Bits and Pieces

Monday, June 26, 2006

Boobies for Bucks and More

Dean reports that Rhianna at A Texan Abroad is offering pictures of cleavage for cash.

I did that once.

Didn't get many takers.

Also, I just noticed this over at Wizbang, about a report that suggests that moving to the US is bad for your health.

(The study) found that living in the United States for more than 15 years was associated with a 1.39 increase in body mass index, a scientific measure for weight.

I'm sure I'm missing an important point here but as I understand it, living anywhere for 15 years is associated with an increase in body mass. If you logged the weight of the 25-year old population of any developed and then repeated the process 15 years later I would be shocked if the total was lower.

Take a look at this example. A 25-year old Ukranian man measuring 5' 10" and weighing 170lbs moved to the US. He finds himself an apartment, works hard and provides for his young wife and new child. 15 years later he is a pillar of the community. He has all those things that 25-year old Ukranians dream of when they first arrive. He has the big house; he has 3 children - 2 boys and a girl; he plays poker with his buddies every Wednesday night and smokes contraband Cuban cigars with a tumbler of scotch. He has it good. Those 15 years weren't easy, though, and he's showing his age. He's still in pretty good shape. Hell, he's only 10 pounds heavier than he was the day the boat docked in New York. Not bad, after 15 years.

Sounds realistic? Well, that's an increase of 1.39 on the body mass index. 10 pounds for a 5' 10" man.

10 pounds is nothing. Hell, I lost more than that in the last 3 months, and I barely notice the difference. I'm 23 now and I weigh about 160lbs. If I can reach my 38th birthday carrying only 10 pounds extra I'll be a happy man.

Now, you'll have to excuse me. I have a Big Mac to attend to.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


I've just posted this comment on every blog I could find.

Imagine if cats could drive. You'd be all like 'Dude, there's a cat driving that Jeep', and I'd be all like, 'Sweet'.

P.S. My teeth hurt.

No reason. I'm just bored.

I need Diet Coke. Where are my car keys?

Update - I checked what sort of post I was commenting on first. God, this would have been inappropriate:-

Blogger: 'My house just got robbed and I've been diagnosed with a deadly brain disease. This was the worst day...'

Me: 'Imagine if cats...'

'Nother Update - I'm feeling a little remorseful now. Some people might not like cats. They might find the idea of cats driving cars troubling, perhaps even terrifying.

OK, if anyone comes round to complain, tell them I'm out shopping. If they start to kick up a fuss tell them I'm going through the menopause.

23 year old guys can catch menopause, right?

Final Update - In an attempt to avoid losing the respect of several bloggers whom I admire (i.e. Michele at A Small Victory), there is a real academic point to posting a random comment on your site, I promise. All will become clear. In the meantime, please feel free to delete my comment, curse my name and send me hate mail. Thank you.


I'm baffled. I signed up to Google Ads a couple of days back, and their reporting module is giving me some odd data. Now, it's against Google's TOS to disclose more or less any information about Google Ads, but I'm sure it's OK to talk about my hits.

I use 3 stats trackers to check my traffic - Site Meter, Statcounter and Reinvigorate. Traffic has been sluggish the last few days - Site Meter says I got about 125 page views yesterday, Statcounter says 122, and Reinvigorate says 118. The Google Ads reporting module, however, gives me 351.

Stats trackers have never been perfect. I don't think I've ever had a day in which any two of them give identical results, but a difference of over 200? That's just silly. Still, I'm inclined to believe Google, if only because I like bigger numbers, damnit.

Anyway, on the subject of the Google Ads, I've been getting nothing but ads for George Bush dolls and George Bush impersonators. Very odd. Maybe it has something to do with my keywords for the site. NB - this isn't a request for you to click on the ads, look at them, or even think about George Bush. Google seem to have a stick up their butt about generating clicks.

Update - Dean Esmay cleared it up in the comments. I always assumed my counters logged all of my hits, but it appears they only log hits on the front page. I'm not sure how to make them log hits on the archives as the codes for all the counters are inserted directly into the Blogger template. If anyone has any suggestions please email me or leave a comment. Cheers.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Jack of All Trades... Master of Two or Three

From the comments:

Congratulations! Novels have been written about (and published) on less interesting temporary jobs than working in an ice cream factory. I hope it goes well.

That got me thinking. I seem to have a gift for finding strange work, so I thought I'd do a top 5 list.

5. I once worked for a company that manufactured components for military jets. At first glance that may sound like an exciting company to work for, but no. We had to coat tiny components with heat-resistant paint before they could be installed into the wings, and my job was to stop up all the screw holes with wadded paper to stop the paint leaking in.

We started the day at 8am with a huge pile of little fiddly gadget things on one side of the table and a ream of A4 paper on the other. By the end of the day at 5pm we had a big pile of little fiddly gadget things full of folded strips of paper, and a fuckload of papercuts. They wouldn't let us sit down because, they claimed, it would encourage us to chat (an impossible feat, considering that the factory was so loud that we had to wear earplugs to block out the whirring of the machinery).

