Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You gotta love 'em

Remember Vistaprint? The stationery company. They make stationery. And sell stationery. To people who want stationery...

Their latest email advert suggests in very large letters that I, and I quote...

"Make your Own Home Stationary"

I'm not moved by this latest advert - geddit!? And I hope my home is already stationary thank you! - Geddit again?!

Seriously though, if I sold cars I'd learn how to spell 'car'. If I made furniture I'd learn how to spell 'furniture'. If I made stationery...I could carry on but you get the point...

Unless they're selling house glue to glue houses to the ground? In which case I apologise.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You mean I can't shoot them now?!

Could I just check something here?...Ofcom had a meeting at which they decided that Jeremy Clarkson's comments that 3 million people should be executed in front of their families "were not made seriously"? and "were not at all likely to encourage members of the act on them in any way".

Well, thanks Ofcom. I trust it was a long and difficult meeting with strong arguments on both sides - or was it a big fat waste of time? And paid for by the public?

Right...I think Ofcom should be strung up as this is the only language they understand? Call the police immediately! Or at least have a meeting to decide whether I've broken the law or any rules of any kind.

How can we have come to this point? - shoot the 31,000 people who (apparently) complained too! Blather. blather. blather!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Yes Yes Yes! With a Cherry on top!

I suppose this is a bit like a tweet (though longer) - and a bit like my idea of what a 'typical' blog would be...

Anyway...point is I saw Cherry Ghost acoustic in Leeds last night and it were fab! Just yer singer man plus a guitar player. Had a word with the guitar player afterwards and he seemed to be a very friendly chap too! Slow versions of 'the hits' and album tracks. A few songs at the beginning which I assumed were new ones being tested out. Apparently these were actually old ones. You could tell they were great though even on first hearing.

Anyway, atmospheric and brilliant and whatnot. I'd really like to do some sort of discussion group or seminar on the lyrics - they go from completely bonkers to pretty much cliches via the odd line of 6th form poetry (sorry yer man...) but more than a sprinkling of some of the best lines ever written! All in one song it seems to me. Just to be clear, overall the lyrics are ace and I wonder if the slightly 'familiar' phrases are there fully on purpose as a kind of counterpoint to the odder stuff.

This is what Bon Iver lyrics are like too by the way in my 'umble opinion (the only crow dangling keys ever to break your heart - listen to 'Re Stacks'). Incidentally I don't think I'm confusing the odd dodgy line with pop lyrics. Lines like "if you're homesick, give me your hand and I'll hold it" are great pop lyrics.

Whatever, go and buy the 2 Cherry Ghost albums. If you have to download one song to take to the desert island it's Barbarini Square (not played last night by the way - though they did play My God Betrays whihc is nearly as good). If you don't get that one then you have no heart, soul, sense of humour or knowledge of great music and what it can do - go and listen to Capital or something and leave me alone!

They're on at the Deershed Festival. Last year I went to Deershed as I'd just discovered the sublime I am Kloot (who were sublime!). Cherry Ghost are on this year. This is enough to persuade me to go - and I'm not a festival goer you know

Bands like Cherry Ghost and I am Kloot and Bon Iver are just ace so I'm feeling good about the music world at the moment - and don't forget Bill Callahan!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day - Free!

Since it's 14th February I've made me song 'Valentine's Day' free to download from bandcamp. Follow this link or paste it into your browserbot or whatever and you can have it - for free! Because it's Valentine's Day. And you're worth it!...

PS by 'Free' I mean actually free i.e. you don't pay anything. Not like 'Free' from Vistaprint...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wanna Olympic size that? / Killer drones

There seem to be three main official firms associated with the Olympics - Cadburys (chocolate and fizzy drinks), McDonalds ('burgers') and whatever the other one is - Pepsi or Coke I dunno, no-one cares in real life. That's fizzy drinks again. I imagine that actual competitors wouldn't be even allowed to touch any of this lot and certainly wouldn't be advised to.

I wonder if the authorities will be sending the killer drones in to get people in the 'wrong' food firm's t-shirts? (Metropolitan Police - 'Official killer drone suppliers to London 2012'?)

Finally I saw a statement from McDonalds that included the phrase "Nothing is more important to us than serving great tasting food made from high quality ingredients"

Parody, ladies and gentlemen, is dead.

