Archive for March 2008

A Little Help Please

Posted on Monday 10th March 2008 at 00:00
One of the best parts of blogging, compared to other forms of publishing, is the two way nature of communication. It means that once in a while I can take a break from the essay style posts I normally write and open the floor to others who may wish to speak.

Over the next few days I'm going to be spending every waking moment I'm not in work, frantically writing coursework, of which I have 5,000 words worth due in on Thursday. As I've mentioned a few times before, I have issues with procrastination and motivation and am probably going to end up wasting a lot of time these next few evenings trying to make myself work and hating the fact that I just can't seem to get a grip on it.

This is where you come in: you are (for the most part) good, hard working, motivated individuals who are always getting stuff done. I want to hear your tips for motivating yourself to do things you really hate. If possible I'd like something a little more concrete than "positive thinking" or "just think about the consequences". I've tried pretty much every trick in the book on this one, so I'm after a few tricks that aren't in the book please.

Over to you...

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Something I Found…

Posted on Saturday 8th March 2008 at 00:00
I found the following video on YouTube the other day and am still chuckling over it now. Apparently it's a Swedish advert, and a friend of mine reckons it was featured on Tarrant on TV. Since I hadn't seen it before, it stands to reason that some of you won't have done either, so I thought I'd share it with you:

(This is an embedded YouTube video and must be viewed using a Flash enabled web browser. The video may not appear in your RSS feed, so please click through to the website to see it properly.)

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Posted on Friday 7th March 2008 at 00:00
Am I the only one who, having bought something from the supermarket that turns out to be a disappointment, feels compelled to use the offending item, rather than throw it away, in order to avoid being wasteful?

As I type this, there sits on the desk in front of me a steaming mug of what ought to be drinking chocolate, but sadly is not. It is instead a curious drink, made by Cadbury and called Bournvita. Now, I don't wish to imply that there is something wrong with this product; there isn't. The problem lies with the lack of knowledge I had about malt chocolate drinks when I bought it. The colours on the container are similar to those on the bars of caramel dairy milk and in the same way that caramel chocolate bars are like regular chocolate bars, only better, I assumed that Bournvita would prove to be like drinking chocolate, only better.

When I got the stuff home and eagerly tried it, I was bitterly disappointed. It isn't a bad drink I must stress, but it isn't nearly as chocolaty as drinking chocolate nor anything like as satisfying. Unfortunately I bought quite a large tin of the stuff, and now that I have it I'm determined to use it all up before opening up the real stuff. So far I've been at it for 3 months and have managed to work my way through about 1/3 of the tin.

In a similar incident, I recently bought a lemon scented air freshener for my bathroom. It is one of those little gel based jobbies in a plastic shell that sits in the room and gradually fills the air with its lovely scent.

Unfortunately, unlike the previous ones I'd purchased, this one did not smell at all lovely. Quite the reverse in fact. The pong was so intense and so utterly offending to the nostrils that at one point I seriously considered forcing a bowel movement in order to try and improve the smell in the room.

Nonetheless, I had paid for this thing and I was not going to chuck it in the bin so soon after purchase. Fortunately for my nose, the air freshener has worn itself out now and the room has been cleared of its infuriating pong.

I look forward with some trepidation to my next visit to Tesco.

Have you ever bought something you wish you hadn't? If so, why not tell us about it in the comments section below?

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Coincidence Or Cock-Up?

Posted on Thursday 6th March 2008 at 00:00
If you ever require clarification that large organisations tend to balls-up when it comes to organising themselves, please consider the following example.

I finish work this afternoon and walk the short distance from the bar to the university library, where I immediately head to the library catalogue computer terminal to search for a book I need to take out. The book in question is the core text for one of my modules, so I'm expecting the library to be well stocked, especially since the module is well attended.

Much to my dismay, the computer informs me that just one copy exists on the catalogue, and that it isn't due to be returned for another 10 days. Just to make sure, I go and find the relevant section to see what is actually there.

There are no copies of the book to be found on the shelf. However, there are at least a dozen copies of a completely different book that just so happens to have the exact same title as the one I'm after.

Coincidence, or cock-up?

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Peculiar Petrol

Posted on Wednesday 5th March 2008 at 00:00
On my way home from work I notice that the petrol light on my car's dashboard is lit, and so take a detour to the garage. The filling station of choice is the one attached to the big Tesco at Eastville, not least because it's usually cheaper than any other in the city.

As I approach the petrol station I find myself at the back of a queue of cars waiting to fill up, as is normal for this time in the afternoon. Between my stationary car and the forecourt is a partial wooden fence which I instinctively glance towards to see how busy the garage actually is.

To my surprise the forecourt is completely empty. Not a car or person to be seen on it anywhere, despite the queue that I'm still sat in. Eventually some of the people ahead of me abandon the line and I am able to pull forward until I'm just two or three cars away from the front of the wait, from where I have a good view of the situation in front of me.

This particular garage has two entrances and both of them have been blocked off by rows of orange traffic cones. Manning each set of cones is a member of the forecourt staff, patiently explaining to the cars in front what is happening.

I cannot hear what they are saying from where I sit, so imagine my continued confusion when, on some unknown signal, the employees suddenly remove the cones and begin letting cars in again.

As I stand next to my car a few minutes later, patiently watching the cost of oil killing my bank balance via the dial on the pump, I see one of the ladies who had been playing with the cones and consider asking her what was going on. Alas, I can't think of a way of asking without appearing vexed, and since the poor lass is already looking harassed, I leave it.

I still don't know what was going on, even now, and I'm pretty sure I've never seen the like before. If you've encountered similar behaviour at your local petrol station or have a theory as to what was going on, why not comment below?

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