Phil's 'Chocolate or Vanilla' Questionnaire

1. What, in your opinion is the most important division within the human race? (e.g. smokers/non-smokers, Conservative/Labour, desktop/laptop)  Male and female. Get that one wrong and you could have a shock

2. On which side of the answer to #1 do you fall?  Male, although I am in touch with my emotions

3. How long, on average, does it take you to get rid of someone trying to sell you something over the phone?  2.5s = "no, I'm not interested thankyou"

4. What is the most expensive object you have ever broken on purpose? ('when angry' counts as 'on purpose' even if you regretted it soon afterwards)  Taking apart a perfectly good PC in order to waterproof it. It was probably worth less than £100 though.

5. What is your preferred method of sharpening a knife? With a knife sharpener

6. In your view, is it more important for the Americans to adopt a less confrontational foreign policy, or to learn how to pronounce the word "aluminium"?  b

7. If you had the opportunity to become immortal, would you take it?  yes: there are many things that I would like to do but don't have the time, like really learn all the stuff we did at university 

8. On balance, are you angry about the part of the monitor tube that is covered by the plastic housing, or pleased about the extra 24 bytes in a kilobyte? I'm angry that my monitor isn't touch sensitive and can't be folded up and shoved in my pocket 

9. If you buy something for 99p with a £1 coin, do you really want the 1p back? I really want the price to be £1 and the cost savings of not trucking tonnes of copper nibblets around the country shared between us

10. Do you trust that fancy new paint which goes on pink and dries white? Unless they announced it on April 1st, then I would trust it with my life.

11. Have you ever combined a Burger King burger with McDonalds fries in persuit of the ultimate fast food experience? After dealing with the staff at either establishment I'm hardly in the mood to repeat the experience. There's only so many times you can be asked 'do you want to go large' by someone with little evidence of synaptic activity in the same day. 

12. Do you own a box of those little plastic rings for reinforcing punched holes? I had one when I was aged 10, but back then they were considered 'cool'

13. If you could issue one decree as an absolute monarch, what would it be? Get off my planet, except you there, you at the back pretending to twiddle knobs, you over there who knows how to make beer. Getting a bit awkward. The other 6 billion people can't take the hint…

14. If copies are free, do you check the settings first, or just press the button and see what happens? I don't 'check the settings', I set the settings. But I will tweak them three or four times to get the perfect copy.

15. If you had to have one, and only one bumper sticker, what would it say? "This kiddie rags", in fact that is what my one and only bumper sticker reads.

16. What objects would you be nervous if you didn't have a spare for? Storage for all my digital photos

17. If you bought a new BMW 520i, would you choose the "Delete badge" option? After the lobotomy that would be required prior to such a scenario arising, I would probably delete the remainder of the engine too. 

18. What was the last thing you shouted while alone in a car? Can't remember the last time I was alone in the car.

Brussel sprouts 19. What is your typical path through a supermarket? Door, aisles, checkout, door 

20. Do you lick the underside of the foil top when eating a pot of yoghurt? No, I use a spoon like civilised people ought to.

21. Do you abbreviate the words "you", "are", “to” and “for” in text messages? Yes. Extra characters exist in written languages as a form of error correction. Usually if some of the characters are unintelligible, the word can be deduced. This is unnecessary in electronic communication where additional error correction is built into the transmission protocol. Perhaps I've thought about this too much already.

22. Have you ever tried to use an optical mouse on a mirror, just to see what happened? My mouse cable won't stretch to the bathroom.

23. If you were alone at the time, what would be the least hygienic location from which you'd be prepared to retrieve and eat a potato chip you'd just dropped? The floor if it looked clean, but only within a few seconds of the drop occurring

24. With reference to #23, where would overstep the mark? The floor in Oli's room

25. Have you ever read the documentation for your company pension scheme? No, I am not a member. I don't want to invest in a scheme that will only benefit me if I live to a statistically unlikely age, if it hasn't already been pillaged by the directors. I would rather invest money paying off my debts that run between 5% and 22% APR than earn 1.5% on my pension. When I reach a grand old age I would like the option to take all the money I have saved and do what I want with it, not have it eked out to me so I am forced to live in a bungalow in Eastbourne.

26. How many of the Asterix / Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy / Terry Pratchett / Harry Potter books have you read? 8? / 1 / 29 (the latest one is virgin on my coffee table) / 1

27. How many greetings cards have you sent in the last 12 months? 1

28. A criminal maniac invites you to "Pick a city for destruction, Mr. Bond." Which one do you choose? St Albans. It's called a city, but only half a dozen people and some mosaics live there, therefore the destruction would be minimal.

29. Which font do you use most often? Arial, although I believe a font with serifs, e.g. Times Roman, should be used for blocks of text (but our company documents were design by someone ignorant of the fine points of publishing)

30. What happened the last time you applied excessive force to an inanimate object? I must have broken, otherwise it was not excessive

31. Can you tell whether a Union Jack is hung the right way up? No, but if it were burning adjacent to a toppling statue of our Tony I might hazard a guess.

32. If it was a matter of life or death, what is the earliest month for which you could produce your bank statement? I could probably find one from 1990, but none in-between.

33. If you could choose any person living or dead, who would you most like to hit repeatedly in the face with a small wooden gavel? Adam 

34. If you had the choice between a petrol chainsaw or a bread knife, which would you use for felling a small tree with a 1" diameter trunk? I would use the former to fell a tree with a 1µm diameter

35. If you could ban one figure of speech, one acronym and one word, what would they be? jack knows

36. If you ran over a teddy bear lying in the road, would you feel guilty? yes

37. If your house was besieged, which consumable would you run out of last - assuming you didn't starve? Drill bits

38. List the BBC national radio stations in order of preference as driving companions. 1,4,2,3,5

39. When making a graph in MS Excel, do you place it on a separate sheet or on the sheet with the source data? 9 out of 10, separate sheet.

40. Which way up do you hold a map when travelling South? Driving: North up and translate the direction (map is more familiar, what is out of the window is irrelevant). Hiking South up (easier to work out features from observation).

41. How would you answer a 5 year-old who asked you why the sky is blue? Some of the lower frequency light is absorbed by the atmosphere, so it looks a little blue. I don't actually know if that explanation is true though…

42. When did you last use a highlighter pen? Wednesday 19th at around 12:00, yellow (to represent low level) and red (to represent high level). I found no use for blue. 

43. On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you that you know when to use a semicolon? 8; I think they are a little extravagant for common use.

44. What proportion of the CDs you own are in their original cases right now? 10%. However all of my MP3s are in their original directories.

45. What songs, television shows, books, paintings etc are you irrationally embarrassed to admit that you don’t like? Musical shows. So many people like them that I am afraid to hurt their feelinhgs by pointing out how cretinous they are 

46. Based on sound rather than content, which person’s voice irritates you the most? Northern Irish

47. How accurate is the time on your watch? It looses about a minute a month, so I deliberatly set it a couple of minutes fast when I realise it has fallen behind the rest of the planet. 

48. Have you ever written to, emailed or telephoned a newspaper, radio station, TV programme etc? If so, what did you say? BBC Midlands to complain about misrepresenting bikers. 

49. Do you, in the most fundamental depths of your soul, give a crap about the extinction of the Red Cockaded Woodpecker? I've only just read that it is extinct. If it turns out to be the most amazing woodpecker that ever existed, then maybe. Otherwise naaaaaaaaaaaaahhh.

50. What is the cheapest thing you’ve bought with a debit or credit card in the past month? Sandwich, crisps and water from a petrol station ~ £3.50. Cash is old school.

Now you know everything about Phil