Monday, March 26, 2012

sometimes you need to be more selfish

a therapist i know once told me that, except he didn't say sometimes. selfishness can get a bad reputation, but i'd like to give one example to show that it can be used as a force for good.

if you've ever let a driver out in front of you and not received a thank you wave, you'll probably have boiled with rage at the indecency of their behaviour. (they're no ken livingston but...)
However, if you thought of the whole interaction from a selfish point of view, then the reason you let them out isn't for them, nor is it to receive gratitude for your actions; if you take the reason for you actions to be for you, to make you a better person, or even just to feel good about what you have done, then their response is irrelevant.

Monday, March 19, 2012

who is the greatest tv character of all time?

someone mentioned a terrible one to me the other day. must have been from some awful sitcom like big bang show. in my defence, so many names popped up into my head i couldn't think of the best since there were so many better ones.
i think i have to rule out sopranos because robert de niro in godfather II blows even that italian guy that come over in the sopranos out of the water.
there are some classics like blackadder, and basil fawlty but i don't think those characters are the greatest ever (even though those shows are amongst the best sitcoms ever made).

my non definitive list of around top 20 includes omar little (the wire) homer (the simpson) and ari (entourage).

honourable mentions go to larry david/george, house, malcolm tucker, seƱor chang, abed and randy marsh.
though i have this feeling i have forgotten someone.
as for cool characters and lives you'd like to live, i reckon vinny chase and hank moody would do quite well.

I'm beginning to think that one 20-30 minute work out each day isn't going to help me get big and tough and macho so i think i might need two.

aiming to reset body clock tomorrow morning by rising at 830. this will be tricky after going to sleep at 5am last night. and i'm not at all tired now. i might try reading something like the game manual for civilisation IV.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

i missed a day already!

no post yesterday and none tomorrow either. some days are just devoid of interest. i read that some people tick off each day just before they go to sleep to remind them they'll never get it back and they should have used it most wisely. well, today i have done some work, continued with my daily work out plan and been incredibly tired all day. i even fell asleep on my floor for half an hour (in my defence the carpet is remarkably comfortable).

i think the main reason i get tired is through not eating enough. i like to make some pancake mix at the start of the week to last all week but i got through it pretty quickly this week. even though i used too many eggs and the first one tasted of omelette. so i added more flour and the next tasted of flowery omelette. so i added some milk and then it was the wrong consistency and tasted of flowery omelette. i don't know how that was possible as using those three ingredients it's not mathematically possible to have all three amounts incorrect. or so i thought.

i think i'm gonna try to eat half a tub of ice cream now. good luck me. (not to be confused with Goodluck Jonathan, president of nigeria.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

i set my alarm for 830. got up at 9 and did a 30min work out. ate some food, left my house and got to the office at 1045. in my mind i had wanted to be there by 830 and get all my printing done before lunch. but clearly that was never gonna happen. never mind. i still feel lazy in the morning but i hope these steps of getting up and working out regularly are going to pay off in just under 4 weeks time. hopefully will not be snoozing for 30 mins by then!

my easy jet story.
back in january i took a flight to return to the england. i left my friends house with time aplenty. when i got to train station i was told platform 3 to the airport. so i got on the train at platform 3 and it was a while till i noticed it should have already been at the airport. i called my friend to find i was on the wrong train. i got off at the next available stop and was probably close to 50miles away. oops. also, it wasn't a town where i alighted. it was a car park.
i still had 35 minutes before check in. i ran out of credit on my phone but the hot ticket office ladies i was talking to called me a cab from the nearest town. and i borrowed a phone to call a friend on the same flight as me. there was a 15 minutes delay so check in would be a bit later. hot ticket office lady number 2 told me no train for a while and its a 1 hour journey by car. i had 45 minutes.

the cab arrived about 15 mins later and we agreed a fee (all the money i had left on me, in a variety of currencies, equalling about £70!) i felt i had to try to get to the airport and maybe the delay would be a wee bit longer.

we left at about 35minutes to check in closing and after about 8 minutes, lady taxi driver with 7 year old kid in back, starts to pull over asking me if i can hear that. hear what?! she thinks it sounds like a flat.
we get out, i check my side, she hers. and drivers side front tire is flat. and she being a lady doesn't know how to change a tyre. so after eventually finding the wheel nut cap remover i change the tire. this doesn't help the race to the airport.

when we finally arrive, it's 20 minutes after check in was supposed to close, and after some pleading information finally agree to let me call through to the boarding people. they refuse to send someone back to check me in even though boarding hasn't started. the litany of excuses included the check in desks being the wrong ones and weren't connected. i pointed out the computers are obviously connected. he says again they won't send someone back to check me in. after doing less than nothing to help i hang up. i find the easy jet office number and use skype to call them and am told i can rebook at the airport desk for the next flight for £50. ok, so i walk round the airport with him on the phone but they have no ticket desk. even though his computer said they do. so i ask for the £50 booking done over the phone. i'm told they don't have the authority. i ask why all the big bosses with authority work in the airport and not their offices. he replies i should have been there 3 hours before take off. brilliant.

to cut a long and boring part of the story short, instead of rebooking for £235 on the phone, he'll offer me £215. i tell him i call him back. i get a friend to check online and see if there's anything cheaper but there is nothing. so i head back to my friends house to book on the phone. new lady on phone refuses to give me the discount the first guy said he wrote in my notes because i dont have his name. i give her his extension number, she puts me on hold and when she comes back says "i couldn't speak to him but i'll give you the discount anyway"
that made no sense.

and now, my card doesnt work. she wont take payment across two cards, wont book it and allow me to pay at the airport tomorrow, wont even allow me to reserve with a deposit. i ask why everyone at easy jet has been unhelpful today. she says "i've been nothing but helpful and i'm going to hang up now". she hangs up.

i get a friend to book online for me. cost, £225. £10 more than their generous discount offer.

the worst part is, after returning, i found out that the flight didn't start boarding till 850. more than 2 hours after i spoke to the self proclaimed manager working at the gate.

this was not on. i wrote to the ceo of easyjet upon my return, saying they should not treat customers who miss flights when abroad in such a horrific manner. i accept responsibility for missing the flight but can only accept paying £50, not £225. plus i want compensation. a week passes and no response. i see a story in the press of stelios complaining about the board and how they may not get their £800k bonus. so i write another email. i express my concern at the worry they must be faced with losing half their expected salary. at the same time i wonder that maybe the fact that they don't even get their pa's to respond to complaints plays a role in this. 20 minutes later i get a reply. this reply eventually leads to a refund of the flight plus a small voucher off my next flight with easyjet.

i was quite surprised at the outcome and was quite pleased with how they eventually dealt with it. as much as i disliked their customer service at the time of this event, in general their air stewards and stewardess are great, and unlike ryanair they fly to the actual city they advertise. and, of course, they are cheap!

moral: next time i'm gonna try to not miss my flight.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

blogging every day

day 1 (\end big brother voiceover voice)

blogging every day? i don't think i can do it. i don't know how people keep diaries. i find my own (non humorous) thoughts usually to be dull since i am quite familiar with them. so writing a diary of things you thought which almost always turn out to be not as dramatic or interesting when you look back. meh.

i managed both a 30 mins work out this morning and about 15 mins of russian study. pretty pleasing. however, tomorrow (today now) i have to be getting up early (for me) and going out but wanna at least do the work out before i leave. so i reckon this is going to be the most mentally challenging work out of the week. that is hopefully the motivation i need. off to sleep shortly...

edit: forgot about writing that story i mentioned yesterday. will do a non last minute post tomorrow with all the words!

Monday, March 12, 2012

carpe diem (winger)

as i prepare to go to bed i try to have my final thought of the day to be simply that i can never get this day back. so i should be happy with what i've done. and am i?

well, i won at tennis for the first time in what feels like 6 months.
and i had one hilarious moment on the road today which culminated in a woman hooting at a parked car because it wouldn't go when the lights were green!
i also managed to do a bit of work in trying to learn C++. i'm not great at computer programming but if 12 year olds can do it, surely i can?
and i spent a bit of time planning the important things for my week ahead.

following on from teh previous post, i want to spend the next 30 days getting into some daily habits. i want to spend 20 mins per day working out, and 20 mins studying russian. i kinda got lazy with the russian study about 2 months ago and have never consistently done the working out daily.

so each and every day i will have a trip report confirming i have completed these 2 things. i'll also try to spruce it up with an adventure or a picture.

and as for carpe diem? i think every time i try to live in the moment, it seems to revolve around doing things in the moment but which revolve around reliving the past. such as trying to win a women back. i'm not sure that counts for carpe diem.

so, tomorrows adventure story will involve wrong trains, hot wimmen, punctures and stelios. in that order. (no more spoilers. you'll have to come back for more)

Thursday, March 08, 2012


TED is awesome. you probably already know this. of course, there is a lot of nonsense on there, but there is some gold too. loads of the talks are just a few minutes long. The two ones that i think are really useful are one on introverts. describing how society views extrovertion as the ideal and why that is not right. (introvertion is also not the ideal, the ideal is to allow people to choose, obviously)

The other one i found that's great is a 3 minute talk by some dude on doing new things, which leads to new habits. that one is embedded here.

as regular readers of this blog will know getting up in the morning is a massive inconsideration for me. partly because when you work for yourself you don't have an urgency to be up. the thing i've found most helpful is to set goals to complete in the morning but even with that motivation it's easy to put off. what's great is starting something, knowing it's only for a finite time. after 30 days, you have tried it and can just congratulate yourself and go back to how you were.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

answering the phone because it's ringing

i got sent to scotland a couple of years ago to take a course in [bullshitbingo].
one of the things we had forced into our faces was the importance/urgency matrix

they tell you to prioritise things so that you do the top right box first, then the top left or bottom right, and then bottom left (if at all).

what nonsense. if you think about it, any activity which you place in the bottom row of 'not important' should be ignored entirely.

other things i learnt include that people will shamelessly (as in, while standing next to you) take credit for your work and thoughts. even if you are stuck in a hotel where your next thoughts should be of how soon you can leave, they are still concerned with showing off their sub-mental prowess to the people that run the bingo program of common sense.

happily, there was another normal on this course with who i escaped every day to the delightful city of edinburgh.

Monday, March 05, 2012


i have been neglecting this blog very much so.

in the past two months, i have played almost no poker. i went out to play one in london town, but i am reminded by how soul destroying live poker is.
i also played a little online but with my dreams of millions and freedom seemingly crushed i currently have little motivation to play.

so i have been spending substantial time (looking back it's amazing how much time i have spent on poker, reading and playing!) doing other things such as working on my company, beginning to write a sitcom, rewatching community, starting to learn C++ (and applying for j*bs). i may need to get a job for a wee bit till everything else takes off, but more revenue streams can't hurt. only in one job that I applied for have i got anywhere. i have had 2 other job offers in research thrust upon me, but i don't really want them. Good as they would be, I think it would be a last resort of sorts.

i've also written many posts and not published them because frankly, they bored me to tears. I often think that of my own thoughts though. in general i find myself quite boring mainly due to the fundamental lack of ability to surprise myself. i already know what i'm gonna do and what i think. and i tend to only accept boredom in exchange for money (ie jobs). or breasts (obviously).
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