All bow to our new robot masters…

 

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I quite liked turning up to work this morning and seeing the robo mower trundling about, it’s like a pet. Myself and Dan tried playing with it for a while, standing in robo-mow’s way so that it turned around. But I guess it got annoyed, because then it started charging at our feet, little blades whirring away. Mike just shouts at it like it’s a disobedient dog (‘Go on! Get back in your hutch!’) or complains about its mowing skills (‘Look! It’s cut the grass too low!’ ‘It’s wrecked those edges!’) Mateo sneers at it, (‘You fuckin’ bastard!’)

While I do like the innocent nature of the robo-mow, I’m not sure it’s going to work out as a new member of our team. It has no method to its mowing, just trundles in a straight line until it hits something, then turns at any old angle and shuffles off. Such a random method takes ages to cut all the grass. That’s fine on a small, fairly regular patch of grass, but we need it to cut one of the huge, oddly shaped lawns that continue across paths. I’m not sure it would ever finish.

My plan is to see if I can retrain it as a robot dog. I’d enjoy the company while I’m working, and if any of the residents start to give me trouble, little pooch can scare them off. Not sure how to do this though, any ideas?

The rise of the robots

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‘It’s the beginning of the end!’ wailed Mike. ‘You see, we’ll all be gone by Christmas. Unemployed!’

We all perked up at the thought.

Anyway, you’re wondering what’s happened to distress the usually calm and collected Mike. Our benevolent rulers have bought a robotic lawnmower. (Why the designers chose that name and not robomo, I can’t imagine.) Since Mike is our main mower, and as the oldest, gets a bit paranoid about losing his job (he has no need to, everyone loves him and our place of work would decay to a soulless husk within weeks without him) he sees the robomo as a direct threat.

‘Look at him, evil, lurking,’ said Mike as the happy little robot trundled along. The rest of us started making plans for googly eyes or deely boppers to decorate our new robot colleague, while Mike made plans for a terrible accident to occur. Our boss kindly informed Mike that this robot is not seen as a replacement, but as a way to free up our time for other gardening, but Mike isn’t convinced.

‘This is how it starts!’ he whispered to me.

Have any of you had to worry about automation taking your job?

When computers first started to get clever enough to do our jobs, they promised us a life filled with leisure instead of work. I don’t why that suddenly became Humans, you are obsolete! Keep out the way and starve quietly!

Complain! Complain! Complain!

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An allium

Any of you keeping track might know that I bought a new laptop a few days ago. And in many ways it is great – it doesn’t take half an hour to open Word, it doesn’t crash at the sight of WordPress and it’s not held together by elastic bands and bulldog clips.

However, there’s one small problem. When I was looking at the website, the size of the hard drive was listed as two different amounts: 1 terabyte (huge!) and 250 gigabytes (foolishly small). After reading the reviews and asking Hamoudi what he thought, we came to the conclusion that it had two hard drives and one was 250GB and the other was 1TB. We were both wrong.

So what turned up was a laptop that has only 250 GB of space, once I put photos and music on it, it was half full. So I wrote to the dealers, and said very sweetly, ‘YOU LIED TO ME’.

A nice woman wrote back asking for proof of the misleading website, which I sent, she said ‘Urrr, ok I’ll get back to you in a bit.’ I said ‘cool, btw I don’t want to return the laptop, I just want to be compensated for the external hard drive I’ll have to buy.’

Yesterday afternoon I checked my email, nothing. Then late last night the doorbell rang with a parcel for me. It was an external hard drive for 1 terabyte. No note, still no email, but exactly what I wanted. That they didn’t contact me to tell me it was coming made this an obvious shut up and go away gesture, which is fine by me, I love being paid off.

Complaining can work, my friends. Just don’t abuse it.

Word of the day: Gudgeon  – a person easily cheated

“there’s no defense except all the errors made”

 Charles Bukowski, Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit

Hey la day la the mice are back

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No pressure.

The mice are back, so Mike spent lunchbreak with his feet up on the bench shouting. But look at the little fella, isn’t he just adorbs! The other two were quite cute too, although Mike’s sinister claim that they’ll ‘Get bigger, they start out all small, but they’ll get bigger,’ may lead to issues over space.

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Lurking mouse
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Bold mouse

 

Brennan is alive and, well…

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Just throwing this piece of Artificial Inspiration out there, because it may very well be right.

So I saw Brennan! He’s alive! He wasn’t even walking with his head down!

(For anyone passing by who doesn’t know, Brennan is a man who walks slowly up and down my street with his head hanging so low it’s as if his neck is elastic.)

He was still walking slowly, but head up. I was probably staring trying to work out if it was him or not (I’ve never properly seen his face) and then I realised it was. And he was now looking at me, so I smiled shyly.

And he leered in response. And I don’t mean a nervous smile gone wrong, or a slight sneer, I mean a full-throttle, Bela-Lugosi-vampire, lip-twisting leer. I don’t think I’ve even see that face live on a human before. It reminded me of this Uno Morales cartoon (if you don’t know the rest of the cartoon, you don’t want to). Except that Brennan’s eyes were more hollowed out, looked almost bruised.

If I assume that Brennan hasn’t been possessed by demons, then he is a deeply troubled man, at least when he’s looking at me. Think I need to steer clear of him and accept that I’m terrible at making friends. I may be cursed.

Word of the day: weirdward – bordering upon the supernatural

Wise words for a sorry world

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Well here’s some inspiration I actually agree with!

Then today the scaffolding was down and the painters had gone. I was wondering yesterday how they would paint underneath where the scaffolding was against the wall/step. The answer is: they wouldn’t, they’d leave it unpainted. UWnpainted squares all over the walls and ground.

 

 

At least there’s no way the landlady can pin this on us.

A wise aspiration for us ALL

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Quite a few politicians at the moment seem to be making the leap from self-interested-and-incompetent to fucking-despotic. So AI has come up with a great ambition to aim for.

Word of the day: Barbarocracy – government by barbarians

I’ve been a bit confused about how our painters have been painting the house. They’ve got scaffolding up which is attached to the wall, covering small sections of it. It also rests on the steps that they’re painting a nice cheery red. But how can they paint under/behind the scaffolding? Will they do those bits after?

No sign of Brennan, the sad walking man. It’s been days now.

The unexpected dangers of painting

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Artificial Inspiration gave me nice poster today! I feel all validated.

A couple of friendly painters put up scaffolding outside my house yesterday. It’s odd, because my house isn’t big, I’m sure a ladder would have been fine, but maybe it’s safer this way. I offered tea, but they didn’t want it.

Then today they were burning off the old paint from the side of the house with a blow torch. I’ve not heard of this method before, is it normal? Anyway, I’d been in about an hour when the doorbell rang. One of the friendly painters was at the door with a sheepish grin hiding behind his curly beard.

‘Hello, I’m sorry to bother you, but I just need to have a look at your window from the inside. You see, I think it’s on fire.’ He didn’t seem in a huge rush, so we trundled up to my flat chatting about the patchy weather.

He was right, it was on fire. Wisps of smoke were wafting across the lounge. Apparently a bit of fluff inside the window had caught alight. I got him a glass of water to put it out. He poured the water over the sill, thanked me politely and went back outside to pick up his blow torch. He still didn’t want a cup of tea.

Word of the day (one of the finest ever): ucalegon – neighbour whose house is on fire.

I’ve never been able to use this word in real life, but today I’m proud to have given my neighbour the opportunity.