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Despite my good intentions (e.g. cutting back on caffeine), my hours… - John C. Kirk

May. 1st, 2005

08:08 pm

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Despite my good intentions (e.g. cutting back on caffeine), my hours have been sliding a bit recently. The main problem is that I don't get up early enough in the morning, so I'm always late for work, which the boss has been muttering about. On the flipside, I've had to do some long/late days recently, and that skews me for the rest of the week. It's exacerbated when I go on SJA duty at a weekend (losing my lie-ins), but on the other hand I don't think work will be very sympathetic if I say that I'm getting up on time for SJA and not for them. Some recent examples: last week (i.e. 18th->22nd April), I left the office at midnight on Wednesday, and at 1am on Friday night/Saturday morning. This week (the one that's just finished), I didn't arrive at work until 14:30 on Friday afternoon, but then I didn't leave until 04:30 on Saturday morning (got home at 06:30, by which time it was daylight outside!). Ah well, I need to be up early tomorrow (leaving the flat before 7am to be on duty at a car-boot sale), so hopefully I can get a relatively early night tonight.

On a slightly worrying note, I've noticed a few grey hairs appearing recently, although they seem to come and go from day to day. I didn't think I was that old! Maybe stress-related? They've only turned up since I started this diet, so I may have to trade off my different vanities against each other...

Speaking of SJA, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I've been doing some sewing recently, for the various badges that go on my uniform (basically for my specific role/unit). This has reminded me of an old "Red Dwarf" episode, where Holly is discussing the tricky aspects of navigation in space: "The thing about space, right, is that it's black. And the thing about black holes is, they're black..." What I've found is that sewing a black patch onto a black jumper with black thread can be a challenge, which probably explains why I've kept stabbing myself with the needle. (Admittedly, I still kept doing that when I was sewing the white shirts too.) Fortunately I've avoided actually drawing blood - unlike computer assembly, a blood sacrifice isn't needed to placate the relevant gods. Anyway, I got that all finished last night (23:30), so that's another thing I can cross off my "to do" list (at least for now).

While I was doing that, I got through quite a few DS9 episodes (up to season 5 now). They're quite a good choice for something like this - I want something to keep me entertained while I'm doing the drudge work, but I also need something that doesn't require my full attention (if I'm looking away from the screen sometimes), so episodes that I've seen before are quite a good trade-off.

By contrast, there's "Enterprise". I watched the first two seasons a couple of years ago, but then the Sky box started acting up early in the third season, so I abandoned it as being unwatchable. I mean that literally, in the sense that there'd be no picture/sound for significant portions of the episodes, but honestly it wasn't a major hardship for me, since I'd mainly been watching it out of loyalty to Trek in general, rather than because it was something I actively enjoyed. I figured that I'd be able to watch those episodes when it came to terrestrial TV, and I wasn't in a major hurry. That's now happened (although I missed a couple before I realised), so I've been recording them. That was in March, and I haven't got round to watching any of the episodes yet, so I've now got 9 queued up. I've heard people say that the series got better in year 4, and I certainly don't take any pleasure in its cancellation, but this inaction on my part does reveal the extent of my apathy about it. I'm sure I will get round to it sooner or later (although my digibox is running low on space), but I'm hardly burning with enthusiasm; given how long I've been a Trek fan, and that I do still like the other series (i.e. I haven't just outgrown it), I have to figure that the producers are/were doing something wrong.

More generally, I've been making an effort recently to watch/read/do something every day that makes me laugh - I figure it's a good thing health-wise, and should avoid me getting too stressed/bitter/twisted if there are other things in my life that aren't going as smoothly as I might like. DS9 is surprisingly good for that, even in their serious episodes, and I'm enjoying "Joey" too - it's not as good as "Friends", but there is at least one scene in each episode that makes me laugh, so that's good enough for me.

And I'm also enjoying the new "Dr Who" series - not necessarily as comedy, but it is well worth watching, and seems to be getting better each week.

And on a bizarre note, I see from the Sky adverts that they're having a Christmas-themed bank holiday tomorrow. In May. No, I don't understand that either.