Christmas = Shitty Adverts

Cartoons, Moaning, Thoughts

It is that time of year again. The time of year when our TV channels are filled with adverts for the things we are all expected to buy. Kids toys – Furbys, grotesque My Little Pony girls and all kinds of vile stupidly expensive things that will break in mere moments.

Then there are the things for the grown ups and the thing that really annoys me is perfume ads. The ad can be as swishy as you like but if it smells like utter poop, then I’m not going to buy it. However, perfume ads are always a load of balls. Weird, pointless and often just so random. I’ve never felt the urge to go and buy perfume down to any advert I’ve ever seen for them. I go and I smell them in a shop – spraying it on thousands of little bits of card and sneezing my face off.

Then I go and pick one that I end up allergic to.

So here is a little something for all the perfume makers out there (or their marketing departments at least.)

Badly drawn by Lois Lane

Badly drawn by Lois Lane

The dangers of telling people what you like…


My stepson is getting really into Minecraft, so much so that pretty much every birthday present he had this year has been Minecraft related. T-shirts, games, keyrings, hats, more T-shirts, posters… I am surprised that he hasn’t become sick of it already.

The same thing happens with us adults. You tell someone you like something in particular and you know that from that point on you will continue to receive something related to that every birthday and Christmas ad infinitum. And I must admit that I am struggling to stop being like this with two of my friends. One is rather into dinosaurs – so without fail I go and get him something dinosaur related. I need to remind myself that he is not 7 years old and might occasionally not want things like dinosaur shaped sandwich cutters (yep he has a set – and yes they are from me.) My other friend rather likes owls and foxes (as do I) but I need to stop myself from getting her everything with a fox on it.

While, granted, there are people out there who are collectors, they are not as common as you might think. Yes, there is someone out there who collects teapots of every kind ever made, and someone out there who goes barmy over creepy victorian type reproduction dolls and keeps them in glass cabinets and can tell you their life stories at the drop of a frilly doll bonnet.

I don’t have any room in my house to collect anything, other than dust and Lego minifigures.

So here is a rather rubbish cartoon to remind people out there that if they are one of these people who just gets their friends and family the same sort of shit every year – try thinking outside the box this time!


Fucking Frogs (badly drawn by Lois Lane)




Moaning, Thoughts

I have a work colleague who has been at the company now for about two and a half years as a contractor. I too am a contractor and originally when I first joined (he joined a few months after me) we were supplied by the same two contracting agencies, one agency supplying another who in turn then supplied the company with the staff. Right there he assumed we had a bond, and on some level we did. We both had to deal with the shoddiness of the management of the main agency and the poor rate of pay we ended up with once both agencies took their cut. It was good on that level to have someone to bitch to when things weren’t going right.

Originally he was not based in the main office, contracted out on a specific project overseas so we rarely crossed each others paths and contact was by phone or email. After about 18 months I left but with a view to return once I had been away long enough to free myself from a rather stifling legal contract with the main contracting agency. A former colleague was leaving and I was asked to come back to take her place. I was more than happy to do that, I loved that job and I loved the people there. My agency buddy was still here but a month later his contract was due to expire or be renewed, and as was typical, the main agency guy messed everyone around. He left everything to the last minute, requested some inordinately high rate increase that the contractor had no idea about and no doubt wouldn’t have seen a penny of (and neither would the other agency). The company agreed a temporary extension but without the huge leap in pay, just a smaller increase, however they stated that this would be the last renewal and the contractor would soon have to look for another job elsewhere.

While that is all pretty shitty, in some ways it is good. It is good that the company no longer has to deal with the main agency as there are no other staff left who were employed using them anymore. It is also good that the contractor himself will be free from having to deal with that agency too. It is also good that the middle-man agency also can now sever their ties with the main agency. However, the contractor in question thinks that perhaps he can do the same as me, go away and work elsewhere for at least six months and perhaps come back and get a better rate of pay. That is all very well – however he is pretty useless.

Well perhaps useless is a bit harsh, but he worked for around two years in isolation to the rest of our department, based on a customer site. He did things his own way but seemed to have little to show for it. He had a good relationship with his project manager, they were pretty similar so I understood that. But when he started to have to produce work for people outside of that project, that’s when the cracks started to show.

