Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bedtime in my Blackberry

Is our life divided into work and non-work portions and does modern communication mean that we can never switch off from the office? It's an interesting thought and one Lucie Mitchell picks up on the latest HR Zone's Editor's Blog. A recent survey showed more than half of all respondents working on their laptops or crackberries not just at home in the evenings, but in bed. Now frankly I've got to draw the line somewhere, and that line's firmly drawn at the foot of our stairs.

I'm as prone as the rest of us to read and send emails late on a Sunday night - but I do so from the office PC....which just happens to be in a room off the back of the house. But nothing is so important that I'd even contemplate a bit of keyboard action while propped up on my pillows!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tweets from Birmingham

I wondered if anyone would be tweeting from the CiB conference - and lo and behold, Jill Wedge @jillwedge is....and there are other updates on the CiB website.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Press pause

An odd day today. I'd initially expected to be working on a new contract this week, but it's all taken a bit longer than any of us would have hoped to come together. It'll get there soon, but it has meant a rather re-arranged week.

Anyway, the void was supposed to be filled today by an urgent copywriting piece. "It'll definitely be with you Thursday, and you'll need to turn it round straightaway," said the client, "as the website needs to be signed off by end of play Friday."

So, I've sat here through the morning; done my admin; twittered and frittered a bit, drunk three cups of coffee and played email ping pong with the client. Apparently the brief went to the US office yesterday and they're having 'further thoughts about the overall concept'. So, I don't expect I'll be bashing out any copy any time soon on that particular piece! The question now is can I charge them for the time they insisted I put aside on their behalf? Probably....but I won't as I like working with them.

It's a shame I didn't find out a bit sooner, as I'd almost certainly have bagged a late place at CiB's annual conference taking place in Birmingham. While I wasn't exactly grabbed by this year's agenda, it would have been good for a bit of networking and to check the IC pulse.

This is the last year that CiB is combining its conference with its awards shenanigans - definitely something I've argued for over a number of year - and I suspect next year's conference will be all the better for not being merely the pre-event for a boozy awards night.

Anyway, bills to pay, paper to file and more emails to ping and pong. Better get back to it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Really pleased....

...with the latest issue of Connections, the magazine I write large chunks of for Badenoch & Clark.

The paper version of issue 9 is now on the streets, though its electronic sibling won't be posted on the web site for a wee while yet.

The design has undergone a major revamp and now feels all grown-up....much more in line with the content which is probably significantly more serious (though in a positive way) than when the magazine first launched a couple of years back.

Most of my work at the moment is away from magazine writing, so it's nice to see something tangible popping through the letterbox, showing my kids that there is sometimes an end result to what I do!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

World economics today....explained with the handy use of cows

Thanks to my mate Nicky in Thailand for this very simple, but effective insight into the last 200 years of economic modelling...


You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away...

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons

You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead.

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.
The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.
You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows.
No balance sheet provided with the release.
The public then buys your bull.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and market it worldwide.

You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows
You count them again and learn you have 2 cows.
You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

You have two cows.
Both are mad.

Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
No one believes you, so they bomb the **** out of you and invade your country.
You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of Democracy....

You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

You have two cows.
The one on the left looks very attractive.