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Random ramblings of a programmer, photographer, journalist and runner

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laptop, geek, MacBook, bursting, breakout

Warm, chilled weekend... And the "C" word

Pleasant weekend all round, really. I went to Kendra-wot-used-to-live-upstairs' wedding reception, which was held at her parents' place, a lovely place which used to be a little school in a village called Fawley in Berkshire.

And lo, it was sunny. Having picked the date not for numerological reasons of 7/7/7 significance, but mostly because it was her birthday, I believe, she definitely lucked out with the weather. I had an idyllic Saturday afternoon and evening as the warmth of the day gradually faded to the sound of kids playing football in the garden, and people indulged in champagne and a hog roast and Eton mess and other delights.

I also met a bloke who was recently back from Borneo, having been shooting a TV show called Vet Safari for BBC 1, which he pretty much singlehandedly shoots and edits. We nattered about all the technology that's recently started making it possible for one bloke to do all this stuff, rather than a big team of different experts.

Apparently the episode he'd just finished cutting together will be on in a few weeks, and features Orang-utans and pygmy elephants. The series as a whole sounded good, so I think I'll be looking out for it -- looks like it's on tomorrow, in fact.

I left after the fireworks, and stayed in (fairly nearby) Swindon overnight, with Hal and Rowly, and then had lunch with them on Sunday before coming home. Again, lovely weather and a lunch in a pub garden actually made it feel a bit like summer, really for the first time this year.

Speaking of which, at work today the first email came around about the company Christmas meal.


I suppose I should take this as an opportunity to revive some of my vague ideas and doubts from last year, and start getting my ideas together about Christmas, and how I feel about it (generally annoyed and resentful) and how it fits into my life (not much, as a decreasingly-consumerist atheist) and what I can best do to (a) stop myself getting depressed by it, and (b) have a Christmas which comes somewhere near to fitting in with my beliefs, while (c) not appearing too Scrooge-like.

But really I just want to stick my fingers in my ears and say "lalala" and pretend nobody mentioned it. In July.

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At the weekly IT Dept brief today the bossman brought up the C word too. He'd sent an email around asking for input on what people wanted to do and, as is typical of a certain type of geek, got no response at all. He didn't do much better at the meeting when he asked in person... an admin lady suggested Jongleurs. A few geekmen facially expressed negativity but didn't come up with anything else. Someone finally said how about just a nice evening meal somewhere. No decisions made. All a bit pathetic in terms of response especially when the company pays the first £20 per person.

I didn't comment as I'm not a permie so no idea if I'd be invited EVEN if I am still there at that time.

And also still kind of weird to be thinking of the C word in JULY!!!!

Well, I can understand a certain amount of apathy. Maybe it's more of a particularly geeky trait than I thought, but I really find it difficult to get excited about the planning of any event six or so months in advance. Well, at least one that isn't particularly relevant to me personally. Maybe a wedding or an adventure holiday or something, but for an event which is basically just having some food with your colleagues while they get even drunker than usual...

I'd guess there's probably a small correlation between geeks and atheists, too, which may mean geeks are more nonplussed about a religious festival than the average population.

I don't think it's the atheist connection...

Most non-IT people I've worked in have had an interest in venue/activity for the staff Christmas do not because they are under the illusion that it's about celebrating the birth of Jesus but because they genuinely enjoy the social event.

Whereas the IT departments I've been in seem to have been populated by people who are friendly enough and are happy enough to socialise with the tiny subset of the department they know well but just aren't interested in socialising with the wider department let alone the company.

Even where the company has provided completely free event with meal, all beer and wine included and other activities (that have ranged from dancing to indoor fairground rides such as helter skelter and dodgems) the take up from the IT department has always been extremely low.


That's cool about meeting the guy from that safari show. I think I may have seen that once...

On another note, while our particular beliefs on the subject of Christmas may differ, I do agree with you wholeheartedly about how its become a consumerist bullshit-ridden holiday. What should be a time of happiness and family has turned into one big marketing scheme to see which company can sell the most of some idiotic item that will be considered passe in four months time. Religious or not, it should be a time of family, friends, happines, and good, warm spiced rum.
It is a bit early to start discussing things like that. Good heavens. Can't they at least wait until it's cold outside...like around late September?

Anywho. Always nice to see your posts, man. There's always some little bit of information to chew on...

Bah humbug. At least you got something about a party - we just got an announcement last month saying all production centres would be open throughout the period and so if we wanted any time off it was coming out of our holidays unless it was a bank holiday. All dressed up as proactively helping you to plan your leave, of course.

The Xmas parties have universally been multiple companies in a tent in a field somewhere in Bucks... not worth going to apart from watching senior managers get sozzled and ride broncos, play inflatable sumo, or - most terrifyingly - dance.

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