If someone asks me to do a piece of work for them by a certain time, nine times out of 10 I will have supplied them with the job before the deadline. The rest would be on the deadline date itself. I set reminders, I allocate myself a time in the day to ensure I complete the task. If I know it might not be done by the deadline I will let the requester know in good time, but it is rare that the task isn’t done. However with this guy I’ve come to realise that if you ask him for something to be done by a certain day or time, you need to lower your expectations. It will invariably be late, or you will have to keep chasing and reminding him about it. You will have to ask a minimum of three times before he might reveal to you that actually he has no idea how to do the task you are asking him to do (which he should know and I get a little miffed at why he doesn’t.) He will call you 15 minutes before a major stakeholder meeting to tell you he can’t work out how to make the spreadsheet show information for his presentation that he has had weeks to prepare for. He disappears for hours on end with no meetings in his diary, no idea where he is. Sometimes he disappears even when he does have meetings in his calendar and just fails to turn up to them. Meetings that he has proper involvement in.

He is also quite frustrating when he does come to meetings. In our team meetings he will ask questions about things that have just been discussed, showing he clearly hasn’t been paying attention. He will repeat things other people have just said to make it sound like no-one else had that idea. There will be a topic that get’s discussed for example – a particular functionality isn’t working in the system we use, there is a workaround but it can only be done by two people in the team with the proper access rights (of which he isn’t one of them), he will ask questions about it such as “Oh I need to do this thing on one of my projects. So what do I need to do?” And he will be advised that he needs to inform the two people who can do it which project it is and they will do it for him. Straight after the meeting he asks about it again and is told the same thing. Then after he goes out on his 15th cigarette break of the day he comes back in and asks about it again and funnily enough is told the same thing. He promptly then tries to do it himself and then has to send an email to the two people who can do it asking why it isn’t working for him.

When I came back my colleagues expressed their concerns to me about his work, mainly in that they had no idea what he did all day. He commutes each week – drives up from London on a Monday, stays in a hotel over the road from our office building and then works from home on a Friday. I say work from home, but I’m not sure how much work is actually involved in this. On Monday’s he could arrive any time between 10am and 12pm. He doesn’t necessarily stay late to make up the time. During the week he can turn up any time between 9am – 10:30am despite his hotel being a five minute walk from the office. There is no consistency and he was constantly late for morning meetings. He was rarely at his desk and because everything asked of him took so long to get done they just had little faith in him and became reluctant to ask him to do certain tasks because they knew they wouldn’t get completed to a good enough standard – if at all. I had to cover for him while he was on holiday, I reviewed his previous minutes from board meetings and was quite amazed at the poor quality of them. The manager of another team also expressed his concern, he often saw him panicking in meetings when asked to take notes (which is a key part of his job), if indeed he turned up to meetings at all. I advised him to feed this back to our manager. If he has plans to one day come back here, our manager needs to know the full picture so he can make the appropriate decision should that situation arise.

And now, with just a few weeks remaining on his contract here, he has sent out an email to pretty much everyone (including people outside of our company – our third parties and customers) asking for feedback, encouraging people to give him recommendations on LinkedIn. In fact just this weekend he wrote me a nice recommendation on the site, presumably to encourage me to do the same. I’m sure some people think he is marvelous, perhaps he has provided some top notch work in the past, but unfortunately my experience of his work hasn’t left me feeling very positive.

So what do I do? Do I leave him a stellar review, just to be kind? To help him find a better job somewhere else where he might be happier and less likely to want to come back here? Do I leave him some candid feedback but not on LinkedIn? Do I just say nothing and leave the candid feedback to come to him via our manager?

It is a dilemma. If I was his manager I would have been giving him some more regular feedback, although I know it is difficult to do this with non-permanent members of staff. Plus our department has seen three changes of manager since he started, hired by one, kept on by another and now released by the third. If I was his manager I would have taken the decision to not renew is contract much sooner. I would have perhaps put an action plan in place to encourage him to improve his timekeeping, his spelling and grammar (which is pretty bad) and general task management.

But as a colleague, on the same level as him, no I can’t really do any of these things. I am finding it hard to think of much that I could say as positive things, I cannot say that he is punctual, I cannot say that he delivers on time, I cannot say that he fully understands most of his day to day work, even after almost two and a half years.

