Tuesday 23 April 2024

People in Glass Houses

I live in a bungalow with a lot of windows and a conservatory. I'm also a cheapskate so I'm set on cleaning my own windows, rather than paying someone to do it. The caretaker at work has 30 years of window cleaning experience and he graciously agreed to give me a squeegee lesson. I'm starting to pick it up. There's a skill to it, and a sense of achievement when you start getting it right.

The two most valuable insights he gave me were: 1) Don't make too good a job of your own windows – your neighbours will ask you to do theirs. 2) Don't step backwards to admire your work – if you're up a ladder.

Richard "Ettore Steccone" B

Bush Bush Bush

 At the weekend I helped a friend of mine with some gardening. He had dug up a bush that he wanted to move, but it was too awkward and heavy to carry. Neither of us owns a wheelbarrow, but I am reasonably strong, and I was wearing dirty clothes. I thought that if we could get it up on to one of my shoulders I could walk round to the back garden with it. I was right about being just able to move it, I was wrong about the clothes that I was wearing. My dirty gardening jumper is quite loose at the neck and a lot of soil from the root ball went down my collar. I had forgotten that I was also wearing a fine lambswool vest which is now heavily soiled. Worse the vest funnelled quite a lot of earth into my trousers and pants. I had to shower and change all my clothes as soon as I got home. There was mud all over me, and I left a trail of mud wherever I took off a garment.

Richard "Beast of Burden" B

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Cocktail Club

 My favourite cocktail is the French 75. It's gin, syrup and lemon juice shaken hard and then double strained into a glass and topped up with Champagne.

The most luxurious gin I've ever drunk is called Roku and it's Japanese - not to my eyes a nation famed for their gin making heritage.

A friend of mine recently turned 50 and I bought her a luxurious bottle of Bollinger Champagne. I chose it not because I know anything about high end Champagne, but for brand recognition - basically because that's what they used to drink in Absolutely Fabulous.

I engraved "50" in the bottle with a cheap diamond burr and a high speed drill. Sadly it was an awkward process and I don't have a steady hand so it looks rather childish.

I was very nervous putting a bottle of Champagne that I couldn't afford to smash into the big vice to engrave it.

I'm very glad to say that I was invited to drink the highest specification French 75s that the world has probably every known.

They were delicious.

Richard "don't think about the price" B

Wednesday 3 April 2024

The First Rule of Nerd Club

 If you're trying to pluck up the nerve to ask a woman on a date, the standard advice is that "the worst that can happen is she says 'no'". This is clearly untrue. She might have later handed a loaded gun to Alex Baldwin who shot and killed a cinematographer, you might then be called as a witness at her trial. You would then have to answer questions before god, a judge, a jury, lawyers, the entire gawping general public at home, and the woman you asked out (looking quite delightful in her best "don't send me to prison" dress) about your advances towards her, about whether you hoped to pursue a sexual relationship, about how she ghosted you, and about whether you pestered her.

Worse, you might not have had any idea about how much cocaine she owned or used, and your presence at the trial turned out to be completely pointless.

My own experience is nowhere near as humiliating, but I should by now be old enough to know that nothing good comes from trying to impress people. I heard that one of the organisers at my nerds' social club was single, and I'm quite taken with her. In trying to make a good impression on her I agreed to deliver a short technical lecture at nerd-club. Some time between agreeing to do the lecture and actually doing so I got the opportunity to talk to her privately. She had no interest in going on a date with me, but I still had to do the lecture.

Richard "every girl's crazy about a TED talk man" B