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Back by (un)popular demand... (20/08/2007 19:53)
The (ir)regular blogger has numerous excuses in what i have deemed a "blog-deficient" arsenal. These range from sheer laziness, lack of the muse right up to serious injury and even death. The latter is actually more of a full stop to a blogging career, although stranger things have happened. I remember in 1987 in Istanbul the case of...

But i digress. I am about to unleash a blunderbus style volley of excuses for my near 9 week absence from my blog. My excuses are threefold.
  1. I bought a flat with Mrs Wojteker (i know, i couldn't believe it either. What's more, she's gorgeous...). We are now the proud owners of a one bed in Enfield, plus private garden (built in BBQ lads...) with views over farmland (a rarity in London). This purchase involved muchos stress, dealings with two estate agents, two sets of solicitors and a lot of sweating. Needless to say the urge to get on the net and concentrate on anything other than big brother was minimal.
  2. I moved house to said property. This involved living out of boxes for a good month, but more crucially not net access while we changed supplier and waited for the connection. Needless to say we're hooked up!
  3. I went abroad to celebrate first 3 days in said new property. Lazed by a Turkish pool, eating Turkish food and occasionally visiting Turkish beaches. I was shaved by a large Turkish man, who then used fire to remove ear hair that i didn't have (i think he was actually a sadist not a barber, but when in Rome...) and then won a competition involving spoons. Further info upon request. Needless to say i was devoid of net access for 10 days.
For all the above i apologise (English spelling), and now that life is finally settling down to some kind of routine i once more pledge to blog more often, until such other distraction renders me otherwise engaged.

It occurred to me the other day that blogging, once the initial pattern has been established, becomes very like a newspaper column (without the grand readership). Fundamentally, you need a topic to jump off from as there are only so many times you can go to the well, so to speak. I have spent a good week thinking through "what to blog on, what to blog on", drumming my fingers on my chin and looking up at a thought bubble above my head.

Upon discovering i am not a cartoon, and whilst at a wedding reception, i came across something that jumped out at me. I went to the toilet as normal (no expansion needed i hope - 1s not 2s gents), washed my hands (i know, housebroken!) and then went to dry them. What did i find?

One of these:-

This, ladies and gents, if you've not come across them, is an electric paper towel dispenser.
This, ladies and gents, is a fundamentally redundant machine. What's that i hear you cry? Justify yourself? But of course...

A machine is supposed to remove the need for human effort from a need-solution logic chain.

For example, if i need to get to Oslo, in olden days i would have had to walk. This would involve much time and energy usage on my part. In short, to get to Oslo would cost me great effort. Luckily, through time, invention and industrialisation (English spelling) someone came up with the plane, allowing me to get to Oslo in a matter of hours. Thus my need (to  get  to Oslo, probably to escape this English  summer) is solved with less effort cost to myself thanks to a machine. My life is made easier.

There are many examples of this in the world today. The electric toothbrush removes the effort from brushing teeth. The cooker removes the effort from burning food. The TV removes the effort from nearly everything and is therefore one of the best machines. (The side issue in all this is that the effort or energy expended in the creation and running of machines is actually greater than that which is saved, but the individual doesn't notice this. We'll leave this to one side for now, as it is a distraction.)

But the machine above achieves nothing to reduce the effort expended in my need-solution logic chain. I have wet hands and need to dry them, i use paper towels, my hands are dry.

If the towels were in a normal dispenser, I'd pull them out. In an electric one, i still have to pull them out! If anything, i have to expend MORE energy to get the same effect as it is motion sensitive, so i have to wave my hand back and forward to get the towels out, by which time MY HANDS HAVE BECOME DRY AND I HAVE A LOAD OF USELESS PAPER TOWELS!

