The Worst Joke Ever

November 16, 2006 at 9:11 pm (Uncategorized)

As I’m studying Physics and Computing I’m ideally placed to intercept the Worst Joke Ever as and when it emerges. Well here it is, given pride of place in some Computing notes:

There is an old joke in which a chicken and a pig are talking and the chicken says, “Let’s start a restaurant.” The pig replies, “Good idea, but what should we call it?” “How about ‘Ham and Eggs'” says the chicken. “No thanks,” says the pig, “I’d be committed, you’d only be involved.”

And you wonder why I’m questioning my future.


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Ambitions hopes or dreams

November 16, 2006 at 1:38 pm (Uncategorized)

These pillars are like riches – feel them.
Soft and hard to the touch

soft like silk

hard like living gold
with gold and jasmine hanging all around like paper jewels.
Put your hand on the bark.

They are a hundred thousand in all directions, wider than any palace – and higher – and the grass is long. See sun sliding through the trees gleaming off the edges, feel the wind in your face.

cans and rubbish clustered together, made small and pitiful by the trees – some defiance.

Nut and withered leaf round off the green – broken diamonds crunched beneath your shoes. They are natures castaway.

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Been looking at America

November 13, 2006 at 2:48 pm (Uncategorized)

Lately I’ve been slightly uninspired about business and the profit motive. I’ve been working hard in the lab at computing and went to some recruitment lectures to renew my interest in the subject. Instead it did anything but, and I felt like work was a twisted place where money, politics and forecast matter more than people do. Usually I totally ignore folk who show that kind of attitude. I dont actually join their teams.

I wrote a story called Choices, its not finished or good enough yet but I put in some short sentences and replacement scene to fill it up enough to put here.
I felt I’d written a lot yesterday and just when I thought I’d finishedI wrote some of this too, and put a patchwork version here.
The point is that theres a thousand people not to be, a thousand options there that just sound empty. They don’t matter. Like, whats the point in programming for fifteen hours a day so you go back home and have a slightly nicer bed and bathroom than you would normally. Is our lifetime value based on the number we amass in pounds sterling? (Thinking also “Life vs the Lifeless”) Its like an evolved version of the question ‘what is the point?’. For the Christian, theres an answer to that question, and so a developed solution to the problem above. In an office of people made to feel like nothin, you know the worth of everyone and you want to share that love of God. (As well as the truth about heaven, hell, sin, personal relationship)

My own line of thought is in the story. The first scene hopefully evokes boredom, the second has a guy who doesn’t think about looking after his body and the third is also parts futile without God. These are my concerns about choices and its the privelege of the west that I can even have these concerns.


Emptying my pockets for the washing machine. Underground ticket, uneaten chocolate, keys for the office (I hum a tune about Mondays) and keys for my flat. I spend the next six hours between then and morning asleep, resting my body and bits of my mind as the weekend ends and morning wakes me.

For a change, I decide I’ll walk to work – steal ten minutes. I plug earphones into my iPod and listen to songs about girls, boys, wars and noble causes.

You beat the traffic when you walk, and think a little clearer. Reflection in shop windows, other people with their heads down passing by. It sort of inspires you – I solve as many problems in my head now as I would in the first hour at work. Cars start to slow down up ahead and I take a side-street I’ve often wondered about when driving in. It is narrow, probably why people don’t take it, and the walls stand only a short way apart. I reason that it will soon widen out, and so I keep going, until I met the man from out of nowhere – perhaps he jumped out from behind a bin, or waited inside a door frame, it doesn’t matter now. Everything leading up to this means very little now. His hand. My shirt. My back. The wall…


He sees what I see.

Gun. Terror. Power and will. He is man.

I see what he sees too.

I am 25 grand a year, my own shirt and tie, car on the pavement keys in my pocket. My work is valuable, but the phone is unnecessary and the car is leased. Has-been at 21. An invisible name badge. A gun centimetres away – noone can miss me.




I tap out variables and loops and promise that programs will be provided and all errors will be caught. Down a wire ten miles away ambulances, each with a driver, two paramedics and some a few other heroes, rush to rescue peoples children, children’s parents, helpless people – but they go where I tell them and rely on their phone.


My keyboard clacks out answers to problems noone wants to solve, serving the people and the public sector. I want people to go to sleep safe tonight and feel no fear. But if they do fear, keyboard and program and I demand those in burning buildings will hear a fire engine soon, those with a stroke will be seen to soon and that so far as is possible, it will all be over tomorrow.

I fear.

I fear the Computer will turn off. I fear I’ll forget which key to press. I fear that Ambulances will stay in hospital bays whilst children scream in torment because I made a mistake or didn’t think. I fear myself, walking away and letting someone else take over. I fear going back to my family, and driving off to Troon, then having a car accident and waiting for someone elses incompetence to catch up. I fear for other peoples days off. This is every day at work, but its more than 9 ‘til 5 – I’m scared of things, not numb to them.




Racing round the park with Raqi on my back, dodging obstacles – watch out! – going fast as I can and – yes, faster, faster. Panting and trying not to show it, feeling old but playing like a kid again and most importantly Raqi is laughing hands in the air, Raqi is screaming.

Truth be told I fear the ghetto and walking through it on my own. These streets are dangerous but I want to see him get home safe, and have fun anyway.

No matter the choice that I make, I know there is a good chance he will be hurt or – God forbid – abused today. I’m told there is nothing that can be done, and not to get too close. I see him to the door.

I know that when he hits his 10th birthday he will have inhaled more smoke than a thirty-year-old smoker. They told us that on the first day. I still cry.

(Most people won’t ever care. But I’m here right now, I can’t not care.)




I never actually do remember my timetable, there is no point. Lectures and labs, tutorials or seminars kind of lose their original meaning the second time around. I see faces where rectangles should be, people instead of deadlines. Computing, Physics and now Theology (or is it Engineering?) are background to the fore. They matter but not in the same way as people matter. Personalities and memories put the real value into my degree, it is sophisticated, optimistic, idealistic, so these days I am educated and naïve, I can be both an Engineer and a kid when I grow up.


But this is a bubble.




There are so many choices and chances, a thousand people I don’t want to be. But there is one man in whom I see more than the emptiness we make for ourselves.

I see more. I look at him with love, and with awe, and with a great deal of fervency.

I see him dying, on a cross.

Dying, so that I might live.


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