2014 — 1 March: Saturday — rabbits!

A frosty start to the new month.1

Work/Life "balance"...

... is a Good Thing — a view2 that I've long adhered to. Women (and, specifically, mothers) have a harder time than men in achieving it. This is a Bad Thing. And just yesterday, when I was browsing the white-hot howls of reaction following (as night follows day) the latest round of job cuts in IBM, I couldn't help feeling I was merely being offered further evidence that I had been correct to be more than somewhat cynical (me? Yes, I know it's hard to believe) about the annual charade of signing off on one's agreement to the employee ranking and the performance appraisals that were so visibly disconnected from it. And that a variety of senior IBM executives had been far less correct (though I don't doubt even more cynical) than me.

From a completely non-IT perspective, that of US foreign policy, here comes further confirmation. Source and snippet:

The long hours and pervasive crisis atmosphere that characterize most foreign-policy workplaces aren't signs that Very Important Work is being done by Very Important People — they're just signs of poor management. Good managers, whether they supervise air-traffic controllers, auto workers, or the National Security Staff, recognize that human beings function best when they work in humane and flexible conditions....

Rosa Brooks in FP

I mention it because the BBC just kindly informed me that Obama is "deeply concerned" at the implications of Russia contemplating military action in the Ukraine, and I was wondering if the average US citizen even knows (or cares) where the Ukraine is. A further disconnect, if you ask me.

The three snail mails...

... waiting patiently for me on my doormat inform me, in decreasing order of importance, that:

  1. I still have a "normal" bowel cancer screening test result for my most recent guvmint-sponsored bi-annual game of Poo sticks.
  2. I have been paid a smidgin over £100 gross interest on my current account this year. But that generous rate (5%) is now (after my first full year with them) dropping to 1% and is in any case only paid on the first £2,500 in the account. Their small print unhelpfully adds:
    "The gross, tax, and net totals for the credit interest that you have received are not the totals to put on your annual tax return."
    I still recall the chat I had with a nice Tax Lady who told me I would receive no further Tax Returns unless I received £100K/year or more.
  3. Some misinformed chaps in "the City" wish to "manage my wealth". They are welcome to try to find it.

Now back to our regular programmes. Mike, by the way, enjoyed "Game of Thrones" every bit as much as I did, and has forked out his own £55 for his own Blu-ray set of the first three seasons. I am rapidly approaching the end of Book 1, and am pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing. And the wellies came in extremely handy for one short section of today's walk (right before Barbara's bench, as it happens), but did not take at all kindly to being folded into the backpack, splitting neatly along a section of the seam. Drat!

On the face...

... of it, this is a very depressing audio / music development, surely? Plus, it reminds me of that 1958 JG Ballard story "Track 12" for obvious reasons. (Link.)



1  And a walk planned, for which I gather wellies will be needed at one low point.
2  Along with the benefits of cleanliness and Mom's Apple Pie.