The world we live in and life in London

I am writing this here, in part because I know that certain people will read it. My brother, for one, now knows of my e2 identity (yo bro!) and other people back in Cape Town will read this. I will be back there over New Year, for which my feelings are less definite than for my last visit. I had been away 10 months then, and not much had changed. It's been almost 2 years now, and the bonds of friendship will have weakened, people moved on. It's true what someone said at first they come back every year, then every second year, and then ... already my mind is turning over the expense, and what I could do with the money next year. And London, London finally feels less foreign, more comfortable, and more homely. Cape Town is becoming the other.

The old friends, the Londoners-of-South-African-extraction that I was getting on badly with in June; I am now getting on with even worse. That role-playing games, goth noise music, look at me I'm so superficial I have to stick things in my face in a desperate attempt to make myself seem interesting scene leaves me cold, even more so because I've been there. I tease and poke at thier values, and friction results. I want to tell them to grow the fuck up. I want to annoy them. I have come to feel that if wearing a tie or not wearing a tie to work is a really important thing to you, then your priorities are wrong.

I've had comments from Brits about how "you South Africans" are judgemental, paranoid etc. ya well no fine. That may be so, but please understand that there are reasons for that - it is a valid, necessary adaptation to South African circumstance. England is different, but people adjust slowly.

Nice weather, isn't it.

When I last wrote a daylog, it was midsummer, and I said that summer was turning away. True, the days are not as long as they were, but yesterday was the official Hottest Day of the Year (well over 30 C, whoohoo) and the heat wave continues. I should savour it, as it will no doubt all be over in 3 weeks, back to rain and grey skies, but the office aircon has been malfunctioning, to everyone's annoyance. It seems fixed today, thankfully.

I feel I have reached a turning point in this job. I have been there for a year and I know the ropes, answer the new people's questions about the code that I inherited. I don't feel that it's the end of my career road though. I shall wait and see for the next few months.


I was going to buy a PDA, but have put it off since the Palm Tungsten T2 doesn't have wi-fi, and that would be a cool, nay killer thing to have. Apparently there are new Palm models out in October, so I will wait for those. Instead the money may go on PC parts. I want to rebuild my home system, as it is increasingly unstable. It overheats, it crashes. Microsoft Outlook suddenly won't run at all, not that I use it for mail, but the address book was a sync/backup for my phone. I know that an Althlon pc should not overheat if you assembled it right, but hey, maybe I didn't. I'll have another crack at trashing a motherboard when I get a new one. And it will hopefully run half-life 2 well :).

So you're into the mobscene

I have just returned from London's first flash mob. I heard about it here on E2, and managed to dig the details out. I wanted to be there for the first one.

It was pleasingly silly, but surprisingly inconsequential, and at the climax, depressingly media-saturated, from blokes like me waving camera-phones all the way up to journalists with big fluffy mikes and kilos of camera gear. I got to the designated pub early, so I walked around, had a pint of Guiness. It looked pretty normal for a London pub at 6:10pm. Then I got the instruction card as specified at 6:17pm. By then I had ascertained that the dyed-hair, facially-pierced, t-shirted hipsters on the pub's bench next to me were part of the flash mob.

Anyway the instructions were to arrive at a sofa store at 6:30 exactly, admire the sofas without using the letter 'o', text a friend, reply to the friend's call with "I'm at London Flash mob #1" and leave at 6:40 exactly, after saying goodbye to a stranger.

I found the sofa shop by 6:28pm. For a minute I thought it was a fashion shoot being set up – lots of people hanging back expectantly, waving cameras, phones etc. So I walked past. At 6:30 exactly I turned around and headed back to the sofa shop. So did everyone else. The street was packed and the shop was closed. Two minutes later they opened the doors, and it took another five minutes for me to get inside. We left at 6:40 in a flurry of clapping, spontaneous self-congratulation. Interesting, but pretty vacuous. the press estimated 300 people were there.

I guess I will do the next one, provided that it too is within walking distance of work.

E2: the beatings will continue until morale improves

Ah yeah. A friend has warned me not to make too much of a fuss about the recent spate of lockouts here on E2. The majority of users of E2 are readers not noders, interested in well-written, informative factuals, and captivating creative writing. They don't care if WonkoDSane and all his writeups are gone. The majority of noders even don't mind that much. It's a function of when and where I came of age, but I feel that to be silent is to be complicit in something that I don't like. I want to stick my head up too. If it gets hit, so be it.

Them that pays the piper is them that calls the tune. You don't like the tune, go elsewhere. The management have said this several times. All fine and well, or at least true and actual, thus beyond argument. However acting on this suggestion will not endear you to E2 management, which seems paradoxical to me. Taking site decisions based on personal grievances is not a mature, rational approach.