Friday, September 12, 2008

Gym Buddies

There's one thing I hate about going to the gym and that's having to train with other men. 80% are fine, they come in use the equipment quietly and move on. If it were all like that it'd be great but there's 20% that let my own gender down.

They come in in the tightest branded sportswear possible and walk in with an air of 'oooooh look at me, I'm Adonis.'

When exercising they grunt and groan loudly as if to say, yes look at me, I'm a god I have muscles and I'm working out baby. Then when they've finished they go down to the changing room and walk around naked as id they're crying 'these are my testicles, deal with it'.  They're the type that did that shit male-bonding wet-towel-whipping-thing with their mates at school.

OK, I'm a fat introvert but I just don't get it. Great that they're fit and so obviously enjoy it but it's just so uncomfortable. Talking to a few female friends from the gym they admit this is why they'd love a women only gym - if it's not for the look-at-me-I'm-amazing types you've also got the letches eyeing them up while they're on the treadmill. Of course being male I don't have to suffer that do I... wrong.

I don't know how, considering I go at random times on random days, but almost every time I go THEY are there. The two lovebirds that never seem to set foot out of the weights room. I'm safe in the CV area but as soon as I go down to try and firm up my man boobs I have to share a room with them and it's so uncomfortable. They both blatantly check me out, which is odd considering I'm red and sweaty - I mean how is that attractive? 

So question is how can I send a non verbal cue that says - 'sorry lads, I'm hetrosexual'. Bear in mind I have a Doctor Who sports bottle and Harry Potter towel this message is made more difficult...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Large Queue Collider

I spent the eve of the end-of-the-world at work, realising that should the apocalypse not occur I'd need breakfast and I was out of bread.

I could have gone to the garage which was on my way home, instead I decided to walk the extra 40 minute round trip to ASDA and back. Of course, this meant I spent considerably more on crap than I would have at BP - after all, raspberry smoothie is essential at midnight.

So I arrived at the checkout to find two tills in operation, both with queues. Alas the latent autistic inside me kicked in and I tried to work out which would be quicker, then a more sensible plan arose. If I stood in the middle of the aisle I could simply join which ever queue frees up first - this would be beneficial to anyone joining behind me too as they would also get to join the fastest moving queue. My genius moment was shattered by a trappy bint behind me.

"Scuse me mate, which queue are you in?"

"Ahh well, you see it doesn't matter does it - whichever comes free first."

I though she'd cotton onto the logic, alas she was probably one of the population that was cowering under her breakfast table at 08.30 this morning because, instead off cool CERN style logic, she went for an end-of-the-world-fearing style rash decision.

"Well I'm going to join this queue 'cos that one nearest you is obviously moving faster."

*sigh* Well, yes she was right. But I'd already spotted the guy in front of me was Polish and yes, I'm about to be racist - but they're like students - they always pay with card... that takes slightly longer. Also what if one of the goods of the lady in front of him had a faulty barcode and the cashier had to type that 200 digit code in? (Seriously, I should be autistic...)

Anyway, I did get to the till first but still it left me wondering why, as a race, we're rarely logical. Then I realised I was turning into Mr Spock and fecked off home...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Real Radio

Every Monday morning I play at being a radio DJ. Yes that bastion of geekdom that is Hospital Radio. If you believe the image then Hospital radio contains 2 types of people.

1. The bitter middle-aged types that aren't quite good enough to be on proper radio.
2. The young ego types who are just using Hospital to break into proper radio.

Tis rubbish of course, Hospital Radio is great fun and yes while we're all geeky I'd argue that most proper radio DJ's have an element of geekdom anyway. (Seriously, most I know are either in to Star Trek, Doctor Who or collect radio jingles and TV themes...)

No, the station I work at contains wonderful people that are passionate about the place and its listeners. They all genuinely want to make the patients stay in the hospital as comfortable as possible and want the station to sound as professional as possible. 

Still, while sitting there at the mixing desk I often wonder how real stations work. Are people as passionate as us or is it all about the money? Thankfully a blog has arrived on the scene that gives amazing insight into the industry and its people and its all centered around what was Virgin 1215. 

It's a long story but Virgin has been recently sold, and proper Virgin, i.e. Branson, doesn't want the Virgin name attached to the new station (odd that, proper Virgin sold Virgin 1215 years ago, why so protective of the name now?!) Anyway this means the new owners have the unenviable task of rebranding an existing station. This is a huge mission - they don't want to alienate existing listeners but at the same time they have a unique opportunity to revitalize and relaunch the station. 

It's exciting for, as I hurtle towards 30 and Radio 1 insists I stop listening to them by generally putting shit personalities on air instead of jocks that actually care about the music & industry I've started to look for a new radio 'home'. Most of the time I listen to BBC 6 Music as alas, every time I tune into Virgin you can guarantee they'll either be playing Chasing Cars, All Summer Long or I Kissed A Girl. Still lately Virgolute is sounding better & better.

They've chosen the name 'Absolute. Radio' which I think's great. But how did they arrive at this? What's the thought process and what's going on at the station in the meantime? Well, this blog, as I said, is an amazing insight into running a radio station and if you're remotely interested I highly recommend it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Living In A Box

What's the greatest invention of all time?

The microchip? Phone? Computer? The Wheel? All candidates I'm sure you'll agree. I would argue that it is quite simply the box. You can put stuff in a box, surprise people with it's contents, keep things safe.

The daddy of all boxes - the shipping container - first appeared in the 60s and since then has revolutionised global commerce. Now 80% of stuff coming into the UK arrives in a shipping container.

The BBC this week have started a new feature to measure the humble shipping container's impact on the world. They've bought their very own, branded it and fitted it with a GPS tracker. Now thanks to this site you can see where in the world it is. Over the next year they'll report on it and follow it's journey.

Sounds mind numbingly dull doesn't it? Still the more you think about the more amazing it is how stuff is shipped from China factories to our shop shelves all thanks to these containers. Think how many of these containers you pass on lorries as you travel along the motorway - they all have their own destination and are all controlled by someone.