I am stuck.

Need a big piece of paper and some crayons. I think I can work it out then. Sadly, being at work, that’s not an option right now.

Ho hum, I await my train journey with anxious excitement.


The Floor is Lava

I shouldn’t be allowed to spend time on my own.

I’d pretty much given up on the idea of writing any more music as a serious pursuit. I just don’t seem to have the time any more. A stupid job in a faraway place and living miles away from anyone I know with similar interests does not make for collaborative creativity.

But sat here on my own, my intention was to be editing my novel. However, like a kitten with a piece of string, everything is a distraction. I just want to bust out my guitar in honesty…

My brain is a wanker.


Red Wiggly Lines

You know what really distracts me? Red wiggly lines. Oh, and blue wiggly lines. Wiggly lines, distract me. I’m the kind of person who has to read his mail if I can see the envelope icon in my system tray. I have to check the notification on my phone if I see the LED blinking. It burns at me until I clear it. It’s the same with wiggly lines.You know what I mean, spell check. Last night, my better half, on starting to read my alpha zero draft said:

“You need a spell checker.”

That manuscript is full of typos. Probably one every three sentences. I know, and I don’t care. You see, turning on the spell checker, or writing in an application where it’s always on, distracts me like nothing else.

I started writing in MS Word, but I found that I didn’t always have MS Word around when I wanted to write, so I switched to Google Docs. Then I realised that once I’d got more than a few chapters in, I was finding it hard to navigate backwards and forwards efficiently enough. So I started using Scrivener. Then I had everything I wanted and I still wasn’t making any progress.

I realised I wasn’t making any progress because I kept going back to correct mistakes. Specifically spelling mistakes. Those red wiggly lines were like accusatory worms, wriggling along my manuscript, chewing up the soil and shitting out imperfection. I would stop, backtrack, fix my mistake, then I’d have lost my thread. It took me ages to work that out. They were like a chip pan fire to me, I just couldn’t leave them alone.

So, when I’m banging out a draft of a chapter now, or notes, or anything, it goes straight into a generic text editor. Notepad if I’m at a Windows machine, or more usually gEdit on my Linux machine. There are no spell checkers, no wiggly lines, no Jurgen Prochnow yelling “ALAAAARRMM!” in my eye, just white space and courier new. At the end of the day, before I go to bed, it all then gets pasted into a file in Scrivener, the text file gets filed away and I leave it.┬áThe spelling mistakes will be picked up along with everything else later on, when I redraft.

It feels good I tell you, better than good, it feels productive!

We Need to Talk About Your Dead Horse

What happens when your company has an endemic sickness problem? Do you investigate why? Do you measure the morale? Get line managers to engage with staff? Find those who are abusing the system and try to come to a sensible resolution?

No, of course not, you introduce a draconian, outsourced absence management process with wishy-washy ill-defined benefits to your employees, that triples the complexity, brings in impersonal call centre services and suspicious healthcare professionals that are making a profit from your misery.

Yeah, you keep hitting that horse with a stick, I’m sure it’ll get up eventually.


To Pee or Not To Pee, That is Not This Particular Question

One day, you might find yourself in need of the lavatory. This in itself is not an extraordinary situation to be in, after all I imagine it occurs frequently every day. However, let us say, for the sake of argument, the lavatory on the floor in which you are currently located is closed for maintenance and the lift is out of order. Cry fury! What folly! Such a lamentatious predicament. You have two choices: mount the stair and climb up a floor, or descend a floor. Which is the correct choice?

Well, I have deigned to aid you in your combobulation. You go down. Why? It’s a simple matter of energy expenditure. While you are turgid from the need to evacuate your bladder, bowels, or possibly both, you are carrying more mass. Transporting that mass against the force due to gravity requires the expenditure of energy. The greater the mass you transport, the greater the energy required to perform the work.

But wait! I can hear you, and yes you are correct, if one travels down, one must eventually travel up to return to one’s original position. This is true. However, on the return journey, you will have expelled a certain amount of mass from your peepee or your poopoo. You will experience somewhat less resistance in your climb after intestinal relief, than you would have had you ascended the stair replete.

The energies, masses and forces described in this article are of course, minimal. However, if one were to add up the amount of energy saved every time one had to make this decision… Well, it would probably be loads.

This has been a public service announcement.