Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Computer says no

Or more accurately, boom.
My computer had an 'episode' yesterday. It's been coming for a while, but it finally kicked the bucket around dinner time. I've tried changing the graphics card, and both hard drives, but no luck. I think it's the motherboard (or rather, hoping it is as my hard drive contains all my music, films, bank account details, entire life etc...), but as I built the thing about 2 years ago - and chip designers seem intent on changing how many pins their processors have every 2 days - it's proving harder than I imagined trying to get a new one.
It's time like these that you realise just how much you rely on the interweb. Back when I was at school, we had these weird things called 'books' instead, though to be honest, they did have some advantages like being able to work in a power cut. But now, I find myself pacing the room and foaming at the mouth occasionally. No longer can I type in my postcode on google streetmaps and see what the outside of my flat looks like, no longer can I while away the hours looking up facts of dubious authenticity on Wikipedia. In fact, about only entertainment I have is to
try one of these.

Still got my work laptop at least, it's one of those 'take anywhere as long as you don't mind lifting 40 pounds and a battery life of 23 seconds' jobbies that they found at the back of a store room, Better than nothing I suppose, and it does stop me from sitting naked and rocking in the corner of a dark room like Robert Downey Jnr did for most of the 90s.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Sainsburys, and why I hate it.

For those of you who are unaware of Sainsburys, it's a large grocery chain in the UK, a bit like Tesco or Walmart.

I wrote this from bitter experience of the one near me for part of the novel I'm still writing. The central character is a bit more bitter and twisted than me, so it's a bit more scathing. It's also just a first draft, so still a bit rough...

I hate this place. It's an asylum, a place where the lost and confused get dumped by uncaring relatives so that they can forget them. Pensioners wonder aimlessly through the aisles, attached to their trolleys like a life support. Single men squeezing melons to find a ripe one, confused looks on their faces. A woman holds a coconut next to her ear and shakes it, God knows why.

The refrigerated aisle is littered with half empty cages of steel wire whilst a man in an orange fleece slowly puts chicken madras for one on an empty shelf, one by one, occasionally checking use by dates and shuffling them around.

That's the worst thing about this place. Worse than the lost pensioners who've been trapped in here for days - zig zagging at a glacial pace in search of an exit, worse than the mothers with their screaming children parking their trolleys sideways across the aisles by the cheese; worse than all of these is the atrocious stock management. Around every corner and down every aisle it's littered with steel cages half full of whatever. People in orange fleeces taking things out one by one, blocking the aisle so only one trolley pushed by a moron with no sense of urgency or the passage of time can meander at their own pace past them. And despite this, the place has the feel of communist Russia; half empty spaces where the bread should be, a drastic shortage of semi-skimmed milk but an abundance of sterilised. I don't know how they manage it, people stocking shelves all day but there's never any food. It's like an episode of the twilight zone, some shelve stacker's own personal nightmare I've somehow been trapped in.

A sign where the eggs should be lies to me. If there's a country-wide shortage of free range, then where are Asda getting there's from? Well?

And we'll end with a funky choon. This just makes me want to jump around the living room: