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here's simon looking very smart.  he made a cake for the office today as he lost the competition to guess the birth date and weight of a colleague's wife's baby.


they take their punishments serious here in new zealand.  great cake though !


we had our office xmas party yesterday.  the theme was wild west. 

my desk-neighbourhood went as characters from Outrageous Fortune, which is a top NZ TV show.  i was munter (if you can't tell from the picture)


the party wasn't actually in the office.  but here's the scene before the departure.  just like a normal friday afternoon.


the party itself was very good actually with people dressed in all sorts of comedy costumes doing comedy things in a nice friendly kiwi manner


this is what i see on the way to work


this is it with the tide out, often it's almost lapping up at the road


sure beats the M4 back in the UK


and here's the trip back home (taking the short cut to the motorway through some side streets)

by the way, i've had to cut the beginnings and ends off my commutes so they last around 10 minutes when speeded up.  i don't actually stop my car in the middle of the street and walk away from it.

so, yesterday was my last day at Sky / Easynet after 8 and a half years.  i'm leaving on good terms, so that's good.


most of last week was about saying goodbye and handing things over to Sky colleagues, but yesterday was about my old easynet chums.  it was great to have lunch and chat about fun times.  and we even recreated some of the classic slidey man game ?

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so, a nice way to finish things off.

it was my last day in the office before i get made redundant yesterday so i video'd my trip there so i wouldn't forget it.  here it is speeded up 4 times

sorry the quality is a bit rubbs.  youtube has done the bad thing.




i went on an excellent bike ride yesterday lunchtime in aid of general fitness and wellbeing.  i'd forgotten it was a bit dangerous to take pictures whilst riding a bike, even if you are wearing a tabard.  so here's a picture of us stationary at a lock. 

i can confirm it's much better than writing regulatory documents.  jolly good.



kezia sums up how we all feel on back to work monday


those who track my twitter feed will know that i ended up presenting an award at an industry awards show on Wednesday night.  carol thatcher was the compère (her mum is mrs thatch) and we briefly discussed the volume of the music that was playing when winners were announced.  luckily that stopped my inadvertent boogie !


here's the luxury waiting area behind the scenes for those about to present awards


this is how my dessert tools ended up after a wine glass collision


and this was the route to my starter


a nice night out

Monday was a sad day at work as some of the old team gathered to say good bye to a piece of equipment which had served us well for almost exactly 10 years.

harry kicked off the proceedings by disconnecting his leechy computer thing from the big computery thing (stop me if i'm getting too technical)


people generally don't say goodbye to equipment in these modern days, preferring just to buy the latest newer or more exciting thing, so it was refreshing to be able to say goodbye like this.


i got to flick the first set of power switches to start the beginning of the end


this wasn't part of the proper switchoff procedure, but it was great to see a switch with a little plastic protective covering, so was worth a press anyway


i guess part of the reason for saying goodbye to this piece of equipment was just how big it was.  you can't just walk away from something the size of a ground floor of a building.  your iphones/pods etc can't compete with that for size


there were some excellent retro computer type things about to look at whilst the procedure to suck the life out of it continued


more corridors between cabinets


these were some good buttons


pete did the penultimate one.  or it might have been the last but one


and john, keeper of the equipment did the final final one which involved clipping some cable ties


and all too soon it was over.  system x.  good night.


oh, and here's walter pointing at some very neat wiring he once did.


those who have been reading the blog since it started will remember peter, john, walter and harry from when the blog was more spontaneous and even updated in real time.  feels like an age ago.  because it was.

you can see a few more photos here


a strange chain of events concluded with me stumbling across these stirrers on double yellow lines.  it started with me finally listening to a podcast from stephen fry which had been sitting on my podcast for months.  it was all about broadcasting (specifically this) although i hadn't realised in advance it would be.  so rather than being just fun, it was unexpectedly work-related and fun instead.

in the podcast he referred to a sketch he did in his old fry and laurie days about multi-channel television involving plastic stirrers which is on youtube here (relevant bit is around 2mins, then  just after 4 mins - language on video perhaps completely safe for work)  

Anyway what should i see yesterday, but a load of stirrers.  if stephen fry had been standing next to them then it would have been a perfect circle. 

(disclaimer - views expressed above are not even my own, let alone my employer's!)


i can see me using this photo in some work presentations feedback consumer research or somesuch



this would make a good begging sign.  worth remembering for the future perhaps.






there are a few reasons why i get up at 4.45am to drive down one of this country's busiest motorways so i can start work at 6am.  the main one is because it allows me to leave the office at 4pm (meeting commitments permitting) and i can be home to have dinner with the family

last night when i got back we decided it was still light and warm enough to go for a quick geocache and look at a ford.


i noted this 'flood' sign in the middle of the ford.


by the way, another couple of reasons i get up so early are: that motorway isn't busy, and (most relevantly) my clock gains about a minute every fortnight and i've been slowly getting up earlier for the last year without really realising it !  it also means my clock is always wrong.


i'm featured in the back page of Telecoms Professional magazine in my work capacity this month !  It's the magazine from the nice people at The Institute of Telecommunications Professionals

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Click on the version above (i've edited out my real surname for some internet anonyminity) to learn all about me. Regular blog readers will know most of it anyway although it's always nice to have a recap !


we had a work outing to a carting track in london last night.  i chose to photo rather than drive.


i've also been experimented with some post-processing in Adobe Lightroom


Wadyafink ?  Is it ok for funkypancake to be fiddling so ?


see all the shots here


i was in poland for this conference. here's a classic techno-slide. i can't get enough of these things.


actually, i can

i disagree with this sign. i get in to my office at 6.40am when i drive (to avoid motorway madness). i say "no work after 4pm". perhaps i should make a sign.


here's the view from the penthouse at the Dorchester on Park Lane.

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i was there for a work eating meeting. it might have been the poshest work lunch i've been to. here was the food i sneakily photographed (i had to be a bit stealthy as we were on one table and everyone was involved in the same conversation.

