These Words Are My Words



“People will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words.” Khalil Gibran

What would your seven words be?

(1) “Hmmm”

Some might say that this isn’t really a word but I originally had it with an extra “m” and the spell checker suggested hmmm, therefore it must be an actual word, right? I read somewhere once that saying “hmmm” to people when you are unsure of the answer or solution they are looking for puts them at ease, more so than if you just start blurting out words. I can’t remember where I read it or I would share it. Upon trying to use Google just now to find the article I just kept coming up against this. Anyway, wherever I read it, it’s stayed with me and has been quite useful in my job where people expect me to know all the answers, all the time – which I don’t, never will and never want to.

(2) “Stuff”

A fantastic word. I use it a lot when I either can’t think of the correct word to describe something or if I just don’t know – most often the latter.


This is nothing to do with Facebook likes or blog post likes. It’s maybe a bad habit of mine and I use this word too much i.e. “I was, like, I couldn’t believe it and he was like, what did you mean?” But a really good use of this word is as a form of greeting in Aberdeen – prefix it with the word “fit” and you have a fantastic way of saying “hello, how are you” – Fit Like

(4) “Yeah”

Something was pointed out to me a few years ago when I worked with my flatmate. He said I used “yeah” only at work, never at home – at the end of a sentence when I was asking people to carry out tasks for me i.e. “Will you tidy up the stock room, yeah?” It obviously worked as he would tidy up at work but never do his dishes at home. I still use this all the time – it’s like a way of making someone agree to do something without them really realising.

(5) “So” or “To” or “Is”

I use these three words in equal measures so they count as one.  I use them to get people to tell me more information that I don’t know…or should know but I need to make them tell me so it looks like I do know. Say a sentence and end it with one of these words. Follow it up with a pause and a lean in of head. The information will then come pouring from the person…

(6) “Y’know”

Not strictly one word, however, this is my list. I do a lot of presentations and when I watch other people present,  I always look out for words that they use far too much and quite often unnecessarily. I’m guilty of it too but I am conscious of it and try very hard not to do it. Common ones such as “basically”, “obviously” and “okay” are ones that I listen out for and often tally up how many times they are used. These would be the ones that most people spot easily. I’ve recently started using “y’know” in place of those common words as I keep telling myself this word is a “new kid on the block” and nobody has spotted it yet. Perhaps this is not true but I’ll carry on in my misguided ignorance for now. An extra benefit of using “y’now” is it gives me a second or two to think of my next words, or the word I really want to use but need a second to recall it.

(7) “F*ck”

Yes, it’s a profanity but it’s a one of the great swear words. It can be fitted in almost anywhere and can really emphasize anything. Don’t get me wrong,  I’m not a constant swearer and I can judge the time and place that it is acceptable to get my f**ks out. It really annoys me when people get that so wrong. I don’t appreciate people who I have only just met swearing in my presence and I certainly don’t appreciate people swearing in an open office where everyone can hear. Those f**king people can f*ck off – that’s just f**king rude.

(7.1) Should”

I used to say “try that, it should work now” when I already knew 100% that it would work. I’ve learned to be confident in what I am saying so I have removed “should” from my vocabulary and replaced it with words such as “will”, “sure” and “confident”

What about you – what would your seven words be? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014

I’ve Got An Interview With Microsoft

The Apprentice

It’s true! Not just Microsoft but also Facebook, Apple and every other global company I would ever want to work for.

Well, when I say interview I mean that I am going to answer some of their questions that they ask during interviews – that counts, right?

Since this blog has just past its three year anniversary – I will be celebrating by allowing anyone to ask me anything and I will answer all during a Facebook Live or some other video medium in a few weeks.

In anticipation for this I came across an article sharing interview questions that top companies use. I will now answer these and if any of those companies read my answers to see if I “fit” with their company well that’s fine too!

13 Crazy Interview Questions That Awesome Companies Will Actually Ask You

1. Facebook

Question: “25 racehorses, no stopwatch. 5 tracks. Figure out the top three fastest horses in the fewest number of races.”

Steve Says: I’d probably eithe ask John McCririck or failing that find a TARDIS/Delorian and use some kind of time travel option. Most likely the second option! Oh and by the way, I eventually get your office🙂

2. Google

Question: “Why are manhole covers round?”

Steve Says: Erm, because the hole is round?

3. Apple

Question: “If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?”

Steve Says: After each delivery I’d use them to cut time from my next delivery and be super fast!

4. Amazon

Question: “How would you solve problems if you were from Mars?”

Steve Says: I am from Mars.

5. Microsoft

Question: “How would you test an elevator?”

Steve Says: From the outside.

6. Uber

Question: “How would you find the words that became obsolete in English language between 16th and 17th century? You may use a search engine.”

Steve Says: Okay I will. Thanks.

7. Trader Joe’s

Question: “What do you think of garden gnomes?”

Steve Says: I think the more you say gnome, the more it doesn’t sound like a word and just makes me laugh. Try it. Gnome, gnome, gnome!

8. Living Social

Question: “What’s your favorite song? Perform it for us now.”

Steve Says: It’s a classic by Simon & Garfunkel. Ready?


9. Urban Outfitters

Question: “You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?”

Steve Says: Are they allowed to taste like their colour? If so I’d be lime. Ok, don’t tell me you never ate crayons as a kid? Kids all over the world will leap for joy when crayons actually taste nice too!

10. American Heart Association

Question: “What’s the color of money?”

Steve Says: I think it was a film? Oh no, wait – lime colour? Can I pass?


Question: “How would you direct someone else on how to cook an omelet?”

Steve Says: Direct them? Like, in a theatre? Ok – Break a leg? No wait, break an egg, lots of them!

12. Kraft Foods

Question: “On a scale from 1 to 10, rate me as an interviewer.”

Steve Says: Okay done! Oh sorry, do you want me to say it out loud. Okay 10!

13. MasterCard

Question: “Can you say ‘Peter Pepper Picked a Pickled Pepper’ and cross-sell a washing machine at the same time?”

Steve Says: Only if I can add that “Peter Pepper Also Pissed His Pants”

How would you answer these questions?

What do you want to ask me for my #AskMeAnything post? Leave your question in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014

I’ve Been Trolled: Why Be An Internet Troll When You Can Be An Internet Moomin?

The Moomins

Internet Trolls

It’s a sad fact of life that there has always been vile people in the world making even more vile comments. In the days of social media it’s given these “trolls”  a much wider audience…

I have been blogging for almost three years and I guess I have been fortunate up to now that all my comments have been positive. However, that’s just changed.

For some reason I’ve just been targeted by some trolls leaving nasty comments which initially I took personally but I soon got over it. It was also quite timely that when I checked out the latest video on my favourite vocal coach extraordinaire’s You Tube channel, Fel, she too has suffered the trolls and has some great advice…

Events such as the George Square tragedy in Glasgow have also given these trolls the attention that they absolutely don’t deserve. When I was still quite new to the whole tweeting thing I hold my hand up and admit I have had jibes at celebrities. My poor excuse is “it’s just too easy to do these days” but I would hate to think I’d ever upset anyone. Twitter should come with a rulebook i.e. if you don’t have something nice to say – say nothing!

I want to now try and stick to my own Social Media rule…

“Don’t be an internet troll – be an internet Moomin”

What on Earth is a Moomin you might well ask. Well, they were a popular cartoon on the television when I was growing up and what they are is…

“The Moomins are the central characters in a series of books, and a comic strip by Swedish-speaking Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson, originally published inSwedish by Schildts[2] in Finland. They are a family of white, roundish fairy tale characters with large snouts that make them resemble hippopotamuses. The carefree and adventurous family live in their house in Moominvalley, though in the past, their temporary residences have included a lighthouse and a theatre. They have had many adventures along with their various friends.”