There is no logic to this invention. I have thought about it (those of you who have met me know this will be true, those that haven't BELIEVE me):
  • If they are intended to reduce the amount of paper towels lost to scallies/chavs/townies (depending on your slang terms - not sure of the Norwegian equivalent) per year, said scallies still have the brain power to work it out. If anything they'll be encouraged to get more out as the machine makes a weird groaning noise! REDUNDANT
  • If they are intended to be more hygenic, that's ridiculous AS YOU HAVE ALREADY WASHED YOUR HANDS BY THE TIME YOU USE IT. REDUNDANT!
  • If they are intended to be last wasteful, most of them are positioned in such a way that walking in triggers the motion sensor to dispense paper. REDUNDANT!
If anything this invention is going to be more wasteful as it is constantly on, thereby wasting electricity, more likely to breakdown and will cause queues to form in gents toilets which are usually queue free (unlike the ladies). This will in turn force men to cease handwashing all together and continue their lives with traces of urea on their hands, which will ultimately get back into the food chain and eventually trigger a mass illness and the collapse of civilization (American spelling).

I do not overstate the case here. The pointlessness of this "machine" is surpassed only by the danger it poses to all mankind. Either it will consume all our power resources, plunging us into a second dark age and a technological retardation, or we'll all die from urine related disease. The choice is yours ladies and gents. I URGE you, if you see this type of machine (there are a number of different models on the market, all bad), it is your moral duty to destroy it by any violent means necessary (see OFFICE SPACE the movie for ideas - the fax machine scene...).

It is up to you, the fate of mankind rests in your hands....


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Shy^ wrote:
21:55 20/08 2007
picture1st, welcome back, and again congrats on the house. 2nd, I would like to know about the spoon competition, as I am a big fan of Spoons (the girl). Third, I agree completely with the whole electric dispenser thing, they are USELESS! And fourth, looking forward to the next blog, and hoping to see you in march!
Zz00029246 wrote:
22:17 20/08 2007
picture1) lol, what spoon competition?

2) wow u have too much time on ur hand to argue about electronic paper towel dispensers, although i completely agree (all ones at school are always getting broken by me and my mates seeing who can punch it hardest)

3) when will u show us ur mini-movie!!!!!!!! :(
Spinner wrote:
00:31 21/08 2007
pictureWhoa, my favorite target, I mean Blogger is back, with a vengeance! (English spelling, all the way!)

As always, we need to set a few things straight:

1) CONGRATS (Short and crude internet-spelling) !! Enjoy the bed and BBQ (American or Australian spelling). I am still considering the reality of your gorgeous missus (IRC spelling)

2) You are quite correct, blogging is nothing without a TOPIC (Capitalized spelling) (American spelling) (Not to be confused with Tori Spelling or Aaron Spelling who are, in fact, not, as such,  languages.)

3) Nobody goes from England (English spelling) to Oslo (Norwegian spelling) to escape the English summer unless they wish to spend it wet and cold. (On the other hand, I can recommend Italy!)

Now then, with those things straightened out, lets get down to the topic at hand: Useless machines
I do believe you have stumbled upon a great conspiracy here, and the rabbit-hole may go much deeper than you think. Now, before you decide between the red and the blue pill, you should consider the following facts:
- The manufacturers of this piece of hardware know and will agree to all of your said statements about the product.
- They still went ahead with it.

The question you SHOULD be asking, is, of course, WHY?

Consider now these facts and see if you can connect the dots:
- The machines are being placed in more and more locations, like pubs, theaters, public toilets, gas-stations, discos, shopping-malls etc etc
- The machines are spreading to more and more countries (I have confirmed visualizations (American spelling) from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Italy, England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Australia, Kongo, both poles, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Russia, Japan, Romania to mention but a few)
- The machines have NOT been seen in China or North Korea

This paints a pretty clear picture, if you manage to read between the lines....So, what will it be?

The blue pill? Or the red?