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one of my colleagues said the best way to get to our office near St Catherine'd dock was by using the Thames Clipper. i caught it from Savoy Pier (which is a short walk from Embankment,
which is on the Bakerloo line from Paddington), and it was fantastic. much better than the tube and comparable speed wise




last week i spent a few days in brussels, including giving a talk at a breakfast meeting in the european parliament. brussels was surprisingly sunny and i found the city quite enjoyable for a change !


here is liz at her leaving do balancing a prawn on her head.


thursday night was our industry awards night. this year hosted by lee hurst who was quite hilarious (not a word i use lightly).


we had a secret santa at work, and i got these nice gloves and a lighter. someone has obviously been reading funkypancake !


actually, i've done rather well out of this as i need some new gloves, and lighters are always handy to have around at christmas for lighting candles etc.



it's 2006. we should all be working like this nowadays.


here is a chap i work with called toby. i randomly walked past him in ealing yesterday. i was on the way to work and so was he (but in completely different locations).

i was walked as my car was being mended. a boring and anoying story i'll tell you in person someday. too tedious and annoying for documentation here.

meanwhile, have a picture of toby's head.


i had meetings in london all yesterday so i went on my 'old' train route. unfortunately someone threw themselves under a train resulting in cancellations and delays, and a 4 hour miserable commute home.

it almost made my new car journey seem like a good idea ... well nearly.


so, after weeks of dorset, a week of athens and a weekend of vienna, i finally started my new job proper (and my new car arrived yesterday)

so far commuting by car means i walked 2km rather than my usual 12km/day. And i took rather no photos rather than the usual 10-20 photos a day.


still, i've got plenty of photos from the last few months adventures stored up and i'll take plenty more at weekends and my less occasional trips to london, so no need to worry ! And the job itself is fantastic, so all is good.

i was expecting about £800 back from my season ticket. Instead i've been offered £10.30 which put me in a very bad mood.

Yesterday morning i had to buy a weekly train ticket for this week as i haven't bought my car yet (due to all the jet setting). i was greeted by this lovely sign this morning saying how regular customer deserve exclusive treatment.


ho hum. i'm not going to give up on them yet ...


i'm changing my job (sort of) and with it my work location. as a result i (have attempted) to cash in my season ticket.

i've been travelling the same route for over 9 years i think and must have spent over £20,000 with the train company which is a nice way to pay for delays and crushes and misery. cheap at half the price.


anyway, i went to my local station and they said i needed to take my ticket back to Paddington. So i did and they took my ticket away and i said, "thanks, can i have the cash back (i'm expecting £594)"

and he said "nope, we have to send it off, goodbye" and i said "oh, when can i expect the money"

and he said "up to 20 working days" and i said "oh, cuz the money would be good as i want to buy a car for my commute"

and he said "we have to send it off, goodbye" and i said "well, can you tell me how much it will be when it comes through" and he said "nope, sorry, that's their job" and that was the end of that.

so i walked away and then thought "oh no" and ran back to my man and said "i hope you don't mind me asking, but how am i meant to get home this evening, you've just taken my season ticket away"

and he said "oh, do you want me to reissue it to you" and i said "nope, i want a refund"

and he said "well you'll have to buy a ticket" and i said "but that one is still valid today, it's just you've got it and i haven't". He was obviously an unempowered train droid so i had to buy a £10.50 ticket to get home.

I shall be writting a letter (except there isn't an address on anything they've given me so i don't know where to send it!)

how outrageous. i'll keep you informed how i get on. i suspect i'm not going to be happy. still, at least i've set my expectations low !

bloomin' first great western


i had to send an email just after 9am yesterday morning (and not before) and since i was on the way to a meeting i set up an impromptu office on this wall by a little garden.

i wasn't quite sure where i was heading so i checked out Google maps whilst online to find the street i was standing on. technology is so cool and i was thinking it was all very james bond when i looked across at the buildingi was standing next to

the blue plaque reveals it's used to be ian fleming's gaff !

here is abbie. she's leaving the world of UK telecommunications regulation to travel the world with her chap and eventually end up in New Zealand (the idea being to get there by surface, mostly by land). how cool would that be ?

she's keeping a blog of her adventures which you can read here


here is Roger at an awards ceremony where he was nominated for Internet Hero.

He didn't win, so i think that makes him simply *an* Internet Hero rather than *the* Internet Hero.


here is laughing harry and laughing walter. they are laughing.


remember the great opening of my new office over 2 years ago ?

well, yesterday morning the time came for it to be taken apart.

i knew something was up when i saw this by my phone

and pretty soon the windows were gone

and i became open-plan

on the same day they took the walls away we were given some corporate freebies. here is john sporting his with pride - i wonder if they are planning on turning the heat off ?


just in case anyone is wondering, i really do enjoy my job and the company i work for is very good. and since this it's got even cooler (which is probably why we need the winter gear).

here are some freebies i got yesterday from two different sources.

the mug on the right was 'personalised' which actually involved someone writting my name on it in a fat pen ! inside was this helpful note saying i needed to bake the mug if i wanted my name to remain on it. now where's my kiln ...

still, you shouldn't look a gift house in the mouse.



i bumped in to keith and his wife in henley yesterday. i haven't seen keith in yonks so it was great to have a speedy catchup.

this picture isn't the most flatering ever, but at least proves i saw him !




we didn't have a tree


this is a very poor photo, but still manages to catch the 'essence of harry'.


i don't know if you noticed but this week's blog was all preloaded on sunday night. i'm just so stupid busy at work.

on monday i went from meeting to meeting and ended up eating only 4 cough sweets all day (but i did manage dinner in the house of lords, so i guess that made up for it). yesterday i ran from meeting to meeting and the whole day passed in a blur.

at one point i passed this sign. i went to the meeting at the top but the other two looked at least as interesting, if not more so. i'm especially curious about the bottom one (london deanery think tank).


one of my colleauges at work has an anual firework spectacular party at his house and we were priveledged enough to be invited.


here are esther and kezia and their friend watching the fireworks:

here is justin watching his handywork

and here he is once it's all over

have i shown you this before ? it's my musical clonking thing which i keep on my visitor desk in my office.

you hit them with the little leather hammer (on the left) and they make a great mountain goat noise.

every desk should have them. you can use them to transfer your own stress levels to your colleagues. by giving them a good clonk i feel better and they feel worse.

and if i clonk the clonking things instead of my colleagues it's even better. boom tish (or should that be clonk clonk)


due to holidays, conferences, meetings and the modern ability to do so, i've only been at my desk about 6 times in the last 2 months.

today i spotted two strange things.

justin now has a plant growing out of his head

and pete's head has been removed and placed in his in-tray

i worked from home yesterday which is about a once a week thing for me (meetings permitting). here's a picture of my desktops in case you were wondering.

long time readers of funkypancake will remember Laura the receptionist who once caused a medical emergency in the office when she cut her finger a tiny bit on a piece of paper.

i haven't seen her for ages as she now works in a different building, but she emailed today to say she's going to work for a different company and wanted to say goodbye to all the funkypancake viewers.

she's says she's still not completely famous, but is working on it. she sent me this photo to post of her. so, goodbye and goodluck Laura !

what kind of people do i work with you ask ?

people like telco john is the answer.

company drinks

here is my colleague harry. he's just spotted that the fridge has moved itself out from its usual hiding place.

fridges generally sleep during the day and harry was concerned that this one might be ill or injured as it was out in the day.

harry adopted a soothing voice and attempted to woo the fridge back in to its alcove. unfortunately he was not successful and it remained for a couple of other colleagues to man handle it back.

i'm working from home today. just to be safe.


ideal for economic regulators


do you spot the similarity between this man here and the top picture here ?

click for big

who is the best slidey man ? well, last night, despite not winning, i was deemed the best slidey man.

i was obviously disappointed not to win. here i am looking very sadened alongside the winner and another loser:

click for big

in the heat of the moment, in the game, i pulled off some audacious moves and surprised myself with my gamesmanship.