The Moomins

Basically trolls are nasty and Moomins are nice, I’m going to be nice on the internet so therefore I’m going to be an internet Moomin.

What’s even better is that there is a Moomin for everyone so you can decide which one you want to be. After you’ve had a look at the video – pick below from the character that best describes you…all together now “ba, ba, ba, bababa ba the Moomins…”

Moominpappa: Father of the family, but boyish and adventurous. He likes to be present when something unusual happens. He is philosophical at times and likes writing his memoirs.

Moominmamma: The calm mother, who takes care that Moominhouse is a safe place to be. She wants everyone to be happy, appreciates individuality, but settles things when someone is wronged. She always brings good food as well as whatever else may be necessary on a journey in her handbag.

Moomin: The little boy of the family, interested in and excited about everything he sees and finds, always trying to be good, but sometimes getting into trouble while doing so, he is very brave and always finds a way to make his friends happy.

The Hemulens: Creatures that believe in order and like to boss other people around, but find it difficult to listen to anyone and lack a sense of humor. Many hemulens like collecting stuff, and have little time to think about much else.

Sniff: A small creature, who lives in the Moomin house. He likes to take part in everything, but is afraid to do anything dangerous. Sniff appreciates all valuables and makes many plans to get rich, but does not succeed.

Snork Maiden: Moomin’s girlfriend. She is happy and energetic, but often suddenly changes her mind on things. She loves nice clothes and jewelry and is a little flirtatious.

The Snork: Snorkmaiden’s brother. He is an introvert by nature and is always inventing things. The residents of Moominvalley often ask Snork for help solving tricky problems and building machines. Snorks are like moomintrolls, but change colour according to their mood.

Snufkin: Moomin’s best friend. The lonesome philosophical traveller, who likes to play the harmonica and wanders around the world with only a few things, so as not to make his life complicated. He always comes and goes as he pleases, is carefree and has lots of admirers in Moominvalley. He is also shown to be quite fearless and calm in even the most dire situations, which has proven to be a great help to Moomintroll and the others when in danger.

Little My: A mischievous tomboyish little girl, who lives in the Moomin house and has a brave, spunky personality. She likes adventure, but loves catastrophes, and often does mean things on purpose. She finds messiness and untidiness exciting and is very down to earth, when others aren’t.

The younger Mymble, also referred to as “the Mymble’s daughter”: Little My’s amiable and helpful big sister, and half-sister of Snufkin. She often has romantic daydreams about the love of her life, particularly policemen.

Too-Ticky: A wise woman, and good friend of the family. She has a boyish look, with a blue hat and a red-striped shirt. She dives straight into action to solve dilemmas in a practical way. Too Ticky is the one of the people in Moominvalley, who does not hibernate, instead spending the winter in the cozy sauna building of the Moominhouse.

Mrs Fillyjonk: A female rodent-like being who believes order and principle are vital to life, and she does not want her three children to learn bad habits. She easily loses her temper and even the slightest misfortune depresses her. She is often seen cleaning the house.

The Hattifatteners Mushroom-like silent creatures, that wander around the world eternally, often in large groups, wanting to reach the horizon. They travel by boat and get attracted by lightning, when they become electric and quite dangerous.

Thingumy and Bob: Inseparable twins, with their own funny language, which a Hemulen deciphers, consisting largely of spoonerisms and similar inversions of words and syllables. Moomin eventually gets the hang of it, while Sniff thinks they are speaking a foreign language. They like to hide in small places, but to others it is not always clear what they are up to. They do not know what is theirs and steal Moominmama’s handbag to live in, which they soon return when they realise how much she needs it. The ruby they stole is, however not returned to the groke at all. They swap the ruby for another ruby with the Hobgoblin (Finn Family Moomintroll).

The Groke: A ghost-shaped creature that scares everyone, she says nothing (she growls) and the ground freezes below her. The other characters are afraid of her, but she is just simply very lonely. The Groke is also attracted to fire, but when she sees it and sits on it, the fire will extinguish.