The truth will NOT set you free! (And the protein-mix will taste like crap)

- Excellent blog, as always , matey :)
Rexalor wrote:
01:06 21/08 2007
pictureI wonder who came up with such a useless invention, im happy ive only stumbled upon that machine once as it is truly just a waste of energy and time i ended up getting the machine to exert more paper than i needed so i spilled some water on the floor and dropped some paper on it to see how good it absorbed
Bozo wrote:
08:14 21/08 2007
pictureNever seen one of these contraptions so can't discuss efficacy. A clear picture has been painted so I'm hoping Australia remains a technological backwater in this respect :) I generally applaud bathroom inventors from all the way back to Sir Thomas Crapper to the most commonly installed new technological innovation of waterless urinals (important in a drought affected nation like Australia and always gives you something to read while standing there as everyone needs to have the term waterless explained to them :)). The inventor of the automated paper dispenser had way too much time on his hands and if somebody had showed him the ML website then many people would have been spared from this attack on their sensibilities :)

BTW Spinner - "favourite" is the (English spelling) :)
Zz00037103 wrote:
09:05 21/08 2007

nice one Wojteker, there are some stupid inventions in the world. At least most of them are remotely useful/cool/funny (delete as appropriate), and most appear to be USB devices :)

Spinner - with the Summer we have had you would go to Oslo to get better weather. :p

MissSpoons wrote:
11:11 21/08 2007

HAHA ... and breathe!!   wow you rant alot haha (makes me giggle)

**CONGRATS** on the house Mr Wojteker sir!!!  I hope you will be happy together in your new home!!

Im so very proud that you visited my favorite country - where abouts did you go? We just missed out - me and Kloops will be there Sept 8th!! :)    I would LOVE to hear about the spoons comp btw - think you won due to the magic of meeting the real Spoons ;)

I think this machine is fun - funny noise is bit scary at night tho!  It is meant to reduce paper used but ofc, (oh god i think im about to be compared to a chav), it is more fun to make the noise haha!!  I first saw this machine in Turkiye :)

I think that the fact they have not been spotted in China probably means it was made in China. They know its useless and probably laugh at everyone who bought it!! As if they would use it themselves haha

Will have to meet up again soon my dear!    Lots of love XXX

Shy^ wrote:
12:05 21/08 2007

I agree with Spinner, you DONT come to oslo to get better weather, as the summer down there has been crap. you DO on the other hand come to Tromsø where I live, where the summer has been more amazing than the last 15 years i can remember... So there! :P (bear (bare? Spelling in general?) in mind, Norway is a LOOONG streched country and therefore the weather is quite different north vs south. Lets just hope next summer will be better as I'll be living down there then! :)

Wojteker wrote:
21:12 21/08 2007
pictureJesus thats a lot to take in! Quite a response. It almost necessitates a blog entry all its own, but two in 24 hrs is a bit much, don't you think?

So, allow me to deal with these queries in an orderly and chronological fashion, and then i'll lastly deal with the fabled spoons competition (which will be a horrid anti-climax, which will be all you own fault. There was reference to being set on fire by a turkish barber, but obviously that doesn't wet your whistle...)

So - here we go.

Shy^ (entry 1) - 1st: ta!, 2nd: see below!, 3rd: good, glad it's not me, 4th: ta again, and yes, you will. x (ps. aren't you sweet with your facebook posting? x

Cornish - 1.see below, 2. hmm, methinks you may be a chav in dragon's clothing.... ;-) , 3. as soon as the b*stard editing process is finished. I am as frustrated about this as you are *paces room, steam from ears, sits back down

Spinner - (deep breath) 1. ta, will do. OI! of course she exists there is pictorial evidence if you know where to look! You are sailing close to being off the Wojteker family Xmas card list..., 2. The Spelling children are not languages, but do have their own language of acting (that is, not acting, but relying upon daddy owning a tv network), 3. I'll trump your Oslo summer (wet and cold) with an English summer (wet, cold, floods, gale force winds, postal strikes, and overheating public transport). Additionally, England lacks one other think compared to Oslo, and that's you....x

Now, a year ago, we went down that rabbit hole (remember Gizmo and the spoon?) i'm steering clear of white rabbits, but my eyes have already been opened as i dreamed a dream, and now that dream has gone from me...