So perhaps I’ll just keep my mouth shut. Besides – you really can’t polish a turd. Unless maybe you spray it with lacquer and keep it polished once it’s dry, but no, just no.


Hayfever can do one

Cartoons, Moaning

I wish I loved summer. I wish it was this magical fabulous time where I wore skimpy clothing and frolicked in a meadow.

Ever since I was a kid summer hasn’t really been my friend. One summer holidays I stepped foot into our garden and shortly came back inside with my eyes streaming, sneezing away and wanting to claw my eyes out they were so itchy. I have been on several different hayfever medications over the years, usually having to change it each year or two as it just no longer becomes effective. I’ve recently switched to a nasal spray – which works for a time but I have to keep using allergy eye drops but no doubt overuse them past the four applications a day stated on the pack – BECAUSE I WANT TO CLAW MY EYES OUT!

I also get sunburnt really easily. I slather myself in factor 50 these days and keep to the shade if I go outside at all. Plus skimpy clothes, mmm nope. Until I lose some weight that wont be happening for a while, although soon to be joining a gym on a joint membership with my husband so at least we can be with each other for motivation and largely ignore any other dbags that might happen to be there at the same time as us. So who knows – I might be donning a bikini and running around in a field – going mental clawing my eyes out next year!

One can but dream!


The pale-faced red-eyed Lois – often seen during the summer weeping in a dark room. (Badly drawn by Lois)

Introducing PoPo Explorers! The best thing since sliced bear face ham!


What the sweaty hell is PoPo Explorers I hear you say? Well, let me tell you…


Some years ago, my best friend and I came up with this catchy name for a fictional company that makes pretty rubbish things. Owned ultimately by Globo PoPo, PoPo Explorers sell a wide range of crappy goods, across several subsidary companies such as PoPo Foods and PoPo Records, things you would never dream of actually buying, but perhaps might one day be fooled into buying something by a crafty salesperson.


The debut album from Cardboard Douche! Winner of Best Silent Pause in the 2010 PoPo Awards.


I need to get me some of that Instant Love Mash!

My Facebook Stalker and How I Am Surrounded By Gullible People

Cartoons, Moaning, Thoughts

A while back I accepted a friend request from a distant cousin of mine. We’ve never met in person (to my knowledge at least) and never had any other contact before now, so I’m not exactly expecting to be best buds with her from the get-go. I love keeping in touch with distant family members, it’s nice that in the internet age we can maintain contact or even find people and make contact that you would not have otherwise. I was already friends with her sister – who is a nice regular NORMAL person, we chat online every so often and that’s all fine.

I was quite surprised however that in accepting this friend request, I also got my very first ever female Facebook stalker. It wasn’t long before she was constantly sending me chat messages, telling me how so many of her real life friends had let her down. Posting endless shit onto my Timeline so that I ended up having to edit my privacy settings so only I could post on it – and review and accept if people tagged me in anything before I allowed it to be seen by the world. As much as I like nice cat videos, I don’t want them plastered all over my Facebook page.


Artists impression of my stalker (Badly drawn by LoisLane)

I’m too nice to just de-friend – besides, she is a family member, so it’s not like some random weirdo (it’s a family weirdo) that I have no issue with removing. I am also too nice to pull her up on it. It’s obviously just who she is, she likes to share cat videos and short people jokes with friends several times an hour.

Most of the time now my statuses are set so that she can’t see them – as she usually comments on EVERYTHING I do. What I can’t seem to stop her from seeing is when I am checking-in somewhere. You know, to tell people who don’t actually give a badgers bum what I am doing and where I happen to be doing it. So I have been getting her commenting on them asking how I am and whether I want to talk about anything? Mmmm, not right now no, I am busy relaxing in the sunshine at my local stately home and gardens thank you.

Maybe she is lonely? I get that. I’ve been the lonely weirdo who wants to chat with anyone and everyone just because I haven’t actually spoken to anyone in days. But no, just no. I have also taken to only responding in the middle of the night so I don’t get caught up in a conversation, but scarily she replies instantly.


Now about the gullible people…

What is it with people who blindly share anything they read on Facebook or the other realms of the internet? People never check anything to see if it is true before they merrily click the ‘share’ button and then comment ‘OMG – everyone you need to check this out!!!’

