July 5th, 2006


On Journalists n stuff

It's hot again. Last night, even high up in the South London cordilleran, there wasn't the usual gentle breeze which make living at such high altitude worth while.

This is not to be confused with the New Addington Massif.

The New Addington Massif wear their jeans about a foot below the waist, baggy t-shirts bearing slogans of angst and tend to have 50 cent baseball caps with the tags still on. Then there is the opposing Burberry mob.
If the Americans ever want to brush up on their air-to-ground munitions practice I can provide very precise map refs indeed.

I was supposed to head off to Leon Paul's in Hendon last night as I am in urgent need of both foil and epee blades ahead of this weekend's fencing demonstrations at Chiswick and my usual foray on Sunday Morning.
However, Leon Paul, in typical Leon Paul fashion (Arrogant, stupid or more often than not both), closes at 5 pm making it impossible to get out there after work before they close. Hopeless.

I shall now have to either have them sent through the mail and for them not to arrive or just make do with dodgy kit until I can drive up there one Saturday. But I have very few free Saturdays now for many many weeks.

Really good to see Discovery launch yesterday and I really enjoyed watching the launch live. However after 25 years of shuttle launches I am still staggered by the lack of knowledge and understanding that Journalists exhibit when talking on the subject of spaceflight.

Simple concepts like the use of solid and liquid fuel seem to be significant intellectual challenges even for BBC Journo's. As for concepts like escape velocity, achieving orbit, it's all probably a bit beyond them. Last nights gem was the 'space expert' having to explain that the phrase 'remaining burn time' referred to the amount of time that the shuttles engines could remain ignited and generating thrust, before exhausting the liquid fuel left the external tank………other wise known as ….


I noticed this morning there was some talk about debris falling from the ET on launch - few outside NASA would have been able to pick this up. But at T+ 2:20 ish from the point of view of the camera fixed to the ET by the Liquid Oxygen feedline, to the lower left hand side if the frame between the ET and Orbiter wing I did see a group of 3 or so dark objects fall away. They looked more like tiles than foam to me. But these certainly weren't the light specs that they were banging on about on the radio this morning as these were probably vapour droplets vaporising in the plume of the SSMEs.

I did laugh as the poor expert had a bash at attempting to explain the purpose of the roll programme and its necessity to reduce the stress loading on the airframe of the orbiter during launch. The journalist moved on quickly to something less challenging.

What narks is the way the journo's talk to the experts as though they are some greasy anorak wearing train spotter. When in all likelihood they are far more qualified than the oily thickies asking the questions. And how do journos get round this…buy belittling their subject or asking some really dumbass lightweight question.

Reginald Turnill you are sorely missed.

And while we're on the subject of Journalists I had to fight my way through a ravenous hoard of them again this morning as the they are yet again camped en masse outside the office trying to snatch a picture of Prescott the Hutt…….

I'll have to fight my way out through them again shortly as I haven't got any food with me today. I haven't been to the supermarket for a while and my loaf of bread had started to evolve when I came to make my sarnies last night.……

They don't advertise for killers in the newspaper…

It's very Los Angeles, 2019 out there.

It's hot, dark, wet and humid.

The sort of weather to dock up at an outside noodle bar and try to explain that you want '22' not '2'….shortly before you head of to blow away dangerous genetically manufactured freaks.

I have had to deal with a particularly stupid person this afternoon, who I wouldn't mind taking a couple of pot shots at.

In fact I am angrier than I have been in a very very long time having had to deal with this woman.

I can't be arsed to go into detail but put simply, in October 2005 she was asked to either provide some advice or direct the query to a colleague who could provide some advice. The colleague who was dealing with this area, who was overloaded on other work didn't chase this up until Feb 2006. Bit naughty, but entirely understandable given the pressure of work. 'Stupid woman' hadn't done anything. In early June I took over this work from my colleague who was simply two busy to carry it on. Ever since taking on responsibility for this work I have e-mailed phoned and written the most comprehensive e-mails explaining what I needed from 'Stupid woman' (essentially answering a letter from a member of the public). Short of writing the ****ing e-mails in crayon or perhaps using 'flash cards' I couldn't have made it more clear.

Nope the concept was beyond her.

Today I call her and she sends me a copy of an e-mail that someone had sent her on a related but separate matter which named a colleague of hers that might be able to help me.

It's taken this useless ****ing waste of £35k of taxpayers money, 8 months to have one of her colleagues identify (as a sheer conincidence) where the work 'might' be redirected to.

She may not be genetically modified - and is certainly not super intelligent! but she is a freak! I would expect the most junior member of staff to be able to source the advice and write the letter turning it round in 2 to 3 days…. tops.!

That don't make big enough calibre weapons to deal with this kind of ineptitude. This is why civil servants have a bad reputation. Time for someone to be retired I think.

…"I'm working. What are you doing?"
  • Current Mood
    angry Angry / Frustrated