Sunday, December 27, 2015

Floody Hell!

I happened to catch the Mail on Sunday today (and no, I didn’t buy it…) The front page was about the floods that are happening hereabouts (North of England anyway). “Cities submerged” it said. That didn’t sound quite right to me. So here are the first definitions of the word ‘submerged’ I could find on-line:

"Cause (something) to be under water".

"Descend below the surface of an area of water".

"Completely cover or obscure".

So presumably at least 2 British cities were submerged. Under water. Completely! But when I turned over the page somehow the floods were a little less serious. In fact the Mail on Sunday considered a picture of Barbara Windsor dressed as a nurse in a Carry On film more important than the floods. Turn over again and there was more flood news – apparently there were “towns like Venice”. Hang on the Mail on Sunday - between page 1 and page 4 (with only a brief stop-over for Barbara Windsor) the sunken cities you were reporting have become partially flooded towns? Bad enough, but not quite the same eh?

Later on I’m sure I heard Radio 4 say that Leeds was flooded too. I drove to Leeds today (with no hold-ups on the road since you ask and no floods visible) and it turns out that it's not flooded - parts of Kirkstall Road and other bits near the river are flooded. Bad enough, but there are people out there who might think that there were submerged cities in the North of England and that Leeds was flooded. Some places are flooded. But not 98% of Leeds. And no cities are submerged.

Mind you, there are parts of Birmingham that are no-go areas to non-Muslims - Ha!

Friday, December 18, 2015

You're an eeediot Senor actor in a phone advert...

I just saw an advert on the telly for one of those things where they tell you how clever their phone or software is because you can ask Cortina or whatever 'her' name is about stuff.  Or maybe you just ask the phone?  Maybe it was Google or Android or a phone company...who cares because no-one actually notices what adverts are for anymore, which is why the whole industry is wasting its time so far as I can see.

Anyway...There's a man pretending to be at a railway station in Spain and he asks his phone "Can you tell me what the Spanish is for 'how much is a train ticket home' please".

The translation comes up on his phone and he shows it to the young, attractive, smiley (and no doubt typical) Spanish ticket seller and well, everything seems to work out just fine and dandy.  Good jaaarb!

One thing occurs to me though.  Isn't it likely that the ticket seller would reply with 'it depends where your home actually is you halfwit; funnily enough I don't actually know where everyone in the world lives, even those who wave their phone in my face..."

Perhaps I just spend too much time in the real world to 'get' the alternate universe of adland.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

My self-reported wellbeing status by a validated wellbeing measure conducted at baseline...

Here's a small sample of the kind of thing that I see in one of my temporary / part-time jobs - bureaucratic nonsense-speak - from the NHS in this case.  I've 'anonymised' it - good for me!

..."The evaluation plans to measure the experience of residents in a quantitative way focusing on their experiences of integration and their self- reported wellbeing status.  XX have a tried and tested way of gathering this data through their current patient involvement work delivered via XX, which utilises trained volunteers to carry out one–to-one interviews.  This good practice will be built on to carry out the care homes evaluation. It is proposed that interviews are conducted using a resident survey comprised of a validated wellbeing measure and a small selection of the National Voices “I” statements. These will be conducted at baseline and at appropriate intervals throughout the programme. Ideally we would have a control group to strengthen methodological quality and would again welcome being a national site for this work. We are working across all care home sites to encourage consistency of measurement by all opting to use the same wellbeing tool".

...'Carries on for hundreds of pages' as they might say in Private Eye.

I'd like to say here that even 'professionals' in this field generally speak English and why they should have to wade through this sludge is a mystery.  As is why anyone would want to write like this.  I imagine it's an attempt to be specific and professional and the jargon is justified in those terms. But why dos no-one shout ''this is fcukign bullshit'! STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT!

So my self-reported well-being status is 'pissed off'!  - By a validated wellbeing measure conducted at baseline...

This may smart a little

Had a ‘smart meter’ fitted recently.  2 in fact.  I’m not sure how smart they are, I rather imagine their squat little metal selves squeezed into foamy dinner jackets in their cobwebby cupboards quietly frustrated at the lack of public approbation of their appearance - but I wasn’t in when they were fitted so I haven’t actually seen either of them.  And they weren’t actually smart enough to keep the central heating working after the fitters left, having checked, apparently, that the heating did actually still work.  Fixing that involved a call to the central heating boiler people who were actually quite helpful. 

So yes, little Eon came round, fitted new meters and gave us a fancy computer display thing with 2 fat instruction books – I found the display plugged in next to the kettle when I came home.  It’s covered in buttons and options and whatnot.  Apparently it saves energy by telling you how much you’re using – at least it does for those of you who stop doing something when you realise we’re paying for it.  All via a gizmo that ironically one has to plug in to make work.  

It seems that our energy use increases when we turn stuff on, and decreases when we turn stuff off.  So now we live in the dark, don’t use the shower and drink off-milk.  Either that or we slung the horrid, awkwardly shaped, nasty little over technologised thing in the drawer with the 35 unlabelled power supply transformers for stuff we don’t know if we still have or not.  So well done little EON.  We have another piece of computer clevery-pokery that we don’t use and no doubt cost us consumers what I would guess was a pretty penny.  I wonder how much would have been saved if they’d spent the same amount of money on insulating little old lady’s lofts?  And you can fit that without breaking the central heating…

For those of you who like technology but haven't yet worked out that using electric powered devices uses electricity this may be useful.  I reckon it's a pointless damned thing...

How big Mister T?!

The Travelodge people have been in touch flogging their new “delicious new unlimited breakfast”.  This they say is “now bigger and better than ever”.

I have one question – how can an unlimited breakfast now be bigger?  10% bigger than ‘unlimited’?