A horrible job, but one that had occasional zen moments when the brain slowed to a low purr and the hours flew by.


4. The job I recently got fired from. I was working on a contract for the Wall Street Journal Europe. Not, as I would prefer, actually writing copy but selling subscriptions over the phone. At one point we were selling to the Belgians, for some reason. You can imagine management making that decision:-

Bill: We don't seem to be getting the response we hoped for in the UK market, Bob.

Bob: No, Bill. Maybe we should try a new tack.

Bill: You could be right. Why don't we get our guys to call the Belgians?

Bob: The Belgians? Huh. You think that'll work?

Bill: How the fuck should I know, Bill? I'm in marketing. What with all the effort of perfecting this fashionably messy hairstyle I don't have much energy to think about anything else.

Bob: I hear ya. You've really got that mane tamed. Kiss me, Bill.

Bill: I thought I made myself clear at the conference, Bob.

Bob: Sorry. So, it's agreed. We're calling Belgium.

Bill: Get your hand off my ass, Bob.

Sorry, I went off on a little tangent there, didn't I? Anyway, stupid job.


3. This was a strange one. Shops and bars hire people called mystery shoppers to rate the customer service of the staff. I had a good gig while I was a student doing this. My job was to visit a chain of vodka bars, buy a drink and check out stuff like the bathrooms to make sure they kept them clean. I got my expenses paid, so I used to take a friend for a night out for free. After a while I got used to the kind of report they expected me to write, so I didn't bother visiting the bars anymore, but just wrote a report and claimed my wage. OK, so they caught me and fired my sorry ass, but it was fun while it lasted.


2. My first real job was stacking shelves at ToysRus. Good times. We used to play football in the store rooms, fool around with the box crusher and have lightsaber duels. Me and a guy - I forget his name, but we called him Joker - used to roll a dice to decide what sort of accent we'd put on in front of the customers. Just light accents, nothing too obvious. We did Canadian, Irish, Jamaican and (my favourite) Mafia style. I got fired after we rolled a six and ended up swearing at each other in Sicilian accents over the Barbie aisle.


And in first place...

1. I ran out of money in my second year at university and volunteered to be a guinea pig for medical studies. OK, so it isn't technically a job, but I'm counting it anyway. They were testing a new anti-depressant and its effect on, er, sexual function. To boil it down the job consisted of whacking off to lesbian porn, taking a course of drugs, and then whacking off again to see if it took longer. It was the single strangest sexual experience of my life. I was led into a small room by two attractive nurses, sat on the bed and was handed a cup. When they left I had to attach a sensor to myself and press a button when I, er, began and again when I was done.

One of the conditions of the study was that I couldn't drink, but I figured one drink couldn't hurt. I went to a friend's house for a couple of sips of lite beer and I'll be damned if 7 or 8 pints didn't just fall into my mouth. I was roused by the phone at 7 the next morning by the doctor running the study, reminding me that today was the day I started the course of drugs. I ran out the door and got a cab into the city.

By the time I arrived I had a throbbing headache and a pounding heart. They tested my pulse and blood pressure, and the doc asked, 'You didn't by any chance have a drink last night, did you?'. I looked up, bloodshot eyes and funky hair, and replied something along the lines of, 'Why, no Doctor. I watched the evening news and retired to bed at sundown with a mug of warm milk and my Bible.' Somehow he saw through my lie - God knows how - and fired me.

Still, I got to watch some excellent porn.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More of the Fuel Shortages

Following on from this morning's post about the fuel shortage, I have a quote from an attendant at a Texaco station from this afternoon:

'We're expecting to shut down most of our pumps around 8pm tonight to everyone but people with special needs (i.e. emergency services). We've been told not to expect that the next delivery will be on schedule.'

I passed the forecourt on the way home this evening and found it cordoned off. Also, most of the stations I passed during the day around Manchester had queues stretching back around 10 cars. It seems that the major fuel suppliers in the country are attempting to keep panic at bay, especially since many of the CEO's of these companies claim that there is no shortage and business is 'quiet'.

As Glenn Reynolds may say: Heh.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Tech Stuff

Oh! Oh! OH! Guess what I just bought. No? OK, fuck you then. I'll just tell you.

My car CD player was stolen around January and I've been using a crappy portable CD player rigged up through a cassette adaptor into the standard Ford tape player since. Its crap, plain and simple. The sound is shit and its a ballache to unplug everything when I get out of the car.

So. I saved my pennies and have bought a kickass CD/MP3 player. Plus! It has a USB port and a slot for a memory stick. The upshot is that I can copy music from my PC onto a USB flash drive to avoid the hassle of burning CDs, or play the music I keep on my mobile phone through the car speakers using my Sony memory stick.

I'm dangerously excited. I may actually come when the postman arrives. That would be hilarious.

Oh, and I also bought a nice chrome Zippo cigarette lighter. I'm always losing those things, along with every pen I've ever owned and at least half my socks. There's probably a highly flammable, very smelly lost and found room somewhere with all the stuff I've ever lost in it.

It'd have wonderful penmanship, though. You know, wonderful for a room. Its not like the bar would be set too high to begin with.
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