As a result i was presented with this luxury engraved tankard by a very important fellow:

a couple of people have emailed recently to enquire what i do work-wise. here is a clue. it was my first time giving evidence in front of a Select Committeeb and it's weird to think my words will turn up in Hansard for all history tomorrow. something to show the grandchildren one day perhaps.

the picture is Portcullis House. and here's a report in the paper.


it was the annual awards for the uk internet industry last night. we won an award which was very exciting.

here is Jum modelling the award. does he look better with it or without it ?

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and here's me looking smart (a rare occasion):

on the South Bank there is a publishing company which has its offices next to the public walkway. They have massive windows and no privacy !

last night as i walked past i saw that one of the offices, which used to contain some big-cheese from the looks of it, had been gutted. i drew the conclusion that the owner of the office must have left the company and his/her spoils were up for grabs.

it's a classic tale - we worklike mad for years thinking we're making a difference, but once we've left people are more interested in taking ownership of our deluxe stapler than for anything we contributed to the job.

cheery thursday morning thoughts. still, have a look at the stuff on offer !

click the pictures to view in more detail

i like how this sign seems to scream 'quiet please' as loud as possible by being in capital letters (yuck!) on a yellow background with a white border.

let's make this our message for the day.

please, for the sake of this blog, perleeeease, just this once, will you please BE QUIET


here is my colleague liz at our office christmas lunch. she's a vegetarian which is well accepted in most restaurants in these modern days. however, the restaurant we went to obviously wasn't so sure, so to be safe they just gave her a plate of rice instead.


when i got in to the office yesterday morning just after 7.30am i discovered the fridge door was open.

i just thought i'd share that with you.


office christmas parties are always interesting occasions. i've been at my present employ (how posh am i!) for 4 years now so i knew lots of people there and had a jolly good time.

here is our leader (the big cheese) giving his annual christmas address to the company:

here is telco-walter having a cigar:

and here is one of my current desk-neighbours called Simon. they are moving to a different floor next week, so perhaps i'll get another photo of him and his chums in a few days time:

i went to a place where they were showing what the future would be like for a drinks reception as part of a conference i went to recently. it was too hot and stuffy and we were trapped because it was a bus ride from civilisation.

someone said it was like being trapped in an Dixon's warehouse, which it was.

there was some good points though. the food was fantastic and i got to see an actual 3D TV which was really showing proper 3D stuff without requiring magic glasses etc. it was totally incredible.

less impressive was this massive bank of flat screen tellies each showing a different program. i've seen the future but i couldn't find the remote control or the off button.


i'm working from home today, so here is a picture of my desk in london i took last friday.


i went to a conference this morning and one chap gave a presentation which included some doctored street signs. here is one for you.

he also showed a picture of a weener van which was good !


my usually very quiet office has become very noisey of late. people have moved their desks in to what was a conference room and we are now much more than we ever were before.

the result has been less fridge space, more noise and a lack of suitable drinking vessels. i've resorted to drinking from a milk jug.

actually, it turns out the handle is better than a mug and you get more drink in so i may have turned a potential disaster in to a stunning drinking container victory.

here i am considering the situation:

i went to a colleauge's birthday 'do' this evening. it was very good.

here is the place:

they had crisps, nuts and bread rolls on the bar which was a nice touch:

one good thing about the dark mornings is that you can see in to people's offices as you walk to work !

here is an office with pieces of paper taped to the walls. it's the remains of a brainstorm no doubt. perhaps for short sighted people ?

i'm sure one of the pieces of paper said "buy some post-its". but i could be wrong.


cut backs mean john walter and pete all need to share the same desk. it looks cramped but they enjoy the company.


it's been a while since we've seen odd job pete doing an odd job around the office. today he's decided to remove the ice monster from the freezer section of the fridge.

he's got an elaborate plan which i'm not convinced about.


here is pete a bit later with the ice:

and here with the ice-less freezer compartment (don't look in to his eyes or you will turn to ice):

i can confirm that it takes the same amount of time for Peter to defrost the fridge as it did for me to have a conference call on the exciting topic of broadband migrations.

my office has come up with a nice idea to try to keep us awake during the day. they've placed some random holes in the floor.

i'm going to go to the local charity shop in a minute and buy a cheap rug to put over the top. i'll then put some nuts in the middle of the rug.

if any wild animals come in to the office, they'll be attacted to the nuts and will fall in to my trap. we can then cook them for our tea thus saving on sandwich costs AND keeping us safe from wild animals.

and all for the cost of a cheap charity shop rug.


i was priviledged enough to be invited to a friend's leaving do today. lots of ex-colleagues were there including some i hadn't seen for a number of years.

here is chris and his collection of passport photos. i thought i'd found another collector but in fact he was just a proud father:

here are some of the assembled:

and here are phil and keith. both now retired and having a great time. both of these people had a great influence on me when i started working with them 6 years ago:
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john at work has found a key and is trying all the locks to see which one it fits. he's a modern day mechanical prince looking for his cinderella.

unfortunately he's completely failed so far, so we turn to you the reader to help us. do you recognise this key ?

if he can't find where it belongs he's going to have to go to the cobblers to get a new lock built. and his shoes repaired. and maybe buy a trophy and a cat identity necklace too.


it was the conference finale last night. much food, good conversation and a live band (which seemed to be playing their songs just too slow to dance to - so i didn't for once !).