Dracula Plums

This was scary. Frozen plums. Frozen without being cooked. Taken out of the freezer months later. Turned not to dust but to dark brown mush. In front of our eyes. Scary!

Let me take you down...

Here's a current pricelist / advert I received from Vistaprint...

Photo Mug Now FREE Invitations Now FREE
Business Cards Now FREE Postcards Now FREE
T-Shirt Now FREE Return Address Labels Now FREE
Premium Banner Now FREE Stickers Now FREE
Photo Notebook Now FREE Letterhead Now FREE
Spiral Photo Book Now FREE FREE Cotton Bag Order NOW
Note Cards Now FREE Personal Website FREE Trial
Thank You Cards Now FREE Small Rubber Stamp Now FREE
FREE Keyring Order NOW FREE Mouse Pad Order NOW

So everything is free then! What can I actually have for nothing? - why nothing of course! When do you find out how much 'free' costs? - Why, when you're at the end of your order of course!

Modern business methods eh? Where nothing is real!

Free is expensive! - And annoying

Jabba the Hut / Stuffed Crusts...

Pizza Hut merit another mention. They're still advertising their pizza delivery service in areas (i.e. my house) to which they don't deliver, but that's just super efficient private enterprise for you...

The advert reminds me that a while back I was in Scarborough searching for something to eat. Pizza Hut was about the only place open. I hadn't been in one for years. All the food was fatty, salty and /or sugary and there was virtually no topping on the pizza. What there was tasted of a kind of pizza topping flavoured gloop from a tube. I imagine that monosodium glutomate with added salt must taste like this. Add yellow colouring and call it cheese, add a bit of flour and water and call it pizza base, add brown colouring and sugar and call it chocolate fudge cake.

I expect they take on clever graduates who calculate that if they take 2mg of cheese off each pizza worldwide the CEO can take home another million dollars a year or something. Follow that policy for 20 years and here's where you end up.

The worry is that a lot of people never get to taste proper food and we'll all be there within 20 years, fresh food having been banned as not sufficiently supportive of monopoly capitalism or something.

I have a sudden urge to watch the film Silent Running...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Positive if not that interesting

Here's something that would have been described in The Young Ones as 'a bit crawly bum lick'...

But, so far I really like my new employers. They seemed to like me and said nice things about me and seem to appreciate what I've done in the past. This is what's supposed to happen. If disillusion sets in it should take some time, it shouldn't happen before they've even offered you a job.

If I were an employer I'd be a bit nervous about employees blogging, so once more I'm not going to tell the world their name. This is actually more to do with what I will refer to as 'the dance school incident' than anything else...

Lubricants is the word

This 'ere job opportunity is entirely legitimate. I present it here merely because it amuses me...

"My client is seeking an experienced Area Business Manager within the lubricants field...Ideally experience within the Lubricants market but failing that candidates would be considered from Chemical, Grease or Industrial fluids background".

I think I just wish I was from 'the lubricants field' - or from a grease or industrial fluids background!

That organisation...

That organisation that I was slagging off for not telling me the result of my job application - they offered me the job! Ha Ha! I turned them down. I should of course have sent them away with a customer service flea in their ear. Unfortunately I'm far too weasly. And they seem quite nice really. I have another job now - that allows me time to be discovered by Stephen Fry or something...

Nothing to do with Mums...

I know someone rather well who is a member of the 'Institute for Learning'. They're forced to join this club but that's another issue. Point is that the membership card arrived today - if you join you can put the letters 'MIFL' after your name. I guess this stands for 'Member of the Institute For Learning'.

For some reason I can't fathom this really amuses my tiny brain!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

We'll let you know by, ooh, I dunno...

This is a serious point - employers are shocking! HR are useless! I guess this won't be surprising to some of you - it won't be amusing but it's a simple piece of information...

I did a job interview last Friday. They said they'd let me know if I'd got the job on Tuesday. It's now Thursday night. Not a peep out of them. My mobile's on, I've been in, the phone works, I've been checking my email - and nowt!

I needed some kind of job and it was kind of you know, important. I put a lot of time and effort into applying and researching and doing the interview and thought they were probably a good firm to work for. They can certainly talk the talk. Ironically the job was about providing excellent customer service! No wonder they need people who can deal with difficult and angry customers. On their housing association counter. Looks like I'll never be eligible for their "Blue Sky personal and team allowances". Here's what they say about themselves...

