How awful is this weather?
I don’t think it felt so bad when we were only told there would be a storm tomorrow and to batten down the hatches. So we searched for some hatches and battened them down.
Now we are told many days in advance. The approaching tempest is shown advancing on the map, and has a cuddly name, Isha, pronounced Eesha.
I had a pet mouse once called Isha. It was supposed to be called Isabel but I was too young to pronounce that properly.
Even today, I’m not sure if I can pronounce Jocelyn correctly. It was due to shake us up around the time you read this and the next storms we can look forward to will be Kathleen, Lillian and Minnie.
Cute names all of them and they have been suggested by members of the public. Oh, this is my chance to say hello to Minnie Macritchie in North Tolsta.
Haven’t seen you in ages. Did you know that I had named an upcoming storm after you?
Thankfully the islands were not as badly hit as other places
Thankfully, Ishi didn’t clobber us on the islands as badly as in some other places.
Jocelyn sounds like a wicked one though. I think I will have to cancel my planned trip to Uist this week as I just cannot abide a rolling ferry whether that is in the Minch or in the apparently calmer waters of the Sound of Harris.
That too is depressing.
If I do not get to go to Uist, I will have no reason to get up in the morning. Isn’t that one of the signs of depression setting in? A tip then. Before you go to bed, if you’re feeling down, drink two pints of water. Then you’ll have a reason to get out of bed very early.
That story about the AI chatbot with the foul mouth cheered me up.
A haulage firm called DPD had set it up to deal with customers’ queries to cut staff costs.
The problem was that its artificial intelligence was more clever than they thought.
Asked to suggest better hauliers than DPD, it happily trotted out lists of competitors which it decided were better.
When asked to slag off the company, it was able to do that too and even resorted to using sweary words that are not suitable for persons of a nervous disposition.
Management panicked when they heard what it was doing and promptly took it offline and replaced it with a human.
It wasn’t a tonic to learn the Westminster and Scottish governments still drag their feet helping wrongly-accused sub-postmasters.
They say they will do all they can but as the focus moves onto some other scandal, like deleting WhatsApp messages, they slip back into their old ways and do very little.
There was talk yesterday of payments to victims but there are other rumours they want to hear what precisely Fujitsu is going to admit to first.
It’s not a tonic hearing about government handling of whatsapps
Nor is it a tonic hearing how incompetent the Scottish Government civil servants were handling their WhatsApp messages during Covid.
The SNP has been in charge for a long time and yet they disposed of vital evidence, carefully, deliberately, and as a “pre-bed ritual”.
Now their pre-bed ritual is probably being on their knees asking for their jobs to be saved because they followed “guidelines”.
Who drew up these guidelines? They did. In consultation with? Security experts? Possibly not. Were these so-called guidelines verified as legally sound, pro-democratic and a proper security measure? Er …
They now bleat about how they made sure vital messages didn’t get into the wrong hands.
To safeguard the messages, all they had to do was make sure they used the phone lock password properly.
That’s all they had to remember. Yet they chose instead to remember to delete their messages every night. Does this mean they did not lock their phones during the day? If not, why not?
Scottish Government ministers drawing up so-called security policies on the fly, apparently without reference to anyone else, is similar to schoolchildren checking their own homework.
How utterly unintelligent and childish is that? Is this why Nicola Sturgeon headed for the exit? I’m depressed again.
It is also depressing when we do not study the messages we do get to make sure we understand the context.
I have heard of a young mother called Ann, from Laxdale near Stornoway, who got a WhatsApp message from someone just before Christmas.
It stated: “This is to let you know we have your child.”
Kidnappers. Ann became really distraught. She knew what to do because she had watched late-night movies.
She replied: “I understand. What are your demands?” The reply was: “Demands? This is the nursery. This is a reminder that we are closing soon.”
Iain Maciver is a former broadcaster and news reporter from the Outer Hebrides