch of Chumbawamba MP3s to finish copying over from Zip Disk before having a go at the latest demo release of Jeff Minter's marvellous Gridrunner ++. Hopefully this should have sorted all the bugs that were plaguing the earlier releases. The trouble with parallel zip drives is that while stuff goes on them pretty quickly, it takes ages to copy it off again. Oh well, it has saved me several hours of download time so a few more minutes won't kill me.

And just for a change I know what I'm getting is worth the wait. Having grabbed all the files off the net at work I was wishing the PCs weren't nobbled so that I could play them. They are all totally silent and we all assumed they had had their soundcards removed (or never installed in the first place). Then I happened to glance at the back of someone elses machine and spotted the microphone and earphone sockets. Why would they be there if the sound cards weren't? So I plugged in my trusty headphones that normally occupy the socket on the CD drive and fired up one of the MP3s. By Jimcrack, we had sound after all - just no internal speaker. So a swift bit of desk rejigging later (in order to reach the socket and have the earphones in use without a broken neck) I had a very entertaining afternoon finishing off the newsletter. I even hid the Chumblies web site in a word search I put in it just to express thanks in a subtle way! Why has it taken me three plus years of using that PC to think about trying that? D'oh!


Extra! Gridrunner updated again while I was writing that. Even better than before!

And now I realise I haven't got time to post this tonight so it will be stuck on top of Tuesday!


So now it really is Tuesday morning and I've got a slight attack of the tuesday syndrome previously mentioned. The weather isn't helping there either - yesterday was a mix of sunshine and serious showers but today is just drab and leaves me unenthused.

The newsletter is now going through all the corporate hoops it has to jump before I can unleash it on the public. I hope there are no major changes required as I hate having to mess with my words. Especially as I try to tell the truth and reflect reality rather than putting the official spin on stuff. Trouble is everything here has to be so political. I probably mentioned this at the time so apologies if this is a repetition but it winds me up something chronic. In a previous newsletter I had nothing to fill some space so put in a call for comments etc from the users. I finished it with something along the lines of "..and we want to hear what you think. Most comments we get at the moment tell us we have the best toilets in Suffolk and really ought to be running the Norwich and Cambridge schemes as well". Now I thought that was a clear indication of what the public were telling us not me trying to score points off other counties, and my colleagues agreed. However, the Public Transport boss at Norfolk thought we were running his service down and we had to send a grovelling letter out. It just frustrates me even more.

Today I have done a bit more designy stuff. An advert to go in a booklet going to every schoolkid in Ipswich. If it works we can always use it elsewhere too. A bit of a tough job though, how to persuade the people who have no say in their travel decisions to get on a bus.

News just in from the BBC web site is that the Unions have reached an agreement with the councils on our pay rises for the next couple of years. I don't think I will be any better off than I would have been if they had just accepted the initial deal, but it will help the people paid by the hour. All I have to look forward to now is 5 months worth of back pay at the end of the month (hopefully).

We have also just been told that Gary and I will be interviewed for the job clash situation next Tuesday. Another reason to not like Tuesdays! We are expecting to get the proper job descriptions and task lists today to enable us to prepare but I can't say I'm over keen on the prospect. From what we have seen so far neither job actually covers what either of us want to do full time but splits stuff between the two of us. Splendid. And I just get the feeling that however well I do in the interview I will end up with the lesser of the two posts which will be a real kick in the teeth. That could just be my natural negativity coming in to play but it just sits there nagging at me.

Mind you, I have got an application form sitting at home for a post with St. Edmundsbury council (as a refuse and recycling officer, which looks pretty interesting actually) that it won't kill me to fill in and post. Just finding the time to do it seems to be the major problem. I'd even be happy to spend more time travelling again if the ultimate prospect was better for me. And right now I'd jump at anything that would put make me happier more often.

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