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this morning (saturday) was the last formal part of the conference. it was a different venue so the walk from the hotel was only 10 minutes rather than the usual 30 minutes.

then it was free time this afternoon before the gala dinner this evening. i've even bought a new belgian shirt for the occasion.



a few people from the conference:

these people are mostly greek:
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this chap is from the UK. here he is featured with a giant bottle-top / ash tray. this impressed him and hopefully it will impress you too:

the title of this conference is sort of related to the Internet being everywhere all the time. and that's been my experience in Ghent. free hotspots in the hotel and the conference centre.

perhaps it's only the UK where people try to charge you for everything ?


for anyone that doubted it, here is a dreadful picture of the president of the conference organisers welcoming us all along.

he's also appearing on the big screen behind him. it's just like reading festival isn't it ?

i'm speaking at 5pm on friday. chances are everyone will either have left or be asleep by then. i'm tryiing to think of whether there is anything clever/comical i could do with the big screen (in addition to my comedy powerpoint slides)


my company is 10 years old this year which is not bad. i've been there for over a third of those years and with every year i stay that proportion increases.

part of the fun day was an it's a knockout tournament. i wasn't in a team as i'm useless (generally) and also we weren't sure when the kids would run out of steam and need to go home. this proved to be a wise decision as we left about 10 minutes in to the games and you've seen what happened in the car

here is my boss transporting water on his head:

and here are some other colleagues getting wet:

it's like a saunarium in my office today thanks to the lack of committment shown by our aircon machine. still. it's all good fun


interestingly there's no maximum temperature rules for UK offices. here's the official guidance. There's a man trying to mend it somewhere in the building so hopefully we'll be icey cool again by tomorrow.

yeah, two weeks off work (if i ever get through today). so i've set the blog up to run without me for a few days and we can catch up again next weekend.

so, if you stick to the main index page you'll get new content every day. what a treat.

if you are an rdf-feeder (don't ask if you don't know) then you'll possibly get nothing for a while. i'll try and keep an eye on comment spam.

automatic post updating

the world of telecom regulation is a funny old thing. there's not many of us. here are two people who do similar jobs for other companies. it's colin and nancy. nancy is the fincy of matt the webserver landlord. see how it all fits together ?

one day i'll draw you a big family tree type thing and you'll understand everything. but for now, why don't you start your own funkypancake family tree and we can compare the results ?


finally the Starbucks next to Ofcom, the telecoms regulator where i spend lots of my week, has got wifi ! So, at last i can access my emails when i have 'trapped time' between meetings.

they have nice cakes and funky music too. i can see myself spending a lot of time in here ...


here is walter attacking himself with some wires.


here is jim in a bow tie. when i started working here i used to sit next to jim, but now he's in a different building. it's nice to see him over here and i thought you'd like to see him too.


i'm giving a talk at a conference in september and they've asked for a head and shoulders picture to accompany my written paper. so i stood by the window as john the telecoms engineer took my photo.

it was hard to strike a balance between total fool and utter nutter. but i think i managed it.

it took me ages to put all that masking tape across the window.


and here is one i took of me looking more jovial:

apologies for this unnecessary me-ness. it doesn't happen very often (thankfully)

it's another day of manic working from home trying to meet my last current horrible deadline (before the next horrible deadlines come along tomorrow) ...

having dragged myself out of bed at 4.30 i was keen to get straight to work. but the world of computers is never that helpful and i ended up having to reinstall Acrobat reader to read a document.

somewhere in this process, this little message popped up which i read as 'recomposting data' which is a much nicer concept. perhaps it's a form of 'organic digitalisation'.


you'll be pleased to know that everything is working well again.

here is poorly pete. he popped in to work to say hello on the way back from a hospital visit yesterday. he says hello. (well he did to us in the office anyway, so i suspect he'd say hello to you call too).


it's deadline galore at work at the moment. but things might calm down after next week (i hope)

meanwhle i've just finished a 13 hour working day. i started at 4.15am and have just decided to stop. unfortunately i'm working from home so no-one realy knows that.

so i thought i'd tell you instead.

thanks for listening


pete's gone flying round scotland. as you do.

we've been taking it in turns wearing his shoes round the office.

of course we haven't as anotherman's shoes are his castle. but i did take a photo of them:

are these people checking for localness ?


i've been on a voice call all morning. whilst chatting i noticed some disquiet outside my office window. it was harry and the drinks machine man.

apparently there had been a mix up with plastic cups. can you BELIEVE this kind of thing can happen in the modern world.

luckily our man Harry spotted the problem and everything is alright again now.

here is 'harry two cups' with the vexatiously varient vessels:

if you think the blog entries today have been a bit tedious, then you haven't seen what my working day has been like ! it's all thanks to all the stuff published here yesterday. Yes, they are all as exciting as they sound. [actually some of them are quite exciting but you won't catch me admitting that in public]


but never mind. because it's now the bank holiday weekend. hoorah for 3 days of non-work (for me at least - jane's still marking exam papers).

i've just received a letter in our internal mail with these two post-its randomly attached to the envelope. very mysterious.


update: interestingly the contents of the letter was from (and about) Wales. makes you think ...

walter is one of my colleagues. he's been on holiday for a week and now he'd back. he's still in the holiday mood and was pleased to model his new baseball hat.



we've not had an odd-job-pete update for a while. so here he is mending his watch.

do you see he's got a needle and thread ? that's so he can do a stitch in time.


my colleague john just sent me this picture he took of me working at my desk viewed from his desk. he's such a cheeky chap.

i look deep in thought because i was.


here is the lecture theatre i'm about to speak at !


it turns out my colleague john is a wire-worker. his chosen medium is the telephone wire.


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here is my colleague walter with drinks and foods.



here's a thing of use from MSN. if you are a young'un or have young'uns and you want to use the interwebular safely then go there and see. or something.


it's 100 days until the olympics. here is Beth Tweddle a UK olympic team person and she won some medal at the last olympics. (i know as much about sport as i do about flowers)


i had a media training thing at work today which was very funny.

here is me (I?) doing an appalling pretend TV interview.

i've got my eyes closed in this picture. i'm probably trying to block the whole thing from my mind.

you'll be relieved to know that i've decided to stick to blogging rather than becoming a TV presenter.


remember this ? well it ended up in a magazine like this (full page on the left and blown up on the right):
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i've become nothing more than a commodity. a brand to be bought and sold on ebay. there'll be taxidermists knocking at my door next.

to lighten the mood, here is a picture of walter showing us how firemen put out fires (by blowing on them).

with his headset telephone he looks like he could be a contender for the next pop idol.


here is john outside my office drinking from a giant water bottle. he's been constantly thirsty ever since he got bitten by that foaming-mouthed dog a few weeks ago.


here's the team having a conference call in my office -harry, pete and john. the other participants are down my phone.


today, hopefully, i shall be dining up here at lunch time. i'm really hoping the sky will stay as clear and blue as it is right now. unlikely though i think.


so no updates til this evening again. how did you get on with your pancakes by the way ?

it was a big awards night for the industry i work in last night. my company won two awards, but the real highlight for me was the triangular arctic-roll chocolate cake. i wasn't the only one who was impressed

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i discovered that if you stuck your face against the transparent plastic award you could achieve a highly upleasant effect. It also make an attractive dagger.
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i gave a talk this afternoon as part of a regulatory conference at the Royal Institute of Great Briitian. It's an amazing place bursting full of historical science.

the lecture hall we were in was where faraday first demonstrated electricity (around the mid 1800s). it's also where they do those christmas lectures you see on TV at ... er ... christmas.

