A mixed bag

A mixed bag

20110306 Smiling Paper Bag 150x150 A mixed bag

Hello everybody!  Yes I’m still alive!  Unfortunately I have been incredibly busy in the last 6 days with not a single night to myself – not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.  Normally I post updates on Thursdays but I was out. 🙂

I know everyone is eager to see more posts, so I’m going to make it up to you by posting five pictures this week (including this one).  I am actually busy again most days next week, but through the magic of scheduling I can write my posts now and make it appear as if I’m actually posting at a later date and you’ll be none the wiser! 😉  Incidentally, I’ve noticed I’ve got some fans in South Korea – that’s great!  If you’re one of them, please post a comment – it would be great to hear from you!

The last 6 days have been hectic and a mixed bag – they have been up and down but at least I’ve had four consecutive days off and one more tomorrow before it’s back to the grind, including a meeting in north Wales…

Last Thursday I bought a new jacket to replace my old one, the zip of which had completely broken.  My friend had to unzip me in the middle of a restaurant on Monday night, which was a bit embarrassing.  The chicken wings made up for it though.  New coat on Thursday, but by Friday one of the pop fasteners had come off… They don’t make ‘em like they used to.

Also on Friday, I finally reformatted my laptop (hence no posts until now) in anticipation of reinstalling Windows 7.  I had ordered a recovery disc from Toshiba, as my laptop shipped with Windows 7 preinstalled but only a Windows XP recovery disc.  Unfortunately I found out they had sent me the wrong disc so it’s back to XP for the time being.

In a way these trivial little things are a metaphor for life: Setbacks happen – that’s life and nothing is perfect.  That said, the concept of perfection depends on your frame of reference.  Take the concept of a “perfect” apple: there is no such thing, as every specimen will be blemished in some way.  But wait a second… apples are natural objects and this is what happens to things in the natural world: they decay, get blemished, have discolorations and natural variations.  It is a law of nature.  A corollary of this is that every single specimen of apple, disfigured or otherwise, is still an apple and is doing exactly what an apple in the natural world is “meant” to do, ie. decay, get blemished, etc.  Therefore, surely the perfect apple is the typical apple, which is in fact, any apple.  It if were unblemished, perfectly spherical and #ff0000; (that’s an HTML reference for all the geeks out there) it wouldn’t be an apple.

If it weren’t for setbacks and solving problems, my job as structual engineer running projects and designing solutions wouldn’t exist.  Retail space, student residences, pumping stations, offices and defence-related infrastructure would simply appear out of nowhere, which would defy the laws of thermodynamics.

I like a challenge, but I do like it when things just happen.  Sometimes things happen for a reason though, even if the reason isn’t always immediately obvious.  I lost my job over a year ago because of the recession but actually ended up in a better role and it has done me good. 

Good things come to those who wait, and the makers of a certain brand of beer would agree.  You waited, but surely this picture of a happy smiling paper bag was worth it, no?  Still it begs the question as to what benefit I stand to gain from Toshiba’s mix-up.  In the end it is best not to ask and simply get on with life and keep smiling.  Life’s always a mixed bag but that’s what makes it worth living.  Take your bag and put a smile on it! 🙂

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