Relaxor - It'll be the same people who invented all the fake-chemicals that we didn't know our wives/girlfriends/sisters/mothers needed in their face/hand cream or shampoo (copper?). If only we all had your enquiring, towel absorbancy testing mind the world would be a better (well, dryer is better) place. Peace out my friend.

Bozo - Thank you for you antipodean support. We shall wage a two pronged attack, starting on the dryers and moving on to the rim hanging toilet fresheners that blokes just use as target practice and cause the loo to smell of urine. Eventually we shall take global control, and with you at my right hand side, my sword, my lightning, we shall claw out a Patalonian Division on Manager League. Just need to work out the inbetween steps an we're there.

DEATH2 - (Are you the death of rats from the Discworld? Who is DEATH1?). Yes

Miss Spoons (*sigh) - Will do, yes i do! Thanks, I'm sure we will. We were near Fetiyhe, near Hisaronu in the south. Will be going back as its ace! Istanbul, maybe between Xmas and New Year! See below for the spoons competition.

The machine is NOT fun. What are you doing in toilets at night. Are you a Vampire Slayer (Van Helsing, or Anton from the Nightwatch, rather than that awful Buffy nonsense). Don't sell yourself short, rise above the Chav ways and join us! I'm liking your thinking on the China Connection.

And yes we should meet up soon. Is someone having a birthday in the not too distant future? Lts of love back at ya! xxxx

Shy^ (entry 2) -I would go to Oslo for better weather. I would also go to Tromsø, especially as the wife really wants to.  bear - go with your instincts! I'm sure next summer in Oslo will be all the better for having you in it!  x

Wojteker wrote:
21:47 21/08 2007
pictureThe Spoons Competition of Yel Resort, Hisaronu Turkey!

Ok, you all asked for it (jesus...)

So, hanging out by the hotel pool with the wife, enjoying the rays and the turkish entertainment guy, AJ (who kept calling my wife Drew Barrymore - hey i don't mind, this is just for colour you understand) says we're going to play water polo. Fine, i'll play. Anyway, it gets pretty competitive in the water polo, and we loose, badly (yours truly plays a shocking game of it). So at the end of the game, AJ says we're playing "Spoons a-game".

Turns out, the spoons game is one where AJ throws some spoons into the pool, blows a whistle and everyone has to dive and get a spoon. ONE ONLY. If you get two you are out.

But here is the rub.

There are less spoons than there are people.

Make sense?

So, We go at it, 7 of us. Now i'm not the best swimmer, but i can dive ok, and in round one, to my surprise i come up first with a spoon, and by a long way! I cruise back to the side and wait for the rest of them, playing it down and that. So, i'm happy i've not embarassed myself.

Anyway, the game continues, and at each stage i'm first to the spoons and first back. More content to be the underdog, i start to feel out of my depth (sorry for the water related reference!) aware that something'll go wrong and ruin this for me.

So its the semi final - 4 guys, 2 spoons. He gets us at one end of the pool and puts the spoons in about 16 meters away. Now, all the previous rounds were within my diving range. This one is now a dive and a swim. I'm in trouble. like i said before, swiming (speed wise) isn't my thing.

Anyway, the whistle blows, i dive in and struggle forwards. I see the spoon glinting  on the bottom of the pool and i stretch out. As i do so, from my left a hand snatches the spoon. I spin left and see the other spoon, grabbing it and return to the surface.

In the Final!

So there i am, knackered by water polo and more excercise that i've done all week, and out of breath and i look to my left and the other guy is a 15 yr old. I, being english, hold out my hand and wish him good luck. We shake hands. Turns out he's dutch, on hols with his family. Oh, and he is on the Dutch National Unihoc team and as such swimming counts for part of his training.

AJ puts one spoon at the opposite end of the pool from us. The pool clears and thirty to forty people look on grumpily at either side of the 30meter stretch of water.