Faraday's table (the lecturing desk) has little gas pipes either side of the main desk for bunsen burners (which i didn't use).

and i got to stand and wave my arms around and point at photos i'd taken of street cleaning vehicle to explain the progress of Broadband Internet access in the UK. how bizarre/fantastic is that !


in the world of work it's possible to collect a large number of complimentary pens. occasionally you'll go to a meeting and they'll also provide some paper. even less occasionally you'll be furnished with gratuitous confectionary.

i went to a meeting earlier today, and in addition to free wi-fi access the venue provided little mint sweets which looked just like those Pez sweets which were very popular when i was a little girl.

i only wished i had a funny plastic dispenser thing. perhaps next year they'll provide the dispensers as well. hopefully in the shape of the people who were running the meeting.


the modern office is a delicate equilibrium. things are created and destroyed following a careful and seemingly endless pattern.

letters are written on word processors, printed out, put in envelopes, posted, opened, read and destroyed, and/or filed, but whatever, mostly eventually land filled.

each piece of equipment in the office has its nemesis. for the printer, it's legion: the dustbin, the shredder, the recycling bag etc.

for the stapler it's the staple remover (seen here). it could be argued the remover is only needed when mistakes are made.

but i say removing staples is just part of the process.


i love my stapler. it's grip is great. and you can store it vertically on its nose.

it's 4am and i'm sitting here working. the early bird catches the worm. but i think even the worms are still asleep.

it's kezia's birthday today and i've got a ton of work to do so this seemed the best plan. we'll see ...

i was working from home today and to my surprise a man arrived at my window.

why was it a surprise you ask ? well, it's because my office at home is upstairs.

how can he hear my thoughts you ask again ? i cannot answer that question without revealing secrets, sorry

meanwhile, outside my house there was loud dance music and a familiar flashing orange light. i looked again and the man outside my window was in a basket.

"my Lord", i cried, (displaying a rare use of a capital letter) and ran outside with esther and kezia to show them the mobile disco which had pulled up outside our house. the exact same sort i had seen yesterday.


this picture, taken outside our front door, appeals to me from a gravitational pull point of view. the man (who is actually cleaning the street lights and checking the bulbs despite none of them being broken) is dangling over the pavement whilst his van is parked on the other side of the street. he's chosen to hover over some parked cars for dramatic effect.

i may tell you a bit more about street lightbulbs in a moment ... (and so i did)

here is harry looking mouse-like with his fan behind him.


i was lucky enough to be invited to an event in London Aquarium hosted by BT. There were lots of current and ex-colleagues there and i really enjoyed the evening.

I got lost looking for the toilets at one point and ended up wandering around the museum on my own which was very bizarre. just me, the fish and a couple of turtles.

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here is a man in with the sharks:

... tedious beyond belief.

but life is like that sometimes and days like this are rare.

highlight of the day was someone describing something as 'same meat, different gravy'. i chuckled, but no one else did.

there was more dangling today. walter was so excited by what was going on that he pointed at john and laughed


nerd alert - switch off now if you aren't interested in telecoms regulation ...

i've noticed that a number of people have ended up at this site looking for the Oftel / Ofcom Review of the retail leased lines, symmetric broadband origination and wholesale trunk segments markets. How disappointed they would have been to end up here.

So, as a service to the telecommunications industry, here is a link to the main document. It seems to have got lost on the Ofcom site. I'll have a word with their webman and see what happens.

the same people might also be interested in the Ofcom broadband review and the discontinuation notices


remember sara ? well, she's leaving to go round the world tomorrow so she had a do this evening.

i was only there for a short while as i had to go to another event with MPs, Cabinet Members, Lords, Earls and ... Floella Benjamin (the beaded hair children's presenter from my youth) !


today is a day of reading regulatory documents, hence nothing exciting is likely to happen. which is a shame. but there we go. i'll keep you posted.


i work with this chap. he's decided to take a photo of himself every day. i like that idea. a lot. he also takes photos of road paint. another good idea

click the pictures for more of the sane same:

what better way to start the week than with a picture of pete. this is him viewed through the safety glass in the office door.


the new carpet has arrived and it looks good. they've done a very nice job which is rare in these days of cowboy builders (never trust a workman on a horse, or indeed one carrying a gun)


i'll be here there and everywhere today. hopefully nothing will go pie-shaped.

odd job pete showed me how to bind a document today. i chose to bind a copy of the RIPA. Pete taught me well and said "you can do this bit, it's easy" or words to that effect.

i inserted my document in to the squasher and ended up with this mess:


after a happy 10 minutes unpicking the metal bits, pete himself inserted the document and got a perfect result. i didn't take a photo of pete's one as it was too good.

i'm doomed to a life of hamfistedness

i know you like pictures of random people, so here is another one.

this is a man who doesn't work in our building. he works in another building. but he turned up here today. and he was quite soggy hence the kagoool


whatever happened to sally, sara and ash you ask ? well, when i moved downstairs they moved over to our other office. Since i was there for the monday-morning meeting i popped in to say hello.

Sara wasn't there, but sally and ash both say hello. Here they are with their window view. they can see a golfing man on a rooftop and a big red helicopter.


Later, i arrived back at my desk to be informed that the carpets on the stairwell are being replaced so we've got to use the lift today.

Here is walter explaining the carpet situation:

a late office xmas lunch today at the place which sells gypsy's arms. This time we had meat on a stick dangling from a fancy hook thing.

There aren't that many vertical foods. kebabs are the only ones i can think of. i'm sure others can think of food which is served skyward.


companies are a lot more interested in their employees welfare these days. not just at work, but at home too. they realise that a good home life is as important a motivator as a fat pay cheque.

they've obviously concluded that children aren't part of this plan as they have provided some sterilising tablets for our consumption.

They have recently appeared next to our drinks machine, so possibly we have already been consuming them without realising it ? the proof - in the three weeks since i moved floor, no one from the office has got pregnant.


it's the first day back to work for most people so transport misery is guaranteed. so i decided to beat they system and get up at 5am instead of 6am and arrive at work an hour earlier at 7.10am, which meant arriving at paddington at 6.30. this idea was kezia's. she helped me by shouting and crying from 4.30 thus preventing any further sleep from occuring.


getting IN to the office at that time proved more of a challenge than getting out of bed.

troubled with spam ? want to complain to the official body responsible for policing spam in the UK ?


if so, then you'll want to print off this massive form and post it to them.

like how long is that going to take ? good to see they've got the hang of this modern technology thing.

there were no cups in the drinks machine this morning so it wouldn't dispense. a very nice man came along and it turns out there were cups in there, but just not in the right place. these things happen occasionally apparently.


i complimented the man on his machine, because it's the first drinks machine i've found which dispenses drinks of hot water which actually tastes nice. Usually selecting 'hot water' is just a pipe cleaning option which ends up tasting like old tea/coffee.

