Sunday, June 08, 2003

To all and sundry : is no more. Please goto

I'll try and put up some of the archives for the future.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Due to the Blogger virus I mention below, I've just been spending the last few minutes looking around at other blogging sites. I've submitted my email address, created some accounts and done some quick trials. Nothing has so far convinced me to take the plunge and change 100% so until then I'm going to continue with Blogger.

But I'm writing in Notepad from now on to make sure I don't start throwing things at the monitor the next time Blogger throws up.

Update : WebCrimson is looking pretty good. It's just taking me a while to get used to the interface.

Steven Den Beste writes about the amount of people quitting blogger for other hosting. I haven't experienced the problems he talks about (probably lack of traffic) but from my own point of view the loss of archives could be a benefit. My wife tells me that I change my mind often, so when you read one of my posts in the future you may recall that I said differently months before. Hey presto! No evidence due to archive blogger fuckup.

Sort of like 1984 for blogging.

Update : So of course I started writing another post about the books that I was taking on holiday, the reasons that I choose them and other REALLY interesting things; tried to post and guess what? Blogger pissed on me. Ab-so-fucking-lutely typical. Think I'll look into Movable Type.

Funny the sorts of decisions some people take during their lives. In my short time on earth I've made plenty of strange decisions that in the short term may have seemed like going backwards but in the long term has paid off. This French chef in the US however made one decision that should lead to psychiatric examination : he went to work at Howard Johnsons instead of for the Kennedys while they were in the White House.

Yeah OK you say, he made a bad choice. But just to convince you further, this guy received too many calves heads once. Instead of disposing of them properly (as any sane person might), he put them into boxes and dumped them into a river - only for the boxes to spill the contents a few days later. Fun, fun, fun.

Funny how the twats are the ones we hear about.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Well the week started out pretty good. The boss was away, work was going well, everyone refreshed from having a four day weekend. That is until I had to sit in for my boss in the department meeting. WOMBAT - waste of money brains and time. I have no confidence in the management of the company that I work for - zero, nada, none, rien. They can't even tell where they're loosing money. What a joke. That meeting lasted for three and one half hours. Worthless they really are.

So yesterday I was planning to be in early and work late. Well besides the strikes, some of my favourite Frenchmen (drivers) decided to collide. One of them is now on a cold slab somewhere. Not a good start and I seemed to be rushed all day. I got home at 7.30.

Today I knew the boss would be back. I greeted him nicely, asked if he had a good trip - all sweet talk for about five minutes. Then the bullshit started to come out. You see my boss has promised something to another area by the end of this year. He has 15 years experience. Four people with over 100 years experience have told him that it is not possible. Who does he complain to? Me. I just told him that I wasn't looking at any of this work until next year so he went off on one of his rants. It put me into a bad mood all day.

And then while being in a bad mood I thought that I'll cruise the net instead of working. I potter over to Clueless, read all the articles. Kim du Toit, reprints. Merde in France is blocked - again. So Samizdata would come to the rescue. Wouldn't it? No in fact it didn't. So thanks to the gremlins of the Internet I have been in a bad mood all day.

Then I met the largest traffic jam this year outside of the holidays on the way home. One hour to do the 16km. I'm not even going to bother looking at other people's stupidity on the net when I have enough around me to power spaceships to Jupiter!!!


Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Paris says Mideast peace plan needs EU

To make peace succeed, everyone must act together. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin.

Better to be doing things together than actually doing the right thing eh Dom?

Come to the United Arab Emirates. Get raped. And then get sentenced for having sex outside of marriage. Then get fined. Then get accused of prostitution. Then be made to stay for six months while the judicial process goes through the motions ..... of not hearing your case.

Scum, the lot of 'em.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Read it. Read it and then tell people about it. Steven read this. Samizdata read this. LGF read this. Eric Raymond read this.

And todays number is ......


Yes ladies and gentlemen, that is the number of people unemployed in the Fifth Peoples Republic of France. For those who prefer percentages : 9.3% of the workforce.

Chirac meets Bush first time since war

Ello George!

Hiya Jacques!

I 'ope zat what I zaid over ze last few weeks isn't going to ruin our relationship?

Nah, no problem.

Yeah right.

A short psychological study of the French - by a non-psychologist

The only study of psychology that I have ever undertaken was the use of to make sure that I spelt the word correctly. Don't be alarmed you may continue reading. Who knows you may laugh or actually learn something.

I've been here in France for nearly two years. I work for a multi-national company that was once part of a very large, previously state-owned French manufacturing company (which still exists today). When I got the job here I had no idea what 90% of the documents that I signed meant, my status in the company or anything else that any rational human being would consider important when quitting their job and country and moving several hundred miles. But I don't regret the move.

Now back to the analysis. Since I did five years at university I started as a Cadre. Basically that means 'grooming for management'. People with less than five years at university find it very hard to become Cadre in my company. There are levels called ATAM and Technician and what not for those that haven't been able to become Cadre. As I quickly found out, the fact that one is Cadre means that one will be management. The fact that one isn't Cadre means that there is no possibility of ever being management. Your career at the company is decided the day you start work. Working very hard and being very good makes no difference. Going to the right university and of course having Baccalauriate + 5 will allow you to become a senior manager. From what I have seen, the top two levels of management all went to the same type of university.

