heyrick1973 -at- yahoo -dot- co -dot uk

Slapped in the face...

I think the afternoons are better. As Mick says, it is better to wake naturally than by the clock, though I'm still getting up around 6am stuck in last week's cycle.

Today there was a "reunion" with the staff and while I wasn't entirely following it, I knew that it was something to do with a change of hours, and that the general feeling seemed to be a state of resigned pissed-offness. Well, I got my boss person to put it in writing so I don't make any mistakes.

Ready?

So one week I'll be working the morning shift from 5am to 2pm. That won't be pleasant. As for the evening, it's an hour later and an hour longer, 2pm to 11pm. Bloody rancid! I mean, let's face it, I could probably cope with a 2-11 shift as those are my sort of hours, but how crap will the change from lates to earlies be? The absolute should-be-illegal killer will be if they drop in another "exceptional" Saturday going from an 11pm finish to a 5am start with only a day in between.

There is one tiny saving grace, and that is it is supposed to be scheduled as a 4-day week, though what day a person has off will apparently be given on the "planning", so it isn't like I'll "have Wednesdays off". However, the hours are supposed to add up to be the same, so I'm not sure what the point of this exercise is, except a quick lesson in how to annoy your staff? I think I'd rather have sane hours and five days a week. Here's hoping my next job will be a 9-5 (or circa)!

One of my cow-orkers said that there is an additional caveat, the shift is over when it is over provided the scheduled work is complete. Sorry, but not only does it not say this on my paper, but mom is waiting outside to take me home. I expect to end my shift at 2pm or 11pm. Furthermore, I'm the dumbass that squeegees the floor and empties the bins. If there is some delay, it is 99% likely nothing to do with me. I mean, come on, it's not enough to slap us in the face but they expect us to slap our own faces? Hell no.

 

Walkies!

At work there is a little internet kiosk. It seems to be a machine about the same sort of spec as mine, with a lowish resolution display, and a mostly-disabled version of Internet Explorer. I think it calls itself a "SiteKiosk"?
From time to time I browse my emails, but while the machine has a USB port of the side, it doesn't offer any way to save webpages, so it's lucky Yahoo mail has a "mark as unread" option so I know what to snarf at the library.

Anyway, something I've taken to doing is walking around Tokyo. Yes, really.

Go take yourself to http://maps.google.com/ and type in a distinctive landmark - the Tokyo Tower. Astonishingly, it is listed third, after two hotels. ☺ Click the link to center the page, then zoom yourself in, check it out.

That's pretty cool isn't it? The caption on the tower is 東 () 京 (kyō) タ (ta) ワ (wa) ー (vowel lengthened); literally tōkyō tawā - or Tokyo tower!

This view? It gets way better. I clicked the "Street view" button. D'you see those roads bordered in blue? If I click one of those...

As much as it hurts me to say this, my chances of visiting Japan are probably rather slim. So this, while a poor substitute for being there, is so much better than a guide book. Don't be fooled by the simplistic layout. You can click "NO" or "SO" to move along the road in your chosen direction, or pay attention boys and girls you can click and drag anywhere in the picture to move around. It's a 360° photo with about a 70° view in the vertical sense.

Just a little note - it is not NOrth and SOuth, it doesn't fit well like that. I was using a French computer, so it is more likely Nord Ouest and Sud Ouest.
Here I'm looking up at the tower...

Pretty, isn't it? It's like a smaller Eiffel tower. Apparently that big square thing half-way up is an aquarium. I bet the views are impressive as Tokyo hasn't been blighted with endless skyscrapers like some cities. Unlike Paris' Eiffel tower, you cannot get to the top. There's no high observation deck. Shame, but it is NHK's Tokyo transmitter!

Look up, also, Tokyo International Airport, you can see the planes neatly arranged with markings painted on the runway that can only mean "plane goes here". There's a big motorway dividing the airport. Wow.

Not everywhere has a street view. Lots of places in America, Australia, and Japan do. You'll also find a number of French cities.
The way to discover is easy. Bring up the map (anywhere) and click on the "Street view" for the blue highlight. Make the map fill the lower half of the screen (click on the "<<" thing to minimise the blurb). Then zoom out so you can see about half the planet at a time. Give it a moment, and what turns blue is a country with stuff you can walk around. Zoom in, pick a place, pick a road, and walk for miles without burning off a single calorie!
It's just a shame Google doesn't have a 'latch' facility where you can tell it you want to follow this road with an update every 'x' seconds unless you click it to say otherwise. Actually, it's a shame you can't whack wrap-around goggles into the USB port and get the pictures piped to that, I mean how cool would that be, huh? Next stop, GoogleSounds and GoogleSmells for the ultimate being-there experience!

 

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