Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Detritus triumphant

Well almost.

Last night the regulars of Team Detritus, Peter, Phil and myself, managed to get all our brain cells lined up and we took 3rd place out of 12 in the quiz, with a magnificent score of 20 out of 40. If you don't think that sounds very good, then don't mock, read this old post to find out how hard it is.

Barry Taplin, Stag Do

Had a very enjoyable weekend at an old friend's Stag party. We did some Clay Pigeon shooting, followed by Greyhound Racing. I've uploaded some pictures here

Friday, May 12, 2006

Pointless functionality - Part 1

I've called this part 1, because once I have started I am sure I will add more. I was just browsing LinkedIN, if you don't know it, it's a network community site which I have found useful making connections etc.

Anyway, I was looking for a connection in one of my friends networks and browsing through the list my eye was drawn to my own name. Now this wasn't because I love myself and like seeing my name in print, but because LinkedIn have chosen to add a little graphic arrow with the word "you" next to it.

I can just imagine the product meeting that came up at:

"So what new and innovative functionality are we going to add to the site this week?"

"How about we add a little graphic to people's network lists that highlight their own name?"


"Well maybe someone is browsing their friends networks when they are feeling a little insecure and it would be good to see that someone values them, or they could be drunk or maybe they are just having a schizophrenic moment and need reminding who they really are!"

"Sounds cool, that works for me, let's do it"

Maybe I will start a website where people can vote for the stupidest bit functionality on a website...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Town Planners, who put them in charge?

I've always had a bit of barely repressed aggression in relation to Town Planners. It usually surfaces when I am sitting a traffic queue to get in or out of a badly designed retail park, but last week it rose up on my regular journey to work.

Day 1 - traveling to work over Staines Bridge, I see a yellow sign advertising an impending Bridge Closure, for NINE days from May 9th to May 18th. Bloody hell I thought, that's going to make traffic interesting. The bridge will only be from 9 until 4.30pm, but as my usual departure for work is about 9.15, it looks like I am walking/cycling a for a few weeks. I keep saying I am going to get more exercise that way

Day 3 - traveling from work - The sign has been changed, blue and white writing over original yellow and black - it now says May 9th for just 2 days, ho hum, there goes my exercise routine.

Day 5 - traveling to work, red sign saying delayed over blue and white, over yellow and black, you get the idea. No more dates, no idea if/when this will happen.

Day 7 - traveling from work - sign on this side of the bridge has lost it's red delayed sticker back to plan B

In summary, words such as piss up and brewery spring to mind. How hard can it be to:

a) Plan for the work to be done and how long it will take
b) Advertise it

A footnote, whilst looking for a pretty picture of Staines Bridge for this blog I spotted this fine document all about the closure. They estimated one week, which is shorter than nine days and much longer than 2 days.

But this isn't the end of it, oh no. This all happened in the same week that we received at home notification of the intention to knock down the Spelthorne Council Office and build a block of flats with "90 dwellings"

Why has this annoyed me? Well last year, I had a planning application turned down to turn an unused first floor balcony (which overlooks the school field and said Council Offices) into a conservatory off our main bedroom. The reason given, because it was not in keeping in the character of the surrounding area, despite the fact that the only people that would be able to see it, would be those working at the Council.

So now, it's OK for the council to tear down a very nice looking historical building and fundamentally alter the character of the area by adding flats, complete with residents, cars, kids, noise and everything else that goes with neighbours, but it is not OK for me to make a small and virtually invisible change to my house. That's local government for you.