"how so" ? i asked. "here so" he replied and pointed to the dedicated hot water pipe (the white one on the right)


pete has featured widely just recently. the reason, of course, is because he is so blog worthy. he also enjoys seeing himself on the internet (he's of that generation). hello pete !

i spotted him coming out the equipment room this morning wearing his blue house coat with pen in top pocket and a clip board. you don't get much better than that.

i'm hoping he'll get a pair of safety glasses for christmas to set the whole look off


here we are at our office christmas party.


here is rather nice red juice stain from my sweet


it was never like this on the 3rd floor. following the american example of 'whooping up the day', pete and i did brief spot of competitive juggling. needless to say, the multi-tasking master beat me hands down.

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here is pete. he's the first aid bloke, and configures our telephone exchange. he's also the cleaning man.


i've never had my own office before, and i suspect i won't have for much longer after this. they can take away my office but they can't take away the memories !

here it is from the inside:
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and here is a from the outside.

opening party at 4pm. be there or be elsewhere ...


walter getting ready and the main door opening ceremony:
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the opening of my office and harry's office:
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laura was concerned that you might all still be worried about her thumb after the incident on wednesday.

the good news is she is still alive, the bad news is the thumb has turned a different colour


apparently laura went to the cinema last night and removed the plaster so she could enjoy an unimpeded cinematic experience. unfortunately this may have been a little premature and the open wound, in conjunction with a bag of salted popcorn proved a little painful.


she was very keen to point out that she does wash her hands and that the grit and grime on her thumb is probably gangreen or something.

pete , the first aid bloke, was unavailable for comment.

it's desk moving day today so it's good bye to my old desk:

and it's good bye to ash, sara and sally:

rarely a day goes by in the modern office without some minor disaster of some sort. despite insolating ourselves in cotton wool as per the health and safety rules and regulation we occasionally manage to injure ourselves.

today, it was the turn of receptionist Laura to become mangled by the paper shredder. upon hearing of her injury i instantly put the first aid procedure in to place and phoned our first aid warden called Pete.

He ran up the stairs, inspected the damage and then applied a plaster to the very small paper cut.

pete had a very good bedside manner and returned to check on laura 5 minutes later.

luckily everything turned out fine, but i shudder to think what could have happened if i hadn't been there to phone pete ...

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i'm moving office on friday and today is the last day on the 3rd floor. on friday i descend to the 1st floor. i'll miss the height of the 3rd floor, but i'm sure the vertically challenged 1st floor has a lot to offer.

here is the current office - i sit in the far left hand corner.


it was the office christmas party last night. my camera is a bit duff in low light so i didn't take too many shots, but here are a few:

jane and i (left), herve (right)

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will, jane, me and herve (left) and Boy 34 (right)
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i've made it my business to stalk boy 34 whenever i see him at an office do. jane told him off for ruining the website which was good of her ! Like any good employee he blamed his boss

the dti have an anti-scam site which is quite nice.

click cup for link

public service blogging at its best

UK law and the lawmaking process is quite complicated. however, there are some excellent government websites to help you find out what's going on.

Continue reading "UK law" »

the hotel i stayed in (and where the conference was) was called the Hotel Espanade. it was very nice indeed. here is a picture of a hallway and my room.

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rumour has it that this is the hotel where Michael Jackson dangled his baby out the window ! i've not been able to confirm this (jacko's lawyers aren't answering their phones at the moment for some reason)

there was some celebrity thing going on as there was a camera crew out the front of the hotel. I suspect it was some German celeb and i wouldn't have recognised them anway. so i took a photo of the camera man instead.


i was invited along by two colleagues for a meal and some drinks in the evening which was very good. it was weird going back to Berlin after only being there is September and i was quite impressed with myself for remembering how the different bits fitted together.

here are some sites (including a little bit of Christmas)

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(this is the outside of the inside). i did pop in to the church and there was an organist doing his thing which was very nice.

so, what have i been doing for the last day and a half ?

well, i went to a leaving do at oftel as some of my old colleagues from when i worked there are leaving Oftel.

here are my good friends/colleagues Phil and Keith. They mentored me when i first joined Oftel and i owe them tons for all the info and background on technical stuff they provided.


not pictured are roy and roberto who were also leaving.

i caught up with a few other people i hadn't seen for ages including this chap called Ally who i used to work with. it's brilliant when you bump in to people you haven't seen for ages.


unfortunately i only stayed there for an hour as i had to rush off to get my flight to berlin. i had a real bad case of Beer Bladder on the way to the airport as there weren't any toilets on the Heathrow Express. i managed, but only just !

esther is now officially sponsored by BT Wholesale. she seems very pleased about it.

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i'm on the edge of another mad week. i've a day trip to gatwick today for a meeting but i'll be back later to update the blog !

update: journey time to gatwick 2.30 hours. journey time back 3.20 hours. British trains are a bit rubbish.

when i got to reading people were very annoyed as we had been sitting outside the station for 30 minutes waiting for a platform to be free.

to cheer us up, all the computer screens showing the train times were broken, but had been replaced with pretty rainbows.


and to finish it off, i've just sat down at my computer and a ceramic table lamp has fallen on my head. all in all an average day (but i finally see the light)

the 2nd presentation at the OIF went fine again this morning. yesterday's topic was quite exciting and was in some ways a 30 minutes blog-type thought thing.

Today's was about how Internet providers business models work in the UK for both dial up and broadband access. Highly boring.

Interestingly, the projector blew up once i'd finished presenting which lead to an impromptu 20 minutes coffee break ! This is becoming a habit ... perhaps i need insurance.

you may remember i spent all tuesday writing presentations ? Well i got to present one of them this afternoon.

i think it went well. there were a few smiles and people seemed to enjoy it. i'd turned down the lights so low that i couldn't really see people's faces so couldn't tell if anyone had fallen asleep (i used light switch setting number 4 if you are noting these things down)

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the picture on the left shows the auditoreum.

the picture on the right shows some of the best technical brains in Britain trying to reboot a computer and get the projector working. it broke down when a poor chap was just starting his presentation. Hoorah for technical problems.

I've on more presentation on a different subject for me tomorrow and then i can relax for the weekend !

