A blog of few words…

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From underneath a weeping willow

Sorry I’ve not been around for a few days, I’ll do some catching up on my blog reading in a minute. I hope you’ve all been keeping out of mischief; or in mischief, if that’s your thing. I spent the weekend finishing a draft of the book I’m writing, oh and watching the film Us it was great.

Today our robot mower was causing trouble, although that’s not so much Momo’s fault as Mike stirring up trouble because he thinks Momo is trying to take his job. Last week Mike set up the sprinkler in the bit of lawn being mowed to get Momo to explode (didn’t work), and then today he was trying to grass up (pun!) the mower to management. I over heard this conversation between a boss and Mike:

‘Look, Momo has done a terrible job,’ said Mike. ‘It’s killed that lawn. I’d be sent home if I did that.’

‘It’s fine, it looks fine,’ said the boss.

‘And it’s always sitting around, doing nothing for hours on end,’ said Mike.

‘It’s his lunchbreak, he’s allowed a break.’

‘And it keeps vaping on the job!’

Poor old Momo.

Clickbait alert: This picture is misleading…

momo

We spent lunch bickering over what to call Robomo. I suggested Lionel, while management liked Rob, but Dan clinched it by coming out with Momo.

In the afternoon, Jessica and I were working in a garden on a small side street. She was crossing the road to get to the van, when a Mercedes whizzed around the corner. She jumped out the way just in time. The driver stopped, wound down the window, and said cheerily,

‘Oh, don’t worry, I wouldn’t run you over, you do such a good job. The garden looks lovely!’

I feel sorry for all the people crossing the road who don’t do such a good job.

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

A.I. believes in me after all!

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Note: I’m taking that as a literal huge pig, and not a reference to my love of all foodstuffs fatty or sweet.

I was fairly sure it was Thursday today, all day my brain kept assuring me It’s Thursday, definitely not Monday, even though that would mean that three days had vanished. Could this be the time portal?

 “I dwell in possibility…”

Emily Dickinson 

Word of the day: Brobdingnagian – immense