Usually it is a load of guff about some horrid virus or scam, something that may well have been true at one time – like back in 2005 but has long since stopped being a problem. Sometimes it is potentially life threatening false medical ‘advice’ – how to spot the signs of a heart attack or stroke – none of which are correct, or only partially correct and do not have the backing of the medical experts in those fields.


Argghhhh! We’re all doomed! (Badly drawn by LoisLane)

I am friends with a few people on Facebook who often share these types of things, the main culprit is one of my sisters in law. Not a day goes by it seems without her sharing something that is inaccurate, misleading or just plain wrong. She often falls victim to the spam videos, the ones you see on your friend’s timeline and click on because it sounds like some sort of freak show that you are somehow drawn to (HORRIFIC!!! VIDEO OF WOMAN MAULED BY A POLAR BEAR!!!) – but shows you nothing but a link to something else and next thing you know the link to the video is now on your timeline for others to fall victim to. The most recent one she had shared was a photo claiming to be of a new type of police radar in use in the UK – built into the side barriers on the road, another friend pointed out to her that it wasn’t true and was just something used on a European test track. There have been many occasions that I have commented on her links to advise her that it isn’t correct and for her friends not to share. They often get deleted after that.

Snopes is my friend – always my first port of call when I see some of the dumb stuff that my friends share – I usually post a link to the article about that specific post and about 9 times out of 10 they delete the post and are probably silently hating me for pointing out, yet again, that they are a tool of the highest order for believing this sort of crap.

The worst thing I saw her share was last year. A year ago this week Drummer Lee Rigby from the Woolwich barracks in London was brutally murdered on the street by two Muslim extremists. The day the attack happened, people on social media started to circulate a photograph of a young man in Army uniform stating he was the victim of the horrific attack. At that point the police had not released any details and had not confirmed whether he had been identified or his next of kin informed. My sister in law shared this photograph and I got pretty mad. Instead of commenting directly on her post I posted a status saying that I had seen some people sharing this photograph and how people should have more respect for the family of the deceased – that he had not been formally identified and so there was no proof whatsoever that this man’s face that was being merrily shared by hundreds if not thousands of people, was actually the unfortunate victim. What if that man’s family members saw that post and mistakenly believed their son to have been murdered? Inconceivable. What if that man had died through other circumstances and his photograph was now being shared around and causing other people to have to then point out that it was a terrible mistake? Needless to say moments later she removed it from her page and of course it turned out not to be him anyway.

People these days seem to believe anything they see online, a photograph of some food from a chain restaurant telling you they make their bread out of play-doh or that buying anything made by a certain brand is actually funding North Korea’s nuclear arms trade. In some cases it may well be true, but at least have the wherewithal to check it out BEFORE you share. Just because it is a photograph with some words on it and it has already been shared by 6 million other people doesn’t mean it’s true.

Then we have the instances of Facebook chat virus type messages. If you suddenly get a message from someone who probably never messages you normally, with something like ‘OMG – check out these pics!’ with some weird looking link in it – DON’T CLICK ON IT! If your Nan uses Facebook and you got a message from her like that, it should set some alarm bells ringing. Mmm – Nan doesn’t normally talk or write like that, this can’t be genuine. I know that a lot of people get caught out by stuff like this, but it’s when people are constantly being caught out by it, despite me (or others) advising them to be more careful, then I despair!

I get that social media can be used in a really positive way, especially sharing photographs of missing people (although I always check to see if they have been found before I will share it – no use wasting people’s time getting them to share something if there is no need to.) There are some great bonuses to using sites like Facebook and Twitter, but also some real low points. Dealing with horrid trolls seems to continue to be a problem for many sites, especially Twitter with people posting abusive threatening tweets to others, like the recent case of the female MP campaigning to have a woman featured on the new £5 note here in the UK – replacing another female – Elizabeth Fry with Jane Austen. She was subject to a torrent of disgusting abusive comments, some suggesting she should be raped.