I've had it here!

I tell the lad so, he smiles, shyly. I am clearly older and cooler than him, but he knows deep down he'll beat me. Underdog. The british position.

So the whistle blows, and we dive in. coming up for air off the dive and i'm 5 meters ahead. 5 seconds later and by trusty breast stroke leaves me 5 meters behind. The dutch boy is quick!

Now, as a young lad, up to the age of 12, i could only do front crawl could not get my body to do breast stroke for love nor money.  Only front crawl. Then, sometime around my 13th birthday, breast stroke suddenly clicked in. But, as if my brain can only hold one swimming stroke, and one stroke only, i instantly lost the ability to do front crawl.

It had been 13 years, i dusted off the front crawl and went for it.

Three strokes later and i've swallowed quite a bit of water and gone nowhere. Somewhere ahead of me is a blur of arms, legs and white water. I revert to trusty breast stroke as at least it'll get me there by the time he picks out the spoon.

But then people are shouting. The dutch lad has veered off to the left. I pick up my pace. The lessons of my 26 years have taught me to keep my eye on the prize. I took a good look at where the spoon was dropped.

The dutch lad is on his feet in the shallow end, looking for the spoon. he's looking in the wrong place. I cruise up, right to the side and look down, seeing a silver glint by my foot. I reach down and sheepishly pick up the spoon. The crowd half cheers, and i hand the spoon to the Dutch international, who beat me hands down in everything but getting the spoon, but AJ blocks me off from this to declare me the winner. My prize? A bloody Mary. But to honour the lad, they get him a non-alcoholic ****tail.

As the sun starts to set, I toast his athleticism, and he toasts my diving ability and we have a nice long chat  by the bar...

So ends the tale of the spoon competition.

I hope you are satisfied!

Shy^ wrote:
21:56 21/08 2007
pictureyep, i was actually a spectator at a similar thing when i was 17 and me and my boyfriend and a friend went to rhodes. I wont get into the story, just kind of funneh conincidence (norwegian sucky spelling?). Anyways, glad you won!
Sir_Henry wrote:
00:50 22/08 2007
pictureHow on earth do you manage to write such nice, long blogs every time?? I'm not able to do so, as I feel sorry for... Wish I had the Power to do such writing myself! :)
Zz00029246 wrote:
10:49 22/08 2007
picturesir henry, i reckon he had the spoon telling essay all ready waiting for someone to ask :D
Wojteker wrote:
11:26 22/08 2007
picturenah, Shy^ can testify i wrote it on the hop last night!
Spinner wrote:
13:19 22/08 2007
pictureThere is no spoon!
Zz00037103 wrote:
18:49 22/08 2007


It's not meant to Death of Rats, but great to find yet another Discworld fan \o/!!

DEATH2 stems from my IRC nick, someone had already registered DEATH so I couldn't have that, decided DEATH2 was good enough.

If you live anywhere near brimingham, feel free to come to Lichfield on Friday night, my leaving do from work and my birthday on Saturday so going round the pubs. anyone is welcome just let me know and can swap phone numbers so you can find us. :)

MissSpoons wrote:
10:45 23/08 2007

HAHA most fabulous sunshine!!!

Loved that story - kept me smiling at work for at least 5 mins!!  Im so very proud of your spoon winning greatness :D

Thats so weird - im going back to Hisaranou in 16days time!!!  WOOHOO! Shame we just missed ya tho :(

Lovely story :)

Wojteker wrote:
20:55 23/08 2007
pictureIt seems my work here is never done...

DEATH2 - sorry, i can't get to Brum on Friday, but have both a good leaving do and birthday.

Miss Spoons(*sighs dreamily) -  glad to give you 5 more minutes of smiling in what  appears to have been (from your forum posts) an otherwise slow day. If you need some travel tips...

Spinner - before weget into all this again, my pills? Red pill please - i'm game to see how far the rabbit hole goes
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