"We believe in and live our Values. These are what make us different. Whether this is respecting people, creating solutions, including the whole community or loving to make a difference, they are at the core of everything we do - and more importantly how we do it"

Here's what I say...
"That's a load of old pony" I like the way their 'Values' have a capital V by the way...

And you know what...this isn't the first time this has happened. This is partly because no-one it seems has the bottle these days to actually phone you to say 'you haven't got the job'. They'd rather send you a letter or avoid you in some other way. I'd say that to tell someone direct is the polite thing to do. No matter how many bullshit 'Values' you might have.

And please note - I could have named these people directly - what an old careful and diplomatic old fool I'm becoming.

Look out! - Flying Transformational Agendas!

This is getting tiresome. But here's more job stuff from an advert for er, a job... Adult Social Care is actually part of the Council I believe. They might even tell you that they believe in plain English. I've marked a few phrases I think are nonsense / bullshit or jargon. To be fair, at least one of them is from the government not the local council - but can you imagine meeting either the person who wrote this or the person who gets the job at a party? Or in a meeting? Or anywhere?

To assist the project manager in delivering major transformational projects, in response to the national, and local transformation agendas for Health and Adult Social Care services. The national drivers for change are set out in the NHS reforms ‘Liberating the NHS’ and the new vision for Adult Social Care ‘Capable Communities, Active Citizens’, and other Government policies such as ‘Putting People First’, ‘Think Local, Act Personal’ the Independent Living Strategy, Carer’s Strategy and ‘Valuing People Now’; these describe the transformational challenge ahead. These strategic documents also help set the local parameters for how this post will contribute to helping Adult Social Care deliver major service improvements with our partners in Health and other Council Directorates.

It is true about Vistaprint

I have been naive. I previously blogged about Vistaprint. I was surprised that something advertised as 'free' wasn't actually free at all.

I should have known - Everything Vistaprint seem to sell is actually free. It's not that you don't hand over money to them, it's just that it's not for their products. The products are free.

I think I might open a shop and run it like this - in the window I'll put up a sign that says 'free Mars bars'. I'll then add a shop administration charge of 60p for each Mars bar I sell. I think it's called an 'innovative business model'. Either that or 'a con'.

Watch out for the natives...

More exciting jobs..."An exciting vacancy for an ambitious trainee headhunter to join a specialist headhunting firm based in Leeds City Centre"

Would it be racist to ask if I'd need to bring my own blowpipe and a cooking pot? Perhaps that's all in the training. Do I need to be on my guard in Leeds city centre?

Another ad is from "A boutique headhunting firm covering a range of sectors but mainly concentrating on the finance, procurement and energy areas".

Are they after the heads of those running small specialist shops?

Let's not ask what good headhunting does for the economy. You can't display them on spikes as a lesson to the masses anymore, so why bother?

Here's a job for you!

Just in case you thought banking firms didn't talk nonsense and have their feet on the ground in the 'real economy' or something...Here's a job advert...OK, it's my emphasis

"We currently have an exciting opportunity for a Business Change Manager to work within Customer Architecture on a large divestment project for a major UK retail bank. This is a very large high profile programme looking for delivery focused business change professionals. This role is based working in a banking operations area and experience within this area is also highly desirable".

Customer architecture eh!?

BUPA - they can't add up you know...

Now it is just possible that I've got this wrong..but I've just seen a telly advert for BUPA featuring an 'older man'. They tell you a few things about him and then explain that BUPA like to find out about their customers / residents. Funnily enough they don't mention the important question i.e. do you have loads of money we can have please? But I digress...

I'm sure this bloke says he won a medal 'in the war' - which would normally refer to World War 2 would it not? The he says that he's 83 years old. This would mean he was born in 1929 and was therefore 10 years old when the war kicked off - and 16 when it finished. So what was his medal for then eh? Best shit private money grabbing company who can't even do basic maths and know nothing at all about history? Or is this something to do with Suez or the Korean war or something?

This advert made the telly stage with no-one bothering to tell the company - though it's more likely that they just didn't care. Or maybe 90 would be a bit old for one of their homes, either because they might croak before paying them enough money or they might be ill and therefore expensive to look after.

I believe that marketing people get paid for this stuff too. Private health companies - they suck!