Exceptionally Busy

DSC_0127Thank you for your email, the automatic reply tells me, and continues to assure me that your input is important to us, and similar generic nonsense.

But then, all is revealed: As we are currently exceptionally busy, we may take up to four working days to reply to your inquiry.

Let me tell you something. A few things, actually:

First, you are not currently exceptionally busy. You haven’t changed the auto-responders message in years.

Second, you took not up to four working days, you took six.

Third, you answered in such an incomplete manner that we have to go through another one-week long email exchange.

This was the Open University, but it doesn’t matter, so widespread is this practise.

Hate it, hate it, hate it.


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I’m a Free Man

tracesI’m a free man!

As some of you know, I quit my studies of mathematics with the Open University. It was just too much. Work is pretty stressful and time-demanding these days, and has to be my priority. Spending every spare minute morning, evening and weekend studying rather than relaxing and re-charging my batteries turned out to be unhealthy on all accounts, so I pulled the emergency breaks and quit. T’is a shame, but since I study for my own pleasure, and find studying right now not a pleasure, I think I can justify the decision.

It certainly feels like I pulled the stopper out from somewhere else. Since quitting the course, I built a crafts table and my head is full with creative ideas in all forms: sculpture projects, painting and drawing projects, computer art projects, even fun programming projects. I even got some of my filing done, how’s that?

Seems like it was time to quit. All I need now is lots of more time to pursue all those interests. Too bad I can’t pull the emergency breaks and quit paid work, too.


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Yes, Professor!

firstDayAtSchool I am a student again!

After uni, which I finished many moons ago, I studied various subjects with varied success: life, women, painting, cooking and myself come to mind. I have now registered for studying mathematics.

Sounds impressive, huh?

Sounds impressive, but is not. I have just registered for the most basic course in mathematics at the Open University. The course should be easy enough, but since I need to remind myself on some fundamentals, and always wanted to do “maths proper” and from ground up, this is the start that I chose.

It will also allow me to see if and how this fits in with the rest of my life. If it works, I’ll move to the next level. For now, I am sitting back and looking forward to the many student discounts…


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Coastal Bang

Not sure how many of you know that the current series of Coast, shown every Thursday on BBC Two, are actually new episodes. Great! Even though I think they might have lost a little of their freshness and enthusiasm, they are still doing great.

Except of course this one, shown towards the end of the original December 14th broadcast: When they explore the Sheerness estuary and report on the large number of undetonated WW-II grenades still under water and still being recovered, they show how these then, once salvaged, can be bundled up with a piece of plastic explosives, and be subjected to a controlled explosion.

The control in that explosion went so far as they triggered the ignition, dropped the package into the sea "to dampen the effects of the explosion", and headed off to a safe distance, from where to watch the spectacle.

Not so happy were all the fish in they surrounding area, as they may all have died from a burst swim bladder. Dynamite fishing is banned internationally for the exact same reason. How dare they use the same method to get rid of those bomb shells? And the Open University program not even questioning the practise but having a good laugh at the spectacular fountain?