Having recently dealt with a couple of trolls on a Facebook page I manage, I knew for a brief moment what it felt like to be the target of stupid mindless idiots. I banned them from the page and moved on. Sadly a lot of kids these days seem to be struggling with online bullying, often through sites like Facebook and perhaps they aren’t savvy enough to look at their privacy settings and block the bullies and often don’t tell anyone it is happening. There are a lot of kids who are clearly under the age of 13 who are using Facebook and it amazes me some of the stuff I see them posting. (I have two nieces on it who are both under 13 and posting photographs of themselves and having their friends tell them they look ‘well sexy’. Wrong on so many levels.) To what extent are their parents controlling what they are doing? For one – they are allowing them to break the Facebook rules by having an account under the age of 13. If your child IS savvy enough to fiddle with their privacy settings they could be screening you from certain posts. Do you really know what is going on? Would they tell you if someone was bothering them?

I hope that schools these days are teaching kids to be safe online, and perhaps also to not be so easily drawn in by everything they see. There are always going to be dbags out there – it’s something we have always had and will continue to have, but if you happen to be one of them – for the love of god, stop!


Yup…. (Much better drawn cartoon from

One of lifes little mysteries…


Why does the last minute on the washing machine actually take more like 10 minutes? I don’t understand it. It’s not like the whole ‘a watched pot never boils’ type thing, it’s not that it just seems like a long time because you are waiting for it, no, it actually takes a hell of a lot longer than the advertised 1 minute on the digital display. It must be some part of string theory or some crazy time space shift that makes the normal minutes that have ticked down on the display in normal real-time, suddenly shift and take eons, like particles being torn asunder as material slowly passes through a black hole.

Why can’t washing machine manufacturers actually put the proper time that is left on your wash? Don’t tell me there is a minute left when there is actually five or ten to go. Surely that is against the trade descriptions act?

I might have to write to my local MP.


Still one minute remaining…. (Image from

I’m not a girly girl but I’m going to miss my shoes…


After seriously doing my ankle in last year, despite doing regular physio exercises to lessen the pain and weakness I have, after tearing a few ligaments, it is still pretty rubbish and I don’t think I will ever be safe in heels again. I was never all that great in heels, I mainly walked like a man in drag when I wore them because at heart I prefer flat shoes, comfort over fashion. But I had a few pairs that I really loved and wished that I did wear them more often but now, it’s not really going to be happening, I will be an accident waiting to happen. And in case you are wondering, I was wearing flat shoes when I had my accident!

So with a heavy heart this week I listed them on ebay. Considering how little they have been worn anyway, it makes sense to get shot of them anyway, not much point having them cluttering up the place, but I will miss my bright green heels, my magenta pink heels and my navy blue polka dot ones (they were much too tight on the toes anyway but were lovely…) as well as a few other pairs bought over the years that were equally barely worn.


Bye pink lovelies – you were amaze!

I have some low wedge heels for when I want a bit of height for looking smart at work, but wish that I could find nice shoes that aren’t stilettos. I am not one for lusting after shoes, but I really do wish I could find an awesome pair of low wedge heels that were a polka dot pattern, but it seems that is impossible. I also dislike toe cleavage being on show so don’t like shoes with low toe bits, or stupid embelishments on them, and don’t even get me started on peep toes or gladiator sandals.


Just wrong. Why do shoe designers think this is nice in any way? (Image of Taylor Swift’s feet from

One day I will have some nice shoes that will be comfortable to wear and aesthetically pleasing! One day…


Why am I a notification slave?


In this modern age of smartphones, ipods, Facebook, instant messaging, blogs… my life seems to be full of notifications for things.

I am one of those stupid people who picks up their emails on both their phone and their ipod – doubling up on the notifications already. Plus of course I have apps on my ipod connected to various things, Facebook, WordPress, Etsy etc.

I seem to have this problem where I feel like I have to respond to emails NOW NOW NOW, or reply to a message on Facebook or read whatever things my lovely followers and likers on here have to say.

I’m a bit like it in my day job too, an email comes in and I have to read it, I might not need to do anything about it at all (which is always good) or it is something I can then mark as unread and flag as something I need to come back to and do.

Most of the time my phone is on silent, so I have a flashing red light of doom when something happens. I used to have days at work where I would feel a bit mad with stress because I was getting email after email on my phone (personal email), texts, emails on my work email, meetings to have to dash to, packs to prepare, desk phone ringing, messages on Skype from the person two desks away from me, that sort of thing.

Trying to ween myself off the desperation to respond so instantly. I’m sure that the person in a completely different timezone to me doesn’t expect me to respond to something at 1am even if I am awake then…


My crazy notification face (badly drawn by LoisLaneSavesTheDay)