Tuesday, September 26, 2006


You know you've worked in IT for too long when ...

You know you've worked in IT for far too long when you tell a joke about rewinding the paper-tapes from data-prep, notice the blank looks, and have to explain "data-prep", "paper-tapes" and "rewinding".

Data-prep, short for "data preparation", serried ranks of, usually, ladies typing away copying information from, example, cheques, i.e. the account numbers, amount, bank etc. and creating paper-tapes with all this information.

Paper-tapes, are a largely obsolete form of data storage, consisting of a long strip of paper in which holes are punched to store data.

Rewinding, as the paper is punched the beginning of the tape ends up on the inside of the reel, so to get the tape into the correct order for feeding into the computer it has to be rewound, such that the end, ends up on the inside.

And the joke was: Talking about penny-pinching: I worked at a firm once that was so budget-concious they would not buy a paper-tape rewinder for the data-prep department. We resorted to grabbing the centre and throwing the rest out of the window. OK as long as it wasn't raining...


Friday, September 22, 2006


Turning Danish

Another first in my "living in Denmark and trying to integrate" experiment: I managed to stay up later than a Dane! Yes, one of my Danish friends said they could not stay up any longer and had to go to bed.

I carried on watching the film. Normally I would have flaked out and awoken to find myself the centre of jokes about sleeping like a baby...

May seem like a little thing to most, but to me it is another wondrous milestone to have achieved.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Suck it in fat boy

There was a chap stood in the middle of the cycle-path this morning, and blocking it. Pavement either side, yet for some reason he found the middle of the cycle-path more to his liking. I had to slow down and work my way around, scraping a tire against the kerb-stone. Now I'm not one of these thin-as-a-rake types myself, but Oh-My-Gawd! that was morbidly obese.

You think you've seen everything, and then some new bizarreness wanders into view.

Oh, and if you're going to stand in the middle of the cycle path and raise my ire, don't have something that I can take the mikey out of.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Danes and bicycle bells, part 5

Caught up with a couple on the cycle path, rings my bell to indicate I wish to overtake, and that they might feel safer with a warning I was about to pass.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah" one of them replies.



Danes and bicycle bells, part 4

Caught up with a couple on the cycle path, rings my bell to indicate I wish to overtake, and that they might feel safer with a warning I was about to pass.

As I pass one of them starts ringing their bell angrily.



Danes and bicycle bells, part 3

Caught up with a couple on the cycle path, "Excuse me ladies" I say.

"We're not ladies", the one with the beard replies.



Danes and bicycle bells, part 2

Caught up with a couple on the cycle path, "Excuse me ladies" I say.

"You should ring your bell", one of them replies.



Danes and bicycle bells, part 1

Trying to get past a couple of ladies on the cycle path and rang my bell. No response.

Caught up a little closer, and rang again. Again, no response.

So I enquired "Excuse me my dear, but car drivers with their doors shut can hear my bell, why is it you cannot?"

She turns and says "It has to be in Danish for me to understand."

So there you have it, confirmation of what I have long suspected, Danes do not understand an English bicycle bell.

Well, to clarify, that makes at least two now.



First dark morning of the closing year

As the year flies by this was the first morning I've needed lights. Soon be dark all the way on the daily commute.



Windy day

Just how windy was it? It was so windy that my round trip average speed was 40.1 kph. That includes stops for lights, when my chain fell off, and having to work my way around two car wrecks blocking the cycle path on Roskildevej.

Top speed was just on the speed limit.

Well I wouldn't admit to speeding now would I...


Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Well, there's always usenet...

Copyright laws are nothing more than a tool of the ruling class to keep freedom and autonomy away from the people. The stifling blockade of draconian laws behind which which the free transmission of ideas is presently locked down is one of the more noxious devices by which the capitalist system perverts human society.

It is only the alienated status of the modern worker that perpetuates the oppressive regime of copyright. The oppression of the ruling class that keeps workers in a constant state of anxiety, always burdened by financial worries, like Dickensian children chained to their machines, is what prevents creative workers from sharing their ideas freely, for the benefit of all.

For society to be free from the constricting bonds of copyright, it will be necessary to strike at the heart of the capitalist system itself. Only when the lies and distortions of the ruling class are confronted and rejected, only when workers are in control of the means of production, their efforts at last engaged, harmonious, and justly compensated, only then will we see a world where all people are free to share, copy, and most of all create those products of the marvellous human imagination that promote, in that golden phrase, "promote the progress of science and useful arts."

Until then, there's always usenet.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Horsens Moms Fri Zone - Tax Free Zone

For the Rolling Stones concert, as a special treat, the Danish Government set up a "Moms Fri Zone" in Horsens. Moms is a purchase tax in Denmark that currently runs to 25%. So everything without Moms made purchases the equivalent of 20% off. It was rather like Christmas, but without the nauseating decorations and music. The people wandering up the street carrying flat screen televisions rather reminded me of a trail of leaf cutter ants...

A big jug of beer for 40Dkr! What a party: I feel sure many never managed to get as far as the concert, not unaided anyways.

Well, as soon as I hit the street it was off to the towns bicycle shop, trying to avoid any and all distractions. Little booklet in hand: is the bicycle shop part of the zone? Can't see it in the list, oh no! Yet a shop further out is on the list, so it is in the zone!!

Yes, the bicycle shop had the 'Tax Free' notices, great! Now to buy a superlight titanium hideously expensive toy, yum, and worry about how to pay for it later.

Does the shop have a Moots? A Setavento? Litespeed? Oh no... But they do have a lovely selection of mountain bikes, even a Felt gayer. Don't want a MTB, so had to stand back and watch as a young friend, Martin, received a new mountain bike from his mother, it was his birthday after all, and I am not at all jealous, seeth, seeth.


Rolling Stones in Horsens

A bunch of 60 year olds on a stage doing Rock'n'Roll. What can one say? Practice, a bit of practice might have helped. There again, one of them recently underwent brain surgery, not before time methinks. Lots of people, lots and lots of people. Didn't know there were quite so many people in Denmark.

And a tax free zone was set up in Horsens. Cheap beer!

Absolutely fantastic!

Friday, September 01, 2006


Danes the worst drivers in the world - probably

Was just on the morning news announced that the Danes are the worst drivers in the world.

What, like they've only just noticed?

I've been saying for years, what with the very low traffic volumes, that the number of accidents is obscene. Not a week goes by without me seeing an ambulance scrapping some poor unfortunate off the road. I have to detour around a crumpled wreck shunted onto the cycle path way too often. For the life of me how difficult is it to get 'Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre' in the correct order?

The number of times I had my clothes ruined by becoming covered in blood whilst giving first aid when happening upon a recent accident is just not right.

Also I avoid the rush hours ...

And in the 30 odd seconds it has taken to scribble this missive I have heard 11 car horns, 5 squealing tires and 2 skids from the little junction just outside my window.

edit - and just as I hit post there was a rear end shunt. Wonderful, now there'll be even more broken glass for me to cycle over.

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