Stinky: A small furry creature that always plays jokes on the family in the house, where he sometimes lives. He likes pinching things, is proud of his reputation as a crook, but always gets found out. He is simple and only thinks of himself.

The Muddler (Moomins): Living in a coffee tin, this anxious collector stores away all the buttons he finds, but his carelessness with the collection makes him lose and forget things. The Fuzzy is the Muddler’s wife, whom he met on an adventure with Moominpappa. Sniff is their child, but he lives with the Moomins.

Have you chosen? Let me know which one you are in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014 and, remember…

“Don’t be an internet troll – be an internet Moomin”

#InternationalCatDay: On A Scale Of 1 To 10 How Sad Is It To Appear In A #Selfie With Your Cat…

#InternationalCatDay: Cat Selfies

My cat, Disco, disagrees with the theory that you need opposable thumbs to appear in a “selfie”…

Let me take a #selfie...

Let me take a #selfie…


Do you have any photos of yourself with your pets? Share them with me in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014


What The Flickr You Doing?

What is Flickr?

Other than sharing my photos here on my blog I wanted some sort of outlet just for photos…

I don’t think I could cope with running another blog so that wasn’t an option.

I really don’t understand Pinterest.

So, the best option I decided was Flickr. I’ve used Flickr on and off for years and most of my personal photos are stored there privately so that I have an online backup. However, I thought it was about time that Steve Says… went on Flickr so now it is…



Wanna be my Flickr buddy?

From now on all my new photos I share on my blog will also go on Flickr and I intend to upload all historical ones too. I do like challenging myself don’t I?

Are you on Flickr? Let me know your details in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014

A Pain In The Twitter! Ten Reasons To HATE Social Media


When is Social Media a pain in the Twitter?

10. Bloggers: Ugh. We all think we’re funny, or smart or interesting. Sometimes we are and often times we’re not.This doesn’t apply to me of course, and you guys are all great, re…

Source: Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Reasons To HATE Social Media

Bargain Of A Lifetime: I Love My New Bang & Olufsen

Regular followers of my blog will know that I love music and I also love really good sound systems such as the awesome products made by Bang & Olufsen. I am lucky enough to own a few of these products – not all bought brand new as I am sadly not that rich.

I had been considering make another very small purchase but it would have again been one of the newer, reasonably priced models such as the BeoPlay A2 until one evening Greg showed me a for sale ad on Facebook and I went into some kind of hysterical musical overdrive.

I used to work for the company as a Sales & Marketing Executive (fancy title but I mostly just dusted the products) in Aberdeen and one of the most popular systems back then was something called BeoSound 3000 with a pair of BeoLab 6000 speakers. This was in 2003 and the total price of the system cost over £3500!

If you wanted a stand with it then that was £300 and the remote control was £150 so can you imagine me having to be picked up off the floor when I saw the price tag for all these items on Facebook was…£450.

It sounded too good to be true but after a few messages exchanged we went to pick it up from quite a pricey house in a posh area of town – somewhat clarifying to me that it wasn’t stolen. I’m still not entirely sure why the lady was selling it so cheap when even she told me how much of a bargain I was getting and that it almost broke her heart to sell the system so cheap. I got the hell out of there with my new Bang & Olufsen before either her heart broke or her mind changed!

It now takes pride of place in my living room…

FullSizeRender 5

I knew, of course, that the sound quality would be awesome but I have found myself listening to songs I have heard hundreds of times and hearing instruments on parts of the song that I have never heard before. It is truly outstanding and as if there is a live orchestra in the room.

For example, when I listen to “Chandelier” by Sia I could swear she is actually in the room with me singing the song…

This post has also been entered into Hugh’s weekly photo challenge with the theme Music




I’m Not A Success Until I’ve Been Re-Tweeted By Lorraine Kelly…

I never used to understand Twitter but since I’ve started blogging I now see its value. Continue reading