Saturday, February 23, 2008

A New Dial

Somehow, in the course of a very brief chat on Radio Derby this morning, I announced to the world that I want an old-fashioned telephone with a dial rather than buttons. This is true, and it's been on my mind since I found to my delight that there is one, and a working one at that, at Dundee university. So when Sally Pepper mentioned them in the interview, naturally I felt it necessary to expand at length on how cool they are.

You see 'retro-style' phones for sale in gimmick shops, but those are very tacky things with buttons arranged in the style of a dial. Very phoney and tasteless, and I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole.

I just said 'phoney' in a blog about telephones, and didn't realise that there was a pun there.

Anyway, my current phone isn't tacky at all - it's a very stylish transparent plastic one with coloured LEDs that light up when it rings. But I would cheerfully dump it for one with a real dial if I found one lying around.

I won't go looking for one just yet, though. If I stay at home and don't do anything else all day, I could finish my book tomorrow. That's the plan, anyway.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Has it really been that long?

I've been doing this blog, every night except those nights when I didn't, for over two and a half years now! The time has just flown by, hasn't it?

Anyway, the interview today went pretty well, I think. I'm hopeful of getting a second interview at least for it, and Ilkeston seems like a nice place to work - I've never been there before, but it's populated by at least one person who recognised me from the telly, and another who admires people who wear Blue Peter badges. I'm sure the town would embrace me with open arms. And try to steal my badge, possibly.

Anyway, the weekend beckons, and things need to be done. Especially the book, I'm running out of excuses to justify to myself not having finished it yet. Especially since I stressed in the interview today how good I am at getting things done to tight deadlines. Funnily enough, in my accountant persona I really am very good at that, it's just normal-Zoomy who can't get his book-writing act together.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Busy day

Right, things I've arranged today - interview at Gardner Aerospace in Ilkeston tomorrow (roughly seven month thing covering maternity leave), interview of another kind on Radio Derby on Saturday (so, mister memory, just how can we remember those important anniversaries and names? Exactly the kind of thing I normally turn down, but a bit of self-publicity is important if we're going to get people to give us money for demonstrations/competitions in the near future), ITV coming to film us doing a uni demonstration at Birmingham on Monday, interview of the first kind in the middle of nowhere on Tuesday.

Also, I think I might have developed the ability to do a 'safe' speed cards run in under 30 seconds. Or maybe it just went extraordinarily well today with the three packs I attempted. We'll see - this was the first practice I've done for much too long, so I need to get back into things.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Interesting statistic

The train journey from Dunbar to Derby is precisely long enough to play 76 head-to-head games of DS Tetris. I would record for posterity which of me and James won the epic championship 40-36, but it wasn't me, so I won't.

One of these days, I'll find the time to write in detail about a uni demo, because today's was a lot of fun. However, today isn't one of these days, because it's late and I've only just got home. Tomorrow might be one of these days, though.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Labour Party hates me

Let's have a lunchtime blog, just for a change, since this afternoon I'm off to Dundee, home of D C Thomson's comic publishing empire and probably other things too, although I don't know of any. It's a long old train journey just to display my memory to a bunch of students, but at least it keeps me off the streets.

There is an airport at Dundee, but apparently you can only fly there from London, and then only if you pay three hundred pounds for the privilege. The uni are paying for our travel, but I think they'd frown on that kind of extravagance. Although did offer me a wonderful route plan when I looked into flying from Birmingham - changing at Edinburgh and London. In that order. Birmingham-Edinburgh-London-Dundee. I was tempted to take it just for the sheer silliness of it.

Anyway, in the post today I got a little leaflet from Labour, very nicely printed, mail merge with my name and everything, they've wasted a very impressive amount of taxpayers' money on it, saying that they're 'on the side of hard-working families in Hartington Street.' There's not a lot of writing on the thing, just a couple of brief paragraphs, but it refers to hard-working families five times.

What have they got against single people? I'm not the only bachelor in the street, there are lots of single people here! Hard-working single people, too! In fact, although I haven't analysed the demographics, most of the street's old Victorian houses are divided up into small flats, so I'd be prepared to bet that the majority of residents around here aren't in fact families.

Well, squish to you, councillor Shiraz Khan and your vague pledges to 'continue improving Arboretum Park', 'start upgrading street lighting' and 'demand more Police Community Support Officers'. I shall jolly well vote for someone who isn't prejudiced against the unmarried!

Monday, February 18, 2008


At least one, possibly two job interviews tomorrow, depending on whether one agency gets back to me tomorrow morning before I leave for the interview arranged by another agency at another company. Both jobs are in horribly out-of-the-way places that would need me to relocate or cycle long distances if I got them, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.

On the other hand, employment in another sense looks like it might be possible at some point in the future - branching out from our university demos into demos for businesses, charging money this time and justifying it by using this money to subsidise schools demonstrations and competitions. Sounds like it could be fun, although it's a lot of work.

Anyway, going up to Dundee tomorrow night for another uni demonstration, after all the excitement of the interviews. I'll be worn out. Luckily, I've spent all day today reading Harry Potter fan fiction on the internet, just to conserve energy for the rigours ahead.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's not the winning...

... it's the comforting knowledge that you avoided coming dead last by the narrowest of tie-break margins. So, yes, in terms of othello achievement this weekend wasn't the greatest, but, you know, it really is about the taking part. For the record, I won three and lost eight, and the ones I lost were often quite horrible thrashings generally brought about by stupid mistakes on my part. Still, I found out that I've been featured in Dutch news reports quite a lot recently, and not just for chimp-related reasons, either. And I had a strange dream last night in which Phil Chambers refused to let me audition for his pantomime production of Aladdin, on the grounds that my memory achievements make me too well known - this was apparently the kind of panto that avoids casting celebrities and insists on unknown actors in order to make it more believable. I'm not sure if this is my subconscious reacting badly to my recent fame, or reminding me of my lifelong desire to be a panto actor. Probably both. Aubrey also featured in the dream, now I come to think of it, but I can't remember how. He'd make a good Widow Twankey.

Anyway, I'm feeling all motivated and dynamic go-ahead achieveresque at the moment. There'll be books written, new jobs found, othello transcripts typed up and sent to Geoff, memory training sessions done, all kinds of things. A weekend away does you good. Except from a bank-balance point of view. Really need to do that new-job-finding thing quite soon.