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The story continues...

So I am paired with another girl, the two of us doing the "menage" (men-ahj), or swishing the floor, cleaning stuff, emptying bins... She asked to be put on the production line and was told no. Marvellous, huh? I think she got the same bull from the ANPE; and perhaps the company hires more people than they need because of the high drop-out rate, and they pick who they want from who stays, the rest getting the crap jobs hoping they'll drop themselves out... or am I being overly cynical?

I plan to stick at this. My week should have brought in around €250 in my pocket. 1 week down, 11 to go. My aim is to get broadband here at home instead of this ridiculous nonsense with going to libraries, mediathèques, and the like. I owe a huge debt of thanks to Ewen for updating my website each week. I can upload the tar file to the server, but that's all I can do as ssh and telnet are both firewalled. And there are times like "blahblah doesn't work, why?" and it could be looked up in moments to find out that there is some arcane incantation or magic value to pass to the thing. Not to mention updating my site as and when, getting/replying to emails quickly...


MTV VMA 25, channels, and such

I am currently watching the MTV VMAs on MTV:DE ("25 Jahre VMA") and I am thinking it is only the first time I've watched Germany's MTV from the satellite at 19.2°E. I say that because I did say on my satellite pages about the DiSEqC switcher that I was looking forward to Germany's music selection... Only MTV doesn't seem to play music all that often, and pretty much every time I've looked at Viva it seems to be phone-in gaming...

As it turns out, on the other satellite I spend most of my time watching:

  1. BBC World
    If there is something I'd like to watch, and I spot it in the teletext schedules. I also get much of my news from BBC World's teletext.
  2. NRJ Hits
    Sometimes on 'in the background', though I tend to watch the "French Music Only" section when it is on.
  3. TV5 Monde (Swiss)
    Sometimes a film, sometimes the Canadian series "Caroline". It is useful that the channel offers a week's worth of schedules on teletext.
  4. TV5 Monde Europe (Swiss)
    Wednesday evenings, "La Carte Aux Trésors". It is a bit like a two-team Treasure Hunt; though to be honest I think I preferred it back in Sylvain's era. Not because Natalie is a bad presenter, but I find the programme to have become simpler - all too often the teams go to the same places at the same times; plus that stuff with the phone-things is a bit gimmicky; plus the challenges are unfairly weighted in favour of the men.
    It seems, from the programmes that I have seen, that men are better at applying brute force in a specific direction but are walked all over by the women when lateral thinking is required. The thing is, the programme starts with some sort of physical challenge, like kayaking down a river, jet-skiing, etc, which tends to favour the men. Additionally, the programme used to have time restrictions and run more or less in real-time. They've done away with that and they cut out bits and replace it with naff "be excited" graphics. It is like they are aiming the programme at the mindless. Or, in other words, an ITV makeover.

Talking of mindless, I recorded both episodes of "Ghost Whisperer" on Wednesday to put into the computer. I got one in, converted it, pasted the bits together (as my capture card tends to stop capture upon any picture disturbance). On Friday I taped "Ugly Betty" was was so damn tired I forgot to stop the VCR and recorded right over the final "Ghost Whisperer" (episode 1-22). God knows how long it will be until I can see that - it is on at 5pm on Sundays on E4, this Sunday they are showing the one where a twin's ghost wants to apologise - that was from near the beginning of the series. Still, I'm missing episode 1-06 and episode 1-15 recorded without the sound (my computer seems to do that from time to time, hence why I record on videotape as well, I can always get the sound separately and merge the two streams together).


This week

This week I'm on late, 13h00 to 21h00 (!). Hope to get some stuff done around it. The sucky part is I have to do a Saturday (20th, only very exceptionally will we do Saturdays, according to the brochure) and that is followed by a 5am start on Monday. Bloody horrid. Still, I believe the second part of "Lord Of The Rings" is on C4 at 7pm British, which means 8pm French, so if I get home quickly I can catch it on C4+1 not so long after 9pm. Well, that's the plan... Not that I'm a fan or anything, it's just I watched The Fellowship Of The Ring yesterday, so might as well follow on with the story?


To contemplate

Why is it the more useless people - the company directors and "middle management" get paid more for doing less, while the harder working people are on low wages? I wouldn't say that my job is essential in the scheme of things, but nurses and janitors and binmen... it's one of the worries about a genetically modified populace. Everybody will want smart kids who will go get 'successful jobs' raking in lots of money. But the world probably needs another street sweeper more than it needs another stock broker. If everybody is doing the cushy jobs, who will tidy up? Who will keep the place looking respectable? Look what has happened in Milan (it is Milan, isn't it?) following a long-running dispute with refuse collections. Such people should be paid a little more and respected a lot more.

Likewise, the government obviously needs to be putting into place some sort of restrictions for immigration, but they want to be careful how hard they are. For example a "pakistani" corner shop (all the ones I know were Sikh, so they must have been Indian...) is part of the culture of Britain, as are curry houses - is it random cosmic mistake that a football song a while back was "vindaloo" repeated over and over? I think not. Likewise, the Chinese takeaway (or fish&chip shop) staffed by actual Chinese people. I bet the average worker in one of those places would fail the assessment - probably not a necessary career, probably not enough money in the bank, and probably not highly trained... but where would the country be without its diverse range of takeaways? When I lived for a while in Bridgwater and I felt depressed and fed up, I'd phone the Chinese place up the road. Walk up twenty minutes later, pick up my order - special fried rice and beef chow mein x2. Walk back, tip it onto a big plate and pig out and eat the lot. I'm not sure if a good stuffing made me feel better or if it was the MSG hit, but they were my 'rescue' food of choice. Not the McDonald's (not since they stopped selling rootbeer, the b*stards), not the KFC, and not even The Admiral Blake (a chippie, not a pub) though they made a nice chicken-burger. There's just something so nice about a lot of oriental food. Okay, not anything with fish - about the only fish I'll touch is salmon, cod, and those generic whites (hake, hoki, etc etc). You know, fish that don't really taste of fish. But there are loads of little delights that are non-fishy and oh-so-nice. A beef chow-mein, a chicken teriyaki, chicken and lemon and a soy'd noodle base, beef balls 'sashimi', beef sukiyaki, or even just a pack of pasta with Suzi Wan's "Cantonese" sauce poured over it...


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