Posts Tagged ‘rant’

I don’t know if it’s a man thing or a laziness thing but the idea of shoe shopping is one that I find so repllent that I tend to leave it until the very last minute, until my shoes are practically held together by pure belief alone. 

That is now the case. I also have the proble that while I’m not walking around with basketball player size sneakers, its’ hard for me to find a pair of shoes that don’t make my size 11s (UK) look like clown’s boots. While with running shoes it’s relatively easy the two other types of shoe I need pose the problem. Shoes for the office, for example – the current trend with long pointy shoes means I run the risk of looking like I have flippers. 

In the casual department, Converse – with their skinny long look – make me look like a clown from the ankle down. In this area though I found a solution in my Vans. They’re comfy and tick all my boxes for style. I don’t mean the chequered ones here. In fact I found, online a really great looking pair bearing the name of same skateboarder I’ve never heard of. 

Problem is – nobody near me seems to have them. There was once a dedicated Vans shop in my town but now it’s gone and I’m faced with a trek to Bluewater to battle throngs of shoppers or head to Brighton.  The mail-order function for the shop nearest me that supposedly sells them is complete rubbish, an actual failure of a websitewith nothing but a page of lines. So I’m now faced with going all the way to Sussex to get some Vans or continuing to search for something I know I won’t find while my current pair dissolve around my socks.


The “Is It Just Me or is Your Driving Shite?!” book gained another chapter last night thanks to something I’d remained happily unaffected by for a while: the obnoxious speeder.

Once again I was commuting home though the motorway was a little more clogged than usual so I’d pulled out into the outside lane to, strangely enough, overtake a line of slower moving traffice. No sooner had I cleared than my attention is drawn to my rearview mirror by some schmuck in his Vauxhall Astra flashing his lights and getting so close he could no doubt see up my exhaust pipe. 

So, to Mr Astra I ask: why? Why do you think that you are important enough to bully me out of your way (despite the fact that my car could quite easily lap yours up for dinner) when there’s nowhere for me to go? What are you hoping for: that I’ll somehow find a gap in the stream of traffic to let you pass? Or that I won’t touch my brakes even once and have you cause mulitple fatalities? Cos that’s all it would take, just one little touch with you that close! Do you have any idea how stupid your driving behaviour is?

This has happened to me before, though not for a while, and I’m often tempted to slow down but I know the risks of touching my brakes with someone going that fast that close behind me even if they don’t. Instead I got out of his way as and when I could.  

Now, I could understand why people would think they had the right to act like such moron is if the lights he was flashing were blue, or even – at a stretch – they were rushing to be by their wife’s side as she gave birth. But just to bully people out of your way so you can enjoy your speed is something that should mean your license is revoked or you have to drive a Lada for a decade. 

As it was I had the last laugh as 5 minutes later I spotted the same Astra sat at the back of traffic queueing at the next junction as I sailed past restraining my middle finger. Must have been well worth the risk to get to that traffic. Moron

Anyone else got a suitable punishment or reaction to such obnoxious behaviour?

Another one for the “Is It Just Me Or Is Your Driving Shite” book this one, inspiried by another drive home from the office.

Having filled up my car with petrol (at prices which are gradually sneaking up to stupid levels again) I joined a rainy evening motorway traffic for what I hoped to be an easy commute home. I settled in the flow of the traffic behind a new Corsa and was relatively content admiring its rear end and thinking what a good job Vauxhall had done with it and, indeed, their new range of motors, when I noticed a slight movement and then a bunch of red sparks hit the tarmac in front of my car.

Now maybe I’ve seen that scene in Payback one too many times but I was more than a little sweary and “uh oh” when I realised I was going to have to drive over this bunch of still light cigarette sparks, especially when I was still petrol-station-fresh.

Ignoring the fact that it’s littering, I know that while auto makers spend a lot of time fitting as many cup holders in a car as possible, the Corsa still has a bloody ashtray! Not only that, but surely it’s dangerous?? Isn’t it??

If you’re that determined not to have the stink of cigarettes in your car, don’t smoke in it. Who knows what could be on the surface of a road, I’ve seen some real bangers on the motorway that could easily be leaking all kinds of flammable. Just stub it out first if you don’t want to put it in your ashtray.

Obviously I didn’t go up in flames but it’s still frustrating how easily people are willing to throw stuff out their windows and litter the joint up when there’s a perfectly good ashtray just centimetres from their hand. Seriously, how lazy and inconsiderate must you be?

It may come as little surprise that I was walking through my local town centre this weekend. While I was walking along, minding my own business with the old iPod filling my ears, I was accosted by a man with a gun. A paintball gun but alarming at first nonetheless. 

This clown was already mid-pitch by the time I removed a headphone from my ear to be told about the joys of “shooting your co-workers really helps build team work” and trying to flog me one a choice of corporate days out.

Now aside from the fact that I’m not an MD or HR or anyone who would make such decisions for my company, and the absurdity that they’d find anyone who was by jumping them in the middle of a town centre,  didn’t anyone stop to think that launching yourself at strangers brandishing a paintball gun isn’t the best way to sell anything?

It’s an epidemic lately though. Not long ago I had another vinyl-hunt interupted by someone pitching a gym membership at me while behind her a group of people rode exercise bikes to thumping club music – giving a ‘live demonstration’ – without even realising that, as an existing member of that gym, she’d signed me in 4 times that week already! 

Why have these “extreme sales pitches” become so popular given that little old ladies are no longer allowed to shake the collection buckets for the Sally Army as it’s technically intimidation? 

In teacher-training you’re encouraged to put yourself on the other side of your methods, would you enjoy things presented to you in this way? 

