Friday, June 26, 2009

North Pole report

Not seen any polar bears yet although it is surely just a matter of time. Gloriously sunny yesterday but overcast today.

Stopped off en route to take in some culture - Romeo & Juliet at the Ludlow Festival. Juliet was a tomboy. Not entirely convinced. The actor playing Romeo did well. It's a drippy part to play but he managed to inject some manliness into it. And the fella playing Mercutio did well as well, delivering the dreaded Queen Mab speech with manic gusto so that it felt like speech and not a speech. Too often with the well-known speeches the actor breaks out of character to deliver their monologue. Not so here. Although how any Juliet can keep a straight face saying "Romeo, Romeo.." I don't know.

We head further North tomorrow into the trackless wastes of Northernshire. Catch you later.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Think 'position'

Recently we've had a new programme at work of putting up 'encouraging posters'. I'm not dissing the posters, before you think 'oh here goes Jon on one of his cynical rants', mainly because I worked on them.

But I'm not responsible for putting them up and whoever is has some odd ideas of what qualifies as premium display space.

So, what would you choose?

a) Blank wall above a lightswitch, or b) side of a filing cabinet where it will be obscured every time someone opens the neighbouring cupboard
a) Blank wall above the photocopier (where a lot of people stand staring at the wall while they wait for the photocopying to finish), or b) side of the coffee machine which can only be seen if you approach the coffee machine from a dead-end corridor
a) Unoccupied pinboard in the staff break room, or b) side of the vending machine

The verdict.
Mostly 'a' - wow you've got some idea of how to display things so people will see them and hopefully read them. Better keep you off the project.
Mostly 'b' - here you go, stick these posters up!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Choose Your Weapon"

Been there, done that, worn the t-shirt.

That's right folks. Shirt #3 is posted.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I like this quote that I found today (and I'd hope I'm a realist).

"An idealist believes the short run doesn't count. A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run."
- Sydney J. Harris

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When the self-editing process fails

You may find this hard to believe given half the things I say, but I do have a 'self-editing' mode. I often bite back the really stupid/insensitive/crude/banal things that pop into my head. Today I was a witness when someone else's mouth was running faster than their self-editor.

We were in a meeting where a manager was outlining a new process, which seems great. "However," he said, "the only nigg-" and then he stopped and put his hand to his mouth.

He could have rescued it and said "ul" - 'the only niggle', but that wasn't what he was going to say and we all knew it, especially when, after a shocked one-second-that-felt-like-an-eternity pause he said, embarrasedly, "in the woodpile, is..." and explained the drawback to the system.

To his credit he looked very red in the face and he did catch himself. And he was willing to admit that he had almost said something pitifully medieval that could cause offence. But it was still one of those nasty surprises that left us all sitting there wondering whether we had really heard what we had heard.

There never were many rascialist analogies in the English language. 'Nigger in the woodpile' was one of the few, although my Dad says he remembers his mother asking for 'Nigger Brown' cotton in a haberdashers when he was small. It was the official colour, named that by the manufacturer. When people complain about the passing of the good old days they forget the latent institutionalised racism.

But what do you do when someone casts around for an analogy and begins to use a bad one without thinking? Do you take offence? Do you make a formal complaint? Do you have a quiet word? Do you laugh out of sheer shock and embarrassment? Or do you do what my friend Ross did and ask loudly "Who says we're a white, middle-class organisation then?"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The next t-shirt article is up

Wow, that week went fast. But anyway, post # 2 is up on t-shirt theology - all about looking better when you're naked.

Check it out here.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Euro elections

I normally keep a tally of what we get through the door at election time, so here goes:

Liberal Desperates: 4 bits of bumf, slagging off everyone else as usual but with no discernible policies. I think their tagline should be "We hate everyone and want to tell you about it." Their local guy Dominic Hannigan comes across as a real moaner. An egotist too. All the election stuff is about him and he's not even standing.

Labour: 2 glossy brochures, both with a picture of Rhodri Morgan in his garden with a cup of tea, looking like that jolly old uncle who you suspect tops up his tea with a tipple when no one's looking. Bless.

The Conservatives: a glossy brochure and a rubbishy pamphlet. David Cameron features heavily. Interesting claim that "Conservatives fought for a new trade deal focussed on the needs of the poorest countries and respect for human rights." Leopards and spots come to mind.

Plaid: 1 bit of bumf with a real focus on local issues. Free buses in Cardiff city centre, new trains, and a campaign to save the Vulcan pub in Splott. Not really the biggest issues in Europe, are they? I did like their bit about how we need to stop creating 'identikit towns' with new developments. Fully agree with that.

UKIP: The first 2 bits of electoral bumf we received, one of which was a teensy bit racist. Also purloined Winston Churchill to their campaign, which is a bit unfair as he's dead and can't sue them for using his image without permission.

According to the list up at the polling station I could also vote for the BNP, the Green Party, the Christian Party (hmmm), the Socialist Labour Party and a couple of other fringe candidates. But none of them got in touch so I presume they don't want me to vote for them. (Interestingly, I noticed one of the candidates for the Socialist Labour Party owns one of the bookshops in Hay-on-Wye and lives in Hay Castle, which seems a bit odd, but there you go.)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Well, it's up and all is revealed

Well, all is not really revealed as such as I'm keeping my clothes on for this project but T-SHIRT THEOLOGY is now up and running.

This is the blog based on an idea I had for a book, which who knows may one day become a book. But for now it's a blog and you can read the very first post right now!

Let me know what you think.

Monday, June 01, 2009

One day to go

The anticipation mounts.

And yet surprisingly very few people are bugging me about what's so hush hush.

All will be revealed tomorrow!