So, no way to become senior if you haven't done the right time in the right place.

As myself, Merde in France and others have said many times before, France is a very expensive country in which to do business. Setting up a company in order to do consulting work (such as an IT Contractor) is expensive, bureaucratic and the taxes are prohibitive. People do it but the return is in my humble opinion, not worth it. I pay 27% of my salary each month for things like health insurance, pension benefits and other stuff which nobody seems able to explain properly. This is not counted as income tax. That comes around once a year and pays for Jacques flights overseas with his family when he wants, my favourite group : the unemployable, and the farmers among others. If I understood correctly whatever you earn, the company has to pay another 60% for various charges. Scary stuff.

SO on one hand we have the Human Resources department deciding your future based on how long you were at university (and therefore what sort of salary you'll get for the rest of your life), we have the state taking away so much of your hard earned cash to give to people who probably have trouble spelling hard earned, we have laws that make it impossible to fire lazy good-for-nothings even if incompitent, we have laws that make it nearly impossible to pay for overtime (thankyou the 35 hour week), we have a management structure that has nothing to do with ability or skill, and we have the crazy drivers.

What for the psychology here it comes. Since the French have so much that they cannot control and/or cannot change to make their lives better (except for the long holidays) the drive like maniacs. And here is why : it is the only area of their lives where nobody controls them. There are no police (they're on strike for more holidays and an earlier retirement), there are no speed cameras, there is nobody who actually gives a damn because they are all in their own little uncontrolable environment.

Tonight while driving hope in the pissing rain (the French say is rains like pissing cows which I quite like), the drivers continued to drive like we were in bright, dry weather. If it wasn't for the traffic jam, I am sure that they would have tried breaking the speed limit. One guy behind me got undertaken by a woman who filtered in from a slip road. He couldn't let her be, oh no! He undertook her and then got off at the next exit (about half a mile further on). Then just when I thought what a dickhead he was, another driven decided that he didn't like being in a line of cars and decided that he was important enough for the hard shoulder.

One good outcome from the evening's drive home is that I only saw two accidents and those only involved two cars each instead of the normal three or eight (I kid you not). That's it. My psychological analysis of the French. I'm sure that I'll do some more during my time here.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Chris Blake is one of thousands of activists who have come to demonstrate as world leaders meet in Evian. He is also rabidly anti-capitalist, anti-globalisation (wonder where his shoes and clothes are made), and anti-having any intelligence. I quote :

Instead of the G8 I want ordinary people to debate what kind of world they want. That means factories run by workers and a parliament where delegates are recallable - so if Blair takes us to war against majority opinion we could recall him. What we need is a network of social forums, where everyone can have their say about what is important to them.

Funny the G8 doesn't stop me debating the type of world I want. I can also use communication methods such as email, this webpage or even talking face to face (gasp horror) to debate the type of world I want. I haven't yet learnt of the very successful country where the factories are run by workers. When you can provide evidence of this Chris let me know - I like learning. I'm not up on the rules of each constituency in the UK Chris, but I'm sure that if you have enough people who agree with you, perhaps you could get the rules changed for Tony Blair's Sedgefield constituency. Of course getting enough people to agree with you might be tricky since a majority of people in the UK were for the Battle of Iraq. But hey Chris, that's democracy - you don't always get everyone to agree with you. Perhaps in a facist or communist regime though eh Chris?

A charming gentleman calling himself Micky Speidel sent me the following email :

Subject: Pull My Finger

Farting Commander in Chief
Presidential Flatulance reaches a new low!

Go ahead - pull my finger!

You'll hear things like:

*Fart* That's what I call a flatulation Proclamation!

Our nation must come..ugh..together *Fart* to ignite!

Hey Saddam - Here's a weapon of mass destruction - *Fart*

Osama *Fart* Yo' momma!





Nice to see capitalism working so efficiently.

In amongst the dross that I receive at my email account (sorry I haven't checked it for a while), my second email from an actual real live reader!!!

Hello Connecticut!!!

Peugeot boss sees tough year ahead

"Economic and monetary circumstances are unfavorable and in these conditions it will be difficult to reach our objectives this year," Peugeot President Jean-Martin Folz told a shareholders' meeting.

He didn't mention the fact that taxes are too high, he can't lay off workers, he can't invest due to the bureacracy involved, that they are facing a corruption investigation and that due to French laziness he can only get people to work 35 hours a week.

London to Brussels is 198 miles (318 km). London to Cardiff is 132 miles (212 km), to Edinborough 330 miles (532 km) and to Belfast 321 miles (517 km). Perry de Havilland seems to forget how the Welsh, Scottish and Ulstermen (and women) have felt for the past few centuries. So the decision making will take place a bit further away - big deal. We (they) never had much say in how our country was run anyway.

Geldof back in Ethiopia

Former president Bill Clinton had not helped Africa much, despite his high-profile visits and apparent empathy with the downtrodden, the organiser of Live Aid, claimed. "Clinton was a good guy, but he did fuck all."

Saturday, May 31, 2003

I'm just cruising around looking at some blogs, some news (politics, high-tech and sport mostly) and some guns stuff. What is happening? Is there really nothing that interesting on a Saturday to report on?

I shall continue.