What's that ? you'd like to see the presentation ? well, you'd best go to their website and look there then

here i still sit, 15 hours after i started this morning, still working on those presentations. one is pretty much done, the other is still some way off.

i'm in meetings all tomorrow so probably won't get a chance to update the blog (or the presentations) until tomorrow evening (UK time).

yeah - finally finished one presentation and nearly done the other. It's 23:41 so i best get to bed as it's nearly time to get up for tomorrow :-/

i'm working from home today, so no exciting london street finds today i suspect. i've gone for a 5am start as my mind is more active at this time of day. and the house is absolutely silent.

the downside is that it's very chilly and i'd still really like to go back to bed.

i've got two presentations to give this week (to the NICC Open Forum and the Oftel Internet Forum). [the oftel website seems to be quite broken at the moment and even spells my name wrong which is nice]

Today i dedicate myself to their construction.

i work on the third floor of my building and it was with some surprise that i saw this man walk straight towards me from a few metres away outside the window.

it's ok for him to levitate - he's wearing a tabard.


if you look to the left of the picture you can see my head reflected in the incredibly clean windows.

a load of techies met up in our conference room yesterday. they brought a couple of switches and a load of yellow patch cables as techies love nothing more than wires, ethernet and IP.

they probably all sat there communicating with each other in total silence (except for the clickety-clickety of techy fingers) using protocols and applications we can only dream of. i suspect they didn't even have computers - perhaps they've all got techy combover hair which when parted reveals a nice RJ45 socket.


i used to be a techy. but now i'm just regulatory. (i still secretly loves wires)

i love excel. it's official. here are some sites that i love because they too love excel. i'd write my blog in excel if i could. actually, i could. i could write it in excel, save as csv then upload in to the mysql database. mmm.


Buy the MrExcel on Excel book. i'd recommend it even if you never do any excel. share the shortcuts. love the application !

my job is regulation (this story only get more boring ...)

Continue reading "what do i do all day ?" »

i'm working from home today and i got a shout that it was time for lunch. i went downstairs to find that rather than just the usual two children at the table, there were in fact 4 ! I suspect this might be a ploy by jane to try to convince me that we need more children in our life.

conversation was inspirational. i made everyone listen to New York funky hip hop. they seem to enjoy it judging by their dance moves. i ate my food as quick as possible then ran back to the quietness of my office !


here is ash. he's a serial winner. he is holding 4 free meal coupons which he found in crisp packets.

what is his secret ? being an all round nice guy probably.


you probably don't want to here about it, but here we go. it took 1hr 45 mins to get from paddington to cannon street this morning:

Continue reading "bad journey" »

for some reason the other three people in my office have comemorative t-shirts today.


corporate mugs appeared on our desk whilst i was on holiday:


i've kept mine in its protective rapper so it's worth more if i ever auction it. there is label on the bottom which says "this is photo mug. do not machine wash or place in a microwave oven. HAND WASH ONLY. do not leave in direct sunlight". it's probably best to avoid putting hot liquids in it as well just to be sure.

rumours are that corporate ashtrays were provided at a recent international company meeting. i shall provide evidence if ever i see what of these fabled devices.

a man has just wandered in to our office. he had a beard and a clipboard and stared at the ceiling for a while whilst rubbing his chin.

no one apprehended or questioned the man. maybe the clipboard made him invisible to any security measures (or people). perhaps i'm the only one who saw him ?

update: he's back again at exactly noon, and this time he is staring at the photocopier in the same detached manner.

we've heard nothing from arjan (or lucy for that matter) for ages. all we have left is a stupid teddy and a picture of arjan.

sara constructed this beautiful montage to attract comments from them.


update: as weird as a weird thing, just as I was writing this Lucy phoned up to talk to sara. the world is indeed a strange and mysterious place. or is that plaice. a very strange and mysterious plaice which is in a fact a fish. fishworld.

my work voicemails come to me by the magic of email. here is one i received whilst in berlin:
voicemail (30kb)

if it doesn't play when you click it you need to right click, 'save as' on your machine and play it from there. or just not bother.

saturday was the last day of the conference. the bloke who sat in front of me was obviously from a less well developed country and had brought his mobile phone with him in his briefcase. it consisted of a rotary dial phone and massive battery


comedy conference moment. a chap was giving his presentation very earnestly and another younger bloke wandered up to him and stood really close to him looking quite concerned. the main speaker carried on oblivious.

after a while the main speaker handed over to his mate who then presented a slide. he then handed back to the original speaker.

rather than sit down he proceeded to stand and stare at the main speaker with a really pained expression on his face. he looked like he might burst in to tears at any moment !


comedy speakers so far:

* another presenter with brown shoes

* a presenter using the word "miserable" instead of "measurable". (we all agreed when he said "this is miserable")

* a presenter using the word 'fire' instead of 'fibre' (we all felt fearful when she said "the future is fire").

"we have a leg of knowledge"

we had a drinks reception in the telecoms museum which was good. they weren't very good at pouring beer though.

i asked this guy for a beer in my bestest clearest english. he then proceeded to very slowly fill a glass with 40% beer, 60% head. he didn't look impressed by that so he tried again with another glass. and another. and another until he had 8 mostly frothy glasses in front of him.

I said "i should give up, you're not going to get the hang of that". either he agreed or didn't understand as he smiled and passed me a half full glass of froth.


conference fashion. even i know brown shoes are a bad plan

arjan left last week as you know blog-watchers. he has been replaced by something altogether more lovely. he had a pair of scissors last time i saw him, but it now looks like he's got a pen and paper. which is much safer.

new arjan.jpg

it also appears the office blew up yesterday and there were multiple casualties. glad i'm in another country

i AM actually at the conference which is actually very good. everyone i have spoken to has an agenda. a book to sell, a product concept to promote. fibre network, quality of service etc for sale.

content of rest of days looks good.


best quotes so far from the international speakers:

"I disagree, i think we can agree"
" we are firmly in the twenteenth century"
"execute - ive staff" (rather than executive staff - hachett man?)
"we will all be satisfied professionally during the conference"

wifi in the luncheon area. just my luck my work remote email access is down :-(

esther and kezia wanted to see what my room was like so here it is.
you can't see the wireless internet connection cuz it's wireless.


i wanted to log my journey so got my camera out to take a picture of the stewardesses doing their safety demonstration.

it had all started nicely with the captain saying "you may think this is boring, and indeed it is very boring, but would you please want the safety demonstration for your own safety". i notice he didn't say deadly boring. i would have if i had been the captain.

anyway, a very scarey tall chap with camoflage trousers was sitting next to me. he looked like a paramilitary chap who took the Territorial Army very seriously. (he had been to Berlin before for a party, but didn't get to see the town so was returning to stay with his american friend for 10 days it later transpired).

anyway, he looked at me with camera in hand and said "you aren't allowed to do that. no electronic devices on the plane. it intereferes with the planes' computers".

i paniced slightly and didn't know whether i should just take the photo anyway. i decided not to.