I propose that the same thing be carried out to these sales-pitch planners. Next time they’re thinking up some forced-grin, over-enthusiastic and, frankly, aggressive “cool way” if they’d like it and if it’s really the appropriate forum for it. I’m not anti-fun, honest. But it’s all getting a touch David Brent lately. 

What’s next: undertakers jumping out infront of you and attempting to box you into a coffin while telling you the benefits of the 6ft Pine model? I’m not sure it’s that far a fetch… 

I’d love to know if I’m alone in getting wound up by this, I’m fairly sure I’m not, and if anyone can beat the paintball gun moment?

There’s many things in this world that can make you stop and think and maybe question your behaviour. Even, for example, a comment said in jest.

Take, for example, my evening last. Normally, I tend not to get on the computer when I get home. I spend all day on one at work, bouncing around the internet and the social media world so when I get home, I try not to. I try and adhere to the Lee Iaccoca method of disconnecting from work in order to preserve my sanity. Whether it be going down the gym or getting a quick game in with the Xbox headset before the girlfriend gets home and it’s time to prep some food.

That’s normally, it’s not that I set that routine in motion deliberately, it just happened. Last night, though, was different. As mentioned before, I noticed that my garden shed has been letting in water. While it’s not raining now I know that it’s likely to soon, this is England after all. So I need to re-felt it. This isn’t something I know how to do so I decided to look it up online.

Now, typing in something like ‘how to re-felt a shed roof’ on google isn’t itself anything to cause concern, having someone call you “old man” for having such items on your screen is.

I’m not precious about my age but I don’t like the suggestion that my activities are akin to that of someone of superior age. Especially when it makes me think. I mean, is worrying about the state of my shed actually something a young man would be doing??  Re-felting the shed sounds more like something my Dad would do, not me.

And it’s not just the shed! I got to thinking and there’s some more worrying signs that my behaviour has changed too. Christmas is approaching and I’ve already been using these pages to bitch about the number of people in the town.

Not only that but when it comes to Christmas meals and parties I’ve been asking “is there anywhere to park?” Then, and this is the kicker, thinking I shouldn’t be too late getting back as I’ll need my sleep. I used to take pride in how just little sleep I could by on before going back out.

Searching for books and finding those ‘Things To Do Before You’re 30’ books and thinking “chance would be a fine thing.” Chance would be a fine thing?!! Even the phrase itself sounds like one my Dad would use, what is it doing in my head??

Here’s another thing: my Dad has an odd habit that may well not be unique to him but certainly his age group. He waves at drivers with the same car as him. Not just if they let him out of a junction or if he knows them, if they’re sitting behind the same type of steering wheel is they get the wave. Now, he recently got himself a rather nice used Toyota, and this isn’t a rare car. Delightful a drive as it may be, there’s a lot of these Toyotas around, his right hand barely gets a chance to sit on the steering wheel before he’s raising it in a comradery-like gesture at another driver.

While I’m not doing this myself I have certainly started down this road as I know that I offer a knowing smile when I see someone driving the same Alfa as mine. Even when I’m not in it!

I’ve got a family wedding to go to in a week or so. Normally all I’ve had to worry about, aside from the gift decisions, is some relative asking me and my girlfriend “are you two next?” Now I’m worried that I’m going to have one Guinness too many and start dancing like my Dad.

That’s if I’m not too busy enquiring about car parking!

Now, I have something of an interest in certain documentaries. Namely about WW2. Not, I hasten to point out, because I like tanks or tactics, I have a real curiousity about the mindset of the soldiers. How they managed to go day-to-day, knowing the reality of their situation. Now I’m thinking that sitting watching documentaries of a historical note is another sign of age. I didn’t pay attention to this when I was in school, I was too busy doing… other… things. Yet now I’m quite often parked on the sofa watching the History Channel, like my Dad does.

I’m going to have to do something to re-assert my youth before I start saying that policeman are looking younger.

Getting up in the mornings for work invariably follows the same routine for me which concludes with my polishing off a bowl of cereal and bucket of coffee infront of some mindless television for ten minutes or so before, lately at least, going outside and muttering obscenities under my breath while scraping ice from my car.

This morning I flicked the channels one further thanks to clumsiness on the remote and found that Noddy is still showing. While this isn’t one of the shows I remember from my own childhood I was discussing those that I do at lunch today and was shocked to find that Postman Pat had been remade and evolved into some kind of special delivery service. A little discussion revealed the fact that this isn’t the only one, there were new episodes of the Magic Roundabout made too! In my opinion they nailed the coffin lid on that one with the film.

I’m not sure why I’m shocked, perhaps because these are so tightly tied in with memories of my youth that I feel affronted somehow. This was my childhood tv why can’t today’s kids get their own? What’s next? Are they going to remake The Centurions or Ulysees 31?!

Postman Pat et al were great because they were different, the animation wasn’t hand drawn and this was before claymation became so widespread and evolved. A show about a postman and his cat wouldn’t be much of an attention holder were it not for the animation.

It’s also part of what I consider a lack of imagination in entertainment from television to film. I, for one, am sick of remakes.  I don’t want to see a new Fireman Sam series anymore than I wanted to see a new Pink Panther remake. It was successful once, leave it alone or you risk damaging the legacy of the original (yeah, George Lucas).

What if this re-make fever spread outside of the entertainment world?

Apple aren’t about to start remaking the Macintosh 128k or Apple Newton (boy did I want one of those) anymore than you’ll see a remake of the Acorn Electron.

If the automotive world started remaking discontinued models would we see the new Toyota MR-2 with 1985 styling? Though that may not be too bad an idea… Or a new Vauxhall Cavalier?

The same applies here as it does in entertainment, these were great, innovative creations and the ideas were original. They’ve had their time and now it’s time to move on.

If I find out there’s some Morph remakes out there I’m going to be extremely unamused.

For those who doubt they were great: