Friday 12 April 2024

How Far?

Welcome to a bright but cloudy South Manchester, where it is quite pleasant in terms of temperature and again it isn’t raining. I’ve just seen a hint of sunshine too.

Let’s answer some silly questions from Sunday Stealing

1.    What have you been the most ignorant about in your life?

I’ve been ignorant about a lot of things. Who hasn’t? 

I’m not that clued up on money for example. I know enough and I am very careful and slightly frugal but I have realised whenever I have spoken to a financial person that, really, I am pretty ignorant about it. 

Politics is another one. I know what I believe as do a lot of people, but when you scratch the surface of how politics actually works, it is a quagmire of complicated nonsense. 

And that is just the UK. Every single country has their own way of dealing with politics and it is a complex nightmare. 

To be honest, as far as politics is concerned I think that I have reached the peak of my tolerance for it. When I was younger I didn’t care and, as the years have gone by, I have slowly become more and more outraged. Now, I decided to step back from the fury that politicians incite and I am feeling better for it. Don’t get me wrong – they still make me angry but in the grand scheme of things, I’ve realised that my younger self had the right idea. 

2.    What in the world would you most like to see protected?

I am quite shocked sometimes when I realise how much humanity is slowly turning our world into a toilet. The Amazon rainforest is slowly being eroded by lunatics in Brazil and the effects of climate change caused by such acts of ignorant thoughtlessness are starting to come and bite us all on the arse.

What makes me laugh (in a sad way) is that countries get together and agree to various measures but then fail spectacularly to meet them while at the same time standing on their soapboxes claiming they are more eco-friendly than everyone else. 

In the UK we have a net zero policy and I am amazed that ignorant people are claiming this is a bad thing. 

Let’s protect everything in nature that might help us to resolve these issues. I won’t hold my breath though because there are too many ill-informed conspiracy theorists who shout too loud. 

3.    How do you waste  the biggest chunk of time each day or week?

I’m not sure I waste time. When I am not working, I try to do things that are either productive, necessary or just fun. 

Some people may argue that spending an hour on my PS4, cursing at my ineptitude on FIFA when my team is losing 3-0 because of my incompetence or throwing down the controller in disgust when my sprite has been killed again due to my lack of coordination and skill, is a total waste of time. It isn’t – it is fun as is watching something on TV – or just sitting there paying with the cats. 

Don’t let Mr Motivator (as described here) get you down folks. Have fun and do what you want. 

4.    Who is the scariest person you've ever known?

I don’t think I have ever met a truly scary person. I’ve worked with people who have used anger to try to get me to work longer, harder or whatever but I tend to find such people funny - which is bizarre. 

We had a teacher at my school who most kidswere scared of. He taught French and his whole demeanour was terrifying for some kids. He was a brilliant teacher but he immediately worked out who the troublemakers were and parked them right in front of his desk during lessons so that he could keep an eye on them. 

He never yelled; he used psychological methods and in a couple of cases reduce spotty 15 year old teenage boys to tears in front of the entire class. 

He once made me stand up in class and tried to humiliate me and make an example of me using these techniques. To be fair I deserved it because I was being an arse. But when he started, his whole demeanour, voice and mannerisms combined in a way that I found hilarious. 

As he was talking, I had to lower my head to hide my huge grin. I had to pretend to cough to cover my little yips of laughter. In the end he gave up and asked to speak to me at the end of the lesson. Of course, when I saw him at the end of the lesson, I found myself on my own with him and I ended up getting one of my many detentions but as he was telling me that I was wasting my talent, being immature and that I had to buck my ideas up, I really struggled not to laugh at him again. 

I did like him though. He got me through French.

5.    What was  the job you enjoyed the least?

One day I will write about what I actually do and have done over the years. I work in IT and I have had to apply my knowledge to other disciplines, one of which involved me working shifts in Liverpool with a couple of guys who didn’t like my company at all. 

There is nothing worse than trying to work at 4am with a couple of angry arseholes doing their best to micromanage you while at the same time telling you that your product is rubbish, full of bugs and not fit for purpose, when the truth was that they simply don’t understand the system because it is new.

It was a long time ago and I was just a young lad (about 24 years old) so I just took it. If these two people tried that right now, they would be shocked by my reaction. Experience does have its benefits and I have managed to acquire certain skills to deal with such people. But at the time, it was not enjoyable at all for my younger self

6.    What thing about your family are you the most proud of?

Well I was the first person in my family to ever go to university by virtue that I was the eldest child. Both of my sisters followed me (one of them as a mature student) and all three of us have/had rewarding careers. This has now progressed because my two lads have followed me. We’re quite clever. I’m proud of that.

7.    What kind of power do you want most?

(Puts silly head on) I want to be World President. I would make some real changes and regular readers will know that I would plan to build a spaceship to send all of the worst human beings on a one-way space exploration trip.

If we are talking super powers, I would like to be able to become invisible, teleport or be able to speed up and slow down time. Or all three.

(Takes silly head off) I don’t really want power of any kind. I’m quite happy being Mr Ordinary.

8.    What's the best piece of advice you ever received?   

“You are clever enough to go to university and have a great career. You have to go for it.”

My dad told me that at the age of 16, as did several teachers who I have made fun of in this blog. I thank them for making me see sense.

9.    What's the  thing you  know the most about?

I know quite a lot of things (some of which astounds even me) but as my career comes to an end, I would have to say that I know a lot about how to make computers tick. I have a logical mind and it is wired such that things like maths come relatively easy to me. 

That said, there is a whole universe of stuff that I know absolutely nothing about. 

10.    When were you most moved by a ceremony?

That would probably be a wedding but it depends who is getting married of course. I’ve been known to have a tear in my eye for such occasions.

There is a big one coming up next year – my eldest son is getting married in September 2025. I imagine that will be quite an emotional ceremony. 

11.    What is the best gift you ever gave to someone?

I don’t really know. I’ve given money to both my lads of course so I will say that. I wonder how much it was? 

12.    What is the cruellest thing you've ever suffered?

Life can be cruel when somebody is taken away from us before their time. Whenever I lose a close member of the family I spend time reflecting on how cruel life can be sometimes.

13.    What's the single nastiest thing you've ever done to someone?

I’m not a nasty person by nature but when I got divorced there were probably some recriminations. That was a long time ago now and my ex-wife and I are quite civil to each other now.

14.    What problem do you think is most common among friends your age?

Realising that they are now old gits and not as young as they were. There is still an element of trying to behave like 20 year-olds (and I am guilty of this too) but we soon ask ourselves what the hell we are doing and then fall back on acting our age (well sometimes). 

15.    What is the strongest craving you get?

I only crave things when I am hungry – and then it is basically food. I’m getting hungry right now actually.


Lisa said...

I don't know that much about politics either. U.S. politics makes me mad so I often try to ignore the crazy politicians. I don't like reading about them or hearing about them on the TV. I don't enjoy political discussions.

Roger Owen Green said...

I'm a retired librarian, so I know a little about many things. I suppose I'm a generalist.

Donna. W said...

I like number 3 especially.

CountryDew said...

I summed up the age question as "we are old and we creak." I enjoyed your story about the French teacher.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lisa,

I'm the same. I've tried looking at the bizarre US system, which doesn't make sense to me at all. These days I don't get involved in political discussions either because people rarely change their minds so it's utterly pointless.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Donna,

To me "wasting time" is like "guilty pleasure" - both utterly pointless descriptions of things that aren't problems.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Roger,

I knew a librarian once - she was the wife of an ex-colloeague. And she was very smart and very knowledgeable. Whenever she was involved in quizes she usually won.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

I will be eternally grateful to him. I just hope he never reads what I wrote above (if he's still around).