but it did give me a little confidence that he wasn't going to blow up the plane as he obviously didn't want us to crash because of my (award winning) photographic exploits.

however, i did manage to unconvince myself of that fact by suggesting to myself that he probably wanted to blow the airplane up over the North Sea or something. or hijack us whilst keeping us all alive to really scare us.

heathrow express is very expensive. man in my carriage couldnt talk without walking. he wore carpet out with a mobile phone conversation

accidentally pushed in front of a load of angry wheelchair users in burger king. luckily my server was so slow they got served quicker anyway.

plane tails are circling like shark fins. 30mins to take off


i love how unproductivity is catching. here we are celebrating lucy and arjan's leaving again.


the unwritten rule on such occasions is to remain in the venue until the most senior member of staff leaves. any earlier is seen as not being a 'team player' and later reveals you to be a slacker.

we were delighted therefore when will ordered icecream and banana.


it was then passed around the table like a last supper. we were provided with plenty of spoons which was nice.

last night it was lucy and arjan's leaving do. it will be different without them about. in particular the number of staff on our floor will reduce from 8 to 6 which is different for a start.

here is arjan:

sara got possessed by the spirit of her moustachioed 20 note

sara and herve respect each other's personal space.

everyone looked surprise most of the time

herve shows off my wooden tie

leaving dos are good for catching up with old colleagues. everyone is on their best behaviour of course

mandie left ages ago, but came back wearing the shoes that she got as a leaving present.

I'm sure someone said "what do you want when you leave Mandie" and she said "oh, a nice leaving do". someone misheard it as 'leaving shoe' and rest is history

here are the shoes:

here is mandie again, this time looking sternly at sherella (another ex-colleague)

and here she looks strangely at herve

hands up if you love maths. hands up if you love regulation. here's a treat for you people:

i'm reading a tremendous document at the moment. It's called:

"Fixed Narrowband Retail Services Market Identification and analysis of markets, Determination of market power and Setting of SMP conditions, Explanatory statement and notification"

You can get it in two parts from oftel (part1) & (part2). It's 365 pages. one for every day of the year.

it contains this terrific formula:

charge control.jpg

so, i say to you "do the math" (no 's' please)

today represents the first day back to work for lots of people. summer hols are officially over after the Bank Holiday.

and so it was with great delight that I saw the vagabond / tramp chap who sits outside the back of Middlesex Hospital. he's not been on his usual step for the last 4 weeks and i was starting to worry. i suspect he's been off on holiday somewhere. probably down to the back of a hospital south of the river

i use windows terminal client to access a server at work. i always forget the shortcut keys. particularly the ones to change the screen size (leaving me unable to get to my 'real machine' without disconnecting from the server).

here is a handy reminder for me:
186624 - Terminal Server Client Shortcut Key Combinations

what's behind this door in our office you ask ?

click for the answer


here for my remembrance as much as anyone else's is a link to a voice-conferencing service called powwownow.

You call a national rate number 0870 22 333 44 and enter any old PIN number. there is no set up fee, registration or extra usage charges.

So to make a voice conference you just need to make up a 6 to 9 digit long PIN number (eg the last load of digits from your phone number), tell the other in your voiceconference the PIN and what time to phone the 0870 22 333 44 number.

It's all very good.

Advert over ...

i write to you as a sad failure. i just tried to whip my office in to a frenzy by holding an impromptu disco (an illegal desk-based rave maybe). we had music by Apples In Stereo pumping out from my PC and I even jiggled my shoulders slightly.

unfortunately after approximatly 40 seconds i realised no one else was interested so i turned the music off again and steadied my shoulders.

i'm not sure where i went wrong. might have something to do with the auditors being in the building and most of my desk-mates being accountants ? either on its own could stop the groovest of discoteques. together they are a lethal combination.

i await feedback from my colleagues as to why my 'disco project' failed.

i got annoyed today at work. doesn't happen much, but i'm sick of people commenting when i leave to go home at 4.45pm. i often work on the train on the way in, i'm in the office around 8.15, usually don't stop for lunch and usually end up doing extra work in the evenings. when i work from home i usually do even longer hours as i'm keen people don't think i'm skiving.

Continue reading "working hours" »

you have to feel sorry for the machines in this weather. people and animals can have a drink and cool down. if you are a machine you are simply a slave to your environment. especially if your job is to cool the environment.

the aircon in the building is having a very bad day today. Here is a small snippet of some of the sounds it is producing this morning:
Download wav file (25KB) It sounds rather poorly. aw bless.

update: what it actually sounds like is a deep fat fryer

it's sara's brithday tomorrow so she has brought some cakes today. cake eating in the office is good.
I used to work for an organisation which would shut down for 15 minutes every morning and the whole company would go to a common room and drink tea. they would do the same in the afternoon and drink coffee. it had a really cool laid back atmosphere. they also used to have a company meeting once a week where people prayed for the work of the organisation.

it was over 13 years ago I worked for UCCF. maybe the tea/coffee breaks are gone now ?

ooops. i accidentally sent an email entitled "mad french people" to the MD of one of my company's european subsidiary.

The email was an invitation to go see LesGrooms at lunchtime. i suspect he won't fly over to the UK for that particular treat.

my advice to you today is to send your most random email to a senior member of staff in your organisation. To enhance the effect, send to someone who lives in another country/culture who you have never met

it looks like another hot day today. news reports say the trains are going to be bad again, so i'm glad i'm working from home today. no aircon at home though ...

i checked my local station online timetable and it's currently (7am) showing train times from 5pm yesterday. this happens when the trains are so delayed they don't know what to put on the boards. oh dear.

commuter misery promised for journeys home tonight. seems trains are to run slow because it's too hot according to the BBC news.

it's times like these when people turn to the church. their cool interiors are ideal for days like these. Though not ideal for transporting people from work to their earthly home, they are good at pointing you to your spiritual home.

following the table dancing of a few days ago, arjan has decided to prove he can go from one side of the room to the other by dangling from the roof.


unnoticed by most people, the communications act became law today. this marks the beginning of a new era for telecommunication (and tv) regulation.

oftel marked the occasion by sending me a pile of paper in 12 different envelopes.
total height of the combined contents is 2.2cm.

the sentence everyone is asking today is "did you feel that". Our whole building is shaking because of a drilling digger thing going on next door.

herve was sceptical this morning, prompting Sara to repeatedly ask "can you feel it now".

here is the beast causing the tremours:

i once got an email from one of our sales people who speaks in 'jive'. he ended one very cryptic email with the phrase "do you feel me ?".

I didn't.

see how the elderly gentleman standing next to me is admiring my new found fashion sense (shirt: liquidation sale 6, wooden tie 6euros)

here i am again, this time with some ladies.

photos by herve

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